F.A.Q.’s about our Baby Surprise
(P.S. it may be helpful to read my last post, first).
**When is your due date?
On paper, March 3, 2018. but I think we all know that my babies don’t exactly like to come on time, or even on their own for that matter (save for Bea, God bless her). Trying to go into it with an open mind and low expectations. (Last time was hard because we were fighting with Bea’s birthday). This one is actually pretty close to my birthday (March 1), yes, we have a thing for butting up to birthdays! But I actually don’t mind, really. I didn’t want the girls to share one, or even with a holiday for that matter, but my own doesn’t really stress me out. There are no holidays within sight of that date (save for Valentine’s day, which is PRETTY EARLY) and I’m sad this was my one shot at a leap year babe, but not possible for 2018. Oh well!
Also, funny story, after the initial shock and excitement had worn off from telling my family, both my mom and sister said, almost in unison, “it’s not due in May, is it?” We all had a good laugh when we said no, that would not logically make sense. But their fears were valid. After having three babies added to our family in short succession, all within fives calendar days of each other, we are thankful to not have another May baby this time!
**I thought you were done?
Ha! We did too. Heart, mind, and body closed off to the idea of a 4th. It’s true that in the past we had thought we may have 4, but something changed in me after Sibby came along and I was able to emotionally close that door and move on. N followed shortly after me.
There were a lot of thoughts that went into this:
1) I don’t handle pregnancy, particularly the first 12 weeks and the last 4 weeks very well
2) MG is getting older and in a different stage of life. It felt more freeing to follow that and move the other two girls into that than to hit the “reset” button in a few years
3) My body still had not recovered from Sibby’s birth (or the past 8 months of sleep regression), and I was looking forward to continuing down that path rather than start over with another pregnancy, plus, I knew it was physically impossible for us to get pregnant at this time without help and I didn’t want to seek that out (thankfully God knew better)
4) we liked the identity we had created as an “all-girl” family of three girls. We had big plans for the three to share a room, and we had starting making long term plans about places we wanted to take our three and big moments we wanted to share with them.
And just to show you that we really had not planned this, if the above doesn’t convince you, we had also put down a non-refundable deposit on a vacation in April 2018 as well as signed up for a mini-marathon that same month. This pregnancy was not on our radar :).
I think in some ways, it also felt selfish to have another. Four is a large number and I felt incapable of loving four, little individuals, each with unique personalities, well. I also worried about babysitters watching four and felt sure that no one would invite us over to their house for dinner (6 extra mouths to feed!)
I think it’s important to share that it wasn’t planned, at least not by us, because I believe in my heart that it is a miracle we are pregnant right now. I still had the same infertility issues that had followed me after MG’s birth, making it impossible to get pregnant without some medical help for both Bea and Sib.
Following Sib’s birth, I had watched my body closely to see if it would miraculously bounce back this time and up until the days I took the positive pregnancy test, everything was lining up to be just as bad as before, if not worse.
I was also breastfeeding during this pregnancy, which is a first for me, and should have hurt my chances even more.
But in a way, it gives us a lot of peace to know that this decision was not ours, especially in the hard moments. God foresaw all of this and still saw fit to put us in charge of raising another little life. And for that we can only feel awed and grateful.
I hope you don’t find this deceptive, but I continued to write on my blog as if nothing had changed. We found out about this pregnancy in early July and it took me all of that month and some of the next to let it sink in, process it, and be able to talk about it. I guess I’m not one to be good with surprises 🙂
**Have you felt sick?
Y’all know my last three pregnancies were the pits, especially in the first trimester and this one has been no different. Well, a little different. Another amazing miracle of this pregnancy is that I have not had to supplement the progesterone hormone pills! So this pregnancy has been more reminiscent of MG’s. I am so grateful because even though I have felt like death many, many times over the course of 4-13 weeks, I have been given moments of breaks and relief from it, two things I did not have with Bea’s and Sib’s. Particularly in the mornings, I would wake up feeling normal, even though I would need some carbs and a nap about two hours later.
Honestly, worse than the nausea has been the fatigue. It kind of put a damper on the summer because I almost had to nap everyday and also go to bed at 9pm. That really cuts out a lot of my free time. Getting lunch and dinner on the table everyday has been a STRUGGLE (ironically, mornings are usually the times I feel the best). Thankfully, though N didn’t have a true summer break, his schedule was very light and he’s been a huge support to me (as he has been in all of my pregnancies).
It has also been a huge support to have my family nearby. And I think that might be another reason God allowed us to have a fourth because we have such a good support system. My sister (bless her, she has a 3 month old!) took the girls some and my mom did too, giving me moments to nap and breathe without trying to keep my energy up for the girls.
**Do the girls know?
Yes they do! They found out at about 5 weeks actually, when we told my parents. They were really cute about it and Bea kept saying, “wait, who’s baby is this?” A valid question because Mary just had her baby, and really I did too! (Sib)
It seems like just yesterday Bea was praying for “Mommy’s baby tummy” (her cute 3 year old prayer for the baby in my tummy-Sib, which was still prayed many months after she was born). We finally convinced her to pray for “Aunt Mary baby tummy” and now it’s my turn again.
They did a pretty good job of keeping it a secret (other than blurting it out to some family–an approved, but still unexpected moment!)
**Speaking of Sib…
Yes, this baby and Sib will be my closest in age! Less than 2 years!! Twenty-two months apart, or actually twenty one depending on what side of the due date she falls on. Even though I desired that closeness my first go around with Bea and MG, I grew to love that 2.5 year spread and pushed it even further to 3 years between Bea and Sib. That was so nice for my body and also for the youngest child to have some time of maturing and independence before baby arrived, but we didn’t get so “lucky” this time. We, more than likely, will have two in diapers, two in pacis, and two in cribs. Crazy!
But, if I had chosen the spread, I don’t think I would have wanted to do a 3 year gap again, just because I was hopeful for a playmate for Sib (and the closer in age, the easier that seems to be to foster, at least when they are young). I already didn’t like that she was 3 years behind Bea and with MG & Bea being so tight, I knew it would take a while for Sib to catch up. I remember once telling N that if we have a fourth, lets do it close in age to Sib so that she can have a buddy like MG & Bea. Then we both did the math and realized how soon I would have to get pregnant again to accomplish that and quickly did away with the idea. But now here we are, and we are focusing on the positives. Like a friend for Sib!
**Do you have a name and will you share?
Just like the last three times, we will keep our names REALLY close to our chests. I will be devastated if the name leaks out before baby is born because I really enjoy the moment of the trumpeting announcement.
That being said, we don’t have a firm, write-it-in-stone (or even embroider-it-on-a onesie) name yet. We are still climbing up and down our family tree, looking at different meanings and past moments of importance for our family as inspiration. This has been the first time that we haven’t had a set name (for a boy or a girl!), but it’s been kind of fun to focus on in the interim
–Oh and by the way, it’s a girl!
I didn’t say that earlier but we found out on Thursday evening, August 24 that we are expecting girl #4! I have to say I wasn’t exactly shocked. The intuition was high for this one. Maybe because I’ve only carried girls so I was already in that mindset, but I just had a really strong feeling that this was another one. My cravings were nearly exact. My nausea was lighter BUT I wasn’t on extra hormones. There were many similarities, and a few differences, but the thing that I always go back to is the Ramzi theory* at 8 weeks, and once again it proved to be correct for us. (*too long to explain here, but there is plenty of Google fodder if you are interested :))
–so how do you feel about all girls?
Well, some people don’t believe us when we say this, but we were actually pulling for a fourth girl. It just made the future easier to envision, plus all the clothes and toy hand-me-downs (and let’s not forget the matching!). Of course, a boy would have been wonderful and we would have been so excited for something different (and he would have had a very close in age boy cousin who lives “down the street”), but in my heart of hearts, I was hoping for girl. N would say the same. We already get a lot of comments about “four girls”, “all girls”, etc, but we have embraced it and made it a part of our family identity. And we love it. We are so excited for this little girl to join the “sisterhood” and see who she most looks like and who she most attached to (and if it changes through the years).
Bea will no longer be our true middle child, she will now share this trait with Sib. And we like that we are swinging back over into an even family as it could mean easier room sharing and buddying up without anyone getting left out (at least in theory).
The odds were not in our favor to have four of the same gender, but we feel pretty “lucky” the way the dice rolled this time.