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Week 18: A bell pepper to add to the mix

According to the world wide web, at 18 weeks, baby is close to the size of a bell pepper: 7 ounces and 5.5 inches from head to rump. I feel him/her moving all the time now, but I can only feel it on the inside. The movements are too subtle to really feel by putting...

pepperAccording to the world wide web, at 18 weeks, baby is close to the size of a bell pepper: 7 ounces and 5.5 inches from head to rump. I feel him/her moving all the time now, but I can only feel it on the inside. The movements are too subtle to really feel by putting my hand on the outside of my belly.

I’m feeling healthy, although I do need to get my diet under control. (I know, “diet” is a four-letter word during pregnancy; maybe I should say “nutrition.”) I just get so snackish at night, and I like pizza too much. I’m starting to round out a bit in front, but I need to keep the rest of myself in shape because we’re taking a family trip to Hawaii in a month! Right now, I’m loving stretchy, comfy clothes and snow boots because it has snowed every day for, like, the past week.
I just wrapped up an article for P&N discussing when to add another baby to the family. (Look for it in the May issue!) Personally, I’ve always wanted four kids, but I didn’t have a solid plan for when I wanted to have them. After I had my first, my husband went back to school for an MBA, then graduated at the height of the recession (or the depth?), and our financial situation was less than stable. I also loved my first baby so much, I was in no hurry to have another, who couldn’t possibly be as perfect as my first. Thus, I held off for a couple years and enjoyed being a mother to one.
I finally had Baby No. 2 when my daughter was over 3. That age gap seemed to work out pretty well, so we aimed for three years the next time, too. Baby No. 3 came just less than three years after No. 2. We aimed for another three-year split but lost that pregnancy last year. So Baby No. 4 will be more than four years younger than his next sibling. (Sorry, buddy!) Still a good spread.
As I’ve welcomed more children, the relationship with my first has changed. She’s not my entire universe anymore, but she’s still my best girlfriend. She does prefer to have mom and dad’s attention all to herself, but it seems healthy that she has had to learn to share us. The two little brothers who came afterward bring so much joy to our lives. They’re almost three years apart, but they act like twins sometimes. They each touch on different aspects that make me feel fulfilled as a mother.
It will be interesting to see how this new one affects the family dynamics. Our “baby” won’t be the baby anymore! I’ll also be making room in my heart for another unique relationship. Although I love each baby right away, it takes me some time to feel like I “know” them and love them for who they really are (not just a cuddly bundle of baby goodness).

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