Monday, October 31, 2011

Pregnancy Four Summary

This post is more for posterity's sake than for you, my reader.  It is more for my own memory and for my children.  I would call this an update, but it occurs to me that I have hardly even mentioned here that we are expecting baby four.  Tuesday we are officially 34 weeks.  That means we could actually have a new person in our family in as little as three weeks (and certainly within five to seven).

One of the primary reasons I decided to return to blogging was because I read back through my pregnancy updates with Penelope and realized that I remembered almost nothing!  It was alarming.  So it turns out my mommy brain needs help, and this is such a convenient way to document.

For the record, I think I've gained 25 pounds since week 8 - but I'm not sure that I didn't gain 15 pounds before week 8.   I don't have a scale though, so I can't be sure.  I can be sure that something happened, because while hugging Søren around week 4 (when I was only suspicious that I was pregnant) he looked up at me with pure joy in his eyes and declared, "Mama, you have back fat!" Like it was the most wondrous miracle he had ever experienced.  It was really all the pregnancy test I needed.  Those maternal stores sure know what to do the fourth time.
Photo and support thanks to my friend Summer

Also worth noting, my midwife was concerned that I was too big too fast, so she asked that we have an ultrasound to rule out twins.  Had I re-read Penelope's pregnancy updates, I would have realized that was a concern with Penny, too.  Then I could have assured my midwife that I just get big fast.  But I did not remember, and one of my dearest friends had just discovered that she was indeed carrying twins, so we had the ultrasound.  All we found was one VERY active and bouncy little babe.  It was too early to make gender predictions.  The profile on the babe was, however, an exact replica of my husband's.  Now he wants it to be a boy, simply not to burden a girl with having his face.  I have assured him that he is pretty enough to be a girl.

Weeks 5-12 were awful.  I have never experienced "morning" sickness before (by "morning" read: ALL DAY).  With Penny I had a few actual mornings, in the first two weeks, that were rough, but easily fixed by eating orange slices before getting out of bed and weaning my toddler.  This time, nothing helped.  My husband was living and working in a different state, and it was all I could do to feed myself the the kids (take out) and read some books before bed.  I am really not sure what we did those weeks.  I know I sat on my front porch a lot as I couldn't bear the smell of my house.  I think we walked a lot.  I know I saw my other mama friends (not to mention other friends), and they were all kind enough to help wash my dishes on a regular basis.

My sympathies to all women who have suffered pregnancy sickness.  I know mine could have been much worse.  All I can say is, had my first pregnancies been like this one, I would not be having a fourth child.  It makes me appreciate those early (younger) pregnancies so much more.  At one point my husband came home for the weekend and said something to the tune of, "If I ever come home to find the house like this again, I..." at which point I told him to stop for, "If you ever say something like that again, I..."  Those were hard weeks.  I'm also not sure what followed the "if" clauses, but I know it didn't insinuate anything good.  Suffice it to say that neither of us understood very well what the other was sacrificing and dealing with.

Then, we moved, making Penny's the only pregnancy where we lived in one place for the entire duration.  I take comfort knowing that was (lord willing) the last time I will ever have to move pregnant.

I started binding much earlier this time around, and it was a great benefit.  It made a HUGE difference in my energy.  But now I have to stop as it seems to encourage this baby to turn breech, though it helped Penny to stay head down.  There are other things about a fourth pregnancy (within 6 1/2 years) that are not so pleasant.  The increased varicose veins are just the tip of the iceberg.  If you are a pregnant person and want to talk about this stuff, just shoot me an email.  I'll give you a few tips.

Now, I am trying to balance feeling done being pregnant (please, never again) with the realization this is also likely the last time I will get to feel secret kicks and marvel at the wonder of a new human being forming within my own body.   It really is a miraculous thing to participate in, and I will very likely get a baby urge in a couple years and have to accept that that chapter of our lives is behind us.

Picture from 33 weeks - I am actually feeling small!
Baby four seems healthy and active.  It still flips itself all around on a regular basis.  All of my other babies have spent a little time breech, so it's no surprise that this one has, too.  This is certainly our mystery baby.  I have NO inkling on gender, which is really different from my other pregnancies.  I think I'm just far too distracted.  I almost forget I am pregnant most of the time, until I get a couple kicks.  Hormonally, I think it is a little more similar to Penny's pregnancy than to the boys'.  So if that means anything, I lean towards it being a girl.  I'd like a girl.  It makes a pretty picture, two brothers and two sisters, but, obviously, we are excited for whatever God brings us.  His plan has repeatedly proven better than what I imagine is right for my life.

Everyone is excited to meet this little person.  Søren told me a few weeks ago that he is SO happy that I am having another baby.  He wants it to be a girl, and he'd like her to be named either Laura (because we read the Little House series) or Lucy (because we're reading the Chronicles of Narnia).  I like the name Lucy, but I don't like first names that are really nick names, and I don't care for Lucille or Lucinda.  We'd like to keep with a literary reference in the first name, but that is getting harder.

Elliot beams whenever we talk about the new baby, or whenever he gets to feel it kick.  When Søren first met Penny, he turned to me and said, "Now you need to have another one for Elliot."  For some reason, Elliot is taking serious ownership of being a big brother twice over, and becoming "one of the oldest kids" rather than the middle child.   This is actually a big part of why we wanted a fourth child.

I have no problem sharing the naming progress, so for the record, I lean toward Theodore if it's a boy (middle name William or Justice, but Andrew has dibs on the middle name, so it might also be Ransom after the main character in the CS Lewis space trilogy).  If it's a girl, Audrey (nothing settled for the middle yet, and if we keep with tradition, the girls get two middle names!  We're thinking about Elizabeth, after my husband's enjoyment of The Sonnets of the Portuguese - yep, he's a sensitive one).  My husband, as usual, does not yet like my name choices.  We shall see.  He is warming up to them.  I had to remind him that Audrey was HIS preference during Penny's pregnancy.

How I spend an increasing amount of hours in my day
(can you see my popped belly button?)

Anyone - if anyone actually has read through this whole post! - want to play the guessing game on when this babe will arrive?  Weight?  Gender?   I am not-so-secretly hoping to work myself into labor cooking Thanksgiving dinner so that we can keep December for Christmas and advent.  But that might just be wishful thinking with the due date on Dec 13th.


  1. I think a girl. She will arrive as your earliest one yet, and thus be your smallest to date and she will be named something unknown as of now.

    I love a good mystery and I can't wait for this one to unravel.

  2. Meg - I like your prediction =) I can't believe we'll be meeting this person so soon!

  3. I don't really have a guess. I was very pregnant on Thanksgiving a couple of times, and the second go-round I was ready much sooner for the arrival to happen. So I can only imagine how that feels with the fourth. I hope to be able to visit you early Dec., whether babe's in or out. :o)

  4. Deanna - We are looking forward to your visit. I hope you'll get to meet the littlest one when you come so you don't have to wait for us to find our way down south.

  5. Thank you for the clarification post! You kind of threw it out with your last post, and I wanted to ask you about being pregnant, but I wasn't quite sure... so happy to hear you're adding to your family! The picture of you at 33 weeks is beautiful - your beaming smile is adorable.

    I -love- the name Theodore! My husband isn't a fan, but I think he'll warm up... maybe... one day.

    But as for predictions, I think it'll be a girl and she'll be born on November 26th.

  6. I'm rooting for another girl so you will experience the joy I have with two of each. However, there are other ways to experience joy - boys are wonderful little creatures.

    Names are hard. You want to keep it literary...hmmm...Pippi, for Pippi Longstocking. Ha! Penny and Pippi.

    Praying for a healthy delivery for you both. Much love!!!

  7. Mrs. Boo - I have heard great things about "L" names =)

    Charlotte - So sorry! Most of my readers (at least the ones I know of) know me in real life (or Facebook), I kinda forgot there might be people who didn't know! As for husbands and names, mine hasn't liked a single one of our kids names until after they were born. Really, after you have the baby, you pretty much have the trump card =)

    Cherie - When I think of having 2 boys and 2 girls I always think of you. I have enjoyed the similarities of our stories so far. Names are hard - especially when you've already been able to name three people! Thanks for the love and prayers.

  8. Marianne-
    Thank you for blogging on your pregnancy. It gives me encouragement and solidarity. I wish we lived closer! I would love to help out and bring over snacks and take the kids to a park. You are a wonderful Mom.

    I predict girl, on or around December 2.

  9. Sarah - I am so glad my words are encouraging to you! I wish we lived closer too. I would love to watch our girls become big sisters together.