I spent my first two pregnancies in the calm, cool and collected corners of Northern California. My first was a winter baby, and while I remember it raining the day that we left the hospital, I don’t recall any other sort of climate inconvenience during those first, long nine months.
I was thrilled about getting to wear long sleeves and jeans to mask my weight gain and awkward new shape. When Jack was born at the end of January, I knew I had a couple of months before bathing suit weather, and so we relaxed and snuggled up under layers, spending hours getting to know each other. I never left his side. In fact, I didn’t leave the house with (or without) him for six entire weeks.
My second pregnancy was totally different. I was chasing around a one year old through the majority of the summer while baby Zoe grew in my belly, and while I was a little sick, I don’t remember being overly affected by anything-even heat. Zoe was born during end of September on a gorgeously sunny, quintessential California day. I was literally skipping around the hospital an hour later-so thrilled to NOT be pregnant any more and even more so to have a gorgeous little baby girl. The impact of having a 19 month old and a newborn wouldn’t set in for a few days-three to be exact-the day my husband went back to school. I introduced Jack to his very first television show (Look! A CHOO-CHOO!) while I struggled to nurse and maintain a shred of sanity.
During the hot days, we’d go to the mall, or Target, or the toy store or museums. I was out and about with the kids as much as possible, even though juggling two babies wasn’t the easiest thing to master. We had a car with carseats that we parked at our home (for FREE!) and we only spent $3 per gallon on gas. Our chariot would take us to and from wherever we wanted to go, whenever we felt like going there. Life in the suburbs was perfectly coordinated, consistent and completely boring (so says the spoiled girl who now lives in NYC).
With my third pregnancy, things have been very different. I spent the first 16 weeks outrageously sick and tired. I’m now 19 weeks along and so grateful that for the most part, I’m feeling better. The heat in the city has really cranked up right along with my hormones and waist size, and I would be lying if I said I was handling it all gracefully. Our lives in New York City are much more active and compromised than they were in the Bay Area, and I think it took me getting pregnant to really realize it.
I’m starting to miss the relatively “normal” and simple luxury of owning a car, a back yard, and a BBQ. We’re sort of trapped in the apartment lately, and even though it hasn’t been storming out, the humidity and heat is just nearly intolerable. The subways have turned into stinky sweat lodges and the busses are jam packed daily… leaving us to either walk, scooter, or brave the taxi cabs to run menial tasks and errands. Most days, we spend our time at the local spray grounds between doctors appointments, barber shop visits, and grocery shopping.
These tasks are never boring with a 2 and 4 year old in tow. They make even a trip to the barber shop look like a mini red carpet event.
There are amazing events and experiences in NYC offered daily, and most of the time the travel is worth the extra effort. Yesterday, we walked the six blocks between our building and Madison Square Park, where every Tuesday they offer a free concert for children. I forgot the lunch that I packed before we left, forcing us to grab a burger and milkshakes at the local Shake Shack that is perched so perfectly in the park itself. I beached myself on the grass with food while the kids played in the fountain. Typical Tuesday morning.
Today we’re planning on taking a shuttle to go food shopping at Trader Joe’s and then hit the park on our walk back home. I’m so grateful that I’m no longer running for garbage cans or plastic bags battling the intense “morning” sickness, but I sense the larger I get, the harder these tasks will become. Never a dull moment… and I while sometimes I feel very overwhelmed by everything-mainly due to my size and lack of energy-I still love most things about living here. I knew that being pregnant in the summer in New York City would be interesting and much different than my first two pregnancies, yet somehow I feel like the best is still to come.
We’ll be blessed with a three year old, a four year old and a newborn come December. Life is a never ending escapade.