6 months ago
1st Trimester Q&A
I’m coming up on 16 weeks (in 2 days, according to my pregnancy app) and definitely thought I was 14 weeks along. Signs of a second pregnancy – you never know how far along you are or what “fruit” your baby is. I swear I checked a few times a week when I was pregnant with Margot and googled her development nonstop. It’s all a blur this time around and there isn’t much time to think about those details. That means it’ll go by faster, right? Smile and nod. Tell me it’s almost summer.
After asking what questions you had for me about pregnancy and the first trimester, I received the same questions a few times on instagram. Sometimes, stories aren’t the best way to share info, so here I am. It’s easier to have this post to link to, and is so much easier to have this “forum” (ok, comments section, but still – nothing beats typing at a computer vs an iPhone) for you to ask more questions should you have them.
I took my first bump photo with Margot at 12 weeks. It was one of not very many quick mirror selfies since pregnancy just wasn’t my thing. I have learned and embraced that it’s ok not to enjoy this, while still being so, so grateful for this little life. If you’re new here, I got pregnant and lost the baby at just 6 weeks just before getting pregnant with this baby. Call it a chemical pregnancy or miscarriage but whatever it was, it hurt like hell. The physical emptiness was crushing. My heart felt broken but I channeled that pain into gratitude for Margot, the only person who could make me smile on that dark, dark day.
I am trying to embrace this pregnancy, and I’ve learned that even when I feel fine, which I do, it just isn’t something I love and that’s ok. I can’t wait to meet her and would do pretty much anything to ensure that she makes it here safely. I am so bloated, my boobs are so big right now (I can’t believe I’m sharing this but I’m a 32 G. YES G). It’s taking a toll physically and emotionally but it is what it is and I can’t do anything about it, at least not right now. It is something I plan to “fix” later, but we’ll talk about that another day. Time to dive into your questions.
Did you always know you wanted a second? Did you ever question it after Margot?
I always knew I wanted to be a mom and envisioned having more than one child. We both understand the appeal of one child. It’s more manageable (and affordable), you’re not outnumbered, and it just sounds…easier. But when I pictured my family – children growing up, and long-term, I (we) imagined more than one child. I can’t really explain it, but I can say that there were times we definitely talked about maybe being done with one (especially during the first year), and we really talked it through before deciding to go for #2. The newborn stage is hard, and aside from how sweet and tiny babies are, it just wasn’t our favorite. We weren’t the happiest and neither was Margot, but the good moments far outweighed the bad. Now that we know what’s ahead, we’re more excited for this little one. We know how good it gets, and that even if the first few months feel rough, it’s just temporary.
Do you fear another loss? How did you handle anxiety the first few weeks of pregnancy following your miscarriage?
Believe it or not, I was actually less anxious with this pregnancy than my first, even after a loss. When I had some light spotting I was a little worried, but knew that whatever happened, we’d get through it, and that everything was out of my control. In my mind, I had Margot and everything would be ok. I’m actually surprised at how relaxed I’ve been about the whole thing, and there’s just a lot less time to think about it (hence not knowing how far along I am). Between Margot, work, life etc, there isn’t much time to focus on being pregnant beyond trying to squeeze into pants that currently feel way too tight.
How did you not freak out about the spotting?
I was really sad and thought it might mean this pregnancy was over, but it was very light (I’m talking a few drops) compared to what looked like a heavy period. It was a Saturday afternoon. Margot was napping and Conor was working at Anecdote. I called him and tried to stay composed and as calm as possible, asking him to come home since I didn’t want to move. I crawled into bed and the light spotting stopped almost immediately. It happened once more a few weeks later but was very light, so I just stayed calm and felt ok once it had stopped.
How did you tell Conor?
There wasn’t a lot of time to think this one through. I had a cold and wanted to take Day Quil, but quickly took a test because there was a chance I could be pregnant. Let’s just get really honest about ovulation. Two women messaged me telling me they ovulated 2 weeks after miscarriages and got pregnant, so I gave it a shot. I was sure it didn’t work but there was no chance I was going to take anything without being 100%. Sure enough, I was pregnant. We were cozy in our bed with Margot one morning and I climbed back into bed and said Margot was going to be a big sister. It didn’t feel remotely real and I knew how quickly it could all be over, but at least I knew not to take anything that day.
Did you experience any symptoms before you knew you were pregnant?
What were your first pregnancy symptoms?
Probably feeling tired? Honestly, I am so lucky and haven’t had any morning sickness. There have been a handful of horrible 12-24 hour headaches, a touch of heartburn (so mild though), and days where I was tired, but nothing that compared to the exhaustion I felt while pregnant with Margot.
Do you feel like you’re showing yet? Are you showing sooner than you did with Margot?
A little bit but I am mostly (very) bloated. There’s a tiny bump at the beginning of the day and it grows as the hours pass. Definitely happened earlier than with Margot but I’ve heard that’s normal. I still look like I ate a sheet cake and box of donuts and not like I’m pregnant, but what can you do?
Were you able to work out during the first trimester?
Yes! I have been shockingly great with workouts. There were a few weekend days when I napped while Margot napped and lots of 8:30PM bedtimes but I felt mostly normal. I’ve been doing Pilates 2 days a week and mixing in P. Volve and a little Peloton. Need to be better about cardio.
How has this pregnancy been different than your first?
I think about being pregnant a lot less and worry a lot less. Even though I experienced a loss right before this pregnancy, I am still far less anxious than I was when I was pregnant with Margot. Because I got pregnant with her on my first try at 36, I had this feeling in the back of my mind that it couldn’t be that easy – that something had to go wrong. Physically, I feel better. Less tired and mostly normal.
Has this pregnancy gone by quickly given that you’re busy chasing after a toddler?
I don’t feel like it’s gone by “quickly” but I have a lot less time to focus on being pregnant. During my first pregnancy, I couldn’t think about anything else. Was everything ok? Were my symptoms normal? The exhaustion was also a whole other level. My pregnancy with Margot felt like it was years long while I was pregnant, but once it was over, it felt like it flew by. This time around, I found out I was pregnant right after Alaina went on leave during our busiest season at work. Napping after work wasn’t an option because that’s my time with Margot, so I just kind of kept going. So no, it doesn’t feel like it’s flown by, but I don’t think about it very often. Hopefully that makes sense.
What pregnancy apps are you using?
The Bump! It’s how I know how far along I am and how big baby girl is.
What are you most anxious about going from 1 to 2 kids?
Getting by. Not knowing what to expect. We had such a hard time with Margot and sleep so I just hope we’re able to adjust a little more easily this time, and that I’ll feel like I have a grip on being a mom to two sooner than later. I know Margot will feel loved. We’ll make time for both our girls. The thought of day-to-day, or being alone with two 2 and under sounds like a lot, but if I’ve learned anything since becoming a mom, it’s that there’s no way to anticipate what life is going to look like. I never could have imagined how hard our first year would be, and after going through that, I never could have imagined how amazing things could be. You will get through whatever it is because there’s really no other choice. Expecting it to be hard but I have a great support system, a husband with a flexible schedule, and a nanny. There are moms who are home with multiple children/babies days after giving birth.
Do you have a favorite stretch mark balm that worked the first time around?
Yes! I used this religiously and did not get one stretch mark, and I am prone to them.
How is Buddy handling this pregnancy?
He’s a dream! I would say Buddy is less protective (of both me and Margot) while still being protective. He was sort of vicious to Conor during my last pregnancy and would run into the room barking if he so much as heard him speak to me. I know this is terrible but I found it so sweet and endearing. Budd is almost always near me and will sometimes growl when Conor walks in the room but only if Buddy is next to me. He almost always growls when he gets into bed because (judge away, he’s 10 years old and has always slept with me), he sleeps with us. So I’d say he’s been less aggressive yet protective.
Favorite snack ideas to curb intense hunger pangs?
I am so weird with my pregnancy cravings and snacks. I haven’t had intense hunger yet and usually want weird things like veggie rolls (avocado, specifically), salad, and lately, I’ve wanted bacon in the morning. If you’re hungry I’d just keep healthy, filling, snacks nearby. Fruit, veggies, and hummus or guac? Really depends on what you’re into.
Did you do a full genetic panel?
I did. So grateful for a healthy baby.
What were some names you considered but decided not to use?
Until we found out we were having a girl (both times) we mostly talked about boy names. Conor and I have always loved Jack but I’m actually over it now, so had this been a boy, his name would not have been Jack. My favorites since high school have been Jack and Will, so had this baby been a boy, he probably would have been William because it’s the only name we both like. I love Harrison, Finn, and Theodore/Theo, but Conor gave me a hard no to all of them.
I’ll talk more about girl names later since I’m (I say I like it’s just me but this is “my” name and Conor approves, and he gets the middle name this time) likely using a name I mentioned after I had Margot and don’t want to give anything away.
How are you preparing Margot for the baby?
Margot is 18 months so the reality is that she will not understand what’s about to happen. I mean, I barely understand what’s about to happen. Even when she comes to the hospital, she won’t get that she’s now sharing her mom with this little person. That this kid is coming home to stay. She has a baby doll that she likes taking care of, and we’ve always talked a lot about being kind and gentle. From a very early age, I sort of drilled in being kind and “soft” with Buddy, and she has never (ever) been rough with him. When i ask her to show me how to be kind with her hands, she sweetly brushes her hand on my cheek. We also read “Be Kind” nonstop, and I can’t help but think kindness is just etched into her brain.
Best ways to carve out time for the oldest when baby #2 arrives?
I haven’t gone through this yet so I can’t say for sure, but I plan on trading off with Conor so we each get one-on-one time with each of our girls. Margot is going through a major mom phase so I want to make sure she feels very included and like she still has that time with us. I know it’s going to feel like a lot of change for all of us, but we will have our nanny while I’m on leave because this is her job and she needs to continue to work, so Margot will have special time with her, and we’ll have some help with the baby so we can spend solo time with Margot.