Thank you for all the well wishes and messages. I’m still sorting through them all, but it means so much. As many of you know, the road here wasn’t easy, so we couldn’t be more excited. I know I’m in the minority here, but I actually love being pregnant (and I even had severe morning sickness this time!). I don’t’ love the weight gain (who does?), but I love having a bump and I think it’s just knowing what it means and now more than ever it feels like such a miracle. But again, don’t hate me, I don’t hate dressing the bump either. I guess in my view, it’s almost easier because you’re limited so much in what you can buy and what fits that it’s like a forced capsule wardrobe, which for an indecisive clothes-addict like me, it feels like a welcome reprieve.
I’m really excited to share more of my favorite pregnancy finds and style tips, but I thought I’d kick this post off by answering some of the many questions I’ve been getting since sharing our news.
I also couldn’t wait to share with you guys this non-maternity dress that I’m obsessed with and perfectly accommodates a bump. Deets on the dress and what I’m wearing below.
How Far Along Are You? When are you due?
I’m a little over 20 weeks, so a bit over halfway there. We are due at the end of August, so once again I’ll be pregnant all summer long (sigh). I always thought the second I saw a positive pregnancy test that I would shout it from the rooftops, but after struggling so long to get pregnant, I’ve been so scared that something would go wrong and tbh, this pregnancy has been a total rollercoaster, so we waited until the 20 week anatomy scan to tell people. Honestly, even now I feel like I”m going to jinx myself by saying anything, but I can’t really hide le bump anymore, so we figure it was time and it’s been nice to be able to let myself celebrate the news a bit.
Do you know what you’re having?
We do and I’ll be sharing the gender on the blog soon I promise.
How far apart will your kids be?
James will turn 3 a few weeks after the baby is supposed to arrive, so they’ll be just under 3 years apart. I had hoped to have kids much closer in age, but that’s not how it worked out for us. But I am hoping that the upside is that James in many ways is more manageable and self-sufficient, so I’m hoping that it’ll be a really good dynamic for our family.
How did James react?
Lol. He didn’t? We’ve tried to explain to him that he’s going to have a sibling, but I don’t think he really understands what we’re saying. I don’t think he even really notices that my belly is growing. The hardest part has actually been constantly reminding him to be careful of mama’s belly because he loves climbing all over me and asking me to pick him up. He’s really cute with other babies, so I’m hoping that he’ll be that way with his sibling too. But he’s been the center of our world for the past two and a half years, so I do worry the transition won’t be the easiest for him. Ironically, he’s obsessed with the movie Boss Baby right now.
Will you be moving?
I’ve talked about our ongoing debate about moving to the suburbs, but now that we have another baby on the way, we’ll definitely need more space. Will update you soon on what we decide and all the decorating and moving fun.
How did you tell your friends and family?
When we were pregnant with James, we didn’t do anything over the top to tell our families and friends. I thought we’d do a big announcement or fun reveal for our second, but because I was so nervous/still am that something will go wrong, we waited a long time and were much more low-key in how we told people. I’m still debating if we should do some sort of fun gender reveal for Instagram. What do you guys think?
How have you been feeling?
Right now, I feel great. I mean, I’m exhausted a lot of the time, but compared to my first trimester, I’m feeling amazing. I didn’t have any morning sickness with James, and man did I get it bad this time. From about six to 12 weeks I was miserably sick. I suffered from constant nausea, all day long, whereas with James I just felt a little sick sometimes at night. I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed, and some days I just couldn’t make it to work I was so sick. As much as it sucked, I was grateful for it because it reminded me I was still pregnant. In fact, when it went away just as quickly as it came on, I freaked out. But I think my hormones just started to level out and then I entered my second trimester and felt a zillion times better. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel exhausted…all the time, I find myself getting winded doing things I normally do, and sometimes I get dizzy easily, but compared to how I felt those first several weeks, I feel great. One thing I am experiencing with this pregnancy that I didn’t last time is lots of anxiety. I’ve been told this is common with pregnancy after infertility (something I’m going to devote an entire post to) but it’s been really hard to relax and not get worked up about everything. When I was pregnant with James, I really chilled out — I typically type A, so my husband loved it. But this time around, I definitely haven’t been chill and it’s been hard to manage my anxiety, both over the pregnancy and baby and in general. It’s definitely been at a high.
What are you buying for baby #2?
I’m actually going to do a whole post on this. We have a lot of gear from James that we’ll use again, but we will probably get a double stroller and there have been some new additions to baby gear that weren’t around when James was born that I’m debating whether we should get. I’m currently gathering recs from mom friends and experts, so I’ll do a post with a whole list of what we’re investing in for #2.
Have you had any weird cravings?
Not really. I don’t recall having any with James either. I kind of feel like crazy pickle cravings etc. is a stereotype about pregnancy that doesn’t really happen. But I have been a lot hungrier than usual and when I’m hungry, it’s like FEED ME. I have zero control. I always crave carbs and sweets, so that hasn’t really changed, but I try not to indulge them on the reg. With James, I gained a lot of weight and while I think some of it is just how I carry my babies/my body, I definitely would indulge and be like, well, I am eating for two. I’m trying not to do that this time, because frankly, I felt weight-shamed at every doctor appointment (I’d call them “weigh ins”) and I don’t need that anxiety on top of everything else. Plus, I’m really focused on eating healthy to ensure the healthiest pregnancy possible. It’s something I can control so I’ve been really focused on eating lots of veggies, fruit, salmon, etc. and tried to save the junk for special occasions, but I will go ham on a bowl of guac and chips any chance I get. Which in fairness, I’d do pre-pregnancy because honestly, who can resist guac?
How much weight have you gained?
I totally get why people ask this. I always like to hear this from other moms/bloggers. It helps you get a sense for what’s normal and idk, I’m nosey. This was the only part of my first pregnancy that I was really anxious about and only because I gained a lot of weight in my first and second trimesters, and my doctor very politely just told me it’s something to keep in mind. I did indulge more than usual and didn’t exercise as much the first time around, but I also think my body just held onto weight as part of how it reacts to pregnancy. But it was a lot to work off after James was born. A lot did come off naturally and from breast-feeding, but it definitely took a year to get back to pre-baby and it wasn’t easy, so I want to be more mindful this time, especially since I don’t know when I’ll have time to get to the gym with two. It’s hard to gauge exactly how much I’ve gained because I gained weight from fertility treatments — about 10 pounds — which really sucked, but I’d do it again if it brought me a baby. With that said, I already felt heavier and more bloated than normal before getting pregnant due to the side effects of the fertility treatments (something no one really warned me about but apparently, is a totally normal side effect). Since finding out I was pregnant, I’ve gained about 7 pounds, which is pretty standard I’ve been told. I gained about 50 pounds with James, and I’m hoping to keep this one more around 30-35 pounds, but I’m not going to stress too much about it. My top priority is having a healthy, happy baby.
Has this pregnancy been different at all?
It’s been so different for all the reasons I went into above. There’s also the fact that I simply haven’t had time to obsess over the actual pregnancy (or planing for the baby) like I did the first time. I spent so much time listening to podcasts, reading pregnancy books, and researching things like what fruit I was. This time around, I don’t even know what size fruit I’m at currently, and even though I feel like I forget most of the things about being pregnant, I haven’t been reading and googling obsessively (except when I think something is wrong). Last time, I was pregnant at the same time as my best friend, so we had fun sending each other maternity clothes we had found etc., but this time, I have been trying to hide my bump for so long, I haven’t even whipped out my old maternity clothes from storage (I also didn’t want to jinx myself). I’m just getting to the point where I’m outgrowing most of my stuff, even the baggier stuff, but I keep forgetting I don’t need to hide it anymore. I don’t know. I think I’m still scared to tell the world and jinx myself. Again, the anxiety during this pregnancy has been real. I really haven’t allowed myself to feel the joy that I feel, scared it will be snatched from me if I do. That’s another thing about infertility that no one tells you — it robs you of so much joy. I don’t want it to sound like I’m not so happy and grateful, because I can’t tell you how overjoyed I am. I am just so scared it will go away at any moment.
Do you have names in mind?
We obsessed over names the first time around, but haven’t as much this time. I do have some names in mind, but honestly, we didn’t have a name for James until ten minutes after he was born, so we’ll probably waver one million times before the baby arrives.
Have you been working out?
I have though not very rigorously. I stopped working out during fertility treatments. Then I picked it back up for awhile and then stopped again. I was so scared that something would go wrong that I didn’t do anything but walk until I was four months pregnant. Now I’m trying to get back into a routine, but I’ve been keeping it really low impact. Just walking on the treadmill at an incline or going easy on the elliptical. I look like an old lady on there, but I am pretty out of shape I’m finding and I am still being super cautious. I decided to lay off Tracy Anderson, running, and anything else that’s more “high impact” just to be safe. I know that for most women, all these activities are perfectly safe to do during pregnancy, but as you can tell by now, I’m really anxious about this pregnancy and being abundantly cautious. But I have to say I feel better when I get some sort of movement in so I try to do at least something 3-5 times a week.
How long did it take you to get pregnant?
It took us a little over 18 months to get pregnant this time and that includes fertility treatments. With James, it happened right away.
When did you see a fertility specialist?
We waited until we had been trying for about nine months to see a specialist. They say if you’re under 35 to wait a year, but I was impatient and I honestly thought we would be told everything was fine and get pregnant on our own and I was just being overly cautious. But we had gotten pregnant so quickly with James and my period took a long time to come back and even then wasn’t super consistent, so I thought maybe something was wrong. I also didn’t want to wait much longer.
Will you share the nursery?
Yes, I can’t wait to move and decorate a nursery and do all that, so I’ll hopefully be sharing it all once we find out where we’re going to live (fingers crossed).
How did you deal with exhausting while being a mom and working?
Honestly, I’m not doing a great job. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. Some days I come home from work so exhausted that the best I can do is turn on a movie for James and order takeout. There’s been a lot more screen time permitted, and I do feel guilty when I’m cranky and not super fun mom, but I’m trying to just remind myself it’s a phase. Still, I know when the baby arrives I won’t have as much time either, and I feel guilty enough about the limited time I do get with James as a working mom. But I just try my best and sometimes I do better than others. I also have been going to bed at like 8pm and I have no shame in my early bedtime game. The one downside is I haven’t had as much time to work on the blog, so I am sorry that I haven’t been able to create as much content and be as present on Instagram, but I’m hoping that now that I’m further in my pregnancy, I’ll have more energy. But it’s hard because you’re also trying to work your butt off at work to make sure everything is set before your maternity leave, so all around it’s been harder to have the energy to do it all, and I’m trying to just cut myself slack.
How did you find out you were pregnant?
With James, we found out by peeing on a stick and miraculously seeing it turn pink. We couldn’t believe it. This time, because we were undergoing fertility treatments, we took a blood test at the doctor that told us, so technically one of the amazing nurses who worked with our fertility doctor called us to let us know. I had some spotting a few days before the test and was certain it was my period. It wasn’t super heavy but wasn’t just a few drops of blood, and I was just certain that our latest attempt had failed and once again, we were facing disappointment. It was a week before we were leaving for Christmas vacation in Park City, and I didn’t think I could bear the news. I spent a few days in bed crying. My doctor still asked me to come in for the blood test, and as much as I was certain it would be negative and didn’t want the confirmation, I picked myself up and took the blood test and then tried to wait the agonizing 24 hours to get the results. We were on our way to spend the weekend upstate when I got the call. I prepped myself for the bad news, and lo and behold, she told me I was pregnant. I made her repeat herself like ten times because I couldn’t believe it. Looking back, I had some spotting, probably implantation bleeding, when I was first pregs with James, but so many times I told myself it was implantation bleeding and then my full period would come, so I couldn’t believe it was real this time. While it wasn’t the pee on the stick moment we got the first time or how I imagined it happening, it was still such an amazing surprise. One of the biggest of my life, and I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy.
When did you start to show?
I actually started to show pretty early with James, and they say you show even earlier with your second. I certainly felt like I started to show pretty early, but I spent nearly five months fairly successfully hiding it, so I guess I didn’t show as much as I thought. I also got really clever with my dressing. Although I feel like you always feel like you’re showing as soon as you find out, I would say my jeans stopped buttoning around three months or 12 weeks, and at four months I definitely had a bump. But at 20 weeks, I couldn’t really hide the bump and now I think it’s out and about but it also depends on the time of day and what I’m wearing. Today, for example, someone told me I look huge, but someone else said the day before that they couldn’t tell so who knows. Side note: I love how everyone just feels like it’s cool to comment on how you’re body looks once you’re pregs. I’m so happy to be pregs, I don’t really care, but it still always amazes me the things we say and do to pregnant women that we would otherwise consider rude (like touching strangers’ bellies…).
What’s your makeup and skincare routine?
I stopped using retinol and products containing ingredients like salicylic acid, which you’re not supposed to use when pregs and is hard for someone like me who still breaks out (because life is unfair). Last time, I wasn’t too crazy about changing my beauty routine besides banned ingredients, but this time, I have been much more cautious about what I’m putting on my skin and in my body. I really worry that chemicals and endocrin disruptors could be the reason I struggled to get pregnant (though it could be a million things), and why more and more women deal with infertility, and honestly, I just don’t want to expose my children to all those chemicals. I switched to natural deodorant, which I shared with you guys recently, and I have made huge strides to cut out a lot of products I previously used (even my eye cream) to be safe, and switched to body wash and lotion that are unscented and free of many of the ingredients that could be problematic. It’s funny because I only let James use all organic, all natural, mostly chemical free soap and lotion etc. and then I don’t even know what I’m putting on my skin etc. so I actually am using a lot of the same things I use for him. I’ll share more in a future blog post because I’ve tried so many different products and learned so much. The only thing I haven’t switched yet is makeup, but I am thinking I’m going to try Beauty Counter, which people love and the more I read, the more I get worried about the things I’m ingesting through my skin.
How did you know you were ready for a second?
As soon as I had James. No, really. Literally two minutes after I popped him out I told Andrew I was ready for another. He had always said I would go through Labor and change my mind about wanting at least four kids, but I definitely didn’t. I’ve always wanted a big family, and even though labor sucked (it’s horrible, awful and don’t let anyone tell you differently), I couldn’t wait to have another. I just always knew I wanted to be a mom, and to have a big family, and having James only reenforced that. We did wait until James was one to start trying. I wish we had started trying earlier in retrospect, but we were deep in baby world and I was promoted during my maternity leave and came back to a big job, and jugging it all was a lot, so it wasn’t until James was one that we felt fully ready. Well, I felt ready a few months before but Andrew wasn’t so ready. We did start trying a little before his first birthday, but I hadn’t gotten my period since having James (I breastfed until James turned one but started weaning a few months before so I was surprised I hadn’t gotten it). My doctor said it was normal though since I was still breastfeeding and gave me something to induce my period, which it did. After that, we thought we’d be good to try and get pregnant.
How has your diet changed?
I started a fertility diet before getting pregnant in hopes that eating cleaner and “fertile foods” would help me conceive. Mostly it’s just eating super healthy and eating more salmon and other good-for-you veggies and foods, sticking to an organic diet (which I was already pretty adamant about) and overall being as healthy as possible with my diet. I’ve tried to stick to that since finding out I was pregnant. I haven’t wanted to do anything that could possibly hurt the baby and wanted to do everything I can to ensure a healthy pregnancy. I even gave up coffee completely my first trimester (a big deal for me) and am only allowing myself one cup of decaf coffee a day (which I usually don’t even finish). I cheated on my birthday and had a Coke Zero at the movies and felt really bad about it, but it was my birthday, and fountain Coke Zero is so good. This isn’t to say I’m a complete angel. On weekends, especially, I’ll find myself being ravenous and wanting sweets and eating junk in the name of being tired and pregnant. But instead of saying certain foods are off limits, which I’ve done in the past, I’m just trying to eat in moderation and balance my choices. I don’t’ usually eat meat, but on weekends sometimes I’ll order a cheeseburger and I usually avoid dairy because I”m lactose intolerant, but I have been treating myself to a yogurt parfait for dessert on the regs. Of course I’m majorly craving sushi, so I’ve been trying to satisfy the craving with veggie rolls, which I’m currently obsessed with, probably because they have avocado and that’s probably the food I’ve craved the most this pregnancy. And as I said, I have gone ham on guac every chance I’ve gotten.
How did you hide your pregnancy for so long?
Honestly, it got super hard during the last few weeks, but I was lucky in that it was wintertime and a cold start to spring, so I could hide under layers and bulky sweaters. I am going to do a whole blog post on hiding your bump in those early months. I feel like I became a pro at it, but the last week before I spilled the beans, I wore my coat at work a lot because it was just too hard to disguise.
Are you taking a babymoon?
We had actually planned to take one this spring for both our anniversary and babymoon (I even posted about it asking for recs), but work got really busy for both Andrew and I and it was hard to coordinate. And then we got really busy trying to figure out where we’re going to live and have been in the throes of that (promise more on that soon), so it hasn’t felt like the right time to take a vacation. However, I really want to take a parents only trip before the baby arrives, even if it’s just a short weekend away this summer. I”m committed to making it happen, so let me know if you have any recs for where we should go.
How many kids do you want to have?
In my dream world, I would have four or five. Honestly, I would have a soccer team if I could, but realistically, I had always had my heart set on four. I never expected that I would have trouble getting pregnant — I thought the issue would be convincing Andrew we needed to have another and, of course, the logistics and economics of it all. Right now, I’m just so grateful to be adding another to our family. I was so heartbroken when I thought I might not be able to have another. I still really want to have at least three babies (or three planned, and one surprise fourth… shhh, don’t tell Andrew), but I’m not sure that’s in the cards for us given how much we struggled this time. I’m trying to take it one day at a time, but there are so many ways to grow your family that I am hopeful that I can still have that big family I always dreamed of.
What were the hardest parts about fertility treatments?
God, there were so many. It does a number on your body and hormones and it’s a huge time commitment to juggle, but what was the hardest part for me was the emotional rollercoaster. Starting the treatment and feeling hopeful, worrying it wouldn’t work, then having it not work, and feeling devastated and then starting the whole thing over again. There was so much pain and tears involved, but ultimately, it gave us this little life we’re now expecting and for that I would do a hundred times over again.
What are your favorite maternity brands?
I don’t love maternity clothes tbh. They just all look like church clothes or are ill-fitting, so I don’t tend to buy too many traditional maternity clothes, but I will do a whole post on this because I’ve found some good ones that don’t feel like maternity clothes. But a definite favorite of mine is Hatch, especially since you can wear it after baby too. I also love Shopbop’s maternity section, but I’ve found some good maternity clothes at every price point and even trendier lines that I’ll share in my next post.
How do you dress for work with a bump?
This definitely needs to be its own post too. I’ll work on that next, but lots of dresses and then jackets that I can wear with pants or jeans have been my go-tos.
Have you had any weird symptoms?
Not really. I mean I’m sure I have but not that I can think of off the top of my head. But definitely the usuals like having to pee every five secs and in the middle of the night, but luckily I’m not quite in the phase where you get all swelly and sore.