Friday, September 24, 2010

After the positive pregnancy test

So I was going to write a completely different post today, but it felt weird to move right along after spilling the news of our BFP. Several commenters asked something along the lines of "Tell us how it happened!" and while I hope you all know how it happened in the barest (get it?) sense, I will divulge the story behind the events.

33 weeks pregnant belly shot
Pregnant last time, at 33 weeks. Aw.
Sam and I have been debating since before Mikko was born as to how many children we would have. I don't mean debating against each other; I mean, just talking and processing aloud together.

Then Mikko came along, and we weren't sure we wanted the one baby we had. Ha ha! Just kidding, Mikko. No, but seriously, the thought of having another when we were feeling so turned upside-down by newbornhood and the year and a half scared us.

Gradually, we became more comfortable with parenting, and we became ever more in love with our little guy, to the point that having another didn't seem quite as threatening. At some point, I decided, yes, despite all the inconveniences, I would like to have another. I was fine with spacing them pretty far apart, though, so I waited till Sam felt like he was ready — and hoped he would be someday, but no rush.

Well, earlier this summer, he just up and agreed. Yes, we should have another one, and soon, while we still think it's a good idea. (We worried if we waited much longer, we might enjoy Mikko's independence so much we'd lose the urge to start back at the baby stage all over again.) So he decided on January for us to start trying. That, he said, would allow me to enjoy Christmas and New Year's. And by "enjoy," he meant drink booze.

Fair enough, I thought. It was sort of an arbitrary deadline, but I wasn't about to gainsay him when he'd made up his mind so suddenly and confidently. January it was.

But, of course, the more we started talking about it, and the more decided we were — the less it started making sense to wait. Maybe we were just getting antsy. Maybe I convinced him that I don't really need to drink booze over the holidays. Whatever it was, we asked each other, Why not now? So we threw caution — and condoms — to the wind.

Well, ok, we didn't actually throw the condoms anywhere. We didn't get them out at all. We felt so scandalous. So free. It was a lot of fun.

We thought, We'll just take it casually. I won't chart. We won't really time things. We'll just enjoy ourselves and it will probably take a few months, but whatever. No rush!

So, of course, I'm pregnant.

Because as soon as I was pretty sure I'd ovulated, it kind of hit me what I'd done. The two-week wait was full of mixed emotions: premature guilt over forcing Mikko into a change in our breastfeeding relationship, assuming my milk goes south; anxiety over our health insurance situation — I decided to apply to upgrade just my coverage, but I still haven't heard back that I've been accepted, which is making me ├╝ber-nervous; a general sense of panic that we weren't ready!; and an irrational guilt at having unprotected sex so cavalierly. Even though I'm married. And we want another baby. See, that's the irrational part.

Those were the bad emotions, but of course there were the good ones, too: the giddiness of checking early symptoms and wondering and hoping; the trying on of due dates; scouring baby name sites for another boy name (we have a girl name left over but are stumped for a boy!); broaching the subject of a little brother or sister with Mikko and hearing his enthusiasm for the idea (hooray!).

I was sure I was pregnant by the earliest day I could have expected my period and it didn't show. But I forced myself to wait, because it comes within a three-day window, so I wanted to wait out the window before saying for sure. But it just really did feel right. My breasts were much sorer than I would normally attribute to premenstrual symptoms, for instance. Plus, I just had a sort of fatalism about it. Because I was feeling somewhat guilty about the idea of being pregnant (mostly because of the Mikko and breastfeeding thing), I was sure: It was too late. There was no turning back now.

Sam wanted a test to confirm. I didn't need one. We almost bought one at the grocery store, but I couldn't choke down the price tag when I know the dollar store tests work just the same for over a tenth of the price. Sam happened to be going by a dollar store with Mikko one day, so he picked one up for me. Mikko helped me with the testing the next morning. Don't worry — I did the peeing in a cup, but he helped me count out the drops to drip into the little well, and then I told him, "Now we just wait three minutes!" Before that sentence was out of my mouth, the test line had also turned, nice and dark. We were pregnant. Mikko was getting his little sibling. (Or, as he refers to it/them, "my baby brother and sister." He's also partial to "Kelly" as a name.)

I had Mikko bring it down to Sam. And there we were. A family of three, with the fourth on the way.

We're due late May/early June. I don't believe in due dates, just due windows. We had to give one to our family, because they very much do believe in due dates, so we said June 1. Just in time to ruin Mikko's fourth birthday. Turn about's fair play, though. He pretty much ruined our anniversary, by being born the day before. I guess we like to group things together? That's what we get for not waiting till January…

Here are my current feelings and impressions if you're not bored to tears yet:

  • Queasy. All day. I take to heart the suggestion that morning sickness is worst on an empty stomach, so I also eat all day. It's not the best combination. There are other stomach-y things going on that I won't detail here (thank your lucky stars). The bad news is the queasiness started earlier this pregnancy than with Mikko. The good news is two-fold: that I never threw up with Mikko, so I hope this also doesn't elevate past a sort of low-grade motion sickness feel, and that I didn't get morning sickness with our first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. Every time I feel a wave of nausea, I know the baby and uterus and hormones are still doing the right things.

  • Speaking of miscarriage, while I'm hopeful that all is well with this little one and we'll carry safely to term, I know that that doesn't always happen. And it's early days yet. I'm sharing the good news far and wide, anyway, now that I know from experience that, no matter what happens, I'll want support through it all.

  • I am huge. I hope it's just bloating (from the stomach-y things I was talking about). It could be that constant snacking I was talking about, too, but I seriously don't think I'm eating more than I normally do. I've gained about five pounds already, and I just … look … big. Not
    13 weeks pregnant belly shot
    Starting in on maternity clothes last time (13 weeks).
    pregnant, by any stretch, just spreading. You know how when you look things up on forums about when other people started wearing maternity clothes, there's always a chorus of people who say, "Oh, I wore my regular jeans till my eighth month — and then I had to unbutton them"? And you (ok, I) just want to shoot them? Because I am soooo uncomfortable in waistbands right now. Already. It's shameful. Isn't it? I started wearing maternity clothes about 12 weeks last time and felt like a complete doofus, but darned if it was wasn't so comfy, and I never regretted making the switch that early. I'll be lucky to make it to eight weeks this time. Seven even. I don't think it makes the queasiness any better to have a tight waistband, right?

  • To that end, I pulled all my maternity clothes out of storage. I think I have enough to see me through the pregnancy. Which is good, and a little sad. I'm sure I'll buy some new fun things anyway.

  • There is so much in storage that we can just clear right out after this baby. All that space we'll reclaim! In some ways, I'm sad in advance that this is the last one. In other ways, yea for storage space!

  • I have this feeling that we might get our wish and have a girl (to complete the set, natch). I know this doesn't mean anything, but it makes me feel a squirmy little thrill of happiness. I was sure Mikko was a boy, even though we didn't find out in advance.

  • Then there's the depressing things that make it so I can't be entirely happy. Like the fact that our friends are all leaving us in droves. One was suggesting using an online scheduling service so friends can bring us meals when the baby comes — and I started crying about it later to Sam, saying, "What was that all about? We won't even have any friends left by then!" I counted, and we've lost seven friends this summer. Seven. That's pathetic, right? I mean, seriously. They've all been nice about it and said we can still get together sometime, but … you know. Maybe I'm just hormonal. Though that's not a bad thing.

  • Then there's the breastfeeding thing. I really do feel like a heel depriving Mikko of his very favoritest thing in the world. So far, I still have plenty of milk, and I'm letting him nurse as he wants to, despite the fact that it feels like daggers. It hurts the worst when he first starts, and then tapers off to bearable, and it's better if he latches properly rather than, say, lunges from the side unexpectedly, so I'm working on positioning him more intentionally, for my own sake. But most pregnant women lose their milk supply sometime in the course of the pregnancy. I've been talking to Mikko about this in advance, saying he can still have nummies if there's no milk, and that when the baby comes, there'll be plenty of milk again. He listens to me gravely and then says something chipper and heart-stabbingly adorable like, "How about the baby and I share nummies?" I hope the transition, whatever it is, is not traumatic for either of us, and that with love and patience and grace, we'll all find our way through. And, dang it, I'm crying again. Stupid pregnancy.

All right, that's all my brain spill for now. I was wanting to share our process of leading up to conception with y'all, but Sam wisely pointed out it might not be fair to our parents to let other people know before they did. We wanted them to be first, so we called them the day before my Wordless Wednesday post. I know I dropped plenty of hints, though, so kudos to those of you who figured it out in advance.

I am now off to be depressed and excited and queasy and peaceful and guilty and happy some more. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

19 comments:

Momma Jorje said...

• Queasy = hormones = good thing - what a good way to keep a positive attitude about that awful feeling!

• Support - good thought! It is so hard to wait for 3 months anyway and the idea that you'll want (and need!) support EITHER way makes total sense!

• I *know* I read that pregnancy can make you bloat up even before you get an actual pregnancy "bump" - I felt big early, too (with my 3rd).

• Last one - how can you be so certain? I'm sure you've explained before, but I don't recall. I thought I was done long before this one - now I want one more!

• Odds are well in favor of a girl, they are much easier to conceive!

• It seems so odd to me that you have friends just now leaving, after three years!

• Some women don't lose their milk! Heck, I nursed so long with my last child (3½ years, I think) that my milk *never* completely disappeared. I could, at any time, express a few drops of milk. ANY time. It was weird, I tell you. She is TWELVE now!

Our plan is to wait until next Summer... I feel like we have good, valid, logical reasons. 1) My knee needs heal time after my recent surgery. 2) Avoid winding up with another September baby. 3) Sasha will be older and more independent by then.

Logic is hard to keep in mind when your emotions want pregnancy now... plus we're such instant gratification people! And now, with YOU pregnant! You'll be rubbing it in my face all the time! ;-)

Good luck with that emotional roller coaster! I see it is already working its magic on you.

cypress sun said...

yay!!!!!

and you still get to be cavalier with the sex for another 9 months. :)

Sybil said...

So excited for you all!!!!!

It was funny, when I saw that pregnancy test, I thought, is that a dollar store test?!?! That's what I used with E! I got a BFP the day before my period was due. Those things are GOOD.

My only comment is on the morning sickness. From my experience, and talking to others, it's worse with #2. Not sure why, but I bet there is some scientific hormonal reason behind it. Anyways, if you can, try acupunture. I did it ONCE and literally felt about 90% better. I know it doesn't work for some women, but if it does, hooo boy, what a godsend.

Also, my girls are really excited for you all, too :) A new baby!!!! If you feel like gardening next summer, um, I'll snuggle baby for you!

Summer @ FindingSummer said...

Congrats!

The queasy parts stink, but they sure are worth it to know you're still flush with hormones. :) And don't feel bad, I started wearing my maternity jeans in the first few weeks with both my second and third pregnancies. It was payback for my first, when I wore my regular jeans just unbuttoned. :)

Amber said...

I was in my maternity clothes WAY earlier the second time. One of the joys of pre-stretched stomach muscles. Yay?

And as far as breastfeeding, I can promise you that no matter what, Mikko will be OK. You've laid excellent groundwork, built strong attachment and given him a great start. There's nothing you can do at this point to ruin that. Really. I mean it.

The Fearless Formula Feeder said...

Just wanted to say congrats! I relate to so much of this post... the panic/elation combo of the BFP; thinking at one point you might want to stick to one kid only, after the trauma of early parenthood; worrying about how it might affect the relationship you have w/your first kid (for us, it's not the breastfeeding issue, obviously, but I worry constantly how this is going to change Fearless Child's life, and the sooner I get to my due date, the worse it becomes); pregnancy after miscarriage; and the immediate bloat. I looked pregnant by about 10 weeks. And I am far bigger at 28 weeks this time around...

Anyway. Just wanted to tell you you're not alone in any of this! It's all really exciting though, and I envy the 4-yr age difference - mine will be exactly 2 yrs apart, and I'm starting to wonder if that was such a smart idea...!

Lisa C said...

I'm really excited for you. I hope it's a girl, too!

I was always bloated during my first trimester with M. I grazed constantly, too. It was the only hope I had at staving off the nausea. But in the end, the nausea won. Hope it passes for you.

rakster said...

yay yay yay.

lovely follow-up to your exciting news...

I love the sharing comments from Mikko. .. ;)

Tamara said...

Congratulations! Your thought processes sound a lot like mine and we havent even begun to TTC our first! lol Blessings on your pregnancy and all the emotions you are feeling, everything will be FINE. :)

seekingmother said...

congratulations, Lauren. this baby could not find herself in a better mommy.

kelly @kellynaturally said...

I was able to nurse my daughter through my pregnancy with my son, and then tandem nursed for almost 1.5yrs after that.

If you don't have Adventures in Tandem Nursing, I highly recommend it. You can also email her at her website, and she'll respond (at least she did 4 yrs ago!) to tandem nursing/pregnancy questions.

Nursing through pregnancy was really tough, but we made it through, and it was so worthwhile, sharing the nursing relationship after my son was born - I do think it contributed to their closeness (at 3.5 & 6 they are still such good friends, and always have been).

As for the friends... motherhood & friendships are like waves on the ocean, ebbing & flowing as the children grow through different stages. Its sad to me at times too... when I only had one baby, and then through my second pregnancy, and tandem nursing, I was very active in my local LLL, then they started only meeting once a month, then, not at all, and, I lost touch with some of the most wonderful moms. And then the children started school, and I started back to working less from home, and more from our office... But now I'm meeting new mothers as my children grow. You'll have another wave of friends when you have a newborn. :)

Its not shameful to be in your pregnancy clothes already. With my second, I was in pregnancy clothes shortly after I discovered I was pregnant. I'm talking 6 weeks. You do what's comfortable. It's a different animal the second time around. You're more tired, your body is older, you're more sleep deprived, you're nursing. Take it easy on yourself.

I'm so happy & excited for you! Sure wish we lived closer!

Also, I'm with Mikko, I think Kelly is a fabulous name. :-D

lauren. said...

congrats, girl. i'm thrilled for you!

also, you run against the grain, you know what works for your family, & you aren't afraid to express it. it's fantastic, but some people are threatened by it. those of us who rebel against the norms [especially when it comes to parenting!] are bound to scare people off along the way - too many folks out there just don't know how to step outside of their comfort zones. don't bend. you'll find new friends that appreciate the rebel in you. & until then, chin up & good luck! at least you have a precious little family to help you along the way.

as for the nausea, i've had several friends try these & love them. in addition to snacking, something about sour flavors is supposed to suppress nausea. http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3933662&CAWELAID=449044619

congrats again! YAY, babies!

DelightfulBirth said...

Your comment of "throwing caution--and condoms-- to the wind" totally made me lol!! And then I laughed even more when you went on to say that you really didn't throw condoms anywhere. :) Love your writing style and sense of humor. And congratulations! Just a couple weeks ago, I was browsing through your archives and happened to read your post (from a year ago, maybe?) about contemplating whether or not to have another child. How ironic! Anyway hang in there and blessings to your family, HoboMama!

Michelle @ The Parent Vortex said...

I was in my maternity jeans two weeks after my positive test with #2. I just could not bear the feeling of a pinchy waistband! Even though they did up fine I was miserable.

I think mixed emotions are totally normal. I had some of the same anxieties with #2 as well - I think it's easy to assume that since one pregnancy and birth are under your belt (so to speak) already, you'll be prepared for experiencing that again, but pregnancy still brings up a lot of strong emotions. It sounds like you're going through a period of big changes right now! Hang in there - this too shall pass.

Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

I giggled reading this and all of your ups and downs with your emotions. Yup, definitely pregnant! LOL!

We're trying for #4 and I have to wait to test until Oct 1st and it's KILLING ME TO WAIT!

I've also had two miscarriages so I know how scary the first weeks are BUT I also agree with you on telling people. With this fourth one we might keep it to ourselves just for FUN and not out of fear. But otherwise we've always spread the news pretty quick, too!

Congrats!

Kat said...

Congrats Lauren! I know you have a lot going on in your head, but try to forget about the head stuff and focus on what's only going on in your heart...I'm sure you will find peace there; because this wouldn't have happened if you were not ready. Enjoy it and I wish you a wonderful happy and health pregnancy!

Melodie said...

I missed the WW post but I remember the hint you left last week and thought this might be it. Congrats! I have been dreaming the past 3 nights that I was pregnant but I think it's statistically speaking, not possible anymore, but who knows. I've always been pretty fertile. I look forward to following along on your journey. I wish you much unqueasiness. :)

Betsy B. Honest said...

Yay! Congratulations!

Life is way too short to be rational.

I wish you all the best.

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly said...

I've been under a rock. So sorry to have missed this. Congratulations. So happy for you!

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