Woo hoo! Here we go again... baby number three is on his or her way, debuting mid September! We are thrilled that we are adding another kiddo to our family, and consider this pregnancy a huge blessing! I know that bringing a third child into a family brings up more questions that not... Was it planned? Are you trying for a girl? And all of those things. Because of that, I'll share more below about our decision to go from a family of four to a family of five. Hope you all enjoy it and stay tuned for more pregnancy updates in the future!
Was it planned to have a third child?
Yes, it was planned! It was actually the most planned pregnancy that Ryan and I have had to date. Believe it or not, our first two pregnancies were not as planned as this one. With Rhett, our first, I became pregnant completely unplanned, literally right after our honeymoon and in my first week of business school at Georgetown. Talk about a surprise! Then with Vance, our second, we were open to the idea of having a second kid and without thinking about it, BOOM, we got pregnant within the first month.
When it came to baby number three, it felt like the biggest decision out of the pregnancies so far. Ryan and I knew without a doubt that we would have at least two kids when we got married. Ryan comes from a big family of five and I come from a family of two, so having two kids was something that we kind of decided on autopilot. Once we had our second and realized how busy and difficult, but also how much fun it is to have multiples, we weren't sure about a third. However, as time progressed and Vance grew out of the baby stage and Rhett out of the terrible two's, we knew we had room for one more.
We had a big conversation about the prospect of having three kids, and ultimately decided it would be a wonderful idea. We started trying ASAP, which I will talk about later.
How long did it take you to get pregnant?
It took us three months to get pregnant.. or maybe it was four? I kind of forget, but it was either three or four.
Did you have a plan to help you become pregnant?
Like I said before, this pregnancy was the most planned out of all of our pregnancies. It was something that we consciously decided to start trying for. So of course I felt like I had to plan how I would get pregnant, so that it could give us the highest chances of happening in what I hoped would be the shortest amount of time.
To be quite honest, I had heard stories about women getting pregnant with their first two kids so easily, then on the third kid it took longer for whatever reason. These stories stuck out in my mind and I wondered if I, too, would encounter this situation. Because of that, I wanted to take conception seriously. Not only that, I hoped our three kids would be close in age, which urged us to try sooner than later.
To start, I downloaded the Flo app. I know there are probably better apps out there, but this app worked wonderfully for me. Essentially, you can track your cycle and the app tells you when you are more fertile than not.. aka it tells you your fertile window. The app helped me in more ways than one, but for starters it helped me figure out my cycle length. Turns out my period was not 28 days, which I originally thought, but instead it was 32 days! I thought I was pregnant month one of trying because my period didn't come for four days, but lo and behold my cycle started on every 31st or 32nd day. If you are trying to get pregnant, I highly recommend downloading an app to track your cycle!
Lastly, I became educated on the cervical discharge method, I think it is called. This helped me understand naturally when I was ovulating. This method was the most clear to me. Partnering this with the app, I knew - so long as everything was healthy - that it would only be a matter of time before I became pregnant!
How did you find out that you were pregnant?
I came down with a stomach virus while on vacation in Aspen, Colorado. We were visiting my parents for the holidays and I had the worst heartburn after eating a dinner of lasagna and drinking wine. My heartburn was so bad that I couldn't fall asleep that night and got sick multiple times. The following day I felt very sick to my stomach. So sick, again, that I threw up. We were supposed to go skiing, but Ryan called it off given the state that I was in. We went back to my parents house where I literally spent the majority of the day in the bathroom. You may be thinking, well duh, she must be pregnant. Well, no. This was violent sickness and was likely way too early to be morning sickness.
So that whole day I was sick as a dog, on the couch and in the bathroom. It lasted about 24 hours before I started feeling a bit better, but the nausea would not go away. The following night, I figured I could start eating, yet I had the worst heartburn once again and had trouble sleeping that night.
Between the heartburn and the nausea, I knew something was up. I had marked on my calendar the date in which I could take an early pregnancy test and that day finally arrived. I didn't want to tell Ryan that I needed to go buy a pregnancy test because every time I did, he wondered why I couldn't wait until my missed period. Guys don't understand this type of stuff. So I knew I had to secretly get my hands on a pregnancy test.
We had scheduled lunch at a fun restaurant in Aspen called Mezzaluna just before my sister and her husband flew back home. We were circling the area to find parking and couldn't find a spot. All while Ryan was trying to find a parking spot, I was trying to find a place that I could secretly get a pregnancy test at. Bingo. A City Market was diagonal from the restaurant. Right when I saw it, I shouted, "I'll put our name in at the restaurant and you go find a parking spot with the boys!" Rhett was asleep in the back of the car so I knew this would be the perfect window of opportunity.
I ran into the restaurant, put our name is as quickly as I could - a 15 minute wait, phew - and ran as fast as I could across the street to City Market. I found the women's health aisle and quickly grabbed a First Response Manual Test that included three sticks. I ran into the restroom and took the test. I waited and waited, heart pounding, knowing I needed to get back to the restaurant ASAP before my family suspected something. So I stuck the test in my purse - actually in a workout shoe that was in my purse, face up, as to not let the urine drip anywhere it wasn't supposed to.
As I paced back to the restaurant, I kept checking the test and finally... saw a faint, faint line. I was excited, but also this happened to me last month, which ended sadly in a chemical pregnancy (more on that later). To be sure, the next day I took another test and it came up bright and positive! I proceeded to take one more test and got another bright pink double line.
Are you hoping for a girl?
This question is funny, but I also understand why so many people would think to ask it. Because we have two boys, the assumption is that we are hoping for a girl on baby number three. The assumption, unfortunately, is incorrect. The reason why we are having three kids is because we want three kids, not because we want a girl. Would I love to have a girl? Of course! I would love to have a girl for so many reasons. It would be so fun to experience a little girl, and to have a daughter for life. At the same time, I love boys. I have always wanted boys, I feel like I get along with boys, I feel like I know boys. I have a boy name picked out in my head and I can't wait to use it. Honestly, I feel like I am probably having a boy and would be totally shocked - and so so happy - if I was having a girl. There are fun things about having each gender, and in totality, I consider having a baby a blessing, whether it be a boy or girl. I pray for a healthy baby. I pray for a strong baby. I pray for God to give us exactly what we need to complete our family!
Are you going to have more kids?
My initial answer is no, we are not going to have more kids. Having two kids was a huge adjustment. The biggest adjustment was my ability to give enough of myself to each child... to give them the kind of one on one attention that they deserve. I come from a two-sibling family and my parents were able to give us the world. Experience-wise and opportunity-wise, we were able to participate in so many unique activities. My parents always attended every sporting event, coached our teams, we went on amazing trips, were exposed to travel at an early age. Not only that, but financially we were more than comfortable and able to have even more opportunities - because of my dad's hard work, but also because my parents limited their family to two children.
When it comes to having four kids, I guess I struggle with the idea that I can give 100% of myself to that many children. I have also heard the argument that four is better than three because at the point in which you have four kids, you are finally able to "let go" as a parent. You don't worry about the small stuff as much as you did with having three kids. With that said, all I know is that I have a perfectionist personality which can be a danger zone as a mother, especially a mother to a large family. I may feel the need to be perfect, organized, 100% nurturing, giving all of the time no matter how many kids I have - whether it be three or four, which is why I believe that three is a great number for us.
When logic sets in and I realize that I want to be able to give so much to my kids, and not just that, I want to be able to have a sectioned off life with my husband. This is where I feel like three kids is the perfect number... for us! So ya, four kids is probably not on the horizon.
To be honest, quotes that I hear from people often stick out in my mind. And I was talking to a family friend at my sister's wedding who is the father to five beautiful, amazing children who are all grown now. He was reflecting back on having five kids and he told me point blank that five was too many. Not that I was considering having five kids, but with that statement I took it to heart and really want to consider what number is good for our family that will give us the kind of life that *we* want. Again, everyone is different, and some people do great with a big family, like my mother-in-law, who is a rockstar mom to five amazing kids. That said, she has uniquely high energy; something that I lack!
Three is more than I had in my family, so I feel like I am doing something that is of my own and on my heart, and it is less than Ryan's family. It feels like the perfect happy medium :) Let's just hope we aren't having twins haha! Just kidding, it would be a blessing. But seriously!
Will you find out the gender?
No! No! And more no! Once again, everyone is different, but not finding out the gender is possibly my favorite part of the entire pregnancy journey. I completely understand why people find out early; in fact, I feel like it could help with bonding and planning, and is just as exciting in a different way. But, my most vivid memories of both birth experiences was the total surprise that shocked our hearts when we realized who and what gender we were meeting for the first time. It allowed me to be so present with my emotions and I can't imagine it any other way.
I tend to overthink things and this is one part of my pregnancy that I don't overthink. I don't overthink the gender. I tend to have strong internal preferences that I dare not share with the world, should I be wrong. With my first two pregnancies, my internal preferences were 100% spot on. I had pretty intense feelings about my first two being boys, and I honestly cannot believe that I was right on. And it wasn't that I didn't want a girl. I would love a girl, but it was almost this preset instinct that overtook me when people told me they thought I was having a girl, which happened often. I had this internal radar go off, telling me no, they are wrong. And boy, was I right.
I'm not sure where that radar is at the moment for this pregnancy. I had strong feelings about a girl the other day, so I will keep you posted. But no, definitely not finding out the gender because for us, personally, it was so much fun to wait!
What supplements do you take during pregnancy?
My sister, Taylor Weaver, RD, and I actually sell physician grade supplements on our Postpartum Slimdown website. Because she is a licensed practitioner, we are able to. They are more potent and include less fillers/crap than generic supplements. Prior to conception, I've been taking the Prenatal Pro - Essentials Packets from Designs by Health, and have continued taking them. They have been amazing and no hints of nausea (so far). I also, occasionally, take the Smarty Pants Prenatal Vitamins. They are so delicious; I can't get enough. I also take the Hi-Po Vitamin D drops. All of our supplements can be found here. Oh yes, and I also take CALM, which is a mixture of calcium and magnesium. It helps me sleep at night and keeps me calm ;)
What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?
Well, I have a lot of things that I love about being pregnant. First, it is the prospect of bringing a human being into this world. The fact, that I get to participate in life's creation. To me, it is pure magic and I thank God that I am a woman - for many reasons, but above all, because I get to create life and be a mother.
I also love having a big belly! I love feeling your baby inside of you; when they kick and knowing that you are protecting them from the world outside. It feels like a microcosm for motherhood.
Pregnancy also reminds me that I am such an important part of these kids' lives if not the most important part. It gives me courage to be a stay-at-home mom. It reminds me just how good I am at being a mother. It discounts all of the things I doubt about myself as a mother on a daily basis, then reminds me that I am better because I am a mother. Again, it is the magic. That pure magic that makes you feel alive! Pregnancy reminds me of that, and of course the belly signifies it all.
What is your least favorite thing about being pregnant?
I love most everything about pregnancy. The hard part about pregnancy for me is the postpartum period. Postpartum depression and postpartum weight loss are two of the hardest things I've dealt with - especially postpartum depression. I have a post on it HERE. Postpartum depression is so scary and is more than just feelings of sadness; not to discount any baby blues that women might go through. Postpartum depression is different in that it literally feels like you are stuck in another quadrant of life that you cannot escape. Like in a room with no windows and no way out.
In addition, having to lose the baby weight is something I struggle with. I have a hard time trusting that my body knows what it is doing, and honestly I also get jealous of other women who lose weight quickly because I am not one of those women. It literally takes me over a year or until I stop breastfeeding, and that is something I just need to know and understand about my pregnancies. I hope I have the hindsight and foresight to really understand my postpartum journey this time around and to have a little more grace with myself and less comparison against other women. It's hard when you are on the losing side of postpartum weight loss, but I just need to trust in my body and know that with time I will be able to lose the weight!
Are you going to be as worried about weight this time around?
Again, I am the worst with weight gain, as many of you saw with my second pregnancy. Weight gain and body changes is emotionally really hard on me and I wish I was one of those women who confidently knew her body would go back to normal in time. Instead, I tend to stress out thinking I can control everything - and weight is one thing I felt like I could control during my last pregnancy so long as I ate healthy and exercised. What I learned from my second pregnancy is the fact that sometimes you cannot control pregnancy weight, and more than that sometimes you cannot control postpartum weight loss. I learned this the hard way with baby number two. I most definitely learn something new with each pregnancy.
Again, with my first pregnancy I gained 60 pounds! I wasn't exercising and I was pretty lax with my diet. I wasn't eating late night ice cream and binging on donuts, but I was lax with my diet and without exercise managed to pack on sixty pounds. For my size, I knew that was too much weight so I vowed with my second pregnancy that I would do better. And I did. I gained 33 pounds. I ate healthy and exercised. Because I gained 33 pounds, I knew I would lose it quickly after delivery. I ate healthy and figured breastfeeding would help me drop the weight. Wrong. I ended up gaining weight at six months postpartum from breastfeeding hormones. It drove me crazy! I had done so much to control my weight loss, and what I didn't realize is that it was outside of my control. I was retaining 15 pounds for nursing and there was nothing I could do to stop that.
So this time around, I hope I can maintain the perspective that there is a high likelihood that I may retain weight while breastfeeding again. The knowledge I have going into this third pregnancy is the fact that I will lose the baby weight eventually, and that I know how to lose it using our Postpartum Slimdown.
Do you have any advice for first-time pregnant mothers?
Enjoy it! Your first pregnancy is so new and fresh. I was literally obsessed with all things pregnancy. I wanted pregnancy books, I wanted pregnant friends, I was obsessed with helping plan my baby shower and baby registry. I looked at and messed with my registry several times a day because I was so excited about baby stuff and the thought of meeting a little baby!
I advise you to hold onto that enthusiasm and ride the wave! The first pregnancy is special for that reason.
At the same time, don't be a premadonna. I was a total premadonna with my first pregnancy. I felt like the world needed to revolve around me because I was pregnant. That is fine because you don't know any differently, but know that you will not be pregnant after the baby comes, so be humble and kind! So I guess having perspective that you aren't the only thing that matters. You are pregnant, but life still carries on.
Lastly, don't let people's comments about how babies change your life effect you negatively. Babies change your life, but in a positive way. Sure, there are things you need to get used to, but it is all apart of what makes parenthood the greatest job on earth. If being a parent is so hard, why do people have multiple children? You got this!
Do you have any advice for second-time pregnant mothers?
I know it may be hard, but try not to worry about how having a second child will change your relationship with your first child. I had major agony over what having a second child would do to my relationship with my first. And yes, I'll tell you that the relationship does change, but it also enhances. Don't fret, you will settle into life as a mother of two and it will be just as wonderful in a new way. But also, be prepared and open to the idea of change because each time you bring a baby into the world a new dynamic transpires. Ride the wave and know this journey of having multiples is unique! After all, you are a seasoned mother now.