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Expecting

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I looked in the mirror yesterday and caught a sideways view of my belly.


Can I really get any bigger?


I have ten weeks left in this pregnancy, my second and last. I wish I didn’t know it was my last—that this is the last time I will feel the first flutters in my stomach, and then subtle kicks and then, at this stage, rolls that contort my tummy into the strangest shapes.


This being my second, I don’t have time to just sit and revel in the miracle growing inside my body. My three-year-old is a handful, to say the least. She’s wonderful, of course, but stubborn and challenging. I’m sure I’m not quite myself (my husband would agree!) and she can surely sense the changes in the air. I should be more sensitive to this—her life will turn upside down in ten weeks too.


As happy as I am to welcome a new baby, I’m wondering if the baby blues can set in before birth. My exercise routine has changed—no more running with my friends. But that was my social outlet, an hour every morning when we could chat and vent and just be ourselves. With my first pregnancy, I was able to exercise outside clear to the end with my friends. This time, in winter, the slick roads chase us indoors to the gym where we’re not quite as likely to chat. A feeling of isolation has set in already, the same sensation I felt after my first was born and everyone else continued with their life while I figured out how to care for a new baby.


I wish I could just magically be happy. And I am, most days. But I wish my husband could know how I feel—the helplessness of always needing to know the quickest route to a bathroom, and the roller coaster emotions that strike at the strangest times.


For the next few months, I will try not to focus on the extra pounds, and the shortness of breath, and the other symptoms of pregnancy. I will try to spread happiness—it is contagious, after all.


And this baby, I know, can sense how I feel. I will be happy for this baby, and for my first baby, and for my husband.


But most of all, I will be happy for myself.

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