Weeks 1 - 15
~ Just Catching You Up
I'm pregnant! … Yes, once again the little pink line did not lie. Like the previous 3 children, the pregnant line showed up before the control line. And like the times before I had to pee on 2 sticks to make sure the first one was not wrong. What is it with that? So, I stood there in shock. I mean, we were trying, but here we were, again. How do I tell Brian? He was playing with the kids in the back yard and I just simply told him "congratulations." He looked at me and I did not even have to say why. He 'knew' and immediately went to hug me. For some reason I felt a little faint. Again, it was what I wanted, but the reality was setting in and I was pregnant with my fourth child! I only have two hands (as my mom would say) and when this baby is born, three of my four kids will be under 3 1/2 years of age. There are times being an octopus might have its advantages. In Brian's usual way, his eyes welled up with tears of joy and he gave me a huge hug. I know if he could carry the baby for me, he probably would. I'm sure he'd give it back for labor and delivery though. His gaze at me changed once again from 'my wife,' to 'the mother of my children,' and once again to 'the mother carrying 'his' child.' It is a special look he gives me that he denies even exists, but it does. When I am pregnant, his gaze is definitely different. Almost like a lion protecting his pregnant lioness. (Can't wait for him to read that part - he'll think I'm crazy). Anyway, it was then, I knew I'd be just fine, just like before. We told Alex and Maria next. Maria did not know how to react, but followed her big brother in some huge dance and jig across the living room "yeah, we're having another baby, we're having another baby." Alex was ready to tell everyone, and did for weeks. No keeping the 5-week-old pregnancy a secret in this house. Sydney danced and clapped to join in on all the fun.
Nausea …Uggh. I have somehow escaped the dreaded nausea for 3 pregnancies so far, but it found me this time around. I am not a good 'sick' person to begin with, but to combine nausea and food aversions from morning to night and even in the middle of the night was tough for me. My worst sick experience was when I was headed out the door for a rare 'mommy only' evening out. I was going to play BUNKO with the neighbors. Anyway, I was upstairs just brushing my teeth, when it hit. I could not even make it to the toilet 5 steps away. I threw up in the sink. Knowing I could not let my recently eaten dinner clog up the sink, I proceeded to scoop it out with my hands into a bowl to dispose of it. Brian was in the other room looking quite green himself making noises like he was gagging too. I give him credit for most things, but puke freaks him out. You'd think he never did it himself. Oh well. I cleaned myself up. I cleaned the bathroom up and went out and had a fabulous time. Of course, I ate every appetizer they offered since I was now starving again. I hope they did not notice - "what a pig that pregnant neighbor is."
Twins? ... Due to the length and severity of my nausea, and probably because I all ready had my hands full with 3 children, many people loved to poke fun of me being pregnant with twins. After a while it started to sink in. What would I do? How would I do it? I still don't know for sure, but my measurements have been 'normal' for a single pregnancy and my AFP test came back normal too. I guess the ultrasound will reveal the real mystery, but I am beginning to definitely feel pregnant with only one at this point.
Kindergarten ... My oldest started Kindergarten on August 16th. Even pregnant, I was not the basket case I thought I'd be. This summer if I even thought of or spoke about him starting school I would start to cry. I had no clue how I was going to drop him off and hold it together. But, when the big day finally came, he started to show some anxiety himself, and it seemed to help me. I had to kick into mommy mode and not concentrate on 'having a Kindergartner.' Once I convinced him school is going to be fine and promised him we would at least talk about him 'quitting school' if he hated it (something I hoped would not happen because I did not want to go into the 'too bad, you have to go anyway speech') he fortunately jumped off the bus at the end of the day with sheer excitement ... and I'm officially the mother of a Kindergartner.
Good-bye Weight Watchers … My doctor's appointments have been uneventful to date, which I guess is good at this point. All blood work has come back normal, the AFP test was normal, and all my measurements and the dreaded weight gain is normal. I think I have the biggest hang up with my weight right now. Down deep I really wanted to lose all this weight before I got pregnant, but I kept derailing on my Weight Watchers Diet. I wanted to be one of those cute pregnant ladies who can pull off wearing tank tops and short shorts and look fabulously radiant. Pictures scare me the most. I seem to look bigger than what I actually feel too. Well, I have to put it behind me and keep my weight gain healthy. I will have to gain and I will have to take it off later.
'To nurse or not to nurse' ... At this point after nursing three babies I've made the decision I will nurse once again. But, I do remember back to my first pregnancy on this subject and thought I'd give you my experience with it. Quite honestly, I love it now, but it did not come natural to me like the books say. With my first pregnancy, I wanted to at least try it while I was on maternity leave. I thought if it worked, great, if not, no problem. After delivery, the nurses unfortunately were not helpful at all. They would tell me "Alex is losing too much weight" or "we need to supplement him if you can't get him to nurse." It was horrible. I cried. Alex cried and I about gave up. They never told me all babies lose a little weight and Alex was born 8.7 pounds, so he could afford to lose a few ounces without problems. So, my husband nicely told the nurse to leave, held Alex, and was able to help me get him to nurse. This went on for almost a week after we left the hospital too. He would get up with Alex and me for every feeding to make sure we were okay. So, I have to give credit where credit is due - to Brian for my nursing.
My advice for a mom who wants to try to breastfeed is to definitely try it. And try to give it at least two weeks to get used to the sensations and latching on techniques. To me it was not natural at first. Once Alex and I mastered the process I did successfully nurse him for about 8 months. I learned to pump and store, bottle feed expressed breast milk, and all the things a working mom has to deal with while nursing. Because I stayed at home with Maria and Sydney I found it easier to nurse longer and nursed over a year for each. It would be great if your husband or someone else close to you could help you out. At least it helped me. So, that is my two cents ... if it is your wish to try it, good luck and don't give up too early like I almost did. And if you have no desire to nurse, don't worry either. I know many, many friends of mine with happy, thriving, healthy, and very intelligent bottle fed children. Don't read too much into the fine print of the breast vs. bottle debate. An anxious or resentful nursing mother is not a happy one. You will be a better mother if you choose the method that works best for you and makes you happy. I have nursed three kids. The child who nursed the longest, has ear tubes due to ear infections. The other has never been sick a day in her life. They are all intelligent in their own and different ways. I love them all. Make the decision that best suits you, your family, your lifestyle, and your child ... then be proud of it. Good luck.