We have been planning for this baby for quite a while now – I guess the initial planning started many years ago, with our getting married! But serious planning began in May 2011 when we started “trying” for a baby. It took us 4 months of trying to fall pregnant this time, but it was 7 months all up as we had a 3 month hiatus midway, so that we would be able to attend an island wedding earlier this year.
|Glowing bridesmaid? Showing off my 5.5 months bump.
(Photo credit to the Father of the Bride).
I was breastfeeding JJ when we started planning this pregnancy. Breastfeeding is a contraceptive – not necessarily fool proof, but certainly more effective than desirable if you are trying to conceive. And whilst my menstruation had returned, that alone didn’t necessarily mean that my hormone levels were sufficient enough to a) fall pregnant or b) to sustain a pregnancy. We did a lot of research. Annoyingly, most of the articles focus on how to avoid falling pregnant, or recommend weaning, or were completely anecdotal or unscientific. We found a few interesting Google Scholar papers, but La Leche League had the most helpful information, recommending a minimum 8 hour gap in breastfeeding per 24 hours. Most women presumably would try to reduce night-time feeds, trying to get their child to “sleep through the night”. But for our family, getting JJ to “sleep through the night” was neither a priority nor going to be an easy undertaking, so we decided to reduce the day-time feeds instead. We started to introduce cow’s milk in a sippy cup and suggest that whenever she asked for milk. If she asked for “mummy milk”, then we never denied her. We would however we would offer her to drink from a “big girl’s cup” half way through, without insisting. We started talking about how JJ had “mummy milk” after her bath. To help ease the transition, we had lots and lots and lots of cuddle time, and lots of belly button rubbing. (JJ has been using my belly button as a comforter.) It took a few weeks for her to drop the day feeds altogether. And a few months later, we were pregnant!
|JJ and Mr Banya “meeting” our new addition at the nuchal translucency ultrasound, approx 3 months.|
I didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy until I was past 3 months and had received the results of the nuchal translucency ultrasound. Keeping quiet was quite tricky as I started showing really early – I had neighbours asking me if I was pregnant at 6 weeks, and it was really obvious by 8 weeks, so much so that I avoided going out lest I be seen! The chances of miscarriage are so high, about 1 in 5, and perhaps higher for me at 34 years old. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid of people finding out that I’d miscarried – I think if I had miscarried I would have told my close friends and family anyway. It was more that I felt I had to keep my emotions locked up to protect myself in case I did miscarry. I wasn’t ready for people to say congratulations yet. I wasn’t ready for their enthusiasm. I didn’t want to have to think about or answer the inevitable questions – how are you feeling, how much gap will there be between this baby and JJ, what sex do you prefer (which I personally think is a really rude question anyway), etc.
This pregnancy has been really exhausting. I have been sleeping whenever JJ sleeps, and more. I’ve been going to bed with her at 8.30pm, and waking up at around 8.00am. (Mr Banya, bless his cotton socks, got up with JJ around 7.00am each morning). I would also usually sleep during JJ’s day nap. And still I felt like a zombie on legs. As I was looking after JJ full time, this meant that I had zero baby free time. So consequently things started to slide – housework, catching up with friends, grocery shopping. I did my best to just let things slide and not get too worried about it. Mr Banya helped pick up the slack as well. And I’ve been constantly famished. For the first 6 months, I used to eat first, second and third breakfast, and that’s before 10am…
But complaints aside, so far this pregnancy has been fairly smooth. I had a 2 day bout of vertigo at about 4 months, a few niggly back aches here and there, and a few yucky nights of heartburn over the last few weeks. But none of the oedema (fluid retention) or carpal tunnel (numb / painful hands and fingers) that I had when I was pregnant with JJ.
We told JJ about the baby as soon as we found out we were pregnant. She’s so excited. From the very beginning she was very aware that there was a baby in mummy’s tummy, and more importantly, that she was going to be a big sister. Lately she’s been showing the baby things – like her pigtails, her purple shoes, her favourite toys. She holds them up to my belly button so the baby can see them. Sometimes she whispers “I love you” and kisses my belly button too. She often pretends to be the baby, crying and Mr Banya and I have to try to work out if she’s tired, or hungry, or needs a nappy change.
There’s been a few purchases as well. We bought a new car, a new pram with toddler seat, a new chest of drawers – more on these later. I’ve still yet to unpack all of JJ’s baby things to see what else we need, but I think we have most things covered – at least for the first few months. Then I guess we’ll need to wait and see what this new baby likes and doesn’t like…
|35 weeks pregnant and feeling huge.
JJ sticking her tummy out as well. Charli in the background.
And now, 8.5 months later, there’s not long to go before we’ll get to meet this little bub! The official due date is 4.5 weeks away, but “full term” is anytime between 1.5 weeks and 6.5 weeks away. Either way – we’ll soon get to say hello!
Here are some other posts in the “Introducing” series:
Introducing – Me!
Introducing – Mr Banya
Introducing – JJ
Introducing – our pets Charli, Vomit, Gromit, Mike, Olga and the Possum