And Now for Something Completely Different (or Maybe Not)

Last Monday, Matt, Miranda, CaiQun, my good friend Brooke, and I crowded into a small room, eager to see pictures of our baby #3, find out if he or she looked healthy, and find out if this was a he or a she! Lo and behold, we discovered that God seems to be blessing us with a healthy little BOY this time around!

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If you haven’t already, check out Matt’s beautiful post from our ultrasound for our first son 🙂

We were at first surprised and, honestly, a little intimidated! By no means do we have this parenting thing figured out, but we’ve been parenting girls for over 4 years now, while we have zero experience actually being parents to boys. But then we started to remember the years of fun we had with friends’ children in Chicagoland and how much we loved the time we spent with Noah and Jackson, with Stephen, and with Elijah and, of course, Roman, with whom we spent so much time that his mother and I joked that he was practically my first child. Of course I also had – and continue to have – many fun moments with my own brothers.

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And as I have reflected on parenting moments with our girls, I’ve realized that I really parent them each as individuals. Certainly a big part of who they are is that they are little girls, but each of them is an individual person, wonderful and unique, with their own preferences and personalities, strengths and struggles. Our son will be just the same. We look forward to welcoming Atticus Garrett into the world in just a few short months 🙂

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Isn’t he precious already? Just look at that adorable little wave!

We’ve had our little guy’s name picked out for years now. When Matt and I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird together, we fell in love with Atticus Finch. It’s impossible not to have a deep love and respect for a man who says things like this:

“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

and:

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

We determined soon after that we would name our first son Atticus. We like to cast vision for our babies as we name them, and I can think of no better role model for our son to have than Atticus Finch. Our little one’s middle name, Garrett, is a family name from my mom’s side. My mom has come to help out with the arrivals of each of our two prior babies and is planning to do the same this time and is one of the most helpful, genuinely servant-hearted people you’ll ever meet. When she’s here, she cooks, cleans, rakes leaves, tirelessly plays with kiddos, dishes out ice cream, and on and on. I hope little Atticus will be blessed to carry on the Garrett name, as well.

It has been fun to begin to think of him more and more as a unique little person, now that we know his gender and have a name for him 🙂 I wonder what his personality will be like, how he’ll interact with Miranda and CaiQun, and what will make him laugh and smile. Will he hate pureed green beans with the same passion that Miranda did, or will he eat practically anything, as CaiQun does? Will he retain Matt’s blue eyes beyond infancy, or will his slowly turn brown to match the girls in the family? Will he be a good sleeper (please, God!)?

I’ve been getting more and more excited to get things around the house set up and ready to go for him, too. As I’ve told several first-time expectant moms recently, the only thing that absolutely has to happen before your baby comes is getting that infant car seat in the car. Adding a child to our family for the third time, I’m much more laid back than I was with either of our first two. However, I’d still feel a lot more comfortable if we had his bed and changing table set up and the cloth diapers and some clothes for him washed and ready to go 🙂 Matt and I did some work this afternoon cleaning up and organizing our bedroom in preparation for making room for some baby furniture, and we really enjoyed that time together, getting ready for our little guy.

He continues to kick and move all around with increasing strength. Matt has been able to feel him move for a few weeks now, and within these last few days he has even been moving for long enough at a time and with enough force that I could get the girls’ hands in place to feel him kicking, which they have loved. And I, of course, am continuing to get bigger and bigger! Here I am at just shy of 22 weeks.

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This second trimester of pregnancy – in which I am big enough to be noticeably pregnant but still small enough that my size is not a huge (ha ha) inconvenience, nausea and heartburn are under control, my ankles are still my own, and I get to feel my baby moving around frequently – was my most enjoyable with Miranda and, I suspect, will continue to be my favorite with Atticus. That said, though, this second pregnancy is coming with a lot more aches and pains than my first, which, from what I’ve heard, is entirely typical. I’ve been taking steps to protect my back and deal with pain and have gotten some good recommendations from a physical therapist friend, for which I’m extremely thankful. I don’t think pregnancy is for the faint of heart or for those who prize comfort above all else, and I really do believe the physical strain is worth it for the little life we’ll get the pleasure of welcoming into this world and shepherding through his childhood.

I’m so looking forward to the arrival of our little Atticus Garrett, and Matt and I are excited about this next phase of our adventure together – having a son and being the parents of three amazing kiddos!

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