Ironically, when I started writing this blog series on improving fertility naturally (somewhat out of self-interest because umm I wanted to get pregnant again), I was actually already one week pregnant - but of course didn't consciously know it at that early stage.
Getting my period back
By the way, Archie is now almost 22 months old and still loves the boob, although not a lot of milk is coming out! As a result of my milk production dropping (that's pregnancy hormones for you), he's been slowly, involuntarily weaned for the most part. I still breastfeed him for comfort or when he's unwell, and suspect that he'll have a party when baby number 2 is born and that yummy milk comes in again.
I've always known that I wanted to have two kids (at least) and being the kind of person who, once I decide to do something, I immediately DO IT... I saw the return of my period as the green light to fall pregnant again.
So I was disappointed to get a second period after timing sex as best as I could with ovulation (and after wasting about 5 pregnancy tests in the days leading up to that period starting). In fact, I was a little crushed. But I guess trying to fall pregnant straight away was pretty hurried in hindsight given that my reproductive system that was still regaining its bearings. After extended breastfeeding it can take a few menstrual cycles to get a regular, predictable period and the slightest idea of which day you're ovulating on, so that you can time sex to take place at that bees-buzzing, wolves-howling, body-electric, maximal-tips-are-given-to-waitresses-at-ovulation height of your fertility.
Breastfeeding can also make you produce extra vaginal mucus which confuses the whole picture when you're trying to determine your fertile / ovulating days. But that's a whole different kettle of fish, and I digress...
I never got a third period because I fell pregnant. Hurrah! I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but I reckon that doing a lot of the stuff I suggested in these fertility-boosting blogs helped me get there again relatively quickly.
I know. Following your own advice. Something I don't always do - but this time it seems to have helped.
Mother's day surprise
I waited until about day 40. My last cycle had been long (ovaries waking up again) and I didn't want to waste more money and disappointment on negative pregnancy tests. However, I'd been having some weird baby dreams.
On Mother's Day we were driving back from the markets and I started to feel just a little nauseous. "I know that feeling" I thought, and took the test as soon as we got home.
Yep, pregnant: double lines showed as soon as I peed on the stick. After those initial disappointing tests leading up to my last period, I had managed to calm myself down about the whole idea of pregnancy so much that I was kind of in shock at actually being pregnant! I was 5 1/2 weeks on the day I found out.
Being the massive over-sharer that I am, I was telling friends, strangers, clients, and anyone who would listen that I was pregnant from week 6.
new weapons against MOrning sickness
I'm glad to say by the time we were married (week 13) the morning sickness was over!
But before the wedding took place, I had to endure five weeks of dreaded morning (and afternoon but definitely evening) sickness. It started and finished a little earlier than it did during my first pregnancy, ending around week 11. Thankfully. My heart goes out to those women who are sick for much longer, or the whole way through. Ugh.
As a result of having such a non-existent appetite during my first trimester, I lost a little weight - just like I did with Archie. This freaks me out just a little because I know how much nutrition baby needs to grow healthy and strong. Trying to make yourself eat when your appetite sucks and you're nauseous is an uphill battle.
It made me think back to my dietetic practicum treating cancer patients in hospital while they were undergoing chemotherapy. I remember watching the dietitians persuade, cajole and even coerce these patients to eat and I shudder at the thought of how awful that would have been for them!
Luckily, this time around I've picked up a few little tricks to deal with the morning sickness, the biggest being vitamin B6 and magnesium supplementation. Works a treat! A daily hit of these babies reduced the nausea by at least 50% and is something I wish I had known about first time around! You live and learn, hey?
I took 150mg of elemental magnesium and 50mg activated B6, once a day usually in the evenings. This is the two-in-one supplement that did the trick for me.
Ok I'm going to leave it there for trimester one because I want to save the more recent (and exciting!) stuff for a second trimester blog. Let's just say that similar to last time, second trimester is when I start to dive deep emotionally and psychologically.
And by the way, being pregnant when you have an energetic toddler running around who loves to breastfeed is REALLY TIRING, and totally different to being a first time mama! (Oh luxurious long sleeps whenever I wanted, HOW I MISS YOU!) I'll go into that next blog.