Friday, May 11, 2012

Three's a Party, Four's a Crowd

Yep, looks like we are moving to “crowd” status! Tommy and I found out a few days before Easter that we are pregnant. We are so excited to experience this again together and add to the dynamics of our family. We kept it a secret from everyone for the first few days, just us two knowing. That’s always such a tender time to me, when we are the only ones who know. :) We told our families on Easter and sent out these cards to a few friends, asking them to keep it a secret, too. 

P.S. They don't make SugarMamas anymore. They stopped in the 80's. Disappointing, huh? So we improvised. And then a week or two later, I just had this candy sitting out on my dresser and it's been SO long since I've eaten it, so I tried the Sugar Babies.... and after picking two little pieces out of my teeth for an hour, I decided that they make much better pregnancy announcements than they do candy. :p 

We actually wanted to wait a bit later to announce it publicly, but much like with Abi Kate, I couldn’t hide it well anymore. At 8 weeks, I had a visible baby belly and my pants completely stopped buttoning/zipping. My babies like to make their presence known. Welcome back, belly band. :)

People always want to know if you were “trying” or not, which is always really funny to me because that’s basically dispelling the secrets of your sex life. But I will sacrifice myself on the altar of dignity for inquiring minds-- our answer is yes and no. We knew we wanted to really start trying for a baby in the coming months, we’ve always wanted our children to be about 2 years apart, and we assumed it would take a few months to get pregnant because it took a few purposeful months to bring us Abi Kate. We use Natural Family Planning, so I chart and all that entails. In March, we decided just to forgo the charting, ignore any and all signs of fertility, and only have sex when we wanted to, no “trying” involved. We knew we could possibly get pregnant but didn’t think we would. In fact, I thought we’d probably missed the “window of opportunity” so to speak anyway. Clearly, this is the way to get pregnant very quickly.

The day we found out, I was kinda unsure about whether or not we were pregnant. All along, I hadn’t given much thought to it because I assumed it was unlikely we would be pregnant. As that Wednesday drug on, I started having all the same signs of pregnancy that I did with Abi Kate right before I ‘d gotten a positive test. In fact, when I was doing my makeup that day, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Oh my gosh. I think you’re pregnant!” You talk to yourself like that too, right?! I spent an hour or two going back and forth about whether or not I should get a pregnancy test. Honestly, every woman knows the number one way to start your period is to go spend 20 bucks on a test. I really just didn’t want to waste the money (cheap, anyone?!) But my curiosity got the best of me after I passed a CVS twice that day, so I ran in and grabbed one. This is not my first time buying a pregnancy test, obviously. It has happened many times within almost 6 years of marriage, but I swear I feel the same way everytime when I get up to the counter. I always think, “Please don’t talk to me about this. Don’t ask me if we want a baby, are we trying, don’t we know what causes this, or anything else.” And especially, since I had Abi Kate on my hip, I was expecting some fabulous commentary from the aging woman at the counter. She didn’t say a thing, just smiled and said, “Good luck!” as I was walking out the door. I guess that could go both ways. Ha!

Being me, I could not wait to test, so I ran to the bathroom. And this is what I saw the second I put it down…

 I knew it was possible, but I was still so surprised! I cried (happy tears) and laughed all at the same time, and said “Yay!” with Abi Kate who shouted it back in unison. I also can’t keep anything from Tommy for any amount of time. So I texted him and asked who in our family had a December birthday. He said he couldn’t remember, to which I responded with a picture of the pregnancy test and said “How about baby #2”. Romantic, right?! A text. I just couldn’t wait. So we celebrated that night and talked about how surreal it felt.

So far, this pregnancy has been similar to Abi Kate’s in a few ways. With Abi, I was sick from about 5 and half weeks pregnant all the way through delivery. It was pretty much round the clock nausea that lightened up around 20 weeks, but I still spent a lot of time near a toilet or sucking down peppermints to stave off nausea. I’ve been sick with this little one, as well, though not as heavily. It comes in waves and passes more easily. A lot of people have asked me if I feel like that means it’s a boy. I don’t. Being the worrier I am, I’m actually grateful for the sickness because it makes me feel like things are progressing. So, we prayed that I just wouldn’t be as sick as I was with Abi. I was really concerned about how I would be able to care for her if I were constantly plastered to the couch or the looking for the nearest bush to vomit in, which is essentially what I did during the first part of her pregnancy. Abi Kate is also still nursing and I was concerned about meeting a caloric intake to sustain my milk supply and sustain a healthy pregnancy if I were constantly throwing up. I honestly just feel like God has answered our prayers. I also feel like preparation makes a difference. Entering into pregnancy with Abi, I just assumed I wouldn’t be sick. Please do not ask me why I was laboring under that delusion. With this baby, I assumed I would be disgusting sick and lose weight like I did with her. I was prepared for it and already knew what worked for me and what didn’t in terms of treating nausea, or rather surviving it. Having a 1 year old also helps because I literally just do not have time to think about how sick I’m feeling. Sometimes that makes it harder, but many times it has helped keep my mind off of the physical symptoms, and I really think that has helped me cope with it much better than I did previously. I have fewer food aversions this time which is good since I’ve been a bit ravenous (nursing and pregnancy combined will do that to you). It’s an interesting balance, feeling so hungry yet so nauseated by the thought of food at the same time… definitely an experience.

What’s exactly the same is the fatigue. It is so heavy and thick, just like it was with Abi Kate. It’s always shocking to me how encompassing that tired feeling can be. I literally dream these crazy, vivid, deep dreams every time I fall asleep be it for 20 minutes or 7 hours. And I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck upon waking each time. I have had to take a step back from a few things, let go of some personal expectations, and embrace resting. Abi Kate still takes two naps a day and I am so thankful for that because I typically take advantage of both of those nap times and sleep. It means I am less productive in the daytime, my house is less clean, I have less energy to go and do things, but it is necessary. A lot of people believe in pushing through the fatigue, but I believe in listening to what my body is telling me. If it’s telling me I need sleep, then I need to sleep. Plain and simple. There’s a lot of theories about “fighting the fatigue”, but as long as there’s nothing pathologically wrong with me, my body won’t lie to me. I try to take advantage of the times that Abi Kate is awake to go for a walk or do physical activities (I did pilates with her the other day. That was exciting. Between her and the dog I became a human jungle gym). Occassionally, physical activity helps with the tiredness, but only lightly.  I’m grateful to be home during this time so I can rest as I need to.

I have also noticed that the snarkiness is already emerging….Oh dear. In pregnancy, I tend to be far less patient with adults and I tend to have far more opinions that I feel the need to offer up far more freely. Lovely combo, I know. The girls I taught with while I was carrying Abi Kate referred to this as “Pregnant Katie.” Well she has returned in full glory, and maybe even more in need of a muzzle than before. So, if and when you hear my snarky comments, you’ll understand.

 We had an early ultrasound at my request to check on baby. At the imaging center we went to, they offer only abdominal ultrasounds. At 8 weeks, a baby is visible with an external ultrasound but it is very small. At first, the tech couldn’t find anything and I was beginning to freak out on the table. Tommy said it was all over my face. She stopped and said, “I think baby is just hanging out really low.” And sure enough, there was sweet baby with their little heart flickering away. I carried Abi Kate very low as well--guess some places are just more cozy than others. :) What was so neat about this ultrasound is that the big black space directly to the right of baby-- that is actually a mark from where Abi Kate’s sac was. 

I cried when she showed me. It was so sentimental to me that I still carry the marks of Abi within me. And even more so that this little one has implanted directly beside her. Maybe it’s a sign that they will be close. :) She turned up the volume on the ultrasound and we were able to hear baby’s heart beating. It’s such a precious sound. Baby’s little heart maintained a steady 150 bpm during the entire scan.

I would really like to say that I’ve grown tremendously since carrying Abi Kate and that I am unconcerned and confident. But that’s not true. I feel equally as vulnerable in this pregnancy as I did in my first, frequently worried that I will miscarry this precious life that I already love. I feel like the worry has been harder to combat this time, though Tommy swears it was just the same with Abi Kate (I’m glad he remembers!!). I really had such a fantastic pregnancy with Abi Kate. She was always healthy, and minus the regular throwing up, I was always healthy. I was low risk, had a beautiful unmedicated labor and birth. And I guess I find myself struggling to believe that this could happen to me more than once. I know more people who’ve had tragedy in their pregnancies than those who haven’t, and that’s never far from my mind. I have to regularly remind myself that the health and success of my first pregnancy wasn’t just a lucky occurrence. It was a result of answered prayer from a faithful God. So, I am desperately trying to cling to that truth and walk in faith. This time period is always difficult for me, but diligence in my prayer life and quoting scripture helps dispel the fear.

I’m excited about this time because I love being pregnant. I know a lot of people want to be tiny and small throughout their pregnancies. I don’t feel this way at all-- just the opposite. I love the growing and those first subtle movements. It is such a sacred time and has proven so far to be a rich time of spiritual growth for me again. We are so grateful for this sweet life that will be joining us in December. If this baby is anything like their sister, they’ll arrive “on time”. Which means I’ll get to rock the “2 under 2” banner for about a month before Abi Kate’s second birthday. I think that means fun and busy times are ahead! It’s still bizarre to me to think of Abi Kate as being a big sister. I assume that will change the further along I get.

Our first appointment with our midwife is in 2 weeks. I can’t wait to hear that sweet little heart again. It brings such reassurance and excitement. And in the meantime, we are celebrating and thankful and puking and sleeping and all things first trimester-ish. This is the sweet stuff of life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment