Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eleven Months; Eleven Weeks

Today Cimorene is 11 months old. Today Baby #2 is 11 weeks along.

The question on many people's minds (and some people's lips) is, "Was this a surprise?"

Well, it depends on what you consider a surprise.

In March I had a dream about a baby boy, and I woke up pondering. (No, this does not necessarily mean it's going to be a boy; last time I dreamed of twins and got just one baby girl.) Surely it was too early to think about having another baby, though; after all, Cimorene wasn't even sleeping through the night yet.

I went to the temple that day, which, for those of my friends who aren't of my faith, is a place where I feel very close to heaven. It's a place where I feel very confident about the answers I get to my prayers. That day I prayed about whether or not I should have another baby, and I felt very comforted about the whole idea. I went home and talked to Ryan, and told him the answer I had gotten, but told him I wanted him to pray about it too. Later that day he came back and said that he also felt it was time to have another child.

God said jump and I jumped, and I'm excited to be having another baby, but I haven't always been able to maintain the peace I felt about it that day at the temple. Cimorene did start sleeping through the night just days after I made the decision, which helped me start feeling like a human being again (it had been over 8 months since I'd slept well, after all), but that in itself was difficult, because it made me reluctant to give up that healthy, alert feeling. Then I felt guilty for feeling reluctant. I got pregnant quickly, and I was happy about it, because I knew it was right. I was overwhelmed at the thought of putting my body through pregnancy again so soon, but I knew God would take care of me.

That knowledge hasn't changed, but sometimes it's hard to keep perspective. Guilt popped up in my emotions a lot. I felt guilty that the thought of being pregnant overwhelmed me when I had so many friends wishing for a child. I could think of at least 5 young married couples off the top of my head who were struggling with the wait for pregnancy. I wondered why I was getting another child when they were still waiting for their first. Instead of feeling grateful that I was able to get pregnant so easily, I worried about how I would tell my friends.

Part of that burden was removed when two of those friends contacted me within a couple weeks of each other to tell me they were pregnant. I was so happy for them, and also relieved that I could tell them my news without worrying.

Remember how I tend to get overwhelmed? I think I've used that word a few times in this post... Well, here's what I was seeing. I have a baby who's teething. I'm sick. My husband's leaving for Basic Training. We're buying a car. I have to drive it out to California later in the summer, where I have to move into housing that I've found long-distance (oh wait, I have to find it first) without the help of my husband, because he won't be allowed to leave base at first. I have to get through an entire summer without my husband, when I've not been away from him longer than one night in the last 3 years.

I'm still stressed over some of that, but here's what I've seen in the last few weeks.

I'm sick while at home with my wonderful mother, who helps take care of me, plays with my daughter, and changes her diapers when the smell makes me gag. My mom feeds Cim oatmeal in the morning when I can't even sit up straight. She makes me food when I can't get off the couch. My little brother runs up and down the stairs to grab things I need, and he plays with Cim. My dad plays with her. My older brother plays with her. She's in heaven with so much attention, which is good because there are times when I can't even hold her.

I'm not nearly as sick as I was last time. Last time I threw up every day until I reached 16 wks. This time I'm still sick all day (not just mornings), but I've actually had some decent days, and I've only thrown up a few times. (I'm sure you all wanted to know.)

Looking at the way the last few weeks have gone, I can't imagine getting through this stage of pregnancy while Ryan was in language school, say, or starting a new job. Had I waited 6 months to get pregnant, I would have had to go through this by myself for most of the day, and then worry about being too much of a burden on Ryan at night when he was already stressed. Cimorene would have been traumatized by the fact that I couldn't hold her or play with her as much, and I would have felt horribly guilty about it. I would have been living in a new area with people I didn't know and no strength or energy to go out and make friends.

Maybe it would have been different; I'm sure God could have strengthened me and provided a way to get through it. But I can't help admiring His timing, and the way that was provided.

The other emotion on this roller coaster is, of course, joy. Ryan, Cimorene, and I went and got the first ultrasound done 4 days before Ryan left. When I saw that little baby rolling and kicking and waving on that screen, I was filled with excitement and joy. It had arms and legs. It had a face that was almost discernible, even at 9 wks. It stopped rolling and waved one arm at us, just like Cimorene did the first time we saw her on that screen. I saw my baby, and it was mine, and I loved it, that rolling little white shape. I was excited at the thought that in January I'll get to hold him or her (or February if this baby comes late like Cimorene did; I'm due Jan. 25th). All the sickness, all the stretching, the shoving around of my internal organs, the recovery time, the extra weight--it's for a baby. That baby. The one in the picture up there. And that thought brings me joy.

I know that God wanted this baby to come to our family with this timing. Do I understand it? I'm starting to. I'm sure I have more to learn, but I'm definitely grateful that God is the one planning these things.

So back to the initial question: Yes, in a way, this baby was a surprise. I was very surprised in March when I realized it was time to get pregnant again already. But it was also planned--and we were given advance warning by the master planner so that we weren't too surprised.

And now we wait. 29 weeks left. :-)


  1. Shannon,
    That was such a sweet sweet entry :) Makes me really baby hungry too haha
    I think you are really brave for being able to have another baby with one so small. Alexander will be 2 in 10 days and though I want a baby really bad, I don't know if I could handle him and a baby right now lol
    I'm excited for you all!! Enjoy every minute with your little girl, 2 years has gone by VERY quickly.

  2. Oh my goodness congrats! All will work out... mine are not quite that close but I do have three in which are each 21 months apart and although it is tough at times... it is sooo rewarding and truly a blessing in my life. My boys definitely have a special bond being so close together... and I know I did with my brothers as well and we are all close together. You are amazing and I am sure you are amazing parents. Loved the post and the inspiration you are to me and so many others!

  3. Thanks guys! My older brother and I were 21 months apart as well, and we were really close the whole time we were growing up. Cim will be almost exactly 18 months when the baby comes, lol.
    Thanks also for taking the time to comment. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort to blog, because I don't know if anyone will read it (although it's valuable for me to have the memories/thoughts written down, it's still nice to have someone else read it). It's always something of a relief to get a comment. :-)

  4. I am so excited for you and the little addition to your wonderful family! When are you moving to California? That is quite the task for an expecting mother. I wish you the best!

  5. I'll be moving sometime in September (not quite sure yet). I'll have some friends drive out with me, and I already have the name of the branch president out there, so that will help. Plus, I hopefully won't be sick by then. :-)

  6. Congrats! I know your feelings exactly with trying to have baby number 2. I started to get that feeling very strongly when Travis was only 10 months old. We had just moved to NM for Alan to start a new job and things were still very up in the air with alot of things. We had originally thought that we would start trying until Trav was 1.5 yrs old and wondered why we felt like we should then. We ended up getting pregnant in March and went on our merry way. Come July Alan ended up having to get a new job and started traveling and was gone ALL THE TIME. Travis turned 1.5 that August. I think it was the Lord telling us that our time frame wasn't going to work because he knew Alan would be gone and that would make it impossible for our time frame to work. Its amazing how we feel inspired to do certain things because everthing is on the Lords time, not ours.
    Congrats again! Having two that close isn't that bad at all. Travis and Tyler are 22 months apart and they absolutely LOVE each other. Its great!

  7. Shannon,

    I think that is great! Don't worry about putting your body through it so soon again. Scott was 15 months when I got pregnant with Jessica and it worked out fine. Everything will go well I am sure especially since you have prayed to the Lord first. You know how listening to the spirit always brings peace and happiness. We will be waiting with baited breath to find out the sex! don't keep us in suspense too long! Congrats again to you both!

  8. Heather, God's timing continually amazes me. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, since He's all-knowing, but my poor mortal mind always wonders, lol.

    Claire, we'll find out the gender sometime in September. :-)

  9. Congrats on your new arrival!!!! You guys will be just fine. You're such great parents to Cim! Heavenly Father always has a better plan for us.I know that if we are patient and obedient, eventually we will be able to figure it out too. Our challenge was just the opposite of yours. It was never MY plan to have a huge gap (5 1/2 years)in the middle of my family. Now, I can see why it is the perfect timing for my family. That doesn't mean it has always been easy, but it has brought many unanticipated blessings. Take care and give Cim a hug from us. LUV YA!

  10. Thanks! When I was stressed about the fact that I was able to get pregnant when so many of my friends can't, my mom reminded me that it's just a different kind of challenge. We're all given the challenges that we need, and for some that means lots of kids close together, and for others it means waiting. I guess we just have different things to learn. I still feel sorrow for my friends who can't get pregnant, but I don't feel guilty about it anymore.
    I'll definitely give Cim your hug. Love you too! Say hi to the family for us.

  11. I'm excited we both get to be pregnant at the same time. Any idea if it's a boy or a girl yet, or are you waiting to find out with Ryan, or is it a surprise this time?


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