Second Pregnancy, First Trimester: Protein Shakes, Mental Prep and Many-a-Nap

Our First Trimester with Our Second Baby

That’s right; the Janitz family is about to be a family of FOUR! It seems like only yesterday I was penning the recap of my first trimester pregnant with Alden — and, in fairness, it wasn’t all that long ago— but it feels so surreal to be pregnant again and getting ready to expand our family to one that has TWO CHILDREN. Andy and I are beyond excited and, as second-time parents, have been generally feeling way less stressed than we were the first time around. (In fairness to us though, we found out we were pregnant with Alden the week that the COVID-19 pandemic blew up.) We’re thankful that the lifting of regulations and general societal anxieties have made this pregnancy a bit easier to enjoy. Read on for a recap of this most exciting time!

Two Negative Pregnancy Tests

Andy and I always knew we wanted our children to be close in age. So yes, this pregnancy was 100 percent planned. In early January I was pretty convinced I was pregnant and took two at-home tests of different brands. Both came back negative, but I was unconvinced. Thankfully I wasn’t too discouraged and, a week later, we saw the tiniest, faintest little line on a third test. We chalked it up as a positive and started to get excited. I gave my body a few more days to kick up its hCG levels before taking another test. Lo and behold this test boasted a much darker line. Time to call the doctor and get those appointments booked.

Nausea and the Great Hibernation

In truth, I was nervous to get pregnant again. While my pregnancy with Alden was by all means physically healthy, it was — quite frankly — an experiment in personal torture. Specifically, the first trimester. With Alden, I was throwing up 4–5 times a day from weeks 6 to 13. When I wasn’t throwing up, I was trying very hard not to throw up. Or I was sleeping, knowing that as soon as I woke up, I’d be throwing up yet again. I was scared that this experience would be much the same.

Thankfully, it wasn’t. While the nausea inevitably hit me around week 7 (damn you, hCG!), it wasn’t nearly as terrible as my first experience. True to its name, this time the sickness was significantly worse in the morning. I learned to mitigate this to some extent by sipping on pre-made protein shakes as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning. After that, I would then scarf down a day’s worth of protein before 9:30 am. I learned with Alden that protein consumption was key to leveling out my blood sugar levels and making the sickness bearable. Some of the foods that saved me included cheese sticks, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, eggs and cottage cheese. While I didn’t totally escape the queasy, sick feeling, I was grateful to discover that, most days, I felt fairly OK by 4 pm or so. That is, until I hit 9 weeks. As I learned during my first foray into pregnancy, morning sickness hits its peak between 9 and 11 weeks. During this time I did experience some puking (though thankfully not much) and found the nausea harder to shake. To cope with this, I took some time off of work and spent as much time as possible asleep.

While my morning sickness wasn’t as bad as it was during my first pregnancy, I found (and am continuing to find) that the exhaustion is significantly worse. Chalk this up to a different pregnancy experience, pairing pregnancy with chasing a toddler around, a more demanding job or a combination of all three, but boy, was I (and am I currently) tired. Unlike during my first pregnancy, this time I didn’t try to fight it. If I needed to skip my morning workout, I did. If I needed an afternoon nap, I took one. If bedtime felt like it should be 9 pm, then that’s when it was. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that your body will tell you what you need. It’s imperative that you listen.

Prepping for the Future

Now that we’re through the first trimester, the reality of having two children before too long is definitely feeling more real. While we haven’t had a chance (or the energy) to do a lot of baby prep, we feel relieved knowing that we already own so many baby essentials. It’s definitely less overwhelming than the first pregnancy when you feel like you’re facing down a never-ending shopping list! Here are some of the things that have been on our immediate agenda —

Gender Reveal

I recognize it’s not everybody’s kind of thing, but similar to what we did for Alden, Andy and I are currently planning a small gender reveal party for our close family members. Because we opted to have the NIPT test done halfway through the first trimester, Andy and I actually already know the sex of the baby! We’re so excited to share it—because, really, it’s so exciting either way. This is just another excuse for us to celebrate our special little person.


We purposely designed Alden’s nursery to be gender neutral so that it would be suitable and fully-equipped for all subsequent children. Because the new baby will be moving into the nursery, our main home project now lies in transforming our guest room into Alden’s “big boy room.” We’re already planning a woodland theme and I’m so excited to get working on it!

Maternity Clothes

After my first pregnancy, I promised myself that during my second I would invest in more maternity clothes. I admittedly love fashion and am looking to continue embracing that hobby and passion during my pregnancy. I’ve already made some purchases, thinking specifically about the warmer months ahead. Check them out below! You can even shop the items by clicking on the corresponding number linked in the caption.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

In truth, making it through the first trimester feels like a major accomplishment. It’s a relief to have morning sickness behind me and to have our news out in the open. Onwards and upwards — second trimester, here we come!

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