Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Will #3 Be the Last Baby?

I am not one of those people that rolls my eyes and says all those weird nosy things about people with four, five, six, or even more kids. In a way I envy and am in awe of them. My dad is one of six; my mom is one of four. I've had friends that have been one of four, one of five, one even of ten! I love the idea of a big family. So many siblings, such huge family gatherings for holidays and big events, so many people that are all a little different in their ambitions and dreams but share the same love for each other, so many children and grandchildren to visit us when we're old. I'm in total awe of those parents that balance four, five, six or more kids. I feel overwhelmed with my two sometimes!

Even though my husband has definitely dropped the hint about a possible fourth maybe, I just don't think it will happen. It's not even about if it's a boy or girl because even if number 3 is a boy I'd actually be more inclined to be talked into having a fourth in hopes he could have a brother close in age the same way the two older girls have each other. I love sisters so four girls just sounds like a whole lot of girl fun to me (minus the expense of prom dresses and weddings!) So a part of me would love even more kids than three and the huge family of six or so. But then there's the other side of me that sees it as likely not and here's why:

1. Money: I'm sure those that know me will get a kick out of this one. But long ago I only budgeted my life for three kids. When I've looked at saving for college, saving extra for retirement on top of our pensions, on daycare and activities it has all always been planned around three.

2. Selfishness: While a part of me wants a larger family; there are some things for myself I don't want to put on the back burner anymore or in the future. I want to focus on reclaiming myself. Not only does pregnancy and breastfeeding take over your body, and there's the physical aspect of yourself you'd like to reclaim at some point, but there's also the mental part that you want to reclaim that finds balance with motherhood, marriage, career, and other personal interests. Right now with #3 I can still retire in twenty years. With more that twenty may start to look like twenty five or more. I have plans for my early retirement years so I need to be able to still have a little youth left by retiring in my 50s rather than late 60s.

3. Room: You can fit three kids in any car and in any three bedroom house, which is what we have. But if the family starts getting bigger then we'd need bigger cars and a house. The process of getting those is a lot of work and those bigger accommodations connect back to #1, money.

4. Age: I'm 34 and will be 34 when this baby is born, but that means any that would come after would be after I'm 35. As most women probably know pregnancies are higher risk after that, but not only that it also means I'm even older before I move onto the next stage of life after kids are raised. Not that I'm in any hurry to get there right now, but I kind of imagine us as empty nesters and retiring in our mid 50s (well since Nate is four years older probably closer to 60 for him) when our kids should all be in their 20s and starting their own lives. Being the overanalytical person I am when doing the math that also means I want to be around to see my grandkids grow up, not just be born (assuming of course that I get to live to be an old lady into my 80s or so).

5. My previous birth and pregnancy experiences have scarred me for life: Pregnancy and birth can have it's scarring experiences. How many women in the throes of labor look at their husbands and say "You better NEVER do this to me again!!!" I haven't quite done that but this kid isn't here yet. Lucky for me my pregnancies with the girls and this one have always been without the dreadful morning sickness. I loved being pregnant with my oldest. With my second I was so over being pregnant and couldn't wait for her to be evicted. My labors, unlike my sister who I think longest labor from start to finish was less than eight hours, last way too damn long. My oldest from the middle of the night labor pains until her final arrival was 30 hours! But hey with my second that was cut in half at 16 hours and so maybe this time with my third it can make it's appearance in a standard eight hour day. But here's the thing that scarred with me each. With my oldest it wouldn't be until the news broke almost four years after her birth about a local ob/gyn admitting guilt to videotaping his patients. That ob turned out to be the one that delivered my oldest. Now I'm not even going to be obnoxious enough to discuss how they would even go about identifying which of his patients were victims of this practice, but the most disappointing thing to me was both my husband and I really liked this guy. He was a nice older gentleman and saw us through from the beginning of my labor to two hours after his shift ended to bringing my oldest into the world. Then to find this out really shatters your trust and makes you question the intentions of every male ob/gyn you see after that so unfortunately now I carry around an unfair suspicion of all male obs. With my second daughter I was borderline anemic and apparently it caused complications during labor that freaked my husband out (I was too out of it to be too concerned and by the time I knew the worry part was past)and they kept me in labor and delivery longer because of a concern of having to rush me to the OR if things took a turn. Luckily they did not and aside from not feeling normal or like myself for a day or two after all was good. Now with this third one the scarring incident isn't so much with the labor part yet but more so with the anxiety associated with being pregnant after two miscarriages. I love my children and I would go through it all again to get these three here with me, but I think after this one I'm done with the traumatizing experiences of pregnancy and labor.

However, I'm a never say never person. There's always the possibility of four, so only the future will really tell.  We have even discussed adopting or fostering at different points. As teachers you see so many kids that could really benefit from good homes and we'd love to give some kid a life and chance they have otherwise not had. God knows unfortunately there's enough unwanted, unloved kids out there that could use loving homes. But again that's something that would need so much more serious in depth consideration than what we've given it at this point.  For right now we better figure out this dividing and conquering thing now that we'll shortly be outnumbered. We're all so excited about three. This is what we always talked about and wanted. I know you worry with every pregnancy but sometimes I feel that I worry even more with this one about it being healthy and safely making it's way here to us. That's what we want more than anything. A healthy, happy baby with a safe, healthy, fast delivery. It really doesn't matter if it's a boy or girl. Boy or girl, we're going to love it as much as we love the other two no matter what. However, I have to know what it is so in five weeks we shall know!

If you need to catch the baby fever or need anymore encouragement on expanding your own little army of mini yous here's some baby pics from the past.

                                                   Baby G #1 with her headful of hair
                                      Baby G #2 when her bald head finally started to get hair

Their coloring is completely different but I feel that you can see the sibling similarity in their faces. My oldest has my husband's coloring while my youngest has mine.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Life is Going...

Life right now is crazy busy. At work I have SLOs I'm working my way through, it's PBA time with the end of the quarter approaching as well as deadlines for senior recommendations from my juniors from last year, as well as facing the deadline for the first 50 pages of the yearbook so it's a heightened period of stress at work. Nate is taking his required school district training in the evening to move into the AP pool within two years, as well as taking on the other leadership responsibilities his school has given him, on top of trying to play in a baseball league. Between us and the kids for the past two weeks we've had something every day except Thursday and Sunday. This week it's something every day except Tuesday and Thursday. It's the Fall which is usually our worst time of the year for money with coming off of summer and getting ready for the holidays, and there's still the closer monitoring of my pregnancy as we're closing out the first trimester and moving into the second trimester and along with that happy progression also comes having to start to think about refurnishing the nursery because our spastic giant puppy last year decided to eat the crib, as well as the woodwork (no joke).  I'm not even going to get into the disaster that my house becomes by Thursday due to everything. Let's just say we may have to consider joining a nudist society soon because I don't know if our laundry is ever going to be caught up at this point. We're also going through the process of refinancing our house, which is a huge financial positive for us but lots of paperwork collecting on my part.  So there's probably reason to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed right now, but honestly I feel GREAT. It is such a huge relief to feel overwhelmed (never thought I'd say that)  but like myself in being able to take it in stride. I missed that girl that could just do it, and thank God she's back.

I could totally still use a household personal assistant. While Nate's been tackling phone calls to get the heat in both houses fixed and make reservations for our December  Polar Express trip, I've been dealing with bank paperwork and trying to figure out what to do for a four year old birthday party as well as trying to get started on my personable photo gifts for the holiday that family has come to love and expect. That personal assistant could totally receive a bonus for tackling that obnoxious never ending pile of laundry. But I'm surviving without her. It's always fun to dream though, right?

The flip side of feeling great though and like I have a handle on the chaos is I don't write in here nearly as much. Not because I don't have the time. Because believe me when I was writing in here every other day or so, it wasn't because I had the time but because I had such a need for an outlet to work my way through some stress and hard times with everything from my professional to my personal life. I'm not in that place anymore. Sometimes I miss that connection with readers and people, but I also realize other people are drawn to those down, struggling posts because it helps them feel like they're not alone. I didn't mind sharing my personal struggles and frustrations because sharing it really was helpful to me, and hopefully along the way it helped other people. One of the best things with airing out my emotions on here was the connection to other people. But I'm just not in that place anymore.  I hope that anyone that was in one of those ruts of their own life aren't there anymore either. Life has its ups and downs, and the hope is that the down moments don't last too long. I've even thought about letting the blog go but life is a cycle I know and there will be other times I need this place.

Even though I've definitely found myself on one of the ups in life right now, , I'm one of those people that when I'm on the up side I spend way too much time worrying about how long is it going to last. Oh, my Gosh, when is the bottom going to fall out again? I hope when it gets rough again it's not that bad. Please, don't let it be my health or anyone in my family's health. I would so much rather take the financial or job struggles any day over serious health struggles.  I worry  "when things get too stressful am I going to crack again" or is "another baby going to be the thing that sends me back to that stressed unable to cope woman". But I don't want to go there so let's stay on the positive.

Right now I am just incredibly grateful for how well things worked out with my new job. I really am loving it again. I am so grateful now that the dust has settled with moving, not only is this house feeling like home but this town is starting to feel like the forever home community wise we were looking for. I can't say enough how blessed I am with my girls. They really are great girls, crazy moments of when they're fighting with me or each other excluded ,  and we are so excited about baby #3. I love the energy and love for life the girls bring to our world every day , and I can't wait to see how a third one fits in with these two. Last but not least  of course, I'm thankful for my husband, my partner in everything with this life of ours. When I'm not complaining about his driving and he's not complaining about my laundry or lack of laundry skills, we make a pretty damn good team.

                                                                 My theatrical child

Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Trimester and Boy or Girl?

We took the girls with us last week to an appointment of mine. It was there that they saw and learned for the first time that they're getting a little brother or sister in the spring. They were of course excited. Kenz was concerned about not being the baby anymore.  Averi was worried and kept asking if this baby was going to disappear too or when I'll know if I'm "really" having that baby.

It's been a busy first trimester with two ultrasounds and two thyroid tests already, and so far everything has looked good. I was in the doctor three times the first four weeks I found out. After the miscarriage in January which was due to not being on top of my thyroid issue, I was very adamant about being seen right away and even questioning the blood work results to make sure they had my medication dosage right for pregnancy.

Just as I worried there have been times of anxiety where if one little pregnancy symptom disappeared or I didn't "feel" pregnant for a few hours I started worrying that something was wrong. It drives me a little crazy, the paranoia I will be glad when I can start to feel the baby move in a couple of weeks. Course I remember how even with the girls I'd get anxious if they were still for too long.

Plus one afternoon, I started feeling really light headed and dizzy. It reminded me a lot of how I felt after I had Kenzi, who I was borderline anemic with, but had complications at birth in relation to it, and spent a day or two feeling completely out of it and light headed. I'm waiting on bloodwork back on that.

On one hand as much as I want this kid here so I can quit worrying (because you know how much that stops after delivery). But on the other hand I'm thinking yes we still have a little over six months to get ready for our whole lives to be tipped upside down because even as excited as we all are if you have kids you know how much work a baby is! Between the minor complications I had after Kenzi was born though, and then her colic problem or whatever her screaming nonstop problem was I'm also a little traumatized to what comes next. LOL.

But I'm in a good place right now, and I really think I'm ready for this whole mom of three thing now. They say everything happens for a reason, and I feel that as a family and me personallywe are in a much place than before to take on this big change. Where I've been hesitant before about how much I thought I was ready for three or honestly if I even wanted three (husbands been the big pusher for three), now I am definitely excited and can't wait to meet him or her. He's even mentioned trying to talk me into four! We better see how three goes first! And I'd like to retire at some point.

As for it being a him or her. Obviously, Daddy is hoping for a boy. Averi wants another sister. Kenzi I think kind of wants a boy because then as she says, "she gets to stay the only baby girl". I want. I don't know really. After everything we went through to get this point, I just want a healthy happy baby. I really am kind of split on gender and here's why. I am one of three girls; I am raising two girls now. I am fairly confident in how to be a mom to girls; I think sisters are the greatest thing ever. I think it would be so fun to raise three sisters.

But on the other hand, with three girls I worry about there being sides and one being left out (my sisters and I are guilty of this).  I think with a brother Kenz and Ave's relationship will stand a better chance of staying as strong as it is. Daddy also already has Daddy's girls  and it'd be kind of nice to have a momma's boy. Plus with growing up with no brothers I kind of want to know what it's like to live in a house with boy, other than the Dad. It'd be one less wedding expense, and as the youngest and third kid we won't have to stress as much about enforcing fairness with the rules like we did the older sisters.

I guess we'll find out in about two months though. I would love to hear your guesses or name suggestions. I have some of those in mind to share at some point too.

        My oldest use to sing "Hush, baby, don't cry" when her little sister would cry ALL the time.
                                        She's practicing to help sing the baby to sleep too.
                         Yeah, Daddy's girls. Who do you think teaches them to play guitar?


Fight for Happy

I'm one of those people that can make frequent posts about how happy I am at the moment or how great things are going. But here's the thing I need to celebrate those moments because to get there isn't always the case or easy.

I have a family history as well as my own experience with depression and bouts of unhappiness; however, my sister who is actually certified to diagnose people like me thinks anxiety is more my problem. I get over anxious about upcoming things or over stress about something I don't have control over, and that's when I get really short and impatient with the people around me and find myself in constant bouts of feeling down and mad.  But between family and friends I've seen too many that find themselves in these holes of unhappiness, and I've had my stretches of time there as well.  Sometimes the cause can be connected to things like depression and anxiety or it's the circumstances of life at that moment that we find ourselves trapped in, unsure how to escape or cope.

I'm not just thinking of myself here but also those I really care about that I feel spend way too much of their life unhappy, but for some of us it's work to be happy. Lucky for me I don't feel that it's an every day battle, but there are stretches of time where it can be. I know some where I think it has been a big part of their life battle.

Here's the thing. No matter what leads to our individual unhappiness, we all owe it to ourselves to fight for happy. Some of these tips of wisdom come from my dad who has definitely been the coach in helping me and others that struggle with stretches of chronic unhappiness:

1. Let it go: We can't control everything. At some point we have to trust the powers that be, God, the universe, and trust that life will work itself out. Storms always end. There's always light after the darkness. Sure, we're going to be disappointed and even rightfully mad but holding onto that only prevents our hope of eventual happiness. This is my biggest struggle with owning my own happiness. If I don't catch myself I will completely let the things I can't control or the things that didn't go my way bring me down, which usually results in me getting very irritable, which then results in me irrationally attacking others to vent my frustration.

2. Love yourself: Seriously. Maybe because I have daughters now but nothing pains me more than a girl that is constantly worried about her weight, her looks, what others think of her. Own who you are. I imagine it's kind of hard to find happiness if you don't completely embrace who you are. You do not need to be like anyone else. The world needs you to be you no matter what size or shape or image you are. I think this has been huge in where I find myself with the line between happy and unhappy. For most of my life I've been a pretty confident, self assured person, but when I found myself in my longest depressed state I also noticed I was no longer confident in myself in any of the roles I was in. None of us are perfect so we have to embrace our imperfections. We can work on them, but our flaws don't have to be what defines us. 

3. At some point you have to stop worrying about pleasing other people: This kind of goes with the other one. Whether it's the people you work for, work with, your friends, or even your own family if you're living your life to be something they want you to be again you can't find happiness if you're denying yourself your true self. Real friends and family will accept you the way you really are, and as a former coach told me, "The ones who mind don't matter, and the ones who matter don't mind." Unfortunately, some relationships can be toxic to us. It's not that that person is a bad person at all; it's just there's something about our own personality and theirs that creates toxic chemistry. I've had to learn to distance myself from these people. Sometimes they've been people I've really cared about, but again negative energy whether it's coming straight from them or a result of you and them together is just going to create unhappiness.

4. LIVE. If you let work consume your life you're not living. If you sit at home all the time, not getting out with family and friends you're not living. If  you're not doing something for yourself, you're not living. When we let work, the to do lists of home and work consume us, and again the doing everything for everyone else but leaving ourselves for last we're ceasing to live our life. We have to know ourselves, know our values, know what we really want out of life, and live it with purpose.

5. Look for Positive before the Negative: One of the most obvious things about people that struggle with their own happiness is they tend to see the negative before seeing the positive. Nothing to me shouts unhappiness more than people that spend more time talking down and criticize others or pointing out the negative rather than the positive in a situation constantly.  I purposefully focus on this now. I know myself too well, and I know if I don't purposefully look for the positive in the day and focus my energy there, I will let the one negative of the day own that day.

For some of us to be happy, to have happiness ,it is a fight. My own short struggle with this is minimal compared to what I've seen others battle with their whole life, but I also know I share very similar to traits to those I've watched struggle with this on and off their whole lives. I think some of us maybe even struggle more than we let on. Seeing your family or friends unhappy is really such a hard thing to see because sometimes they're in a state of denial of how they feel or what they need to change to feel better (I totally was), and as  friend or family you want to help but if they're in denial you're just kind of stuck as they swim in their own dark hole of unhappiness. But we all deserve to be happy, and when we're not we owe it to ourselves and those we love and that love us to take a hard look at our life and fight for happy.

This is why I shut down that voice of unhappiness and instead listen to the one that celebrates the happiness in life.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

You Want Us to Keep a Secret, Mom?

We let the girls in on a little secret last week. Then told them we'd like to keep it a secret for another week or so. Within a few hours our old neighbor knew, Ave's soccer coach, and I'm pretty sure Ave's whole class and teacher knew by the next day. Even one of her bff's mom knew because she personally told her at a school luncheon two days later. I don't think they quite understood what keeping a secret is. The neighborhood now knows, probably about everybody it seems like we know in town knows, and then I told my parents and they keep secrets about like my daughters because within a day of telling them I was getting private messages from people back home so I think most of that town now knows too.

I don't really think it's much of a secret anymore that the Glenn family is expanding this spring, and no this time it's not with an oversize dog. That's right BG#3 will make its debut in April 2016! In just a little over six months it's going to get a little crazier around here. We will see if the Glenn saga is to continue with three little girls or if there will finally be a prince to go with these two princesses.

What do you think? Will it be a boy or girl?

Next time I'll tell you what everyone here thinks and is hoping for, as well as making it through this long anticipated first trimester that I've had anxiety about long before we even got pregnant time.

                                      This was their "we're so excited to be big sisters together" faces!