On top of our already challenging life situation let’s just add pregnancy into the mix and see what happens next. We are finally staying in one place for longer than a week. We will be in Florida through the holidays. Warm temperatures were planned for the winter months and we are happy to announce that we used our air conditioner for the first time since we left Texas. We actually just went swimming today and the kids were over the moon. We did not plan on pregnancy just yet although we are always open to adding to our family. We hoped that we would have at least a year of traveling under our belt before we filled another seat in the camper. As always God laughs at our plans and proves once again that His plan is far greater than anything we can imagine for ourselves.
Before we left on our trip I had a feeling that I could be pregnant. I took a test in August and it was negative. I didn’t think about it again until about two months later. I’ve been asked if I felt any symptoms before I took my test in October and I did but didn’t pay much attention. I was tired and car sick regularly but I assumed with the busyness of packing and long hours of traveling that it was just part of the growing pains of transitioning into full-time RV life. I am very blessed with tolerable symptoms during all my pregnancies. I was also working out consistently and thought that explained my exhaustion. I do have smell aversions and nausea but both can be cured with eating. I get tired but having toddlers, I am use to being tired. It also helps that my two youngest nap and I am happy to join them anytime pregnant or not.
As we started to form more of a travel routine and spending longer stretches at one campground I finally noticed that my nausea was not just from traveling. I took a test on the evening of our anniversary October ninth. Ryan just laughed and hugged me when I told him the news. He already new that I was pregnant because I had been complaining more than usual about being nauseated. I don’t get queasy easily and he has been through this four times already. I suppose I was in denial because I have consumed with our plans of traveling.
My older girls have talked about adding twins to our family since before Nicholas was born and it hasn’t stopped. They count the seats in our car and inform me that there are two seats for extra children. Ryan and I agreed that we would wait to tell the children until we obtained an ultrasound confirming our pregnancy. The next two and half weeks were agonizing. At our next campground the kids made the cutest acorn family and added an extra acorn child. Unbeknownst to them, their creative play had come to fruition. I had contacted my midwife during the interim and told a few friends that were also pregnant. As much as I wanted to tell family, we waited until we told the children first so it wouldn’t accidentally come out during FaceTime. It helped that we didn’t have service at one of our longest campground stays in New York. I couldn’t call or text unless I was at the office or in town.
We found a mobile sonographer in the area we were closest. Our plans were to visit our friends that lived an hour from Albany. Our appointment was scheduled late afternoon on November first. We had spent the Halloween weekend with our friends and drove into Albany for All Souls’ Day mass at the original cathedral near the downtown capital. We spent the day picnicking under the falling leaves of yellow and the capital building across the street.
Just a few blocks away we visited the New York State museum. Admission is free and they had the most inspiring exhibit dedicated to 9.11. They are currently still working on salvaging the make shift memorial that was left by mourners at Ground Zero. It was a tender moment watching them meticulously comb and piece through items left over twenty years ago. We soaked up the rest of the day in that museum and left without a minute to spare to our pending appointment. I was so excited. The kids had no idea and soon we would have a few answers and all the secrets out. I decided to take only Madelyn, the second oldest inside with me. I wanted her to feel special, to know first and to share a secret with her for a few moments.
The drive to the sonographer’s house was through beautiful neighborhoods of colonial style homes with large yards and trees that have seen families through generations. We walked through a beautifully renovated living area into a thoughtfully designed office in the back of the home. We were welcomed I took my place on the examination table while Madelyn sat on the couch in front of a large television screen. In just a few moments we viewed the baby, heard the heartbeat and confirmed that I was sixteen weeks pregnant! I thought maybe I could be almost eight weeks along and I was in complete and utter shock to discover that I was in my second trimester. I have been pregnant since July. (Cue mind blown)
The sonographer bid us farewell with an excited congratulations and a bag full of ultrasound photos. We drove to a nearby restaurant and gave Mia a gift bag revealing our surprise. Everyone has been elated by the news and preparing for baby in their own way. My oldest is pressuring us with deciding a name, my older middle girl is always affectionate with my pregnant belly and she happily walks with one arm around me and the other hugging her newest sibling. My youngest daughter has decided it is a girl. She says in her cutest three year old voice, “I want a sister! I already have a baby brother his name is Nicholas and he is right there!” As of now we are not finding out the gender until his or her birth. I do love surprises although I tried to be surprised with Nicholas and failed. I know it drives people crazy as it does myself. Pregnancy is a gift that not only results in the most tender miracle anyone can receive but also a chance that will result in potential growth in patience, knowledge and most importantly faith and trust in God. How can I not face such an opportunity.
I have been in contact with my midwife, we are planning another home birth. I have already had blood drawn for labs. I will be checking in with a midwife in Florida until we return to Texas. The plan before, I found out I was pregnant, has always been to return in February and to leave mid March. It looks like we will be staying around until a few months after the baby is born. The baby is due April 22, just a few days after Nicholas’ birthday. My midwife would like me to have the baby in the RV, I think she is kidding but I suppose it could happen with the exception of no possibility of water birth which I prefer.
Our new plan is to rent a house in The Woodlands for a month around the time of the baby’s due date. We will stay around the Woodlands until I am up for traveling an hour and a half to my mom’s home where we can park the RV. The girls can stay in a house and my mom and aunt can spoil me and my family with all my favorite food. They are not aware of my plans just yet. We will stay until I am up for traveling again. We are already planning our destinations on the west coast for next summer. Our home is still being leased until October.
We have been praying and thoughtfully considering what our growing family needs most over the next year. I am so excited for the possibilities that are coming with the birth of our sweet blessing. I am publishing this post on my 40th birthday. I am in awe of God’s goodness to allow me another year of health and the bonus of expecting a child. I never quite imagined my life like this but I am so glad that I am not in control. God has counted every hair on my head and planned every detail of my life. I would not have it any other way.
Jesus, I trust in you!