This first Trimester has truly been a whirlwind for our family. Since I didn’t yet blog while I was pregnant with Oliver, I wanted to make sure to document a lot more this time around. And this time around is SO incredibly different that it is worth documenting. This is going to be a bit long, but only because our journey of getting here was quite long and much of a roller coaster.
Trying to get Pregnant
Yes, we were trying to get pregnant. We “officially” started trying in January and I knew it would probably take a while. When Covid-19 hit, I definitely was okay with not being pregnant right away with all the times of uncertainty and stories of women I was hearing about having to deliver during a pandemic. We backed off trying for a little bit. At the end of April/beginning of May, I had a wacky long period out of nowhere that really left me wondering if everything was okay with me. A trip to the OBGYN didn’t give me many answers and I definitely thought I wouldn’t get pregnant until my body started to regulate a bit more. When I didn’t get my period at the end of May/beginning of June, I didn’t get suspicious. I had just had this irregular period a month and a half ago so maybe my body needed a break. A week or so later, I started feeling nauseous all the time and started to have other symptoms of pregnancy. I took a couple of pregnancy tests (and yes they should have been positive at this point), but they all came back negative. I was perplexed.
Weird Symptoms and No Answers
After calling my doctor I was told that if I’m getting negative pregnancy tests there is no way I’m pregnant. I was stumped. Next stop was my PCP for some bloodwork trying to figure out what else could be wrong with me. I also started to get short of breath more often and struggled wearing my mask everyday. All my blood work came back normal, and my doctor encouraged me to think about restarting anti-depressants. I am not against taking them, they saved me during postpartum depression, but I knew I wasn’t feeling or acting depressed. Back to the OBGYN I went stating my symptoms–nauseous, tired, occasional tinges of pain, and no period. My doctor told me I likely wasn’t ovulating and started to discuss whether I wanted to start fertility treatments soon. He gave me all the information to discuss with my husband. I asked him to humor me with a blood pregnancy test just to be sure and I got a number of other bloodwork done to check hormone levels. At this point, I was starting to accept that getting pregnant would take way longer than I expected and I started to process what it might be like to have to do fertility treatments. I was sad, but I was processing this information. Pregnancy was not in the cards for us anytime soon. The next day my doctor called me and said, “Well I have an answer for why you’ve been feeling sick and not having a period. . . You’re pregnant.” To say that I was shocked was an understatement, I had just spent the last 24 hour accepting that pregnancy was something far away for my family and the nausea was just “in my head”.
But how pregnant am I?!?
When we found out, it was only a few days before we were headed out of town to upstate NY. Since I had an irregular period before, and negative pregnancy tests, I was really unsure of how far along I was. My doctor guessed less than 8 weeks and told me it would be fine to come in for an appointment once I returned from my trip. But, a few days into my trip, more bloodwork came back and mt doctor called me telling me that I was likely further along and needed to come in sooner. I consulted to make sure I could finish out my trip and he said that was fine as long as I had no abnormal symptoms. Then, on the 3rd of July, my doctor called me again and I knew it had to be important because who calls going into a holiday weekend. More bloodwork had come back and my Progesterone levels were low, a little too low. All I knew about progesterone was that it’s the hormone that helps sustain pregnancy and a friend of mine who had several miscarriages had low progesterone. I tried not to panic, but I was worried. I started taking a progesterone supplement on the 4th of July and prayed for the best. We returned back safely from our trip and I was looking forward to my ultrasound. Then the day of my ultrasound, I got a phone call that the ultrasound technician was sick and it would need to be reschedule for the next week! Next week?!?! I about lost my mind. Most likely, I was 9 or 10 weeks at this point, but ultimately had no clue and was terrified that something was wrong with the baby. I tried to get an ultrasound with another practice in the group, but they didn’t have any open appointments in the Chicagoland area for the next week! The next week I not so patiently waited a week and a day and finally got my ultrasound on July 16. And everything was okay!! I got to see the sweetest little soul moving around inside me. Two little feet, two perfect hands, and the most beautiful sound ever, that strong heartbeat.
Are we going to find out the Gender?
Yes we will, not really sure when and not sure if we’ll do a gender reveal. I didn’t do one with Ollie (only for fun with a few friends) and honestly any gender is fine with me, as long as this baby is healthy. When I was pregnant with Ollie, I was convinced I was having a girl and desperately wanted a girl. I was almost in shock when I found out it was a boy and a little sad if I’m being honest. Since then, of course I’ve changed my mind and absolutely love being a boy Mom! Also since then, I’ve seen a lot of Mama’s lose children, deal with disabilities and serious illnesses and now we are dealing with this pandemic–all of these have shifted my perspective and have helped realize health is so previous and valued.
When am I due?
January 31 to be exact. Ollie was 40 weeks and 4 days and was induced because my fluid was too low. I am curious to see if this repeats itself with this baby (going full-term that is), but again, hoping for a safe and healthy delivery above everything. It will be different having a winter baby and I think I may like it more since we live in the Chicago suburbs and basically have to stay inside anyway from December-March, so I might as well have a newborn. When I had Ollie at the beginning of June, I felt that I missed my whole summer because I was living in the newborn funk and entirely too sleep-deprived.
Are you nervous about having PPD/PPA again?
A little bit because it is frightening to know ahead of time that my mood may completely change (like I’d rather not know that this is going to happen-kind of a thing). However, I do feel 1000% more prepared to deal with PPD. It is reassuring that I already have an established therapist who specializes in PPD, I know which medication helps me (and happens to be safe during pregnancy and nursing), and I know what support I may need. I also now know what it’s like to have a newborn and feel much more confident in my parenting abilities. There will definitely be a learning curve going from 1 to 2, but I am surprisingly more calm about it right now. I do think it is because we waited a while before trying for a second baby, emotionally I think I would have struggled so much more if I had a second when Ollie was 1.5-2.5. Nothing against anyone who has kids with that spacing, I just know that I wasn’t in a good state of mind during those times.
Click to read my take on postpartum life and how much I struggled after having Ollie; I wrote this in the thick of my postpartum depression, which didn’t start until Ollie was about 4 months old.
It changes everyday…literally! The only thing that has been consistent is my cravings for LIFE cereal (have you tried it?!?!?) and mostly having an aversion to meat (I usually LOVE meat!). Oh and fresh lemonade, I have been LOVING lemonade! It’s also been an adjustment getting much more stomach sickness this pregnancy. I’ve only thrown up twice, but I gag at least 10 times a day (sorry for the TMI). With Ollie I felt slightly nauseous and threw up once, but never had any gagging and actually ate tons during the first trimester. Otherwise, I basically hate cooking and want different takeout different days. Food wise and symptom-wise this has felt like a slightly different pregnancy.
So tell me, how was your second pregnancy different than your first? Do you relate to my struggles with postpartum emotions? Share in the comments.