Note: All photos in this post were taken by Lindsay Lou Photography
As many of my close friends know, for me, pregnancy is no picnic. While I'm very grateful to be having another baby, I do seem to get all the worst pregnancy symptoms including vomiting, diabetes, my pelvis separating, heartburn and depression... just to name a few. Because my depression was so severe last time, I began seeing my psychiatrist (same one as last time) very early on in this pregnancy to try to get ahead of the worst of my emotional dips. She has been tremendously helpful and reminds me that for me, it's entirely hormonal and will vanish as soon as the baby comes. I also have a good support system and Corey, who is my rock.
Still, there have been hard days... maybe weeks and I do think that I tend to be less excited about pregnancy than most women. At my last appointment, my psychiatrist suggested that I make an effort to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy. At first, I nearly laughed: How could I enjoy something I hate? Then I thought more and saw the wisdom in her words. Corey and I knew early on that this would be my last pregnancy and I've been busy at work and pushing so hard to get through it that I haven't really celebrated it. We worked hard to get here and I will never do this again. Maybe it is time to forget about the discomfort and all the awful symptoms and try to enjoy my last time ever as an expectant mom.
We had already booked photos for after the arrival of Baby M but we decided to book a shoot for right now- so she can see one day that we were already a family while she was growing in my tummy. The day of the shoot, Rudy was acting like a nightmare! It was all tears and squirming or running away from us. We felt like the worst parents. We later found out she had been cutting a molar but at the time, I wanted to cry! Luckily, our photographer still managed to take some great shots of us, which just shows how misleading social media can be. An accurate portrayal of the day would show us all in tears but I'm going to choose to remember the day by the sweet moments instead. Here are some favourites along with a list of things I do not hate about being pregnant!
1. Maternity Clothes! Pregnancy is a good reason to buy a few new clothes that make you feel great! Don't even get me started on the elastic waisted jeans, which I may never get rid of but even picking up a couple of inexpensive dresses is such a treat! The dress I wore for the photoshoot is super stretchy... which is good because my belly gave it quite a workout!
2. People are so nice! Everyone smiles at you when you're pregnant and everyone always wants to know all about the baby. If I'm walking slowly or panting while climbing stairs, people are so sweet and will offer you water or a place to sit down. Sure, one lady stroked my belly in line at Homesense but I didn't even mind. Before I was pregnant, I may have slapped someone who randomly touched me but when it actually happened, I could tell she was just trying to share in my joy.
3. I feel unapologetic about my body. After last time, I've accepted that it's just going to grow and there's not much I can do. Did I look 30 weeks pregnant when I was closer to 20 weeks? Yep... but who cares? Did I ever get rid of the c-section pooch from last time? Nope, but that's why they invented spanx! I am no longer shy about the fact that I'm huge or sweating in a t-shirt when everyone around me is in a coat. It is what it is! There's time to get in shape after I'm done GROWING A HUMAN. Often people ask if I'm having twins or if I'm due any day now. It would have bothered me last time but now, I just don't give a F and I sweetly smile and say "Nope. Just one baby and two months to go. I'm just HUGE!" nobody knows how to respond to that. ;)
4. I eat what I want. Within reason, of course. Yes, I get diabetes while pregnant but I also don't let myself worry about dieting or not satisfying my cravings. For me, I'm usually so sick and have so many food aversions that if I'm craving a particular food... I eat it... ALL! (Imagine me saying that in a cookie monster voice.)
5. Rudy's excited! I love that she seemed to know before we ever told her and I love the way her face lights up when we talk about how she's going to be a big sister. She loves reading her big sister book and she loves acting out a scene from Bubble Guppies where one of the main characters gets a phone call from her dad telling her she's a big sister. It melts my heart every time!
6. Baby clothes! I can't even tell you how excited we were to pull out all our favourite outfits from when Rudy was a baby! We had so many favourites and now we'll get to see them on a new baby! Oh, and don't even get me started on the couple of matching outfits we splurged on for Rudy and M!
7. A trip down memory lane. I love looking at old photos and videos of Rudy as a baby and realizing that once again, there will be a super tiny person that we get to cuddle as much as we want! There's something so special about the second time around because I already know how much I'll love her!
8. Wondering what she'll be like. It's going to be such a fun surprise! Will she be outgoing or shy? Adventurous? Thoughtful? Who will she look like? Will she have a crazy mop of curls like her big sis? Corey and I secretly hope there will be a strong sister resemblance because... CUTE! Who wouldn't want another one of these little monsters?
9. Feeling those kicks. I'll admit that I didn't care much for the kicking at first. After all, I've been through this before and it was just uncomfortable. Then, when I realized that this would be my last time experiencing it, something clicked. Now, I smile when I feel her kicks and pat her on the bum. There really is something special about the last.
10. Putting my feet up! When I'm not working, I feel no guilt in putting my feet up and relaxing. Corey reminds me often to keep my stress in check during my off-time from work and he treats me to lots of foot massages and breakfasts in bed! It's for the baby, right?
11. Watching Corey prepare to become a dad again. This has brought us so much closer as a couple and has been a highlight of the past couple of years. I have loved getting to know him as a parent to Rudy and now that there's going to be another messy little girl running around the house, I get to watch it all over again. He's the biggest feminist and the girls are so lucky to have him as a dad.
12. Planning the nursery. You know I love another room to decorate and M's nursery happens to be FILLED with DIYs and fresh ideas. We loved doing Rudy's nursery and her big girl room but get ready to see what we have in store for M! It's definitely going to be a space where both girls are excited to spend time!
13. Planning our "do over". The first time around, we were just pushing our way through. This time, we have a much better idea of what to expect. Now we know what to bring to the hospital and that we won't damage the baby when we put her in her crib. We also get to try things we didn't try last time.
14. I feel confident. This is no longer my first rodeo. I feel like a real mom this time and it makes me feel great not to be so worried about what to expect. Bring it on!
15. I am looking forward to unplugging. Corey always makes fun of me because while I was in pre-op before my c-section with Rudy, I was sending some last emails to active clients before handing their files over to my colleagues. What I always remind him of though is that once Rudy was born, I didn't look at my phone for days! I literally didn't look at a single message. My best friends in the world were actually contacting Corey to make sure I was okay because I was just not responding to messages. Once the baby comes, I will have at least a few days where my entire focus gets to be on my family... and that is a treat!
There's my list of 15. I'm sure I could think of a few others but it's late and I want to get some rest as per #10. Instead, here are a few more cute photos!