My Second Pregnancy: All the Questions

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!

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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. 

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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!! 

AVERY (L) VS. LITTLEST GLISS (R) 36 WEEKS

AVERY (L) VS. LITTLEST GLISS (R) 36 WEEKS

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.  

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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.   

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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’.

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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 ;-)

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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.

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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 !

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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!

The Gliss Nest Lifestyle
The Gliss Nest Lifestyle

Huge thank you to our friends at Rainsford Photography for these special memories! And to Cindy McGrath Makeup for making me so pretty at 6am!

My Last Day of Maternity Leave.... One Year Later

One year ago I returned to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  I sat with Avery napping in my arms in tears and wrote this in my journal...

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"It's my last day of maternity leave. It makes me tear up just to say the sentence out loud. There are a lot of feelings that come along with today… Guilt, that I won't be able to spend enough hours with my daughter outside of work hours. That I will spend 40 hours at a place that I don't love, and come home and spend time here two hours every night with Avery most of which will consist of feeding her and getting her ready for bed. 

Anxious, that things have changed at my job or things weren't done correctly and I'll be bringing stress home to my house that has been filled with excitement over new sounds, rolling over, long stretches of sleep at night, my hair unwashed for three days, wearing my pajamas all day, laying on the floor and reading books and watching Avery take in the world. 
 

Regret, that we didn't go outside enough, that her baby book remains untouched, that I haven't written my birth story, that I didn't get enough pictures, that we didn't make enough noise during naptime to get her ready for daycare, and I spent so many hours reading the Internet and not just listening to what my baby needed, that we didn't take enough walks, breathe in the fresh air, get in those naptime workouts. 
 

Fear, that I won't be able to keep up, that dinner won't be eaten together every night and won't be healthy, that laundry will pile up, the house Will look dirty, the new car will be a mess, that I'll be more tired than I have been and spend less time with my husband, maybe listen a little less, and spend too much time complaining about work in the little time we have together every day. 
 

Guilt, anxious, fear, regret, they are all words that have no positives and all I can do today is try to find the positive in tomorrow. I'm going to take every single minute for today with Avery… Because nothing I do today is going to change that I have to go tomorrow. 
 

So where is the good in all of this… The mechanical answer would be I must work so that we can continue to dig out of debt and be able to save for things like the home we want to bring up our children in, vacations to show them the world, hobbies and things that make her happy. (And her daddy) But other things are good too, we are sending her to a wonderful daycare facility that will teach her things and socialize her with other children. She will learn from being around them how to use her voice, crawl, enjoy story time and music. My job is flexible enough to where I can control how much time I can spend with her, if only I could control getting up early in the morning… Which I'm not very good at. My goal would be that at least once a week I do an early shift so I can get out and take her somewhere fun, like a park or a stroll downtown, or just home for some good old Mommy playtime. 


In a few weeks it will feel normal, I'll see all of the other people at work who have to go through the same thing every day, before I know it months will have gone by, then years and we will be a family with two working parents and it will be the new norm. What we have to commit to as a family is putting each other first, taking vacations even when they're staying home, and even cherishing those late nights waking up in the middle the night and the sweet cuddles and rocking to put her back to sleep. 


The first few weeks when Ed was home will be some of my favorite memories of my life. When all you can do is laugh because you really have no idea what you're doing but you're doing it together. We laughed so hard we cried some days and some days like the day before he went to work we just cried. I will never forget how making a new noise made us stop in our tracks and run over to cheer her on and see her smile. And I'll never forget how she stretches out with both arms over the top of her head when you wake her up in the morning and she just smiles up at you. And sometimes after the 3 AM feedings she would be fast asleep until you put her down in her crib and then her eyes would just pop open and she would give you a big smile waiting to play. We both spent plenty of evenings and early early mornings with her nustled up in our arms wanting to be close and warm and falling asleep in the recliner.  And Ed sleeping on the floor for the first three nights underneath her bassinet to make sure that she was OK while I got some shut eye. And introducing her to her grandparents and looking at their eyes well up with happiness.


So what do you do when there's nothing I can do to delay tomorrow another day.... snuggle a little longer, break all the rules, let her sleep on me, rock her a little longer, play more. 
I put her to sleep (much against her will tonight) and I made brownies to drown my sorrow in chocolate. About an hour after she fell asleep she woke up startled and crying out of no where. I ran in to calm her and she looked at me with her lower lip out as if to say, I don't want to be sleeping these last few hours   


So here we go. Bags are packed. Mommys going back to work. May you look up to me one day for being strong for you. And smile when I get home tomorrow."

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...the past year really has flown by as cliche as it sounds and I still have a lot of the feelings I had on that day a year ago.  I'm proud of myself that I have exceeded my goal of waking up early once per week and normally do this daily now, getting out of the house before 7 most mornings and leaving work before 5 to maximize our time.  As a family, we keep each other in check to spend one on one time together before bedtime to really connect and I think Avery really loves this time together.  I went down to working part-time to keep up with things in our lives and while our time together in these young years will never be enough, I couldn't be happier and I'll always constantly fight the guilt that can make its way into trying to ruin our happy.  And thankfully, she does LOVE daycare, especially music class and she kicks and giggles when we pull in everyday but still runs over to me laughing when I pick her up each night.

Last Friday I woke up super early and got a few hours of work in and left my office at 3pm to go and get Avery for a special Mama & Daughter 5 minute session with Sabrina Fields among some pretty awesome fall colors.  It was probably more special to me than her at this age but I can't get enough photos of me being present in her life, especially in the out of routine and spontaneous moments like these. 

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To any other working moms or moms who work as moms, don't let the guilt get you, keep your goals realistic and reflect back on these times often!  You're doing awesome!

Things I Didnt’ Expect About Pregnancy

Things I Didnt’ Expect About Pregnancy

Pregnancy is amazing for sure... I was thankful I didn’t have any complications or issues, it was relatively drama free, but I was just not one of those people who ‘loved being pregnant’.  I really didn’t appreciate the ‘temporary’ part of it and recognize it as part of a journey until after, but I did have fun thinking back to some of the things that surprised me now that I’m looking back