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My 2nd Pregnancy

Nine months, when you are first starting out a pregnancy, feels like an eternity. As you carefully examine your belly every morning for signs of growth, wondering when you’ll finally have a bump to show for all the work your body is doing growing that baby inside of you, it at times feels like your stomach will stay flat forever.  But then one day you catch the first glimpses of a little bump and slowly, as the days go by, that bump grows and grows until one day you look down and realize you haven’t seen your feet in weeks. You place your hand on a belly that feels like it couldn’t possibly get any bigger and you wonder if you’ll ever have that flat stomach of days long ago again.

When I was pregnant with Maya Lorne took pictures of me every week so we had this amazing collection of pictures that documented well the progress from flat to gigantic. This time I didn’t take weekly shots, I wish that I had, but life is busy. I have been taking more pictures lately and I do have a pretty good collection of photos to help document the evolution of this baby bump.

I can remember when I took this first picture at 16 weeks I thought I already looked huge, you can barely tell I’m pregnant! Then as the weeks went on the belly grew and grew. Today, at 35 and a half weeks I feel huge and it is only going to get bigger.

2-14-11 Bare 16 Week Belly [640x480]

16 Weeks

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

24 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

25 Weeks

28 Weeks

28 Weeks

31 Weeks

31 Weeks

34 Weeks

34 Weeks

35 Weeks

35 Weeks

20 weeks makes a huge difference. There you have it, the evolution of my baby bump.

As I’ve mentioned, several times, most of the major baby prep has to wait until Lorne gets back from Australia (10 more days!). Even though all the big stuff, like painting the nursery, setting up the furniture, etc. has to wait, there are still a few things I can do to get things around here ready for Baby Girl 2.0’s arrival. I’ve been busy since my return to the United States trying to do what I can in the baby prep department. Lots of things are getting done and slowly, but surely I’m ticking many things off my list.

So, even though the room is still unpainted, and the crib, dresser, glider and side table still need to be put together and the bedding remains in a box waiting for a crib to be placed in.

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There has been much progress made. Tiny clothes have been washed and hung in the closet. Baby gear and toys have been brought up from downstairs and cleaned in preparation for a new little one to use them. Last minute items have been purchased and are in the room waiting to be put away or put up on walls in preparation for the arrival of our newest family member.

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Maya has had fun helping get things ready. She has declared it her job to test everything and make sure it is suitable for her baby sister. It has to pass the “big sister” test :)

So, as Baby Girl 2.0 continues to bake happily away we are doing what we can to get ready for her arrival.

6-20-11 35 Week Belly Side [640x480]

It actually kind of freaks me out a bit to see the number in the title of this post. I’m 34 weeks pregnant, I’m in my 8th month. That means there are only 6 weeks until my actual due date.  Maya arrived almost 2 weeks early so it is quite possible I have less than 6 weeks to go.  This freaks me out on more than one level. There is the obvious reason that I’m 8 months pregnant and my husband is still on the other side of the world, that is enough reason to be freaked out, don’t you think.  The other reason that seeing that big number at the top of the post and realizing how small the weeks remaining number is freaks me out is because NOTHING IS READY!! The nursery is still a guest room.  The walls have not been painted, the crib has not been brought upstairs, cleaned and set up, the other furniture is still in boxes in the garage.  And none of this stuff will be done until Lorne gets home. That goes against every fiber of my being. I’m an organized person, I like to have things done well in advance of when they need to be done. I hate procrastination.  I hate waiting to the last minute to do something.  Seeing the room so unfinished and knowing there is so little time left until this baby makes her appearance and yet I can’t do anything about it makes my head hurt.

Sanity-wise I’m a little worse for wear, but pregnancy-wise I’m still feeling really good so that helps me feel a little less worried that Baby Girl 2.0 will want to exit the comfort of my uterus before her time.  I don’t have any unmanageable symptoms.  I am 8 months pregnant and carrying around what looks like a bowling ball where my flat stomach used to be so needless to say I do have some aches and pains, but they aren’t too bad.  The worst is low back pain.  I had it with Maya too at this point in my pregnancy with her.  It is worse on days when I’ve been really busy or done a lot of bending like if I am cleaning the house or carrying Maya a lot or gardening.  It usually hits me in the evening and can make it a bit difficult to sleep. Speaking of sleeping that has also become a bit of a challenge.  I find it hard to find a position that is comfortable for any length of time, plus I have to get up to pee A LOT, so my sleep is usually in short bursts now.  Other than that I’m feeling good.  I’m getting more braxton hicks contractions now and Baby Girl 2.0 is taking up more and more space in there.  My ribs have become her new favorite kicking spot and my bladder is still her favorite punching bag. Lately she has taken to sticking her little backside out as far as she can to the point that I can feel my skin and what remains of my abdominal muscles stretching painfully to their brink. if she pushes her butt out any further she’ll pop right out I think :)

I had an appointment with my obstetrician last week.  It went really well.  My weight, blood pressure and tummy size all looked great.  The baby’s heart beat sounded great.  All in all things are progressing very well.  We spent most of the appointment revisiting a topic we had discussed earlier in my pregnancy, whether or not I can deliver vaginally again or if a c-section will be necessary.  Since I had such major tearing with Maya followed by hemorraging and the need for surgical repair of the tears a week after she was born, my previous OB (my current OBs former partner) had mentioned that a c-section may be necessary with any subsequent deliveries.  My current OB, early on in this pregnancy, had reviewed all the notes from my pregnancy, delivery and post partum complications with Maya and was of the opinion that I would likely be able to delivery vaginally if that is what I wanted to do.  He did say we would have to look at a few things later in the pregnancy before a final decision could be made.  Well, now is the time to revisit that question.  Over the next several weeks he will be investigating a few things including the extent of the scar tissue build up around the tear sites and the size of this baby and will give me his professional opinion based on the results of those tests.  Next week at my appointment he’ll do an internal exam to check for scar tissue.  If there is a lot of scar tissue build up than I’ll probably have to have a c-section.  The following week they will perform a growth ultrasound on the baby to determine her approximate size.  As long as it looks like she would be right around Maya’s birth weight (7lbs 10oz) or smaller than delivering vaginally shouldn’t be a problem. So it all boils down to how big this kiddo is and how much scar tissue I have around the tear sites.

He advised me that ultimately the decision is mine, all he can do is give me his best professional opinion and guide me in my decision based on what is going on with my body and the baby.  I do not want to have a c-section if I can avoid it.  I’ve had abdominal surgery before and the recovery was no picnic.  I don’t want to have to go through the recovery of a c-section when I have a new baby to care for and a 3 year old who is going to want her whole mommy, not a mommy that can’t pick her up or play with her as much, etc.  What I went through when Maya was born was scary, but in all likelihood that would not happen again if everything in the next couple of weeks checks out.  Internal tears heal much faster and are much more forgiving than external tears.  As long as my body healed properly and well (not too much scar tissue) and this baby isn’t looking like she’ll be above average weight wise than I am bound and determined to at least attempt a vaginal delivery.  But, I’m not going to risk myself or this baby, so if my doctor’s opinion ends up being that a c-section is a wiser choice for me, that is what we’ll go with.

The next few weeks are going to be filled with a lot of information and I’ll have some big decisions to make.  In the meantime I’m just going to keep enjoying this pregnancy and the time I have with this squirmy little princess before she decides it is time to meet the rest of the world.

Yesterday I had my last (unless something comes up in the next week) doctor’s appointment here in Australia.  It is extremely hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it wasn’t just yesterday that I was telling you all about my very first Aussie doctor’s appointment.  How on earth is it already the end of our time here?

Not only has our time here flown by, but the last 3 months of my pregnancy have also just flown by.  I’m now 31 (and change) weeks pregnant, fast approaching 32 weeks.  Crazy, right?!  In the blink of an eye I’ve gone from this:

18 Weeks Pregnant a week before leaving for Australia

18 Weeks Pregnant a week before leaving for Australia

To this:

5-25-11 31 Week Belly Close Up [640x480]

31 Weeks Pregnant

Lucky for me, most days, I don’t feel huge yet. Considering next week I’ll be loading my pregnant self, and a 3 year old, on an air plane for a whirlwind 22 hours of travel to get home I’m hoping it stays that way for the next week or so.

At this point, early in my third trimester, I’m feeling pretty good.  If it weren’t for the beach ball I’m carrying under my shirt at times I might almost forget that I’m pregnant.  That is, until the little miss decides to give me one whopper of a kick or my lower back decides it has had enough fun for one day and will start to ache.  All in all I’ve had a very easy pregnancy (knock on wood) and I count myself lucky to have had the privilege of two easy pregnancies.

My doctor’s appointment yesterday went very well.  Dr. Aussie said everything looked perfect.  My blood pressure was actually lower than it was 2 weeks ago and it was great then.  I put on a little bit of weight, I think I’m up about 12 pounds or so total.  The baby sounded great and even gave the doc’s doppler a few good kicks for good measure.  My belly is measuring right on target.  I was sent on my way with orders to take extra good care of myself on the flight home and email them a picture once the baby arrives.

As much as I miss the familiarity of my doctor and the personal touch of his small practice I have had a great experience dealing with the medical system here in Australia. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first walked into their practice, but I walked out Tuesday feeling like they really took good care of me and very appreciative of their willingness to take me on as a patient for such a short period of time.  I am really looking forward to getting home though, and back into the swing of things with my doctor for the last weeks of this pregnancy.

No matter how I say it, it feels like I’ve hit a big milestone in this pregnancy.  Each change of trimesters feels big.  You say goodbye to the worries of the 1st trimester and welcome everyone’s favorite and usually quite comfortable 2nd trimester.  Then all of a sudden you’re saying goodbye to the ease of the 2nd trimester for the unknowns and eventual arrival of a little baby of the 3rd trimester.  It feels big.  When I look in the mirror and see my growing belly it feels amazing to me that I’m already in the home stretch.

5-5-11 28 week belly side view [640x480]

Earlier this week I entered my 28th week of pregnancy.  I’m now 7 months pregnant.  Now that we’re into the month of May, July feels like it is right around the corner.  My mind is whirling with to-do lists, things I have to get done before this little sweet pea decides to make our family of 3 a family of 4.  The list sometimes feels daunting, especially when I can’t even get started on most of it until after June 2nd when I arrived back home from Australia.  I’m a planner, an organizer. I like when things get done before they need to be done.  I don’t like procrastinating.  The fact that I am 28 weeks and still have so much to do is really stressing me out.  I try not to think about it too much.

I have been lucky in both of my pregnancies.  The 2nd trimester treated me just as well this time around as it did when I was pregnant with Maya.  The 3rd trimester was also very kind to me when I was pregnant with Maya, so I’m hoping for more of the same this time too.  Reading back about my pregnancy with Maya it is amazing to me how similar the two pregnancies have been.

I had my 28 week doctor’s appointment yesterday, the last of the monthly appointments.  I’m now onto bi-weekly appointments.  That feels like a big milestone too!  Everything looks great with our little girl.  Her heart rate was strong, she is moving up a storm and my belly size is right on target.  I managed to gain a couple of pounds this past month putting my total weight gain at about 10lbs total.  Aussie Doc was good with that since my belly is growing at a normal rate.  My blood pressure was good.  Only one problem came up.  A couple of weeks ago I had my glucose tolerance test done along with some other blood work.  I passed the glucose test (yippie!!) and most of my other numbers looked great.  The only issue was that my iron levels were low.  Not low enough to be considered anemic (yet), but still low.  I left the office with strict orders to increase my iron intake.  The hope is that between the iron in my prenatal vitamin and a diet rich in iron I’ll be able to avoid anemia and the need for an additional iron supplement.  Lorne is under strict orders from Aussie Doc to take me out for a nice steak dinner :) My doctor back in the US will likely test my levels again when I return to see if any progress has been made and to determine if additional supplements are needed.

5-5-11 Close up of the 28 week belly [640x480]

All in all things are going well.  I’ve had a bit of nausea return (wasn’t at all happy to see that symptom rear it’s ugly head again) and I’ve been feeling dizzy every so often.  My doctor figured they are both likely caused by the low iron levels.   So, hopefully, if I can get my iron numbers up they will both go away.  The only other annoying symptom I’ve had lately is a back pain.  After a busy day, especially a day with a lot of walking, I’ll have back pain in the evening.  I had the same thing around this stage with Maya too.  It isn’t unmanageable and hasn’t hindered our adventures at all.

We’re in the home stretch now.  Before long Baby Girl 2.0 will be making her appearance.  We are all getting very excited to meet her, especially Maya.  Until then I’ll enjoy having her all to myself, nestled in my womb, kicking up a storm and hiccuping away getting big and strong enough to be cuddled by her big sister.