Pregnancy Then and Now: A Comparison

It has been ten and a half years since my first pregnancy, and over six years since my last pregnancy, and as I reflect on how it feels to be pregnant yet again, I can’t help but compare and contrast those experiences. And so, without further ado:

Pregnancy, Then and Now


The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I called just about every one I knew within 2.4 minutes of those two lines showing up. I even called my husband, while he was at work, and told him over the phone. So sweet of me, I know…

IMG_3141The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test I waited 48 hours to tell my husband and a month to tell anyone else outside of a few close friends. And most days I forgot about it at least four times throughout the day.

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I ran to the bookstore and bought a minimum of five books on pregnancy, sleep training babies, proper nutrition for pregnancy, and baby names. I followed every guideline, suggestion, and rule of thumb to a T.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I downloaded a pregnancy app on my phone, read the first few weeks, then never opened it again because who has time to worry about all that?! Vitamins, decent nutrition, and exercise. The rest of those things are mere guidelines…

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I ran to Babies R Us and looked at all the things I would need to welcome a baby. I was crazy overwhelmed and I compiled a list of over 100 items that I would soon register for.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I wondered if there was even a Babies R Us near by, and even if there was, I’m sure I’d get around to visiting sometime in the next 7 months. And also? I know that I really only need about 1/4 of those items now, so why stress?

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t wait to start showing and to wear maternity clothes. It felt like forever before that happened, and I bought and wore maternity shirts before I really needed them because I wanted everyone to know that I was with child.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I started showing before the pee on the stick dried. I visited a maternity shop and gagged at the thought of wearing those clothes again. I will squeeze into my regular clothes for as long as possible, and after that, there’s always loose, flowy dresses. Amen.

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I could think of nothing but babies, babies, babies. I doodled names on scrap pieces of paper. I read books and magazines. I designed nurseries in my head, and I did all the research I possibly could on child birth.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I put in another load of laundry, scrubbed down the kitchen, and made beds. I haven’t thought of any names yet (although Tia is adamant on Elsa for a girl and Kristoph for a boy), and I plan on squeezing a crib into the guest bedroom. The baby will get it’s own corner in the house. Lucky kid…

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I planned on life stopping when the baby was born. I would stay home, and the baby would get routine morning and afternoon naps every single day.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I thought of all the places I would get to go with this baby in tow. I hope this baby likes sleeping in a car seat…

The first time I got a positive pregnancy test, I felt in awe of the fact that I was carrying life. I treasured the thought of holding a baby in my arms, and couldn’t wait to meet the child that would be mine.

The fourth time I got a positive pregnancy test, I felt the exact same way.

Then the older kids started arguing, and I didn’t have time to dwell on it anymore…

The Big Reveal


We went back and forth on when and how to tell the kids that we were having another baby. Part of me wanted to wait until we had heard, or seen, a heartbeat for peace of mind and the knowledge that everything was okay.

But times have changed since I last had a baby. Doctors no longer see you early on in your pregnancy (unless you are high risk, which I am not), and they don’t do early ultrasounds, and a heartbeat can’t be detected this early. So we were looking at having to wait until 12 weeks or longer to hear a heartbeat and I couldn’t do that for a couple of reasons.

First, “Secrets, Secrets are no Fun!

I really wanted my kids to have the privilege and fun of telling people that they are getting a new baby. I’m not good at keeping secrets like this one, so the thought of waiting an entire month longer before we could talk about it seemed torturous.

Second, I’m already showing. Baggy clothes only go so far. It’s warm in Florida, so it’s not like I can hide under multiple layers of clothing for a month. This secret was going to be obvious to everyone very shortly.

So we are taking this on faith, with lots of prayers that the Lord will sustain this child in my womb. The fear of miscarriage nags at me, only because of what that would do to my children. But I’m trusting that the Lord will preserve this child and keep him/her healthy, and if something should happen, we will walk that path as gently as possible.

So last week, when I hit the 8 week point in the pregnancy, we decided to let the cat out of the bag. Our kids love to play Hangman, so when they came home from school, we set up a little hangman game for them and told them it revealed a special surprise.

“Are we going to get ice cream?” Tia yelled.

“Are we going on a trip?” Landon yelled.

“Are we going to Italy as a family?” Sloan yelled.

Um…this surprise fit somewhere between going for ice cream and Italy, I believe…

I got cute video of the whole process, including the point when they solved the message and stared at me with wide eyes. “You’re…pregnant?” Sloan asked. “I don’t believe you.” He changed his tune when I pointed out the bump in my belly that I could not suck in.

hangman2I’m working on figuring out how to use iMovie, and I hope to put together a little clip of the reveal. It was fun to watch the kids then call their grandparents in Arkansas, and play hangman with my parents here in town to reveal the message.

What fun it was to celebrate that moment with my kids. They have been precious since finding out, all of them excited in different ways. At first Landon claimed to want a boy, but I believe his sister has coerced him to change his tune. All three now say they want a girl.

If similarities in pregnancy are any indication, then this could very well be a girl, because so far this pregnancy reminds me a lot of my pregnancy with Tia. However, if genetics continue to play a part, then this will most likely be another boy.

Time will tell.

For now I am treasuring these moments of excitement with my kids, and trying not to panic at the thought of starting this whole parenting thing over again. I look forward to seeing my children develop into older siblings with a much younger sibling in the house. What sweetness is in store…

The swell of spring and new life awaits

Florida spring is beautiful. Crisp mornings give way to hot days signaling summer’s swift descent. But as we await the sweltering days, I’m struck by the new life springing up around us. Even in Florida, when nothing goes dormant, spring brings a pleasant crop of welcome change.

Spring also means that swimming season is upon us.

Speaking of new life, my cousin Summer brought home her two sons from Ethiopia just five months ago and in a few short weeks she will welcome a daughter into the world. The ladies of the family gathered together to celebrate this much prayed for baby girl last week.

May your weekend be filled with sunshine, flowers and the welcome relief of a warm breeze.

Knocked Up

I shared this story the other night with a friend and I decided it was too funny not to blog.  So here you go…just another random blog about my life.

You. Are. Welcome.

I was 24 years old and pregnant with Sloan.  It should be stated that Sloan was a mammoth of a child.  He was 9.3 when he was born in July of 2003 so by June of that year I looked like I was going to explode.  I carried him one hundred percent out front and quite low so yes, I waddled and I got asked more than once if I was expecting twins.

FYI – Pregnant women don’t like to be asked if they’re having twins because the chances are greater that they’re not carrying twins.  If you are unsure, it’s best to simply not ask.

It was early on a June day and Lee needed to take my car into the shop due to a rather unpleasant sound it was making that was certain to cost us a large portion of our unborn child’s college fund so instead of being stuck at home for the day, I decided to run the few errans I had in The Pup.

The Pup was a little Isuzu truck we bought while we were rehabbing our house so that we could haul lumber and other large items to and from our temporary home – Lowes.  I believe we paid $500 for The Pup.  She was rusted inside and out and she shook rather furiously when you started her up.  She sputtered when she moved and she was drafty due to a rather significant hole in the floor board.  But she served her purpose well and we tried not to drive her long distances for fear that she might literally fall apart in the road and we’d be left manually pushing a Flinstones car up the driveway.

So on this fine morning, I loaded up The Pup and prepared to spend the morning out.

Did I mention I was great with child?  Great with child.  And for some reason, on this particular day, I decided to wear my hair in two long braids.  I was 24 so I could still pull off braids without looking totally and completely ridiculous.

Actually, I’m guessing that’s not true.  I probably looked ridiculous.

I also wore no make up and because my fingers were rather swollen I had on no ring.  But the creme de la creme of my little ensemble came in the form of my maternity shirt.  Because my protuding abdomen was so prominent, food and liquids attached themselves to it with great frequency.  As in, every time I ate I spilled something on my stomach.  So by the end of my pregnancy, I didn’t own a single unstained shirt.  And the shirt I chose on that particular day was white and had a long stain right. down. the middle.

I am nothing if not classy.

So out I walked.  In braids, with a stained shirt, to The Pup.  I had give myself a bit of a running start in order to get my gut up off the ground and into the slightly elevated seat.  It was quite the ordeal, in fact to get in and get the seat adjusted so that I could reach the steering wheel without it cutting off the circulation to the lower half of my body.

In short…I looked ridiculous.

I made my first stop at Borders Bookstore.  I waddled in and got my book and smiled slightly at the people who started at me with eyebrows raised.  I waddled back out, took my hop, step and leap into The Pup’s front seat and shimmied around until I was just right and continued on to the gas station.

Here I ran into an older man and woman filling up their boat on wheels.  The woman didn’t even try to hide her horrified stares.  It was at this moment that I began to feel a bit like a Zoo animal.  I also began to wonder what it was that people were staring at.

After I got gas, I headed to Mecca Target.  It was here that the stares intensified and I finally got the question.

“Honey, when are you due?”

“In three weeks.”

“Ah,” the woman nodded knowingly. “And you feel okay to be out walking around?”


She looked down at me with a bit of pity in her eyes, causing even more confusion on my part.  “Well, good luck to you,” she said, patting me on the shoulder as she turned to walk away.  This woman truly seemed sorry for me.

I decided to make my purchase and get out of the Twilight Zone as quickly as possible at that point.  When I made my pitiful leap into The Pup, I looked up in the rear view mirror to make sure I didn’t have FREAK written across my forehead and when I looked I laughed out loud.

Braids and no make up with bangs hanging neatly across my forehead…

I looked seventeen years old. 

No wonder people stared.  I looked like a poor little knocked up teenager who’s boyfriend had left her with nothing but a stained shirt and beat up old truck.  This explained the old woman’s horror at the gas station.

I also explains why I have never worn braids again.

The End.

A Mom is Born: Let’s Celebrate!

On August 25, My Mommy Manual and KMOV are hosting A Mom is Born.  This is a virtual baby shower with a cause!  Using the transition into motherhood as a platform, A Mom is Born will raise funds for the Missouri chapter of The March of Dimes while also celebrating new life.  This is only the second virtual baby shower and this year’s celebrant is Virgina Kerr, the anchor of Channel Four’s early morning program, Awake.

Becoming a new mom can be daunting and overwhelming.  I remember well being pregnant with Sloan and walking the aisles of Babies “R” Us, thoroughly terrified.  What would I need? What would I want?  What if he was permanently and irreversibly damaged because I chose the wrong sized bottle nipple?!  Gah!

So I did what any self respecting, hormonal first time mom would do – I sent a mass email to every mom I knew asking for advice.  It saved my life, that email…okay that might be a little dramatic.  It did save my sanity, though.  And those mom friends have continued to pour into me and reassure me along the way.  So now it’s my turn (and yours!) to pay it forward and share your bits of mom wisdom with a new mom to be.

There are several different ways to participate in this exciting event.  The first is to simply attend.  You can watch a live stream of the shower online at  There will be opportunities to interact with Virginia and the shower hosts via a live chat room.  Viewers (guests) will also learn how to personalize a Holding Hands bracelet.  This bracelet is a sweet gift for all expectant mothers to wear during labor and delivery as a reminder of the support that she has from her closest family and friends.

A limited number of Holding Hands bracelets will also be available for purchase online with a portion of the proceeds going to The March of Dimes.  You can also donate directly to The March of Dimes via the Mom Is Born website.

The virtual shower will be filled with fun, laughter and wisdom as other mothers will pass on pieces of wisdom to Virginia.  You can share your own tips or advice on the website prior to the shower and earn an entry into the Raffle for that day.  Raffle prizes have been generously donated by the shower sponsors: Build-a-Bear Workshop, Kolcraft, Goodnite RoomsPixie Posie Photography and the venue sponsor, Overlook Farm.

Overlook Farm is also offering an amazing special for all moms.  From now until October 15, which is when Virginia’s baby boy is due, you can spend a relaxing night in one of their luxurious inns for only $125/night.  All you have to do to receive this rate is become a fan of Overlook Farm on Facebook.  If you mention the virtual shower on their fan page, you will be entered to win a Girl’s Weekend getaway for four where you can unwind on their 200 acre farm, relax in their greenhouse hot tub, explore their many gardens, or enjoy a glass of wine as you watch the sun set over the Missouri River Valley.

Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

No matter what, I hope you’ll take the time on August 25 to tune in to this special and unique virtual shower.  To find out more information, or to submit your piece of mommy wisdom and be entered to win the Raffle, visit  You can also participate by donating to The March of Dimes through the PayPal button provided below.

Maybe we can all convince her to go ahead and buy a minivan.  After all, we know what they are, right?!

Webcam chat at Ustream


Webcam chat at Ustream