I meant to do a recap earlier, but here we are at the halfway point! But honestly that kind of sums up this pregnancy. It’s different when you have a very-on-the-move toddler. This pregnancy has also been completely different, which surprised me. I know everyone says that, but it’s hard to wrap your head around how the same woman with the same body can have completely different experiences. It felt like it should have been copy + paste, but no! In some ways, it’s been easier and better…. in other ways, it’s been harder and worse.
We experienced a loss before this pregnancy, which I think dramatically changed how I felt about this one. I went in with a much more guarded heart and it definitely took away a lot of the joy in the beginning. Even now, with everything going okay, I still have a bit of a pit in my stomach just wanting to get through to the labor and delivery.
HOW I FOUND OUT: I took a cheap pregnancy test the day before flying to Colorado for a wedding. I was pretty sure there was the faintest of lines on it, but it was not clear enough to feel like it was a positive. Of course, I didn’t have any more of that particular brand and I packed only two other tests of another brand with me (so I wouldn’t be tempted to test every time I had to pee… IYKYK). I took one the morning of our flight, slid it in its wrapper, and shoved that into my purse. It was so dark that morning so I didn’t look at it until we were on the plane. Mike went to the bathroom at one point, and I frantically opened the airplane window for good light to look at the test and it was not negative, but again, not positive. This brand was definitely not as “sensitive” but I still spiraled. Pretty much all weekend. I did take one test right before the wedding and I could 100% see a line. Again, I had a very very very guarded heart, but I still felt a little optimistic. (And didn’t drink at the wedding to be safe, haha.) When we got home, I took a test that night and, boom, very positive. I told Mike first thing in the morning!
THAT FIRST WEEK: That first week, ended up being incredibly scary. The day after I told Mike I was pregnant, I got really sick. I was at swim lessons with Jack when I started to feel clammy. The pool is SO humid though, so feeling sweaty (especially trying to get a wet toddler dressed) wasn’t that out of the ordinary. I didn’t feel so well in the grocery store, but I faint frequently, so it didn’t feel like anything alarming. I got a water and a snack, checked out, and walked to the car. I had to do something for work quickly and within minutes I went from feeling “meh” to feeling super sick, so much so that I knew I couldn’t drive home. Mike was in a meeting but I called him twice in a row and he knew something was wrong– I was so glad he knew I was pregnant so he knew it was an emergency! Jack was thankfully safe and buckled in and Mike stayed on speaker phone with me while he drove the four minutes from the house to the grocery store to drive us home. Again, I faint a lot, but this felt next level. When we got home, I passed out dramatically. Usually the minute I faint, the blood rushes back to my head and I almost immediately feel better. This time, I was not okay and Mike called 911. Long story short, it ended up having to do with a preexisting condition I have and that crazy pressure system that brought all the smoke down from Canada. The “positive” was that I ended up getting extra blood testing just to confirm my pregnancy was progressing over the next two weeks. After having a miscarriage before and then this crazy fluke health issue the week I found out I was pregnant again, I was on edge.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER: I am going to be honest, even going to sum it up right now, I’m kind of drawing a blank. It feels like our entire summer was a blur. Just me putting one foot in front of the other, taking things one hour at a time. Just like with my pregnancy with Jack, I was quite sick from morning sickness. Unlike my pregnancy with Jack, I was on the move. (With Jack, we were still pre-vaccine Covid era, so we didn’t do much and it was the winter anyway…. and, of course, we didn’t have other kids to care for!) This time around, we were traveling, we were on the move, Jack was here! I felt like I was barely hanging on, just so, so sick and very tired. And yes, still very nervous. While we were on Nantucket, I got food poisoning one day and I was so sick, I preparing myself for the worst again. Thankfully, it was “just” food poisoning. I got my first scan the day after I got home and it was such a relief to see the gummy bear baby and heartbeat. It was the first time I let myself feel “okay.” I was still pretty sick until I was into my second trimester, but I felt better emotionally.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER: So far, the second trimester has actually been pretty good! With Jack, I think I threw up almost every day until I gave birth with only a tiny window of the second semester feeling good. This has been completely different in that I genuinely feel pretty much like myself, albeit a very tired version of her. It’s also going by way, way faster than the first pregnancy since I have a little toddler distracting me. I forget how many weeks along I am when someone asks and there are good chunks of the day where I feel totally normal. (Again, just tired, but that’s to be expected I think of anyone with a toddler!) Honestly, nothing to really report so far, which as far as I’m concerned is a good thing!!
JACK AS A BIG BROTHER: One of the things I’m most excited about right now is that Jack is going to be a big brother and that he is going to get a little brother! When we were dreaming about this baby, I honestly knew I was going to be a little disappointed with either gender, solely because the idea of either excited me! I wanted the baby to be a boy, so Jack would have a little brother and I also knew he would be so sweet with a little sister too. I was hoping for boy/girl twins so he’d get one of each 🤣 I just can’t get over how incredible it is that Jack will have a brother and that this little baby is being born with a big brother! I’m so excited! I also think Jack “gets” that there’s a baby in my belly, especially now that I’m showing, though I’m sure he doesn’t fully understand what it means. We’ve been reading books and talking a lot and he will excitedly tell anyone who will listen that he’s going to have a “BABY BRUDDAH!” He kisses my belly all the time and it might just be the sweetest thing I’ve ever witnessed.
CRAVINGS: This time around, I’ve had totally different cravings than with Jack. With Jack, all I could stomach was buttered English muffins and this time around, bread made me feel sick during my first trimester and all I “craved” was meat. I ate a lot of eggs and chicken, super weird. I was convinced I was having a girl just based on how opposite my cravings were! Occasionally I craved specific things like candy, but for the most part, I struggled to have any sort of appetite. I’m back to eating normally now though– all my aversions went away, too. Most importantly, I’m able to enjoy a cup of afternoon coffee again, which brings me joy!!! I didn’t want coffee at all (the smell made my stomach flip and the taste was like battery acid!!!) so that was pretty sad.
NEW DOCTORS: The biggest difference about this pregnancy, so far, has been my change of care. I didn’t love my experience with my first OBGYN office and knew I wanted to switch things up. (Two of the doctors retired, the doctor who delivered Jack left after three months, and the one doctor remaining I heard just moved out west and left, too. The practice even switched the hospitals at which they deliver.) I am so glad I switched. I wish I had trusted my gut instinct from my experience with Jack and switched mid-pregnancy, even if it would have been difficult to do. I was with the new practice when I experienced my miscarriage and the compassion the nurses had was unparalleled. It was a night and day experience and I cannot imagine what the care would have been like at the other practice. I kept telling myself how grateful I was that I was with this new practice. Every single person in the office so far has been amazing. (If you’re local, feel free to email me– I’m happy to share where I moved.) I am so, so, so grateful and I think it’s a good reminder to 1) trust your instincts and 2) remember that you’re worth good and quality medical care.
“SECOND RODEO”: One thing I keep thinking about is how different things are when it’s not your first rodeo, so to speak. On one hand, I feel totally confident that I can do this pregnancy thing and I know I can do the delivery! Both of those things felt like foreign concepts the first time around! On the other hand, there’s something a little scary about “knowing” what’s coming down the pipeline. Again, I know I can do it and then also, I’m terrified about having to do it all over again? If that makes sense. I went into pregnancy and the delivery with no expectations and now I have… preferences. Things I know I want and things I know I don’t want. It’s a little intimidating and as a perfectionist and a control freak, I’m trying to keep it all in check. I know I can’t control everything and that also just drives me nuts.
There are big positives to this though. Like I know what things feel like, I know what I want to ask for in the hospital, I know what I can ask for. I also know what it’s like to be postpartum– physically and emotionally. I have cared for a newborn before! While I have some anxiety, I feel confident that I can do this.
I have new things to stress about, but I also am not so hung up on things like I was the first time. I don’t have to find a pediatrician or worry about car seat brands or obsess over the best strollers or read the instruction manual for my pump. It’s a big relief in a lot of ways!
FAVORITE MOMENTS: I just reread this and I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m not excited. I was guarded in the first trimester, but I genuinely am so, so excited. My favorite moments are actually the same as when I was pregnant with Jack… it’s being in my car alone! I can’t explain it, but I love closing the door to my car and feeling like it’s just the baby and me. Sometimes I just sit in the parking lot or my driveway for an extra minute or two so I can just savor those special moments! Also, right now, the baby is moving around like crazy. Jack moved a lot… and this baby is even more active. I feel him moving around all the time now. The night before the anatomy scan, he was flipping around from 2am non-stop. It felt like he was doing flip turns! Sure enough, during the scan, he was moving all around and, yep, flipping. Also, during that scan, whoa, he looks identical to how Jack looked in utero. I am trying not to wish time away, but I am counting down the minutes until we get to meet him!!!!