Pregnancy: Take two

It’s an immutable law of nature that when you get a group of pregnant women together, the conversation will quickly turn to nothing but morning sickness woes, delivery horror stories and way-too-detailed discussions of body parts.

I was reminded of this pregnancy law at a “Baby Bump Brunch” this weekend for a group of my friends who are all pregnant at the same time — some for the first time and others are working on their second, third or fourth pregnancy.

One difference I noticed about the first-time moms is that they talked about their upcoming delivery day as if they have any control over what happens, who is in the room and whether they have a C-section.

I, too, had such a plan on my first child. And what I learned about two hours into labor and delivery is that plans get thrown out the window pretty darn quick. In the end, there are two people calling the shots: the doctor and the baby. Oh, and maybe the 12 random people and custodians who come in to check your dilation.

But the biggest attitude difference I noticed between the first- and second-time moms is that the first-timers envisioned delivery day as the day when everything gets easy again. The back pain goes away, the 30-point turns to switch sides in bed and the fatigue all fade away after that baby comes out.

Moms can breathe easy and slip into a fantasy land of maternal bliss. Right?

Wrong. Oh so wrong. I can’t tell you how many times during the first few postpartum days that I wondered if there was any practical way to just shove that baby back into my uterus.

But although the sheen of pregnancy might not be as glossy the second time around, moms still choose to do it again. We knowingly embark on a journey of sleepless nights and delivery nightmares because we know those aren’t the memories that last.

Sure, the obstacles of pregnancy will come screaming back to our memory the second we see those two pink lines on the next pregnancy test. But even then, we will smile because we know that every stretch mark and every horror story is worth it, and we’d give anything to go through it all again.

What differences do you notice in yourself from your first pregnancy versus a second or third one? What lessons did you learn about pregnancy or yourself?

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.