When we last left off in the pregnancy updates, I was feeling good in Connecticut seeing family despite battling allergies or a cold, and I'd said goodbye to morning sickness.
Baby Size: A pomegranate
At the beginning of the week, we're in Long Island seeing my college friends, and I'm feeling pretty good but still fighting allergies or a cold. There's something about being with friends in the same stage of life that is so essential for the soul. You can talk about things that are relatively boring to other people (nap schedules! sippy cups! pregnancy pains!) but they also remember who you are as an individual, and you have all these awesome memories together. It's fun to see your friends and their husbands as moms and dads, and you need people around you with a shared sense of parenting humor. I feel like the secret to parenthood is this: don't do it alone. Find a HUGE network of people in the same boat, and nurture those relationships because you need each other, and your kids will love each other too one day. At the same time, nurture those friendships with your non-parent friends too. They provide you with much needed relief from kid talk and can encourage you and help you stay true to your goals outside of parenthood. Anyway, the week ends with a float with my cousins and a wonderful sprinkle for baby boy, and it's such a fun day. Our generous family and friends gifted us with some sweet outfits for baby boy, some big sister matching stuff too, as well as essentials for life with two kids. Seeing and celebrating with family fills me with joy, and I'm so glad my cousins were willing to go to all the effort to host a sprinkle (they hosted Willa's shower less than two years ago).
Baby Size: a bell pepper
Back at home with two weeks to go until the big 20 week ultrasound, I have some anxiety surface. I try to put that energy into writing, which is an effective strategy. It feels great to be back home and be in our normal routine, plus we try to soak up as much summer fun with Willa as possible (swimming, snowcones, farmer's market, etc). This week is special because I feel baby boy kicking for the first time! I felt movement earlier with Willa, so I was getting a bit nervous, and though I had some "maybe movement" before, 18 weeks is when I notice baby boy is definitely in motion. I start thinking about nursery plans for this baby too. I'm researching space saving solutions, so we don't have to give up the guest bed but also have a room that's mostly for baby boy. It's going to take some work (and serious closet cleaning), but I've already dedicated the summer to other projects, so it will have to wait.
Baby size: A mango
Sleep is a struggle this week! I keep waking up to pee around 3:30 or 4AM and not being able to go back to sleep. Willa is starting to get up closer to 5AM rather than 6AM (she's going through a transition to the toddler room at school), and the combination is pretty brutal. It's our last week of summer, and we definitely make the most of it. Brendan and I even go see a matinee of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for free thanks to Cinergy's teacher appreciation week. At the end of the week, Brendan gets to feel the baby move for the first time. He says that the kicks feel really strong. Miraculously, I have not pulled out the pregnancy pillow yet. I started using the snoggle much earlier in my first pregnancy, but I'm still able to sleep normally and be comfortable. Also unlike my first pregnancy, I've had no nausea or vomiting since week 14, so that part is great. Unfortunately, I think this baby is on my bladder more. I feel like I have to pee more frequently than I did with Willa.
baby size: a small banana
We go back to work this week, so I'm pretty exhausted. The couple of days leading up to our big ultrasound, I definitely have anxiety and even some tears. Hands down, the hardest part of pregnancy for me is not physical but mental and emotional. Thankfully, everything at our 20 week anatomy scan looks great. We find out that I have an anterior placenta, which is totally normal but explains why it took longer to feel this baby move (that just means his placenta is at the front of my uterus). Baby boy's brain, all four chambers of the heart, kidneys, stomach, diaphragm, bladder, spine, feet, profile, and bone measurements all look good. He's in the 25th percentile, so smaller than Willa was at this point but not a concern or necessarily indicative of what he will weigh at birth. His first weight estimate is 11 ounces. Just like his sister, he loves to keep his hands up by his face making it hard to get a good view. We don't get the fancy ultrasound machine, so I don't have guesses about who he'll look like just yet (I was accurate with my guess that Willa would look like her dad when she was born and have lots of hair!) I cry tears of relief and happiness throughout and feel so much better once the appointment is done. My weight is exactly the same as it was with Willa at 20 weeks, though since I started this pregnancy 7 pounds lighter than where I started with Willa, I'm up 13 pounds for the pregnancy (and, as I've written earlier, I think I showed much sooner this time). I've definitely indulged in my fair share of apple pie, ice cream, and snowcones as of late, but I do try to eat healthy otherwise, and Willa basically makes sure I never sit down.
Well faithful readers, thanks for following along with our baby boy's pregnancy journey. We'll be back in a month, pregnancy recap wise, with a weeks 21-24 update. Before then though, I'll have other adventures to tell you about, including back to school (we meet our students tomorrow). Please keep us in your thoughts, prayers, hearts, etc. as we continue to grow this baby. We're grateful to have your love & support!