I'm 18 weeks pregnant.
 In case you missed the memo in the last couple blog posts, my husband and I are anticipating the birth of baby #2. I guess I've been sort of "anticipating" it, but not quite the same way as I waited for Zoe. This time around, I don't have as many questions. I'm just sort of used to the groaning wake-up call of my first baby jolting me awake another day. I drink a coffee everyday. (Yes, I do, and I'm not going to apologize for the sort-of-guilty-way I feel about it because I don't know how I would get through my day without napping 2 hours otherwise). I have two hours in my day where I don't feel bone-tired. During these hours, I drink my coffee so I can work hard at my part-time job while Zoe sleeps.
I'm just trying to get by.

Today, when I went in for my appointment with the midwife, I had to pee in a cup. The nurse happened to be one of those I'm-going-to-make-you-feel-guilty-about-your-healthcare types of people.(I really think there are two types of nurses---the super nice, I-want-to-educate-you-nicely type, and the I-want-to-make-you-feel-guilty type). She looked at me sternly when I came back in the room and said, "I found protein in your urine."
I must have looked confused, as in, what the heck does that mean?!
I gave a weak smile and tried an educated guess, "Does that mean I am dehydrated?" I said.
"Probably." She said and looked down at her chart.
"Well, that makes sense. I am so tired all the time." I told her. "I'll make a real effort to drink more water," I said guiltily.

By the time the mid-wife came in, I was feeling guilty about the Starbucks' tall latte stashed in my stroller like some sort of illegal drugs or something. Plus, Zoe was acting up and crying until she saw my belly-button (she loves' belly-buttons) and got to press it in while the mid-wife found the baby's heart beat.
And there it was.
Baby #2. The beautiful, rhythmic heartbeat.
"The baby is O.K.?" I gasped, almost unsure that despite my coffee-drinking habits, along with apparent dehydration problems (later the mid-wife said it was because it was morning and not to be worried about it), the baby wasn't struggling in there.
"Perfect heartbeat."
"I've been drinking coffee everyday." I sputtered.
She laughed. "You are fine. The baby's heartbeat is strong and you are doing great."
I wanted to hug her.
"It's so reassuring to hear the heartbeat." I touched my now-egg shaped belly.

I think I fell a little bit more in love with #2 today. Watching Zoe poke my bellybutton in and the mid-wife find that heartbeat reminded me of the magic when I first heard Zoe's heartbeat.
 I remember my first pregnancy I spent figuring out what it meant to love her, and at times I wasn't sure I  knew her at all, even though she was inside of me--the closest you can be to another person.

 I wish somebody had told me that love is a growing process---just like marriage---it begins like the sound of a small heartbeat and you aren't sure it's love at all, and then it becomes louder and louder until it crashes over you and consumes you. Then you are filled with this loud, obnoxious love that comes out in hugs and kisses and lots of tears.

That's how my love for Zoe has grown.
"Zoe," I whispered, while she was sitting next to me on the doctor's table. "There's a baby in my belly-button." She poked my bellybutton again, "Bee!"