Preparing for Pregnancy

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So, I’ll just admit it. I’ve got the baby-fever. A few months ago, I was still thinking “Another might be nice. We’ll wait a few months and see. No rush, of course.”

But sometime over the last few weeks, it hit me hard. I want another kid and I’m ready to be pregnant now. After all, Matthias turns one this week (*sniff* How’d that happen?) and is crawling all over the house like a crazy person. He’s practically done raised (kidding, I’m kidding). But seriously, I’m ready to be carrying around ultrasound pictures again, feel little magic kicks in my belly, and start finalizing baby names. I love being a Mom and am looking forward to adding another little blessing to our mix.

So when I recently read my friend Tricia’s blog post about the four things she was doing to prepare for pregnancy, I felt inspired to do my own.

1. Exercising

Before I got pregnant with my first, I was very into fitness, crunches, and the like. Because I had a good core, practically no stranger could tell I was pregnant with my first child until I was already well into my 3rd trimester. I was not faithful about restoring the ab-situation after Gabriel was born and it showed. The moment I got pregnant the second time, my left-over pooch (oh, how I hate that word) turned into a 2nd trimester-sized belly. In my first trimester, I had strangers asking when I was due. What a difference!  Because my abs were weak, there were other side effects too. Back aches, sciatica, general unsteadiness starting earlier on than it should…

This time around, I’ve dusted off my old pilates videos and have been working on toning and strength training, especially on my abs. It’s already made such a difference! No more back pain, much more energy… I feel healthier than I have in months. (In my next post, I’m planning to share more details on my exercise routine, so stay tuned).

2. Charting

When I’m trying to get pregnant, there’s nothing more emotionally exhausting than the waiting and wondering… Am I pregnant this month? Was that a twinge of morning sickness just then? Any time I pass the 30 day mark in my calendar, I fight the impulse to go buy the more expensive, early-result pregnancy tests just because I stink at being patient. After several disappointments, I’ve come to the conclusion that early pregnancy symptoms and pre-menstrual symptoms are pretty much the same thing and I refuse to let myself get excited or disappointed until I actually know.

Charting has helped a lot with the wondering. Not only will I know my ovulation day (so we can time things right), but I also know the exact day I should be getting my yes or no answer. It’s nice to say to myself, Wednesday’s the day I should know if we’re pregnant or not! No need to wonder or stress until then.

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If you’re new to this charting thing, I highly, highly recommend this book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It covers everything from natural preventative measures to timing things right when you’re trying.

3. Freezing meals

My poor husband didn’t eat very well during my past first trimesters. He never complained, but when I was too sick to look at food, he was often left to his own devices in the kitchen. Now that we have two kiddos to feed (in addition to my husband), it’s more important that some form of dinner makes it to the table. Otherwise, we’ll all be eating microwave burritos for months.

Starting a few months ago, I’ve been doubling and freezing whatever dinner I’m already making that night. Having dinner pre-made will make life so much easier later on.

 

4. Kicking Caffeine

Ouch. This is a hard one. I’m usually a once-or-twice cup of coffee a day person, but from what I understand, caffeine presents a miscarriage risk in the first trimester. Since I’ve had a miscarriage in the past, I’m not risking anything this next time around. So no coffee for me, at least until my second trimester (and then only in moderation). Honestly, since I’ve (mostly) kicked the habit, I haven’t missed it as much as I feared I would. I don’t have any energy ‘highs’ anymore, but I haven’t had as many energy lows, so it balances out.

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5. Reading

Seriously, I’ve been reading a lot (both books and online). Currently, I’ve been reading on miscarriage prevention, morning-sickness management, childbirth, child training tips for my other two, and more efficient ways of running our home so I can have more time to spend with my children and husband.

I know it’s cliché, but knowledge really is power. Now is the time to get better at this parenting, wifing, home-making thing before we add another little person to the mix.

 

6. Delegating more responsibilities to Gabriel.

My three-year-old is getting old enough to help out with things that are actually useful. Wonderful milestone, by the way! Some of his new delegated responsibilities include emptying the silverware from the dishwasher, setting the table for meals, and refilling the toilet paper basket. When I’m morning sick, or later on when I have a newborn, these little things are going to be even more appreciated than they are now.

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7. Polishing up Obedience-Skills

There’s no doubt about it, obedient kids are easier to live with. Right now, if Gabriel keeps taking away Matthias’ toy, I can physically go and remove it from one brother and restore it to the other. Later on, when I’m feeling queasy, it will be more important that Gabriel obeys at my verbal command. It takes a little more diligence in training now, but I’m sure it will pay off in the end.

What about you? Anything you wish you had thought of beforehand?  Anybody else hoping for another blessing sometime soon?

18 thoughts on “Preparing for Pregnancy

  1. Tricia Regar says:

    This was great. YES, I am totally ready to be pregnant again!! Sometimes I think that if *I* were “in control” of the situation, I’d be pregnant already… but it doesn’t work that way. We’re NOT in control, no matter how much we’d like to think that we are! 😉

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Definitely true! I tried for 9 months before getting pregnant with Gabriel (and we were doing *everything* right) and some people seem to get pregnant ‘by accident’ all the time! Only God gives us children. It’s my job to be ready for them (or as ready as possible) for when he does. Thanks for reading, Tricia!

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you for the post! My husband and I have had the baby itch for quite awhile. Now that our son Kiptyn is almost 2, we’re ready to give him a brother or sister. Unfortunately, we’ve been trying for 9 months now, and to no avail. I am just like you – patience is not my strong-point! I have also come to the same conclusion that pre-menstrual and early pregnancy symptoms are the same! I have spent countless months (and money) testing myself thinking, “I MUST be pregnant,” only to be disappointed once again. I know I just need to trust that God’s timing is perfect…but can’t he be just a LITTLE bit faster?!!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Yes, yes! I can totally relate. Honestly, my charting endeavor came about to save us money on pregnancy tests more than anything else. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Heather! It took my 9 months of trying before I got pregnant with my first, so hang in there!

  3. Madison says:

    I won’t be done breast feeding for a few months, but that is something I need to prepare myself for the next time around! Ouch!!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Oh, no! I had breastfeeding troubles with Gabriel in the beginning but not with Matthias. 🙁 Hang in there, Madison!

  4. Allie says:

    We’re hoping to start trying again for #2 in the spring, and our 1st baby is 5 months right now! We want our kids to be close in age. I’m trying to work on the fitness thing right now but it is SO hard when I am SO exhausted!! I feel pretty informed on all the pregnancy/labor/newborn stuff right now but I totally forgot about preparing for the toddler years and so on, so I will definitely need to add reading into my preparation! And yes, like you I am not very good at waiting. I hope it happens a little faster this next time 🙂

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      How exciting! And yes, I can relate to the exhaustion. It DOES get easier once your baby gets a bit older. Usually around the 6 month mark, I start finding myself with some extra time and energy. So hang in there, Allie! Thanks for reading and commenting. ~Kelsey

  5. Angelika says:

    Oh yes baby fever. Here too. I am convinced I am pregnant…I bought a test today. Sigh…yes one of the expensive early ones. Sigh again…shaking my head at myself…..
    I also am doing freezer meals, writing down all the tips I learnt from number one so I don’t forget what I found worked during the newborn phase, and exercising diligently about once every 3 weeks. Plus working on obedience and more independence skills from my 18 month old. Also buying a lot of good story books for number 1 so I have something to read to her when I nurse a baby. In the near future… I hope… ahem….
    Plus of course I have a home management binder and have revised my recipe book (Finished it last night!) thanks to this blog! Feeling better organized certainly helps.
    I hate fake pregnancy symptoms. Two stomach virusses in the last two months, and every time excitement until I find myself weak as a puppy sitting in the bathroom and realize it’s not a baby in there…yes, fun.
    I am very impatient too. Hence the early test. I just cannot wait anymore. I hate my lack of self-control…

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Congrats on the recipe book! That’s a lot of work. Organization always helps us feel more prepared. As far as the pregnancy impatience, I totally feel your pain, Angelika. Waiting around is so hard. Keep yourself busy, if you can. Have a ‘if I’m not pregnant this month’ plan to cheer you up. Go out and do something fun, enjoy a wine cooler that night, and appreciate another month of not being sick or tired yet. Not AS exciting as another kid, I grant you, but better than being too disappointed. On the other hand, it would be so fun to be pregnant together, so keep me updated! 😉

  6. Angelika says:

    I think it’s a negative this month..SUCH a good idea to have a “fun” plan. I still have a bottle of strawberry wine in the fridge, I believe I will start right there tonight…lol….and make a plan for next month! You have the best ideas Kelsey.

  7. Ariel Hirsch says:

    Just came across your blog yesterday for the first time and I am absolutely loving it! My husband and I are planning to start trying soon and I am SO ready to be pregnant and have our first baby! I’ve gotten so much out of your posts that I’ve read- please keep writing! 🙂

  8. Hey Kelsey! New follower here. Can you share some of the info you’ve read about caffeine being linked to miscarriages? Thanks!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Sure, Katherine! There’s a lot to find with a simple Google search. https://www.google.com/#q=caffeine+and+miscarriage A lot of the opinions are contradictory and inconclusive, and I myself drank coffee throughout my first pregnancy without any problems. I guess after having one miscarriage, though, I’m erring on the ‘better safe than sorry’ side. I’m a smaller person and a cup of coffee effects me very easily.

  9. xandraoneill says:

    I am so glad that I found your post! I love that you are thinking ahead like this. It’s such an important step that so many women don’t pay much attention to, so thank you for giving it space on your blog. Preparing myself before we started trying to conceive was one of the most empowering things I ever did for myself and my family.

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