Update: End of the second trimester

Well, here we are, past that oh-so-arbitrary point of “viability” (not that I’m eager to test it!).  I’m about 25.5 weeks now, and the time remaining feels both short and long.  If all goes well, living child #2 will be here before we know it, although when I think about everything I need to do between now and then it seems like a lot.

It’s been an eventful few weeks for our family: my husband’s parents visited for two weeks, in the middle of which I went to two conferences for a week.  Then, we transitioned S out of his crib and into a big-kid bed (so that we wouldn’t have to buy another crib), and this week he has his first case of croup.  Poor little munchkin’s life is all topsy-turvy.  But he’s recovering this weekend, and hopefully will be back to normal soon.  I missed him like crazy while I was away at the conferences, and I’m glad I won’t have to go on any more long (>1-night) trips before the new baby arrives.

I think that it’s pretty common to feel this way, but my husband and I are both feeling the bittersweet nature of the coming transition: eager to meet the new baby, but also worrying about having less time for S and disrupting what has been a really, really fun stage of his young little life.  Despite what everyone says about the terrible twos (and despite the occasional tantrum), we are still finding every age more fun than the last, and it’s hard to imagine giving up our wonderful little family of three — especially thinking about going back to the difficulties of the newborn days.  Even though it’s clearly what my husband and I both want, quite strongly, and even though we want our son to have a sibling.  One thing that made me feel better about this ambivalence was reading this article about how your first child fills your whole heart, and your second child makes you grow a new heart.  Kind of corny, but there are lots of corny things that speak to me during pregnancy and parenting.

The good news is that this pregnancy has definitely been easier than my pregnancy with S, anxiety-wise.  When I think back to my emotional state during that pregnancy, I think I must have scarred S for life somehow (presumably cortisol-mediated) — I was in a constant state of panic and worry.  This time around, even though three of my previous four pregnancies have ended poorly, I have at least one normal, healthy pregnancy under my belt, which makes me more relaxed.  Unlike my pregnancy with S, I now have a much better sense of what’s normal and what’s not — when I was pregnant with S, I only had the one train wreck of a pregnancy with my daughter to compare with, so everything that happened during that pregnancy, normal or not, was suspect.  This time, if it happened during my pregnancy with S, I figure it’s probably fine.  I definitely have my moments of worrying that making it this far in the pregnancy will mean that it’ll be all the harder if it all comes crashing down the way my first pregnancy did, as well as moments of remembering my daughter and wondering why she had to die, but overall I’m just much more even-keeled this time around than I ever was during my pregnancy with S.

And oh, is S ever a great distraction!  I feel like I should be writing down more of the adorable things he does.  Some of them are already gone — for example, he used to call our dog “Bubba” (her real name is Goldie), which was one of his first jokes, but now he just calls her Goldie.  I love his babyish pronunciations, like “Naka-WEEN” instead of “nectarine.”  He has such a great sense of humor, and is really into knock-knock jokes (his favorite is: Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Boo.  Boo who?  Don’t cry, it’s only a joke!).  He has picked up some adorable expressions like “No way, Jose!” and “Oh dear!” and one of his favorite words is “cockeyed” (courtesy of his grandpa).  He’s also been really into song mashups, and will often launch into epic renditions of “Rain, rain, go away, Old McDonald had an itsy-bitsy spider E-I-E-I-O!” and then laugh himself silly.

Anyway, he is a riot, and he’s also a total mama’s boy right now.  I feel a bit bad for my husband, who handles it really well despite clearly having to hide his frustration once in a while, but it’s definitely a double-edged sword being the preferred parent.  I get more of the “Mama, mama, mama!” and more of the “I wuv you mama” endearments, but I am also required to carry him around all the time, can’t take a shower some days without wailing outside the bathroom door, can’t drop him off at daycare without a meltdown most days, and often have a toddler on top of me half the night if he’s had a bad dream or just needs snuggles (like he did when he had croup this week).  My body is his happy place, clearly.  I have no complaints, and I am generally happy to savor the snuggles while they last (it already makes me teary imagining when he’s a teenager and wants nothing to do with me), but I do worry that it’s only going to make things more difficult when he has to start sharing me with his little brother.  Yesterday, out of the blue, he said “Baby sleep in S’s crib?” which we thought was very generous of him since he just transitioned to a big-kid bed last week and still clearly has mixed feelings about the situation.  Those were also the first words out of his mouth this morning, so it’s already on his mind.  I hope he doesn’t have too much trouble adjusting to his new sibling — my mama guilt is already pretty strong.

And that’s the rambling update on where we are right now.  There’s a lot to do in the next three months, from replacing our expired infant car seat to moving my husband’s home office and converting the room into the new nursery — we’re planning to tackle some of it during our week of August vacation, since I’d like to get as much done as possible before classes start in the fall.  There’s still the part of me that fears assuming that everything is going to turn out OK, but the practical part of me says that it’s better to get it all done while I’m still relatively mobile and not drowning in teaching, and also that we’ve been through the worst once and will deal with it if it happens again (although I really, really hope that it doesn’t).  So, onwards!  Even if it doesn’t seem possible, I can feel this baby kicking away inside me, getting ready to meet his new family.  It’ll be a whole new ball game come November.

9 thoughts on “Update: End of the second trimester

  1. margen

    It’s so great your pregnancy is progressing uneventfully and that you find it easier to stay calm and hopeful. Thinking that the first-born must have been scarred for life is something I still find myself doing whenever my daughter’s behavior is less than ideal. I find comfort thinking that the ecstatic love of newly-found parenthood she received must somehow evened things out 😊.
    The article is spot-on! You do grow a new heart and it does take time (at least it did for me). It’s emotional, at times draining, but oh so rewarding (as probably everything related to motherhood are).
    I wish you absolutely the best for the rest of your pregnancy!

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thank you! And yes, I also think that the “ecstatic love of newly-found parenthood” probably evened things out for my son — that’s such a great way of putting it. 🙂 It’s good to hear that you feel the same way about growing a new heart. It’s so hard to know if you’re doing the right thing by bringing a new baby into the family — even if you’re pretty sure, you’re never totally sure. Thank you for your good wishes and thoughts.

  2. jwhitworth7

    Oh my goodness! You’re almost in the third trimester!! I’m so glad things have gone well and you find yourself more relaxed (even if only due to distraction).

    I totally understand the worry you have regarding adding another family member. I’ve read the article before and it’s so correct. I remember thinking “how will I love her like I love Luke?” And the truth is you just do. And seeing them together is truly the best thing in the world.

    Luke is in the same stage of only wanting me. He screamed this AM when my husband when to get him up. I can’t seem to pinpoint why other than he’s pretty set in his ways and routines.

    Is S in a twin or toddler bed? So glad he’s doing well! And I love his little sayings. I too miss Luke’s mispronunciation of things. He used to “Garby” instead of garbage and called his best friend Ella “yella” it’s kinda weird to think about now that he’s saying them correctly.

    Wishing you the best of luck as you wound out tri 2!

    1. lyra211 Post author

      S is in a twin bed. His crib was the kind that converts to a toddler bed, so we considered doing that easier transition, but since the whole point was that we wanted the crib for the new baby, we just decided to go all the way — also figuring that it’ll make one fewer transition down the line. S is tall (3’2″, already in 4T clothing), so he’d probably outgrow a toddler bed before too long anyway. We decided to just put a twin mattress on the floor, with foam bumpers under the fitted sheet so he can’t roll off the sides, and that seems to be working pretty well. It’s quite cozy, since with the two bumpers the fitted sheet makes a sort of hammock for him, and he actually rotates far less at night than he used to in his crib — he doesn’t flip himself head-down anymore. At the same time, we got him a toddler pillow (which he LOVED from the moment he saw it) and some fun sheets (green turtles — green is his favorite color, and turtles are one of his favorite animals), and overall he seems to have been rolled with the transition pretty well. Do you think you guys will go straight to a twin, or go the toddler bed route?

      1. jwhitworth7

        Luke and S are the same height! Tall boys! We will start with a toddler bed and then go from there. I’m so glad the transition has gone well for you guys!

  3. RJ

    Wow you have been BUSY!!!! I’m glad things are going well with your pregnancy, and it’s nice to hear your anxiety is a lot less this time around.

    S sounds so adorable! I love the singing! And I hope he’s feeling better from the croup.

    How did the crib transition really go? My toddler can already climb out and in (but she doesn’t at night) so we are just hoping to leave her in there as long as possible. I’m not ready for the toddler bed!!

    1. lyra211 Post author

      How did it really go? Well, mixed success, honestly, but like anything with toddlers, it’s so hard to disentangle one particular transition from what’s going on in the rest of their lives. For the toddler bed transition, we kind of accidentally-on-purpose did it at a bad time (right after I returned from a week of travel, right before grandparents left after a two-week visit, right before hosting 11 people in our house for the weekend, and right before S got croup). We’d been planning to wait a couple weeks for things to settle down, but practically speaking it made sense to get the bed while my husband’s dad was here to help him move it (I’m too pregnant to be carrying heavy things upstairs safely), and then S saw the bed and was really excited about it, and two of the 11 weekend visitors coming the next day were kids that S knows and looks up to (think pseudo-cousins) who were sleeping in “big-kid beds,” and S was so excited about all of this that he was actually asking to sleep in his big-kid bed the first night, so my husband and I shrugged and were like, “I guess we’re doing this!” Of course, even though he’s been super-excited to show off his big-kid bed, talk about it when our friends were visiting, and read books about Elmo’s big-kid bed, he still has had changes of heart and asked about his crib. But we’ve just been super-consistent, and I think the end of the transition is in sight. After a week and a half, he has slept for a full night in his big-kid bed exactly twice, but he has *gone* to sleep in his big-kid bed every night, and I think the middle-of-the-night freakouts have been as much attributable to all the chaos and illness as the big-kid bed itself. I mean, the croup on its own was so scary for us that it must have been scary for him, and with him as feverish as he was, no wonder he just wanted to snuggle with Mama at night! Similarly with all the comings and goings of family and friends — he is a mama’s boy at the best of times, but extra-clingy when his routine gets thrown off, so the clinginess is not actually that unusual given everything that’s been going on.

      We’ve definitely noticed improvement over the last few days as the croup has settled down and we’ve returned to our routine (last night was one of the two successes, and I praised him like crazy this morning for sleeping all night in his big-kid bed!) and as long as we can get him back into his good sleep routine by the time the new baby comes, I’ll be satisfied. I am very glad that we followed the advice to do the transition months and not weeks before the baby arrives.

      So anyway, that’s our story! I don’t know if S was ready or not, but the funny thing is, he has never actually gotten out of the bed on his own, even though he totally can. He just behaves exactly as he did in his crib: if he wants to be picked up, he sits up and calls for me until I come to get him. I’ve heard the same thing from my friend who did the transition with her similar-age daughter the same week. Kids are such creatures of habit. 🙂

      1. RJ

        I’m glad the end of the transition is in sight! You’re right, it’s so hard to tell if things are going wrong due to just being a toddler or if there is something else! It’s incredible that he treats it like his crib in that he still calls you to get him out. I hope he’s feeling better and that the rest of this transition works itself quickly!

      2. lyra211 Post author

        Heh… not to jinx us, but he’s now slept all night in his big-kid bed four nights in a row, so I think we’re officially through the transition (knock on wood!). Considering the laundry list of toddler-disrupting events in the last two weeks (mom coming back from week-long trip, grandparents leaving after 2 weeks, 11 visitors in our house for a weekend, and croup), I’m actually pretty satisfied with how it went. 🙂 It’s so cute to walk into his bedroom in the morning and see him just sitting up in his bed waiting for me. I wonder how long it will take him to start getting out and wandering in the morning!

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