10 March 2014

Baby #2 FAQ

After sharing our news with you last week, I thought you might be curious about other aspects of this pregnancy and our growing wee one. I'll do it in Q&A format so that you can pick and choose what interests you and how much you really care to know.

#1 most asked question: How are you feeling?
I'm not asked this nearly as often with this being baby #2, so it's actually kind of refreshing. Last time around, I remember being so tired of it by the end of the pregnancy.

I'm feeling really good at the moment. Now that I'm solidly into my second trimester, I actually have times where I - gulp - forget that I'm pregnant. Even though that first trimester isn't so far behind me, I'm already starting to forget the symptoms I felt. Ain't nature grand?

Mentally, I have to admit feeling a lot of guilt. Over the last several years, I have heard so many stories of women (personally known and unknown to me) losing fetuses in pregnancy and having a hard time getting pregnant that I feel a little guilty (and a lot honored) about being able to carry this little guy. It wasn't that long, but in the time it took us to get pregnant this time, I got a tiny taste of what it must be like to deal with fertility issues. As excited as I am for our little guy, I want to be sensitive to those who are still waiting for their positive test. I do plan to share plenty of baby stuff on the blog, but I probably won't be sharing quite as much in other spaces (ahem, Facebook).

How was your first trimester and how does it compare with your last pregnancy?
I felt fantastic (and completely paranoid that I wasn't really pregnant) until two days before I hit six weeks. Weeks six, seven, eight, and part of nine were terrible. I was exhausted and nauseous basically around the clock. I didn't want to get off the couch, ever. I told George this would be our last child (that's never been the plan, and I've since come back to my senses). As I tried to deal with my nausea like I did when I had it with Madeleine, I actually made it worse because it was actually reflux rather than traditional nausea. The reflux and exhaustion continued on-and-off, made better with a healthy reliance on Tums (yuck!) through 12 weeks. That's when I picked up a terrible nearly month-long cold that ushered away my first trimester symptoms.

With Madeleine, I had dull, around the clock nausea any time that my stomach dropped below full from about six weeks until well into my 16th week. I don't remember it ever being as intense as those really terrible weeks that I had this time, but it definitely lasted longer.

How far along are you now?
Little known fact outside the prego world: there are multiple ways of counting the weeks of pregnancy. I consider myself to be x weeks once I have completed that many weeks, so I'll be 40 weeks when I reach my due date. Right now, I'm 16 weeks...right in the middle of my 17th week of pregnancy.

Are you showing?
Uh, yeah. That stuff "they" say about second pregnancies is true. Virtually everything happens sooner and in a more intense fashion. I started wearing different clothes at about the same time in this pregnancy as last, around 10 weeks, but this time I had to skip the buy-bigger-normal-clothes step and go straight into maternity clothes. I try to look back at pregnancy photos from last time and figure out how big I look. Some days, I'm convinced that I currently look how I did at about 30 weeks with Madeleine. In reality, I think I'm probably showing about a month ahead, which I think is pretty normal for subsequent pregnancies.

How much weight have you gained?
Just to be clear, this is not an acceptable question - pregnant or not. But, I feel like I should share a bit on this topic because it's been on my mind. When I was pregnant with Madeleine, I never remember being concerned with my weight. I ate more produce but otherwise ate as I pleased, including an unhealthy amount of burgers (yet Madeleine still doesn't really like them - what?!). In the end, I gained 50-60 pounds and was left with the daunting task of postpartum weight loss.

I went into this pregnancy about 20 pounds heavier than I started my pregnancy with Madeleine, and I am surprised at how paranoid I've been about weight gain. I weigh myself almost every day to keep a close eye on things, though let's be clear that I am in no way shape or form dieting. Ideally, I'd like to only gain the minimum healthy amount for someone my size, but I realize it'll still probably be more. So far, I've gained about half of what I'd like to gain in the end, and I'm a month from being halfway through the pregnancy. I'll be interested to see what my gain pattern is this time around (last time, most of it came in the first and second trimesters with very little at the end, which is unusual).

Are you having any cravings?
The only thing I've loved even more than normal this pregnancy is a solid green salad with ranch dressing. I'm more satisfied after any meal that includes one and have yet to tire of them. Otherwise, my cravings are no more than a strong version of "I really feel like [fill in the blank] today." This is a vast improvement from my potato chip, burger, and beef cravings during my pregnancy with Madeleine.

Are you feeling him yet?
Yes, sort of. I can feel little wisps from time to time and in certain positions. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy, so I am really looking forward to big movements, especially when he can be felt from the outside. Madeleine already gives him daily pats, so it'll be fun for him to "pat" back.

What does Madeleine think?
Madeleine loves babies right now. She is always interested in them when we're out and about, loves to read books about babies, and loves to carry her baby (and cat) around the house. When we told her (not until after the 12-week ultrasound and we were ready to share with others because our little girl is very chatty), we started by asking her if she would like to have a baby at our house. YES! When I told her that there was a baby in my belly that would be in our house in a few months, she lifted up my shirt to see for herself. She now believes that her baby brother could be in any stomach, including hers and her dad's. When I see her light up at hearing "brother" or say "bruddah" for herself, I know that she is going to be a good big sister.

How did you find out the gender?
Technically speaking, we found out the gender as a happy side product of doing a genetic blood test. It still amazes me that a couple tubes of my blood gives enough baby DNA for genetic screening and, of course, gender. (Fortunately, the rest of the genetic test results look good.)

The actual gender reveal is a bit more involved. A friend of ours graciously volunteered to help us have a gender reveal that was not just a girl/boy call from the doctor's office. The results were due while George was in Europe on business, so our friend prepared two gift bags for each of us. Each bag contained a blue and a pink balloon, one of which would inflate to reveal the gender. When the gender results were in, we asked our doctor's office to share them with our friend instead of us, and she told us to use the balloons in the orange bag. Via Hangout, George and I both put both balloons in our mouths to see the pink ones leaking air and the blue ones inflating. It was really fun (and shocking because we both whole heartedly thought this was a girl)!

Girl. Boy. Done? 
Nope, at least that's not the current plan.

Do you have names picked out?
Naming Madeleine was the hardest decision of the pregnancy, and it's looking like that's going to be the case again. When we had to pick a girl name, we thought boy names were so easy - not so now that we're in the land of boy names. I suspect we'll have serious discussions for several weeks (months even) until we try out a couple and see if one sticks over the others. Like last time, the name will remain a secret until the baby is born. In the mean time, we really need to find a good in utero nickname.

What plans do you have for the nursery?
Of course I have nursery plans. When we moved into our house, we knew which room would be the next nursery, so we never established it as having any function more than holding a bunch of unused picture frames. Even before this baby was on board, we hired someone to install built-ins and crown moulding in the room. This last week, we had the room painted. Stay tuned for a bit of a sneak peek.

1 comment:

Janie said...

Info, info, info. Now I am up to date!