Sunday, July 29, 2012

19 weeks & it's a....

So, will we be dressing #3 in this:

Or this?

Well, we now know for 99+% (my OB's confidence level) that Baby #3 will be coming home in something more like outfit #2!  We are having a GIRL!

To tell the truth, we were first told it was a girl at my ultrasound at 16w4d, but I was too afraid to believe it could actually be true.  That, and my neighbor told me that a friend of hers was told she was having a girl, only to give birth to a boy- definitely not what I wanted to have happen.  So I waited until we had another ultrasound, and the doctor said the same thing- still a girl in there!  I cannot believe that we are having a daughter.  I feel so fortunate to not only be pregnant with this wonderful and unplanned pregnancy, but to now get a little girl after two perfect boys!

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that Eric and I have always wanted a daughter.  We were definitely disappointed when we found out we were having two boys in my last pregnancy, especially because we were undecided on whether we would have a 3rd.  Of course by the time my boys arrived, my disappointment was gone and I was only happy to see their beautiful faces.  And I love having two boys.  They are exhausting, but so clever, energetic, funny, and sweet.  They are both more affectionate than many of their same-aged female friends, and I felt satisfied that even if I only had boys, they would both love me as much as I love them.

But with this second pregnancy came another chance to have a daughter.  I thought if Eric and I would try to have another on our own, we would do it any old wives' tale way we could to conceive a girl.  Surprise pregnancies kind of take that off the table, though.  I was pretty convinced we would have a boy, just by the timing of conception (two days after ovulation), and by family history.  In Eric's family, 4 of the grandsons have had biological children- none of the granddaughters do- and there are 9 great-grandsons.  No biological great-granddaughters, although we have our two nieces, who are adopted.  In Eric's family, it seems the boys make boys.  So imagine our shock and surprise when my OB typed, "I AM A GIRL" on the ultrasound screen!  Apparently the boy streak ends here- and my sister-in-law was just as excited as we were!

I had said long ago, when Eric and I were trying to decide whether we would have a third, that I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl.  And that is true, I definitely did not feel that our family was "complete," and although we have achieved a certain level of chaos, I imagined it just a little more chaotic than it already is!  I found that I love my boys so much that I want to love more, that I love being a mom so much that I don't want it to end with them.  I would love, with all my heart, another child, boy or girl.  It is just good fortune that I now get to have a daughter along with my two sons.  I imagine them as big brothers, protecting her and looking out for her.

There are many things I am looking forward to with this third child: breastfeeding again (although not for 2 years, enough is enough, even for me), having the opportunity to deliver just one baby, holding a newborn again, watching Eric with a daughter when he is already so tender with his sons, seeing my two little guys become big brothers.

This weekend we are not too busy- some social plans, a lot of baking, but mostly just spending time together as a family.


How far along?  19 weeks
Total weight gain/loss?  I am turning my back to the scale at the OB's.  They have not yet told me to go on a diet.
Maternity clothes?  Yes, except for a few tank tops and t-shirts that are stretchy.
Pregnancy symptoms?  I still have sore breasts. And sometimes irritability.
Stretch marks? Nothing new.
Sleep?  Insomnia, still. Sometimes trouble falling asleep at night, but more often waking up too early and having trouble falling back to sleep.  My trouble falling back to sleep is not helped by my cat, Trouble, who has taken to sleeping on top of my head at night and kneading my scalp.  It is very annoying and disruptive!
Best moment last week? Confirmation we are having a girl!
Movement?  I feel the baby everyday.  No little flutters or anything, probably because I have an anterior placenta, but bigger kicks and movements.
Food cravings? No strong cravings.  Like I said before, I am trying to eat healthy and a variety of foods.  Fortunately I love a lot of healthy foods (and some not-so-healthy ones, like ice cream).
Gender? GIRL!
Labor signs? I think the Braxton-Hicks have started already.  They seem to happen more at night.  Nothing uncomfortable, but of course I hate that I'm having them again. It makes me worry that I'll have cervical problems again, too.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: getting more exercise.
What I am looking forward to: Our 20 week anatomy scan is on Friday with the same OB who delivered our boys. I am hoping that everything is as it should be- at this point I am not overly worried but I love knowing all is well.
Milestones: One week from today is 20 weeks, then my next goal is 24. For now I am 19 weeks, my cervix is still fine, and I have no restrictions.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2 1/3 years old

Asher proudly showing his "two balls"

This is a day overdue- after the evening I had with the boys yesterday, I had no energy left to do anything other than eat ice cream and watch Girls with my sister.  If I were drinking, I would have had some wine, too!

I can see why monthly updates are less interesting at this point. The boys change much less from month-to-month.  They are still taking one nap a day, except on days I am home, when Benjamin refuses to nap.  They sleep about 11 hours at night, and nap about 2-3 hours in the afternoon (usually 1-3:30 or so).

Food is hit-or-miss.  The foods I think they love, they often reject.  Pasta is usually a hit- with cheese, with red sauce, with vegetables, whatever.  Asher likes string cheeses, and they both like crackers for snacks.  They still love their vegetables, and fruit, fortunately.  They look healthy and vigorous, so I assume that whatever they're getting, it's enough.  Asher LOVES to drink milk and drinks a lot of it- I have had to cut him back on milk and give him water instead because we were going through about 3 gallons a week!

Benjamin comfortably enjoying my iPhone

Their favorite TV shows are Curious George and Babar, which we get through Netflix on our TV.  This is a good way for me to take a shower, or to prepare a meal, or to transition them from wild-2-year-olds-running-around-the-house to quiet/nap time.  Benjamin is also very adept at using the ipad or the iphone to watch whatever he wants on Netflix or PBS Kids.

Their favorite books are either "Slinky Malinki, Open the Door" or "Hairy MacClary and Zachary Quack."  If we try to hide those books so that they will ask for something else at bedtime they get upset and go on the hunt for their favorites.

They are wearing size 5 diapers, and 2T clothing.  They are always right on with their sizing.  I went out and bought a lot of fall/winter stuff at the end of winter in size 3T, so I am kind of counting on them keeping pace!  I think Asher is taller and bigger than Benjamin.  He certainly has a sturdier, more athletic build.  Benjamin is skinny- I can see his ribs sometimes, and his hipbones when I change his diapers.

Asher is still a mama's boy.  He loves to snuggle with me, and of course I love his snuggles.  He also loves his thumb!  One second he will look like a big boy, so tall and strong, and the next he will look like my baby again, sucking his thumb and all snuggled up.  He loves balls, and small hand-sized toys like rubber duckies or the Little People toys.  He adopted two balls over the weekend and went everywhere saying "two balls, two balls, two balls."  I think my parents were ready to be embarrassed if anyone overheard!

Benjamin loves fire trucks, trains, and "tools" (any construction vehicle).  He is thoroughly enjoying summer roadwork season!  Benjamin is much more inclined to take the time to find how something works... and often has it figured out after one try, whether I like it or not.

Most days with my boys are wonderful, full of love and play and fun.  Some days are not... but I think we are doing well with more good days than bad!  I'm not sure how I got so lucky as to get two good-natured boys in one go, but I did.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Saturday night, pre-wedding
I am feeling very good in this pregnancy.  So far, it has been the opposite of my pregnancy with the boys in every way, and I'm just hoping that it stays that way as far as my cervix is concerned.  Last night Eric and I went to a wedding and I danced a fair amount (we love dancing at weddings!) and didn't even feel anxious about it.  With the boys I felt anxious almost any time I did something overly physical.  This time I do have some anxious thoughts but they are not overwhelming in any way, and I pretty much do what I want (within reason).

One strange coincidence- when I was 18 weeks pregnant with the boys, my grandparents moved from their house into an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Now, at 18 weeks pregnant this time, they moved from their apartment in Cambridge to an assisted living here, near us.  While I am sad that they have reached the point that they can't live independently, I am happy that they'll be spending the rest of their lives near us, so that my boys can spend as much time with them as possible.  And of course I am hopeful that they will be well enough to meet this new little one in December!  We've been seeing a lot of them as they try to settle into their new home, which is difficult at their age.

How far along?  18w1d
Total weight gain/loss?  Still not weighing myself, but yesterday I was unable to fit into a dress I had worn 8 weeks ago.  I feel kind of big.
Maternity clothes?  Pretty much, yeah.
Pregnancy symptoms?  Still shortness of breath.  I also have sore breasts, which is crazy because my sore boobs went away at 12w with the boys, and only started at 12w in this pregnancy.
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep?  I am still waking up around 4 or 5 in the morning and trying to get back to sleep.  It is so frustrating!
Best moment last week? Nothing stands out as a big and exciting moment, but it was a pretty good week in general.
Movement?  I feel something every day.  Some days bigger and more than others, but there is enough to let me know the baby is still kicking around in there.
Food cravings? Still no real cravings. I am enjoying food, and I like a little extra salt on my food. I am wondering if that is due to all the water I am drinking to stay hydrated in the heat?  But I am eating a normal diet.
Gender? We are hoping to get an answer to that on Friday at my next cervical check.
Labor signs? No, I don't think so. I had some feelings of breathlessness that I had with Braxton Hicks in my last pregnancy, but no tightening of my uterus.  I plan to ask when I go on Friday.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: having a cocktail at the wedding last night.
What I am looking forward to: getting more reassurance that all is well, and hopefully finding out the sex.
Milestones: I don't know, 18 weeks feels pretty good to me!

Monday, July 16, 2012

two firsts

Tonight Benjamin peed in the potty!  I am not attempting to potty train, or pushing it on the boys, but I did buy a potty seat to go on top of the toilet in their bathroom.  For the most part, they have just put it on the toilet and taken it off, but refused to sit on it.

I've been going to the bathroom in front of the boys with the door open, and making a big deal out of how I am going pee on the potty.  They think it is great when I go, and love to flush the toilet when I'm done.

Most nights we are kind of in a hurry to get the boys bathed and into bed, but tonight everyone was in a decent mood, and we weren't in a rush.  I asked Benjamin if he wanted to use his potty, and he did, so he hopped on, and was there for a little, then hopped off.  I saw that he had peed (it was kind of on the potty seat, whoops) and was suitably admiring of his accomplishments.  He seemed very happy with my positive feedback.  We asked Asher if he wanted to go, and he looked at the toilet and absolutely refused.  I guess I will be changing his diapers forever!

I should add that Benjamin did pee on the toilet once before, after asking to poop on the potty- but this was the first time he asked to pee and then did.  I think we're a long way from actually being potty trained, but any small step is an accomplishment.  Benjamin has also started telling me he has pooped AFTER he's done it, and asking me to change his diaper.  Every day, I tell him "Tell Mommy before you go and you can go on the potty!" but without any luck so far.

The other first- I am starting to feel the baby moving.  I am surprised to feel it at 17 weeks when I didn't feel the boys until at least 19, but I am.  I am not feeling any small movements, just big ones, like the baby is flipping or kicking.  Today I was sitting and trying to study with my hand on my belly and I felt the baby move, both from inside and outside!  I am excited for the time when Eric can feel it, too.

While it is exciting, I told Eric it is hard to feel attached and excited at 17 weeks, when we are still so far from viability.  I am starting to have anxiety- am I overdoing it? Is everything ok with my cervix? Is it normal to feel tired and worn out at the end of the day?  The doctor told me I don't have any restrictions yet, and everything looks good.  I need to relax and just enjoy this pregnancy, especially since this is it- I will never be pregnant again.  I am trying to keep in mind what a gift every aspect of this pregnancy is, even though my natural tendency is to be anxious over everything.  I am lucky to be pregnant, I am lucky everything so far has been perfect.  I need to remind myself just to enjoy that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

16w5d: a pregnancy update

14w5d, after dinner

I haven't said anything about the pregnancy in a little.  So far it is going very well.  My morning sickness went away around 10 weeks, and I started drinking some coffee in the mornings, so I have felt like a normal person again.  I really feel like myself, but fatter.  The feeling fatter part is frustrating for me, because I don't have much to wear.  In the picture above, I definitely look pregnant, but that is because it was taken at the end of the day.  Earlier today, at work, I asked my supervisor if I look pregnant, or just fat.  She told me it could go either way.

Then I feel silly and guilty even complaining and worrying about it.  I am so grateful for this pregnancy, and thankful everyday that I am having a healthy and (thus far) uncomplicated pregnancy.  I really have no physical complaints at this point, and we have made it to almost 17 weeks without a problem.  When I was pregnant with the boys I had bleeding at 7 weeks, again at 10 weeks, and then went on bed rest at 22 weeks.  I will definitely be a little anxious as I go from 20 to 22 weeks, since that is where the trouble started in my last pregnancy. 

So here is the update for the week:

How far along?  16w5d
Total weight gain/loss?  No idea. I have been turning my back at the doctor's office because I think it is better for my mental health not to know.
Maternity clothes?  Yes. A few non-maternity items, like larger-sized pants and stretchy tops, but more and more maternity stuff.  It's much more comfortable.
Pregnancy symptoms?  Some shortness of breath.  My tummy gets sore at night, too.
Stretch marks? Nothing new.
Sleep?  Not great.  I have trouble falling asleep because I'm not comfortable, and then often wake up early.  Sometimes to pee, sometimes because the cat is bothering me, sometimes Eric snores... who knows.  And then the boys are up around 6 or so.  Very frustrating!
Best moment last week? My first cervix check- it is "long" at this point.  And the heartbeat is nice and strong.  I love getting that reassurance!
Movement?  None yet.  I didn't feel the boys consistently til after 20 weeks, so I don't think I'll feel much for a while still.
Food cravings? None right now.  This week I have eaten a lot of vegetarian meals and a lot of ethnic food, but I think that is in part a reaction to our more meat-based American-style diet when we are up in Maine.
Gender? Most votes say boy still- based on family tradition and the timing of conception.
Labor signs? No, thank heavens.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: my waist.
What I am looking forward to: Finding out what's in there!
Milestones: First cervical check- I am making progress in the pregnancy.  The says that the baby is the size of an avocado, so grow baby, grow!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Trip to Maine

We are back from our summer trip to Maine!  We did all kinds of wonderful and summery things, and got to see family, who we might not see again until next summer.  

We had ice cream almost every night, which the boys adored.  They called it "Ry-Ry's," for Eric's brother Ryan, who owns the business and makes the ice cream.  They are still asking for Ry-Ry's after dinner each night, and I have explained that we can only go when we're at Memere and Pepere's.  But it seems that hope springs eternal.

All the cousins eating ice cream

sharing tastes

more sharing

sharing with Kiptyn


ice cream tastes better if your whole body gets to participate
 We spent a lot of time at Memere and Pepere's house, because they have a pool and all kinds of toys for little boys to play with.  Here is Benjamin on the tractor they were handed down from some older cousins.  It has pedals like a bike, and he rode it all over the driveway.  He loved it!
 We did venture out occasionally!  We went to Eric's cousin's house on a pond and the boys took their first boat ride.  Benjamin did not want to go, and was hysterical.  He cried, "No boat! Out! Out! Na-night! No boat, no!" for most of the ride, until he calmed down at the end and began to wave hi and bye to everyone around.
red-faced and hysterical

starting to appreciate it
 One night we took a picnic dinner to the beach.  Eric said he had to work, so he missed it.  Memere and Pepere and I went with the boys, and we met their cousins and my sister-in-law there.  Benjamin loved the water and played and splashed and soaked himself.  Asher preferred to dig in the sand.
Memere and Benjamin walking to the water

Benjamin splashing around

Asher greeting the sea gulls

Asher lifeguarding
 The boys got lots of time with their cousins.  They definitely looked up to their older cousins, Taylor and Myah.  We had to ask the girls to be careful with what they did, because the boys would imitate them all the time.  Fortunately, the girls love their little cousins, too.  One night we went to dinner and they took turns riding with us.
Taylor with her cousins
 We came home yesterday, with a detour through Amherst.  Our friends are expecting their second, and we wanted a visit before he arrived.  We hadn't been through Amherst since I was pregnant with the boys in 2009, so the visit was overdue.  We had planned to spend the afternoon and go swimming, but the weather didn't cooperate, and neither did the boys.  There was no traffic and we made it home to steamy Philadelphia in time for dinner.

We had dinner tonight with neighbors, and I made two things which I loved- a kale salad from 101 cookbooks, and a lemon-berry bundt from smitten kitchen.  They were delicious and summery.  

The boys are really wonderful these days, too sweet and too funny.  At dinner they each took a moment to climb on my lap and give me hugs and kisses.  Our friends' little girls didn't do that.  Maybe it is true that boys really do love their mommies more?  In any case, we are having so much fun together.  They are loving the summer, and all the swimming and outdoor playing.  Here they are on the way home tonight, holding hands with Daddy and each other.  They are so adorable that my heart aches!