Hello Baby Girl (we think…),
Well, welcome to life as the second child where you don’t get quite the same attention, even from the very beginning, as your brother did. Yes, back in the day I had this magical thing called free time, and I was able to start blogging on a weekly basis with pregnancy updates, whereas you’re getting them in the last five weeks before your due date.
I’d like to say that it won’t always be like this, but who are we kidding…
This is probably the biggest learning that I’ve had during your pregnancy. Life is just different than it was when I was pregnant with your brother. It’s neither better nor worse, just extremely different. In my first pregnancy, when I was tired I could nap, when I was hungry I ate, and when I needed some time for self care I could take it. This time around, your brother is just over two years old and his basic needs require immediate attention. Time for your Dad and I, and our own pursuits, interests and/or self care comes after his bed time.
It has made me worry that you’re getting the rough end of things, and yet… and yet I’m the youngest child. I don’t feel that I fared too badly, so I think you’ll be fine!
I have worried that I won’t have the space in my heart for another child, but I suspect that once you’re on the outside that things will just work themselves out. Looking at your brother now, I couldn’t imagine that I was capable of this kind of love and affection, and he proved me wrong. You’ll no doubt do the same.
Now… your pregnancy. You want the big or the long update? How about the medium one?
Perhaps I’ve written a whole lot less this time around because it’s been a more challenging pregnancy beginning to end. And I do mean beginning to end. I literally felt the implantation cramps, so I feel like I’ve known from the moment you were ‘there’.
In the early days, I struggled with serious nausea to the point that I was losing weight, couldn’t drink water, and needed medication so that I could actually get enough nutrients into my body. It didn’t mean the vomiting stopped, but at least I could drink a glass of water! The morning sickness was intense and surprising. It came out of nowhere! I remember backing out of the garage, leaving to meet a friend for coffee and I just had to open the car door and lean out and be sick. Not my finest moment, but goes to show how different your pregnancy was from your brother’s!
In the second trimester, I faced prenatal depression. Except… I didn’t realize that’s what it was at first. I let it go for a while, uncertain whether it was simply my hormones playing tricks on me, the stress of raising a two year old, challenges at work, or insert whatever random reason here.
At one point I reached out to a friend who I knew had dealt with prenatal depression and asked how she knew it was that and not something else.
I’ll never forget her response.
“If you’re asking me, you probably already know the answer.” She was right, and I booked myself an appointment with the doctor. I could no longer take the hair pin anxiety trigger, my apathy towards caring for myself or you, etc. People would ask if I was excited and I’d shrug my shoulders. I hate the word normal, but that wasn’t normal. Not for me. I’m a planner. I like to get excited about things well before they happen. I enjoy the build up, so to feel apathetic about you meant something was really wrong.
Thankfully your Mommy has a great family doctor (you’ll meet him very soon!), and he was able to make a minor adjustment to my medication and I started to feel better immediately. It’s been such a blessing to have myself back.
Oh man… this trimester has been challenging in a very different way. I’ve been dealing with severe pelvic pain, a loosening of all the important joints, and my legs constantly give way from nerve pain. It’s just the way my babies sit apparently! Your brother was the same, though not until the last four weeks. It turns out with second pregnancies you feel these things much earlier.
As a result your Mom has been working at home for the past four/five weeks, and I’ll continue working from home until my due date. Walking any length of distance gives me a lot of pain, so my daily ‘exercise’ is walking to the car, driving to the drive thru Starbucks, and back. I’ve got to get out!
On a good day, schedule permitting, I manage to make it to the swimming pool and feel the glorious weightlessness from the water. You mostly seem to enjoy the pool, going quiet in the belly (unless I get Braxton Hicks). Perhaps you’ll be a little swimmer yourself one day!
In all three trimesters we’ve had some scares. I’ve had cramping and bleeding, which has led us to a couple of emergency ultrasounds – you were fine. A couple of weeks ago we ended up in the hospital when the Braxton Hicks were so intense that they lasted for an hour without loosening at all. Again – you were fine. No explanation.
I have three weeks left of work. It feels quite strange, probably because I’ve been working from home and there’s a mental and physical separation from my team. I feel a little out here on my own, so I don’t think I’ll have the same last day of work feeling.
We’re getting everything ready for your arrival. The bag gets packed this weekend, next week we make the birth plan with your midwives (they’re both awesome, so I’m sure you’ll love whoever ‘catches’ you).
We’re doing our best to prepare your brother for your arrival, but he’s a bit young to really understand what’s going on. The good news is that he seems to like the babies at dayhome, even if he gets a tad jealous from time to time.
I’m getting super curious about what you’re going to be like. Will you be the opposite of your brother? Will you share certain characteristics? What kind of sleeper will you be? Will you be a cuddler? Will you be a good traveler? I’m telling you now, you’re off on a month-long adventure in December, so get ready! Will you love me the same way your brother does, or will you be a Daddy’s girl?
I’m so curious, and now that we’re really in the last few weeks of your gestation, it’s starting to feel incredible real.
In a nutshell, it’s been a hard pregnancy, and I’m not blaming that on you for a second! Some women are made to carry babies, others aren’t. I don’t think your Mommy was meant to be the ideal incubator, but I do think I’m a good Mommy. I could be better, we all could, but I think we’ll get along just fine.
Because I already love you. And that’s all that matters.