One of the questions I have received the most since being pregnant again, aside from whether I wanted a boy or girl, is what similarities or differences am I experiencing with this pregnancy compared to my first. Now given the fact that I was pregnant with Gabbie over 11 years ago, I honestly don’t remember every detail. It makes me wish I would have kept a diary of those days, and of these days too actually, but luckily everything is still fresh in my mind and I’ve started this blog so I can write them down now and keep track!
When I was pregnant with Gabbie, I don’t remember having any weird cravings, major food aversions, or throwing up from being nauseous. The only time I actually had to throw up is when I was about eight months pregnant and got the stomach flu! WORST.. NIGHT… EVER… I do however remember waking up each morning of my first trimester feeling nauseous, so I learned quickly to keep a package of saltine crackers by my bedside. As soon as I could force some crackers and milk into my stomach, I felt just fine. I was even able to eat all the spicy foods that I loved right up until I was six months along. The months that followed were full of heartburn and I went through a bottle and a half of tums.
During my first trimester this time: severe nauseousness and food aversions! I’ve not thrown up, but there were a couple months where the only foods I could stomach were plain bagels and fruit. Anything with seasoning or too much flavor would make me feel sick to my stomach. I had to constantly force myself to eat because if I went too long without food, I would feel extremely nauseous, yet I had no appetite because nothing sounded good. It was very challenging to manage, but I’m thankful it wasn’t worse and I didn’t have to also manage running to the bathroom to throw up all the time!
The first trimester of both pregnancies were completely exhausting. It’s funny how that works, because for the first month or month and a half, women probably won’t even know they’re pregnant. But the work your body is doing to create this little child is exhausting and I definitely felt the repercussions. I was also very anemic with Gabbie, so that contributed to my exhaustion the first time around. I ended up taking an extra iron supplement which seemed to help.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m the type of person that will go-go-go until things are done. So having low energy levels and being tired is really frustrating for me. I love to check things off my list, which always tends to get longer before it gets shorter; and I’m used to working through the tiredness I feel until stuff gets done. This pregnancy, I’m not anemic, but I do have low iron levels. I have been forced to listen to my body and when it needs a rest. So when I’m feeling exhausted, I’ll take a break from cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry to sit down for a while and chill. If I’m feeling sleepy early, I’ll go to bed early. I’m learning that sacrificing a clean house sometimes to give my body a well deserved break is OK. I’ve also learned to ask my family for help, and they’ve been great about picking up extra chores to help me out. Junior’s also been appreciative of the fact that I’ve incorporated more red meat into our dinners to help increase my iron, because I typically don’t buy red meat, ha ha…
I really wasn’t active during my first pregnancy. I was 21-years-old, I felt young and healthy and really didn’t think to put much focus or priority into working out. After all, after the first trimester tiredness subsided, I was feeling pretty good the rest of my pregnancy.
This second time around, I’m 32-years-old and I’m definitely feeling the age difference. It’s been a struggle for me to try to prioritize working out into my busy schedule. I finished graduate school last summer and the six-years prior to that I was going to school full-time and working full-time. I spent so many hours working, going to school, doing homework, trying to keep a clean house and spending time with my husband and daughter, that personal care time, including working out, took a back seat. Now that my schedule has calmed down a bit, and especially because I feel such a big difference in my body aches/pains and weakness compared to my younger self, I know working out needs to become a priority. Not only because looking good makes you feel good, but because I want my energy levels back up, and I want to be able to keep up with my kids physically. Finding an exercise routine that works for me is definitely one of my current goals.
This is definitely where I feel the biggest difference. When we found out we were pregnant with Gabbie, it was a surprise. Definitely not planned, and I was definitely freaking out. Junior and I were renting a room from an old friend of mine that I went to middle school with. Because of the partying lifestyle we had both chose to live during that time, we were not welcome to live at either of our moms’ places, and we didn’t have enough money to get our own spot. We had actually been jumping around from friend to friend’s places until we secured this room to rent. It was a couple weeks after my 21st birthday when we found out I was pregnant; just seven months after we met each other.
It was an exceptionally unhealthy relationship to say the least. We were both battling our own demons and brought our own crazy baggage to the relationship. We both drank too much, didn’t respect each other, and there were a lot of trust issues. If I would have had a better head on my shoulders at that time, I would have seen the red flags and never been with him in the first place. I would have taken that time in my life to concentrate on letting past hurts heal, and on bettering myself. But I found myself addicted to not only substances that clouded my judgement and reality, but also this man, and I just couldn’t bring myself to leave him alone. When I found out we were having a child together, that just sealed the deal. He was in my life… for life.
So regardless to say, my first pregnancy experience was very stressful, the details of which aren’t even worth sharing, trust me. Junior and I split up before Gabbie turned 1-year-old, we both had a lot of issues to get sorted out on our own. I for one thought our relationship was done forever. We’ve both grown to become almost completely different people over this past decade, and I can only credit God for restoring our once broken relationship; the one that I thought never had a chance of being restored, and now we’ve been married for five and a half years.
So to flip the script and focus on this pregnancy’s stresses, the source has been mostly in the finance area. Here’s a timeline to help explain:
- August 2018 I took a new job.
- November 2018 we found out we were pregnant.
- December 2018 my husband is laid off from his job.
- January 2019 starts our daughter’s gymnastics competition season.
- February 2018 our daughter is injured in gymnastics.
- March 2019 I find out my new job is coming to an end because the company I now work for has been purchased, and the new owners are closing operations.
With my husband still out of work, gymnastics costs sitting on our credit cards along with doctor’s bills, I get to try to figure out how we’ll pay those down, along with keeping up with a mortgage when I join my husband in unemployment June 28th.
So have I been stressed? Yes. Am I still stressing? No.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely broke down a couple times, wondering how things are going to work themselves out. I am a planner. I am the budget person. I need to know what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and when we’re getting it done. But what I’ve discovered in my life, which I’m so thankful for, is that there is only so much I can do on my own before I have to let it all go and trust God to just work it out.
I remember the last time I was on unemployment. I was laid off from a job I held for almost three years, it was February 2015. I was in the middle of my Bachelor’s Degree program, so I took my time trying to find another job. Well, it got down to the wire and with just one week left of unemployment benefits coming my way before they were completely exhausted, I received a job offer. I’d say He cut it a little close, but God came through!
Before that, when I was single, I was working seven days a week between two part-time jobs, barely making enough money to pay rent and daycare costs. I prayed tirelessly for one ‘day job’, full-time with benefits so I could support myself and my daughter. God came through for me then too.
So that’s the biggest difference between my stress levels during my first and second pregnancy. It’s not necessarily the sources of the stress, because things are going to attack from any and all directions at any time; but it’s the source of my support to help deal with the stresses. The first time around, I was dependent on myself as my source to get through, and I experienced a lot of tears, depression and frustration. This time around, I focus my mind and heart on God, confident because He always has and always will take care of me and my family one way or another. I do not let my stresses debilitate me, but instead I find peace and curiosity in wondering, “How is God going to come through this time? What amazing plan does he have in store for us?” And I can’t wait to see what happens.