My second pregnancy is just days away from being over with. This is where a lot of women might say that they have mixed emotions about it coming to an end, particularly if they don’t plan on having more children, like me (yes, yes, I know that anything can happen…never say never…blah blah… but a 3rd child is not in the plan at this point in time). But I wouldn’t say that I have “mixed emotions” about my pregnancy coming to an end soon. I’d say that I’m extremely happy that it’s coming to an end soon. Here’s why.
Let’s cover the negatives first. Pregnancy can be extremely difficult for some women. I personally have been fortunate enough with both of my pregnancies to experience only typical aches, pains and issues. Don’t get me wrong. Even the “normal” stuff can suck really bad. But there are also even more complications that some women deal with beyond the norm. So needless to say, many women are looking for relief from back pain, abdominal pain, hip pain, butt pain, leg pain, swollen feet, heartburn, nausea and just general discomfort. And, yes. I’m definitely looking forward to being rid of those daily aches and pains. But there’s more. I’m not afraid to say that I’m looking forward to feeling like me again. I’m a runner, a performer and a social gal. But during this pregnancy I had to stop running at about 4 months along. I certainly didn’t have the time or energy for any auditions or acting gigs. And my social life? Well, let’s just say it’s been very minimal. I want to drink some SkinnyGirl Margaritas and some wine. I want to go on a 5-mile run again. I want to stand on stage and entertain. But what do I want to do most of all? I want to meet my daughter. Like any parent, I’m hoping for a safe and successful delivery so that I can hold my baby and start our journey together. I still can’t completely believe that she’s in there, that she’s a SHE and that she will be here so very soon. Hell, I still look at my son (who’s almost 3) in disbelief sometimes. He’s this precious little creature that my husband and I created. He calls me Mommy. He needs me. Not only do I have to remind myself that I’m someone’s mother, but that I’m about to be someone else’s mother as well. It’s absolutely mind-blowing.
So, what, you ask, did I actually learn from my two pregnancies? The answer…A LOT. Particularly with my first pregnancy, I learned to face my fears and surrender. I was a 30-year-old gal that had been married for 6 years, had 2 dogs, traveled with her husband, performed at various theaters, drank alcohol, went to restaurants and smoked cigarettes. I was doing what I wanted, and it was all about me (and my husband and dogs, of course, but you know what I mean). I look at pictures of myself celebrating my 30th birthday (just days before my son was conceived) and I looked so happy. This, in my humble little opinion, is the time to have a baby. I was a genuinely happy adult, and deciding to add a baby to my life was an excellent and healthy decision for me. I spent my 20s hanging out with my husband and having a great time, for the most part. But although a baby was the next step for us, it wasn’t necessarily easy. Most of my struggles were mental and emotional. Remember those cigarettes I just mentioned? Well, they had to go. And I loved them so. I did. But the time to quit had come. I still remember crying on the phone to my husband about how incredibly sad I was that I had to say goodbye to cigarettes (I was addicted to cigs AND hormonal, so…). When I look back now, I recognize how ridiculous that may sound. But at the time it was very difficult. I was also very scared of pregnancy and child birth. In fact, I’d say that the entire concept was in my top-5-things-I’m-scared-of list. But when I walked into that operating room to have my c-section, I finally realized that I just had to surrender. This control freak couldn’t control everything. I had to voluntarily walk into this room and let these people remove my baby from my body. It was certainly a “moment” for me. As for my second pregnancy, I’ve been reminded of these same lessons, plus some. Pregnancy is not all about me. Not only am I taking care of myself for myself, but I’m also doing it for my baby. No pressure, right? Ha. No margaritas. No wine. No running. No chasing after my son in the backyard. There are a lot of no’s. And as a pregnant woman, you have to be able to accept those restrictions in exchange for the fact that your body is working on a really, really big project. Its fascinating and wonderful and crazy all at the same time. This second pregnancy has also helped me to focus on my first-born a little more than I already did. Never again will he be the only child in our house. I have recognized that and tried to take advantage of these final months, weeks and days without a new baby around. He is the one that made us (the folks that weren’t really into kids in the first place) want to have another because he was, and is, so incredible. He taught us how to love a child. He inspires us to be better people. A family’s first-born truly is a treasure. And I’m thankful for that lesson especially.
There’s nothing wrong with being ready to say goodbye to pregnancy. It can be misinterpreted as being selfish, but I truly don’t think it is. For me, it’s obviously about being ready to meet my daughter, but also about moving on to the next phase in our lives. For my family, it’s time. I never ever wish time away with the little ones because it will go by on it’s own. No need to rush it. But I will say that I’m looking forward to being the best me I can be again, with less restrictions. I want to take care of my husband, my children, my dogs and myself. I want to live life to the fullest with 2 little kiddos in tow. I’m ready for this new chapter full of new adventures. I never dreamed of pregnancy and babies as a young girl. But having lived it now, I will admit that I have learned so much and am so incredibly thankful for the experiences. It’s been a beautiful (and hormonal and emotional and painful and crazy and hectic) chapter of my life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.