This is a pic taken a month ago at a family gathering, my beautiful sister-in-law and I are just a month apart. Her baby should come any day.
I am not referring to comparing the pregnancy of my sister-in-law to myself. This is just the only recent pregnancy picture that I have of myself.
I get asked a lot how this pregnancy compares to when I was pregnant with Max and each time they ask me, I fumble for an interesting response. In the grand scheme of things, both of my pregnancies have been extremely easy and without complications. I know I am lucky.
I am not sure what people are looking for in a response but I have dwelt upon this idea of comparing pregnancies and come up with a few things that I feel are worth noting.
First, with Max my placenta was planted right on the other side of my belly button, so he was nestled into my back and with that when he moved, I didn't feel it as much. Also having a baby nestled near your back relieves some of the pain that comes with weight hanging from you. Also, because of this placenta placement it was the main reason for the awful back labor I experienced. Unfortunately you cannot control where that placenta decides to grow but knowing it's placement has helped me understand Max's pregnancy more.
On the flip side, baby #2 has it's placenta attached right against my spine. So while I don't predict awful back labor (although it's totally possible), I definitely feel this baby a whole lot more. I can feel it's feet more prominently and it's knees and it's butt, cute huh? I also feel the weight of this baby more. Overall this pregnancy feel a whole lot more conscious, but I don't think that is just due to placenta placement.
With Max, I worried much of the time that somehow I would miscarry again. It took away much of the wonder that pregnancy can bring. Of course there was still wonder and awe but I think in general you can prepare (and you should prepare) for your first child but when they come and you look back on it all you will realize how utterly clueless you were. At least that was the case for me.
After giving birth to Max, I had a lot of regret towards his birth. It's not that I wasn't happy to have a child in my arms it is just that I had imagined it going differently and I still felt like it could have. That is why this time around I chose to prepare again, I threw out most "knowledge" I felt I had about pregnancy and childbirth and signed Kyle and I up for Bradley Classes. Oh how I have loved these classes. Our last one is tomorrow night and I will miss our weekly date to learn and understand more about the miracle inside of me and how much influence we do have over our pregnancies, our labor, and our birth.
That is the main difference I feel this time around, I feel so much more aware and confident in myself.
Alongside taking these classes I read the book The Gift of Giving Life. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who is pregnant. It is an LDS nonfiction book about how pregnancy and childbirth are extremely spiritual and each chapter is dedicated to an aspect of giving life and draws gospel comparisons. It has made me truly realize how spiritual this act is that I am partaking in. The weight of my responsibility, the sacrifice I will make, etc. It is a hefty book, but I highly recommend it to anyone LDS or not.
I was hesitant to go through the journey of pregnancy once the nausea began again and with it brought all the hardships that a woman carries during pregnancy. The frequent bathroom breaks, the leg pain, the list could go on and on but taking the time to remember that each pregnancy is a miracle and a privilege has sobered my thoughts and redirected them towards a better understanding of myself and of God. I know it is through Him that I am able to experience the gift of giving life and I know that it is through His son, Jesus Christ that I will be carried through. As I seek out that divine guidance and help, I feel angels near and I feel peace and joy at the thought of inviting a new life into our family.