If you or a loved one is pregnant or has been pregnant or if you are even considering pregnancy as a lifestyle choice (hey, not everyone wants to have children), then you have probably heard that no two pregnancies are alike. Usually when this truism is pronounced it is in reference to the expectant mother and is often used to placate some fear such as “I had swollen ankles and doubled in weight before finally delivering in the checkout lane at Ikea (those lines can be so long), but I’m sure that won’t happen to you. Every pregnancy is different.” It is always so reassuring.
Although I use to have my doubts about how much difference there could possibly be from one pregnancy to the next, especially when a mother compares her own pregnancies, since Savvy (my patient, adorable, and brilliant wife) became pregnant for a second time, the differences are drastic. For starters, this time she is pregnant with twins. Personally, I had no idea it worked this way, but you can be darn certain we will not be trying for a third pregnancy. Twins I can manage, but I wouldn’t even know where to put a set of triplets in our flat.
The other huge difference I’ve noticed is in the bizarre cravings she has. With Reina (our first child), Savvy was always asking for ice water, even in the night. I’ve heard of some fairly strange pregnancy cravings: one woman wanted pig’s ears – but only from the left side of the beasts, and another only craved fresh mangoes – from her neighbor’s tree on the other side of a walled courtyard. Still, when you consider the near daily effort I had to make to actually open the freezer and take out ice cubes, it is easy to see how tasking this was for me – not to mention the refilling of the ice cube trays. With the twins, Savvy has thus far exhibited no cravings other than food in general. This absence of cravings is really throwing me off my paternal game as I’m not sure what to do with all the ice cubes I stocked the freezer with.
Despite what you may have heard, the main difference I’ve noted in multiple pregnancies is the toll it takes on the father. Whereas last time I had to accompany my wife to the hospital for the ultrasounds and checkups, this time I’m also expected to occasionally walk our daughter to school and bathe her too. It is truly draining. Honestly dads, I don’t know how we manage it.
Photo by Christopher Lay