Pregnancy the 2nd time around

Here we go again! I’m so excited to be 6 months pregnant with a little girl, and this time is nothing like the first go-round.

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The 1st time around

My first full-term pregnancy was not a bad experience, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly good. Aside from some bouts of wicked indigestion, I felt fine, but my parents had recently split, I’d suffered a very early miscarriage shortly before, and I went from a busy life of working and a full social calendar to a new home far from anyone I knew.

In my 2nd trimester, we moved from Italy to Hawaii. Both are awesome places, but I didn’t know anyone when we arrived in Hawaii, and pregnancy is an awkward time to get to know one another. When you’re pregnant, you’re a bit between groups. You’re not able to hang with the party animals, but you’re not in the mom’s club yet either. I also couldn’t participate in all the water sports and hikes I longed too. I was anxious, lonely, a bit bored… the scenery was nice though (I’d be remiss to leave that out.).

With my son, I craved sweets. My thighs are lucky there isn’t a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts on island, because I would’ve stopped by WAY too frequently. Giving into my cravings with him brought me down. The one morning I had a donut, I passed out and ended up in the ER.

I also spent lots of time creating the perfect birth plan, which I’ve done none of this time. Let me leave the hospital with a healthy baby, and we’re good.

 

This time

This pregnancy started out rough in terms of how I felt. My first trimester was rife with headaches and nausea. But, aside from the symptoms, this time around has been much better.

First, I haven’t googled anything. The wee one and I check in with each other, exchanging pats and kicks here and there, but I’m emotionally at peace. Even going into this pregnancy was less stressful since I was already content with my son. If God decided he was it for us, I was ready to be completely fine with that.

The other nice thing about this time around is how busy I have been. Between work, my son, an upcoming move (this time closer to family and friends) and the excitement of my sister’s upcoming wedding, I don’t have time to stop and worry about anything, let alone be lonely or bored.

This pregnancy I’m also in swim-shape. I highly recommend swimming for anyone expecting. There are days I feel like I could fall asleep swimming because I am so relaxed. At the most, I get in 2 swims a week, but I’m happy even for those couple dips. I normally find a day to do some weights sometime in there as well, and I’m either walking or on my bike pretty much every other day of the week.

I started this pregnancy 7 pounds lighter than my last, but my body seems to have a sweet spot where it likes to be for baby building. I feel good about my level of fitness, but my weight jumped right back up to a more cushy condition. First time around, the worry of what would become of my physique postpartum was scary, but this time it feels really natural. I never expected to be in better shape after a baby, and I’m confident in my ability to bounce back yet again.

This time around, I know to have protein to start my day, so I’ve avoided light-headedness entirely. If I want something sweet in the morning, I mix a vanilla protein shake with peach rehydrate…hello, peaches’n cream! They told me last time around that, although I was drinking plenty of water, I wasn’t retaining like a should. The rehydrate helps me retain the necessary fluids.

Cravings this time have been for salty and spicy food. Step away from my wings and no one will get hurt. I’ve had to turn away from chips that promised all kinds of wonderful taste sensations, but it’s been an easier palate to work with overall.

My doctor kept me on omega’3s and probiotics this go around, which has helped keep my digestion working like normal, and it’s helped balance out the fact that my skin has been more prone to breakouts than it was the first time.

Overall, I’m simply more relaxed, which is a blessing to my entire household!

 

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25 weeks pregnant; kicking from the inside out

Pregnancy involves a lot of adapting, and some hard lessons learned. 

Two weeks ago, I suffered a fainting spell and went to the ER. It sounds more dramatic than it turned out to be. The lesson learned was not to start my day with too many carbs (even the sugars in fruit can contribute) and not enough protein and water. I also learned to stand up more slowly to allow my increased blood volume to properly adjust.

The funniest part of my hospital visit was that “Hawaii 5-o” was filming at the Tripler ER that morning, so we pulled up to several blood-soaked patients, who were actually just actors. Someone on set actually shushed an EMT and I’m pretty sure I saw steam come out my husband’s ears. I may not have been covered in blood, but I was the only true patient.

Another funny tidbit from that morning was how I kept having to repeat that I’d had cookies and fruit for breakfast. Yep, the personal trainer who is all about health and nutrition had given in to sugar cravings only to have to repeat them about five times. My husband was snickering in the corner. I suspect he paid extra people to ask what I had eaten.

While at the hospital, they also monitored AJ (the boy who lives in my belly) to make sure he had everything he needed. He quickly proved he was fine by boxing the monitors they put on my belly. We could actually see them moving with each strike, and my insides were raw by the end of it. My little show-off. I was proud.

Fainting spells aren’t actually dangerous for babies. The whole reason I was depleted was because my body was prioritizing the baby, making sure he got everything he needed first. (Hey, the baby needs blood. Great, lets take it from mom’s brain.)

In other news, our household goods will arrive tomorrow. Although I’m impressed at how well the air mattress we’ve been sleeping on has held out, I’m definitely ready to get back to sleeping on our real bed. I’m equally excited for our couch and TV. Next week, we’ll have cable for the first time in 2 years. My husband will be away when that happens, so I think it’s only fair that I take it in for both of us by parking it in front of the ole picture box for a marathon run of whatever is on.

Fitness, nutrition and preparation at 25 weeks:

I’m 25 weeks today, and I’m still active. I walk 18 miles each week (2.6/day), and I mix up other activities for my upper body. I’ve gone kayaking, enjoy swimming, and am still good about pushups, tricep dips, planks and back exercises.

For someone like me, use to pushing herself, it’s hard to learn to err on the side of caution and slow down. Also, whereas I use to monitor and restrict my diet, now it’s “when in doubt… eat.”

As I type, I’m eating an oatmeal, blueberry and walnut muffin. The 3rd trimester is right around the corner, and that is when it’s most crucial to get a ton of DHA/omega-3 – i.e. brain food for baby (NO PRESSURE!). These muffins cover a lot of nutritional ground with banana, blueberries, oatmeal, almond meal, walnuts, eggs, and coconut spread in place of butter. I would share the recipe, but I didn’t use measurements.

Each day I do a bit of a nutritional checklist to make sure I’ve covered my good fats, greens, grains, vitamins, etc. My prenatal vitamins cover a lot of ground for me, but it’s always best to get what your body needs straight from the source.

To further help prepare us for AJ, we have hired a doula and are all set to take a CPR refresher course.

Learn from my lessons:

Whether you’re pregnant or not, a daily nutritional checklist is a good idea. Your skin (outward appearance) and your brain (inner prowess) will seriously benefit from omega-3, tons of water, and vitamin C. You won’t faint without them, but they’re still important.