some side-by-side shots to show the bump differences. elinor on the left and ridley on the right. hover over the image to see the pregnancy week.
i have tried to let this pregnancy experience stand on its own. be its own thing. but it is only natural to compare one experience to another. i didn’t want to bring any preconceived (ha, punny) notions into this pregnancy. i didn’t want to make myself crazy and obsessive or worried that this or that wasn’t like the other… and so far, so good. but, it has been fun to have a reference this time around. to look back through old blog posts and journal entries and see what was different and what was completely the same. and i do get a kick out of comparing bump shots. remembering what i felt like when that picture was taken. recalling what we were doing and where we were heading. and one thing’s for sure: i make just as many exaggerated expressions now as i did then.
in a lot of ways, this ridley gestation has been incredibly similar to my elinor gestation. not sure how i feel about the word “gestation” by the way. and yet, it has felt so different.
with elinor, i felt like from the moment i saw the + sign on the preggo stick, my body jumped into gear and got going. i immediately spread out and thickened up all over. i was just, bigger. my legs were thicker and my arms and my chest and face and everything. and elinor seemed to pack on her pounds toward the end of the second trimester (as did i) and then kind of chilled for the last couple of months. my bump didn’t do a whole lot of changing in those final weeks.
with ridley, i got more of a slow start. he stayed tucked in there for quite a few weeks. i mean, i could tell i was pregnant but there wasn’t a whole lot going on. my body stayed pretty much the same and then, pop! a tiny bump appeared. my pre-pregnancy clothes fit comfortably with little to no modification necessary. and then in the second trimester, my hips started to spread and the bump grew steadily. but it really hasn’t been until the last few weeks when i felt pregnant-pregnant. and these final weeks have brought a ton of change. he is growing like crazy. the bump definitely grows week to week (if not day to day). i think he has been saving up for a whizbang finish.
with elinor, everything was new and unfamiliar. i didn’t know if it was “just me” or if it was “just pregnancy”. this time, it has been fun to experience sensations and emotions that seem familiar to me.
i was a tad more emotional with elinor. perhaps because it was my first time around. i held things together pretty well but emotions were always there, ready to bubble over. i felt things more deeply than normal. i was more on the sensitive side. more tender and hormonal, i suppose. (thanks female baby growing hormones…estrogen, sheesh.) i remember crying over something totally ridiculous and irrational in the middle of the kitchen. that was fun for ben… the tears flowing from his usually stoic-composed-robot wife. kind of freaked him out a bit. with ridley, there hasn’t been any of that stuff. we’ll see how these final weeks treat me…
last time, i had a bit of melasma. if the sun hit my cheeks for even a moment, my beautiful brown “pregnancy mask” would appear. this time, nothing. but with ridley, i have a full linea nigra on my belly, starting above my bellybutton and extending below. with elinor, i only had a tiny line below my bellybutton. so, this old wives’ tale is definitely ringing true.
with elinor, all i wanted was cheese and dairy. and burgers, they were tasty too. and sushi. with ridley, i have wanted to keep it light and fresh. (or boring, as ben likes to say). the cheese/dairy has not been as prevalent this time around. yes, we have enjoyed our weekly bread nights (with plenty of cheese) and i have indulged with some ice cream and the occasional cheeseburger. BUT, it is not nearly as crazy. i suppose my chocolate obsession is stronger with ridley. so, there’s that! and i am looking forward to ben whipping up some pregnancy pasta, though. that is on the menu for this weekend and i am looking forward to diving into a big bowl of that.
i am so grateful that i have been able to experience pregnancy again. craziness and changes, notwithstanding. it is an honor to be used by God to grow a baby and bring a baby into this world. for me, it gives a deeper understanding of what it means to be an “earthen vessel” for the Lord. allowing Him to use this humble and frail and fallen and imperfect body to do miraculous things. being a willing participant in His work. letting Him mold and shape and fill and pour out and use for His glory and our good. Soli Deo Gloria!