March through June
Tuesday, March 29, 2011—4 weeks exactly
I took a pregnancy test this morning, and there was that little second line. This is very much a planned, wanted baby, but I still felt a sort of speechless shock/joy/gratitude all in one when I saw the result. I didn’t have a plan about how I was going to tell Robert—I hadn’t thought through that part. He was in the other bathroom with Marcus, about to take a shower together, and I went in and just hugged him. I must have looked strange, because he seemed alarmed and kept asking if I was all right and if something was wrong. So no, I told him, nothing was wrong—we were just going to have a new baby in December.
I told Sarah today too, but we are going to wait a bit to really make the news public. Robert asked after work if I’d told Marcus—uh, no (I said); hadn’t he realized that telling a two-year-old something is telling the whole world? We have many months to talk to baby about it, though for that matter, he’s been asking for a baby brother or baby sister for months already.
Tonight Robert wanted to go for a special celebratory dinner, so we walked around the block to Parrish Cafe, on Tremont and Mass Ave, with Marcus (of course), after Robert got home from work. We shared a corn cake appetizer that Marcus refused to try; Robert ordered a panko-crusted swordfish dish and I got a really good hot-and-cold chicken salad (cold chicken on top of sesame-dressed almonds and arugula on top of hot sticky rice in a bowl). We ordered Marcus a half-sized order of the gruyere macaroni and cheese, and he ate his way steadily through about two thirds of it. He also reminded us that since this was a special celebratory meal—though he wasn’t quite sure what we were celebrating—he got to have juice, so (after a consult of the mixed-drinks menu to see what kinds of juices the restaurant normally keeps in stock as mixers) we ordered him an apple cider, which he drank half of. Dessert was a white chocolate bread pudding that all three of us shared, and then we walked home and got baby ready for bed.
“Baby”? Are we going to have to start calling Marcus “big boy” in our minds? Or do we go in the other direction and mentally label this new baby “New Baby”? I’m not sure yet. We have plenty of time to figure it out.
Thursday, April 7—5 weeks, 2 days
Marcus loves the movie “Babies,” that cross-cultural documentary, and when we watch it, he provides the missing narration. We’ve recently been noticing particular details of it: “Why that mommy belly so big? Baby in that mommy belly,” he asks, and then answers himself, when you see the Namibian mother still pregnant in the beginning. “Why that baby crying? Big brother not being nice, hit baby brother. That not nice, big brother! Don’t cry, baby!” he tells the Mongolian baby, after we watch a run-in with an older sibling. Robert and I look at each other over Marcus’s head. “Marcus, do you want to be a big brother someday?” I ask vaguely. “Yes,” he says, nodding seriously. “I be good big brother!”
I’m feeling really good—somewhat sleepy, especially when I go in to put Marcus to bed at night (Robert jokes that it’s 50-50 whether I’ll come back out or fall asleep along with him), but that’s normal. Last week I had a little bit of nausea at some odd times, and this week I had one meal when I just could not look at swiss chard. It completely disgusted me, even though I love it—ah, food aversions. I made green beans instead.
We told my parents and Aunt Mary over a video chat, and they are over the moon excited. Robert, naturally a more reticent person than I am, is still waiting to tell his family. But oh my, I’m too excited to keep a secret! I told Miriam (since she’s due just four weeks ahead of me), Asma, Alex (due in September), Lara, and—don’t laugh—our mailman, Matty. Matty’s been our mailman since 2008, and he has a son who’s just one week younger than Marcus, as well as another, younger baby. He always comes over and greets Marcus by name, and he was one of the people who never stopped asking me the “When are you going to have another?” question.
I also found out that Kelley, my midwife from Marcus’s birth, is back in the area and starting to pick up her practice again, even though she’s taking it slowly because she has a beautiful seven-month-old baby of her own. This is the note she wrote me about attending my birth:
Hi Christina! Wow, congrats! Tis the season. So happy for your family. I am in the area, living about one hour North of you and would be thrilled to be there again. I will surely be here in December also. I typically meet with families for the first time between weeks 10 and 12, but whatever you prefer is fine with me. Some like sooner and some don't mind waiting longer if they are going to avoid hearing the baby with doppler. So, you let me know what you have in mind. My little guy is doing appts with me for now, so you will see him, too. Will be thinking good thoughts for another easy pregnancy for you. Are you working still? Lucky Marcus to get the opportunity to be a big brother! Great to be seeing you again regularly!
So my plan is to see the Certified Nurse Midwife at BMC that I normally see for well-woman care (and who’s really supportive, personally, of homebirth) when I’m about eight weeks along, to get the pregnancy bloodwork done and to confirm the pregnancy for insurance purposes (not that they pay for the homebirth—but just in case I go to the Brigham or something, like last time, for an unanticipated test, they actually have a record that I’m pregnant and won’t give me a hard time about the claim). After that, I’ll get the bloodwork mailed to me and see Kelly around ten weeks.
I treasure every minute of walking around in the sunshine we finally have, thanking God for the new life growing inside of me.
Friday, April 22—7 weeks, 3 days
How have I not had a chance to sit down and write more here recently? Apparently that’s one of the big differences between pregnancy no. 1 and pregnancy no. 2 (for everyone? I can only assume): way less time.
We’ve told virtually everyone. Helena was funny to tell. Robert kept wanting Marcus to tell her, and he did, in the car, saying, “Great Grandma, I have secret! I go be big brother!” but she didn’t hear him. He obligingly repeated it twenty or so times, and then got sick of saying it and gave up. I had to take over, by which point we were in a restaurant, and Robert got it on video. She was of course thrilled and started to cry.
Christine and Tim are super happy for us—Christine said she thinks I’m a natural mother (aw) and will go on to have a total of eight kids and move out to the country. When Sarah told me this, I said that I hadn’t even told her (Sarah), much less Christine, that between the ages of four and, oh, say, eleven, I routinely told everyone that when I grew up I was going to have seven children and be a librarian and live on a farm. Apparently it’s not too late for dreams to come true.
Robert also told his sister Christine last night, and she was very happy to know and glad he told her.
My pants don’t button, and I’ve gained maybe four pounds. It’s hard to say what of that is baby weight and what is just trying-to-eat-right weight, but either way, there it is. I’m wearing a belly band under my shirts and over my pants because I can’t stand anything pressing on my stomach right now.
I’m ravenously hungry all the time, and occasionally feel a bit ill, but that usually passes. What doesn’t help is the general busyness of life—if I don’t have time to grab breakfast before my classes, I go through the morning on edge and then devour whatever I can find in a wolfish way. Ah, giant burritos meant for hungry male college students—you are in the path between my office and my afternoon class! You are a lifesaver! Jamba Juice parfaits—blended yogurt, strawberries, and peanut butter, topped with a flax-seed granola and sliced bananas—also make an excellent first lunch, and they’re right in the student center.
I’ve had two separate two-day periods where the breast tenderness was just driving me insane, and made nursing quite uncomfortable, but in both cases it passed; I guess it was a hormonal surge, and for now we’re back to a comfy, happy nursing relationship still. I’m actually really looking forward to tandem nursing, but we’ll see how everything works out.
Monday I go to the CNM at BU. Time just moves along. How does that happen?
I crave the feeling of movement—I think about Alex Parsons, 12 weeks ahead of me, enviously, and can’t wait to feel this little one inside me the way she’s starting to. Soon, baby, soon! [at right: belly shot, such as it is, at 8 weeks, 1 day, when I happened to be back at Wellesley giving a talk and thinking how cool it was that this new little one got to sit at a table with the current and former Wellesley presidents!]
Thursday, May 5—9 weeks, 2 days
I had my bloodwork done last week at BU Medical Center, but I still have to get a hard copy of it mailed to me. I have an appointment to see Kelley—I can’t wait! She’s coming a week from Saturday, so I’ll be almost 11 weeks. Hopefully by that point we’ll be able to hear the heartbeat nicely.
Time is passing, rapidly—apparently that’s the difference between Baby 1 and Baby 2—you don’t really realize, every single minute of every single day, that you’re pregnant because other things get in the way.
I’m at jury duty now, passing the time by writing this. I figured I’d schedule jury duty once classes ended (they did, yesterday) and before the baby comes.
Last weekend my parents and Aunt Mary came up for a visit—it was so nice to get to see them. They brought one of those lingonberry sparkling drinks from Ikea and we toasted the baby in their hotel room.
I still have a bit of nausea now and then, and some round ligament twinges, especially when I stand up quickly, but basically I feel fine. I gave in and started wearing maternity pants last weekend because the belly band over my regular pants was getting to me. I felt a little silly wearing them this early, but whatever.
At night when Marcus says his prayers he prays for “the baby in Mommy’s belly.”
Wednesday, May 11—10 weeks, 1 day
I just had a glass of milk and a peanut butter granola bar (at 10:20 at night) because I was feeling really queasy and hungry, both. Robert is out at a work dinner/thing, and Marcus is in his big-boy bed, while I’m in the living room mixing work and play.
Robert’s been really busy at work lately, but things finally started to slow down for me this week since I finished all my final grades for the semester. Tomorrow is a day of meetings at school, and then I think I’m taking Friday off to spend with Marcus. Next week I’ll probably work four full days again, getting my classes in shape for the summer and fall and doing a bit more research on my own. Still, I feel like I finally have time to realize that I’m pregnant!
I was trying to explain to Marcus how Kelley will come and listen to Mommy’s belly to hear the baby’s heart. “Yes,” he said, in an of-course-she-will-you-idiot way. I stroked his head and told him Kelley was the first person other than Mommy and Daddy to touch him. “Yes,” he said again.
I’ve been listening to my HypnoBirthing tracks at night to fall asleep, and then again if I wake up in the night. I was so happy to come back to them—I remember all of them, all the parts about “when you and your baby are laboring together” and the wonderful voice and carefully-chosen language.
I haven’t made things public at school yet—not sure when I’m going to do that. Probably during Summer Session I.
We told our friends last week—Jef and Jin Yoon, at Jaina’s 100-day celebration, and then Robert’s friend/colleague British Jason, who’s always been saying we should have another child.
I can’t believe I’m almost out of the first trimester!
Tuesday, May 17—11 weeks
Kelley came over on Saturday and stayed for almost two hours with her beautiful nine-month-old baby. She tried to get my little one on the Doppler, but he was avoiding it—the baby did this last time, too, and I don’t think we found Marcus on the Doppler until almost 17 weeks. She left one of her Dopplers with us and said we could try again around 12 weeks if we wanted, but I’m not nervous—I know I have a small one growing inside of me, and if s/he wants to elude the waves, that’s okay with me, I’ll avoid shooting more at him/her for the moment.
Marcus sat right on my lap and watched the whole process: “What her doing? What that noise? Mommy, mommy, what that?”
I told Kelley I thought I’d maybe felt the first tiny faint stirrings of movement last week, and she said she wasn’t surprised, that while “they” (textbooks) say that even in second pregnancies women can’t feel the baby move until close to 15 weeks, she’s had mothers who’ve felt it much sooner. I think that once you’ve felt that sensation, those flutters, you will always recognize them: they are so obviously not gas, not stomach bubbles, not anything else other than that new life inside you.
I’ve been nesting and preparing the house like crazy, building more shelves, re-doing our closets, sending bags and bags of stuff to Goodwill, and generally making more space and more efficient use of the space we do have for this baby. I want him/her to feel like there’s room for him/her not just in our hearts but also in our home—I don’t want it to be “Marcus’s closet” or “Marcus’s dresser,” but shared, and I’m making space so that they can be.
I also might have bought a few slings, wraps, and mei tais in anticipation of this new little one. Some are here, and some are still on the way. Marcus was in an ill-fitting Hotsling pouch 10 hours after birth; this new baby will be in a better carrier with better positioning!
Thursday, May 26—12 weeks, 2 days
I can’t believe I’m out of the first trimester. All my nausea, such as it was, is completely gone. At odd times I feel a lot of movement, and then I can’t feel anything for several days. I think the baby is still so small that it’s just really variable.
My summer class started this week, and I feel really obviously pregnant, but I think the students, being oblivious college students, just think I’m somewhat thick around the middle by nature. I wonder if it’ll be apparent by the end of the six-week session.
I bought a couple new pieces of clothing for this baby, even though we still have all of Marcus’s outgrown things, waiting to be sorted through in NY. Still, this is a winter baby, so I got a few more footed sleepers and long gowns for the beginning, and I also bought a really cute hand-knitted pair of “monster” pants on Etsy—a knitted monster face on the bottom—for the next fall, for a nine-month-old crawler on chilly floors, since Marcus did all his crawling in late spring/summer. Robert couldn’t get behind the new purchases: “I like our old clothes,” he said. “I know,” I said. “I do too,” but I want this baby to have a few new things, things that weren’t Marcus’s first. When the pants got here, I told Marcus they were a present for the new baby. “Yes,” he said, “And then baby come to my house and I give baby pants present?” Uh, yes. I assured him the baby would eventually “come to his house.”
Mornings this week have been busy, between the summer bus schedule (only twice an hour, so there’s no leeway at all—it’s get that bus, or be late) and Marcus now being out of diapers. It just takes more time for him to figure out his body’s signals, sit on the toilet, flush (still a great excitement—I wonder when that gets old), etc., than just for us to change a diaper. But I’ve been managing to toss at least a couple hard-boiled eggs and a yogurt into my bag to eat at school before my class, and I’ve been feeling really good, with a great energy level.
Saturday, June 4—13 weeks, 4 days
Kelley came by today for our second appointment—I had good low blood pressure and she got the baby on the Doppler right away! We had a nice visit; Marcus was super cute playing with her ten-month-old baby, offering him a new train track to chew on when he absolutely required the one the baby was currently holding.
I think things are finally starting to feel real—I feel little flutterings of movement most evenings, when things are quiet and I’m lying down, and Marcus kisses my belly button and blows raspberries on it to the baby (“I make baby ALL WET!”).
I’ve been buying all sorts of delicious fruit—a case of Hayden mangoes, bags of Rainier cherries—in part just because I love them and they’re in season, but also, you know, “for the baby.” I realized the last three weeks since Kelley was here last have just flown by, and everything is going very smoothly. I have a bit of pregnancy-induced congestion (stuffy nose, post-nasal drip) but I had that with Marcus too, and it’s nothing terrible.
I’m just excited to be about 1/3 of the way toward meeting this baby! [at right: belly shot under a wrap, tied a bit higher than I would normally to take the pressure off, and both of my babies after Kelley's visit]
Tuesday, June 14—15 weeks
I’m feeling so much movement! Lots of baby flutters and somersaults going on in there!
I’m feeling well, too. Last week it was in the high 90s for a couple days, almost at 100 degrees, and for those two days I did have a bit of swelling in my fingers and feet, but I pushed fluids and protein and plowed on through, and as the heat came down everything returned to normal. I’m definitely less sleepy in the afternoons than I’d been a few weeks ago. My feelings while nursing have also settled down, not into the pre-pregnancy normal but not anything that I can’t cope with. Marcus still nurses once or twice a night, in the morning, before bed, and at least once, sometimes two or three times, during the day, though all routine bets were off last week when we had family visitors from Chicago.
Marcus also recently got a little “doctor’s” kit (perhaps also a midwife’s kit! all it needs is the cloth sling scale Kelley uses for newborns!) and has been using the stethoscope to “listen to the baby.” It’s pretty cute. He pulls up my shirt to hear better—but, ssh, I don’t think that makes a difference!
Monday, June 24—16 weeks, 6 days
We went to Minnesota last weekend, and everyone there was so happy about our new addition. It was really nice to get to tell some family in person, especially Judy’s brothers and cousins. We do have a few more trips planned later this summer—Asma’s wedding, when I’ll be 20 weeks (I always know how many weeks until her wedding this way!); a trip to New York for Marcus’s birthday, when I’ll be almost 25 weeks; and then a trip to Bermuda the following weekend at the end of August. After that, no more trips for us until this new one is skin-side and we’ve all had some weeks/months to hang out at home and adjust—I think we’ll be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s all in Boston this year, in the comfort of our home as much as possible.
This is the last week I’ll be teaching until September, and I’m looking forward to having some one-on-one time with Marcus in July and August. No idea what next summer will be like, with a crawler and a four-year-old—we’ll take it as it comes, though.
Things have been so busy, what with family visiting us and us visiting family and then more family visiting us, though, that in the last ten days I almost didn’t feel New Baby move at all—and that made me sad, because I crave the feeling. I’d have to find a quiet time to lay down, but still remain awake and focused, and concentrate on it, in order to feel the flutters—they’re still so small that if there’s too much hustle and bustle, I can’t notice them at all.
I’m feeling great, though, and really just enjoying this summer and this pregnancy.
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Created: 6/5/11. Last Modified: 11/5/11.