Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Letter to My Future Pregnant Self

Dear Future Pregnant Me,

If we are blessed enough to have a Final Fourth baby, then first of all, congratulations! This is a big event :) This will be your last baby for sure, because after much prayer and discussion between you and hubby, there will be a permanent way to ensure this is your last baby. {Don't even start questioning it. You've talked ad nauseam about it, so I don't want to hear your whining!} Know that you can do this! Even if we have another loss between BB-3 and this one, you and baby will be ok! You will make it to the finish line with a baby in your arms. You've done it 3 times before, and you can do it one more time.

First of all, let me go ahead a reassure you about some things.
1) You conceived and carried a healthy baby without Metformin. Currently, you are just past the viability milestone for BB-3, so I can't confirm that there is no gestational diabetes. However, cravings aside, you are still eating relatively well, so even your doctor is not overly concerned about it developing. Yes, we were very scared to think that we could conceive and carry a baby without it, but you can, and you did. Trust your body, trust your doctor, and most importantly, trust God.
2) Yes, you did feel all those weird aches and pains. It's true they can get pretty painful. Sure it's hard to remember all those little sensations after lots of sleep deprived moments of terror/joy/frustration that is parenting a child. However, I promise whatever you're feeling is normal. And having a 4th baby, body may just be about done. {Hey, we're not Michelle Duggar after all!} Having gone through this three other times, it may even be slightly more painful. Again, this is normal! If it is not normal, I guarantee it that you will know. Even if I've panicked before, I've never felt like there was something truly wrong with myself or the baby.
3) You did have some brown spotting with BB-3. As long as it's brown, and not filling up a pad in an hour, there is no reason to fully panic. Let your doctor know, but don't rush to the phone or the hospital. Take a deep breath, drink more water, and wait. Of course I know this is extremely hard for you, especially with all those pregnancy hormones in your body. Trust me, I've been there. Unless it's bright red and period-like, no panicking.
4) You will be tired. I mean, you will be a mom zombie that will never get a chance to truly relax during this pregnancy. You will have 3 kiddos running your life around, and yelling gleefully as you try to keep your sanity until Phil gets home. Hopefully BB-3 will not give up naps on you during pregnancy like David did. If they do, you will get through it. Phil is a very merciful and gracious man, who knows your greatest job, aside from keeping your current children alive, is to grow that human being inside of you. Take advantage of his gracious spirit, and escape to the bedroom. Don't feel guilty. Don't worry he secretly resents you. He does not. He wants you to do whatever it takes to take care of yourself and your baby. {And yes, he does still find you very attractive. Please don't cry/bring it up with this pregnancy!!}
5) You can and will lose any and all baby weight you gain. Even if you gain way more this pregnancy than you ever did, you can worry about that later. Focus on eating as healthy as possible with a treat every day. Even if the scale makes you want to cry, go with it. This is your last chance to use the excuse "The baby needs it!"

If I could change how I experienced the other pregnancies, this is what I would change:
-Enjoy this pregnancy. Touch that belly every day, even when no one else knows there's a baby in there. Smile every day, even if/when you're puking because you are about to close a chapter of your life. You will not be experiencing child bearing again.
-Try your hardest to not dwell on the babies you've lost along the way. They are still part of your family, but their stories are not the story of the baby inside you now.
-Wear maternity pants/underwear/whatever as soon as you want to. No one will be policing what you wear, so do it whenever you feel. Even if that means 8 weeks along, more power to ya, mama!
-Don't make everything about you. Other women losing babies halfway through their pregnancies, women who deliver at 24 weeks, those are not your stories. You can support and pray for those women, but don't worry that it will happen to you.
-End every day listing off something that made you smile that involved someone in your family. In fact, do it for each person in your family, including that baby in your belly. Find the joy. This will save you from a lot of guilt later!
-Find a way to be as present as possible. The first half may crawl by, but the second half of pregnancy has always flown by for you. Before you know it, that precious little one who will complete your family will be in your arms.

Girl or boy, they will be the perfect fit in this crazy family you love!

Congrats again, and enjoy :)

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