Liz is Pregnant- Take 6 (and 5)

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).


Sort of a Real Post 

I promise to write a real post that at least covers how the latest pregnancy and all are going (uh, I’m pregnant again, FYI, for my readers that aren’t friends on FB), but for now I at least have this! Kidlett is 20 months now, to put it in some kind of context.
-Cats are MAOW, which must always be yelled as loud as possible. She also yelled it at the meerkats at the zoo today on her first Nana Camp Sunday.


-She started stomping more intentionally recently, and she just made her babies and Oswald stomp too while (as best she can) saying, “stomp stomp.”


-I asked her if she could get her baby’s blanket (they each have their own, which mustn’t be mixed up), and she looked from the baby to the blanket, gasped dramatically, and hurried over to get the blanket and bring it over to wrap around baby. Apparently it was very shocking that baby didn’t have her proper blanket.


-One of my current favorite things she does it point to totally random things in a book and call them all dogs or maows or bock bocks or what have you. I know she knows what they really are, so I think she’s trying to be funny. 


-That was about the sweetest thing ever. She was fighting sleep at nap time, then grabbed my face in both hands, pulled me down to her, and fell asleep. ☺️ She prefers to sleep with our heads touching at night too.


-She insisted on feeding her baby a blueberry, then picked her up and ate the berry directly from her mouth. 😆


-One thing I love about cosleeping is getting to hear her talk in her sleep. I’m in bed but reading and she just pointed straight in front of her and said “water.” She frequently says mama/daddy/Nana, and sometimes no no no, which I don’t like because I’m afraid she’s having a bad dream.


-Last night she started fussing/crying, but without fully waking up. That kind of super tired and just want to sleep but something (upset tummy? bad dream?) won’t let her crying. It was really pitiful. But what was interesting to me was that as I was trying to cuddle her to soothe her, she deliberately took my hand and put it on her foot (her way of asking for a foot rub). And it worked. I rubbed her feet and she went right back to sleep and was totally settled. It’s so neat that even half asleep she knew what she needed and how to ask for it. Kids can start communicating with us so much earlier than most people realize.


-Apparently with her stacker pieces, she’s figured out that the holes go all the way through. So as long as she can see a hole on top, she should be able to put the piece on. Except one of them doesn’t go all the way through. And she will not turn it over! She insists the hole be on top. It’s so interesting to see the “rules” kids develop to understand how the world works, and how they have to adapt them.


-We left her tree up in the playroom after Christmas because she loved the trees so much that I couldn’t bring myself to put them all away. The plan is to have it be for all holidays, although Easter is the only one I’ve managed. They just didn’t have any good heart ones for Valentine’s and I wasn’t up for making them. But the dollar store Easter eggs look pretty cute. Now to stop her yanking the ribbons off of them so they can continue to actually hang. (Update- The original styrofoam eggs have been thrown away. I was out of the room talking to Christopher, and when I came back 4 or 5 of them had bites taken out of them. Thankfully I was able to match all the pieces up so she didn’t swallow (or worse, choke on) any of it. She kept trying to snatch them up and bite them (saying “bite!”) when I was gathering them up to throw them away, and she still keeps pointing at the tree saying bite even several days later. I got some hard plastic ones to try, so we’ll see how that goes.)


-I let her sort of help me cook for the first time! I was making hamburger helper (I know 😬) and I let her dump in the pasta (dumping is on her list of most fun things ever, so she was excited) and stir it a little. I really should have started having her help sooner, but I just didn’t give it much thought. I think I was waiting till she actually understands, but why wait? She enjoys it now. I want to get her a kitchen helper so bad! But it has got to be the kind that collapses down so I can only have it out when I want her to help. It’s bad enough she’s so tall she can reach half of what’s on the counter already. Thankfully for some reason it hasn’t occurred to her that the things she uses to climb into the big chair in the playroom (mostly her little chair, but occasionally boxes or even packs of diapers) could easily be carried into the kitchen to let her reach everything she wants. I don’t need to make it any easier on her to get into things she shouldn’t!


-It’s official. My kidlett is the sweetest of them all. I saw on the monitor that she was starting to wake up (early) from her nap, so I went in. As soon as I walked in she gave me the sweetest little sleepy smile. I laid down next to her and she rolled towards me, reached out with both arms and cuddled up to my face, sighed “momma,” and went back to sleep. Pretty sure that makes up for being up wide awake for hours in the middle of the night last night. 


-Also on the subject of how sweet my girl is, she’s started giving so many kisses! Tonight during bedtime she pulled my face down to hers and gave me 5 kisses. And even better, she’s started giving Eskimo kisses (Update- we are now calling these nose kisses). But seriously, there’s almost nothing cuter than a toddler grabbing your face and rubbing her little nose on yours. Love the affectionate toddler loving!


-It’s fascinating how much Lily has to say these days. You think of a kid with relatively few words (maybe 50-75?) and no sentences as not being ready to communicate a ton beyond “I want that” and “I see something.” But at bedtime, as best I can tell, she really wants to talk about her day. Like today she kept saying whee (her word for slide) and daddy. This morning Christopher took her to the park and they went on the slides a lot. I usually do my best to repeat back what I think she’s telling me (“daddy took you on the slides?”) and ask her about it (“did you have fun on the slides?”). She only does her “yes” giggle some of the time (have I mentioned how much I love that she still does the giggle instead of actually saying yes?), so I assume I’m interpreting her correctly. Who knows? But she seems to enjoy our conversations, such as they are.


And some pictures, because I don’t really have ones that make sense with any of the things above.


Her first time expressing a real interest in digging in the dirt! I want a sandbox for her!


I walked in and she was so proud to show me she “put on” her shoes. 😄

Apparently lotion is delicious. She loves to lick it off her hands. 🙄😆

Pretty sure the highlight of having Grandaddy and Aunt Kat visit was getting to use the water fountain for the first time.