28 weeks

Here we are at the start of 2019 v1.0! Firefly is officially over 2lbs (based on averages) and about 14 inches long this week. He remains active and I’m regularly feeling hiccups in my pelvis. The kids delight in feeling him kick now and Linnea regularly asks “is the baby kicking mama?”

I had a prenatal on Tuesday, in the midst of chaos, and all was well. I got to hear his heartbeat while he was hiccuping and it was hilarious. Being in the third trimester we now move to prenatals every two weeks. It’s strange how slow and how fast this pregnancy has gone.

Currently I’m reading Emily Oster’s new book, Cribsheet, which I’m enjoying immensely. Her approach to considering all the decisions of early parenting is that of an economist – examining risks and benefits, and exploring tradeoffs between different decisions (in case you don’t know, this is the basis of my work in forestry and wildfire), and I’m appreciating her prose in addition to the accessible information. It’s also the first new book that hasn’t been related to my work that I’ve started in a long time and it feels good. Anyone else reading anything interesting these days?

I’m currently the only person awake in our house, so with that, I’ll sign off to enjoy a few more minutes of silence before the chaos begins.


When entering the third trimester is the least eventful thing in your life…

I’m at the point where everything has finally caught up with me. Last week Leah defended her thesis successfully on Monday, which was, hypothetically going to be the beginning of at least a little decompression time for our family. Instead, my dear uncle died on Tuesday and Leah’s grandfather died on Wednesday, both relatively unexpectedly. So Leah flew back to the midwest for her grandfather’s funeral while I stayed home with the kids and attempted to work and get the house in order before driving up north for my uncle’s memorial service. I worked one of 5 days, thanks mostly to my parents and the last day of drop in childcare on our campus. My hope is to find time to make up that work in flex hours so I don’t drain my paid leave even further before Firefly makes his appearance. What a stupid thing to have to worry about.

So here’s a timeline recap of three last six months.

December 31st: positive pregnancy test (yay/holy.shit)

January: sweet dog of almost 14 years declines rapidly and we make the hard choice to euthanize her.

February: seriously entertain the question of whether or not Leah has ADHD and begin process to get tested. Also, she has a failed crown replaced (and the replacement doesn’t cause debilitating pain, thankfully), which insurance doesn’t cover since the same tooth had a (failed) crown placed in November. Seriously, fuck insurance and for profit medicine. And with everything going on, Leah begins to switch to a master’s instead of a PhD (smart choice, though emotionally harrowing).

March: ADHD testing (confirms ADHD inattentive type – suddenly so much struggle makes sense!), two weeks of spring break for the kids. End my first trimester, thankfully, because it means I start to have something resembling the ability to stay awake again.

April: Leah has severe gallstones causing extreme pain. Surgery can’t be scheduled until May.

May: Surgery. Also known as our lesson in listening to nurses and not doctors about post-surgical care. But eventually, gallbladder removal ends attacks and Leah can focus again on finishing her thesis.

June: Thesis. End of preschool. Darwin does not handle transitions well. End of preschool coincides with 20-30+ minute out of control tantrums, kicking anyone who gets in the way and generally being incapable of consistently following any kind of direction or request. Followed by thesis defense, family illnesses and deaths, entering the third trimester and my decision that 2019 v0.0 is now over and 2019 v1.0 is beginning today, on the summer solstice.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have energy for a 28 week update.

24 weeks

I finally managed to remember an update on a week turnover. We’ve reached that auspicious gestational age of “viability” in the loosest sense now. It’s an odd place to be, knowing that if something happened at this point, Decisions would have to be made. Also I’m now feeling a great pressure to have certain things finished at work since I will be out of the office in less than 4 months… time is passing quickly.

Currently Firefly is estimated (based on averages, not ultrasound) at just over a pound and around a foot in length. I regularly feel like a gymnasium – he is far more active at this point than I remember Darwin being. I suspect part if that is placental placement, but it’s currently amusing to watch the flipping from side to side. I told the midwife last week that I thought my placenta was on the left in front because I’d been feeling all the kicking and bouncing on the right and the middle. That same day he must have shifted and began throwing limbs on the left. Silly kid.

The girls remain thoroughly excited about our growing family. They regularly ask what the timeline is and we’re tracking it in birthdays. Linnea turns three in about 6 weeks (!), then Darwin turns 5 about 8 weeks after that. We hope that Firefly will come along shortly after!

My biggest concern with our biggest kid acclimating to a new sibling is sleep. Darwin still regularly ends up in our bed sometime in the middle of the night. I’m considering setting up a mattress at the end of our bed so she can come into our room even if not into the big bed.

With our ball of endless energy, my biggest worry is her lack of awareness of her body. Linnea regularly hits or kicks us, not out of malice but out of carelessness. She tears through the house and falls or runs into things (and bounces back like a bouncy ball). I’m wondering now if getting her into gymnastics this summer would help with body control and balance.

Anyway, that’s what 24 weeks looks like for us. Mostly thinking about worries and glad to be growing. Here’s hoping the summer doesn’t end up as hot and smokey as I expect it will!

22 weeks and everything else

We rolled over to 22 weeks on Saturday. Between work, the bug and bee, my wife finishing her thesis, various illnesses and capping off with Leah having her gallbladder removed last week I’ve basically written off writing in the blog. But here I am, awake before anyone else, so I figured I’d take a moment for updates.

We had the anatomy scan about 3 weeks ago and it went swimmingly. As far as medical science can tell, firefly is healthy and growing on track. He was far more cooperative than either of his sisters, and we were able to see his aorta, and just about everything else from the top of his head to the tips of all ten little toes.

Movement-wise, I began feeling him wiggling around between 13 and 14 weeks, and Leah felt him kick for the first time at 17 weeks. At 18 weeks he kicked the midwife’s doppler hard enough for her to feel it. Now he’s super active any time he is awake (including often between 3 and 4am…), and I can feel him getting stronger and more active every day.

The kids are currently smitten with their baby. I get lots of belly kisses and snuggles when I’m home, and they are generally excited about the whole process. Linnea proclaims regularly that “when I grow up I’m gonna have a baby in my belly!” We’ll see if and how that all changes when the baby is no longer contained…

Signing out for now in the hopes of a hot cup of coffee before the house becomes wild and loud for the day.

14 weeks (the second trimester)

Greetings from the other side of deciding to try for a third little monkey! We decided this fall to give it a go and luck was apparently with us, because our little Firefly is due September 14th, 4 days after Darwin turns 5, much to her delight.

So far this pregnancy has been very similar to my first. Mostly I’m just tired all the time. That has eased a lot entering the second trimester, which is good because I’m pretty sure Leah was about to go on strike from all parenting and household responsibilities! She did a great job holding things together while I was regularly falling asleep before 9 pm.

Currently the kids are absolutely thrilled at the idea of a new baby in the family. Linnea keeps talking about clothes she has outgrown being ‘for the new baby now.’ If this new creature finds even half as amazing a relationship with Darwin and Linnea as they have together I will be thrilled.

Since I’m over 35 and our donor is as well I opted for the early NIPT testing to check for the most common chromosomal abnormalities, and we also opted to find out what the sex chromosomes are. We learned that this little nugget is low risk for all the common chromosomal abnormalities and that we’re having a little boy, until/unless shown otherwise (the ultrasound confirmed only one little bean in there, thank goodness).

I’ll sign off with one of our first photos, head on the bottom left, feet and hands up.

Two in preschool

Ever since Linnea started preschool in mid January things have calmed down,in most ways, a little bit. The kids are generally in school together from 9 to 12 Monday through Thursday. Linnea is apparently fitting right in and has never had a difficult drop off the way Darwin did starting out. Trailblazing can be tough when you’re three.

All in all, it’s delightful. Both kids love the fact that they go to school together. Darwin and her best friend I have apparently absorbed Linnea into their twosome seamlessly (so far). Linnea is now able to voice her desires about new lessons she would like from the teachers, regularly has snack, and uses the bathroom even more successfully than she does at home.

Currently Darwin’s favorite thing to do is play Mancala with L, and Linnea seems to be happiest washing dishes and doing art projects. I can’t wait for parent-teacher conferences to find out more!