I wasn't sure if I could fathom feeling different the 2nd time around in pregnancy, as before I was even pregnant I wanted nearly everything to be the same so that it seemed like I was enjoying (or not enjoying) all the new aspects of impending motherhood. But alas, things go by faster this time around as time is relative, I'm more distracted because there's a 2 year old on whom to keep tabs, and since "I've done this once before," my mind isn't so wholly focused on learning all the ins and outs of pregnancy, although I do like reviewing the vast prenatal/pregnancy/childbirth literature out there from time to time. Mostly I like reading what's going on with the baby and my body this week, and reading really good birth stories. I could get addicted to that.
I have already felt the baby move a bit over the last few days, which has been exciting, and a positive reminder that things are going as they should. I'm not sure I'm showing tons more at this point in time as I was with Mia, but I definitely know I have some baby belly so there's no question why my waist is widening or why I can't wait certain pants anymore. :-S
We get asked how we're feeling, or what we're thinking Mia will be like as a big sister, or if we want a boy or girl or if we have names picked out. As for now, Greg & I are feeling good about this, and have been since the beginning. We have observed Mia of late with wee little ones (5 months or younger), and she has tried to be quite the helper with the babes, so we're thinking/hoping she'll be interested in her baby sibling and want to help out. I'm thinking she might want to help out too much sometimes and try to hold the baby on her own or feed it foods when I'm not looking! We're planning on finding out the sex in a couple of weeks, and we'll probably share with the world at large once we've told all the VIPs first :P
If we can hold fast to our goal, we will not be sharing the name until he/she is born. People always want to know 1) what you're having and 2) what you're naming the lil' bean. I say if we give them 1 for 2 they can't complain. What can I say, we just like at least some element of surprise!
The main thing that has been different this go-round is whom I see for my prenatal care. As alluded to several times before on this blog, I delivered Mia at the Labor of Love Birth Center and had a fabulous experience. I really enjoyed my prenatal visits, the midwives and my actual birth experience. I'm seriously not lying! I was definitely nervous about giving birth, in and of itself, but when it came down to it, my experience went well. I had a great doula who worked alongside us as well and really helped us as first-timers figure out what was "big-deal" worthy.
However, as also alluded to before, I had a totally unexpected blood clot about 2.5 weeks after Mia was born. I say totally unexpected because while pregnant women are at a higher risk for clotting, I have no known clotting disorders or anything that runs in my family that could explain this. The best explanation one of several doctors could share with me was that it was an autoimmune response to something in my system, hence why I've made some radical diet changes within the last year or so to decrease the amount of inflammation and irritation to my system.
All of this led to me being forever labeled as "high-risk" for future pregnancies. I learned this weeks after Mia was born and dealt with my grief at the time and then moved on. The birth center was a great option for me and still is for many others who are low-risk. But high-risk? Okay, let's figure that one out too!
I found a group highly recommended that delivers at Tampa General Hospital that has regular OB/GYNs, Certified Nurse Midwives, and high-risk OB/maternal fetal medicine specialists all in one. It's the USF Health group and so far I hear they have a good track record. I've already met with the high-risk doctor who confirmed a prophylactic dose of Lovenox is what I should be taking throughout this pregnancy and the 6 weeks following to prevent miscarriage, blood clotting, and allow the placenta to do its thing. Lovenox is a subcutaneous injection I give myself nightly in my belly fat (not because that's where the baby is, but because of the love handle situation!) that I basically look at as a little extra insurance for this pregnancy. Sometimes it hurts to give the shots, but as an old pro recently shared with me, eventually you build up enough scar tissue that it doesn't hurt anymore, and after 2 months of shots I think I've already gotten there!
Other than that, all my other visits have been pretty standard. Things will start to speed up towards the end when I have more fetal monitorings and a few extra ultrasounds to check the growth. Since Mia was low birth-weight, they'll be monitoring the growth on this one as well. I have learned one low-birth weight baby does not equal all subsequent babies are low-birth weight, so beyond doing what I can on the outside of the womb, we're just praying all things are going as they should inside the womb. Getting the extra monitoring is a mixed bag of blessings. It will be nice to see how things are progressing, but I would be lying if I didn't say I am a wee bit nervous about finding all these "extra things" that really wouldn't make a big difference but nonetheless add stress right at the end of pregnancy, which wouldn't be fun.
My birth plan as of now is still the same as it was for Mia, which is that barring any unforeseen complications, to do it all naturally, meaning no epidural, no pain medication. We're using the same great doula again, who has allayed many a fear about birthing in a hospital (mainly because I've just never done it before, not because I'm hospital-wary) and has me feeling empowered that natural birth is totally doable (again)!
It's all still a ways off, so for now we're just enjoying the ride. If you made it this far, muchas gracias for reading all the updates on life & pregnancy the 2nd time around!
What was different with your second/subsequent pregnancies? What did you learn?