Around the same time as Isabel's sleeping issues started arriving, I can look back and realize pregnancy symptoms were present and were dismissed. Some mornings I would be starving, at 3am when pumping, and I started stashing granola bars in my breastpump bag so I could have a snack option (Missed Clue #2 - crazy hunger, another classic pregnancy symptom for me). I started to analyze my eating habits, trying to make sure I was eating well enough to continue nursing while also not overdoing it. With my big runDisney challenge at the beginning of January I was trying to be conscious of my food intake and decided to forgo my creamy lattes that also started tasting funny (Missed Clue #3 - this was a pregnancy symptom with Isabel too). Each morning on my way to work I drink an Orgrain Protein Shake. I remember enough mornings when it didn't taste just right and at some point I wasn't making it daily (Missed Clue #4). The shake has 21g protein and would help keep me full until I ate a real breakfast. Instead of my Orgrain Shake, I started drinking a crazy concoction at Starbucks so I could get a little caffeine and still have the filling protein. My morning beverage of choice? Six shots of Espresso, 2/3 Decaf mixed with two scoops of vanilla bean powder and three scoops of protein powder over ice with non-fat milk. This beverage looks very odd and isn't super tasty but it satisfied my need for a little caffeine and protein. It was a pain to make so I refused to be "that customer", not wanting to be a pain for another barista.
|One happy 6yo at Snow Mountain.|
I ran runDisney's Goofy Challenge in early January as a St Jude Hero, raising over $2000 for St Jude Children's Hospital. From Mile 14-26.2, I seemed to need a potty break ever other mile (Missed Clue #5). It was frustrating and confusing. I chatted up mom friends who run to see if anyone had similar frustrations. Since I didn't start running until 2012, I didn't have a comparison of what to expect of my body after baby. Throughout January after the race I started craving soda, if we were at a restaurant I *had* to order a Coke or a DrPepper (Missed Clue #6). I am normally not a soda drinker. I wasn't even drinking the entire beverage but it was as if I needed to just have a few sips.
With Isabel turning 7mo on January 16th, we decided it was time to stop the 2:30am feeding. Her two bottom teeth arrived at the end of the month and she started sleeping better. I continued pumping before work for her breakfast bottle and very slowly started noticing a decrease (Missed Clue #7). I attributed it to her dropping that early AM feeding and eating more solids but it made me nervous. I nursed Abigail without issue, never supplementing and she never took a bottle. Internally I started to panic about my supply and my internal stress started showing itself very publicly on my face, through my Rosecea. I turned to my mom friends who nursed for advice and support. I increased my calories and water intake to make sure I was giving my body enough fuel so my supply would return. My supply continued to slowly decrease. Internal panic hit an extreme high. Formula and bottles were unchartered territory for me and the thought of it stressed me out even more. My Rosacea was out of control, a massive flare I couldn't control triggered by stress and anxiety (Missed Clue #8 - I also had a massive flare when I was in my first trimester with Isabel).
I was trying to increase my supply with supplements but was having no luck. I was researching online, trying to find a link to Rosacea and breastfeeding issues. I wasn't ready to stop nursing Isabel. The stress of it all wasn't helping either of my problems. I didn't want to discuss it with many because I didn't want to hear the complacent "it's okay to stop nursing". I went for a check with my Dermatologist. I had a few conversations with the specialists at Nortside Lactation. I was driving myself CRAZY. At some point I read about how breastmilk supply can decrease during second trimester and I quickly dismissed that as the cause.
Finally, as a last ditch effort to rule one more thing out before calling my primary care physician (thinking something had to be really wrong with me) I took a pregnancy test before work on January 12th. That positive line popped up SO FAST. Honestly I was immediately excited knowing there wasn't anything seriously wrong with me, I was *just* pregnant! I remember being in a crazy good mood at work that morning. I called my OB office after work and scheduled an appointment for the same day because we were heading out of town the next day for Abigail's Winter Break.
I met with the physician's assistant, who I badgered earlier in the week about any crazy correlation between low breastmilk supply and Rosacea. She confirmed I was in fact pregnant. The ultrasound proved I was way more pregnant than either of us guesstimated, at least 13wks! I got lots of August Baby photos to shock Matt with later that evening. I kept my secret until after his important meeting that afternoon. He took the surprise quite well, he had been feeling the affects of my internal stress and knew something was going on with me.
We drove to visit our Florida family after school on Friday. On Saturday we planned to have dinner with immediate family and decided since I was already out of the first trimester that we would share our news. We have lived out of state our entire married life and were not able to make pregnancy announcements in person, that alone made it extra special. It was Valentine's Day so I made Abigail a fun little card she could read and make the reveal herself.
Abigail read the card with the help of my sister-in-law. I think Abigail immediately knew what the card meant. Hayley was a bit confused, not understanding that the ultrasound photo was another baby (not Isabel). Her confusion turned into astonishment and excitement. I remember my grandfather trying to hold back tears of happiness and Matt having a verbal freak-out moment. Matt's comments made my grandmother laugh so much she was crying too. Both my parents are the youngest of three siblings (my father-in-law is one of four) and no one in our generation has more than two kids, so we're heading into unchartered waters.
It was such joy sharing with my family and friends face-to-face. Some were confused when Abigail told them she was going to be a big sister. Some even brushed her off thinking she was referring to Isabel, until they saw my face or Matt's. Nope, another baby was on the way!
We spent a day of Winter Break at Magic Kingdom and decided to stage a photo with Mickey Ear hats to make our big social media reveal. It turned out perfect!