So, suffice it to say, getting pregnant was a bit of a shocker. If you've followed along here for any length of time, you probably already know that we got pregnant with the girls through a pretty intensive IVF protocol which included a special process in which the sperm was injected directly into the eggs, because we couldn't even trust our own genetic material to know what to do when placed in a 3 inch across petrie dish. Special. I have fertility problems. Colby has fertility problems. We definitely would have been the first ones voted off of caveman survival of the fittest island.
Still, we decided in the late summer to go ahead and stop preventing a pregnancy, but it was more of a lark than anything. Neither one of us really thought that anything would come of it. We thought we would try for a few months, then when we moved back to the States, either decide two was enough or talk about pursuing further fertility treatments. Then, just about three months later, after a week of feeling totally run down, I decided to just go ahead and test. Just to prove to myself that all those weird pains and twinges I'd been feeling were nothing. And it was positive. One dark line and one very, very faint, but definitely present, line.
The only complicating factor was that it was 11 PM on a Thursday night. And we were leaving before the sun was up on Monday morning for the States, where I would be staying with family for the next five weeks. The clinic on base was helpful for once, and let me do a walk-in blood test just to confirm the pregnancy then get me into the system so that we could temporarily switch our insurance over to the Stateside branch and I could see doctors in Louisiana.
I went in for my first appointment at what I thought was probably around 6 weeks, and while they couldn't see much yet, there was definitely a sac and they scheduled me to come back two weeks later to make sure their dating estimate was correct. We'd been so busy, and I'd been paying so little attention to my cycles that I truly had no idea when we could have conceived. It couldn't be a more opposite experience than our first pregnancy.
Two weeks later, we spotted this little bean, and I started feeling like I could actually celebrate. We'd been awkwardly keeping things a secret from family up to the point that things were starting to resemble a British farce, with us sneaking around having secret phone calls while random family members popped out of the walls to ask us questions. My sister actually thought that we were setting up a surprise puppy adoption for my mom's Christmas present, bahaha!
Everything had been so planned and clinical with our pregnancy for Charlotte and Annabelle, we never really had the exciting surprise announcement for our family. This time we printed out a photo of the girls, and put it in a double-sided picture frame with a little note on the other side breaking the news, "Hey Annabelle, have you heard the news? You're going to be a big sister too!" It was really fun watching the jaws drop and seeing the shocked reactions from our families. Not that there hadn't been a great deal of suspicion each evening I'd said no thank you to the offer of a glass of wine.
This pregnancy has been different in a few ways. Morning sickness was a little worse, though fortunately still not terrible. I've been much more tired throughout, probably more a function of having two 3-year-olds than gestating. And my back has started hurting much earlier than last time. It's crazy to me that I'm actually in more pain with one baby than I was with two. I'm sure this has something to do with the fact that I'm four years older and also have the aforementioned toddlers who want me to cart them around 48% of the time. Also, it was free. That's a very good difference.
It's also been different in that we know exactly what we are getting into this time, and are having a little more anxiety about the introduction of a baby into our lives. I wouldn't change anything, but I'd be lying if I said I never stressed about how we're all going to handle this huge upheaval in our lives. I think back on that first year of motherhood and how unlike myself I felt. It took me so long to feel like I had a handle on things, and like I could successfully leave the house without disaster befalling all of us. I wonder how this third little one will throw off our center of gravity. I wonder how the girls will handle it and how they'll all get along as they grow older.
I worry about dealing with post partum depression again and how I'll handle the exhaustion if I can't just nap throughout the day because I have other kids now who need me. I worry SO much that we'll have to deal with colic again and I'll have another 4-5 months of incessant screaming ahead of me. And probably the most vain worry of all, what if all my hair falls out again??? Oh lord, that was so awful.
But perhaps most different is how little I actually find myself thinking about this pregnancy at all. I guess things have been pretty busy, but in fairness we were moving to a brand new country, traveling the world, and keeping pretty busy the first time too, and I surely was obsessing over registries and diapering options and the perfect nursery theme (okay, maybe I've been obsessing over the nursery a little). It's just this thing that I realize all of a sudden from time to time. Oh yeah! I'm pregnant! There's an actual baby in there! Which sends me into my panic spiral.
So... overall, things are good! I'm hoping to get into a new doctor here soon, and find out whether this wee little fetus of ours is of the male or female persuasion. I am hitting the halfway point, 20 weeks, tomorrow, and am a little bit in shock at how quickly this is flying by. I'm so scared to meet this little human, and also so, so ready. I've said before that I'm not really an infant person, my favorite age with the girls was 6-18 months (Two was also pretty great, three can die in a fire--can't we all just skip three?? Send them away to a Swiss boarding school that year or something.), but I've also really missed tiny baby cuddles. Watching all of those incredible firsts. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you somehow managed to score the cutest baby on the planet. I think it will be okay. I know we'll get through it.
I'd feel a lot better about things though if I had a floor. And a couch. And a bed. But that's another story...