This pregnancy has been very different from my last. Not 100% different, but still kind of opposite all the same. If -10 represents a pregnancy where you suffer severe morning sickness the whole time, can't move because you ache so much and the baby spends all its time pummeling your organs and +10 represents one of those pregnancies where women are like "Hmmm, I seem to have a stomach ache. OH! Did I just pop out a baby? I never even knew I was pregnant!" then I would rate my first pregnancy as a +7, and this one so far as a -2. Emily traveled about docile-ly in my uterus, gently nudging me now and then but not really giving me any bad symptoms or aches. And this pregnancy is not by any means BAD bad, but still a bit more on the bad side than the good.
I felt the first identifiable flutter of movement about 2.5 weeks ago, at almost exactly the same gestational age (13 weeks 3ish days) I felt Emily move for the first time. Predictably, I didn't feel any more movement for the next week or so, and over the past week I have felt the baby pretty much every day but only very tiny bumps here and there and I'm never sure if they're actually the baby or my newly rebellious lower digestive system. However I am no longer able to lay on my stomach comfortably, and when I'm up walking around I feel like I have a tiny bowling ball sitting in my lower abdomen. This is in stark contrast to Emily, who always floated around up high, affording my bladder copious room and behaving herself quite nicely in there.
But today must be the day. Zippy has decided that the gagging and nausea, crippling backaches, early-onset waddling and exhaustion are not enough to REALLY make sure I know (s)he is there. I swear if I had an ultrasound right now you would see a baby with its limbs flung out in the shape of a star. It feels like when you bite into a dorito and it gets lodged across the top of your mouth, except it's happening in my pelvis. It's not PAINFUL, but it certainly feels odd. Periodically Zippy will perform some sort of spin or roll and the pressure lets up for a moment, and then (s)he will return to the original splayed position. It's neat on the one hand, because it's the first real, strong movements I've felt, but Zippy is surprising me with his/her strength and activity level already. I wonder how the next 5 months of us sharing a body will go when the baby is already pulling stunts like this now, when (s)he still has some room to float around and move. This kid had better find a new favorite position before things get too crowded in there, or I'm going to have to start poking back. And I had better figure out if this baby is a girl or a boy soon or else I'm going to drown in my own pronoun overuse.
I'm infinitely glad the baby is still in there. I'm glad to be able to start feeling the movements for sure. I suppose I'm even glad to be experiencing some of the bad parts of pregnancy so that I won't be as tempted to have a third child when I'm 97% sure I only want two. Also I will not go through life being one of those annoying women who chirp "My pregnancies were so easy, I don't know what all the fuss is about". But this pregnancy has me a bit gun-shy at this point. It has forced me to realize that I am not, in fact, a pregnancy viking, and that it wasn't my body itself being immune to most of the discomforts of pregnancy last time, it was just an easy pregnancy. Which then leads inevitably to the same questions I'd ask myself last time when some sort of new symptom showed up. How bad is it going to get? And if I'm not just naturally good at pregnancy, maybe I'm not just naturally good at labor either? If Emily was so agreeable and calm in the womb and continued to be so after her birth, does this mean this little acrobat is going to continue being crazy once (s)he is born? I've been feeling pretty smug, having been through all this before and having read the statistics that second-time mommies tend to have an easier time of it in many ways, and now my fondly-held beliefs are somewhat shaken.
Ok, and I just took a quick break to consult google's opinion on things that can be more difficult the second time around, and now I'm as terrified as a first time mom reading What to Expect... Nice job, Sara. Sheer, unbridled terror was one of the only symptoms that was much better this time around and you had to go screw that up too.