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Post #3: Pregnancy - 20 vs. 30
This blog is going to focus on a lot of kid stuff and a little bit of life stuff. I won't go on and on about pregnancy, but it is the focus of today's post. I am not an expert. I had terrible pregnancies, and beyond the beautiful gift of my children, I hated every single thing about it; Every. Single. Time. I thank God for my blessings, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed the journey.
Now, I could make a long post describing all the ups and downs and ins and outs of all of my pregnancies, but I would like to focus on just the first and last. There was a solid 10 years in between them and I can assure you they were very very different!
20yo me: Random People – “Oh wow, you’re 6 months!? You aren’t even showing!”
30yo me: Random People – “Holy crap you’re only 3 months!? You look like you’re ready to pop!”
This is a perfect example of one of the small physical differences. I haven’t read any studies and I don’t have anything scientifically backing my theory, but, in my own personal experience, the more kids you have the more pregnant you look, faster. I was healthy going into my last pregnancy, maybe not “best shape of my life”, but healthy. It didn’t matter. By 10 weeks, it was obvious to the world.
20: Family – “How exciting! You are going to be such a great mom!”
30: Family – “Wow…”
Yeah, every baby is a miracle, and my family loves all of my children, I have no doubt about that. However, there are a lot less pats on the back with each child. If you look up the definition of un-enthused in the dictionary, it’s just a picture of a woman telling her extended family that she has once again become host to the miracle of life. Like, they’re all smiling, but there are little thought bubbles around their heads that say things like, “how can they afford this?” “where are they going to put it, their house is too small?” “ugh, more presents to buy…” and “isn’t she a little old now?”.
20: Doctor – “Congratulations! Take this vitamin every day and maybe cut back on drinking water with your meals so you can eat more, you aren’t gaining enough weight.”
30: Doctor – “Congratulations! Take this vitamin every day, drink more water, watch your weight, take this test, cut back on sugar, no processed foods, take up prenatal yoga. Never. Stop. Moving!”
The difference is painful. I remember the early months of my first pregnancy were so pleasant (aside from the morning sickness), my biggest concern being whether or not I was gaining enough weight. *Spoiler Alert* I did, and then some. The beginning of my last pregnancy was very different, the doctors were equally enthusiastic, but there were so many more rules I had to follow, more tests they wanted me to take. Oh man, and when I failed that first gestational diabetes test, it was on! I had all the rules. Restrictive diets, activity logs, rules, rules, rules.
20: Self – After reading all the books and studying every old wives’ tale, “This isn’t what it said in the book!”
30: Self – After reading all the blogs and online studies, “Nope, still not sure what’s happening...”
I can only speak from my experience, but if you ask other moms with multiple kids I feel like you will get a similar answer; no two pregnancies are alike! I’m sure there are a lot of contributing factors: age difference, state of health, environment allergens, alignment of the stars... With my first pregnancy I was up and moving until the day I was finally induced (43 weeks, that’s another story); final pregnancy I was on bedrest from 24 weeks until an emergency c-section at 37 weeks, again, another story. My point is, it’s always going to be different, you can read and plan and hope and dream, and I hope you do, but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, it will never be the same twice. That's probably true of all things.
20: My body - Bounces back after a couple months and baby weight melts away like a Popsicle dropped on the sidewalk in Georgia in August.
30: My body - After two solid years of working out 7 days a week, counting calories, tracking water intake and balancing macro nutrients I can finally wear normal people jeans again without crying...
Childbirth is a miracle. The female body for that *short time is home to the greatest blessing, a temple temporarily carrying two souls. Also, it hurts really bad and you put on weight which makes it all hurt more. You carry water in weird places and jewelry doesn't fit and shoes don't fit; you pee so much... It shouldn't be possible for there to be more water in there, but there is, so you pee again.
*It is short; it doesn't feel short.
20 vs. 30 - in hindsight, they both had some major pros and cons, but when it comes down to it the outcome was the same and the joy I feel in my heart as I look at all my children definitely outweighs any pain or BMI gains that came along in the process. 20, 30, 40... it doesn't matter. It will never be the same twice (but 20 was definitely easier!).