Thursday, April 26, 2018

Quit Stealing Our Thunder, You Royals!

During these three pregnancies, I've been competing for fan fair, paparazzi exposure, press coverage, and general cultural obsession with Kate Middleton, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

Although my pregnancies have produced many similarities and many differences, one constant has been that this gal has been right on my tail every.single.time.  Our stories and timeline have been corresponding all the way back before either one of us had any children... 

I remember, as I was struggling with infertility, reading headlines in the gossip magazines about Kate and William and when they were going to have kids.  Is she pregnant?  Does she have reproductive issues?  Magazines were speculating a lot, because they had been married for about one minute without producing any children (insert eye roll).  There were a lot of rumors published about her having issues getting pregnant.  I remember thinking, Geez.  I feel really sorry for her.  

I was getting asked a lot when Josh and me were gong to have kids and why we hadn't yet and what we were waiting for.  Truly, behind the scenes, we were working our freaking butts off to try to become parents having all kinds of issues and setbacks.  At least I wasn't being written about in magazines-how annoying that must've been for them (whether they ended up having any fertility struggles or not).

Then, when I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah, she announced being pregnant with her first child and the world became obsessed!  Baby watch for the prince or princess was everywhere and people were speculating about it constantly.  Obviously, twin baby watch was in full swing as well ;)  My boys were born in May, Prince George was born in July.  We were both parents- hooray!  

When I was very newly pregnant with Carter, I remember reading Kate Middleton announcing her pregnancy.  Her pregnancy was "out" so early because of her hyperemesis gravidarum (a rare acute morning sickness that's resulted in her needing to be hospitalized).   I thought, Sheesh,  everyone is going to be on royal baby watch at the same time all the fans are on Hundt Baby watch yet again.  9 months later, Princess Charlotte was born the DAY BEFORE our own prince- Carter Hundt.  The paparazzi for both of us was on another level.  

You can imagine, last fall, how my jaw dropped when Kate Middleton announced her third pregnancy when I too was newly pregnant yet again.  You've GOT to be kidding me.  It was speculated, as they never shared a due date, that #RoyalBaby3 would be born in late April/early May.  HELLO?! #HundtBaby4 would hope to arrive in early May.  Geez.  You can't make this stuff up.

She has always announced her pregnancies before I've announced mine, which makes me wonder why she continually needs to steal my thunder?!  Doesn't she get enough press without having to steal mine?! I know all our fans are very dedicated, but come on- get a life, Kate ;)    

I guess I will always feel a kind of kinship to her as our kids grow up.  We went through the journey of pregnancy right along side one another.  It's crazy how we could've been so close each time.  Not to mention, she, just like me, looks so radiant only hours after giving birth.  I too have my hair blown out, makeup done, and am out waving to my fans in a fancy dress just hours after all of my births.  Ask Josh.  I look like freaking sunshine ;) 


Congrats new Royal Baby Boy!  You came just in time for all the crowds to leave St. Mary's Hospital in London to travel across the pond to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing just waiting to see when #HundtBaby4 will arrive.   

Sunday, April 22, 2018

YES DAY: April 15th, 2018

Well, readers, hell has officially froze over I think.  The first reason I believe this to be true is because it is literally frozen here: we've been in a winter storm warning in April that's been bringing wind, snow, sleet, and mostly ice.  I was up in the middle of the night, around 3:30am, which is my new awake time, listening to the freezing rain and watching Friends while the baby kicked me.  I don't even understand why this storm is called a winter storm since it is NO LONGER WINTER.  Get with the program, mother nature! 

The other reason hell has froze over around here is because my children slept until 7:00am this morning!  SEVEN A.M.  If you've read any of my blogs about sleeping lately, you know that is NOT normal, for Nolan and Judah anyway.  In fact, the last time the two of them slept until 7:00 was probably a year ago? They've only slept until 8:00 once in their entire almost five years of life.  When Judah came waltzing into the room talking about bathrooming things, I assumed it was the usual 6:00 only to be SHOCKED when I looked at my clock.

We've been making all kinds of deals to try to help people sleep longer.  Including, right now, where they earn marbles to put in a jar based on what time they wake up.  Once the jar is filled, because the jar is pretty big, they get a big fun outing that they decide ahead of time.  They are just about to earn a trip to Chuck E Cheese, which makes a fabulous gluten free pizza by the way.  It's taken them a couple of months to get their jar filled.  Their next one is going to a Lugnuts baseball game.  Each time we start a new round of whatever we are doing, we kick up the stakes a notch too in hopes to help Nolan and Judah to keep pushing their sleep back just a little bit at a time. 

Again, if I believed that 5:30 or 6:00 was the actual time their body woke itself up because it had gotten enough sleep, I wouldn't be playing these games.  But I have SO much evidence to back up that my boys need more sleep including when you fall asleep at 11:00 on the way to go play with your grandparents and cousin.  COME ON! They are completely different humans if they wake up past 6:30.

During all these games, one reward has held constant that I wasn't sure they would ever ever earn: A YES DAY!  One of our favorite books by one of our favorite authors is Yes Day by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  It's about a boy who earned a day where he got to be told yes all day.  He asked to have pizza for breakfast, if he could leave his room a mess, if he'd be able to pick out what groceries came home (he picks all sugary cereal, which my cereal-loving boys would be all about too), has a friend over for dinner, eats outside, stays up late with his dad.  It's really cute. Anyway, we have told Nolan and Judah that if they actually slept until 7:00 that they could also have a yes day.  We talk about it a lot, but it's never even come CLOSE to happening. 
Seriously, get this book

Today, though, it's here. 

The excitement and pride on their faces was priceless.  

Here's how our boys spent their "Yes Day":


  • They ate ice cream sundaes for breakfast
    Can we have ice cream for breakfast?  Yes! 
  • Still helped clean the house, but got to pick which things they did to help out (they were all very excited to mop the floor and be able to spray some Febreeze)
  • Had Girl Scout Cookies for a snack
  • Played dress up with Mommy and Daddy's clothes
    Can we wear your clothes? Yes! 
  • Got to have Pizza House for dinner 
  • Finished Mary Poppins
  • Each boy got to pick one TV show to watch 
  • They really wanted to go outside, but all agreed that the freezing temperatures and ice and rain was not conducive to fun. 
  • Read the book Yes Day for both naps and bedtime
I may continue to desperately seek ways to squeak a few extra sleep minutes in the morning, but having incentives and rewards that make EVERYONE'S day better is such a win!  I was impressed to see none of the boys take advantage of a day like this in a negative way and really choose things that would be easy to make happen and fun for all.  At bedtime, they all talked about how much fun it was and how excited they were to be able to earn another one.  I don't see it in the near future as 7:00am is a very late wake up call for Nolan and Judah, but they got a taste of the magic that is "Yes Day."  

  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Disney Princesses and Tea Parties- The Life of This #BoyMom

I have three boys. I don't have any daughters.

This is my truth.  I am outnumbered- plain and simple.

Josh and I have both been intentional about trying NOT to make our house one giant man cave.  We've been very gender neutral with everything we've exposed the boys to, supported and facilitated whatever activities the boys wanted to try, whatever toys or games they might want to have in the house and are very, VERY careful not to talk about toys, games, movies, books, or hobbies being "boy stuff" or "girl stuff."

Regardless of all that, my boys have a lot of qualities that make them very stereotypically... well.. manly.

In addition, I happen to have a lot of qualities that make me very stereotypically... well... girly.

My favorite thing about all three of my boys is how game they are to try and learn about and experience just about anything.  They are really open- open minds, open hearts and I have really enjoyed that.

What that means is that while our house is covered in cars, trucks, balls, trains, and tools, we also have welcomed additions of some "girly" things too (although I'd never refer to them as that).

One of Nolan and Judah's favorite games to play is a Disney Princess Cupcake Party Game. It's a game where essentially you build cupcakes based on Disney Princesses.  You match cupcake wrappers, cake, frosting, and flair on top to make a delicious rubbery treat that would be exactly would represent a Pocahontas or Jasmine or Belle.   Judah happened to play it with his speech teacher while I was there with him so I got to gush over the Cinderella cupcake.  Cinderella is my most FAVORITE Disney Princess, hands down.  I have loved her my whole life.  Just so you know how much I love her, I have shed many tears admiring Cinderella's Castle at Disney World, get super offended that Tinker Bell comes out of there (why in the WORLD is she associated with a castle that's not from Peter Pan I'd love to know), dragged Josh (who was willing to do anything for a big breakfast) to eat breakfast at Cinderella's Castle while at Disney World (we were the only adults there without kids), and our wedding invitations and cake topper even paid homage to Cinderella and Prince Charming. 
Josh and I eating at Cinderella's Castle- February 2009

Cake topper at our wedding- I even painted Cinderella's hair brown so it could look more like me ;) 

Anyway, I digress...

The smile on Judah's face as he practiced his words and got pieces to the Cinderella cupcake so he could give it to me to "eat" was just priceless and so sweet.  He became totally obsessed with that game, got it for Christmas and now Nolan loves building Princess cupcakes as much as he does.  It's one of the games they play the most in our house.  Talking about all the princesses with them is super fun for me too. 

Image result for disney princess cupcake game
Image from Pinterest
Speaking of Cinderella, while the boys were on spring break, we made a To-Do list of things they wanted to experience while being home.  One of the first things they said was that they wanted to watch Cinderella with me.  My heart almost exploded.  So, over two days, we watched my FAVORITE Disney movie with my FAVORITE princess- just my three boys and me.  They loved it by the way.  It meant so much to me. 

My boys love to tea party with me- it's probably the thing we do most during bathtime.  Their Minnie Mouse tea set is one of our most loved toys.  

I guess what I'm saying is how important it is to raise well-rounded humans that do not feel any limits from their home and parents on what they can and can't do, what they can and can't be into, what they can and can't experience, what they can and can't play with.  

My sons are certainly and unfortunately going to hear "that's for girls" or "that's not for a boy."  Even more unfortunate, someone may tell them someday that "boys don't cry" or to "be a man" or that something they are doing is okay because "boys will be boys."  They have undoubtedly seen and will continue to see images everywhere of gender stereotypes.  But none of those things have to come from my mouth or my house.  

There are biological and physiological differences between male and female to which this #boymom will be very intelligent and well versed about (I've already read several books on parenting boys), but I don't need to be the person to fuel any more fire in that area or make anyone in my house feel limitations about their passions, interests, or strengths.  

This #boymom will continue to build buildings, drive trucks around the house, dress up, make toot noises, have dance parties, make princess cupcakes, create flower arrangements, sing, watch sports, make a mess, do housework, and drink spots of tea with these three boys AND their new baby brother or sister ;)   

Monday, April 2, 2018

Down Memory Lane: Babies Planning for Babies

I have been blessed to know Josh since the first day of 8th grade.  While I did not realize that meeting him in Mr. Martin's 1st hour math class would be the start to actually quite a love story, looking back, it is incredible how woven together the two of us has become.  I have now known Josh for over twenty years, first kissed him eighteen years ago, have been dating him for fourteen years, and married to him for over ten.  

After meeting each other, we spent the rest of middle school being good friends- liking to be around one another, getting to know each other and making each other laugh... a lot!  Well, actually Josh spent it making ME laugh a whole lot.   


Our first picture together- signing each other's yearbooks at the end of 8th grade- 1998
We spent high school with a lot of back and forth, back and forth- trying to figure out how to make our friendship work as more than that.  Thankfully, as we would date and stop dating, date and stop dating, we could continue our friendship- that part never wavered.  
Josh and I at a highschool dance after a football game circa 2000 probably? Sheesh, maybe even 1998 or 1999

In college, we really went through some trying times sorting out exactly what we would be and what we would mean to each other.

Even before we finally started dating again in 2004, for good that time, I knew I was going to marry him.  I can't really say why for sure, but I had absolutely zero doubt.  Really and seriously none.  It's very strange, reflecting on that time when we weren't even together but knowing that once we figured it out, that would be it.  We had this huge history of back and forth and I was still absolutely sure there would be a next time and that one would stick.   
College- him at Hope College, me at Michigan State 
One night we were up late talking on the phone (when I was supposed to be writing yet another paper) and we got on the conversation of what kind of family we would love to have someday.  Again, we weren't even dating yet.  In fact, we were months away from that.  We realized, as we shared our hopes and dreams, that they were aligned.

We both wanted four kids (2 boys and 2 girls, of course).  We also talked about names of future children.  That night, we realized our favorite name, a girls name, was the same.  Actually, as we've talked names over the years, our girl names are spot on with each other.  If we ended up with a house full of girls, picking their names would be easy! So easy! 

Interesting, I don't remember talking about boys names at all that night- that should've been my first clue that a.) we were going to have a bunch of dudes and b.) we were not going to have the same taste in names for boys.  I'll admit that I am a day away from 35 weeks pregnant and we haven't even begun to try to decide on a fourth boys name... send good vibes.

Anyway, here I am, on my last pregnancy- baby #4.  We have arrived at this place we'd talked about fourteen years ago on that very very late night.  It's crazy that we are actually here.

When having that blissful conversation, we had NO idea what would be in store for us. Things like infertility, miscarriage, TWINS, never ever crossed my mind while we were dreaming of our utopia a long long way in the future.  When we were struggling for years to get and stay pregnant, I remember thinking back on that conversation with Josh those years ago and all the hope and optimism that was in my heart back then.  I was so sure- so sure we were going to end up together, so sure we were going to get whatever family we could've ever wanted, so sure it wasn't going to be a problem. 

I am grateful to be sitting here being kicked by baby #4 as I write this and, to be honest, still a little shocked that we could've ever made any of that conversation come true.  None of this happened the way I thought it would or on the timeline I thought it would, but we are here.  That's insane- we are actually here.  

Having four kids someday with this man I wasn't even dating yet was a pretty lofty dream.  I'm a very different person now with a lot more scars and battle wounds from the struggles to build this family, but that girl is still there- the one filled with optimism and hope.  There's a lot of scar tissue and worry and crazy to get to her, but she still exists.  I hope she always does despite how much I try to push her away sometimes.  Making that twenty year old me's dreams come true as we welcome #HundtBaby4 in about a month feels like one of the most incredible and humbling moments of my life. 

It's funny how life can turn out completely different than you ever imagined it and also how much it can turn out exactly as you envisioned- all at the same time.  
Current Life- Easter 2018- so so grateful
  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dreaming of Baby Girl: Foreshadowing or Letting Go

For basically this entire pregnancy, I've been pretty sure this baby is a boy.  I'm not sure if it's because I swear I heard an ultrasound tech say, "Oh!  Look at HIS big hands!" Or if it's because the baby's kidneys have been monitored because they've been dilated (something much more common in boys than girls) or if it's because that's all I know or if I've got mother's intuition (I have correctly predicted the gender of all three of my boys)... maybe a combination... I don't know.  

Honestly, I also think I'm trying to prepare to allow myself to grieve never having a girl.  Although I am truly at peace if a girl is not in my future; I LOVE and adore my boys and being a #boymom, but I know there will be times I will feel like I'm missing out.  I think it's natural to feel that way from time to time.  I imagine lots of people, when planning their future children in their heads, picture both genders.  There are certainly some different milestones, some different challenges, some different experiences that a parent will go through with a son AND with a daughter.  I will only get one half of that coin.  

Don't get me wrong, I know there are special moments between a mother and a son that I will have the honor of experiencing with not just one, but possibly four sons.  But you don't grow up with three sisters like mine and a perfect, angelic mom like mine and not have an appreciation for how incredible sisters are and how close and important a mother/daughter bond can be.  

************************************************************************  

Three nights ago, I vividly dreamed I had a baby girl.  I went in to have a C-section, and met a beautiful, dark hair, girl.  We named her exactly what we would if we really had a girl- the first and middle name were spot on in the dream.  Despite the fact that I was told the baby was a girl, and the fact that I saw her and held her, AND the fact that she already had her ears pierced and was wearing pink Minnie Mouse pajamas, I didn't believe. I kept saying phrases like, "No way!" or "This isn't right." or, "We don't have a daughter." I kept checking what parts were in her diaper.

My brother was even in the dream, on the side of my hospital bed, pointing and saying, "I told you!"

What I can't decide is whether this dream is foreshadowing what might actually be (I will seriously be shocked if this baby is a girl) or if I was given this dream to experience a daughter of my own, just for a little while.  If/when this baby is a boy, I will now always be able to say I've held a baby girl that Josh and I made, named her exactly what we'd want to name her.  I can smile knowing I got to meet my daughter even if it was only in my dreams.

Maybe I was given this dream so that I can put the possibility of having a girl past me to prepare for the fourth baby boy that will arrive.  

IF having four boys is the lot I've been given, there will be no one more versed on boys- what they need, how to help them be successful, how to emotionally support them, the inter-workings of their brain, than I will.  After all, when I've got something to be passionate about, I go all in.  What's better to be passionate about than your kids? :)  I will truly shoot to be a #boymom expert. 

I'll have to wait, if all goes well, about seven more weeks to find out if this dream was foreshadowing an awesome surprise to come or allowing me to spend a bit of time with a baby girl before my last precious little man arrives.   

Sunday, February 25, 2018

When Mommy "Purple Crayons"


Cover art

This is a well-loved children's story of a boy named Duncan who received letters from all the crayons in his box.  Some crayons were proud of their work, others frustrated and tired, some begging to be used more.  The yellow and orange crayons aren't speaking to each other because they both feel they should be the color of the sun.  It's a cute book about perspective and how they all combine, together, uniquely, to make something beautiful.  This book has been loved by both my boys and my sixth graders.

One of the crayons, the purple crayon, really speaks to me.  Not only has purple been my favorite color for my entire life, but this purple crayon sounds a lot like me...


While Purple Crayon can appreciate the creativity of Duncan, it cannot deal with the inevitable disorder that a young person coloring brings.  Like the purple crayon, I love my boys' imagination, zest for life and exploring, desire to touch, to feel, to experience, and I appreciate how curious all three are about our world and their surroundings.  I have been given three very busy, very active boys.  These positive character traits, also inevitably, bring about a fair amount of disorder, chaos, and mess to our home.  

It's very typical, starting at 6:00am to have train track pieces scattered around our TV room as Nolan and Judah build a new track.  Daily, we have Magnitiles all over our fireplace room building apartments, garages, restaurants, walls, roads, and castles.  We won't go a day without having Hot Wheels cars organized in rows by color, in between elaborate Magnitile structures, or being "driven" all over our main floor.  And when it's nice out, there will be play kitchen supplies covering the floor in our three seasons room after they've opened a new restaurant or dumped them from any number of dump trucks we possess.  

Tools are often strewn about as they "fix" doors, cabinets, buildings, train tracks, etc.  And doctors kit essentials- stethoscopes, thermometers, and blood pressure checkers (I don't even know what that thing is called) can be found anywhere because someone always has an ailment that needs checking by Dr. Nolan, Judah, or Carter. Don't even get me started on what happens when the boys want to do art- markers and their tops separated and all over the kitchen table and floor. 

These things have some commonalities- they allow my boys beautiful opportunities to play, together, mostly in harmony.  They are also MILLIONS of small freaking pieces!  Many opportunities to get knocked over, stepped on, end up in between couch cushions and behind furniture, and generally, make a HUGE mess.  

My boys know, as they have spent now several years with me, that I like things neat, orderly, clean, and organized.  They see me go at bins with my label maker, have sat for many "lessons" on where things go, have watched my face as I walk into a room and see the destruction.

Their play and my need for control (#MyCrazy) are constantly at odds.  My smart brain knows how important it is that we just play and I LET THEM JUST PLAY- this play is beautiful and necessary and brings joy, problem solving, critical thinking, fine motor skills, vocabulary, teamwork, and social skills into their lives in an authentic way. So, because of my smart brain, I try to take all these messes in stride, I really do.

However....

sometimes I just can't take it.  I look around and see disaster everywhere.  There is no room I can walk into and have it be clean and organized.  And, I lose it.  I completely lose it.

Because I accept my children for who they are and they accept me for who I am, we have coined that when Mommy gets this way, she "Purple Crayons."  

Usually that means a couple of things...

1.) I will label this- I will warn them that I'm about to "Purple Crayon."  My three boys will often start cleaning things.
2.) If cleaning of something doesn't happen, and soon, I will probably make everyone stop what they are doing and pick a room and we will tackle it together.  I often find that if I can have one room on the main floor be completely clean, I can handle the rest better and won't "Purple Crayon." 
3.) If that cleaning doesn't happen (because people don't always listen the first time- who knew), I might end up raising my voice and start threatening that toys are going to get thrown away, donated, hidden, put up high for a while, or given to either of their cousins to play with. 
4.) If it gets really bad, I really do completely lose it, just like Purple Crayon warns in the book.  I'm not nice to be around; I'll just leave it at that.             

Listen, I'm not proud of myself when I "Purple Crayon."  Not even a little bit- they are some of my worst moments as a mom.  But I think we all get there, as parents, about certain things that drive us crazy. It might be huge messes, it might be when you've had to repeat yourself the hundredth time just trying to have someone put on their shoes to leave the house.  It might be the last straw when your kids have had a day where no one seems to be getting along with one another, or the fifteenth time your kid comes out of their bedroom at bedtime asking for a drink.  Sometimes, we cross our limits of patience, kindness, and understanding.  We are human, we lose it, we "Purple Crayon."  

The important thing, I think, is that I label this feeling and that both I, and our boys, know it's coming.  I'm trying to raise boys in touch with their feelings and be well-versed enough to be able to talk about them and problem-solve about them.  Not everything in a day is great or easy.  They need to see that I'm real and I struggle so they can feel comfortable to struggle too.  Nolan is my child most likely to also "Purple Crayon."  He has started to use that term as well when he gets frustrated with something and on the brink of not being able to take it. 

The other necessary thing is that once I am done "Purple Crayoning,"  I own my behavior, apologize if I've yelled or hurt anyone's feelings with my frustrations, and talk with my kids about what I or we could've done differently to prevent that from happening next time.  Usually we realize that if we had worked better, as a team, we wouldn't have gotten to that level of frustration.

Finally, I need to remember that kids are little only a short time.  Yes, some days are frustrating and chaotic and dysfunctional.  In fact, sometimes it seems like most of the winter is like that.  But, thankfully, because my "Purple Crayoning" is fairly rare, I can still appreciate watching these young boys play without a care in the world.  That is magical, and perfect, and just how it should be.  It's what I always dreamed for, hoped for, and prayed for.  Someday my house will be quiet and clean and I'll probably dump a tub of Legos just to remember when these precious boys were little. I cried just thinking about that as I wrote it.  I have to remember that I am SO grateful for this mess, these million pieces, and that stepping on a car and hurting my foot means I have a house full kids who like to play and have fun.



        

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

At-Home Doppler: The best worst gift I've probably ever gotten

End of October: 13 weeks pregnant with #HundtBaby4

In case it hasn't been made obvious enough, you can probably tell I might not be the easiest pregnant person to live with.  Especially during first trimester (or let's be honest, basically until a baby continually gives me reassurance with kicks or actually let's be REALLY honest, until the baby is in my arms), I am a DI-SAS-TER.  #MyCrazy is in full swing during this time.

You can go back through old blogs while I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah and also when I was pregnant with Carter to see the pattern- losing sleep, checking to see if I'm bleeding a million times a day, constantly worrying, etc.  

In October, I hit a really rough patch- mentally.  I had my 12 week appointment to which I did not score an ultrasound (even though I tried and actually also cried) and I was going to have to go another four weeks until I was next given any reassurance that things were okay.  That feels like ETERNITY TO ME.  I completely lost it one day and poor Josh was the receiver of my breakdown (as he usually is).  I was feeling like I wasn't taking good enough care of myself, I was getting frustrated with the three boys I had outside my belly, and felt like my behavior was affecting the baby.  This is #MyCrazy ladies and gentlemen- totally irrational, but very effective.  Once she comes out swinging, I can't turn it off.  

Josh was at a loss- nothing he could say or do would make me feel better and he couldn't give me what I really needed, which was reassurance that the baby was okay... or could he...

While searching on Amazon, he found an at-home Doppler- something we could use to check the baby's heartbeat.  We've looked into these before but know they don't work nearly as well as the ones at the doctor's office.  Those cause me to panic enough as it it so we both decided getting one for us during previous pregnancies would probably do more harm than good.  But what else could he do?  I had lost it.  So, after reading a lot of reviews, he put the best-seeming one in the cart and hit "purchase."  

It arrived on Halloween.  I cried when I received it.  THIS was going to help me.  

Josh, the saint that he is, knew that I was going to need some healthy parameters around this new tool.  We decided that I could only use it once a week- checking it every day or multiple times every day (which is what I probably would've done being left to my own devices) wasn't going to do me any good and wasn't healthy.  And so it began...
The Doppler with gel
Each week, on Mondays usually, I would put the gel on the Doppler, hold my breath, say some prayers, and check #HundtBaby4's heartbeat.  At first, this wasn't always easy, which is why I still refer to this thing as the best worst gift ever.  It would sometimes take several minutes to fish around and find what I was looking for.  During those minutes, time, and I think my own heart, stood still.  Actually, I take that back, my heart would speed up, which definitely caused some issues- I would think I had found the baby's heartbeat sometimes when really it was just my own.  We had a few weeks where I had to call in reinforcements, my mother, to come help me find the heartbeat.  Those were not pretty moments... not at all. 

As the weeks have progressed, however, checking the heartbeat became easier and easier, which allowed this Doppler to truly be a gift. Josh and I listening to the heartbeat, together, has really given us some special moments.  Nolan, Judah, and Carter have now all heard the heartbeat multiple times.  We can now hear kicks and movements as he/she is swimming around.  The Doppler has also truly provided me with some reassurance in between the weeks where I could do nothing and know nothing about how #HundtBaby4 was doing.  All in all, this device has truly helped me.  

N, J, and C with #HundtBaby4
I'm pretty sure Josh has wanted to light this thing on fire multiple times and has cursed himself for hitting that "purchase" button, but at that time, at the end of the October, there was really nothing else he could've done.  He was desperate, I was desperate.  It was the only thing to provide with me with any solace.

I don't know that this is the right gift for others, but Josh, I can reassure you that it's been the right gift for me.  Thank you, thank you.
Boys with #HundtBaby4~ End of November (17 weeks)