Ah, the second kid, everyone warns you, “there’s nothing like your first”. And to a large degree, that is so right. If you are reading this and you are pregnant with your first baby, please please, take the time to savor it, the good and the bad, let people help you, obsess over nesting and decorating, go wild, because if you have a toddler when you get pregnant again, you won’t have a spare second that you aren’t exhausted to even reflect on being pregnant.... and that’s not entirely a bad thing. Even still, I’ve gotten lots of questions all answered FAQ style below with some of my favorite maternity photos!
Do you know what you’re having?
This time, on a whim, completely out of character for me I decided to keep it a surprise!! I decided before we even started trying to get pregnant and Ed was not in agreement but was willing to do it if that’s what I wanted! There have been downsides like having to say “it”, not being able to tell Avery ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, not being able to buy gender specific clothes, etc. But overall the anxiousness is really fun considering you don’t have the same level of anticipation with your second pregnancy. I am really looking forward to Ed telling me if we have a daughter or son in the delivery room, so I’ve been holding on to that thought to get me through.
Do you have any motherly instincts about what you’re having?
Yes, but I also thought I knew when I’d go into labor and that date has come and gone too. Honestly, I love the wives tales, I love hearing if people use ‘he’ or ‘she’ on accident, I think everything is some sort of sign. I also am an engineer who strives for balance so I often think about one of each in this way, but we will see!!
Have you had the same pregnancy symptoms?
No, but maybe? Honestly, you have so much more time during your first pregnancy to obsess over (and google) every little symptom. I very gladly did not have as bad of morning sickness and I didn’t develop as many aversions during my first trimester. I am extremely grateful I didn’t develop my aversion to coffee that I had with Avery until ~ 20 weeks because no coffee + toddler could have lead to the world collapsing. Overall the other symptoms have been similar and either happened earlier or were more pronounced. My biggest ailments being round ligament pain, heartburn and lower back pain.
What have your cravings been?
Now this is a weird one. With Avery I craved fruit smoothies and ice water, but heck, it was August. This time my cravings have been of nostalgic criteria... I craved all kinds of junk food from my childhood that I haven’t had in years... magic shell, s’mores pop tarts, and spaghettios! I also ate Ben and Jerry’s 5 out of 7 nights a week.
Does Avery understand what is going on?
I think she understands aspects of it for sure. We talk a lot about the baby, she loves to hug and kiss my belly and we ask her for name suggestions which her top 3 are: Pancake, Birthday and Berries. She recognizes some of her old toys that she is too old for and will put them in the baby’s room and is excited to bring the baby to our house. We have also told her that mommy is going to go sleep at the doctors and she’s very concerned I will get a lot of shots.
Will you have any more?
We feel like our family will be complete as a team of four but I suppose you never know! While my pregnancies have been relatively straightforward and low-risk (which I’m grateful for), I’m still not someone who ‘loves being pregnant’.
Did you still work out?
I did! One of the best things I did after having Avery was to join Burn Bootcamp FiveForks as it helped me not only feel better physically after having Avery but also really helped me manage my anxiety which got really bad with balancing work and motherhood. I decided to work out for as long as I could and expected to make it to 25-30 weeks but got so much inspiration from others around me I actually made it to 35 weeks. I targeted the strength days for upper and lower body mostly and I told my trainer during my first trimester and he outlined week by week the modifications I needed to make. This baby dropped around 35-36 weeks which added a lot of pressure so I didn’t go back but have thought about popping in for a ‘light’ workout, we will see. I really think it helped me to stay active and I’m hoping the rumors are true that it helps in delivery and recovery as well! I also count raising a two year old as a full body workout so in that case, I worked out everyday ;-)
How are you feeling?
As I mentioned before, everything is just more sore or uncomfortable. I also struggled a lot more with my emotions and anxiety than I remember with my first pregnancy. I think a lot of that had to do with mom guilt and being too tired to play with Avery and feeling like my days were few that it would be just the 3 of us. But Ed has been a great help in taking up a lot of the chores and honey-do items so that we would have completely free weekends to enjoy as a family which has been really special.
When will you stop working?
When this baby comes! I’d like to save my vacation to spend on seeing family next year so I have been working mostly full weeks and plan to until the baby decides to arrive :) I have the extreme fortune of being able to work from home as needed and since the baby is so low, sitting in desk chairs can be really uncomfortable so I have been working a lot form home with my feet up as needed!
How long will you get off for maternity leave?
My company just released a new maternity leave policy in January and we now get 12 weeks off after delivery! At full pay! Hooray! I took 11 weeks with Avery and no time will ever be enough but I plan to enjoy the holidays to the fullest !
What do you plan to do differently?
I plan to listen to my baby. I obsessed over schedules and routines with Avery and while she is definitely a child that strives on routines, I didn’t need to be doing that so early. I definitely learned that trying to get her on a routine by the time she went to daycare wasn’t a big deal because she found her routine a few weeks into daycare and that age is more normal for that. So this time I really plan to learn the baby’s cues, listen to the baby and enjoy the time together.
Is the nursery ready?
We decided to keep the nursery as a nursery and give Avery the new, bigger, big girl room. So not too much has changed in the nursery. We initially had Avery in a ‘big girl bed’ in her new room but found it was a little too early for that much transition and so we now have a crib in each room. I’ve got a few more things to hang on the wall but for the most part, everything is ready and waiting!