Back in September, we got an awfully big surprise.
Around the third week in August, I had started having undeniable pregnancy symptoms. We did some math on our fingers and excitedly planned for a due date of May 6th, which seemed perfect: I’d be on break between teaching semesters (May is my biggest chunk of time off every year), Hubby would be through with an always-grueling tax season. We’d have plenty of time to rearrange our three boys into bunk beds and all that. And we had plenty of time to wait a month before spreading the news to family and friends, so we didn’t tell anyone yet.
Still, we both admitted that something felt off. There was something different about this pregnancy, but we couldn’t figure out what it was.
Three weeks later, in the middle of catching ourselves up on Downton Abbey, the baby kicked me.
I put my hands on my stomach and suddenly couldn’t pay attention to the captivating drama of Mary and Matthew anymore. I froze, waiting for it to happen again, my head spinning to catch up with what this meant.
It meant I wasn’t seven weeks along, that was for sure. It definitely meant we weren’t due in May.
When the episode ended, I timidly revealed the news to Hubby, and we spent the next hour laughing at the possibility. Could it really be true? Could we have been pregnant since last May and not known it?
Two days later, an ultrasound confirmed it: we were over eighteen weeks along! Due February 8th.
With a girl!
Everyone’s response to the news? “I didn’t even know you were pregnant!” Well, we said, neither did we!
Since that ultrasound September 14th my priorities have swung in a wildly different direction. I abandoned the blog and put all my spare energy into prepping our house and lives for a new baby in less than four months.
Today is the first day in those months that I feel suddenly open to blogging, ready to see if I can still write anything after so long out of practice. The older boys’ room is finally outfitted with a bunk bed (including a new handmade quilt for my five-year-old who was previously in a toddler bed), a mural to fill the wall space, and painted closet shelves. The other room now holds a toddler bed, a crib, a changing table, a rocking chair and a train table, with just a few things left to arrange on the walls before it will feel complete. I’ve crocheted a flower blanket, sewed a floral chair pad and girly owl pillow for the rocker, and continued nesting like that to my heart’s content. This past weekend her grandma bought us a bright pink car seat and a neighbor loaned us a bassinet. Her closet now has just enough size 0–3 months clothes for us to get by for a little while. I can finally feel ready.
Last night, sporting a basketball under my shirt, I walked into a room full of strangers facing me in their desks, probably wary as the first thing they learned about their new college English teacher is that she is nine months pregnant. But once we got going, and they opened right into discussion so easily, I felt the usual thrill of discovering I’ve got a good group of students — knowing we’ll be able to analyze and dig into complexities and have the room hum with enthusiasm because I can tell they’re interested and they care. It reminded me how much I love all that, including discussion here on my blog.
At the same time, this is my fourth time around having a newborn, and I know my limits. I cut down to just one class this semester so that those 75 minutes twice a week are my only commitment in these next few months besides my baby and three boys.
This post isn’t an announcement that I’m back to blogging, just an update to confirm that I’m not.
Since my last baby, I’ve learned a lot about shaking off stress and living a peaceful life. That’s the life I want to welcome my daughter into — in just three short weeks! Writing will resume when it feels right.