The Difference Between First And Second Pregnancies (It’s Not Pretty…)

It has been said, time and time again, by many wise women across different time zones and generations, that there are fundamental and common differences between first and second pregnancies.

Being most of the way through my second, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on this sage wisdom of the mothers who have walked this road before me and I can confirm, that they were onto something…

First Trimester

First Pregnancy:

You’re 10.9 seconds late starting your period, so you grab your pre-bought pregnancy test and your most accurate timer and pee on the stick. You stare at the clock for the entire two minutes…which feels like a lifetime. When you see the positive result, your heart leaps…it actually dances a little inside your chest. You feel elated and nervous all at once and even when nausea strikes, you suffer gracefully ― gratified in the knowledge that your body is miraculous and beautiful, even when it’s rejecting 90 percent of your diet.

Second Pregnancy:

You realize that you haven’t had a period for a while so you force yourself to remember something ― anything ― about your last menstrual cycle. Other than cramps and detailed bathroom conversations with your firstborn, you remember a hellish play date that confirms your dates. Win. Now to buy and take a test: “Pregnant.” You don’t really feel much or have time to process the news, since there’s a Lego emergency going on downstairs. Back to mom duties until daddy arrives home…at which point you and he can process the news together; him with wine (the lucky sod.)

You enter a level of exhaustion that exceeds all previously known sleep deprivation levels. Your firstborn begs for park trips. You beg for naps. There is no common ground. And then the sickness strikes. So much sickness, which is made worse by the exhaustion…did I mention the exhaustion already??

Second Trimester

First Pregnancy:

When you’re not working, you are resting. You need a lot of rest, more than you expected, but you accept that and honor it. You diligently plan your “gender reveal” with the finesse of the world’s top event planners. You embrace your changing body, your growing bump, your increased appetite. The sickness even seems more manageable now. You have a carefully chosen list of 10 baby names, complete with history, meaning and spelling variations, stuck to your fridge for daily musings. You consider using all 10 on several occasions, because they are all so completely beautiful.

Second Pregnancy:

When you’re not working, you’re still working. Because motherhood doesn’t allow sick days, did nobody tell you? Your gender reveal is a text message at best. Your changing body opens many conversations with well-meaning acquaintances, all of which make you want to buy a shirt that says “Don’t Touch My F*cking Bump.” You hate all names, without exception. Your firstborn has become immune to your sickness by now, but has developed the unfortunate habit of texting daddy with a running commentary of live puking incidents:

Just How ‘Exclusively Gay’ Is The New ‘Beauty And The Beast’? And Is It Worth Anything?

The new “Beauty and the Beast” doesn’t open until March 17, but Disney’s marketing team has probably already suffered several convulsions.

Luke Evans stars as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.

The internet lit up with opinions last week when director Bill Condon revealed the live-action reboot would feature a “nice, exclusively gay moment,” whatever that means. Condon had said too much, igniting understandable concerns about the details of this plot point: LeFou (Josh Gad), obsequious manservant to the dastardly Gaston (Luke Evans), would be “somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”

On one hand, Condon’s words indicated we might see a coming-out story in a Disney release, a progressive move for a studio that has barely hinted at overt LGBTQ inclusiveness. (Last year, for example, director Andrew Stanton wouldn’t confirm that a purported lesbian couple appeared in a “Finding Dory” scene.) On the other hand, we’ve got a flamboyant sidekick pining for a burly straight man, which isn’t exactly “exclusively gay” ― or maybe it is, because, again, what in the world does that even mean?

In a tale as old as time, the internet was flooded with premature reactions. The takes were hot, especially considering the movie hadn’t yet screened for press. No one knew how Condon’s revelation would actually play out, but some outlets had already condemned the development. (Naturally, the conservative side of the spectrum was even more reactionary. An Alabama theater refused to show the film. Sigh.)

The Most Overlooked And Underrated Characters In ‘Get Out’ Are Black Women

It has been two weeks since the premier of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, and each day I’ve been engaged in dialogue about the film and its many themes. I can’t think of another horror flick (in my lifetime at least) that has garnered so much social commentary, which makes sense. This isn’t a half-man, half-demon haunting your dreams with corny jokes and knives for fingers. The scariest thing about this movie is that it represents a very real horror that black people face every day.

Even so, with all the commentary and analysis, nobody seems to be discussing the characters that I’ve been thinking about the most since walking out of the theater: Chris’ mother, Detective Latoya, and Georgina i.e. the black women.

Granted, of the three black women in the story, two are actually visible on-screen and we only see one of them for about three minutes. So, I’m not surprised that not many people are talking about them. I also know that experiencing this film as a black woman affects — or perhaps, enhances — my perspective. However, the roles of these characters are more profound than what meets the eye.

Let’s get into it:
Chris’ mother

Although we never see her on screen, and she is barely mentioned, Chris’ mother is just as central to the plot as Chris and the Armitages. Specifically, her death is the catalyst for the whole movie.

Her death, as a matter of fact, is the gateway to Chris’ “sunken place.” It is the chink in Chris’ mental armor, the weak spot that Missy exploits to lay the foundation of his demise. It’s fitting in this movie, which is a giant metaphor for how white supremacy harms black people, that Chris’ enslavement is indirectly caused by the sustained mental trauma of a broken familial bond.

It’s then easy to argue  ―  and the character Jim Hudson actually alludes to this ― that had Chris’ mother been alive, he would’ve been mentally fortified enough for hypnosis to not have worked; Jeremy would’ve had to step in and break him down physically. This sounds too familiar…

Stop Everything: A ‘Beauty And The Beast’-Themed Cruise Is Happening

All aboard for a real-life Disney adventure! Disney’s vacation company is adding a slate of “Beauty and the Beast” activities to some of its European river cruises next year.

Disney’s Rhine River cruises sail for eight days to France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Next year, seven of these sailings will feature special activities themed around “Beauty and the Beast,” a spokeswoman confirmed to The Huffington Post.

In addition to Disney’s regular cruise activities ― which include tobogganing, zip lining and macaron baking ― travelers on the special “Beauty and the Beast” cruises can also opt to attend themed dinners, cooking classes (grey stuff included!), “Beauty and the Beast” karaoke nights and screenings of both the animated and live-action films aboard the ship.

They’ll also have the option to disembark in Riquewihr, a quaint French town said to have inspired the movie.

Let’s Not Pit British And American Black Actors Against Each Other

Do black British actors “steal” roles from African-American actors?

On Thursday, Samuel L. Jackson sparked this debate in an interview on Hot.97, where he talked about Jordan Peele’s social horror “Get Out,” and questioned how the movie might have been different had the lead black character been played by an American actor, instead of British actor Daniel Kaluuya.

“Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for 100 years,” Jackson said. “What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal but [not everything].”

Jackson’s comments drew instant criticism from some people online, including British-Nigerian actor John Boyega who tweeted: