My Second Pregnancy

I’ve been trying to sit and get this post written for weeks now, but it was always pushed aside because other things felt more important. You know, bills, emails, taxes, birth prep, etc. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t write about my pregnancy before I write about the birth though, especially if this baby I’m carrying is a girl because I think someday she will want to know what it was like for me to carry her around in my womb and birth her.

I only have about 15 minutes to write this post, and then I need to go pick up T1 from school (I decided to finish it up later in the evening because it wasn’t possible to say all I wanted in 15 minutes). That is what life is like after the first child comes, never enough time for anything. I couldn’t possibly have imagined how much more difficult and trying pregnancy would be with a toddler/preschooler in the house. But I’m getting ahead of myself and I want to start at the beginning.

We knew we wanted T1 to have a sibling, but weren’t sure what we wanted the timing to be. Our plans were for me to go back to school, bust my bum getting in shape for our trip to Thailand where I would frolic on the beach in skimpy swimwear and delight in my accomplishments over the year, and then start working toward expanding our family. Instead I found myself showing a pregnancy test to my friend Paige in May of 2012 and asking her how this was all going to work. Her response was exactly what I needed to hear: “The decision is made for you Jenna. Now all you have to do is move forward.” My graduation gift to That Husband was an etch-a-sketch with the words “T2 February 2013” scrawled across the board. (And yes, I really did write T2 on it!)

With T1 I seem to have been sick for about a weekend, with a bit of nausea off and on throughout the first trimester. This pregnancy was much different, with all-day all-night sickness from about 6 1/2 weeks to around the 17 week mark. I wouldn’t describe it as morning sickness, not in the traditional sense, as I never felt like I wanted to throw up. A better description would be 24/7 hypoglycemia, which made me feel like I had to eat all day and every night (which is difficult when you feel so awful that even heating up a cup-of-noodles feels overwhelming (yes, I ate that cheap ramen stuff, that’s how bad things were)). Running a half-marathon at the 10-week mark while barely able to get out of bed each day will forever remain one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I was bed-ridden for the entire weekend after the race was over. During this time I lived away from TH and T1 and it was lonely and miserable. I could barely feed myself, I had to take extra classes to meet my graduation deadline, and there was no one to turn to at the end of the day to help me feel like it was all going to be okay. There were a lot of nights where I cried myself to sleep. At the 12 week mark I was sure that the sickness would reside, little did I know I still had several weeks to go.

When I was reunited with TH and T1 after our 6-week separation I immediately burst into tears, scaring T1 so badly that he wouldn’t even let me hold him. We recovered pretty quickly and somehow over a 5 day period I survived packing up my Utah apartment, graduation, a 12-hour road trip (driving by myself since we had two cars) from Utah to California, and a flight to Poland all while dealing with this strange hypoglycemia-like state. I was in my second trimester by that time and hoping that I’d be able to enjoy Poland, but every morning I was wiped out by the time breakfast was over. Once the sickness started to retreat, I started to enjoy my pregnancy a little bit more. I convinced TH that another homebirth was a good idea, and we found a wonderful CNM to watch over the delivery.  I’ve been disappointed with the amount of weight I gained throughout (I thought I could avoid gaining copious amounts through sheer willpower, but I guess the amount necessary exceeds my abilities) but overall I seem to be pretty good at being pregnant. I haven’t had any complications, and now that I’ve reached full-term there is nothing other than high blood pressure holding me back from my dream of another water birth in our birth tub.

The thing I will remember most after this experience is that being pregnant with a young child in the house is incredibly difficult, much harder than I anticipated it would be. We should all be really nice to all of the pregnant women we know who have other children they are taking care of simultaneously because there are times when you would pay $200 to take a nap at 2:00 in the afternoon, but no matter how much you beg the 2-year-old to sleep (please oh please, just go to sleep!) it’s not going to happen. There are so few breaks, so little time to rest and relax and put your feet up. Somehow you make it through, even if there are times when that very thing feels absolutely impossible (I don’t even want to think about that miserable week where T1 and I were both sick at the same time and I had no one to ask for help).

Now that I’m reaching the end the nursery is prepped, we have agreed on a short-list of names, and our freezer is filled with homemade meals for all of us to eat after the baby comes. I’m only a few weeks away from delivering and I’m just shy of 50 lbs gained, but swelling has been minimal (compared to the insane elephant feet I had last time) and my weekly appointments have shown that baby is growing properly and everything else looks great. We chose not to find out the sex again, and I admit it is one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. That and the kicking/movements (as long as it isn’t the sustained pushes that go up into my ribs). I love to poke and prod and try to feel little baby feet, and I spend most of the night (in between trips to the bathroom) wondering if it’s going to be a little brother or little sister for T1. People ask if I want a boy or a girl this time, and my answer is always that I want a girl for me, and a brother for T1. So either way we win. I don’t worry about disappointed because I wanted T1 to be a girl, but now that he’s here with us I can’t imagine wanting him to be anything other than who he is.

During my first pregnancy I railed against the way American culture indulges “pregnancy cravings”. Now I’m eating my words, because I’ve had a few stages throughout this pregnancy where I wanted to eat very specific things. The first was during my first trimester, where for a short period I wanted to eat nothing but baked potatoes. One night I ate something like 6 in a row? During the third trimester I developed an affinity for oranges, sometimes eating three each day. The weirdest craving has been cough drops. Something about the menthol and the crunch and the way they stick in your teeth. I put one in my mouth and the urge to bite down is almost involuntary. Candy canes are an okay substitute, but they’re overly sweet. CVS honey lemon cough drops are the best.

So that’s me, and what pregnancy has been like the second time around. I’ve spent a lot less time thinking about birth, and a lot more time thinking about how things are going to work when we’re a family of four, particularly how people survive meeting the needs of a toddler/preschooler while simultaneously navigating the breastfeeding issues and sleepless nights that come with a newborn. I know it will all work out though and soon we will wonder how T2 hasn’t always been with us. There are so many ways that I know s/he is going to make our life better.

Littlest One,

I can reach down right now and feel your little bum. Sometimes you reach your hand over and punch me so hard it makes me gasp. Don’t worry, I can’t possibly forget about you at this point! I’ve checked almost everything off of my to-do list, and now I just want you to be here. Even though I know I’m going to be so tired, and so sore, and that it’s going to be really difficult. I’m ready to meet you and find out if you’re a boy or a girl. Do you have hair? What color are your eyes? Will you love to go-go-go like your brother? Will we successfully breastfeed? Will you strip off your clothes and run full-speed toward the ocean, or approach the waves cautiously and carefully? What will be your favorite color, animal, book, and song? Will you love to cuddle up with me at night and drift off to sleep in my arms? It won’t be long before we find out the answers to these questions and so many more.

We all love you so much already. See you soon.



I haven’t done weekly/monthly pictures this pregnancy, but you can see how my belly/body have changed over the past year in the collection of photos below.

This one is from my “DIY maternity session” in our bedroom. I might do one more before baby comes, but I admit I’m so unhappy with how big and swollen my body is that I’m not sure it will actually happen.

38 thoughts on “My Second Pregnancy

  1. Jenna,

    I think you look fabulous! I know you really wanted to gain less this time around but you don’t look like it at all! I pinky promise. I hope you’re able to enjoy this last month in spite of being uncomfortable. I can’t wait to see what this little one looks like and if it is a girl you’ll be in trouble bc if she looks anything like her mama she’ll be gorgeous. Love ya!

  2. Jenna, you are GORGEOUS and don’t feel any differently! T1 and T2 are so lucky to have such an amazingly talented, beautiful, honest, wonderful mother!

  3. You look great! I’m sorry you’ve been so exhausted. No fun indeed. Can’t wait to see this little bundle of love!

  4. I absolutely love your 29-week picture. Was that a professional shoot?

    Just one thing on tiredness: I’m not knocking being tired during a second pregnancy. (Trust me, I know.) But have you had your thyroid checked? Yes, it’s normal to be tired, even very tired but some of your descriptions, like being bedridden, seem like they warrant follow-up to me. Take care of yourself.

    Jenna Reply:


    Thanks! It was a DIY shoot that I did in my bedroom. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

    I haven’t had my thryoid checked, but I am slightly anemic and we’ve been working on that (with my midwife). To clarify though, I haven’t been bedridden my entire pregnancy, just the first trimester/first 18ish weeks when I was dealing with some form of morning sickness.

  5. Wow! That black dress in the week 33 pic is so flattering that you don’t look pregnant AT ALL! Amazing! Good luck with everything and can’t wait to hear about the birth for T2!

  6. So did you really wait until the 13 week mark to tell TH that you were expecting?! How did you wait so long? I wouldn’t have been able to keep it a secret!

    Jenna Reply:

    No, he knew right after I found out (at his graduation, not mine!). But my parents didn’t know until 13 weeks. It was really fun to surprise them!

  7. You are a gorgeous pregnant woman, Jenna and I absolutely love the last photo of you. I do give it up big time to moms who are pregnant with their second (or more) kids – I can’t imagine how you do it!

  8. Isnt it interesting how the first pregnancy we research the hell out of minutia of details & the subsequent pregnancys we are in *survival* mode caring for another kiddo then balancing that with ourselves? Ha.

    So my first pregnancy it wasn’t all flowers and butterflies. I vomitted a lot and felt miserable the first trimester. Then had pre term contractions 24-26 wks where I became labeled high-risk. Had contractions the remainder of my pregnancy when I was balancing finiahing my clinical hrs and a dual emphasis masters degree… Then went OVER our due date and was induced–> we had not known what genser our baby was till she was born!

    THIS PREGNANCY my husband and i made a concious effeort to limit stretching my body too thin with tons of extra stuff that YOU DID. We moved into a home before we were pregnant. I am mot working (i would have spent more than 12 hrs a day on my feet as an RN, be exposed to various illnesses… And i dont know how my co workers did it while pregnant. I send the universe blessings to those AMAZING working pregnant RN moms!)

    This time i did NOT have active vomitting. Just some aversions/nausea.
    Then we were bullied by family to find out the gender and its a boy!!!

    Neighbor down the street says she was not too sick with her first two boys but has been MISERABLE with her third pregnancy and it’s a GIRL!

    Ok so here— i am making a guess. You and kate middleton are having girls (due to first trimester illnesses)… Kim kardashian having a boy… Thats my educated 😉 guess!

    Either way. You are amazing. Hats off to you for all you have done and i do hope you take it easy on yourself after the delivery. I hope you ease back into all your goals and are mind to yourself. You had a great year.

    My only request. Is that you join a la leche group if you choose to do a LITTLE breast feeding. They are such an incredible support system and help to get you out of the house, have tips and are supportive of a combo of formula/SNS. You might even meet another nursing mama who had breast reduction who is trying to BF too. But they also have resources for lactation consultants& services too.

    ((Hugs)) congrats!
    -sorry for any typos/grammer errors. On my iphone!

  9. You don’t have to share which if you don’t want, but I’m curious — do you feel like you have an instinct about the baby’s gender? Your stories of baby’s hand-punch made me think of it, because looking back at the silly little games my daughter and I played in those final weeks, I feel like I actually got a prenatal sense of her enduring personality. Just curious whether all moms feel that way, and whether it carries over to the gender.

    I know those pregnancy months have been tough. It’s exactly why we’re not having another — I know I couldn’t handle the pregnancy and first few months while also parenting another kid! (Then again, thanks to my illnesses I’ve felt that rough-first-trimester feeling for the past 8 straight years.) And I can’t imagine how you manage with your husband gone so much. But exhausting as the next few months will be, here’s hoping that the excitement of meeting your little T2 at last and seeing the two siblings together will help carry you through. Good luck with everything!

    Jenna Reply:

    I don’t think I have any maternal instinct regarding what the gender is, largely because I thought T1 was a girl and obviously that was off :). I do think that T2 seems to be a calmer baby (hooray if it’s true!) and that this pregnancy has been so different that maybe it’s a different gender, but it’s all just heresy really.

  10. Oh Jenna, you look great! Week 33 you can’t even tell that you are pregnant!
    I’m snuggling my 4 week old while my toddler is napping. Somehow I am getting enough sleep, I’m showered and both my little ones are happy. You adjust. I know I was very worried about how life with two would be but it kinda comes naturally. Good luck. Enjoy the last few weeks with T1 as an only! 🙂

  11. Will you be able to have another homebirth- does high blood pressure rule it out or is it still wait and see at this point?

    Jenna Reply:

    Yep, high blood pressure is really my last “hurdle” to get past. Everything has been great so far though Preeclampsia/eclampsia/HELLP syndrome can come on at any time so it’s about watching for high blood pressure and any other symptoms like headaches or protein in urine that might indicate I need to go to a hospital.

  12. Hi Jenna- just wanted to say you look beautiful and congrats on T2! I don’t know how you do it because because I wonder every day how I would handle a 2nd pregnancy with a 2yr old. Reading your blog show me not only that it can be done but done well. You have accomplished so much these past few months. Good luck to you and your family and I look forward to hearing about the new addition and all of your new adventures.

  13. Such great photos – you look beautiful!

    I’m due in March with my second (a girl this time) and I totally agree, it’s definitely different/harder this time around. I feel I worry more than I thought I would and the sickness was pretty miserable, especially with chasing a toddler. Oh – and we moved into our new home during that time too, so it was pretty awful.

    But, the end is in sight (I’m 30 weeks) and, like you, I’m looking forward to meeting our newest family member.

    Good luck to you!

  14. I was also very stressed out while pregnant, wondering how I was going to take care of an active/crazy 2 year old and a newborn. Now that my baby girl is here and is 12 weeks, I can honestly say that it wasn’t and isn’t that hard at all. I actually love having 2, and I don’t think it’s nearly as stressful or hard as I thought it would be! You’ll do great! You look gorgeous, as always.

  15. we definitely haven’t always seen eye to eye, and it’s been a long time since i’ve commented here, you have changed so much in the last year! but congrats on this new baby and i really can’t wait to hear how this birth goes- you were the first person who got the thought of home birth in my head and while i wanted to do it with my first (who will be 2 next month), my med school husband was not keen on the idea. but i was able to convince him for #2 and had an amazing home birth in september. having 2 little ones is really really hard, harder than i thought it would be. but somehow my kids and i are still alive and i’m still married 😉
    good luck in the next few weeks and i can’t wait to see some pictures!

  16. Sorry you’ve had such a rough pregnancy! I had H.G. with two of my pregnancies so I can understand the debilitating nausea.
    Also I would second the note about getting your thyroid checked. Also, are you unable to nap while T1 goes to his daycare? I thought I read before that he was at daycare throughout the day?
    Anyhow- hope you feel better soon and that having two little ones at home won’t be too overwhelming for you!

    Jenna Reply:

    I nap on days when I really really need it. But when he’s out of the house I’m answering emails or paying bills or writing replies to blog comments like this one. Otherwise there is no chance for me to get that kind of thing done!

  17. JennA,
    You look great ! Would you ever consider doing a post about your meals? Best wishes to you and the new baby! And of course to your son who is adorable.

    Jenna Reply:

    I hope to have a post about it up this week! We’ll see 🙂

  18. You are a beautiful lady! I love your pictures.

    I just want you to know that I remember the anxiety and dread I felt when I was 8.9999 months pregnant with my number 2 child. Having 1 child was tremendous work and I thought the work load would DOUBLE with two but I soon found out that it doesn’t double. I think I came to realize that with the first, your attention is pulled away from yourself and at first that is the hard thing. So with the 2nd child, your attention is already pulled away from yourself anyway so it is not nearly as hard as I feared it was going to be.

    Today is the 20th. Maybe you are already finding that out! Congratulations!

  19. So good to see a post from you!!

    You are getting a taste of what it’s like to have two kids already—juggling the demands of pregnancy with a 2 year old is very similar to juggling the demands of a newborn with a 2 year old. The toddler runs the show;) You can do it, mama! It’s not going to be easy all of the time, but it will be an amazing ride. Take it a step at a time and know that you are not alone in this motherhood thing (obviously) ! I can’t wait to read all about T2 and I secretly hope it’s a girl, but will not be disappointed if it’s a boy. Obviously it’s all about me when it comes to the sex of your child;)

    Best of luck!!!

    Jenna Reply:

    If anything has prepared me for having two kids it is your DITL posts. They are both terrifying and awesome. I’m so glad you keep writing them!

  20. You loo really great – I know you’re exhausted, but I think you actually look much healthier in this pregnancy than you did with T1. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course!

    I have no children and one puppy (which is, frankly, great training for parenthood I have been told. Sleepless nights, tantrums and horrendous toilet training problems, haha!) but my mother said that when my brother was born she has an 18 month old me jumping around the hospital room and a newborn in a cot and she was terrified. She said that in the end it was exhausting but in other ways she was sometimes sad because I didn’t need her so much because I had my brother to entertain me. I guess it depends on each kid’s reaction to a new sibling but my mother said that she felt parenthood because easier with 2 in some ways, sleepless nights and two kids in nappies aside.

    So excited for you! Is Kellie Nichole coming in to take photos again?

    Jenna Reply:

    I wish! It doesn’t work to have her there this time though. I hired It’s the first time we’ve paid for pictures since our wedding (Kelli has spoiled us!) so it was a bitter pill to swallow for TH, but I just couldn’t imagine having T1’s birth photographed and not photographing the birth of T2 as well. Especially since we live in a house with much nicer light now!

    HRC Reply:

    Oh, well, brilliant free photos can’t last forever! Should have asked me, I am doing free shoots at the moment to try and build a US portfolio while I wait for my GC to get processed, haha. That being said, I think I am too chicken to shoot a birth before I have children of my own! Kelly’s work looks lovely 🙂

    Jenna Reply:

    Is part of your portfolio building going to include newborn photography? 🙂 I’m going to DIY, but the flaw in that plan is that it makes it had to get a beautiful photo of me with my new baby. And also I’ll be so tired!

  21. Baked potatoes and oranges have been my major cravings too!

    Jenna Reply:

    No way???? Maybe it’s a thing.

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