This year has easily been the most stressful of my life, between the pregnancy, selling our house, moving to a new state, Mike starting a new job whilst us dealing with the capital C Craziness of the 4th trimester. I feel like little Freddie has gotten the shaft with regards to me being able to really soak up his infancy.
I also documented how I have a little addiction to taking pregnancy tests, and to reward any reader who makes it through this tale, there is a little giveaway at the end for diapers.com, (home of the most accurate home pregnancy test.)
This one's for you, Freddie.
Cue last summer- not this past summer- but the summer of 2015, some time after Joe Pio had turned a whopping 1 year old and also some time around when the various bodily functions needed to be able to produce more offspring had reappeared (aka, return of the old cycle). Every time my babies are around 1 year old I get that itch, that baby itch, and in true Ana-form, Joe had his first birthday and I had it.
It was late summer and Mike and I were in the back yard talking about the coming year and the various possibilities. He was coming on his last funded year of doctoral studies, a year dedicated solely to completing the dissertation and looking for jobs, but as the year was getting started we both knew that it would be rather unlikely for him to do both of those things. It takes an annoying amount of time to apply for positions and fly to interviews and Mike needed every single bit of that time to write his dissertation.
We both came to the conclusion that the year would be entirely dedicated to writing, not applying to jobs, and the next year he could hopefully land some teaching at Notre Dame or a Post Doc and we would stay in South Bend 1 more year. I expressed my I love of this scenario excitedly to Mike because we had been in South Bend for 7 going on 8 years, it was home, all of our friends were there, I didn't want to sell our house yet AND we could have one more baby with my favorite doctor in all the world and at the best hospital ever!!
Mike looked at me like I was pretty crazy when I got to the part about the baby. Joe had not been the easiest baby, he was only 1, I get pretty sick with pregnancy and was planning on homeschooling the 2 older girls for 1st grade and Kindergarten. Yes, it was a little crazy. But baby fever prevailed and I got all giddy about the prospect of maybe welcoming another little one to our family.
I have overshared about my various physical phenomena which make it (literally) painfully obvious that I am in the fertile phase of my cycle, (go fourth and read if you dare), so trying for a new baby or trying to avoid a pregnancy is actually pretty straight forward for me.
I bought a few pregnancy tests toward the end of the summer and handed them all over to Mike (because I have a problem). We made it through one of my interminably long cycles, I took ALL the tests, and we weren't pregnant. Sad face emojis all around. At some point during that time of hoping and sort-of-trying, we had some more conversations about one school that Mike might apply to in Virginia. His sister lived there with her husband who also taught at the college and one of Mike's good friends from ND was teaching there and really wanted him to apply.
I was not happy about that thought and every time it came up I said it wasn't going to happen, though I knew he would apply just to see what would happen. However, if on the veeeery slight off chance he got the job and we went there we were entering crunch time with regards to having another child before a potential move. I had one more cycle left where, if we conceived, I could have the baby in South Bend, with my beloved doctor, before a potential move.
It turned out that the stress of all the unknowns made that cycle go several weeks long than normal, but as we came close to the point of finding out whether we were expecting I went out for more tests and I handed them over to Mike per the usual.
By this point we we already into October and we were planning a little day trip to Chicago. The morning that we were set to leave for the trip I decided to go for it and take a test, I must have waited long enough to be able to convince Mike to give one to me, but not long enough because the line was too faint for Mike to be entirely confident that it was even there.
But I knew the line was there and I was giddy. We went on our trip and I rejoiced internally, but was also a little terrified of the concrete reality of 5 kids in 7 years with a side of homeschooling. Within a couple of days *another test* confirmed that there was indeed another little soul growing in our family, we celebrated, told our families at Thanksgiving, and Mike continued with the application process to that one school.
By February it became evident that it was highly likely that Mike could get offered that job at that one school. I was still in denial and still pushing for us to just stay in South Bend and for him to finish the dissertation, but once the offer actually came we were in no position to turn down a good job, so we didn't.
I had no idea how the heck we would do it: sell our house, buy a new one, birth a baby, pack all our belongings, move to a new place with all these children. But we did it! And now here we are, 6 months later and still alive, no worse for the wear, and with the cutest little person to call our very own.
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