My little girl tells me that she hopes the baby in my tummy is a girl. "Well, what if it's a boy?", I ask her. "Boooooring!", she responds. My son just hopes it's a puppy. As for me, it doesn't matter because I'm carrying Spencer's baby. He is going to be the father of my third child, and I can't get over the giddy, happy, tingly feeling that gives me. If I'm being honest, I have the inclination that this little one inside is a girl. My pregnancy so far reminds me much of my first pregnancy, the one that resulted in my sweet, argumentative little Cori. Spencer seems to think it's a boy this round, and if it is, that'll be exciting too. Cori may pick up her dollies and hit the road if we add another boy to the mix, but I'm sure she'll grow to love him (and boss him around....) just like her other brothers. We've still got several months before we find out the gender, and I'm trying to appreciate the time between now and then. After all, this will be the last time I get the excitement that comes when you are just about to find out what gender the little one you're carrying is. It will be a very exciting 2015... that, I can say.
We are in the process of purchasing our first home, and have less than a month until closing. It is our dream home, and we are fortunate that we are in this position. I am fortunate that I am in this position with Spencer, that we are in this together. It is the perfect home for our growing family, and I will be so relieved and excited once we are holding the key in our hands. This is the home that I imagine we will be in for the rest of our lives, the one that our children will bring our grandchildren home to for the holidays, and that Spencer and I will grow old together in as a married couple. I'm excited for this home-owning adventure to begin for us, as new and scary as it is.
And if a new baby and home buying weren't big enough challenges for Spencer and me to face together, he asked me to marry him last month. We shopped together for engagement rings two days before I had any idea that I was pregnant. This was also the day we truly sat down and began to discuss purchasing our first home. We looked and tried on and sized so many different rings, and we talked about the size of homes that we were interested in, areas in which we'd want to live. This all happened on a Sunday, when I truly had no idea that inside of me grew a five week old baby. When we discovered that I was pregnant, we immediately revisited our discussion of engagement. It became clear that perhaps our sights shouldn't be on engagement right away, but rather on preparing for the unexpected blessing that was coming our way sooner rather than later. I felt sure after our discussion that we would plan for an engagement and a wedding after the baby made its arrival, and I was okay with that. I was a little sad at first, of course, because I wanted to be engaged to the man of my dreams, but I also didn't want the judgment that undoubtedly would come from those who felt we were only getting engaged because of our unexpected 'situation', had he proposed at that point.
Little did I know, Spencer already had his proposal in the works, and when he proposed to me on November 23rd, a Sunday only three weeks after our initial ring shopping, I was speechless. I had no idea how he could have possibly done all that he had to prepare for the proposal when we had both been so busy over the last several weeks with doctor visits, home inspections, and so many mortgage papers to sign, we could hardly find time to eat dinner at night. But somehow, he had planned and he had purchased the perfect ring, and when he proposed to me, I could not have been happier or more surprised. He made me realize that our love is what is most important in our own lives, and that anybody in our lives that truly knows and loves us, would know that this was a natural progression of our relationship for us, baby or not. I am the luckiest girl in the whole world. He sees me inside and out, and he fends off the inevitable fears that I have when it comes to judgment and the baby and home buying and life in general.
Fortunately for us, through all of this, life has gotten easier on the ex-husband front. Raising children with Jesse has gotten exponentially easier, better, more fun than it was for so long after our separation. Arguments are a rarity, and we openly communicate about the kids and their schedules on a regular basis. We have a "set schedule", but we vary from it from time to time based on work schedules or family gatherings on either side. We switch or share holidays, and the kids seem much happier. We've shared ultrasound pictures of mine and Spencer's baby, and the baby that he and his fiancee are expecting about a month ahead of us. He and his fiancee come into our home regularly, and we are all able to laugh and talk and discuss all that is going on in our lives. On the other side of the fence, life seems to stay difficult on the ex wife front. There is near daily drama involving Spencer's ex, and she is a very hateful person towards Spencer and our family. I know that it makes raising his son difficult with her because rather than openly communicating about their son, Spencer is often made to play a game in where he must always choose his words so carefully, he is not even able to share his true feelings on certain matters. Sometimes I wonder if he realizes what a good man he is, for the role he plays in his son's life, for the energy he puts into conflict avoidance. Even when I've lost my last nerve in regards to her latest antics, he still maintains the face of calm and somehow gets through it. Surely, it must be a skill he gained over the many years that he grew to know her, but it is undoubtedly admirable.
Believe it or not, I pray daily, sometimes twice or more daily, that one day, she will shed her hatred of his happiness and that they will grow as a parental unit together. Even six or eight months ago, I never would have envisioned that raising children with Jesse would be as effortless as it now is, but somehow that happened, and I hope that one day, Spencer will experience the same.
I worry about how our family life will change when our new addition makes his or her arrival. It can be very difficult to raise three children that have different parents together in the same house, but we manage to do it pretty well so far. Surely, and hopefully, adding a child of our own to the mix won't be much more difficult than the challenges we already face, but I'm certain it will have its own set of challenges to navigate between ourselves and the siblings.
On that note... here's to a brand new baby, a brand new home, an impending marriage to the love of my life, and to healed and renewed relationships between all of the parties involved in our family's lives.