What was it like getting pregnant this time around?
It was definitely different than with Miles. We had just started going to infertility treatments and had our first IUI a week before the quarantine. The IUI wasn’t successful and all ongoing treatments were canceled due to Covid. I was feeling very defeated. We had just gotten started and now I had to face the prospect of going MONTHS without help.
But, then it happened, sort of unexpectedly. I wrote a whole post about getting pregnant this time around that I’ll link here.
How did you know you were ready for baby 2?
We knew we were ready for baby 2 pretty much immediately. We never DIDN’T try to get pregnant. Miles made our family feel SO complete, but it still feels like it’s not done growing. I think our family is just ready for a new baby.
That being said, I think a lot of thought should go into having a baby, whether it’s your first or second, or third. I think many people feel pressure to have a baby or then to have a sibling for their first. They may feel pressure from family or just society in general. You really got to go with your gut.
Tips for surviving pregnancy with a toddler?
Oh boy, it’s a ride.
The first trimester was the hardest. I was so exhausted and had awful morning sickness. The best tip is just take it as slow as you can. I adopted the whole “nap when the baby naps” rule again when Miles would take his naps. I let myself not worry too much about keeping up with work and the house because I knew it wasn’t forever. I also definitely leaned on Michael a lot for help.
Since I was pregnant earlier in the quarantine we didn’t have any additional help (no babysitter, family visiting, etc.). It was definitely harder and different than I thought it’d be for my second pregnancy but also totally survivable. I know a lot of people worry about having a second baby because of this and all I can tell you is it’s a phase. It comes and goes quicker than you think.
Not really anything crazy. I had wicked food aversions with Miles but haven’t had that this time around. With my first trimester, I craved a lot of avocado toast. I also ate white fish with a garlic caper sauce like every 5 days, haha.
Now I don’t really have any big cravings besides certain days when I just want to eat a lot of carbs.
How do you not just eat ALL THE CARBS?
Haha so the perfect transition to this question. Some days are easier than others. In general, I don’t deprive myself of any foods. I use intuitive eating when not pregnant and try to follow the same idea when pregnant. It’s about listening to my body, eating when I’m hungry, stopping when I’m full, etc.
Yes, pregnancy makes this harder, haha! I have some days when all I want is carbs. And, again, it’s about listening to my body and knowing if I am craving the carbs because I’m legitimately hungry and my body needs carbohydrates, or because I’m dehydrated, or tired, or bored?
I also try to focus on good quality carbs when I can and pairing them with helpful food (proteins and fibers) to help them keep me full. For example, choosing a seeded multigrain bread over white bread. Or eating apple slices with almonds.
Are you stressed about having two babies/transitioning to two kids?
Kinda yes, kinda no. I’d say overall I’m not that worried about it. I’m very excited about having another baby. I can’t wait for her to be here. I can’t wait to give Miles a sibling.
Yes, I know it’s going to be a challenge. I’m well aware some days will just be utter chaos. I’m sure many tears will be shed amongst myself and both my babies as we all try to make it through. I know juggling two babies that need me will be hard and in some moments I just won’t be able to tend to both of them right when they need me.
I know Going from 0 to 1 baby was a BIG adjustment for Michael and me. We had lived together for over 13 years when Miles arrived, we very much had our ways of doing things and our routine. While we loved Miles with every fiber of our being… it also was a really hard adjustment. Now, we’re currently in a really good routine with Miles, and I know a newborn is going to flip that upside down once again. But, I also know, just like with everything else, it’s a temporary phase. Just like we found our footing and routine when we went from 0 to 1, we’ll do it again as a family of 4.
How do you handle low energy?
It’s a balancing act.
One of the hardest parts of being pregnant for me is having to share my body with someone else. When I have things I want to accomplish I tend to have a “power through it” mentality. I’ll set the early alarm, have the extra cup of coffee, push through a hard project, and skip meals to finish something. I’m aware this isn’t necessarily so healthy, lol, it’s just who I am. I will neglect some extra sleep or lift something too heavy in order to get something done.
With pregnancy, I can’t always do this. I have more than just myself to think about with these choices I put my body through. This includes choosing to eat better, take rests, and asking for help lifting a heavy box at IKEA.
The reason I’m saying all this is because not in pregnancy, my answer to this question would usually be “power through it!” Like, make some coffee, put on some jams, and do it. In pregnancy, I have to adjust. My best tips are:
- Utilize the power nap. It’s amazing what a 15-minute snooze at 1pm can do to my energy level for the rest of the day. I never was a napper before this, it usually takes me too long to fall asleep. But, with pregnancy, a toddler, and a business to run, I find I can usually doze off in under 10 minutes and set an alarm to wake up. The key is to keep it SHORT. Too long of a nap leaves me feeling awful and groggy. 20 minutes or less.
- Readjust your internal clock. I keep getting asked how I wake up at 5am while pregnant, but I’ve just adjusted my internal clock this way. I 100% believe anyone can move their internal clock whichever way they want. I know this because I’ve done it myself from earlier to later and vice versa. I need to write a whole blog post on it, but the general idea is you’re going to wake up earlier in 30-minute intervals until you’re at your desired wake time. You’ll move back earlier every 4-5 days, giving your body a chance to adjust. Then, know that once you’re at the desired wake up time, it could take your body about 2 weeks to catch up, BUT IT WILL. The key is to wake around the same time every day, this allows the internal clock to set. While I’ve always been more of a morning person, you could have never convinced me 4 years ago that I’d willingly and naturally wake at 5am, but I can and do.
- Take it easy. Listen, at the end of the day you’re growing a human. Go easy on yourself. I don’t let myself use pregnancy as an excuse to not do things or get out of tasks, but when I’m truly tired or my body needs a break, I listen.
What’s the biggest difference between this pregnancy and your last?
This pregnancy is a lot less stressful. Firstly, I’m not coming off two miscarriages AND I already have a little one to love. It’s honestly a lot easier in that regard. With Miles’ pregnancy, I spent a lot of time worrying about another loss. I also just had a lot more time to worry.
I also feel a lot more good anticipation this time around. I was obviously so excited for Miles to be here. But this time around I kind of have an idea of what it’s actually like to have a newborn and how special and perfect it is. I cannot wait to look down at a 1-hour old baby, to enjoy those milk drunk snuggles, or for those first gummy grins.
As far as symptoms go, this pregnancy has been more uncomfortable in the sense that I suffered awful morning sickness with this pregnancy. I had some morning sickness with Miles, but this time around was at least 4-5x worse. Baby 2 is also sitting lower. I’ve read this can often happen in second/third pregnancies as you’re looser and more stretched out. It puts more strain on my lower back and pelvic bone. I’m definitely just overall more uncomfortable. Sometimes her kicks can even cause some discomfort depending on where she is, which I didn’t have with Miles.
Any early pregnancy symptoms this time around?
I had NO early symptoms with Miles. This time around I was EXHAUSTED right off the bat. Before I had even taken a pregnancy test I was so tired that week. I was actually taking midday hour-long naps which aren’t like me. I remember thinking maybe I was tired because of PMS since my period was coming. Morning sickness also started MUCH earlier this time, around 6 weeks.
Morning sickness tips PLEASE!
I don’t have any amazing cure-all. It’s honestly one of those things to just endure, which is a bummer. But these are the things that helped me take the edge off:
- Ginger candy or ginger gum
- Sipping morning sickness tea (I use this one)
- All the saltines. Like, so many saltines.
- Vitamin B6
- Ginger ale was my go-to when nothing else worked.
Have you thought about how you’ll introduce Miles to the new baby?
Not a ton, haha! Time to start thinking.
I just started researching new baby books for him because he is good at grasping concepts in books and I think it’ll help him. We talk to him about the baby but he doesn’t honestly know what’s going on. In some ways, it’s just going to be a big surprise to him and so I’m just accepting that I can only prepare him (and myself) so much for going from 1 to 2.
How do you handle body image and weight gain during pregnancy?
I feel like I probably handle it about the same as most women. I absolutely love watching my growing bump, but I also struggle with body image during pregnancy. I think it’s impossible not to. Your body changes a lot. It’s normal to miss your regular pants or struggle with the added weight on your body.
Let me first say that you need to try to stop comparing yourself to other pregnant women. With social media, as women, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to other women. I think this becomes even more so when pregnant. We look at other pregnant women online and they appear so much less bloated, or so much more fit, and they are still working out, and their arms are SO SKINNY…HOW?! Personally, I refuse to let myself look at these. Firstly, understand that some women obsess over fitness and every calorie they eat (during pregnancy or not). I know I’m NOT this kind of woman (during pregnancy or not), and will not allow myself to compare myself to women like that. Next, try to remember that every body carries pregnancy differently. So, comparing how you carry your pregnancy to someone else is futile.
Second I want to say, I think the changes in our eating habits during pregnancy are a challenge for many women. And, it’s OK if you struggle with it, you’re not alone. You likely feel MORE hungry. Hormones can throw you off or make you feel certain food cravings. You’re trying to manage nausea and exhaustion which can also make us crave certain foods. All these things factor into what we choose to eat, and how much of it.
With my first pregnancy, I feel like I justified eating every single time I felt a little hungry because, well I was pregnant so I probably needed to eat. I also gained about 46 lbs with that pregnancy. This time around I’m trying to understand and manage that better by being more informed. I highly suggest the book Real Food For Pregnancy. I certainly DO NOT follow it like gospel by any means, but I do feel like it gave me a better overall understanding of an optimal pregnancy diet. And while I still have chocolate chip cookies or ice cream sundaes, I believe that overall the book helps me make better daily choices for what to eat and more importantly better understand what I really needed to eat. And, while weight isn’t everything in pregnancy (some women just gain more or less) I have gained less weight at this point in my pregnancy that I had with my first.
Are you nervous about giving birth at a hospital during Covid? Any additional concerns about being pregnant during Covid?
Being pregnant during Covid is a rollercoaster a little bit. It just adds a whole other layer onto everything. There’s really not tons of information out there about Covid and pregnancy. While women have gotten Covid while pregnant and gone on to deliver perfectly healthy babies, there also isn’t any research on if it could be impacting the baby in utero in any way. It’s certainly made me a little more cautious.
I’m not worried about giving birth in the hospital, per se. I don’t love the idea of labor in a mask (or my nurses and doctors having to wear them), but what can you do? I feel perfectly confident that my delivery room will be sanitized and clean.
My only real worry is the weeks leading up to delivery. I know that I’ll be rapid-tested upon entering the hospital and that if I test positive when in labor, they will likely take my baby away from me when she’s born to protect her from getting it. Because of this, we’re likely going to be EXTRA cautious in the 4 weeks leading up to my due date. It also makes planning for what we’ll be doing with Miles when I go into labor a little harder, too.
Tips for surviving pregnancy after a pregnancy loss?
Don’t Google things. I have a very strict rule around Googling pretty much anything in my pregnancy.
It’s a normal reaction to turn to Google with questions or google symptoms. This is especially true when you’ve had pregnancy loss because you’re worried every symptom is a miscarriage. But with pregnancy, I feel like Google is just a bad idea. It’s too vast without any clear answers and there are too many pregnancy forums with people sharing misinformation or telling a story that happened to them that could freak you out.
With my first pregnancy, I eventually had to tell my husband he was welcome to Google whatever he wanted but that I wasn’t going to believe anything unless it came from my doctor’s mouth.
Did you have PPD or postpartum anxiety with Miles? Are you doing anything to prepare this time?
I had mild postpartum anxiety with Miles, but no PPD. I don’t really plan to do anything to prepare other than to be informed and aware and make sure Michael is as well. So, that if I do suffer from anything this time around, we are more likely to be able to see and notice it, so I can seek help.
I’m a first time mom and can’t focus on anything but preparing! Tips?
Haha, I know the feeling! I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with that busybody nesting vibe we get into. I find lists help. I do brain dumps when my head gets too full of all the things I have to do and it helps me get it out of my head and onto paper.
If you’re really anxious, try picking up a little craft or DIY to preoccupy yourself. It can be something for the nursery or baby, but will give your hands and mind something to focus on.
Favorite maternity clothing picks?
A full blog post on this is in the works. I PROMISE.