Sixteen weeks! Every week feels like a huge celebration to me, especially because after a stressful first trimester (spotting, bleeding, cramping, and three ultrasounds to confirm viability) I never thought we’d make it this far. Our journey to create a family over the last five years has not been easy, and someday I might write about all of those ups and downs, but today I am simply happy.
Happy. Exhausted. Elated. Nervous. Queasy.
The best development over the past week has been movement. Just little pings and squiggles. I remember these first little movements from my pregnancy with Oscar, and how strange and miraculous it was to feel something alive and moving in my belly. Before that, pregnancy seemed so abstract. With Oscar I didn’t feel any of this until around week twenty, but this is my second pregnancy and I’ve heard you feel movement sooner the second time. Also, Oscar had an anterior placenta, which masks some of the early movements until the baby is bigger.
Early movement is not the only difference between this pregnancy and the last one. I am also experiencing horrible morning sickness. The first trimester was brutal. With Oscar I spent the first trimester on the couch watching the summer Olympics. This time around I’ve been working, teaching, traveling to see student teachers, trying to write a book, and raising a toddler. I was hoping to be past the worst of it after the first trimester was over, but afternoons and evenings can still be torture.
Many people have asked me if I have a preference for a boy or girl, and I can honestly say I don’t. I felt this way with Oscar too. It’s hard to have a preference when you’ve been faced with the possibility of not having a child at all.
One of the best things about this pregnancy is imaging Oscar as a big brother. He loves kids so much and I know he’s going to be a wonderful brother, in the same way that he is a wonderful son. Funny, interested, and loving. He’s already somewhat aware of the baby, but how much he understands is beyond me. Sometimes he spontaneously greets the baby or hugs it or kisses it. I’m sure when I start showing a little more, and he can feel the baby moving, it will be more real to him.