That, if I'm totally honest, is the real reason I haven't written much lately.
The other day I counted how often the 14-months-old-tomorrow-boy woke up during the night and it was five times between 8 pm and 12 pm and then an additional seven times between 12 pm and 6 am. That's twelve wakings in ten hours for anyone who's counting.
So night weaning it is. Last night he only woke up three times instead of five during that first four hour stretch, which I'm telling myself is progress.
But to get to the actual point of this post (which you may be surprised to learn isn't about night weaning), I'll begin by saying that we've had quite the week.
And this past week has changed our plans for the next couple months, mostly because we realized that at this point asking for prayers might be more important than keeping the Big Secret, a secret.
Towards the end of October we were thrilled to learn, when two little lines appeared on a small collection of tests, that our family was again growing.
In the past I've been able to keep that secret for approximately ten seconds. This time I asked Paul if maybe we couldn't keep the secret a bit longer, and since I'm always the one ready to shout it from the rooftops, he agreed.
I joked that, since winter in Michigan was moving in fast, I could probably keep the secret until the baby was practically ready to be born. Paul reminded me that I'd have to shed my fluffy down jacket some time before the baby's due date, which happens to be the Fourth of July.
Maybe, I insisted stubbornly. Sometimes we still have snow in April. Which isn't July, he pointed out.
There was spotting at six and seven weeks, but it wasn't that big a deal. Or so I told myself, trying to really believe it. Spotting is always scary.
I believed that it was okay more than I believed it when it happened at seven and ten weeks with James (which we found at twelve weeks was a subchorionic hematoma) and I believed it much more than I did when it happened at six, ten, sixteen, and twenty weeks during my pregnancy with Patch (when it happened at six weeks I raced to the ER, hysterical, because I was sure I was miscarrying).
This time I called the nurse's line the next day to let them know what was happening, and she asked if I'd gone to the ER, and I said "nope, it's not like there's anything they can do" feeling like I'd finally learned something from all those past moments of fear and she'd agreed and told me to call back if it started up again or got worse.
A week ago Friday, at nine weeks and four days, it got worse. And it continued to be worse all weekend. I tried to stay in bed. Or at least lay on the couch. I burst into tears at random times when I was the only one in the room. And I couldn't eat because there was still morning sickness all the time, along with clots and other things that steadily sapped my hope of getting any good news on Monday when I would hopefully be able to see my doctor.
At 8 am on Monday I'd already called my doctor's office a few times, just in case they were there early. When I got through they only had one appointment left, in the afternoon, and it wasn't with my doctor.
Paul dropped me off and drove with the kids to Maggie's speech appointment, and I waited, feeling increasingly hopeless, as the doctor I'd met approximately two minutes earlier searched for a heartbeat. I thought of how they'd hardly been able to find James' heartbeat at eighteen weeks, because of an anterior placenta, and hoped we wouldn't face a similar scenario at that moment.
Just as I'd begun to feel my heart sink further, we heard the rapid sound of a baby heartbeat and he assured me that it sounded good. It's not too slow, I asked worriedly. A slow heartbeat was how we knew that things were going wrong with Christian at twelve weeks.
I asked about an ultrasound, but he was sure that since we'd heard a heartbeat we didn't need one.
I undoubtedly looked desperate when I got out to the receptionists desk and she asked me when my next appointment was. "In two days." I said. "We can push it back a couple weeks." She replied, looking at the form the doctor had filled out. "I was hoping I could keep it." I said quickly. "You see if the bleeding hasn't stopped by then I'm going to be having a nervous breakdown and I really want to see my doctor, because I'm almost completely sure he'll order and ultrasound, which will keep me from going completely crazy."
I was almost completely sure he'd order an ultrasound because he'd ordered ultrasounds for much less. The receptionist took pity on me and let me keep it and two days later my doctor walked into the room and said that of course he'd order the ultrasound, maybe they'd even be able to squeeze me in that day. He said that he couldn't promise me that I wasn't miscarrying, but he was able to find a heartbeat, going strong at 189 beats per minute.
He listened for a while longer, because the other doctor had noted that the baby was on the left side, and he'd found it on the right, and after he said something about wondering if it was twins I assured him that the other OB had found the heartbeat in the exact same spot. And then we talked about some of the scary things that can cause bleeding, especially after four c-sections, and some of the not-so-scary things, like the subchorionic hematoma I had with James.
Two hours later I was staring at an ultrasound screen, praying that everything was okay. Then I saw this. The baby was measuring exactly on for the dates I'd given them:
Another subchorionic hematoma was quickly located and I watched as the newest member of our family squirmed and wiggled and kicked her legs on the screen(we totally don't know, but Paul is insisting that his baby-intuition has him seeing pink).
"We have to tell everybody!" I said, when I got to the car. Paul gave me that look he gives me when I'm passionately announcing something that's the exact opposite of what I was saying a short while earlier. But I was remembering how prayers have carried us through those other scary times and I'd also realized that if we did have to say goodbye to this little one, I would never be able to keep this tiny life a secret from the world.
"Let's wait until Christmas!" he said.
"Let's tell them today!" I countered.
And finally, after extensive negotiations I promised that he could find out the gender of the baby this time (something I've been pretty strongly against, because I was hoping maybe it could be a surprise this time) and maybe I would and maybe I wouldn't but he wouldn't be telling me if I didn't, if he only would let me make the announcement ASAP.
So he made some phone calls. And I made this banner on Pic Monkey, because I wasn't quite motivated enough to actually come up with a cute picture and make everybody pose for it in real life:
Besides, those little snow people were so much more cooperative than the little people that I would have been working with here.
Right now I am ten weeks and five days (Who's counting? Me. Totally me.). Things are good. I'm pretty sick, a result I guess, of those strong HCG levels they measured last Monday. The hemorrhage, after 4-5 days, has finally stopped. And I'm impatiently waiting for my next appointment, which will be at 13 weeks, when I'll hopefully begin to relax a little bit more as more time passes after this last scare.
And that is the very long announcement that doesn't look much like the Pinterest worthy idea I was carefully crafting a few weeks ago, but that brings the very happy news that sometime between Sadie's birthday and Maggie's birthday, we expect that we will be welcoming the newest member of the family!
Sadie's concerned that we may not be able to handle eating three whole cakes inside of two weeks, but somehow, I think we should be able to manage. After all, James is pretty serious about eating cake: