I’m ridiculously far behind on blogging, so I have to play a little catch-up on how it came to be that we’re having baby number two.
Long story short, a few months back I suddenly started getting baby fever again. All of my reasons for just wanting one were still valid, but I kept thinking of all the reasons why two would be better. And I just wanted another. Blame evolution. Christopher, being the much more rational person that he is, and less driven by emotions and instinct, was less enthusiastic. We needed to wait until Lily was 18 months old anyway, to limit the risk of preterm labor (the risk is higher with pregnancies close together, something no one bothered to mention when they cleared us to try again just three months after River 😡). We hadn’t really decided officially, but we stopped being careful a little before that point. And since getting pregnant is my superpower, not being careful was all it took.
The “month” before this pregnancy, we were on a cruise. I tested in the days before we left, and got all negatives. At that point I was well past the point that I should have had a positive if I was going to, so I stopped testing and only took one test on the boat. So of course it turned out my period was late. I took the one test I had, and it was a SUPER faint positive. I figured no chance of it being viable with it being so faint so late (4 days after period was due), and I was right. Period started before we even got off the boat. I didn’t mention this at the time to anyone because it was just such a non-event and it felt weird. Like how was the cruise? Oh great! We had lots of fun, had another super early miscarriage, the usual. I honestly just didn’t even care that much so I didn’t see the point in mentioning it.
Fast forward to the following cycle. I was feeling really confident, but again testing up towards my period I was getting no positives. I stopped after 12dpo (2 days before period) because in my experience no positive by then means no chance. But then my period was late. So the day after it was due I tested again. Super spectacularly I can’t even take a picture of it faint positive. So I figured it was going to be the same as the month before. And I didn’t mention it because it just didn’t seem important and I was super over it and didn’t even feel like talking about it. But I kept testing and the next day it was darker. I could kind of get a picture of it. And the next day even darker and so on.
So I called the midwife (still thinking no chance) and went in and had bloodwork done. You want the number to double every 48-72 hours. My first number was 106 (which was very low for what I thought my dates were, but also very pregnant since anything above 5 is pregnant). Second blood draw was 46 hours later so I figured 175 meant still some hope and 200 was really good. It came back 334. Which was super shocking. Like kinda sorta maybe twins, though not likely, level shocking. (To be clear, we are very sure it’s not twins.)
Based on my original dates, my due date was August 18, but the dating ultrasound showed (as expected, obviously) that that was wrong, so it was changed to August 21. Apparently the miscarriage the month before, as early as it was, messed with my cycle just enough that I ovulated a few days later than usual. We also went ahead and did the genetic screening again, so we found out we’re having a boy! (And it came back negative for all the issues it screens for. Unfortunately though, since River didn’t have any known genetic issues we can’t screen for that.)
The first trimester was rough. Physically I was fine, other than the usual tiredness (I’ve still yet to throw up from pregnancy, labor notwithstanding), but emotionally I was a wreck. Really more of a wreck than I even realized at the time, and I knew I was struggling. I don’t know if it was the hormones (first tri is the worst for the crazy hormones) and exhaustion, the constant fear of another miscarriage, or (most likely) a combination of the two, but it was a hard couple months.
That being said, I’m 17 weeks and it’s mostly a ton better. Though apparently I got a lot more worried than I thought. I had a gestational diabetes screening this week (which I passed! Hooray for no early GD!), and while I was there I asked to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. She found it *immediately* (he’s still so small that it can take a minute to figure out where he’s hanging out), and I almost cried with relief he was okay. That’s never happened before, even when we found out Lily’s anatomy scan was clear and she didn’t have any of River’s issues. So I guess I was worried, even though I hadn’t realized how much. Also, possibly even more telling, I wasn’t feeling any movement earlier in the week. Then that afternoon, after hearing the heartbeat again, suddenly I was feeling him move all over the place. And it’s been very, very frequent ever since. I’m pretty darn sure he didn’t just coincidentally decide to have a dance party as soon as I knew he was still okay. Best I can guess, I was so afraid to believe things were okay that I was unconsciously dismissing anything I felt as normal twinges/gas/whatever without even realizing it. But he’s definitely making his presence known now. Last night I even felt him with my hand, though I think it will be a while before Christopher will be able to feel him. Without being able to feel it on the inside at the same time, it’s still very subtle.
Now, with the anatomy scan a week and a half away, I’m definitely struggling again. (For those who don’t know or remember our whole history and why the anatomy scan scares the piss out of me, see here. Warning, it’s upsetting and potentially controversial.) I keep having these moments when I just get hit with a memory of one of our far too many shitty ultrasound experiences. Things I normally don’t even think about at all. And my mood is definitely crappy, just in a vague sort of way. But a week and a half isn’t that long. We can all survive my anxiety and crappy mood for a week and a half. And then we should know one way or the other how things are going to be going.
I was right about one thing, incidentally. I said, and may have written here, after we lost River that I was glad we didn’t have another kid already because it would have made it harder. As it was, I had no frame of reference for what we were really losing, emotionally speaking. It was all just a lot of hypotheticals. We didn’t truly lose a child, the way you think of when you hear about a baby dying. I felt pretty sure that if we had a kid already, it would have made the whole thing a hell of a lot harder. And I’d say I was right. I feel a lot more attached to this pregnancy than I have any of the previous ones. Between knowing he’s a boy (I kind of wish we didn’t find out so early, as neat as it is to know) and being able to look at Lily and know how I feel about her, this just feels more real. Which, unfortunately, makes it that much scarier. If something were to go wrong, it would be harder than before. Still FAR easier than if something happened to Lily- I’d trade another hundred pregnancies if it somehow kept her safe. But harder than it was.
Okay, that’s definitely enough of all that ever so cheerful stuff. On a lighter note, I’m pretty sure this kid is going to be Baby Boy Smith forever. We’ve only ever agreed on one boy name, which was Liam. Except it was almost 12 years ago when it wasn’t particularly popular. It’s since become the number one most popular boy name, or course. It’s bad enough we chose Lily, which is in the top 25. Number one is so not happening. (It’s worth noting that our first girl choice back then, Madison, is now number 13. Apparently we can predict name popularity.) At this point we have a grand total of two names we can agree we could live with. And neither of us is big on the idea of picking a name that all we can say for is we can live with it. Rationally I know we have months left to figure this out. But we’ve had years up to this point and never found one! Eek. Baby Boy Smith it is. (Actually, I love Apollo. Technically I’m the one who gets to name him, as far as filling out the paper work, so I threatened Christopher that if we don’t agree on something in time I’m just naming him Apollo and he can get over it. He wasn’t amused.)
Since we’ve only had the dating ultrasound, I don’t have any good pictures (he was just a blob at that point), so I’ll leave you with this cuteness of the Lils stepping on her baby (I’m sure this bodes well for baby brother).