My nanny is drinking pregnancy tea

This hurts my heart because she’s preparing for her second round of IVF and I feel like a terrible person for having two children already and now being pregnant with a third (and I haven’t told her about this yet, although I’m pretty sure she’s figured it out). It hurts my heart because I remember those days very vividly – wondering why everyone seemed to get pregnant so easily and why it was taking me forever. What was wrong with me? Would I ever be a mother? I wore fertility bracelets, temped, took supplements, checked CM, joined a yoga for fertility group, set up a meditation corner in my bedroom to relieve stress, started acupuncture, and on and on and on. And I think: how much harder would it have been if my job was to take care of small children? And how conflicting it must be when that job is paying for your opportunity to have your own child.

In addition to my nanny, I haven’t told a lot of people I’m pregnant yet, but there are two people in particular who I should have told but I have not. They are very dear friends to me. One recently miscarried in her first trimester after deciding to have a second child, and the second is undergoing her second round of IVF, having failed a first in an attempt to have a second chid. I should have told them, but didn’t know how to break the news directly after they announced what they had been through. And, to be honest, distance and our busy lives make it easy to evade. But I am 15 weeks tomorrow, so it’s time. And eventually I’ll need to tell my nanny, who likely already knows. I only hope that in a few weeks to months she shares the news that she’s expecting as well.

What people are saying

I am finding that the reaction you receive when you tell someone you are expecting your third baby is quite different than the reaction you receive when you tell someone you are expecting your first baby.

When people found out I was pregnant with baby #1, they were ecstatic. There were congratulations all around, experienced moms waxing nostalgic about those early days, huge baby showers to be had, and overall excitement. Everyone was thrilled.

When we were pregnant with #2, people were also excited, but perhaps a bit worried. They seemed pleased that our son would have a brother, but did sometimes comment that the less than two year difference in age was a bit aggressive. Overall, however, there was excitement.

With this baby, baby #3, we have definitely received a number of congratulatory comments. But we have also heard quite a bit of:

  • “Was it an accident?
  • “Was it planned?”
  • “What?”
  • “OMG, why!?”
  • “Let me guess – you’re pregnant” (in response to: “I have something to tell you”)

So, it’s been a bit different. But we ourselves are very excited for this third baby, for whom we did plan!

 

 

 

12 or 13 weeks

So I just wrapped up the first trimester. I can’t believe it’s already almost March! I went in for my nuchal translucency ultrasound (part of the first-trimester screen) last week and it is always so amazing to me how much babies change between the 7 week scan and the 12/13 week scan. At 7 weeks, you see a small fluttering heart, but otherwise nothing that looks like a baby. By 12-13 weeks, the baby is skeletal but all there – head, arms, fingers, legs, toes, etc. It’s amazing! I always feel a bit out of the woods once baby is still there at 12-13 weeks, but there is still a long way to go.

Another thing that happened during the scan: they’re pretty sure it’s a boy (for reference: I have 2 boys)! It is still so early in the game, but I know that if all goes well with this pregnancy, the 3 boys will have a blast. It will be chaotic, messy, and definitely a strain on our grocery budget – but they will have a great time together. Since I will be 35 when this baby is born, I also opted for noninvasive prenatal testing, so the boy/girl question should be confirmed later this week.

Since finding out the gender, I have had a few friends ask me if I’m disappointed I’m not having a girl. I honestly have to say that I am not. My main wish for this baby is that it be healthy. And after that, a very selfish wish (two actually) is that it be easy-going and a great sleeper. As a mom of two boys, I know boy. I have everything ready to do the boy thing over again. They can room together for longer than I imagine siblings of mixed gender would be able to, and my job will be much easier when they’re older and can do activities with their dad. Also, I was really nasty to my mom (who is a saint and whom I love dearly) when I was an adolescent, so I am not excited about the possibility of being on the receiving end of that treatment (as much as I do deserve it). I imagine teenage boys are not a walk in the park, but they must be easier than teenage girls! So my greatest concern in this department is: what are we going to name him!? So tough to think of a third boy name.

As for me, I’m feeling a bit better. I’m still pretty tired, and sometimes still feel nauseous. My belly definitely popped this weekend so I look more pregnant and I officially pulled out some of my maternity gear. Now comes the awkward (for me) process of letting people know about my pregnancy. I actually told a few people at work very early on (7 weeks!) because of some changes to the maternity leave policy and updated schedule requests for fall of 2018. This is very unlike what I have done in the past – previously waiting until 14 and 20 weeks respectively. I told a few close girlfriends from high school/college very early on and just this weekend told a few close local girlfriends. And slowly other people will learn about it and then my patients will start asking me about it (some have stuck it out with me through 2 pregnancies already!) and all of the necessary planning will unfold.

I have to be honest with you, after going through infertility with my first, every moment of every pregnancy feels like a dream and a great blessing. Sometimes I feel like pinching myself. There was a time when I seriously doubted that we would ever have one child, and here we are, parents to two healthy children with a third on the way.

Updates from the 1st trimester

I’ve been thinking of all of the things I want to remember from this first trimester. With my first pregnancy, I journaled all the time. With my second, I journaled less. This time around I forgot the password to access my (very sophisticated) Word doc journal and haven’t written anything since before becoming pregnant.

So first I’ll start with early pregnancy symptoms. I hate early pregnancy symptoms because they can literally be anything, so when you’re trying to get pregnant every little twinge becomes a reason to obsess over whether you could be pregnant.

I honestly didn’t feel any different than I have during my last few cycles. A bit of back pain a few days prior, but I’m pretty sure that’s more related to my 40 lb 3 year old and 25+ lb 1.5 year old. We flew for the holidays and I felt incredibly nauseous on the descent, but didn’t think much of it as I had experienced nausea with some prior cycles. What really tipped me off was this: no hormonal acne. Around the time of my menstrual cycle, I develop a few cystic acne lesions. I had zero by day 30 and this definitely piqued my interest. When I went to bed that night, I thought I felt something developing on my chin, but it was gone by the next morning. And that was it-I took a pregnancy test the next time.

During these first few weeks, I’ve felt:

-general stomach uneasiness

-nausea, usually worse in the early evening

-cravings for: carbs, juice (orange and mango), pineapple

-no desire to drink coffee (usually a staple of my diet) and no real desire to eat chocolate (another staple of my diet)

-intense moodiness

-incredible fatigue

I’ve also felt great worry, which is a staple of my pregnancies. I honestly wish women didn’t start showing until ~week 20, after the anatomy scan. With this pregnancy, I am showing EARLY. A handful of people know for a number of pragmatic reasons, and this makes me even more nervous! With my first, we didn’t even tell my family until I was almost 12 weeks pregnant. I didn’t notify my new employer until I was 14 weeks pregnant, and my colleagues at the time didn’t know until almost 16-18 weeks! With my second, I didn’t say anything until honestly around 20 weeks+ (although our families knew right away). I was negotiating a new contract at the time and didn’t want my pregnancy throwing a wrench into the plans.

I had one bit of good news at 7 weeks: baby had a heartbeat. But this is only minimally reassuring. The miscarriage rate on a population level is still 5%, and I’m sure we all know people who returned for their second check-up to find that the baby’s heartbeat was gone. So I am trying to stay sane until my 11 week appointment. And the week after I have my nuchal translucency/first trimester screen and my appointment with a genetic counselor (I’ll be 35 when this baby is born so I’m adding Harmony/Panorama/non-invasive prenatal screening test onto my routine prenatal testing). I think if I can get past the next 2 weeks (which are also riddled with work deadlines), I’ll be able to breathe a little more easily. Although then I’ll have the anatomy scan hanging over my head.

Well, I feel fortunate to be pregnant for now, and will try to keep my anxiety in check while I count down the days! The crazy thing is that in just 2 weeks I’ll be done with my first trimester, and then there are only two to go!

The first trimester

The first trimester sucks. Of all 3 trimesters, it is by far the worst (for me at least). First of all, I always feel like crap. Nauseous, tired, cranky. During my first pregnancy, I would come from work, crash on the couch, and binge on¬†Scandal until I passed out at 9pm. Now I have two kids under 4, so I can’t just lay on the couch watching TV.

Second of all, it is fraught with worry. Once a positive pregnancy test erases the worry of “will I ever get pregnant?”, I start worrying about whether this pregnancy will stick. So there’s the worry up until the first ob appointment (will there be a heartbeat?), the worry at every subsequent appointment (is there still a heartbeat?), the first trimester screen, and on and on and on.

To top it all off, you can’t even explain to your family, friends, colleagues, etc., why you have a short fuse. They just assume you’ve turned into a bitch. And then there’s the awkward turning-down-drinks component, when everyone is dying to ask you whether you’re pregnant but of course they don’t want to because you don’t quite look pregnant, do you?

My husband took the boys out for a bit so I could finally sit down and rest today (kids woke up at 5:30a this morning and it’s 4:00p). We are both wiped, but he’s taking one for the team, and that’s why I love him.

So I’ll go back to reclining horizontally on the couch, reading my book, and trying not to worry about this trimester.