Today Cimorene is 11 months old. Today Baby #2 is 11 weeks along.
The question on many people's minds (and some people's lips) is, "Was this a surprise?"
Well, it depends on what you consider a surprise.
In March I had a dream about a baby boy, and I woke up pondering. (No, this does not necessarily mean it's going to be a boy; last time I dreamed of twins and got just one baby girl.) Surely it was too early to think about having another baby, though; after all, Cimorene wasn't even sleeping through the night yet.
I went to the temple that day, which, for those of my friends who aren't of my faith, is a place where I feel very close to heaven. It's a place where I feel very confident about the answers I get to my prayers. That day I prayed about whether or not I should have another baby, and I felt very comforted about the whole idea. I went home and talked to Ryan, and told him the answer I had gotten, but told him I wanted him to pray about it too. Later that day he came back and said that he also felt it was time to have another child.
God said jump and I jumped, and I'm excited to be having another baby, but I haven't always been able to maintain the peace I felt about it that day at the temple. Cimorene did start sleeping through the night just days after I made the decision, which helped me start feeling like a human being again (it had been over 8 months since I'd slept well, after all), but that in itself was difficult, because it made me reluctant to give up that healthy, alert feeling. Then I felt guilty for feeling reluctant. I got pregnant quickly, and I was happy about it, because I knew it was right. I was overwhelmed at the thought of putting my body through pregnancy again so soon, but I knew God would take care of me.
That knowledge hasn't changed, but sometimes it's hard to keep perspective. Guilt popped up in my emotions a lot. I felt guilty that the thought of being pregnant overwhelmed me when I had so many friends wishing for a child. I could think of at least 5 young married couples off the top of my head who were struggling with the wait for pregnancy. I wondered why I was getting another child when they were still waiting for their first. Instead of feeling grateful that I was able to get pregnant so easily, I worried about how I would tell my friends.
Part of that burden was removed when two of those friends contacted me within a couple weeks of each other to tell me they were pregnant. I was so happy for them, and also relieved that I could tell them my news without worrying.
Remember how I tend to get overwhelmed? I think I've used that word a few times in this post... Well, here's what I was seeing. I have a baby who's teething. I'm sick. My husband's leaving for Basic Training. We're buying a car. I have to drive it out to California later in the summer, where I have to move into housing that I've found long-distance (oh wait, I have to find it first) without the help of my husband, because he won't be allowed to leave base at first. I have to get through an entire summer without my husband, when I've not been away from him longer than one night in the last 3 years.
I'm still stressed over some of that, but here's what I've seen in the last few weeks.
I'm sick while at home with my wonderful mother, who helps take care of me, plays with my daughter, and changes her diapers when the smell makes me gag. My mom feeds Cim oatmeal in the morning when I can't even sit up straight. She makes me food when I can't get off the couch. My little brother runs up and down the stairs to grab things I need, and he plays with Cim. My dad plays with her. My older brother plays with her. She's in heaven with so much attention, which is good because there are times when I can't even hold her.
I'm not nearly as sick as I was last time. Last time I threw up every day until I reached 16 wks. This time I'm still sick all day (not just mornings), but I've actually had some decent days, and I've only thrown up a few times. (I'm sure you all wanted to know.)
Looking at the way the last few weeks have gone, I can't imagine getting through this stage of pregnancy while Ryan was in language school, say, or starting a new job. Had I waited 6 months to get pregnant, I would have had to go through this by myself for most of the day, and then worry about being too much of a burden on Ryan at night when he was already stressed. Cimorene would have been traumatized by the fact that I couldn't hold her or play with her as much, and I would have felt horribly guilty about it. I would have been living in a new area with people I didn't know and no strength or energy to go out and make friends.
Maybe it would have been different; I'm sure God could have strengthened me and provided a way to get through it. But I can't help admiring His timing, and the way that was provided.
The other emotion on this roller coaster is, of course, joy. Ryan, Cimorene, and I went and got the first ultrasound done 4 days before Ryan left. When I saw that little baby rolling and kicking and waving on that screen, I was filled with excitement and joy. It had arms and legs. It had a face that was almost discernible, even at 9 wks. It stopped rolling and waved one arm at us, just like Cimorene did the first time we saw her on that screen. I saw my baby, and it was mine, and I loved it, that rolling little white shape. I was excited at the thought that in January I'll get to hold him or her (or February if this baby comes late like Cimorene did; I'm due Jan. 25th). All the sickness, all the stretching, the shoving around of my internal organs, the recovery time, the extra weight--it's for a baby. That baby. The one in the picture up there. And that thought brings me joy.
I know that God wanted this baby to come to our family with this timing. Do I understand it? I'm starting to. I'm sure I have more to learn, but I'm definitely grateful that God is the one planning these things.
So back to the initial question: Yes, in a way, this baby was a surprise. I was very surprised in March when I realized it was time to get pregnant again already. But it was also planned--and we were given advance warning by the master planner so that we weren't too surprised.
And now we wait. 29 weeks left. :-)