So here I am this week, 27 weeks into things!
Let's back up a bit.
Finding out and sharing the news:
We had a bit of a timeline with this baby, and we were shocked that things went "according to plan." We didn't want to start trying until February in order to not be too far along to go on our cruise (can't cruise past 24 or 26 weeks) as well as definitively be past Cason's CFP test in July, and it had always been our hope to have this baby three years apart from Madeleine. Well, in March we were surprised and gladdened by the positive pregnancy test, taken the week Cason found out about his promotion at work (blessings abound - another sandwich!) and the week before I ran in the Bearathon with Liz. (!) We didn't have the good fortune to tell our families so conveniently together like last time, but we were going to see both sides that very week, so it was still lots of fun to break the news. I told my parents on the patio of Cafe Express after a trip to the zoo we had in preparation for Ben's proposal to Julianne the following week. They were so excited! I also got to tell Julianne that week. We got to tell the Whites and Bristers the following weekend when we went to a ballgame of Collin's the night before the Bearathon. I told Liz right before the race - that she would have to take it easy on me since I was pregnant! She was so excited. I was excited to have the race done early in my pregnancy and at only three minutes slower finish time than last year. We told more friends and family following that weekend.
We did it, baby!
After we got closer to the second trimester, we posted the news on facebook with this:
I always wondered what would be harder - being pregnant and working or being pregnant and being a stay-at-home mom. I kinda had two hard things in that I was mostly a SAHM, but I was still working for Community Cloth part-time. It was really tough because I was so, so, so very tired. I know I can't really complain because I still haven't experienced morning (or all-day) sickness, but it was tough. I told my boss fairly early so that we could work on an exit plan for me. While I knew I would miss working at Community Cloth, I knew that with a fall due date and juggling two kids, it would just be too hard for me to do it all. I wanted to leave the agency in good hands at a relatively calm time in our calendar year, so we worked on a transition-out time of April-June, basically. Poor Cason had to deal with my nesting instinct kicking in very early. I think I found Madeleine's big girl bed frame and headboard on Craig's List the week after I found out I was pregnant. He encouraged me to "cool it," finish strong at Community Cloth, REST (since I was so crazy-tired all the time) and pick up the nesting projects later. I gladly obliged. :)
Our first appointment with the midwives was good but not as "glowing" as it was last time. With the second pregnancy, they know that you gained 50 lbs. (even though you had just run a marathon prior to the pregnancy and it all came off within a few months, for goodness' sake) and your baby was 9 lb. 1 oz. the first time around, so they tell you things like "don't eat sugar" and that you need to take your glucose tests early (once again, didn't pass the first one, but passed the three-hour one with flying colors.) And sometimes you have a weird deal where your pap smear comes back positive for chlamydia, and you are fairly certain that's impossible. That wasn't fun at all, but my sweet midwife let me re-test and send it to a different lab, and everything came back just fine. All clear. Goodness gracious. (Apparently this is a thing - I came across message boards with lots of posts when I googled "false positive pregnant chlamydia test." As if pregnant mamas didn't have enough to worry about!) This pregnancy has also seemed more expensive and complicated insurance-wise too, despite our fantastic PPO, but that's a soap box for another day.
Madeleine seemed pretty excited about the baby, but she definitely had some anxiety about it. We told her one morning, and she said "Mommy can have a girl baby named Violet (a friend of hers), Daddy can have a boy baby named Jake (another friend of hers) and I can have a girl baby!" So not sure she quite got it at the beginning. She went through a clingy phase, and she also woke up from her nap one day asking me "Mommy, do you take care of me? Mommy will you always love me?" I have tried to reassure her throughout the pregnancy that we always love her and she is going to be a great big sister, etc.
Madeleine with her new headboard, pre-paint and practicing her maternal instinct.
It was great to get my energy back just in time for summer! We spent lots of time at the pool and doing our various activities like summer weddings, VBS, Houston 1:8 etc. It was ironic that my job was ending just as my energy was coming back, but oh well, you can't plan everything perfectly. In June I went on a hunt for a Boppy pregnancy pillow I had borrowed from Ally when I was pregnant with Madeleine, and I couldn't find it ANYWHERE. Apparently Boppy makes one now that has velcro detachable pieces, but when I tried it it just kept coming apart any time I rolled over or adjusted in my sleep. Boo. I finally bought a used one from Natalie (these sisters really came through for me!) and it has saved my nights. I can get so much more comfortable and sleep so much more soundly.
We had our gender appointment in mid-July, and going into it, while we do want a boy at some point, we felt like it was a win-win because I have such dear relationships with my own sisters. We were excited to find out we were having another girl! Cason called it and wore a pink tie. Her personality is already different from her big sister's. She wasn't putting on a show for us during the ultrasound - she seemed a little more demure, and we did get to see her yawn!
After sharing our fun news, it was fun to get a few fun items from Granna and begin to really celebrate and brainstorm names.
I had a favorite, but Cason couldn't really think much about names with all the studying he had going on. While we were on the cruise we decided on...
Both are family names. My great aunt Clara is who we visited in March up in Philadelphia. She is an amazing, strong, independent woman who also has such a generous and caring heart. She never married or had children of her own, but she always loved on her nieces and nephews as well as her grand nieces and nephews with such selflessness and interest. She also traced our family history back all the way to our ancestor on the Mayflower (Edward Fuller) and beyond! We liked the classic sound of the name, the idea of using a family name, and we thought it sounded great with Madeleine. Louise is my Gran's (mom's mom) middle name. If this little girl has half of Gran's selflessness, tenacity, work ethic and love, she will be in good shape. It has been so much fun to hear Madeleine begin to identify with "Baby Clara" and watch her talk about her and give her kisses.
This was the first matching outfit set we bought for the girls in Belize. Madeleine decided baby Camille could wear Clara's for now.
Well, I've only been here a few days now, but I think it's off to a good start! My main craving throughout my pregnancy has been berries. All kinds of berries. I haven't had any crazy cravings, I'll just get on a kick for about a week with things (must have hummus/HEB's chicken salad/big leafy salads etc.) and then the craving will pass. I've been making a lot of smoothies too, but that's not that different from my non-pregnant regimen.
My weight gain has been much better too - I think I'm only up 17 lbs. I definitely won't (shouldn't!) hit 50 lbs. this time! I attribute this to the walking Madeleine and I did so early in the pregnancy, and now again that the mornings are cooler, as well as the fact that I really don't spend much of my days sitting, period. I feel like Madeleine and I are always doing something, and even if we are home, I am not great about taking time to sit. With my first pregnancy I sat all day every day in my office and walked some with Cason. I have loved wearing most of my normal clothes still, just with my pants or shorts supported by the Bella band. Here's to hoping Clara is in the 8 lb range, but if not, I birthed one 9 lb. baby, so perhaps I could do it again. :)
This pregnancy has been a whirlwind and a blessing. In many ways, it is different from the first time around, but it feels no less miraculous or special in it's own way. We are so excited to meet Baby Clara in about 3 more months! Here we go again...