In addition to e-mails and comments full of support in the wake of my announcement last week, I've received a lot of questions. Here are some of them.
Is this baby going to be the caboose?
Actually, Campbell was supposed to be the caboose. While we had at times discussed a fourth, we weren't serious about it for a number of reasons. First, our house. We live in a 1600 square foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath house that's already crowded. We really don't want to move, and we're not in the financial position to put on addition. So this baby is going to make things more crowded. Second, our health insurance. Because we're self-insured, our policy doesn't cover pregnancy and delivery. We're looking at a tab of about $12,000 to $15,000 for this baby. There go any plans we had to re-do the kitchen or put hardwood floors in the back of the house.
So yes, this baby will be the caboose. I've already opted to have my tubes tied during delivery.
Don't you know where babies come from?
No, even after four pregnancies, it's still a mystery to us. Enlighten me, please.
When are you due?
My due date is November 10, but given that I have to have a c-section thanks to Campbell, we'll be setting my delivery date at about 20 weeks.
Are you going to find out?
Nope. We haven't found out with any of the other kids, and neither of us see a reason to start now. It's already alien to me that we'll know so far in advance the date and time of the baby's birth.
Do you have a preference?
Not really. Although it would be nice for Campbell to have a little brother to be his partner in crime. The girls are so close that I'd like Campbell to have the same experience. But really, I'm fine either way.
Have you picked names yet?
No, we're stumped on names. I'm still lobbying for Tallulah, but I don't think I'm going to get my wish, even as a middle name. We both kind of feel like we've run through all the good family names, and my sister has given me a list of family middle names that I'm not allowed to use. She says it's not fair that I get the good names like Ella and Campbell just because I had babies first. So in the interest of fairness I'm taking Robertson and Evelyn and O'Keeffe off our list.
How have people reacted?
The reactions have been pretty entertaining. The folks I've told in person haven't been able to hide their shock. One neighbor burst out laughing. I told another friend when we were running, and she came to such an abrupt stop that I thought she was going to fall over. Another close friend dropped everything she was holding and gave me the biggest hug.
My mother had one of her classic reactions. She said, "You're having another baby? But you'll have to have another c-section. That's major surgery you know." Um, no, I hadn't noticed that last time. I just loved that she went straight to the dangers of surgery instead of excitement about another grandbaby.
I had a Danskin Triathlon committee meeting last night - this will be the fourth time I'll have worked the race while pregnant - and everyone there has worked on the race as long as I have. When word filtered down the table that I was pregnant, they all had the same reaction - a shocked expresion followed by the same question, "Pregnant? Again?"
Once everyone has gotten over the initial shock, they have been universally supportive and encouraging. The responses have reminded me how fortunate we are in our family and friends.
Do you have any of your maternity clothes and baby gear left?
Nope. I have one maternity tank top and one maternity bathing suit left from last time, and that's it. I gave away our infant car seat about six months ago. But a friend has a crib we'll be able to use, and I still have our cradle - I was saving it for grandbabies to use. I've also given away all of my gender-neutral newborn clothing. I'll essentially be provisioning as though this is my first baby. But at least I'll get the fun of buying tiny baby clothes again.
The mornings are better, nausea-wise, and I've been able to get out and run several mornings a week, even if I have slowed to a snail's pace. The afternoons, however, are still really hard. The nausea kicks in at about 4:30, and snacks of ginger ale and saltines don't do anything to help. I'm also still tired all the time.
How about the varicose veins you had with Campbell?
They're getting bigger by the day. I'm going to have to start wearing my lovely support knee-highs soon - just in time for the heat of the summer.
So there you are - everything you could possibly want to know and then some.