I blogged all through my pregnancy with Lucia, but while I wrote about my pregnancy and pregnancy in general, I never did formal pregnancy updates ("bumpdates"). I don't regret it. I have so many beautiful memories of my pregnancy with my sweet girl and many more wonderful memories since her birth (and I have done regular baby updates).
With my second pregnancy, I feel much more called to memorialize it, because those 10 weeks of pregnancy (8 weeks from conception) are all the time I had with that sweet baby. I only knew I was pregnant for 5.5 weeks before I was no longer pregnant. But those were happy weeks, filled with pregnancy symptoms and plans for our baby. These are the only memories I have of our little one and today I want to share them so that I don't forget a thing and so that the world knows that my baby was real, he/she existed and was loved.
When/how did you find out you were pregnant? I got a positive pregnancy test on September 1st. My period was almost a week late and I was taking a pregnancy test every day and each one was negative. I wasn't feeling any pregnancy symptoms either, so I was sure that my cycle was just off that month. With Lucia, I kind of knew I was pregnant before I took the test and the first test I took, on the first day of my missed period it was positive. We were trying to get pregnant for several months at that point, so I was hoping for two pink lines, but I was actually pretty shocked when that second line showed up.
How did you tell David? David was in bed and I was in the master bathroom when I took the test (he knew I was taking it) so I didn't have much time to prepare to tell him. I tried to have Lucia bring it to him, but she wasn't having any of it, so I just gave it to him to see the two lines on his own. He was also a bit shocked and so happy that we finally had a baby on the way after months of trying.
When was your due date? May 8th, but considering Lucia was 8 days late, in my mind, I was planning on more of a May 15th arrival.
What pregnancy symptoms did you have? I didn't have morning sickness at all, but I did experience the usual fatigue (I often fell asleep during nap time while Lucia stayed up and caused havoc) and was particularly sensitive to dehydration. I had cramping early on (not associated with the miscarriage, it was in the earlier weeks from the stretching of the uterus). I was also very, very emotional - I'd cry through almost any Disney movie Lucia watched. And anytime Lucia held a baby doll because that proved she was going to be the best big sister ever.
How is this different from last pregnancy? The cramping that I mentioned above was new. Also, I had very little appetite this time. There was also more general discomfort - some back pain and sitting was super uncomfortable - which didn't happen until much later on last time. And a little bit of heartburn, which didn't emerge at all until the third trimester with Lucia. I had more obvious food cravings, whereas with Lucia I just wanted foods that I liked anyway. And of course, there are the differences that come not necessarily from a second pregnancy, but from having a toddler while pregnant. I certainly didn't get to relax and nap as much as I did the first time. Overall, I would say this pregnancy was easier though, without the morning sickness, I could easily dismiss the other symptoms as things that just happen normally once in a while in non-pregnant me.
What were your food cravings? Hamburgers (without the bun)! David had to make me/get me burgers several times during my short pregnancy. I always really craved spinach, especially in scrambled eggs, which is interesting because in my first pregnancy my midwife reviewed my diet and noticed that I was lacking in the dark, leafy greens.
How did Lucia react? She didn't really understand, but we did talk to her about the baby and she kissed my tummy sometimes. She's been around pregnant women a lot so she's pretty familiar with the idea of a baby in a woman's tummy. (Sometimes we'd ask, "Where is the baby?" and she'd point to her own belly though, so obviously she hasn't gotten that one all worked out.) We also watched birth videos (these ones from videographer Ceci Jane, which aren't graphic) and she loved them. She constantly asked (verbally and signing) for "more baby", meaning more birth videos! We were planning to have her present with us at the birth. After I lost the baby, she still would kiss my belly and talk to the baby, so we tried to explain to her what had happened. She's stopped doing that, so I think she's just forgotten about it, although we do plan to continue to talk about her sister/brother in heaven.
How did you prepare for baby? I already bought a few items at consignment sales and garage sales, mostly maternity clothes for me, but some things for baby as well. We really don't need much for another baby since we got most necessities for Lulu, but there were a few items that I would have liked for Lucia, wore out/were lost, or I thought we didn't have enough of. The bigger issue was that we didn't bring any of our baby stuff on our move - it's still at my parents' or on loan to my sister-in-law, so we were trying to devise a way to bring it out here before May. We were doing so much more to prepare for baby emotionally and spiritually. We were praying for our little one and I was looking up books for Lucia to help the transition to big sister go more smoothly.
Did you tell anyone? A few friends knew, but we hadn't told our families yet. We were thinking of calling our parents to tell them after our first appointment on October 8th. For David's brother and his wife, who had just welcomed their first child less than a week before our loss, we were planning to announce in a more fun way - I had ordered a "big cousin" shirt for Lucia and a "little cousin" onesie for my new niece, as well as a "middle cousin" onesie in the size that would fit her when the baby was born. We were going to have them open the "little cousin" onesie first, then the "middle cousin" one. (I ordered them from Ooe and Auti on Etsy and can't recommend them enough - I contacted them about canceling the "middle cousin" order and they were so sweet about it.)
In the next several weeks, I'm also going to be sharing my loss story (how we found out there might be something wrong and the actual miscarriage), how we've started healing, and how we are remembering our baby. On an ongoing basis, I'm also going to be sharing/reviewing, "Pregnancy Loss Resources".
If you would like to wrote about your own pregnancy loss, tips for healing, a resource that has helped you, etc., I would love to share it as a guest post. You can do so anonymously if you would like. Also, if you have previously written about the topic and would like me to share your posts/articles, please send me a link. I would like to start a resource page on the blog and will be frequently sharing links on the blog's facebook/twitter. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.