Trying for Baby #2: We're Pregnant
It was incredibly easy for us to get pregnant the first time (which we feel so blessed about), so our original thinking that it would be the same with baby #2 was a bit niave of us.
Nine months of waiting for that positive test doesn't seem like an eternity now, but if you have ever wanted something so badly, then you know how discouraging it can be to get that negative test several months in a row.
Because I have been open about our journey, I have been introduced to so many beautiful souls who are also trying to conceive, and many of them have been trying a lot longer, have experienced miscarriages, and failed rounds of IVF. These women have been etched into my nightly prayers, and before I go any further, I want to acknowledge their strength, and hope that their baby comes soon. It breaks my heart to hear about all the families that struggle with infertility. It just doesn't seem fair.
I don't even know how to start this post because I have been dreaming about this moment for many months. If you have been following my account for a bit, then you know that we decided to try for baby number #2 this past summer.
There are a few questions I have been getting about this pregnancy that I will answer below. * If I don't answer your specific question, feel free to ask it in the comments below.
WHEN IS THE DUE DATE?
We are due mid-October. It is kind of crazy because Winter, our daughter, was due late October, so it feels like we are on the same journey just three years later. Turns out that January, my birthday month, is lucky for us (wink!).
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT?
I have been known to test too early and buy multiple tests at a time from the dollar store. I think this pattern of doing things wasn't the healthiest so a few months before getting pregnant, I had decided that I would wait until the day my period was due or a few days after. This took extreme willpower but the months that I didn't test and I got my period, I felt less devastated than the months where I had tested before my period and received negative test results. Those months often felt like I was getting let down multiple times in a row with each negative test.
In February, I was a day late. This didn't cause me to be over excited as my period had been irregular since August. But I had been noticing how hungry I was and that my chin had broken out which is exactly how I felt when I was newly pregnant with Winter. Our nanny was at our house, so I took the opportunity to jet out and bought two tests from the store (I had restrained myself from buying more). I don't know what compelled me to do this, but before I put the test down to wait for the results, I pushed record on my iPhone. Within seconds I saw those two pink lines, and I got my entire reaction on film. I don't know if I will share it publicly, but it's a video that I will cherish forever.
My husband works from home, so I basically spent the next hour while our nanny was there avoiding him and diving into some computer work. Paying bills, checking emails, "pretending" I was busy, basically anything to avoid making eye contact with my husband.
The minute our nanny left, I had hidden the positive pregnancy test on his pillow and asked him to come into the bedroom to help me fold some laundry. He immediately saw it and couldn't believe his eyes. We both jumped up and down and hugged for a long time. It was a really special moment for us. Winter was napping so as soon as she woke up, we both went up to her room to tell her the news. She is only two so didn't really quite get it, but it was still fun to include her in the process.
WILL YOU FIND OUT THE GENDER?
I want to go into more detail about this at a later date, but the short answer is no. We didn't with Winter and don't plan to this time either.
WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF BECOMING PREGNANT?
I feel like this is a difficult question for me to articulate. I have to consider that there is some sort of divine intervention that plays a significant part in all of this, right? For me, I think the biggest part was letting go of a lot of stress that I was holding onto. Simple, you say? Ha, yeah not at all!
I had started seeing an acupuncturist because my periods were so erratic (which had never happened before in my life) and I felt like I needed help to process the emotional baggage that I took on while working as a school psychologist. I don't care who you are, if you work with little kids in really tricky situations, it's impossible to not absorb some of their pain and own a piece of it. My consistent mindfulness practice + all the shielding techniques I had used to protect myself from their trauma weren't always enough. So even before trying for baby #2 I began doing things like yoga, used my meditation practice and went to acupuncture to try to help me stay centered.
I feel like my acupuncturist has been like a spiritual guide for me. I am actually tearing up thinking about her. We had some really candid conversations about the health of my body and the significant amount of stress I was under with not only my job but in my personal life as well. I had some blood work done that did not come back favorable, and my mom and sister were having some pretty major health challenges. It was just a lot.
I had to step away from a lot of things, make some difficult decisions and simplify my life. With the support of my husband, we changed a lot about our life, and I got the opportunity to spend some time with family in Arizona, which was really healing.
Another thing that I think helped was using the Ava bracelet (not sponsored). I bought it because I loathed taking my temperature and peeing on ovulation sticks every morning and found it to be a major pain in the butt and actually quite intrusive. Who wants the first thing that they think about in the morning to be the fact that they want to be pregnant and that they aren't? It just wasn't for me.
What appealed to me about the Ava bracelet is that you wore it at night, and in the morning you simply had to plug it in to sync with your phone. A lot of times, I wouldn't even check the nightly data until well into the afternoon, until I was ready. It tracked things like temperature, sleep quality and quantity, physiological stress levels, and resting pulse rate, all of which help to identify when your fertile window begins and ends in real time. I really liked it. For me though, once I got my ovulation peaks, I stopped wearing it because during that two week waiting window from the time you ovulate to the time you either get your period or don't, I didn't want to think about it. But if you are a data queen, they recommend wearing it every night throughout your whole cycle.
HOW HAS PREGNANCY BEEN SO FAR?
Every day I wake up and set intention on how I am going to love this baby with all of my heart. I am so grateful for this pregnancy, but to say it's been a walk in the park is very far from the truth. I am 12 weeks along and it has felt like a fog. I am nauseous pretty much all day, throw up at least once and have recently been getting these epic migraines that knock me on my butt for hours at a time. Perry has had to fly solo. He cooks, he cleans, he takes care of Winter and still manages to work full-time. I am so grateful for him.
Winter's level of empathy has blown me out of the water. When she can tell that I am not feeling well, she will run to get me a ginger chew, rubs my back and gives me a tissue. I don't know what we did to have such a loving, empathetic daughter like her. She also cracks me up on a daily basis. The other day she pulled a stool over to the counter and grabbed my phone (which is a no, no). When I had asked her what she was doing, she said: "Oh, I am texting baby _____." I almost died! I think we already have the name picked out for the baby (whether it's a boy or girl) so Winter calls the baby by name. I already know that she is going to be the best big sister.
Thank you, again, for all of the love from each and every one of you. I have read every single comment and smile so big when I read them. You all are really the best!
Photography by Brittany Renee