Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Our Journey towards Becoming a Family of 5

If I had to summarise the year 2014 in 3 words, it would be…

Intentional…

Challenging…

Hopeful…

It’s been a year marked with many transitions – and therein lies all the challenge, from adapting, changing, learning, growing… and just learning to be. I went from being a part-time working mom to becoming a stay-at-home mom, and the decision to stop working completely in order to be home with the children was much more difficult than I had anticipated.

My husband (let’s call him H) and I agreed that we wanted at least one of us to spend both quality and quantity time with our children while they were still young. We chose not to send them for academic enrichment classes, but for me to provide them with what we believe would be enriching outside of school instead.

When I stopped working, it was as if, to me, I was giving up something that I felt had given me an identity apart from being a mother. I had to constantly remind myself that my value did not lie solely on whether I was employed, but that I carried value regardless of what I chose to do.
One month after I stopped working, I found out that I was pregnant with or third child. And then began the onset of terrible, almost debilitating, morning sickness.

Photo Credit: Altamar via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Altamar via Compfight cc

While the children enjoyed having all of my time, I did spend quite a fair bit of time sick over the toilet, or being cooped up in bed. It was a struggle for me, and I’m really thankful for my husband’s unwavering support during this time.

Despite facing a really stressful season at work, he tried to work from home on some days. He went about picking up the ‘slack’ without complaint, doing the laundry, feeding the kids, cleaning the house and more.

There were times when I could not plan meals for the children, so H would try to help out with meals. To ease my worries, he enlisted the help of our neighbour and a couple of good friends to help me with meals on days that he couldn’t.

The arrival of #3 is a major transition for the entire family, so one thing we constantly try to do at home is to involve them in our pregnancy journey as much as possible.

To make the pregnancy relatable to the children, I communicate with them about what it’s like, and what I felt when both of them were in my tummy. We also teach them about anatomy, the baby’s different stages of growth, and bring them along for the doctor’s appointments as often as we can so that they get to ‘see’ their little brother.

In anticipation of the arrival of #3, we’ve been teaching our two children that it’s important to do things together – from playing to making decisions – and this involves a fair dose of conflict management as well.

It’s not always easy, but I’m glad the kids are open and willing to learn. It gives me great optimism about what’s to come.

2015 is going to be a significant and new chapter in our family, where we grow from just the 4 of us to a family of 5. I look forward to enjoying my entire family – husband, myself and my three children – and treasuring the moments I have together with them both as a family unit and with each of them individually.

We’ve also made a decision to be even more intentional with our children: to speak encouragement and discipline into their lives so that they can grow in confidence, discover their potential and build deep relationships with one another.

There are many things to look forward to in 2015, the top of which is family, and for that I am grateful.

Sue-Ann is a mother of two (with another on the way).  She enjoys nothing better than daydreaming of new ways for her family to take the stress out of living busy city lives.  Her children, Rainbow Sky and Chubs Salami – nicknames they gave themselves – are 7 and 4.

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Two Months and Counting

Two Months and Counting

A year ago, I thought my main concerns with my unborn child would be the gender, name and room color. Now, married for just over a year and pregnant with our very first child, these concerns have been taken over by matters of life and death.

Will I lose my baby during the first trimester?

This question surfaced in different forms at various situations. When the taxi driver was speeding, I imagined getting into an accident. Whenever I walk down the stairs, I wonder if I would just miss a step and fall.  Is the baby’s heart still beating? Is she getting enough nutrients? Will the uncooked ham I just ate hurt my child? I just helped moved some tables, I feel fine but is the baby all right?

So I spent 60% of my time worrying and the remaining 40% trying to get as much rest as possible. Then, I read what Lorilee Craker wrote in her book, When the Belly Button Pops, the Baby’s Done:

“… Don’t let the fear of what might happen dampen the joy and the love and the fabulousness of these early weeks. And don’t hold back your love in an effort to protect your own heart. Even if the worst should happen and you do lose your baby, you will know that you loved that child with all your heart. The reward of that experience should last for all time. And imagine that grand and beautiful day in heaven when you hold your child in your arms.”

This has given me perspective – I still worry but I have decided to stop fearing death and simply love the life given.

Then, we were asked the question, Would we like to do the OSCAR screening?

In brief, this is a combination test done in the first trimester to screen for risk of fetal anomalies, in particular Down syndrome. The screening will help us find out if our baby has a high risk of chromosomal defects, following which I can opt for a diagnostics test to ascertain the present anomalies. 

Simply put by my consulting gynecologist, if we have already decided to keep the baby regardless, we need not consider the risk assessment in the first place. But if we do want to take the screening, we must be prepared to take the invasive diagnostic test which carries a small risk of miscarriage.

Again, I didn’t think I would battle with “would I keep my baby regardless?” but I did! As we walked out of the clinic, my mind was full of “what if” and “but”. Thankfully, my husband’s reassuring voice cut through my racing thoughts, “We’ll keep the baby even if she has down’s.” He said it with such certainty and strength that his courage and faith was imparted to me and my fear was dispelled.

So, they were right – your husband needs to share the same value and faith as you. In my moments of emotional upheaval during this first trimester, he has remained the steady anchor.

The husband and I still hold differing views on preferred gender and the need for middle name. He doesn’t think it’s endearing that I want to call our child Kathleen Kelly or Joe Fox, following our favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail. And he may not take well to my insistence of having lace on my baby sling even if we have a baby boy. Well, these smaller battles are left for another day. For now, we are just enjoying the journey of becoming mum and dad.

Note from Editor-Our guest blogger this week is Vicky. She currently serves with FOTFS by overseeing corporate partnerships and work-life programs. She is an accredited facilitator for No Apologies, a character-based abstinence youth program and The Heart of Success, a personal work-life effectiveness program. As a wife and mother-to-be, she continues to challenge young adults toward meaningful work and lifelong relationships while advocating for strong foundations in the early years of marriage. Although enthusiastic and spirited by nature, she promotes unhurried family time and enjoys chilling out in cafés – if she isn’t already spending her leisure time exploring a thrift store!