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Long Overdue

We're still here! There's been a lot going on in our house over the past months, and while most of you probably know from Facebook, this is our official family blog and it feels right to update it. Also, it's the only place that I ever record anything significant, despite my good intentions to journal and record important milestones for our children. Sorry boys and future babies, I'm doing the best I can...

So, what's new? Well, the biggest news is that we're expecting our first biological baby in June (and it's another boy!). People always ask if we were surprised. Yes. We were surprised. After 6.5 years of unexplained infertility, we didn't expect or anticipate a pregnancy anymore. We had long since let that go, and honestly were quite content, and thankful even, that we'd be building our family through adoption. 

I actually started to write all of the details of how we found out and what our initial reactions were, but it was getting long so I'll save it for another time. Plus, there's a lot I want to say about pregnancy and adoption and building a family, but it's just going to have to wait. I'll just say that the most emotional I've been about the pregnancy was when I got the boys out of their cribs the morning we found out. I almost cried just looking at them because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the way God had ordered our lives. I can't imagine not having Jacob and Josiah as our sons and had we gotten pregnant many years ago, we might have missed them and I'm so thankful that God didn't let us miss out on them or the joy of adoption. 

This is me at 22.5 weeks. It felt like I wasn't showing for the longest time and now it looks more like a pregnant belly than a bloated one. Overall, I've felt really good. The first trimester I'm assuming was typical with almost daily nausea and being tired all the time. Thankfully the boys still nap and I was able to lay down most afternoons to rest. Now that I'm in my second trimester, I definitely feel better in terms of sickness, but the tiredness hasn't let up too much. Should I blame that on pregnancy or having twin boys that are 2.5? 

Have I had any cravings? Not really. But I do allow myself some pretty good treats nowadays that before I at least would have hesitated slightly on. Sure, I'll have a large order of french fries and a chocolate shake (when I'm swinging through McDonalds for the boys). And why not add a cookies-n-cream shake to my normal order at Chic-Fil-A. And yes, thank you, I will have a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream after dinner tonight. I wouldn't call these cravings as much as just allowing myself to indulge in whatever sounds good at the time. 

As for the boys? They're great. And they've had a lot of things going on in their lives as well, like potty training and big boy beds (more on that later)!

They say and do so many funny and adorable things and I wish I could record their sweet voices and capture them forever. Lately, they've been really into snuggling and will often say things like, "Mommy, I want to snuggle you" or "I want you to snuggle me when we get home." I don't know when they turned this corner, but I hope it goes on for a very long time because it's awfully sweet. They really are little lovers and enjoy talking about how much Mommy and Daddy love them. Just today in the car, the boys were talking about how much Mommy loves them. "It's not little, like this {hands held close together}," they said. "It's big, kind of like this {hands spread wide}. All the way up to the moon and the sun and the twinkle stars." 

Yes, boys, all the way to the moon and the twinkle stars and the sun and more than you'll ever know. 

And though I have much more to say and update on the boys and the adoption and the pregnancy, I'll end with a final picture. 

Every night before bed, Josiah puts his favorite toys upside down under his crib. He's putting them "nigh nigh". Whoever said little boys weren't sweet?! And we're happy to be adding another!

The Pregnancy Details

****** I typed this up the week before baby boy came, and I never published it, so here are the pregnancy details with birth details to follow!

Since people have asked and I want to remember, I'll go ahead and share how we found out we were pregnant and our first reactions. Basically, I knew I was late and Don suggested that I take a  pregnancy test "just to see" and I said no. I had long ago stopped taking tests and I didn't want to go down that road again. I was afraid that just taking the test would give that little glimmer of hope and then I'd be disappointed when the test said negative. I decided I'd wait at least a week. But then I had a few dreams back to back that I was taking a pregnancy test and it was coming back positive. It all seemed so strange that one morning after another pregnancy dream I found an old expired test in the bathroom and decided to take it so that I could put the whole thing to rest. To my surprise, it came back positive! I had so convinced myself that I wasn't pregnant that I could barely process that the test was telling me we were pregnant. Thankfully Don was still home and I basically just brought the test to him and showed him the results. Of course, he was like, "is this line supposed to be here?" "what does this mean?" "is this line supposed to be darker?"... he was just as stunned as I was. 

I don't think I really even believed it was true until my appointment at 10 weeks. After the initial test was taken, I called my doctor and had the blood tests done that determined a positive pregnancy and then I went in for my first appointment. I distinctly remember the doctor saying, "So, you're pregnant." and I responded with "I think so."

It's hard to explain but I think it was a combination of wanting to protect myself in case we lost the baby (so I didn't even really let myself get attached to the idea) and really being at a place where I didn't think we'd get pregnant and I was okay with that. This isn't to say that we weren't excited or that we didn't still desire to get pregnant, we just had peace that it might never happen. So, maybe in some ways it felt extra surprising?

Add to that, since we were in the midst of our adoption, we had some initial fears right away about whether or not we'd be able to stay in our adoption program and what that would look like. We never, not even once, considered stopping the adoption. Our hearts were already knit to a yet unknown little girl in Ethiopia, and we didn't want to stop pursuing her, even though we we were adding a third little one. 

So, the status of the adoption right now is that we're "on hold" until the baby is born in June. After the baby is born, we'll update all of our paperwork and re-enter the program. Thankfully, we'll still be at the top of the list, which means we could receive our referral at any point. It also means that this baby and our Ethiopian daughter could be about the same age and may end up "artificial twins"- hey, all we know is raising twins, so possibly raising another set of same-aged children shouldn't be anything new, right? And we just bough a minivan last week, so we have plenty of room! (And I feel no shame in the minivan, no shame at all- every time I get in it, I feel so happy to have sliding doors and easy access to buckling little people and 8 cup holders all to myself!)

Back to the pregnancy...

I think this was maybe at 30 weeks- I've only taken a few pictures and I don't remember when this one was, thinking it was about 30 though.  

Here is 32 weeks. Now I'm at 35 weeks and hopefully Little Bean will be here in about a month. I feel like I'm about twice the size now as I was a few weeks ago and my belly seems to be expanding daily. I've gained somewhere between 15-20 lbs; it was 15 a couple weeks ago but I'm guessing it's higher now!

I have the typical up a few times a night to go to the bathroom and can't really roll over or get comfortable, but otherwise everything has gone great! We had just a little scare a couple of weeks ago because the doctor said he thought my fluids were a little low, not dangerous, just lower than he wanted to see. This was also right after we had taught the boys to ride their bikes and I was clocking some serious mileage running/waddling up the street with them each day while they practiced their new obsession. Now, I'm taking it pretty easy, I reserve the bike riding for when Don is home and I usually take a nap each afternoon.

We're busy preparing for Baby Bean in whatever ways we can- I had big plans to paint and decorate his nursery but it just isn't going to happen. My main preparation has been prayer for a "smooth as possible" transition. We've never had a newborn, so things like cleaning belly buttons and nursing are a little intimidating. On top of that, caring for a newborn, getting little sleep, and having two very active 2 (almost 3) year olds is a little scary, but I'm trying not to borrow trouble and just trust that God will provide all of the strength and patience and help that we need when the time comes. Plus, I know that having a newborn will mean that the boys are going to have to learn to share Mommy and Daddy and I want that transition to go as well as possible for them.  

I ordered a new blanket for the baby and have picked up a few cute little sleepers. He's starting to move and kick and wiggle around a lot lately and we're both getting more and more excited to meet the little man!