Labor Day was celebrated in September, and I can’t help but wish it was my Labor Day. For those who didn’t read my column about my pregnancy brain last month, I’m expecting and hopefully due any day or week now.
As I inch toward my due date, I’m reflecting on how different my first and second pregnancies were. Throwing a pandemic and a toddler into the mix for this latest one certainly made them unique in their own way.
For my first pregnancy, I had the structure of bringing my breakfast and lunch to work five days a week. Typically, mornings began with fruit and yogurt, with afternoons followed by salads. I’d pack healthy snacks too. Weekends were a different story. Back when I was eating in restaurants – a time I miss greatly – I was so full of fried food after a glorious meal at Davis’ Pub in Annapolis with my sister that I accidentally called the baby Charlotte. We had hoped to keep the name a surprise. Whoops.
Fast forward to baby two, and chili nachos and BLTs are a rare highlight of the COVID-19 pandemic during family lunches at home. With nowhere to go on the weekends, a doting husband making pancakes or French toast is our commonplace. Plus, our neighborhood has had weekly food trucks and snowball stand visitors. Those who know me aren’t surprised that I’m one of their best customers.
With unlimited time when I was kid-free, frequent trips to the gym were easy to come by. Now, my exercise is “roaming around” our neighborhood, as my family of three says. However, pandemic or not, I can’t say I’m too sad that my community gym is currently closed.
For Charlotte, we found out the gender the first chance we could. Then in very non-millennial fashion, my husband and I spotted a half-deflated pink balloon and snapped a picture that was used to share with our family and friends that a baby girl was on the way.
Our second time around, I convinced (begrudgingly I might add) my husband to be surprised. As an adult, there are truly few good surprises, and I feel like a kid ahead of Christmas that could explode with anticipation of knowing if our baby is a boy or girl.
For my first pregnancy, my best friend and coworkers each threw me over-the-top baby showers in the best way possible. One with an elephant theme, which matched the nursery motif, and led to so many adorable elephant-inspired décor, stuffed animals, clothes and more for Charlotte. Then another shower with a “Parks & Recreation” theme came complete with a waffle bar that would make Amy Poehler’s character of Leslie Knope extremely proud.
My coworkers recently surprised me with a Zoom baby shower. They had fooled me that it was a Zoom malfunction when numerous coworkers crashed a team meeting and then uploaded matching virtual backgrounds with well wishes.
Three days later, my mom surprised me with a socially distant, intimate sprinkle with my sister, sister-in-laws and mother-in-law, complete with a delicious brunch and adorable baby gifts.
An outsider would easily assume that the first pregnancy was better. However, they were both so incredibly special in their own ways. I’ll always cherish the hoopla including showers, our baby moon to Charleston and prenatal massages from my first pregnancy. And, I’ll look back at a rare time in my life the second time around where things were simple but wonderful. One thing’s for sure, I hope baby two is here by the time this is read!
Lauren Burke Meyer is a Severna Park native who was inspired to write Lauren’s Law as a humorous play on the well-known Murphy’s Law adage: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”