When I discovered I was expecting my second daughter, it was the middle of one of the coldest winters in North Carolina history. And while I’ve built my share of snowmen and get nostalgic about sitting by the fireplace sipping hot cocoa, by the third or fourth snowfall, I declared summer couldn’t come fast enough.
By June, I wondered what I had been thinking. The year with record lows turned into a year of record highs. As the weather got hotter, I wasn’t getting any smaller. I spent many days inside or at the pool. Whenever I braved the grocery store, strangers gave me sympathetic looks. “When are you due? Is it any day now?”
I tried not to look embarrassed because—as everyone told me—I showed much quicker this time around and probably did look like I was due any day. “Um…not until October.”
“Oh, you poor girl!”
I can’t complain too much, though. I’m one of few women who don’t experience morning sickness. But both pregnancies I came down with a stomach virus halfway through. As I hugged the toilet that very long weekend, I realized God was giving me empathy for all the ladies who suffer through endless months of vomit.
Then came the third trimester. Anyone who’s ever been pregnant will tell you about the dreaded glucose tolerance test—where doctors force you to gulp down a nasty syrupy concoction in a matter of minutes. Well, I failed, and I had to drink the stuff twice. After the second test, despite not having consumed anything but that sugary drink all day, I decided to stop by the library to check out the childbirth section. The fact that I broke into a cold sweat and almost fainted while bent down looking at books should have clued me in that something was wrong.
A few days later my midwife diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. I must follow a strict, high protein and no sugar diet and prick my finger four times a day. Seriously—isn’t pregnancy supposed to be the one time in life when women can actually indulge in cupcakes and ice cream?
To top everything off, I must wear compression hose to aid in leg circulation. My two-year-old calls them “Mommy’s silly socks.” If you’ve seen a pregnant lady walking around wearing grandma stockings in 90-degree weather, that’s probably me.
Maybe God allows all these strange things to happen to our bodies, so the desire for the baby to come will outweigh all the fear that accompanies the impending labor.
And despite any momentary discomforts, feeling my baby move is wonderful. Just weeks before I birthed my first baby, I wrote that life was about to change forever. I was becoming a mother. I was nervous and excited and hopeful. Months of preparation would pay off with one look at my baby girl.
Over two years later, many of the same sentiments have returned. I know a little more what to expect this time around, but life is still going to change in a major way. The birth itself might be interesting because I’m using a doula (a professional labor support person). I’m hoping labor won’t be quite as long and a more natural experience than my more than 16-hour, pitocin-augmented, medication-laced delivery with my firstborn.
But, even if it is, it will be worth it.
The bags are packed, the car seat’s installed and the nursery awaits the arrival of a new little princess. She will enter the world any day now. I can’t wait to meet her.
**This column first appeared in the October 1, 2010 issue of the Mooresville Weekly.**