This blog post was written by Bend Soap Company co-founder, Marilee Johnson.
Babies are so miraculous! From the myriad of individual chemical reactions in the body involving hormones and timings, the fact that a single baby is conceived is a miracle! Let alone that they can grow and develop and arrive looking practically perfect in every way! We are thrilled to welcome a new little baby into our home.
In today’s post, I’ll be answering some of the most common questions we’ve received since sharing our pregnancy announcement on social media.
A Little Backstory of Our Family
Q: How many boys and girls do you have?
If you haven’t met our family yet, let us introduce you! We had six boys in a row and thought we were going to be the most rad BOY house ever!
Then baby girl #1 arrived, Vienna Rose Cheree. Do you remember how excited we all were at her arrival?? We even named a bar of goat milk soap after her in her honor. She loves all her brothers and in her early years was always asking to follow them around. “Where my boys??”
Then Royal, our little prince, came along. Then Holly, a princess through and through. With seven boys and two girls, what should come next??
Our track record says, boy. However, the last two out of three children have been girls.
Finding Out We Were Expecting
Q: So, what did Daddy and Mama think about having another baby?
Dwight has always wanted more and more children. His heart is full of love, his arms wide open, and his motto is “the more the merrier.” Children are indeed a blessing, so why limit those blessings?
I agree wholeheartedly, but thinking that my body was over 40, I wasn’t sure if I could carry another baby. I felt a little exhausted after a few crazy busy, stressful years of overdoing it and honestly thought Holly was my last baby. I am so thankful for my nine little darlings and was ready to move on to the next season with teenagers and activity levels rising! I also thought I should get in better shape (exercise being something that has never made it to the top of my project/task list) and try to keep up with this crazy crew we’d brought into this world.
Thankfully, the Lord knew best, and despite my age, circumstances, or plans, another Johnson is going to join us in life here on earth. It’s so miraculous!
Why We Waited to Share the News
Q: Why did you wait so long to share the announcement?
When the pregnancy test came back positive, I was shocked! Could it really be?! I’ve heard of many women miscarrying early on when we get into our 40’s, so we just kept the news to ourselves for a while. Not being very good at secrets though, we did let the family know. We had a trip to Hawaii as a family in the books and the kids needed to know why Mama was not as adventurous as we had planned. Oh dear!
After several months, the news got out here and there. But honestly, I totally forgot to share on social media. Blame it on the pregnancy brain, folks!
Telling the Kids
Q: So, what did your other kids think about adding another member to the crew?
Would nine children be DONE with having another baby around?? Would they think nine is enough or would ten be one too many? You could imagine that hearing of another baby on the way might bring about a feeling of, “NOOOO!!!!! Not another one!!!”
“The best gift you can give a child is a sibling!” - Chad Johnson
Believe it or not, it’s been just the opposite over here. Our kids could not be more excited to hold another baby! They LOVE having siblings and LOVE watching the little ones grow and laugh and learn to walk and play. Their enthusiasm was off the charts when we announced a new little addition in Mama’s tummy. As Dwight’s brother said years ago, “The best gift you can give a child is a sibling!” It’s been a journey I’ve enjoyed watching myself.
My Past Pregnancies
Q: Do your babies typically come early or late?
Well, actually, we do have a bit of a trend. The boys tend to come late usually between 10 days to 2 weeks late! However, both girls have arrived early. Someone once told us that “outside plumbing” takes a little longer to develop. 😉
My Favorite Baby Products
Q: What are your favorite products to use for the baby’s first bath?
Baby’s first bath will include our milk bath product, of course! None of that toxic junk for my babies! It has been such a blessing to be able to use our own products on each of the little ones that have arrived since we started Bend Soap Company. We have exclusively used the goat milk soap, milk bath, and lotions on our last three children. Their newborn skin is so sensitive and pure and it’s important to keep any toxic ingredients away from them!
We've even created a "Best for Babies" collection of Bend Soap Company products to help make shopping for babies and kids super easy. All of the products in this collection are 100% natural, hypoallergenic, and safe to use on even the most delicate types of skin.
Summer Babies vs Winter Babies
Q: Have you noticed a difference between having your babies in the summers versus in the winters?
I know there are a lot of folks that would argue that being pregnant through the summer is just awful. And I can see your point! I can imagine it would be extremely difficult if I lived in a very humid (Kentucky!) or extremely hot climate (like Phoenix, AZ!), making life almost unbearable on its own, let alone when pregnant. But here in Central Oregon, summers are the BEST!
I absolutely love being pregnant in the summers because there are so many more activities and projects to keep me active and my mind busy. I feel like I stay more fit and healthy the whole time; salads, watermelon, and healthier food options always seem to present themselves. We work the farm, plant gardens, weed, play in the pond, go to the lake, etc.
Winter babies (being pregnant through winter, that is) are way more difficult, from my perspective. Less natural activities for me to get involved in; I’d have to workout or something, which I haven’t been the best at. I seem to want to bake yummy food and sit around working on my winter coat. 😉
My Birthing Style
Q: What type of birth will you have?
Homebirth is our family’s go-to. I know it may sound crazy to some, but we love them! I was born at home and even my mother had four out of her six children at home. Before one of my siblings was born, we all colored Precious Moments pictures and taped them all over her room. I remember watching her deliver one of her babies and seeing how magical and “normal” it all was, in the comfort of her home, with us all around. I remember thinking at the time, “I can do that!”
I’ve been fortunate enough to witness several homebirths over the years as well. Even with their variations and differences, the beauty of children being brought into the world in the home has always been special, so natural. We enjoy staying home, being in our familiar environments, and getting to snuggle in bed with a new baby right after delivery.
Often, if the baby is born at night, the children get to wake up to the BEST surprise on earth!
Finding Out the Gender
Q: Do you like to find out the gender or wait for the surprise?
We’ve been surprised with 6 out of the 10 and have found out with 4 (mostly because I wanted to know!)
I was in a car accident while pregnant with baby #4 (Ty), so we checked to be sure he was safe and healthy. And, he was! Just as happy and content as ever. It was my first ultrasound and my first look at seeing one of my own children in the womb which bonded me to him immediately. He was opening and closing his mouth and moving his hands around. He was and still is, a happy little chap.
With baby #6, I think I actually “thought” my way into going into labor at 20 weeks… I guess I just needed to know because as soon as I found out it was a boy, my contractions stopped. Crazy lady!
With baby #7 — our first girl — I’d myself convinced that everything was so different and that my symptoms were so exaggerated that I was definitely expecting TWINS! Of course, the ultrasound told me only one, but it did reveal that I was having my first girl. Maybe all of those symptoms were there for a reason!
And then here with baby #10, again, I thought I was having TWINS. What is it with me? I have wanted twins for forever, so when I was measuring quite large for my due date, and my pregnancy symptoms were again exaggerated, I chose to find out and know for sure. I’m so glad. The waiting game and thoughts I had in my head would have killed me!
After reviewing the results of the gender poll we posted on Instagram, it looks like most of you thought baby #10 would be a girl.
Baby #10 Is A...
Q: So what’s the gender of baby #10?
Now here comes the gender reveal for baby #10! It’s a…
Q: What gender did the children vote? Boy or girl?
Most of our boys (the first six, that is) all voted for another boy. What could be better in a home already dominated by men than adding another strapping young fellow to the crew, right?
The girls, of course, being outnumbered, were voting for a girl. 2 out of 9 are not the odds you want, right?
The interesting vote came from Royal, who is the energetic tough guy in the middle of the two girls. His vote? Another girl! In fact, he told Mama, “We need another girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, before another boy.” Perhaps he felt the need to even things out (is that a sense of justice we see forming in his young mind? 🤔)
Baby #10's due date is officially September 13th, so we’ll find out if the ultrasound was right soon!
What Should We Name Her?
You would think we’d have several names that we’ve been just waiting to use, but in all reality, we just have a long list of boy names we still love. In our family, it’s so hard to agree on girl names! And all the children in the family now have an opinion, so that adds another dimension to the decision.
Dwight likes classic names. I like less common, but not too far out there. Our current favorites are Elena, Cambria, Kate, Callie, Ambria, and Carli.
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