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    The First Trimester of My Second Pregnancy

    The First Trimester of My Second Pregnancy

    As soon as my husband and I decided to start trying for a second baby, I began documenting my journey. Here I share the first trimester of my second pregnancy.

    The First Trimester of My Second PregnancyTrying to Conceive

    January 15, 2014

    My husband and I have decided to make some big changes in our lives. First, my husband has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of an online company. The promotion means a more secure future for our family but also means that he needs more time to devote to his career. Thus, as of Monday, I will be resigning from my position at the library as of the end of January. In addition to becoming the primary caregiver of our daughter, my becoming a stay-at-home mom who does some freelance writing to help out with the bills means that my husband and I can seriously think about expanding our little family, which means trying to conceive a second baby.

    Until recently, my husband and I had planned on adding another baby to our family once our daughter Poppy reached kindergarten. Although the number of children that I personally wanted has bounced back and forth between one to two to four and even six, I now currently want to add a second baby to our family sooner rather than later. As of the beginning of January, my husband and I have started trying to conceive a second baby.

    Because I am still breastfeeding our daughter, trying to conceive a second baby may take a little longer than the first time around. After the loss of my first pregnancy to a miscarriage, I stopped ovulating for about six months. Once I started ovulating again, however, my husband and I conceived our daughter in just two cycles. Because of the hormones associated with breastfeeding, my menstrual cycles have been even more irregular than usual. I also think that I have low progesterone as a result of the breastfeeding hormone prolactin. I am suspicious that my hormone levels are not conducive to trying to conceive a second baby because I have been experiencing a week or more of light spotting before my period begins. Even if I am ovulating, my body may not be hormonally ready to conceive another pregnancy quite yet.

    Although my husband and I have started trying to conceive a second baby, I am in no rush to get pregnant again. Breastfeeding is so healthy for both my daughter and me, so I am not ready to attempt weaning her just yet. Plus, she is very happy continuing to nurse a few times a day. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond as mutually desired by mother and baby. My plan is to let my daughter continue nursing for as long as she wants. I may get pregnant during that time, or I may not. If I do conceive, I plan to continue allowing her to breastfeed during the pregnancy if she wishes.

    Making the decision about trying to conceive a second baby is a huge decision for a couple and a family. With the recent awesome changes in terms of work for both my husband and me, my husband and I have decided that now is the right time to start trying for another child.

    When did you start thinking about trying to conceive a second baby?

    January 23, 2014

    As I previously wrote, my husband and I started trying to conceive a second baby at the start of the year. Today is day 26 of my cycle. Unfortunately, despite my hopes for a speedy conception, I am probably not pregnant yet. Because I am still breastfeeding my daughter, my cycles have been all over the place since my first postpartum period at seventeen months postpartum. However, despite irregular cycles, I have noticed a few signs that my period will soon be starting.

    Prior to the birth of my daughter, my menstrual cycles were irregular and often long. My cycle could be as short as 28 days or as long as 42 and any number in between. Only when I started charting my cycles did I discover that I do not ovulate on the same day each cycle. I also discovered that I did not necessarily ovulate each month. Extended breastfeeding of my toddler daughter has made my cycle even crazier than usual, thus making trying to conceive a second baby a little bit harder. Although both my cycles and my periods have been on the shorter side lately, I am by no means regular. I am also not charting my basal body temperature, so I have no idea whether I am ovulating or not.

    Nonetheless, I am pretty sure Aunt Flow is on the way within the next couple of days. For the past several months, I have been experiencing some light spotting for up to a week before my period started. The spotting has been heavy enough to need a panty liner but not heavy enough to be the start of my actual period. As my nurse practitioner tells me, almost any period weirdness is normal while breastfeeding. Most likely, my pre-period spotting is the result of low progesterone, which in turn in the result of high prolactin. Prolactin allows my body to produce milk for my daughter. Progesterone supports pregnancy. But prolactin can suppress progesterone. In other words, my hormones are out of whack and making my cycles more irregular than normal.

    My husband and I, fortunately, are in no hurry with our attempts at trying to conceive a second baby. Sure, I would love to get pregnant right away, but I really am in no hurry. Especially with my leaving my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom, adding to our little family is a priority but not a rush. Plus, as my husband reminds me, we already have one beautiful daughter. When and if we have another baby will be a joyous bonus. And, honestly, I would be a little disappointed if a second baby was not in the stars for me, but I am definitely content being the mommy to one gorgeous little girl. Until the morning that I get some happy news from a peed on stick, I will continue to document my journey with trying to conceive a second baby.

    How long did you try until you conceived your second baby?

    February 22, 2014

    Fertility Chart February 21, 2014Although I am absolutely in love with my daughter and would be more than happy with one child, my husband and I have started trying to conceive a second baby. We are currently in our second cycle. However, because I am still breastfeeding my toddler daughter, I have no idea whether I am actually ovulating each menstrual cycle. I did not get my first postpartum period until seventeen months postpartum. My cycles since that time have been widely irregular. Thus, in an attempt to determine whether I am ovulating, I started charting my basal body temperature and cervical fluids after my last cycle.

    Fertility charting works fairly simply. A basal body temperature (BBT) is the lowest temperature attained by the body during a twenty-four hour period, which is usually attained during a period of rest. Prior to ovulation when the body is dominated by estrogen, basal body temperatures remain low. However, after ovulation when progesterone dominates, the BBT rises an average of approximately half a degree. Cervical fluids change throughout the menstrual cycle. Clear, stretchy cervical fluid is a sign of fertility.

    In terms of cervical fluid, my body is following a pretty typical pattern. Little to no fluid immediately after my period followed by dry, tacky fluid, then stickier white fluid, and then finally the egg white cervical fluid indicative of fertility. Based on my cervical fluids, I was most fertile between cycle day 15 and cycle day 20 of my current cycle.

    However, my basal body temperatures tell a different, and much more confusing, story. I started taking my temperature on cycle day 7. At first my BBT remained low and fairly regular. However, after a few days, my temperatures started bouncing around wildly. I cannot find any pattern in my temperatures, and I definitely do not see a noticeable rise indicative of ovulation.

    Together my basal body temperatures and cervical fluids do not offer a clear sign of ovulation. I still have no idea whether I am ovulating or not. The lack of pattern in my fertility chart could mean that I did not ovulate during my current cycle. The crazy temperatures could also be a result of my breastfeeding my daughter once during the night. She still likes to nurse once a night at random times, so the wide variation in my BBT could be a result of a lack of a consistent period of rest.

    Although I was hoping to determine whether I was ovulating or not, my fertility chart for my current cycle is wildly unclear. I could be ovulating, but breastfeeding may also still be preventing me from ovulating. I simply have no idea. In the meanwhile, my husband and I plan to continue trying to conceive. (I may also try using an OPK next cycle in another attempt to demystify my body.) I will most likely start ovulating again in the near future, especially when my daughter decides to stop nursing. And, if not, I have my beautiful daughter to continue to care for and raise, so adding another baby to our family is definitely not a dire situation.

    February 24, 2014

    Could I be pregnant with my second baby already? My husband and I actively started trying to conceive only at the beginning of January. Because I am still breastfeeding my toddler daughter, I am unsure whether I am ovulating or not. Charting my basal body temperature proved no help. My temperatures bounce all over my chart, indicative either of anovulation or of disrupted sleep. However, over the past couple days, I have experienced some symptoms that may indicate implantation and pregnancy.

    First, today and yesterday I have noticed creamy cervical fluid. Looking back at my older fertility charts, my cervical fluids changed to a dry, sticky consistency before my period. During the cycle in which I conceived my daughter, my fluids changed to white and creamy during the two days prior to my first positive pregnancy test. I also experienced two days of super light spotting prior to the creamy cervical fluid. Could the spotting be implantation bleeding? Could the noticeable change in my cervical fluids indicate that I am pregnant?

    Second, I have felt a little off over the past few days. My allergy symptoms have gotten considerably worse despite that I recently started taking a new nasal spray, which is safer during pregnancy. I had stopped taking my preferred Flonase after my period ended in January. As my allergy symptoms worsen, I decided to start using cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom), a Category B medication. I had started to notice my nasal symptoms getting better up until a few days ago. Last night I experienced a lot of congestion and had some difficulty catching my breath. One of my biggest complaints during my pregnancy with my daughter was my horrible allergy symptoms. Could my new problems with allergies be a repeat of my previous pregnancy?

    My stomach has also felt a little off this morning. My queasiness could be the result of the excess mucus from my nose dripping into my stomach. Then again, I experienced months of morning sickness during my pregnancy with my daughter. I could be imagining my current queasiness, or I could be pregnant.

    I am crossing my fingers that I actually am pregnant again. With my daughter, my husband and I needed only two ovulatory cycles to conceive. I am currently in my second cycle of trying to conceive a second baby. I guess that only time will tell whether I am pregnant again or not.

    Week 5

    March 4, 2014

    My Second Pregnancy Fertility ChartExciting news! Today I am four weeks and five days into my pregnancy with my second child. As I wrote a few days ago, I suspected that I might be pregnant. I was hopeful but did not want to get my hopes up. I had experienced a few days of light spotting, which usually signals an upcoming period. However, because I am still breastfeeding my toddler daughter, my cycles are a little all-over-the place. My basal body temperature was absolutely crazy. So, instead of rushing to take a pregnancy test, I decided to wait until I was at least eighteen days post ovulation.

    Based on my interpretation of my cervical fluids and basal body temperatures, I believe that I ovulated on February 13. If so, today I am nineteen days post ovulation. The luteal phrase of the menstrual cycle rarely lasts more than sixteen days except when a woman is pregnant. Although I had stopped charting my temperatures a few days after I suspected that I ovulated, my period did not come within twelve to sixteen days as expected. Thus, I started suspected a pregnancy.

    Second, because I am breastfeeding, I have been spotting for up to a week before each period. A little over a week ago, I experienced a few days of light spotting. However, then the spotting stopped without a period. I suspected that the light spotting was the result of implantation bleeding. Again, however, I did not want to get my hopes up. Breastfeeding significantly affects hormones, so I decided that I was just having period weirdness because of the breastfeeding.

    Positive Pregnancy Test March 4However, when I woke up this morning, I decided to take a home pregnancy test. I used a Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator. After waiting a few minutes, I checked the test, and, much to my pleasant surprise, the test read “Pregnant 2-3.” The test confirmed that I am pregnant with my second child. Additionally, the test confirmed that I am two to three weeks past ovulation. At four weeks and five days, I am in my third week post ovulation.

    To tell my husband the big news, I snapped a photo of the positive home pregnancy with my phone and texted him with the message “Good morning daddy.” He immediately came in the house from his office with a smile on his face. After lunch today, he and I called our midwife to tell her the news and to make sure that she could provide our prenatal care and attend the birth. By my estimates, I am due around November 6. Of course, if this baby comes four weeks early like my daughter, he or she may arrive as early as the first week of October.

    Because of our previous loss, my husband and I have decided not to tell anyone our big news until after our first appointment with our midwife at around twelve weeks. I am definitely excited about my pregnancy and my upcoming second child. I am excited that my daughter will soon become a big sister. However, I am also a little scared and nervous. Regardless of my fears, I am definitely pregnant with my second child. Time to get preparing! After all, I have only approximately thirty-five weeks until my due date!

    How far along into your pregnancy were you when you received your first positive pregnancy test? How did you feel?

    Week 6

    March 7, 2014

    Today I am five weeks and one day pregnant, meaning I am already in week 6 of pregnancy. At six weeks into my pregnancy, my baby-to-be is already the size of a lentil. I am still not quite in belief that I conceived my second child so quickly. Yes, I have the evidence of a positive pregnancy test in hand, but I doubt that I will truly accept that I am pregnant until my first appointment with my midwife in about six weeks. That I am expecting my second child has not hit me yet.

    So far I have had very few concrete pregnancy symptoms. As I previously mentioned, I did experience some light implantation bleeding a little over a week after I believe that I ovulated. The few days of spotting was followed by an increase in creamy and occasionally sticky cervical fluids. Increased cervical fluids are a sign of early pregnancy. The body wants to protect the developing embryo from harmful microbes, so the cervix produces extra fluids to flush bacteria and other germs out of the vagina. I have also noticed myself making more trips than usual to the bathroom. Frequent urination is a common early pregnancy symptom.

    Because I am still breastfeeding my toddler daughter, I have noticed some breast and nipple soreness. When my daughter nurses, my nipples are a bit more sensitive than usual, similar to the sensitivity that I felt during my period, only a bit stronger. I am also feeling a bit more fullness in my breasts. My daughter does not seem to notice any changes in my milk yet. Eventually my milk will change back to colostrum as my pregnancy progresses. My daughter may or may not notice or care. When my period returned, I worried that she might notice a change in taste, but she continued to nurse as enthusiastically as ever.

    Another pregnancy symptom that I have already experienced is some slight nausea. For example, this morning I woke up, made myself some chai tea, and ate a banana. I then took my iron supplement. Because I had low iron with my pregnancy with my daughter, I want to prevent the same issue by continuing to take my daily iron pill. However, shortly after I took my iron supplement, I felt ill to my stomach. With my previous pregnancy, I often threw up after taking my prenatal vitamins. I did not throw up today, but I did feel quite queasy and spit up a little. Luckily for me, my daughter is such a big helper. She made sure that I had my throw up bowl next to me as I rested on the couch for a bit. And, although I would prefer not to experience the same couple of months of morning sickness as last time, I do take solace in knowing that morning sickness around week 6 of pregnancy often means a healthy pregnancy.

    Did you breastfeed while pregnant? Did you experience morning sickness during pregnancy?

    March 9, 2014

    Breastfeeding a toddler during another pregnancy is a rewarding, yet sometimes uncomfortable, experience. My toddler daughter is almost 27 months old. Today I am five weeks and three days into my pregnancy with my second child. Although she is an older toddler, my daughter still enthusiastically nurses multiple times a day. And I have absolutely no plans of weaning her from breastfeeding.

    For the majority of women, breastfeeding during pregnancy is perfectly safe. As long as I consume enough calories and drink enough water on a daily basis, my unborn baby will receive enough nutrients to grow and develop properly. Because I am still breastfeeding, I have been very careful about eating and drinking enough. I actually weight almost 10 pounds less now than before my pregnancy with my daughter because of the extended breastfeeding. Once I lost all my pregnancy weight plus some, I realized that I need to eat more each day to maintain my weight. I shall continue to eat enough each day now that I am pregnant.

    I also drink a lot of water and water-based tea throughout the day. I drink at least two 32-ounce cups of cold brew tea a day plus some hot tea in the morning and water, milk, and other liquids throughout the day. I am in no danger of dehydration! In fact, although I have noticed myself running to the bathroom more often than usual, only part of my more frequent urination is a result of pregnancy hormones. The main reason is that I am trying to drink even more each day now that I am breastfeeding during pregnancy.

    The only possible concern that I with breastfeeding during pregnancy is that breastfeeding stimulates uterine contractions. I also know that these uterine contractions are of no concern for women with normal pregnancies. The oxytocin released during breastfeeding that causes contractions is actually good for a developing baby as well as for me and my toddler daughter. I also know that the majority of women over the course of human history have breastfed during pregnancy. If breastfeeding during pregnancy were unsafe, the population of humans on earth would be significantly smaller right now.

    My only complaint about breastfeeding during pregnancy is some slightly soreness and discomfort. Nipple and breast tenderness are common symptoms during pregnancy. I have already noticed some tenderness. When my daughter latches on, I also feel a slight twinge of pain that quickly subsides to slight soreness. The pain is not enough for me to stop nursing my daughter but enough that I notice the difference. Once my daughter has nursed a few sips, I am pretty much fine again. The initial twinge feels a little odd and throws me off a bit.

    I would love to tandem feed my newborn and my toddler daughter. If she continues to nurse throughout and after my pregnancy, I will happily breastfeed two children at the same time. Breast milk remains nutritionally sound throughout pregnancy. Plus breast milk is so good for my daughter. However, breast milk does change during pregnancy. My daughter may notice a change in taste as my pregnancy progresses. On the other hand, she may not notice or may not care. She may also decide to stop nursing sometime during my pregnancy. Or she may not. Either way, I am leaving the decision to wean up to her. Until the day that she decides to stop, I will continue to breastfeed her — pregnant or not.

    Have you ever breastfed while pregnant?

    Week 7

    March 16, 2014

    Positive Pregnancy Test March 16Today I am six weeks and three days into my pregnancy, meaning that I am in the middle of week 7 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a blueberry, having doubled in size since last week. I took another home pregnancy test this morning just to make sure that I actually am pregnant. I used a Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator again, and, after a few minutes, the test read “Pregnant 3+.” When I took my first HPT, the test read “Pregnant 2-3.” The change from “Pregnant 2-3” to “Pregnant 3+” means that the pregnancy hormones in my body have increased — definitely a good sign.

    So far in my pregnancy, I have already experienced some early symptoms. First, I have been dealing with some minor morning sickness. I quickly discovered that I need to eat something immediately after I wake up or I feel sick to my stomach. Ramen noodles seem to do the trick. The combination of salt and carbs calms my stomach considerably. I must also eat more frequently throughout the day to keep myself from feeling queasy.

    I have also been experiencing breast and nipple tenderness, especially when I nurse my daughter. Although I do not want to wean her, I have encouraged my daughter to find other foods or activities when she asks me for milky throughout the day. Sometimes I can distract her. Other times she definitely wants to nurse. She still nurses before her nap, at bedtime, in the morning, and sometimes during the night. She also nurses once or twice during the day. As long as I can tolerate the discomfort, I plan to continue breastfeeding her until she decides to stop.

    In addition to my other symptoms, I have also been feeling a bit more tired than usual. A few times this past week, I have taken a nap with my daughter during naptime in the afternoon. I usually put her down to sleep and then work on writing at my computer. However, I have been so tired that I have actually napped with her this week. I have been getting up at least once a night to use the bathroom, and I have not been sleeping as well as usual in general. Combine the less good quality least with the fact that I am growing a new little person, and I am definitely more tired than usual.

    I have also been dealing with some pregnancy fears. Because my husband and I lost our first pregnancy to a miscarriage, I am definitely afraid of losing this pregnancy as well. Aside from our daughter and our midwife, my husband and I have not told anyone else about the pregnancy. My toddler daughter knows that mommy is “tummy sick” sometimes because of the “mommy baby tummy,” but I do not think that she truly understands the pregnancy. I am too afraid to tell anyone else quite yet for fear of losing the pregnancy. Although I have some other worries that typically come with a second child, my biggest fear right now is another miscarriage.

    To assuage my fears, I keep reminding myself that morning sickness is a positive sign. I have heard and read that morning sickness is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. With my first pregnancy, I did not have any morning sickness. With my pregnancy with my daughter, I was queasy and nauseated for months. I am hoping that my current queasiness is a repeat of my healthy pregnancy with my daughter. That the second pregnancy test I took changed from “Pregnant 2-3” to “Pregnant 3+” is also a good sign. My pregnancy hormones are apparently rising.

    In addition to the fear of miscarriage, I am also worried about the change from one child to two. How will my daughter cope with a younger sibling? Will she be overjoyed at becoming a big sister? Or will she feel jealous and angry at the new baby? Will I be able to handle two young children at once? What if I neglect my daughter for the new baby? What if I neglect the new baby for my daughter? How will I manage two children of different ages at once? Of course, I cannot answer any of these question until after the baby is born, and I will probably be just fine as a mommy of two children, but I am a little worried about my ability to cope. My fear seems pretty common among parents adding a second child to the family.

    All in all, my pregnancy as of week 7 seems to be progressing just fine. I have some typical early pregnancy symptoms, and my fears are also pretty common among second-time moms and women who have previously experienced a miscarriage. Now I must just sit back and wait for time to pass, all while enjoying my current family and my current pregnancy.

    Did you have any early pregnancy symptoms? Did you have any pregnancy fears?

    March 19, 2014

    When I lost my first pregnancy to a miscarriage, the only sign of any problem prior to the actual bleeding was some unusual discharge and spotting ten days prior. When I first noticed the discharge, I immediately freaked out. I took a pregnancy test, but the test came back positive, so I tried to remain positive. Ten days later, however, the cramping and bleeding began. Although I count September 15 as the day that I lost my pregnancy, I believe that the baby actually died on September 5.

    I am now feeling a similar sense of dread with my current pregnancy. Earlier this afternoon, I made a trip to the bathroom and noticed a larger amount of slightly brownish discharge. Increased vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy. However, this particular discharge stopped me in my tracks because of the similarity to the discharge from my first pregnancy. At six weeks and six days pregnant, have I lost my current pregnancy to another miscarriage?

    Only time will tell whether I have experienced another pregnancy or not. I will continue to keep a close eye on my body, and I will try to remain positive. The larger amount than normal of discharge could simply be a normal symptom of pregnancy. However, because of the way in which I lost my first pregnancy, any extra discharge makes me uncomfortable. I truly hope that my pregnancy is fine and that I am not about to suffer another miscarriage. I would be devastated. In the meanwhile, I am off to hug my beautiful daughter who is currently reading to herself in the other room.

    Week 8

    March 25, 2014

    Today I am seven weeks and five days into my pregnancy, meaning that I am nearing the end of week 8 of pregnancy. Measuring just over half an inch long, my baby is now the size of a raspberry in length. Although I am not showing yet, my uterus has grown from the size of lime to the size of a grapefruit. My biggest complaint this week, however, is tummy troubles.

    As with my pregnancy with my daughter, I have been experiencing almost constant queasiness. I have not thrown up yet, but I have spit up a few times. I simply feel queasy most of the time. Triggers for my nausea include certain foods, foul smells, brushing my teeth, and taking my prenatal vitamins. My toddler daughter is very helpful, bringing me my “throw up bowl” when needed. Sometimes I find myself dry heaving at random moments, but I have yet to vomit. I am not sure which is worse, dry heaving or vomiting. At least vomiting is productive.

    The worst offender for my queasiness at the moment is the smell of a dirty diaper. Thank goodness that my husband works in an office in our garage. I would not be able to change poopy diapers without him. The mere smell of poop sends me to the bathroom, ready to vomit. To make matters worse, my breast milk is changing into colostrum, which has a laxative effect on babies. My daughter is thus producing more and stinkier dirty diapers. Although, I have found that wrapping a towel around my nose during diaper changes does help curb the nauseating effect of the smell.

    Because I lost six pounds at the beginning of my pregnancy with my daughter and because I am still breastfeeding my daughter, I am being careful to consume enough calories each day. Together the pregnancy and breastfeeding mean that I need about 600 extra calories on top of my regular caloric needs each day. I have found that fruit smoothies and juices calm my stomach sometimes. I am not really a fan of juice because of the high sugar content and lack of fiber, but I drink what I have to in order to consume enough calories. I am also making sure that I drink enough water to keep from getting dehydrated. Sometimes I do not want to eat or drink, but I force myself anyway for the sake of my baby, my daughter, and myself.

    Although constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy, I seem to have the opposite problem. Irritable bowel syndrome runs in my family, so I am used to irregularity. However, I now find myself heading to the bathroom even more often — and not just for the increased frequency of urination also common during the first trimester. Additionally, my intestines feel gurgly most of the time. I am also burping a lot more, which my husband finds a little funny because I hardly ever burp except when pregnant. I am just one big digestive upset at the moment due to tummy troubles during week 8 of pregnancy.

    Did you have any digestive problems during pregnancy?

    Week 9

    March 30, 2014

    Today I am eight weeks and three days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am now in week 9 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a grape. Measuring nearly one inch long but weighing no more than a fraction of an ounce, he or she is starting to look more and more human every day. Although I am not really showing yet, my waist is definitely a little bigger as my uterus, which is about the size of a large grapefruit, continues to grow inside my abdomen. Even some of my stretchy leggings become a bit uncomfortable around the waist by the end of the day.

    In addition to feeling a little fuller around the middle, I am still dealing with the almost constant queasiness of morning sickness. I still have not thrown up, but I do find myself feeling sick and dry heaving quite a bit. Smells are the biggest culprit. Thank goodness my husband works from an office in our garage. Otherwise, he would come home to poopy diapers and vomit on the floor of the nursery when I attempted to change our daughter. However, my biggest complaint this week is not my morning sickness. Instead, I am sick of the increasing number of pimples appearing on my face.

    When I am not trying to conceive or pregnant, I like to use facial cleansers and lotions that contain salicylic acid. However, because the potential harms of salicylic acid — which is related to aspirin, a chemical known to cause harm to developing baby — have not been well studied, I have opted to not use the acne fighter before or during pregnancy. So how am I dealing with my increasing pimples?

    First, I am using Activated Charcoal and Bamboo Powder Face Wash Scrubbies from Diva Stuff. The scrubbies contain bamboo powder, charcoal powder, and grapefruit oil. Charcoal is a detoxifier that leaves the skin feeling super soft and smooth. The bamboo powder gently removes dead skin cells. The grapeseed oil tightens and tones the skin. Additionally, each scrubby can be used more than once. I can use a single one for more than a week because I spot treat my pimples instead of cleansing my entire face. The ingredients in the scrubbies are quite powerful and can cause dry skin, but I definitely think that my Diva Stuff Activated Charcoal and Bamboo Powder Face Wash Scrubbies help reduce the length of time I have a single pimple.

    I am also using the Blemish Bomb from Diva Stuff. The spot treatment cream contains acne-fighting tamanu oil, tea tree oil, and primrose oil as well as clary sage, lemon oil, and peppermint. With my previous pregnancy, I used plain tea tree oil to treat my pimples with some success. The additional ingredients in the Blemish Bomb coupled with my use of the Activated Charcoal and Bamboo Powder Face Wash Scrubbies have definitely help minimize the lifespan of my pimples.

    Although I still have pimples on my chin, below my nose, and on my forehead, my current skin care routine seems to have helped control my pregnancy-induced acne. I typically wash my face with Cetaphil, then use an Activated Charcoal and Bamboo Powder Face Wash Scrubby, and follow up with some Blemish Bomb. My skin appears to clear up a few days faster than had I used just Cetaphil and some tea tree oil. Pimples during pregnancy are definitely an annoyance, but I seem to have found a gentle skin care routine free from potentially harmful chemicals that is helping control my acne.

    Did you experience extra pimples during pregnancy? How did you deal?

    Week 10

    April 6, 2014

    Today I am nine weeks and three days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am in week 10 of pregnancy. At a little over one inch in length and weighing no more than a quarter of an ounce, my baby is now the size of a kumquat and is officially a fetus (rather than an embryo). My first prenatal appointment is scheduled for April 24, less than three weeks away at the start of week 13 of pregnancy. So, how am I currently feeling, and what early pregnancy symptoms am I currently experiencing?

    My biggest complaint remains tummy troubles during pregnancy. I still find myself suffering from occasional queasiness and nausea, although I do appreciate that my morning sickness is not as severe with this pregnancy as with my pregnancy with my daughter. I have still not thrown up, and I have not lost any weight. (Last time, I lost six pounds during the first couple weeks of my pregnancy.) Additionally, instead of heading to the bathroom more frequently than usual, I now seem to suffer from constipation during pregnancy, another common tummy trouble during pregnancy.

    In addition to my tummy troubles, I have also begun to grow a little rounder around the middle. My regular jeans and leggings are no longer comfortable. I cannot even fully button some of my jeans. Just yesterday I stopped at a thrift store and fortunately found a comfy pair of maternity jeans for super cheap. I additionally plan on wearing a lot of stretchy skirts and flowing dresses once the weather warms up to better accommodate my growing belly.

    Not only do I look a little rounder around my middle, but I can also feel my ligaments stretchy and my internal organs moving. Sometimes I feel little stretching pains in my abdomen, stretchy that results from my expanding uterus and growing baby. I can also feel some bumps, which I assume are some internal organs, moving slightly out of place in my abdomen. Again, as my uterus grows to accommodate my growing baby, my insides will also move around to make room in my pelvis and lower abdomen. Plus, because my body is already stretched out from my previous pregnancy, I am feeling the changes in my body earlier. Last time at around week 12 of pregnancy, my midwife could not feel my uterus yet because of my strong stomach muscles. This time around, I can already feel my uterus because of my pre-stretched muscles.

    I am also starting to experience some lower back pain. With my previous pregnancy, I began suffering from some pains in my lower back also during week 10 of pregnancy. For the past couple of days, I have been feeling some twinges in my back and hips. As I right these words, my lower back is feeling quite sore. As with my previous pregnancy, I expect the soreness and pains in my lower back to continue as my body changes and my belly expands.

    Finally, I feel much more tired than usual, although some of my fatigue during pregnancy seems to be lessening as my pregnancy progresses. Part of the reason for my unusual tiredness is that I am not sleeping well at night. I find myself waking up at least once to visit the bathroom because of the more frequent urination associated with pregnancy. I then find myself having trouble falling back to sleep. Sometimes I lay awake for up to two hours before I finally doze off again. I also find myself feeling uncomfortable in bed. Although I usually sleep on my stomach, laying facedown is no longer comfortable on my abdomen. Thus, I must reacquaint my body to sleeping on my side. Furthermore, growing a tiny person, but a tiny person nonetheless, requires a lot of energy, which also accounts for my increased fatigue.

    All in all, however, my pregnancy with my second child seems to be progressing quite normally. Now I am anxiously awaiting my first prenatal appointment on April 24, at which time I should hear the heartbeat and will hopefully feel less stress. The risk of miscarriage decreases significantly after week 12 of pregnancy, so I plan to share my happy news after my first appointment. In the meanwhile, I will sit back, take care of myself, and try to enjoy my pregnancy.

    What symptoms did you experience as you entered the second trimester of pregnancy?

    April 7, 2014

    As with my pregnancy with my daughter, I am currently having a heck of a time finding foods that sound and taste good now that I am pregnant with my second child. During my previous pregnancy, I lost six pounds during the first trimester due to ongoing and relentless queasiness and morning sickness. Because I am currently still breastfeeding my daughter while pregnant, I have been extra careful about consuming enough calories each day to sustain both the pregnancy and the breastfeeding. However, my pregnancy diet is far from perfect and is definitely not as healthy as my diet before pregnancy.

    Although I tend to avoid sweet foods and drinks because sugar, corn syrup, and other sweeteners leave me feeling sick to my stomach, I find myself now craving sour-sweet beverages and candies to calm my queasy stomach. As with my previous pregnancy, eating a few Sour Patch Kids makes me feel less sick to my stomach. I have also been craving sour-sweet fruit juices, orange juice and raspberry lemonade in particular. I hate consuming all the extra sugar, but the sour-sweet flavor is the only thing that allows me to eat sometimes. I am trying to limit my intake to only a few Sour Patch Kids and no more than one to two glasses of juice a day.

    Before getting pregnant, I ate pretty healthy — a lot of vegetables, some fruits, some lean protein, whole grains, and some dairy. At the moment, however, I can no longer stomach milk except with my fiber cereal. Because my husband had to dash out of town last week for an unscheduled business meeting, I ended up pouring an entire gallon of spoiled milk down the drain. For the time being, I plan to buy no more than half a gallon of milk at a time.

    I have never been a huge fan of meat, but I have been trying to eat some animal-based protein a few times a week. At the moment, though, I am also having trouble eating meat. I still enjoy tuna, salmon, and other sea food (which I must limit due to the mercury), but chicken, beef, pork, and other meats turn my stomach. Fortunately, beans still taste good, so I am not skimping too much on my protein. I am also eating tuna in particular about two times a week, which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Peanut butter is another good source of protein, which I am eating more often on whole wheat white bread. Plus, eating peanuts during pregnancy may reduce the risk of allergies in my future child.

    For the time being, I am approaching meals one food at a time. I can no longer make plans for lunches and dinners because I never know which foods will leave me feeling sick to my stomach and which foods I can gobble down happily. Fortunately, as long as I have a glass of pink lemonade or orange juice, I have been able to eat fairly consistently. I am still eating some healthy fiber cereal a couple times a week with my daughter. I am also eating some cheese (although milk turns my stomach). I am also trying to eat plenty of veggies and some fruits, although mostly I am craving grains like bread, cereal, and pasta. All in all, I would not say my pregnancy diet is horrible, but I am definitely not eating as healthy as possible. However, eating anything is more important at the moment than eating the best diet possible, so I make due the best I can, incorporating as many healthy foods a day as I can stomach.

    Did your diet change during pregnancy? Did you experience any cravings or aversions?

    Week 11

    April 14, 2014

    Today I am ten weeks and three days pregnant, putting me in week 11 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a fig, measuring between an inch and a half and two inches in length from crown to rump. Although many women find that morning sickness begins to ease up around now, I must admit that my constant queasiness continues. I am also experiencing a handful of other symptoms common to the third month of pregnancy.

    Morning sickness remains my biggest complaint. I often feel queasy and have trouble finding foods that settle my stomach. This morning I even threw up for the first time. While moving my clean diaper from the washer to the dryer, I was overcome with a sudden urge to vomit. Fortunately I was standing right in front of my utility sink, so I managed not to make a mess. However, the experience was unpleasant nonetheless. Furthermore, I am having a heck of a time flossing and brushing my teeth. As with my previous pregnancy, my gag reflex is in overdrive, so sticking a toothbrush in my mouth often makes me drive heave. Nevertheless, I continue to remind myself that morning sickness is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy.

    In addition to my ongoing queasiness, I am also finding that fewer and fewer of my pants fit. I am already getting a little baby bump, which means I have switched from my regular clothes to maternity pants. Even my stretchy leggings are too tight around the middle, so I wear either maternity pants with the stretchy waist or slightly larger than usual yoga pants. Either way, I am definitely starting to look pregnant. Fortunately, my first prenatal appointment is just a week and a half away. After that appointment, I plan on telling my parents and making a wider announcement, so I will not longer need to worry about hiding my expanding belly.

    Another symptom that I continue to experience into week 11 of pregnancy is more frequent urination. Not only do I find myself heading to the bathroom more often throughout the day, but I am also waking up two times a night now. Prior to my pregnancy, I easily slept up to 10 hours without needing a potty break. Now I can barely go a few hours without having to get up and go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the frequent urination will only continue as my pregnancy. Then I have the fun experience of waiting until my bladder and pelvic muscles return to normal after giving birth before I stop needing to rush to the bathroom so often.

    All in all, however, my pregnancy is progressing quite nicely. I am quite eager for my first prenatal appointment next week. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time will bring me a lot of relief. I must admit that I still do not quite believe that I am actually expecting my second child yet. Only a week and a half, though, until I can finally accept reality.

    If you experienced morning sickness during pregnancy, how long did the queasiness last?

    April 15, 2014

    When not pregnant, I deal with terrible allergy symptoms on a regular basis. From coughing and sneezing to a runny nose and watery eyes, I often find myself in desperate need of allergy relief. I am generally a little better in the middle of winter. However, as soon as spring rolls around and the world begins to bloom, my allergies become worse. I again feel slightly better in the summer, although I do have to be careful around plants and other allergens. Then, once fall rolls around, I am a drippy, yucky mess. In other words, my allergy symptoms are a constant bane to my existence. Dealing with my seasonal allergies during pregnancy is an even bigger pain.

    With my pregnancy with my daughter, I found my allergy symptoms worsened because I could no longer take my preferred allergy medications. The allergy medicine that works the best for me is Flonase. Of all my allergy symptoms, I handle my runny and stuffy nose the worst. My nose becomes so congested that I can no longer breathe normally. When I lay down, the congestion gets worse. Thus, I prefer to treat my allergies with a nasal spray. The nasal spray not only helps with my nasal allergy symptoms but also helps with my watery, itchy eyes because of proximity. I also prefer nasal sprays over systemic drugs because of the targeted relief.

    Unfortunately, Flonase is considered a category C drug:

    1. Risk Cannot Be Ruled Out

    Adequate,well-controlled human studies are lacking, and animal studies have shown a risk to the fetus or are lacking as well. There is a chance of fetal harm if the drug is administered during pregnancy, but the potential benefits may outweigh the potential risks.

    A lack of studies ascertaining the safety of Flonase during pregnancy worries me, so I have opted to stop using the drug before and during my pregnancies. With my favorite allergy medication no longer available, I find myself searching for a new alternative.

    While pregnant with my daughter, I chose to use Benadryl to treat my terrible allergy symptoms. However, Benadryl leaves me with three downsides. First, the drug makes me terribly sleepy. I literally fall asleep randomly when I take the medication. With a toddler, I cannot just fall asleep. Second, the drug is systemic and may possibly affect my unborn baby. Third, as a systemic drug, the medication does not target my nasal symptoms only. However, Benadryl is a category B drug:

    1. No Evidence of Risk in Humans

    Adequate, well-controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown increased risk of fetal abnormalities despite adverse findings in animals, or, in the absence of adequate human studies, animal studies show no fetal risk. The chance of fetal harm is remote but remains a possibility.

    Thus, I ended up using quite a bit of Benadryl while pregnant with my daughter.

    With my currently pregnancy, I have opted for another allergy medication option: cromolyn sodium. Cromolyn sodium is a category B drug, so I feel confident using the medication while pregnant. Additionally, as a nasal spray, the drug is less likely to affect my unborn baby, instead targeting my nasal and eye allergy symptoms. The only downside is that cromolyn sodium is not quite as effective at treating my allergies as Flonase. However, for the health of my future baby, I am willing to make the sacrifice. And the medication does provide me with some relief. So, until after the birth of my baby, I have decided to use cromolyn sodium instead of Flonase as my allergy nasal spray of choice.

    How did you treat your allergy symptoms during pregnancy?

    Week 12

    April 21, 2014

    Today I am eleven weeks and four days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am in week 12 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a lime, measuring at just over two inches in length from crown to rump and weighing about half an ounce. Yesterday at Easter lunch, I shared the good news with my parents. I am also eagerly awaiting my first prenatal appointment on Thursday. Although my risk of miscarriage drops considerably at the end of the week, I am still quite nervous and fearful.

    My biggest fear up through week 12 of pregnancy is the fear of another miscarriage. Before losing my first pregnancy, I knew that miscarriage could happen, but I was a happy-go-lucky pregnant women. After losing my first pregnancy, I was an anxious wreck for most of my pregnancy with my daughter. Yes, I loved being pregnant, but I was also scared that I would lose her at some point. With my current pregnancy, the fear is a little less because of my positive experience with my daughter, but the fear of miscarriage still hangs over me like a little gray cloud.

    In addition to my fear of miscarriage, I am also worried that my second child will arrive prematurely. My daughter made her debut into the world during week 37 of pregnancy at thirty-six weeks and two days. She was just two days shy of prematurity. Although she was definitely ready to be born, I am a bit worried that my second child will arrive too early. My fear will definitely subside once I reach full term, but, until that time, a second little cloud worrying about prematurity will float above my head.

    Finally, I am worried that my relationship with my daughter will change for the worse once the new baby arrives. I am sure that my daughter will be a great big sister. I know that I will not love her any less. Love only grows. However, I still worry that my daughter will resent her new sibling or me or both. I am worried that my daughter will think that I no longer love her as much. Our relationship will, of course, change, but the change should be for the better. I still worry for the worst though.

    Did you have any fears during pregnancy?

    Week 13

    April 25, 2014

    Today I am twelve weeks and one day into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am in week 13 of pregnancy. I am now in the second trimester, and my baby is now the size of a peach, measuring about three inches in length from crown to rump and weighing just about one ounce. I currently weigh around 112 pounds, which is less than at the same point during my prior pregnancy. My regular pants no longer fit, so I am wearing my larger clothes and some maternity clothing. Most excitingly, yesterday my family and I attended my first prenatal appointment.

    Hearing the heartbeat for the first time was quite exciting and definitely brought me a sense of relief. At 164 beats per minute, the baby appears quite healthy for developmental age. My toddler daughter was especially excited about hearing the baby. Now when asked, “What does the baby say,” she replies, “Whomp, whomp.” After the appointment, she kept asking to hear the baby more. I told her that she would get to hear the heartbeat again in four weeks at my next appointment.

    On Sunday during Easter lunch, I announced the big news to my parents, who are absolutely thrilled about a second grandchild. Today I texted my brother and made a larger announcement on my personal Facebook page. To announce my upcoming arrival, I posted a photograph of my daughter wearing her new big sister shirt. The shirt reads Only Child Big Sister.

    My daughter is definitely excited about the new baby. To give her a better sense of time, I told her that the baby would arrive in the fall when we buy pumpkins. She loves pumpkins, and, bless her heart, the sweet little girl immediately said that she wanted to buy the baby a pumpkin too. She and I have also started talking about what an important job being a big sister is. My daughter is already asking about how she can help with the baby. This morning she told me that she wants to help wash the baby’s face. She is going to be an awesome big sister.

    In terms of pregnancy symptoms during week 13, my morning sickness is definitely starting to subside. I feel queasy less and less of the time. The only time I really feel like throwing up anymore is when I brush and floss my teeth. As with my pregnancy with my daughter, my gag reflex is hyper-sensitive at the moment. Attempting to floss and brush my teeth usually results in gagging and spitting up. I have started brushing my teeth a few times during the day. I figure that doing an okay job a few times a day is better than trying to do a good job and failing at bedtime. But, all in all, I am feeling pretty good about this pregnancy, especially after hearing the heartbeat for the first time!

    How did you feel after your first prenatal checkup?

    How did you feel during your first trimester?


    Breastfeeding During Pregnancy:
    Hale, Thomas W. 2012. Medications and mothers’ milk, 15th edn. Amarillo, Texas: Hale Publishing.
    Is It Safe to Continue Breast-feeding If I’m Pregnant with Another Child?:

    Image Credits

    The First Trimester of My Second Pregnancy © 2014 James and Heather Johnson
    The First Trimester of My Second Pregnancy © 2014 James and Heather Johnson
    Fertility Chart February 21, 2014 © 2014 Heather Johnson
    My Second Pregnancy Fertility Chart © 2014 The Parenting Patch
    Positive Pregnancy Test March 4 © 2014 Heather Johnson
    Positive Pregnancy Test March 16 © 2014 Heather Johnson

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