Tag Archives: pregnancy

my baby secret

(The winner of our home baked Christmas cookies is Toni. Congratulations! I have sent you an email with more info. Thank you to each of you who participated in the drawing and shared your stories. We enjoyed reading each and every one.)

No, I’m not pregnant! If you had that thought when you saw the title of this post you would not be the first to wonder! What I am going to share today has been on my heart for at least a month now, and I have been jotting down ideas about this ever since. However, it is a highly personal topic, and I have considered whether it would be better suited for my journal. Obviously I decided to share it with you in the end, but I will be honest, it makes me feel quite vulnerable sharing it with you.

The subject is this: Are Papa and I done having children?

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It is this question which (it seems) every stranger asks of a mom when she holds a newborn in her arms. It comes right after, “oh how cute!” Even though she is sleep deprived and probably sore, and the last thing she wants to be doing right now is thinking about whether or not she wants  to get pregnant again. After Chickie was born I answered such personal questioning with a hearty yes! I even started talking with Papa about permanent birth control.

I was satisfied with four kids, and so was Papa. They say you know when you know that you are done having children, and this was that moment. Four was a good number. A healthy number. It felt like a gift we were giving to our family line… and I also felt like I was maxed out. Any more children would probably be too many for me to handle (although I was pleasantly surprised to learn that adjusting to four kids was easier than three).

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This is not to say that I regretted having Chickie. Although she was a big surprise to us I was glad to have a fourth child. Mixed with feelings of uncertainty about whether or not I could be a good mom to four kids, it felt fulfilling to have four. I experienced a renewed pride and joy in my brood of young ones, and sleepless though I was, I felt like I was glowing.

So when I say I was absolutely 100% done having babies, it was not out of unhappiness with my family. Instead, it just felt like it was a good place to stop. Having kids is a lot of work, we don’t live in an ideal home for a large family, and since I was satisfied with four kids it didn’t seem to make sense to think about having more.

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It has now been 20 months since I last gave birth, and the longest period of time I have not been pregnant since before my first baby. While I love feeling myself again, and not having painful hips, I can feel the proverbial biological clock saying, if I’m going to have a baby, now is the time to be thinking about it!

Here’s my baby secret – I’m not sure anymore that I really want to be done! And neither is Papa. Now, let’s get this straight. I don’t have baby fever. I can hold someone else’s adorable tiny baby and be very happy to hand them back when they poop. I like that feeling! To appreciate babyhood without missing it. I also don’t mind the idea of leaving babyhood behind – all the diapers, car seats, sleepless nights, teething, etc. But does that mean we should stop here?

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I decided to share these thoughts with you because I love kids. Because I love family life (even with all the challenges it brings). Because everything we do is influenced by our responsibility and hopes for our children. The decision about whether or not to have more children is an important one; one which is affected by our lifestyle and our vision for the future. As such, I felt it was and is, a chapter of our story that should not be left out. And perhaps it could be an encouragement to some of you who might be contemplating the same decision.

Part of the reason I feel vulnerable talking about this is because we have received a few comments from people online about how irresponsible we are to live with four children in a camper, including our youngest who was conceived after we moved. One person even told us we should never have allowed that to happen. And what were we supposed to do? Abort her?!

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My response to those few parents who think they know our children’s best interest would be – how irresponsible are you, to get yourself so deep in debt that you have to let someone else raise your kids? Why did you have them in the first place? Maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but many people do get themselves so indebted, often before they start planning children, that any hopes they had of raising their kids themselves are lost.

If the proverbial “they” have a problem with our family living in a camper for a few years so we can live within our means instead of selling our souls to the bank for a few more square feet, then they need to take an honest look at their own problems.

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This is of course not a critique on those families who choose to have two parents working out of the home. It works for some families and I know it is sometimes necessary (although I think we have proven that if you truly want to stay home with your kids you can make it work). Loving parents can order their lives so they can both work and still make family the most important priority in their lives. However, if someone is going to dish out the insults, beware – I can dish it right back!

Back to the topic though…

I have thus far been able to talk myself out of wishing we could have another baby. Our “baby” has only 4 teeth left to cut, she sleeps through most nights, and she’s beginning to show interest in potty training, not to mention we are out of bed space!

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Then, I think about the gift that a large family is. By cutting short the number of kids we have, we are reducing the potential size and beauty of our family. Each child is a treasure, and watching the fruit of our labor develop before our eyes makes the idea of having more sound wonderful.

Siblings are a blessing to each other as well. And hey, I’ve got this whole baby thing down, so why not take advantage of that experience I wished I had had when I was expecting Buddy?

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There are pros and cons, and though it feels funny reducing such a topic down to this, we can’t have more kids until our house is built. At least, we can’t responsibly choose to have another before we can move into our house. Papa and I, both enjoying the idea of a big family, have talked about the possibility of planning to have more children when we move into our house, but that is simply a possibility.

Because, who knows how long that may be? By then we may be a few years out of babyhood (already almost two years). I’m not sure I want to wait that long and then feel like we’re starting over and should have two more so no one is left feeling like the baby of the family. Four is still a good number.

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Another thought I have had is this. Maybe that urge to keep having babies is what every mom feels after her last baby is born – babyhood is what they feel most comfortable with – it’s what they know best. Plus they may be wondering if this will be the last time they cuddle a newborn, or hear their first words, or watch them walk for the first time.

Perhaps the melancholy feeling associated with saying goodbye to each child’s babyhood is easy to get mixed up with the sadness of moving out of the childbearing phase of life. Do I just need to push through that? I am fully satisfied with four. If I don’t have more babies that’s okay by me! This is an odd feeling, of being stuck between wanting to say goodbye and not wanting to. Maybe you moms and dads who are done with the childbearing phase of life can enlighten me by sharing your own story. I would certainly appreciate any words of wisdom from the more experienced!

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Please don’t see this as a confession that we are planning to get pregnant, because we are not. Believe me, we are trying very hard with that not part. But, when I step back from the chaos that is early parenting, I see four beautiful, caring, creative children, and I think, one or two more would be nice. We’ll see. One thing at a time.

Part of me wants to have this concrete answer about what the future will hold. Will I have more kids? Will I not have more kids? Can I just know the answer so I can be prepared for it? As time goes on I’m feeling increasingly more relaxed about not having to know the exact number of children we will end up with, four or more. I like not stressing out about it –  it is very freeing.

See you in April!

I can’t believe I’m already 38 weeks pregnant! But here we are, ready to meet our newest child anytime in the next 4 weeks or so. Our birth supplies are ready and our baby’s belongings are lovingly prepared. This weekend I will be celebrating with some women in my family at a Mother Blessing my mom is preparing for me, and then I’ll be ready to have this baby.

As I’m sure you can understand, I have absolutely no intention of blogging within the first few weeks of giving birth. So I have asked some friends to share on some very cool topics, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, until I return. Please visit and support my guest writers. I’m very excited about what they have to share and I know it will bless you!

Papa will probably continue to share his thoughts as he is inspired, and we will post an announcement with a picture of Chickie or Chap from Papa’s phone after the birth. When I return I will come bearing our birth story, and will probably have a bunch of other news to share, as often happens when I don’t post for any length of time. We are still hoping to have our new website up and running in April as well!

Thank you all for your support, I look forward to chatting with you again next month!

The Home Visit

When you read this I will be one day shy of 37 weeks pregnant. We just had our home visit with the whole birth team and now I will be meeting with my primary midwife each week until Chap/Chickie is born.

At the home visit we had our midwife team, my mom, Papa, our kids, and me at the homestead. I had my usual prenatal and then we went over our stash of birth supplies and what to expect from each other during the birth. This is our third home birth (4th home visit since I didn’t transfer my care with Buddy until 38 weeks) so the meeting wasn’t anything new, but there were a few new topics that came up since this will be our first birth in a camper; like space, heat, water, and the driveway.

I know better than to plan how my birth will go, but we did discuss how I want to be more active during this birth, possibly even catching the baby. I wanted to with my other kids, but at the end I always ditch my ideal and just want to get it over with. This time my midwives (new ones for me) are going to do everything they can to help me take charge so I can have the memory I am hoping for.

We have just about all the things we need, only a couple minor things left on the list, and we buy one or two things a week to spread out the expense. At this point we would be ready any time though, which is good because, even though I also know better than to say this, I have a feeling I’m not going to make it to my due date (first day of Spring!) watch me go right past it.

I have a history of prodromal labor; regular contractions getting more and more intense in the days and weeks leading up to the start of active labor, when I’ve already dilated to 4-5cm and then the baby is born a few hours later. I started noticing a change in my Braxton Hicks at 35 weeks this time, and increasingly so at 36 weeks, which means either I’ll be exhausted by 40 weeks or this baby is coming sooner. Whatever the case, I have no intention of “speeding things along”. Been there, done that, never doing it again. ‘Nuff said.

Chap/Chickie is doing well. Kicking and stretching all the time, and in a good position. My midwife says he/she is middle of the line average for size, but of course, the time of the birth will influence the size of the baby. Unlikely I’ll have another 9½ pounder though. Not that I mind!

As time goes on it is getting easier and easier to imagine what this little person looks like. The skinny little feet, the perfectly formed hands, that bum that doesn’t quite fit diapers very well, the hidden neck, and beautiful little eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Pretty soon I’ll be snuggling with that sweet smelling bundle and treasuring those special moments while they last.

answering my question

Am I a good mom? Can I be a good mom to four kids? I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this lately, pondering that one question I needed an answer to before I can give birth. Sharing my thoughts with you feels awkward but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only woman who has questioned her ability to parent.

In fact, in my search for answers, I’ve become more curious about the lives of other moms of more than three kids. What can I learn from them to encourage me to take this leap with courage, even though I know I won’t have it all figured out?

People say that after child number three it’s all about the same. That numbers four, five, and six do not drastically change your lifestyle or make life more chaotic. Because, let’s face it, having three kids can make life a bit crazy some days! And yet, despite this reassurance, and despite the fact that I have God to support me, and that I love my children dearly, I still doubt myself.

I’ve been having difficulty disciplining my kids, because it seems that no method works effectively and many days of late have put me in survival mode. How am I supposed to mother another child well? Will God really give me enough peace of mind, patience, and wisdom to raise them?

Okay, so I’m definitely making myself vulnerable here. I do hope you know that I am very proud of each of my children, I love them desperately, and I’m so glad God has chosen me to be their mother. But parenting… motherhood… is hard, and I don’t always feel adequate for the job.

So I have asked myself, what is it that I’m really afraid of? Life is messy, but we love each other, so what is the big deal about this baby? While reading about the transition to parenthood in Birthing From Within by Pam England, it hit me – I’m afraid of losing control – of being outnumbered four to one, and feeling like I’m not in charge – of being overwhelmed by multiple developing characters and personalities, and not being able to maintain order.

Your successful evolution to parenthood depends largely on your accommodation to the vast changes which are unfolding beyond your control. Learning to accept loss of control is an integral part of both birth and motherhood/fatherhood. ~ Pam England

(She is of course talking about losing control over things that are okay not to have control over) But that is what new parents are supposed to be afraid of, not mothers of three, right? Perhaps, I’ve thought, my firm grasp of what that loss of control is like is why I have had a harder time coming to terms with my motherhood now.

In my more rational moments, I set aside my fears and look at the basic facts – I am human, I am not perfect, I love my kids, I do the best I know how for today, and I am still growing as a woman and mom which means tomorrow is a new day and I can use the hard lessons of today to be a better mom tomorrow.

I’ve also decided to look at the things I love about myself as mother. What makes me feel confident in my role? What do I do that makes me proud of myself? I don’t want to compare myself to other “good” or “bad” moms, but admitting the good things about myself does give perspective and hope.

One of the activities Pam England encourages is facing your fears – looking your tiger right in the eye and asking, what if it happens? What happens if I do lose control of my home and my kids are beating each other up or disobeying me again? How will I respond? Will the world end? What if I yell or cry in frustration – will I ruin my kids? Being truly honest about what I’m afraid of is helping me to see that I can step outside the situation and not be overwhelmed by it. I can find solutions, and most importantly, it is okay to express my frustrations appropriately. In fact, it’s healthy to do so.

Goodnight, Mother, it’s o.k. You didn’t win a prize for motherhood today, but it’s o.k. You haven’t ruined my development by one bad day. You sure were angry at the world! I learned a few new words (I won’t repeat!) Don’t worry, Mother – I felt your kiss. There’s always a tomorrow – Forgiving and forgetting are easy when I know that I am loved. ~ Ruth Reardon, Listening to the Littlest

What is a good mom anyway? Maybe we all have a different definition. It is good to have high goals, but at the same time, maybe having high expectations is more of a detriment to our self-esteem?

A good mom in my mind is one who is patient, kind, cheerful, and firm. She expects good behavior from her kids and knows how to form it in them. She plays with them, teaches them, but provides quiet time for reflective play and thought. Her home is neat, although not spotless, and she cares for her own needs so she has energy and enthusiasm for her family and life.

Some days I feel like I can see this happening in our family, and other days I feel like crap. I supposed that happens to the best of us! In the end, on the days when I need to restart, several times, I know that the most important thing I can do is love my children, because that is the foundation of motherhood. The rest will fall into place over time.

Do you worry if you’re doing right? So much advice, so many books – I grow so fast! Are you sometimes scared? Things balance out… Too much of this, too little of that. You try too hard, don’t try enough. Too far this way, too far the other. Of course you’ll make mistakes… but love is a great eraser! And things will always balance out because you car. ~ Ruth Reardon, Listening to the Littlest

Am I a good mom? Can I be a good mom to four kids? The answer is yes, but not because I have achieved the title of “perfect mom”, but because I love my kids and I want to keep growing as a mom, working out my motherhood one trial and triumph at a time. I do care how I train my children, and how my life influences them. I want the best for them, and I’ve made sacrifices and lost control over some issues to help them figure themselves out. I’ve dedicated all of my days to them, and I want to learn more about perfecting my role as mom. And those are the reasons I am a good mom, and will be no matter how many kids I am blessed with.

Now, please tell me I’m not the only one whose been here, because this may be the most transparent I’ve been about myself on this blog, and that’s not easy!

baby plans

We gave Pal his first haircut. We’ve been toying with the idea for a while now, but one day we decided to just do it.

To be honest though, even though his hair was becoming unruly (in a cute way), one of my reasons for cutting his hair was quite selfish. You see, I’m beginning to feel that March is just around the corner, and I’m going to have to let my baby grown up a little more when Chap/Chickie becomes a more real part of our family. Cutting Pal’s hair was one way I could visualize letting go of his babyhood and moving on.

I have also begun working my way through Birthing From Within by Pam England again. An excellent book that I used during Girlie’s and possibly Buddy’s pregnancies. As a birth doula and aspiring midwife, it’s difficult to find a book or other resource that will help me to prepare for birth. I know everything that is written in the What to Expect book, or any other pregnancy and birth book intended for parents. Birthing From Within is different because it focuses on the mental, emotional, and spiritual preparations that are unique for every woman and each pregnancy.

The first chapter addresses the one thing every woman needs to know to give birth. Are you curious as to what that is? Hint, hint: they don’t tell you. They can’t because it’s different for every woman, but the author encourages women to dig deep, find their question, and really think about it. The answer will not be found in a pregnancy book, no one can tell them what to do about it; it is a very personal issue that must be worked through on the inside.

While I do have normal concerns about birth, my question, the one that has spent a great deal of time on my mind, is this. Can I be a good mom to four kids? Some days I feel confident and then others I am so doubtful it worries me. I’ll be spending some time working through this one so I’ll be ready when baby comes… as ready as I can be anyway!

Speaking of which, Chap/Chickie is growing well, although smaller so far than my others were. Despite losing a couple pounds with the bug I had a couple weeks ago, I have managed to gain it back. My vitals and iron level are all good, and baby is head down. The other good news coming from my prenatals is that I got my second choice for the assistant midwife, so now I can be confident in who will be present for my birth: Papa, midwives Susi and Lyndsay, and my mom.

Girlie has been requesting to be at the birth more frequently now. I’m not sure if it’s because she wants to be there for the birth or because she likes babies, but I showed her Pal’s birth video to help gauge that last week. I’m open to it, but I don’t want to assume that she is ready. We’ll see.

I don’t need to have my birth supplies ready for another five or six weeks, but I did make my list more readily available so I can add one or two extra things to the grocery list each week. This week it’s one roll of paper towels and one roll of toilet paper.

One of my biggest concerns about the postpartum period is how long Papa can stay home with me. He’s sure he’ll be able to use his one week vacation if he needs to, but I’m nervous about being alone for a while, so I need to start asking family and friends to help me with chores, meals, and childcare soon. I know I’ll manage, but having family around sure makes it easier!

31 weeks down, 7 to 11 left to go.

Here’s a fun game, based on my history as follows, what do you think we’re having?

  1. Boy, 8lbs 2oz
  2. Girl, 8lbs 8oz
  3. Boy, 9lbs 9oz 

no more delaying baby plans

By the time you read this post I will be 24 weeks pregnant. Our little one is grown enough that many babies have survived being born at this age. An amazing thought. Chickie or Chap is already over a foot long and weighing about a pound. I can feel hiccups, sweeping leg movements, and regular wake/sleep cycles.  

I had another prenatal visit with my midwife last week. Baby is growing well and I continue to be in good health. We can hear his/her heart rate very well with the fetoscope now (in the 140’s!), leaving only twice that we used the doppler, and we probably won’t again until labor when it is more practical to keep an eye on the little guy.

In the meantime, I keep putting off any thoughts of preparation for another baby. This is so different from the first two especially, where I started making a birth plan as soon as I found out I was pregnant. This time I keep thinking, there is so much to do before then, I’ll wait till I’m closer to term. And now all of a sudden I’m almost six months pregnant and finally got around to asking my mom to be there for the birth (she’s been to all of them).

No more delaying plans! This baby is very special to me, and as I feel more and more movement and growth the reality of tiny cheeks, fingers, and bum are becoming more real. I’m beginning to think about the few supplies we’ll need, what I want from my (last?) birth experience, and even scrapbooking the first year.

I expect that by the next time I write about Chickie/Chap, I’ll be ready to share a few particulars about these plans, but as I mentioned before, there is so much to do! I’ve hardly started writing about this in the baby’s journal, not quite ready to type it up for you! I’ll get there… This will be an interesting story after all, especially if we do stay here through the winter and we give birth in a camper!

four months big (rambling prego thoughts)

Today I am 16 weeks pregnant. My little Chap/Chiki is (by averages) nearly 4oz and almost 5″ tall. Complete with all body parts in place, and his/her sole job is to grow bigger and stronger for another 24ish weeks.

Susi came for my second prenatal last week and gave me the A.O.K. for another month. My uterus is growing just as it should, and after reviewing my diet diary she had no recommendations except to keep doing the same.

Susi tried to hear my baby’s heart beat with her fetascope, but not luck yet. She didn’t expect to hear it yet though, as it could be closer to 20 weeks before she can pick it up with the ultrasound doppler. Since everything else is perfect, and I have begun feeling movement, we decided it wasn’t necessary to expose Chap/Chiki to the ultrasound.

A couple days later, I have to admit, I started over thinking the fact that this baby’s movements feel lighter and less consistent than I remember the others at this point, so to reassure myself I used my doppler and found a nice steady heart rate of 150bpm!

I also had my blood drawn for a Complete Blood Count test, to check (among other things) my blood volume, iron level, and white blood cells. I declined the more standard Prenatal Panel testing, partly because of the cost and partly because I already know my blood type and antibody statuses.

Most of my regular clothes have been packed away and I’m sporting maternity wear, woo hoo! People can see that I am pregnant now without my telling them so.

My nausea is basically gone, other than in response to my unusual aversion to brewing coffee, which I normally love the smell of. And while sotries of late miscarriages and very preterm babies seem to be more common among aquaintances lately, I’m feeling more confident about preparing for this unexpected gift, and already feeling very attached.

I’m still nervous about how my left hip is going to hold out this time. I was in constant, intense pain for the second half of Pal’s pregnancy, and even though I know it can be different this time, I’m already feeling aching in my left sitz bone. Please pray for me! This could either be mild discomfort, or a very. very. long. pregnancy.

On a much more pleasant note, I think this baby is a boy. I usually don’t get strong feelings about gender until later in the pregnancy (I’ve been right about all three!), so I might change my mind, but I’m just getting a sense like this will be Chap. We’ll find out in March!

The midwife comes to visit

Last week I had my first prenatal visit with my midwife, Susi. She came to our home and, since this is the first of my pregnancies she has been my primary midwife for, we reviewed my medical and obstetrical history.

She gave me a checkup, and we tried to hear the baby’s heart beat. Buddy got to turn the Doppler on and off! We couldn’t hear the steady thumping of his/her heart, but it did register on the Doppler screen as 146-160. That tiny little heart is beating so quickly!

She also had a picture that showed the size and development of our then nine-week old unborn baby. Girlie was quite interested and wanted to keep it!

We are of course planning our 3rd homebirth, so Susi and I also talked about who might be part of the birth team, and how we could give birth safely in our camper during the winter if that turns out to be the most affordable option.

I’m not “showing” yet, but I’ve been so bloated that I look like it! This is me at 10 weeks. Thank goodness for belly bands to make my cloths last longer!

Oh, and we chose nicknames for this baby, both for reference here and because we use nicknames at home. If we have a girl we’ll call her Chicky, and if it’s a boy we’ll call him Chap.

New Priorities

I am a stay-at-home-mom. Our kids are being raised by their parents. While this is top priority for Papa and I, we also recognize that I am first and foremost, Naomi. I may spend most of my day caring for and teaching our children, but I have had personal goals all along which I try to keep high on the list of priorities too. Yet while I seemed to be figuring out a way of giving time to my doula business and hobbies, finding out that #4 was coming along pushed my selfish-button. What would this mean for me?

We all have only so much time and energy, and I recognized that at least for a while after baby #4 is born, something else would have to give.

As a part of my adjustment to recognizing this pregnancy with joy, I sat down with pen and paper and wrote out exactly what I want to have time for. Then I did some thinking about what I really want to put my energy into; having to make the tough decision to set something(s) aside.

First and foremost on my priorities list are home and family, which includes developing our homestead and homeschooling.

Next I considered my blogs. Although I enjoy them, I don’t want to keep them just because I feel like I have to. But writing is an important outlet for me, so both blogs made the new priorities list.

This year I have been growing herbs for our family, and hopefully enough to sell as herbal medicine to others. This project is well underway and will not interfere with late pregnancy or the new baby stage, so this seemed like an obvious choice for the new list.

And then there is Inspired Birth, the book I published this Spring. As I shared with you in this post, marketing a book post-publishing is still a big job. I worked very hard to write this book over the course of nearly five years, so this made the list because it would be a foolish waste of resources to let it sit, unknown, at the bottom of Amazon.com.

Last, and the biggest decision I had to make, was what to do with Birth a Miracle Services, the business I started almost nine years ago. My scope of practice has been growing to include a doula service, childbirth classes, prenatal classes, and midwifery visits, as well as the blog. I am passionate about serving women through childbearing, and have big dreams for the future, but it seemed obvious that thinking big is not good for my emotional health right now, as it’s making me feel rather stretched out.

So the toughest decision of all was to set aside my midwifery studies for a time. I really didn’t want to make that choice, but there is only so much a woman can do! No more teaching classes, prenatal visits, or self-study as a midwifery student (unless it is a research project for a doula client of mine). Instead I will focus my energy on being the best doula there is. And actually, I’m okay with that. I was afraid that if I made that choice I would never come back to midwifery, but forcing a door to open won’t make the journey any easier. Right now, my reputation as a doula is growing to the point that I don’t even really need to advertise myself, and that is very exciting for me! As I grow and mature as a doula, I will be building a clientele base that may eventually help me establish myself as a trusted home birth midwife, but for now I can be great at fewer things instead of just good at a lot of things.

I probably should have reprioritized a long time ago, but having another baby is a great way to kick yourself in the bum and get a move on! Now that I have spent this time in though, I feel better about having four kids. There is a season for everything and this one is for raising children and supporting women through birth.

Here we go again!

I never expected to be saying this. Recent posts have expressed quite the opposite. We are happy being a family of five, ready to move on to new adventures, but one little miscalculation later, love wins and well, we are expecting baby number four!

That’s right, I am pregnant, and come next March we will be expanding our family. I only took the test to reassure myself that I was not pregnant, but when two lines appeared all I could say was, oh my, oh my, oh my. Really? Another little person? But I was done! I am not ready for this!

Sometimes though, it doesn’t matter what you planned; a baby is conceived anyway, and that’s just what happened with us.

After a day of coming to terms with the reality of this new life in my womb, Papa and I decided we are adaptable, and we have chosen to be happy about this baby. Plans change, and that’s okay. We had originally planned on four kids anyway, so we’re just following through!

Really though, it is a blessing to be carrying another baby, and part of my smiles at the thought that I will yet again snuggle with a newborn. I was ready to be done, but my heart has plenty of love for another child.

So, ready or not, here we go again! More first heart beats, first kicks, a big belly, giving birth, and seeing each other for the first time. Moments and milestones we will cherish forever. Welcome little baby! May you grow healthy and happy. We love you.