Our Five Ring Circus: Completing Phase Three: The Final Pregnancy Chapter with a TWIST

Friday, October 29, 2021

Completing Phase Three: The Final Pregnancy Chapter with a TWIST

Pregnancy Announcement

My husband and I started our parenting years when we were young. While everyone else we knew was in college or starting their careers, we were buying a house and having a baby. Two years later, we added another child to our family. Grant said he wanted one, maybe two, kids, so we thought that was it for us.

4 1/2 years later, we changed our minds. Lily was born, and a few days after she turned two, Liam joined our family. At that point we started referring to our kids as Phase One and Phase Two. We always said there would NEVER be a Phase Three!

Well, we all know how that turned out! Coen was our BIG surprise, coming into our lives after we donated most of our baby items. We were done. Phase Three would just be Coen, and we would move forward on our parenting journey. It turns out this chapter in our lives hadn't ended just yet...

If you keep up with us on social media, you know exactly how our story continued! If not, you should know that there is a reason for my absence in the blog world. Baby number 6 - the FINAL chapter - will be joining us any day now!

It is definitely late to be announcing the news, but we didn't find out until the second half of my pregnancy, and this pregnancy has not been easy. We thought having a surprise post-birth diagnosis of Down syndrome was the toughest news we would hear, but it turns out there are tougher things to deal with. It has been a lot to come to terms with, but we're ready to meet our last baby!

Sometime in the next two weeks, the biggest surprise of our lives will be joining our family. I always say you have to expect the unexpected when it comes to kids. Honestly, everything about this pregnancy and this baby is unexpected!

Big Family Blog

Let me start by answering a few questions...

We were done having kids. Honestly. We wanted 4 kids, and we ended up with an incredible bonus baby, too. 5 kids felt right, and we had moved onto the next phase of parenting. 

Sometimes reliable birth control fails. I had to start taking a birth control pill when I was about 19, to control the growth of painful ovarian cysts. The bonus to taking it, is that it prevented pregnancy, too. My mom passed her fertile genes onto me, so without that pill, I would probably have 20 babies! I attempted to go off that pill after Lexie (my second baby) was born, and ended up in the ER when she was 11 months old, after a cyst burst. I went back on the pill, taking it at the same time every day, thanks to a daily alarm on my phone, and it worked. No cysts, no unplanned babies, until I tried going off the pill again to see if I still had cysts. Suddenly, Coen was on his way! After he was born, I took the mini pill during the first year of breastfeeding, then switched back to my RELIABLE pill when breastfeeding was no longer his main source of nutrition. I never missed a single pill, and I took it at the same time every day. That particular pill had never failed me before, but somehow while breastfeeding Coen was coming to an end, the sudden shift of hormones opened that magic fertile window, and the timing was right. 

Yes, pregnancy symptoms can be missed. Breastfeeding + a birth control pill = Periods that are few and far between. In this case, the absence of morning sickness kept me from realizing I was pregnant. With my previous 5 kids, I had hyperemesis (extreme morning sickness) that began shortly after conception, and lasted every single day until the day I delivered. This time, there was NOTHING. Not a single day of morning sickness, which I never thought was possible! I was breastfeeding, taking my pill, taking my prenatal vitamin, and exercising daily, and nothing felt off. But suddenly, I felt a tumble in my stomach one night when I was having trouble sleeping, and sure enough, it was a baby! We were absolutely shocked. We went to my first appointment in August, assuming I was maybe 16 or 17 weeks pregnant, and when the ultrasound tech said I was 26 weeks, we were speechless. 

Parenting Blog

Here's what we know...

We found out the gender! I wanted to wait until birth, like we did with our first four babies. I just enjoy that surprise in the delivery room so much more than knowing in advance!

Large Family Blog

The boys win!

Gender Reveal Ideas

Down syndrome blog

The baby is due November 15th, but POSSIBLY November 22nd. They are going with the largest measurements, though. That being said, they are planning an induction for 39 weeks if I don't have him by then.

30 Weeks Pregnant

32 Weeks Pregnant

33 Weeks Pregnant

34 Weeks Pregnant

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37 Weeks Pregnant

Our sweet boy has a congenital heart defect. He has an AVSD, which can be repaired, but does require open heart surgery between 3-6 months of age. It was spotted at our first appointment, and confirmed by an echocardiogram last month. That is a blog post for another day. We are clearly scared, worried, overwhelmed, and stressed. What we have learned is that we can't plan for anything. We just have to take things one day at a time. Thankfully, we live near one of the best women's hospitals and one of the best children's hospitals in the country (#2 for pediatric cardiology and surgery), and the baby already has an incredible team assembled for him. 

congenital heart defect - AVSD

We already had one scare, on Tuesday. He was nonreactive during an NST, which earned us a trip to the hospital for further monitoring, a potential delivery, and a biophysical ultrasound. He had 30 minutes to pass his biophysical ultrasound before qualifying for an early delivery, and of course, he passed with a perfect score one minute before the time expired. So back at home we went! Right now, he's thriving while my body does all the work for him, but as soon as he is born, he has to do all the hard work. For now, he's safe!

Pregnancy Blog

So here we are. It has been the FASTEST, most shocking pregnancy so far, and we are nearing the end! It is tough coming to terms with a pregnancy that is unplanned, but even tougher when a health issue is discovered. I cried my way through the WHY phase, but if anybody can handle this, it would be me and my husband! At this point, we are just eager to meet our beautiful boy and get his broken heart repaired!

4D Ultrasound

Completing Phase Three: The Final Pregnancy Chapter with a TWIST

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