Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Thriving Pregnancy #3 - BK2!

So here I am, already halfway through my second pregnancy, on BK1's 2nd birthday! I wanted to give you all a little update on this pregnancy and how it's been different than my first.

Got a late start on my bi-weekly bump photos!
  • I knew I was pregnant right away. In fact, it was because of my changing form that I even took a pregnancy test - one day I looked in the mirror and thought "I'm getting fat in an oddly specific, and familiar, way". Took the test that night and voila! Preggers!
  • In that same vein, I 'popped' immediately, so much so that I had to tell my job way sooner than I had wanted to, simply because it was getting REALLY annoying trying to hide that pretty obvious bump.
  • Baby kicks were also felt much sooner, around 14 weeks as opposed to 21 weeks with my first. This time though, they felt like small little snuggles instead of true kicks. They also started out MUCH lower and have stayed there ever since, so my uterus must be in a new relaxed location!
  • Had mild morning sickness my whole first trimester, not enough to vomit but enough to make me not want to eat ever. Ended up losing 8 pounds - oops!
  • After morning sickness came the parade of diseases. My immune system has been seriously compromised (which is normal) and I picked up every little bug my sticky-handed toddler brought home from daycare. This included what I like to call the "death flu", and most recently strep throat. I've committed to taking a crapton of supplements since then to keep more germs away!
  • I am THRILLED to announce I'm planning a home birth this go around! I've hired a CPM (certified professional midwife) and am making sure to really pay attention to my nutrition and fitness. I've started walking 3x a week, and doing yoga 2x a week. I've also been seeing an acupuncturist and chiropractor. Nothing will get in my way of achieving my home birth dreams, but more on that in a later post!
  • The thing that has surprised me the most this time, has been my strange pregnancy induced anxiety. Let me elaborate...

It's truly astonishing the amount of information I've amassed since birthing BK1. Even during my first pregnancy I was alarmed at how much info I uncovered that wasn't readily available or given to me, in particular when it comes to healthy physiological birth. Now it feels like I've increased that amount of knowledge by 100 times! Being a birth educator and "newla" (new doula) this is great for my career, obviously, if not completely necessary. When it comes to educating others I relish in passing along all my wisdom and tidbits, and discussing pregnancy and birth with others in my field. As soon as I became pregnant with my second, however, a dark cloud of anxiety seemed to wash over me and I had not seen it coming at all. For whatever reason, I was absolutely terrified that I would miscarry in those first few weeks. I talked about it with my TH and Em, and they both assured me that I was perfectly healthy, and had already had a perfectly healthy pregnancy AND birth. So why was I so concerned?

Well, for starters miscarriage is pretty common - they occur in about 15% of all known pregnancies. I also happen to know a few friends who have had miscarried, one of which was fairly recent. In my thirst for knowledge I also do not shy away from stories of pregnancy and infant loss, because I feel these taboo topics are important and the stories need to be honored. I still didn't expect the effect all of that exposure would have on me - but I do not regret amassing that type of information.

As I saw doctors and got a couple of ultrasounds, my fears and anxieties lessened with time. I felt this was an important "symptom" to share with you dear readers, because I feel it was also a normal part of the process that I'm sure MANY women go through. It's ok to acknowledge these feelings and work through them the best you can, surrounding yourself with loving support. Hopefully it will pass with time, but if it doesn't it's important to see a mental health professional right away. Something else that isn't talked about much is the rate of perinatal depression and anxiety - the stats vary but it could be that up to 13% of pregnant women experience some form of perinatal depression. That shouldn't be ignored or go untreated, because your baby feels what you feel and it can lead to other complications!

At 20 weeks, halfway to meet my new sweet little baby, I'm finally feeling GREAT. Baby is moving more and more each day, and I welcome every weird movement with joy. I love watching my belly expand and become more round, donning those old and borrowed maternity clothes. I'm excited to plan my home birth, and get back into practicing my HypnoBirthing techniques although to be honest it's all second nature at this point. I couldn't be more confident about the way this birth will go, even if it's not "according to plan"! Anyone else have a second pregnancy that took them by surprise in how different it was from their first?

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