When I was pregnant with Owen, I answered questions about the pregnancy and plans for when he arrived. So today I thought I’d do the same.
How did you know you were pregnant?
Well, I thought I was pregnant right away because I had some serious implantation pains. (Apologies if that was TMI, but it’s the truth.) Then, I magically gained nearly 10 pounds in 2 weeks. Since my eating habits didn’t change, I’m assuming (hoping) it’s water weight. But still, WTH? All of this was happening right when we were packing up the house, getting ready to close on both houses, and all that general craziness, so I didn’t end up taking a pregnancy test until 3 weeks later– coincidentally on the morning of our big move into the new house.
Were you trying or was it a surprise?
Read the next answer.
How did you tell Brad?
Well, since I found I was pregnant on the morning we moved I kept it a secret for 4 days before telling Brad because my parents and Brad’s dad were staying with us. I ran to Target and got a Big Brother shirt for Owen and put it on him. Owen was eating lunch and I said, “Owen, did you show daddy your shirt?” Brad looked at the shirt, read it, paused, looked at me, and then said the words every expectant wife longs to hear: “Really? The ONE time?” Yes, dear husband. The ONE time. Like they say, “It only takes one time.” We both started to laugh and Brad shook his head. And then we hugged and kissed. I joked that I’m lucky I took control of my fertility in my youth by utilizing Planned Parenthood to obtain birth control pills or I’d probably have a 14 year old right now.
In all seriousness, we know how truly lucky we are to get pregnant quickly. I have many friends who have struggled or are struggling with infertility, so our good fortune isn’t lost on us.
How did you tell your families?
We stuck to the shirt method. I bought Owen this shirt and had him wear it to inform everyone. We did have to call and text some people. In the text situations we sent the photo pictured below to people.
I recorded a lot of people’s reactions but let’s face it, this is kid number two so I’ve yet to create a video compilation like I did when we told everyone we were pregnant with Owen. But here’s us telling everyone we were pregnant with Owen in case you want to watch it instead.
How are you feeling?
I’m almost 17 weeks so I’m feeling better now than I did in the first trimester. I’ve felt more fatigued and nauseous this time around (I never puked though, so high five!) compared to Owen. Or at least it feels that way. My 3+ week long cold is starting to fade away. That was a major killer. I had to nap almost daily because I was so exhausted. It also didn’t help that I only took OTC meds when I thought I was near-death a couple times, so I mostly just suffered sans drugs the majority of the time. You’re welcome, no. 2.
I will also add that I experienced light spotting and light cramping with this pregnancy in my first trimester (intermittently from week 4 to week 11), which freaked me out because I didn’t with Owen. If you Google it, most sites will say those symptoms are common in the first trimester, but they’re still not the most comforting symptoms. I called my doctor’s office twice about it. The last time I called was toward the end of my first trimester. The nurse called me back and suggested I take it easy and rest, avoid sexual activity, and if I wanted, I could come in for an ultrasound the following week. I opted to take it easy over the weekend, tell Brad to say away from me, and go from there. I never had any spotting or cramping after that so I didn’t take them up on the ultrasound offer. So far everything is looking great. Anyway, I just wanted to share that tidbit in case anyone else is experiencing those symptoms and is quietly, or maybe not quietly, freaking out.
What are your cravings this time around?
In the beginning I craved protein, mostly eggs, a lot. But that’s subsided now. I also craved onion rings. But after I had them twice, that craving was satisfied. Like with Owen, I’ve been craving lemonade. Other than that, I haven’t really had any intense cravings.
Is the baby giving Owen a present? How are you preparing Owen to be a big brother?
Yeah, I figure we’ll do the gift thing.
In terms of preparation, we keep talking about how he’s such a big boy and a big brother. Although I slip a lot and call him my baby because I’m so used to calling him that. I need to get some big brother books so leave me your recs.
I also bought him this gender neutral play stroller when it was on sale and a baby doll. He LOVES the baby doll, especially the magnetic pacifier, and carries it around everywhere, sleeps with it, etc.
Is there anything (gear, etc) you are getting this time that you didn’t have with Owen? What do you have that you don’t think you’ll use?
I’m looking into the DockATot. That wasn’t out when I had Owen and I see it’s all the rage right now. We need a larger stroller that will fit two kids– that was one of my rookie mom mistakes. I’ve heard really good things about the SNOO but I know it’s super pricey. Am I missing any new gear? Someone fill me in.
We’ll have to get some new clothes no matter the sex of the baby. Because if it’s a boy, the clothing won’t match up in terms of sizing for a while because Owen was born in August and this baby will be born in early March.
I don’t know if we have anything we don’t think we’ll use. We’ll obviously sell our single stroller to free up space and to use the money toward the new stroller. (We’ll still keep the City Mini single stroller I bought off of Craigslist a couple years ago.)
Are you finding out gender?
Yeah, we’ll find out the sex. I wish I wasn’t a planner because I think being surprised at birth would be fun. But I want to be able to buy some clothes and start on the nursery.
Any fears or concerns of having another one?
Yeah, I’m sure I have all the normal mom to two concerns and fears. Will Owen feel neglected? Will he act out? Will I be able to function with the lack of sleep?
I know it’s going to take us longer to get out the door. And it’ll be harder to go out, in general, with two kids. I fear Owen running from me in a parking lot when I have my hands full. But Owen is typically pretty cautious and well-behaved, but who knows how throwing a sibling into the mix will affect him. He loves babies but we’ve never brought a baby home with us to stay, so that’s clearly going to be a shock to him. I think I’m going to have to share my lap a lot because Owen is definitely a mama’s boy.
I also fear never being able to get anything done. I loved soaking up the cuddly newborn stage with Owen. And I’m sure my hands are going to be full with a three and a half year old and a newborn.
I am afraid of my milk cyst coming back. In case you don’t remember, I had a 6 cm by 2 cm milk cyst, that constantly held 50 mL of breastmilk, in my right breast the entire 11 months I breastfed Owen. I had it aspirated multiple times and biopsied once when Owen was only 8 weeks old because they thought it was cancerous (it was benign). Altogether, it was a fairly traumatic, expensive, and uncomfortable thing to have to deal with. While it’s a lot smaller now, it was still there at the time of my last ultrasound. I continue to see my breast surgeon every 6 months to get it checked. I have an appointment with her at the end of October so I’m sure we’ll talk about the milk cyst and breastfeeding. Although she’s already told me there’s a 50/50 chance it’ll come back. That being said, I fully intend on breastfeeding again unless my surgeon advises me otherwise.
Do you have any gut feeling what it is?
I had a gut feeling Owen was a boy, but I don’t have an inclination with this one.
Did you attempt to plan for there for be a certain age gap between Owen and Baby #2? If so, what was your reasoning?
We did. I know some people have the rationale that if siblings are closer in age, they’ll be more close in their bond throughout life, but we don’t really believe in that. We think personalities play into that a lot more than age, and you clearly roll the dice with personality traits.
We always wanted them to be at least 3 years apart in age so they could have their own lives. (Owen will be almost exactly 3.5 when this baby is born.) We also wanted to be able to enjoy Owen for a while before we added more chaos (another human to care for) into our lives.
On a personal level, I wanted to give my body more than enough time to recover from carrying Owen for 9 months, the c-section, 11 months of breastfeeding, and the milk cyst. I also wanted time to lose most of the baby weight I gained with Owen, which stuck to me like glue during those 11 months of breastfeeding. I wanted my body to be only mine for a while.
Are you hoping for a VBAC or scheduling a c-section?
I’m hoping and planning for a VBAC. My doctor is on board, which is great. She said that there’s really no telling if I’ll have oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) again like I did with Owen, which led to my (failed) induction and subsequent c-section.
Would you do new house and baby #2 at the same time again?
Well I got pregnant a few weeks before we were scheduled to move in, and at the time, we thought the house would be completed and we wouldn’t be dealing with all the issues we’re currently experiencing. Plus, I’m kooky about birth months, and I didn’t want this kid to have a December, January, or late spring/summer birthday– just my personal preference. So our let’s-get-pregnant window was kind of narrow due to me being neurotic about that.
Assuming I deliver on my due date, we’ll have lived here for 8 months so I feel like that’s enough time to get settled into a house and prepare for a baby. I’d do it again if I knew the house wasn’t going to be a cluster for 3 months post-move in.
What are you planning to do differently, if anything, this time around?
That’s easy– get my epidural sooner. Not kidding.
Oh I don’t know. I guess it’ll depend on the baby. Owen was such a good baby. He slept for long periods at night from the get-go (11PM-5:00AM), which was amazing. And he breastfed like a champ once we got the hang of it. He also took bottles like a champ. We’ll maybe try to transition this baby to his/her crib sooner. Owen ended up co-sleeping with us from 6 months to about 12 months, and I had no issues with it. Brad wasn’t the biggest fan though. But then it only took Owen a week or two to transition into his crib in his nursery. So I guess we’ll just roll with it and see.
What hospital classes are/aren’t worth it, especially when they cost money?
We did the birthing class and the breastfeeding class at our hospital. But they were only $30 a pop for Brad and me to attend each class, so $60 total. In hindsight, I wish we also would’ve attended the c-section class just as a precaution. I’m the type of person who likes to be prepared so when I was diagnosed with oligohydramnios and told I had a 50/50 chance of having a c-section, I freaked out. I ended up calling and texting friends who had c-sections and reading stuff online, but I still wish I would’ve taken the class.
I will add that our hospital also offered e-learning classes for $20 so maybe look around online for some of those. I’d definitely try to attend a breastfeeding class in-person though.
I also highly suggest taking an infant/child CPR and choking course. Or at the very least, read this. I kept it on the home screen of my phone until Owen was two, just in case I’d need it. I’d open it up and read it every month or so as a refresher.
And make sure you utilize your lactation consultant during your postpartum stay at the hospital (even if you have to tell your nurse 10 times that I want to see the LC). I requested to see the LC every day. And I even went to see her a week after giving birth to Owen (because of that damn milk cyst).
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