Differences between my pregnancies (Conception-Week 27)

pregocomparisonWe have all heard things from the peanut gallery regarding 1st pregnancies and second/third pregnancies. Well I am here to give you my honest feedback. The truth is the things that everyone tells you are not necessarily true. (PS: The pictures are me at 26 weeks exactly in both pregnancies)

Getting Pregnant

1st pregnancy– Well I got pregnant on my honeymoon. My husband and I decided that since we were married we would eliminate birth control because we did want to start a family and figured it could take a few months (especially with my history of ovarian cysts). Uhh no got pregnant the first month!

2nd pregnancy– It took us 2 months this time.

Finding Out

1st pregnancy- I think I was more in shock that I was pregnant after one month. I tested 4 days before my missed period and it showed up positive. I remember being scared, excited and nervous.

2nd pregnancy- After I got my period the first month of trying I was shocked. I half expected it to happen quickly again. Then when I tested the 2nd month my tests kept showing up negative until the day of my missed period. This time I was happy, excited and then a little like Oh Damn… now I can’t have lunch meat, wine, etc. 🙂

First few weeks (5-7)

1st pregnancy- I felt normal for the most part. No real symptoms. I started to get a little tired toward the end of week 6 and my boobs were relatively sore.

2nd pregnancy-Same exact feelings, but started feeling nauseated during the middle of week 6 in the morning. I was able to eat a few crackers before getting out of bed and this seemed to help.

Weeks 7-12

1st pregnancy- Holy Shit… All I remember is waking up with the feeling that if I didn’t sprint to the toilet I would vomit all over myself. I remember waking up from a deep sleep and running to the bathroom. I would dry heave for minutes until I eventually puked up bile. (sorry TMI). It was very hard to eat anything for the first few hours of the day and I would force myself to stuff something in. After about noon I would be ok, but extreme exhaustion would set in around 2 or 3pm. My appetite was minimal and I usually ate soup. (Midwife put me on zofran at about week 8 which helped me a little bit).

2nd pregnancy- I was still dry heaving and throwing up bile but it took about 10 minutes to feel this way. After my little spell I would be perfectly fine to eat whatever. I craved egg & cheese sandwiches every morning. Then the nausea would set in again in late morning and it would be hard to eat the rest of the day. (Midwife put me on zofran at around week 8 again). This time.. it prevented the morning vomiting, but I still felt nauseated ALL DAY. 😦 Exhaustion set in once again around 2 or 3pm..

Weeks 12-16

1st pregnancy- After week 12 the nausea starts to decrease, but I still vomited until about week 16. I still hadn’t gained a single pound until about week 15. I didn’t look pregnant at all. My boobs were still the same size. I opted for the genetic testing and freaked out completely until I received the results.

2nd pregnancy- Vomited all the way through week 16. Still did not look pregnant. Gained maybe a pound around week 16. Only real huge difference was that my boobs were HUGE by week 7.

Weeks 16-20

1st pregnancy- Felt baby kick right at 17 weeks. Started gaining about a lb a week at around week 18 and started showing a very tiny bit. Had anatomy sono at week 19 and my little girl wouldn’t let us see what she was! I was sooo devastated.

2nd pregnancy- Felt baby kick around week 16. Started gaining about a lb a week at about week 18 again. Had anatomy scan at week 20 and little man let us see!

Weeks 21-26

1st pregnancy- Hubby felt the baby move around week 21. He was very excited. I also started waking up to pee in the middle of the night around this time. Finally found out at week 22 that baby was a girl. Finally felt like I had some energy back around this time. I was hungry all the time and was still gaining around a lb a week. Starting reading to baby and it made her kick all the time. Measured 24cm around 25 weeks. Got hydronephrosis (inflamed kidney) from the baby laying on my ureter causing urine to backflow into my kidney. (very painful)

2nd pregnancy- Have to pee all the time. Got hydronephrosis AGAIN but it started a few weeks earlier. Baby boy kicks like crazy. I can feel and see little heels coming out on the side of my abdomen. Weight gain is a little slower this time. Measured 23cm at 24 weeks.

Weeks 27& 28

1st pregnancy- Kept having dreams that baby was a boy! Started feeling her little heels kicking out my sides. Gained about 10-11lbs.

2nd pregnancy- VERY intense kicking especially after eating. Measuring 26cm at 28 weeks. Gained about 10-11lbs.

Cravings in both pregnancies: Oranges, clementines, spicy food, Chinese food, cereal

WOW … Could this pregnancy be any more similar?

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Amazing Benefits of Pregnancy

I know I bitch a lot about pregnancy so I thought I would write about the positive aspects of pregnancy. Of course, the best benefit is your beautiful little bundle of joy! However, there are many, many more that you might not be aware of.

  1. Easier/Less Painful Periods- Many women experience easier and less painful periods after having at least one pregnancy. This means lighter bleeding and little to no cramping. (I can confirm this personally!)
  2. No Period for 9+ months- Umm.. Hello? Did you even realize how awesome it is not to have your period AT ALL for at least 9 months. If you breastfeed this can be even longer. I didn’t get my period until 7 months postpartum.. It was awesome!
  3. Better Sex- Many women talk about their sex lives being the best during pregnancy. This is usually during the 2nd & 3rd trimesters when you are feeling a little better. This can be due to an increase in hormones or greater sensitivity in your southern region.
  4. You are usually the healthiest that you have ever been- Think about it. You are eating better (or should be), you take a multivitamin daily, you have quit drinking and smoking, and you are under the constant supervision of a doctor.
  5. Moods Stabilize- Many women experience a more stabilized mood after the birth of their first child. I can honestly say this is true for me. I have some mild anxiety and I have really not had any issues since I had my daughter. I am not sure if this is due to hormonal changes or maybe just that I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.
  6. Less incidents of autoimmune diseases like MS- Scientists have shown that women have a decreased risk of autoimmune diseases with each pregnancy. This is because your immune system adjusts during pregnancy so that your body does not reject a fetus. Also, women who already have a diagnosed autoimmune disease usually see a great improvement in their symptoms for this same reason.
  7. Healthier Heart- It has also been shown that your risk of heart attack and stroke decrease with each pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes.
  8. LESS RISK OF CANCER- This is one of the greatest benefits of all. Science shows that women have a decreased risk of ovarian and breast cancers. Apparently, the fewer periods you have causes less estrogen and progesterone in the body which can lead to cancer. Also, you have an added benefit if you breastfeed. These changes in breast tissues make your cells more resistant to cancer.

YAY!!! See it isn’t all bad.

Differences between first pregnancies and second

pregnant-woman-bookThere are many differences between your first pregnancy and your second or any subsequent ones. It is amazing how much our thoughts and priorities change.

Reading Books

1st pregnancy- You buy several books about pregnancy and read them cover to cover. You marvel over each week and what new developments your baby is going through.

2nd pregnancy- You are lucky if you have time to read your twitter feed.

Diet

1st pregnancy- You avoid all caffeine, all soft cheeses, alcohol, junk food, etc.

2nd pregnancy- You can’t function without your daily cup of coffee, you eat the soft cheeses that you love and you’ve had a glass of wine or two.

Calling your OB

1st pregnancy- You call your OB with every ache and pain or cramp.

2nd pregnancy- You don’t notice these aches and pains and even if you do.. You say “Ehh… It’s fine”

Your Social Life

1st pregnancy- You still hang out with all of your single friends, go out to dinner, go to the movies, shopping, etc.

2nd pregnancy- Your social life consists of playdates with other moms and you are totally ok with that.

Thinking/Talking about Baby

1st pregnancy- Every thought and every waking moment of your life is spent thinking, talking and planning for baby.

2nd pregnancy- Oh Shit… thats right I’m pregnant. I should probably get the nursery together (at 39 weeks).

Activities/Hobbies

1st pregnancy- You take birthing classes, childcare classes and prenatal yoga

2nd pregnancy- Umm.. Hobbies? What are those? You are taking care of another child and usually 99.99% of your time involves taking care of them.. and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Packing your hospital bag

1st pregnancy- You have your hospital bag packed at 30 weeks. It has 7 outfits for the baby, 40 diapers, 6 outfits for you, 3 cameras, 5 magazines, your Ipod with a birthing playlist, 10 pairs of underwear, a cute non-maternity outfit for you (haha),breastfeeding pillow, lotion, body wash, shampoo, razors and every other completely nonessential item.

2nd pregnancy- You pack your bag while in labor with maternity clothes to wear home (because you know better this time), you skip the underwear because they give you the disposable kind which work better anyway since you bleed all over everything anyway, skip the diapers since they give you a pack, and throw in a onesie last minute for the baby… Oh shit.. need a camera.. OK.. Perfect 🙂

Food Swaps to keep you fit during pregnancy and after

I know I talk a lot about eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. I think it is important for everyone not just pregnant women. Being overweight or obese can cause so many physical and emotional health risks. I have compiled my list of food swaps that will not only keep you healthy during pregnancy, but are great swaps at any point in your life. I don’t consider this a diet, but more of a lifestyle change.

  1. Whenever possible you should swap out Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Butter when cooking. Example: Sauteing veggies in a pan. A light drizzle of Olive Oil will add great flavor without all of the saturated fat.
  2. Homemade Dressing for bottled dressing. Bottled dressings are loaded with fat, calories and sodium. I frequently make my own dressing with minced garlic, lemon juice, pepper & a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. I toss a light amount right with my salad and it is amazing!
  3. When baking switch out at least 1/2 of your required white flour for whole wheat flour. You will not even notice and you will be amazed at the added texture and flavor. I never cook or bake with only white flour.
  4. Whole wheat pasta for white pasta. I also like the Barilla Plus Pasta because it has more fiber & protein than regular white pasta.
  5. Brown rice for white rice
  6. Whole wheat bread for white bread
  7. Quinoa instead of pasta, rice or couscous. Quinoa is an amazing grain that is SUPER high in protein and gluten-free!
  8. Mashed/Pureed cauliflower or turnip instead of mashed potatoes. Trust me.. You will not miss the potatoes. Just steam the cauliflower until tender, toss in a food processor with milk, a little butter, salt & pepper.
  9. Kale Chips or popcorn instead of fried potato chips. If you are a crunchy, salty food craver like me than you have to try this swap. I never eat fried potato chips anymore. If I really want a carb than I go for one of the 100-calorie pack popcorn bags, but I also make Kale Chips a lot too. Clean a head of Kale and dry thoroughly. Tear leaves from the stems and break into pieces. Lay the pieces on a baking sheet and lightly spray with an olive oil spray and toss with salt. Bake at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes. YUM. You can also experiment with different flavors like adding garlic powder or a dry BBQ seasoning.
  10. Baked sweet potato fries instead of deep fried french fries. Cut 2 sweet potatoes into spears or wedges. Spray with an olive oil spray and toss with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, turn over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. YUM!!!
  11. Skim milk for any other % of milk. (This one is easy and it shouldn’t be too hard!)
  12. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar or butter/oil in baking recipes. This really does work! Just substitute the amount of applesauce for butter or oil required. You can use the applesauce to sweeten lots of recipes that require sugar.
  13. Ripe bananas for oil in baking. (Same as above and its yummy)
  14. Evaporated skim milk can be swapped for heavy cream!
  15. Ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef. Same goes for sausage. I always go for turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork. **Note.. Ground turkey is VERY moist compared to beef. You may need to drain some liquid off.
  16. My all time favorite… Banana Ice Cream..Cut up ripe bananas and freeze until solid. Blend until smooth in a food processor. This tastes exactly like ice cream, but its just banana! Gluten and dairy free! You can also add a bit of peanut butter if you want!

Interesting facts about pregnancy that you might not know…

1. 25-30% of couples who are actively trying to conceive, get pregnant in the first month! Wow.. this is really high.

2. At any given time, 4% of US women are pregnant. See you are not alone!

3. Your baby receives the nutrients from your food before you do. This also means that if you skip a meal your baby will draw out nutrients stored in your body.

4. Your baby’s genetic material stays in your body for life. This was discovered a few years ago, when women were found to have cells containing Y chromosomes in their blood postpartum. It truly is amazing how connected we become with our children.

5. Women really do “glow” during pregnancy. This is usually do to the increased blood flow and increase in oil. Kinda gross but it makes us look beautiful!

6. Sense of smell and taste increase in women during pregnancy. Scientists believe this is to help pregnant women avoid toxins that could harm the fetus.

7. Your feet can grow up to 1 size during pregnancy. This is due to relaxed ligaments, pressure and increase in fluid. Most likely they will go back postpartum.

8. Pregnancy cravings can be a sign that your body is lacking a certain nutrient. Craving ice cream? You might need calcium.

9. Your uterus increases 500 times during pregnancy and can weigh as much as 2lbs. WOW!

10. Your gums and nose might bleed more frequently during pregnancy. This is due to your hormones that increase blood flow. (Be careful when blowing your nose, brushing & flossing!)

What it is really like to take a toddler to the doctor

My first child is a beautiful, bright 18 month old girl. She is outgoing, independent, caring, loving & very smart. I know everyone tells you that there child is smart, but this girl is too smart for her own good sometimes. However, I love every ounce of her.

Just today she had her 18 month appointment this morning. We arrived in the waiting room and it is full of patients, mostly newborns in car seats. My daughter really isn’t interested in babies (thankfully) because I ALWAYS hated when germy toddlers would try to come up and breathe or touch my infant. I didn’t want to have to keep telling her “No.” They have the waiting room decked out in a jungle theme decorated with stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling and walls. Genius on their part. We spent these ten minutes walking around to everyone animal making their “sound.” Finally, just when she decided to start climbing on chairs they called us back. She did fine with letting the nurse weigh and measure her. Then of course, the office was running behind and I had to attempt to entertain her for 30 minutes in a small exam room. She wanted to get down and run around, but she was only in a diaper since they had just weighed her and needed her unclothed for the exam. I didn’t want her all over the dirty floor or getting into everything. I decided to pull out a toddler ABC game on my iphone. Thank God for Fischer Price apps. This helped for about 15 minutes. (PS- My child like 99% of toddlers does not sit still AT ALL) Then she wanted to wash her hands in the sink. Ok… Then we played with the contents of my purse.. Oh Thank God… The doctor knocked on the door and came in. She did the usual questions and told me that my daughter is still in the 95th percentile for height! YAY! I am so praying that this child gets my height because my husband’s family barely has anyone over 5’7”. I was trying to discuss my daughters recent habit of being a picky eater with the doctor and my daughter decided she didn’t like me not paying attention to her. She proceeded to grab my face with hands and turn it toward her and say “Mommy!”  “Mommy!”. I swear she had never done this before and chooses now to do it in front of the pediatrician. The doctor thankfully told me that the picky eating is a way for a lot of assertive toddlers to show their independence. I think this was her nice way of saying it. She told me to keep trying the same foods several times and she may like them one day and hate them the next.. It is normal. We were discussing other normal things when my daughter decides to take the stool, stack it on top of the chair and try to climb this entire mountain. It is amazing how you only have conversations while multitasking these days. I’m not sure I heard very much of the doctors advice. I also was told to take away her pacifier.. Ahhh.. My daughter ONLY takes it at naps and nighttime. I’m slightly embarrassed to even admit that, but we had a hard time getting her to fall asleep on her own and I’m terrified to change anything in her routine. The doctor told me I must take it away before the new baby comes. Great… Looks like I am going to be getting sleepless nights again before the baby is born. Then came her flu shot.. God.. This was so much easier with an infant. She now knows it is coming. She was squirming and yelling. The nurse is telling me to hold her down.. Uhh.. I’m trying. She finally gets her and of course my daughter looks at me with a look of betrayal. Luckily, she gets over it pretty quickly because she fascinated by the Mickey Mouse band-aid. Phew.. Can you imagine if our moods changed this quickly? Next, we have to check out and reschedule her 2 year visit. Yeah ok.. I’m holding my daughter to prevent her from running around and she is wiggling and stretching trying to get loose. This is super fun especially being 6 months pregnant. The receptionist asks me if some date in June works better for morning or afternoon. Lady… Does it look like I have my shit together enough to know if June 12th is better in the morning or afternoon. I say “Sure” to the morning and all of a sudden realize that I will be bringing a 2 year old and an almost 3 month old to this visit… HOLY SHIT…

What no one tells you about labor & delivery

These are the lovely things that some or most of you may not know if you have never been through childbirth. You will be surprised how many of these things were never told to you in a class!

  1. Birth Plans: Birth plans are wonderful to have. I prefer to call them a birth preference. I cannot tell you how many of my friends had specific, detailed “birth plans” and they experienced none of what they wanted. I know a girl who wanted a completely, all natural, no drugs birth. She wanted to use hypnosis and a birthing tub. Guess what? She had a scheduled C-section because the baby was breech and they couldn’t turn him. It is great to have your preferences, but be prepared to change them if things aren’t going your way.
  2. Pain Medications: You might be dead set that you do NOT want any medications. You might change your mind once you get into labor and that’s ok! Don’t try to be a superhero. Everyone’s labor is different and everyone tolerates pain differently. Also, you may be set on medications and not have time. One of my best friends got to the hospital when she was 9cm and they wouldn’t let her have any medications. This is more common than you think.
  3. Inductions Hurt: By 38 weeks you may be begging your OB or midwife to induce you. Don’t be too quick to want this. If your body isn’t ready this will only make things harder. Plus, pitocin (the drug used to induce you) makes your contractions more frequent and more intense, making labor MUCH, MUCH more painful.
  4. No FOOD: You will not be allowed to eat when you officially get admitted to the hospital. Digestion can slow down your labor and doctors will also be concerned about choking. You WILL BE starving when it is over.(PS- They will let you have clear liquids like ice chips, water, apple juice, etc)
  5. Puking: You may puke during labor or delivery. This is normal. Your body is going through a very painful, vigorous process. It is normal for your stomach to feel unsettled. You may feel nauseated either from the epidural or just from the pain in general. Make sure you have a puke bucket ready. The last thing you want is to be covered in your own vomit.
  6. Shivering: I call this the “shakes.” You may experience the shakes when you are in pain. I remember I was shaking SO hard when they were trying to put my epidural in. They kept yelling at me to stop, but it was an involuntary movement! Your body is in intense pain and you are nervous. Sometimes your body will react this way.
  7. Water Breaking: Um… Yea.. So in the movies they always act like your water breaks and then its done.. Yea it keeps coming out until you delivery. Maybe not gushing the whole time, but you will feel like you are just continuously pissing yourself. It is gross and you just basically sit in it until the nurses come and change out the pad underneath you. This is very uncomfortable.
  8. Pooping/Passing Gas: You may poop or pass gas either during labor or delivery. Remember, your baby is passing through your birth canal compressing your rectum making things come out. Then when you are pushing, it may happen as well. Trust me when I tell you… You will not care. Don’t worry about it.
  9. Pushing:  You’d like to think that pushing is that simple… but it isn’t. It’s not nearly as easy as you might think and don’t be surprised if you push for over an hour with your first child. There is a specific way you need to push in order for the push to be productive. You need to push like you are pooping (hence the reason many women poop).
  10. Epidurals Don’t Always Work: Epidurals don’t always work. Yup! There are a million reasons. Two of the most common being that it may not have been put in place properly or you may be having back labor. Either way you may still feel the pain or it may only take the edge off.
  11. Birth Is Messy: Childbirth is messy. I already told you that you will be leaking fluid once your water breaks. Then your doctor/midwife will come in for the delivery dressed in rain gear from head to toe. This is because delivery is messy. A lot of blood and amniotic fluid will come out and it will be everywhere. It is messy.
  12. Everyone will be looking at your vagina: A lot of people will be up close and personal with your vagina. Your doctor or midwife, the nurse on duty, the next nurse after shift change, the resident who comes in to observe, the nurses waiting to check out the baby when he/she is born.
  13. You will be extremely exhausted: You will be more exhausted than you can possibly imagine. You aren’t allowed to eat, you are dealing with extreme pain and then you will be pushing for a long time. This will take every ounce of energy that you have. Be prepared to feel like you just worked out for 3 hours straight.
  14. It could be easier: It may be easier than you are imagining. You may have heard every horror story in the world. You may be expecting the worst pain and then the day comes and you may tolerate it WAY better than you thought. A friend of mine said it was a breeze. She delivered both of her children without drugs, didn’t go to the hospital until 8-9cm because she wasn’t really in that much pain and than pushed for 10 minutes each time.
  15. YOU CAN DO IT: No matter how bad I just made it seem or anyone else makes it seem. You will make it. You will be surprised how strong you are. You will think many times during the process that you just can’t do it anymore, but then something will come over you and you will realize that you CAN do this. You will feel like warrior when you are done. You are awesome!