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Pregnancy's Ups and Downs

Pregnancy can have problems and trouble-free periods -- and either situation is normal.
WebMD Feature

Arlene Robles and Bobbie No are sisters who are both expecting a second child. They say their pregnancies have been relatively problem-free. In the four months she's been carrying the baby, No has thrown up only once, and at eight and a-half months, Robles has felt no morning sickness at all. The two have said they haven't felt particularly moody, nor have they had much jitters about having an addition to the family.


Yet further questioning reveals that each woman has her lion's share of concerns -- some similar, some very different from the other's. Both worry about having enough space in their homes for their growing families, about the pros and cons of day care for their children, and about how their careers will affect their families.


As a national sales coordinator for a San Francisco radio station, Robles thoroughly enjoys her job. With a new baby on the way, however, she's thinking more about how she could be more available for her kids.


"Working with the media in San Francisco was just where I wanted to be," says the 31-year-old. "But the long hours at work, getting up early to commute, and getting home late just isn't going to work with the kids."


It was fine when she and her husband had only Emerson, their 5-year-old son. He's already in preschool, and will soon be in kindergarten full-time. A newborn, though, would require more round-the-clock attention. Robles doesn't want to risk missing the baby's milestones, considering herself lucky enough to have caught Emerson's first words and steps, even though she worked full-time. Plus, she wants to keep an eye on how her son will adjust to being an older brother. Although she and her husband have taken him to sibling-preparation classes, in the past he's been visibly uncomfortable seeing his mom carrying a baby.


On the other hand, No isn't worried at all about her first daughter, Alani. The 7-year-old has been excited about becoming a big sister, and has many activities, such as soccer and Tae Kwon Do, to keep her busy. No's main concern is figuring out whether or not it's worth it for her to work full-time. If all or most of the money she makes goes to day care, she thinks it might be better for her to stay at home with the kids.


"Maybe I could start a home business to supplement our income," the current customer-service manager muses, seemingly confident that things will work out by the time she gives birth. "Right now I'm just concentrating on staying healthy," she says, noting her more conscious efforts to keep informed about her body and the new baby's development. The 27-year-old remembers all too well how ignorant she felt the first time around, because she was too embarrassed to ask questions of her doctor and her family. Now, she feels she is more mature, more proactive, and is reading as much as she can about pregnancy and parenthood.


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