Friends, I'm so excited to share some big news: we're expecting Baby Wharton #3!!! And we're having a baby girl!
We are over the moon to being having another baby. It was something we thought about a lot over the past couple of years (and honestly ever since we had Cedric it's been in the back of my mind) but we just couldn't make a decision. I had a chart of pros and cons taped to our bathroom mirror for a long time. I hate being in limbo over big life decisions and really didn't like the feeling of not being able to decide.
In considering having another baby I felt nervous about:
+ my body changing and essentially not being mine for about two years while pregnant and breastfeeding. Especially given that I've felt in great shape and have a good routine of exercise and healthy eating.
+ the not so fun parts of pregnancy: weight gain (I've gained 50 - 60 pounds each pregnancy), heartburn, nausea, swollen feet.
+ experiencing the hard things about having a baby again: lack of sleep, scheduling around nap times, diapers, toddler meltdowns.
+ shifting a lot of the time I have for podcasting and writing to caring for a baby.
+ how our family dynamic might change. Would we disrupt the great brother relationship the boys have? Would becoming a middle child be hard on Cedric? Would we not have enough time and energy to give to three children?
+ finances: acquiring all the baby gear (we got rid of it all, of course!), increasing our food budget, five plane tickets when we travel, paying for college.
But I also felt excited about:
+ having three adult children one day and experiencing having a bigger family. I have one sister so three kids feels like a foreign and fascinating dynamic to me.
+ experiencing all the sweet parts of having a baby and savoring going through it one more time.
+ (hopefully) having the experienced parent perspective of knowing the hard parts are just temporary.
+ having a stay at home parent experience with a baby after being a full time working parent.
+ the fun parts of pregnancy: dressing a cute baby bump, feeling the baby kick, marveling at growing a person with my body.
+ seeing our boys as big brothers and the dynamic of three siblings from childhood through adulthood.
+ not leaving the baby and little kid phase quite yet.
When I'd dwell on what I felt nervous about I would think, "Our family is probably complete," but I didn't have the definitive feeling of knowing for sure we were done. At the same time I didn't have the feeling that anyone was missing from our family as I've heard some people describe. I wished that I would have a vivid dream telling me the answer or a clear sign from the universe. My dreams offered no help and I didn't see any sky writing that said, "Have another baby!"
I should mention that through all of my agonizing Chris was very much on board either way but leaning slightly more towards having another baby. He's from a family of three siblings and said, "more is always better!" Chris loves big life changes whereas I'm more likely to feel anxious – it's something I really love about him!
Anyway...finally I took the fact that I couldn't let go of thinking about whether or not we should have a third as my sign that perhaps that's what I really wanted. It wasn't sky writing but maybe that's just not the kind of sign the universe was willing to give me. I started to let myself really imagine being pregnant again and all the things I would be excited about. Before when I tried to imagine being pregnant and another baby I couldn't quite get past the things I felt nervous about. But for whatever reason this time I felt really...calm. The things I felt nervous about before became smaller and I had the sense that it would all be okay. It felt right.
And here we are! Since making the decision we haven't felt a minute of regret or nervousness about how having three kids will all work out. We just know that it will! And that it'll be great. Now that we have a baby on the way, Chris and I keep saying to each other, "I'm so glad we're having another baby!" Since we definitely felt like we were done for a period of time having a baby now feels like a lucky bonus. Every time I remember that I'm pregnant I feel a wave of happiness wash over me.
And now answers to a few questions you might have about this big news...
How far along are you?
When are you due?
Late March. The year 2020 feels like a lucky number and year to me so I love that we're having a 2020 baby. Can you imagine being born in 2020?! It seems so wild.
How are you feeling?
Great! But the first 15ish weeks were rough. I felt really nauseous every day, especially as the day went on, and of course was exhausted. Some days I was in bed nearly the whole day but never felt rested. It felt worse than my pregnancy with Cedric and I think worse than my pregnancy with Dashiell. And the nausea definitely lasted longer this time. So August and September were really hard for me, especially with the weather being oppressively hot. I had no energy or interest in doing anything which left me not feeling like myself. Essentially all I wanted to do was be in bed but even resting didn't make me feel better. I wish I could know if it's because I'm having a girl, or because I'm older, or just because every pregnancy is different. I'm very happy to have left that part of pregnancy behind!
Are you still exercising?
Yes! So far this has been my most active pregnancy. I missed just a few Orange Theory and High Fitness classes during the first trimester because I didn't feel well. But for the most part have kept up my three workouts/week. I'm still running at Orange Theory and feeling pretty good. I modify some movements at High Fitness when I don't feel like jumping as much or when I feel like I might get winded. I'm starting to feel bigger and slowing down a little bit but am happy to have kept up this level of exercise this far into pregnancy. My plan is just to keep modifying as needed.
How did you find out that you were having a girl?
A girl! I'm still getting used to saying that and we're so excited. We found out that Dashiell was a boy but waited until the birth to find out if Cedric was a boy or a girl. Chris and I both felt that we wanted to find out with this baby. We loved what we did with Dashiell which was to have the ultrasound tech write the answer on a note card and put it in an envelope for us to open over breakfast. This past week we got to do that again!
During our ultrasound this past Tuesday morning the technician had us look away while she found out the sex of the baby. We had her write the answer on a card and seal the envelope. We were on pins and needles finishing the ultrasound and reviewing the ultrasound with the doctor (the baby looks healthy and perfect). Then we headed to The Coffee Shop, our favorite place for years and where we opened the card to find out Dash was a boy. I felt so nervous. I had been imagining the outcome both ways but I felt a very slight feeling that we might be having a girl but I thought that might just be because we have two boys. I also had a handful of people guess girl who say they often have intuition about these things. But I really was expecting to see "boy" written in the card.
We got our coffee and sat down at a table. And then it was time to open the card. Eeek! I had butterflies in my stomach! I opened the card and there was an ultrasound picture inside but I didn't even stop to look at it. I moved it aside to see "It's a GIRL!!!" written in the card and I just started crying. Chris says I didn't even tell him it said girl but he knew it must be since I was so emotional. I looked up and Chris had tears in his eyes and we hugged and were giddy and probably making everyone around us wonder what the heck was going on.
I would have loved to be having a boy and I love the idea of raising a tribe of three brothers. At the same time a girl feels so special. I knew it was a possibility but for the past 6+ years I've been pretty sure I'd never have a daughter. It's something I don't find myself dwelling on but would sometimes wonder about and have wished for from time to time. So far my experience has been that when I have a baby it's a boy so I think that's just what I expected. Suddenly finding out that we'll get to experience having a girl and a daughter was so exciting and emotional. I'm still on cloud 9 about it.
Later that day we shared the news with our families (my parents happened to be in town!) with cupcakes filled with pink buttercream. We let the boys have theirs after school and then had a gender reveal happy hour. It was so fun and I loved everyone's reactions. The boys got big eyes and then Cedric did a dance and Dash raised his fist up. Chris's sister screamed and jumped up and down, my dad cried, my mom had a really surprised face, and Chris's mom danced. It was so fun to share with everyone!
What do the boys think about having a baby?
They are so excited! When we had Cedric, Dash was not yet two (!) so he didn't understand that a new baby was coming. When this baby is born Cedric will be five and Dash will be about to turn seven! Having older kids who really get what's going on is a whole new experience and it's so fun. We talk about what the baby will be like, what it will be able to do and not do, what its name should be, and how it's growing inside me. They love to look at the weekly updates on my app to see what the baby looks like. And nearly every day when they hug me they also address the baby and talk to it and give it a kiss. Seeing Dash and Cedric with their baby sister (!) is something I am really looking forward to.
Are you planning on moving?
Nope. We think our house will still work great for our family of five (still wrapping my head around this number!). We're thinking of moving the boys' shared bedroom across the hall to the current playroom (and former nursery) which has just a tad more space. We'll turn the boys' current room into a room for the baby and my office will stay the same. But we have room to change arrangements in the future as needed.
Do you need a bigger car?
Yes but not right away (we currently drive a 2008 Prius with close to 208,000 miles). We've done some research and technically you can fit three carseats across in a Prius if you buy a specific kind. That gives us peace of mind because we don't want to have to rush to buy a car but we're planning on making that purchase in the next year. We do want to stay a one car family and continue to drive a hybrid or electric vehicle. There are some more plug-in hybrids coming on the market in 2020 and those are interesting to us.
Did you keep all your baby stuff?
Sure did not! We were on the fence for so long about having another baby and I thought most likely we would decide not to. I don't love clutter or storing unnecessary items so off went the pack and play, high chair, and stroller. Luckily we have already benefited from generous friends who have recently had babies and are passing down maternity clothes and baby items. We'll buy used where we can and buy new what we need. At least the third time around you really know what you need and don't need.
Are you planning on another non-medicated birth?
With Dashiell and Cedric I had non-medicated births at a hospital attended by midwives. I plan to have another birth without an epidural but this time plan to birth at a birth center. Since having Cedric, two of the midwives that I used to see started their own birth center and women's health practice. I've been seeing them there for my annual exams and am excited to birth there. I really like that you can check in earlier than at a hospital, don't have to go through the emergency room to check in and answer one million questions while in labor (even though you are already pre-registered at the hospital), and that I can birth in a tub if I want to. You can also go home earlier from a birth center and are visited at home by the midwives after birth a couple of times instead of having to go into a doctor's office. Another birth center perk is that they have nitrous oxide available that apparently helps to reduce anxiety during birth (more and more hospitals here are also offering it). Cedric's birth was very fast and intense so I'm a little nervous what this one could be like and having the option for something that could help me calm down if needed is appealing. If you've used nitrous oxide during birth I would love to hear your experience!
I'm excited to share this happy news with you!