The Story of James Paul

It’s been 6 weeks since our sweet baby James entered the world and I’m finally sitting down to write his story. Life with three kids has been wild and crazy and yet, as I sit and look at all three of my kids, I feel like having three feels so natural; as though each and every one of them have always been a part of our lives.

Since this was my third baby, my OB was very casual as to when I “wanted” to give birth to this baby (as long as I was over 39 weeks). With Leah, I went to 41 weeks before I decided to wave my white flag and schedule an induction. Then, when I was in labor with her, my OB realized my amniotic fluids had decreased to a dangerous level. Luckily, I was able to avoid a c-section thanks to an amniotic infusion which allowed Leah’s heart rate to regulate while I labored. Because of that “scare,” my second OB (fun fact, I have had a different OB with every baby) decided to induce me at 39.5 weeks (since at that point I still hadn’t dilated at all and she didn’t want me to have a repeat of my first labor when I inevitably went overdue). So! That brings us to baby number 3. I deeply desired to go into labor on my own, something that, even with this being my third baby, I had never experienced! I was feeling pretty optimistic about my chances when I was already dilated to 1.5 centimeters at 36 weeks (which was more than I had EVER been dilated before being induced with my previous two!) From 36 weeks on I vowed to do everything in my power to get this baby out on my own!! We live in a very hilly, mountainous area, and every single day (and I mean EVERY day) I would lace up my running shoes and pound up and down those hills on 4-5 mile walks, willing my water to break or at least my cervix to continue dilating. By 39 weeks I was dilated to 3 cm, but my daily walks had no luck in getting my water to break on its own. At my 39 week appointment my OB was pretty convinced that, if I just had my water broken, I would “easily go into labor on my own” since my body was “so ready.” I thought about it and decided to go ahead and schedule a time to head into the hospital at 39 weeks and 4 days to have my OB break my water.
20170613-IMG_0234On Tuesday, June 13th, Brett and I headed to the hospital at 6 am and by 7:30 am the paperwork was all filled out, my IV was placed, and my OB had come in and broke my water (SUCH a pleasant experience!! :-P) And then…we waited! I wasn’t feeling anything along the lines of contractions yet so Brett and I chatted as we walked and walked and walked numerous laps around the unit, trying to get my labor to kick in. By 11:30 am I was still feeling basically nothing and the nurse asked me if I was ready to “get this party started” aka get some pitocin going. Before going into the hospital I had voiced my concerns about needing an induction to my OB-mainly that getting pitocin equaled having to labor in bed (since baby would then need to stay on a monitor) which is pretty much HELL. My OB reassured me that the hospital had wireless monitors that would allow me to labor however I would like, should I need pitocin. Because of this, and because I was getting bored of walking the halls, I gave a huge thumbs up and enthusiastically (more enthusiastically then anyone should EVER be regarding pitocin!) agreed with the nurse to start the pitocin drip. She started at a low level of 9 and assured me that I would need “just a bit” before my body kicked in and, once contractions kept rolling on their own, she could turn it off all together.

Once the pitocin started, contractions were soon to follow, but I knew they were no where near as intense as they needed to be. I could still walk and talk through them and, as I sat bouncing on the birthing ball, joking with my nurse, she said “girl we have got to bump this up.” She started bumping up the levels every 15 minutes and the contractions started getting longer and more intense. It was crazy because when she came into the room at 12:15 pm to bump it up (to 22!!!) I was breathing through the contractions but could still handle them just fine on the birthing ball, and by the time she walked back in at 12:30, I was hunched over the bed and moaning like crazy.

At that point she checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. Both the nurse and my OB had asked me at the start of the day if I wanted an epidural and I said that I wasn’t sure. They both told me that this was their one and only time they would ask and, after that, I would need to tell them if I wanted one because they were not going to ask again. When we heard that I was at a 6 Brett asked me if I wanted to go ahead and request an epidural, but I gritted my teeth and shook my head no. He reminded me NOT to wait for the “okay I can’t stand this anymore” moment because it may take the anesthesiologist awhile to get to me, but I (naively) told him that I had control over the situation.

For anyone who has had pitocin knows, things get crazy REAL fast! By 1 pm the contractions were basically on top of each other and I could barely catch my breath before another one took over. Basically you feel like you are transition….but you’re not. I went from bouncing on the birthing ball to curling up on my side in bed, clutching the hand rail and moaning (yelling??) through each contraction. Brett would talk to me here and there….the nurse would come in and adjust the baby’s monitor or click away on the computer, but I never opened my eyes for the next 2 hours and I don’t think I talked to Brett or answered his questions once during this time. I was just willing myself to make it through one more one more one more, while secretly thinking I may just up and die right there on the bed. I know I’m not the only woman in labor who thinks “that’s it! I’m done!” but it was like I truly believed I could give up, step outside my body, and let someone else finish up this awful task.

Through it all we were trying to decide when to have my mom come meet us at the hospital, since I wanted her there for the delivery. She was there for Claire’s and I wanted her there again. Brett was nervous that we would run out of time because she was home with the girls and, once we told her to come, she would have to wait for my dad to make the 15 minute drive from their house to ours, before she then made the 10 minute drive to the hospital. Brett kept asking me if I wanted him to call her but I kept shaking my head no. I was in so much pain and I was being so loud during each contraction I was worried that it would be too stressful forΒ her to see me this way. (Which, obviously, is silly. She would have been fine but no one ever admits to thinking clearly and rationally during labor).

Close to 3 pm I was feeling D O N E. This baby, like his sister before him, was sunny side up and the back labor felt like a truck was literally backing up again and again over my lower back. During one particularly lengthy contraction, as I clutched Brett’s shirt by the collar and howled, I yelled at Brett that “I NEED AN EPIDURAL NOW!!” Brett ran out to the nurses station and calmly stated, “yeah, I think we will take that epidural now….” 20 minutes later (and what felt like a million more contractions) I all but screamed at Brett that the anesthesiologist was “never coming!!” and I think it took pure power of will for Brett to bite his tongue and not say “Remember when I reminded you not to wait until the last minute??”

Our nurse (whose name was Brandi by the way, and was truly an angel during my entire labor) checked me and said I was at an 8. She told me I was in transition and I probably didn’t have all that much longer before I was ready to push. I didn’t care. At that moment you could have told me I only had 5 minutes left and I still would have told you to shoot me up with drugs. The sweet anesthesiologist finally came in and talked away while I kept my eyes shut and basically ignored him. He said that a true epidural may be a bit of a waste on me because they take awhile to set in and, by that time, I would most likely have a baby in my arms. He offered to do a “spinal surge” which is fast acting but not as long lasting. I said I didn’t care, but please, for the love of all things holy, just give me the drugs already. They allowed Brett to stay in the room (something that I don’t think is all that common) and the anesthesiologist said the quote that makes every laboring woman want to punch them in the face; “It is CRUCIAL that you do NOT move for the next 20 seconds!” He was efficient, quick and painless and not 20 second later did I feel the most blessed relief.

When we heard that I was at 8 cm, Brett had gone ahead and texted my mom and told her to come over. She walked in a few minutes after the surge placement and I had done a total 180–smiling and saying “hey mom!!” like I was the most relaxed person in the world. Oh the power of birthing drugs. πŸ˜› I didn’t have much more to go at that point, but just having a 20-30 minute breather before the pushing began felt like the greatest gift in the world.
20170613-IMG_0239At 3:45 pm, my nurse checked me and said I was complete. She had me do a practice push and then immediately told me to “stop pushing!!” when baby’s head started to make an appearance. My OB had run back to his office to try and see a few patients when he heard at 12:30 pm that I was still at 6 cm, but thankfully the office was just down the street. Our nurse joked that she called him and told him to “run, don’t walk” back to the hospital, which he must have since he arrived 10 minutes later. I had told him in previous appointments that I push my babies out quick (20 mins with Leah and 10 mins with Claire) so he knew I was a “quick pusher,” but I was a little anxious that this baby would be different (I had heard MANY times “those third babies like to throw you a curve ball!”) and I was so afraid that I would be pushing for an hour or more and he would be thinking “why the heck did she tell me she was quick at this?!”
20170613-IMG_025320170613-IMG_0258However, as soon as I started pushing I knew this wouldn’t be the case. Within one push I could see his head crowning and I knew he was coming fast. Now, if you remember, we did not know the gender of this baby, and I was emotionally overwhelmed at the thought that we would be meeting this surprise baby in a matter of MINUTES. After months of rubbing my stomach, wondering who was in there, the moment had finally come to meet our son or daughter. Every time I thought about this, I would inevitably start to cry, which made effective pushing impossible. I had to basically yell at myself to “GET IT TOGETHER!” and not think about anything but pushing until baby was out.
20170613-IMG_0273Brett was going to be the one to announce the gender, but my OB had jokingly said that he was going to make his guess when just the head was out. Within 5 minutes of pushing, the head was out and my OB announced that his guess was a girl. We laughed and with one final push, at 4:08 pm (and a total of 8 minutes of pushing) our sweet baby was out.
20170613-IMG_0275My OB flipped him upside down and faced him towards Brett and we all could clearly see that baby was A BOY! I will always remember the joy and wonder in Brett’s voice as he announced the gender; we had a son! It felt so surreal in that moment. As much as I thought this baby was a boy during my entire pregnancy (and I mean, the feeling ran deep and I had only called the baby a boy the entire time) I still felt, in the back of my mind, that after 2 girls we couldn’t actually have a boy! We only made girls! The nurse placed our son, our sweet James Paul on my chest and I kept laughing as tears of joy streamed down my face. A boy!

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20170613-IMG_034620170613-IMG_0352The baby nurse was worried because James wasn’t crying, instead he was just making these little grunting noises, and she kept whacking him on the back trying to get him to cry. I never felt anxious, however, that something was wrong. Instead I felt this overwhelming sense of peace, just looking at my son and I knew he was just fine. After getting him to cry a bit, and putting a pulsox on his little foot twice to check his oxygen level (which both times were perfect) they finally concluded that he was just fine and he simply liked making that grunting noise (which, 6 weeks later, I can confidently say is 100% true because he makes them at night all. the. time).
20170613-IMG_037320170613-IMG_038220170613-IMG_0389I had torn during my speedy delivery (in my “weak spot” from Leah and Claire’s birth) and my doctor quickly stitched me up while I continued to stare and marvel at this perfect baby on my chest. Once he was done with my stitches, and before he left, he asked if he could say a prayer over us and the baby, which was such a sweet and loving offer it brought tears to my eyes. We quickly said “of course!” and my OB knelt down on the floor, placing one hand on my knee and the other on James’ back, and spoke the most heartfelt, pure prayer of thanks to God. Brett secretly filmed it on his camera and it’s a moment in time that I will truly treasure forever. Such an amazing experience!20170613-IMG_0444
After James was born, my mom had called my dad and told him to bring the girls over to meet their new brother! As much as I tried to mentally prepare myself for the moment, I was a total puddle of tears when those sweet girls walked into the room for the first time. Seeing their loving, but anxious faces made me break down and it was all I could do not to jump out of bed and hug them (but lets be honest, jumping out of bed was really the last thing I wanted to do….)
20170613-IMG_045220170613-IMG_047120170613-IMG_047820170613-IMG_0481The girls gave me big hugs and then they both gently and lovingly held their new brother. I knew Leah would do great (and during my whole pregnancy she voiced nothing but pure excitement over having a new baby sibling), but I was a little worried about how my sweet little Claire would do who, up until this very moment, was still very much my baby. She was so gentle and curious with him, but I could also see confusion and nervousness in her little eyes. She gave him a quick hug before handing him back and giving me lots of snuggles instead (before discovering the even better joy of playing with the birthing ball and pushing it around the delivery room!) Even still…being surrounded by my three amazing, miraculous, beautiful babies, (not to mention my wonderful husband!) I felt such a sense of pure and total happiness, as though our family was complete. (Maybe. Ask me again in 2 years. πŸ˜‰ )

And there we have it. The birth of my third baby and my first boy! Each birth has been so different and yet so incredibly special in their own way and I wouldn’t change one single minute of any of them. Each labor, each individual contraction, led me to three amazing and perfect babies. And now we are home. A family of five. And I am loving every single wild and wonderful moment.

It’s A…

20170613-IMG_038820170613-IMG_0345BOY!!!!!

We are thrilled to introduce our SON, James Paul Becker. Born June 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm. 7 lbs 4 oz, 20 inches. Birth story to come soon!! πŸ™‚

Life Lately

So here we are, already at the end of April! These last few months have flown by and it stresses me out greatly that this baby is due to arrive in less than 2 months!! We literally have nothing prepared. The other day I walked up to the attic to grab something and I saw our rock and play, sitting there in the corner collecting dust. “Oh….I should probably grab that to wash….” I thought to myself, as I turned around and walked back down the stairs. And that’s basically been the extent of my prep work. I have, however, bought a few gender neutral newborn outfits to bring to the hospital and to get us through the first week or so, if baby is a boy, before we will need to buy new clothes. I have not, however, even considered washing them yet so….baby steps. πŸ™‚

unnamed1Here is the last bump picture I snapped at 30 weeks (tomorrow marks 32 weeks). This pregnancy has definitely been my most uncomfortable pregnancy. I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day and I was saying how, with each pregnancy, you feel the same discomforts, they just start earlier and earlier. So like with Leah, I only felt super uncomfortable the last month or so. And then with Claire those same discomforts started a little earlier, maybe around 32-34 weeks and with this one, by 30 weeks I was definitely extremely uncomfortable. This baby literally feels like he/she is trying to burrow deep into my belly button so I feel like I have a knife stabbing through my stomach for most of the day. My belly button, which is definitely a bit deformed after Claire, is stretched to it’s limit and is constantly bruised from being ripped from the inside.

Complaints aside, (I know, pregnancy is tough…who would have thought?! πŸ˜‰ ) I am feeling relatively good! I am still working out at the gym 3x a week and the days I don’t go to the gym, I try and take a 2-3 mile walk. Basically my goal for each weekday is to hit at least 10,000 steps and 30 minutes of activity. I love having a FitBit so I can see exactly what my activity level is for each day! And then on the weekends I take it easy and am not as strict about my steps.

unnamed2So a few weeks ago I told Brett that I really wanted to do one more overnight away before the baby came. We started looking around the area for places to stay when we heard that his aunt and uncle, who had bought a house about 2.5 hours north of us, were bringing up a truck of furniture from Brett’s grandparent’s FL condo, which included a few mattresses that we wanted. Brett’s grandparents have owned a vacation condo in south FL for over 30 years. Last summer Brett’s grandpa sadly passed away and his grandma lives in a care facility with Alzheimer’s. A few years back they had bought all new mattress for their vacation home (including a new king and a few twin mattresses) and we told Brett’s mom that, when they sell the condo and start getting rid of the furniture, we would be happy to take those new, barely used mattresses, off their hands!

This was perfect timing because we had been thinking about switching Claire to a big girl bed before the baby came. We already had her bed frame (we had bought a matching frame when we bought Leah’s, knowing that they would be sharing a room) and we just needed a mattress. So, we decided, instead of a baby moon, we would take a mattress moon!! I found the CUTEST B&B (pictured above) about an hour and a half north of us so we drove up Friday, spent a lovely night exploring this quaint little town, eating a delicious Italian dinner, and staying at the most adorable bed and breakfast I have ever seen, before heading the rest of the way up to Brett’s aunt and uncle’s new house on Saturday to grab the mattresses.

unnamed3unnamed4unnamed5The girls were SO excited to take down Claire’s crib and replace it with her new big girl bed!

unnamed6unnamed7I would say there was a bit more getting out of bed on Claire’s part those first few nights (she loved climbing out of her bed and into Leah’s bed) but she is starting to get better and better about staying in her own bed, although I still find her in the strangest positions (and rarely on her pillow/under the covers) when I come and check on them at night before we go to bed.

unnamed8Last weekend we had Brett’s brother and his family briefly visit us for a quick 2 nights. They were coming back from a spring break on the coast and decided to swing through Asheville before flying back to New York. This was their first time visiting and the girls had a blast! Nothing excites the girls more than spending time with their cousins. One thing Brett and I LOVE about living in Asheville is that there is always so much we want to show people (not to mention places we want to eat at!) when they come to visit. Asheville is seriously amazing and it’s always hard to pick and choose what we should do when company visits. Hopefully we gave them a fun little taste of Asheville that will entice them to come back for a longer visit!

unnamed9unnamed10unnamed12unnamed11(And yes, my sister-in-law and I are both pregnant!) Her first is 7 weeks older than Claire and now her second daughter is due 9 weeks after our baby. So fun!)

unnamed12We had a fun and busy Easter! The girls were Easter egg-hunted out by the end of the weekend! We went to our church’s Easter egg hunt on the day before Easter and then on Easter day my parents took them to an Easter egg hunt at the Biltmore Estates and then we had a hunt in our yard after dinner. Lot’s of fun for these girls!

unnamed14unnamed15unnamed16unnamed18They were very excited to find that the Easter bunny had left their favorite candies in their Easter eggs; marshmallows, jelly beans, and Easter Bunny poo! (M&M’s). πŸ™‚

unnamed18Leah started swim lessons this week!! Although she is super confident in the pool with a floaty on, she hasn’t yet learned to swim independently so we felt like it was finally time to learn! She was so excited, yet so nervous, for her first class. When we got into the pool and it was loud and echoy and kids were crying, she totally panicked and wanted to leave, but with a little encouragement and a little ignoring (if she looked at me with panicked eyes I had to look away and not make direct eye contact so she couldn’t tell me she wanted to get out of the pool!) she relaxed and she ended up doing great! This girl really does love the water and I think it will be no time at all before she’s swimming around like a little fish.

So there you have it! Some Becker happenings over the last month. πŸ™‚

Pregnancy Update

Here it is–6 months into my pregnancy–and I’ve barely documented any of it!! It just goes to show how different it is the third time around!! Honestly, most days I am so busy running around with the girls that I don’t even think about being pregnant; that is until the end of the day when I collapse on the couch, totally exhausted!!

The collage of pictures are ALL the pictures I have taken during this pregnancy. I know; pathetic!! And none of them have even been with a “real” camera!! The first picture is from the start of my “bump”-at 14 weeks, and the bottom right picture was taken this week-at 26 weeks. I honestly cannot believe that the baby is due in just 14 short weeks. With Leah (and a little with Claire) I was counting down the weeks until the baby would be born, but with this one I am taking the pregnancy one day at a time, since I know my life is going to get 5x crazier once this third kid makes his/her arrival!!

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At the end of January I had my 20 week ultra sound. We went into the ultra sound with the decision NOT to find out the gender, and we were (somewhat surprisingly) able to stick with our decision! This is our first time going the “surprise route” and I honestly thought the not knowing would bother me a lot more than it actually does. The idea came to me back when we were trying to get pregnant and month after month I was praying (begging?) God to get pregnant and to bless us with a healthy baby. It really hit me during that time that I never, ever thought about whether I was hoping and praying for one gender over the other, I simply wanted whatever baby God blessed us with. So, once we finally got pregnant, I decided (and so did Brett!) to continue my prayers of gratitude for this baby, this beautiful, wonderful baby that God blessed us with, without any thought or pressure on what the baby’s gender is. And it really has been reassuring and somehow completely peaceful, to pray for this special child, without a care in the world about whether baby is a boy or a girl.

That being said, obviously I am SO excited to find out who this sweet baby is come June! The girls change their minds daily on whether they think baby is a brother or a sister. Currently they are both saying sister, but I think Claire’s opinion may just be an echo of her big sister’s. πŸ˜‰ Leah has been such a sweet big sister already, hugging my belly and talking to the baby and giving us name suggestions. She is not really into any boy names (no surprise there!) but her current favorite girl names are Margaret (after Daniel Tiger’s little sister of course!), Stella, and Velvet. It’s been very sweet, seeing her be so involved with this pregnancy!

As for how I’m feeling, it’s been very different from my first 2 pregnancies, but I think it’s because a lot has changed since my last 2 pregnancies. This is my first pregnancy as a stay at home mom, and although I initially wondered if that would make it easier, I have quickly realized that is not the case. Brett also now has a job that requires a LOT of travel, which means that I may go a week at a time solo parenting, which has only added to my exhaustion. Besides that, however, I am feeling really great!! I am still hitting the gym 3-4 times a week and am sleeping comfortably. I definitely sleep a lot on my back (I know, I know, a big pregnancy no no!) but it hasn’t proved to be too uncomfortable yet and I haven’t started needing to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, so I’ve still gotten pretty good nights sleep. (Well, as long as my other 2 children allow it, of course!)

As for weight gain, I seem to be right on track to gain the same amount as I did with my earlier 2 pregnancies. I don’t gain any weight my first trimester, and by 20 weeks I was only up 3 lbs. However, I know from experience, that my body has an uncanny ability to catch up, so I had to laugh out loud when I went back in for my 24 week appointment and I had gained 10 LBS in ONE MONTH! Like I said……I know how to make up for lost time. πŸ˜› Now, 2 weeks later, I am up another 2-3 lbs for a grand total of a 15-16 lb weight gain. With the girls I was up 33 lbs by the end and I have a feeling I will be right on track with this one as well.

This belly is definitely a lot bigger than the girls and it is so high! Baby was still breech at 20 weeks (where as the girls were both head down by then) so I am not sure if that is making a difference with how high the belly seems to be. Baby was right on track growth wise at 20 weeks and all looked great. The only “concern” was a bit of fluid that was backed up in the baby’s kidneys at the time of the ultra sound. My OB reassured me that it is VERY common at that stage in the pregnancy and I will have a follow up ultra sound when I go in for my glucose test in 2 weeks, just to monitor baby’s kidneys and make sure the fluid back up hasn’t gotten any worse.

So there it is!! The first pregnancy update at 6 months along!! πŸ™‚ Aches, exhaustion and all, I seriously love being pregnant and I am enjoying every, single minute of carrying this child!!

The house!

Even though we are just in the very beginning stages of our house remodel, I figured I would show a few pictures of the house, both when we first moved in, and what it looks like right now! When we first saw the house, to say it was “rough” would be an understatement. However, as soon as we walked in we could see the potential and the beauty that the house contained (under layers and layers of grime and disrepair!) and we felt excited at the challenge it would be to restore this home back to its former glory.

Here is what the house looked like when we FIRST walked in, after the previous owner had moved out all his furniture (although leaving random things behind like books and a throw rug!) And yes, you better believe I hired a cleaning crew to deep clean the house from top to bottom before we moved in!! (Which, side note, took a team of 4 women over 8 hours!! That’s how incredibly disgusting it was!!)

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Pretty rough, am I right??!

So, after 6 months, here is what the house looks like now!

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20170120-img_0114So! What have we done?? Here’s a little run down:

-Painted the entire house

-In the upstairs bathroom we (as in my husband :-P) re-grouted the nasty tub and shower, painted the vanity, built new doors for the vanity, painted the medicine cabinet doors.

-Ripped down the stained, horribly dirty and dark wallpaper in the stairwell, fixed any plaster problems, then re-papered the stairwell with a new wallpaper.

-In the kitchen we built some open shelving, painted all cabinets white, bought a new kitchen island, bought a new stainless steel fridge and painted the ugly back splash.

-In the process (so not pictured!) is the project Brett is currently working on: a new mantle and mount for our tv above the fireplace. Pictures of that will be shared once completed!

Obviously outside that list are many, many small projects and fixes that we have done, those are just the more “major” projects that came to mind!

We really wanted a complete kitchen remodel to be our first project this year but then we got pregnant with number 3 and we decided that a remodel of our third floor was more important (even though I’m still DYING for a new kitchen!!!) Right now the third floor is just a HUGE open space, but in a few months it will be turned into a large bedroom for the girls, a playroom, and a full bath. That will enable us to turn their current bedroom into the nursery and still maintain the last bedroom as an office/guestroom space. We have been meeting with our contractor (and crew) to draw up all the plans, but as soon as they start I’ll begin posting some before/during/and after pics! They are estimating the project will take about 6 weeks.

Then, hopefully in a few years once we financially recover from a giant third floor remodel, we will be able to do my dream kitchen!! πŸ™‚ We also want to add a master bath/walk in closet and finish the walk out basement, so we have plenty of projects coming our way in the future! Hope you enjoyed our little home tour! It may be a HUGE project, but we are loving every inch of this house!!

 

The story of baby number 3

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Since getting married (and probably well before that!) Brett and I always knew we wanted “at least” three kids. We have always joked “Definitely three, but we’ll have to see how the third one is before committing to a fourth.” πŸ˜‰ So when Claire was around 18 months, we started the whole “pre-baby planning schedule” that we did with Leah, 2 years earlier. I started weaning Claire and was officially done nursing by 19 months. I researched and then scheduled an appointment with a new OB (both because I was way overdue for an annual exam and because I didn’t yet have an OB here in Asheville) and got a clean bill of health-my uterus was ready for a baby! For those of you who have been reading my blog for quite some time, you may remember that I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20’s and was told-by more thanΒ  one OB/GYN-that getting pregnant may prove difficult. But with Leah it only took 2 months of trying and with Claire we got pregnant right away, so I was feeling pretty confident that this one would just follow suit with the others!

Brett and I started trying to get pregnant in May and I was feeling optimistic that it would happen right away. I was healthy, I felt great, and my cycles had been normal for months. May ended…with a negative pregnancy test. I was obviously disappointed, but was trying not to feel too upset, as we had just started trying. Then came June…with another negative test, and July….negative. By this time I was starting to get a little worried. I know for many, many women, 3 months seems like no time at all, but for me, with my other 2 pregnancies happening so quickly, I felt like something was “off.” I scheduled another appointment with my OB to have a more thorough “check,” mainly to give me some peace of mind. In the back of my mind I just kept thinking about that PCOS diagnosis and how maybe we just got lucky those first two times!

At my OB appointment I had an ultra sound and it was discovered that I was only “partially ovulating,” something that before then I didn’t know was possible! Apparently, even though I felt like I was ovulating, and was still getting regular periods, my follicles were not growing to “full maturity” and were much smaller than what was needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Thankfully, she told me, it was an “easy fix.” A super low dose of Chlomid should be all I needed to kick start my body into “full ovulation.”

With renewed optimism, I started my first round of Chlomid that month (thankfully my appointment was at the perfect time to start a round!) and a week later when I came in for an ultra sound, I was told I had a large, healthy follicle all ready and waiting! I went home so excited and sure that it would happen that month, but then, 2 weeks later, came a negative test.

So there we were, now September, when I went back in for round two of Chlomid. After a week on the meds I went in for an ultra sound and saw two healthy follicles, ready to go! My doctor jokingly warned me that if we definitely did not want multiples I should go ahead and skip this cycle. But I knew that there was NO way I was letting a cycle go by without trying! Besides, although going from 2-4 kids would be a lot, Brett and I have always been under the impression that God will give us the child/children we are meant to have so hey, if it ended up being twins we would just be doubly excited! I was mostly feeling optimistic that having two follicles meant doubling my chances of getting pregnant and I was hoping this would be the month!

For anyone who has been pregnant, or has tried to get pregnant, knows, that 2 week wait is the WORST! I had promised myself (and my OB) that I would NOT test early so I was waiting until the day my period was due to take the pregnancy test. By the end of that 2 week wait I had 100% convinced myself that I was not pregnant. I was feeling gross and crampy and exactly how I usually felt right before I got my period.

The morning of “test day” (October 7th!) came and I woke up at 6 am, unable to sleep any longer. I snuck out of bed and immediately went into the bathroom to test. Because this was our 5th month testing, I had bought a bunch of those cheap “dip strip” tests off of Amazon and so, when I saw that it was positive I didn’t know whether to believe it or not!! I ran into our room, yelling Brett’s name (and basically giving him a heart attack) and crying, not even believing that I was finally seeing a positive test.
preggersobviously I had to take a picture of it right away!!

Since I didn’t trust the test (and basically just wanted insurance that it was right!), I immediately got dressed and raced out to CVS to buy another test. It was so funny because when I put the pregnancy test up on the counter (unable to hide my giddy, probably a bit insane, grin), the woman at the register told me that I was the 4th woman to buy a pregnancy test that morning and it wasn’t even 8 am!! Must have been a popular baby testing day!!

I rushed back home, chugged a glass of water, took the test and was ecstatic when a big fat positive appeared.
preggers2

I know so many friends who have chosen to not share the news with their kids (who are old enough to understand) until they are far enough along that they are out of the “risk of miscarry stage” and when it’s safe for their kids to be blabbing the news to their teacher at school, but I just couldn’t wait to share the news with Leah! She was so, so excited and kept asking about the “baby in my tummy” and whether I thought it was a girl or a boy. Thankfully she is also a quiet, introverted kid, so I knew she wouldn’t be blabbing the news at school (and she didn’t) although she enjoyed talking about it at home quite a bit!

We already had plans to drop off the girls with my parents that night for a sleepover and so Brett and I could have a date night (My parents live in town, about 15 mins from us, and they watch the girls overnight about once a month so Brett and I can go out on a date night and then sleep in the next morning!) so it was perfect timing to share the news! (Again, I know some people wait to tell even family until after their first appointment, but by this point my family all KNEW we had been trying for months so it felt cruel to lie to them and keep from sharing the news when they had all been praying for us for so long!). I dug up Leah’s old “Big Sis” shirt from when we got pregnant with Claire, and stuck it on Claire to wear over to my parents.
claire

As soonΒ  as my parents opened the front door I all but yelled “did you see her shirt?!” I just couldn’t hold it in any longer!! Obviously they were thrilled and we facetimed with Brett’s parents the next day to share the news as well.

For the next few weeks until my first appointment, we wereΒ dying to know whether there was one baby in there or two!! I have to say, as much as I would have LOVED twins (seriously, I think that would be so fun) I may have breathed a small sigh of relief when I only saw one baby in that first ultra sound. πŸ˜‰ I’ll stick to having one baby at a time!

So there you have it! The (long!) story of baby number three!! We are so incredibly thankful that we were able to conceive another child and, although I know I felt like the months were endless, I also know that there are women who struggle for years to conceive, so I know how blessed I am to only need 5 months and 2 rounds of Chlomid. And if anything, having a little “struggle” has just renewed my realization that getting pregnant is a miracle. It is such an amazing, wonderful blessing and I will never, ever take it for granted!

As for how this pregnancy has been compared to the others…(without going into too much detail because man oh man I know this post is long enough already) it’s been rough. And I don’t know if it’s all due to this pregnancy or due to the fact that I have two other kids to run after and care for. haha. But I was very VERY exhausted and nauseous the first trimester and, at 18 weeks, I STILL get nauseous almost every single night after dinner (if baby had it his or her way I just wouldn’t eat after 5 pm EVER). Thankfully my energy levels are rising again and I have been able to get back to the gym and make it through my day without napping. πŸ˜‰

I’ll do some belly pics and updates soon (maybe 20 weeks?) but we all know that this is baby number three and s(he) will be lucky if I snap a pic of this belly more than 2 times throughout this whole pregnancy!! πŸ™‚

Let’s do a big recap

So remember about 9 months ago when I said I was going to start blogging again?? I think I blogged twice and then…..silence. I know I sound like a broken record, but I promise I’m starting up again! Life has been crazy in the past (almost) year (!!) so I will do my best to catch you all up. (Those of you who are still out there. Anyone??)

The last time I left off, we were living here:
oldhouseOur beautiful rental house here in Asheville that we loved, and had no plans on leaving anytime soon.

Well, that all changed last spring when we got a call from our property manager. He told us that the owner of the house was planning on selling and he wanted to give us a chance to make an offer before it officially went on the market. We were so incredibly nervous, not to mention a bit devastated, because we had NO idea what the owner wanted for the house (the property manager was NO help in giving us an idea with the price the owner had in mind…) and we started to realize that there was a good chance that we may have to leave our wonderful, well loved home.
For the next week we researched and went back and forth on what type of official offer to make. Finally, we settled on a number, presented it to the property manager…and waited. A day or so later, the manager got back to us with a price….a HUGE price that was well out of our range (and well above what we truly believed the house was worth). We brought up our asking price and tried our best to meet in the middle, but to no avail. The owner was holding firm on his price and there was no negotiating.

It was a HUGE blow and I cried for DAYS thinking about having to leave our amazing neighborhood. Over the year that we had lived there we had fallen in love with the house, yes, but mostly we had fallen in love with our neighborhood and neighbors. I had imagined walking my kids to the elementary school less than a mile away, teaching the girls how to ride their bike down the street, years of walking to the local playground and our favorite ice cream shop, and it was devastating to realize that it would no longer be a reality.

We met with a realtor and started researching houses in Asheville (at this point we knew we might as well buy and not rent again) but there was NOTHING that we found that I came even close to liking. And then, in a stroke of genius, (and last ditch effort) Brett emailed the neighborhood association and asked if anyone was planning on selling their house, and low and behold, one of our across the street neighbors emailed us back right away saying that he wanted to sell!!!

newhouseThis is a view from the front yard of our old rental house, where you can kind of see the house that wanted to sell to the right, looking like it is lost behind a bunch of trees.

We went over and met with the owner of the beautiful (but in great disrepair) Victorian house (a super sweet, older gentleman who had lived there for over 30 years!!) and within a week we were under contract for our new home!!

 

newhome2newhouse5We were beside ourselves with disbelief. Here were were, devastated at the very real possibility that we were going to have to leave our beloved neighborhood, and yet a week later we were under contract on a house across the street!! And it truly showed us that God had a plan because, although we LOVED our rental house, we also knew that it was maxed out on space and that one day we would outgrow it (not to mention the teeny tiny backyard). So in taking that possibility away, he opened up the door to a MUCH better option!! Our new home, which I’ll just say we bought for well over $100,000 less than what the owner of our rental house wanted….has the possibility of being double the square footage (it has a walk up third floor/attic space and a walk out basement) and a huge backyard. The house also has so much more character and is definitely more our style!!
Now, all that wonderful house comes at a price and in this case the price is hard work. πŸ™‚ The house hasn’t been remodeled since the 1980’s and there is a lot lot lot that needs to be done (and a lot that we have done since we moved in back in July!) However, we truly are so excited about the work ahead because ever so slowly we are making the house our own and I LOVE it!!

Also, as a P.S., I would like to add that over 6 months later, our old rental house is STILL on the market, which goes to show that we are not the only ones who thought they were seriously off on their asking price. πŸ˜‰

Our first major project is converting the third floor into a playroom, 4th bedroom and bathroom because….
20161212-img_0810We are expecting baby #3 in June!! We are so so so excited that our family is growing yet again. I am 17.5 weeks along now and am due June 16th. When we first moved in we wanted our first major project to be the kitchen remodel but then, when we found out we were expecting in September, we came to the realization that the third floor needs to be finished first so we can have space for all these kids! πŸ™‚

So there you have it! The two most major pieces of news for our family over the last 9 months or so. I know the pictures of the house in this post are just low quality Iphone pics, but I promise to do a post dedicated to what the inside of our house looks like now so we can start doing some before and after posts! We are just about ready to start our third floor project (we have been interviewing contractors and I think we’ve made our decision!) so I am sure I will have a lot of progress pics coming soon.

Besides that, I hope to blog a bit about this pregnancy and all things motherhood!

Thanks to anyone who may still be here reading this little blog (and let me know if you are I would love to hear from you!) and I promise many more posts coming soon!