She Says… Catching Up

Thank you all so, so much for the wonderful congratulations and sweet comments on last Friday’s post. Every one of your comments and tweets and emails made me a little more excited for this little person to enter our lives in 2013.

So, I’m pregnant! I feel like a little bit of a faker for not sharing the news earlier, but with the last pregnancy being such a roller coaster, and the fact that many readers of my blog now know me in real life (and my work life), I felt that it was important for me to make sure of which way things were going before I shared. That said, it’s SO fun to be “out” publicly.

THE BELLY
I wouldn’t have been able to hide the news for very much longer. I may only be 12 weeks, but y’all, I am BIG. Like, the equivalent of my 16 week belly pic when I was pregnant with Owen. That’s nearly a MONTH ahead in terms of baby bump growth. I can only hope this super duper waist expansion tapers off at some point, and I don’t end up looking 4 weeks “bigger” at the end than I was at the end of my pregnancy with Owen… I think I was pretty much maxed out at that point (remember how big I was when we got our new car, only 2 days before Owen was born?). That said, looking pregnant so early is kind of a blessing in disguise. I had a VERY short period of looking “kind-of-fat-but-not-yet-pregnant”, and moved quickly into baby bump territory. There’s no denying the news now!

THE FIRST TRIMESTER
I hesitate to even write this, because I feel like some sort of bad juju is going to bite me in the arse (and I know many pregnant women have it so much harder than I have), but I have felt really, really good so far. Yes, there were little things like food aversions and indigestion, but overall this baby has been particularly good to me. I really can’t complain. I’m so darn THANKFUL to be pregnant at all that I will take it all with a smile.

The exhaustion, though, is another story. I remember being tired when I was pregnant with Owen. Sure. But at that point I had nothing going on in my life other than work and grocery shopping and going to the gym, so when I was tired, I sat down. I put my feet up. I took a nap. This time, with a rambunctious 2 year old demanding my attention every second (not to mention spending the last few weeks working through every kind of illness known to man), that’s just not possible. The exhaustion has pretty much kicked my ass. By 7pm every night when Owen goes to bed, I’m sore like I worked out at the gym all day long and ready to crawl in bed for the night. Out for the count. I seem to remember a huge increase in energy soon after Christmas with Owen (it’s so helpful to have their due dates so close, as I can remember when things happened and it will be roughly the same), so I’m crossing my fingers that comes soon. I am wiped.

So though I haven’t been sick, I have had some other weird pregnancy symptoms that took me by surprise (aka things that didn’t happen with Owen). My childhood exercise-induced asthma has returned. When I was a kid I used to huff and puff when I had to run (especially outside), and I hated gym class. I was also a little, uh, round, so I attributed it mostly to being out of shape. But I had an emergency inhaler and used it mostly when I had to exercise out in the cold, and given my family history and the fact that Owen likely got his asthma issues from me, I have come to terms with the fact that the asthma is real for me. Apparently pregnancy often exacerbates asthma, so it’s not uncommon that I’m finding my chest getting tight when running up the stairs or briskly walking outside. I’m starting to use an inhaler prior to exercising to keep it at bay, as it is relatively minor right now. I also am having random nosebleeds and patches of super dry skin on my hands. Weird little quirks as my body adjusts to pregnancy. Bodies are amazing.

2ND CHILD SYNDROME
The biggest thing I’m surprised to feel so strongly is guilt about what I’m not doing for Baby #2. We don’t have a cute nickname. I haven’t written a single letter or kept a journal. I haven’t spent hours dreaming about if it’s a boy or a girl, or what color we should paint the nursery. Frankly, and understandably, I was scared to get attached this time. I’m barely getting my inbox cleaned out since the holiday rush, and cooking dinner has become a chore, as I’m dead tired. It’s classic 2nd child syndrome. I knew it was going to happen. In my mind I KNOW it’s ok. But I also wonder if this child will grow up one day and wonder where his or her letters are, and weekly pictures in the womb, and wonder if I loved him or her any less than Owen.

Weekly pictures are not even on the radar this time, but I do want to make sure I chronicle this pregnancy in the same thoughtful, reflective and conscientious way that I did with my first.

Did you do the same sort of “tracking” with each pregnancy or did you do something different? Definitely open to suggestions!

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14 responses to “She Says… Catching Up

  1. Just wanted to chime in because I am 24 weeks along with my second pregnancy as well and I have been the same as you….about a month ahead in terms of baby bump growth. So, I think that is pretty normal for second pregnancies. Congrats!

  2. I had my 2nd child 4 month ago, and what I’ve come to realize is that although the 2nd child may not get things the 1st child did, the 2nd child does get DIFFERENT things. You know so much more about childrearing, so your point of view is different. And the other thing that was kind of awesome for me was that, since we had two girls, there wasn’t a lot of money that needed to be spent on clothes and necessities. So we got some really cool things for the baby that we couldn’t have afforded the first time. Hope that perspective helps some.

  3. For our second child we didn’t find out the gender so everything was completely different! We couldn’t prepare in the same way and it made us feel like we didn’t have to do everything the same!

  4. SOOOOOOOOO excited for you, Kate!!

  5. I have been following your blog for over a year and a half now and this is my first comment! Your post really hit home today, as I’m in the thick of 2nd child syndrome. I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my 2nd and I haven’t done ANY of the things I did during the first pregnancy. I haven’t written any letters or taken any weekly belly photos. And I feel guilty. But, as a previous poster said, the knowledge I’ve gained since having my first will be such a huge gift to my 2nd child that hopefully it makes up for everything else. Also, I look at least 6 weeks ahead of where I’m supposed to be and I was majorly showing at 7 weeks. Crazy, but totally normal I’m told! Anyway, so happy for you guys…I had been waiting on that pregnancy annoucement!!

  6. I really made a point to do some of those memory things for subsequent children. Our third took us by surprise and in part for me to feel excited I bought The Belly Book and filled it in. His pregnancy turned out to be my best documented. They do all get their own things, but choose something you want to commemorate this little one and make a point of doing it so you have those memories. 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness, not sure how I missed last week’s post, but I did, so A HUGE CONGRATS!

  8. Just change the name on the letters to unborn Owen. I bet they will never compare notes. 🙂

  9. One of my first sentiments when finding out I was pregnant with #2 was, “poor E. (my first born)”. I actually have never felt guilty about not doing whatever for my second born son. I’ve always felt more guilt about how my first born’s life had to change. I’ve found that when I had #2, I spent much less time with E. and that was (and still is) such a huge adjustment.

    I have never taken weekly belly shots while pregnant but I have kept a journal for both of my sons (starting at 12 weeks and I hope to keep going until I run out of paper!). I found out the gender for both of my sons so my father would come up with silly in utero name for both boys–and they have tended to stick…my first son was “Sprag” and my second’s son’s “name” is “Zack”. Maybe you can ask a close family member to look at the ultrasound photo and help you come up with something??

    One thing that we have done with both pregnancies is to take a video of the birth. Yes, to some people, I know this sounds a bit crazy but it’s honestly the most valuable documentation to me. My husband took the video of my first son’s birth and my sister was present for my second son’s birth. I had them taken from a perspective that minimizes my “exposure” but captures their births so well. I just love watching these videos–makes me cry every time. I’m assuming you having a videographer as a husband, Kate, that you’ve done this? What I think really worked the second time around was having my sister take the video this time–that way, my husband could really concentrate on the birth and not worry about anything else.

  10. I can’t comment re the 2nd child syndrome as only have an 8 week old at the moment BUT my first pregnancy ended in an ectopic which hit me pretty hard so I pretty much didn’t let myself get excited about the pregnancy and thought anything I wrote or photographed would jinx it. Looking back it seems so silly and I really wish I could have let myself enjoy it. So although I’m not in your situation get the sadness about not documenting in the same way as last time but what they may lack in letters will be made up with big brother Owen hugs which will better than anything! X

  11. Our 2nd was a surprise for us, so it was hard for me to really get excited in the beginning. I struggled early on because it took a LONG time for anyone in either of our families to get excited, compared to how thrilled everyone was when I was pregnant with DS1. The 2nd child syndrome seemed more difficult during pregnancy than it is now that he’s here and growing. Their personalities are so different, and we’re lucky to have extra help, so both boys get lots of one-on-one attention.

    Also, on the exhaustion thing? It never went away for me. I was SO TIRED my whole pregnancy, and I’m still wiped by 9 every night. I think it’s just part of having two kids. 😉

  12. @Maryanne W., Thank you! That is really helpful to hear. I “popped” relatively early with my first pregnancy as well, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m almost embarrassed to tell people how far along I am.

    @Liz M., That is so true. I am the third child out of four, and I can certainly attest to the fact that though I didn’t get “the same” as the two before me, what I got was wonderful, and I never felt less than. Also, to your point about hand-me-downs, if we have another boy, his birthday will be so close to Owen’s that I’m sure we will be able to reuse almost everything. That would be amazing!

    @Amy, I can imagine how that would change things!

    @lissa, Thank you! We couldn’t be happier!

    @Jessica, Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope some of these other comments can help you feel more at peace with things you haven’t done. It sounds like the general consensus is that it just doesn’t matter, and every kid has a different experience. Good luck with the end of your pregnancy and welcoming #2!

    @Kristy, Such a good point. Whatever it is I choose, I just need to get started! 12 weeks is not too late.

    @Christy, Thank you 🙂

    @Kara, Ha. Maybe…

    @Meredith, Oh, I feel you. The main reason we waited so long to have a 2nd child at all was because I craved more time with just Owen. Our relationship is so special and he is such an amazing kid that I didn’t want to change a thing. I know things will change and I’m trying to think of the ways they will be BETTER for him as time goes on, but I am sure we all will have a lot of adjusting to do come July. As for videotaping the birth, we took a lot of video while heading to the hospital and right before the birth. For the actual birth part, I wanted Benjamin there holding my hand, but he caught the first few moments of Owen’s life once he was out. It is such a special memory to have and I’m so glad we did it.

    @Kate, Yes, I think the fear and uncertainty of the first trimester was shadowed by my miscarriage, and that definitely played a part in my not documenting it. I’m ready now, though, so I guess it’s never too late to start!

    @Courtney, That’s so helpful to hear that you felt 2nd child syndrome more acutely when you were pregnant. I’m sure once they are born, it’s just life… and it’s all they’ve ever known. Great point.

  13. I still feel a little bad that I didn’t document my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies as well as the first, but my kids don’t really care at this point (talk of when they were “in Mom’s tummy” or when they were babies usually elicits more eye rolling than interest).

    I had some weird symptoms my 3rd time around (erythema nodosum – Google it, it’s no picnic but at least it went away after 6 weeks), but hormones are amazing, powerful things!

    When I was pregnant with my daughter (kid #3), my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first, due 2 weeks before me. I was huge before she even started showing. When we were at a party together at around 5 months, people were amazed to hear that I was due AFTER my SIL. I kept getting “wow, but you look so much farther along!” comments. However, despite popping so early with both my subsequent pregnancies, I gained much less overall weight than I did the first time (running after toddlers is a great workout!), and I was more or less the same size by the end of each.

    Congratulations again! I’m glad you’re feeling good so far!

  14. Apparently my uterus is tilted this time around. I’m 16 weeks and not showing AT ALL…unless I eat a big meal lol. I still don’t feel pregnant. This one surprised us. My husband lost his job the day before I found out. Since we used clomid for #1, I thought for sure it wouldn’t stick. As for things to do, I’m chasing an 18 month old! I haven’t done a journal at all…eek!

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