If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know “First Time Mom” is NOT how I identify. Sure, the kid currently in my womb is the only one I’ve been able to cary out of the first trimester, but I wouldn’t say this makes me a first time mom. Since losing my first child so early in pregnancy I’ve become quite the advocate for parents experiencing pregnancy loss. Even though I’m one of them, I have to constantly catch myself and reassess my wording when talking about kids who have gone to heaven and the holes left in our heart as we stay behind.
Looking back to the beginning of my second pregnancy (first after loss), I remember being only 12 weeks along and already starting to show. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I wasn’t a first time mom, but I never had the chance to grow a pregnant belly with my Sweet Pea. I had always read that in first pregnancies you don’t show until much later. What did this mean for me? My best friend Marissa was the first to say, “You know this isn’t your first pregnancy.” She was exactly right, and yet I still couldn’t let it sink in. Everyone who knows Marissa knows she is kind and compassionate. She is always able to lift you up when you feel down and listen when your world is falling apart. I guess I just thought this is what she was doing for me. I thought she was just loving on me and being a best friend through my confusion. Of course all of these things were true, but her thinking was also right. In talking to my midwife, they also brought up the idea that I was showing sooner because I was not in fact a first time mom. This felt so good to me. I felt justified and understood.
“You know this isn’t your first pregnancy.”
Fast forward to my third trimester. Here I am soaking in all the literature on various birth experiences. Everywhere I turn I see things like “first time moms go late.” What does this even mean? Where do I fall? What category do I go into? I know I’m not a first time mom, but is this the same as me showing earlier? Is it different because I’ve never had a birth experience? Does it even matter? Should I be prepared to go into labor at 40 weeks or 42?
I mostly feel stuck in the middle. Nobody really talks about these feelings in pregnancy after loss. I’m so grateful for the families who talk about the PTSD, the fears, and the tears, but I haven’t seen much data on what this says about how my body will physically respond. Emotionally I think I’m in a good place, but physically I’m stuck. My due date is only 5 weeks away and I have no idea what this means for me because I am (NOT) a first time mom!