If you’ve had more than one pregnancy, you know that not all pregnancies are equal. After suffering from infertility and multiple miscarriages, I made it through my pregnancy for my son in 2015. As I near the end of this pregnancy for our second child, I have been reflecting upon the differences – and let me tell you, they are TOTALLY different.
How did we get here in the first place?!
P1: IVF baby – round 1. I laid on the couch for 5 days after my embryo transfer and did all my Christmas shopping on Amazon while watching Hallmark Christmas movies.
P2: IVF baby – round 2. I tried really hard to stay in bed for 3 days after my embryo transfer. Then my husband accepted a job two hours away and Day 3 post transfer, I was painting my baseboards and trim, making a list of things we that needed to be done in order to prep our home to put it on the market.
P1: Our embryo transfer was done at the beginning of December. I felt like a stuffed sausage in the cocktail dresses I squeezed into for that year’s Christmas parties.
P2: Embryo transfer number two was done right after Easter. I stayed in PJs or yoga pants and only got “dressed” to go to work.
Pregnancy Tests and First Trimesters
P1: I found out I was pregnant via a blood test right before Christmas. It was a magical holiday and I didn’t have to buy maternity clothes until I was 4 months pregnant.
P2: I found out I was pregnant via a blood test mid-April. I immediately ordered sleeveless maternity dresses and bigger sandals to get me through the summer.
P1: Diclegis was my BFF the entire first trimester.
P2: Morning sickness wasn’t so bad, but I did live on a steady diet of ginger ale, crackers and plain spaghetti noodles for the first trimester.
Help, Sleep and Home
P1: My husband helped to take care of the dogs and I had someone come in once a week to clean my house. We slowly prepared our home for the baby’s arrival.
P2: My husband moved two hours away for his new job and we put our home on the market. I was taking care of a three-year-old, working full time, was cleaning the house on my own and preparing our home for showings. I hurriedly created a registry for the essentials I would need for a newborn. At 34 weeks, after being put on bed rest, I broke down and hired someone to come in and clean our house weekly.
P1: We were settling in to the idea of bringing our baby home to this house.
P2: At 37 weeks pregnant, we received an offer on our home and had to start house shopping in a town two hours away. I had to do this through FaceTime with my rock star realtor because my doctor advised me to stay as close to the hospital as possible – i.e. stay home and don’t go look at houses for six hours straight. I have not physically walked through the house we are purchasing and moving into in January. Now, on top of taking care of a newborn and a toddler, I will be packing and working out moving logistics.
P1: I was in bed by 7:30pm every night and slept at least 11 hours each night.
P2: I’m lucky if I can get my toddler in bed by 8pm. Then I clean the kitchen, pick up the house, fold clothes and prep for the next day. If we have a showing the next day, I clean and stage the house for the showing. I like to have some alone time, so I end up watching Hallmark movies in bed until 10:30 or 11pm when I finally pass out from exhaustion. My 5:30am alarm always comes too quickly if my toddler doesn’t come in my room before then asking for food or something to drink.
P1: I was placed on restricted activity at 25 weeks due to hypertension, severe swelling and signs and symptoms that pointed to pre-eclampsia. I spent the next 14 weeks working from home 80% of the time and only going into the office for about 8 hours a week. Placental insufficiency was discovered during my c-section and we were very lucky there were no adverse effects from that.
P2: At 30 weeks, I started weekly non-stress tests and monitoring due to placental insufficiency that was discovered during our first child’s birth. Everything has looked good so far, which helps a little with my anxiety. I also started experiencing swelling in my feet and ankles at 31 weeks and at 32 weeks had just began to discuss how much longer I would come into the office for work and when I would begin working from home.
P1: I was plagued with headaches, light sensitivity, constant thirst and a dwindling wardrobe the entirety of my third trimester.
P2: At 38 weeks, I’m still wearing maternity clothes and I don’t always look like I’m about to pop at any moment. Most of my maternity clothes still fit, however, it’s difficult to find shoes that will fit on these ballooning feet. I can sit in a lighted room with no problems.
P1: Braxton Hicks contractions started at 25 weeks and never stopped.
P2: ALL THE PRESSURE down there and just a few Braxton Hicks before week 37. Week 37 and 38 have been interesting in terms of the contractions and my anxiety about going into labor.
Work, Work, Work and Maternity Leave
P1: I put together step by step instructions, process flows and printed out emails that filled a 5-inch binder for historical reference so that my boss and one other co-worker could get through my 8-week maternity leave. I ended up coming back to work after only 5 ½ weeks.
P2: At 28 weeks, I started meeting with my boss and team to discuss delegation of duties during my 10- or 12-week maternity leave. Everyone knows who is responsible for what and there are back up plans in place so that they don’t have to call me. I will be taking at least 10 weeks off and will not return early unless something catastrophic occurs.
P1: I was scheduled to travel for work to two different states in a two-week span during my sixth month of pregnancy. Those trips were cancelled due to severe swelling, other pre-eclampsia symptoms and being placed on restricted activity.
P2: At 23 weeks, I traveled to Orlando for a conference and then at 26 and 27 weeks, I made local site visits for work. I did not schedule any additional work trips after 27 weeks.
Getting Ready for the Big Arrival
P1: A baby shower was given for me in my sixth month of pregnancy. I got all the essentials and more needed to take care of baby #1.
P2: A baby sprinkle was given for me in my seventh month of pregnancy. I got clothes. Lots of clothes.
P1: My bag and baby’s bag were packed at 28 weeks as I was terrified of going into labor early. The car seat was installed at 30 weeks.
P2: At 36 weeks, I broke down and installed the infant car seat in my vehicle. Just in case. At 38 weeks, I packed mine and baby’s bags for the hospital.
P1: The nursery was complete and ready by the end of my seventh month of pregnancy.
P2: I was 30 weeks pregnant when I ordered the crib and dresser. At 36 weeks, the dresser and crib were assembled by my husband.
P1: Godparents were discussed and chosen by week 28.
P2: At 38 weeks, my husband and I still haven’t discussed who #2’s godparents will be.