Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Baby On Board

Please bear with me as this post gets a bit long. I've been journaling here for a while now.

Our little family has been sitting on a secret. A big secret that is tiny in physical size. We found out about our secret on New Year's Eve. We shared our secret with family in mid-February. Even though I know James is ready to tell strangers in the street, I've been pretty content to not talk about it.

We had a really great time sharing the news with our family. Since we wanted to tell everyone on the same day, we decided to FaceTime everyone to show off Cullen's new shirt.
 We expected an easy time getting through to everyone that night. We were wrong. We ended up texting a few of our family members, forgetting that some of them even had FaceTime (sorry Corie!), and unintentionally not really sharing the news at all with one of the most important people. As it turns out, not everyone read Cullen's shirt. James' dad thought it was just a cute picture of Cullen and found out the next day what we were trying to share. I think the best talk was with my mom. She isn't usually great with FaceTime, so I expected her call to be the hardest to make work. Ironically, the call went right through, she was wearing her reading glasses, and we could only see her forehead for a while, because she was jumping up and down. Our delivery to family wasn't flawless, but I wouldn't change a thing.

My absolute favorite response so far? A picture of my friend, Megan, holding up a glass of wine with a text that read, "Cheers!" How cute is she?

I recently had dinner with a friend who asked how long it would be before we announced the news. I couldn't tell her, because I didn't know myself.

By the end of the summer, we should have a new little baby to hold in our arms, and we couldn't be more excited. We had to wait longer than we wanted to for this blessing, and, somehow, that makes it just that much more special.
The only unfortunate thing is that we are seeing the very worst of pregnancy this time around. My pregnancy with Cullen wasn't ridiculously easy, but this one sure makes it look like a piece of cake. I have cycled through every anti-nausea medication available for a pregnant lady. They don't help. One of them makes me sleep, one of them makes me feel better (but doesn't help with the throwing up), and one of them actually makes it all worse. 

Being sick and completely devoid of energy isn't too great. I can't even pretend it is. I try to remind myself that being sick is generally a sign that things for the baby are going well. It did a much better job of cheering me up early on. Some days are better than others. For a while, I was waiting for the second trimester, hoping and praying that things would get better. So far, not so much. Instead of gaining weight, I'm losing weight. Instead of glowing, I'm usually cold and a bit pallid. I haven't eaten meat in over two months. That, my friends, is getting so old. All I want are salads and seafood. Some might consider it a healthy diet. If Cullen and James would eat that way, it might work. They don't.

Irony about the above paragraph? Seafood has also lost its appeal. I'm becoming a vegetarian. I miss BBQ. I just wish the food aversions were consistent. I can't think of a single food item that always sits well with me.

Putting all of that aside, we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to be parents again. If you ask Cullen if he wants to be a big brother, he'll tell you no. He wants to be a Cullen. If you ask him if he wants a baby, he gets really excited. I love the light in his eyes when he talks about "his baby." For my second doctor's appointment, we let Cullen come with us. He loved playing in the doctor's office, and it was so fun to watch his face when he heard the baby's heart beat for the first time. Two days later, Cullen asked if his baby was in my belly. When I told him it was, he told me I need to keep his baby safe. He's already protective and showing ownership. I love it.

One of my favorite things so far has been remembering how awesome it is to feel the baby move. It is beyond me how I could have forgotten that feeling. And each day, the baby becomes just a little stronger; those kicks have a little more power behind them. I started feeling something around 13 weeks, but it was definitely baby by 14 weeks. One of the joys of doing this a second time is knowing what is going on every now and then. With that being said, it is absolutely amazing how one mom can have two pregnancies that are so very different. Goodness.

I'm also excited that my brother and his precious family will be so much closer to home as this baby arrives. They are due to be back from Okinawa this summer, and I love that the cousins should actually get to see one another more often! And now we know that one of James' cousins and her groom-to-be are moving to Texas this summer. Hooray for more family!

Yesterday morning, we got some more great news at the doctor. I was prepared to wait until 20 weeks for the anatomy scan, but a lot of family requests encouraged me to ask my doctor about doing the gender ultrasound a little early. Dr. S agreed to it, so we got to see our precious little one during my appointment. There is something so breathtaking about seeing that little heartbeat and seeing God's perfect little creation. And the magical news we've all been waiting for? Baby Shuler is a BOY!
I am so excited to have another little boy, and I know James released an audible sigh of relief to know that we have another little boy in our future. As James put it, more head butts and slaps to the face in our future. I love that I don't have to worry about buying much before baby arrives. I can just focus on baby!

I think the only one truly upset by the news (besides the family members looking to start shopping for pink) is Cullen. He is devastated. When we told him that he would have a little brother, he buried his face into James' shoulder. He kept saying, "I want my baby to be a girl!" When we got to school this morning, I asked Cullen if he wanted to be the one to tell his teacher. Instead of telling her that he would have a little brother, he said, "It didn't be a girl." I think the incorrect grammar just makes it that much better. I'm sure he'll bounce back eventually.

For all the tough times, we are so thankful for the blessings. I can't wait to meet this new little person, but I'm really trying to soak up and enjoy (ha) this pregnancy, as it will likely be my last. We want a bigger family, but I'm clearly not too great at being pregnant. I guess we'll just have to wait and see! 

xoxo ashley


  1. Oh, Ashley. Rejoicing with you over this precious miracle!

    1. Thank you so much! We are so excited to be starting this adventure all over again. So blessed!

  2. Yay for baby boys!! So happy for yall!

    1. Garner is going to be covered in kids the next time we get to go!