Tuesday, November 10, 2015

FAVORITE Memories From Our First House

One week ago, we said goodbye to our first house. 

I know moving away from Lanier Dr., our quiet little dead-end cul-da-sac, will be sad; we'll miss our neighbors, our huge yard, the deck, the little updates Josh's dad helped us do, and our big basement, but throughout this process of slowly moving to our new house, I've not been too upset.

In fact, I am overjoyed and grateful.  This was always the plan: to buy a smaller starter home that would get to be too full because of our growing family that we would want to move somewhere else.  

I remember buying the house when Josh and I were 23, engaged, and so unsure of what our life would be like.  We had many plans, many hopes, and many dreams.

For a few years there, when we were struggling with infertility and miscarriage, I thought the plans of our family being 'too big' for this house were gone.

So when I've sat, during nap time, in my bedroom, having to be completely silent because one child is sleeping in the room next to me and another two are sleeping across a narrow hall from me... or when I almost break my neck tripping on a griddle in my family room because my kitchen and family room are on top of each other... or when I can't blow dry my hair in the morning because I will wake the entire house up... or when I am up to my head in bath toys, dirty diapers, and all of my hair and makeup accessories because all five of us share one small bathroom, which gets destroyed daily, I remember that this was always the plan.

We never wanted to stay in this house, our biggest hopes were to fill it up with kids and toys and tantrums, and laughter, and diapers.

This house was wonderful, but it's time to move on and I am so thankful to be in a place where we should and can move on.  

Here are a few of my favorite memories from 2561 Lanier Dr.:
1. When we first moved into this house... we had a small table with two chairs in our dining area, two lazy boys from our grandmas as our only furniture, and a TV that sat on the floor because we had no TV stand... and we loved every second of it.
2. Bringing Prim to our house: I was at one of the lowest and hopeless times in my life and taking care of her brought so much needed joy into our home.  
3. Taking anniversary pictures by our the best fall tree in our yard. Starting on our first wedding anniversary, we always took pictures by that tree somewhere near October 20th.
2008: Married one year
2011: Married four years
2013; Married six years
2015: last family picture in old house :) 
4. Planting our garden in honor of the two babies we lost.
5. Meeting at our house before going out on the last day of school... a tradition for Eileen, Kelly, and I to celebrate summer and for Josh and Colleen to celebrate their birthdays. 
6. Bringing Nolan and Judah home from the hospital.
7. On nice fall/spring days, when Nolan and Judah were little little, I used to bring their highchairs or bouncy seats outside on the desk so that I could eat lunch and they would watch the leaves rustle in the breeze, hear birds chirping, and love being outside, which they still do.
8. When Nolan and Judah watched snow fall, in their Bumbo seats, for the first time. 
9. Every single Christmas
10. Everything about having Mike and Eileen live .8 miles away: taking walks to their house, having it be easy for them to stop by when Nolan and Judah were little, watching TV shows with Eileen, that one time Eileen sat in a lawn chair sunbathing and reading while Josh and I stained our deck, when Mike and Eileen walked over to our house after a HUGE snowstorm and Judah crawled for the very first time, etc, etc, etc
11. Bringing Carter home from the hospital
12. The first time Carter laughed out loud at Nolan and Judah

 13. Watching our boys play with our neighbors across the street

Onto the next stage in our life!  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nolan and Judah's 2nd Birthday!

YAY! A family of five!
Nolan and Judah turned TWO on May 7th.  If you haven't done the math yet, that's a short four days after Carter was born.  It was also our first full day home with Carter from the hospital.  The day of their actual birthday, we had a lovely time as a new family of five.  Nolan and Judah ate some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we sang happy birthday, opened presents, played all day, and ended with their favorite meal- spaghetti and some dessert for dinner. 

Now, it was a little insane, but we had a birthday party for Nolan and Judah on Saturday May 9th.  Carter was 6 days old.

Waking up that Saturday morning, I wanted to smack myself for thinking of such a DUMB idea.  What were we THINKING?!? I could barely walk after my C-Section, we have a brand brand new baby, our house is a mess, and did I mention we have a brand brand new baby.  But I rallied remembering that just because these things were true did not mean my precious two-year-olds didn't deserve to see their family and get celebrated for being awesome on this earth for two whole years already! 

Thankfully, Josh and I did some planning and preparing for this moment before Carter was even born.  We had already bought all the gifts a few weeks prior, all the decorations, and figured out the food.  We had also took both our moms up on the offer to help us make some additional food since they certainly know what it's like to have a new baby at home.  THANK YOU MOMS!!!

The party ended up turning out wonderful and we were so happy to have our parents and siblings around to celebrate our big twin boys! 

Just like last year, we picked the theme surrounding one of their favorite books.  This time it was Goodnight Gorilla.  We ate some yummy subs, had great side dishes, and again the cake artist at Tom's in Okemos did a ridiculous cake for us. 

Some gift highlights were outdoor toys, bathing suits, bath toys, and some pretty cute outfits just to name a few! 

Nolan always into the books! 
 
Judah always wanting to "help" us do chores
 

PERFECT cake!
 

Before things get too messy ;)  Yay Judah for actually using his fork when eating cake!
 
My beautiful, smart, funny, considerate, and kind two-year-olds who LOVE each other

There were so many times I thought I might never be a mom and here I was trying to balance a new baby and two year old twin boys celebrating their birthdays.  We are truly, certainly, and absolutely the luckiest

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 2

I'm sitting here watching little Carter Baby sleep and am in awe and in love.  Two months with this guy has been great!

What We Learned About Carter Pavona
He often seems so much older than he really is.  His head control is amazing, his smiling and iteracting are off the charts, and he is just.so.huge.  What a chubby little Michelin Man- as he is often called. 

This month, we really got back into the groove of using reusable diapers, which Carter was peeing and pooping through day after day.  He pees and poops A LOT.  We adjusted how many snaps we were snapping and how many or how big the inserts were in his diapers and I think we've finally figured it out. 

Carter continues to be pretty laid back.  Judah is more that way also.  Both are breaths of fresh air in our house since Josh, Nolan, and I (especially me probably) are NOT what someone would call 'laid back.'  If Carter is around people, he is usually pretty happy.  He does not like to be left alone and usually cries very quickly if he is left in a room by himself or if he isn't able to see anyone. 

For someone who loves to be held so he can lay on his tummy, he is not necessarily a fan of 'tummy time.'  He usually struggles for a while, cries really hard, and then goes to sleep.  We are still working on having that be a practice time, not a sleepy time. 

He is well into 3 month clothes and has been that way for a while.  I'm just washing 3-6 month and 6 month clothes so I can be ready.  He is a chunker; simple as that. 

Some Firsts:
June 6th: First wedding--> He went to Josh's cousin Eileen's ceremony and slept through the whole thing.
Night of June 28th --> Slept from about 11-6... I know it won't happen every day, but I certainly did NOT complain :)
June 29th, 30th --> I had a work training so I was away from him for full days

What I Learned About Being a Mom:
I am so much more confident in my abilities this time around.  I have felt better and more secure leaving Carter on occasion so that I can go do some things alone.  I've been to a spa opening, out to a few dinners, a wedding in Grand Haven, and a 2-day training for school.  I have done these things without freaking out.  Surprising eh?  I have a greater understanding for how to do this whole 'mom' thing. 

It is also so much less 'scary' trying to get out of the house.  Because Nolan and Judah are older and we WANT to make experiences and memories with them, it forces me to be okay with packing up everyone in the car to go places.

Something on my mind right now is how to provide good, quality one-on-one time with all three of my kids.  Carter has an advantage in this area because from when the boys go to bed around 8pm until they wake up around 7am, Carter is able to get all that time.  The middle of the night feedings have been much more bearable because I know I'm getting time alone with him to bond. I try to take advantage of time with Nolan and Judah when Carter is sleeping, but I'm still figuring out how to get one-on-one time with JUST Nolan and JUST Judah.  There are many time throughout the day where I feel like I am choosing my twins or my newborn and that's hard.  I know mom's who have more than one kid have been struggling with this since the beginning of time :) 





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 1

Baby Carter is one month old and what a whirlwind it has been...

What We've Learned About Carter:
Carter is a fairly laid-back kinda guy.  He can put up with a lot especially when it comes to noises or roughness from his two big brothers.  It takes quite a bit to get him upset.  I will tell you that when he does get upset, though, he escalates very quickly.  You'd better get to picking him up.  He has a pretty loud cry and also holds his breath when he gets upset. 

It was very obvious to me that Carter stayed on the inside for three more weeks; this has made him very eager to breastfeed, which has been great.  His brother needed to be supplemented with formula and we had to work pretty hard at figuring out how to do everything and Carter was pretty natural.  He is also just a chunker.  I rushed out to buy neutral newborn sized clothes this time because I had like NONE when Nolan and Judah were born and he was barely able to wear them.  He fits much more nicely into 3 month stuff.  I can also tell he has felt much "stronger" quicker being an overdue baby.  I still can't believe he was ten pounds when he was born! 

Carter has also been smiling since he was maybe two days old.. for serious.  I know smiling is supposed to be a reflex at this age and many people think it has to do with gas, but I am not buying any of that with this kid.  Him smiling when his brothers are around playing or him smiling when Mommy or Daddy says hi to him does not seem like reflex.  He really does smile all the time.  Also, I've never seen someone who gets so upset when they have gas.  This kid poops and toots more than anyone I've ever known and I can assure you, there are no smiles attached to any of that :)  Carter has also started making cooing noises too; I could just eat him up! 

Some Firsts:
  • He has kinda rolled over from his back to his front twice.  He was up on his arms pretty good making it easier, but he still did it!
  • We have successfully went to church as a family of five!  Carter has been sleeping through it, thank goodness, because it's a full time job keeping the lid on this brothers for the hour we are there :)
  • Carter went to his first wedding on 6-6-15, Josh's cousin Eileen's wedding.  He slept through that too! 
  • Carter has also been to the zoo!  We went on 6-6-15 (Thanks Mike and Eileen for the membership)
  • He has successfully peed and pooped on me more in his first month than Nolan and Judah have in two years.
What I've Learned About Being a Mom:
I almost wasn't going to include this part into my blogs with him because I suppose I'm not a "new" mom anymore.  However, Carter is certainly teaching me new things all the time.  I knew that I would love him immediately and I knew that I would feel like he was a total needed and vital member of our family right away.  These were both true.  However, the adjustment to having a newborn and two two-year olds has not been easy.  Sometimes, in my lowest and most tired moments, I feel like having three kids so close together is a recipe for disaster.  Nolan and Judah are still so so young.  They aren't good at being gentle so I can't put Carter in a swing or under a little baby gym and try to get anything done.  They still need so much from me and so much attention that I feel bad for them and Carter all at the same time.  That's been really hard.  Nolan, Judah, AND Carter have been accommodating, patient, and kind as best as they can though for which I am thankful.   

I am a control freak (this we know) and I am crazy (this we also know).  I have had a very difficult time letting Carter drive the bus when it comes to when he sleeps and when he eats.  Right now, for example, I would've thought he would be awake and have already eaten, but he is still sleeping.  So instead of taking a nap myself, I am awake writing this blog.  I try to guess what he will do all the time and I am pretty much always wrong. 

With Nolan and Judah, it was in ALL our best interests to have them on a schedule and to have them on the SAME schedule.  That actually fits much better with my personality.  I kinda knew, even when they were very little, when they would eat and when they would sleep. 

When Carter first came home from the hospital, I was given orders from the nurses at Sparrow, the lactation consultants, and my pediatrician to feed him fairly often because he had lost weight.  So I did and I drove that bus.  Even when he was just a week old, I could tell people when to come visit because I know when he wouldn't be sleeping.  After he gained 15 ounces in less than a week (a shock to us all), I was advised that I could let him be a more "on demand" eater.  I had a little trouble letting that happen :)  I got all confused, kept trying to figure him out, kept freaking out if he hadn't eaten yet, etc.  I am sitting here, now that he is over a month old, feeling much better about our nursing situation.  I am proud to say he is an "on demand" eater and I am proud to say that I am (semi) handling the fact that every day with him is a different "schedule." 

I am so in love with this little man.  He is a perfect fit for us :) 





 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Starfish Baby is Here: Carter Pavona Hundt

Sunday May 3rd, 2015: 41 Weeks Pregnant
Despite hoping to go into labor on my own and delivering vaginally, our Starfish Baby had other plans.  Throughout the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy, we visited the doctor several times and were given the pleasure of having several ultrasounds.  At each one, the baby was in a different place.  This helped me think that maybe I would end up needing a C-Section after all.  Also, each time we went to an appointment, I was checked over and was told, each time, that I had absolutely NO signs of labor... not a one.  Again since I cannot really be induced for fear that my scar may dilate instead of my cervix, I was given another piece of evidence that a C-Section might be in my future.  We had signed up for one, at a week overdue, just in case...

On Sunday May 3rd, I found myself 41 weeks pregnant, a week overdue, and preparing to leave for the hospital for my C-section. Here is a timeline of sorts leading up to our Starfish baby's birth and the first day of his life...

7:00 am- Nolan and Judah wake up and Josh and I say goodbye to them- this was one of the hardest things I've done in my 31 years. I have never been away from them for more than one night and here I was, knowing that I'd be away from them for at least three nights. Thankfully, we are so so blessed to have both our families nearby so I knew they would be in capable, loving hands while we were gone.  Josh's family was there ready to spend a great day with the boys. Leading up to this day, I made a table in Microsoft word of exactly who would be with the boys at what times, on what days, which was color coded, by the way... and also wrote a short novel of their schedule and possible meal and snack ideas (would you have expected anything less?!).

I cried the whole way to the hospital.

8:00 am- arrive at Sparrow Hospital- our C-section was scheduled for 10am.

Last picture of me pregnant with Starfish Baby
Josh ready to go!

9:30 am- my parents arrive

9:45 am- we get word that I am the only scheduled birth that day and so we may even get to go a bit early!!!!!

9:50 am- we hear otherwise- there is a mom who is starting to deliver twins vaginally... This means that the one anesthesiologist available must be with her until delivery is over just in case she needs a C-Section.  We laugh at the fact that even though Nolan and Judah aren't here, they are still finding a way to show us they are a priority.  My C-section is postponed until further notice.

10:30am- still waiting- find out from my mom that someone Josh and I went to high school with is laboring in the room across from ours.  Our moms saw each other in the waiting room. She's been there since 5 am and would go on to deliver a healthy baby girl a couple hours before my C-section. 

12:30 pm- still waiting- we get word that Twin A is delivered vaginally and now we're just waiting on Baby B to arrive.

1:30 pm- Baby B has not arrived yet- Mom still trying to push him out vaginally... We are still waiting.

1:45ish pm- Baby B comes out- We are finally up next... Almost four hours late.

2:00 pm- go back to surgery 

2:46pm- CARTER PAVONA HUNDT IS BORN!!!! He weighed a whopping 10lbs, 2oz and was 21.5 inches long. As he was being pulled out, the doctor said, "oh, we've got a big one!"

CARTER PAVONA HUNDT
We heard him cry and doctors showed him to me before getting him cleaned up... While they were doing that, Josh and I could tell something was wrong because the nurses kept talking about his lungs and his breathing.  It was clear he was okay; he was crying and moving and everything, but things weren't perfect.

**As a sidebar, Josh is not great during and after the actual surgery; he is constantly worried about me and once a baby comes out, he it totally consumed with making sure the baby is alright.  He must've asked all the people in the room 50 times if Nolan and Judah were alright when they were born; he was constantly pacing back and forth between both boys asking.** 

When Carter was born, especially since we knew there was something going on with his breathing, he kept asking over and over what was going on and if Carter was okay.  The nurse and nurse practitioner that were with him kept telling Josh he was just fine, but that there was some fluid in his lungs.  Apparently this is quite common with C-Section babies in particular since they don't get the push through the birth canal that helps to squeeze the fluid out... it's called transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN). 

Time went by and I still wasn't given Carter to hold.  As I was stretched out on the table, I could look to my left and see him in the place where he go weighed and everything, but that's not the same as being able to HOLD your new baby.  Tears were streaming down my face as I felt alone, a bit left out, helpless and clueless as to what was happening. 

Josh kept coming to check on me and I just kept telling him to stay over with Carter so that one of his parents was near him.

Even though this was difficult and definitely scary, God always has a way of putting little blessings scattered in hard moments...

One little blessing was the nurse anesthetist... he was a godsend of calm and kindness.  He continued to reassure me how normal this was and that Carter was going to be fine and he got Kleenex to wipe my tears away.  He also kept whispering to Josh that everything was going to be okay.

They finally put Carter on me to do skin-to-skin.  They told me before giving him to me that it would be short and that he would have to go straight to the nursery to keep an eye on his breathing for a while, but again that everything was going to be just fine. 

Finally able to hold Carter
They took him to the nursery, I asked Josh to go with him, and then I was alone. 

I was thankful Carter was here and that he was going to be alright, but now I was separated from all three of my children.

Another blessing from that day was the fact that my parents were there: my parents, one of which was a respiratory therapist and one who is a neonatal intensive care unit nurse.  Josh took them to the nursery with him and hearing from both my parents that things were going to be okay and this was a minor thing helped so much! They were able to come and be with me also so that I wasn't alone the whole time.

Again, the kindness of nurses prevailed.  The nurse who took care of me in labor and delivery stayed by my side for the next few hours as I was in the recovery room and Josh spent most of the time with Carter.  She never left the room. 
    
The last big blessing of those first few hours of Carter's life was the fact that one of my best friends, a mother baby nurse, had switched on to that day and was assigned in the nursery.  When my nurse called down there to check on Carter and Corey was who answered, I could not have been more thankful.  She was the perfect person to be with Carter if I couldn't be. 

Josh holding Carter in the nursery while I was in recovery
5:30 pm- I am out of recovery and being taken to my room- My kind nurse took me straight to the nursery first and wheeled me in so that I could hold Carter.  Corey told me he was doing great.  He was breathing really well on his own as long as he was left alone.  If they kind of messed with him or tried to disturb him, his breathing would speed up a lot more so he still needed to work on that before he could permanently be with me.  She told me she would bring him to me soon.

6:30 pm- Corey brought Carter to be with me until she was going to go home for the night-  That hourish was time was amazing and Josh, Carter, and I could be together. 

7:30 pm- Carter back to nursery :(

8:00 pm- Josh's family comes to visit- They were able to spend time with us, update me on what a great day Nolan and Judah had at home, and were able to see Carter (even though no one was supposed to hold him yet... didn't want to get him riled up!)

9:00 pm- Carter comes back to us :)

Eleven hours after I was supposed to have my C-Section, I was finally able to really get acquainted with the newest member of our family. 

After spending a brief time in the nursery during the night so that they could monitor him while we slept for a little bit, Carter stayed with us... for good. <3

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Starfish Baby's Almost Birthday

Wednesday April 8th, 2015: 37.5 Weeks
It was spring break... I had lots of plans on how productive I might be to get ready for the Starfish Baby while I was able to be home for extra time.  One thing on our agenda was to go to my 37 week doctor's appointment.  I had finally made it to a point where I was going to the doctor every week and it felt great.  It's funny, I've had my doctors say to me more than once how great it must feel not to have to come as often as when I had twins and how wonderful it must be not to have to get all these ultrasounds as often to which my response is always something like, "Um yes, that's been quite an adjustment" or "I'd come here every day if you wanted me to."  Or "Ultrasounds were actually very nice."  "My Crazy" wants to roar much more loudly than that, but I am able to quiet her :) 

Anyway, the appointment was going as normal: drop a urine sample, get asked questions by a nurse about how the pregnancy is going and if I have any concerns and then the quick visit from the doctor happens.  He asked me if I knew where baby was positioned. I told him that last I knew, from two weeks ago, baby was head down (this was great because it was the first signal I needed that maybe a VBAC - Vaginal birth after caesarian - might be possible for me).  He fished around on my stomach for a bit and said, "I'm not sure baby is head down anymore... would you guys have time to stay for an ultrasound if I could get you one just to double check?!"  He had said my magic word: ULTRASOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!  I hadn't seen this baby since I was 20 weeks and it was KILLING ME.  Again, "My Crazy" wanted to roar, but I said politely and calmly, "yes, we can certainly stay." 

When having the ultrasound, it did confirm that the Starfish Baby was positioned with his/her head in my upper right corner and his/her legs were down in my lower left corner.  This baby had certainly flipped.  A comment was made about my large studio apartment and how much room I had for baby to move all around still.  We got to see all kinds of other things: baby practicing swallowing, moving around a ton, etc.  They also checked the fluid level I had going on in there.  We were then escorted into a different room to wait for the doctor to come back in, which was routine, but what came out of his mouth when he got there was definitely not...

"Your fluid level is low,"  he said, "we like it to be between 10cm and 20cm, but get concerned if it's under 5... yours is 5."

I answered him back, "what does that mean?"

He said something to the effect of, "we might be celebrating a birthday today."

It was CRYSTAL CLEAR on Josh and my face that we were both in SHOCK.  My mind went freaky nuts!  Today!? I'm only 37.5 weeks!!!  I then realized very quickly that Josh and I had NOTHING ready: no nursery, no name, no hospital bags packed, and I had done NOTHING to get ready for my maternity leave at school.  We were completely taken off guard, completely surprised, and completely screwed.   Excuse me?!  Come again?! 

People who know me know I am a serious planner, but I don't plan stuff for babies nearly as well because of... you guessed it, "My Crazy." 

As all of these things I still needed to do crowded my head, a conversation was taking place that I was catching most of.  Basically the fluid level can be a predictor of how the placenta is working and can also be a predictor of whether baby is getting enough food or not.  Fluid levels can go up and down and can, sometimes, be changed just by drinking more water.  If I am dehydrated, then obviously baby is going to be dehydrated too.  The doctor also said how important it was that the Starfish Baby was moving like crazy during the ultrasound; if he/she was not getting enough nutrients, you would typically see the baby slow down his/her movements because he/she would be conserving energy.

Next thing I knew, I was hooked up to a Non Stress Test (don't even get me started on how I feel about those... for another time) to monitor the Starfish Baby's heart rate and movements.  He/she passed this with flying colors, which meant I was given more time before this baby was coming out.  I was sent home with orders to drink up, to pay very close attention to how much baby was moving, and to come back in two days to check again.  If my fluid levels were low again, this baby was coming out. 

The rest of our week (Thursday and Friday) went something like this...
  • Decide on names aka finish Name Bracket
  • Get furniture moved OUT of spare bedroom, get baby stuff in!
  • Pack hospital bag
  • Josh spend a good chunk of extra time at work getting ready to be gone
  • Kristin spend a good chunk of extra time at school getting ready to be gone
  • sending out emails and texts to close friends/family letting them know baby might be here shortly
  • getting everything ready for Nolan and Judah for when grandmas and grandpas are around helping out if/when baby comes
  • Having small meltdowns
  • Drinking so much water that I think I may have actually gotten sick of it (at least 120-150oz per day)
And lastly, but not leastly, accepting the fact that I may in fact, deliver ONE baby earlier than I delivered TWO babies.  This would totally strip my twin street cred.  This was also part of the reason this appointment was such a shock to me.  I assumed that if I can keep TWO babies in for 38 weeks that certainly this baby was going to last 40 weeks AT LEAST.  I had assumed I would be overdue... even planned on working up till two days before the due date.

**As I sit here now, THREE days OVERDUE, I realize that my assumptions were actually correct, which just makes me laugh**

At our doctor's appointment that Friday (37 weeks, 5 days), my fluid had gone up from 5.0 to 5.8... baby was still transverse-ish and we were given more time to cook this baby!

I went back Monday (38 weeks, 1 day) fluid level had gone up from 5.8 to 8.3... now baby was head down again!

Went back the following Monday (39 weeks, 1 day), fluid had gone up again from 8.3-9.2... baby still head down

Back again the Monday after (40 weeks, 1 day... officially overdue), fluid was from 9.2 to 8.5... baby still head down.

It's been three weeks since we almost met our Starfish Baby in person.  Since then, I've had the pleasure to see him/her on ultrasound 5 times and been given good news that baby is okay to stay in longer each time.  I am lucky.  Period.  If baby had come at 37.5 weeks, we would've been overjoyed to welcome a full-term baby of course, but I am grateful for this extra time to get more prepared, to allow the baby to cook longer, and to be able to cherish and enjoy more time with just Nolan and Judah and some much needed time with just Josh too.

We learned a lot that day... babies sure do have their own clock and I will never make assumptions about what that clock is again :) 

We will celebrate your birthday soon, Starfish Baby, and we can't wait <3

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pregnancy Before Having Kids VS. Pregnancy While Having TWO Toddlers

As this pregnancy comes to an end (sometime in the near future), I am reflecting on what a different journey it has been with the Starfish Baby VS. when I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah, here are some of the biggest and some of the most surprising differences I have experienced...

1.)  Physical Exhaustion: When I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah, I was carrying around TWO babies.  I was certainly tired, certainly sore, and certainly physically tired.  However, chasing those same two angels around, picking them up, bending over to pick up their toys, and not being able to rest very much because they always need me has actually made me MORE physically exhausted while being pregnant with the Starfish Baby.  I essentially put myself on bed rest towards the end of my pregnancy with the twins; totally CANNOT do that this time :) While pregnant with Nolan and Judah, I rested when I wanted to, napped when I wanted to, took it easy when I wanted to, and sat around and did nothing when I wanted to... Not this time people!  By the end of the day during this pregnancy (and sometimes even by like 9:00am) my body is absolutely pooped.

2.)  As Time Passes:  While pregnant with Nolan and Judah, those 38 weeks could not have gone any SLOWER.  Every single thing in my life revolved around that pregnancy.  I always had something to worry about, sometime to fret over, something to control my thoughts.  With the Starfish baby, my amount of worry and fear was still the same no doubt, but Nolan and Judah needing my attention throughout the day has helped me incredibly to feel like this pregnancy has gone much faster.  It's impossible to let this pregnancy control my everything even if I wanted it to because two other babies need me too.  This has been a HUGE pro for a crazy person like me.

3.) Sleeping Abilities: Thankfully, during this pregnancy, I have been able to sleep better despite my crazy, despite my worrying, and despite being uncomfortable now that I'm much bigger.  Nolan and Judah tire me out.  In general, when it comes time to go to bed, I am out!  Before having other children, when I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah, I was up during the night a lot. Towards the end, it was pretty much every night when I would eat my first breakfast sometime between 3-5am.  The Starfish Baby wakes me up too, but I am so exhausted I have no trouble falling back asleep quickly.  When the twins used to wake me up, I would be up for at least one hour minimum, but often more like two.

4.) Keeping a Pregnancy a Secret:  As many doctors have said to me throughout these last 39 weeks, I have a very large studio apartment for the Starfish Baby to enjoy and he/she has his/her brothers to thank for that.  Nolan and Judah stretched me out... like big time.  I have been fairly large for a very very very long time, which made it harder for me to "hide" this pregnancy.  Subsequently, I've gotten many more comments from strangers and acquaintances asking when I'm due over the last several months and they always look shocked when I would say the end of April because I have looked like I could give birth at any second for at least two months, but probably even three. 

5.) The Starfish Baby's Genius: When you read pregnancy books, they always mention how powerful it is to read to the baby, sing to the baby, talk to the baby while pregnant.  Josh and I certainly did that while pregnant with Nolan and Judah.  However, the Starfish baby has a HUGE advantage here.  I am already doing those things (talking, reading, singing) SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much during the day with Nolan and Judah and the Starfish Baby is able to reap the benefits.  He/she probably gets 20-30 books read to him/her a day and certainly many, many songs sung to him/her.  This baby will probably pop out being fluent in We're Going on a Bear Hunt  or How Deep is the Sea? or Goodnight Gorilla and will probably be able to sing most popular songs from Disney movies and Raffi.   

6.) Lack of Pregnancy "Glow": I LOVE maternity clothes, I really do.  When browsing through the sale rack at Target, I've been known to pick out maternity clothes on accident because they're so cute and been bummed that they weren't for "regular people."  However, it's a lot harder to look cute in cute pregnancy clothes when you have two toddlers at home.  Does my hair ever get done?  Please!  Do I take care to make sure I keep up with the makeup I need? Yeah right!  Do I make sure to accessorize to compliment my look? Ummmm, no.  I am lucky if I've even showered!  As I look back through the pictures I took every week with the boys while pregnant VS. the ones I've been taking while pregnant with the Starfish baby, there is clearly a difference between the way I have been taking care of myself.  I guess that's what happens when you are taking care of other people...

Even though there are several things that feel really different this time around, there are also some things that definitely haven't changed for me between these pregnancies...

1.) I am just as grateful and just as appreciative to be pregnant

2.) The flutters, kicks, and other movements are just as special

3.) The prayers Josh and I say at night over my growing belly are exactly the
same

4.) My "crazy" has caused me to have some very worrisome moments/nights/days/weeks, etc

5.) Josh and I did our baby name bracket just like last time

6.) This pregnancy is an incredible miracle too... different, yes, but a miracle just the same 

Monday, April 6, 2015

How We Told Family About Starfish Baby

Back in August/September/October 2014
This baby is so special since we were able to conceive of him/her on our own.  This gave us some freedom we didn't have before because people didn't really know we were trying.  This also gave us the gift of being able to tell people how/when we wanted since people weren't asking and checking in with us.  Here's the low-down of what we did...

PAVONAS
How we told my mom:
-On the phone --> not special necessarily,  but I couldn't keep that secret in long; someone has to be around to listen to me worry incessantly besides Josh :)  I told her reasons why I decided not to go running and the pregnancy was the last thing I mentioned, which totally caught her off guard!

How we told my dad:
-I wrote it on the memo line of a check I was writing to him at the end of August.  He didn't have his glasses so he made me read it out loud to him.

How we told my sisters:
-I found out I was pregnant right around the whole Ice Bucket Challenge craze.  I challenged my sisters to do it and told them there would be a reward for whoever did it first and a reward for whoever did it best.  Fortunately for my sister, Laura, she was the only one who did it so she was able to get BOTH rewards.  One reward was a picture frame saying "I love my aunt" with a picture of the boys in it.  The other, inside a card congratulating her, was our announcement that we were pregnant and we also gave her the permission to tell Colleen and Rachel too, which she did, right after she read it! 

HUNDTS
How we told Josh's parents:
-We wrote the announcement in Josh's dad's birthday card.  He got to learn about it first AND also be the one to tell Josh's mom, which he did, right after he read it!

How we told Jessica:
-For Josh's sister, we capitalized on an opportunity when she was going to be there when the boys woke up from a nap.  We had Judah draw a picture and we wrote a note inside saying that he, as her godson, wanted her to be the first to know from him that he was going to be a big brother (Nolan was already a big brother of course, by two minutes).  The note was taped to his Pack-N-Play so she got to see it when she went to pick him up.

How we told Lance and Megan:
-While they were over one day hanging out and playing with the boys, Josh sent them a picture of an ultrasound on their phones.  They both got the text message and were confused, but then very excited! 

It was really fun to individualize things and be able to take advantage of opportunities to tell people when they presented themselves. 

SIDEBAR --> Josh's dad asked me if I was pregnant RIGHT at the beginning of August and my mom had a feeling that I was too right around that time.  I wasn't, but they were only a couple of weeks off.  They both have some crazy 6th sense with these things.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Starfish Baby

Each baby I've been given the honor to carry, has always received a nickname.  It's a nice way to personalize each baby when you don't know the gender and I think it's been a great way for Josh and myself to bond with each baby too. 

Our first baby, which we lost after I had only known I was pregnant for about a week and a half, was nicknamed Baby Champ.  This was because throughout the short pregnancy, I was bleeding a lot and had also lost my brother.  We thought that if this baby could pull through all that, he/she was certainly a champion.

Our second baby, which we miscarried at 10.5 weeks, was given the name Baby Poggie.  POG stands for Pot of Gold.  I had been driving home from work one day, feeling extra nervous and scared and frightened about the pregnancy and had seen a beautiful rainbow.  Rainbows have always had a big significance in my family.  We've always talked about them and thought they were a way for our angels to kinda say hi to us and let us know they were watching over us and I felt more peaceful seeing that rainbow and the nickname was born from that.

When being pregnant with my twins, they had two main nicknames.  One was The Sprouts, which was because they were due in May when things were going to be springing up and growing just like my belly.  I always thought it was cute to picture them as two little potatoes :)  That was the most common name for them.  Josh and I also called them Orangejello and Lemonjello, which were two actual given names to twins my mom took care of in the NICU.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant with this time, as per usual, my mom immediately asked me what this baby might be called.  She loved coming up with or hearing about these nicknames just as much or more than I did.  Because of 'my crazy,' I didn't want to talk about it... hello?! I just found out I was pregnant lady!  But, she persisted, also as usual :)  We knew I had gotten pregnant sometime at the end of July or early August, which was clearly summer so we wanted to come up with something summery.  We threw around several options and one was The Starfish Baby.  I wasn't sure if I liked that yet so I decided to think on it.  The more I thought about that, the more that name made sense for more reasons than just the summer thing.  Starfish have five radiating arms.  This would be the FIFTH baby I would carry.  Also, if/when this baby was born (see, 'my crazy' dictates that I put if), he/she would make us into a family of FIVE: Josh, Kristin, Nolan, Judah, and Hundt Baby 3.  This name was perfect. 

Way to go, Mom, you hit this one out of the park. 

Starfish Baby, we can't wait to meet you.
<3  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's up with Nolan and Judah: 18-21 months

The very shot number of blogs I've published lately have been all about the new pregnancy, which is totally NOT fair to my precious, growing, smart boys :)  In case you were wondering, I wanted to give you an update on what's been going on with them...

First of all, both of them love to say prayers, get into things they shouldn't, and generally 'destroy' our house on a daily basis.  They are also very sweet with my belly and touch it and kiss it and say hi to the 'baby.' 

JUDAH MATTHEW:
As I write this, Nolan and Judah should be napping.  However, I am hearing Judah make noise in his monitor after he's only been asleep for about an hour and fifteen minutes, which is NOT an acceptable nap.  This is kinda perfect in a way, because Judah's sleeping has been very special over these last few months.  We may just need to accept that he's an early riser... sometimes even in the 5s (Ugh).  He will go through stretches of waking up early, not taking great naps, and taking a while to fall asleep and then he'll go through stretches of sleeping great.  Both are always for several days in a row.  He went through a nasty sleep regression around 19 months where we couldn't figure him out at all and it was driving us crazy.  I'm sure it was driving Nolan even more crazy, who MUST get his beauty rest. 

Other things about Judah:
  • Judah will not laugh more loudly or deeply than when Nolan makes him laugh
  • He is my little sous chef... he loves to watch me cook and also likes to play with bowls, pots, pans, and mix things in there to pretend he's cooking
  • His stuffed animals and blanket are everything to him
  • He often prefers to "independently" read.
  • He is obsessed with Josh; when he is home, he wants to be constantly near him or held by him
  • When Judah gets hurt, he wants a 'snuggle' where he comes and puts his head on your shoulder for a bit.  Then, he's usually over it.  He is SUPER tough; he has to be with our bull (Nolan) around him. 
  • Judah thinks being told no is very funny, which has landed him in some time outs, but he's learning I think :)
  • This man loves shoes!
  • He loves to play hide and seek or "where's Judah?!"
  • He cries like someone is torturing him when he's getting his diaper changed
Judah also has lots of words in his vocabulary, but he seems to be that kind of person that chooses them carefully.

Some of Judah's favorite things to do are take baths, snuggle with stuffed animals, walk around the house with big people shoes on, "cook," break closet doors, climb on chairs, shake TVs, build things with big blocks, "clean" the house, find things we've been looking for or that have been lost for a while, laugh at anything Nolan does, read books, press buttons, run away from you when it's time to go in a high chair, go down stairs, or get ready to leave the house. 
Can't get my head through!

A master with a fork!

That sums him up perfect: mostly naked, climbing on something, and yelling

Too cute, I can't!



"Grocery shopping"

Swag.
NOLAN GERARD:
My first born is just as demonstrative as ever and every bit a walking contradiction. 
  • He is INCREDIBLY thoughtful with people and has such a strong awareness of how others are feeling, but at the same time, doesn't think AT ALL before he makes decisions.
  • He is a walking accident, running into doors, corners, falling over anything on the floor (because he is never looking where he is walking), and takes those all in stride, but the second something upsets him, it takes him FOREVER to get over it.
  • He craves routine and structure, but finger paints like he has no control over his hands.  His art is unstructured, messy, and all mixed together, which is not at all what he likes his daily life to be.
  • He will tinker with things (doorknobs, tools, puzzles) with such determination and focus, but can get frustrated early and give up quickly if he doesn't master things right away.
  • He is a daredevil and a complete scardy-cat in one package... you figure that one out :)
Nolan also has these precious quirks that I LOVE!  If he knows a door is open that is supposed to be shut, he MUST shut it.  It bothers him if our bedtime music is still on when we start reading books.  When he plays with blocks, he likes to make towers that are all the same shapes and all the same color. 

He LOVES Judah... just LOVES him.  He wants to hug him and kiss him.

He also LOVES to talk and will copy cat just about anything you say.  He especially likes to try and say big words. 

He experiences every single emotion deeply. 

His favorite activities are to read books (that is #1), take baths, go outside, un baby proof things in our house, climb on chairs, play with anything he 'shouldn't', pretend to be on the phone, play with those giant-sized legos, make Judah laugh, say animal sounds, and did I mention, climb?!

Outside and loving it, of course!
 
"Helping" me make dinner
 
This.Is.Nolan.
 
One of his favorite faces to make
 
Nothing better for him than a good book #GeniusHour







 

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm So Excited, and I Just Can't Hide it... Even if I Want to

Start of 2nd Trimester: 13 Weeks: October 19th, 2014

As the first trimester comes to a close, I was thinking about the differences and similarities between this pregnancy and my pregnancy with Nolan and Judah.  So far in this pregnancy, things were very similar to when I was pregnant with Nolan and Judah.  My cravings were similar: cheese (especially Mac N' Cheese this time).  I went through an incredibly tired period around 11-12 weeks where I could barely make it up to when the boys went to bed and I napped almost every time they took their second nap, and, of course, I was fairly terrified, all the time.

There were two differences I can note, which were a bit surprising to me considering this pregnancy I only have one baby in there instead of two: I have been more nauseous and much bigger.   

The nauseous thing has been okay for the most part.  As I wrote about when I was pregnant with N & J, I actually like being sick and nauseous; it makes me feel like things are working and is about one of the only signs I can hold on to for dear life that a baby is growing in there appropriately.  I've had to be a little picky about food certainly, have had to walk away from meals while they were happening, definitely, and have been completely unable to drink my protein shakes that I drank every single day for the last half of my pregnancy with the boys.

The being bigger thing has been a bit more of a struggle mostly because I want to keep my pregnancy a secret for a long while.

I have to back up for a second to explain this. 

I don't keep pregnancies a secret from close family and friends.
I don't keep pregnancies a secret from the rest of the world because I have trust issues or think that people will be negative or cruel.

The reason I'd rather not tell mostly anyone that I'm pregnant is 100% because of 'my crazy.'  Ya'll know about her.  I've realized over time that I have a HUGE jinx issue: the more I have to actually TELL people the words 'I'm pregnant,' the more I think I'm jinxing myself.  Listen, I know this is nuts, okay?  Say what you will about me and 'my crazy,' but I understand myself and am incredibly self-aware.  I am not in denial at how silly that is.

'My crazy' also interferes with the way I interact with people once they know I'm pregnant.  I get all weird and awkward and don't want to answer questions.  Again, it's not because I don't trust, it's not because I don't WANT people to be excited for me, but it's the jinx thing.  If I talk about due dates or plans or colors of nurseries, I feel like I am slowly making this pregnancy not work out. 

In my most perfect world I would either:
a.) Wear a maternity shirt, have my belly stick out so much that you would never doubt I was pregnant, and have you make your own assumptions without me having to say a word... if I don't have to say anything I'm not jinxing anything, you see. 
OR
b.) Not say anything until I have a baby to SHOW you.  Like, "Hey, guess what?! I had a baby!  Here he/she is!"   No jinxing once baby is actually here in my arms!


Because I am also a control freak, I like to have to control over whatever I can while I'm pregnant since it isn't much... when and how I tell people, however, is something I can control so I think I hold on tight to that too. 

Needless to say, here I was at the beginning of second trimester:
Hello second trimester! 
"Hiding" my pregnancy until I was ready to be out with it was NOT easy this time.  I was in maternity jeans super early and was essentially wearing potato sacks each time I went out in public.  That means a lot of vests, big scarfs, and shirts that were either way too big for me or specifically designed NOT to hug the belly region. 
 I thought I was doing a great job, but once I did officially come out, which was in November around 16 weeks, about 4-5 weeks earlier than I had wanted to, but sweet Lord I couldn't hide it anymore no matter WHAT I wore, I came to find out I didn't hide it as well as I thought :)  
How big my belly was when I finally 'came out'
When you teach with women, most of whom are in their child-bearing years, it appears you can't hide pregnancy very well.  Most of the colleagues I work with came up to me after announcing telling me they had known for a while and were just waiting until I was ready to share ;)  Oh well, I tried :)  My sixth graders, God bless them, were so polite the day I came out (I wore a maternity shirt and my belly was a hanging out there). I forgot to tell them as we got going on our day and no one asked me about it until 3:00pm when I student finally said, "okay Mrs. Hundt, are you pregnant or what?"  I started laughing and said, "oh yeah, I forgot about that, I am."