Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bean vs. Beastly

I promise not to compare my children too openly (and disparagingly) on the internet once they're both out in the world, even I know that's poor form, but I figure anyone in the womb is fair game. So here's the run down of my pregnancy at 16 weeks, as it compares to last time.

Baby's nickname
  • Ollie was "the Bean", still is. Common and cute. 
  • This baby affectionately goes by "Beastly". You'll see why
  • We didn't find out with Ollie, so I didn't know until the moment he was born. I thought that would be a great motivator for those final pushes, but given how his birth went down, I didn't really need the extra incentive. 
  • We're on the fence about finding out. My anatomy ultrasound is early in the New Year, so we've got some time to think about it. Chris really wants to know, but I feel like this is one of the few true surprises you can give yourself. Negotiations are in progress.
How I feel/felt
  • I remember feeling vaguely nauseous while I was pregnant with Ollie at first, and by the end I had wicked heartburn and mild sciatica but overall, my memory of carrying Ollie is of feeling pretty good.
  • Here's where Beastly earns the nickname. Until about a week and a half ago I was constantly nauseated and/or so weak with hunger that I had to lie down TWICE in the mall. Add a month long headache (non-stop) with a sinus infection, a week long flare up of more-than-mild sciatica and exhaustion and this baby is pretty much making me miserable. I'm hoping that means I should look forward to an easy birth. That's how it works, right?
  • I ate most everything when I was pregnant with Ollie, I wasn't a vegetarian at the time, and I know I had a regular hankering for deep fried treats!
  • So, I really wasn't eating meat and wasn't serving it at home to my family either, but around the end of my half marathon training and beginning of my pregnancy I hit an energy wall and felt like I really couldn't make it up any other way but to add meat back to my diet. I know lots of vegetarians who do a great job through pregnancy and athletics and etc., but between running, gestating and breastfeeding, I just needed all the help I could get. I'm sure I'll go back to a meat ban once the baby is born, but for now, I'm just trying to make the healthiest choices I can, without fainting in the mall.
  • I taught and practiced yoga a few times a week up until my 38th week of pregnancy with Ollie. I also biked and walked all over this city. I'd say I was in pretty good shape.
  • I started strong, running a half marathon at 8 weeks, but after that I pretty much brought my regular exercise routine to a screeching halt. This time around I've pretty much got in 38 minutes of yoga total and I'm physically paying the price already (see aforementioned sciatica). And I pretty much don't walk or bike anywhere - since I'm mostly working at home or hanging with Ollie. Of course, chasing that little guy around has to count for something. Our pre-Christmas time is extra extra busy this year, but once that passes, I'm planning on getting serious about my yoga practice, to stay strong for labor and try and bring my stress levels down a notch or two.
How I look
  • I didn't start showing in earnest with Ollie until I was about 20 weeks, and although I think I mostly stayed pregnant just in my belly (except for that one last, super bloated week before he was born), I gained 40 pounds overall, which seems like an awful lot, in retrospect.
  • I feel like I look totally pregnant already, but you'd have a different opinion on that depending on what time of day you saw me. In the morning, I'm practically flat stomached, but by dinner time I look about six months pregnant. Some days I literally have to change outfits three times as I outgrow my pants over the course of the day!
Taking care of myself
  • I had a few losses prior to my pregnancy with Ollie, and I had started seeing my naturopath Erin, the month before I found out Ollie was coming. Because I was so focused on maintaining the pregnancy, I was on a steady regimen of red raspberry leaf tea, nettle tea, acupuncture, and of course, pre-natal vitamins.
  • Uh, pre-natals, and really good intentions about acupuncture. That counts for something, right?

What I'm reading
  • While I was pregnant with Ollie I read What to Expect when You're Expecting (dreadful),  The Pregnancy Bible, the Birth Partner, Birthing from Within, The Baby Book and The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth.
  • This time: The Plot Against America, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and the first 120 pages of Infinite Jest (as far as I ever get into it).
I guess the major difference between being pregnant with Ollie and being pregnant with my second baby is that when I was pregnant with Ollie, pregnancy was my job as a mum and I wanted to do the best I could as soon as I could. This time around, being a mum is still my most important job, but I've got an actual walking, talking toddler to focus on, which means meditating about my growing baby and measuring servings of vegetables doesn't get as much attention as it could.

Plus, in some ways this time I have more faith that my body's got this. Obviously there are things I can do to improve my health and the health of this baby, but ultimately, human development moves along whether I force myself to read condescending pregnancy books or treat myself to a chuckle in the tub with Mindy Kaling ('s book). 


  1. what did you dislike about what to expect? was it condescending? i can't remember. birthing from within was a great neighborhood poolside read as i waited and waited for my kid to come out.

    1. For me it was mostly just frustrating because it constantly emphasized everything that could go wrong with a pregnancy. I felt like it didn't work for me because I was all ready aware of the potential for things to go wrong during pregnancy, but not really interested in considering those things to be practically inevitable. I'd never call myself an optimist, but I guess when it comes to pregnancy stuff I prefer more positivity! - and lots of other people do find it condescending I think, my ego is maybe just to big for me to pick up on it ;)


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