First Trimester Update: Baby #2
I’m officially in the second trimester now and FINALLY feeling better physically. I’m not sure how all this moving and unpacking would have gone if I was still feeling so sick, so I’m really glad that our move timing worked out the way it did. Here’s a look at how the first trimester was for me!
I understand that posts like these can be difficult for those experiencing difficulty trying to conceive. My heart goes out to you and if this is you, please feel free to skip today’s post.
We knew that we wanted to start trying to get pregnant again when Miles turned one. I knew it would likely be a hard experience having the dreaded “two under two,” but I wanted them to be close in age and also for me to have pregnancies that weren’t too far apart.
Like last time, I used Easy@Home ovulation strips (YAY SCIENCE), and just to get an idea of how my cycle was, I started tracking in March. I then decided that since I was already tracking things, we might as well start trying the next time I ovulated. The first month wasn’t a success, which was fine because it was earlier than we had wanted to start anyway. One of the updates to the strips from when I used them with Miles was that there’s now an app available for you to take a picture of your strip and upload it, which means you don’t have to keep them and tape them to a piece of paper like before. Honestly, I like being able to physically look at them, so I still kept mine and taped them after they were dry.
I actually wound up getting pregnant the second month we tried. This is a whole other story which I will cover later in this post, but it looked like I was pregnant, then it looked like I may not be pregnant, then I spent a week obsessing and waiting for things to pass so we could try again. I was a wreck and then after Miles and I got back from our trip to Michigan, I realized I really was pregnant. Again, I’ll go over my neuroses in a bit.
Another thing that seemed to help with both pregnancies is a product called Pre-seed (gross name, but seemingly effective). It’s a natural lubricant and gets TONS of great reviews on Amazon. The link is for there, but I was also able to find it at my local Walgreens.
This pregnancy so far has been different from my first. With Miles, I barely felt pregnant and had to keep reminding myself that I was. With this one, I was hit with some pretty serious exhaustion, which is not ideal while also trying to care for a toddler. Some days all I could muster was lying on the bed and watching him play in the bedroom. Thankfully, he’s always been a great independent player.
I also had more extreme nausea this time around, but still never threw up. It was basically an all day thing and I didn’t really find much in the way of a solution. Some days were better than others, but I could never predict when I would feel exhausted or nauseous or both. A couple days I broke down because I realized I was pushing through the tough days until I reached a breaking point where I needed to cry out my frustration. I’d normally feel better and then would just keep going again until I reached another one.
I knew that it was typical to start showing earlier with subsequent pregnancies, but I was noticing changes as early as five or six weeks, opposed to the very end of the first trimester with Miles. I had to tell people at my gym at around 10 weeks, because I was finding it harder to hide (picture on the left below). The picture on the right is the end of 13 weeks and in our new house.
Honestly, I don’t really mind it because I enjoyed being pregnant with Miles and I think it’s such a pretty thing now that I’ve been through it. I know not everyone feels that way, which is totally fine, but I’m embracing it. 🙂
One other thing is that I had one appointment in Chicago before we left, but due to COVID, Neil wasn’t able to come. I was a little nervous because I didn’t really want to be alone in case there was bad news, but thankfully we were able to FaceTime and everything looked great on the sonogram.
I was also able to genetic testing the week we moved, which meant that we were also able to find out the sex of the baby! That post will also be coming soon, so you’ll have to sit tight. Genetic results came back normal, which was a relief, and now fingers crossed that everything progresses well throughout the next six months.
One thing to add is that genetic testing was not covered with Miles because I was still 34 when he was born. With this one, however, I will be 36 –advanced maternal age (ha) — so it’s covered by insurance. Just something to keep in mind if you’re deciding whether to have it done or not.
We all know I love food, but this time around it just wasn’t as exciting for me. I’d spend most of the day feeling nauseous, but knowing I had to eat, so it was really just whatever I could stomach.
Aversions: like with Miles, the thought of sweets made me feel a little sick. I still ate some, but not like I usually do. I also had to stop getting my sweet cream cold brew at Starbucks because all the syrup and cream made me want to throw up. 🙁
Cravings: carbs (same with last pregnancy)
I also noticed that I was more influenced by things I saw on Instagram. I wouldn’t be that hungry all day, but then scroll through the app at night and NEED whatever foods I saw people post about. This explains my driving to Wendy’s at 9 pm for a spicy chicken sandwich one night (ha).
You may remember that last time I was pregnant there was no pandemic and no issues going to the gym. I slowed down my workouts in the first trimester because my body felt like it needed a little more rest and I also had trouble catching my breath and my heart rate taking longer than normal to come down. I still managed to make it to the gym an average of three days a week, though, and kept that up throughout the rest of my pregnancy.
This time things have looked a little different. Between lacking the motivation to exercise because I couldn’t physically be in the gym and also feeling worse physically, my exercise has been really sporadic. I managed to do some at-home workouts and also participated in an outdoor workout that my gym held, but I’ve spent a lot of these past three months just relaxing and listening to my body. As I’m getting my energy back and we are settling into our new home, I hope to figure out more of a schedule and get moving again, but I’m also not beating myself up about what I think I should be doing.
So here is what happened with this pregnancy. With Miles, I tested a couple days before my missed period and I got a faint line. I bought a test at the store and also had a line. Each day I tested the line got darker and it was pretty self-explanatory.
With this pregnancy, I didn’t get a line until either day of or day after when I should have gotten my period. I took an extra store test that I had, which also had a faint line. I was pregnant! Because I had so many tests that came with the ovulation strips, I took some more throughout the day (this is dumb) just to confirm. Of course the next day I took more because I’m neurotic, but this time the line was lighter. I took about 10 tests over a period of two days, including going to the store to buy another one which now had no line. I began to panic and read message boards because I knew about chemical pregnancies, which are very early pregnancies that wind up not being viable and eventually pass. Many women don’t even know that they were pregnant, as they typically get their period around the same time or a little late. The problem with early pregnancy testing is that these chemical pregnancies can register, but then inevitably won’t stick. It’s also why you’re advised to wait a couple days after your missed period to test because it allows hCG levels from a successful pregnancy to build up and you’re not left squinting at what might or might not be a line and get your hopes up.
As I continued to test over a couple days, sometimes the lines would seem darker and sometimes they wouldn’t. In a chemical pregnancy, they will eventually get lighter and lighter as hCG levels drop. I spent each day waiting to see how light or dark they were so I could determine what was happening. I confided in friends, read message boards, looked at pictures, the works. I am not a very patient person sometimes and the fact that I had to wait 24 hours for a new test was excruciating. It also takes hCG levels anywhere from 48-72 hours to double, so really I would have to wait even longer to see a noticeable difference. By about five days after my missed period, I was convinced it was a chemical pregnancy and was just waiting for it to end so I could move on and we could try again. This, combined with the quarantine and spending all day inside in our bedroom, was really tough on me and that’s when Neil suggested that I take Miles on a trip to get out and clear my mind. If you’ve followed along, you know that we took our trip to Michigan, which was so so needed and I got to spend a lot of quality time with my little guy in nature.
One thing I made sure to do was NOT take any of the pregnancy tests with me on the trip. I wanted to go, forget about it, and just let whatever happened happen. We were gone for two nights, and when we got back I took another test to see what it said. This time the line for the hCG level was even darker than the control line and I was blindsided because I thought for sure that I wasn’t pregnant this time.
Because I had put myself through such a roller coaster of emotions, I wasn’t even really able to feel excited about it for several weeks. It didn’t feel real, and I was scared to accept it in case something went wrong. I like to catastrophize, so even though it was a slightly different situation, my first trimester with both pregnancies wasn’t emotionally great. If you read about my first trimester with Miles, I stressed myself out in a similar way, and it wasn’t until later in the pregnancy that I was able to accept and embrace things.
But hey, here we are starting trimester number two, and things feel back on track. Emotionally I feel better and physically I feel MUCH better. Thank you guys for following along on this journey and I hope you like these updates. If there’s anything I can add or answer, let me know in the comments. 🙂