Archive | November, 2020

Pregnancy #4: First Trimester

12 Nov

We are expecting our fourth child in May! My official due date is May 17, two days before our wedding anniversary. But since our first three kids arrived either early or on their due date, I highly doubt the date will be shared.

That means I am 13.5 weeks along. So far, this pregnancy has been very different than any of the others, not so much in terms of physical symptoms but in mental experience. (Though I am showing much more at 13 weeks this time around!!)

Back in June, I had an ectopic pregnancy. We caught it before it got bad. I had had weird bleeding for a while, then when I started having stabbing pain, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive, so I went to the ER pretty much right away. I had surgery within a few hours, and went home the next morning. Because of COVID, I was in there alone. It was a lonely experience but I felt God increase my faith and reliance on Him.

They took out the whole Fallopian tube that was affected, but assured me I could still get pregnant with just one. I didn’t know how long it would take, but after waiting two cycles to try again (what the doctor had told me to do), we got pregnant that first month. I took the pregnancy test on September 9 and it was positive!

Another reason this pregnancy has been different is that we had wanted to start trying back in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately I had been on the depo provera method of birth control, and I discovered after going off of it, it can take up to 18 months to get pregnant. It took 9 months for my period to come back. And then I had the ectopic. So this pregnancy/baby was waited and longed for far more than any of my others. We had given ourselves until the end of this year, and if I didn’t get pregnant by then, we figured we were meant to have only three biological kiddos. (Which is still a huge blessing, don’t get me wrong!)

Another way it’s different is that at age 37, I am now of “advanced maternal age” and insurance (supposedly) covers extra things like genetic testing at 12 weeks, and a detailed ultrasound and fetal echo at 20 weeks. We have already done the genetic testing and know that we are having another GIRL. Honestly, we were hoping for a boy to even things out, but we trust God’s wisdom. And baby is healthy so I am incredibly grateful about that.

Because of my history with the ectopic pregnancy, I had ultrasounds early. My first was at (what we thought was) 6 weeks. But unfortunately, only the gestational sac and yolk sac were visible. The tech explained that it could just be too early — maybe my dates were off. (I do think that I ovulated slightly late.)

So I had a couple of HCG tests to make sure things were trending in the right direction (which they were, but I had had a miscarriage back in 2017 so this was bringing up bad memories and lots of anxiety), and we went back for another ultrasound a week later. That was such a long week!! This whole first trimester has felt like waiting on pins and needles for more information. We hadn’t planned on telling anyone for a while but I needed my friends to know what was going on and to pray, so I told my Bible study ladies and another close friend.

Thankfully, at my second ultrasound, there was baby with a heartbeat. Baby measured 5 days behind where we thought I should be, but apparently you have to be more than 5 days off at that point for them to change it. So my original EDD of May 17 was kept.

Physically, I felt sicker with this pregnancy than my others, but I have noticed a correlation between being really active (maybe “overdoing it”) and feeling sick, so I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that this time around, I have 3 kids, am homeschooling, and am just that much older (Corbin will be a couple months over age 3 by May).

My cravings, on the other hand, have been practically the exact same as my other pregnancies — salty foods and fruity things (including fruit itself). Probably my number one craving is Asian food, followed very closely by French fries. Sweet things have lost a lot of their appeal.

My acid reflux is NOT loving my pregnancy cravings. Interestingly, since getting pregnant, my acid reflux hasn’t manifested itself in a burning in my throat, but instead, my chest just feels tight and it’s a little harder to breathe. Which also makes it hard to know when I’m having acid reflux. But I will say it’s a lot more comfortable.

My biggest goal in this pregnancy is to keep exercising, even when I don’t think I have the energy for it. I found a Prenatal Barre program on Beachbody that I’ve been doing, and the best part is that the instructor has a whole bunch of 10-minute workouts (the regular workouts are 30 minutes long). I’m hoping/planning to do one of those 10-minute workouts most days. They are definitely effective, even if they’re short!

My other goal in this pregnancy, and the main reason for finding out gender so early, is to purge clothes and organize our utility room. Clothes take up so much room! We need more space for other things.

I’m also trying to convince my husband that we should frame and drywall a wall to close off our extra bedroom space downstairs so that the girls can move into that space, and baby can have her own room. (Corbin would keep his room.) We’ll see how it goes.

Emma and Annabelle are totally pumped about having a baby sister (they’ll have just turned 8 and 6 when baby arrives). Corbin is just starting to notice my belly is getting bigger. I think he’ll start to understand more when I’m obviously not just getting fat.

We did a piñata gender reveal for the kids, but apparently Emma had overheard Travis and me talking earlier that day, so she already knew it was a girl. (Stinker!) The girls still had a blast hitting the piñata— and getting the pink candy!

Emma Grace: 7.5 Years

7 Nov

Man, time is flying. My oldest baby turned 7.5 years old back on October 7. She’s in 2nd grade this school year! I haven’t posted an update on Emma since she turned 6, so there’s a lot to cover in this post!

Emma turned 7 on April 7 (her golden birthday!) in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine. We had wanted to do a special family party for her in the Cities at a waterpark or something, but that did not happen. Instead, we played outside, put the kiddie pool at the end of the slide, ate Culver’s drive thru in our car, and played FaceTime hide and seek with Nana and Papa. #lifeinquarantine

We did celebrate all 3 kids’ birthdays (since they’re all 2.5 weeks apart) with Travis’ family in August at my in-laws’ cabin, but another birthday celebration is definitely in order.

She got a smart watch from Nana and Papa Kluthe. We bought her the singing Elsa doll.

Size

Emma is still tall and thin. She is 4′ 3” tall (that’s 4 inches taller than she was at age 6!) and weighs 56 lbs. She is wearing size 7 or 7/8 clothing (most of the pants are somewhat baggy on her, though they are the right length), and size 13 or 1 shoes.

Eating

Emma is a great eater, and is almost always one of the first ones done with dinner. According to her, her favorite foods are spaghetti, watermelon, cantaloupe, McDonald’s, french fries, pumpkin pie, and ice cream. She also frequently asks for PB & J’s, clementines, turkey sandwiches, cereal, quesadillas, chocolate milk, applesauce, popcorn, and berries (frozen or fresh!). And of course, she still loves sweets of any kind, but mainly ice cream, popsicles, Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs, Ring Pops, and those baby bottles with the sucker on top and sugar inside.

She loves making Christmas cookie cut-outs.

This past summer, Emma FINALLY lost her first tooth. We were up at my in-laws’ cabin in Voyageurs National Park. Emma’s tooth had been wiggly for weeks. One night, she ate a snack and brushed her teeth, and the tooth was gone. The tooth fairy did not come for that tooth. But about a month later, she lost the other bottom middle tooth, and the tooth fairy gave her $1, half for each tooth (sister also got a quarter for being supportive). But then Emma told us she knew we were the tooth fairy, so that’s that.

Sleep

Emma still sometimes has a hard time getting to sleep at night (we’ve started giving her melatonin to help with that), but other than that, she sleeps like a champ. She usually gets up to pee once a night a couple hours after going to bed. The girls go to bed around 8/8:30 these days, and get up between 7 and 7:30.

Emma still enjoys sleeping places other than her own bed, and several times, Emma and Annabelle have slept in our master bedroom closets, downstairs in the guest “room”, once in the tent that we set up downstairs (it was too humid and buggy to camp outside), and a couple times under the stairs.

Development

Emma is such a creative girl. She colored two pictures of gingerbread houses in school last year, made little people to go with them, and then she and Annabelle played house with them. For her Barbies, she has made miniature moving boxes and lockers (cut and taped together from real cardboard boxes), tiny magazines and Valentine’s Day cards, drawn and cut out tiny school supplies… and so on. After watching YouTube videos of kids playing with Barbies, she started making her own amateur videos. She also still loves drawing and writing (though her spelling could use some help!).

We read The Boxcar Children this past summer and Emma had the idea to create a brook and swimming hole for her Barbies (see picture below).

For Halloween in 2019, she dressed up as Poison Ivy (Annabelle was Batgirl and Corbin was Batman).

For Halloween this year, she was a princess/bride. Annabelle was Maleficent and Corbin was a shark.

Like I mentioned in Annabelle’s 5-Year post, the girls loved being pulled on sleds behind the snowmobile last year. We got 10 inches of snow in October this year, and they still loved the snowmobile rides. Sometimes it gets pretty intense!

They also got into pretending they were Odd Squad agents for a while during the quarantine…

And into making makeup and dresses for their Barbies out of playdough and paper…

And scrapbooking.

Emma likes helping with things only older kids can do. She has started to cut strawberries, carrots, and celery with a serrated paring knife (Annabelle does too). She helped mail our Christmas cards last year, she painted my toenails, and both she and Annabelle helped with my in-laws’ honey harvest for the first time this year.

Last summer (2019), Emma started getting comfortable with her head going underwater, and she jumped off the dock a lot. This past summer, she really embraced the swim goggles and started swimming without a life jacket. She really enjoyed throwing things to the bottom and diving to get them.

The summer of 2019, we took the training wheels off Emma’s bike and she went on several rides of 4-6 miles. In August, she biked from our house to Whipple Beach, which involves quite a few difficult hills, and is a 6-mile ride. I was very proud! This summer, though, biking was not very appealing to her so we didn’t do much (she would always complain that biking was too much work).

On a bike ride in Crow Wing State Park

Also in the summer of 2019, Emma got slime stuck in her hair. I am happy to report that we did not have to cut any of her hair off, though it did take a good 45 minutes to remove all the slime. Slime is now outlawed in our house.

We also did the VBS at Journey North in 2019, and in 2020, we did Summer Impact at our church. There were mixed emotions about both at the time, but they’re good memories now!

VBS “Roar” 2019
Quilt Pattern for Summer Impact

In the Fall of 2019, I ran the Brainerd Homecoming 10K, and Emma ran the Kids Race. It was a nasty day weather-wise, but I was proud of her!

Finally, a few silly photos just because…

And that’s Emma from 6 to 7.5 years!