Monday, July 19, 2010

My 2nd pregnancy

I should start apologizing to baby #2 already.  I'm 18 weeks along nearly half way through (this post has been in drafts for a while) and I haven't posted anything about this pregnancy.

The first thing that comes to mind is how different it has been from my pregnancy with Ethan.  I'll be honest and say that it's been more difficult.  Having a toddler to take care of, weaning and worrying about his nutrition, a house to sell, searching for a house to buy, work, family, friends, and all the miscellaneous in between are all balls that I've tried to juggle at once while worn out and sick from this pregnancy.  Several of those balls have been dropped a time or two or ten.  Thank God for my wonderful husband who is there to pick up those dropped balls and me.  He has taken on more than ever over the past few months.

Morning sickness ... that term is a joke.  This time around it was more like the worst hangover you've ever had, 24/7, and for added suffering throw in a stomach virus on top it every evening.  It started earlier this time and lasted much longer.  With my first I felt much better by 11-12 weeks.  This time I was still suffering from constant nausea at 16 weeks. 

Matt was working until 6 and 7pm during the first few weeks and I didn't think I was going to make it.  I do believe there were evenings that I called him in tears telling him that I didn't think I could do it.  And by it, I mean simple things like sit on the floor and play with Ethan or feed him dinner.  There were some nights that I was so exhausted, I fell asleep while cuddling with Ethan before 7pm.  Matt will joke about this but there seriously were nights when I went straight to sleep after putting Ethan to bed at 8:15pm.  I dealt with the sickness and exhaustion during my 1st trimester with Ethan too but both were more intense this time.  The "tricks" and "cures" that worked during my first pregnancy were not as miraculous this time around.  What worked one day seemed to make me feel worse the next.

Morning sickness gave way to headaches, which gave way to acid reflux - ALREADY!  I didn't experience acid reflux with Ethan until I was more than 30 weeks pregnant.  With this baby it started at 18.5 weeks. 

Some will guess that my symptoms point to the possibility of this baby being a girl.  Others will say that I experienced all of this because it gets more difficult with each pregnancy.  Either way, I'm surviving but I'm probably complaining a lot more. 

I'm anxious for my 20 wk ultra sound and to know if the baby has a cleft lip or not.  Now if they could only tell whether or not the baby will have allergies or intolerances by looking at the ultra sound!  If that were the case, I might be more prepared.  I think about these things every day.  I worry.  I wonder.  But I know whatever is meant to be will be.  It has already been decided and we will work through whatever challenges we are given.

I started showing earlier and gained weight more quickly with baby #2.  When I found out I was pregnant I was about 20lbs below my 2008 pre-pregnancy weight.  In 2008, I had put on weight during infertility treatments and this time I was down below what I weighed in college due to the allergen free diet.  The weight has been coming on quickly... I'm sure it is because I CAN EAT nearly everything again.  I don't think I gained any weight with my first pregnancy until I was closer to 20 weeks.  This time I put on 15lbs by 18 weeks.   

I started feeling the baby move much earlier.  I was shocked when I started feeling movement around 14 weeks!  I can feel the baby move by putting my hand on my stomach too, but the baby moves so quickly and doesn't kick in the same place twice so Matt hasn't felt any movement yet.

My food aversions are different this time.  With Ethan, I couldn't stand even the thought of chicken.  With this baby I love chicken and can not stand beef.  I also can't handle the smell of potatoes ... even french fries make me want to gag.  I haven't had any long term cravings.  With my first pregnancy I wanted to eat Mexican food all the time.  My cravings change nearly every day.  

There are some similarities...  At 19 weeks, 3 days, I think the shape of my belly is the same.  Who knows if that will change or if it means anything at all, but I look the same as I did when I was this far along with Ethan.  My skin is just as sensitive as it was when I was pregnant with Ethan.  I sunburn pretty easily and the burn stays red forever instead of tanning fairly quickly.  I have bouts of being overly emotional just like I did when I was pregnant with Ethan.  A simple thought or song can send me into tears.

Conceiving without treatments...  Some of my PCOS symptoms had returned in Dec 2009.  Then suddenly, for the first time, maybe ever, I had signs of ovulation in March or April 2010 (it was a long cycle so I can't remember exactly when).  I have seen a couple of doctors and midwives who have agreed that continuing to breastfeed Ethan could very well be the reason why I was able to ovulate on my own.  It could have been just the right amount of nursing (I had cut out night time nursing) that allowed my body to balance out some hormones.  We'll never know if that is the reason we were able to conceive this child without infertility treatments but it may have helped! 

I'm halfway through the pregnancy and it still feels surreal.  Matt and I talk often about how we can't believe how blessed we are, how we can't believe another baby is coming!  Although we were hoping and planning to have another, we didn't think that we would go through infertility treatments again... for several reasons, including the fact that I was still nursing, the financial aspect, the stress of it all, and the logistics... we had Ethan and couldn't just take off to the fertility clinic at 7am several days a week.  We had talked about the possibility of Ethan being an only child and although it wasn't what we had planned and hoped for, we talked about how if that were the case, we would have accepted that our family of 3 was what we were meant to be.  Ethan is an incredible blessing and we are thankful for him.  This new baby is a wonderful addition to our blessings and he/she isn't even here yet! 

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