It’s hard to believe that just about 3 years ago I was sitting here at my desk (albeit it was November in Oakland and not September in Long Beach) writing out the words “A baby story” for the first time on the blog (check out the post here!)  And now here we go again!

Kevin and I have been looking forward to growing our family ever since Sirena was a little over a year old.  The journey has had its ups and downs–mostly only close family and friends know this…in October of last year I had a miscarriage.  We were 9 weeks along and I was, in a word, devastated.  It took months for me to recover emotionally from the loss and, to be honest, true healing came about after the due date passed and then when this pregnancy was confirmed.  It’s still a very real part of my life experience and I’ll never forget what the experience was like or how it impacted me.  I’m just so thrilled to be here at this moment writing about this new part of our journey which is now full throttle into making us a family of 5 (yes, Lola is still a big part of our family! That hasn’t changed a bit.)

4 weeks (baby’s the size of a poppy seed)

I’m starting the story one week earlier this time around, for a special reason.  At this point there was no way to tell if I was pregnant, it was still a bit too early to take a pregnancy test, but the hope was very much there in the back of my mind.  I was standing and putting my shoes on for work and Sirena asked if she could help me.  As she was helping me she looked up at me and said, “Mommy baby belly?”  I was in complete shock and had to sit down.  I said, “What, Sirena?” and she leaned her head on my belly and said, “Baby belly.”  I was pretty overwhelmed with what was actually happening and to this day I tell people that Sirena called this pregnancy before anyone else did.  🙂

Another fun tidbit is that I ran a 10k race that week!  I ran almost the entire way (and when I say run, I really mean jog…) and was so proud of myself for the weeks of training leading up to the race and for the time I clocked in.  It’s fun to look back and think that the little poppy seed of a baby was with me the whole way to the finish line.

5 weeks (baby’s the size of an apple seed)

After a long day of work on Aug 11 I came home to Kevin, Sirena, and Lola and was anxious to take a pregnancy test to confirm what I hoped was a pregnancy…and it was!  The months of hoping and waiting and disappointment were finally behind us.  I was overcome almost immediately with an intense fear that the pregnancy might end the same way my last pregnancy ended.  Kevin was the most amazing support through these few weeks of fear and I’m so grateful that things have been going as well as they could be.  We called Kevin’s parents and my mom and Steve right away to share the good news.

8 weeks (baby’s the size of a raspberry)

A few days before our first prenatal appointment, Sirena threw me for a loop.  She likes to kiss my belly and say hi to the baby and one night as she was saying good night to the baby she asked me, “Two babies?”  In utter disbelief I said, “No, no. Only one baby in mommy’s belly,” and she responded saying, “No, two babies.”  Oh, man…

One other fun Sirena-related thing that happened was we were taking a walk around our neighborhood and I asked Sirena what she thought we should name the baby.  She said, without hesitation, “Cody.”  I’m not even sure if she knows a Cody, not sure where she came up with that!  Too funny.

Our prenatal appointment had finally arrived on Sept 4!  We are going with a local birth center and our first appointment was with midwife Allison (our appointments will rotate between their multiple midwives so that we can become familiar with each of them as we won’t know who will be present for the birth).  She was very attentive and caring, just the way it should be in this line of work.  She told us that at this early stage we may or may not be able to see anything on an ultrasound and she asked if we wanted to try it out or wait.  We were hopeful because it was at 8 weeks when we saw Sirena for the first time on an ultrasound and so we told her we’d like to try.  I reached out for Kevin’s hand and we braced ourselves as the midwife took a look-see.  As soon as she said, “There! Do you see the little heart flickering?” I lost it.  I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude and joy and I couldn’t keep it together–I squeezed Kevin’s hand so tight and was sobbing there on the examination table.  Allison and Kevin continued looking around and I tried to as well through tear-filled eyes but it was hard to focus on anything other than pure relief.  It was incredible how much weight had been lifted from my shoulders after that appointment.

Our little blob…and there’s only one!

And here’s a link to a cute video of Sirena seeing the ultrasound photos

10 weeks (baby’s the size of a kumquat)

We had our second prenatal appointment on Sept 15 and this time Sirena came along with us!  This appointment was also with midwife Allison and it was longer than the first–talking about my family medical history, about my pregnancy with Sirena, Sirena’s birth, my recovery from the birth, etc. and talking about what would happen in the coming months and finally during labor and the birth itself.

Feeding her baby Honey some apples

Playing trains under the chairs with Daddy in the waiting room

What doctor’s visit is complete without playing with medical gloves?

The best part of the appointment is that we got to hear the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the heartbeat and confirmed that everything is still going well.  Sirena gasped when she heard the noise and she agreed with us that it sounded like a little helicopter in my belly.

12 weeks (baby’s the size of a plum)

I had been very excited and very anxious leading up to Oct 2 which was the day of our nuchal translucency ultrasound.  This ultrasound is done voluntarily around 12-13 weeks and is done in conjunction with a couple of blood tests which make up a prenatal genetics screening.  We went through the screening with Sirena and we wanted to do it again with this baby.  I feel like I was a ton more anxious this time around and I’m not really sure why.  I guess I was so afraid that they’d find something wrong or they wouldn’t find a baby at all and I had a lot of anxiety the week or so leading up to the appointment so I was so glad when the day had finally come.  And I’m so grateful to report that the little baby looks good and healthy!

It’s amazing what technology is able to show us today.  We were able to see the flitter, flutter of the heartbeat, both hands and feet, the cute little belly, the beautiful profile, the two hemispheres of the baby’s brain, and even the blood flowing from the umbilical cord…incredible!

Why hello there!

The little baby was bouncing around all over the place in there, it was so heartwarming to witness especially because I can’t feel the little bugger yet (I first felt Sirena at 18 weeks and I’ve heard [and I’m hoping] that it will be earlier with the second pregnancy).

Kevin and I were a bit disappointed by the ultrasound tech we were scheduled with.  With Sirena’s pregnancy it was at this nuchal translucency ultrasound that the u/s tech provided us, with 95% certainty, that Sirena was a girl and she provided us a really amazing 4D view (photo here).  The u/s tech told us that she didn’t like to make a guess without 100% certainty and she said that although they have the 4D technology she thought fetuses this age were too bony and didn’t look very cute.  Phooey.  Here’s hoping we have a fantastic u/s experience at our big appointment around 20 weeks.

Here’s a link to another cute video of Sirena and Lola checking out the u/s photo

13 weeks (baby’s the size of a peach)

Which brings us to the 13th week which is the very end of the first trimester.  Our close friends and family already knew the news for weeks and we had begun slowly telling other people in our lives about the good news but nothing is really official until it’s posted on Facebook, am I right?  Last time we used Lola to make the announcement (photo here) and this time we knew we had to include both girls in the announcement.

Batgirl and Wonder Dog to the rescue! You can rest assured that lots and lots (and LOTS) of treats (both kid and dog treats) were used in the making of this photo.

Other pregnancy updates:

  • How I’m physically feeling…: The first trimester is now behind me and goodness does it feel good to be on the other side.  The extreme exhaustion was fully present now like it was with my first pregnancy but this time around I had a 2 year old to entertain and run after which took it to a whole ‘nother level.  Just about every day I had to take a nap so the days I was with Sirena full-time I took advantage of her 2 hour nap mid-day and passed out.  Something else different this time around is a slight bought of insomnia.  I have to get up to pee once a night with this growing uterus but there are nights that I lay wide awake for an hour or two and cannot fall back asleep.  This sure helps with the first trimester exhaustion, I’m sure.  With Sirena’s pregnancy I didn’t get morning sickness at all and with this pregnancy I was again so fortunate to not experience it at all!  I did feel pretty nauseous for a few weeks in the beginning but that hasn’t been the case for a couple of weeks and I really do consider myself so lucky, knowing what some pregnant moms have to deal with.
  • How I’m emotionally feeling…:  I have been really emotional these past 13 weeks but things are starting to chill out some in the hormone department, especially knowing that so far everything is looking a-okay with the baby.  Just like last time my patience was wearing really thin the first trimester but I think things are finally starting to go back to normal.  One day in particular Sirena refused to nap (she’s only done that a handful of times) and it was so f’n hot and I was so exhausted I thought I was going to lose it!  But that was really the worst of it.
  • Total weight gained:  0 pounds so far (it wasn’t until 19 weeks that I saw the scale go up with Sirena’s pregnancy but I highly doubt it’ll be the same way this time!)
  • Food aversions: In the beginning I had crazy aversions to the same thing I hated during Sirena’s pregnancy which was mushy/savory sweet potato or pumpkin (sweet potato enchiladas, for example). I also naively tried to ferment some vegetables at home when I was maybe 6 or 7 weeks along for the health benefits and lord almighty, the sight of those carrots sitting in brine on my counter made me want to puke.  Even typing this out now at 13 weeks makes me feel sick.  Blech.
  • Food cravings: I’m a pescatarian (have been since 2010) and I never once craved meat when I was pregnant with Sirena…but this time around there were a few weeks that I really craved meat (and the thought of some seafood made me feel gross)!  It felt very strange to have those feelings again after so many years of not thinking twice about eating meat again.  The cravings have died down the past week or so so we’ll see if that changes again or not.
  • Next prenatal appointment: Nov 6th!