This is the face that distracts me from stressing about pregnancy...
Considering I spent much of my pregnancy with Diana collapsed - on the bathroom floor, vomiting into the toilet; on the couch, sobbing into Bolshy's comforting fur; and even in public (near-fainting fits from sudden drops in blood sugar were a specialty of mine in the second trimester) - I had mixed feelings about pregnancy the second time around.
While the idea of a sibling for Diana, becoming a parent again and the vision of myself as a glowing, pregnant Earth Mother-type drinking kale shakes and effortlessly swinging my two-year-old over my growing bump had me ecstatic (and delusional), I was also worried. Was I going to be sick the whole time? Miserable? How could I look after a toddler if I struggled to take care of myself?
During my first pregnancy, I had just started working from home, was 'training' the bulldog and 'planning' my wedding. Which really means that I had at least a few hours each day for self-indulgence, driving myself crazy about some ridiculous thing I ate that pregnant women were possibly not supposed to (even when I made rock-hard omelettes, I managed to convince myself I'd eaten runny egg yolks) and 'preparing' for pregnancy and labour, which roughly translated to watching every Hollywood version of a baby movie ever made.
In other words, no matter what I was feeling in terms of the actual pregnancy, I had time, plenty of sleep and the luxury of spending hours curled up in a ball crying or freaking out about how the bout of flu I'd gotten was going to affect my baby.
Things couldn't be more different with my second pregnancy. My alarm clock is the sound of D happily chanting (well, shrieking) 'mummy, mummy, mummy!' at any time from 6am, and then expecting to be fed, entertained, bejewelled, snuggled with, sung to and more - all before 8am. In addition, I'm focusing on my increasingly demanding work schedule (a good thing!), trying to snatch an hour to meet a friend or run an errand to keep my sanity intact and looking after a now-adult, but no less time-consuming bulldog, which means that I have little room for brooding about what type cheese I am meant to be avoiding.
Happily - for the most part, at least - this baby-to-be seems to have complied with my need to function and be an active mother, non-haranguing wife (my husband may dispute this), and reliable employee. The first trimester was beyond exhausting, and I still feel bone tired some days, but there hasn't really been any vomiting and only occasional bouts of nausea. If not for the fact that my belly started protruding noticeably from 11 weeks - far sooner than with Diana - some days, I don't even think about my pregnancy at all other than when I take my prenatal vitamin.
Focusing on Diana has been great in terms of helping me be a more functional, mentally stable pregnant person (again, I'm pretty sure my husband would disagree, but I feel more together this time around), and nowadays, if anything, I'm worried that my laissez-faire approach to baby bump means I'm neglecting the unborn child.
Whether my pregnancy has been easier overall so far because I haven't had quite as many opportunities to moan and feel sorry for myself, or if it's just different with some babies than others (a combo of the two, I suspect), I can't really dwell on it too much. Diana has decided that she wants to be heard as much as seen and is busy tugging on my sleeve, instructing me to sit down next to her, give her milk and 'Blow house down!' (The Three Little Pigs obsession continues to grow).
Her verdict on the pregnancy? Based on a yelp I let out after a cramp in my side the other day, she has come to the conclusion that: 'Baby hurt mummy. Baby hurt tummy.' Considering the next thing she said was the gleeful: 'My baby, my baby!,' I'm guessing it didn't bother her too much.