Weeks 4-8: All a blur. A miserable, exhausting blur.
Week 9: We heard a tiny little heartbeat for all of 3 seconds. It was so fleeting I wasn't even sure I heard it. I started taking pre-natals 3x a day, DHA and omegas, vitamin c with flavanoids, women's probiotics, and 4,000 iu of Vitamin D. While I do think nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy, supplementing with vitamins and minerals is also important. I've got a stash.
Week 10: Continuation of the miserable blur, except now I know there is a baby in there, which makes the sickness and bloated fat feeling a little more worth it.
Weeks 11-12: I start to see the light. I only felt like puking if I got hungry...which was basically all the time. The baby is being grown on fruit and cheerios at this point. This is around the time we shared our announcement last time.
Summary of First Trimester: With this baby I had been dizzy and lightheaded since day one, which was actually one of the reasons I took a pregnancy test to begin with. Apparently this is a real thing...I had no idea! Did anyone else suffer from dizziness? It's unfortunate because I couldn't do any of my normal workouts for fear of passing out, and I had to lie down a lot and stay off my feet to help the feeling go away. I also suffered through the usual nausea, headaches, extreme fatigue, carb laden hunger cravings (bread, bread, bread). Anything healthy made me want to gag (hello, body, opposite of what we need!). Anyway, as most of you know, that first trimester is all about survival. And with a toddler running around, it isn't for the weak of heart.
Week 14: Into the second trimester. I look like I'm 20 weeks pregnant. I'm not even joking. Residual Ben belly, bread belly, stretched out uterus, and baby combined. I started feeling down about my body, after working so hard to lose weight and get in shape it feels strange to be going the opposite direction in terms of body shape. We had a tiny worry this week with a light bleed, which I know can be normal. My midwife said to take it easy, which I took to mean we should go for an 8 mile hike into the mountains.
Cannon Beach for my 30th Birthday this week. I think I did a pretty stellar job of hiding that bump with the ergo for an online photo share! :)
Week 18: I will often go through much of the day forgetting I'm even pregnant, which is easy to do while taking care of a toddler 24/7 and running a household. We went to our hometown and spent a lovely weekend on the farm. Along with bringing home chicken, beef, eggs, squash, and tuna, I also brought home a deeeelightful sinus/ear infection/cold/flu something crappy that laid me up in bed for nearly a WEEK! I thought my ear drums were going to blow out and writhed around in agony begging for Nyquil or something to knock me out. But wait...pregnant. Being pregnant, and sick, with a toddler, is not fun. I'm grateful for my husband in all ways possible.
Week 19: After surviving what felt like the plague, we had to skip out on a hike we had really wanted to do, which was a bummer, but we did spend a fun evening at a local park playing on the beach. I had my first two chiropractic appointments this week, and let me just say how amazing I feel already. I wish I would have had regular body care with my first pregnancy. My chiropractor is also a midwife and works mostly with pregnant mamas, so I feel super comfortable with how well she knows the changing female body. We already discovered my pelvis needed some adjustments, as well as my neck. I will continue care with her throughout the pregnancy and will have her assist during labor and birth if I need her for help with positioning.
Last but not least, we celebrated Ben's second birthday with an early party! It was a really great afternoon with friends and family, and you better believe I indulged in a cupcake. Or two.
Week 20: Well, here we are, going into week 20 and the big anatomy scan! I was mostly worried about whether my placenta was anterior or posterior, and I'm happy to report that it's sitting in a great position, and won't interfere with my scar. Baby has all fingers and toes accounted for, healthy kidneys, heart, and brain. I used to take for granted what a blessing a 'healthy baby' was, but now we are overjoyed the baby is healthy!! Baby was busy, busy, busy during the scan and I could feel all the rolls and bumps. This is probably the one and only time we will see baby on the screen before joining us in our arms in a few months, so we soaked up the experience.
Okay, I know what you are really all waiting for. You want to know the status of this babe's genitals. I tried (really) to do a cute gender reveal photo with balloons, but it just didn't work out like my vision. Haha! In any event, Ben enjoyed it because we let him pop the balloons with a tack, which he thought was great.
It's true! Ben is going to have a little SISTER!! Honestly, we are shocked. To the core. Shocked. We really thought we would be having another boy! Watching my husband's face when she told us 'girl', was quite entertaining! It took him a while to soak in the information, and the whole way home in the car we both kept saying, "oh my gosh, we're going to have a daughter!" Baby girl is estimated at 12 ounces, which is exactly what they expect for 20 weeks along. I was surprised because I felt like I was growing another ape child (Ben was 10.1 at birth) given the size of my ever-growing belly.
If you're new here, you should definitely read the traumatic birth story of our first son, Ben. I suffered through PPD and struggled for months. I spent the last two years healing, both physically and emotionally. I did a lot of writing, reflecting, talking, and crying. I joined a cesarean support group, which was a Godsend from above. I began reading even more about birth, the process of pregnancy, the way our bodies are designed to work, and the healthcare system. There was never a doubt in my mind I would be planning a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). I suspect I'll be sharing and talking about that a lot here.
Needless to say, our approach to care is drastically different with this pregnancy. At this point in my pregnancy with Ben, I'd already been threatened, pushed into unnecessary tests, had three ultrasounds, multiple urine samples, blood draws, and weight checks. This time, I wanted to be loved and cared for as a person, I wanted my feelings to be honored, and I wanted to work with someone who truly believed in shared decision making, as well as a philosophy of hands off care. Other than today, we haven't had a single ultrasound. We have said no thank you to all the tests. My midwife hugs me, loans me books, asks about my whole life, and genuinely cares about me. She believes that even though my first baby was born through the scar on my stomach, there is nothing wrong with me and that I should be treated like any normal and healthy pregnant mother. She spends as much time as I need with her at every appointment. I don't have to pee in a cup, weigh myself, or get undressed. It's like a dream. I can't even believe how good it feels to know that I get to go into labor my way, with supportive women surrounding me, without a fight.
This is about me trusting and loving my body, to do what it was designed for. I don't need to be poked and prodded unnecessarily. I don't need to have someone induce fear in my mind. I don't need to be a 'patient number', being told which protocols to follow and lied to by anyone. I deserve honesty, and choices. Being pregnant isn't an illness, it's a natural process that women have done for thousands of years. It's wild, it's raw, it's mind and body. I'm focusing on letting myself feel as natural as possible, acting and doing however I feel comfortable this time around, without worrying about what society says I should do/think/say/feel.
The team we've put together for this pregnancy and birth are A+. Seriously A++. We have our midwife, midwife assistant, doula, and secondary doula who will also serve as a postpartum support person for me.
I feel so at peace in this pregnancy, and I can't wait for our journey to birth and the ultimate outcome of holding our second child in my arms. Definitely, more to come.
In light and love,