surprise, surprise, we’re pregnant (again)! as one of three children in my family and for Lu, as one of four children in his family, we always knew we wanted more than one child, if we were blessed enough. how many children? let’s get through #2 and see how it goes!
most of my friends who have more than two children say that going from 1 to 2 is much harder than going from 2 to 3 or even 3 to 4. they say you go from knowing how to handle a child and you’ve nailed down your routine and schedule and then the new baby just throws everyone for a loop. we’re definitely nervous, but like with the first baby, we’re just going to take it day by day and get through it. everyone gets through it, right?
a little preface
so like I did last time with Luca, I want to do monthly pregnancy recaps (you can read my first trimester recap with Luca here.) I love looking back on my ones with Luca and reading them, it’s like a diary and reminds me of all the beautiful (and not so beautiful) moments of pregnancy and what a blessing it truly is. and on that note, I want to preface this post with a trigger warning. I know that for anyone struggling with infertility now or at any point, it can be extremely painful to read about experiences like mine. I have friends around me who struggle with their fertility, friends who have miscarried early and late in their pregnancies, and I’m very conscious that pregnancy is a miracle, a blessing, and an absolute gift, and I never have and never will take it for granted.
I want to let you know that I am merely sharing my personal story, not bragging about my fertility ease. If you are struggling with fertility, you may want to stop reading, because I did not struggle, and I would hate for someone to be hurt from reading this. that would break my heart. my prayers, love, and sympathy go out to any woman struggling in any way with fertility. my heart is with you, and I want you to know that I understand how fortunate I am.
our pregnancy journey
after the doctor cleared me to have sex at my 6 week postpartum checkup, she also prescribed me a mini pill, a low hormone dose safe for nursing mothers. I never took the pill and instead, decided to just track my ovulation so I would know the times of the month not to have sex. and yes, this isn’t the safest way to practice “birth control,” but, it worked for us for the first year of Luca’s life. and to be totally transparent, I don’t know how about other infant and toddler parents out there, but Lu and I are mostly exhausted and sex isn’t happening as often as it used to, so it was pretty easy to do. and just for reference, my period came back normally after 3 months, despite exclusively breastfeeding.
after Luca turned 6 months old, Lu started talking about the next one. we talked about it, and the consensus was that we wanted to stay in the diaper haze. we didn’t want to have a potty trained kid and then have to go through the whole diaper stage again. plus, we like the idea of having children close together in age. Lu’s timeline was a little faster than mine – he always joked that, on Luca’s first birthday, I would be pregnant. I laughed at that, but I knew it wasn’t totally out of the realm.
around 9 or 10 months, I felt ready for another baby. my body felt ready, I felt like I had a great hold on motherhood, and I was just happy and felt like myself. I felt strong emotionally, physically, and mentally. and I started getting baby fever. however, I knew it would be prudent to wait a few more months until we started trying, for a little extra cushion, to really enjoy the time solo with Luca, and to give my body more time to recover.
we casually decided to start trying in the New Year (2019.) I wanted to enjoy some upcoming life events like Lu’s birthday, a trip to Iceland, a family vacation to Turks & Caicos, the holiday season, and New Year celebrations. Lu wanted to try sooner and it’s not that I wasn’t ready, it was just that we had so much going on, I wanted to enjoy it. and then, I realized, “why can’t I enjoy it if I’m pregnant?” and that’s when I had the realization: I wanted to be able to drink alcohol. like, if I can’t drink alcohol, I can’t fully enjoy these events. once I realized that that was my subconscious reasoning and said it out loud, I realized how ridiculous it sounded. you don’t need to drink alcohol to have fun. you don’t need to be drunk to enjoy life. and while I do love a rum punch on the beach and a glass of champagne on New Year’s, I wasn’t sure how my fertility journey would be this time around (the first time we got pregnant on the first try) and would hate to look back on these few months and wish I had started trying sooner.
the day before Luca turned one, I knew I was ovulating. so, I said to Lu, “why don’t we try tonight and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try again after the New Year?” so that night on the eve of Luca’s first birthday, we had sex!
a couple of weeks later, I started seeing a couple of signs that I was pregnant. first, I opened a flip book while playing with Luca and there was a girl character with my favorite girl name. that same week, I was working out at the gym and I almost had to leave because I was so sensitive to the smell of a man’s cologne, it was too much. heightened sense of smell was one of my first symptoms with Luca too!
then, the time came to test for pregnancy. the first time around, I tested on the first possible day you can test (based off of this calculator) and sure enough, it came out positive. this time around, I tested on the first possible day and it was negative. and it was negative on the second day. the third day. the fourth day. the fifth day. the sixth day. and then it hit me – I really did want to have a baby, because I was really saddened that it didn’t work out.
the next day was the day I was supposed to get my period and it didn’t come that morning. it was 7am, shortly after Luca woke up. so, I had one pregnancy test left and decided to test one last time. and there it was. two lines on the pee stick. the second line was SUPER faint, but it was there. I was pregnant. I was absolutely elated and shocked. I really didn’t think I was pregnant, given all the negative tests. I was so excited and instead of hiding the pee stick and planning some elaborate pregnancy reveal to Lu later on that day, I ran right into bed with him and the baby and said, “Guess what! Luca’s going to have a baby brother or sister, I’m pregnant!” It was a sweet private moment with Lu and I (Luca had no idea what was happening, of course) and I felt so lucky to be growing our family.
that night, like we did the first time, we drank wine together and ate sushi and I took my last sip of alcohol and last piece of raw fish for the next 9 months. I’m totally aware that some people drink throughout their pregnancy (and do you, whatever works for you!), but I choose not to, so for me, the couple of glasses I had that night is going to hold me over until the summer (the baby’s due date is the second day of summer, in June!)
telling our family
since I didn’t get a big reveal with Lu on the pregnancy, I decided to do something with my family. luckily, my parents were in town. I found out on a Tuesday and on a Thursday, they were coming over for dinner. I made them my winter butternut squash lasagna and on the top, I spelt out, in cut up sage leaves, B. I placed the lasagna on the table and Lu said, “Do you guys notice anything interesting about this lasagna?” And after some futile guesses, we announced that the B was for Baby and we were having a baby! Lots of excitement, grabbed the ultrasound, and enjoyed a dinner together (with no wine for me, sadly.)
how this pregnancy has been different than the first
one word: HORMONES. honestly, it was like I could feel my hormones bubbling inside of me. I was a short fuse. I didn’t get sad at all (like, I wasn’t the kind of hormonal where I’d cry over spilt milk), I was more just agitated all the time and anything “ticked” me off. who did this fall most heavily on? sadly, Lu. everything he said or did, I’d get upset about. I even said one day, “I feel so emotional, I don’t know what to do with myself!” we definitely fought more during the last 12 weeks of our marriage than we have in the entire 3.5 years! I feel bad, but I apologized enough, and he was pretty understanding that it was the pregnancy hormones, not me, and it would wear off.
like clockwork, around 12.5 weeks, I wasn’t a mess anymore. no more hormone surges, I felt myself again. happy and easy going wife again!
and the other difference is definitely nausea. with Luca, I didn’t feel nauseous at all. with this pregnancy, I had the most subtle nausea during the day (about 12 – 6pm) and it wasn’t, “Oh, I feel like I’m going to throw up,” it was more like, “Ugh, I feel gross, I need to sit down.” I found that eating more carbs helped, but only temporarily and that would just make me feel grosser, so I really just tried to stay super hydrated and distract myself from the nausea by staying busy. that helped the most.
other than that, everything was exactly the same – the exhaustion from weeks 6 to 11 was out of control (I napped almost every single day) and I felt hungry all the time, even though you’re not supposed to start eating extra calories until the second trimester, I couldn’t help myself. I gave in to my cravings more so this pregnancy than the last, because, heck – it may be my last pregnancy, who knows! living it up this time around.
(after our first prenatal doctor’s appointment where we heard the heartbeat for the first time! I had the WORST cold sore breakout of my life, which my doctor told me is quite common when your hormones are surging!)
yes, I’m still nursing Luca. I’m only nursing him in the morning and at night. the week before we went to Iceland, I dropped our third feed so that I wouldn’t have to pump as much in Iceland and so that Luca could finally just be on morning and night feedings. he didn’t even notice the nursing session was gone!
my goal is to have Luca weaned by 20 weeks, which marks the halfway point of a pregnancy. I want to be able to have my body back to myself (well, as much as I can have my body to myself, considering there’s another baby in there, haha!) I also just want my nipples to have some rest before baby #2 arrives! and frankly, when my belly starts to really pop, I don’t want to worry about, “is this too much pressure on the baby?” while I’m nursing Luca. while I’m sad to be entering the final two months of nursing with Luca, I am so proud of myself for making it this far, and I know that I will have done the best I can do for Luca.
and a few people asked how nursing has changed since I found out I was pregnant. well, my nipples are definitely more sensitive, so it doesn’t hurt, but it’s just slightly uncomfortable because of the sensitivity.
I have definitely noticed my supply has dipped, because I typically get 6 ounces if I pump, but I barely got 3-4 ounces the last time I had to pump. Luca still nurses well, but he definitely doesn’t nurse for as long and switches breasts much more quickly.
favorite first trimester products
here are some products I’m already using – and many of them are ones I used last time around.
- prenatal vitamin – the same one as last time! Garden of Life’s Raw Prenatal
- Mamma Mio Tummy Butter: I’m starting off right away with hydrating my belly skin. I was lucky enough not to get any stretch marks the first time around, so I’m hoping for the best this time (they say you get larger the second time around!)
- pajama lounge pants: in the first trimester, you feel a lot of bloat. the worst thing is to be uncomfortable and have your pants digging into your belly, especially at night time. I bought these GAP lounge pants and they are seriously the most comfortable pants in the world, I bought them in all the other colors, haha. Highly recommend.
- comfy tee: in the beginning, when I was trying to hide my little bloated bump from my nanny and be comfortable at home, I bought this maternity tee from Show Me Your Mumu and it is so soft, I live in it now and can’t wait to fill it out with a true bump!
the first trimester recap
I did this Q&A style the first time around, and it’s so much easier, so here we go again! And if you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!
How far along are you?
I’m 13 weeks and 4 days.
When are you due?
June 20th, our wedding anniversary. I am so excited to have a summer baby!
What symptoms did you have?
- Around week 10, my boobs inflated again. I say inflated because after you nurse a baby for 1+ years, your boobs are DEFLATED. I never understood what women meant when they said their boobs looked like pancakes after nursing, until I nursed. Now, they’re back to being DDD+ and I already starting wearing the sports bras I used during my last pregnancy, because they fit better (they’re a larger size.)
- Fatigue. Just like last time, like clockwork, at 2pm, I had to take a nap. I’d usually end up taking a nap from 3:30-4:30pm, wake up, finish work, and then start Luca’s dinner before the nanny got home. God bless having childcare, because it allowed me to really get my rest.
- Breakouts. I definitely felt like my skin (probably because of the extra surge of hormones) was at its worst. It’s definitely leveled out now, and I feel like I’m getting the glow back.
- Hormones. Like I discussed above, my hormones were out of control. It was almost like I could feel them moving in my body, it was nuts. I was on edge, literally – I could feel it in my skin!
Did you work out?
Yes, but not nearly as much as I did through my first pregnancy (I think I worked out consistently 5-6 days a week at 6:00am.) I think I averaged 3-4 workouts a week, which was enough for me to feel good! the one piece of advice I have is this: work out in the morning. the exhaustion (especially in the first trimester) is so real, that if you don’t get it done first thing, it most likely won’t happen. work out while you’re still energized!
Did you drink coffee/have caffeine?
I gave it up for my first pregnancy, and I gave it up again! The way I look at it is this – I don’t want my body addicted to anything in general, so if I can’t give up coffee for 9 months, I have a problem and probably should do some time without the caffeine!
Are you drinking alcohol?
Are you going to find out the gender?
Yesss! It’s a girl! We revealed the gender on Sunday with a couple of my closest friends who live in Jersey City along with my sister and her husband. We got the results on Friday, found out privately together (just Lu, Luca and I) and decided to do something last minute for our friends and family to reveal to them!
For the reveal “party,” I made the Autumn Brussels Sprouts Quiche from my Inspiralized & Beyond cookbook, some Simple Mills Pumpkin Bread and the coconut cream cheese frosting from my Inspiralize Everything cookbook, a bowl of fresh berries, and a simple salad with pomegranates and almond slivers. I blew up some pink and blue balloons and we popped a big black balloon and pink confetti came fluttering out! Top moments in my life! As happy as I am with a boy, I’ve always wanted a girl and I feel so blessed! Funny note: we couldn’t find a pin in our apartment to pop the balloon with, so I had to use a kitchen knife – I was so scared before and after that I was going to accidentally excitedly stab someone, so I seem a bit awkward in the video, I think! Haha.
How has the exhaustion been with a toddler?
It’s definitely a struggle, especially at the end of the day, when I’m really exhausted and Luca wants to play. luckily, Lu has been extra helpful and has been taking over bath duty at night (when he’s home) and plays with him when I just need to lay on the couch. one weekend, I just had to take a nap in the late afternoon and Lu took Luca out so I could rest in peace.
Any name ideas yet?
Ugh, no!! We can’t seem to agree on any girl names and none have really spoken to us yet. any ideas?
Were you worried about ZIKA on your recent trip to Turks & Caicos?
Definitely. I did my research, spoke to my OB-GYN, and took every precaution possible while there. There have been no reported cases of ZIKA in Turks in 18 months, specifically in the area of Turks where we were. It’s still on the CDC though, so it’s definitely still a risk. I think it’s all about comfort levels. Knowing that there were no reported cases, and seeing that WHO (World Health Organization) removed Turks from its ZIKA list, I felt comfortable with my decision. While I was there, I wore long dresses, and wore bug spray everywhere I went. I also spoke to the hotel before the trip and they said they spray for mosquitos on the property. I made a decision and while yes, there is still a risk, I did what I felt most comfortable with. My doctor said because Lu and I didn’t have any symptoms, they actually don’t even test for ZIKA in that case. But I definitely worried about it and still do a bit. My OB-GYN said at the 20 week scan, they’ll be able to tell, but because I’m symptom free and went to an area with low risk, I shouldn’t stress.
Are you showing now? They say you show earlier the second time around!
I definitely feel like I look much bigger by the end of the day than I did the first time around, but when I wake up, I rarely feel pregnant. I’m not showing much, and I didn’t feel like I showed until about 15 weeks with Luca. I think by 15 weeks, I’ll definitely be showing more than with Luca, so we’ll see. I’ll be sure to take bumpies for the pregnancy recaps.
Are you planning to move?
Yes! We want to find a three bedroom in our same building, but if not, then somewhere else in Jersey City. We love the area of Jersey City we live in, we love Jersey City, and we are NOT ready for the suburbs at all. Never know if we ever will be!
And that’s it! That’s my first trimester recap. Let me know if you have any questions – and to other mamas out there pregnant alongside me, let’s do this together! And to all the mamas on their fertility journey, sending you all the love and faith!