Becoming a family of 5: pregnancy news

I'm so happy to share our good news with you: I'm pregnant!

We are expecting Baby No. 3 in late February. I just popped earlier this month. My first time wearing maternity jeans was at our trip to the RenFest. 

(Isn't Maria's fox dress adorable? It's from Little Rabbit Wears. I'm obsessed with all things fox and will be blogging about my favorite fox finds for little ones later this fall.) 

We've had fun telling our friends and family. Maria has been a vocal messenger. Ted and I really don't have to say much. 

"We have wonderful news," she told my parents. "I have a baby growing in Mommy's stomach." (I loved her wording -- as if I am her surrogate.) 

Of course, pregnancy is a hard thing for a little one to wrap her mind around, and February feels like an eternity away. Mainly, Maria tells people that the baby will come "after Christmas." 

I think I'm going to borrow my friend Toni's idea and make a paper chain for the girls to unravel one chain per day until the due date to give them a visual of the baby countdown. 

Jane will be 25 months when she becomes a big sister.

For now, she can't imagine what that means, but we are reading our favorite Big Sibling books, including "Arthur's New Baby Book," a lift-the-flap book I bought before I was pregnant with Jane, harboring visions of an expanding family.

We also read "The Berenstain Bears' New Baby," in which Brother Bear has to give up his little bed -- just in time for the baby's birth. His sister arrives "very little but very lively" and pops Brother Bear on the nose in their first interaction. 

Mama Bear makes a darling pregnant bear. Obvi. 

The best preparation we can give Jane -- the only, really -- is a lesson she has already learned, that siblings bring great fun.

I worry less about her transition than I did with Maria's; Jane has never known what it is to be the only child. 

As for our transition, I'm banking on an observation I've heard from multiple parents, that the jump from one to two is harder than two to three. (Here's hoping!) 

Follow along as I share our journey to become a family of five! I'll be blogging about the whole process, from sharing stylish maternity wear to chronicling a big family wedding later this fall, where Ted will be the best man and the girls will be flower girls. 

We choose to not find out the baby's gender -- an old-fashioned surprise we absolutely love that seems to drive many "planners" crazy -- so you'll have to wait till February to see if we end up with our first son or another daughter. 

I'm thinking boy, since I've had more morning sickness than I did with the girls, but I don't have a good track record when it comes to predicting my babies' gender.

Stay tuned! 


Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and two young girls in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at