As expected

Well, it’s no secret we’ve been planning to have baby No. 3 basically since James’ birth. What we didn’t expect was to get pregnant on my very first cycle after James’ nighttime weaning.

Yep, that’s right. We’re expecting a new Phillips due Sept. 22. Now, normally, Chris has to force me to take a pregnancy test when I’m significantly late. I was only three days late on the 17th, but even before my period was due, there were symptoms.

Let’s begin about a week earlier. Yes, I had slacked on cleaning after Christmas, but the house was finally spotless once more about 10 days later. Until last week. Suddenly, instead of acknowledging the benefits of a floor the kids can (and will) eat off, I ditched my daily sweeping and weekly deep clean and decided to become one of those people whose crazy houses of filth are featured on Dr. Phil (well, OK, it was just a few Cheerios on the floor and some cat hair on the stairs, but still!)! Instead of tidying and cleaning, I sat around in a sea of toys and crumbs, wondering where my energy went and trying simply to survive until 7:30.

Instead of having combination skin, my body decided to re-enter those glorious high school years. But not my high school years, where I had the same combination skin I have now. Nope, I got someone else’s high-school skin — someone who had to take Accutane. And instead of being the relatively patient mom who yells maybe once every few days, I became a crazed harridan, not unlike the mom in “Malcolm in the Middle” (unfortunately it’s less comical when it’s your actual life!). And when I wasn’t channeling Joan Collins, I was inexplicably blue or paranoid. Considering I’m normally a pretty chill gal, mood swings are an indicator that hormones are at work.

But the one thing that confirmed to me that I was most likely pregnant was my workout the day before I peed on that stick. You see, I do 30 minutes of cardio four times a week, and the fifth day I do an hour on the elliptical at a pretty speedy clip. This has been my routine (with a few breaks for bedrest and RSV season) for the past few years. I have absolutely no problem doing my cardio and probably don’t even push myself as hard as I could. But on the 16th, with my period two days late, I hit the 15 minute mark and started flagging. And by flagging, I mean wanting to die.

I kept up my “ellipticalling” for another 19 minutes (Wednesday’s my all-cardio day) at roughly two-thirds my normal pace before practically collapsing off the machine 34 minutes into my 60. I decided to do some core work instead, but felt so exhausted that I hit the shower 10 minutes early.

I knew that this was no ordinary PMS. This was the fatigue of a knocked-up lady!

I had vowed to wait a week before taking the test, but the next day I thought, “What’s the point?” For the first time ever before taking a test, I knew without a doubt that I was pregnant.

Even though I had just used the bathroom 30 minutes earlier, I took a test. And somehow, those two drops of pee managed to turn that sucker pink instantly! Of course we aren’t telling anyone (except Chris’ mom because he’s a big blabbermouth who will not be told of the fourth baby’s existence until it springs forth from my womb), but I’ve never known I was pregnant this early (or ever, without being confronted with concrete evidence!) and the abundance of symptoms and the magical immediate pink line suggest this baby’s here to stay.

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