We always knew we wanted two children. D said he was ready to try for baby #2 whenever I was. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that offers a great maternity leave top-up, but that meant I had some rules around how long I needed to be back at work before I could take another maternity leave. Counting backwards from when a potential baby would be born, we decided to start trying for another baby as soon as I would be eligible for another mat leave.
When it was time to try again, I really hoped I would be one of those people who conceived immediately. Even though it took us a fair amount of time to conceive Littleman, I had heard lots of stories of women’s bodies “knowing what to do” the second time around, so achieving a second pregnancy was easy (or even a surprise!) for them.
So as to not waste any time, I had started tracking my monthly cycles as soon as my period returned. I breastfed Littleman for 14 months and my period arrived around 11 months after he was born. My cycles were pretty regular at about 30ish days.
Once we were ready to start trying, I decided to track my BBT and use OPKs right away. I figured there was no point in waiting but I also kind of thought it wouldn’t matter because we’d probably get pregnant right away.
It was starting to feel a lot like it did the first time. Doing everything we were supposed to do and still no pregnancy. I promised myself (and D) that I wouldn’t get so upset about it or stressed about it this time. I mean, we have a perfectly healthy and beautiful boy, so what’s to stress about? But, of course, inside I started to worry a bit. I hate things that I can’t control.
A bit different this time
One thing I started to notice once my period returned after breastfeeding was that my pre-period spotting seemed to go on for much longer than it did before I got pregnant with Littleman. Before my first pregnancy, I would usually spot for 2-3 days before the actual start of my period. Now, I was spotting for 6, 7, even 8 days! This couldn’t be normal, could it?
I went to see my family doctor about the spotting because I felt like it had to be hindering our chances of conceiving. However, she felt that, since I was getting a regular period every month, I was still ovulating and the spotting wasn’t a concern. I wasn’t totally convinced, so she sent me for an ultrasound to check things out. Everything looked normal according to the ultrasound, so the doctor told us to just keep on trying.
Sick and tired
December rolled around and Littleman came home with a nasty cold from daycare. He had a fever for a few days and was generally miserable so he was waking a bunch of times during the night for a couple of weeks. My lack of any sort of regular stretch of sleep led me to ditch the thermometer for this month. What was the point? My waking temperatures would be all wacky because my waking time was all over the place.
Then there were the holidays. D is a firefighter so his shifts had him working over Christmas. Littleman and I spent the holidays with my family at our vacation home so we only saw D the couple of times he was able to come visit between shifts. Since my fertile time would likely fall during the holiday break, I didn’t bother with OPKs either. Between dealing with Littleman’s cold, a lack of sleep and the distance from D, there didn’t seem much point in tracking anything this month.
Of course, we did manage to spend a bit of time together.
Happy New Year!
The holidays were over and it was time to go back to work. My period was due. Fun times all around! As usual, I had assigned myself a day that I was allowed to test if my period (or the telltale spotting) hadn’t arrived. That day was a Friday. I started getting excited when I woke up Thursday morning and there was still no sign of the beast. Then, of course, the dreading spotting appeared during a bathroom trip at work on Thursday. Boo. Another month bites the dust.
I braced myself for a full on period attack – or at least the onslaught of the spotting – but it passed quietly with just that one instance of a hint of pink. Hmmm. That’s weird. By the time I got home on Friday evening, I was totally antsy and couldn’t head into the weekend without testing.
Of course I know that first morning urine is the way to go when using pregnancy tests. But, for some reason, I just couldn’t wait. I had a couple of dollar store tests and some cheapo tests that I’d ordered from the internet, so why not? It was day 30 of my cycle and – aside from that one little wipe – I was spotting-free. This had to be good, right?
I snuck upstairs and took one of the dollar store tests.
You can see it, right? It certainly wasn’t a blazing positive, but with some squinting, I could definitely see a second line. And, as they say, “a line is a line!”
I casually showed it to D, who decided it was too faint to call and he wasn’t ready to commit to it being real. But, four tests later (including the real stuff – FRER and Clearblue Digital!) by Sunday night it was definitely real. I was pregnant!
This time felt totally different from my first pregnancy. First off, I wasn’t nauseous. At all. Frankly, it kind of made me nervous but I figured it was still early. There was plenty of time for the nausea to set in. Of course, the fatigue showed up pretty quickly, but then again, having a two-year-old will tire out just about anybody!
I went to my family doctor to confirm the pregnancy and get a referral back to Dr. P. She gave me a prescription for Diclectin, just in case the nausea decided to show up.
Somewhere around 6 1/2 weeks, I started getting some strange cramps in my lower left abdomen. It was kind of a pulsing/throbbing pain that wasn’t horrible but didn’t feel good either. I went to see my family doctor who wasn’t terribly concerned. She thought it sounded more bowel-related, but decided to send me for an ultrasound just to ease my mind.
The ultrasound tech started with an abdominal ultrasound and, while she was doing so, asked me a bunch of questions that scared the crap out of me. “Did you take a pregnancy test?” she asked. “Yes,” I answered (obviously). “And it was positive?” she asked. WHAT? “Yes,” I replied, shaking. “Blood or urine?” she asked. OMG! “Both,” I said.
She sent me to empty my bladder and then proceeded with a transvaginal ultrasound. By this point, I was on the verge of a massive freak-out. When she was done, she turned the screen and showed me the tiny little blob. She said it was the baby and that it was very tiny, but it was there. That was it.
Later that evening, I got a call from my family doctor. The ultrasound results were in. Things looked ok except that the baby was measuring about a week smaller than they would have expected, based on the date of my last period. She told me that could mean one of two things: my dates were off or there was something wrong with the pregnancy.
A bit stressed
This is when I began to kick myself that I didn’t track my cycle in December. The only thing I knew for certain was my LMP: December 6. However, according to my past cycles, I knew there was a very good chance that I ovulated later than day 14. I think, on average, I was usually closer to day 16, 17 or 18. So maybe that was it. Maybe the dates were just a bit off and that’s why the baby was measuring small.
To be sure, my doctor ordered a second ultrasound two weeks later. Going in for that second ultrasound was super scary. Again, I had a very quiet ultrasound tech. Again, she asked me questions like “did you take a pregnancy test?” SERIOUSLY?
Luckily, this time, the tech was much chattier once she finished the ultrasound. “I’m not supposed to say anything because your doctor will call you with the results, but your baby looks perfect,” she said. She showed me blob again and this time I could see the fluttering of the heart beat. The baby was still smaller than what would be expected based on my LMP, but it was right on track based on the measurements from two weeks before.
My doctor called to confirm what the tech said. Everything looks normal but they decided to change my due date. No big deal, just five days later. Sounds ok to me!
After that, the rest of the first trimester passed pretty uneventfully. I still didn’t have any nausea. No food aversions to speak of. In fact, I found myself cooking well-rounded meals most evenings for D, Littleman and myself. This was very different from my first pregnancy.
The only symptom that seemed to increase as the weeks went on was the breast tenderness. This was something I noticed very early on in my first pregnancy but it started a bit later this time. The dark, pronounced veins on my chest also started to show up.
Right at the 12 week mark, we had our first OB appointment with Dr. P. It was great to see him again and we felt so much more relaxed that we did the first time around. He did the usual first appointment paperwork, weighed me and then took my blood pressure.
Then it was time to check for the heartbeat. As he did with our first pregnancy, he warned us that it was still early so not to panic if he couldn’t find it. He put the doppler on my belly and moved it around. My own heart was pounding so hard I was sure it would distract him from finding the baby’s! But, after a little poking around, we heard the familiar woosh woosh of the baby’s heartbeat. Yahoo! It’s really in there!
After that, we were sent off for our NT ultrasound and bloodwork. The ultrasound tech was training someone, so I didn’t get to see much of the baby but D was sitting there the whole time and got to see our little munchkin kicking and waving. We got a picture to take with us and were told that everything looked good.
Sharing the news
Now that we had our ultrasound results and everything looked good, we were finally ready to spread the news. At this point, we were just past 12 weeks. We had decided to let Littleman be the one to tell our friends and family, so we made him a special t-shirt:
We took him to my parents’ house to share the news with them and then sent the photo of him to other friends and family who we couldn’t tell in person. It was so much fun! People were thrilled for us.
14 weeks 1 day
We had about two weeks of excitement, where we didn’t have to keep our secret anymore. Then, we found out that something was terribly wrong. And that is where our story on this blog begins…