Friday, 20 October 2017

Baby Sister

(Content: second pregnancy, siblings, ultrasound photos added maybe later)

I don't have a sister, and Mr. Turtle doesn't have a sister, so "baby sister" means.....AJ is going to have a sister! Sprite is a girlie!

Since I last updated in August, I've returned to work, which mostly accounts for the lack of posting: I've been floundering in Too Much To Do for weeks. This week I finished individual program plans and parent meetings, which is giving me at some space to breathe (lots still on the to-do list, but at least I don't have my face in the computer every available moment during workdays and weekends). I don't feel like SuperTeacher/SuperMom, not even close, but I feel less stressed. I can actually take a few minutes to myself and not give a !@#$.

Pregnancy update:

19 week ultrasound was at the beginning of September. Sprite looked good, and was identified as a Girl! whee! This will be my first life experience with sisters (I didn't even have close female friends until I was older). I hear they fight all the time, and are best friends, etc. I am quite particular to say "a girl" and not "another girl" because the latter can sound dismissive in my opinion. Sprite is not Another Anything: she is a freaking miracle baby, and treasured as such.

My mother was concerned that Mr. Turtle would be disappointed the baby wasn't a boy. Uh, no. He had actually deternined the the odds were in favour of a girl, since he understands things about genetics and statistics. I think he said 5/8,  chance; don't ask me how he came up with that number. But as one of 3 boys, apparently he has more chances of having girls than boys. I always assumed sperm were 50/50 distribution but I guess not. Anyway, the way I see it the "girl sperm" were the fastest  and strongest, and who am I to argue with that.

We had to do two ultrasounds as they couldn't get all the photos the first time. It was actually fun to get two looks, and it felt like we saw a lot more the second time. The procedure was done by a student and a preceptor, and the preceptor had to explain everything, which meant we had a better idea of what we were seeing.  They called the baby "cute" and "photogenic" with which we totally agreed....

I still have a fibroid near the cervix, same as last pregnancy. I'm not concerned about it especially since it wasn't an issue before, but it means at least one more scan in 3rd trimester.  The first ultrasound at 19 weeks showed "marginal cord insertion" meaning the cord was near edge of placenta, but when they looked a second time they said it wasn't marginal anymore, so either the first photos were unclear or it changed.

I feel lots of movement now, and it is sometimes visible from the outside. Of course this is lovely and reassuring, and I currently don't have any worries about this pregnancy, though I take things a week at a time. So lucky. I'm also quite big and noticeably pregnant, enough that "what's your due date" is a common conversational opener. I definitely feel awkwarder and heavier and I really don't like getting up from a squat position. I have been keeping up my stepdancing (easier class, drop ins) and so far I don't have any issues with my ankles twisting. I'm hopeful that dancing will keep them strong and improve my balance as things get more unwieldy. I haven't been able to schedule any prenatal yoga yet.

One thing that's different from last pregnancy is I have great hair. When I pregnant with AJ I always felt like I had a dirty mop on my head. My hair was so greasy. Now it is thick and glossy and so well balanced I only wash it every 3 days. The other side of that though is I have struggled with shampoo. It started at around 12 weeks when I went to the stylist and pampered myself by buying some fancy shampoo. Problem was it had this weird smell, like olive oil, that grossed me out.  I didn't want to get rid of it because I paid so much money, but finally I had to. I looked for another which I thought had no was OK for a while and then it started to disgust me too. So now I'm using an organic shampoo that smells like peppermint, which so far is not making me gag. It's a pretty trivial problem in the big picture of things but still annoying.

Speaking of the nausea, it's mostly gone. I went off the medication completely around 20 weeks and survived. For a few weeks I would get occasional waves of intense nausea, which mercifully would pass after a minute or so of deep breathing. Those too have become increasingly rare though. I don't miss that aspect at all! Other than the fact I am easier fatigued, I am following a regular busy routne with no major problems. I have a good appetite most days, even at dinner which was usually the meal I didn't want.

I have had less round ligament pain than first pregnancy. I guess things just stretch easier.  Speaking of which I have no stretch marks or anything like that. I did not have them with AJ either. Lucky again I guess. I have a lot of veins showing.

Last week I was 24 weeks, so we are at viability, which is awesome. November marks the beginning of the 3rd trimester, which seems kind of crazy, but I feel intensely happy and privileged that this process is proceeding smoothly and well....proceeding.  There is nothing like the growth of new life to make me feel the passage of time, but the feeling is sweetened by the expectation of a promise fulfilled.

So, emotions and mental stuff? My biggest struggle has been coping with the busyness of work and trying to have enough time and attention to divide between family/health/pregnancy/work. On top of that I got quite sick with a bad cold / sinus infection for a couple of weeks which didn't help. I feel like I don't have much time to process the fact I'm pregnant or a second child is incoming just because I am always so distracted. I wish I could dwell on it more, take it in. Of course, it is due to the fact things are going well that I can have this distracted attitude. If they weren't, the whole shmozzle would come crashing down and I wouldn't even care. So anything I can possibly complain about is really due to amazing good luck.

I do have moments of "wow" and it's starting to sink in that I get to give birth again, and have a newborn, and it's actually a very joyful thought. Right now I am only remembering the amazing, thrilling parts of the process so it's all positive. If/When we get around to doing more actual preparations for the new baby I'm sure these feelings will intensify. So far I've only cleaned out a closet which was a big accomplishment but only one of many steps that has to happen. Because we have a smallish house and we use every room, we have to do some pretty major reorganizing before we have a space for a new baby's room.

We should meet with our doula soon, which should be awesome since we haven't seen her since the week after AJ was born. I've shown AJ some pictures of her so she has an idea who she is. We also have maternity/family photos scheduled for end of November.

AJ is also awsome. She is 3 in two weeks and I hope to have more of a "real" birthday party with a few kids. So far I believe 2 of AJ's friends are coming and I'm hoping two more, but I've procrastinated getting contact info for AJ's daycare friends so I'm hoping to run into them. Or maybe just start distributing business cards, because whatever gets the job done. We'll finalize plans this weekend, now that I have more of my brain back. I've told Mr. Turtle he has to actively plan because I suck at this stuff.

AJ has been processing that there is another baby on the way, in her way. She calls her "baby sister" and talks about things she will do with her when she's born. She expects that baby sister will inherit all her baby furniture, which is true. She also talks about how Spiderman (her doll) has a baby sister, Talking Baby (her baby doll).  It is quite adorable. AJ has been fascinated with babies for a few months so I think this is pretty good timing. AJ is well on her way to being a little girl. She is mostly potty trained during the day and is regularly discovering new interests as well as being very conversational and imaginative. Since this is a long entry already, I'll save AJ updates for another time.

Sending love and light to everyone, wherever your path takes you.

And when your river runs high
Let it flow, let it flow
It's your time with life to let your garden grow
And when your burden gets rough
Let it go, let it go
Let your strength return on every breeze that blows

-from Island Girl, 


  1. Oh, what a lovely update! Congrats on more information on Sprite -- how exciting. I love that you say "a girl" instead of "another girl" -- I hadn't thought about it but it does sound different now that you mention it. Also, I love the word "shmozzle." May things continue on an upward swing and I'm so glad you are done with your paperwork (for now, ha, special education is just cycles of paperwork, right?) and can take a breather.

    1. I learned the word shmozzle from my fellow special ed teacher this year. Haven’t stopped using it since. Glad you enjoyed the update and yes there is always more paperwork: but I’ll still enjoy the break!

  2. Yay for reaching viability! Also, so curious now on how Mr. Turtle reached the 5/8 number :)

  3. Wonderful that everything is going so well! SB keeps asking for a big brother, totally overestimating my capabilities beyond the reproductive issues. She also loves babies right now, I think 3 must be an awesome age to become a big sister.

    1. Heh, that’s too funny about SB wanting an older brother. Who knows where kids get the ideas. Yes, I think at 3 AJ is capable of thinking things through and using her imagination, so hat helps with preparing for unknown situations. Plus she’s seen daycare buddies get younger siblings. It was painful for me when she started to notice and comment on that but now I’m glad. Im really grateful for the whole situation even though I can’t forget how precarious are the chances that got us here.

  4. What a lovely update! Congrats on having a girl :) My sister is seven years younger than me and as adults we are best friends! So I think the sister relationship is something special. But I know every family is different. Does the third trimester start at week 27 or 28? I find it so confusing working out which month I'm at since some calendars count pregnancy as nine months and others as ten. I'm two weeks from viability stage now, looking forward to that!

    1. ps it sounds like AJ will be an amazing big sister!

    2. Thank you! Good to hear the positive thoughts on sister relationships. Life is about embracing the unknown. I'm not really sure what is the official week; depends whom you ask. But my due date is Jan 31st so the last 3 months start on Halloween. Tee hee! Sending good thoughts to you.

  5. Yay! A girl! I was super excited when we found out Bubs #2 was a girl- I had all these thoughts about hand me down clothes and not needing to buy more things!! Of course, I neglected to think about winter clothes vs summer clothes, and my full term Bubs #2 is already, at 8 months, wearing clothes her sister wore at 12-18 that theory can jump out the window!!

    My sister and I got on great as kids and I am 3 years older than her. We aren't so close anymore, but it is still a special relationship! Bubs#1 and Bubs#2 will hopefully develop that in the near future but right now it is all "No, mine!" and little spats from big sister- little sister is so in love with big sister until big sister snatches away a toy! Watching them interact is so much fun though!

    1. Thanks! I am hopeful for hand me downs too...but I'm sure Sprite will have plenty of her own kit as well, for all kinds of reasons. So excited for the sibling relationship!

  6. Congrats on a girl! Sounds like everything is going well despite being very busy.

  7. What an awesome update! So happy for you and growing baby girl. I hear you on the no stretch marks the first pregnancy... second pregnancy was the same for me until a mega growth spurt in the 37th week when crazy, scary, stretch marks appeared and totally caught me off guard. So fun to meet up with your doula again and chat about AJ's birth while preparing for Sprite's birth. Happy 3rd birthday AJ!

    1. Thank you. Yes, there are no far things have gone smoothly, and I'm looking forward to them being no more challenging than the last one...but of course I have no idea! Not terribly worried about stretch marks either way: I'm very comfortable with the possibility of "battle scars" from my pregnancies.