Sam and I have been debating since before Mikko was born as to how many children we would have. I don't mean debating against each other; I mean, just talking and processing aloud together.
Then Mikko came along, and we weren't sure we wanted the one baby we had. Ha ha! Just kidding, Mikko. No, but seriously, the thought of having another when we were feeling so turned upside-down by newbornhood and the year and a half scared us.
Gradually, we became more comfortable with parenting, and we became ever more in love with our little guy, to the point that having another didn't seem quite as threatening. At some point, I decided, yes, despite all the inconveniences, I would like to have another. I was fine with spacing them pretty far apart, though, so I waited till Sam felt like he was ready — and hoped he would be someday, but no rush.
Well, earlier this summer, he just up and agreed. Yes, we should have another one, and soon, while we still think it's a good idea. (We worried if we waited much longer, we might enjoy Mikko's independence so much we'd lose the urge to start back at the baby stage all over again.) So he decided on January for us to start trying. That, he said, would allow me to enjoy Christmas and New Year's. And by "enjoy," he meant drink booze.
Fair enough, I thought. It was sort of an arbitrary deadline, but I wasn't about to gainsay him when he'd made up his mind so suddenly and confidently. January it was.
But, of course, the more we started talking about it, and the more decided we were — the less it started making sense to wait. Maybe we were just getting antsy. Maybe I convinced him that I don't really need to drink booze over the holidays. Whatever it was, we asked each other, Why not now? So we threw caution — and condoms — to the wind.
Well, ok, we didn't actually throw the condoms anywhere. We didn't get them out at all. We felt so scandalous. So free. It was a lot of fun.
We thought, We'll just take it casually. I won't chart. We won't really time things. We'll just enjoy ourselves and it will probably take a few months, but whatever. No rush!
So, of course, I'm pregnant.
Because as soon as I was pretty sure I'd ovulated, it kind of hit me what I'd done. The two-week wait was full of mixed emotions: premature guilt over forcing Mikko into a change in our breastfeeding relationship, assuming my milk goes south; anxiety over our health insurance situation — I decided to apply to upgrade just my coverage, but I still haven't heard back that I've been accepted, which is making me über-nervous; a general sense of panic that we weren't ready!; and an irrational guilt at having unprotected sex so cavalierly. Even though I'm married. And we want another baby. See, that's the irrational part.
Those were the bad emotions, but of course there were the good ones, too: the giddiness of checking early symptoms and wondering and hoping; the trying on of due dates; scouring baby name sites for another boy name (we have a girl name left over but are stumped for a boy!); broaching the subject of a little brother or sister with Mikko and hearing his enthusiasm for the idea (hooray!).
I was sure I was pregnant by the earliest day I could have expected my period and it didn't show. But I forced myself to wait, because it comes within a three-day window, so I wanted to wait out the window before saying for sure. But it just really did feel right. My breasts were much sorer than I would normally attribute to premenstrual symptoms, for instance. Plus, I just had a sort of fatalism about it. Because I was feeling somewhat guilty about the idea of being pregnant (mostly because of the Mikko and breastfeeding thing), I was sure: It was too late. There was no turning back now.
Sam wanted a test to confirm. I didn't need one. We almost bought one at the grocery store, but I couldn't choke down the price tag when I know the dollar store tests work just the same for over a tenth of the price. Sam happened to be going by a dollar store with Mikko one day, so he picked one up for me. Mikko helped me with the testing the next morning. Don't worry — I did the peeing in a cup, but he helped me count out the drops to drip into the little well, and then I told him, "Now we just wait three minutes!" Before that sentence was out of my mouth, the test line had also turned, nice and dark. We were pregnant. Mikko was getting his little sibling. (Or, as he refers to it/them, "my baby brother and sister." He's also partial to "Kelly" as a name.)
I had Mikko bring it down to Sam. And there we were. A family of three, with the fourth on the way.
We're due late May/early June. I don't believe in due dates, just due windows. We had to give one to our family, because they very much do believe in due dates, so we said June 1. Just in time to ruin Mikko's fourth birthday. Turn about's fair play, though. He pretty much ruined our anniversary, by being born the day before. I guess we like to group things together? That's what we get for not waiting till January…
Here are my current feelings and impressions if you're not bored to tears yet:
- Queasy. All day. I take to heart the suggestion that morning sickness is worst on an empty stomach, so I also eat all day. It's not the best combination. There are other stomach-y things going on that I won't detail here (thank your lucky stars). The bad news is the queasiness started earlier this pregnancy than with Mikko. The good news is two-fold: that I never threw up with Mikko, so I hope this also doesn't elevate past a sort of low-grade motion sickness feel, and that I didn't get morning sickness with our first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. Every time I feel a wave of nausea, I know the baby and uterus and hormones are still doing the right things.
- Speaking of miscarriage, while I'm hopeful that all is well with this little one and we'll carry safely to term, I know that that doesn't always happen. And it's early days yet. I'm sharing the good news far and wide, anyway, now that I know from experience that, no matter what happens, I'll want support through it all.
- I am huge. I hope it's just bloating (from the stomach-y things I was talking about). It could be that constant snacking I was talking about, too, but I seriously don't think I'm eating more than I normally do. I've gained about five pounds already, and I just … look … big. Not
pregnant, by any stretch, just spreading. You know how when you look things up on forums about when other people started wearing maternity clothes, there's always a chorus of people who say, "Oh, I wore my regular jeans till my eighth month — and then I had to unbutton them"? And you (ok, I) just want to shoot them? Because I am soooo uncomfortable in waistbands right now. Already. It's shameful. Isn't it? I started wearing maternity clothes about 12 weeks last time and felt like a complete doofus, but darned if it was wasn't so comfy, and I never regretted making the switch that early. I'll be lucky to make it to eight weeks this time. Seven even. I don't think it makes the queasiness any better to have a tight waistband, right?
- To that end, I pulled all my maternity clothes out of storage. I think I have enough to see me through the pregnancy. Which is good, and a little sad. I'm sure I'll buy some new fun things anyway.
- There is so much in storage that we can just clear right out after this baby. All that space we'll reclaim! In some ways, I'm sad in advance that this is the last one. In other ways, yea for storage space!
- I have this feeling that we might get our wish and have a girl (to complete the set, natch). I know this doesn't mean anything, but it makes me feel a squirmy little thrill of happiness. I was sure Mikko was a boy, even though we didn't find out in advance.
- Then there's the depressing things that make it so I can't be entirely happy. Like the fact that our friends are all leaving us in droves. One was suggesting using an online scheduling service so friends can bring us meals when the baby comes — and I started crying about it later to Sam, saying, "What was that all about? We won't even have any friends left by then!" I counted, and we've lost seven friends this summer. Seven. That's pathetic, right? I mean, seriously. They've all been nice about it and said we can still get together sometime, but … you know. Maybe I'm just hormonal. Though that's not a bad thing.
- Then there's the breastfeeding thing. I really do feel like a heel depriving Mikko of his very favoritest thing in the world. So far, I still have plenty of milk, and I'm letting him nurse as he wants to, despite the fact that it feels like daggers. It hurts the worst when he first starts, and then tapers off to bearable, and it's better if he latches properly rather than, say, lunges from the side unexpectedly, so I'm working on positioning him more intentionally, for my own sake. But most pregnant women lose their milk supply sometime in the course of the pregnancy. I've been talking to Mikko about this in advance, saying he can still have nummies if there's no milk, and that when the baby comes, there'll be plenty of milk again. He listens to me gravely and then says something chipper and heart-stabbingly adorable like, "How about the baby and I share nummies?" I hope the transition, whatever it is, is not traumatic for either of us, and that with love and patience and grace, we'll all find our way through. And, dang it, I'm crying again. Stupid pregnancy.
All right, that's all my brain spill for now. I was wanting to share our process of leading up to conception with y'all, but Sam wisely pointed out it might not be fair to our parents to let other people know before they did. We wanted them to be first, so we called them the day before my Wordless Wednesday post. I know I dropped plenty of hints, though, so kudos to those of you who figured it out in advance.
I am now off to be depressed and excited and queasy and peaceful and guilty and happy some more. I'll let you know how it all turns out.