Nowadays, when I walk down the street, I regularly get ‘the look’ of people I meet. That look you get when you are halfway through your pregnancy and thus already have a clear belly, but are still (sort of) able to move around. Of those endearing, soft looks. That complete strangers suddenly start to smile at you a bit sweetly when you walk by.
The first-time pregnancy does not usually show resemblance to an oversized duck until she is well into her third trimester. Simply because her belly is only so big that it no longer fits properly between her legs and also because she is still doing her best to look somewhat elegant for as long as possible. Both things usually no longer apply to the pregnant repeat. I already look (at 28 weeks) as if I had to give birth yesterday, so I have little choice: either Mario has to roll me down the street, or I move as if I have permanently shit my pants. And since I still have about 11 weeks to go and I still have to get some groceries at home, there is little else to do than pass the shame and just go to the supermarket.
What she eats / drinks
Those who are pregnant for the first time are usually hysterical about what they put in their mouth. You will be scared on all sides by listeria, toxoplasmosis, cinnamon poisoning, and screeching baby ADHD caused by caffeine. So if you come across a pregnant woman in the supermarket who is furiously reading labels, or in a restaurant asking the waiter for a meticulous summary of the ingredients list of each dish on the menu, then you know: it is her first time. Because the experienced pregnant woman takes things a little less closely. A nice cappuccino on a terrace is really possible and from that apple point, her unborn sprout really does not immediately get inside the uterus in an anaphylactic shock. Not that you don’t pay attention a second (or third, fourth, fifth) time, but you also know: it will all work out.
What she’s wearing.
Women who are going through their first pregnancy want to look like the women in the Prenatal brochure. I also wanted to be that blissful, blushing, ever-styled pregnant. Because, I was of the opinion, being pregnant is no reason to lose weight. True in theory, of course, but a bit more difficult to sustain in practice. Especially if you already have a child (or more) bouncing around and the time to actually work on yourself is therefore limited. When I was pregnant with my first I had all the time in the world to shop. Buying those cute tunics and hip position jeans. Moreover, my uterus had never before had nine months of stretching exercises, so it took at least seven months before I really got into the position that I could only wear jogging pants. However, I now have two hyperactive children hanging from my swollen ankles, and so I no longer have Saturday afternoons free to go into town. In addition, someone recently asked if I had to give birth, so you can imagine the format that I have already adopted. With the best will in the world, I can’t even get myself crammed into the widest position dress anymore. So I join as Ma Flooder. Style is overrated. Comfort is what you want. Style is overrated. Comfort is what you want. Style is overrated. Comfort is what you want.
That first time, you are usually euphoric and you think everything is beautiful. Often you have made a very conscious choice to get pregnant and when you have succeeded, it almost feels like some kind of holy grail that you have found. Pregnancy is an enlightened state of being that first time. This is understandable because everything that is new is exciting and fun. In addition, a first pregnancy (provided it proceeds without too many severe ailments of course) is usually the easiest. Your body has not had a headache for nine months before and then had to recover, everything is still tight and firm and therefore less likely to sag and hang and you do not already have a child that you have to run after all day, or six times you have to get out of bed at night. It is therefore logical that such a first pregnancy mainly feels like a scent of roses and moonshine. However, if you repeat it, it is often a different story. Ailments and aches come back faster and more violently, you are three times as tired and it all seems to take much longer than those first times. And you don’t hide that under chairs or couches. So if you ask a pregnant woman how she is doing and if she immediately ignites in a heated lamentation, chances are that she was not kicked for the first time with a child.
I still have pictures on Facebook of my ex-Hubby who was assembling the crib around the third month of my first pregnancy. I forced him to do that because I wanted to have everything ready on time. Well on time. I had the entire layette ready the day after the 12-week ultrasound and my hospital bag had been packed for months before delivery and next door. I knew exactly where and how I wanted to give birth, had drawn up a six A-4 birth plan, and read everything about babies that were available. Now that I am 28 weeks pregnant with the third, people start to inquire whether we have everything ready, and then I think: ‘Oh yes, stuff … That baby also needs stuff …’ I hardly think about the how and what of the delivery. We will see that when the amniotic fluid splashes on the ground. That child has to get out yeah but how I will worry about that by then. It comes as it comes. That is the laissez-faire mentality of the experienced pregnant woman.