Hello everyone! My name is Renee Allen. Im a stay-at-home mom to my five children, ranging from 2 to 12 years old. I've always wanted to have six children (we'll actually I started out saying I'd have 12 when I was a child, but that number gradually decreased through the years to six by the time I was married). I grew up with four brothers in my family. My sweet husband is one of six children, so he's always shared that love and desire to have many children. I had my first four children all 2 years apart, then realized that it was really tough chasing a 2 year old when pregnant or nursing. So I vowed to have a three year span with the next. What a big difference and how fun to enjoy that baby just one more year before the next was born. I'm now 37 years old and am pregnant with my sixth child. This will once again be a 3 year span.
I've been pregnant eight times in all. I was first pregnant before my oldest daughter was born. At five months in that pregnancy, I had a routine ultrasound and they found that the baby had a neural tube defect called Anencephaly, which I'd never heard of before and learned was a defect in which the brain doesn't fully develop. When my doctor called to tell me the results (which I knew were bad due to the change in the tech's demeanor and the Radiologist coming in and questioning my history), my first questions were, "What are the chances of survival?" (none) and "Was it something I did that caused this?" (no). So that pregnancy ended sooner than I'd planned and in a manner that I'd never imagined. But about nine months later, my oldest daughter was born and what a beautiful, healthy blessing she was.
All of my pregnancies have varied a bit from each other. I was 25 when my oldest daughter was born. My water broke with a huge gush during the middle of the night. (I thought I had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad). I went back to bed, then felt the urge again. The second time (a little more awake and realizing that it was like someone was throwing a pitcher of water across the room) I thought perhaps my water had broken, and got out my "What to expect" book to figure out what to do. She was born that next night and I never went back to work (woo hoo!).
The only thing unusual about my next pregnancy was that my second daughter was born with her hand on her cheek. During that last month (she arrived a few days late so she could be an April Fool's baby, silly girl!) I felt like something was poking and prodding me on the top of my left thigh. When she was born, my doctor said "Look, you're delivering her arm with her head" and she had her hand propped so sweetly on her cheek. She kept it there for a while (and it was pretty blue from the delivery at first). But oh, it was precious.
My first son came next. His pregnancy was like the other two in that I had virtually no nausea and felt great throughout. I did have some back pain near the end though. But the greatest surprise was that my labor started over a week early and he was born early New Year's morning, which made him the New Year's baby for the whole county. What fun! We were on the front page of the Sunday paper, got all sorts of gifts and visitors. What a treat at the end of a long (aren't they all?) pregnancy.
My second son was born when I was 31 (into that little more risky zone) and for the first time, I was experiencing nausea. No fun at all! I had the back pain a little earlier, but I was fine. Sleeping near the end wasn’t so pleasant either. But he made it easier for me and came over a week early too (gotta love that) and pushed out in just two pushes! My others went quickly too (always just a few minutes of pushing), but just two pushes was just wonderful!
My youngest daughter was born just before I turned 35. I had even more nausea this time, but was relatively healthy throughout the pregnancy. I got into working out with videos after my last pregnancy mostly because I was looking to alleviate the back pain and kept reading that strengthening the back and abs through exercise was the best way. It sure worked AND got me into better shape than before I had kids! So I didn't show in this pregnancy nearly as soon as the previous four because my abs were in such great shape to begin with. That was sure fun to see. She was born a few weeks early on my Grandpa's birthday, who was still alive at the time. And she came out in just one push! I think it was mostly determination because a woman came in just as I was about to push, moaning and yelling, saying she was about to deliver. She was my doctor's patient and I felt the need to hurry it up so he could go help her. Come to find out, the nurse checked her and she wasn't even dilated. I later found out that she didn't deliver for a few more weeks.
I found out I was pregnant mid-February, but just a week later, started bleeding and ended up miscarrying. I'd never experienced a miscarriage before (I found I was beating the odds of 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage), so I felt a little helpless at first. But I felt surges of energy and happiness after the bleeding stopped and I felt a renewal of sorts. Since I didn't have to have a D&C, my doctor told me that I could get pregnant as soon after as I felt ready to do. So that next month I did get pregnant (never had a problem with fertility) and here I am now due December 2 and just starting my second trimester.