Third Baby: Halfway There!

Well hey there!  Since this pregnancy is halfway over, I figured I’d finally share a bit on how things are going, what’s different this time, etc.  How are we at the halfway point already?  Holy cow.

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As always, the beginning of this pregnancy felt like an eternity, but even more so this time given my history and all the anxiety surrounding that.  The weeks craaaaaaaaawled by, and I didn’t really allow myself to think much about it for fear of getting too invested in something that might not happen.  A few things that have been different this time – more early appointments.

I went for my first appointment around 5 weeks pregnant for a blood draw to see if my HCG levels were rising appropriately (check!).  At 6.5 weeks I went in for an early ultrasound to check viability and possibly see a heart beat (check, check!).  I had another ultrasound at 8.5 weeks to check for additional growth and development.  This period of time was the most stressful, as all of my previous losses had occurred between these critical weeks.  But despite all my doubts, everything appeared fine and all of my appointments were reassuring.

We went to Savannah when I was 9 weeks pregnant and told Casey’s immediate family the news.  I still felt very nervous to share it with anyone, but it felt silly not to since we were all together!  At 10 weeks I had my first midwife visit, and I had all my bloodwork done for genetic testing.  I also flew to Chicago that week for my grandfather’s funeral, and so I was able to tell my mom in person as well.  At 12 weeks I had an additional ultrasound as a follow up to the bloodwork (an early anatomy scan for certain markers), and everything looked great!

Once I hit that magical 12 week mark, the intensity of monitoring and testing drastically slowed down and has felt much more like my previous pregnancies since then.  I had another quick appointment at 16 weeks just to hear the heartbeat and take a few measurements, and I recently had my big anatomy ultrasound scan at 20 weeks just after Christmas!

At the beginning I would wake up on Saturday mornings and be SO EXCITED to check another week off, making it feel that much closer to a real pregnancy.  These past few weeks have flown by with the hustle and bustle of holidays, family in town, big changes at our company, and more – and somehow I’ve made it to just a few days shy of 22 weeks!

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Everything about this pregnancy has felt very different.  It’s the first time I’ve ever been pregnant in the winter, which means I have had to buy all new maternity clothes.  It also means I’ve spent most of my pregnancy bundled up in layers and coats, so there are still a lot of people I see on a regular basis who don’t necessarily even realize I am pregnant.  Awkward!

As for the maternity clothes, everything I had from being pregnant with the boys were sundresses and tank tops which clearly aren’t working right now.  I bought two pairs of jeans from H&M that I wear pretty much every day, and I got a handful of gently used tops from ThredUp.  Maternity clothes are worn for such a short period of time that the consignment stuff is totally the way to go!

The other thing I tried was a maternity box from Stitchfix!  I haven’t done Stitchfix in years, but figured I’d try it again for maternity since I was so tired of everything in stores being boring solids and stripes.  I have to tell you guys – I honestly expected to hate it all but it ended up being a HUGE success.  I loved all five pieces and kept ALL of them, which I’m not sure I ever did before with the regular clothes. I got a great mix of shirts in different fun styles and patterns which is exactly what I was looking for to round out my wardrobe.  Total win!

Physically this pregnancy hasn’t been a walk in the park.  It’s hard to say what’s better or worse, since it has been so different than before.  With the boys I threw up A LOT, but then I always felt better afterward.  This time around I’ve had a steady steam of nausea for about five months now.  As of week 20, I was still gagging and throwing up a few mornings a week, and while that has subsided this week, I still wake up very nauseous and my appetite isn’t great.  This is the least weight I’ve gained in any pregnancy so far (although also the highest starting weight), and I think part of that is because food has sounded so terrible most of the time.  This baby is made of 90% soup and cheese, and entirely hydrated by La Croix.

I’ve been going back to barre3 again, which has felt great.  I really think it’s the perfect workout for pregnant and postpartum mamas, and I’m planning to do it as long as I can up until the end!  Other than doing that 3 days a week, I’m squeezing in as many walks as possible, but activity in general has been pretty low other than the usual day to day life with kids.  I wish I had time to fit in more, but our current schedule doesn’t allow for it.  I’m working full time at our company now (more on that in another post), so everything just feels a bit more hectic this time around.

While I have taken zero pictures and written nothing about this pregnancy, I sure have appreciated what I wrote before! I’ve referred back to old posts to try to remember what I was going through during the same time period before.  Here are the bump shots from 22 weeks when I had the boys – Cullen on the left, Graham on the right.

22-weeks-collageAnd here I am the third time around, at 21 weeks 5 days.  Pretty similar belly bump, with a booty that has tripled in size.  So glamorous!  As of now this baby is measuring smaller than either of the boys did.  I assumed she would be gigantic like her brothers, but hopefully I will be wrong!  Although I’m also very concerned that labor could be epic-ly fast (I’m sure I’ll eat my words).  My labor with Graham from the first pang of a contraction to birth was under four hours, and I can’t really imagine it being any swifter than that – we barely made it to the hospital as it was.  I’m not going to worry about all of that quite yet though.

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I just recently started feeling all sorts of kicks and thumps, and that has been AMAZING.  I don’t want to be an annoying broken record, but I’ve continued to really struggle with anxiety and my emotions around this pregnancy, and I don’t know that that will change until I actually see a healthy baby in my arms in May.  People will say things like “oh you are having another baby?” and I’ll give really awkward replies like, “maybe – it sure seems like it so far!” instead of just a normal “YES.”  For some reason I just can’t bring myself to talk about it in a natural, comfortable way.

I also haven’t bought anything yet either, but that’s a mix of me feeling superstitious, and also just not having anywhere to put baby things quite yet.  We are planning to move the boys back into their bunk beds in the next month or so, and once we do that we will have an empty room to set back up as the nursery.  Until then, I’m hesitant to pull out any of my old baby bins because I don’t want them exploding all over our hallway.  With that said, I do feel really excited and antsy to get set up!  I am psycho and type A (I know you are so surprised!) and I like to feel prepared way ahead of time, even though this isn’t a new thing for us.  I want to go through the boys’ old things and decide what to keep and what’s ready to donate.  I know getting the baby’s room set up will make it all feel a lot more real!

I DO think that we have a name, but we haven’t talked about it too much since the initial conversation.  I know if we obsess over it I will end up hating it by the end.  But for now it feels like the perfect fit.  The boys talk about having a new baby sister all the time, and get all sorts of crazy emotional thinking about them as big brothers.  Cullen was so tiny when Graham was born, and really missed out on the whole big brother experience.  I think they will both be at wonderful ages to be excited, helpful, and to hopefully just really enjoy the experience.

I’ll do another post in the coming weeks/months once we are a bit more set up and starting to actually prepare for our new arrival.  I’m hoping to be able to keep and use most of what I had before, but I know there are a few new things we will get as well.  Can anyone recommend a decent baby monitor??  We had a Motorola before and the parent unit had zero battery life after several months – it was super annoying.  And I’ve heard horror stories of monitors that run over wi-fi, so I’m wary of the app-based options, but maybe that’s silly.  Also, has anyone used the Owlet Smart Sock?  That’s one new thing I’m considering this time around. Knowing this is our last baby, I’d really like to just relax and enjoy this experience, and I think something like the Owlet might make that easier to do.  Any other fantastic new baby items that have come on the market in the past four years?  I feel like a lot of things have changed!

For now, it’s one day at a time – just trying to take care of myself and be my healthiest, best self – both physically and emotionally.

Let me know if you guys have any questions!  I feel like there is so much that I forgot to share, considering how little I’ve talked about this pregnancy so far.  Thanks for all of your love and support as we take this crazy ride again!