I thought of several more things that are different this time around:
6. I felt like I was showing even before the little blue plus sign appeared on the stick. Yes, though some of it’s in your head, the female body does seem to immediately snap back into a “we’re going to need some room down here!” mode. (Thankfully, bulky winter clothes allowed me to hide the truth before we were ready to share.) But even so, I find I’m holding on to wearing my “regular” clothes this time, rather than diving right into the bin of borrowed maternity clothes. I remember, during my first pregnancy, hating the vaguely pudgy, “baby bump” stage that arrived during the second trimester, wherein onlookers couldn’t be sure if I was pregnant or “letting myself go.” So I started wearing maternity clothes before they were a physical necessity, in part, I think, because I thought it would send a clear signal to the world regarding my status; but I was also, in a way, trying on the idea of pregnancy and motherhood. These notions seemed so abstract to me at the time that having tangible items – like patently ugly maternity business slacks and blouses – somehow helped make something I couldn’t see feel more real. This time around, though, I don’t much care whether people know that I’m pregnant during this in-between stage; and I’m in no hurry to have my daily clothing choices limited.
7. Halle Berry’s pregnancy was concurrent with my first pregnancy, which was, to say the least, tiresome. Here she was, splashed across magazine covers, gorgeous and blooming in stylish designer maternity duds, while my also-pregnant sister-in-law and I were showing up for dinners wearing the same stupid black and white maternity work blouse. This time around, Natalie Portman is the Hollywood star who’s on the baby track with me; and she’s gorgeous, too, but less aggressively so, so it’s somehow less annoying.
8. For some reason – and this wasn’t true the first time – I haven’t had a bad hair day since conception. I don’t know what’s going on, but that’s been a nice, unexpected bonus.
9. During the first pregnancy, Joe went with me to every doctor’s appointment; this time, I’ve gone solo, and I’m totally fine with that. The first time, you’re both fragile and worried about everything that could go wrong. The second time, you generally assume everything’s fine unless you hear otherwise. This sounds less dramatic and romantic, perhaps, but it’s far more comfortable, too – a fitting general description of a second pregnancy.