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Antenatal Moody Blues.

Back when we first talked about a second baby, Birdy was about three and it took us a few months to wrap our heads around the possibility of another kid.  But once we landed on “Let’s do it,” we assumed it would be a short process to conception.  We did not anticipate the wait that was on tap for this baby.

Preparing for this pregnancy was a process, different from my daughter’s creation in many ways.  Two years of trying, with heaps of doctors appointments both diabetes-related and decidedly non-diabetes related.  I’ve written about that a little bit here.  It wasn’t easy.  It was complicated on a dozen levels.  I’d do a version of it again to get here, but there’s so much I would change about the specifics of the journey.

But now.  This baby.  He’s in there and he’s healthy and kicking regularly and every time I go to the doctor and they do an ultrasound, I am honestly thrown to see this little creature happily rolling around in there.  I want to hug him.  To hear his little cries.  To meet my son and welcome him to our family.  He’s so wanted, so loved already.

Spent the weekend feeling showered with love for our in-coming kiddo. 🌷 #diabeticpregnancy

A photo posted by Kerri Sparling (@sixuntilme) on

So why am I not filled to the brim with excitement?

My A1C is well in-range and I’m up to date with all the required doctor’s appointments.  The kid has a room and a crib already set up.  The closet is stashed with diapers.  My daughter has given him a name and we talk about him as though he’s already sitting at the dinner table with us, throwing green beans and reaching his toes towards the cat as she strolls by.  While I’m heavily pregnant and weirdly shaped for the time being, I don’t feel sick or unwell like I did with my daughter.  Pre-eclampsia is not a thing this round, and being in my home makes this third trimester easier than being on bed rest.

So what’s the frigging problem, Sparling?

It feels like I’m playing pregnant all over again, only this time there’s medical confirmation every week or so that there is indeed a baby.  It’s confusing.  I’m confused.  Where’s the joy?  The first time I was pregnant, with my daughter, I was diabetes-obsessesed, making blood sugars my main priority. That, and we were shocked that we were actually going to become parents.  The second time I was pregnant, it ended early in a miscarriage, which threw me for a very uncomfortable emotional and physical loop.  This third time – with my son – started off riddled with paranoia, every milestone met with trepidation and fear.  I had some bleeding early on, which brought me in and out of the doctor’s office to check on the safety of the developing kid.  The 20 week ultrasound to check the anatomy was one I held my breath throughout.  The fetal echocardiogram was another hour-long panic attack.  I know why I’m eager to have him out, because I want to see him, hold him, and confirm that he’s okay.  Right now, he’s this ambiguous creature who I love intensely without actually knowing him yet.  And as I prepare to know him, I’m distracted by the needs of my daughter and my family.  The ability to focus on Just the Baby isn’t an option this time around, which adds up to a different experience.

I’m emotionally lit up a lot these days.  With Birdy, I was in the hospital on bed rest around this time, so I assigned my emotional intensity to being trapped and lonely.  But it turns out I’m just as emotional this time around.  I’ve had some interesting outbursts.  More on that never.

(I’m going to take a stretch-guess here and assume it might be “pregnancy” contributing to my emotions at the moment.)

The emotions aren’t all negative, though.  I was at the Friends for Life conference two weeks ago and sporting a gigantically pregnant belly.  The year prior, I miscarried in the middle of the conference, so by contrast this year, it felt really, really good to be back with a baby safely ensconced inside of me, reclaiming a work/life experience that I treasure.

I’ve done some reading on antenatal … depression?  Anxiety?  Stuff.  And it turns out there are many links between people who have managed infertility before getting pregnant.  There are also links highlighted for people who have chronic illness and become pregnant.  And women who have experienced pregnancy loss are rolling along with their own loaded expectations.  So I’m rocking a threefer there.  And while I’m “aware” of feeling a bit off and a little less-than-optimal, I am still unsure of what to do with those feelings.  I can’t exercise at the moment due to some pregnancy-related discomfort, I’m having trouble falling/staying asleep, and I’m in a rotation of the same three outfits that sort of fit for the next six weeks, until he’s escaped.  Working through the emotions is a challenge, and I’m more in a limbo of (im)patiently waiting.

The point of this post?  I’m still here.  Six weeks left to go and doing my best.  And while I know his birthday doesn’t guarantee reclaiming my emotions (or decent sleep patterns), I do know that holding my baby in my arms and seeing his face will bring me the peace I’m seeking.  My house will be turned upside down and chaos will reign supreme as we adjust to life with this tiny biscuit, but he’ll be out, and safe, and huggable.  And I can’t wait for that.  

I look forward to that the most.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kim #

    I am thinking about you often these days. I so look forward to you getting to finally, finally cuddle that little dude. <3

    07/18/16; 2:03 pm
  2. Jane #

    You always find a way to make me laugh out loud and then choke up a bit in the same blog post. Sending lots of love and happy thoughts from another T1D who didn’t get to take the express highway to motherhood. <3

    07/18/16; 3:02 pm
  3. David Duncan #

    This is hard stuff as you correctly describe and I think you are doing great. Best wishes to you all.

    07/18/16; 5:59 pm
  4. 34 years ago, our second showed up with a C-Section, 2 weeks early on June 1. I am still happy he showed up early. It sort of balanced out the first who was 3 weeks past due in august. Such is life, a continuous cycle of wait and hurry up.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of July 18, 2016.

    07/18/16; 9:39 pm
  5. Sandy Brooks #

    Hang in there, sweetie!!!! Ur doing AMAZING & I know ur probably an emotional mess right now but U CAN DO THIS!!!!!! I know u know u can but sometimes it helps to have r feelings validated by others confirming r own thoughts!!!!

    Ur a rock start, a pregnant t1d rock star & ur going to knock these next few weeks out of the park!!!!

    Thinking of u and sending positive juju you and baby’s way!!!!! HUGS!!!

    07/18/16; 9:39 pm
  6. Sandy T #

    Golly. I love your posts. And while I’m not pregnant I treasure reading these posts, as I have too many friends right now going through what you went through last year. And I don’t know how to help, but your comments along the way, give me a different view, and allow me to hopefully offer a bit of support. Thank you for keeping it real!

    07/18/16; 9:50 pm
  7. Windy #

    Praying for you! You’re almost there! 🙂

    07/18/16; 10:18 pm
  8. Susan #

    I get what you’re feeling. I also went through lots of infertility treatment before we became pregnant with our second child. I never felt totally confident in the second pregnancy. There was always a bit of fear. Once they delivered her I began to cry. And continued to sob uncontrollably for at least 30 minutes. It was not a pretty picture-but I think I was so relieved to have her finally out and know that she was safe and alive. I wish you the best and thank you so much for sharing. It gets me through every day with this type 1 diabetes and celiac challenge.

    07/19/16; 8:59 am
  9. One step closer to knowing 🙂
    (My mantra – everything in life relates to a U2 song)
    Hang in there mama, he’ll be just as happy to finally be outside and meeting you 🙂

    07/19/16; 9:01 am
  10. Jennifer #

    I think this is very typical on a second pregnancy. The first time around, the newness and excitement can somewhat blunt the pregnancy blues from the hormones. But the second time around, there are fears based on past experience that can creep in and make the pregnancy blues exaggerate. I remember my sister-in-law weeping because she said there was no way she was going to love the second baby as much as she loved the first. She didn’t know how she would share time between the two. That was over the moment “Thing One” came into the hospital room to visit “Thing Two” after birth. Embrace the chaos, the sleepless nights, the energy draining days – they will be done and over before you know it. Blessings.

    07/19/16; 10:30 am

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