Preparing to welcome Baby No. 4!

Ahhh! I have exciting news to share: I'm pregnant!

We are SO happy to be expecting No. 4. I'm due this winter, and we have chosen once again not to find out the baby's gender. We love the surprise! 

This little guy is so ready to be a big brother.

Archie will be about 23 months older than his baby brother or sister. 

This fall has been a sweet season of anticipation. 

The girls are thrilled to have a new baby in the family. Maria prays for the baby every night, and Jane randomly hugs and kisses my belly, which prompts Archie to do the same. #monkeysee 

I've had my moments where I wonder about my ability to manage four kids. It started with early bouts of morning sickness, when the pregnancy was already limiting my capacity to tend to the kids.

But overall, I feel confident in our ability to make the transition and sure that Baby will be the greatest gift for these three. 

 Let the adventure continue! 

To be honest, I have felt some trepidation about sharing our news. I realize that four kids seems like A LOT to many parents today. Some will think we're crazy.

More so, I'm keenly aware that family planning is just so personal. There are many private factors each family weighs -- and, sometimes, endures. Secondary infertility is on my mind, especially, but these factors are wide ranging and often invisible to the casual observer. (I love what this blogger, a mother of five, wrote about family size and being careful not to compare.)

So at times I have felt hesitant to share our news -- happy as it is -- and risk either raised eyebrows or unintended grief. 

But I've been pleasantly surprised how many moms have voiced their excitement and admiration. In the span of a week, three different mothers of two told me they consider it beautiful to have a big family and that they envy us. 

I hope I, in turn, can voice my admiration for them too. Having more kids doesn't make you more of a mom. 

I learn something different from each mom in my life. And as we prepare for our fourth kid, I feel grateful but also humble, knowing we'll be an even wilder circus needing an extra set of hands and patient understanding from the parents we bump into along the way. 

It's going to be loud. Well, it already is -- it's going to be louder. And exhausting. And glorious. 




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