We’re having another baby!
Yes, just one. We checked. Thoroughly.
We’re so, so excited and grateful up to our eyebrows. We’re also a leeeeetle nervous, given that we will have three children under the age of two for two and a half months after this child is born. And then once the twins turn two, we’ll have three under three, which doesn’t exactly feel like a cool compress to the head, does it?
This baby is due May 12, which puts me at 22 weeks along. Here we are:
Please forgive the lighting and general lack of effort (note the end-of-day toy pile). I literally just walked into the family room and had Mike take this on his phone. World class blogger.
If you’re anything like me, all you’re thinking when you see that picture is: how does it compare to the twin belly? I’m comparing all the time because I’m convinced I’m the same size I was then. Which sort of makes sense because second pregnancy bellies are notorious for rounding sooner and bigger, but my hope is that this neck-and-neck race to largeness will be won decidedly by the twin belly.
Here I was at 22 weeks with twins:
So far, this pregnancy has felt mostly the same as my first. I haven’t had any nausea (I can feel your hate radiating through the interwebs, and I’m sorry), I’ve felt like myself, and I’m amazed at how quickly it’s flying by. To be perfectly frank, half the time I forget I’m pregnant because who has the time? I’m managing 17-month-old twins all the live-long day, so I don’t have the luxury I did with the first pregnancy to sit and rub my belly and ponder the wonder that is occurring beneath the surface. It’s a shame, and yet it’s also a blessing because I’m not worrying half as much either.
Easily one of the most entertaining aspects of being pregnant with our third has been people’s reactions. They are exactly what you would expect, and are exactly what you yourself probably thought. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. WHAT?! Was this on PURPOSE?!
2. Oh my gosh you’re going to be BUSY.
3. But….you have twins. You have a boy and a girl. Why are you having… (voice trails off)
4. CONGRATULATIONS!! THIS IS AWESOME!!!
5. (Blank stare of shock)
You can see why telling people was a little like giving someone a non-registry gift: they’re either going to be thrilled by your brilliance, or confused and not exactly pleased that you detoured from their plan.
But we saw that coming a mile away, since we know the general leaning of society is to stop at two. We trust the Lord’s plans for our family, and we’re humbled that He would entrust us with another life. So before we told anyone, we decided outside commentary didn’t matter. The people who matter most in our lives are so excited and full of love for this baby, and we feel blessed to welcome him or her to our family.
That reminds me: we won’t know if it’s a him or a her until the birthday, because this is basically the most ideal situation for not knowing. We already have all the clothes and items needed for each, so it’s just a fun surprise.
When we went in for our eight-week ultrasound, to say we were nervous would be like saying John D. Rockafeller had some spare cash. We were all but pacing the room, talking ourselves into how we would be totally fine if we were having twins again. We’d already conqured once, we could do it again with two toddlers at our knees, right? Riiiiiiight.
As the doctor scanned my belly, we held hands and let out an enormous exhale the second the screen showed one little heart. It was an exhale not just from seeing one, but also because there was our baby; our healthy, strong, precious child. It was a breathtaking miracle not reduced in the slightest by its singularity.
“Don’t get excited yet,” the doctor warned. “Sometimes the second one is obscured behind the first. I want to do a thorough check.”
We dutifully resumed our rigid postures and waited.
“Ooooookay, I think we’re in the clear — one baby!” she announced.
We shared a kiss and huge smiles as she took measurements and confirmed our due date.
Even though the prospect of having several young children is intimidating, we’ve found that there is so much that’s easier — the preparation alone is a joke compared to round one. I can’t think of a single thing we have to buy before the baby comes, apart from furniture for the nursery. I’m not going to need baby showers, clothes, toys, or any of the myriad breastfeeding gear. Also, and this is huge: we’re more confident. We have done this already with two babies. While this baby could be wildly different from Henry and Arden, we’re still miles from the bewildered parents coming home with two newborns that we were 17 months ago. And let’s just state the biggest factor: it’s ONE baby. No matter what curveball we’re thrown, it’s only ONE BABY. Feeding him, diapering her, carrying him, dressing her, getting him to sleep — all of it only once! I can’t wrap my mind around the inherent simplicity in that.
(Twin mom disclaimer: my feelings on my singleton — that word, ugh, I know — in no way are meant to imply that having one baby is not a mind-boggling amount of backbreaking work twenty-four hours a day. All babies are hard. Period. This isn’t a contest of who is working hardest. End of parenthetical.)
The sweetest part in all of this has been Arden and Henry’s understanding of it. They know there’s a baby in my tummy and they toddle over and lift my shirt to see the belly and say “baby, baby” and wave. Without any prompting at all, they have started kissing my belly, the most delicate kisses I’ve ever seen. I stare at them and think, “How do you know this? YOU are my babies, and you’re babying this little baby?!?” It’s love magnified until it fills the whole room.
Welcome, 2015, and the family of five you carry with it.