A Tale of Two Pregnancies: Emotional Rollercoaster

I’m sure David thought I had bad mood swings during my first pregnancy (although, he’d never admit it), but now I’m pretty sure he’s thinking that pregnancy was a piece of cake compared to this one. I will be the first to admit that I haven’t been easy on him for the past  7 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 19 hours and 45 minutes. Not that anyone’s counting…

I would feel nauseated, which made me not feel up to doing much, which made me upset because I didn’t want to get fat. I would go exercise only to get tired and then get upset that I was tired from what I felt like wasn’t much exercise. I would feel tired just because, and then get upset because I didn’t feel like I should get tired. You get the picture.

Then there’s the crying. Oh. My. Gosh. I’ll be honest. I don’t know what I was crying about at least half the time. Okay, maybe 60-70% of the time. I cried about David not understanding what I was crying about, even though I didn’t know what I was crying about. Why couldn’t he just understand I was pregnant, and I was going to cry? Two weeks ago, I actually cried as we were walking around a pond because some male ducks were attempting to mate with a female duck. I did not know that’s what was happening at the time. Has anyone ever seen this happen? It’s more than a little frightening, and it seems as though the males are attacking the female, and none of it looks consensual. I was crying and trying to make sure Harrison didn’t see (he was busy looking at the geese), and asking David to do something. He kept asking me, “What do you want me to do?”, and I kept sobbing, “I don’t know. Do something.”. Poor, poor David.

It hasn’t helped that there’s been some issues with this pregnancy. There was the first time I was scheduled for my gestational diabetes screening. That’s right; the first time. I drank that sugary mess only to be called back and informed they called me back 12 minutes past when they should’ve drawn my blood. So, I had to take the test again the following month. I knew when they called me the next day they were going to tell me I hadn’t passed the screen. I started crying. I called David crying and upset. I was mostly upset because it was a month later than when I was first scheduled for the screen, and if they discovered I had gestational diabetes, that was a month I should’ve been eating differently. I mean, a banana almost has the daily sugar allowance for someone with gestational diabetes. Fortunately, I was more than fine, but to find out I was fine, I had to fast and then not eat until 12:30 the following day. Not something you should have to do when you’re 30 weeks pregnant.

Fast forward to last week when I had my 36-week growth ultrasound. I was thinking we’d see how wonderful our baby looked and be on our way. Nope. We found out our baby was only coming in at about 5 pounds (10th percentile), when he should have been closer to 6 pounds. When my doctor checked me, I was already 3cm dilated and 50-60% effaced. I wasn’t excited. This baby needed to hang around longer (not something most pregnant women say). Suddenly, I was scheduling an appointment with the perinatologist. We had our appointment the following day, and they confirmed the small size, but also informed us everything else looked great. However, I now have to be on modified bed rest. That’s not fun, in case you’re wondering. I have to lay on my left side (to improve flow) 6 hours a day, drink lots of fluids, and “take it easy”.

Anyway, I have 3 appointments a week. One with my OB/Gyn, and two with the perinatologist. It’s a bit much, but you do what you have to do. I love hearing my baby’s heartbeat and seeing him on ultrasound, but it’s gone from being excited to just being nervous about what the ultrasound will show and what the doctor will say. So far, so good, though.

Despite all these ups and downs, I am so grateful to be close to our family. We have had so much support, from encouraging words, to picking Harrison up from school while we’re at appointments, to helping run errands and get dinner for us. I am so blessed to have family and friends who will go out of their way to help us in any way as soon as we call. That makes me happy, and that is one emotion we can live with.

A Tale of 2 Pregnancies: Let’s Get Physical…

… or not. As mentioned in my last post, this post will cover a bit of the physical difficulties I’ve had. I got very sick right before finding out I was pregnant with Harrison, but other than that I only had a little queasiness with him. I would gag when brushing my teeth, but things really went pretty smoothly.

Fast forward two years, and I knew that queasiness I was feeling was another baby in my belly. This time was harder. I not only gagged when brushing my teeth, but that gagging led to vomiting occasionally. My gag reflex was hypersensitive when it came to sights and smells, and this also led to vomiting occasionally. I felt very tired, and I found myself getting short of breath just climbing the staircase. The long and short of it is that I had days when I just didn’t feel like doing anything. It was a good thing my last day of work was the beginning of September since we were moving shortly after. Harrison continued going to his sitter’s house, so I had the opportunity to rest when I needed to.

I also noticed my body changing faster (or at least it felt like it was). When I went to Missouri one weekend to look at houses, I found it difficult to zip up the skirt I wore to Church. I was only 7 weeks! Not a happy camper. Granted, I was just bloated, but it didn’t feel good. I’m pretty sure I started wearing my belly band earlier, and those maternity pants felt good sooner, too. I felt like I was getting bigger faster, but when I looked at pictures from my first pregnancy, I didn’t look bigger. It didn’t matter, though, because I still felt bigger. I had a husband and family telling me I looked great, but I was convinced: I. Was. Bigger.

I have been very concerned about weight gain this pregnancy. The first time, I had plenty of time to work out, and I did. I walked 2-3 miles/day, lifted weights, did some Pilates. There wasn’t another child to take care of, so I could work out any time. There also wasn’t a 2-year-old to look after who made me too tired to want to work out. Despite all that working out the first time around, I still had a bad experience one doctor appointment, when I was lectured about weight gain and made to feel like I wasn’t doing a good job taking care of myself. Knowing I wasn’t able to be as active this time around was, and still is, difficult for me.

Needless to say, I look at the scale carefully each time the nurse weighs me. She never tells me what my number is, so I have to ask the doctor to make sure I saw the right number. Then I get frustrated because I feel like I’ve gained too much weight, and the doctor tells me I’m fine. I don’t want to hear I’m fine, I want to know how much weight I’ve gained since the last appointment when I had to ask how much I weighed. (Interesting side note: we don’t have a scale in our house.) It may sound extreme, but like I said, this pregnancy has been harder on me. Unfortunately, it’s not getting easier. More on that later.

A Tale of Two Pregnancies: Part 1 of ?

I haven’t really posted much on this pregnancy other than nursery updates. Not via blog, and certainly not via Facebook. Sure, there’s been the occasional, “I feel tired” or “Not feeling so great today”, and a couple “status updates” about appointments (I was seriously upset about that Glucose screen). There are a myriad of reasons. Some of them silly: How many people will care that we’re having a 2nd child? Some of them serious: Yes, we’re 12 weeks, but what if something happens and I’ve gone and told over 100 people I’m pregnant?; Why tell over 100 people when the ones I really want to tell, I’ll tell in person or via phone call? (Sorry if I offended some of you.) And, if I were really honest about it, I just didn’t think to post about the pregnancy this time around. Not because we weren’t overly excited about this baby, but because it was just different. I’m not sure how to explain it.

Like my pregnancy with Harrison, I just knew I was pregnant this time. My younger brother was actually visiting us, and I took the test before taking him to the airport. It’s a funny feeling knowing you’re pregnant, but not telling your brother. I was only 6 weeks along, and I wanted to first share the news with David. Last time, I made a big production about telling David, but this time (for a variety of reasons), I just wanted to tell him immediately. I did go to Target after taking my brother to the airport and purchase a “little sister” and “little brother” onesie. When I got home, I got them both out and asked Harrison which one he liked. David just looked at me and said, “Seriously?!”, and then gave me a huge hug (and maybe a kiss). Harrison joined in on the love fest because he always wants to be part of lovings.

Needless to say, we were an excited family, but things just happened differently this time around. We had sold our house and were in the process of moving to Missouri. I already wasn’t feeling well this time, and that lasted well into my second trimester. My work was getting very stressful, and we were trying to figure out what would be best for me professionally. To top it all off, we had Harrison who wasn’t quite two, but good luck telling him that. He was proving to be more than a handful for us. Basically, there was a lot going on. I was, and have been, very stressed throughout this entire pregnancy.

That feels like a good stopping point for now. Obviously, I’m not sure how many posts will be part of this series, but as I approach the end of this pregnancy (I’m 36 weeks now), I felt it time to write about this pregnancy.  I’m thinking I’ll delve more into my feelings (physically and emotionally) next time.