Friday, May 20, 2016

Three Becomes Four!

I have some exciting news to share today...

We are expecting another baby! 

Here are all the fun details:

I'm currently 18 weeks pregnant, due in mid-October, so I'm a few weeks into my second trimester. The first trimester gave me a few weeks of nausea and lots of fatigue. I was asleep on the couch by 8 or 9 every night, and sometimes it still happens that way! Overall, though, I feel like I mostly have my energy back.

In a lot of ways, this pregnancy is very similar to my first: the nausea and fatigue are comparable, maybe a little worse than last time. Cravings are similar--cereal, carbs, pizza, bagels. But I'm trying hard to focus on really good nutrition and eating lots of protein and greens, especially now that I have a good appetite. I'm excited and nervous all over again, too! 

But in many respects, this one is a completely different experience. For starters, I didn't get wildly sick upon conception (last time, I had horrible stomach problems for several days and wound up in the ER). Also, last time we thought I wasn't pregnant and threw away the test, then got a big surprise when I randomly pulled it back out to double check; this time I thought I saw a little pink line and had to have Terry check it. My belly popped at 11 weeks, definitely earlier than last time, and it's been growing noticeably as each week passes.

(Missed a few weeks in there...oops!)

For comparison, here's weeks 14-18 with Marshall:

As you might notice above, we have a different color scheme for this baby! For Marshall we did orange and grey; for this one, we're going with a teal/aqua color. Marshall's nursery was all about big grey animals--elephants, hippos, and rhinos--and this baby's (side of the) nursery will be ocean-themed, focusing on the magical octopus. :-) We don't plan to buy much, but I'd like to get a few decor items to give each kid a "side" of the room.

Oh, another big difference this time is of course that I'm working full time AND I have an almost-two-year-old. The toddler part isn't too bad, since Marshall sleeps well and is generally a mellow kid. And work itself isn't stressful. But the two combined makes for a tough combination.

I started feeling flutters over the last week or so. With Marshall, I got one swift kick at exactly 20 weeks, and he kicked strongly there on out. With this one I'm finally understanding what people mean by "flutters." And this week I started getting a couple of real kicks, which is reassuring and so fun!

Marshall knows I have a baby in my tummy, and we encourage him to say hi and "I love you" to the baby. We aren't totally sure how best to prepare him for the transition, but I think he'll do okay. Our first step will be transitioning him out of his crib this summer, so wish us luck!

(He loves dolls, so that's a good start!)

Some other updates:

Exercise has been pretty good, relatively consistent. I'm getting close to or more than 10,000 steps per day, and I've done 3-4 strength workouts per week. I'd like to add in more cardio (maybe some jogging) and yoga, but I'm also focusing on getting enough rest, so it's just a balancing act.

Weight gain feels totally different this time. First off, I didn't lose several pounds at the beginning from being super sick. But overall I'm noticing my appetite is through the roof most of the time. I've had to watch my eating, especially portion control. With Marshall, my doctor was concerned I wasn't gaining enough weight, so at least I don't have to worry about that this time!

Sleep isn't horrible, but I'm already using the pillow-between-the-knees-to-support-the-hips trick. I naturally sleep on my left side (which is recommended during pregnancy), so at least that part feels really comfortable. I do notice that I want to lay on my belly sometimes and can't. I also usually snooze on the couch by 9 and get into bed around 10, so those night naps are probably something I could kick and just go to bed earlier.

I will write more later about labor and birth preparation, but I am hoping again for a natural birth. I had a difficult (emotional) recovery from my C-section, which I am more than happy to talk about if anyone is curious or going through something similar, but I've had a lot of time to process Marshall's birth and feel confident that I did what I could and that a C-section was medically necessary. I still feel disappointed, but I am okay. And I know I would be okay again if I have to have another CS. I'm reading some new books, talking with our old Bradley Method teacher, reading lots of VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) stories, and already working on labor exercises, more for my own peace of mind than anything.

We've been to the doctor several times already, and everything looks good so far. My doctor is very encouraging of a VBAC, and my work has been great about helping me understand maternity leave. I'm feeling very optimistic about everything!

So that's the big update! I'll be back on Monday with another big one: Marshall turns TWO!


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