Last December, right before the year came to an end, my husband Migs and I discovered another reason to celebrate the coming New Year. Two lines on a small white stick meant a new baby to look forward to this 2014!
I tried to remember most of what I had gone through with my previous pregnancies; but considering Juanmi is now almost 4 years old, most of my memories were just bits and pieces that would be triggered by random things.
For instance, I forgot just how sleepy and lethargic one gets while pregnant! I normally have enough energy to last me from early morning to very late at night; but nowadays, I find myself falling asleep every chance I can get.
I also did not anticipate the nausea, though I’m happy there’s no morning sickness accompanying it. Which means that I can proceed with my days as planned.
Come to think of it, I do recall my first pregnancy and sleeping through most of it. But back then, my house was silent and there was nobody depending on me to function properly.
My second pregnancy came just as we were building our home, which meant I had no time to feel the symptoms of my pregnancy if I wanted to be sure that we could move in before I gave birth.
My baby was still small enough to bring with me everywhere, and spent more than half the day asleep.
Fortunately, that pregnancy was less hectic than the first. But in between work, entrance exams for grade one to prepare for, and the constant arguing over who started which fight, things were a little different.
Please don’t think I am complaining—far from it, really. I am just amazed to realize that we really can do so much more than we think we can. Or maybe this is a preview of things to come when there are three little ones to care for, instead of two?
But, unlike my first pregnancy where every week felt like an eternity, this one seems to be zooming by at lightning speed. In between the demands of everyday life with work and two kids, there doesn’t seem as much time in between to dream or fret over this latest pregnancy.
And while the wait for our first child was matched in excitement by the wait for our first son, this pregnancy is just as exciting—but in a different way, because now, it’s not just the adults in the family looking forward to the baby’s arrival, but my little ate and soon-to-be little kuya.
When I had Juanmi, Adriana was less than two years old and didn’t fully understand what was coming until Juanmi actually showed up at the hospital and later went home with us.
However, now that Adriana is almost six years old and Juanmi is turning four, they are both more aware of what is going on and are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their little playmate.
My happiness comes from the joy that accompanies my two little angels excitedly whispering to the baby in mommy’s tummy. I just hope their excitement and adoration would last until the baby actually arrives and starts crying every hour!
There is also less stress with this pregnancy, as I am more relaxed with everything. Much to my OB’s relief, I no longer feel the need to text her every other day with whatever concerns I have. But the best part is probably the lack of pressure—which accompanied the first pregnancy.
Back then, like any girl, aside from the primary concern over the baby’s health and mine, I also worried about stretch marks, getting my body back and all the other horror stories that other women shared in their attempt to prepare us first-timers, but which inadvertently just ended up scaring us even more.
Now, with more realistic expectations backed by experience, I am more at ease with the changes in my body, and feel less pressured to keep up with standards that have been set by glamorized media images. I never realized how nice it can be to be able to relax and just enjoy a pregnancy.
Of course, every pregnancy comes with its own unique challenges. In my case, the challenge has been the same with now, all three: gestational diabetes.
While I would have preferred not to get it at all (it’s in my genes), I am glad what I have is something I am at least familiar with now, after going through it twice. I still have my sugar testing kit from my first pregnancy and, without going to the nutritionist (yet), I can still remember very clearly what I can and cannot eat to keep my blood sugar under control. I have been practicing a low-sugar diet since I found out I was expecting a new baby.
I am waiting to get my OB’s go-signal to exercise moderately to assist in the control of my diabetes. I’m also resurrecting my rubber shoes from my first pregnancy. If there’s one thing that can make me go to a gym, it’s the fear of having to inject insulin on a daily basis.
But just as I was settling into this pregnancy, I realized that in the excitement of having two kids, I actually never finished my second child’s baby book or many of his albums! Now I understand why there is such a thing as a middle child syndrome.
I was talking about it with a friend of mine who recently had her third child, and she laughed while recounting the same experience. She found herself digging up her old files so she could develop photos from her second child’s baptism before giving birth to her third. I am determined to finish all of Juanmi’s unfinished things before I finish my second trimester.
Another thing I noticed is the surprising lack of advice and tips from everyone. I remember the number of well-wishers giving their two cents’ worth (all of which I sincerely appreciated) on how to deal with my pregnancy and newborn.
I guess by the time you get to your third, almost everyone around you will have already given all their advice and expect you to know what you’re doing. On the other hand, my sister-in-law, who is pregnant with her first, is surprised over how much people have to say about her pregnancy and what she should do.
And then there’s this talk about muscle memory. I sincerely hope my muscles (whatever I have left of them) will remember to return to where they belong. But at the moment, all I see of this “muscle memory” is my body’s quick-popping tummy at only two months.
There’s also the difference in preparations. When I had my first child, I started preparing everything as soon as I found out the gender and had everything ready for her arrival by the end of my second trimester. You could say I was a little excited.
With my son, we didn’t really have to bring anything out of storage or order anything new. But now, I am taking my time. I think as long as we have diapers, a crib and my milk comes in, we’ll be okay.
But I know that one way in which it will not be any different from my first two kids is in how loved this coming child will be. Already, this one is much appreciated more than we can say, and it will only keep growing as we wait for the baby’s birth in August.