Friday, December 5, 2014

Dear Rachel in Kentucky

Dear Rachel,

Thank you for emailing me to find out what is going on.  I feel honored that I'm entering anyone's mind in Kentucky.  I assumed no one in Kentucky cared about me.  Or Montana and Nebraska, but really no one in Kentucky.

I had been contemplating this blog a lot lately, so your email, on top of being "recognized" by a reader this past weekend while picking out a Christmas Tree, has finally convinced me to write a little again.

It would appear that I have fallen off the face of the Earth. 

However, in reality I have been dealing with this.

I realize I'm smiling in this photo, which might seem confusing because it looks like a positive pregnancy test and a really serious weight gain for me...and it is.

I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my surprise fourth child and it has taken a LONG road for me to get to smiling.  I found out late May and then basically sat in the chair pictured below and cried until August while my other children ran around and ate fruit snacks and played electronic things.

My parenting was extraordinarily weak this past summer and I really loathe this chair now.

I like to think I taught my children a lesson in the dangers of unexpected pregnancy, how to delicately handle the fragile state of an emotionally unstable person, and the joy of eating junk food...something they rarely are allowed to experience since I used to be such a good Mom. 

I also have permanently gained extra sympathy from my husband, who instead of freaking out on me while I sobbed telling him the news was simply amazing. 

(Still madly in love with that man.  He is good to me and our family beyond measure.)

Let's get some of the questions out of the way Rachel.  If we were catching up over coffee you might be asking, or at the very least wondering, the following.  These are all the common questions I've been answering to friends and strangers.  Strangers are immediately not strangers once they realize I'm pregnant...belly touching and intrusive questions abound.

(Strangers do often back off once they find out this is my FOURTH baby.  I assume they think I'm some sort of Duggar-wannabe freak and retreat for their own protection so they don't catch my crazy.)

Was this planned? 

Please pause for a few moments of laughter.

I'm not sure if you remember a lot of my prior posts, but more children never really seemed like a great idea.  I was maxed out with the three I had.

I did periodically think it would be great for Stella to have a sister to be best friends with like Aiden and Cole, but I usually thought of this more in a state of wonder of what could have been 2 years ago.  Or perhaps I thought that a 2 year old girl might be delivered to our door, maybe with a bow and a trust fund. I didn't really think I would start from scratch 4 1/2 years later with a newborn BOY.

What sort of birth control were you using?

How rude Rachel!  Just kidding, but I have gotten this one a lot.  This questions is usually stemming from people's own self-preservation so they can avoid this happening to them OR so they can reprimand me for our choices.  Both are super fun.

I frequently want to lie and say I was one the pill, had an IUD, AND we were using a condom-spermicide combo, just to freak people out...but I usually don't. 

I'll just say we were being careful and were planning on a permanent solution that unfortunately/fortunately didn't happen in time.

How old are you?

This one make me feel great because I assume people are confused by the fact that I will have four children and I look 22.

I'm 38 Rachel, which brings my mom a great amount of joy.  She was 38 when she had me and I, for some unexplainable reason, was really bothered by the fact that she was older than all my friends' moms when I was in elementary school.  I assume this won't be a problem for this kid because I'm so hip.  I can even name all the One Direction members.

Wait...that makes me hip right? 

Do you have a name?

Why yes we do Rachel.  Stella has named him Trippers.  We are so drained from raising our other three and I can barely move without peeing my pants now so I can't muster the energy to name hunt, so Trippers just might stick.  I don't know where it came from, but surely he'll rock it, right?

Do you feel you inspired Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds to also conceive?

Umm....probably.  It's just too bad she looks so awful pregnant.

Did you save all your stuff?

You mean all the baby stuff we assumed we would NEVER in a million years use?  Nope.  We're starting from scratch here and it's just as annoying as it sounds.  Babies are pricey and really have a lot of crap for something so small.

I'm mostly just in denial though and have walked out of two baby stores this week with nothing purchased from my list because it all feels ridiculous.  I'm waiting for him to arrive and then it will perhaps make more sense to spend $250 on a small electrical chair that mimics the motion of a kangaroo.  Yep, the kangaroo setting is a thing now for babies.  I assume my other three drain me because they were never once bounced like a kangaroo as infants, this child is going have the BEST life ever.

I also have the most wonderful friends on the planet who threw me a baby shower and gave me presents and celebrated this baby's existence...which was profoundly touching to me.  This baby is going to be loved, even if something strange happens and Alex and I can't muster the extra emotion for him.  That's the good thing about having a baby when none of your friends are anymore, everyone else thinks it's so exciting. 

How do you feel?

I feel like there is a heavy, moving dumbbell shifting around in my lower abdomen, pressing really firmly on my entire pubic area, delivering sharp pains on top of the constant ache that exists once I'm up and moving for an hour or two in the day.

(Pubic area sounds wrong, but you know what I mean.) 

Carrying the fourth baby at 38 versus the first few in my early 30s feels much different.  I'm uncomfortable, but I still have it pretty good. 

Also, this is the one time in life that I actually have boobs that are not entirely formed by a magic bra.  It's all very powerful and fun to actually have them for a brief period of time.  I really feel they could help me change the world if they stayed around.

The good news?  I emotionally feel a lot better now.  I don't know if I would say I'm excited about the upcoming arrival of baby number four, but I am happy.  I think I know too much about myself and newborns to be excited.

Sleepless nights, the constant presence of a little human that needs everything from you, the crying, the uncertainty of what to do with them to help them, the poop, the fear when they sleep too long, the desperation when they don' goes quickly and feels like a lifetime. 

I will love this baby.  My heart will, yet again, do that amazing thing where it can multiply itself to fiercely love someone more than anything and we'll be ok.

So for now, with eight weeks left I am mostly searching for the perfect pair of expandable, non-maternity pants and trying to figure out how much I can do sitting down. 

It's far more complicated than it sounds.

What's new with YOU Rachel?  How's Kentucky? 

I promise to keep you posted from now on.  Thank you again for reaching out!