Baby #3: 20 weeks – Half-way point! Baby GIRL! Feeling large, baby’s name

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Date: April 14, 2014

Photo thoughts: Holy moly, halfway point! Shirt is flowy so had to hold it to show the belly. Comical with the boys, as always. Henry disheveled, Ben chowing down. Oh well. Holding up a new onesie this week – for his baby SISTER!!

Size of baby: 6 1/2 inches crown to rump, 10 inches head to toe – a banana, my fave!

What I’m anticipating: More movement!!

What I’m stressing about/worries: Gaining too much weight. Baby not actually being a girl. (Even though I do feel pretty confident it IS a girl in there!)

Miss anything? Not really. I mean, yeah, but I’m loving being pregnant so who cares!

Differences between pregnancies: With Ben at this point, I had been having some back pain and luckily have had none of that this time. I was up 13 pounds right now and was semi-stressing about it, and now I’m up 14-15 pounds and am again kind of stressing about it.

We were totally set on his name. I commented on how I wasn’t feeling Ben as much as I’d felt Henry at this point – and now I feel like I’m not feeling baby girl NEARLY as much as I was even feeling Ben. I’m getting really impatient to feel the regular movement.

With Henry, I wasn’t 100% sold on his name quite yet, I was up 11 pounds and I was starting to stress a bit about all we had to get done in the next few months. (Oh Erin of yesteryear, what were you stressing about? All you had was spare time, girl.) By 21 weeks I was feeling movement that was strong enough to move my hand, and I know we’d felt him from the outside already a few times.

As I write this, I’m feeling some little baby kicks. :) Keep ‘em coming, little lady!

I also feel like another wives’ tale that is true for me (aside from the how-I’m-carrying one, since I think I proved that one to be TRUE!) is that I’m gaining weight more all over this time instead of just out front like I did with my boys. I feel like my legs and butt and love handles are all just a little bit bigger than normal, or than they were when I’ve been pregnant in the past. Not stressing too much since, like I’ve said, I feel I’ll gain what I gain, and I have confidence I’ll take it off again just like I did with my boys! I still don’t to be huuuuuge, either!

With Henry, we were 20 weeks, 4 days away from meeting him. With Ben, we were 18 weeks, 2 days away from meeting him. Wonder how far off baby girl is? Hopefully closer to 18 or 19 than 20+ – but no sooner than that!

How I’m feeling: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling excited as heck to be expecting a girl. Still in disbelief a bit.

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good. Having Henry sleep on our floor has been a good change for all of us, and last night he even slept all night without a peep in his own bed – first time in weeks that has happened. Hoping we maintain a good streak there.

Exercise: None this week, which is bad, particularly as I lament about gaining weight too quickly! But when I’m not at work, I am active constantly – keeping up with two little boys while at home keeps me busy, and on Sunday I accomplished so much before noon. That afternoon I did like 15 minutes of stretching and lunges and squats, just to have done something that was ‘officially’ exercise, but all morning I was go-go-go.

I woke up that morning (too darn early, as it was my day to get up with the boys and they decided to get up before 6:30) and had one of those overwhelmed-by-life moments. I needed to take control of some things and so that morning I changed the sheets on everyone’s beds, organized our messy kitchen cupboard where we keep all of our bills, etc., wrote some thank you notes, filled out some forms and paid some bills, and then went upstairs and organized our entire closet, which was something that had been bugging me – and Dave – for a long time. It’s too damn small, for one, and it just got super messy and unorganized, especially with all the maternity/non-maternity and seasonal turn-over. I felt super accomplished when it was all done, and I made myself a list for the rest of the week of other things I wanted to accomplish (blog, call the handyman, do some things for our nonprofit – more on that soon! – wrap some gifts, etc.) It all made me feel a lot more relaxed and in control!

Movement: There but not nearly enough. I think I went the entire day Saturday without feeling one little thing. I felt some good kicks yesterday but then today has been quiet again. Feeling baby kicks is hands-down the BEST part of pregnancy, and at this point I’m feeling a little gipped! This is my last pregnancy and I only have 20 weeks, give or take, left, so I want to feel those kicks as much and for as long as possible!

Boy or girl: Can hardly believe it – GIRL!!

The bump: I get up each morning and think whoa, I’m pregnant. This thing is going to get WAY bigger. Yikes. But also, I love it.

Milestones: Big ultrasound! Baby is HEALTHY and growing right on track!! And she is so cute in there! SUCH a relief to have had a good ultrasound.

And she has a name! Well, a first name. We’re pretty set (98% I’d say) on naming her Scarlett, and I love it. Having a hard time with the middle name, but we have some time. I’d like her middle name to start with E since that’s my initial and it’s pretty… I wish so much that Scarlett Ella had a good ring to it since I still just love the name Ella, but I don’t think it flows well together at all. I think our other best option is Scarlett Elizabeth. Or maybe we’ll go with a non-E name and come up with something different. I like Scarlett Caroline right now, too. We’ll see!

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Best moment of the week: Hmmm, I just can’t think of one right now…. ;)

Camera Roll-368 Besides big ultrasound day, which was seriously one of the most fun, happy days of my life, we also went to the Easter Bunny Brunch at one of our restaurants this past weekend, and that was a lot of fun. Yummy food and the boys got a ton of candy! The weather has been awful the past few days, but I did get the boys to the park on Friday evening before it got really crappy, so that was a highlight, too. So beyond ready for spring over here!!

Other notes: Amanda emailed me the day after my gender reveal to find a date in July for my ‘sprinkle’ that she wants to throw me. So very fun and exciting to think about having a little party to celebrate baby girl’s impending arrival! Which means Ben is my only kid to not be ‘showered,’ the poor middle child. Ha.

My mother-in-law asked me about colors for the nursery and I told her I had no idea yet. I didn’t even let myself think or look or plan before I knew if I was actually going to have a girl. But now that I am, I think it’s time to hit Pinterest! I don’t think we’ll paint the room again – the soft blue that Benny has in there will probably be fine, but I guess we’ll see what color palette we come up with. I think I’ll find a great rug and go from there, and do decals on the wall again and art on the walls and some new bedding. So fun!!

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Big ultrasound day #3 :)

My three big ultrasound days have been three of the best days of my life, and I can safely say that this last one takes the cake.

It being the last, it being a girl after two boys, doing an actual gender reveal instead of finding out in the ultrasound room, having the whole day off with Dave … the whole day was just pure awesomeness, and I want to remember it. The post just below this one has all of my favorite photos from the day!

Dave and I have long talked about taking a whole day off together while the kids went to daycare, and yet in 4 1/2 years, we’ve never made it happen, mostly because we felt guilty and we – mostly I – feel like we don’t want to miss out on any precious time with our boys. But we decided big ultrasound day would be a perfect day to take off together, so we finally did, and let me tell you, we looked forward to it for weeks!

We slept in a bit, me not getting up til a little after 6 (blargh to that being ‘sleeping in’ at this stage of my life!) and Dave staying in bed til 6:30. Shelly showed up at her normal time, just before 8 a.m., and we left the house by about 8:10 for our 8:30 appointment. She’d worn a pink shirt and commented on how I wasn’t wearing pink – she’s been saying since the day she met me that I was having a baby girl, and I kept telling her that she best be excited for a boy, too! It’s funny – her last family for whom she nannied for five years was two boys and a girl, with the middle boy named Ben. History repeating itself!

Camera Roll-294We got to the doc and they made us wait a painstaking 10-15 minutes past 8:30 before calling us in. I was on pins and needles! Our ultrasound tech, Mary – who I think also did Ben’s big ultrasound – asked if we wanted to know the gender and we said we wanted it in an envelope and she just nodded, as if a lot of people do it that way. She put the probe on my belly – and ah! There was baby! Such a thrill to see it finally, after only seeing it as a blob at 7 weeks. So incredible what happens in 12 weeks’ time!!!!

I craned my neck to watch as she located and measured everything in there over the next 45 minutes. We got to see baby’s beautiful little profile almost right away and I got a little teary – s/he was so beautiful!! At one point I looked over to Dave and said “It looks like a girl!” And I really meant it. The dainty little lips, the upturned nose – the features just seemed slightly more feminine to me than my boys’ had looked in there. Maybe that’s ridiculous, but I felt it was true.

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The baby was moving SO much in there, and I said to the tech – “I can barely feel any of that still!” And she told me that I have an anterior placenta this time, which is why I’m probably not feeling as much movement at this point as I did with the boys.

She turned her screen away at one point to look ‘down there,’ and when she turned it back, I asked “do you know?” and she said “nope, baby isn’t really cooperating.” So she did more measurements and then at the end had me get up and pee to hopefully get the baby to move a bit. She looked again, and she was looking for quite a long time. I was getting nervous and she said “don’t worry, we’ll know.” I asked her if there are ever times when they truly can’t determine the gender and she said it was really rare. She said “I’m pretty sure I know what it is, I’m just trying to get a good picture for you.” The baby would just NOT open its legs! Once she had turned the screen back to us, I thought to ask “how sure are you?” but I didn’t want to hear something like “oh, I’m totally sure” since then I’d assume she’d seen a penis. So I kept my mouth shut, though now I wish I’d asked!

We got some awesome profile pics to take home with us, and she sealed the money shot in the envelope for us. We met with the doc a few minutes later and she let us know that baby was measuring right on track and looked great in there. Such a relief. That second appointment went fast and then we were off to Julia’s house!!!! I was riding high on the fact that I’d seen the baby and s/he was healthy, and my stomach was filled with butterflies on the 20-minute drive to her house. I said to Dave, these are our last few moments of not knowing how our family will turn out, forever! I didn’t want to admit to myself how much pressure I was putting on this moment, how much I was hoping to see pink when I opened my eyes.

We pulled in her driveway and she and Truman and Cece and Henry dog were all outside. We turned the corner into the backyard, and she’d put up a backdrop with her ‘baby number 3′ banner – so sweet! She took the envelope from me pretty much immediately and went around the corner to look. She came back with SUCH a straight face, I was so impressed, no matter what that envelope had said. Excellent poker face. I remember with her gender reveal, which held less ‘pressure’ in my head since she already has a boy and a girl and I really didn’t have a preference for what she was having, I looked in that envelope and saw ‘boy’ and I was just bursting, I had to literally bite my tongue because I was afraid I’d spoil it somehow! So she was a real pro.

She asked T and C what they thought I was having, and I’m pretty sure they both said boy first and then girl, it was funny. We took a few pics and then it was time to close our eyes and have her put the appropriate cookie in her hands. I’ve watched the 15-second version of this video we took (that I put on Instagram) about 20 times and it makes my heart leap every time. We closed our eyes and waited while she took pictures with the cookies in our hands, and I said “I’m dying.” And when she started counting, I said “I don’t know if I’m ready!!” and boom, we opened our eyes on three and saw pink!

“Ahhhhh! It’s a giiiiirl!”

I squealed. I wasn’t sure how I’d react but wow, I was excited, even more than I thought I’d be! I just really couldn’t believe it. And Dave couldn’t, either! He was honestly convinced, I think, that he can only make boys. I look at the pictures of us after that moment and he has such genuine happiness on his face. He said and continues to say that he really didn’t care either way, and he definitely thought it was a boy, but I think he’s pretty darn excited that it’s a girl. I can’t believe I get to see him be the daddy to a little girl. I cannot wait.

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Dave and I hugged and Julia snapped pics, and then I took a look at the ‘money shot’ – and I had no clue what I was looking at.

I remember when we did Julia’s gender reveal, I was the lucky first one to open that envelope – and C’s legs were spread wide and it was VERY clear that there was just nothing there! This one, though? Legs curled tight. And I see three lines – actually, I see two spots where there are these supposed three lines, and yet I don’t know which one is actually what I’m supposed to be looking for! And there’s this teeny speck of white in between the legs that 1% of me thinks, hmmm, could that be a penis? But I remember my boys’ money shots and the penises were VERY obvious. And I do trust the professional, she looked a long time! I just wish I could make it out better. I do think we’ll do a 3D ultrasound in another week or two – to see baby girl’s face and to just be darn sure it’s actually a girl in there!

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I thanked Julia SO much for sharing in this moment with us, and then we were on our way. It was only 10:30 or so, so we decided to grab coffee at Starbucks. I was just bursting – we were having a GIRL. Dave got coffee, I got an iced vanilla latte, and we grabbed a comfy couch by the fireplace. I snapped a pic of our cups and he rolled his eyes at that. But hey, I wanted to document this day, and this moment.

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We recapped the moment at J’s and talked a bit about what a new adventure it will be to have a daughter, and how it’s kind of a scary prospect to raise a daughter, how it’s a lot harder in many ways than raising boys. I had Instagrammed our ultrasound pic at the doctor’s office, and now I Instagrammed our coffee picture, and people kept commenting about how they were dying to know our news! Ha. It made me feel special, it really did, how so many people – both real-life loved ones and internet friends – seemed to really care about hearing who we were going to add to our family! As I said, such pressure when you have two of one gender!!

After Starbucks we headed to lunch. I had asked for recommendations on FB earlier in the week and we’d decided on La Merenda. I wanted someplace delicious and where I’d never been before, since we don’t get out to new places very often! We were the first ones there at 11:20 and had our pick of the dining room. We ordered four small plates in two rounds – goat cheese curds on crustini and pork belly crepes with truffle oil (THE BEST) and then pork tostada (spicy but so yummy) and a trout dish, which was my pick and the one dish that didn’t wow us. We were full so passed on dessert, but we really enjoyed our lunch!

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From there, we went to register Henry for preschool, since it has to be done during normal business hours. I handed over all of our forms and we were out of there within about five minutes. We headed to the mall after that so we could hopefully find a ‘little sister’ shirt. We hit up Crazy 8, Gymboree and Old Navy, but none of them had anything like that. We finally had luck at JC Penny, and I bought our girl a “cutest little sister” onesie and a little romper with a bird on it, both in newborn size because, well, adorable! And because my due date is 9/2, so the weather will be warm for her for about five seconds before fall comes.

Camera Roll-306Party City was right by the mall, so we went and bought our 12 balloons – 10 pink and 2 blue, since I promised Henry he’d get a blue balloon either way, and obviously then Ben would need one, too. “Mom, I want a sister, but I don’t like pink. Can we do blue balloons either way?” Well, no buddy, but I can probably swing one blue balloon for you. ;)

I had thought we’d be rushed with all we wanted to do, but we left Party City and it was barely 2 pm – we were making good time! The weather was gorgeous and we talked briefly about finding a place to just lay outside, but there was no nearby park and we didn’t have a blanket or anything, so we settled on Barnes and Noble instead. We each picked out a couple of magazines and put two chairs near a window and just sat and read for awhile. I read an entire issue of US Weekly – such a luxury!

We left there before 3 and ran our other errands – the grocery store for juice boxes, soda, ice cream, etc. for the evening, and Papa Murphy’s for pizzas, where we bought four family-size pizzas – yuuuuuum. I texted those who were coming – “Please come hungry! We got lots of pizza plus there’s cookies and ice cream!” My mom and Amanda later said this ‘tipped them off’ that it was a girl – that my itinerary for the day (oh yes, there was an itinerary, and I shared it with them just as an FYI, ha) only called for three pizzas, but that I must have just been so excited to be getting a girl that I said what the heck, let’s get four pizzas instead! So silly. ;) In reality, we did the math in the car – 16-18 people who’d be eating – and we decided three pizzas wouldn’t be enough!

We were pretty pooped by now from all the go-go-go of the day. We got home and slyly backed the car into the garage so we could fill the box with the balloons without the boys seeing. We went inside and Henry excitedly said “Mom, we have a surprise for you!!!” I came in and around the door – and Shelly had decked out our dining room in all kinds of cute baby decor for our gender reveal. There were balloons, streamers, boy and girl rubber ducks and stuffed animals, and a gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses. I couldn’t believe it! I hugged her and said lady, that was seriously too much! Too sweet! But she was excited and wanted to help make our day special – she is really something!

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She’d asked me earlier when she’d get to know, and I knew I couldn’t send her away without telling her, so I pulled up the pictures that Julia had sent me on my phone and showed her the one of us holding up the cookies – she was of course so excited but held it in because I told her I didn’t want Henry picking up on anything! She texted as soon as she got to her car, saying “I knew it!!” and congrats.

We had about 45 minutes of downtime before people were to arrive. Dave snoozed on the floor in the living room and I hung with the boys. Ben had a real hard time with not being able to have a cookie yet! I finally gave in and gave him half of one. Then everyone came over – Andrea and kids, Mom, Julia and Nate and kids, Dizzy and kids (and a little bit later Andy, too) and finally Amanda and Mark and Owen. They rushed in at 5:29 – I had told everyone to be no later than 5:30! – and I said you just made it!

We all went outside then for the big reveal. On my way out, Amanda and mom both smiled and said that they knew it was a girl by the way I was acting. I told them they BETTER be happy if they saw blue. I brought the box out from the garage and shielded it with my body while I untied the string, since it was pretty easy to see inside. The boys stood next to me, Dave stood to the side, taking a video with my phone, and everyone else stood near the street. I opened the box and scooped the balloons out since they were kind of jammed in there. Pink, yay! They all cheered and then I went and gave hugs. There were tears. It was really sweet.

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I never even looked up into the sky to watch any of the balloons float away. I had taped two on a string to the bottom so we’d have them for photos, but somehow those flew away within a minute, too. And by the time I actually thought to look at the box, it was pretty much demolished, with all the wrapping paper strewn about my yard. The kids had gone to town on it and I hadn’t noticed. Ah well.

We went inside and ate pizza and cookies and ice cream. Dave called his parents and we texted our siblings so they’d know before we put anything online. Mom gave me a little girl gift, a sleeper and a bib (she’d bought a boy gift, too!) and Julia gave me a teeny little elephant romper that I’d given her for Cece. Friends left around 7 and mom left around 7:30, and I took the boys upstairs to get ready for bed while Dave cleaned up a bit downstairs. Then we both got the boys to bed and, completely exhausted, came back downstairs. I blogged and took a bath and headed to bed with dreams of a little girl dancing in my head. ;)

The next day I brought celebratory doughnuts into work and enjoyed the congrats from my coworkers. As with the day before big u/s day, I had a pretty hard time focusing on my work, and I left by 3:00 since Kelly had a doctor’s appointment to go to, so it was a nice, short Friday. Dave went to his brother’s for the evening so it was just me and the boys. We went to the library, then to the park, then had a pizza picnic in the living room. I gave them a bath and read them stories and put them to bed. I reflected on the fact that these were officially ‘my boys,’ that the door’s officially closed on the three boys idea. It’s crazy, especially since I think more than half of me thought that that would end up being how our family turned out. I love so much that they are getting a sister, though. Every time I say something to Henry about how he’s getting a sister, he gets a big smile on his face and says “just like I wanted!”

It’s so cute, and I’m so happy for him. I’m so happy for all of us!

We’re having a baby GIRL!

I kind of can’t believe I get to write those words. :)

Not sure what I thought going into today, really … I was so convinced it was a girl this time, and yet I didn’t quite trust myself, especially with my track record! And part of me really did think I was destined to have all boys. It’s going to take awhile to sink in that we’re having a DAUGHTER.

My two boys are just my world and I love that they will remain ‘my boys,’ not having to share that title with another. And that they’ll be big brothers to a little sister, who I imagine they will love to pieces and look out for their whole lives! It’s just so perfect. I feel incredibly, ridiculously, over-the-top blessed right now.

Today was such an amazing day, truly everything I could have hoped for and more. I was SO NERVOUS, as I always am going into that big ultrasound, and to know that baby is beautiful and healthy and growing as she (she!) should be is such a tremendous relief.

My wonderful friend Julia took pictures this morning as we learned what we were having, and we set up the iPhone and took a video, too, which I’m SO glad to have. The pictures are so awesome and I am beyond grateful to have them!! What a special moment.

Then she took more pics this evening as we revealed to the boys and my mom and our friends who was in there. I felt so special to have everyone there and so excited for us. Dave got the video of that one. So fun!!!!

I’m going to post again this weekend more about today, since it was such a great day and I want to remember all of it!! Dave and I packed in quite a bit and I am pretty exhausted!

For now, some of my favorite photos from this most special day!!!!!!!

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So very thankful for this day.

The first of the big ‘lasts’

I remind myself often to savor this pregnancy and this journey toward adding a third child to our family since this baby will most surely be my last. And while I don’t dwell too much on every stage being the ‘last time,’ I am aware of it, and I know I will be even more aware once that baby is here and he/she passes through every stage and milestone so very quickly.

I’m certainly not sad to have gone through my last first trimester, or even to have seen my last (at least, I think!) positive pregnancy test, though that part is very fun. But as I approach tomorrow – big ultrasound day – it’s the first time where I’m really feeling like wow, this is it. Last time to go through this nerve-wracking, exciting, amazing day! I’m at peace with it, but it has me reminiscing today about my first two times going through it, since I have such fond memories of both of those days.

When we found out Henry was a boy, I cried tears of joy, and Dave and I spent the rest of the day on such a high, going out and buying his crib and his first little shirt. Life was so easy and carefree back then!

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When we found out Ben was a boy, the ultrasound tech told us the gender news within like five seconds of putting the probe on my belly. It was rather anticlimactic! But after the appointment, we were so excited to pick Henry up for Lori’s, and we all went out for custard that evening to celebrate. Two boys!

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And now here we are, about to find out who the final addition to our family will be.

Just found this video from 12/23 after we told Henry I was pregnant this time. He said then and has always said he wants a sister this time – we’ll see if he gets his wish!

Life has changed so very drastically from five years ago when we were expecting our first little one! I looked at the pictures on Facebook this morning of Henry’s finished nursery all ready for him at our old Shorewood duplex, and it brought tears to my eyes. To think of that oh-so-special time, when life was so simple and parenthood was a completely clean slate, an unknown adventure we were about to embark on.

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Now here we are four and a half years in and life is chaotic and messy and exhausting and more beautiful and joyous than I ever could have imagined. Time flies, and it’s bittersweet, to say the least. But I am right where I want to be and I could not feel more thankful to be here, expecting our third child, who will be so very loved by us all and who will complete the family of five I always dreamed of having.

Baby #3: 19 weeks – Out of the sleepless fog, more sickness, and big ultrasound week is here!

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Date: April 7, 2014

Photo thoughts: I think pregnancy is just beautiful and amazing. Also, the boys rejected my request to take a picture, but then I was snuggling Benny in the kitchen and had Dave sneak a few pics while he was in my arms. These perfectly document this week – poor sick baby!

Size of baby: 8.5 ounces / 6 inches – an heirloom tomato

What I’m anticipating: THURSDAY!!

As I said in my last post, big ultrasound day is always super exciting and nerve-wracking, but all of those feelings are just amplified and magnified this time since it’s my last time!!

I think I may cry when I actually see this baby on the screen on Thursday. He/she was only a blob last time, and now having two precious boys of my own to love just gives this one a whole different and new perspective. Knowing that this one will be the baby of the group, my last baby – it’s just overwhelming!

What I’m stressing about/worries: The big ultrasound. Something being really wrong with my baby. Baby not cooperating and us somehow not being able to know the gender on Thursday. Finding out it’s a boy and feeling disappointed and then feeling horribly guilty for feeling disappointed, since a boy will so awesome and wonderful and part of me really does love the idea of a brood of boys. But I want to experience a little girl, too! I hate that I’m putting so much pressure on the gender thing, I really do. I seriously want to get past this and KNOW and not have to dwell on it anymore, and instead just focus on and love this little babe, whoever he/she is!

Miss anything? Drinking a lot of coffee. I try to limit myself to one (very large) cup of coffee per day. Some days, especially lately, I NEED more and wish I could just keep on drinking it!

Differences between pregnancies: I hadn’t felt Ben move that much at this point, either, but right around 18 1/2 weeks he started kicking a lot and I felt my first kick from the outside. Once again, I am just not feeling much regular movement yet – just a little jab here and there, and flutters from time to time. But nothing anywhere near a jab that can be felt from the outside yet! Very eager to start feeling more movement!!

Also guessed girl for my last baby and was very wrong, obviously. I’m bound to be right one of these times, right?!

And it’s funny, not all of my girl guesses have been wishful thinking – I really did want a boy so badly!! With Ben I did want a girl, but I didn’t have any real LONGING for a girl that time like I have now. This longing for a daughter feels very new to me. It’s really real now that this really is my last shot at it. And yet, just like with my precious Ben – if I do have a boy, I know I’ll look back and will not be able to imagine it having gone any other way. I won’t be able to imagine my life without that son of mine!

How I’m feeling: Better. Just got over a horrible, horrible cold and a weeks-and-weeks-long bout of no sleep. It’s been rough. But I have now slept well three nights in a row and I’m hoping the streak will continue. Sleep is amazing! Pregnancy-wise, I’m feeling good. Though being outside for two hours yesterday made me realize whoa, I’m going to be one tired mama come this summer. The raking and chasing baseballs made me TIRED! I felt big and waddly already, too – kind of freaky to think I have 4 1/2 more months to go.

Sleep: On the upswing, God willing.

Exercise: Sunday’s usually my day to get a real workout in, but after being outside and active for two hours, I was pooped. Did like 10 minutes of stretching once inside. Also danced several times this past weekend to Pherrel’s “Happy” in our living room with the boys, which sure got me winded – and made me super happy! That has to count for something, right? ;)

Movement: Not as much as I’d like. Come on, baby!

Boy or girl: This is the last week I can venture a guess! I really do think it’s a GIRL! I’ll be more surprised if it’s a boy. Because of the timing, because of how I’m carrying so differently, and because I really did always just feel I’d end up with a daughter in the mix! If it’s a boy, it’s official that I SUCK at guessing, and I’m 0/3. And if it’s a boy, I think we could probably have five more kids and they’d all be boys. That I’m simply destined to be a boy mom for life.

I got a text message this afternoon from my cousin, Sarah, who had her third baby today! A BOY!!!!!

She’s one of those crazy people (ha) who never finds out the gender ahead of time, and she has two girls already. I remember her telling me once that she never pictured herself with a girl, let alone two of them. But now she got her boy! And even though I realize it has NOTHING to do with me, now I’m contemplating whether I think this means I’m more likely to have a girl or a boy. Ha!

I said in my “Musings on baby #3′s gender” post that my dad is one of 10 kids and none of my aunts and uncles had all boys or all girls, everyone had at least one of each. Now that cycle is repeating itself with my cousins – I do not have any cousins on that side who have all of one gender, they all have both – now that Sarah has both, too! If I do have three boys, I will be the very first to not have both genders.

The bump: Big!

Milestones: Does peeing myself count? LOL With this awful cold the past week came many a forceful cough and sneeze, and I don’t even want to talk about how many times I peed myself a little bit and had to change my underwear. (Luckily it only happened at home!!!) I have never had that issue before, and thankfully it’s not a regular occurrence. But dude, NOT fun and NOT cool.

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Best moment of the week: Henry sleeping all night for a change. (on our floor, but still.) Scoring big time at the JBF consignment sale Saturday. Spending 20 minutes shopping in the baby girl section. I told myself I’d get three girly things and ended up with seven. I rationalized this in several ways. First, it may be the only time I ever get to buy girl clothes for my own baby so I may as well enjoy it. (Though honestly, I was just sort of overwhelmed – how does one narrow it down with all that cuteness going on?!) And second, Kate is having a baby girl in June, so I figured even if I don’t have a girl in there, someone will be able to put those clothes to good use! I’ll be happy to give them to her for my future niece to wear. :)

Also had a coffee date with Julia and Andrea Saturday night, and it was fun to catch up – and talk about the babies in our bellies! Can’t believe we’re all having #3 within two months of each other, it’s awesome. And yesterday (Sunday) was pretty much one big highlight, just hanging at home with my three boys and enjoying the beautiful spring day.

***

Next day update: I laid awake last night wondering if I should go back and delete much of what I wrote here. I felt guilt and shame that I put it out there to the universe that I would like for this baby to be a girl. There are millions of women across the globe who would do just about anything for a healthy baby. And here I am talking about how much I want a daughter, when I have two beautiful sons here and would be so ridiculously lucky to have another one. This morning Dave referenced ‘our three boys’ at the breakfast table and my heart leaped. I *love* that image. I only want a healthy baby. I truly don’t care as much as I think I’m projecting to those around me, and it’s bothering me. I feel like somehow I *should* be openly hoping for a girl since that’s what everyone seems to want for me. I feel like there’s this pressure around me to birth a girl just because I’ve already birthed two boys. It’s annoying.

Yes, I’d love a daughter. But I’d love to have a third son just as much.

A friend recently said to me “I don’t know if I picture you with another boy or with a girl. I just know that I picture you happy.

It was the sweetest compliment I’ve received in a long time, and I know she’s right. I will be so happy.

I’m praying and hoping so hard that we have a healthy baby in there. Beyond that, the rest is gravy. We are so lucky.

Today was good for my soul / Sleeplessness is no joke

This morning I woke up on my own and could sense by the light in my room that it was well past when I normally get up during the week. Before even looking at the clock, I breathed a sigh of relief that the boys hadn’t woken up too early on my day to get up with them. The time was 6:45 a.m., and I laid happily in bed for nearly 15 more minutes before I heard Ben start talking and asking for mama in his room.

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I had slept all night, about eight hours straight, and I felt like a million bajillion bucks today, especially compared to how I’ve felt the past few weeks – the past week in particular. I’ve always known it to be true, but today (and yesterday for that matter, since I slept pretty great two nights ago, too, plus I got to sleep in yesterday morning while Dave got up with the boys) made it so apparent – sleep deprivation is torture and impacts every aspect of life.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a beast to live with this past week. I’m pretty sure I’ve been grumpy with my coworkers and not as productive at work as I normally am. I sobbed in my kitchen Thursday morning before Shelly came over, after getting upset telling Henry how mad I was at him for waking me up so much yet again. I had to re-do my makeup before heading to work I was so cried up. That was a low point.

A week ago Saturday was the day I had that painful growth spurt, just feeling off and awful all day. That kicked off a really crappy week. Henry had a pretty bad cold over the weekend with a fever, and we all ended up getting it. Dave and I were both miserable with the terrible cough, runny nose, headache – all of it – all week. Ben ended up with it a few days later, too.

Wednesday Henry was complaining that his ear hurt, so I got him in for a late afternoon appointment and, sure enough, he had an ear infection – his first since he was probably one. So we got him on antibiotics and he’s been back to his old self again these past few days. The rest of us are still shaking it.

I stayed home from work on Friday because I was so miserable. And while I was in fact sick as heck, I actually stayed home because I was so sleep deprived I could not face having to leave the house and work all day. I had slept maybe two or three hours the night before because I couldn’t breathe, and that was compounded by the fact that I hadn’t gotten a decent night of sleep in WEEKS.

Henry’s sleep issues as of late have been BRUTAL on us. It has been way, WAY worse than having a newborn in the house. A whiny four-year-old has exactly the opposite effect on one’s nerves and patience in the middle of the night than does a squishy, sweet-smelling, hungry newborn.

After that last post, I went out and bought him a fan for his room so he’d have some background noise (which he doesn’t want on) and some “monster spray,” after hearing that suggestion from more than a couple people. He was excited about it when I bought it (Febreze anti-allergen with a package of Ninja Turtle stickers to decorate the can with) and that first night, but I had the sneaking suspicion that my kid was too clever and too damn stubborn for such a gimmick to work on him – and I was right. He woke up multiple times that night, just like he has been every night.

Camera Roll-249 So finally I threw in the towel and made him a little bed on our floor and told him he could come sleep there if he woke up in the night, but the deal was that he couldn’t wake me up, he had to just come in, lay down and go to sleep. It’s been three nights of that so far, and 2 of the 3 nights he has come in and slept all night without a peep on our floor. The second night he woke us up whining about wanting to be in our bed. (“My leeeeeg hurts! The only way to get it working again is to be in your bed! … But your bed is the most COMFORTABLE!” Gah.) So we’ve finally made some progress, but we’ll see how it goes tonight and this week. I know it’s still hard for him to not wake us up when he’s up in the night, and I don’t really sleep through him coming in anyway. It’s still better than the calling out from his room, though.

Ben sleeps like a dream, but every few weeks he’ll have a night when he wakes up and just doesn’t want to (or can’t) go back to sleep. One night last week he had one of those nights, and I was awake because of him between 2:30 and 5 a.m. – and my alarm goes off at 5:30. BRU-TAL.

I was seriously at the very end of my rope. Life felt so dismal and bleak and hopeless. It’s terrifying what a lack of sleep will do to your mental state. I questioned my parenting and my marriage and my job and my ability to handle life with three kids – all of it. I just wanted to cry much of the week.

I’ve done this sleep deprived thing for months and months before, and I’ve handled it just fine (most days anyway.) But this type of exhaustion is just a whole new kind of exhaustion. When you have a baby, you expect to have sleepless nights. But not when you have a four-year-old. And being pregnant and NEEDING that sleep more than usual just makes it that much worse.

All of this is to say that it’s been a rough few weeks and I hope that we are somehow coming out the other end of it. Two bouts of sickness for our family in the last month – first the stomach flu and now a bad cold – and hopefully we can be done for awhile. Henry’s allowed to sleep on our floor for now, so hopefully the multiple-times-a-night wakings are done.

Today was Sunday and we had nowhere to go. The boys slept in and the sun was shining and we enjoyed our morning while daddy slept in. We did a craft (of course) and watched the end of Frozen that we’d started Friday night (love.) and made breakfast and coffee. Once Dave was up, we had cinnamon rolls and then headed outside, where we stayed for a good two hours, playing baseball and going on little walks around the neighborhood and raking leaves and cleaning out the garage and just enjoying the FRESH AIR! It was heavenly to finally be outside after so many months cooped up indoors.

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I baked cookies this afternoon in preparation for Thursday’s gender reveal (and froze them, of course, so they’ll be fresh!) and watched some TV with Dave and spent some time with Henry while Benny napped. When he got up, he and I went to Menards to buy paint and a few other things, and I realized how rarely Benny and I run errands or do anything just us – it was really nice. We made dinner and did baths and bedtime, and then Dave and I watched a Friday Night Lights. I’m exhausted again and ready for bed, but I felt really great most of the day. It felt SO GOOD to sleep last night and pray – PRAY – it will keep up!

I don’t have one tiny twinge of Sunday blues tonight – tomorrow gets me one day closer to Thursday! So excited for a day off with Dave and for our big appointment. I will breathe the hugest sigh of relief when we see that baby and, God willing, find out that he/she is perfectly healthy and growing right on schedule. I was SO freakin excited for my big ultrasound both other times, and I feel like this one is on that level of excitement and then multiplied by at least two since it’s my last time around. Once we know who this baby is in there, that vision of our family will be complete. We will be able to see with clarity what our family will look like, whether it’s two boys and a girl or three boys. It’s wild! These are the last few days of not knowing, of anticipating and wondering. It’s exciting and fun but ohhh, I just want to know so badly!! I hope the week flies. :)

I’m 18 weeks, 5 days pregnant

One week til the big day!

God willing, one week from today we’ll know that baby #3 is healthy and we’ll also know whether it’s a boy or a girl!

The excitement and anticipation for this big day is what is getting me through some tough days around here, let me tell you. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been so exhausted in my life, seriously. But that’s a post for another day.

This afternoon I did another comparison picture of my belly with all three kids and I want to document it here!

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As I said on Instagram and Facebook, I truly do think that old wives’ tales are hogwash. But damn. This belly is so much higher than it was with my boys!! Why would that be? Why would I carry this one so differently? I mean, I get that every pregnancy is different, based on how old you are, which pregnancy it is, etc. etc. But one would think you’d carry lower each time since all your muscles have done this before – not so much higher! Maybe it IS a girl and those girl hormones are making me carry higher!

One more week of sweet anticipation. :)