Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Preston Huron Hundt: Month 1

Our littlest guy is a month old!  It's so strange, having babies at literally the same time of year because it feels a little like ground hogs day in those first few months.  The things you miss on maternity leave are the same, the weather is the same, the clothes are the same (especially when you only pop out boys), the daylight hours are the same.  Time still flies though holy cow!

What We Learned About Preston:
In utero, Preston had the hiccups all the time, enjoyed being awake at 3:00am, and had a consistent steady heartbeat that barely fluxiated. In fact, for several weeks in a row... like maybe even almost two months, his heart rate was 154 every time it got checked.  My mom said maybe this baby would be laid back and calm.  So far (knock on wood), she's been pretty spot on.  Preston's outside-the-womb behavior has been fairly similar- he gets the hiccups all the time, did, at first, VERY much love being awake at 3:00am, and has been pretty calm and laid back so far. 

When we first brought Preston home from the hospital, he seemed to be one of those newborns that had his days and nights confused.  He would sleep so so much during the day and sleep in his bassinet regardless of the circus going on around him (aka three older brothers living their life), but at night, when everyone else was sleeping and quiet, he refused to sleep.  It brought an exhaustion that I may have never seen in my life.  Josh and were maybe sleeping an hour or two.  Preston refused to sleep in his bassinet, he would only sleep when held so that left Josh and me awake... a lot.  Then of course the rest of our brood would be up and ready to go by 6:30am.  I can't even describe how tired I was.  I handle lack of sleep well, like very well, but this was on another level.  I remember rocking him in the middle of the night one night, laying him in his bassinet, climbing into bed and falling instantly asleep only to be woken up about ten minutes later by him screaming.  I cried and cried and cried.  We could not live like this- being up all day with three kids and being up all night with one kid.  

I begged my pediatrician for solutions only to find there were none.  It wasn't as if you could "teach" a newborn day and night like you can someone who's a little older.  Preston isn't going to care if the blinds are open or closed or the lights are on or off.  Newborns were newborns and they would figure it out- probably in a week or two, she said.  Maybe a month.  AH!

Thankfully, this sleepless period was short lived.  He is now getting up to nurse when he's hungry at night and going back to sleep fairly quickly.  HALLELUJAH!  Having a few more hours of rest has made an incredible difference.  

Preston soothes quickly when upset and as long as he is fed, dry, and warm, he's pretty much set.  

Right before being a month old, he began giving us some seriously precious awake smiles.  He smiles the most at this brothers.  They just have to show their face near him and he is all grins.  I, on the other hand, have to work a little harder for it :).

Some firsts:
- Going to church as a family of six- Preston slept through the whole thing thank goodness!
- Preston has went to more than one pool party, a preschool graduation, and the Michigan Mile at Lansing Lugnuts
- 5-14-18~ first awake smile- it was at Nolan
- 5-25-18~ first smile at Mommy
-5-31-18~ first cute baby coo

What I've Learned About Being a Mom:
It's funny, when I first started blogging about Nolan and Judah when they were newborns, I put the subheading in of what I was learning about being a mom.  It was my first time being a mom so everything was new, everything I was doing was a learning experience.  I don't know that I would've guessed that I'd be here, on my fourth child, still using this subheading.  I should've known better.  When it comes to mothering individual, unique, special humans, there is ALWAYS something to learn.  The month we've had with Preston is no exception.  

Preston is my last baby.  This fact has made any difficult times so far much more bearable.  When we weren't sleeping, although I was exhausted, I was trying to remember it was my last time having a newborn.  I can handle it.  When he is cranky and needs to be held- no big deal! It's the last time a little baby is going to need me like that.  Because I am an emotional basketcase anyway, it's going to be rough going with him because in my brain I am always going to be thinking- this is it.  Even though it will certainly cause me more tears, I'm glad I know this is it.  I'm glad there is a finality here so I can soak it up and sob it up.  

Breastfeeding causes me EXTREME anxiety.  Even though I have successfully breastfed three babies for fifteen months each (two of them at the same time), it wasn't easy at first... at all.  Knowing how tricky it can be to figure out breastfeeding literally kept me up at night while I was pregnant with Preston.  I had many, many dreams about forgetting to feed a baby, leaving my pumping stuff while on a trip away from the baby, remembering how painful it can be, how heartbreaking it is to see your child lose weight even though you are working so hard to provide nourishment for them.  I was so worried what it would be like if Preston was not a natural breastfeeder.  THANKFULLY, this kid was a champ from not only day one, but like minute one. He was rooting and trying to suck when he was put on my chest in the OR during my C-Section.  I nursed him right in the operating room.  I have never been able to do that before.  Again, a HALLELUJAH is in order there.  I don't know if I could've done the no sleep thing AND had a bunch of breastfeeding problems at the same time.  

Speaking of anxiety, how about the worry associated with having four kids five and under at home all day?!  Oh sheesh.  I'm so grateful Josh took off a lot of time to stay home when we came home from the hospital.  This let naps happen for Mommy and Daddy, which are EVERYTHING and also helped with crowd control and being able to have two adults handle some difficult times of day.  Preston loves to eat when everyone else is eating and loves to go to bed (which is really more of a nap) when everyone else is going to bed too.  Trying to nurse a baby AND feed three kids lunch is a bit tricky.  When Josh went back to work, I was terrified.  How could I juggle all of this and not lose my freaking mind?  

I am happy to report that we are all surviving and getting used to our new normal.  Nolan, Judah, and Carter have been incredible helpers (more on how they've been handling a new baby in an upcoming blog) and Preston, because of his laid-back personality, has helped make challenging times a lot easier.  

The hardest part, I think, is trying to find moments of one-on-one time for everyone.  Each of my boys deserves my full attention several times throughout our day and that's not easy to do.  The biggest thing I've tried to do is listen.  So when Nolan wants to put on a concert, my eyes are on him. When Judah wants to tell me about a bug he caught, I am all in.  When Carter wants to go on a tangent about a road with balloons, playground equipment, and a church and is trying to get me to know where it is, I am focusing my brain on that.  I can't always find minutes to play with each of my children one-on-one right now, but I can be a good listener.  I can empathize with feelings, validate emotions, ask questions, make connections, and answer questions.  

I am also trying my hardest to play, really well, while Preston is sleeping.  Even though I am healing from major abdominal surgery, am exhausted, and have a million things to do always, I am playing baseball, building sandcastles, and facilitating art projects and building constructions.  Again, my kids deserve that.  Having a new baby at home when you have other children is really hard.  Having four kids is really, really hard, but my boys deserve whatever best version of me I can put out at the moment.

Being kind to myself has also been a challenge.  Above I mention being the best version of me that I can put out at the moment.  I say that because, right now, my best isn't my actual best if that makes sense.  I know being tired affects what I can handle, I know I am more impatient than I usually am, and I also know I am spending hours and hours a day feeding a baby.  All of those take away from me being my best self for my kids.  I do too much and spread myself too thin.  I get very down on myself if I feel like I'm dropping the ball.

I'm trying to handle all of that with grace- grace to Preston as he learns how to be a human outside my belly, grace to Nolan, Judah, and Carter who have had their world rocked with the addition of another brother, grace to Josh as he is exhausted and spread thin, too, and grace to myself.  All this adjustment takes time and it's going to be messy and tricky, but wonderful and magical too.  

We are so glad Preston is here- we all love and adore him and are having a wonderful time getting to know him.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My babies lie sideways in utero- what's your superpower?

Preston Huron Hundt made his arrival, scheduled arrival I should say, on May 2nd, 2018 at 9:16am.  He weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 21.75 inches long.

This baby, like all my others, was not in a 'head down' position.  This baby, like all my other others, was not breech either.  I have delivered four babies that were in the transverse position.  Babies who present in the transverse position are laying sideways.  For me, that has seemed normal, but apparently, when I looked it up, only about 1% or less of babies are positioned that way at birth making that actually quite rare.

I didn't think anything of this position when I was pregnant with twins- I had two large babies in there and of COURSE they found room wherever they could.  Although I was hoping to deliver vaginally, I wasn't terrible surprised or terribly disappointed when it turned out that two babies were not where they needed to be.  I accepted my scheduled C-Section with grace. 

With Carter, I was really hoping to be able to try a V-BAC (vaginal birth after cesarian).  I did not have a C-Section out of emergency or because of a condition I have that would make it impossible or very risky to try a vaginal birth.  I was a great candidate to have success birthing without C-Section.  Apparently, when I looked it up, around 97% of babies are set to come out head first. Surely this ONE baby would cooperate.  

It was not to be- during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy, Carter was in a different position every time I went to the doctor.  He essentially rotated almost entirely around my belly.  He stopped just short of being head down again and instead left his head and body sideways.  I assumed because my belly was able to stretch out so much because I had twins last time, he was able to spread out a lot and just was just swimming all over the place.  Although this was my non-scienfitic and non-medical logic, that was essentially true with him.

No one explained to me why this transverse position seemed to be the one my children loved to have.  It just was what it was.  I guess in hindsight, I could've asked more questions, but I have trusted my doctors and have told them many times that I didn't really care how my babies got out as long as it was the safest for them and safest for me.  I also had rationalized using, I think, pretty great logic as to why Nolan and Judah and Carter all ended up sideways.  

When this last baby ended up transverse too, I finally had a doctor take time to examine me and talk with me about why my kids were in this position. 

I have a tilted uterus, which I knew about already.  While that isn't THE reason, it factors a bit because my body has to do a little bit of shifting to figure this pregnancy thing out.  It also explains why everyone on earth always comments on how low I carry babies.  My uterus is all mixed up so it actually doesn't sit as high as it's supposed to.  I seem to look like I've "dropped" for many, many, many weeks.  I had people telling me, around 30 weeks, that I looked like I might deliver any day.  Ummmm, no thank you.  I would comment back that this is how I always look- saggy belly, that's me! 

Because I carry low and because I had twins shred my abdominal muscles completely (see other blog about my diastasis recti here), I truly have nothing holding anything in or up.  My belly is the opposite of perky.

None of this was new news....

What WAS new was the actual position of my baby.  I knew he or she was transverse laying sideways, but after the doctor felt around a bit, he let me know that my baby was actually IN FRONT OF the birth canal.  So not only was my belly saggy, it was sagging OVER and IN FRONT OF the place where babies come out.  He let me know that there was nothing even close to the birth canal or pelvic bone except fluid.  I would never have a head or a foot or a butt anywhere near there- my kid was in front of all that and lower than all that swimming around sideways. 

Essentially, if C-Sections had not been invented, I'd be in big big trouble and so would my baby. 

I'd need somehow to lift my belly up and push it inward towards my body and down in order to have any child anywhere near where it should be.  

FINALLY! I understand... 

I understand why I've never went into labor.  Not even little bit- never even been dilated.

I understand why I don't have the urge to pee that people get when they are closer to delivery in the third trimester.  

I understand why all of my maternity clothes become too short because I'm hanging down so freaking low.  

I understand why people make comments about my basketball and how low it is and how far it sticks out from my body.  

I understand why my kids have been able to do flips around my body late in the third trimester when most babies are staying put.  

I also understand, now, why my C-Section scare was so painful as I had SO MUCH SKIN sitting on top of it and hanging down over it.  Ouch.  

Babies are a miracle anyway, but MAN, our bodies sure go through some serious stuff in order to birth children and that's a pretty big miracle too. 
The day Nolan and Judah were born (38 weeks)
The day Carter born (41 weeks)
The day Preston was born (39 week, 1 day)

Monday, May 7, 2018


The two boys who made me a mommy are turning five!  Kindergarten is on the horizon... I can't.  I will never think of May 7th and not get emotional- I remember so vividly being told by Josh that "It's a boy!" when Nolan came out and "It's a boy!" when Judah arrived 90 seconds later.  I was a mom...times two.  My life was enriched and changed... times two.  I was lucky... times two.  

My thoughts to them both...

Dear Nolan,

Daddy and I just took you and Judah to kindergarten round up today at Cornell.  You both decided to wear ties so not only did the fact that you were twins make an impression, but your dapper outfits certainly did too.  I went in the room with you and watched you pick a station, sit down, and talk with the adult there and almost burst into tears.  How are you such a person?!  I tell you guys all the time that you can’t possibly be doing all the things that you are doing because I just took you home for the hospital.  That’s how quick it feels to me.

During this last year, you continued to be steadfast in your love for building, books, and playing outside, but have added some new interests.  You are getting obsessed with sports recently.  Not necessarily playing them (although you do love to play basketball and tennis especially with some baseball and soccer thrown in), but the numbers behind spots.  The scores, the stats, the game itself.  You pick all these teams that you like and follow them.  You want to ask all the time who we would root for in different games or you can’t wait to check scores when you wake up in the morning.  I’m interested to see where this will go. 

You have always loved music, but you are beginning to get into music competition shows and doing concerts for all of us in the fireplace room.  Taking a music class at MSU also helped this interest. 
Nolan, you are at your best when you are busy with a project- having something to keep you occupied has been key.  If you are not occupied, you are less gentle and more impulsive as you will go searching for your own fun and your own plan, which doesn’t always turn out well. 

This makes me need to tell you that I am hard on you- probably harder on you than I am on anyone else.  Your awareness of others, your empathy, and your compassion are functioning at such a high level that sometimes I forget that you’re only four.  So when you might make a questionable decision, say something unkind, or hurt someone with your body- I flip out because you know better.  I say that because you really do, in fact, know better.  You know how things feel, you can label your emotions, and I know you never want anyone around you to be sad.  I get really upset at you when you are the cause of any chaos in our house.  I know that’s not always fair as you are still learning just like everyone else. 

You have really been working on reading and math; your memory blows me away.  I can’t believe how many words your recognize and how much math you are doing in your head.  Especially with time- you can figure out what time it is, what time something starts and then figure out how much time we have before it’s time to leave or go somewhere. 

Your imagination is my favorite- you help orchestrate so much play in our house- playing store, playing restaurant, building castles, apartments, schools, sky scrapers, playing doctor, getting phone calls from “work” and constantly juggling your busy “work” schedule, playing school, concerts, basketball.  You even invented a sweet baseball game that uses a fireman’s hat recently.  It’s really fun to watch your brain tick and it is always ticking, my friend…. Always ticking. 

Thank you, for your kindness this year, as Mommy has been growing your little brother/sister in my belly.  As I’ve gotten bigger and slower, you and Judah have stepped up huge to take care of me.  You run to pick things up off of the floor and you and your brothers have given me so many doctors check ups over these last months to make sure the baby is okay.  You’ve taken a great interest in him/her and taken great care to make sure I am always okay.  I will always remember this and always be so so grateful for the help and consideration. 

I hope this next year continues your love for learning, your love of reading, your love of creating. 
I want you know that I’ve noticed how cuddly and snuggly you’ve been too and it means everything to me.  I love how much you try to climb on my lap, snuggle in next to me, and ask for kisses and hugs.  Please don’t ever ever stop. 

Happy 5th Birthday, Nolan!  You were the first one to pop out and make me a mom and I have loved that job more than any other in my world.  I can’t wait to support you in this next big year to come.

You’re my favorite Nolan that’s ever been.  I love you.

Dear Judah,
I am writing you this letter, for your FIFTH birthday a little earlier than I would because of the new baby coming!  You are currently on the way to the dump and Home Depot with Daddy and your brothers; one of your favorite outings.

I have been joking with all of you that I can’t believe how big you are and that I just took you home from the hospital.  Even though this makes you laugh a lot, there is such truth there.  I really do think sometimes that I just brought you home from the hospital.  I remember so vividly holding you and Nolan in my arms letting this incredible amount of love wash over me as I became a mom for the first time.  How can you be this old?! 
This year has been a wonderful one for you.  You’ve enjoyed school to the fullest- working hard, trying your best, playing with all kinds of friends.  You’ve made a ton of progress in your speech classes, and got to try out some new experiences- soccer, gymnastics, and a music class.  You loved all of these.

Other things you love are playing with cars (especially when Nolan is building things with Magnitiles), playing trains, being outside to do anything and everything, doing art projects, and being perfectly content spending time with people or spending time alone.  You still love books and cooking too!

Getting you to hurry to do anything is a challenge- you take your time eating, you take your time getting ready, you take your time cleaning up, and you often take your time walking places.  This drives me bananas because I, on the other hand, am in a hurry everywhere (even if I don’t need to be).  I am hopeful I can learn a lot from you because I think the positive of your slowness is that you take time to really see things, really smell things, really think about things.  This is probably why you find things and notice things all the time. 

You are very into making sure everyone around you makes good decisions and choices and we’ve been reminding you that although that can be helpful, we really want you to make sure you worry about you 😉 You have two very hands-on parents… you brothers do not need another mom or dad 😉

One of the biggest things I want to thank you for this past year is the kindness you and shown me and your new baby brother/sister.  You have been the most incredible big big brother and care taker to me as I’ve been pregnant.  You jump up to pick things off the floor for me, you are patient as I’ve gotten bigger and been more limited with my movements, and are the most gentle little nugget around my belly.  You also talk to the baby all the time, kiss my belly, tell the baby how much you love him/her, and talk a lot about how much you’re going to help and spend time with the baby.  It’s been so incredibly sweet.  I could not have asked for a more thoughtful older sibling for this baby.  I think you’re going to be the most incredible big big brother this little guy or gal could have.  You know how much your care has meant to me because I tell you all the time, but someday when you read this when you are bigger I want you to know how much I noticed and how much it meant to me.  You seriously could not have been more gentle and considerate during these 9ish-10ish months. 

In two days, I will take you and Nolan to kindergarten roundup and I just can’t even.  We’ve been practicing reading and writing and math around here and I just can’t even about those things either.  I’m so grateful you love to learn. 

I hope, as this fifth year gets started, that you remember to use your voice to let people know what you need, how to make things better for you, and to verbally share your emotions and problem solving.  I hope you continue to soak in all the knowledge and experiences you can.  I hope you keep your confidence as preschool ends and kindergarten begins- you have so much to offer any learning community with your hard work, open mind/heart, and positive friendly nature.  I hope you continue to love spending time with your brothers, especially Nolan.  Your friendship is special and rare and incredible to watch as you both take such good care of one another.  I hope you keep finding things that you love to do and that you keep being excited and energetic about adventures we have and things we try.  And maybe most of all, selfishly, I hope you keep coming up to me, at random moments, to snuggle quickly and tell me you love me.  Those small things mean the WORLD to me, your very proud and honored Mama.


I love you,

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Dear Carter,

I wrote you this letter a little early this year for your THIRD birthday because I knew it might be likely I would be at the hospital with your new baby brother or sister.   

Although your year has been wonderful; you are SUCH a blessing in our family, lately, you’ve been working on some pretty major changes that have kept you busy and tired as well.  First of all, you started preschool.  Watching you waltz up to Miss Hilarie’s door like you owned the place and running in without so much as a wave goodbye (as I was crying through my sunglasses) was exactly you.  My confident, outgoing guy.  It’s been hard for you to feel like you are missing out on things at home while you are there, but you are doing sensational at school.  I love how much you tell me about your day- please always keep doing that as I will always care.

After many, many months of being completely uninterested in anything having to do with the potty, you are beginning to make some steps forward there.  A few weeks ago, I swear you were just going to potty train yourself- you were going all the time for a few days, but now have backed off a little and are taking baby steps in that direction little by little.  Although Mommy is a complete control freak, I have learned from your brothers to let the potty trainee control that situation so I am letting you lead and we are figuring it out. 

Another big milestone for you was going from your crib to your toddler bed.  Many things you’ve done have been on your own timeline, not mine- rolling over, pulling yourself up to a standing position when you were only sixth months (which caused you lots of falling over injuries) and this is no exception.  One day you were perfectly content in your crib, the next day you were climbing out like it was your J-O-B.  I was not ready, not even close.  I like to keep people in their cribs for as long as possible.  Even after you started climbing out, I was still fighting you for control over that milestone.  I flipped your sleep sack inside out of backwards making it harder for you to take it off to climb out.  I changed where your pillow was, moved your chair out of the way, even contemplated flipped your crib so that the longer side was facing out.  Throughout those attempts to keep you little, you would let me think it worked and then, a couple of days later when I was just starting to think I won, you’d climb out again.

You might be wondering why I was so hesitant to switch you into your toddler bed.  Well, I could tell you weren’t going to be someone who would make that transition without a little debauchery and I wasn’t ready for it yet.  Also, everything I read told me that you shouldn’t do the big boy bed thing when other changes were happening (hello?! Potty training, new sibling, starting school- that sounded like a recipe for disaster).

I finally admitted defeat to you when there was an evening where everyone was in their bedrooms, Daddy and I included… Your monitor was on and right next to me.  We heard some noise and assumed it was one of your big brothers coming out.  Daddy went to go check and it was you.  You had somehow climbed out of your crib without making any noise, opened up the door, and had actually gone downstairs without us knowing.  You said you wanted to play basketball.  I knew I had lost the battle and your crib life was over. 

As predicted, changing into a toddler bed has not been the easiest thing.  I went into your room yesterday during naptime and you had taken the Desitin  diaper rash cream and put it all over your hands, clothes, and bed.  Also, I have walked in to find all your diaper wipes strewn about the room, and we’ve already taken most of your books and put them way up high because you were taking them all off of your shelf.  Thank goodness we have recently purchased a video monitor so we can see what in the world you’re up to. 

You have wonderful reasons why you made each of the decisions above, which makes me think you will be fantastic at explaining yourself should you make a questionable decision.

This year besides all those other milestones, you tried gymnastics and loved it, tried music class and loved it, and are looking forward to playing some soccer with your brothers in a couple of weeks.

Even though I think you are very excited to be a big brother, I’m a bit worried about your transition because I know you love being my littlest guy.  You’ve been so kind and sweet to my growing belly and your baby brother/sister is already totally in to you; he/she kicks most often when you are the one talking and touching. 

Other things about you- you are incredibly verbal, incredibly funny, and incredibly snuggly.  You love nothing more than to have “skunkgle time.” I hope you never say that word right.  You love to ride your balance bike and you are an absolute bullet on that thing.  You would prefer to be outside all day and not even come in for meals or anything else.  One of your favorite places in the world is District 5- the trampoline park.  You call it the “jumping place” and you ask to go all the time.  You love to read, which I am so grateful for.  You are also someone who picks favorite books and wants to read those constantly over and over and over.  Nolan and Judah love to teach you things like letters and numbers- I hope you always let them; they have been fantastic and eager teachers to you and so kind and patient as you learn.  Your face is arguably the most demonstrative in the family (although I certainly give you a run for your money).

And very importantly, you are still my Bing.  You don’t always love for other people to call you that anymore, but you always let me <3

You are so loved, Carter.  I hope being three brings a year of joy, learning, kindness, and so much fun. 

You are my favorite Carter that’s ever been.

I love you,


FLYING on your balance bike (you wear your helmet 99% of the time, I swear). 

I'm sure you were about to race those cars all over me. 

YOU LOVE OUTSIDE even when the winter is LOOOOOOOONG. 

You are a potty superhero.  

Yep, that's you. 

making your mark on the Valentine's Day cards for your class. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Thoughts (and Tears) On This Last Pregnancy

5 years ago, I was writing about being the crazy lady who cried (like a lot) during our birthing classes at Sparrow.  I was also the strange women who wiped tears walking through the baby section of Target trying to do our baby registry and had to go home.  I was carrying twins, wonderful, amazing, miracle twins after suffering years of infertility and two miscarriages.  Not that this is a surprise to anyone reading this, but even though pregnancy is a beautiful experience, it is not the easiest ten months for me and my crippling fear.

If I even go back farther, 6 years ago, I was writing, right around this time of year, about being told our second pregnancy would not make it- writing about having to have two surgeries to clean out my body since it did not take care of things naturally, feeling so helpless, yet again, as we were starting over.  Lots of tears there too, certainly.

Going back even one year farther, (7 years ago) I was blogging about Josh writing me the most beautiful mother’s day card trying to spill all of his hope onto me as I was, yet again, numb and depressed on mother’s day.  You can imagine the tears there.

Through all of my ups and downs with fertility, pregnancy, and eventual motherhood, there have been a lot of tears shed by me, especially at this time of year honestly.  A lot of sad ones, a lot of happy ones… a lot of scared ones, and a crapload of grateful ones.

This year is no different…

A few days ago, I had my last prenatal appointment… ever. 

E v e r .

I’m just kinda letting that word hang there… it’s so strange.

My doctor reminded me this was the last appointment before my C-Section and called it my last prenatal appointment, but then it hit me and I corrected him that it was my last parental appointment ever. After this baby comes out, I am getting my tubes removed (more on that decision later).  My pregnancy journey will be O-V-E-R. 

When I walked out of the doctor’s office and got in my car, the tears came.  This time, I couldn’t even label what emotion they were from.  The tears were for everything: everything I had been through, how far we've come, out of excitement, fear, shock, acceptance, joy, the past, the future, and the over-whelming feeling of arriving at exactly where I'd always hoped and prayed I would arrive- I am a mom of children.  

All throughout my infertility struggles, I remember just praying and asking to be given the same shot everyone else got.  That’s all I wanted.  That 20% shot to get pregnant during each cycle.  I just wanted to be “normal” (whatever that is).  I wanted the chance to make whatever kind of family I wanted to make without having so many obstacles stand in my way.  Here I am, on baby number 4, CHOOSING to not have any more kids.  I honestly can’t believe it.  

I am ending my pregnancy journey on MY terms, which is what I always wished for.  I am not carrying any more children because I can’t or because a doctor says it’s impossible, or because my body is incapable.  I’m ending my pregnancy journey because Josh and I decided that… together… as a couple.  I have been able to take control of that part of my story, which, from where I began, is truly miraculous.  Having control over ANYTHING pregnancy or child-bearing related, for me, is miraculous honestly.  

I strive to be one of the most grateful moms you'll ever meet.  How can I NOT be?  Any struggles I had to get here are always so fresh- I remember them vividly and they still make me so emotional.  Infertility awareness week was last week and I cried multiple times reading articles and posts on the subject.  I do not forget for a minute what Josh and I went through to arrive where we are today.

That doesn't mean I don't "Purple Crayon."  That doesn't mean I haven't freaked out at the thought of having twins when Nolan and Judah came or three kids when Carter came or holy crap four kids when #HundtBaby4 arrives.  That doesn't mean I don't have bad days, moments where I'm at my wits end, and some pretty epic mom fails.  But being a mother was something, for a long time, I never thought I'd achieve, a goal I might not reach.  This perspective coupled with my vivid memory, gets me through when things are rough.  

That chapter in my life is coming to a close- on my terms.

I will never again experience the crippling fear as I rush to the bathroom a million times a day to make sure I'm not bleeding.

I will never again lose sleep because it's been too long since I've had a doctor's appointment and I'm worried something is wrong with the baby inside of me.

I will never again stick myself with needles pushing all kinds of potions into my body in hopes it does what it's supposed to do to ovulate to give me a chance at birthing a baby.  

I will never again chicken out about telling people I'm pregnant because I can barely say the words out loud without thinking I'm jinxing the pregnancy.

... However...
I will never again feel the flutters inside reassuring me that someone is in there and someone is moving.

I will never again feel kicks outside my body during my day.

I will never again rip a hole in my maternity tank top because my belly has gotten so big.

I will never again take weekly pictures of my growing belly.

I will never again sing to my belly, read stories to my belly, pray over my belly, or have my children talk to their future brother or sister over my belly.

I will never again hear a heartbeat that's not my own on a Doppler or see an ultrasound profile picture of the cutest future baby/babies ever. 

I know I'm going to have all kinds of never agains, too, once this baby comes out and it's my last one.  I won't even go there- I'm emotional enough right now as it is ;)  

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."