#SecondPregnancyProblems

“Every pregnancy is different” – a common phrase thrown around by experienced mamas who know how things work. In theory, I knew this to be true. But in reality, I find myself constantly comparing this pregnancy to my first.

I actually thought this pregnancy would be easier because I had done it before…I was wrong.

In hindsight, my first pregnancy was actually a breeze. My first trimester nausea was mild and I didn’t start having back pain until my third trimester. Really, my biggest complaint was extreme fatigue, but since I was childless, I was able to rest more.

So here I am in the middle of my third trimester, reflecting and comparing, as I’ve recently been experiencing acute ligament pain and third trimester nausea (both symptoms I didn’t experience with my first). This pregnancy brought me MAJOR first trimester nausea where I felt sick from early morning to bedtime, splitting headaches lasting multiple days, major acid reflux, and relentless back pain. I’ve also had multiple illnesses this pregnancy – it’s like my immune system just gave up on life. Although I did have an energy boost during my second trimester (something I never felt with my first), it was short lived and feels like a million years ago.

News flash to anyone who is pregnant with your first: pregnancy while also being responsible for another human SUCKS, so cherish the only pregnancy where it really is all about you. Yes, my symptoms are worse this pregnancy – but having to be a mom 24/7 is what makes this monumentally more challenging. Props to the moms out there with a brood of kids.

Feeling like crap while taking care of Porter has made it harder to feel excited about my pregnancy. Sometimes I have to double check my app to see how far along I am. With Porter, I always knew how far along I was to the day.

I really have no right to bitch about my pregnancy, because so many people have it way worse and I want to acknowledge that – but sometimes I still just need to vent. I’m tired of feeling like crap and sometimes being with a two year old all day makes me want to drink a bottle of wine to myself. Six. More. Weeks.

Yesterday was a perfect example of #secondpregnancyproblems. Desperate for rest, I laid down on my bed…but of course I was followed by my 2.5 year old stalker. He proceeded to jump on the bed right next to my aching pregnant body. He lost his footing and fell, landing knee first onto my belly. He’s hit my belly numerous times, but nothing like this – this one really HURT.

Unsure of what level of impact can actually hurt the baby, I called the advice nurse (hoping she would reassure me not to worry). “You need to be evaluated at Labor and Delivery. I can’t guarantee the baby is fine over the phone.” UGGHH! There goes our evening.

I packed Porter up and called Ryan to meet me there. Then, while in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 80 business loop, Porter started having a coughing fit (his lingering cough strikes again) which triggered his gag reflex and thus, a massive amount of vomit. So. Much. Barf. He started crying, which was a relief at the time because it reassured me his airways were clear.

I pulled off the freeway, into a gas station parking lot. When I lifted his barf covered body out of the car seat, I felt pain in my belly where he had kneed me. I proceeded to clean the vomit using only baby wipes and a dirty workout towel I found in my trunk. Thank goodness we had a change of clothes – my mom instinct told me to grab an extra pair of pants for him when we were running out the door.

We arrived at labor and delivery, my mom took Porter to her house and I was forced to sit in a hospital bed for four hours while they monitored the baby. Ryan grabbed us some dinner, and we sat in the hospital eating cafeteria food, joking that it was the closest thing we’d had to a date in weeks. Everything turned out to be fine and I got home around 11p.m.

After this experience, I sort of already feel like I’m a mom of two, juggling the needs of both kids.

Thankfully, there have been some moments where the thrill of having another baby snuck its way into the forefront of my mind and I want to share some of what I’ve learned with any mamas out there that can relate.

  1. Cut yourself some slack. First baby butterflies cannot be reproduced, just like your first kiss butterflies can’t be. It just is what it is.
  2. Although your toddler won’t treat you any differently during your pregnancy (even as you’re heaving over the toilet), your husband should. Did he rub your back during your first pregnancy? Ask you how you’re feeling often? He should still do those things. If you need to, remind him that you need extra help with household/parental duties when you’re not feeling up to it. Ryan has basically taken over most of the nightly bath/bed routine because by the end of the day, my body just hurts and it’s not easy for me to lift a 35lb man child out of the bath. Between ligament pain, back pain and third trimester nausea, having his help in the evenings is a saving grace. Hats off to moms with hubbies who travel for work.
  3. Get a 3D ultrasound. I went to The Baby Connection with Porter because I was excited and caught up in first baby butterflies. This time around, I sort of forced myself to go because I didn’t want to give Preston a second child complex before he’s even born. I’m sooooo happy I went. I stuck Porter in daycare and had some time to focus on sweet Preston, distraction free (which was key).
  4. Take maternity photos – I almost didn’t do this one either, but I’m so happy I did. Just having a little extra attention and acknowledging my baby bump helped pull me out of my toddler mom haze and remember that I have another sweet little boy on the way.
  5. Get some new baby stuff. I’m having my second boy, so it’s tempting just to reuse everything from Porter – but that’s no fun. Try and get some new stuff for your new babe. I get so excited seeing new little outfits for Preston to wear and seeing his nautical nursery come together.
  6. Take a moment to reflect. One evening (when Porter was being particularly cray and I didn’t feel good) I left Porter with Ryan and went into Preston’s room, closed the door, listened to some Coldplay on my headphones and just rocked in my new nursing chair. I sat there for maybe fifteen minutes just thinking about this next phase of my life. It felt good.
  7. Celebrate! Some crazy people think you shouldn’t celebrate all your babies, but I strongly disagree. Whether you call it a shower or a sprinkle, just do SOMETHING.
  8. Check your pregnancy app and read about your baby’s development. I admittedly struggle with this one and am usually a few days late to read about my new week, but I always feel more emotionally connected to Preston after I do.

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Maternity Photos by Hillary Blair Photography

Prepping for the second kid

 

“One is none, two is ten.” My mom always used to say that and frankly, this terrifies me. In ten short weeks, I’ll be a mom of two and I’m not quite sure how the hell I’m going to pull this off. I know it’s possible – I see people do it. One of my best friends just had her third! I know it’s not a big deal to society to have two kids. But in our house, I feel like it’s going to shake us into utter insanity.

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Maybe I should provide some background so I don’t sound like I need therapy. I mean, I probably do, but wine is cheaper so I go that route when I’m not knocked up.

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Our transition to one kid was NOT EASY. I know some people have a smooth transition into parenthood, but that was not us; it sucked us into long term survival mode.

Not to compare, but I’m going to compare. Some babies are easy going and start sleeping through the night at three to four months (some even earlier). These same kids might even be relatively well during their first and second years of life. These babies probably don’t have GERD, chronic ear infections, or weird autoimmune issues that pop up. They also probably don’t want to nurse every 30-45 minutes and are willing to be put down, or at least “worn” in a baby carrier. These parents are often fooled into thinking ALL babies are easy and might even judge other parents for having a hard time – I begrudgingly wish all the judger parents will have terrors for second children.

Porter gave us a hell of an introduction to parenthood, but the sleep deprivation was the most challenging part. It wasn’t that he was still waking up to feed, it was several wakings per night from pain because he had chronic double ear infections from about four months to eight and a half months, before we finally resorted to ear tubes. So the wakings were more dramatic than just a nursing session – he was upset, often had a fever and suffered from chronic diarrhea from the antibiotics.

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Just before his surgery

But even after the tubes surgery, he still got ear infections! The difference was that the tubes relieved the pressure/pain and the infections were finally treatable. We would routinely go into the ENT to have his ear’s cleaned out, which was traumatizing because he had to be held down wearing a straight jacket and would stare at me with horror as he sobbed. Hello mom guilt.

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Our happy boy a few days after surgery

We just had a rough time. We wondered how the hell people have more than one kid.

Then suddenly, Porter’s illnesses stopped (aside from the common cold, etc.), the ear infections became less and less frequent, we were consistently sleeping through the night, the GERD was a thing of the past and we felt like we could breath.

Then baby fever started to kick in, and bam, we conceived.

We went from, “holy shit how do people have more than one kid” to “I sort of get now how people have more than one kid” to “let’s have another kid” to “we’re due in March with our second kid” in a very short timeframe.

 

So here we are, preparing for baby number two, hoping and praying we get a little lucky this second time around. Would love a relatively painless c-section, no GERD, no constant illnesses, no chronic ear issues, a baby that likes to be worn, a baby that lets us sleep longer than three hour stretches sooner than eight and a half months.

Porter, we love you and wouldn’t change anything about you. You made us stronger as a family and you’ve grown to be the sweetest most loving two year old boy ever. I predict you will be a gentile giant – a big boy with a big heart. But I can say with 100 percent certainty that we just don’t have it in us to have another you ever again. So please, baby Preston, cut your parents some slack and be jackpot baby.

If you have any good baby vibes to send our way, please do. We need them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit

We’re having another boy and I’m so embarrassed to admit that I was a little bummed when I saw the 12 week old wee wee reveal itself during a genetic testing ultrasound. Hello spread eagle! At that very moment of disappointment, I also felt guilty for feeling anything other than joy. It really was like the devil in one ear and an angel in the other.IMG_5044 (1)

Angel

  • What a gift that we’ve been blessed with another healthy pregnancy
  • Look at that sweet little man moving around in there
  • We have another sweet son on the way
  • Porter will have that an unbreakable brotherly bond I’ve heard about
  • I’m growing another human that’s half me, half the man I love
  • Little boys supposedly love their moms more than girls do during the teenage years
  • No weddings to pay for
  • I get to reuse most of Porter’s stuff and save a little money
  • I’m having a baby, what is there to be upset about?

Devil

  • You’ve always imagined having a girl
  • You’ll never have a girl
  • You’ll never have that mother/daughter bond
  • You’ll never get to do her nails and take her shopping
  • You’ll never…the list goes on

What the hell! Get out of my head Debbie Downer! What’s crazy annoying is that pregnancy hormones do so many things…why can’t they block these negative feelings too? If anything, they probably perpetuated the negative feelings even more!

Thankfully, I didn’t go as far as to cry during the ultrasound and I snapped out of it by the next day. But it really did take a day for me to process this and feel genuinely excited about another boy. The good news is we want three, so there’s still a chance. But I think the real lesson here is that you’re going to have what you’re meant to have and you need to be happy with it.

“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” — heard of that saying IMG_5060from when you were a kid? It’s often used in juvenile contexts, but it actually has some truth/depth to it and the lesson behind it sounds frighteningly similar to my favorite quote by my favorite philosopher, written in my favorite book.  I read it while studying Philosophy in college and it seriously changed how I process life.

“everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl, A Man’s Search for Meaning

My circumstances are that at some point in March, Ill be the mother of two boys whom I love with all of my being and I get to raise them with the man I love more than I ever thought possible. So that’s my choice. I choose excitement and celebration for this wonderful life we’ve created and sometimes I’ll take my niece shopping and paint her nails.