Monday, January 25, 2016

Second Pregnancy Thoughts: what's less scary, and what's more scary

In so many ways, a second pregnancy is just so much less stressful.

Preparation: I plan to mainly just skip it.

For example, a first time prego would look at this room full of junk and think "oh my god, there is so much to do before this is an appropriate nursery for a baby".

However, as a second timer, I can zero in on things that the inexperienced eye may not see. All that needs to be done is move a bunch of crap to the basement and we're golden. (We're leaving the bed in the room since it's on the first floor, so if I have a c-section I won't have to use the stairs.)

See? Good to go. 

Learning Things: Not necessary

I don't feel the pressure to take classes or read books like I did the first time. Don't get me wrong, I don't anticipate knowing what I'm doing. I feel like I've kind of figured out how to make a baby happy, but only if that baby is EXACTLY like Dalton. Based on what I've heard from moms of 2+, odds are much more likely that this baby will be his polar opposite. But I know some basic parenting things that I was clueless about during my first pregnancy. How to swaddle, how to change a newborn's diaper, bathing, all sorts of weird terminology - meconium, bumbo, and boppy, for example - all words that got the wavy red line under them, and yet all real baby things. I know how to use a breast pump and how to store milk to ensure that I never waste a single drop. 

While I'm sure this baby will bring up all new challenges (aside from the obvious challenge of taking care of it along with a toddler), I feel a lot more confident that we will figure things out. 

Labor and Delivery: Maybe not the most terrifying thing on the planet

A healthy dose of denial is necessary for this one. The ace up my sleeve is that last time, I was basically equally frightened of having a needle shoved in my back as I was of birthing a human. Now I know that epidurals exist as proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, women of childbearing age, at least. Aside from that, just having already stayed at the hospital and being aware of the logistics takes some of the mystery out of it, not to mention I got to see first hand how well the staff was able to get things under control in an emergency. While I'm certainly not looking forward to the process of extraction, I'm able to be more excited and less fearful about meeting baby #2. 

Bonding: Not necessary. Just like learning.

No bond whatsoever here.

It's kind of daunting to be preparing to commit your life to someone you've never even met. I mean, think about how scary it can be just to decide to get married - with a baby, there's no dating period. You birth it, and it's yours. For good. I think it's natural to want to make sure you are bonded with the fetus. My first pregnancy, that dumb commercial where Jennifer Love Hewitt is declaring her undying love for her unborn child would have had me panicking. Because I so did not feel like that. I don't read to fetuses, I don't sing to them, I don't even talk directly to them (although I've been advised to discuss the importance of sleep with it once the third trimester begins, and I am not discounting ANY method that may get me more sleep). 

I'm not totally soulless, although I am a ginger. I feel very protective over the baby, I would be devastated if anything happened,I love feeling the movements, and I think all the time about how thrilled I am to meet him or her and add another member to our family. But love is kind of a complex emotion and for me, I need to meet someone face to face before I feel it. I clearly remember staring at the clock after Dalton was born, counting down the minutes until they had told me I might be able to have a drink of water. I hadn't even held my son yet, but my mouth was SO DRY and that was top priority. 

All this to say - I didn't feel bonded during pregnancy, I didn't feel bonded immediately after delivery, but obviously I did quickly develop an extremely strong bond with Dalton. So strong, in fact, that the very first thing I did when I saw the second line on the pregnancy test was snap chat a picture of it to a very close friend and mother of two, and ask her if she truly loved her second born as much as her first. (For those people not as cool and in the know as me, snapchat "chats" automatically disappear, so you can admit to things like having a favorite child and it will not be on record.) Of course, she texted her reply (on record) that she loves them both equally and all sorts of great stuff about the joys of two kids. While I truly can't imagine loving another human as much as I love Dalton, I know I will - once the baby is here. 

On the other hand, there are a few stressors with a second pregnancy that I didn't have to take into consideration with my first. They are all extremely unoriginal, but I'm going to discuss them anyway.

Leaving my firstborn

Pregnancy brain is real, and I knew I was pregnant for like 3 weeks before it occurred to me I would have to leave Dalton overnight, for several nights actually, to have the new baby. Instant tears. We've both been away from him for the night separately, but he's never once in his life gone to bed without at least one of his parents there. I'm not happy to be forcing that upon him before he can even understand it, but aside from a home birth, there's no alternative. 

I'm not concerned whatsoever about his well being. He'll be with my mom and stepfather, in our house. They love him and he'll be in great hands. I'm just concerned that he'll be confused about why his parents are suddenly gone, think we aren't coming back, etc, etc. But there's nothing I can do about it, and most adults I know have siblings and were not traumatized by their birth. 

The grandparents are even so devoted to the cause that my stepfather is coming down when I'm 36 weeks to do a trial run. We have my good friend Lily's wedding, so I booked us a hotel room, even though I could clearly be the DD. I figured it would be more fun to try out a night away at a wedding than giving birth, although granted the latter might be more of a distraction. I think knowing that Dalton won't be emotionally scarred by 24 hours without us will really help me relax about labor and delivery.

Life for my firstborn

I'm afraid he'll hate it.

Even after we are over the hump of leaving Dalton to go to the hospital, things won't exactly return to normal when we come home. Up until now, we've been able to lavish 100% of our time and attention on him. Clearly, that's about to change in a big way. I have wonderful memories of my childhood with my siblings, and great relationships with them as adults. I'm hoping he experiences the same. But that doesn't mean I'm not worried about how he will react to the initial transition. I've already complained about not getting enough time with him over and over, and now that time will be further reduced. I know I'll feel differently about the reason (spending time with my other child) when it happens (see above), but I still hate it now. 

Although he adores his father, Dalton is VERY attached to me - as in, I leave the room for two seconds to pee, and he'll follow me and yell and bang on the door until I come out. 

Example: This is how I wash dishes. 

Although the newborn period is a hazy memory, I'm pretty sure it entailed a LOT of time sitting on the couch nursing, and much less free time that could now be used to play with a toddler. Dalton is also at the age where his routines are very important to him. The obvious solution here would be to transition Eric to doing  most of his routines (bathtime, bedtime, naps, etc), since that's likely what will have to happen when the baby is born but...I'm selfish and I want my time with my first baby. It's a problem. 

My boys <3 td="">

The Selfish Stuff

We got really used to not sleeping, and then we were like we can totally just keep this up! Then I got pregnant again and suddenly Dalton started sleeping, and I was like....hold on, sleep is kind of awesome. I feel like I can barely keep up with him during the day as it is, and after being up all night with a newborn, I really have no idea how I'm going to do it. At least there will be unlimited coffee at that time (don't even try to tell me that I need to limit caffeine while nursing, I know what I'm doing). While I have no basis for comparison, Dalton seemed to be a relatively easy baby and I'm scared that the new one will be colicky/have reflux/have trouble breastfeeding/have some other common normal baby problem that makes life difficult for parents and siblings. 

I love being a mom, I love my time with my child, and I can't wait to meet the new baby, the thought of never having a second to myself scares me. I like having naptime to just chill and mess around on the internet, or do whatever I want. While I'm completely expecting daycare to get both kids on the same nap schedule, it will be a looooong time before that happens. 

And there you have it. All the complex emotions that come with pregnancy #2, as best as I can explain it in writing. 

Thoughts/comments/questions/feelings of solidarity?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jonas and BRAT

A spring baby is perfect, they said. Being pregnant in the summer is awful, they said. I'm becoming more and more skeptical of this. Just two posts ago, I complained about being horribly sick for Christmas. This week, I also basically died. I did not have this problem while super prego with Dalton in the summer. Sure, I was hot. You know who else was hot? EVERYBODY. Summer is hot, bun in the oven or not.

Unrelated, Dalton driving a tractor at Port Discovery.

Tuesday, I was too nauseous to eat all day, but, I chalked it up to weird pregnancy stuff, stress over work, GRRM announcing that he isn't finishing book six before the show comes out, whatever. (Seriously GRRM you had ONE JOB.)

Then I got home from work and started puking. Which lasted late into the night. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn't even keep a little sip of Gatorade or water down and I was considering going to labor and delivery to ask for an IV. Dramatic? Absolutely. But crazy pregnancy hormones do that to you, especially when sick. Finally, I was able to keep down a tsp of Gatorade every five minutes (like, I was legit drinking it out of a measuring spoon) and fell asleep.

Also unrelated, Dalton having the time of his life in the foam pit at his BFF's (seriously, he claps when she arrives at daycare) gymnastics birthday party.

The next day, I could keep liquids down, but food was still not my friend. I thought I could pull it together, but I had to call Eric to leave basketball practice and go get Dalton from daycare because I could not function. That meant I didn't even see Dalton until it was time for him to go straight to bed, and if you've been paying even a little attention to this blog, you know that's a serious illness for me.

They have to come out eventually, right?

Thursday I managed to go to work, especially since we had a two hour delay, but I was on a crackers and Gatorade diet. Luckily, winter storm Jonas has shut down schools since then, and I've done all the sleeping.

Not a fan.

Last night I finally branched out from the BRATS diet to this amazing chicken pot pie my mom made for me (homemade pie crust and all). Yup, I'm snowed in with my parents, and they cook for me. Be jealous.

She had some help cooking.

And to anyone who wants to argue with me that I just have normal pregnancy sickness and not a stomach bug (because people START throwing up at 23 weeks of their second pregnancy? ok); Dalton projectile vomited all over me Friday morning, so, there. #babysfirstvomit

However, he wasn't too sick to eat snow.
He actually hasn't really seemed sick, at all, and resumed playing after the vomit like nothing happened. Kids are so weird, but I'll take it.

Right back to being a happy little blur.

The real tragedy here is that I thought the silver lining of me being sick was that I would finally get caught up with Making a Murderer. But then I was so busy puking, and after that, I mainly was sleeping. So I only watched one episode (#3), and I'm still way behind. School is already canceled for tomorrow though, so there is hope. 

Who else is snowed in, and what are you eating (and drinking)?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Stuff that's awesome

Port Discovery (Children's Museum) Membership

Seriously, the best birthday gift (for Dalton) EVER. He was a ball of energy Saturday morning, so we hopped into the car and headed over. Every time it's so much fun. I want to go EVERY DAY on maternity leave (in my fantasies about what maternity leave with 2 kids will be like).

This cheese. 

It's truly the ONE thing I really miss while being pregnant. Sure, wine is great, that's a given, no need to mention it. But this cheese is seriously the best and I am sad every time I go to Trader Joes and I can't have it (it's made with raw milk). I'm really pretty laid back as far as food/drinks go during pregnancy. Meaning: I won't avoid something just because someone told me it's unsafe or What to Expect said I couldn't have it. I'll only skip things that have actual, research based evidence backing the claim that they're potentially harmful. I couldn't wait to buy this as soon as I took Dalton to Trader Joe's the first time and I had it in my cart a few days after I found out I was pregnant and then was like...oh yeah. So that's my pregnancy cheese sob story.

Trying to win the lottery like every other American

We got 3 Powerball tickets (one for each family member) and now there's still a chance for us to become billionaires! My #1 lottery winning fantasy right now is a third child. Obviously that's subject to change, I could bring the baby home from the hospital and be like OH HELL NO. But it would be nice if finances weren't ruling that decision. And, no offense to my job, it's great, but nothing is as great as Dalton so if I win the lottery, I will be spending a LOT more time with him. Like, every second of my life. You'll know if we win because you'll see a fancy minivan parked outside our house. And if you come in, it will be clean, because the maid will be coming daily. I dream big. 

The smoke alarm

Ok, it's not awesome, I hate seeing my child scared, naturally, but it's kind of funny. Our little daredevil, that will climb on anything, run anywhere, and fears NOTHING has a fear. The smoke detector. Ours is insanely sensitive and goes off all the time when we cook, but recently Dalton has become terrified of it. He doesn't even like walking under it. The other day he was all excited and proud of himself because he carried his tow truck out of his room and down to me after his bath. Then he sat under the smoke alarm to play and just stared it down.

This weekend had two legit workouts, like what I would consider workouts under any circumstances.


If you've never been pregnant, I need you to forget about crazies who run marathons the day they give birth and psycho bloggers doing all sorts of insane pregnant exercise. For normal people, me in particular, pregnant exercise is hard as hell and six miles is equivalent to at least a 20 miler while not knocked up. To give it context, lately my "workouts" have been 15-20 minutes run - walking on the treadmill. Feel free to judge me. If you're pregnant, and have a toddler, and have a full time job, and are taking a 3 credit grad class (full disclosure, that ended this past Friday). If not, shut your face. 

My running buddy Jackie was in town for the weekend from St. Louis so I ran with her and two of her friends. I NEVER would have had the motivation to do it alone, and they were nice enough to take walk breaks with me when I was dying. At the end, I was so proud of myself, and also so sure I will not be doing that again until I can leave this baby home with its dad. My hips were freaking killing me the whole rest of the day. I didn't really have this problem much with Dalton but second pregnancy, double symptoms. Worth it to spend time with friends, not worth it otherwise. 

2. Body Pump

I lifted that.

We printed passes to a local gym and met up for a class Sunday morning and now I'm so sore I can barely type this. Jackie being in town is the single best thing that's happened to my fitness in months. It's a 7 day pass and somehow I agreed to try Barre at 5:45 am tomorrow. If I get in, apparently I need to set my alarm for 5am and register for the class immediately from my bed, and even then it might be full already. 

I really needed the motivation to "prepare" for her visit because after my sinus infection/travel last week, I hadn't exercised in nearly two weeks. I really had no inclination to start again. But this forced me to hop on board. Which brings me to my next awesome thing...

Making a Murderer

I kept hearing about it from so many people, and I finally started this week. I'm only on episode 1, and I've already had to race around turning the TV off because the Today show has tried to give me spoilers twice. Update: since I began writing this blog post, the Kane show tried to get me with another spoiler. It's my new treadmill show. At my current running duration/frequency, it will provide me entertainment until the baby is born, and maybe even when he or she arrives. I may need to start watching faster. I'm definitely addicted though! 

Serial, Season 2

I should have waited to start until all the episodes were out, like I did with season 1. I'm totally sucked in and waiting a week between episodes is torture. Any other good podcast recommendations in the mean time?

The last bag

For the first time in 15 months, there is no liquid gold in our home.

I know, I sound like one of those "mama's milk" crazies (EW) but at 15.5 months, we are officially done with breast milk. Dalton weaned in September when I got pregnant, but we've been slowly going through the freezer stash since then. He mainly gets cows milk, but usually one bag a day of breast milk. And that's what happens when you obsessively pump a million times a day and on weekends to avoid tapping in to your freezer stash at all costs. I'm really hoping I can find a happy medium next time between maintaining a healthy freezer stash, yet actually using it when needed, aka BEFORE a year, when it's actually needed. I was a little sad that it was his last cup of liquid gold, but really, knowing that I'm starting all over in four months made it much less of a big deal. Who knows, maybe I'll have an amazing supply the second time around and Dalton can share the wealth (from a cup, not the source). 

We've come a long way since newborn nursing.
That's my awesome life right now.

What's your number one lottery winning fantasy? Everyone loves playing this game.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The sweet life of winter break

Once I recovered from my Christmas plague, winter break was just as euphoric as I'd imagined it would be.

We all slept in, had lazy breakfasts, and went out and did fun stuff as a family. Perfection.

Ethiopian feast!
Eric is convinced that the reason Dalton is such a good eater is because I exposed him to all sorts of foods in the womb and while breastfeeding, and he's determined that we do the same with the new baby. Personally I think Lady Luck was behind it, but I'm not going to argue when he wants to go to a new Ethiopian restaurant.

Dalton was chowing down, as usual. This was one of many times where I've given him a food and then thought, hm, that was pretty spicy, maybe I shouldn't have. And he has no reaction, except possibly asking for more.
Glow in the dark golf

Thursday, everyone was healthy, the weather was good, so we decided, what the hell? And drove to New York. We started out in Syracuse, to meet our friends' two month old daughter. It was a big anniversary for us. Ten years ago, we spent our first New Year's Eve as grown ups all together in our first house in Baltimore (they flew in from Boston for that). It was wild. 

Welcome 2006!

Technically, Eric wasn't part of it, since I hadn't met him yet, but we all feel like he was since he's heard the stories so many times he can tell them just as well as we can.

This year, we celebrated in prime new/old/pregnant mom fashion. Talking about labor, diapers, and swaddles until around 11, then passing out.

Welcome 2016!
Dalton refused to sleep in their pack and play, so all three of us slept in bed together. I was SO HAPPY. We used to cosleep all the time, because it was the only way we could GET sleep. While I love having uninterrupted, quiet sleep where I'm not getting kicked in the face now, sometimes I really miss the middle of the night cuddles. I loved ringing in the new year by waking up next to that sweet little face.

He also fell asleep on me once before bed.
After that, we headed to my sister's house for some quality niece and nephew time.

Happiest chunkiest baby ever!

They love us.

Her house had snow! Dalton got to play in it for the first time. He was mainly completely confused.


Cousin time.
Harrison was really disappointed that Dalton wouldn't accept the snowball he was offering, but I think it was because he didn't know how to operate his hands in mittens.

We went to the Museum of Play in Rochester. Obligatory picture in front of the Sesame Street house.

Happiest kid ever!
We drove back Sunday and got home around 7pm Sunday night. It made going back to work Monday morning rough, but that was going to be rough anyway, so might as well enjoy ourselves during break.

Writing this is making me too eager for spring break to arrive, so I'll just leave off with this unbelievably adorable picture.

Matching pjs OMG. Ignore the M&Ms we had to bribe them with to get a picture with 0/3 crying.

Tell me about your wild New Year's Eve!