Being pregnant is a gift.
An amazing gift of hope and possibilities and life.
I am grateful for it.
But this pregnancy—my second, in my mid-thirties—is much harder than my first.
Maybe it’s that I’m older. My body isn’t as resilient as it was.
Maybe it’s that I’m more experienced, that the luster has worn off. My patience for the discomforts is shorter.
Or maybe it’s that I spend my days with a toddler, rather than working an office job.
Chasing a little dynamo in a diaper on his endless quest to harm himself.
Picking up a thirty pound child who wants to be carried more and more as we approach my due date.
Engaging in a never-ending game of chess, to stay ahead of a toddler who will clearly outsmart me as a teenager.
Climbing up and down from the floor, tens of times every day.
Fighting, and succumbing to, the onslaught of viruses and bacteria that preschool brings.
Whatever the reason, this pregnancy is harder.
I am tired and sick.
My back is screaming in agony.
I haven’t slept through the night in so long that I’ve forgotten how it feels.
And I am at the point where checking into the hospital sounds heavenly.
Like some kind of medical spa vacation, complete with a chef and personal care assistance.
An opportunity to sleep for hours at a time, without the discomforts of a full-term baby pressing on my sciatic nerve or pulling on my round ligaments.
The ability—the mandate—to lie flat on my back, to feel my vertebrae slowly relax back into a neutral position.
And a break from the physical demands of parenting a toddler full-time.
My scheduled cesarean—major abdominal surgery—is now the most relaxing experience I can imagine.
Does this mean I’m ready?