I'm approaching 31 weeks pregnant with Four. It is crazy how time can simultaneously fly and crawl. Our busy summer has made time go by so fast, yet the pregnancy weeks feel frozen. How can it already be August but I'm only 30 weeks along? And while babies 1, 2, and 3 had well-documented pregnancies, it is the story of number 4 that we'll just do the best we can. So we'll start at the beginning.
The beginning wasn't pretty, but it never is, not for anyone, usually. I was miserably sick and unusually exhausted. Our life, the way it was, pretty much fell apart. Our house was a mess, laundry piled up. In true symbolism of the experience: Carly had weekly library books at school. I should have kept the log because it was hilarious; she literally got one new book for the entirety of spring because I couldn't get the book back on library day. I was only 8 or 9 weeks when Carly was making something at school and told her teacher, "I'm making this for my mommy, because she is really sick every morning." Needless to say, Miss Jane was one of the first to learn about the new baby on the way (as if she didn't think I was already insane, dragging two three-year-olds in and out for drop off and pick-up). But I will say, I don't think it was as bad as it was with Carly. This may have been because I went on the B6/Unisom combo pretty early on, by 9 or 10 weeks. It didn't even come close to the terrible state the twins put me in. For that I am grateful. We made it through. My mom came to help one week. Good ward friends swept my kids away for me. My aunt took my kids once a week every single week for 6 or so weeks; she took them early in the morning until Carly had to go to school. It was an incredible blessing. We are surrounded by the best people. Speaking of the best people, Chris has already proved to be a Herculean dad, and this was no exception. Work was in full swing, he is Young Men's president, and in many ways, he completely held down our house all by himself. He's pretty great, to say the least.
|One of the twins snapped this shot during "screen time". I laughed so hard when I saw it. |
This is what the entire first trimester looked like at our house.
Things started to get better. I think I got off B6/Unisom in the early 20 weeks. The thing about this pregnancy that is different from the others is the intense exhaustion. I'm always tired, but this time around it has often been debilitating. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with trying to keep up with the three existing kids. But afternoon TV time while mommy naps is frequent. One afternoon I was so tired. I barely got the tv on and collapsed into bed. I slept for quite a while, it seems, and unfortunately had left a bag of chocolate kisses within reach of little arms. Chris came home to find kiss wrappers scattered all over the house, and very chocolaty, satisfied kids watching tv --- while I snoozed away. Just go ahead and hand that Mom of the Year Award over right now.
|Look at that baby grow! 7 weeks to 19 weeks. Such a miracle.|
The nausea continues. I had once again gotten my hopes up that I wouldn't be nauseous for the entirety of my pregnancy, but that's apparently just the way I roll. I haven't had a sweets aversion this time though, which I guess is good but also a bit bad because ICE CREAM. I felt like I got big fast, round ligament pains started early, Braxton Hicks started early. I'm in a Mormon Moms of Multiples group on Facebook and many of them said they had similar experiences with post-twin pregnancy. One woman said her doctor told her, "Your slinky has lost its slink." So there you go. A uterus can only take so much, I suppose.
On May 22, we headed to the doctor's office for the big ultrasound. Chris and I had seriously discussed not finding out the gender of the baby. We had everything for either gender, and gender neutral can be done so cute these days. It is our last baby, and wouldn't it be fun to have the surprise just once? Then I thought . . . NO. No it wouldn't because I would totally lose my mind in the meantime. So we decided to find out. I was really rooting for a boy, I have to admit. I mean, you are grateful for a baby no matter what, but I thought a baby brother would be all sorts of fun. And as strange as it sounds, I've never had a singleton boy before. The twin experience is so drastically different from the singleton one, I wanted to experience one little boy. When the ultrasound tech got the shot between the legs, I said before she did, "It's a boy!" Chris had been on the pink team, mostly because John was a truly terrible colicky baby, but he has since come around. Quinn, however, was really hoping for a baby sister. She fell to the ground upon hearing the news and cried "But I want it to be a girl!" Even now when people ask she says, "Our new baby is a boy, but I want it be a girl."
We took Carly with us to the ultrasound. It has been fun and interesting to have a kid old enough to comprehend as much as she does about a new baby. She was very curious and chatty, asking the ultrasound tech questions at a mile a minute. Luckily, she was very accommodating and explained and pointed out things to her. Its so sweet to see little hands and feet and arms and a healthy beating heart. At the very end she managed to catch his profile, and I can't wait to plant a kiss on his cute little nose. After we found out it was a boy, Carly said, "I love him!" My feelings exactly.
|Growing: early teen weeks, 16 weeks, 22 weeks, 28 weeks.|
|Baby bellies all around.|
Naming this baby has proven to be a beast of its own. We could name 10 girls, but a second boy? Not so easy. Chris and I don't have tastes that are super far apart, but the ones I really like he just likes decently enough, and vice versa. One of my issues is just how much I love John Thomas's name. I think I compare every other boy name to that. And while "John" is such a basic name, it fits him so perfectly, I had really wanted to name this baby before he was born, but that is something we've never officially done before, and I think it is nice (for us) so see their little faces and meet their little spirit. We debated between John and Kellan -- and now I can't imagine John as a Kellan. So I know it will work out . . . but I totally wanted to order a little hat with his name on it. C'est la vie. Carly asked the other day, "Does Jesus know what the baby will be named?" I thought about it and responded, "Yeah, I suppose He does." And it was surprisingly comforting.
|I'm a firm believer in baby hats with ears.|
So now, at 30 weeks, the aching hips, heartburn, and restless sleep have begun. We've been working on taking this baby thing seriously. Pregnancy feels so long, and with so much life going on, the baby stuff can take a back burner. But now we have a car seat, clothes, and blankets. All of those things need to get washed, but at least we have them, right? One major issue with adding number 4 was that our loyal little Honda Accord would no longer fit the bill. We've been squeezing three car seats in the back of that thing for 3.5 years, and now are forced into an upgrade. We did a lot of research, only to find we had pretty much one option to meet our needs/wants. And more research after that led us to buying new (small panic attack, anyone?). Our brand new mini van is a beauty. There are 4 ways to open the sliding doors, and when I turn it on the display screens says, "Welcome back." And, most importantly, there is now room for baby brother to join us on the journey. We've had the van for just over a week and the novelty of it has yet to wear off for any of us. After years of begging the kids to get in the car, now I just say, "Everyone in the new van!" and they go running. I will be happy when they stop fighting over who gets to push the button to open/close the sliding doors, though.
We have two months until D day. Two months that feel long, but will mostly likely go by too quickly. Months that will contain a new first grader and adjusting to full-day school. Fall is my favorite time of year, and welcoming a sweet new spirit into our family will make this one so incredibly sweet. One of my favorite moments in perhaps all motherhood occurred a few weeks ago. I was laying back on the couch, and the kids were ready for bed and looking at books on the floor. Baby brother was wiggling, so I lifted my shirt up. They had never seen my belly move. I would poke the baby, and he would wiggle in response, and as he did the kids would erupt with laughter. We did this several times, and it was the sweetest moment. They are lucky to have baby brother, and he sure is lucky to have them.