The news is officially out! We are expecting our third baby early this spring. I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by and that I’m only a few months away from welcoming another baby into our lives. This is one of the greatest blessings I could imagine. As many of you know, I have always dreamed of having a big family having lots of kids. I don’t know what the future will hold and how we’ll feel after three, but I have been dreaming about this for so long and we couldn’t be happier. I feel like my wildest dreams are starting to come together, and I have to pinch myself sometimes I’m so happy to be pregnant again and growing our family. I know you have tons of questions, so I thought I’d share a pregnancy update and Q&A and some insights into third pregnancy differences, which seems to be a popular question (looks like we’re not the only ones with #3 on our minds).
When is Your Due Date and Why Did you Wait so Long to Tell People?
t took many by surprise, as I didn’t talk about our fertility journey this time or talk much about expanding our family, and then I was like, oh by the way, I’m pretty pregnant with baby #3. I mentioned this in the blog post I wrote with the news, but our journey to building a family has been a rollercoaster, and I didn’t feel ready to talk about it for a long time. I have been (irrationally) nervous about talking about this pregnancy lest our happy news disappear, and we had a miscarriage and then some early-on scares that made me really anxious that this pregnancy wouldn’t stick. I suppose that has been the biggest of the third pregnancy differences for me, but I realize this is also unique to my situation. The fear hasn’t gone away this time, but I am at the point where the fact that we’re having another baby is starting to become a reality for me and I’m starting to let myself get excited and accept that this is real. I didn’t realize how traumatized I had been by our last miscarriage, something I’m still processing. There has also been so much bad news lately, as I’ve watched friends lose babies and have babies in the NICU and so many suffer this past year, I think I’m also just waiting for the ball to drop. We’ve been so blessed to have our health and our family and friends, I worry it can’t last or something is going to go terribly wrong. I have to remind myself that lots of stuff did — some I’ve shared, some I haven’t. And that I’m not destined to suffer, a belief engrained from childhood that I am still working hard to shed. So here I am, seven months pregnant and finally ready to talk about it more as we count down to baby’s arrival early this spring.
How are you feeling?
I am in that sweet spot between the first trimester sickness and end of pregnancy exhaustion, so overall, I feel pretty good. Thank you for asking. With that said, I don’t know if it’s because I have kids to chase after now, this pregnancy, or just the general state of the world right now and burnout, but I have been feeling pretty exhausted and off this pregnancy. I don’t have a lot of energy, have not been sleeping well, and my first trimester nausea has returned. With that said, we’re entering year 3 of a pandemic with everyone everywhere catching Covid, and my immune system is weaker due to pregnancy, so I feel like I’m catching every sniffle and cold my family brings home. So I’ve definitely spent more time feeling just tired and off, which has probably been the hardest third pregnancy differences I’ve experienced. Anyone else relate?
Was this Planned? Did You Do Fertility Treatments Again?
This was a popular question, and with good reason — I was really open with our struggles with secondary infertility with Charlotte, and then just sort of shut down this time around. It’s not that I didn’t want to share, but I think a few things contributed to my silence through our journey to baby #3. First, Covid has been so overwhelming and there’s been so much to juggle with the pandemic alone, I just haven’t been sharing as much in general. I also felt that with so much going on with Covid and so much craziness and bullying online, I wasn’t sure I wanted to talk about anything too personal or medical- related. And then I also have to admit, I felt shame. I felt shame that I couldn’t get pregnant on my own and had to do fertility treatments. Guilt and shame that we were being greedy or something by trying so hard for another baby when we have two healthy, magical kids at home. No one made me feel this way per se, but I think a lot of it is societal and then there are some people who have never been through infertility and can unintentionally make you feel bad — it’s just hard to understand until you’ve been there. But it’s 2022, and I really am ready to just live my life. I also know how much talking about this stuff helps other people experiencing it.
So to answer your question, yes it was planned. While we were able to conceive James naturally, it turns out, he was a miracle, because I have PCOS, which makes it incredibly hard to conceive naturally (though not impossible). We tried a little on our own, but I didn’t want too wait too long like we did with Charlotte, and I always knew I wanted at least three (probably, ahem ,four) kids. I’m glad we didn’t. As I found out and wish I had been told when we started doing fertility treatments for Charlotte, time really is a factor and important to think about if you want multiple kids. Every month you wait, your eggs get older. You need to calculate in not only your current age but the timeline of being pregnant for ten months and then, if like me ,you breastfeed for an extended period of time, that as well, which means the next time you try getting pregnant, you may be two to four years older, and the next time you may be another 2-4 years older, etc and it can make it that much harder to get pregnant. Our fertility window isn’t that big, but no one really tells you that, or at least they didn’t to me, which is why I’m sharing it. We knew IUIs were unlikely to work based on my last experience with nearly five failed IUIs, and I didn’t want to waste too much time, so after one failed IUI, we moved back to IVF. We did IVF to conceive Charlotte, so I wasn’t as scared this time and knew the drill. We did a full (and I have to say, grueling) round of IVF. After a successful transfer, we experienced a miscarriage at the end of my first trimester, which was extremely devastating. I had to wait until I stopped bleeding to start another round, which took much longer than I wanted because of how far along I was, but we did another transfer as soon as we were able, and now here we are today, seven months pregnant with our third baby.
Do You Know the Gender?
We do. I wasn’t going to find out, since we have one of each, but Andrew really wanted to know and so I finally let our OB tell us on a whim at one of our recent appointments. I don’t know if I’m the gender reveal type, but let me know if you guys want to know. Maybe we can do something fun that won’t feel too cheesy or dramatic for us.
How did James and Charlotte React?
They are so excited. Well, James is really excited. He’s going to be such a great big brother and the perfect little guy to lead our pack. Charlotte doesn’t fully understand. She loves baby dolls, but I don’t think she’s going to love having someone else be the littlest. She loves sitting on my belly and always wants to be carried and has been a stage five clinger recently, so I think it’s going to be a transition for her. I’m starting to feel a bit guilty about it, but I know we’ll figure it out. I am also so excited to give James and Charlotte this gift. My whole life I wanted more siblings and a big family, so I’m thrilled that they will have this experience, and I know it’s going to be really special for them. With that said, one of the biggest third pregnancy differences is that I am much more worried about how bringing home another baby will change our family dynamic. I didn’t feel that way with Charlotte, and I think in many ways that was because I really didn’t want James to be an only child and our journey to conceiving Charlotte was longer and it was our first experience with fertility treatments, so I was just so focused on finally having baby #3.
Are You Buying Anything for Baby #3?
We don’t really need anything per se, since we have clothes for both genders and so much gear. Charlotte is still in her crib, and I plan to keep her there as long as possible, so we may get a bassinet or mini crib for the baby, but will probably try to get something second hand. I sold our UppaBaby stroller so I will either get a bassinet attachment for the YoYo or for our jogger or double stroller, or I’ll get the Doona, which I feel like is probably the only gear I’ll invest in. I do need to get some bottles and onesies, but I’m still feeling superstitious so will wait until we get closer to do that.
Have You Started on the Nursery?
We haven’t. We are going to move probably right before or after the baby arrives, so waiting to see where we end up and then will decorate a nursery in our new home. I usually have the baby sleep with me for the first six or more months anyways, especially if I breastfeed like I did with the other two, so I’m not in a rush right now. Of course I’d love to be settled in our new home and planning the nursery now, but it never seems to work out that smoothly. So we’ll see where life takes us, and plan to spend my mat leave hopefully moving and settling and decorating.
Do You Have a Name Picked Out?
We have a couple top contenders for the first name and are still stumped on the middle name. We like to wait until the baby arrives to officially a choose a name, so I’m sure we’ll do the same.
Pregnancy Workout Routine?
The exhaustion this time has been one of the biggest third pregnancy differences I’ve experienced and made my workout routine much more scattered. I tried to be pretty active while pregnant with Charlotte and workout regularly though low impact. I was so nervous this time around after our miscarriage and some early-on scares this time, so I have mostly been walking. Recently I started adding in some low impact elliptical and Peloton rides (though I stopped my short-lived return to the gym due to Omicron) and then some Tracy Anderson low-impact dance videos (I just don’t do the jumping and modify to be lower impact). I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like and I miss sweating it out, and my doctor encourages me to exercise, but I’m a nervous pregnant person and just don’t want to risk it with anything too high impact. I am going to try to make Andrew get back into our regular weekly tennis dates. It’s probably what I’ve missed the most this pregnancy and I just haven’t been playing tennis or paddle out of fear, but I can’t wait to get back into both once the baby is here.
Any Diet Changes and Cravings?
I don’t know if this is one of the common third pregnancy differences or just unique to me, but I’ve certainly been hungrier than I remember this pregnancy. In fact, I’ve been pretty ravenous. And as anyone who has been pregnant knows, when you’re hungry when pregnant, you need to eat like right that second. It’s crazy. I gained a little more than I needed to with James and it sort of scarred me (I would get nervous before my doctor’s appointments because they weigh you and I always felt judged), so I have been trying not to go back there, and stick to a healthy diet and just eat more of it. I did cut out gluten as it can make PCOS worse but I have not been great about sticking to it. To be honest, I have been craving carbs and cheese a lot and not feeling very good so I think it’s also the nausea. But I’m trying to stick to as healthy a diet as I can for the baby, and do my best and that may or may not have included multiple desserts a day over the holidays. But that’s a perk of being pregnant over the holidays, no?
Are You Buying Any New Maternity Clothes?
I haven’t bought anything maternity this time around. I am actually still wearing my favorite jeans and I can’t believe how well they work with a bump although I’m wearing them pulled down. I have also been wearing these maternity jeans that I bought while pregnant with Charlotte. For me, time of year has been probably one of the biggest third pregnancy differences. For both my previous pregnancies, I was heavily pregnant during the summer. This time, I’m pregnant during the fall/winter, so most of the pregnancy clothes I had before (which wasn’t a lot) I gave away to friends. I’m mostly living in roomy dresses (Sea, Doen and Ulla Johnson are my favorites) when getting dressed is needed and otherwise, I’m living in leggings and oversized sweaters. I am finding being pregnant in the fall/winter to be far easier tbh. However, I am planning to invest in a couple items from my favorite pregnancy brands to get me through these last few months and my fourth trimester — this dress which is nursing friendly and everyone says is the softest, this sweater because my others are starting to get cropped and well, I love it especially for apres ski since that’s all I’m really doing these days, tempted to buy this sweater because it just looks so cozy and it’s on sale, I have this coat in cream and love for pregnancy and baby carrying btw, and this dress and this dress from my friend’s line Frances Hart, which I just love so much. This is also a great affordable top for date nights and this dress is great for weekends and work and both are under $30!
I’ll be sharing more of my pregnancy style in my weekly outfit roundups and on this blog, but here are my favorite maternity brands, why I don’t buy a ton of maternity clothes and some of my favorite pregnancy outfits from last time around.
Do You Have a Birth Plan?
I don’t. I haven’t with any of my kids — just hoping for a healthy, safe arrival. I am delivering in the city with the same doctor who delivered my other two babies, so I know I’m in good hands. Just hope Covid is more under control then!
Whew. I think that answers the most frequently asked questions about third pregnancy differences and everything else you guys were interested in hearing about but I’ll do another Q&A soon so let me know if you have any other questions.