The Thirdegnancy Condition: Here we go again

By Karrie McAllister

I tell you, if it weren’t for my bizarre new love of banana peppers, the box of fat clothes I had to dig out, and people constantly asking me how I am feeling, I would flat out forget that I am pregnant.
In fact, the other day I was driving down the road ignoring the hum of preschool babble in the backseat and thinking intently about my to-do list when I suddenly realized that, oh yeah, I really am going to have another baby. And I had completely forgotten about it.
This, I figure, must be an unnamed syndrome. It must be something like the Thirdegnancy Condition, a situation where a mother, totally consumed by her existing children and life, doesn’t really have the time or energy to feel all of those emotions and physical changes that happen during her first trimester.
Now, for me, as I enter my own second trimester, I suddenly realized that I have missed out on all of the stuff I did with my other pregnancies. And I’m really not sure if it’s because of the lack of time to deal with it, or just that my body has become so stretched out an accustomed to the hormone rush and constant tiredness, that I’ve become immune to it all. I’ll just call it the Thirdegnancy Condition.
I remember with fondness when I was newly pregnant with my first child. With no major commitments once work was finished, I laid on the couch reading parenting books until I fell asleep at 7:30. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep so early because a) parenting books are really boring to read and b) my stomach was so full that my body purposely put me in a comatose state so that it could work on digesting so much food.
Yes, with that first pregnancy, I was fully convinced that if I ate ALL DAY LONG I would avoid morning sickness. I practically had a holster of graham crackers on my hip that I nibbled on constantly, which is ironic because knowing how much weight I gained, the food that I toted on my hip, ended up on my hip…and everywhere else.
By the time the second pregnancy came around, those graham crackers (and ham and cheese sandwiches, etc.) had all been run off, making lots of room for better things to keep me from getting morning sickness, like French fries and donuts. And having a toddler at home who was an excellent television watcher in the afternoon provided me with ample time for resting, not to mention an early bed time.
And when I wasn’t eating or sleeping, I was back at those parenting books, trying to figure out how to do it better this time around.
But now, with the symptoms of the Thirdegnancy Condition setting in, things are very, very different.
I have had no time for resting and no early bedtimes. Apparently during the summer, children require less sleep. They also protest things like afternoon matinees and the lucky chance to watch as much TV as they want as long as no one talks or touches mommy.
I have had no time for constant eating. Feeding two kids, two dogs, and one husband, if I’m not cooking, I’m emptying the dishwasher or scraping jelly off the table. I thought about digging out that old cracker holster, but I’d rather not have to worry about it ending up on my hips again.
I have had no time, nor need, for parenting books. I’ve already done it twice, and if I’ve got any bad parenting habits, they aren’t going anywhere. The Thirdegnancy Condition has taught me that while mothers are an endless supply of love, they also have an endless supply of adrenaline for their children. This third child of mine won’t be raised on What to Expect, it will be raised on instinct and survival, and somehow, the same amount of amazement as it’s siblings had; because if my new affection for peppers is any clue, this child will be spicy enough to not let me ever forget that there will be one more child adding to the hum in the backseat.


Kristin said…
whoa! I totally missed this a month ago. COngratulations!

I recommend Kristin Emigh as a name for a girl. It is a good name for a nice Catholic girl. Err, Catholic turned Lutheran girl.

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