We found out I was pregnant right before Christmas, which, in terms of timing, was not ideal. So many alcohol-fueled holiday celebrations where I had sparkling water on the rocks or dumped champagne in the sink when no one was looking. And! Because I am world-record-book old, I was worried about miscarriage, of course, so I didn't necessarily eat with wild abandon, which everyone knows is the very best thing about being pregnant over the holiday season.
I have been wretchedly exhausted, though, so, in that regard, the timing was good. Ben had already taken vacation over the kids' winter break, and I had a few more weeks off after they all went back, and I was able to lie on the couch like a sad sloth for most of Christmas-MLK day, when I started to feel a little more human.
Instead of morning sickness, for the whole first trimester, I felt horrible between 3pm-8pm, which was my bedtime. But because the kids had NO IDEA (until yesterday), I still had to function when they got home from school, make dinner, sit at the dinner table and try not to vomit everywhere, etc.
Sunday marked the official start of the second trimester, and I have a little more pep in my step, but I am still ready for bed at about 8, and I am still feeling queasy and sluggish all evening. My midwife tells me I should feel really good in thew next couple of weeks. CROSS YOUR FINGERS.
I have seen the baby's heartbeat at my 8 week pregnancy coordinator visit (That's how it works at our HMO-- you see a nurse practitioner who does a pregnancy intake and helps you choose a care provider, get set up with all of the first trimester testing, schedule appointments, etc. And that's how I knew my last pregnancy was probably not viable because she tried to listen to the heartbeat and could not hear it. This time, she saw it right away on a tiny little ultrasound machine because things have gotten even cooler since my miscarriage and SO MUCH COOLER since I was pregnant with Dorothy. Having Harry was like a 1950s hospital experience compared to today, and it's only been 13 years!) (THIRTEEN YEARS BETWEEN THEM! HE WILL BE A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL, and SHE WILL BE AN INFANT).
I have also seen the baby on a dating ultrasound, had all manner of blood tests and genetics tests, which have come back OK-- and let us know the baby is a GIRL at just 11 weeks via wizardry, and heard her squirmy little heartbeat at the midwife yesterday. I also swear to you that I felt her move at a hockey game when I was wearing high-waisted skinny jeans and sitting way forward. If that was really her, it is TOTALLY fitting because I knew I was pregnant at hockey practice when I almost threw up from the stench of the locker room as I was tying Cooper's skates. I literally dry heaved, and when another parent looked at me all freaked out and disgusted, I was like omg how can you stand the smell in here? and he was like what are you even talking about?
It was like a master alarm started bleating in my head-- PREGNANT PREGNANT PREGNANT. I went straight home and rummaged through my vanity for a pregnancy test, which of course I had because I used to be addicted to them. And then I took like 14 more just to be sure. And then I cursed myself for not waiting a week or so and coasting through Christmas.
My insurance changed the hospital we can deliver at, so that's going to be weird. But! It's also amazing because now I can use a midwife, which I always wanted to do. And, as I found out yesterday, I can do WATER BIRTH!!! if I want to. At the other hospital, we could labor in the water, but we had to get out for the actual birth part, which was difficult. (I will never forget the nurse drying me off after I got out of the tub between contractions and then had one instantly-- she did such a good job I have used her technique on the kids).
As Cooper said last night after we shared the news, it's also going to be weird that this baby will never meet my dad. We told the kids it's their job to tell her all about him, so she feels like she knew him too, and they seem up to the task. I remember standing up at his funeral and telling everyone I didn't want to make any new friends ever again because how could I be friends with someone who wouldn't know my dad-- and now! There's a whole new person we're introducing to a world without him. It's just another sneaky way that grief bridles joy.
Speaking of joy: Here are the kids finding out they'll have another sibling: