Like most second children, or in my case, second pregnancies, there is far less time and energy to do nearly as much documenting that was done with the first. I’m sure I’d written at least a dozen posts about the triplets by this point in their pregnancy. But again, with more kids there is less time. And with the triplets I had a couple months of bed rest so what else did I have to do besides write about it? This makes a total of two blog posts about this baby girl. I have been instagramming about her, so that’s something. Of course, it’s no reflection on how very excited we all are about her. I get butterflies daily as I think about meeting her for the first time. The kids love to feel her kick and never tire of hugging and kissing my growing belly. I’m so grateful they get to experience this with KC and me. She is already loved more than words can express, so I can only imagine how that love will grow when she is finally here for us to gaze at and hold and smother with kisses.
I might as well write about how the pregnancy’s been going for comparison’s sake. The first trimester was very much like it was with the triplets. A lot of blood tests and ultrasounds at the fertility clinic as I weaned off the meds, nausea around the clock, and complete exhaustion. Going into the second trimester, there was a definite change from my last pregnancy, as the number of doctors visits drastically dropped. I really love having only once-a-month visits, and uneventful ones at that. While being a normal patient with short appointments and very little monitoring is lovely, it was also strange to me to not be constantly aware of the goings on inside me. It’s hard to treat this like a regular, not high risk pregnancy, because that is really all I know. I liked being micromanaged to keep my mind at ease. I’ve had a lot of anxiety constantly wondering if things are going wrong. The routine tests have helped with some of that anxiety, but it seems I am really good at coming up with something else to worry about as soon as whatever it was I was worried about before was put to rest. Ugh. Being a mom is heart-wrenching from the very start. I know everyone must feel like this. I guess all it took to get to this point gets to me sometimes. The further along I get, the less I fear. And her constant moving definitely gives me confidence as well. It doesn’t help that I am having Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy, and I’m about two weeks away from when the triplets were born. I know there’s no reason to think that will happen again because there is only one baby this time, but still, it’s all I know. I do try to relax and distract myself so I’m not a nervous wreck all the time, and sometimes it actually works.
My nausea decreased drastically around 18-20 weeks, and has gradually gotten better and better from there. I feel like my appetite has officially returned, and then some, now that I’m at 28 weeks. I’m definitely packing on the pounds, but trying not to worry about it. It seems silly that I let something so temporary get me down when all I really care about it getting the baby here safely. But I know I’m not helping the situation as I crave ice cream every night, and most often give into it. It’s just so fun that it actually tastes good again. I feel like during the entire second trimester I was starving all the time and even a Thanksgiving dinner would only satisfy it for an hour or two. Now at least I can go a little longer between meals, and enough things are appetizing that I can make better decisions on what to eat. Doesn’t mean I don’t give into what sounds REALLY good now and then. I’m always glad we didn’t go to my favorite restaurants while I was morning sick, because now I still love them. I’m not normally one who drinks milk regularly, but it has never tasted so good to me as right now. We’re definitely going through those gallons faster than ever before.
My skin has been suffering this time around. With the triplets, I had the great hair and skin benefits that pregnancy often brings, but this seems to be the opposite. I developed what I thought was a little breakout on the sides of my chin in October, and it spread quickly. I have had an eczema type rash on my chin in the past called perioral dermatitis, but it was mild and went away quickly with the help of doxycycline from the dermatologist. Of course I can’t take that during pregnancy, so we went a different route this time with pregnancy-safe topical creams. we tried a few different combinations of things, as well as trying so many natural over-the counter things I could research (including changing my toothpaste and face/hair products), and finally after a month or two, things finally started to show signs of improvement. When the rash was at its worst, I didn’t even like leaving the house. I’m ashamed of how sad it made me, being just a silly cosmetic issue when my baby was really all I should’ve been worried about, I’m sure hormones were partly to blame, but it really got me down some days as it continued to spread and didn’t improve. It’s still there, and although SO much better than before, it’s sure taking it’s time going away. I know things could be much worse, so please don’t think I consider this a real problem. Just something I’ve been dealing with during this pregnancy.
Although I’m feeling much better, I’m still not cooking like I’d like to. I’m just so tired by the afternoon, and I’m trying to take it easy with all these contractions. But I do manage to get a decent meal on the table a few times a week, and have even been baking more lately. My family is so patient and easy to please that they never make me feel like they need more from me. Which is a good thing because adding a new baby to the mix will probably keep meals simple and my energy levels pretty low for a little while.
It’s hard when your brain wants to do things, but your body can only do so much. I know I’m not pregnant with triplets, but pregnant is pregnant, and you still have to be cautious. Going to Costco is getting harder by the day (I am LOVING Walmart grocery delivery/pick-up for most grocery shopping), as well as other normal things like getting heavy objects off shelves, or moving things around the house. Even little tasks like going up and down the stairs over and over while getting ready for school are difficult sometimes. Nesting is tricky when there’s only so much you can do. It’s also hard when you have three kids undoing everything you’ve used every ounce of energy to accomplish. I’m learning to let a lot of expectations go because the kids are more important than the perfectly laid-out plans in my head. I’m also trying to be patient with myself as I can’t be the mom and housekeeper I’d like to be right now. Ever since the triplets were born I’ve learned a lot about letting go of control and to let life be as it is (with reasonable boundaries), because otherwise I’d be unhappy all the time. My relationship with my family matters more to me than constant organization. Their messes are usually a result of some creation they thought up on their own and kept themselves busy for hours doing, so I can’t be too upset about that. Still, it’s hard to not feel like I’m not doing my job when things are always a mess, as hard as I try for it not to be. The kids are getting better at chipping in and doing their part to keep things in order, and I’m grateful for that. This is just a much bigger space than I’ve ever had before, and it’s big job even if they do each pick up 20 pieces of paper off the floor, or clear their plates when they’re done eating.
I do love the age the kids are right now as we add another child into the family. They are so aware of what is happening, and are so excited for what is going to happen. I know this is a reason why we waited until this time to have another, because with the likelihood that it will never happen again, I wanted them to enjoy this experience with us. I want them to remember it. Not to mention they’ll want to help so much I might even have to fight for time with the baby at the beginning. I love that they’ll be involved, and yet I’ll still have time alone with the baby when they’re off at school. It will definitely be a different experience. I’ve never had just one baby in the house before, and I might actually know what that feels like later on when they’re in school all day. I do wonder if I’ll get the feeling that she’ll be lonely without built-in playmates as she grows up. I’ve had that with my twin sister, and my kids have had that with each other so this will be so new to me, especially with the age gap. But I have a feeling her three older siblings will always be her best friends despite their difference in age. I’m also excited that most of my closest friends have all had/will have babies over the course of a year, so friends will never be in short supply. Imagine a play date at the park with only one child to look after. I might even get bored!
I’ll miss my little triplets and the unique adventures we’ve been through. But I love what they’re becoming as they grow, and love that they’ll get the opportunity to be older siblings. It brings out a side in them that is so special to me that I wondered if I’d ever get to see. I pray these next few months go by quickly, but at the same time, I’m really cherishing the time I have left with my little sidekicks. It’s been just them for so long, and while we’re beyond excited to bring this beloved baby sister into the family, these five and a half years with my first sweet babies will always have a special place in my heart.
I know the weeks will fly by (though the days feel extremely slow), and I’ll try to remember that the back pain, heartburn, contractions, skin issues, mood swings, weight gain, headaches, and other joys will be a distant, and probably fond memory before I know it. I’ll desperately miss the kicking (well most of it), anticipation, and excitement, so I’m holding onto that as I hope to experience a much longer pregnancy than I had before. Anything more than 30 weeks is going to feel like an eternity, but the thought of having a healthy full term baby I get to just bring home from the hospital keeps me going. I’m so, so thankful for her every single day.