We had lots of appointments yesterday! First Thora had a vet check in the morning (10.7 pounds and practically perfect in every way), and then we split up in the afternoon: Sam took Robin in to the doctor for some booster shots, and I went to meet with a new midwife, because I am once again enceinte. I still find that term very charming. Wikipedia says it’s “from Latin incinctus: girdled, surrounded…a French term used technically in fortification for the inner ring of fortifications surrounding a town or a concentric castle. In architecture, generally, an enceinte is the close or precinct of a cathedral, abbey, castle, etc.” Isn’t that an interesting metaphor for pregnancy? Because, you know, at that stage, the walls of the abbey have rather been breached.

I suppose it’s the baby who is meant to be fortified.

I used to have a quote at the bottom of this blog: “I positively think those ladies who are always enceinte quite disgusting; it is more like a rabbit or guinea-pig than anything else and really it is not very nice.” —Queen Victoria, mother of nine. In fact Queen Victoria is an excellent source of trenchant commentary on motherhood in general. (“I must say it is a bad arrangement.”)

Fortunately, my outlook is sunnier than Her Majesty’s. For us three children was always in the plan, although the truth is that of late we had started to feel two was a very comfortable number as well. So we weren’t exactly trying—but a new baby is a perfectly welcome result nonetheless.

I’m about 11 weeks along at this point, which would put my due date in mid-March. We won’t know for a while yet whether it’s a boy or a girl; I’d love to have a baby girl, but there’s also something appealing about the idea of having our own little pack of boys. Really the only source of anxiety is about outgrowing our two-bedroom bungalow. “Let’s just stay here and pile the kids up like kindling,” Sam said, which I took to mean “bunk beds,” and, well, that’s one solution. St. Louis is another. But basically, the future is both a little more exciting and a little more stressful than it seemed just a few months ago.

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