Now that we've established the fact that I am pregnant with an eighth – and so close on the heals of a seventh – I think it's time for a good old fashioned round of Q and A. It’s not short so feel free to just browse through to the questions that interest you. -- Though, I, for one, find the whole thing utterly fascinating (wink).
How far along are you? When are you do? And, are you “showing”?
I'm 16 weeks. Due Aug. 26th (one month after Summer's first birthday). Oh, I’m showing all right . . . though I admit to being uncertain how much of this “showing” is: “I’m pregnant with a new baby”; and how much is: “I still look fairly pregnant from my last baby”. This uncertainty did allow me to go a little longer without telling “the news” than I might have because I assumed most people would suspect the latter.
Have you ever had kids this close together before?
I haven't! Abe and Daisy were close – only 16 months apart, and Penny and Jesse just 19. I suppose those are close, but “nearly one and a half years” apart felt so much less crazy than . . . “just over a year” apart. And my last few kids – Anders and Summer – were each born when the sibling older than them was almost three. Babies this close will be new . . . and . . . scary (and also a bit exciting when I think in terms of the two of them – and their potential relationship.)
Did you expect this baby to come so soon?
I don't know what I expected. When I discovered that my plans of our family being complete . . . were . . . incorrect, I felt very strongly that I needed to let this little one come . . . whenever they were ready to come. I've never really done that before. My other kids, despite their varying ages apart, all came when I felt I was ready or it was time for another. Still, even just letting it happen when it happened, didn't mean anything certain. I had just had a baby. And I was almost 38 years old. I had no idea when it would even be physically possible to get pregnant again. Because it felt so . . . pressing . . . I kind of felt it would happen quickly; but I knew that sometimes things don't happen at all how we assume, so I just didn't really know how close Summer and this sibling would be.
Are you worried about having them so close?
Yes! Yes. . . . And also no. Yes because . . . I have a baby right now. They are hard and demanding. I know how hard and how demanding because, well, like I said, I happen to have one. I've had no chance for things to get far enough removed for me to have . . . kind of forgotten how much work they are. I know how short their “entertaining themselves” spells last. I know how tiring that block of time can be when it's too late for a nap but too early for bedtime . . . and nothing will do but holding until bedtime does arrive. I am keenly aware that next year at this time, I will have this exact same “hard”; only, I will also have a one year old; a one year old who will be plenty needy in her own right – not yet talking, still often crying and needing to be held. She will likely be making messes, and sticking dangerous things in her mouth, and climbing on things she can fall off of. Most of my one year olds haven't even started walking yet. I imagine it will be incredibly demanding and incredibly hard to have these two little people so close. At the same time . . . I don't just sit and fret over it day and night. It's going to happen. Come late August, there will be two babies. And . . . hard or not, we'll have no choice but to bungle through; and eventually, it won't be so hard. Having had some kids close, I know that, a little later on, it is actually very convenient having two little people enjoying the same things and even ready to learn many of the same things at the same time.
Physically how has this pregnancy been?
This was possibly one of the most symptom-free first trimesters I have ever had – which is great, but also made me fret, during most of my first trimester, that I was waiting for a miscarriage. I've miscarried twice. The one that happened latest in the game occurred at the end of another similarly easy first trimester. The process was quite traumatic so feeling such a lack of strong symptoms really did make me nervous. I had the typical tiredness and moodiness, but not much else. Maybe my body just thought it had never stopped being pregnant between my last pregnancy and this one. Haha! That's certainly kind of how I feel. Like I'm just . . . plodding along through a 22 month pregnancy that happened to hand over one of the babies part of the way through!
How has this pregnancy been for you mentally and emotionally?
With symptoms being so mild, and with my just having finished a pregnancy, I have honestly had a very hard time really feeling it is real at all. It is somehow hard to realize “a baby is coming” when . . . you have a baby (a little person who wakes at night, and is carted places in a car seat, and can't crawl well or feed herself). I was so contemplative over the whole process with my last pregnancy that I feel a little guilty that this one seems so . . . surreal. But, that’s just the pregnancy itself. I have put plenty of thought (perhaps an inordinate amount of thought) into her whole coming in general! I mentioned that this was one of the hugest and most conscientious decisions of my life; also, perhaps, one of the most . . . overwhelming. Overwhelming to assume I knew my plan . . . and then to receive such an unexpected answer. Overwhelming the way that answer came. Overwhelming the amount of opposition that surrounded that answer. Overwhelming what it took to get through that opposition to clarity (it felt like climbing a mountain of chest deep mud – with plenty of tears and prayers as I went). And, overwhelming the peace and joy that did come. But, also . . . a bit (a LOT) overwhelming that this whole experience -- while it showed me something big, stopped me from a mistake, and stopped me from losing things I’d wanted and forgotten -- also left me full of a million more questions and a million more uncertainties.
This quote has been going through my mind – an echo of my own testimony . . . because I’ve experienced it. I’ve known things that have transcended my own understanding and experience. But it has also been going through my mind as a sort of reminder – as something I need to hold onto. A reminder that I am on the right path. I have taken this correct step in my journey. And now, I need to continue on trusting that I will be given more as I need it:
“The Everlasting and Almighty God, the Creator of this vast universe, will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.
He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.
He will speak in a way that is unmistakable and that transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives.”
-- Dieter F. Uchtdorf
What has been the strangest thing about this pregnancy?
I think the strangest thing – and the thing that makes me the most excited and happy – is simply thinking that this might not have been. I might not have chosen this. In fact, I wasn’t planning on choosing this. To think of that, and then think that, instead there will be this other new little girl here – to think of these two siblings only a year apart growing up with their mortal and eternal existences all linked and intertwining. It changes everything. For all of us. It’s incredibly exciting. Other than that, I think the strangest thing about this pregnancy is just this: it is noting milestones with Summer, it is seeing how life is with Summer at five months or six months, . . . and thinking, “Next year at this time . . . I'll have a baby . . . doing this exact same thing.” “Next year on Christmas morning we'll cart a little person out of their crib just the same age as the little person we carted out this year.” “Next year January will see us teaching a baby to eat solids just like this January.” “Next March we will be encouraging a little one to try and scoot towards a toy just like we are right now.” I can't explain it properly, but there is just something so strange about having them not much more than a year apart. I often think in terms of “last year at this time” or “next year at this time”, and it is just so crazy to look at what Summer is doing or how I am handling certain phases and to think, . . . “Next year at this time . . . this. This same very thing.”
Do you have a name for this little girl?
Mm. No. I kept thinking that I needed something that “fit” with the brightness of my other girls’ names; but I’m sort of letting go of that idea and just trying to find names that feel at all like a name for this little one. I am mulling over a few – some that don’t really seem like names I would have considered at all – but nothing is leaping out too forcefully yet. It was so fun for me to have Summer’s name known – and to be calling her by it – all throughout my pregnancy; but, I have a feeling this might be another one where things aren’t official until we are filling out that birth certificate.
The end. (I guess? Did I miss any obvious questions? This feels pretty . . . complete-ish, so I’ll stop. For now.)