Baby Bump - 20 Weeks

end of 17 Weeks - Ahahaha!
end of 17 Weeks - freshly home from camping (i.e. 3 days without a shower!)

 19.5 Weeks
How far along: 20 weeks
Gender: GIRL!!  (Yay!)
Weight gain: 7 pounds.
Stretch marks:  No.
Worst moment this month: The "Welcome to School" cold brought home by C, which ultimately led to three sick kids AND the discovery of mucousy, cold curdled milk vomit that I discovered only because I sat in it.  And going to a midwife appointment and arriving 15 minutes late... no wait!  I didn't even have an appointment that day so, I was technically two weeks EARLY! Oh, and waking up to find that A had taken our return address stamp to many (many!) illegal surfaces, such as couches and floors and high chairs, before transferring his dutiful efforts to paper.  I was also NOT pleased to hear my midwife say I'll have to have biophysical profiles and non-stress tests weekly, starting at 34-36 weeks, and that I'll have to be induced at 38-39 weeks "due to my age".  (What!?)
Best moment(s) this month: Having the anatomy scan and seeing a healthy baby GIRL!  She is estimated to be about 13 oz. right now and looks great!
Strangest moment(s) this month: Waking up from a dream where I was head over heels in love with a Forney look-alike (from Where the Heart Is)... The weirdest dream possibly of ever.
Miss anything: My energy!  If I don't sleep well (most nights!), I feel pretty useless until I rest a LOT.  So many evenings, I've finally built up enough energy and buzz around getting things done after dinner time.  So ineffective!
Ultrasound count to date: 3
Movement:  Yes!  Daily now!  I always tell her "hi" and call her by her nickname.
Cravings: White cheddar cheetos, regular popcorn, ice water, fruit salads, whole wheat baked goods, tomato basil wheat thins.
Queasy or sick: Mostly better, except this damp, musty smell in my house makes me feel queasy.  And everyone's "I have a cold" breath.  And I still can't have many sweets (dark chocolate is ok now!) and any soda makes me feel sick!
Looking forward to: Honestly? February.  But until then, I suppose "cooler weather" and maybe even "Halloween" will suffice.



Motherhood Right Now

There's a line from a movie that perfectly encapsulates the way I'm thinking and feeling about my children right now.

"She was a unique constellation of attributes... my Halley's comet."

This is exactly what each of my children are: a constellation of unique attributes, each one a Halley's comet in my life. 

Daily life is busy.  Memory books are woefully outdated, my blogs (like this one!) are waning because of my inability to string together coherent thoughts, and, truthfully, picture books are the only things that are lagging by a only a few months.  

I'm not quite the record keeper I want to be, mostly because we're busy living and loving.  But, I look at my children often and marvel at the singleness of who they are as individuals, people who have never existed on this earth before now and who will never exist again.  I look at them as they grow and learn and begin to express their inborn uniqueness and am continually (and often newly) amazed.  

I think often about what I want for them.  Like a lot of parents, M and I talk and dream about what they might decide to Do for work or as a profession or even artistic expression.  But we also talk about who we want them to Be.  And, really, I think that Being is way more important than Doing.   

Much like Halley's comet, I hope to help each of my children achieve the brightest and fullest expression of their truest, most vibrant selves.

It is humbling and wonderful to be able to be part of this process.  They are amazing and sweet and funny and, if I'm paying attention, our crazy daily life is filled with hundreds of small, glittery glimpses of who these little people are becoming.



Baby Bump - 16 Weeks

How far along: 16 weeks
Gender: We don't know yet.
Weight gain: None yet.
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Worst moment this week: Being besieged by migraines.
Best moment(s) this week: Starting to feel little fluttery movements!
Miss anything: Feeling good
Ultrasound count to date: 2
Movement:  A few fluttery movements here and there.  Especially at night after I've had cold water.
Cravings: Still white cheddar cheetos.  And sweets, but they make me feel super sick.
Queasy or sick: Mostly better.
Looking forward to: Finding out if this baby's a girl or a boy.



Baby Bump 4.0 - 12 Weeks

So, I decided to do belly pics again.  But this time will be monthly instead of weekly, and this time, rather than posed with a chalkboard, I'm going to post photos that sort of happen naturally.  Even if they are unflattering (ha!). (I'll also probably do a belly cast toward the end. We're definitely done this time!)

10 Weeks
13.5 Weeks
How far along: 12.5 weeks
Gender: We don't know yet! I had an ultrasound at 12w2d, and asked the techs "best guess".  She thinks girl (twice!) and that would just be awesome!
Weight gain: None
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Worst moment this week: My nerves and emotions slapping me around HARD in the waiting room for my ultrascreen (first trimester screening, including ultrasound and blood test).  My doc originally sent me to PPA, and I was all kinds of superstitious and felt silly, but I did NOT want to go back there!  I called the fetal medicine doctor I saw with A and R (before the perinatologists!) but he's now retired.  So, I found another one, called for an appointment, and had my referral switched to them.  I am so glad I did that!  I was grabbing at kleenex and told the tech I was feeling fragile.  She was awesome, as most MFM techs I've met are!
Best moment(s) this week: Seeing baby move and kick
Miss anything: Feeling good
Ultrasound count to date: 2
Movement: Not yet! 
Cravings: Anything with white cheddar on it!  Popcorn, cheetos, more cheetos...
Queasy or sick: Yes.  Getting better, but still sick.
Looking forward to: Feeling movement.



So Much Since Then!

I can't believe it's been so long since this blog was updated! As the family historian, I am woefully aware of how behind I've gotten.  The good news is: the kids' photo albums are updated!  The bad news is: their journals, this blog, and R's blog aren't.  AND our laptop has a ton of pics that need to be put into their respective folders on our external hard drive.  Sigh.

Since I wrote last, we had a relaxed Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's, a fun trip to Tucson for Valentine's Day, C's official first Spring Break, R's first Easter (and A's first ever Easter egg hunt!), R's first birthday (fairy garden theme), A's third birthday (construction theme), the advent of summer 2015 (replete with barbecues and pool time!), another fun trip to Tucson for Father's Day... aaaaannnnddd this:
YES! We're expecting Baby Number 4!  Which is a complete surprise to me!  I'll never forget the moment things changed on that front.  It was the last day of February.  We had just eaten Chinese food with my family and were driving down Main Street in Mesa to see the progress on the light rail when M turned to me and was all "awwww! baby!" and I was all "awwww! good luck with that, Dude! I'm DONE!"

We had been through this multiple times over the previous six or so months: whether or not we were really, truly Done.  And every time, I was convinced we were complete.  I could list literally 100 reasons to be Done, but knew that only ONE was needed to tip things the other way: the baby itself and whether it was meant for our family.  So, 24 hours later, I was contemplating not being done and what that would mean.  Over the next month or so, I asked all my friends with four children what it was like, I asked fellow AMC moms who had had children after their AMC child what that was like... and everyone was all "Go for it!"

Never have I ever before been so on the fence about a decision!  I thought and prayed a LOT!  I would swing wildly between being totally convinced we should go for it and thinking we should just get a dog.  (Not kidding.)  When it came down to it, the reason people would probably think we shouldn't have another is the only reason it felt right: for R. Sounds odd probably.  But it felt right to have someone younger than her in our family for her.  

But it still didn't make sense or add up completely.  So, we sort of left things up to chance...

(it's NEVER NOT like Indiana Jones' step of faith!)
 and ended up with two pink lines right away.

I had my first visit with my new OB (who practices with a team of midwives!) a few weeks ago an it was awesome.  I'm very excited to try for a VBAC with their support. Last Friday, I took C with me to my first ultrasound, and we saw a wiggly baby and a heartbeat.  It made things more real for him (he kept saying he didn't want us to have another baby because R is our baby and he didn't want me to "leave" {stay at the hospital} - he also keeps saying it's a boy!) and he started announcing "we're having another kid!" after that, so we spilled the beans at 9 weeks instead of waiting any longer! 

We're very excited for this baby and feel very happy and blessed he or she will be joining us in February!  We have a name picked out for either sex and while a tiny part of me hopes it's another baby girl, I really believe Heavenly Father knows best and is sending exactly who we need!

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury