Family of four

He’s here.

Labor and delivery were once again quick, but felt much less chaotic than the first time around. The midwife’s name was Zen, and she definitely brought an air of that to the whole experience. Baby boy was born in a birthing tub (which, as a testament to how fast things moved, was filled just in time for me to start pushing) one day past my due date. He was the same length but over a pound heavier than his big sister. Baby boy and I stayed in the hospital for about 24 hours (Hubby was not allowed to stay overnight but returned in the morning), after which my friend who had hosted a sleepover for Missy brought her to our room to meet her baby brother for the first time before we headed home as a family of four.

A midwife has already made her first visit and declared us all healthy and healing well. I am still very sore. That includes my nipples, which we are keeping an extra close eye on as my milk comes in because just like his sister, baby boy has a tongue tie. This time, though, if we end up needing to have his clipped, it’s a two-hour bus ride away. So we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that the two of us can figure this out without medical intervention.

Missy loves her brother and has been very sweet and gentle with him. But she is also clearly conflicted and having a bit of a hard time with the reality of no longer having my undivided attention. I’m trying to play and snuggle with her as much as possible when I don’t literally have my hands full with the baby, but it’s difficult when I am also so exhausted. I’m sure we’ll find our way into a new routine (and hopefully soon because Hubby has a conference in Estonia in three weeks, during which time I will be solo parenting two). On the plus side, unlike when Missy was born, despite not having family around, we do have a network of friends we can rely on. Which makes all of this feel so much less overwhelming.

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Babywatch 2018 #MicroblogMondays

So, unless you’ve been unplugged all day or living under a rock, you probably know the newest royal baby has arrived. And it’s a boy. We haven’t settled on a name for our boy yet, but I will tell you he will not have the same name as the 5th in line for the throne.

Speaking of our boy, I had a growth scan today, after the sudden spike in belly measurements last week, and baby is measuring right at the 50th percentile. All is looking good, but they want me to have another scan in a couple of weeks, just to be sure he’s staying on track. I have no pics from today’s scan because he was facing my spine, so the ultrasound tech couldn’t get a view of his face. And everything else is starting to be a bit squished in there, so unless I wanted a clear pic of his femur, I was out of luck.

I was also hoping Hubby and I would get a tour of the maternity ward today, but apparently it was full, so we wouldn’t have been able to see much. We’ll try again at a later date. The next appointments we have are two weeks from tomorrow, when we have both the scan and a home visit with the midwife to discuss a birth plan. If we haven’t already met the little guy by then (not that I’m in a hurry! He still doesn’t have a place to sleep!).

34 weeks: Shit’s getting real

I had my 34(ish) week appointment on Monday. Because I didn’t realize that it was a school inset day (after a 2+ week holiday) when I scheduled it, Missy was with me. So she got to hear baby brother’s heartbeat (something even Hubby hasn’t done) and thought that was pretty darn cool. My belly had expanded from measuring two weeks behind (barely hugging the 10th percentile line) to measuring a week ahead (above the 90th percentile) in the span of two and a half weeks. Initially, the consultant didn’t seem too worried about it, saying she would typically send me for a glucose tolerance test, but since I’d already had (and passed) that, they’d just see how I measured at my next appointment. Then I got a call from the midwife two days later. I’m hoping it’s just a matter of two different people measuring on two different beds, but they’re sending me for a scan on Monday anyway.

I had been offered additional scans from early on, but because I’d like to think that, aside from the way this baby was conceived and eventually made its way to my uterus, I’ve had a perfectly normal pregnancy, I refused. With the exception being, of course, something like this. Although, I have to admit, I thought the issue would be that I wasn’t growing enough, not the other way around. Either way, I’m happy to have another peek at this kid.

Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve felt smaller than I did the first time around, and–until recently–most people barely noticed I was pregnant at all unless I pointed it out. I totally neglected to take a comparison photo at 28 weeks, but here’s me currently, at exactly 34 weeks:

And here I was with Missy at the same time:

It’s not just my imagination, right? I’m significantly smaller now.

Anyway, aside from the possible growth issue, everything else is fine. The kid moves all the time, I feel pretty good and have been keeping fairly active, even though I’m closer to waddling than walking at this point. We now have a Moses basket in the living room, but still no place for the kid to sleep upstairs. I have a bundle of cloth diapers waiting for me at a friend’s house and a basket full of freshly washed and folded baby clothes right next to me. I still haven’t packed a hospital bag, which I should probably get around to one of these days.

My next appointment with the midwife is a home visit to discuss our birth plan in early May. To help prepare myself with my concerns and questions (mostly around making sure I get to the hospital in time to take advantage of the birthing tub), I went back and re-read Missy’s birth story. Holy shit, you guys, it was less than an hour from when the serious contractions started to when she was born. And the second labor is supposed to go faster than the first??? But Hubby is dead-set against a home birth (a planned one anyway), so I want to make sure we gave a solid plan for getting to the hospital before it’s too late.

And that includes what to do with Missy. I have a list of four or five people I can call, but my fear is that things get going in the middle of the night, and I’m not even sure you can get a taxi in this town at that time!

So. That’s my long-winded update. Hopefully there will be nothing to report on Monday, other than maybe another ultrasound picture.

#MicroblogMondays: Not-so-micro

We had our 20 week scan on Monday. Everything looks good so far, and… It’s a boy!

I don’t think I realized until I saw a penis on the screen how much I was expecting another girl. I was comfortable with that idea. But a boy? We have so many new things to consider, including my Jewish-but-not-religious husband’s views on circumcision. I’ve already sorted Missy’s clothes, pulling out the items that are neutral or boy-appropriate. And don’t get me started on names. I have a list of over 20 possibilities, most of which Hubby will probably poo-poo before offering heavily accented alternatives in his native language.

Missy has a favorite name picked out, but was otherwise unimpressed when she heard the news of a baby brother.

21 weeks 1 day with the Kid

21 weeks with Missy

I kept hearing about bellies popping sooner and bigger the second time around. My bump this time looks…lumpier?…but smaller than it did at the same point last time around. I’ve now started blatantly announcing my pregnancy to people who respond with either varying degrees of surprise or a knowing “I thought so (but I didn’t want to say anything, just in case).” Meaning, in case I’d just put on a few over the holidays.

I’ve made my Facebook announcement, minus the usual caveats or explanations, hoping that anyone who might be affected by an ultrasound picture popping up in their feed already knows what we’ve been through to get this far. So now everyone knows.

Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

Back to life #MicroblogMondays

We spent the holidays in Hubby’s home country, which is always a little weird because it doesn’t feel much like Christmas at all. There are the odd Christmas trees or blow-up Santas, but mostly I have to keep reminding myself of the holiday. We did manage to have Santa visit our hotel room and leave a little something in each of our stockings, including “baby bottles for my babies,” which was the only thing Missy really asked Santa for. As soon as we returned home, I contracted yet another cold, but we did have a small second celebration this past weekend, involving a couple of presents for Missy but nothing close to Christmas dinner, as I had originally planned. And today, Hubby went back to work, Missy went back to school, and I’m back to laundry and dishes and vacuuming (in spite of the lingering cold).

As much as I was looking forward to returning home, getting back to our regular schedule and routines, I have to admit, I’m already starting to miss vacation mode. I felt so relaxed. Someone other than me cleaned up after us for a change. Someone else cooked. We spent time with family, and Missy got to practice her language skills in Hubby’s native tongue. And I had finally gotten over my last cold!

I did manage a bump photo fairly close to when I took the first one during my pregnancy with Missy. Here’s how they compare:

17 weeks 3 days with the Kid

17 weeks with Missy

I thought I would look bigger this time around, but they’re practically identical. I’ve also been feeling a lot of movement, and even Hubby has felt it a couple of times. Next up is our 20 week scan, one week from today. We’ll find out the sex, and hopefully it will get our 2018 off to a positive start.

News of the day

Last night, as I lay down to sleep, I felt the unmistakable twitch-flutter in my belly that, for the first time, I was 100% sure was the Kid and not the result of my ever-slowing digestion. It was an exciting end to an already exciting day.

Yesterday morning, at 15 weeks 4 days, I finally heard that wonderful whoosh-whoosh-whoosh that, in spite of having three* (silent) scans so far, made this pregnancy feel more real and viable than ever. Before she applied the gel, the midwife insisted 16 weeks was still early and it could take some time to find the heartbeat, but within moments, there it was, loud and clear, and nothing could have pried the smile off my face.

And then, in the evening, after tucking Missy into bed, my friend NK picked me up for what she had dubbed our “office” Christmas party. For two hours, she and I and five other moms laughed and ate and thoroughly enjoyed the brief respite from 24/7 mommy-ing. It was the first time some of my good friends were in the same room together. It felt like the beginnings of a tribe.

No wonder I was too excited to sleep.

~

*About that third scan….Last Sunday, I took Missy to the playground. It had rained earlier, and most of the play equipment was wet. We hadn’t planned to stay long, but she did convince me to climb aboard the pirate ship. Getting up was not a problem, but on the way down, I slipped, landing hard enough to knock the wind out of me. And apparently I had bumped myself in other places during the fall, most notably, my right eye, which is still sporting quite the shiner more than a week later. (“That’s what I get for trying to be a pirate,” I attempted to joke when one of the other moms at nursery pick-up asked me what had happened.) Once I had caught my breath, I didn’t think the fall had been that serious, I had no cramping or bleeding, and planned to call the midwives the next day, rather than going in to A&E. When I woke up Monday morning, I could feel–but not see–a bruise on my belly, above my uterus. When I reported this to the midwife, along with my rh- blood type, she got me an appointment to come in, have a scan, and get the anti-D injection. Everything looked fine, the baby was dancing around, but all together, it took hours! I was told to report to the wrong department, they couldn’t figure out how to get the injection I needed from the lab and finally decided I needed to have blood drawn first…and on and on and on. At one point, I had to leave to pick up Missy from playgroup, come back, get her a snack, and wait some more. My husband ended up coming after work to take Missy home, give her some dinner, and get her to bed, all while I waited for that injection. But after all that, everything seems to be fine. And no more pirate-ing for me.

Second-child syndrome #MicroblogMondays

I had my first midwife appointment last Tuesday, and I didn’t blog about it because…there wasn’t much to report. I asked if she would use the Doppler (I still haven’t heard the heartbeat), but she refused, saying it was too early. Mostly, she just went over my history and drew some blood.

It’s sort of been the way this pregnancy has gone so far. The cliché is that the second child gets the shaft, right? Well, with this kid, it’s starting early.

And that’s just to this point. When we have future scans, we have the option of purchasing pictures (what?!?), but I’m sure 3D/4D will not be an option, at least, not locally. I mean, I never got around to finishing my pregnancy scrapbook for Missy/Thumper (we were in the middle of moving to Canada, after all), but I don’t even have anything to put in one for this kid.

There’s also the fact that I’m so exhausted, I haven’t put in the same emotional investment as I did the first time around. I have the multiple daily reminders, mostly in the form of pills and pessaries, that I am, in fact, pregnant, but I have no tangible evidence, not even a blurry ultrasound picture, that I can gaze at and feel my heart skip a few beats. Occasionally, I convince myself I’m feeling a flutter, only to ultimately admit it’s probably just gas.

I want to feel more connected to this pregnancy, to this potential little person growing in my womb, but I’m finding it really difficult right now. Sorry, kid.

Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

heartbeat 

We managed to schedule a local scan, which saved us an entire day of travel. (Actually, we had two of them scheduled at one point. I guess that request for the GP to write a letter on my behalf was redundant.)

Our experience here, with this pregnancy, has already been so different, and it seems it will continue that way. We went to radiology, where they proceeded to do an external ultrasound, which I didn’t even know was possible at this early stage. (I guess all those vag-cam sessions with my first pregnancy were also redundant.) We saw one little bean, heart flickering away, measuring at exactly 7 weeks. The ultrasound machine was not equipped with sound, so we didn’t get to hear that beautiful whoosh whoosh whoosh, and we didn’t get a printout, either. When we met with the doctor, he asked why we were having the scan (the second person today) since they usually don’t do them until 12 weeks. Everyone seemed satisfied with the answer I gave to that question, so it wasn’t like an interrogation or anything.

I had blood drawn yesterday because I’ve been feeling suuuper fatigued, and no one had bothered to check my thyroid levels. Last time, that was something they checked with the first or second beta. My levels were high then, so they put me on medication right away. That doesn’t seem to even be on the fertility clinic’s radar, since they’ve asked for no blood since I called them with my test results. 

I’m sort of hoping it is my thyroid and medication will perk me up a bit. There are days I literally get nothing done because I can’t bring myself to stand, walk, or move for more than a couple of minutes before I have to sit down again.

Missy was with us for the scan. I don’t know how much she understands, but when she pointed to the screen and asked what we were all looking at, Hubby told her it was a baby, and she asked if it was in my tummy. I don’t want to talk about it with her too much because it’s still so early. 1) There’s no guarantee we’ll be holding this baby by next June, and 2) even if there was, that’s a long time for her to have to wait. But, of course, Hubby and I can’t agree on how much she should know and when.

For now, I’m breathing a sigh of relief while also anxiously awaiting the next scan. It’s going to be a long five weeks! 

6 weeks: symptom spotting

As far as I know, I’m still pregnant. I haven’t tested in more than a week, continue to take my meds, and hope for the best. I was able to arrange a scan at the local hospital, saving us a whole day of travel, but it’s still just over a week away (Friday the 13th–eek!). At the moment, my most pronounced symptom is fatigue, followed, somewhat inconsistently, by frequent trips to the bathroom. Needing to pee in the middle of the night was my very first symptom with my first pregnancy, even before a positive test. That has not been the case this time. I also haven’t had a trace of nausea, which is consistent with my previous pregnancy. I was spoiled last time with weekly scans from six to ten weeks, which I definitely won’t get this time, so I have to find some other way to ease my anxiety about the goings-on inside my uterus. It helps that I have a busy girl to keep up with, so I have less down time to obsess.

Side note: These progesterone pessaries are wreaking havoc on our sex life (which hasn’t been great since Missy was born, anyway). It’s not just the…ahem, goo, but everything in my nether regions is just a bit off. Poor Hubby claims I’m glowing and beautiful, and I just keep him at arm’s length and tell him to keep his hands to himself. If all goes well next Friday, he may be looking at a long six weeks until I can stop these things.