Well we have something really special cooking up over here....
Baby Conti will be making his/her debut right before Christmas and rounding out our year with good tidings and sleepless newborn nights! We are excited + nervous + probably not fully ready.... all the normal things for adding another human being into your world.
As is normal, I have had weird bouts of cravings + food aversions: The week of the Cheeze Its, All the Sushi, No more Stir Fry (was making it weekly and literally can't do it anymore!), fresh fruit mania, and ALL THE TORTILLA CHIPS (but is that even a pregnancy thing?). I am super thankful that the first trimester is OVER. As it was in my pregnancy with E, I woke up nauseous with the need to IMMEDIATELY consume a slice of buttered toast to ease the queasiness. While that was mild compared to what it could have been, I am still glad to be free from that and the constant, unending EXHAUSTION. No sleep was enough. So, HELLO SECOND TRIMESTER, you beauty, you! My energy is back, that nausea is gone (except for the morning I was making chicken bone broth and the smell made me puke- that was on me.), and that is all worth it even though I can no longer button my jeans. I realize thats the name of the game, and my mid section is just going to expand until a human comes out of my body. It comes with the territory.
This pregnancy is already so different from my last. My nausea is no worse and I am not actually "feeling" any differently (other than much more comfortable... because honestly, I am not in Tanzania.). It is probably because my last pregnancy was just not so normal. I moved to a developing African nation at 7 weeks pregnant and delivered our son in South Africa. Most of my pregnancy was spent without access to the things we can crave... or air conditioning and our personal belongings. I ate a lot of toast and eggs, rice and beans, and bananas a peanut butter. Because that is what I had. (But once we got to South Africa to deliver you know I was at McDonald's getting an ice cream sundae!). And has difficult as some days were, there were things I treasured. I loved being disconnected from the expectations and "rules" I feel the pressure of in our culture. What we need or what you should do, all the unspoken expectations. I went to the Doctor when we needed to, but not as often. I couldn't buy the loads of baby stuff we are surrounded by in America, so we didn't use most of them. Family brought us wonderful gifts that friends bought, hauled over in suitcases. And local friends lent us a bassinet and a swing. I had the full expectation of bearing, delivering + raising our kids in a third culture, African context. To me, it felt as though there was more freedom to discover who we were as parents and the choices we wanted to make for our family.
So this time feels weird. I will spend my pregnancy here in America where I can give in to my Cheeze it and sushi cravings. I will deliver this baby right here in the same city where I was born. I've already started making an Amazon list of the things we may "need". We just made a decision about a Mother's Day Out program for Elias as he is spending these years of his life in a traditional, American context. And it is a huge blessing. There are so many wonderful things for him here, for all of us. (did I mention sushi?) These things aren't bad, they are just not what I expected. But as I am reminded by this little babe growing inside me, new life comes with so much unexpected and couldn't possibly see coming. BUT, they are things that we need and that will enrich us exponentially. I am trusting that just as much as our family needs this little person in it that my body is busy building, that we also need the right here and right now. Right where we are, in our little house on our dead end street with the big oak and magnolia tree out front. Right here and right now is good and I am thankful.