Update: Still pregnant (about 29 weeks, 4 days) and still at home, both good things at this point.
Funny Harper note: As Harper headed down to the basement with Auntie M to play basketball I told her not to run around like a maniac and asked if she understood. She said, "Yes, I will just run around like people do." I guess the meaning of maniac isn't exactly clear to a three-year-old!
TMI Pregnancy information:
Okay, for a long time I've been meaning to write something about the beginning of this pregnancy and how it has compared to being pregnant with Harper. And now I guess I have time to do that! But I want to warn you that pregnancy is often, ahem, not pretty and there may just be details in here that you aren't interested in. . . so feel free to stop reading now.
Being fairly in-tune with my cycles (Ha! I hear all the people who didn't believe me about the TMI running away from their computers; I warned you.) I knew pretty early that I was pregnant. I am guessing by the third week or fourth week. I was taking pregnancy tests every day and wasn't deterred by the early negative tests because I knew it was soon. But eventually, in late August, a very faint second pink line appeared and I was so excited to tell Matt we were on our way to being a family of four.
Because of the timing we decided just to wait until Harper's birthday to tell everyone I was pregnant. I would still only be 15 weeks, so it seemed like we'd be able to keep it a secret, and we knew that most of our family (both sides) would be together to celebrate. I had a reunion with the girls I lived with in college and couldn't keep it a secret from them because I wasn't drinking the weekend we got together and they immediately knew something was going on. Outside of that small group, very few people knew I was pregnant.
Nearly as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started to have some spotting. I went to the doctor and some of my bloodwork came back fine, but it also showed that my progesterone level was low -- which bought me several weeks of progesterone supplements (which were NOT oral) and a very nervous outlook. This strikes me as so sad when I look back now, but the entire time we were in Florida on vacation this fall, I carried a change of clothes and some pads with me in my backpack because I felt fairly certain that I was going to experience a miscarriage while we were walking around DisneyWorld.
At nine weeks I had my first ultrasound to check for the baby's heartbeat and I went into the appointment praying and holding my breath. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see something in my entire life as I was to see that rhythmic little blip on the screen.
At my twelve week appointment, as I was able to go off the progesterone and had finally stopped spotting, my doctor was unable to find the baby's heartbeat with the doppler and ordered another ultrasound, just to double check. (Now the same thing happened with Harper at 12 weeks, but having had no other indicators of a problem, the doctor just said we'd try again at the next appointment.) So I spent another couple of days wondering if we were going to lose this baby before a second blissfully reassuring ultrasound took place. And then, from that point forward, things progressed normally. We had a delightfully uneventful second trimester.
I have often been asked how this pregnancy compares to when I was pregnant with Harper. And the truth is it has been more difficult in every respect. With Harper I was nauseous throughout my first trimester, but I was only sick once. This time around I was sick often and had trouble eating for a long time, even into the second trimester. I lost weight, small amounts, but steadily, until I was past twenty weeks. The exhaustion hit me worse this time, which has a lot to do, I'm certain, with the fact that I wasn't chasing a three-year-old when I was pregnant with Harper. And, as I've already mentioned, my mood swings have been much, much worse. For the bulk of my pregnancy with Harper I wasn't working and was able to really take it easy, take care of myself, rest whenever I felt tired -- even the relative stress of selling our house and moving across town didn't seem like that big of a deal. (Too bad I didn't blog then, because I could go back and check on the accuracy of that memory.) So even if you ignore the complications I've had, things have just been more difficult this time around.
Some people say it's because we're having a boy. Some people say it's just because we already have a child so my time is not my own in the way it was the last time. My theory is that this little guy knows the drama and flair his sister brings to the table and just wants to make sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle.