Surprise! On Baby #4 and 18 weeks

We have some happy news.  A fourth baby will be joining our family sometime in the first week of March.

And yes, this baby was a surprise. 🙂

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One of the fun things about this pregnancy has been telling our close friends and family members over the last few months.  There has been lots of “WHAT?!?  I mean…but congrats!!”  It’s hilarious.  I’m not mad at them, I get it, but no one was more surprised than me when I took that positive pregnancy test.

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Actually, the story of this pregnancy starts off similar to my pregnancy with Michael.

I thought that I probably was pregnant.  I had some symptoms, although, strangely, none of the ones that I had with Michael’s pregnancy.  Nothing that would make me go, “Ah ha!!  I know what this is!  This is the (very) familiar feeling of baby growing!!”  That would be too easy.

But still, I knew what I knew.  I got two tests from the store, and then plunged into slightly baffled wrong-ness.

Two negative pregnancy tests.  Two days apart.  First thing in the morning.  In black digital letters.  NOT PREGNANT.

But then I was late, and Chris started freaking out a few times a day, and eventually one day I was like, “I’m going to the store to get formula and while I’m there I’m getting a pregnancy test just so that you will shut up about it.

But it didn’t shut him up.  It turns out that he was right.  Actually, I was right, and then he was right.  It’s just that I had been right slightly too early. 🙂

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But I am delighted.  We are delighted.  This sweet baby is a gift and I am so excited to see how they fit into our little family.

When?

March 5-ish. 🙂  My due date keeps getting shifted around slightly, but I am currently 18+ weeks along.

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What is the age difference between Michael and the new baby?

They will be about 15 months apart!!  This is (obviously) a much closer age gap than my others, which are 3 years, and 4.5 years apart.  I think that this age gap will be fantastic for the babies, just very tiring for me/us at the beginning.  Especially me.  But the idea of having two little ones and two big ones sounds great.

 But goodness, sometimes it doesn’t seem like a big enough gap!  It is slightly/very baffling to be walking around carrying a baby on my hip while watching my belly expand from the other baby that I am carrying.  Soon enough I will be carrying two babies in my arms, and that will really be something!

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What do the kids think?

Jayce and Hannah are delighted.  Seriously, they both jumped up and down and squealed with excitement!!

Now, our two big kids are not best buddies.  They antagonize and drive each other crazy.  Their current ages are a factor, I get that, and I’m not panicking about it.  Right now it is what it is.  But they are completely different with Michael.  They adore him.  They are always playing with him, easily making him laugh, wanting to carry him (Jayce) or squeeze/smother him (Hannah).

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Will you find out the gender?

Yes!

We have found out the gender with each of our babies and I love it!  I always feel like it helps me bond with the baby a bit more, and get excited about the ways that that particular gender will be a fun addition to our family.  Also, it is no secret that some of my excitement over the baby goes into setting up the nursery and making things for the little one, and I feel like the time leading up to that 20 week ultrasound is like me eagerly waiting at the starting line of the race!

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Where?

Michael’s nursery is the biggest bedrooms upstairs and now it will simply be a nursery for two.  It has already been serving double-duty as a nursery/guest room since we have a large day bed in there where Mom and Chelsea sleep when they visit, and now it will just be doing double-duty with two cribs and two babies!!

Michael will be in a crib when the baby is born.  He’ll still be young enough for a crib and I’m certainly not going to rush him into the big boy bed simply because another baby is joining our family.  Jayce and Hannah both stayed happily in their cribs until they were three years old, never trying to climb out and sleeping perfectly at night and during the day, and I am give Michael the same opportunity for as long as he needs it.

That said, we will be shopping for a second crib sometime soon.  (Along with a second car seat, a second high chair, a double stroller…) But since we always keep our newborns in the room with us in a pack n play for the first few months, there is no immediate urgency.

Furthermore, when we moved into the house I was 36 weeks pregnant, and our main priority was (obviously) getting the house set up.  Though the nursery is bright, clean, and beautiful, it is not decorated, so I am excited to spend these next few months fluffing it up a bit and figuring out a way to make it fun and sweet for both babies. 🙂

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How are you feeling?

Oh man.  I am so tired.

The timing of this pregnancy was tricky.  I took the positive pregnancy test a few weeks before Chris went to Boston to teach for three weeks this summer.  (He did come in on the weekends, but it was only for about a day and a half.  So not great.)

This meant that the portion of the pregnancy when the fatigue is the worst, and the nausea is the worst, is when my two big kids were home for the summer, my husband was gone for five days of the week, and I was still taking care of a baby during the day and up with him at night.  It was not great.  But we got through it.

Unfortunately the fatigue has returned with a vengeance these last few weeks.  I couldn’t figure out why I was so completely wiped out all of the time, aside from the seemingly obvious reason of taking care of two big kids and a baby while pregnant.  But it turns out that my blood glucose was really low and that was really affecting my energy level.  I’ve been able to get some energy back by eating even more frequently, although I feel like I’m eating all of the time.  But I’m glad to know that I can do something to help myself out.

I think that is about it for now, or at least all that my brainpower will allow for the moment. 🙂

Also, if you have any great advice for taking care of two babies at once, or successfully caring for four kids, Chris and I are ALL EARS!! 🙂

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