This pregnancy, alhamduillah seems much easier than M’s. Maybe in part because I have less time to ponder the fact, maybe because what’s ahead is all so fresh in my mind. Perhaps looking at M as he runs round, snatching whole tomatoes from the fridge when the door’s left unguarded, perhaps looking at him I know that no matter how hard the pregnancy gets it will be worth a harder journey still.
A 18 1/2 weeks gestation, this is how I’m feeling:
Yesterday as I bought Baby in Bump his first pair of trousers there may have been a tear in the shop, but that aside — and I mean, the cuteness of these and the fact M has a matching pair..who wouldn’t cry really?! — that aside there’ve been fewer tears, fewer panic attacks, less of a feeling of out-of-controllness and much less panicing about “How will I cope?” than while pregnant with M. Even G, who wondered out loud in my fifth month last time if there was an off switch to last until labour day, says that this time he feels his wife is still here and hasn’t been replaced by a nervous-alien-being.
While pregnant with M, I wasn’t nervous about labour – in fact I was one of those annoying women who really couldn’t wait to put into practise the hypnobirthing, yoga stretching, birth-balling tricks I’d been absorbing for nine months. This time, labour terrifies me to the point were I refuse to think about it and I’m nervous as can be knowing I have to make a choice, have to think about how I want this baby to join our lives and risk having it go wrong again.
That said, knowing it can go so wrong, knowing the fear that your baby might not make it, makes these nerves insignificant: I know now – in reality not just in theory – that no matter how much I plan, how in control I feel, it’s totally in Gods hands so being nervous, or overly controlling in how I want labour to go, is pointless; all I want is another healthy baby inshAllah.
Despite being a breastfeeding Mum to a toddler who I babywear many hours a day, I feel great. Morning sickness lasted only a few short weeks, I haven’t experienced any food aversions meaning I can eat as healthy as I want, alhamduillah I’m stil able to drink water (with M, at four months pregnant water started feeling too thin and until after he was born I could only drink water thickened with juice) and up ’til now, there have been no back pains, leg cramps. The initial sting from Clexane injections I felt in the first few months has now passed and daily injections are now as routine as brushing my teeth. More sleep would be nice, but show me one parent of an eleven month old still nursing through the night who wouldn’t say the same, pregnant or not!
When I was pregnant with M I worried about it all…all of the first time Mums stuff…how do I bath a baby properly, what if he won’t latch, how do I know if he’s ill, will I be able to make him feel safe..as well as the extra worries which go with being an expat-Mum in a country with a culture foreign to your own. This time, though I’m well aware this baby will be a totally different being and we’ll have a whole new way of doing things to learn to accomodate our youngest son, I’m not worrying half so much. The expat stuff hasn’t gone away, there are still the same concerns about language, about schooling, about this and about that but the daily expat stuff..dealing with reactions to my non-Turkish way of parenting our child..this I’ve become hardened too. It’s still not easy facing negative reactions to a parenting choice, or active distain at the way you carry/dress/feed your child, but I’ve learnt to toughen up. There are days when family get me down – I feel they should trust me as their son does, respect me as mother to M – but the rest of the Turks, the strangers on the bus, the intefering neighbours and the gossipy shopworkers? I genuinely couldn’t care less. Their remarks or frowning looks don’t upset me anymore, they make me mad and mad is much easier to deal with! So I worry about this still – the impact on M, on my ability to be M and Bump’s Mum in all the best ways I can be – but from a different angle now, and one that’s easier day-to-day; with number two, these worries won’t be heightened, and inshallah, they’ll feel less like worries by then.
Somehow, the fact that we don’t have a car I can drive as we enter the pregnancy’s fifth month, or any notion of buying a double buggy or any real idea how I’m going to get about this maze of a chaotic city two kids in tow doesn’t worry me at all!
Why the difference? I’m not sure. Yes my routine is different to before and yes I’m more concious of my emotional health so my daily routine now includes vitamin E, liquid iron and a multivitamin as well as ginseng, lavendar and lemon oil, but physically, spending at least two hours a day walking with a 10kg baby on my back and with a bump much mroe prominent at 18 weeks than it was with M, logically I should be feeling it more. In reality I think with him on my back, I’m more concious of my poisture so ensure I walk taller, not give in to the lean-forward urge, which probably eases the back pain. Ironic that babywearing, carrying an additional 10kg around every day is probably easing aches and pains of pregnancy! As with M, I practise yoga every morning and make a point of doing squats, leg raises as I rock M to sleep at night. I have a feeling, if M keeps up his current level of activity – where do they get their energy?! – that I may come out of this pregnancy fitter than I went in!