Questions Answered

 Not that you actually asked any questions, but I like to hope that other people might be as nosy as I am...

 Eight Week Ultrasound

How far along are you? When are you due? 

I am fourteen weeks along and I'm due on October 24th. 

How far apart will Claire and her little sibling be?

They will be nineteen months apart, but two grades apart in school.

How did you know you were ready to try again?

Well, as Catholics, we are big fans of babies. We believe that pregnancy should only be avoided based on serious reasons related to your mental, physical, and financial health. Because of the complications with Claire's birth, we waited until our obstetrician gave us the okay to try again. Normally, doctors recommend waiting at least eighteen months after a c-section, but since we are kind of really young parents, our obstetrician didn't think it was necessary to stick to that exactly.

We always just sort of hoped Claire would have a sibling when she was about two. My parents live in China now and my brother is still in high school over there, so they can only visit the states all together during school breaks at Christmas and in the summer. We really hoped that Claire's sibling would join us a little before Christmas so that my family could meet him or her while they'll still small and squishy.

Wasn't NFP super confusing after having a baby?

Oh, yes! When you can't rely on regular cycles anymore, things get kind of tricky. We switched from the Creighton Method to the Marquette Method and found it to be really, really helpful. 

How did you find out and when did you tell Adam? 

Because of the whole confusing NFP thing, I found myself taking a lot of pregnancy tests in the past year {mostly because I wasn't patient enough to wait things out}. Pregnancy tests get really expensive! I promised myself that this month I would wait an extra long time and not just throw money down the drain, but then I realized the earliest day we could potentially find out was Valentine's Day and that would be pretty special, so we decided to make an exception.

The only time I've seen people I know at the grocery store here was when I ran in just to buy a pregnancy test. I woke up on Valentine's Day, took the test, found out it was positive, and then realized it was actually two in the morning. But that didn't stop me from waking Adam up to tell him right away!

Valentine's Day 2013

Will you have to have another c-section?

Not necessarily. Although I will be monitored closely, the complications with Claire's birth are not likely to repeat themselves, so as of right now I am a good candidate for a VBAC. A lot could change in the coming months, though, and I am trying not to get my hopes up. With a VBAC, you just don't know if it's going to happen until it does.

All throughout the past year I worried about only being able to have c-sections, mainly because it would limit the number of kids we could have. Not that we've ever put a number out there, but when you have your first child at 22, it's easy to feel optimistic about the possibilities in your remaining twenty childbearing years. Since seeing that positive pregnancy test, those thoughts have not crossed my mind once.

I am only concerned about keeping this child healthy and safe. Fertility is a gift. The two lives that God has entrusted to us are tremendous blessings. We just can't think further than that right now.

How was the first trimester?

It wasn't fun, let me tell you. But since it isn't fun for almost everyone, I won't dwell on it. I'm so grateful to Adam, who did the best job picking up the slack around here. I'm very happy to be in the second trimester now with my energy and appetite mostly back.

We found out about this pregnancy one day into Lent but I decided to stick with my previously chosen penance anyway. Giving up meat and dessert during the first trimester was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Definitely one of the dumbest. I stuck to it, for the most part, and survived. But if I could go back in time and beg my stubborn self to choose something else, I most certainly would.

Are you planning to find out the gender this time?

Yes! It was really, really hard to wait with Claire and, honestly, the big reveal when she arrived was the worst surprise of my life. There was no "It's a girl!" exclamation, just deafening silence. The doctors were too busy, you know, saving her life. In the commotion beforehand, no one thought to ask us if we knew the gender and we didn't think to tell them either. We finally found out when the nurse anesthetist came over to check on my epidural. Adam asked what the gender was and the nurse said "Oh, you didn't know? Girl." Talk about anti-climatic. After that experience, I don't think we'll ever wait it out again.

Are you doing that weekly photo project again?

I am! I changed up a few things though. Last time, I decided to wear a different outfit for each trimester. Not really sure why? But now it's just whatever I've got on that day. I'm also looking straight ahead instead of at the camera. I think the progression will look a lot more consistent that way? These things never turn out quite like I hope, but I'm always really glad to have them.

First Trimester

Are you freaking out about parenting two kids under two?

Honestly, not really. I know that taking care of twice the amount of kids is going to be a huge adjustment, no matter when it happens. It seems like every age difference has it's pros and cons. I feel like parenting is all about managing your expectations? The first trimester definitely gave me some practice in setting the bar pretty darn low.

I know our two-bedroom apartment is going to feel really crowded. If we won the lottery, we'd start house-hunting right away. But that's not the case and in the grand scheme of things, we're really blessed to have eight hundred square feet for just for the four of us. We are open to moving into a rental house this summer, but we can't spend much more on rent and we can't buy another car, so it needs to be close to public transportation for Adam to get to work. Needless to say, we're not getting our hopes up. If it doesn't work out this summer, we'll stay here for another year {which is totally fine, we have plenty of space and we really like the location} and try again next summer.

My friend Lindsey Jo said something once that really struck a chord with me. My job is to be a stay-at-home mom. I am not a chef, a cleaning lady, or a laundress. All those things are part of my job description, but my main goal is to make sure our two babies have everything they need. And you know what? I am all they need.

At least until Daddy gets home. Then I might think about doing some laundry.


  1. Ahh I love this post so much! I think nineteen months apart is perfect... my sister and I are eighteen apart (two grades in school though), and we've always been the best of friends!

    Did you like Marquette enough that you'd consider using it from here on out? I totally understand if you're not open to discussing that stuff, but I've heard really good things from other people so I'm curious.

    And you're right. Fertility is a wonderful, amazing gift that is taken for granted by far too many people. I love that you acknowledge your blessings so consistently. :)

    1. Yes, we definitely plan to stick with the Marquette method from now on. It's more expensive because you have to buy the ovulation monitor and test sticks, but the added security is so worth it to us. And we aren't really doing NFP to safe money anyway!

      The ovulation monitor is especially helpful when you're nursing and your periods haven't come back yet. You reset it every twenty days until that happens, so you pee on more sticks and are therefore monitored more closely. We charted the usual Creighton stuff in addition to the monitor, but I know some people like to do the basal body temperature thing too.

      We actually used a monitor that's not technically available in the states. It's called Persona and it's specifically for avoiding pregnancy. You can buy it on Amazon UK and just have shipped to your house, no problem, though. A certain someone {whose name starts with C and ends with -laire} might have dropped it in the toilet recently, so we'll have to buy a new one after this babe. I liked Persona, but I think we'll try the Clear Blue monitor next time around, just to see the difference.

      I am always happy to answer questions about NFP, at least to the best of my ability. I just think it's so neat to know how our bodies work and how they were created in such a perfect way!

  2. i like this post. you're looking good little momma! what's your gut saying about gender this time?

    1. I think my gut is saying, "I have no idea." Of course we'll be completely thrilled either way, but I wouldn't mind having another girl just because we already have all the clothes and it'd be nice not to have to find room in our apartment to store boy clothes too! I feel like boys probably don't have such extensive wardrobes though, ha.

  3. Congratulations! Thanks for being so upfront with everything in this post. haha. It did answer pretty much any question I might have had. By the way, we buy our pregnancy tests at the dollar store. It sounds ghetto, but they work perfectly well. You just have to wait until after a missed period, which I realize doesn't necessarily exist when you're breastfeeding, etc. Anyways, it's saved us tons of money. haha.

    1. Oh, thanks so much for that tip! I am so embarrassed by the amount of $8 pregnancy tests I've wasted just because I'm too impatient!

  4. I know you mentioned that you're not worried about it, and I just want to reinforce, having two little ones under any age isn't a big deal. Your mommy instinct kick in as God intended, and he gives you the strength when your exhausted and drained to get the essentials accomplished. You're never fully "ready" for another until the day they are born, and then it is as though they were always there, and you can't imagine it without them. I'm so excited for you all, especially Claire, giving her a sibling is the greatest gift. It's so beautiful to see them immediately fall into the role of protector and sister. Lastly, I second Christine. You can even find the same tests at Walmart for $.88, and even if you have to buy another, it's still a way cheaper option.

    1. I may have been excited about Claire having a sibling close in age since before she was even born, thanks to seeing how sweet Katherine and Audrey are together! Well, I know they're not always sweet, but when they are it's just the cutest thing ever.

      Our town is super lame {or maybe just way fancier than I am} and doesn't have a Walmart or a dollar store. I am going to have to stock up on these the next time I see one though!

      Maybe they sell them in bulk at Costco, ha ha?

  5. I love this post! Margot is only 2.5 months old and we're already thinking of our game plan when it comes to #2. I think a 19 month spacing is great!

    Also- totally agree with what you said about managing expectations. "Hard" is relative, whereas God made it pretty clear that children are 100% absolute blessings.

    1. Me too! I think three years apart is becoming more of the norm from a secular perspective. We're in a little baby music class and the other moms were all very, very surprised that I was expecting again. It was kinda crazy. I do see the point of having one kid potty trained, out of a crib, and perhaps in preschool. But I just think closer is better. I feel like potty training probably doesn't fall under the "serious reasons" category for NFP, ha!

      The one good thing about the first trimester is that it prepares you for just how low you'll have to set your expectations when the new baby arrives. Totally gets you back in the mind set that, you know what, if you're all still alive, somehow fed, and somewhat clean, it was a productive day!

  6. Congrats, Caitlin!! How exciting!! My sis and I are 22 months apart, but we were only 1 year apart in school, since her birthday made the cutoff date and mine didn't. Basically, she was trying to outdo me since day one. ;) But seriously, if my experience growing up is any indication, your kids will learn lots from each other being so close in age. :)


You are awesome.