I’ve been pregnant, well, many times. If you only count healthy pregnancies carried to term, I’d be on my sixth.
And I’ve noticed that there are lots of differences between the things you think, say and do when this is not your first rodeo — versus when it actually is.
First pregnancy: Can’t wait to put on your new maternity clothes! In fact, you start wearing them before you actually need to, just because you’re excited.
Last pregnancy: A funeral dirge starts playing in your head when you reluctantly drag the box of tired old maternity clothes out of storage.
Last pregnancy: A friend asks how far along you are and you answer, “Uh… five-ish months, I think.”
Last pregnancy: Put it off until 14 weeks or later, because everyone knows you really don’t do anything but pee in a cup and get asked if you have any questions (you don’t) before the 20-week ultrasound, anyway.
Last pregnancy: “Enough with the goop already! Do we really have to do another one of these?”
Last pregnancy: “Um, yeah, I think I took one of those… this week…”
Last pregnancy: Leave the positive pregnancy test on the bathroom counter and figure your husband will see it eventually. Your parents find out on Facebook.
Last pregnancy: You can’t remember your children’s names or whether you ate breakfast that morning, let alone when you last did a Kegel.
Last pregnancy: You’re not really sure where it is, but you assume What to Expectis probably a coloring book for your toddler somewhere now.
Last pregnancy: You veto all your older kids’ weird ideas (“We’re not naming the baby Voldemort or WWW-Dot-Com”).
Last pregnancy: Find them crumpled at the bottom of your purse, with Cheerios stuck to them, three weeks later.
Last pregnancy: Plan to get by with cereal night for dinner three times a week for the first few months of baby’s life.
Last pregnancy: Pass the time before appointments trying to keep your toddler from breaking things, climbing on the furniture or touching your urine sample (“That is not apple juice!”) in the office’s restroom.
Last pregnancy: Your ideal relaxation would be spending 10 minutes alone in the bathroom, but you’d settle for your older kids trying a little harder to stop headbutting you in the stomach.
Last pregnancy: Grab your camera on the way out the door and figure your husband can bring a bringing-home-baby outfit to the hospital later.
Last pregnancy: Your uterus is like a pop-up book by now, so no need to announce your pregnancy to anyone. You start showing immediately, and you spend the last month looking like a water buffalo.
Jenny Evans is a writer, a perfectionist, a night owl and a Mormon mom of five who makes jokes at her own expense and blogs about her messy life with a houseful of kids at Unremarkable Files.