Notes on Pregnancy #2
It’s (still) so hard to believe that in approximately 8 weeks time we will be welcoming our second baby boy into the world. We are so incredibly beyond excited for this next chapter of beautiful, chaotic family life - so excited to grow our family and give Zac a little brother. I’m smiling just writing that. I’ve been meaning to share a pregnancy update post for ages, for a little self-documentation, so here’s a couple of notes I’ve saved along the way.
We found out in early Dec last year and like last time, pregnancy happened straight away which I am so beyond grateful for. That two week wait was very similar to first pregnancy too but mainly with the physical symptoms; tiniest bit of nausea, mild heartburn, EXTREME EXHAUSTION, brain fog. Last time I put it down to placebo and this time I thought it could be a coincidence too but I guess the best thing about the two week wait with your second pregnancy is that it’s not as all-consuming as the first time. First pregnancy I couldn’t think about anything else, I was paralysed with the world of hypotheticals. Constantly wondering if there was a baby forming or not, knowing how devastated I would be if the pregnancy test was negative. This time, it was often at the back of my mind but I would also forget about it and get a rush of nerves when it would pop in my head. We were soo excited when the test said ‘pregnant’! I guess our bodies do pick up on pregnancy immediately.
Early pregnancy this time around was much more challenging. I am so lucky that I never got any sickness whatsoever but it was like I was sick with exhaustion. The most dead beat, soul destroying tiredness I can’t even begin to explain it. It almost made me crave a bit of sickness so I’d kind of have something to distract me from the exhaustion, but obviously I know that that would have only made me more tired haha. It felt harder this time not only because of also having a toddler to chase after, but because I put way more expectation on myself to just keep carrying on as usual. When I was pregnant with Zac I would indulge in all the napping my body was craving but this time I felt a lot more guilty doing that, I just wanted to be the energised wife & mother that I had been. Lots of unnecessary pressure which has kind of lingered into middle & late pregnancy too, but ever so slowly learning to just let go - it’s a work in progress, like everything I guess.
I think no matter what happens during that first trimester, it just sucks. While I was so ridiculously elated and felt so grateful to be carrying another baby it is just the biggest mindf*ck. There’s the awful fear of miscarriage (which for me never really goes away to be honest; it just morphs into fear of pre-term labour or still-birth), the relentless body/mind changes, the isolation of not really being able to share the news, the weight of the sheer responsibility of carrying a human, and so many hormones and emotions. I hate writing this because it sounds so negative and whingey when all I should be is grateful but I also think that it’s important to share that when everything is going ‘right’ there are still not-so-great elements and that’s ok.
We found out we were having a boy at about 11-12 weeks because George and I are both hopelessly curious and couldn’t wait for the surprise despite telling ourselves we initially wanted to wait. For some reason we were both expecting a girl so for the first 24-72 hours after opening the envelope, it felt weirdly strange knowing it was another little boy in there. Now we both feel so incredibly content and sooo endlessly excited to be having another boy - what a whirlwind of emotions it all is!
Health & Wellness
The biggest test during this pregnancy has been keeping up positive mental health habits and staying healthy. In those first few months when I would be so frustrated with my brain fog, exhaustion and lethargy, I thought maybe my mind just isn’t cut-out for pregnancy - that I just don’t enjoy it. I’ve mulled this over in the more recent months and I’ve come to the conclusion that that is just my ego talking. The shallow parts of myself that identify with always having to be a certain way. Pregnancy is this incredible wrecking ball that comes along to make you surrender to something bigger & deeper than just yourself. It rocked that ego to it’s core and made me reevaluate the attachment I have to the personal identity my mind creates. I realised that while the shallow parts of myself find pregnancy incredibly frustrating, the deepest parts of my soul relishes in being pregnant - carrying and nurturing unborn life, building a special bond, feeling a pure purpose that transcends anything else. I’ve been making a conscious effort, every single day, to tap into the deeper parts of myself and to bring that gratitude up from my soul into the shallow parts of myself, to help prevent any minor frustrations, feelings of overwhelm or bitterness because I know I’m going to miss this sweet phase when he’s born. Shortly after having Zac I seriously yearned to be pregnant again straight away. While I was so so happy to have him with us, I missed the kicks and the closeness we shared during pregnancy, so I know I am going to feel exactly the same way after we have this baby and that just makes me want to soak up these last 8 weeks as much as I possibly can.
During this pregnancy, I’ve been loving yoga so so much. I live in the middle of two wonderful studios; Modern Movement & Divine Flow and have also been doing some yoga from home using the amazing Deliciously Ella app. Previously I’d only ever done yoga at gyms - not specific yoga studios and so I think I only ever got a small percentage of how incredible yoga truly is, now my mind is blown. I feel like it’s going to be an ongoing obsession beyond pregnancy as it’s just such a holistic type of exercise, and I’m particularly excited to try the more rigorous classes that I can’t currently do. I wish I could say that I’ve been keeping up with my Xtend Barre membership but I’ve been finding it hard to get to classes, mainly because I hate having to modify a lot of the exercises - that’s the current excuse I have anyway haha. Now that I’m slowly working into maternity leave, I’ll see about getting back into it, or might concentrate purely on yoga for the remainder of pregnancy and get back to Barre after birth recovery - it’s such a great workout, now that I’m writing about it I’m realising how much I’ve missed it. Other than that, my morning beach adventures with Zac have continued to be the most wonderful way to start the day and something I know I’ll cherish when his little brother arrives and makes it slightly more difficult to get out the door.
For our baby moon we went up to Byron Bay for 3 nights and stayed at Elements. It was pure heavenly bliss filled with romantic dinners, mornings exploring, afternoons by the pool and indulging in the beautiful Osprey Spa at the resort. I had the ‘little soul’ treatment and felt like I was walking on clouds afterwards, it was absolutely magnificent and something that I wish I could indulge in weekly haha. That being said, I’m going to book in for one or two more pregnancy massages in these final weeks as I feel like my bones and muscles are taking way more of a beating this time around - particularly my hips and lower back but also feel like I’m carrying a lot of tension in my shoulders, but that’s kind of an always thing not just during pregnancy haha.
Some books I’ve been loving have been geared more towards mindfulness and meditation - nothing specifically relating to pregnancy. More just about having a deeper appreciation for the very moment we’re in. The two most recent ones have been A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Both have had a profound impact on making me feel more centred, grateful and calm during this time when I’ve had the tendency to feel the opposite. I’ve also just ordered The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer which I’m really excited to get into. Motherhood has really brought out a big curiosity into spirituality, meditation & mindfulness for me, I feel like it’s been a really wonderful tool during this crazy phase of life.
Healthy eating has been quite a bit more difficult recently as we’ve had some ongoing weeks of celebrations with turning 30 (!!), going up to Noosa for a family holiday and just generally have pretty weak willpower for my tendency to snack all day and indulge in sweet treats that I never would usually. I do feel so much better when I am eating well though, and remembering to drink water (even if it means I have to wee a thousand times during the day). Homemade green juices and Deliciously Ella salad recipes have been on heavy rotation.
Like last time, I’m keeping an open mind with everything labour and birth related. I was induced at 39 weeks with Zac due to him losing a lot of weight towards the end of pregnancy - it ended up with being a c-section as he couldn’t handle even mild contractions at all. My OB says I can try for a VBAC delivery and that is the current plan until we get more of an idea of size & position baby is in. While I’d love to be able to deliver vaginally, I’m not absolutely desperate for a VBAC. I couldn’t have had a better c-section experience with Zac’s birth, and my number one priority is a healthy baby boy. That being said, I feel a lot more trust in my body this time around than I ever did the first time around. I still have worries and moments of mild panic about all the things that can go wrong during pregnancy and birth, but I also feel a deeper sense of calm about it all. Maybe it has something to do with doing yoga & meditation or just having been through a birthing experience before. Either way, it feels good to know I still have options and that I am in such great care with a wonderful OB. I’m also very interested in reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for this time around but I’m also nervous that it’ll make me really long for a VBAC and get disappointed if I can’t have one. The delicate balance of hopes and reality haha.
My beautiful friend, Gracey, just gifted me the beautiful book - The First Forty Days. I’ve only read the first two chapters but it’s already inspired me to get prepared for how I care for myself after I’ve had the baby. It focuses on five insights for caring for the new mother; retreat, warmth, support, rest & ritual. Everything about it oozes calmness and respect for the body & baby and I feel like I’ll need to take a lot of it to heart, especially for a second baby when the first is a crazy toddler running around causing a ruckus haha.
Initially, in the early stages of pregnancy, it all felt too soon for such a big change to our family, (even if it also felt like a form of torture having to wait until Zac was one before trying for another baby - no real reason on why we waited until then, we just wanted to give ourselves a year of having one baby and give them/ourselves a good age gap) but now I am so so so excited for the chaos to commence.
With Zac, I don’t know how but we hit the first baby jackpot. He fed so well, slept so well, travelled so well - loved the carseat, adapted to every situation, never cried for longer than a couple minutes, napped on the go, napped at home, sleep trained well - we’ve been sleeping through the night since he was approximately six months old, with only maybe 1-2 feeds during the night before that. The only real challenging times with him have been when he’s been teething (but it’s been easy to treat with Nurofen and lots of cuddles) or when he’s had jetlag from crazy travel plans his parents made him do haha. While we’re incredibly lucky and appreciative that our introduction to parenthood was smooth, we’re half worried that it’s set us up for a false sense of security and that anything less than that experience is going to be a billion times harder compared to if we had a ‘harder’ baby first, does that even make any sense haha.
I joke though because much like last time, I’m keep repeating this to myself “I don’t care if I get the trickiest baby in the world, I just want him to get here safely & be healthy”. It’ll all be so endlessly worth it. Most of all, I’m just so excited for this boy to rock our world and make us a family of four (crazyyy!). I’m so ready to hold a newborn again, for my heart to expand and burst open with even more with love, see George as a father of two boys and watch my Zachie become a sweet older brother. (Side note: Zac seems to be getting more of an understanding of what’s happening and loves kissing ‘the baby’ - he pulls my top up and kisses my belly, it’s the cutest thing in the world. We also have a name secured for our boy so we are using it around Zac quite a lot so that hopefully he feels a little familiar with his baby brother when he arrives.)
Being a mother makes me feel like the person I was always meant to be, it makes me feel whole & truly alive. It’s awakened a deeper element to living a life of meaning and brings purpose and appreciation to everything. While I know there are many many phases and stages to the world of motherhood, my goal is to never take it for granted.
Writing this post has been such a therapeutic exercise, I feel like I’ve bonded with my little boy even more - who knew I’d somehow have this much to say haha! Also, I need to add that I’m also very much looking forward to a glass (or two) of wine!