15 weeks | Baby #4

Friday, March 28, 2014

How far along: 15 weeks. [15w with Miri, 15w with Ezra, 15w with Isaac

How big is baby: Baby is around 4" now and around the size of a big apple.

Weight gain/loss: No scale in Mexico! :)

Stretch marks: Miraculously none.

Sleep: We're sleeping in a King size bed at the resort here and it is soooo in our future! I'm loving it.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I'm trying to eat as best I can while here, but the selection is limited. To that extent, I'm also trying to not think about the things that I want to eat. 

Movement: None. I can't believe I thought I might be feeling flutters at 15w with Miri! Hopefully soon.

What I'm loving: Um, being in Mexico. 

Symptoms: Pretty symptom free right now. I'm dying to feel movement!

What I'm looking forward to: I miss my kids insanely crazy. I can't wait to get home to see them!

Best moment of the week: I think it will be today. I've been looking forward to shooting this wedding through every bitterly cold Minnesota day!

I'm still really struggling with trying to come up with a similar nickname to Baby Bless, Baby Love & Baby Sweets. 

14 weeks | Baby #4

Friday, March 21, 2014

How far along: 14 weeks. [14w with Miri, 14w with Ezra, 14w with Isaac

How big is baby: Baby is just over 3 1/2 inches and comparable to a lemon. Can we talk about how I want to call this baby Baby Surprise, but all I can think about is the pottying doll? Hah!

Weight gain/loss: At 5'4" I began my pregnancy with Isaac at 137.5lbs and both Ezra and Miri at 141. Unfortunately while I gained my least amount throughout Miri's pregnancy and felt amazing, I only lost 5 lbs after she was born. Five pounds. Meaning I held onto 17 of those bad boys throughout the majority of 2013. The day that I found out I was pregnant was my first day of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. See 2014 was a self proclaimed year that I found myself again, including establishing a healthy balance in my life and finding time to workout again. I continued on with the challenge, because I was already following the nursing or pregnant guidelines and ended up losing 6 pounds, leaving me at 11 lbs higher than my starting point with Ezra and Miri. This is my 5th pregnancy, my 4th baby in 5 years and my 2nd baby pregnancy in two years. I am well aware that my previous expectations will be wildly off base and I have no idea what to expect this time! That said, I'm happy to say that I didn't gain throughout first tri and am still sitting at 0. I am not actively trying to lose weight, but given that I am still holding onto some weight from Miri's pregnancy, both my midwife and I are totally fine with my maintaining for awhile. 

Stretch marks: Miraculously none.

Sleep: Other than having an 11 month old that doesn't sleep through the night and is cutting her first teeth, I can't complain. That's what you get with babies so close!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I'm still trying to eat paleo, but I just haven't been able to get as strict as I have previously. I have no issue eating gluten free, but the cheeeeeese! I just can't seem to give it up anymore, especially because I have deemed goat cheese and aged cheddar "okay," but then, before I know it, I'm branching out to pepper jack and I'm screwed. Aside from that, still have a hummus aversion and I can't get enough meat.

Movement: None. I can't believe I thought I might be feeling flutters at 15w with Miri! Hopefully soon.

What I'm loving: I'm loving how adorable Ezra is towards the "new baby." He constantly asks to say "Hi" to my belly and give kisses. Additionally, I forgot to share in my previous post how around the week of Christmas, when this baby was conceived, Isaac told me that he was praying for a baby sister. I laughingly told him that it would indeed have to be God's plan for that to happen, but didn't want to discourage his praying (it was and still is the only thing he has told us that he has prayed for on his own). When we told him that I was pregnant, the absolute pure joy on his face, is something that I want to bottle up and treasure forever. Of course he is absolutely certain that the baby is a baby sister and has already named her Olivia.

Symptoms: Well, I had a pretty typical first tri: constant nausea, absolute exhaustion, extreme irritability. I'm so glad to put it past me! I have to say that in analyzing my own symptoms, that I am leaning towards another girl. I had a migraine, which I only did with Miri. I had a sweet taste, which I only did with Miri, as I instead had the metallic taste with at least one of the boys. I have an apathy towards hummus, which only happened with Miri. The boy symptoms though are that my face is not clear, at all, and I had the best complexion with Miri (which could be to the fact that I can't seem to cut the dairy out though) and that I still love meat!

What I'm looking forward to: The snow melting. For good.

Best moment of the week: Almost a week ago, but on Sunday, Tony and I painted the rest of the main level! 

Baby #4 | September 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's really true, after two ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat on the doppler, the Fontaine five are continuing on to be those six Fontaine's.

Conversion van jokes. Telling Tony to put a knot in it. Asking if any of our kids were planned.

At this point I think we've heard it all.

Considering that my previous standard was planned babies on even months of odd years, I think all bets are off with this unexpected blessing!

To just put it out there, I haven't been on any birth control for the past 5 plus years. I attempted to use a birth control pill right before we got married, was crazy stressed in the last month before the wedding, but realized soon after that while the event was past us, the psychotic feelings remained, until I ditched the pill. After that, I had a short stint using the nuvaring, until there were health concerns related to it, and I just decided forgo the hormones in favor of charting to try to avoid, until we were trying to conceive. I considered an IUD, but since we were considering the possibility of having a forth child, I wasn't sure if we were a good fit.

Was it smart to go without, no. Absolutely not, but it worked beautifully for us, until, well, until this fall just got completely out of hand. The stress I was under, trying to work full time, manage my business, minimally help Tony move our family, and the resulting two plus hours commuting to Minneapolis each day took it's toll and my body ovulated 4 weeks late in October, pushing back November and still somehow screwed up December. Due to the fluctuation, I was off my game and when January rolled around I couldn't remember when my last period was.

I vaguely thought it should have been the first week of December and when January 7th rolled around, I thought enough with it already and packed up the kids to buy some pregnancy tests. I, of course did test as soon as I got home, but same as with Miri, hadn't realized I bought blue dye tests, which are known for their false positives. Sure enough, there was a faint line, but I didn't believe it.

We were having my family over that night, so I asked Tony to stop at Walgreen's and buy some sour cream, which we didn't really need, and a pregnancy test. I didn't want to put him into high alert through text, but I should have been honest that the pregnancy test was much more needed than the sour cream. Wouldn't you know, the Walgreen's he went to was out of sour cream, and instead of buying a pregnancy test there, he just figured he'd buy one at the grocery store in town when he grabbed the sour cream.

The grocery store in our outer rings suburb has their pregnancy tests under lock and key, so Tony was just about to ask for someone to get the key, when he ran into my Mom and StepDad grabbing a few items to bring to our house. Talk about a close call. I remember basically nothing of that evening, just willing my family to leave, so I could go buy a pregnancy test. Finally at around 10:30pm, I was able to get my hands on two highly overpriced tests. I vowed to wait until morning, forcing myself to wait until 5:00am, even though I woke up several times that night.

I took the test.

Placed it on the counter.

And walked out of the bathroom.

Tony has shared in the past that he'd like to find out with me, and once, while trying after our loss, we flipped over the digital, to both read at the same time "not pregnant." Remembering his wish, I thought it would be a nice change of pace for him to know even before me.

If there is one thing that drive me bananas about Tony, it's that he snoozes. And snoozes. And snoozes. And it's only been made worse that I'm still in bed with him, opposed to having left the house at least an hour before he woke up. So now he snoozes and cuddles, and snoozes and cuddles, and let me tell you, this girl's cuddle threshold is long met before Tony even thinks about getting out of bed. So there I am, dying for him to finally get out of bed and go to the bathroom, all while he's trying to enjoy his leisurely beginning to the day.

Finally, he got up and I watched as he began to close the bathroom door and did a double take to the counter top. Within 2 seconds the door was back open, as he excitedly said "What does this mean?" I asked whether there were 2 lines or 1 and his response "There's one." I'm gong to be honest, I was flooded with relief, but had a slight hesitancy and quickly said "So there isn't a 2nd line?" And he will never live this down, as he paused to say "Well, no, there's two!"

He came back to bed, as I laughingly said "Well that makes a huge difference! That means I'm pregnant!"

We were both pretty stunned for a bit, as I quickly figured out that meant September.  Giving up two September weddings. Six thousand dollars. A new vehicle. Uncertainty regarding how our new insurance, MediShare, would cover the pregnancy. If my midwife was even in the network. Whether the drive would be worth it and a slew of other concerns. 

We prayed about it and I kind of stayed in a state of delirium for the rest of the day, heck I'd even say for a few weeks. I finally looked into MediShare and turns out, since it's a loop hole to the ACA, pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition, which sent Tony and I into a complete tailspin, considering a homebirth for financial reasons. Thankfully, I've since learned that we will just barely fall into a one week grace period, as the baby was likely conceived the last week of December and we switched coverage Jan 1.

I'm not sure I can be completely honest, as some close friends haven't seemed to recover from my complete honesty.

Combined with the transition to be a work from home mom, this terribly awful winter, feeling ostracized from friends due to our move and my certainty that 2014 was our rebuilding year for our marriage, our family, working out and my business, I have hit several low points throughout the first trimester.

It has physically pained me that so many close family and friends have longed to be pregnant, just one healthy pregnancy, and for whatever reason, God has removed any barrier in that capacity for Tony and I. So many highly desired babies and yet, there I sat for several days and weeks, actually mad that I was pregnant.

It took me awhile to work up the anger to finally rail against God. It's not who I am. It isn't a position that I've found myself in often. But one night, as I finally let it build enough to bare my anger at God and express how wildly inappropriate I thought it was for His plan to include another child in our family this year, given all the goals I'd made, the door bell rang. Being that it was a blustery January night, I was annoyed to be interrupted in general, but especially since I had finally worked up the nerve to be angry. As I turned the corner to the door, I was surprised to find two Christians from the local church stopping by to welcome us to the city, 3 months later, and share about their church. As I listened to them and politely thanked them for their time, I completely forgot what I'd been in the middle of, but as soon as I shut the door, holding a New Testament in my hand, it quickly came back to me that I'd literally just voiced to God "What were you thinking?!" And in response, in the middle of that thought, He'd answered me. No matter where we were, He was with us. Whether His plan or our choices, He was with us. It was my "Sit down and shut up" moment, not that I really think that's how God talks to us, but it was how it was received.

His plans provide a future for us and give Him glory. And He will be glorified in this pregnancy, this baby and our family.

I'll never call this baby an accident, because it never has been. We were surprised, but unexpected blessings that shock us by their very nature often do.

Well this will make things interesting.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Turns out all of those jokes about the polar vortex turning into a fall baby boom weren't quite as funny as I thought at the time. Tony and I were beyond surprised to find out that we're making an addition to the family come September. Fontaine Six doesn't have quite the same ring, but we're excited to welcome this unexpected blessing!

The Best Parenting Advice

Friday, March 7, 2014

The best parenting advice I have received over the years, may not have even been intended as I received it. In fact, it festered and simmered for quite awhile before I digested it and a found the beautiful gem it really was.

It's quite simple.

If they are crying, you know they're still alive.

It's so crude and coarse upon first look and when it was spoken by someone I held in very low regard,  I couldn't help but feel like it couldn't be meant well.

As a first time mom, I'm not sure I would have understood, but it's just as important to hear for mother's of one or on the way.

There will be times when the sound of your baby's cry can make you absolutely twitchy, whether you are dealing with post partum depression or just run of the mill sleep depression.

But, the important part is that, while their cry signals a need to be met, it does in fact reaffirm they.are.alive.

Sometimes that reminder is just simple enough to readjust your attitude for a day, a week or five minutes.

It's just as true when it isn't your baby, but a toddler or a preschooler who has experienced a close call. If they're crying, you can be thankful they're still alive.

I'm experienced enough to know that in the depths of those first few newborn weeks, this reminder might not even be enough to cause gratefulness or a pause of the heart, but for all those who can no longer say the same, I hope it will.

Pimp my Cutting Board

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Just before Christmas, I received the sweetest email to my blog address, which I'll be honest, I don't check very frequently. This email was from RedEnvelope informing me that I'd been suggested at a staff meeting to receive a personalized item from their anniversary line.

You guys, I was floored.

I've had my time for sponsored posts and trying to write for readers and what I've ultimately found is that it depletes every ounce of my desire to write. This though, this was completely different and I was beyond excited!

I'm sure you remember how small our previous kitchen was. The most often used prepping space was on the stove top. Unfortunately that resulted in my branding our cutting board not once, but twice, leaving it wobbly due to the melted plastic on one side.

There were so many options, but I fell in love with the personalized cutting board and couldn't wait to use it in my new kitchen.

This time, the unfortunate part is that the larger kitchen hasn't exactly made my cooking and baking skills better, so there was a little delay in documenting.

So many thank you's to those who suggested me. You have no idea how much it made my day & week! Let alone that it makes me smile every time I use it. 


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