I think my belly was just waiting to pooch out again, and as soon as it figured out I was pregnant, it ballooned. Never mind that the baby is the size of an olive right now. My belly is not the size of an olive.
But other things are easier the second time around. I have some idea what to expect: the endless trips to the bathroom, the exhaustion during the day combined — with cruel irony — with sleeplessness at night, and the beatifically glowing skin. I’m not nauseous so much as dizzy, as if I’m experiencing turbulence on an airplane. One morning I actually suspected there might be an earthquake, before I remembered that this is my relatively-minor version of morning sickness. I’m in a pretty darn happy mood (see my last few posts, which border on braggadocio) except when I’m not. The main challenge of a second pregnancy is sparing Sophie from my moodiness. As my new favorite pregnancy calendar declares:
“The only one who had to suffer my moods and general crankitude (besides me, of course, for oh! how I suffered) last time was Jason. Who, frankly, was a big boy and could deal with it and probably deserved it a little bit. This time, there’s a little two-and-a-half-year-old here who doesn’t understand that Mama’s head hurts or that she really needs some privacy in the potty or that she’s just really, really tired. I’m snapping at him, I’m impatient with him, I’m serving him the same damn inoffensive pizza snacks for every meal because they’re the only cooking smell that doesn’t make me sick. And I feel terrible about it, which is awesome, because I clearly wasn’t feeling terrible enough already.”
I love this, not just for its sassy honesty, but also because — though I’m not usually one for schadenfreude — it actually works to make me feel better about myself. It’s remarkable how many pregnancy advice books can have the opposite function, making me feel guilty because I haven’t decorated the nursery already and selected the exact range of genetic tests to request.
This time around, I already know that I’m going to try to lay off tuna-fish and luncheon meat, but not worry too much about sushi or soft cheese. It’s nice to feel like I already sifted through all the paranoid & contradictory pregnancy diet advice, so now I can relax and inform everyone who questions what I’m eating that in France, pregnant women are instructed to avoid eating salad — because raw vegetables may be the greatest risk for food poisoning, after all. I know this time that I can use oatmeal soap to treat the odd rashes I get during pregnancy. I know that my sudden lack of body-temperature regulation is par for the course, too, and that all of this is mild compared to how first trimesters can go, and that it will (I hope) get better in a few weeks, when I hit the second trimester.