It’s been more than a month since I gave birth to my second princess.
It took me more than two years after the birth of my first child to convince myself to have another child. I have anxiety issues. A million questions would bother me before I make a decision on something. One thing I wanted answered was – would I want to go through all of it again? The pain, the exhaustion, the disruption from my career, and so many more. Motherhood took a toll on me. So, I got scared.
It took a lot of mental preparation before I agreed to conceive again. While I gained more confidence that I can do it, my body, unfortunately, was not prepared.
I gained so much weight after giving birth to my first. Even more than two years after, I kept my third-trimester weight. I weighed like I didn’t give birth.
But that’s not what bothered me (since I’m so used to being fat anyway). For someone who has been calendaring her period way before she got married, having a period that doesn’t stop concerned me. And my tummy was abnormally huge. I know, I know! I shouldn’t be surprised since it comes with the weight I put on. Haha! I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t some tumor or anything bad.
My ultrasound didn’t show tumors, it showed cysts on both ovaries… And it confirmed that the huge tummy was because I was fat. Haha! OB ordered a few labs – full thyroid blood work panel, comprehensive hormone panel, blood sugar tests, etc. – to figure out what causing the cysts. And we found that I have under-functioning thyroid glands and hormonal imbalance.
I was prescribed meds to regulate my menses and was advised to lose weight and follow a healthy diet to help my thyroids regulate my reproductive hormones.
The meds I followed. The losing weight part, not so much.
Since my period has already regulated, we tried for another baby. Towards the end of October 2018, I missed my period. I already had a feeling, but I confirmed with a pregnancy test. It’s positive!
I got so excited that I announced it to my friends during the Halloween Party.
We celebrated… Too early!
I can’t even remember how many ultrasounds I went through during the first trimester of that pregnancy. I probably had twice every week from 6th to 12th week and had several doctors and specialist checking and confirming.
They found 2 gestational sacs, which means I had twins. When I was told that, I was already checking twin baby gears and researching how to carry two babies and a toddler, because I still want to be able to go out and about no matter how many babies I carry.
In one ultrasound, they said they can’t detect any heartbeat, in another they said there’s a faint heartbeat, another doctor said one of the twins is not growing, or the other one is probably blocking the other twin, etc. There was no definite answer. It was always, “come back another week, maybe we’ll see more.” One day they’ll give me hope, some days they’ll bring me down. It was a rollercoaster ride.
My anxiety was growing bigger and bigger by the day that I wanted to scream and tell all my doctors to just tell me if I’ve lost the babies already so I can start coming to terms with it. But at the same time, I want to hear them say that the babies, or at least one of them, are okay.
They waited until my 12th week of pregnancy to finally declare that the pregnancy was not viable and that I should be scheduled for a D&C to remove them from me.
It was the saddest Christmas I’ve ever had in my over 30 years of existence.
It took me a day to recover from the D&C procedure, but months to recover emotionally. Especially when people would ask when I am due. I would attend online job interviews fresh from crying (I did land one very good work though. Thank God!) Every day I’d blame myself for not taking care of my body.
Like what most people, if not everyone, would do on New Year’s, I made a resolution to take care of myself – eat healthy and exercise. It took me a couple of months to actually start because grieving took a while. Also, when you’re a person who has not been exercising or eating right for so long, changing bad habits is quite difficult. I started in March, after my eldest’s birthday because I couldn’t resist eating the cake I baked for her. haha!
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I baked and decorated my kid’s birthday cake. It’s actually my first time to decorate a full sized cake (8″ diameter).. That’s a vanilla funfetti cake in different colors, strawberry jam filling, cream cheese buttercream frosting, white chocolate ganache in different colors, and white chocolate shards in different colors. 🙂
The universe actually conspired and helped me! Our kitchen flooded and had to be repaired. So, we moved to a new apartment, a little farther away from my daughter’s daycare center, about 2-3 kilometers. So, I decided to walk her to her daycare every morning and pick her up every afternoon. So, every day I make about 10-12 kilometers of walking. As I gain endurance, walking turned into jogging.
For the diet part, I researched extensively about this and consulted a few nutritionists and fitness trainers I know and joined Facebook groups for motivation. I followed a low carb diet, almost like Keto with a slight difference. Since I already know that I have an under-functioning thyroid, not only I avoided carbs and sugar like a plague, I also avoided goitrogenic food. Goitrogens inhibit thyroid function. So, I had to be selective about the vegetables I eat, which is not a problem since I wasn’t really fond of vegetables ever since I was a kid. haha!
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In just a few months, I can already see the difference. I felt lighter and less bloated. I lost a bit of tummy and I had more energy that I even joined a hiking trip. From 86 kilogram in March 2019, I was down to 68 kilograms by June 2019. Reversed the number!
Rain before the Rainbow
When I missed my period in June 2019, I already knew. I tested positive on the pregnancy test. However, this time we decided to keep it to ourselves. I only told my family and informed my boss after my first trimester. I was still scared of my past miscarriage. I kept it from people until they started noticing my tummy.
My OB tagged my pregnancy as high-risk so I could be monitored closely. My hormonal imbalance was acting up. I had fainting spells, early contractions, and I developed an aggressive form of periodontal disease that I had to have a deep cleaning procedure every week up to my 36th week (YES! Do you know how painful deep cleaning is? For the first time in my life, I am traumatized of dentists). In my second trimester, my OB even diagnosed that my baby has Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). It was consistent with my hormonal imbalance.
All throughout this pregnancy, my anxiety was on high. I get nightmares every day and I could not focus on anything. My anxiety got so bad that I was becoming toxic to be with. Even lost a friendship because of this.
On my 35th week, my OB informed me that I should try Vaginal Birth after Cesarian (VBAC). Well, I didn’t have choice actually since she didn’t want to schedule an operation. haha! But it was one of the things that bothered me since I’ve read about it even before I got pregnant and I was pretty sure I wasn’t a good candidate. While I kept a good average weight gain all throughout the pregnancy, I was still overweight and since my birth scar was vertical, I thought it was a classical cut (it’s LSCS according to my operation record, which I didn’t really check.) Every week, whenever I meet my OB, I would always ask if it’s possible. I’m scared of uterine rupture, in case I push too hard. She kept saying not to worry since baby is small and my scar from my previous cesarian section is completely healed.
But guess what, my baby did not remain small in her last 3 weeks in my womb. She caught up and more! I don’t know how a baby who was diagnosed with IUGR manage to grow so much in the span of 3 weeks. It was either a wrong diagnosis or miracles really do happen. So, I got scared that she might not fit or my previous scar might rupture.
Well, she kind of didn’t fit. haha! I labored and waited a few days past my due date, but she wasn’t going down, so they had to open me up anyway. I was awake during the operation and even watched from when they opened me up until they closed the wound. When I saw her, it’s like all my worries just vanished.
I gave birth to a 3.9 kg, 52cm baby girl!
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Rainbows really do come after the rain.