First trimester has come and gone, and I'm sitting comfortably in the second (im)patiently waiting for that burst of energy I vaguely remember with my first. I wouldn't say my pregnancy is flying by, it definitely feels faster with a toddler to keep me distracted and busy. However, like any pregnancy there were some highs and lows over the last fourteen weeks. Luckily, this isn't my first rodeo and I was more prepared for what my body could want or need this time around.
I was not surprised by a positive pregnancy test on Mother's Day. My period was over a week late and my temperatures were running a tenths of a degree higher than normal. If that sounds foreign or insignificant to you, I would totally recommend popping over and reading my posts about NFP (Natural Family Planning), which is the method my husband and I use to help avoid or achieve pregnancy depending on our season of life. Josh and I were both thrilled with the news! We knew we wanted a second practically seconds after having our first; our little family was growing!
I had pretty standard first trimester symptoms a few weeks after finding out, including exhaustion, a sensitive stomach, and tender breasts. I'm not normally a nap-taker, but I've been napping alongside the toddler since the end of May and am not looking forward to giving up that rest time come August. With my first, I felt almost guilty wanting to nap. This time around, I have a deeper appreciation for how hard my body is working and am doing my best to listen to my body and give it the rest it is begging for. I think that's my biggest piece of advice for any pregnant folks out there--don't be afraid to nap if you need it! You're literally growing another human being. Rest if you need it!
I wouldn't describe my upset stomach as morning sickness, but I definitely needed to keep something in my stomach for a few weeks to prevent that sour feeling. Coffee did not agree with me at all, so it was much easier to cut out than it had been last time as well. Crackers, fruits, hummus, and a few less healthy options seemed to do the trick getting me through the icky feelings though and by mid-June, it had subsided completely.
I now know better how important exercise is when pregnant to help avoid things like stiff, sore backs and aching calves come third trimester. I've really tried to commit myself to a brisk walk or yoga at least 3-4 times a week. I won't lie... I'm not doing as well as I should. I really enjoy the Yoga with Adrienne channel on YouTube or the DownDog app but other than that, I'm struggling to take care of my exercise needs. I don't mind investing a bit in this, but I don't want to pay for something and then not commit to it. Any tips for someone with a toddler who returns to work in a two short weeks? Drop them in the comments. I need all the help I can get with this!
Although I've already addressed this some, a serious symptom this time around has been anxiety about the baby. God's abundance has really carried me through despite last September's miscarriage and the deep-set fear that accompanied this one because of it. Thankfully, I have a compassionate midwife who understood and helped me get an early ultrasound that me see our little munchkin bopping around.
The last thing I want to mention is that we've already started talking to to our little guy about the baby. The ultrasound is hung up on our fridge and he knows that its the picture our our baby. I encourage him to gentle with my non-existent bump and we snuggle with stuffed animals (called babies or buddies at home). I praise good, gentle behavior with the "babies" and will point out storybook characters who are being good big brothers. Now, this may be a little premature but I firmly believe that toddlers are smart little cookies. I also know that my particular guy is extremely routine-oriented and this baby is going to turn his little world on its head. This is the best way I know of to help prep him for such a big change come "snow-time" when the baby comes.
I think that's all for now, friends. I'm looking forward to that first pop I'll get to feel of Baby moving and finally showing (which took forever last time and I have feeling it will again). Until next time!
I recently joined a group on Facebook looking for support because about a month and half ago, my fertility officially returned! Right around the six-month post-partum mark, I got to break out the menstrual cup and Midol for a good ole fashioned period.
Why do I sound so excited about my fertility? Because it means that I am healthy! It also means that I can now get back to charting my cycle and have sex with my husband knowledgeably rather than anxiously because we had NO IDEA what was going on with my body. But then my cycle returned and we can make informed decisions again!
But let me tell you, if charting without an infant was difficult at times (because I hadn't fully formed the habit of taking my temperature yet), it is going to be a challenge to form the habit around the sporadic sleep schedule of a teething baby.
But guys? It really is worth it. I have seen so much negativity on several NFP/FAM (natural family planning/fertility awareness method) online communities about how much the method sucks, on how it can ruin a marriage (!?), and why people hate it... and I'm sorry but I find that ridiculous! And I think it all comes down to your mindset regarding your fertility. Female fertility is not a curse! My cycle, in all of its ups, downs, and outputs, is freaking beautiful.
FAM post-partum is not going to be a walk in the park, but this is something I believe in for myself and my family. Why? Because there is so much more to charting than just trying to avoid (or achieve) a pregnancy. Charting helps us learn about and care for our bodies by answering questions such as:
1.) What's going on "down there"?
Taking your temperature every morning helps you to be conscious of not only when you ovulate, but when your luteal phase will begin and when you will menstruate. No more getting caught of guard and needing to run to the store for tampons! And as a mama, that's such a nice perk!
2.) How's my health?
Did you realize that your water consumption directly effects your cervical fluid? You can actually tell through charting if you are hydrating well or not. A lethargic phase that shouldn't be is an indicator that you're not sleeping enough. There are other things as well, like your nutrition and exercise. All of it contributes to your cycle and your cycle can tell you how you're doing, sort of like a progress report.
3.) Why am I upset?
I'll be the first to admit, hormones and I are not the best of friends. I really am so susceptible to PMS, specifically emotionally. Charting helps me to be conscious of the fact that my hormones are shifting right and I have tendency to feel more sensitive and dramatically when this is going on. It helps me check myself and make sure that the level of emotion (not the emotion itself) is appropriate to the situation and avoid overreacting.
I'm currently reviewing my FAM lessons I have taken over the last two years and have made my number one goal for January to intentionally chart. If anyone would like to re-commit or try charting with me, let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Facebook or another social media platform.
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