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Take Two: The final countdown to baby #2

Editor’s Note: Take Two is a series of blog posts chronicling the experiences of three WISH-TV anchors (Lauren Lowrey, Kylie Conway and Amber Hankins) who have been pregnant together in 2018. Each woman is expecting her second child and each will have a baby boy.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — You know how they say all pregnancies are entirely different? I broke that mold. My two pregnancies, physically speaking, have been nearly identical. This baby is in a different position so I feel kicks and punches in different areas and I have to go to the bathroom more often, but otherwise, identical. No morning sickness. Mild fatigue in first trimester. Raging heartburn. Restless legs. 

There are a few other ways expecting baby #2 has been different though. 

For starters, this pregnancy was more calculated, deliberate and a means to an end. I had a very specific time frame I wanted to hit. I wanted about a 3-year age gap and a birthday NOT in December! As unromantic as that sounds, it’s true. I wanted another child, specifically to give our son, Joaquin, a partner-in-crime. So here we are. 

The first pregnancy was filled with excitement, the unknown, nursery prep and daydreaming. Second go-round? Milking every second I have with Joaquin as my first and only and reconnecting with my husband as strongly as we can before our life isn’t ours for a while again. 

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am over-the-moon excited and can’t wait to bring this new bundle home. I love feeling this little guy kick and hearing his heartbeat at doctor appointments. But, this time I have a little human to focus on. A boy who holds my whole heart right now. 

I’ve found that time is flying by. More than I ever thought possible. I will be 30 weeks along on Sunday. Roughly two months until around-the-clock feedings, introducing a new way of life to Joaquin, figuring out when I can get some sleep and once again being filled with that overwhelming, indescribable, cup-runneth-over kind of love.

I’m not worried about sharing the love with a second child. I know I have plenty of room for that. I do have spells where I look at Joaquin and am drawn to tears because there’s no way he understands how much his world is about to change. How do you explain to a 2.5-year-old that they’ll never be replaced, they’ll never be less loved or less important? He’s going to have to grow up so much. One tactic we’re using is trying to turn him into our “helper” and he does a great job with it. He closes doors, turns off lights, stirs the pancake batter, etc. 

We also bend the rules sometimes. 

For example: I’m on a flight right now to one of my dearest friend’s weddings in Montana. I have been away from Joaquin two other times. An overnight trip to Chicago and a weekend trip to Chicago for another wedding. Last night when Joaquin wanted to sleep with me it was a resounding YES! He snuggled right up and I breathed it in. For those moments I could close my eyes, smell his clean skin, give him endless kisses, feel his breath on my neck and whisper, “I love you sweet baby. Sweetest dreams,” until we both quickly fell asleep. When I woke to my alarm this morning I just stared at him, smiling. He’s such a healthy, smart and dynamic boy. I almost feel greedy to have tried for another one as perfect as him.  

There are times when I worry that those leniencies will come back to bite us after boy #2 arrives. But, my husband is good at putting that in perspective. How can snuggles, comfort and security ever be a bad thing? We’ll figure it out. 

Which brings me to another difference. I know that no matter what, we’ll figure it out. We were challenged with unusual circumstances bringing Joaquin into the world. We figured it out. Childcare with crazy hours? We figured it out. Excruciating breastfeeding? Check. Figured that out. Traveling with an infant? Done. We. Will. Figure. It. Out. And love every second. It makes the second pregnancy so much less stressful. You find peace of mind knowing that there will be unknown circumstances arise and unexpected surprises. But, I know now that we have a huge network of friends and family who are by our side in a moment’s notice. I’ve also learned that it’s ok to ask for help. 

Another difference this go-round is I’m trying for a VBAC. Joaquin was breach and delivered via emergency c-section. Obviously, as we second-time moms know, things rarely go as planned, so we’ll see if a VBAC actually happens. If it does, the delivery and recovery will certainly be new to me.

In a weird way, I’m looking forward to going into labor just to experience something new. During my c-section my hubs was giving me a play-by-play (he’s an RN so he could handle it) and watched the whole thing. While it was a cool experience I guess, it was definitely not my cup of tea. You’re on a surgical table with blinding lights, can’t feel or move your legs, trembling, cold and I had this dull ache in my shoulder.

The anesthesiologist resident told me that was because nerves in your uterus are attached to your shoulder and I wasn’t numb there. So weird. I recovered pretty quickly, but my abs were sore for so long. Just sitting up to feed Joaquin felt like a marathon. I also hated the way the scar tingled for months after the surgery. There’s a bit of anxiety tied to it, but I’m really curious to find out what breathing and pushing are all about.

Another difference? I feel really prepared. The boys are going to share a room so I don’t need to buy a darn thing. We have a bassinet ready to go. Plenty of boys clothes, bibs, car seat, etc. We literally are just waiting to bring a baby home.  

I’m certainly more tired in general this pregnancy. Not from being pregnant, but from having a toddler. Just last night during bath time I was leaned over putting lotion on Joaquin. I made the comment to my husband, “I don’t remember my belly feeling so tight last time. When I bend over I can barely breath!”

His response?

Something like, “You didn’t have a toddler to tend to either.” Bingo. I immediately realized that the only time I had to bend over with round one was when I put my shoes on or dropped something! No wonder my lower back aches. 

I think my only anxiety lies within that last paragraphs somewhere. If I’m already exhausted between waking up at 1:40 a.m. for work and chasing a toddler around as soon as I walk in the door, how am I going to incorporate another dependent child and EVER get sleep??? I guess it’s true when they say “you can sleep when you’re dead.’ But, dear lord, I hope this new baby sleeps better than Joaquin did.

For now I’m choosing to soak up my final moments with my family of three. I picture Joaquin and his little bro being best friends one day. Will baby #2 be tall like Joaquin? Will they look the same? Have similar personalities? Who knows. But, it’s certainly fun to think about. 

To my first born: You’ve given my life value and true meaning. I’m the luckiest.

To baby #2. You’re in for a life filled with a lot of love and fun. Adventure awaits lil bug. 

To my husband: We’ve got this.

Cheers to the unexpected.