Friday, May 17, 2013

Pregnancy catch-up

You guys were all so sweet with the congratulations yesterday. It's so interesting how much social media has changed since my last pregnancy--then, I was on Twitter but it wasn't as big as it is now, and the blog was the main communication portal. This time the blog was more like the vehicle to say more than I could ever fit into 140 characters, but most of the communication about it happened on Twitter.

Anyway, sorry for pulling the traditional stop-blogging-in-the-first-trimester (though in my defense, I did actually start blogging less frequently before I got pregnant... wait, that's not really a defense) on you, and honestly, I don't think I'm going to suddenly start blogging every day or anything, but now that I can talk about everything that's going on in my life, I'm hoping to post at least a little more often.

So! Pregnancy! Let's do a brief catch-up on the last 15 weeks. My pregnancy with Callum was super easy after I got over the month of miserable morning sickness, and so far (knock wood), this one has been very similar, except even easier because I avoided the morning sickness. With Callum, after a month of feeling seasick nonstop and throwing up multiple times a day, I realized that my lap-band was making things worse, and had it emptied, which pretty much fixed the morning sickness instantly. So, this time as soon as I started feeling sick around 7 weeks, I had my band emptied and... bam. All better. It was amazing. (Also, I'm slightly annoyed that I suffered so badly with Callum for a whole month for no reason, but whatever.)

So! First trimester extreme fatigue, smell aversion, bloating, and so forth, but at least I wasn't puking! Did you know that everything is SO MUCH BETTER when you aren't puking? Because it is! And now that I'm solidly in the second trimester, the fatigue has been starting to lift (thank goodness, because it turns out when you have a toddler it's much harder to indulge in a two-hour daily nap the way I did the first time) and I've been feeling mostly pretty good. And am really looking forward to this next part.

I've also been much less anxious this time around. Obviously I still have my moments of wondering if everything is OK in there (currently in one of those as I'm nearing a month since my last visit and would like to just get a quick listen to that heartbeat again to make sure all is well) but generally I've been able to trust that things are probably fine, and not worry about it constantly, so that's been pleasant.

Also, don't laugh at me, but I swear (I SWEAR) that I've been feeling movement since 10 weeks. That's insane, right? With Callum I felt movement starting at 15.5 weeks, which seemed surprisingly early for a first baby, especially since I had an anterior placenta and am not a skinny person, so I was dubious if it was really movement for a long time, but it just got stronger and more frequent until there was no longer any doubting. And the same thing seems to be happening this time (and also at 12 weeks they told me my placenta is "developing posteriorly" this time), except it started much earlier. At 10 weeks I felt some distinct fluttering, and in the weeks since it's only gotten stronger and more frequent. At this point I'd say I'm 95% sure that it's baby movement, but not yet 100% convinced.

Also, we do plan to find out what it is, if the baby cooperates, at our ultrasound next month. I'm kind of torn on what I would prefer. A girl would be great, of course, but I also love the idea of brothers, so really, we can't go wrong. Torsten, on the other hand, has a slight (he claims) preference for another boy. So we will see. Like last time, I have no real gut feelings or guesses at all. In fact, trying to visualize this baby as a boy or a girl feels weird and strange to me. But maybe that's some sort of self-defense mechanism because with Callum I assumed it was a girl (not because of any maternal instinct or anything but because I grew up with a sister and it seemed like everyone in my family had girls, so I just figured that's what we would have). And then when the tech told us that it was a boy I felt really disconnected for a minute, like she was talking about someone else's baby, because I'd been thinking, to an extent I wasn't aware of, that it was a girl. So! This time I'm apparently trying to avoid that, even though it was no big deal last time because it took me literally one minute to go from, "Wait, THIS baby, MY baby?" to "OMG A BOY THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER."

Last thing... Callum. At 28 months I don't think he's quite ready to grasp the concept of a baby growing in my belly who will eventually come home to live with us (though he could understand the more concrete aspects of that idea), and he's certainly not ready to grasp the idea that it will be another five or six months before this happens, so we haven't tried to explain it to him in detail. But we have bought some books about new babies and becoming a big brother to try to familiarize him with the general concept, and we do talk about how there's a baby in my belly and ask him if he wants to be a big brother (he almost always says yes, but he has no idea what he's agreeing to), and we told daycare about it so that they can help him adjust to the idea too, and then when it gets a bit closer and he's a bit older we'll hopefully sort of move naturally toward telling him about it in more detail. But mostly I'm just really excited for him to be an older brother. He is incredibly patient and laid-back (gauging with a toddler yardstick here, of course), and he really likes babies, and I can just see how he'll be such a beautiful big brother, which isn't to say that I don't expect the transition period to be challenging for him, but just that in the long term I'm really hopeful that this will turn out to be a great sibling relationship. And if you guys have any suggestions about how to make the sibling adjustment period easier, or books you liked, or anything like that, I'd love to hear them (he'll be about 2.75 years old when his sibling arrives).

So, there's a brain dump of what's been going on in my head during the early part of this pregnancy. Mostly we're just really excited. A BABY! I still can't quite believe that we get to do this all again.


  1. Oh, I missed this yesterday! Congratulations! You're going to have so much FUN.

  2. I swear I felt movements around 10-12 weeks with all of my subsequent pregnancies so I don't think you're crazy!
    We had tons of "big brother" books and read those a lot. I think there's not a ton you can do beforehand because they don't really get it, yet. Afterward, we had the big sibling help with things as often as possible (if they were willing, which they usually were) and made sure not to always put the baby first. "Just a minute Baby, Big Brother needs me right now." etc. I bet C will do just fine, although I have no experience with that age gap as mine were 25 months apart, 13 months apart and 17 months apart, respectively. I think the 2 year age gap was easiest for me, so hopefully you'll find the same!

  3. Congratulations! So happy for you. And since I don't blog anymore...I'm currently 26 weeks and it's a boy! :)

  4. Madeline was almost 5 when Luke showed up, so my advice may or may not be helpful - but here it is anyway.

    Big brother books will help, as will a baby doll that you can model how to treat a baby with (gentle touch, snuggling, etc.). Madeline loved to swaddle and sing to hers.

    Agree with the above advice that you should meet big brother's needs first some/a lot of the time - with Madeline I found that giving her an idea of the schedule helped while I was on maternity leave. As in, "Let's make your lunch together, and then you can eat while I'm feeding Luke, because you KNOW how hungry Luke gets!" That way I could acknowledge that I knew he was taking lots of time while still giving her all my attention for a bit. I had a special basket of toys and books for her to play with when I was nursing, and also kept the DVD player loaded and remotes handy because hey, sometimes that's all that worked. (We watched a shameful amount of holiday movies in the early weeks.)

    Other things that helped: having a water bottle for her that was always kept full so that she could get her own drink; easy access to the fruit basket and some other healthy/easy snacks in case she got hungry when I was in the middle of nursing Luke (which was all the time, in the beginning).

    Does your hospital host a sibling class? We did one with Madeline and it was SO fun and SO helpful. The class gave her an idea of "jobs" she could do to help, which she's very into, and helped her feel very important and necessary as Luke's protector.

    And I know it's a total cliche, but having a gift "from baby" at the hospital was very helpful for Madeline. I got her a few little books (not baby-related) and a movie/doll she'd been asking for. It helped her to leave the hospital on the day he was born; she was sad to leave Jimmy and I and having the anticipation of seeing a new movie and reading new books with her Ahmie helped.

    So excited for you guys! You will be great. :)

  5. I missed it too! But yay! Congratulations!

    My favorite books about babies for kids are Hello Benny (Robie Cole)
    and The New Baby at Your House (Joanna Harris).

    Is it obnoxious to tell you not to ask a kid if he wants something that's going to happen anyway? A statisically insignificant poll (= my friends) showed that just talking about babies and what they're like for a while, then eventually talking about the timing of the arrival of a sibling (Christmas, then Daddy's birthday, then the trip to see Grandma, then moving into the new room at daycare, then baby) worked better than trying to build enthusiasm.

    Penelope Leach has some good stuff about introducing babies to siblings.

    Honestly, though, it sounds as though this is going to be a lot less tricky with Callum than it can be with some kids. So you've done the most imp

  6. First, congratulations! We had a handful of big brother books that we read, including this one:

    We also bought Eli a baby doll of his own. This one:

    My boys are 21 1/2 months apart, and I didn't think Eli could grasp the reality of a baby, but he did fairly well in pointing to my belly when we asked where the baby was, playing with the baby doll, and talking about baby stuff. We also bought his some trains "from the baby" that we gave him at the hospital when he came to meet Leo. That might have helped although I'd recommend waiting to give any toys until *after* the kids meet/precious pictures are taken because once those toys showed up, Eli was D-O-N-E with the baby!

    My suggestion is to try to grab some one-on-one time with your big boy once baby comes along. I know it's really hard, but concentrated time with him will ease some potential jealousy issues. Also, I highly recommend a good baby carrier or wrap! I really needed two hands to keep up with the toddler, so baby boy went in the carrier a lot.

    Good luck! I'd say that if he doesn't show jealousy towards you or your husband holding other babies/likes babies, you'll be fine. It'll be an adjustment for you all, but when your two kids get to play together? Best thing in the world!

  7. Ugh

    You've done the most important thing, which is to have a sweet, easygoing kid who is big brother material down to his toes.

    And I think you're feeling movement. so there.

  8. We did books, and then added personal tie-ins: "Some day YOU will have a little brother, just like Za-Za!" or whatever.

    Rob was also really into "stories," by which he meant us telling him the same thing over and over and over until I wanted to cry, but that worked out well for big-brother stuff: he wanted to hear over and over how the baby would need its diapers changed, and how the baby would have a car seat RIGHT HERE, and how the baby would cry and cry, and how the baby would not be able to play in the snow, and how mommy would go to the hospital for the baby to be born, and ON AND ON AND ON.

  9. Best thing we did to prepare Wombat (who was 3.5 when his brother was born), was get him a little baby boy doll that could be HIS baby. It allowed us to talk about the real baby in a bit more concrete detail, which I think smoothed the transition quite a lot.

    (And yaaaaaaay!)

  10. Agreeing with all the suggestions above - probably the two that worked best for us were to talk a LOT about what babies can and can't do before the baby came, to set expectations (as much as you can with kids), and once baby brother was here, to verbalize as much as possible when baby had to wait because it was big brother's turn.

    Came over here from your twitter feed to say, personally, I found the 3 year age difference BRILLIANT with my boys. My big boy was potty trained when baby came, and he was so much better behaved as a 3 year old than he'd been at 2, when I had two hindsight, I was very grateful I HADN'T had a newborn and a 2 year old after all.

    Also, you seem to have very realistic expectations about how it's all going to go down, which is wise - but thought you'd enjoy my favorite, late in the pregnancy OOPS in preparing big brother: in spite of all the talking we'd done about our boys sharing a room, and PUTTING UP THE CRIB AND ALL, about three nights before the baby was born, we realized our 3 year old thought his little brother was going to get to sleep in his toddler bed with him, like the most epic slumber party ever. My, was he disappointed... ;)

    Congratulations! My boys at 4.5 and 1.5 have a ball together. I wish the same for you!

  11. I'm so glad that you didn't have any morning sickness this time around. I haven't had any myself, so I mainly forget that the sore boobs and the general tiredness is because I am actually pregnant. :-)