Pregnant Life: The Second Pregnancy

Me, P and bump

You, and me, and baby make three.

So getting the progesterone shot was remarkably anticlimactic. Seriously. I lay on my side, my husband nervously got the needle ready, he poked it in once and I shrieked (okay, that part was exciting), then he tried again and I was fine.

Really. I just felt a little burn when the goo entered my fatty deposits, then slept through the shrieking-hissy-fit portion of the hormone surge, and by the next morning, I was a-ok. Yay!

My sister just had her second boy eight weeks ago, and we were just chatting about how the extreme pampering of the first pregnancy goes out the window the second time around. It's true: I have fond memories of the soothing leg gel and mid-afternoon naps of my Penelope pregnancy. But when there's an active little person thumping from room to room, zeroing in on open outlets, well – there's no rest for the weary. Or barfy. 


I remember being in prenatal yoga class the first time around; all the first-time moms proudly introduced themselves by name and week of gestation. The sole second-time mom sighed, "I don't know what week I am … and I really don't care." What! A horrible! Person! I thought. Now I'm her -- except I haven't even figured out how to get to yoga class in the first place. There was one glorious moment when I was 16 weeks and Penelope was 16 months and I remember both their ages. Now? One's in me, the other's out. That's all I can tell you without counting on my fingers.

And doctor's appointments. Sheesh. My husband Randy would love to accompany me. But am I going to pay a sitter $15/hour on top of my copay? (I know, it's crazy – if you're a childcare provider, move to the Bay Area! You'll make a killing! And then you'll spend it all on rent, so don't.) Still, he had to learn how to give me the shots, and he really wanted to see an ultrasound, so just this once, we brought her to last week's appointment. What the heck, we thought. She's the world's most charming 17-month-old, she'll be fine.

Well, if by "fine" we meant "hysterical and suddenly insane," then sure! She was super-fine.

Poor kid used to be totally great in the doctor's office, barely noticing shots and sailing through ear inspections. But lately she's had a total change of heart. She took one look at my OB – an older woman with a gentle smile, perfect grandma material – and started wailing. Was it the white jacket? I don't think so, because Dr. Wu, who did the ultrasound, was wearing a Mr. Rogers cardigan and a snappy little bowtie. He also looks about twelve years old. But Penelope wasn't fooled. I did my entire ultrasound with her tucked into the curve of my arm, clinging protectively to me while Randy kept a protective hand on her butt to keep her from tumbling off the table. Through it all, Birdie swam serenely back and forth for the camera.

But when she's not at the doctor's office, Penelope is a dream big sister already. When she sees her baby cousin, she attaches herself to my sister, stroking his head gently and saying "buuuurp" when she pats his back. And the sight of my growing belly throws her into total bliss. I hope Birdie remebers, on some cellular level, the kisses, the zerbets, the reassuring pats, and best of all, the matching three-way heartbeats when Penelope lays down on me, straddling my belly and resting her head on my shoulder to drift off to sleep.

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