pregnant with a toddler- the struggle is real

I know pregnancy makes you tired, especially in the last month, but I was not prepared for how tired I’d feel this time around. My daughter had issues with me as her nutrition host and was a tiny, pre-term 3 lb. baby who just made me sick all the way up to delivery. But I could take a nap on demand (when I wasn’t nauseous), and plan her arrival calmly.

This time is so different. While in hindsight I appreciate the fact that my daughter kept me just distracted enough to not have the luxury of feeling sick all day (the DayQuil commercials come to mind when the mom goes into her kids room and asks to take a sick day), as time has gone by and my belly gets bigger, it’s harder for me to keep up with her. I’m tired all day, not sleeping, and chasing a toddler with the energy of a hopping Energizer bunny.

I wasn’t prepared to be this exhausted 24/7 with a toddler running around and an unborn son who thankfully is on target and using my body and thriving. All this while trying to wrap my head around all the things that need to get done to get a house ready to accommodate two little ones with completely different needs.

I struggle with trying to fit in so many things that I want to do with my daughter as we come to a close as a twosome, with the reality that my body just can’t do it. While zoo trips and beach days sound awesome, I’m slowly caving into the fact that movie afternoons are where it needs to be at. Queue up Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

So while I’d love to hear any thoughts out there from other moms who have have dealt with this exact situation, I know that I’m not alone and that I’ll be fine. My mom did this exact thing and my sisters and I came out just fine (or so she keeps telling us). Still- any advice on how to survive this last month of pregnancy with an active toddler would be much appreciated!

baby thoughts: lessons for our little boy

I did a lessons for our girl when Liv was still hanging out in my tummy, so it was only appropriate to do a lessons for our little boy the second time around. With a baby boy it’s different. My focus on our little boy is to be a kind human being that is respectful and knows how to treat a lady. There is something different when I think about the fact that Justin and I are going to be raising a little boy who will someday become a man. While I desperately wanted Liv not to be a bratty kid, with a boy I want desperately for him to be a gentleman.

Lesson #1: Education

Just like our wish list for our little girl, education is also big for our little boy. School is so important and I want to make sure that we do everything we can to set him up for a future he can be successful in. It’s probably why we are struggling to find a name that will fit him. While we want his name to be someone who is a “nice guy”, we want the name to also sound great as the president of a reputable company (even if it’s his own).

Lesson #2: Bilingual

It’s been tougher than I thought to get our little girl to speak more Spanish, and I think it’s because 99% of what she’s exposed to is in English. I can talk to her in Spanish all day long, but when daddy comes home or when she’s at her grandparents house (on either side), it’s English all day long. I thought my mom would be my right hand in speaking to her only in Spanish, but it’s surprisingly not been the case. I have to keep in mind that while we were growing up, Spanish is her native language, and while I grew up learning both, living here with an English-speaking spouse and friends gives in to a different environment. We have plenty of books that are bilingual, and I do my best to reference objects and people in Spanish, but it’s been an uphill battle.

Lesson #3: A Gentleman

This is a big one. My dad is old-fashioned when it comes to how to treat a lady, (it also probably has to do with the fact that he’s got a sister and three daughters) and while it can seem a bit overboard to some (especially in the American culture- not so much in the Italian or Mexican culture), I love that he’s been taught to be chivalrous in respect to women. The idea of “taking care” of women in respect to opening doors, walking them to their cars/house, making sure they get home OK, and even paying a the end of a meal are all things that, in this day in age, seems contradictory to the stance of equality for women, but to me is a sign of a man who respects and takes the time to care for women.

Lesson #4: Well-Mannered

Please, thank you, excuse me- all day, everyday. I take pride in the fact that I currently do this with our little girl. You want some milk? Say please. Daddy gave you a snack? Say thank you. Mya in front of you? Say excuse me. I wanted to start this early on with Liv so that it becomes second nature to her and she gets older and let me tell you, the unprompted thank you’s and please’s are music to my ears. Hopefully she’ll be able to help me in training our little boy to do the same thing.

So that’s it. Our little wish list for our little boy!

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.