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July 9th 2012
archived under: Day-to-day, Family Life

I simultaneously feel “finished” having kids and want 10 more. A big factor there is pregnancy. I’m not a fan.

Once it’s over and the birth/breastfeeding/happy/love/bonding hormones are flowing, pregnancy seems like a distant memory. It feels like this new baby was always part of the family and my life, and it’s impossible to imagine any alternate reality.

But during pregnancy? It’s long. And for me, not the most awesome (other than a few blissfully perfect weeks in the second trimester).

You know how when you have a cold and you’re congested and your nose is all raw and your lips are chapped from mouth-breathing and you can’t remember what it felt like to breathe effortlessly? You shout things like, “I’LL NEVER TAKE BREATHING FOR GRANTED AGAIN!” and you mean it with every ounce of your being?

It’s kind of like that. My first trimester of each pregnancy (actually more like the first half of the entire pregnancy) was like a lingering flu. I was exhausted beyond belief, I was nauseated, very little food was appetizing to me…but I constantly told myself that any time now it would get better.

Around 20 to 22 weeks, it really did. I felt like a normal person, I could start eating food again, and the muffin top turned into a cute baby belly. But just a few weeks later, the third trimester sets in and I get tired again. Muscles and joints feel worn out, and the cute baby belly starts feeling really heavy. My shoulders, neck, and back hurt, and after a while there’s no room for everything in my body. Reflux starts, and it’s hard to sleep. It’s impossible to sleep comfortably. And it drags…on…and on.

I’m so glad I wasn’t pregnant with Joseph as long as I was with Anneliese.

Pregnancy? I’m not a fan.

But knowing that a baby will be joining our family, knowing that a personality is brewing in a tiny fetus, knowing that my existing children will soon have another sibling to grow up with and to have as an inseparable partner in life…that’s so cool. And I like how my mom put it: “I just kept wondering WHO else was in there!” Me too.

We could stop and not have any more kids, ever. But I’d always wonder what it would be like if we had one more, and who that one more would turn out to be. But if we have one more, I know I’d wonder about another. And another.

WHO ELSE IS IN THERE???

But man…pregnancy, y’all.

It’s not the worst thing ever, but it’s kind of like having a cold for almost a year. I forget what it feels like to be normal, to be comfortable.

But not being pregnant? I’ll never forget the butterfly flutters early on and the kicks and rolling later.

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