Five!

I shared a little announcement on the Best of Both Worlds podcast and Instagram yesterday. We are welcoming baby #5 to the family in mid-January!

It’s a(nother) little boy, and we are all thrilled — even my daughter, whose reaction to the announcement of being outnumbered 4-to-1 was “I’ll still be special!” I did the reveal to the kids (on Labor Day) by buying T-shirts (pictured) with “Big Brother Again” and “Newest Big Bro” and other such messages. I wrapped them up, plus a “little brother” onesie for me to unwrap, then had the kids sit down for a family meeting to open them. It was something. My 12-year-old looked at his shirt and guessed right away — probably because he’s a reasonably observant person.* The 10-year-old was jumping up and down.  My 4-year-old was a little confused at first, but now he runs up to my bump and hugs it and tells the baby he loves him. It is honestly the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

I’m feeling pretty good, all things considered. I managed to run daily to 5.5 months, and I hope to continue for at least a little while longer. I’m slow, very slow, but still going. Sleep can be challenging. The little guy (as in the in utero one) tends to wake up early and moves around, but some mornings I can go back to sleep, and when I can’t go back to sleep I nap in early afternoon if the opportunity presents itself.

Pregnancy requires me to get comfortable with dueling impulses about time. On the one hand, I don’t particularly enjoy being pregnant. It’s not exactly comfortable to share one’s body with another person. There’s this tendency to want to get it over with, and of course I’m excited to meet my little boy. So I find myself counting days and weeks. And yet I know that the space before mid-January** is vast and so many wonderful things will happen before then. I don’t want to rush through these adventures, and I think if I weren’t pregnant, and I’d be pondering ways to stretch the experience of time.

What can I say? Time is complicated.

It’s been fun to find the baby clothes. I have quite a little boy collection. We are sorting out the room situation (hence the two new bedrooms in the basement…) but at least the mini-van has room for everyone! Thanks to everyone for the good wishes, both here and on social media.

*And at 20 weeks pregnant with a fifth kid, which I was then, it’s obvious. I recognize from seeing other people’s announcement posts various places that I’m quite far along to be sharing the news — and was quite far along even sharing with family. There’s no right time to do this. Having miscarried before, I’m reticent to share broadly on the early side and I made a choice that I didn’t want my kids to deal with that. Other people might make a completely different choice in terms of timing — that’s great too. This is very much a personal decision.

**There is a reasonable possibility that kid #5 will have the same birthday as kid #4. Has anyone experienced this? Non-twin family members with the same birthday? How do you make sure each is special?

51 thoughts on “Five!

  1. 4 immediate family birthdays between January 12 and February 13. My oldest and youngest end up being 2 says apart, but could have been born on the same date (we actually had the choice because of c-section). It will be ok.

    1. @Michael- I’m sure it will be! Most likely it will not be the exact same day. It’s highly likely to be close, but we’ll probably celebrate one on the weekend before and the other on the weekend after or some such.

  2. Congratulations!!! Very excited for you – we are expecting baby #3 in February and just did the reveal to kids and grandparents last week. There is no right time (having miscarried before as well). So happy for you!

  3. The first thing I thought when I saw this was “this makes the running streak even more impressive!” Can’t believe you ran throughout the entire first tri!

    1. My oldest sister had her third child in late May, then #5 and #6 (boy and girl twins!) were born on the same day, four years later! I remember visiting for a birthday where she’d baked a big cake for her older son and two little ones for the twins. (Adorable!) I don’t think the kids minded having the same birthday.

      PS – Congratulations and all good wishes to your family!

  4. My daughters’ birthdays are one day apart. I do a birthday dinner for each girl and the older one has a friend birthday party too. The little one will too, when she’s older. I’ve never had any issues this way.

    Actually one of my sisters and I are three days apart. Growing up, we shared a family dinner and there was one cake. It didn’t bother me because I was the little one but I don’t think she liked it.

    Anyway, good luck! And congratulations!!!

    1. @Carrie – I think as long as we aim to do something separate and special for each of them, it will be fine. In my family, #2 and #3 have birthdays that are fairly close, and we have sometimes done parties the same weekend, but they’ve been fine with it. So I’m sure my little guys will be too.

  5. Hi Laura, my two sons had the same due date (unintentionally!) Both were due 8/15, my water broke 8/15 for him but he made a delayed appearance eventually via Csection 8/17. My youngest had same due date 2 years later, but csection was scheduled at 39 weeks (8/8). That was an easy unplanned way to keep their birthdays distinct! As for celebrations, my mother is 8/14 and my husbands mother 8/17, so it’s a crazy month. We have made it pretty fun for the boys with a joint “friends” party, which works for now, and then 4 other celebrations- pizza/cake/balloons with my husbands parents, breakfast out with my parents, then each kid had their own special day at home with the immediate family (no cake on those- they would overdose!) each celebration has different people and different traditions, and the result is a fun filled birthday month for them both. They seem to love it!

  6. Congratulations! My kids are four years apart but their birthdays are on 11/3 and 11/4. My brother and I have similarly adjacent birthdays. I get a lot of comments from people about how that sucks and how they must hate “sharing” their birthdays, but honestly – it is not a thing at all. It’s just what they know! Birthday weekend is a big deal for us and it’s super fun; they each get special dinner on their actual birthday, we do a joint party with family, and they each get their own “kid” party with friends.

    I like to think that when they’re young adults, they’ll go out together to the bars to celebrate and maybe once in awhile they’ll let their dear old mom come along. 🙂

    1. @Jenny- I like to think mine will celebrate together as grown-ups too. It’s always great when adult children remain friends!

  7. Congratulations!! The girls in the family I nannied for have the same birthday 3 years apart. Now that they’re in their 20s they celebrate together 🙂 their family celebrated their birthday and their half birthday (with a half a cake for each that day) in an effort to balance 🙂

  8. Congratulations! Wishing you all the best!
    To your question, my two are five years + one week apart. They had the same due date, midway between their actual birth dates. There’s a pattern: If Christmas is on a Monday, New Year’s Day is the next Monday, DS1 the next Monday, DS2 the Monday after that. Boy, I am partied out by the last one. (But I gear up for my brother’s two weeks later, and my mom and her twin less than two weeks after that!)
    It was sometimes hard to make their days special, but they did feel special anyway. They got presents, they got a party, they got a cake. Till we learned that brownies were better choice! (Everyone likes them, they keep well, less messy, easy to send extras home, and there’s a wide range on how they can be decorated, including just powdered sugar.) Then we changed to pies, and making the pie became part of the party (each guest got to put their own filling in their section of pie and mark the crust before baking). They are 20s now and still have pie for their birthdays!
    And by the way, because their birthdays were so close to Christmas and in winter, DS1 started his own tradition: a summer party for his friends, no presents and no goody bags, just games in the back yard, pizza, kool-aid, and popsicles. Did that for years!
    I know how you feel about pregnancy. When I was having my second, a friend with 3 and 1 on the way gushed “don’t you just love being pregnant?” Well, no, no I don’t. It’s certainly interesting, but not enjoyable!

  9. Congratulations, Laura! I am kind of fascinated by big families and am looking forward to your blog updates and podcasts as you talk about your expanding family. It was just my sister and I growing up and I have two boys (undecided about a third, but probably won’t have more than that!), so don’t have as much direct experience with big families. One of my best friends has seven (!) siblings (all girls, except one boy) and I love hearing about her family dynamics and the friendships she has with her many siblings. She’s also probably one of the most down to earth, flexible people I know (sharing things with lots of siblings probably teaches skills like that…something I am honestly still working on!) It’s also amazing now because her two kids have a cousin explosion! It all seems like so much fun to have a big family 🙂

    1. @Sara- Thanks! I’ve long been fascinated by big families too. Five is probably a good stopping point, though – big but reasonable!

  10. Congrats! My brother, mother and I all have birthdays between Xmas and New Year. As Mom was familiar with the downsides of a holiday season birthday, she started a tradition of celebrating our half birthdays. Mostly movies and ice cream or something simple like that, but a little extra to make up for our birthdays being overshadowed. My friend has the same birthday as her dad…and her baby arrived on the same date!

    1. @Lily – sometimes I feel like my early December birthday gets lost in the shuffle, but it would moreso between Christmas and New Year’s. Then again, everyone’s already in a festive mood, so that’s an upside.

  11. A friend delivered a girl on July 1; then 12 months later oopsie twins were born, twin 1 a few minutes before midnight on July 2 and twin 2 a few minutes after midnight July 3. Technically the 3 girls have 3 different birthdays, but it was too overwhelming to conduct 3 celebrations in 3 days to the kids. Up until middle school, they celebrated as “triplets” on one day and were very happy.

  12. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading your blog updates about the newest member of the family and all the adventures you guys will have together.
    Though it wasn’t planned, my daughter is born on my birthday (I was induced 2 weeks before due date). I can tell you it’s probably the best birthday gift ever!! Our birthday is also 2 days before my Mom’s bday (!!) and 10 before my MIL’s. My 2 sisters are also both born Feb 8 (not twins, 9 years apart). So let’s say my family/extended family always celebrates in big groups and combines festivities.
    For my birthday, I usually go out for dinner with my husband the day before my birthday and out with my girlfriends on another night. My daughter gets an afternoon (kid) birthday party with her friends on the day (or closest Saturday if it’s during the week) and then we also celebrate that night with dinner and cake for both of us (one cake). Because my Mom and MIL’s leave 3-7 hours away, we also celebrate with them some other weekend after our birthdays. All in all, it’s usually 1-2 weeks of festivities/dinners/cakes and my husband is always joking that it’s like another Holiday season altogether. 🙂

  13. Wow, congratulations!! Everyone looks so thrilled in your Insta post-I’m so excited for everyone!

    Good time as any to tell you, Laura, your time tracking has truly started to improve my life! I’m actually able to carve out time to do my research projects AND exercise daily, things I didn’t think were possible as a med student!

  14. Congratulations Laura! I love listening to the Best of Both Worlds and for whatever reason did not expect this as the news at all! But wanted to wish well in adding to your family.

  15. Congratulations, Laura! I *was* starting to wonder why you would just stop your running streak arbitrarily after 1000-ish days. A new baby on the way is a delightful reason! Grace and blessings to you and your growing family.

  16. Congrats! I’m currently 36 weeks along with my #4. I can totally sympathize with the time conundrum. I ways I feel stuck in a holding pattern – can’t get ready but feel the need to do so. I also suffer from depression and anxiety at the end of my pregnancies. So in many ways I just want him out! But I also feel like it is coming so fast and don’t know what to expect with this addition. I guess it is a good thing we can’t actually control time.

  17. My two sons (now 12 and 7) are five years and 3 days apart (born July 13 and 16). I have always had two separate cakes so each gets to blow out the candles with their own photos, etc. They each pick out their own theme and decorations as well. When my youngest was a baby and toddler we would have his birthday celebration whenever it was convenient since it was just family attending. When he got older and both boys wanted to celebrate with friends, I started doing back-to-back birthday parties. For example, the 7-year-old’s party was from 3:30-5 pm and the 12-year-old’s was from 5-7 pm. One set of guests leaves as the next group is showing up. We did it at our house, though this could also work with a rented venue. That one day is a whirlwind, but it is very efficient as it allows you to batch tasks. I create and send the invitations at the same time and only have to set up tables, prep snacks, and decorate once.

    1. @Chris – this sounds very efficient! Yes, that day will be tiring, but you can batch everything. We did this one year with our two fall birthdays. Went to a trampoline park from 12-2 and a bouncy house from 4-6 or something like that. Hired a sitter for the baby to cover the whole time. I think the big kids even got their hair cut in the middle. I haven’t repeated that since, but it was nice to pack it all in!

  18. Late to the party- but congratulations! I admit I was also surprised to hear this news but happy for you to grow your family in the way that you want.

    And so sorry to hear that you had a miscarriage. Would you consider writing about it? I know that it’s not an often talked about subject but that it’s actually very common. Of course- don’t if it’s too painful.

    I’d also love to hear your thoughts on having 5 kids and how you and husband decided on that. I seriously tip my hat off to you and inspires me to stop making excuses in my own life (have a 3 year old and am about 2 months behind you with #2, but don’t plan on any more).

  19. Congrats on No 5! You are very brave. Enjoy!
    I have three boys (ages 19, 12, and 8) and after the third I knew three kids was all I could take — the breastfeeding years and the illnesses when little kids started daycare were just brutal.

  20. Not a sibling, but I have the same birthday as my mother 🙂 I’ve always liked sharing our special day but I’ve obviously never known anything different. My mum likes to say that we both have a birthday but only I get older!

  21. Congratulations on expecting again!
    As for your question about birthdays – my family has five children born in August as follows:
    I have identical twin boys born on 8/30. For the twins, we always celebrated with one birthday party and two cakes. The boys are now in their twenties and tell me they loved how their birthdays were celebrated.
    My niece and daughter were both born on 8/16, five years apart. The girls are both in their twenties. We always had separate birthday parties for the girls except the year when my daughter turned five and my niece turned eleven – we did a joint swim party, which was a ton of fun for everyone. The older girls thought the little girls were so cute. The little girls wanted to be like the big girls. The pool was big enough for 15 kids, so all went well.
    My second niece is born on 8/29. Interestingly, her due date was also 8/30. My sister swore she wouldn’t have yet another child share the same birthday as one of mine (I think she thought it would be special to have a different date). She pushed that baby out a little before midnight – on 8/29.
    What’s interesting is that the the kids who share birthdays all love that they share a birth dayl!!
    Even more interesting – turns out it’s hard work to remember the 8/29 birthday.
    Everyone remembers the 8/16 and 8/30 birthdays, and up till last year either I and/or one of my children or my father (the grandfather) would always forget my younger niece’s birthday. She was eleven last year, and I shudder to think how many times we’ve forgotten. So now I have an alert in my calendar for 8/29. It serves as a very helpful reminder for me, and then I remind all my children (the three who are born in August, and my last who was born in February) and my father. They have all been very grateful for the heads up.

  22. I am a regular reader of your blog (and books) since I’m fascinated with habits and productivity, but have been busy with a move and my own four children and missed your announcement. That’s lovely news! Congratulations to you and your family! 😊

  23. Congratulations!
    I have 2 mid-January kids. Both born on the same day with 7 years in between them. Once my friends were laughing that there is no other date to have kids than on 14th of January. However my birthday is 7th and my significant other is born on 21th. January of course. So now these two are 11 and 18 and usually we have several parties in January. They have each event with their friends.. usually one is on Saturday, other on Sunday, but we have also organised party together e.g. in the bowling, where each of them have their friends on a separate lane.
    However grandparents, godparents and relatives usually are invited to a joined party (all 4 of us get greeting on the same event) which is separate from kids friends. Since kids grew older, that has been a good solution, as grandmothers and ants do not enjoy laser-guns or jumping events.

  24. Do you guys not believe in birth control? Could you talk more specifically about that?
    Like why 5? Does your husband not believe in birth control?

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