(our first date, 2001)
(our wedding day, 2007)
(Anneliese’s birth day, 2010)
(Baby #2, 2011 – Due April 2012*)
Anneliese is amazed. T is skeptical and disbelieving (until I took the second test).
And, at the risk of de ja vu for some mutual friends,
- Yes, we were hoping and trying to get pregnant. We talked about it months ago, and talked with friends who had children spaced closer together and friends with children further apart, and decided it would be fun to have kids close in age.
- We had a VERY narrow window of opportunity. Skip ahead if you don’t want TMI. I appreciate when people share this stuff, so I’ll share too. I was in “lactation amenorrhea” which means I wasn’t menstruating (or ovulating) because of breastfeeding, until Anneliese was about 10.5 months old. I had ONE very short, very light period. Then, I started using these ovulation predictor strips so that I might have some idea of when an egg might be ready to go. I had an LH (lutenizing hormone, the one that helps an egg pop out) surge, then truly felt pregnant a bit later, but every test was negative. Like, a lot of them. Still no period though. I didn’t know what to think. And I got pretty sad when I realized that if I had my period, then by “cycle day 14” (average ovulation time) my husband would be on deployment already… On a whim, I tried another LH strip, and lo and behold, LH was present. The next 3 days it was positive for a surge, and then? A week and a half later, I got a positive pregnancy test (the first one I tried). So one cycle. Two “tries.” And perfect timing.
- Yes, Anneliese is still nursing. Lots. Frequently. And more when she’s teething.
- No, I’m not planning on weaning her. I just can’t imagine that. She is still my little baby, and we both still get so much from our nursing relationship. It’s a wonderful way to feel close, a comfort to her, and of course a nutritional safety net as she goes through phases of food preference while on the gradual journey of baby-led weaning. Since I had a breast reduction and subsequently learned of the huge importance of breastfeeding, I am grateful every. Single. Day. That I can breastfeed her, that I can nourish her, that I can nurse and nurture her with my body, not just with my heart. Every day, I’m amazed by nursing her. I will continue as long as it’s working well for both of us.
- Yes, that means I might be nursing a baby and a toddler at the same time. I am so excited about it. I see photos like this, and they strike me as so incredibly beautiful. I hope I get to experience that.
- We want to have this baby at home. Anneliese’s birth was overall wonderful. And it was in the hospital. But basically every part that wasn’t wonderful was due to being in the hospital. The lack of flexibility about monitoring, the hep lock placement, getting smashed in the legs by the falling shower seat, hitting my legs on the pointy parts under the hospital bed, an uncomfy room and small uncomfy hospital bed leading to fewer laboring position possibilities, having a midwife who wanted me to push on my back even though it was the most uncomfortable position to me (and it doesn’t allow the pelvis to open as much, or the mother to shift to help baby to tweak her position herself for birth), which I feel is the reason I “needed” an episiotomy, etc. Not to mention the gross hospital food afterward, the uncomfortable bed and too-high baby “crib” which made it hard to access Anneliese that first night, and my husband having to sleep on a fold-out chair. Then, getting stuck in the hospital because the hearing test machine was broken and they wouldn’t discharge us until we had tried the test about 4 times. And when they did discharge us, they were suspicious of our non-infant carseat (we knew we wouldn’t use the “baby bucket” so we got a convertible one that isn’t removable, but which starts at 5 pounds so is perfectly safe). And all we wanted to do was to cuddle our newborn baby in the comfort of our home.
- I know I can do it. I gave birth to Anneliese naturally, vaginally, with no drugs, IV, or any pain relief. I declined pitocin for bleeding or to augment the placenta delivery. Anneliese had no interventions after birth either. It was a marathon. I did it. However, if something were to go awry, we would have an experienced homebirth midwife with us (not sure who yet) who will be prepared with pitocin (to stop hemorrhaging, not to induce contractions) oxygen, and all sorts of other emergency goodies, and if we needed to transfer to a hospital, we are literally 2 minutes away.
- Speaking of marathons… I’m going to train for this. I remember how exhausted I was throughout my entire pregnancy with Anneliese, and I wasn’t as active as I would’ve like to have been as a result. But when my labor with her lasted so long and my legs both had charlie horses in them by the end, I learned how important preparation is. Not just intellectual/mental/emotional preparation, but physical too. I’ve been going for longer walks and bike rides every day, doing kettlebell swings, and doing push ups, tailor sitting, and pelvic rocking every day. I’ll write more about this later.
- I do have a “project” idea for this pregnancy, and I’m excited to start it.
- I will be solo parenting for most of my pregnancy. Life as a Navy wife throws you some challenges, for sure, but I’m so thankful to have so many wonderful friends here, especially in our La Leche League, and the Natural Parenting for Non-Hippies group I started earlier this year.
Please let me know what you’re curious about or what questions you might have throughout my pregnancy. I’ve said it so many times, but I appreciate when other people share the details of their experiences, and in return, I am very open about sharing mine.
*T didn’t believe me with the first test. He wanted “consistent, repeatable results.” The second convinced him.