Helen Mary Michaud, expected in March or April 2016
We are joyfully awaiting our third child and can't wait to share her with you upon arrival!
Here are a few pictures and notes along the way (scroll down for most recent updates).
We are full of joy. Here's a very sweet pregnancy announcement that an online friend wrote about me--others had to guess my identity based on the clues.
And here are some lovely flowers that Robert had Samantha pick out for me after a happy ultrasound at eight weeks along and a beautiful strong heartbeat for baby:
K. came to the house for my first real pre-natal appointment, at just under twelve weeks along.
I also did the Maternit-21 bloodtest and found out our baby is a girl! Marcus is thrilled. Samantha is getting used to the idea.
Here I am at the beginning of the second trimester!
In Disneyworld, Samantha tells everyone we meet (and I mean everyone!) that we're having a baby sister. She seems incredibly excited, as indeed both kids are. Meanwhile, Marcus has been reading along in my weekly "your baby is the size of a ____" updates, and loves noting the fruit or vegetable Helen is the size of this week.
Another sweet online friend gave me this lovely necklace as a Christmas present:
At my first midwife appointment of the new year, Marcus used K's stethoscope to listen to Baby Helen's heartbeat. Samantha then pulled out her own (toy) stethoscope from her
doctor's kit midwife's kit and also took a listen.
Somehow the weeks are flying by. I'm 33 weeks today, and the little weekly pregnancy site I check with Marcus tells me the baby is over 4 pounds, about 17 inches--supposedly the size of a pineapple. K. is coming to the house every two weeks now, and soon that will be down to every week. My birth kit arrived, so we have waterproof pads and assorted other supplies ready to go. There's been some snow, and I've been glad I'm not teaching this semester--it's luxurious to be able to stay home with both kids when they have off from school for snow, and not have to try to finagle things for care for them, before schlepping out in the snow to class myself. Meanwhile, Marcus continues to point out cute babies wherever we are, and Samantha has been drawing pictures of her and Helen together.
Marcus has been getting very excited about the new baby. He goes on and on about how much he loves babies and how fun it'll be when Helen's a baby, and what it would be like if we had even ANOTHER baby after her. I've tried several lines of reasoning to answer that last question, but finally decided to fall back on the age argument. We had this conversation on Friday, as a result, with Samantha mostly sitting quietly near us and listening.
"See, when a girl is born--mommy, Samantha, Helen--she already has all the eggs she's ever going to have in her body. And the eggs hang out while she gets older and her body matures. When she's in her twenties, the eggs are very good for making a baby, and she could get pregnant pretty easily."
Here Marcus nodded, and I continued. "When she's in her thirties, the eggs are still pretty good. When she's in her forties, the eggs are less good and it can take longer to get pregnant. When she's in her fifties the eggs are basically not good anymore and when she's in her sixties they're definitely no good--"
"--to eat," said Samantha, immediately (and hysterically).
"What?" I said, "no! We don't EAT people eggs!"
Samantha looked uncertain. Marcus rolled his eyes at her and started listing eggs we DO eat--chicken, duck, salmon--and it ended up being a great distraction from "are you going to have another baby," let me tell you!
Later in February, I was greeted by this surprise from a sweet babywearing friend in Canada--she's amazingly talented, and I can't wait to put these beautiful clothes on our little one!
Another funny story from this month: Samantha encountered the book "Spot's Baby Sister," or some such inane title, at school, all about that yellow dog Spot getting a new little sister. At one point in the book, the parent dogs make a big point of telling Spot to go look under a basket, and Spot finds a bone. "It's a present from your new baby sister!" the daddy dog tells Spot, and Spot is of course thrilled. After making me read this book to her for the fifth time, Samantha turned to me with glowing eyes. "Mommy!" she said. "Spot got a new baby sister just like I'm getting a new baby sister!" I agreed that that was, indeed, the case. "Wouldn't it be great it baby Helen [pause for emphasis] gave me [another pause] a BONE? Just like Spot's baby sister gave him one?" She was enraptured by the idea. "I could use it with my toy dogs!" she finished, beaming at me. Um, yes. Wouldn't it be great!
On the last Saturday in February, when I was 35.5 weeks along, we had a "Getting Ready for Baby Helen" party. The kids were incredibly excited, and Samantha had been talking it up in school all week. Our theme, generally, was "baby," so we ate baby carrots with dip, babies (baby pigs, that is) in blankets, baby back ribs, a savory monkey bread in honor of our year-of-the-monkey baby girl, mini frittatas with baby bellas and baby spinach, mini cupcakes with baby animals (frosted animal crackers) on top, and onesie-shaped cookies the kids got to decorate for themselves.
We had an origami station, with iPads and Sean's fantastic technical drawings to aid in making baby booties, baby clothes, and little cradles, as well as a coloring station, so the kids could all decorate a big banner to hang up on our apartment door when Helen arrives.
There were monkey garlands on our door now, and monkey-themed goodie bags for the kids (with banana pens, year-of-the-monkey pencils and pencil cases, monkey tattoos, and a banana granola bar) as well as British jelly baby candies (which sort of tasted like a cross between fruit jellies, gummy bears, and Turkish delight) as favors for everyone. There was also a tie-dye project, with the kids helping us tie-dye all the leftover and hand-me-down white (or whitish) onesies and gowns and little kimono shirts for the early days. We had so much fun having our friends celebrate with us!
37 weeks today! Baby could theoretically arrive anytime in the next five weeks or so.
Robert's had a bunch of business trips lately, though I think now (38 weeks) he's done with his last one until April 17th. On one of his trips, in San Diego, he saw some sea lions and seals on the beach and sent me this sweet picture and text:
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Created: 1/01/16. Last Modified: 3/17/16.