This won't publish for many weeks. Today, as I write this, it is February 27. Yesterday I found out that we're expecting our fourth baby in November. I'm excited to blog this pregnancy, just as I have with my last two.
I'll admit, after having Katie, it has been harder for me to commit to another child. During my pregnancy with Katie and the months that followed were some of the hardest emotional points of my life. We had a horrid move right at the beginning of that pregnancy, I was struggling to keep up with my two children who needed so much of me, Cody changed jobs, life was in upheaval. After she was born, it didn't get better. First, I had to have my gall bladder removed, and then we started building our house. I didn't have nearly enough time with my kids and we moved again, and by the time the house was completed, Katie was a year old and I was exhausted. Having another child was a scary prospect, because I was just not ready yet mentally. Part of me was worried that another baby would start another chapter of stress in our lives. I look back now and realize how silly I was being, but at the time, I just couldn't fathom starting over again with a newborn.
Once we moved into our house, though, I was filled with deep peace. I know we're where we need to be. We're more financially stable now than we've ever been. No one can kick us out of our house, and our kids are growing up and maturing. They've really been able to shoulder more responsibility and our family dynamic is evolving with them. I've been feeling so comfortable and happy here. Our kids are old enough now that they can self entertain while Cody and I do projects, or often, they can help. All this new maturity made me both excited and terrified for a new baby--was I ready to start all over again? Would it be as bad as last time? For a long time, the answer to both questions was "no," so I decided just to wait.
In about December, I finally asked myself "Are we done having children? Is Katie our last?" and I just felt sad. I knew that we wanted more kids. So I started looking at the calendar and Cody and I had lots of discussions about what to do. Cody of course wanted lots of kids right away, but he was respectful of my requests. I didn't want my kids spaced too far apart in age, and Katie was 21 months old, making her at least two and a half years older than the potential future baby. We finally made the decision to just "let things happen" as they may, at least for the first few months. If time kept going, we might try harder to get pregnant, but for the time being, we weren't going to stress about it in either direction.
I hardly thought about pregnancy again at that point. That's unusual for me; all three of my pregnancies thus far have been planned, prepared for, nothing left to chance. Letting go of the worry and the stress felt so good! We started painting our house and doing projects and I just kind of forgot about things.
I forgot about things so completely, that it was actually Cody who noticed I was a few days late (well, he didn't notice I was late... he noticed that my period should be starting soon, but that's when I realized it was already late). I tried to shrug it off quickly, but I know my body... I'm never, never late. It was a Sunday when we noticed this and I didn't have a test on hand, so I had to wait to go to the store. Consequently, I wasn't able to test until Tuesday, but by then I was almost a whole week late and I was pretty certain I was pregnant. So certain, in fact, that Monday night when the girls--who had been sick with stomach flu all weekend--had taken up all Cody and my attention for days, and I knew that Lee was needing some quality time desperately, I went to his room to tuck him in bed and asked him, "Lee, can you help me with a surprise?" He of course got excited, and I told him, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a new baby." He was ecstatic. He promised not to share this information with anyone, not even daddy, but he gave me a big hug and told me he was going to help me so much--except for changing stinky poopy diapers, of course. :) So, Lee was the first one to find out. It was our little secret, and was so fun, even if it was just for one night. He made me go right to bed. Adorable.
Cody had early work on Tuesday, so I snuck and took the test without him knowing I had even purchased it. It quickly confirmed what I already knew, but it felt good to see that "Pregnant" result come up. I then helped the kids make some signs. Lee was in on the secret, so he made his own that read "I love Dad. Lee, #1." Anna's said "I <3 a="" after="" and="" annalisa="" another="" as="" at="" baby.="" baby="" believe="" bit="" both="" br="" break="" can="" cody="" convincing="" could="" cried="" d="" dad="" daddy="" exclaimed="" few="" for="" from="" gave="" give="" had="" happen="" he="" helped="" hers="" him="" his="" hug="" i="" in="" it="" katie="" kids="" laughed="" love="" making="" me="" months="" more="" morning="" my="" nbsp="" need="" next="" note="" on="" one="" our="" own="" picked="" plans="" positive="" pregnant="" prepare="" re="" read="" really="" result="" right="" see="" shirt="" showing="" signs="" so="" soon="" started="" stomach="" t="" take="" tearing="" test.="" test="" than="" that="" the="" their="" then="" thought="" time="" to="" took="" up="" we="" what="" with="" would="" wow="" wrote="" you="">3>
While it took me several months to decide that I really did want more children, now I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't wait to add to our family here in our beautiful home. I'm excited that I'll have air conditioning and a nice back yard for the entire pregnancy! Our older kids are already such a big help, and Lee and Annalisa are stoked to have a new sibling. I think they're both hoping for twins, actually. Katie has started adding "bee bee" to her list of people to bless during her prayers.
For now my projected due-date is about November 2--my dad's birthday--but I know my history so I'm thinking early to mid November. And as always, stay tuned to "For Kicks and Giggles" for every bump, bruise, and goofy pregnancy moment along the way! :)