family of (four).

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In case you haven't noticed, we are expecting a baby in exactly one month. These photos were taken just a couple of weeks after we found out the news. So, I was maybe about six weeks along. They were supposed to be our Christmas card photos, but that didn't quite happen. A lot of things didn't happen once I started incubating. I haven't uploaded photos, or written about anything since then. I dropped quite a bit of the projects and hobbies I was just starting to develop. But, I feel surprisingly at peace about it all. And now that we are counting down to these last few weeks, my goal is to do just a little catching up on the last eight months. So, here goes! 

The memories are not as fresh, but just as sweet. It may be a little rose-colored, because I'm feeling pretty hormonal and nostalgic, and the hardships of toddlerhood don't show through all of these photos of a smiley, spunky Eliza. And, that's ok with me.

We are expecting a little girl. Another little Eliza, or some little miss that may be completely different- who knows? All I know is that Eliza is already completely enamored with her baby sister. She has been the best helper. I can't believe how much she comprehends about what is going on with our changing family. She understands that we are having a baby, that she's inside of me, that she is growing and moving, that she still has time before she's going to come out. She understands that the baby "makes Mama sick" or "makes Mama tired." She get's the most beautiful concerned look on her face when she sees me needing help or in pain, and immediately tries to make it better. She started to drop her nap back in February, but after some tearful weeks (tears from Mama) explaining how much I needed to nap (first trimester), she trained herself to have quiet time every afternoon. So, every day she either takes a nap, or stays in her room and plays for 2 hours. Sometimes she plays AND naps, giving me up to 3 hours to rest. When I was sick, she would bring me her toys in bed, and tuck me in. She's such a caring soul. 

I mean, it's not like we haven't had our difficult times. She's increasingly independent and opinionated, and very stubborn. She's incredibly silly, at the best and worst times. And, she is just plain exhausting. But, hey- she's three. And, we just have to remind ourselves of that. Daily.

But, she's such a sweet girl. She's a big girl. She is so smart and attentive, curious and loving. And, absolutely ready to be a big sister. 

Here is baby sister's story so far. If you're not into TMI, I would stop here...

We found out I was pregnant on my birthday, November 4th. Some of our close friends and family may have been aware of the fact that we had been trying for some time. It took us 16 months. I thought about how I was going to to remember those months for a long time now. I will not dismiss my own pain by discounting those months, even as I am painfully aware of the struggle that so many women deal with beyond 16 months. As a women, there is nothing that can compare to the sadness felt from not being able to bring a child into this world, or having a child taken from this world. The process of creating a child is so much more complicated and delicate than you can ever imagine. 

Those 16 months were real. They were hard. They were all-consuming. 

I can remember being late one month, after we had been trying for almost a year, and thinking it was all over. No more ovulation tests, no more disappointment. I wrapped a pregnancy test, and took it on our anniversary trip to give Sam as a gift. We found out together with Eliza, and I thought it would be nice to find out together again. But, I started my period while sitting on the beach and fell apart completely, just crumpled up. We had to wait until the year mark to see a doctor, and then had to wait longer to get fit in for appointments and have things cleared through insurance. I had one fertility consultation and a few tests, with a woman who is now my OB. She was just the right amount of sensitive and business, and she made me feel like we could start this journey and it would be ok. Whatever "ok" was. I was ready to start doing something more about this beyond just waiting and waiting.

Then, on the morning of my birthday I pulled out a pregnancy test. I was a few days late, but I had been too nervous to check. I had Eliza on my lap as we waited for the timer, and saw those positive lines appear. I started crying. I was shaking when I called Sam over to look. We all hugged and cried. I didn't even think that I was probably not supposed to tell my two-year-old too early in the pregnancy, or that she might be confused. Because she wasn't. She was completely aware, and excited along with us. I was just so happy to be happy- the three of us. Almost four of us. 

Happy Birthday to me!

The rest of my birthday was beautiful. Just after we found out the news, my friends threw me a birthday picnic at the park- where I spilled the news to a few close friends who had been aware of our situation. Their sweet reactions made it all the more beautiful. And then, I made a call to cancel my upcoming fertility procedures and scheduled my 8 week appointment. 

We never found anything that could explain why we were unable to get pregnant. And, my devastation at not being able to plan my family the way I had hoped has all but disappeared. I can't imagine it being different. I really feel like this is the way it was supposed to be. 

Pregnancy is just as all-consuming. I haven't had the emotional or physical energy to think about those hard 16 months until now. I can only think of taking care of my family, and the excitement of adding a baby sister to the mix. We are so happy and utterly grateful, and just a tad bit nervous. Sam and I will sometimes stare at my belly as this alien baby kicks and rolls around inside (after a long day of running around after E and her crazy self) and wonder what we have got ourselves into. But, every time Eliza crawls into bed with me, hugs my belly and whispers, "Hey, Baby!" to my bellybutton I just melt. I love my family.

Family of (four)- here we go!

Ps. I am trying to compile a mini bucket list of things that we could like to do together as a family of three and as a couple, and even just solo mama- before the baby comes. I just finished my last week of classes, and we have set aside this last month for special times. We would love suggestions!

Pps. Thanks to the Lundquists for taking these photos! This was after I decided I was too cheap to hire a photographer for family photos, got us dressed, and made Sam circle the neighborhood to find a decent wall of ivy. So, thanks for making us look good, guys. You're the best. Most of these photos made possible by the promise of pink Princess Goldfish, and produced our favorite Sam Gray line- "If you smile, I'll give you some cheese fish!" What a creeper.


  1. Her first name should be "Yay!". Yes, the exclamation point is required. Or Sam might like "Cheese Fish Gray". Ha ha.

  2. Roxanne this was so so sweet! Bucket list ideas... I don't have any suggestions. You don't want or need any more memories that don't include that new little girl!

  3. These pictures are beautiful! And I love reading your writing too.

  4. Love this. If only the physical pain of labor was the hardest part of motherhood! The timeline that is out of your hands and the agonizing wait to grow your family—gah. You put that really beautifully. So happy for you guys! Hope to see you soon(ish?) now that we are closer by!