And Baby Makes Five

Looks like I may need to find a new name for the blog. Although I was so sure that we were done after finding out we were having twins, just as Dave predicted, I eventually changed my mind. For the first 2 years of their life, there was never even the slightest inkling for another child, no consideration whatsoever. I was always happy for friends who announced their pregnancy or enjoyed celebrating at others' baby showers but that was it. In fact, as happy as I was for them, I was glad it wasn't me. I've always been good about getting rid of their stuff as soon as they've outgrown it so we literally have zero baby gear and only happen to have clothes from about 18 months up just because I was putting it aside for the Parents of Multiples consignment sale that ended up never happening last year.

So I'm not exactly sure what changed my mind, but last summer I started thinking about the possibility of another child (again, that had never even been a thought before) and as Dave knows, once I start thinking about something, that's pretty much it. So I shared my thoughts with him and he was excited as well. So here we are. So thankful to be halfway through the pregnancy.

We are not 'going for a girl'... we talked a length about the chances of having twins again, and of course the chances of having a boy. I think for me, the fact that I knew I'd have more spare time come fall when the boys started preschool definitely influenced my decision of wanting another child. I also think I had a desire I didn't realize until recently to have the experience of 'just one'. I'm not a baby person and I think having twins only exasperated those feelings of just doing what had to be done for everyone to survive; I really didn't enjoy much about those early months. I know the newborn phase isn't all about cuddling and holding a sleeping baby anyway, but I really hope I get to experience a bit more of those precious moments one-on-one. I've been told that having one after twins is a cakewalk, but I'm not convinced quite yet...

We were both terrified at the first ultrasound. Yes there was a heartbeat and yes, only one. It was a stressful first trimester as I had some ongoing spotting that made me sure the pregnancy would not be viable. I had hcg checked at 4 weeks, ultrasounds at 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11.5 weeks and each time things seemed to be trekking along (often to my great surprise). We left for Florida the day after my big first trimester scan which was at about 11.5 weeks. Everything looked good yet we were still several weeks shy of the magic second trimester mark so I still wasn't ready to joyfully share the news.

I swear I started feeling movement in Florida, which would've been before 13 weeks and when I mentioned it to my ob she said it was highly unlikely. Once back from Florida, I had surgery to have the cerclage placed again with Dr. Katz. It was a precaution and there was no way of knowing whether it was really necessary, but as he put it, the length of my cervix at 20 weeks with twins (when I had the emergency cerclage placed) could likely be what my body would encounter at 26 weeks with a singleton, but that's way past the 20-ish week mark when it's still safe to do the cerclage. Dave and I were totally on board and luckily the surgery went well. Oh, and Dr. Katz no longer believes in bed rest...

Pregnancy so far...
This pregnancy definitely has felt different than the boys'. Not a total 180 change or anything, but still different. My early pregnancy signs weren't the same that I had with the boys. Last time, I had zero pregnancy signs in that first trimester and this time, I at least had a few.
Symptoms: From about 7-9.5 weeks I just felt off. I'm not sure how else to describe it. I wasn't nauseous, never got sick, but nothing sounded or tasted good, yet I could still eat normally. There were definitely times I had to eat though, I just got starving all of a sudden. The biggest change was that I was exhausted. By about 12:30, I was counting the minutes until William was in bed and praying G would nap that day too because I need to take a nap most days. This continued through the Florida trip (with 2 hour naps just about daily). Right at 14 weeks when the second trimester started, I felt much more rested and didn't need naps anymore. The days following the cerclage left me exhausted again but luckily that has subsided and I only need the occasional nap here or there.  I also had several episodes of full-on mommy brain this time. I had strategically hidden the car keys in the back of the drawer we usually keep them in when we went to Florida. Well, when we got home, we couldn't find them anywhere and I had no recollection until I actually came across them that I had put them there. Another day, in Florida, I packed up all the stuff for the beach and completely forgot to bring the boys a change of clothes so they had to go home in wet swimsuits (or naked? I can't remember;). This was definitely not like me! The other tell-tale symptom is dry mouth at nighttime. I have to have a water bottle next to me and still need to drink during the night.
Cravings: I still don't think I've had any cravings this time around, but fruit tasted really good in the first trimester and I'm still loving eggs. Every morning I have 2 eggs and they always taste so good! I did have a few aversions... sparkling water was out for a period of the first trimester (conveniently right when we finally got the sparkling water dispenser installed) but luckily I'm fine with it now. Also, after buying like 10 boxes of pumpkin O's from Trader Joe's in October thinking they wouldn't have them past Halloween, they tasted gross to me and I couldn't eat them. And I think they're still carrying them at the store now...
Appetite: Appetite-wise, there have been a few moments where I've eaten a lot, but overall I haven't noticed much of an increase (though I have a big appetite naturally). I just think back to what I was eating on a daily basis with the boys and I'm nowhere near that amount of food. At 19 weeks I had gained just 5lbs (versus about 18 with the boys at that same point). I feel like I'm definitely eating enough but am not hungry for any more than that. What's funny is that I literally couldn't button my pants by about 9 weeks pregnant, much earlier than with the boys, yet my bump didn't 'pop' until about 18 weeks. It's been so nice to continue to work out so I've been swimming, doing some pilates and trying to get to a prenatal yoga class here or there.
Sleep: Luckily sleep is better now, but in the first trimester, I had to wake up to go to the bathroom and some nights I just couldn't go back to sleep. Or one night G woke up at 4:30 and needed a hug and I couldn't go back to sleep. It's the worst when you get so tired during the day already.
Movement: Though I thought I felt flutters as early as 12/13 weeks, I noticed it more around 15.5 weeks and knew it was definitely something about halfway through week 17. I think this is about the same time I felt movement with the boys, but I was more sure about it this time. The baby is very active at night when I'm laying in bed after putting the boys down. The baby has also been super active during our ultrasounds so it's been hard to get measurements sometimes.

Now at 21 weeks, I'm feeling really good. I've been staying up later than I should, but not feeling too tired during the day. I don't get as winded during workouts as I used to, but it's amazing that an easy yoga class can still leave me tired. I've been in maternity pants (except for a few that seem to be extra stretchy) since about 15 weeks. I can still wear regular shirts but the bump is definitely popping out more and I'm to the point in the last week or so where I think people would assume I'm pregnant and not that is-she isn't-she stage. I've been trying to take it easy on lifting the boys and only do so when absolutely necessary. I have some pain under the boobs/above the rib line already... this came later with the boys, but mostly happens when sitting down. On days when I've been standing a lot and running around all day, my lower back hurts by the end of the day but a heating pad and sleep have been a great remedy so far.

Sharing the news... 
Always my favorite part!

We told all of our parents before we were through the first trimester but wanted to hold off sharing the news with others until we were a bit further along.
I think I was about 17-18 weeks when I started sharing with other family and friends. I've been saying, 'So Dave and I decided to go for another baby!' Since I was always so adamant about us being done, I knew if I just said, 'I'm pregnant!' that I'd get lots of questions about if it was planned or an 'oops'. I wanted to be clear that the decision had been made and we were lucky to be where we were.
We did get the boys the Big Brother shirts so for a few people like Jessica and my brother and Elizabeth, we just put the boys in the shirts and waited until they noticed. Jessica didn't think much of it, but by the time we did it a few days later with Jon and Liz, the boys were good about showing off their shirt. Everyone has been pretty surprised but of course thrilled. It's been especially fun to tell my twin mom friends. To be honest, most of them are in complete awe and would never consider going for a third, but I have a few who are in the boat of let-me-know-how-it-goes and are possibly considering the same for themselves.

Telling the boys...
We debated about when to tell the boys and initially just gave them their Big Brother shirts around 17 weeks but when we told people, we also mentioned that we hadn't told the boys yet. They started picking up on things but not really making a connection... though it was weird that they oddly got into babies shortly after I got pregnant. Stuffing babies in their shirt, talking about when they lived in my tummy, etc. Maybe they did sense something. I considered bringing them to the big 20 week ultrasound but decided against it. I'll have plenty of ultrasounds later in pregnancy that I'm sure we can bring them in for a few minutes to one of those. On the day we took them to the park to get the photo of them in their shirts with the announcement (above) that I could send to a few friends, I think it was 19 weeks, we decided to tell them I had a baby in my tummy.

They've actually been really into it. They're conscious of the baby when I say I can't lift them or something, they know it's because of the baby. They go up to my tummy and say, 'hello baby! are you in there??' They're also into feeling the baby kick, but we haven't timed it right yet. William is even careful when he crawls on my body for snuggles saying, 'I don't want to smoosh the baby!'. I never made any reference to that myself. We've talked about how they'll be good helpers and G has claimed he'll change the diapers, even 'wiping the butt' and W will help with bottles. We'll see! It's been really fun and though I know this will be a big transition, I think this is going to be one of best parts of having another child, see how W&G interact and love this baby.

On not finding out...
It's crazy how early you can find out now. We had a basic genetic test done at 10 weeks and we had to specify that we did NOT want to learn the gender. Dave thinks he heard Dr. Katz slip when he came to talk to us after the cerclage procedure at 15 weeks but I think it was just a generic pronoun used if anything, he did a 10-second ultrasound just to make sure there was still a heartbeat right before the surgery so I doubt he had seen anything there. Nothing would've been noted down at that point. At the big second trimester ultrasound, we were very careful and the ultrasound tech turned off the screen when she was going over the genitals. We warned all other doctors that we didn't want to know. Dave is not too thrilled with this but I think it will be so much fun to find out on the day. I also know that if Dave finds out, he can't keep a secret, which is why I'm so adamant about him not finding out. Luckily I don't think there's any reason for him to come to my monthly ultrasounds moving forward, so I'll be the one that needs to stay on top of the doctors and make sure they don't say anything. Dave thought it would be better if it's a boy to have some time for me to adjust to the idea. I actually feel the opposite. Though I feel I've fully prepared myself for this one to be another boy, I'm convinced I won't be disappointed if I have a healthy baby in my arms and that's the first time I'm finding out the gender. I think a big part of not finding out is about other people unfortunately. I'm sure everyone is wishing for it to be a girl. Honestly, Dave and I will be thrilled either way, but I feel like I won't have to deal with that disappointment if I just reveal after the baby is here. I don't want to listen to, 'are you gonna go for a girl?' or 'another boy, wow.' Whatever it is, even if the words are positive, I feel like tone says a lot and I think that may start to make me feel sad, if it is a boy. So right now I am so excited to be waiting. I'm not the least bit concerned about not having boy or girl stuff. We'll move the boys downstairs in May or June and much the nursery will stay the same. The gray striped curtains are here to stay, as is the gray and white crib. So I'll fill in with another color and buy new sheets, etc. once we find out.

Before baby...
So the boys changing rooms will be a big transition. It's definitely not ideal not to have them on the same level as us, but what can we do. It's also a bummer to lose our guest room when it's used 3-4 nights a week by one of my parents, but again, we're lucky to have 3 bedrooms in SF anyway so we'll manage just fine.
I really hope I can get their yearly books done before the new baby. Between being exhausted the first trimester and everything I have going on right now, including searching for a new nanny, that big project has fallen by the wayside for months now.
I've made a list of things I'd like to do before the baby comes, mostly activities that include several trips as a family -- Tahoe, Monterey and (hopefully) San Diego but that last one we'll see how the pregnancy is going early in the third trimester. Dave and I are hoping Zika doesn't disrupt our plans for a week in Hawaii for his 40th birthday, but will go somewhere else if it does. I also have several date nights planned for Dave and I -- dinner at Michelin-starred Manresea down in Los Gatos and I'm hoping to get up to Napa for dinner later in pregnancy when further travel isn't advised. I'm thinking an overnight across the bridge at Cavallo Point would be lovely, but know much of this has to be played by ear and that anything can change at any point. I'm also trying to book a spa day with Megan and Ashley and get some girl time in.

Pregnancy can be so touch and go and while I don't think I can ever relax and enjoy it, Dave and I are so thrilled to be on this adventure again. Yes, it will change everything. We were on our way to easier days, having gotten through breastfeeding, diapers and all that constant attention needed. But of course you forget about that stuff anyway when you decide to have another child. I definitely picture our family as a family of 5 now and can't wait to meet the newest addition! The due date has ranged from June 29-July 6 but the most consistent seems to be July 3, our anniversary. At my next ob appointment, we'll schedule the c-section, which I assume will be the last few days of June. With a previous c-section and the fact that the cerclage has to be removed (which requires a spinal anyway), it was an easy decision to make and I only hope everything goes as smoothly as it did with the boys.

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