First Pregnancy Vs Second Pregnancy - My Experience.
Hello and welcome back!
Today I am diving into a topic that I have been asked about quite a bit and that is “how is this pregnancy compared to your other one”. If you’re new here, in July 2017 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Isla. 3 months later, I fell pregnant with my second baby, baby A. (Her name will be announced when she arrives, but it’s not much of a secret)
With only 11 months between them, I have spent the best part of the last two years being pregnant. Safe to say I am a bit of a pro now.
Although the fact that the pregnancies are close together may not have much of an impact on the pregnancies themselves, it DOES help to remember the comparable experiences as they are fresh in my mind.
I will try to avoid going into a huge amount of detail about both pregnancies, but I can’t promise anything. If you follow me on any social media you may be aware of my experiences to an extent but there’s only so much I can explain and it’s really hard to shove 18 months of pregnancy into a small space/ small amount of time. So I’m just going to compare based on each trimester and then go from there.
Isla - let’s start with how I found out that I was pregnant in the first place. It was November and I had gone to Toronto for my birthday to visit my sister. I felt SO SICK when I arrived and seeing as I had vomited in the street on the way to work and had experienced some other, slightly more disgusting symptoms, I decided to go straight to the hospital and had my sister meet me there. After lots of IVs and blood tests, the doctors came to me and took me into a room by myself. Wasn’t expecting to hear anything positive. I was expecting them to tell me I was dying or something.
Turns out I had extremely low pregnancy hormone levels which meant I had either miscarried or I was in the very early stages of pregnancy. I knew I hadn't miscarried based on the circumstances and so, based on some basics mental math, I was about 2 weeks along. It was definitely a shock and because it was about 11pm when I got the news, I wasn’t quite sure what to do and OF COURSE her dad was NOT answering the phone so I was freaking out and had to sleep on it and call him in the morning with the bombshell. He was shocked, took a second but was pleased to hear the news.
As soon as I found out, I started to take my prenatal vitamins RELIGIOUSLY. I followed EVERY SINGLE RULE, and every guideline that was in What To Expect When You’re Expecting. I was SO AFRAID of everything. I basically became a pregnancy robot. I quickly applied for a midwifery as that was what everyone was telling me to do and luckily, being so early in my pregnancy, It meant the wait lists were such a big deal. My midwife was pretty old school and was determined to keep me on the straight and narrow so that helped, too.
I swear, it seemed that as soon as I knew I was pregnant, I started to get really really sick. From 6am-11am I would vomit AT LEAST 8 times. And when you work in an office of 100+ people with only one bathroom, it wasn’t easy to hide.
It was so hard, because of being so sick, all I could stomach in the morning was Dr Pepper and sour sweets/ gummies. Which is NOT healthy and NOT a good idea. But I genuinely couldn’t eat anything else. And I was vomiting so much that the sugar was the only thing that would stop me from fainting. Which sucks so much. But other than the puking, the first trimester was pretty easy going.
Baby A - when Isla was about 5 months old, I was in Costco with their grandma looking for Christmas gifts. I noticed that Isla had pooped and went to go to the toilets to change her. Yes, it stank because she’s a baby but I COULD NOT hold in the feeling of needing to puke. Luckily, the change table was in a cubicle and Isla wasn’t even close to knowing how to roll so I turned around an puked into the toilet 4 TIMES. Now, I DO NOT vomit for no reason so I knew something was up. I went back into the store and I found their grandma and I said to her with a laugh “I just threw up, I’m either REALLY sick or I’m pregnant.” We laughed it off and continued on our way. Two days later I thought about it and took a test and BEHOLD, I was pregnant.
Went to the doctor a few days later to confirm and had an ultrasound to find I was already 12 weeks pregnant. So, goodbye first trimester! I didn’t even notice you, hello second.
Oh! And I told their dad by making him close his eyes when he came home and handing him the test. To which he laughed and handed me the salted caramel Kaluha that he had just bought me that I could not enjoy. (Still bummed)
I will admit that with this pregnancy, I was a little more lenient with my self care. Because I was already 3 months pregnant, I hadn’t been taking my prenatal because I didn’t know I needed to. So don’t judge! I didn’t know! I had probably eaten things I shouldn’t have and I also went to a Christmas party and had some adult beverages because I didn’t know. So yeah, it’s a thing.
I’m going to try and breeze through this because there isn’t a whole lot that happened during the second.
Isla - with Isla I was working full time, 8-4 at an insurance company. By the second trimester my illness had began to settle and I would usually have the energy to walk to and from work everyday. But it’s safe to say that out of nowhere, exhaustion hit me and with that, so did the depression and anxiety. One day I lost the energy and the want to walk to work that I found myself getting lazier and bussing or taking taxis instead. I was so tired and so unhappy, I spent everyday miserable. Sadly at this time, I was working with a boss that would belittle me, tell me I was a baby brained moron and basically bullied me to the point of not wanting to come to work everyday. Sadly this is not a part I like to remember, but it’s the reality and the truth is what’s important and I want to share the honest story of my pregnancies!
I went to work everyday but I hated life and it was beginning to take a toll on my work and my life quite drastically.
During this time time we discovered that I was suffering from a low lying placenta (placenta previa). In short form, it means that normally when you are pregnant, your placenta will move to the top of your bump as you progress but mine did not and it was placed in an irregular spot that in my situation, was basically blocking the “exit” and put me at risk of bleeding out. Read more about it here as I am not a doctor and cannot explain it well.
Bevause of this, I had A LOT of ultrasounds, ended up with 8 ultrasounds I believe during this pregnancy as we had to track to see if my placenta WAS moving or whether it would continue to obstruct the birth canal.
Baby A - so into my second trimester, we’re getting into some pretty big milestones for a baby. Although Isla wasn’t rolling or crawling yet, it was safe to say she was a handful. And continues to be! She would wake up at 6 and eat and I could bring her into bed with me and we would fall back asleep until about 10 and then start the day. It worked for a while but I began to realize that she was napping terribly and I had to accept that it wasn’t an option and rest wasn’t going to happen. BUT I will say, I don’t know if it’s because she kept me busy or not but I had SO MUCH energy this time around.
You cannot sleep or rest with a kid that’s learning everything. It’s impossible. They say to nap when baby naps but I actually would prefer to get stuff done around the house whilst she napped so it actually worked out well. I genuinely didn’t feel pregnant for most of this pregnancy. In February, I moved to a small village and one of my rules was that I wanted to remove any fast/ lazy foods from my house. This wasn’t a pregnancy thing, it was more of a self care thing. I didn’t want frozen meals or boxed meals anymore, I wanted to cook from scratch everyday and make sure We were all eating better. I also started to walk 4-6km a day around the town so I was feeling pretty awesome.
During this time, the doctors had noticed an irregularity in baby As heart. After many many ultrasounds, (16 by the end of the pregnancy) we discovered that she had a heart defect. Although her heart was pumping fine and her heart rate was excellent, they discovered that her heart was built irregularly. In cliffs notes, her aorta wraps around the back of her windpipe. It doesn’t completely surround it but after multiple scans and tests, they determined that she may have trouble breathing and swallowing after birth and will be in the NICU for 3 days after birth for monitoring. It’s hard to explain, I have done a post about this so I will link that here. It’s scsry but it is a reality and after receiving this information, we set up a plan and know what we can/ need to do for her and that’s all that matters.
Isla - at the beginning of my third trimester, I lost my job and had to deal with a lot of stress and worry as I waited through the stages between my last pay Cheque and my first maternity leave pay. I was frantically trying to gather everything I needed and doing everything I could to be prepared with what I had. Looking back, I definitely notice that I suffered from some quite severe depression and anxiety st this stage of pregnancy. I felt like I was going to be a failure, that maybe I had made a mistake and that I was destined to fail at being a mother. I slept constantly, I cried constantly and I doubted anything and everything in the world.
Around this time I also found out that my placenta was not moving out of the way and had to make a really important decision. Do I go through labour and risk bleeding out or do I make the decision to have a scheduled c section which has its risks but lowers the risk of of bleeding. In the end, my OB and I thought it was best to go with a scheduled c section because it posed a lower risk for both myself and the baby. I cried for multiple days, even after I confirmed my decision because I felt like I was a failure and my body was failing at the one thing it was meant to be able to do and that’s just NOT THE CASE. If I had laboured naturally, my baby would have possibly died and would have been effected by the blood loss a lot faster than I would be. I couldn’t agree with that risk of losing my baby.
At this time, I was still working with a midwife and she was was very mean to me about my decision as she didn’t agree. Which is fine, everyone has a right to their own opinions. She was very old school in her ways, and told me I should just try to labour and bleed out if I wanted to deliver properly. It’s sad, she made me feel very uncomfortable in her care and didn’t enjoy how she made me feel about a decision I made for myself and my child. Sadly, because of her behavior, I would never work with a midwife again.
I will be doing two separate posts later, one about the comparisons in delivery (as I have no delivered baby A at the time of writing this) and then a second discussion scheduled c sections. Because of this, I am not going to talk about my delivery here.
Baby A - the same high energy followed me into my third trimester, both from having to chase Isla around as she was now on the move but also I was still walking 4-6km a day, everyday. I was fit and healthy and taking good care of myself. But oh damn, at around 34 weeks, it was like being shot. Out of no where I was completely drained. I didn’t want to do ANYTHING. I just napped when Isla napped and ate terribly. I really started to feel awful. I did keep walking most days but definitely stopped going as much. It’s very hard to chase a toddler around when you’re exhausted but I made it work! What made it worse was the extremely hot weather that has occurred since May and it hasn’t helped with the exhaustion. I was about 20lbs lighter with this pregnancy and then probably about the 36 week mark, I saw those numbers start to climb! I’m still healthy, but lazy. Definitely lazy. I’ve also complain a lot more. Although I am lighter this time, I’m bigger and it has caused a lot more aches and pains compared to Isla.
In Canada, in order to VBAC (deliver vaginally) they recommend at least 18-24 months between pregnancies to ensure the c section scar is healed and secure. Because my girls are only 11 months apart, delivering naturally is not an option for me as it poses more risks than rewards. Because of this, I have been scheduled to have another c section. I found out my date 4 weeks before and OH MY GOD. These have been the longest 4 weeks of my life. Counting down the days, worrying that every twinge and pain is labour. It’s been hectic and stressful. I also HAVE to deliver at one particular hospital as they are well versed and prepared for Abby’s monitoring and they know I need to have another c- section. So it’s made traveling impossible! I missed a good friend’s wedding for that reason!
So, as I write this, I am 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant. In 4 days, I go in for my c section and get to meet my wonderful baby. I will most likely have this baby and have never felt a contraction, never had my water break and never laboured. Which is actually upsetting, seems like I’ve missed out on that experience, but the safety of my children is more important to me than being able to push.
So after that long post, that’s it!! remember to follow me on my social media platforms to see when baby A arrives! Or to look at her adorable face! I am @frankiiebeauty on all platforms!!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you found it interesting and I’ll see you in the next one!