If I’ve been quiet, here is my secret – first trimester exhaustion!

The Gumdrops are thrilled to be expanding and are hoping for another smooth pregnancy. I feel like I’ve had very little energy for anything beyond the basics, but it’s been more doable to be pregnant and raising a toddler than I worried it might be.

Here are some things that have already been different for my second pregnancy and that I anticipate will be different this time around.

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First Indications
With my First Pregnancy: Emotions running wild were my first indication and I knew then that I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and the second line was so light but there.

With my Second Pregnancy: Two days of bright red occasional spotting – I definitely thought my period was starting! I took a pregnancy test and it was almost immediately a very solid double line.

Nausea
First: I spent about 6 weeks on the couch eating saltines. I remember the nausea was pretty rough for those weeks. I couldn’t find a way around it and threw up a few times a week. I was working on my laptop from a laying down position for most of that time and napped a lot.

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Second: The first trimester of this pregnancy overlapped with our annual trip back to the US, so we’ve been traveling for a lot of it. That’s kind of a tiring thing to do with a toddler generally so some of the exhaustion has just been absorbed by jet lag. This pregnancy there isn’t room for me to let the nausea ride so I’ve had to develop ways of coping and thankfully, it has worked! I have had a general nausea that creeps up and down all day since the week before my period was due! But I had only a few rounds of vomiting during week 9 and otherwise I’ve been on a regiment of crackers immediately upon waking and then small meals constantly throughout the day. The last thing I usually want to do is eat something but I know that if I can get something down before the nausea comes back strong, it will subside. And Mr. Gumdrop has been taking the morning duties on with Jujube and allowed me to wake up a little more gently as he gets her up. I usually can keep my energy up and get my work done until her afternoon nap and then I crash along with her.

Country
First: Jujube was born here in Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand – but it’s much smaller than Bangkok by far so I did find that our birthing options were limited. I had no option for an epidural and it didn’t make sense to write a birth plan for nurses who I didn’t share a common language with beyond very basic communication. I was thankful to find a doctor who was willing to help me delivery naturally and who was open to a few of my hopes like delayed cord cutting, and overall we had a very successful experience and a comfortable recovery here.

Second: We are planning to have baby number 2 back in the States. One big drawback is the much higher cost, but being on the same side of the planet as our families is a definite plus and we do have healthcare coverage. I am really excited to find a birthing team that aligns with my hopes for a natural birth with some hypnobirthing techniques – I used this the first time too but was pressured into pushing the baby myself rather than allowing my body to do the pushing. I know being in the US doesn’t solve everything, but I am excited to work with someone who has a sense of the baby’s pre-birth positioning and how to work on that since Jujube was a rather painful and long posterior birth too.

Transition
First: We had Jujube a year after we moved to Thailand so although we weren’t totally comfortable in a new place and culture, we had time to settle in, nest, and get ready. We didn’t know what to expect with this whole parenting thing, but we did know generally what to expect for the first year of her life. Even then, we decided to move to the country when she was three months old – and it’s been the best decision we could have made!

Second: We are moving back to the US a month into the second trimester and we will initially stay with Mr. Gumdrop’s parents until we can get our “Tiny Home” ready for living! And even then we don’t know where we will put it yet so there will be a few times of transition. But yes! – we were dreaming about this and we put a downpayment down on a 37′ two bedroom, tow-behind RV that we’ll live in this summer! After going through birth and navigating our first years as parents in a foreign country, I do feel more equipped to face transition and unknowns back in the US – even while pregnant and parenting. There will be a lot of transition but we’ll have more support from family than we’ve ever had.

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We are very excited!