Y’all asked a lot of different questions when we spilled the beans about our little guy! I promised that I would do my best to answer all the questions…so let’s get to it…
- Did you have a feeling this was a boy or a girl?
Very early on…I seriously thought that this time around, the baby was a girl. This entire pregnancy has been really different symptom-wise (more on that later) so I assumed that it was gonna be a female early on based on urban mommy legends. In my gut, I knew that I would always be a boy-mom (my dad is one of four boys and I always felt very kindred to my Grandma) so I’m not really surprised that I’m expecting another male. And honestly, the thought of three little Bower boys so close in age (they could all play on the same sports team in high school or sing in chorus together) is really heart-warming and exciting.
- What did Jeremy think it was? boy or girl?
He thought it was a girl based on the fact that I didn’t gain as much weight and that I was very emotional. He has made it very clear that he wants a little girl one day but he always says that it’s nice to think that if that ever happens, that there will be lots of older brothers to watch over her when he’s not there 🙂
- Will you try for more kids? Are you done?
We always said that we wanted at least four bio kids. I still have the desire to have more…as does Jeremy. I think in the years to come, we have to evaluate that final number based on our family dynamic, personalities, finances, etc. It’s a lot to consider but for now we are definitely feeling like no…we are not done. If God gave me a dozen kids, I would be thrilled. Jeremy is a little more conservative….and right now he has agreed to five…maybe six biological kids. And adoption has always been something that is close to my heart so our ‘children’ story is a definite work-in-progress 🙂
- Tell me about the name? Is it a family name? Will you call him Leonard? Leo? LJ?
This third boy is named after my grandfather…Leonard Santini. He is the most honorable man I have ever met and months after we had named Weston (who was named after a bible verse), both Jeremy and I questioned why we had never considered Pappap’s name as an option. It was then and there that we decided that we would definitely use it if we ever had another boy. Little did we know that it was going to be a very short time till we found out we were expecting.
When we found out it was indeed a boy, we said Leonard would be the first name and we originally considered “Leo” as the nickname. Then on our anniversary (in October) I suggested to Jeremy the middle name of Judah (I always loved that name and the story of the Kingdom of Judah in the Bible and the meaning itself was my jam)…I was shocked when he said that he actually liked it! So when we got home, we asked Will if the baby in my tummy was Baby Leonard, Baby Leo, or Baby LJ. He said “Baby Weston”. And then he told me he wanted two baby Weston’s 🙂 A few weeks later, I asked him what the name was again…this time not making any suggestions…and he remembered and announced “Baby LJ”. It stuck.
- What made you decide to share the name now?
With Will, we shared his name pre-birth because we knew it. With Weston, we didn’t officially decide on his full name until he was born. So we didn’t share until we knew 100%. This time around, we knew the name fit now. I am a weird bird in that I share things with the world when I am ready and feel like the time is right. There is no other agenda…just whatever feels good. I did consider that there would be some folks that would feel like they need to warn me that the name was not their style or whatever (that happened with both Will and Weston)…and they might be less likely to say something after he already arrived and was given the name…but honestly, my baby is already officially named (whether it has paperwork or not) and I am just really excited to have everyone call him by name.
- When choosing a family name do you first check with other members of your family to see if they had planned to use it for any future little ones?
No, not really. We definitely just pick names based on what we (‘we’ being the family member and their spouse) like. Of course, we don’t have any problem if a name is already taken to use it again either….Will actually has a first cousin named William Clay and they call him Clay and another first cousin named Braden William. We figure that if we love it, then just do it!
- Have you documented your belly bump for this pregnancy?
Yes, I have a little. I have taken a bump photo every eight to ten weeks or so…nothing elaborate like I did with Will (I did his every other week – above with brick background) or Weston (I did his every month – above with plain background). They are for my own personal memory and I definitely keep a ‘moments’ calendar just like I did with my other boys too. The moments calendar is actually the thing I value the most because it documents the days that I felt the first kick or had a doctors appointment or something memorable happened 🙂
- How is the pregnancy going?
So far, so-so. This pregnancy was very different for me in a lot of ways. For one, I have been hyper-emotional. If I feel it, it comes out…which can be very dangerous. I also have been VERY sick the last few months…both in frequency and in intensity. I guess I finally got stricken with the infamous pregnancy low immune system. For instance…right now I am coughing up a lung. make that two lungs. I have been sick for the past four weeks…both chest, head and throwing up. It has been pretty miserable.
Being so sick makes me so thankful that I didn’t have intense morning sickness. I did have a touch of sick stomach in the early days which is different because I never had anything more than mild nausea with Will or Weston (nothing a stick of gum couldn’t fix!). Speaking of stomachs, the cravings with this pregnancy have been way different. With Will, I craved salt from day one. He still would choose licking a salt shaker over anything else. With Weston, I craved fruit and sugar. To date, his favorite thing to eat is chilled fruit chunks and candy. With LJ, I have not had much of an appetite. In fact, I am on track to gain only half what I gained with Will or Weston…which is crazy to me. I did however crave Krispy Kreme donuts one night…and I think that is the only time in all three pregnancies that it was such a strong craving that I asked Jer to hop in the car and drive to the store. He didn’t mind…because after all…it’s Krispy Kreme 🙂
Physically speaking, the sciatica pain is nowhere near as bad as it was with Weston and this is the first pregnancy that I really experienced traditional round ligament pain (I wouldn’t call mine ‘pain’ as much as ‘discomfort’…because dang, once you go through sciatica stuff, the rest seems minor). This time around I am also getting way more leg cramps…often both legs and feet in the middle of the night which scares the heck outta Jeremy because he startles easily and tries to help but can’t.
The only other thing that was really different was that this time around I have a very low-lying anterior placenta. So basically I didn’t feel him kick till October 6th (our anniversary and it was THE BEST PRESENT). He still is very shy about letting me know he’s there. Will was pretty average when it came to kicking…Weston was remodeling things in there from the start….and so having a quieter little one is slightly unnerving. I constantly wonder if he’s okay between appointments.
- How did you tell your family?
We announced the pregnancy in a low-key way. My mom had bought Jeremy and I skydiving tickets and I ended up going over to her house to tell her that I couldn’t use them anymore. She immediately guessed and screamed. I also told my dad the same thing later and he didn’t guess it at all. It was very funny to see his surprised face when I explained. I told my mom the name as soon as I knew…but swore her to secrecy so that the beans didn’t get spilled to my grandparents. On Thanksgiving, with a raspy voice, I got to share the gender and name news with my Pappap and Mummum and they were both very touched. I wish I had it documented with a picture or video but since I have been so sick, I was just thankful that I could talk loud enough for them to hear me. Seeing Pappap’s face at the table when I told him the news was pretty much my favorite part about Thanksgiving. Even more than the pies…and that is saying something 🙂
- Will you cloth diaper this baby?
I really want to do the hybrid approach again (I still have everything I need) but I am definitely one of those folks that does whatever is the best fit at the time…so we shall see. With Will, cloth worked out really well….with Weston (and his explosions – too far?), going with disposables more frequently was a better solution for us. I guess the answer will be ‘wait and see’.
- Will you try breastfeeding again?
Definitely yes. I will try. Fingers crossed! Right now I am two for two on doing it….with a 50% approval rating. I feel like it’s just like childbirth, you never know what you will get….but I will definitely be checking for a tied tongue this time around 🙂
- Are you going to have any help with 3 kids?
First and foremost my job is a stay-at-home wife and mom. I am very lucky in that Jeremy has a good job and we have the opportunity to raise these kids ourselves. There are so many folks that don’t have that privilege and need help in the child-care department. So to answer your question…no…besides the few times we will hire a babysitter for date night, and Will continuing to go to his preschool for a few hours a few days a week (I totally consider that help!), the plan is to keep tag-teaming the kiddos and try our best to keep up with the chaos.
- When are you due?
Beginning of March. The doctor keeps moving my date around based on growth, measurements, etc. Right now the date is settled on March 11th but he warned me that could change. That puts me right now at the very end of the second trimester.
- How did you share the sex of the baby news with Will and Weston?
I was in the doctor’s office (for another sinus/lung infection) when I found out. I told Will right away because he asked me why I was laughing/crying/so happy…he still didn’t understand because at the time I didn’t have much of a belly. Now he talks about Baby LJ all the time because I finally started showing more. The other day he told me that he was gonna play football…and it was gonna be Will & Daddy against Baby Weston and Baby LJ. I have a feeling that in fifteen years, that might not seem as stacked in Will’s favor. Weston has no idea what is going on.
- Did you consider not finding out the gender?
Nope. Both Jeremy and I love finding out as soon as we can. In fact, we even paid to find out early! That didn’t pan out quite as well as we hoped because it required a blood draw and during the first appointment, they put the blood in the wrong vials. Three weeks later, I was impatiently waiting to hear the news and called them…to which they said that I needed to come back in for another draw. Another three weeks later, I learned the lab had dropped my second blood draw and so I did yet ANOTHER blood donation. Three weeks after that is when I found out….one week before my twenty week anatomy ultrasound. So I did find out one week earlier than the normal standard of twenty weeks but it felt like an eternity.
- Does every baby get his own room? or are they going to start sharing?
Right now the plan is that Will will stay in his room and Weston will stay in his room. LJ will stay in our room in a pack-n-play and co-sleep till he is closer to that 8-10 month age. At that point, we will have to reassess. I am guessing that Will and Weston will want to share (Will is obsessed with sleeping in the room with people) and Weston will probably have transitioned to a toddler bed by then (he’ll be two?) so then LJ will get the nursery. But that is just a guess, we might change everything…who knows?!
- What was your initial reaction when you found out you were having another son?
I laughed. And then I cried happy tears while laughing. As much as I would love to have a girl one day…I trust that these kinda things are bigger than me. I know that our family will get exactly what it needs exactly when it needs it. I never doubted that I would have boys. My dad is the third boy in his family and he’s pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself. And to be quite honest…this baby is just full of surprises! I definitely think that his middle name is perfect….Judah means “Praised” and that is the perfect description of how I feel. Praise God for my baby boy!
- What things are you most nervous about the transition from 2 to 3 children?
I am most nervous about the laundry situation. And whether or not I will be patient enough. I am nervous about whether I will be able to be more scheduled and have better routines just so that we can all successfully function. I know I will not be sleeping and that it will take discipline on my part to have more designated systems…like a better meal planning system or cleaning schedule or even communication with Jeremy so that we still do family fun stuff. I am nervous that our pantry might need a complete overhaul and expansion in the future so that we can hold enough food for them all. It may sound crazy but I am also nervous about picking up and carrying two little ones…so I’m planning on doing more baby-wearing with LJ and then if Weston needs me to pick him up (he’ll only be fifteen months) I will still be able to…but it still makes me nervous. My biceps will probably be huge.
- What made you wait so long to spill the beans?
This was one thing that kinda shocked me when it came to the blog-world…how much this tiny little detail was such a topic of discussion! It may have felt ‘so long’ but to us it was just what happened. Historically speaking, we waited four extra weeks to find out Will’s sex and then shared it a couple weeks later (at around 25 weeks). We actually found out Weston’s gender initially from a 14 week appointment (the doctor was not 100% sure but still told us his guess) and still waited till I was about 22 weeks to announce on the blog. This time around we found out at 19 weeks and right now I am about 27 weeks…so different things happen every time.
I think everybody shares whenever they feel ready. For me, it’s definitely a different folks, different strokes kinda share. Plus, I had this hair brained idea that I really wanted to do a pillow fight photoshoot for the reveal and I wanted to tell my family at Thanksgiving (we did this with Will) and celebrate Weston’s birthday before we moved on to baby-mania. This past Thursday was the day for the shoot and I actually had to find a friend to act as backup photographer last minute (thanks Karen – you did awesome!) so this was the soonest for all of the sharing to happen.
- Will you try for another VBAC?
That’s the plan right now. I have one of the best VBAC doctors in Georgia…his name is Dr. Tate and he delivered Weston vaginally…a 10 pounder after a ‘failure to progress’! While the recovery wasn’t all peaches and cream, I do feel like attempting the VBAC was the best course of action for our family. This time around I have a low-lying anterior placenta which basically could lead to a number of things…like another C-section…if it doesn’t ‘move’. So we are all praying that as the baby grows that the placenta will be shifted into the perfect place and I can attempt another VBAC. Fingers crossed.
- How was breastfeeding and being pregnant?
It wasn’t really something I thought much about….I just did it. Weston really loves solid food and right around eight months I did start to notice that he was starting to wean and my supply was feeling lower and lower. Two months later, it was a flat out battle to get him to nurse at all. Neither of my boys have ever been comfort nursers so to them it was purely business. After two weeks of struggling to get him latched and stay latched and do it for longer than ten seconds….I finally decided to call it the end and do the whole ‘don’t offer, don’t refuse’ thing. He never asked again. I am really proud that we went ten & a half months while I was pregnant and that I was able to maintain a healthy pregnancy. I also feel very lucky because I know a lot of girls that couldn’t even get pregnant until their nursing days were over.
- Did you have the panorama blood test? Did you find out the gender over the phone like I did? Was Jeremy with you?
I did have the panorama blood test taken. I found out the baby was a boy over the phone which seemed really weird…it was very anti-climactic compared to being in a doctor’s office and seeing the little genitals on the screen (that sounds weird.). I think next time, I’ll do something different…like have my sister there to surprise us both with the news. Jeremy was not with me at the very moment…he met me at the doctor’s office where I was waiting and I told him the news in our private little exam room a couple minutes after I got off the phone. Of course, he was thrilled and shocked and thought I was punking him.
- How did you and Sherry share the boy/boy news with each other?
We have always done the text thing…freaking out with a lot of vowels and emogis 🙂 Just like all our kids…I can’t wait for these baby boys to grow up together (even if it’s thousands of miles apart) and knowing that we have the love and support of such good friends is priceless.
- I sense you have a heart for women waiting for their own babies, and think that is beautiful. How do you balance that sensitive heart with the need to express your own JOY and details of this exciting season in your own life?
Ya know…that is kinda a hard one for me to explain. I know that with our wait for Weston, I immersed myself into a world of secondary infertility. As per the National Infertility Association, infertility is defined as a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages. We had unprotected, well-timed intercourse for 22 months before Weston took up residence. I actively TRIED for Weston for 13 months (charting, testing, etc.) before getting pregnant. It was a small personal struggle that changed my life and my outlook toward women in general. I don’t compare myself to other people and their struggles…because I have heard some of the most heart-wrenching stories about infertility and loss and I feel so deeply for those folks. I don’t know how they even function with those experiences. I don’t pretend to know what it is like to go through decades of waiting, injections, invasive medical treatments and spend thousands of dollars on the chance to get pregnant or go through a miscarriage. But I don’t like to ignore the fact that I experienced a small taste of that ‘wanting’. That wanting and waiting isn’t infertility and I don’t want to confuse the two…but it can still be hard. When I was trying for Weston, I hated hearing about other pregnant girls. I hated wanting something so badly and not having control.
So when I found out that I was pregnant SO fast after having Weston, I was completely shocked. And honestly there was a lot of self-loathing. I hated knowing that my ‘state of being’ would be painful for friends online and in real life. It is so complex. As thrilled as I was to be pregnant, nobody wants to be the thing that causes turmoil. There were a lot of tears shed because I wanted so badly to celebrate with no abandon….not just my pregnancy but the healthy pregnancies of anyone that wanted a baby. I pray for that every single night. I pray for everyone waiting on their little ones. I pray that all women find the strength to support one another…no matter how deep that pain may be…so that we aren’t comparing or being insensitive…but offering compassion, encouragement and hope.
I do get to express my own pregnancy joy and details with close friends and family. I have an amazing church family, blood family and friends that are a huge support system. I do know that as soon as I have LJ in my arms, I will be oversharing just like I do with Will and Weston. Because let’s face it…all babies deserve the over-share!
Now if you reached this part of the post, you get thirteen hundred Bower Power points. Consider yourself a queen among men 🙂