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: 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.