I’ve always enjoyed writing (hence why I’ve been blogging), so it would totally be in character for me to journal in my pregnancy. I didn’t even think of it during my first pregnancy with my daughter- I guess I didn’t realized it was ‘a thing.’ And even though that was only about 2.5 years ago, I found that I already forgot so many details of that pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant this time around I was trying to remember what symptoms were the same or different from last time, I surprisingly couldn’t recall. And ask any of my close friends and family- I normally have an excellent memory!
So this pregnancy, I vowed to use a pregnancy journal to track all the feelings, symptoms, and changes I was experiencing. Pregnancy is such a brief but amazing time in a woman’s life and it deserves to be documented. With my first, I found myself asking my own mother all the time- “Did this happen to you? What was your pregnancy with me like?” I was initially shocked that she couldn’t answer most of my questions (I’ll give her a break though- she does have four kids). So this was another reason I wanted to prioritize journaling with this baby.
I browsed at Indigo for pregnancy journals, but nothing was speaking to me. So I thought I would look online. Flash forward and here I am with only a few weeks left of my pregnancy and, you guessed it- I still haven’t journaled. So I’m feeling like it’s too late to start ‘formally’ journaling in a book. Instead, I thought I would journal here on my blog and share it all with you guys. So here goes nothing…
My first pregnancy with my daughter Bella was more of a surprise than this time. So I thought I would ‘know’ or feel when I was pregnant my second time. However, that really wasn’t the case. I didn’t feel anything different from my normal self; no cramping or anything like that. I felt like my usual self when I took the positive pregnancy test. A million thoughts ran through my mind the minute the positive result appeared. Pretty much the rest of my life flashed before my eyes, which was the same as last time.
My next thought was how to tell my husband. The first time around I planned a photoshoot (you can see that blog here) to capture his reaction. It was the dead of winter this time and I needed a new idea. So I ran to the mall and picked up a ‘Best Sister Ever’ shirt for our daughter. Then I told him we needed to take photos of her for a collaboration, once I got home from work. He never asks too many questions so I was sure he wouldn’t be suspicious.
Cut to me arriving home from work and Bella was super sick and NOT wanting to try her new shirt on or have her photo taken. I was really trying to force it but she was not having any of it. Normally I wouldn’t push her at all but I had this plan in my head and didn’t have a backup. I eventually got the shirt on her and sent her into the next room where my husband was. He kind of smirked and then smiled big, but definitely didn’t look shocked. After we shared an embrace and chatted, he told me he already figured that I was pregnant and knew what I was up to. Definitely didn’t pull the wool over his eyes this time!
It took a few weeks for me to start feeling pregnancy symptoms, but once I did I felt way more than previously. I felt sick to my stomach and nauseous all day long for the first few weeks; gagging and retching, especially when brushing my teeth. I often threw up which I never experienced prior. I was super low energy and exhausted all the time. This was similar to my first; however, I would come home and nap after work every day and now I had a busy toddler to tend to. Naps were not an option. A few times I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to my face and body covered in toys. Then I felt mom guilt for not having more energy to play after work. I would put Bella to bed and fall asleep at 8pm and still be exhausted waking up for work the next day at 6:30. Not to mention how neglected the rest of my life and household got.
So if you can’t tell, I felt in a bit of a funk for the first few weeks. I think it was a combination of pregnancy hormones, sickness, and seasonal depression. I just did not feel like my normal self. I am normally very positive and cheery, but even though I was excited for the baby, I just felt down and I don’t know why.
Eventually, around 13 weeks (once the first trimester was over), I started to feel more like my usual self. The sick feelings subsided and I got some of my energy back. There was a definite shift in my mood and I returned to my regular, busy routine. Hallelujah!
Working in a hospital, I am the type of person who feels like knowledge is power and I always want more information. So just as I did in my first pregnancy, I opted to get the Maternal Serum Screening Test to check for syndromes. With Bella I had got this test and when it came back as low risk, it gave me peace of mind. I didn’t think much of it this time around, until I received a personal phone call from my OBGYN one day when I was at work. She called to tell me that my results had come back extremely high risk for a syndrome this time. I was completely shocked. Just when I had started to feel better I shot back down into a negative place.
After discussing our options, my husband and I chose to do further genetic testing that is more accurate than the screening. It was a painful 2+ weeks to wait for the results. So many thoughts were running through my mind from the best to the worst case scenarios. I wasn’t eating or sleeping or functioning at all really. Eventually we got great news that the more accurate tests showed everything looked normal and the baby was low risk for any syndromes they tested for. What a relief!
So many ups and downs on this pregnancy journey. After that scare was over, both my husband and I felt like we could finally relax and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. We found out the gender- it’s a BOY! And we couldn’t be happier. We feel like he will be the perfect addition to our family.
Due to those first high risk screening results, I am being followed more closely by doctors and doing extra ultrasounds, which gives me more peace of mind. So far, everything continues to progress as it should.
Between 20-30 weeks I felt like I was in the best stage of my pregnancy. Feeling positive, comfortable, energetic, and active. I was definitely growing at a much more rapid pace than last time, but that was never a focus or concern of mine.
Now that I’m over 33 weeks, I’m approaching the more difficult stage of my pregnancy. Changes I’ve felt lately should not be mistaken for complaints, but include… My lower back/ SI joint has been causing me pain and making transitions from sitting or lying to standing difficult. I’ve been called out on having a pregnancy ‘waddle’ (rude). I don’t have much energy for physical activity and get out of breath embarrassingly easily. Every morning when I wake up my hands are super stiff and sore, I’m not sure what this is about but I’m really hoping it resolves when the baby is born. My hands and feet swelled quite early in the pregnancy (around 24 weeks), which did not happen until later last time. I’m very limited in the shoes that my feet will fit into. I have the unusual side effect of frequent bloody noses. I’m talking several times a day for a few minutes each time, by nose starts dripping blood. This is one of the more annoying symptoms. Before being pregnant I NEVER had a bloody nose. I also have felt stuffed up like I have a cold for the majority of the last eight months. Heart burn or acid reflux seems to come and go for me and is tolerable most days.
My mood is good and I’m feeling positive overall. I’m looking forward to what’s to come. One of my most cherished parts of this pregnancy is sharing it with our daughter Bella. She knows her “baby brother is coming soon” and she is so excited! I will get into more of those details in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned for that.
Thanks for sharing in my pregnancy journey. If there are any drastic changes in the coming weeks, I may just post a Part 2.