We shared two weeks ago the exciting news – Henry’s going to be a big brother! I know all of you were very surprised! I asked if anyone had questions, and many of you did, so here we go…! The 411 on Baby Schmieder #2!
Was it planned or surprise?
A little bit of both! Our plan was to start trying when Henry turned one. But surprise – it happened a lot faster than we had expected. I realize we are very very lucky on that front.
How did you decide to have them so close in age?
I had a lot of people ask a version of these first two questions. First I should say – there was no way of knowing what our fertility journey would look like. Secondary infertility (struggling to get pregnant after a first pregnancy) was something we knew could happen… we had hoped we’d be able to have kids close in age and truly feel so lucky we’ve been so fortunate in this area of our lives.
That being said, we had hoped we’d be able to stay in the baby phase while we were in it and then move past it. I think it would be much harder for me to have an older child, get back into a routine of non-baby normalcy, and then be thrown back into diapers and late nights and regressions and teething. We thought the idea of just doing it all at once for 2-3 years then being past this stage sounded appealing. Plus we really wanted them to be close in age.
In my experience, it’s harder for siblings with a larger age gap to really bond at a young age or be close friends until later in life. Not to say it’s impossible, but I had hoped our kids would be close in age. My sister and I were 5 years apart and my brother and I were 2.5 years apart, and he and I were much closer growing up simply because of our ages. My sis and I didn’t really become close friends until she went to college! The age gap was just too great before then… always at very different life stages until adulthood really. I also never wanted the older sibling to have to be a caregiver for a younger sibling.
I also love that Henry will only ever know life with a sibling. That warms my heart.
So yes – wanted them close in age for a number of reasons!
That being said – being pregnant with a one-year-old has not been easy. But I imagine being pregnant with an even heavier, still-not-potty-trained, two-year-old who has learned how to pout and say no and gained strength wouldn’t be any easier!
How did you find out you were pregnant this time?
Funny story. Remember back when I posted I had an emergency root canal? They needed to do x-rays so he asked me “are you pregnant?” and my response was, “Ya know, maaaybe. But we’re operating under the assumption no.” I had taken a test (too early) and it was negative. Four days later I took another and it was positive. Dan was at the grocery store, Henry was napping, the dogs and I were hanging out – we had just received Fiona’s diagnosis the DAY before so the mood in our house was grim (I had been sobbing for hours the night before). I figured… what the heck. Let’s see.
Within seconds it showed a clear-as-day two pink lines indicating pregnant.
Our Nest cam captured me coming back into the kitchen and I remember being SO happy and excited but according to the camera footage I kept saying out loud “Shit.” “Oh shit.” Which is funny because I really was so happy – but I was saying that because I was worried about the x-rays I’d just had done – I almost immediately started googling and called my OBGYN to ask if it was an issue. (It wasn’t.) Phew.
How did you tell Dan?
So this is also kind of funny… as I said I took the test while Dan was at the grocery store early Saturday morning. Henry woke up and I put him in his high chair to eat breakfast and shortly thereafter Dan came home and was standing by the fridge putting the food away.
I said, “Dada, Henry has some newwwws for you!”
Dan looks up and says, “Does he have a big pooper?”
I was dying.
And in my best imaginary baby Henry voice I said, “Dad, I’m gonna be a big brother!”
Dan: “Are you serious?!”
I showed him the test. We hugged, we laughed, we were all so excited.
It was a much need happy moment hours after getting some of the worst news ever for our family… in 24 hours we learned we were losing one member of our family and gaining a new member. I could cry just thinking about it.
How do you feel emotionally the second time around?
100% calmer and less anxious. A lot more excited. Honestly I was quite scared and felt unprepared for my journey into motherhood with Henry – especially in that first trimester. It all happened much sooner than we had anticipated so I really wasn’t totally ready. I don’t even know when I really felt ready. Maybe a month after he was born? Hah I felt lucky and nervous when I saw my positive test with Henry; this time around it was pure joy, no fear (minus the xray concern) which was really special to get to experience.
Love that they’ll be close in age – how are you prepping for two under two?!
Oy. Um.. I don’t even know? Mostly talking to people who have done it. My Everymom team just informed me about post-partum doulas and that sounds VERY appealing to help us get through that first week or two while I’m healing. We already have child care lined up so that’s a huge weight off and we’ll still have her while I’m on maternity leave.
A few things I’ve heard:
– get your oldest comfortable with independent play ASAP
– wear the baby (we were never great at this with Henry)
– try to get them on as similar to a nap/feeding schedule as possible so we get some breaks
That’s pretty much it! I’ve heard it will be the best and hardest time of our life – and it’s a very short time in our life. UNFORTUNATELY it falls during a cold Chicago winter which really won’t help being cooped up inside… hoping for a mild winter.
Do you want a boy or a girl?
Ah that’s a tough one to answer.
Truly going into every appointment, you’re just hoping for a healthy pregnancy. Boy, girl, it doesn’t matter.
This second time around, the only reason I’d say girl is because I kind of had my mind made up on only having two kids and selfishly want to get to experience the mother-daughter experience and Dan to get to have a father-daughter experience. But that doesn’t mean I’d be disappointed if it was a boy – if that makes sense? We’ll love that boy like crazy!
But in terms of actually having a girl or boy, or a sister or brother for Henry – we had no actual preference. Two boys close in age would be besties and it would be amazing to see how similar or different they are. Henry being a big brother to a little sister just warms my heart – so darling!
I’ve loved having a son. I obviously would have been so thrilled to have a son or daughter to join our family.
Will you find out/do you know the gender?
We do know and will share soon! I really want to film a video like we did with Henry!
When are you due?
October 28 but we currently have a c-section scheduled for October 22 but I have a feeling baby is going to come sooner since Henry was two weeks early.
What symptoms first made you think you might be pregnant?
None really… I found out immediately before symptoms really began. I wasn’t even four weeks along when I got the positive test.
How tired are you?
Some days I feel as though I haven’t slept in a week level of exhausted. Other days I’m fine. It just depends! But more often the exhausted one. Womp womp.
Pregnancy/Baby 1 versus Pregnancy/Baby 2
How long did you nurse Henry?
A month. Wasn’t a big fan plus I really disliked pumping. Will try again with baby 2 though! See how long we make it. I’ll have even less pressure on myself this time so maybe that will make it less stressful.
Do you feel like your body had a chance to recover before getting pregnant again?
Sure? I don’t know. I felt great going into this pregnancy. My doctors aren’t at all concerned w/ the space between the pregnancies so I’m not either.
How do you feel about birth second time around? Will you be having another c-section?
I feel great! A lot less scared – I now know my doctor personally and LOVE her which makes all the difference.
I’d love to be brave enough to try for a VBAC and have an easy recovery… but there’s no guarantee a vaginal delivery will go that easy. Plus the odds are my body won’t know what to do again. I just wasn’t dilating despite having strong contractions for 20 hours and 0 complications. So it’s very likely that will just happen again. My cervix was just like “whaaaat should I be doing? Not interested.” When the time finally came to meet my son, I was basically delirious from hunger and exhaustion.
Plus the risks scare me and they’re just not worth it. C-section recovery isn’t that bad after the first week.
So the thought of it all being controlled and safe and me not being painfully exhausted and starving and thirsty when I meet my newborn sounds fantastic! Plus not having to recover both vaginally from labor AND abdominally if it turns into another c-section like I did with Henry (healing in one place is hard enough) and this time just recovering from surgery sounds really appealing.
Symptoms/morning sickness? What’s different this time around? How do you feel?
OMG everything is different. Crazy nausea. Sick a couple times. Crazy exhaustion. Crazy cravings. All I’ve wanted are chips and pasta and mashed potatoes and cheesy bread and I didn’t even want to look at a salad until recently. None of it’s gone away in my second trimester. I had none of this with Henry save for exhaustion. It. is. rough. Basically I feel like crap a lot of the time.
How much harder is pregnancy while also having another babe to look after?
Ya know, I’m not going to lie to you – it’s been a lot harder. Hah that’s really all there is to say. I wouldn’t be functioning if it wasn’t for Dan who does the mornings and let’s me sleep on those “I can barely open my eyes” days. And when I can’t stay awake at 6pm and it’s time for Henry’s dinner and I lay on the sofa while they’re at the kitchen island. 🙁 The guilt like I’m not there enough for Henry is alarmingly real even though I obviously am there – a lot considering I work from home 2-3 times a week. But it’s been tough. Even though we’re just getting a jumpstart on tag-teaming… Dan’s taking care of one, I’m growing the other. Hah And my whole body aches so carrying Henry around has been harder. Womp womp. I need to do some strength training stat.
And then we lost Fiona. And the grief was… beyond. It was always going to be awful but it was magnified tremendously due to hormones, and struggling with that loss also made everything much harder.
It’s been a rough couple of months.
How to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay active during pregnancy?
Shockingly I did start swimming in my first trimester a couple times a week (I’ve fallen off the routine and REALLY need to get back bu the last few weeks have been rough). I’ll continue throughout the pregnancy as long as I feel food. We also take a lot of walks when it’s not pouring rain or snowing.
If you could do your registry all over, would there be things you would add or remove? / Updated registry post, please?
I will do a whole updated registry post on what I loved having and what I’d redo! Honestly there isn’t much I’d change but I definitely want to share what those few items are.
Your thoughts about Henry and the amount of attention he’ll get/need?
Doesn’t even cross my mind – I’m not worrying about that unless it comes up!
Names you are considering?
I actually shared in this blog post!
Are you having a sprinkle?
I just learned what that was last year – apparently a sprinkle is a lil’ mini shower for second/third/fourth babies – I didn’t know it was a thing! I really don’t know of anyone who has had one. I guess it makes sense if you have a big age gap between kids? But no, we are not having one.
What’s your caffeine intake while pregnant?
I am dead exhausted without my grande almond milk latte from Starbucks in the morning which is 150mg of caffeine and the recommendation is 200mg.
Will you stay in the city once you have a second baby?
Probably not for long. We knew we wanted to eventually move to the burbs to be closer to family but figured it would be in 2-3 years. This babe came just a bit sooner than we expected so we’ll likely move in a year or so. Also just depends on the market and what we find.
But we’d like a big yard and a fourth bedroom and a playroom (whether that’s a finished basement or whatever). I don’t regret getting this place at all – we really love it and it’s been amazing. Having a short commute to work for both babies’ first years is worth its weight in gold and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. But I think life just sounds easier in a lot of ways being closer to family and in a different setup.
If you can’t tell we’re obviously so excited. And your excitement means the world. Will share more content soon – of course the nursery plans! And gender reveal! And a post of everything we’re re-using and the few items we need (I mentioned the bassinet situation in insta stories this AM). Let me know what else you want to hear!
Congratulations on baby no. 2!
Congratulations! I’m guessing it’s a girl just due to the fact that your symptoms are so different from when you were carrying Henry.
Such great news! My boys are 4 years apart (not by choice, that secondary infertility is real!) and they’ve struggled with bonding. No matter a boy or girl, I’m sure yours will end up close (17 months sounds perfect!) Congratulations!