baby thoughts: fear of the unknown

I’m halfway through this pregnancy, which means that in 4.5 months we’ll be welcoming a little boy into our family.

At first, the fear of the unknown set in hard. Not knowing what I was going to do with a boy, how my relationship with my little one will develop, and how I was going to handle the moving parts of a family of four were overwhelming. I think about those moments when days flow so gracefully when it’s just her and I. Then I think about how that same day would be while also having a newborn. And fear sets in.

As the predicted due date approaches faster and faster, the logistics of bringing another baby have gone from anxiety, to a go-with-the-flow system, back to an anxiety, and round and round we go. Those same thoughts are softened by the support of family and friends, but most of all, the assurance that Justin and I are a true team. Although our little one was a pretty easy baby, the way Justin and I handled being parents of a newborn really impressed me. We worked together, never undermining the other and going with the flow to see what worked and when. It makes such a difference when you’re also struggling with sleep deprivation and trying to keep the human that you’ve made stay alive.

All those things aside, the fear of the unknown is a difficult pill to swallow, and one that I personally struggle with through life. It’s always better to know whether a situation will work out when you know the outcome, but the “wait and see” approach is tough, man. What if it’s harder than I thought? What if I could’ve done something differently? What if, what if, what if. It can be so mind consuming. A surprise pregnancy, different gender, impact of the first born and logistics of space are all unknowns. But in all this I keep going back to two sayings that calm me down:

“God will never give you something you can’t handle”

“People have done this exact thing FOR YEARS”

I guess I’m officially welcomed to the club.

it’s really happening (baby #2)

Alright, at 21 weeks and halfway through this thing. In a couple of months we’ll be knee deep in diaper changes, late night feedings and being parents of a newborn again. I’m wrapping my head around the logistics of bringing another baby into the world, and as I hang out with my little one and rock her to sleep while my obvious pregnant belly is getting bigger and bigger, I’m reminded to savor those precious moments of us as a twosome.

Here’s how I’m doing this time around:

1. How big is the baby?

Baby is the size of baseball hat or a baby bok choy. He’s super active and kicking all the time. I’m carrying this baby differently this time around which the doctor has blamed gender and stretched uterus, go figure. 

2. Foods I Love…

Pickles! Cliche as all hell, but I’ve sent Justin on a run for pickles now, and I HATE pickles. Never eat them when they come with sandwiches, always pick them off burgers, but with this pregnancy I want them so bad. Truffles are also a win- but I don’t know if I would blame that on pregnancy…

3. Foods I Hate…

Super heavy food and seafood. It’s just too much and I feel like I have to walk around and help everything move and it’s just not worth it. I’m eating more than with Olivia, which is awesome, but there is quite a bit of maintenance and supervision that has to be done so I don’t feel like shit. 

4. How I’m Feeling…

While I think this pregnancy is going better than my first, I’m getting all sorts of new discomforts like round ligament pain and back pain. Maybe it’s because I’m carrying him differently, my placenta is in a good spot this time around and baby boy is super active, who knows. I think my body just got its shit together this time around, but I feel better. First trimester was a bitch, and I don’t wish that on anyone, so I’m happy to be in second trimester (although I wouldn’t call it bliss). 

5. Looking Forward To…

Keeping on, keeping on. Feeling OK, celebrating with friends and family to help welcome this new baby, the joy of giving Olivia a sibling and becoming a family of four. Our ultrasound was great and everything seems to be progressing the way that it should. 

6. Scared About…

The probability of developing preeclampsia again with this pregnancy. I am reading that there is a 20-30% chance of it happening again just because of the severity of the last one (HELLP syndrome). I’m checking my blood pressure everyday and monitoring my symptoms closely. Hopefully since I know what to look for, I”ll be better prepared to handle it if it happens again. 

7. Things I’ve Learned…

Give into the cravings- why the hell not? Walking is also good for everyone involved including Olivia and Mya. I’ve also learned that although my bond with Olivia is so super strong, I’m happy that we are giving her a sibling to partner through life. I was listening to a podcast by Jeff Kluger who wrote a book called The Sibling Effect. At the end of his speech, he says that siblings “give each other a sense of constancy, a sense of having a permanent traveling companion and somebody with whom they road tested life with before they ever had to get out and travel it on their own. They are among the richest harvests that life has to offer.” I know with the closeness that my sisters and I share, I feel so grateful my parents decided to do that for me. 

Boy, Oh Boy!

We always knew we wanted to give Olivia a sibling. My sisters and I are best friends, so how could we not give our little one that opportunity? Justin has a sister, my dad has a sister and my mom has 2 other siblings. So when Justin and I talked about bringing another little one into this world to be a partner in this one-of-a-kind family of ours, it wasn’t even a question.

Enter procrastination.

We didn’t know the age difference we wanted them to be, and when people would ask us when we’re going to have another one, our response was always “eventually, but not now”.

Enter the now.

It’s almost as if God gave us the push we would never give ourselves. Like the universe told us “ok, I know you want this, and you aren’t getting any younger, and you obviously aren’t there yet, so let me help”. And BOOM! Positive pregnancy test.

And with modern medical technology, and my history of a not-so-awesome pregnancy and “advanced maternal age”, we were able to determine the sex of our little gummy bear (or as I would like to call it, the parasite that is trying to kill me in the first trimester). We are happy to announce that we are having a BOY!

Yep, a boy. Justin is beyond stoked, and I’m a little nervous of having a different gender when all I know is the life of girls. So far everything has checked out as normal and at 14 weeks (or as I like to call- magic week), I’m able to eat again (YES). Come this June, Olivia will be a big sister!

Our little one has been such a wonderful experience that beyond exceeded my thinking of how it would be to raise a child, let alone a daughter. She’s smart, curious, active, loving and sleeps through the night, man. I love her more than my heart can take, and she’s going to be such an incredible big sister.

Here’s to our new family of 5!