“You may have noticed you’re larger than last time,” my OB said. “It’s only going to get worse.” This was not a revelation.

I am not even 4 months pregnant yet but I’m already feeling like I’m well into my third trimester. My hips hurt when I sleep. My back aches. I find it hard to sit comfortably. Bending over is a lot of work. I could sleep for days… if I didn’t wake up constantly.

This is the 2nd pregnancy. I was hoping this time I would feel better and be more motivated. Instead, I have just resigned myself to the inevitable much sooner. My dreams of eating meals with veggies and whole grains are already gone. My ideas for exercise have vanished. At this point, I am just settling in for the long haul.

On the plus side, it’s less surprising. I already know to keep track on how tight my wedding ring is fitting as I track whether there’s any swelling in my hands. I am not surprised when I wake up to find that my arm’s fallen asleep. I’m not embarrassed by how constantly gassy I am. And I already have a tube of hemorrhoid cream leftover from last time.

On the minus side, everything is happening too quickly. And there’s no thrill of pleasure like there was last time. It’s not exciting to retire my jeans. It’s not strange and new to put on full-panel maternity pants. Oh, and have I mentioned dealing with a toddler who wants to climb all over me?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying taking belly pictures. (Something I NEVER did last time.) And now that I’m at 16 weeks I lay in bed wondering if every little flutter I feel is the first sign of the baby. I am agonizing over choosing names every bit as crazily as I was last time.

In fact, I think the best thing about my second pregnancy is that I am really relaxed about the actual baby part. I don’t find myself facing a huge unknown of what it will be like to bring home a newborn. Last time I knew I couldn’t possibly understand or really prepare and it all felt so strange and open-ended. This time I know what I’m in for. I am ready for labor and the pain and exhaustion post-delivery. I am ready to meet my baby. I am ready to bring the baby home and readjust our lives. This pregnancy feels more real, whereas last time everything felt almost surreal.

But it’s over 5 months until we bring the baby home. That’s a long road ahead.

A co-worker of mine has been out of the country for several weeks. She just came back and when she saw me she said, “You’re pregnant! Me, too!” After I congratulated her we talked a while and realized our due dates are only a couple of weeks apart. But I look about 6 months pregnant and she’s only showing if you count the fact that her pants are getting a little tight.

I looked at her and said, “Your first, right?”

She said yes.

I felt a little bit bad that I’m so much bigger than she is. But there’s a satisfaction in the belly and knowing that the baby is there for everyone to see. Yes, there’s a lot of months to come, and this belly is going to get pretty massive. I’m okay with that.

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