Almost immediately after Rowan was born, I forgot what it felt like to be pregnant. All of the discomfort and pressure and searing acid reflux was just gone, poof, as were those magical baby tap-tap-jabs from inside. Within a few weeks, the amnesia fully set in, and I couldn’t describe with any sort of accuracy what it was like to be pregnant. Was it all a lucid, swollen dream?
I’m only 11ish weeks into Pregnancy #2, and this time, things are already so different than last time. I’m much more tired and far more sick than I ever was with Rowan. Or am I? Do I just not remember the unsavory details of being pregnant the first time? Has nature blurred it out? I really don’t think so. Yes, this time is different.
This time is already less marveling over the changes taking place in my body, and more so about Rowan becoming a big brother. We talk to him openly and often about the baby in my belly, how big it is at any given point (right now, a fig!) and how much more growing it has to do before it can be born. We talk about how little babies cannot chew food like big boys because they don’t have any teeth, and how little babies only drink milk. “From a bottle,” he says. To which I reply, “That’s one way!” I tried explaining to him that I will make the milk, but he’s convinced a cow will make it. Trust me, buddy. I will feel bovine-like at times.
Last night, I showed Rowan my pregnancy app on my phone. We looked the illustrations of babies in utero, how mine right now is almost fully formed, with tiny arms and legs, and then we watched a short animated video about first trimester babies. He asked, “What’s that pipe,” pointing to the umbilical cord. “It’s how my body is feeding and taking care of the baby right now.” And then we talked about belly buttons, and how he once had that same kind of “pipe” when I was growing him in my belly.
It was a pretty surreal conversation to be having with a(n) (almost) 4-year-old, but it really seemed like he understood what I was telling him.
“I was a baby once,” he said. “But then I learned how to walk and talk!”
“Yes, exactly! You did!” I exclaimed, my eyes starting to fill to the brim. “And so will this new baby, but not right away.”
This time that we have right now, when it’s still just the three of us as a family, is not lost on me. While I’m excited to sail into the calmer waters of the second trimester, I’m also acutely aware that every passing day puts us closer to a new world. Life as we all know it is going to change, so much, but for now, I want to do my best to enjoy what it’s like right now, how I can just sit on the couch and have a no-shit conversation with my first baby who tells me daily, “I still love you.” That, right there, is pretty darn magical, too.