If you are anything like me, you probably have some burning questions for me regarding the pregnancy announcement. I love to hear all of the details about how a baby came to be....well, not the EXACT details or anything. We all know how this happens but it's still fun to ramble about the details. Like if it was planned, how I told Nate, what he thinks about this, what Truman said when we told him, and how I've been feeling.
And that snowy announcement photo---lots of questions about how we got that shot. Well, I was searching on Pinterest for something I hadn't seen before. I found a few of the math equations with people dressed nicely, standing in front of a wall. It was snowing outside the next day and I thought about going across the street to the elementary school, to stand in front of a brick wall using a tripod. But the snow was just a lot to deal with and I didn't have the energy to find my tripod. So I figured that a snow covered ground would be a great backdrop, and our second floor airing porch would be a great way to shoot from above. I took a photo of Nate and the kids to the left of my focus, then Nate came up and took a picture of me on the right side of the frame. I photoshopped the two together, and voila! An announcement;)
But before I go on, I must say that I've felt a lot of guilt with this pregnancy. There are so many girls struggling to get pregnant even one time, struggling to keep a pregnancy, just STRUGGLING with fertility and pregnancy----to have this happen as a 'surprise' for our third baby feels a little too good to be true. Too easy or something. I guess I will always feel like this after experiencing a loss, but I don't want to come across as smug or bragging about this pregnancy. I want to enjoy it and embrace it, but I don't want to hurt anyone else in the process. Big hugs to anyone struggling with fertility/loss right now.
To start at the beginning, I stopped breastfeeding Cecelia at the end of September and also stopped taking my low-estrogen birth control pill at that time. I did not have a period that entire time since having Cecelia---something that felt really odd to me. I told Nate that I did not want to be on hormonal BC anymore since I was on the mini-pill for Cecelia's first year, then switch to the 'real' pill but a lighter dose for three months after that. My OB said that this pill would likely dry me up completely and force CC to wean, but my girl didn't bat at eye at a change in my supply. So we kept nursing until 16 months, when I really started to feel pulled to wean. I wanted a cycle back, I wanted to start convincing Nate to try for number three, and I wanted to see if weaning and stopping the pill would make my body return to cycles.
Honestly, I was worried that there was something seriously wrong with me. Who doesn't get periods on the PILL? Granted, it was a lower dose and I was still breastfeeding, but I swore I was producing practically nothing at the end there. I feel like CC was nursing for comfort and not for the milk anymore. Nate and I discussed all of this at length and he said it was fine to go off the pill. He wasn't ready for another baby yet and was still on the fence about whether he would ever want a third, but he was willing to risk it until I got a cycle. We could figure it out after that. But we both agreed chances were really slim of getting pregnant before my period.
In my head (which is obviously a freaking mine field at times), I believe that 'trying' for a baby means timing the deed with ovulation. Charting temps, watching the calendar, checking for fertility signs, peeing on various strips of paper....all of that is what equates 'trying' to me. I knew there was a small chance we could get pregnant before a period but I figured there was no way we'd randomly nail the timing of my first ovulation in over two years. So I do not say we were 'trying' for this baby, and it WAS a surprise even though we knew there was a chance.
I also told a friend, after she said 'maybe you will get pregnant without ever getting your period' that while it would be super cool to get knocked up right away, I would be a nervous wreck. My OB suggested waiting for two full cycles before trying in order to let my hormones regulate and to create a 'healthy bed' for the baby. She said it was alright to get pregnant before the magical two cycle rule (same rule she gave me after my miscarriage and that time we DID abide), but it would put us at a higher risk for miscarriage. Just what I've always wanted, another reason to worry myself sick! So again, in my head I figured it wouldn't happen before my first period and if it did, I would be happy but scared to death.
You can guess what happened next. ;) Pregnant and scared.
I had been testing every two weeks or so as a part of 'due diligence', as my friend Hannah calls it, just to make sure it was acceptable to drink wine and coffee and all of the amazing liquids of the world. I had a huge stash of cheapie tests leftover from the CC trying days, so I didn't have to worry about wasting them. I took a test the day before we left for Colorado (October 22) and it was negative. Fine by me, since that meant lots of brewery tours and coffee! Oh, the irony.
When we got back from Colorado, I realized that I still hadn't gotten my period and it was over 4 weeks since I stopped nursing and stopped the pill. So now I was getting annoyed at my body and started thinking about calling my OB to ask how long was too long to go without. Always have to worry about something, I guess.
As we got dressed for our family photo shoot that weekend we returned from CO, I was totally stressing out about looking really bloated in every shirt I tried. I even texted my friends to say 'which one is better? I look pregnant here.' I was tired but didn't think much about that since we had just come off a big trip. And the days ticked by with me being totally clueless. I honestly did not have an inkling although looking back it's pretty obvious.
On Tuesday, November 5, I was particularly emotional. I remember starting to cry when Cecelia bumped her head for the fourth time that morning, assuming I was a horrible mother and my kids would forever hate me as they grew up. I was also stressed about not getting a period yet now that it had been 5 weeks since nursing. I laid the kids down for their naps that day, and figured I should take another test before calling my OB about my lack of period. It had been 2 weeks since the last test, so might as well be sure. I truly thought there was a 1% chance of it being positive and was not even nervous as I set that strip down on the sink. I was mostly thinking about how I was probably never going to get my period back and while that is pretty awesome in one way, I wasn't ready for menopause just yet. I know, I'm a rational person.
Immediately, two dark lines popped up before I could even flush the toilet. My heart stopped and I think I started saying 'WHAT?' and then 'OH CRAP, OH MY GOD!' Then I started to cry a semi-hysterical cry in the bathroom. It was a mix of shock and excitement and happiness and fear. I thought of a third child, a miscarriage, and Nate's reaction to this news in that order. I forced myself to take a shower although I'm sure I was muttering to myself the entire time like a crazy person. I thanked God out loud numerous times and started begging for protection over this baby. I could not believe I was pregnant and it felt like a dream. 'Is this happening, for real?' is something I know I said on repeat for awhile there.
The rest of the day I tried to remain calm. I didn't call or text my mom or friends although I wanted to BADLY. I knew I had to tell Nate first and was incredibly nervous for his reaction. What if he thought I knew I was ovulating and 'tricked him' into getting me pregnant? Because that was so not the case. I had been taking random notes on my phone for the month of October, just because I kept thinking I would get my period and then didn't----I wanted documentation to take to my OB if she needed to jump start my cycles.
I got on the computer and frantically plugged in a few potential conception dates. I assumed I would be due in the fall sometime (don't ask me why), and was stunned when the screen told me early July. THAT IS SO SOON! I calculated myself to be either 4, 5, or 6 weeks pregnant then based on the negative test before Colorado and the super positive one 2 weeks later. I usually test way too early when we have tried for our previous kids, so I'm accustomed to squinting and moving tests in the light to see a second line. This one was darker than the test line which made me wonder if I was more than 4 weeks along. (Spoiler alert: I was 5 weeks pregnant when I tested, but wouldn't find that out for 3 more weeks at the first appointment). I found one last digital test in my attic stash and peed on it later in the day just to be sure. Nothing like the word 'pregnant' to seal the deal. This was happening!
Then I figured out that this baby and Cecelia will be 2 years + 1 month apart. Truman and Cecelia are 2 years + 3 months apart. Pretty similar spacing! A summer baby. Maternity leave during Truman's big milestone of starting 4K next September. Three.Freaking.Kids. I was in shock and highly emotional all day long, go figure.
(I think this was the next day, actually. Already surprised at my bloat here. I know it's not much, but I do feel like I was already showing a bit the day I tested.)
Nate got home around 5:30 that night and I didn't want to tell him during the chaos of both children being awake. I was able to maintain composure and surprised myself at how 'normal' I could be when I didn't think about the huge, life-changing news I was about to share. We needed to talk and have time to process this news as adults, so I wrote out a little card to Nate and hid it along with my tests. I wasn't sure how I would tell him but eventually I decided to put the card on top of his iPad when he went upstairs during Truman's bedtime. When he came back down to play with the iPad, I was sitting on the couch acting like nothing was happening. Except I was about to crap myself and was shaking.
He looked at the front of the card and didn't even open it before he said, 'Seriously?' I sort of shook my head and I think he said 'that is awesome' next, but I'm not sure. I told him he didn't even open the card yet but he obviously knew what was happening. We hugged and talked for a long time. He admitted that he might not have EVER said 'I'm ready for three, let's go for it.' So it's probably better that it happened this way, and I did provide full disclosure about the possibility of getting pregs before a period. So I don't feel too bad for the guy:) I still think I could have convinced him to actually 'try' for a third at some point anyway. Maybe he is little bummed to miss out on all of the trying for one final kid? Hee hee.
Nate's first few questions: 'Will we have three in daycare?" (said with wide eyes and a pale face.) No, we shouldn't. Truman will start 4K in the fall and although those are five half days, Tony is planning to watch Truman for those afternoons when I am at work and Truman is done with school. Then Nate asked, 'What are we going to do about the bedroom situation?" We have three bedrooms, and I think Truman and Cecelia will share T's current room. Nothing wrong with sharing bedrooms if you ask me, and these two get along so well right now it only makes sense. We can keep the nursery as a nursery and we could move CC's crib into Truman's room (and buy the baby a new crib---especially if it's a boy. Don't think a hot pink crib would be the best for a boy). Or we could move CC to a big girl bed AND have them share a room, since bunk beds would be perfect for the space and we already have the other twin bed that bunks over Truman's bed right now. Those beds were Nate's and Uncle Jon's growing up and they worked out great for siblings sharing a room---but we will see if Cecelia is ready for a big bed and if T is ready to sleep on a top bunk in a few more months.
Nate's last big question was, 'What are we going to do about a car?' My dear Tribute is almost 13 years old and is hanging in there, but it's a tight squeeze even for two car seats back there. I've wanted a mini-van for the past few years anyway, so I just smiled and said, 'I guess I have to get my van!'
After the initial shock wore off, and Nate realized that we won't be completely broke with three and won't have to buy a new house (although we will probably have to buy a new car) he got excited. 'This is going to be fun. I love our kids and having one more will be a crazy ride, but awesome. I'm into it.' That little string of sentences from my husband's mouth made me breathe a little easier. Of course, Nate had to keep the topic light and also said, 'We are NOT having four though!' Ha, ok by me! As long as this pregnancy wasn't twins, I told him I could officially agree to three and only three. Our decision has been made anyway. And it's going to be an amazing, beautiful, CRAZY ride, man.
We are going to have three children, a family of five. It's just incredible and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Nothing like early pregnancy to bring me to my knees and pray harder than I have before. The crippling fear will always be there for me. The feeling that I cannot control this will always be uncomfortable. It's just such a scary time full of uncertainty.
I have a few other drafted posts for you and PLENTY of ramblings about the fear of the first trimester. So I won't go on with that here, but not knowing how far along I was and being so afraid of those 'higher miscarriage risks' was tough in the beginning. Once I started feeling terrible a few days later it was a little easier to let the anxiety wane in the name of fighting off the pukes. Oh yes, I've had symptoms worse than ever before this time around. Maybe it's the fact that there are two kids to care for plus the fatigue and queasiness.
Other common questions/answers: Yes, we will find out the sex again, and my OB always has us wait until 20 weeks. So that is mid-February. I considered not finding out for about 0.2 seconds but that's just not us! We like finding out and planning and knowing who is inside. Plus it makes a difference if it's a boy versus a girl for the nursery. No idea if we will do a big gender reveal or not. Probably have to do SOMETHING but not sure we can top the awesomeness of the balloons with Cecelia.
And I truly do not have a preference for one sex or the other. I'd love another girl because: nursery is already set up for a girl, Cecelia would have a sister 2 years her junior (I don't have a sister but always wanted one), and duh--baby girl clothes. But I'd love another boy because Truman would have a brother, boys might be wild but they are not as dramatic/emotional/estrogen-filled, and Cecelia would have a big bro and a little bro keeping her the sister. I LOVE the mother/son bond but also the mother/daughter bond. Nate says he doesn't care either but I wonder if he secretly wants another boy for another mini-me? We can't wait to find out, but I have no hunches right now and no preferences. Either will be awesome!
And so ends my saga of details for you today. Could I have possibly missed any burning questions out there?