Thursday, March 17, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know or Thought to Ask, or Even Didn't Want to Know or Think to Ask, About This Pregnancy

Have you been sick?
I always tell people, "I don't get sick." And that is mostly true. Enough of my close family and friends have such extremely difficult pregnancies, that I do feel like what I experience is, comparatively, "not sick." But, in truth, I have had waves of nausea. Sometimes they really are just waves that are gone with in a few minutes. And, on some days I have just felt "blech" all day. But, I have never so much as thrown up once during any pregnancy. I do get exhausted in the first trimester, which is tricky with a house full of kids needing minded; and I do get dizzy quite often.

Have you been craving anything particular?
That is a hard one to know for certain. I do crave crazy things all the time, but I think I kind of always crave crazy things -- even when not pregnant. However, when I am pregnant, anything I think of I think, "Oh, I must be wanting orange juice and Cracklin' Oat Bran so much because I'm pregnant," or, "Weird how I want Heath bars and Krispie Kreme donuts so much with this pregnancy." But in truth, I may have craved those things anyway. The only difference is, somehow craving something when I am pregnant makes me think I am fully justified in eating it -- lots of it. I will add though that I have wanted chocolate milk regularly and chocolate milk has never been something I've even particularly liked -- so I'll chalk that one up to a definite pregnancy craving.

Are you showing yet?
Yes. I always think it would be fun to wait until half way through a pregnancy to tell or something crazy like that. Unfortunately, with these last two, I have really looked different by about eight weeks. That is funny to think when I look at my twenty week picture with my first -- still not a sign of anything expanding. It is especially sad when you read that your uterus doesn't even rise up past your pelvis bones until about the 12th week. Honestly, and embarrassingly, I think I just get very bloated in early pregnancy. In the morning I will look normal, but by evening I look five months pregnant.

How are your emotions handling this pregnancy?
I always think of myself as fairly stable -- not prone to large emotional sways. But, the first few weeks of this pregnancy I feel like I was one snippy and grumpy woman. It seemed that every morning found me apologizing to Mike for some unreasonableness of the night before. I don't know if that was hormones or just a bout of meanness; either way, I've been back to my own pleasantly lovely self the last few weeks.

Did you announce your pregnancy a cute way to anyone?
Well . . . what about that whole cute post about "Nothing. What's snew with you?" Ha. How sad. That gives you a good idea of how clever I am with these announcements. Remember last pregnancy? My announcement on here came at the end of a long post about potato salad (mmm. I ought to get some of that)! I do always want to tell Mike some clever way, however, I usually can't wait and call him immediately. We did do a little treasure hunt for our kids though. They found little clues and had to figure what they all meant. That was fun for them (and us).

Are you out of your mind having a sixth kid?
I don't know. Maybe? People don't really have that many kids anymore, do they. Honestly, up until now I have never struggled with the idea of having kids. I always knew Mike and I wanted a big family, and up through Jesse, it just seemed a given that I wasn't done. However, since Jesse, I have entered a strange new phase where so so many of my friends and family members are done. They are loving this new stage of no diapers; of family vacations where everybody will sleep at night, nobody will be grumpy for want of a nap, and no strollers or pak-n-plays will need packing. And, it has started to feel to me like that would be a very nice place to be. I adore adore my babies and can hardly breathe for being overcome by how much I love their precious tiny selves when I have them; however, I've never craved a baby and usually, when someone has a newborn I kind of think how happy I am that I don't. I know that sounds terrible, but those first months of no sleep and no schedule and never knowing if you can be gone for more than a tiny fraction of time with out your baby needing you are very stressful. SO, with that said, ever since Jesse, I have had a hard time coming to terms -- not with my idea of a big family, but with the idea of more babies. However, I also have a very hard time with the idea of leaving any spirit out of my home that is possibly meant to be here. Maybe that comes from being the tenth child born to my parents. I shudder to think of having been left out. I feel certain I was supposed to be in my family. That I belong to them and was always meant to belong to them -- eternally. I hate to think how easy it would have been for them to have said, "Clearly, this is enough!" and not let me come. Sometimes this is hard on me because it seems so easy for everyone else. I know that is probably not really true -- you know how when something is hard for you it just seems easy for everyone else. But sometimes I feel like, "Why do I have to keep struggling and praying to know exactly when I should be done and how many children I should have when everyone else I know seems to just be able to say, 'This seems fine for us. We're done.' with little more thought?" I'm sure that it really isn't that simple for most people, but sometimes I wish I felt less concerned about it -- less worried that I might let some little soul down, let my Heavenly Father down, or even let myself down when, in the next life, I realize that many of my reasons for not wanting children were truly completely selfish, and what if -- due to those reasons, I failed to include someone I loved? Someone I maybe even knew and prayed could be bound to me forever? Maybe someone I even committed to not forget and to try to bring to my family? Whew. Be happy if you don't think about it in the depth and with the worry that I do! Anyway, I have prayed like crazy about this, and have been quite certain that this little spirit is truly waiting to be in our family. And, when I do think about it from that standpoint -- from the point of an eternal little soul, finally coming to earth, and, of all the places in the world, being sent to me -- well, it seems like a very happy and wonderful thing. Even if it does mean more diapers and more sleepless nights and more struggling to make all the activities I want to do with my older kids work out.

So, when are you going to be done already!?
Who asks that kind of question! (Actually, I have found out many do). Well, after reading that lengthy last paragraph, you can probably guess that I really don't know. I'd really like if Heavenly Father liked to give me more cut and dry answers to my questions. However, He usually likes to answer my prayers with the old tiny step-by-step-illuminations process. So, He did let me know I wasn't done after Jesse, but He did not let me know specifically HOW not done!

Do you think it is a boy or girl?
Actually, I keep thinking it is a girl. But, I have to constantly remind myself that twice I have been almost spiritually and positively certain that I knew the gender of a child of mine, only to be found quite wrong. I think I guessed right with Daisy and that was about it.

How far along are you?
12 weeks. And yes, that does mean baby is over two inches long with a brain that produces hormones, fingers that can flex, and kidneys that are beginning to function!

When does that make you due?
September 29th. We have two spring babies, a summer baby and two winter babies, so a fall baby sounds about right. September particularly sounds nice. Wouldn't it be fun if this baby actually came in September? Knowing my history though, I have a feeling I will still be grumpily typing about my overdue baby on Oct. 1st . . . and 2nd . . . and 3rd.

But would you consider getting started this time around?
Funny. I so much never wanted to be started before. However, having things start with such a scare as we rushed to the hospital in labor with Jesse -- unsure of why I was bleeding so ridiculously, has maybe made me change my tune a little bit. It now seems like it would be pretty nice to be right there in the hospital -- everything monitored from the get go. Plus, with five kids -- school, music lessons, etc. to think about, knowing when I will need that all covered would be rather nice. With that said, I still do enjoy the excitement of being at home and going into labor -- packing last minute things and knowing your little one is about to come. So, I think I'm fairly open to either way this time around.

How long did you wait to tell people?
Well, we pretty much told everyone right after seeing that all looked fine with baby at my 11 week appointment. For some reason having that end-of-first-trimester miscarriage after Penny has scared me off from telling too early. That is kind of silly because, as my sister Shannon and I discussed at the first of her current pregnancy, why wouldn't you want the support and love of friends and family during a miscarriage? Why would you want it to be a secret? And, that is true, but it still is awkward if everyone knows you are pregnant to then have to go about spreading the opposite news, "Attention! I am no longer pregnant!" People feel so embarrassed if they ask about your due date and you have to say, "Oh, I had a miscarriage." And well, I just kind of prefer avoiding all of that. I might have even waited longer to tell if it wasn't that, as I mentioned, I start looking pregnant so darn fast these days that I knew people were speculating anyway.

Do you have a name picked out?
Well, this is very exciting. If it is a girl, we actually do!! I am not going to tell you what it is though unless it does indeed turn out to be a girl. (We'll know in a few weeks). The reason that is so exciting is that, other than Abe, we have not once been able to firmly settle on a name before any of our other baby's births. We are always sitting in the hospital going, "Ohhh, we really need to decide!! We need a name for this little baby!" I think Goldie was even home for about three days before we settled on her name. So, the prospect of having the name all set is a fun one. However, if this is a boy . . . well . . . we are back to the drawing board. I really haven't the slightest idea of a name we'd like to use. And, naming our first two boys after family members has made us feel like we kind of need to stick with that trend, and I am not finding any I am sure I'd love to use along our family lines yet.

Have you gained any weight?
Sigh. Yes. I'm actually rather nervous about it. I know you will all say, "Oh you look great. That's silly!" because that's what I'd say to someone who told me that. But, I am worried about how my body will keep withstanding these pregnancies. I already weighed more than I would have liked at the start of this one, and not being sick in the first trimester is lovely except that I am hungry hungry and constantly eating instead of throwing up. So, I've already gained a fair amount.

Is there anything you are missing being pregnant right now?
I really don't mind being pregnant. There are the occasional discomforts and inconveniences for me. I get sad about gaining weight, and I get sad when I am sick and can't take any medicine, but other than that, I think pregnancy is kind of a cool thing. And I actually feel ten times cuter pregnant than I do after being pregnant. Still, I do miss running quite a bit. Not completely because I am able to keep running through out my pregnancies usually, but you know, not in any type of serious training mode. Ever since my last marathon I have really truly been itching to do something hard and serious with my running -- and I haven't been able to due to my foot problems which have lasted a good year or so. They have finally been improving, and, for the first time in ages, I have someone great to run with at any time (she lives mere blocks away). I really wanted to train for some things with her over this spring and summer, and I really wanted to run some half marathons and maybe another full this fall. I know that sounds silly to many of you, but knowing that I can't do that and that when I can again I will be starting out sluggish and overweight and slow makes me feel very sad. I find myself feeling frustrated when I hear of friends who are training hard and getting fast times. Maybe I can pray that my willingness to have another child will cause a blessing of injury free body parts and extra endurance and speed to be rained down on me after this one's birth? That sounds like a reasonable request. Right? :)

Where will this little one sleep?
Well, in our room at the beginning. And then . . . well, the bedroom situation is a little crazy at our house right now. One has been torn out and made into a kind of open office, and another is in the works . . . only by "in the works" I mean -- theoretically. Hopefully it will be done by the time of new baby's arrival. If this is a girl, we'll have rooms with two in each. If it is a boy, I'm not sure how we'll divide everyone up.

Are you worried to have a newborn right as the winter sickness months will be setting in?
I wasn't. I am always surprised when people actually manage to just stay indoors with their newborns during the winter months -- avoiding church, shopping, family gatherings and the like. Unfortunately that would make me go crazy, so it won't happen, but also, with three older siblings in school, I'm not sure how much good staying home would do baby. His/her siblings will likely be bringing all kinds of germs home anyway. I just figured we'd wash hands and be fine. I have had two winter babies before after all. BUT, then my niece's little new baby just spent a week in the hospital with RSV. Now I am realizing that it is a bit scary how illness can trounce these tiny newborns!

What worries you most about babies arrival?
For all my saying that babies are stressful, I feel like I handle them quite well once they are here. Still, Daisy's failure to sleep EVER during her first year of life has left me somewhat permanently scarred and, despite the fact that my others have all figured out sleeping without too much trouble, I really always get scared of helping them figure out how to go to sleep on their own and how to stay asleep at night. Also, with Goldie and Penny I did get a fairly uncomfortable dose of depression and anxiety during the first little while of their lives. Luckily it usually only lasted a few weeks, but I do not not like that feeling of panic and fear and hope it doesn't come this time around. I seemed to escape it with Jesse, so we'll see.

Are you excited to have another baby?
Yes! I feel like I've been so "honest" in this post about my decision to have more kids, the stress of a newborn, etc. that I have maybe sounded too negative about the impending arrival of this little one -- like it is somehow all duty and obligation, but that is not true. In my heart it doesn't feel true and I find myself whispering little apologies to my unborn baby for occasionally dwelling on grumpy selfish thoughts more than the amazingness of her/him getting to come to me. I do have those feelings of worry and stress, but also, another truer part of me can never help but be excited about the idea of a new person coming to forever be a part of our family. To make her (or his) little place in our home -- to become as a part of it and as utterly necessary as my other kids -- who life would be unimaginable with out. I do get anxious to meet this soul; to learn who they are and what their strengths and talents are. And, even the baby part, when I am living it, does have wonderful moments. Even though I say they worry me at that stage, they worry me more when I am just thinking about it than when I am actually living it. I love snuggling and holding them and often find myself wishing they wouldn't grow one minute older. When I was at the hospital visiting my niece after she had her recent little baby, I was walking down the hall of the maternity ward and could hear the clear sound of a little baby heartbeat -- you know, the sound you hear through the little monitor while the mother is in labor -- just about to bring that little one into existence. I had to pause for a minute, right there by the elevator, and listen. I almost started to cry. That sound was so familiar. All sorts of strong and familiar emotions washed over me as I listened to it. I know that this little one is bigger than any of the petty or small things I worry about. Even the big things I worry about all seem totally insignificant compared to the life that is about to start -- a life that some small, but likely very strong, spirit has waited for millenia to begin. How amazing that I will get to see this life unfold -- that I will get to be an integral part of it and even shape the life this one will lead. Yes, I am very excited.


Krista said...

Congratulations! You are twice the woman I am! Very logical answers. I thought I would have more children but PND really told me I don't have what it takes. I just hate it when people ask if you're expecting and you're not!

Perla said...

of course being in the middle of this, i have so much to say about what you've said, but mostly i'd just say the same things. and i'm not in the middle! i'm at the end. ever since our talk the other day, i have felt more and more excited about lila coming to our family and too guilty to let myself dwell on anything negative. its all timing and this life is so short. i, too, feel more attractive as pregnant than i ever do in those first months after delivery! whew. i remember getting up and going running in the summer before j and the kids got up and it was so hard to get in shape and i had all kinds of pains and had to wear about 20 bras and bike shorts under my regular shorts so my fat thighs wouldn't rub together. but then by the time miles was a year, suddenly i realized that i was in shape and weighed less than before i was pregnant with him and i thought, "oh, that wasn't so bad. why so wimpy? just needed to be patient is all." in some ways a year seems like forever but then, well, its really not. you know. eternal perspective. and i'm glad we had our talk because i just was talking to j's cousin who is thinking about having her 5th and i was able to express to her that for me it wasn't much about a number at all, but rather if there were more children that needed to be part of my family or not. and again, the spirit confirmed that the yucky post preg body and the time it takes to feel in any routine or under control are totally insignificant compared to the baby herself. you and i'm going to love this baby. i hope that she and lila can be best friends even if they don't live close to each other.

Perla said...

N.D. at the tether ball net, "Hey, Summer, wanna play me?"

Perla said...

oh yeah, and i think it would totally be fun to go into labor on my own with this one...but then...scary because what would i do with my kids? jana babysat all four of mine today for over four hours while i had ob appt, blood work, the iv infusions. how nice is that? but i'd hate to have somebody have to like come try and spend all day or something. except mom because she is our mom and she won't have other obligations if she is here in tx. if lila doesn't come in the next 11 days then the dr is going to start me on the 30th at 7:30am. mom will be coming the afternoon before so that will be really nice to just plan that all, if it works out.

marz said...

Hello post of posts! I was reading it before going to bed and had to put it down because I needed some sleep. - So i continued it this morning. 2 days, 4 hours and 6 months later . . . . I finally finished reading your wonderful post.

I'm so excited for you. Some days I wish I could have a new little one - other days I'm glad we're out of that phase. Jon and I were talking about adoption the other day - so this baby stuff is still here and there. It's pretty great. Congrats!

Nancy said...

"2 days, 4 hours and 6 months later" hhaaha. Nice. Well, I did preface this post by saying it contained not only everything you ever wanted to know, but also everything you didn't. How could that not be long? ;)

marz said...

love ya! ;)

marz said...

And, apparently I did want to know everything - because I read it all.

Kelly said...

I love your post and how you share yourself. Rest assured it is a struggle to decide where a family should end and begin (I bet for most people who don't automatically think two is it or who suddenly have twins at the end) but I have always felt that I would know just like I knew when Dave was the one I was supposed to marry. Once I have "known" and it is usually a feeling, then there might be times where I second guess myself, but I usually rely on just knowing. I am excited to read more about your preg-"nancy" as you share it!

Londy Loo said...

Thanks for sharing this post. Especially for people like myself who live far away and can't ask you these questions personally but are still curious to know the answers. I'm so excited for you and your new little one!

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