November 14, 2015

End of 2nd Trimester - Less than 100 Days to Go!

Weeks 25-26

Do you remember being back in High School and counting down the days until you graduated? I vividly remember the day we hit the 100 day mark. It seemed so monumental and exciting, this was going to be here before we knew it. Well, we are officially at the less than 100 days until this little baby arrives! Fall is quickly coming to a close and the leaves are making their way to the ground. Winter is almost here and while I hate to see fall disappearing before our eyes, my heart gets so happy knowing that when the coldest months of winter hit, it will bring a new little bundle to our lives to snuggle and enjoy.

At 25-26 weeks, our baby continues to grow rapidly. Baby is putting on about 1 pound every 2 weeks which means baby is about 2 pounds now and around 13-14 inches long head to toe. Baby's kicks are also getting a lot stronger and I can feel baby making large movements around my belly. Somedays it looks pretty lopsided. I have found that baby gets really active around 1-2 AM especially if I get up to eat a midnight snack. Baby gets especially crazy when I have a glass of milk late at night. I don't know if baby can feel the cold, or just likes when we are laying down, but his kicks are strongest at that time. I don't even mind the insomnia because it usually means I get to feel this little one moving all around. I absolutely love it.

I have officially passed my glucose screen and am showing good iron levels. I am also starting to get pretty clumsy and feel like I am dropping everything which makes it a little difficult since bending over is hard considering my uterus is now bigger than a soccer ball! I have dropped a hot casserole dish on the floor, a complete cake from the fridge and caught a hot iron with my thigh. What can I say, pregnancy brain and clumsiness is a real thing!

Week 27

Week Twenty Seven...How are we already moving out of the 2nd trimester? Only 3 more months to go! This week has been full of a lot of bittersweet. This week, I went on my last official business trip. My coworkers hosted a surprise shower for me and completely blessed us with so many wonderful gifts for this little baby. Jenna even got a little globe to have everyone sign because she knew that I was wanting to do that for my other showers. During the same trip, I announced I would not be coming back after the baby was born. While so many people were happy for us, it is so hard to tell some of your daily friends that you won't be coming back. They were so sad. It was much easier telling my boss, but telling friends is rough.

I also got my invitations for the shower that my best friends Danae and Kathryn will be hosting for us in early December. They are so adorable and I cannot wait for our friend shower in a couple weeks. This baby is so blessed with people who are celebrating what a miracle he/she is. We are just so thankful.

In other news, I have had pretty bad heartburn about 50% of the time lately. Hopefully baby is getting tons of hair. My belly button is still an innie, but I think it wants to make its way to an outie here soon. When I lay back or laugh, my belly gets really pointy, kind of like a mountain peak or a tepee. It is really funny and makes Marc and I laugh hysterically (making it point out more). Baby has been moving every hour pretty regularly now and likes to stick body parts out as it rolls around. I haven't seen any distinct body parts, but you can feel a little hard spot when baby is pushing out. I think its a little booty and head most of the time. Move baby move!
2nd Trimester Recap
Primary Symptoms: Stretching, anxiety, insomnia, minor contractions (week 23-24), light heartburn
Weight gain: 18 lbs (24 lbs total), Baby has gained about 2 lbs! 
Cravings: No real cravings. Loving smoothies every morning and spicy foods (although my stomach doesn't love the spicy foods). Baby and momma both started loving a large glass of cold milk (makes baby kick a ton!) and cream cheese. 
Total Ultrasounds/MD Appointments: 5 appointments, 2 Ultrasounds (anatomy scan, vaginal ultrasound to check contractions)
Heartbeat: 129-133 BPM (boy?)
Crazy Dreams: None, daddy has started having dreams about you too! 
Total Work Trips: No out of state, local manager meeting 
Commons questions: How are you feeling? Do you know what you are having? Are you pregnant? Are you tired? When are you due?
Funniest Moment: Marc jokingly saying we should call our little boy (and girl) Harold and laughing for hours. Marc telling me to announce at work because my belly hangs out past boobs. Showing Marc how long an 18-20 inch full-term baby will be and seeing his eyes as my torso isn't even that long! Trying to bend over to put on socks or shoes. My tepee belly when I try to lay back or laugh. 

Oh, my sweet child. I am so excited to be your mommy. The past 3 months have been rough at times, but overall have left my heart so happy. From hardly looking pregnant to now having everyone comment about my bump, you have made some huge progress in growth during this time. I find my mind wondering what you will be like. Will you look like daddy? Will you have my eyes? Will you be a calm baby or a fussy one, cuddler or independent? Sometimes you are feisty and don't like being touched, other times you seem to like when I massage my belly. Just when I think I can predict you, you change your schedule keeping us constantly on our feet. Raising you and growing you inside of me is such an amazing responsibility and I pray every day that I am caring properly for you. I cannot wait to meet you and to see you grow up. You are such a blessing, an answer to prayer. Stay in here for a few more months, but then we cannot wait to hold you, to smell your sweet baby scent, to nurse you, to see you. I love you my little N or E. All my love, mommy 

November 6, 2015

On simplification

A few months back, Marc approached me with a proposal....a proposal that like most, would take commitment and sacrifice, but would ultimately allow us to have the possibility of the life we have desired to raise our children. At many times, the proposal has sounded daunting, ridiculous and so "outside of the norm", but I am starting to slowly (and stubbornly) learn that is really what life is all about. We always must give up something, to pursue another. We must be willing to put in the hard work in order to get what we want. In both the physical life and the spiritual. We know that God has called us to be not of this world, to live set apart and different. And in many ways, this proposal is teaching me the importance of what this might mean lived out in a very real daily life, a new daily life that will soon also include a new little life that we have no clue how to raise! Luckily, I know God's is sufficient and it will continue to carry us through whatever seasons God brings us through.

I have always dreamed of being a stay at home mommy and for many years we planned and prepared for that dream. We saved and we saved some more. We sold things, we paid off debt. In many ways, we couldn't have done any of that apart from God's help in providing every step of the way. But in a more tangible way, looking back, I know we were trying everything in our own powers to best prepare for children and for me to stay at home. And then......the children didn't come, we lost Peyton and we continued in the waiting cycle. All our planning, it felt in vain. But God, He knew our desire for kids and He has now provided in this little babe inside my belly.

This time, things have looked a lot different. We now have a huge mortgage on our land. We are looking to build, but again, that requires more money. For months of this pregnancy, we have operated under the assumption that I would continue to work, be a working mommy. We have run numbers, we have budgeted and many times it doesn't feel possible. Yet, my amazing husband wants this to be a reality, he wants me home to raise our children. And I want that to.

So, we have started to make what most will call drastic changes to our life. We are simplifying, removing the distractions, removing the unnecessary things from our day to day. We don't really know what it will look like, but it started with completely disconnecting the TV, and now the internet.  It will include pay-by-the-minute cell phones, coupon cutting, home cooked meals and trust, lots of trust in God. In our own power, this simplification may seem stupid or unwise, but we know that God has called us to more. We know these distractions not only are costly, but more importantly they take away from family time, from connecting deeper with God, from focus on raising up our children in the Word. When technology and this world are forefront in our hearts and our minds, how do we expect our kids to learn any less? We want more and so we venture into seeking that. Gaining more from less, simplifying for a more abundant life.

If you miss me, you will know why. Hey, you may just get an old fashioned letter via snail mail one of these days. Which reminds me, I probably need to make an actual address book and memorize phone numbers like "back in the day." 

November 1, 2015

Starting to really look pregnant - Month 6 Recap

Weeks 21 thru 22

The weeks seem to just be flying by now and honestly, I have no clue how old baby actually is these days. Ever since the tech told us our EDD is a week and a half earlier (still awaiting confirmation from my doctor) I have been struggling to know how to calculate these. We just cannot wait until February comes and we get to meet this little sweetie. 

The biggest changes over Month 6, besides the massive belly growth, have been our baby’s movements. In those first few weeks of feeling baby move, it was a little tiny bubble feeling, mostly in my lower left abdomen. It wasn’t that frequent through the day, in fact some days went without feeling baby. Baby then developed a pretty regular pattern of kicking me around 8-10 at night every night (a little night owl like his daddy). I have now started to feel baby moving all over my belly, not just on my lower left, although that is still baby’s preferred place to kick me. I have felt what I am assuming is baby doing somersaults inside my belly, moving around not in sporadic movements anymore, but very methodical and frequent (every couple hours). Baby even has started to respond to touch from the outside. At night, if I roll over side to side, baby will kick on the side where the mattress touches my belly as if she is feeling out her surroundings. Baby also loves to kick at the seatbelt in the car. I can also press on my belly and when I release the baby will kick in that general area. It is so neat to be able to almost predict and interact with this little sweetie. 

My only real symptom the past few weeks has been some slight insomnia. I feel wide awake a couple times a night (11 pm or 3 am), mainly if I get hot, need to use the restroom, etc. I also notice that those times are when baby gets really active. I find myself wondering if these will be those moments that baby will be wanting to get up to feed and if this is just my body’s way of preparing me for these precious late night moments. 

My belly continues to grow daily! Honestly, somewhere between week 21 and 22 the belly went through some massive growth spurt. Even my flowing shirts don’t fit over the bump anymore. It is also getting harder and harder to bend over or move from side to side at night. I think back to a few weeks ago when I felt like it was so obvious that I was pregnant and how huge I felt, now that seems utterly silly and I know it will only continue to get bigger as the weeks progress. 

Honestly, growing this life inside of me is the most magical and strangest experience of my life. It is so interesting how things progress and change, how one day might be completely different than the next. I can’t believe our baby is almost 1 pound and starting to grow hair and nails. The ultrasound at 21 weeks was absolutely amazing to see our baby moving around, kicking and having a little personality. Pure beauty. 

Week 23

Week 23 and I have really started to feel pregnant. It is really hard to bend over now and my belly aches on the sides and the underneath. If I move to quickly, it feels like I am ripping my obliques. I am also generally sore by the end of the day or after standing on my feet for too long. But it is worth it, it is so worth it. This week, I started to feel the baby moving from the outside and then a day or two later actually could see those kicks! Marc has been working a ton of overtime lately so he sadly hasn’t had the opportunity to feel the baby move yet. He gets home during one of baby’s sleeping stretches and goes to bed before the 9 PM dance show begins. I cannot wait for the chance for him to feel his little child moving inside of me. It is so special. He kisses me goodbye each morning and also pats or kisses the baby. It’s too cute! 

My mom and I went and registered over the weekend. We spent 4 hours in the baby store, man it was overwhelming but fun. We even walked away with finding “the” carseat that I wanted and getting it for $100 off! It feels so surreal having a carseat in my house, knowing that it is for my baby. I have been trying to keep it away from the dog’s licks, she will have plenty of time to slobber up this baby. I hid it in the guest shower and then found her in there the other day climbing into the tub to sniff it. She is so curious about all the baby things that are starting to make their way into our home. 

We have also finally settled on a GIRL name! I absolutely love the name and am getting more and more excited if this little babe is a girl. I have actually had girl dreams recently, although Marc and I still feel like it’s a boy. We have absolutely no clue, but I guess that makes it all the more fun. My best girlfriends are starting to prepare for my baby shower already! I cannot believe how quickly this all is starting to come up. I guess we really need to get down to business with finishing the dresser and painting the bedroom, maybe order a crib? It is crazy that October is almost over and baby will be here only a month after the holidays! I cannot wait for this upcoming season of life, it already feels so sweet and special. Thank you Lord for this continued opportunity to carry your sweet child. 

Week 24

Week 24 has been a whole new experience and I have felt very burdened with anxiety. I am by nature a worrier, I hate that about me, but it is something I have to work through each and every moment with the Lord. It started when I had been feeling less frequent movement from the baby. I had also had some random cramps the week before which I thought were just growing pains, but then I had a little spotting only once. I called my doctor's office and they immediately had me come in for a Non-Stress Test, Vaginal Ultrasound and MD appointment. They hooked me up to the monitor and right away knew that baby was kicking up a storm in there and had a great heartbeat. The US also showed my cervix was normal length. They did, however, find that I was having minor contractions, mainly right at the start of the NST. I had about 3 small ones within the first 10 min, but I couldn’t feel them at all.

While that appointment said all looked good, it left me with more questions than not. What aches and pains are normal vs worrisome? What should a contraction really feel like if I am supposed to be monitoring their frequency? How often should baby really be kicking me at this point and are the lessened impact of those kicks something to worry about? They told me to wait until my follow up appointment on Friday and see if anything had changed. My doctor checked me on Friday, could feel the baby moving and heartbeat was all good. Since I hadn’t had major cramps, spotting, etc they weren’t worried. Having another opinion from the appointment was comforting. The doctor said that babies can sometimes change their activity patterns. Where my baby was starting to become very predictable, it is possible that baby had switched up night vs day patterns, or maybe flipped around so it is kicking in a different location which I am not used to recognizing yet.

After almost a week of feeling worried, baby's activities started picking up again. Marc was even able to feel baby one of the nights while we were falling asleep. He was amazed at how much movement this little bean has. It was such a special moment for him to get to experience that. I am so thankful to have made it through week 24 with an active little baby still inside of me. I keep committing each worry of this pregnancy over to the Giver of Life, knowing that each moment with this child comes direct from Him.

October 3, 2015

Anatomy Scan - 21 (or 22 weeks)

Yesterday was our big anatomy scan! It has been about 14 weeks since our last ultrasound when little babe was just a little gummy bear. I had no idea what to expect, what our child would look like or what we may see. I did come prepared with some questions for the ultrasound tech, or more speculations. From what I have felt are kicks, I was curious to see if baby's little feet were down, kicking me lower.

What I didn't expect was how miraculous this exam would be. It is so incredible to see your child inside you, moving around and kicking so strong. We were able to make out beautiful little legs and arms moving around. It was amazing to see little bones and muscles making quick jabs. We had a quick frontal view of the most precious little lips and nose that just melt my heart and make me so excited to meet him/her. The tech confirmed in fact that our baby is breech, meaning feet down kicking right on my cervix and bladder just like I had suspected. She mentioned that my placenta is fundal anterior, which means high and in front. It isn't concerning, but it does mean that I may not feel as much movement. Luckily, those little feet are kicking me below my placenta right now so I can feel tons of movement.

Our little one has already started showing a little personality. Our first born may be a little stubborn like his parents. Babe had it's back towards us most of the time, so it was very difficult to get a good shot of the face or profile. Every time the tech almost had the shot she needed, baby would move to another position. Baby was moving around a ton during the exam, but then slept most of the afternoon, what a tiring show this little one was putting on.

The tech estimates that I am actually further along than we originally thought. While our first ultrasound gave EDD of 02/11/16, they are now thinking closer to 02/01/16 given the head measurements from the exam; however, baby's belly measurements are still showing more in the 21 week range. We either have a child with a massive head or a little skinny mini. I am thinking with Marc and my body types, that maybe we are closer to 22 weeks 4 days as the ultrasound revealed. With my cycles, we have absolutely no clue when we conceived so it is all speculation.

We stayed strong and did not find out the gender. Many times the tech had us turn away as she confirmed the gender. Marc and I still feel like it's a boy, especially now that the heartbeat this week was 129 at the ultrasound. I took a silly little gender quiz this week that asked me about 16 questions - from my facial skin, hair, belly and body changes, heart rates, cravings, etc. Overall, the quiz came back 50% chance boy, 50% girl (helpful!), although it did say based on the combinations I answered it would give me a little more preference towards boy. I guess we will see in early February (or late January now!).

Honestly, this exam has left me so excited to meet this little one. I can't stop thinking about the precious little one we saw on that screen. It is still hard to connect the fact that what was on the screen is actually the same little one inside my belly. It will be so special to actually get to see our baby face to face, to kiss those little lips and snuggle that little body. Keep growing my precious little one, we cannot wait to meet you!

September 30, 2015

Halfway! - Month 5 Pregnancy Update

Seventeen thru Eighteen Weeks

Eighteen weeks and I think I just felt the baby moving! It was so strange and amazing. Marc and I were sitting on the couch enjoying our Sunday afternoon (09/13/15) and I felt this little ripple under my belly, just a couple inches to the left of my belly button. I sat for another moment and it happened again. It was a feeling I can't even describe! I sure hope that was the first of many kicks to come. I love my little peanut and getting to feel the movement. Such a special moment.

In other news these weeks, I am slowly getting used to my body changing rapidly before my eyes. Each and every day, it feels like I look so different. It is strange to look down and not see the button on my pants, or to watch my once "coin slot" belly button now be wide open. I can see the inside of my belly button and even see it's indent through all my clothes. I am amazed how God has prepared our bodies to handle pregnancy to slowly morph and grow to accommodate a whole other human inside of us. It is amazing. I even had my first "stranger" at work ask if I was pregnant this week. I must definitely be showing at this point. Baby is officially the size of a bell pepper and bones are starting to harden. I have been having general discomfort the past 2 weeks as I have started having sciatic nerve pain on my left side. It only goes down to my bottom, but by the end of the work day it hurts to drive home. I also still continue to feel that my bladder is the size of a pea, but other than those two pieces, I am overall feeling great and loving the 2nd trimester.

I started working and sewing the baby mobile for over the crib. I am in love with how it is turning out. I saw the idea on Etsy for $300+....for a mobile! So far, I have about $10 into the mobile and I just need to finish a couple pieces that my mom already has the material for. Take that Etsy! I can save money and make one that I love even more, completely customized for my baby, made with love for my little one. I cannot wait to start making more baby stuff like crib skirts, burp clothes, blankets. The materials in the store right now are all perfect for our color scheme. Someone needs to hold me back!

Nineteen thru Twenty Weeks

Week 19 started off a little scary. It has been a really rough few weeks at work, looming deadlines and tough manager responsibilities (budget, performance reviews, performance correction, you name it). I had been putting in 11-12 hour days most days without much of a break and I am slowly and stubbornly learning that my body just cannot do that anymore. After 3 long days, my back started cramping and I started feeling other minor cramps. It was enough to freak me out. I ended up going to the doctor and everything checked out fine. It took the nurse what felt like forever to find the heartbeat. She said it was because our little one is so active and kept moving around. Despite my stress and anxiety, baby's heartbeat was in the 140s and showing no sign of distress. I know from before how my stress can get the best of me, so I continue to turn each worry over to God knowing that His grace is sufficient for me. He died on that cross for my sins, including my never-ending propensity to worry and be anxious.

Week 20 has gone much smoother. I can feel baby kicking more and more frequently, or so I think that is kicking. It now feels more like little drips from a faucet. They come back to back sometimes and are just little bubbles. Then they stop for awhile. It brings such joy to my heart to feel my little babe moving around in there. I wonder if he/she feels cozy. I wonder when baby is sleeping or awake. I sometimes gently push my belly around wanting to wake the baby up just so I can feel some little flutters.

I have started hitting my belly on doors or railing this week. I am just not used to having something stick out in front of me. People at work have also started commenting on how my belly sticks out more and more each day. I am still a little weirded out by people's comments about my body. Sometimes people even try to touch my belly. It creeps me out. Seriously, you don't touch your boss' belly, you just don't. The only person I feel comfortable touching the belly is Marc and that's because it is his child in there. I guess I just didn't expect people to start doing that until a lot later on.

As this week rounds to a close, we will be preparing for our anatomy scan on 10/02/15. Although we both don't want to know the gender, it will be amazing to finally see this little babe on the screen again. At our last ultrasound, baby was only a tiny gummy bear, but now baby will look like a miniature human. I cannot wait to see our baby's profile and little hands and feet. I am interested to see how the baby is laying in my belly. I seem to feel the movement mainly in my lower left side, so I am thinking the head is up and near my right ribcage. The Lord has formed each and every part of this little one and we cannot wait to get a glimpse into that wonderful beauty. I cannot believe 20 weeks ago, God started knitting this little life together inside my womb and in 20 more weeks (give or take) we will get to finally meet this little miracle. We are halfway there! 

September 1, 2015

Pregnancy - Month 4

Weeks Thirteen thru Fourteen

I can honestly say that the 2nd Trimester has been a dream so far! The majority of my symptoms practically disappeared overnight, which felt really strange and worrisome but relieving all at once. My nausea isn't fully gone, but I don't have to eat first thing in the morning and I hardly ever get sick. I have tons of energy and have started staying up later (read: I can make it to 9 PM now) and not even feeling an urge to nap during the days. My belly continues to grow and baby is now the size of a lemon or a nectarine. I can still wear most of my jeans and a limited number of work pants. My jeans will technically still button up, but by the end of the day my belly aches from being constrained. I have started using the rubber band trick almost exclusively and I have to say, the freedom of not having to button your pants is pretty awesome.

The past week, we started to receive little gifts for the baby. My sweet friend Callie gave us our first gift, baby's first key set and some belly butter for momma. That same day, my mother-in-law gave us the cutest little gender neutral receiving blankets. We went to our first bar-b-que where everyone knew we were pregnant and it was fun to talk with all the moms and hear stories, etc. It is amazing how circumstances that used to break me emotionally are now not only bearable, but enjoyable. I have even started looking at nursery furniture and registering online for some items.

This pregnancy is starting to feel more real. We are getting so excited for this little life. We have started running numbers, trying to budget for some of what this will all start to look like in 6 short months. We have begun discussing names. Marc surprisingly guessed the "E" name I was most leaning towards without any hints. It was kind of creepy how he read my mind like that. Although, even though I love that name for both a girl or a boy, I don't think we will land on it. Marc has also affectionately and jokingly named our child "H" (read: a really old man's name). He had me in tears laughing so hard when he suggested it. The "H" name keeps randomly slipping into our vocabulary so I am a little afraid that this nickname may just stick. Poor baby.

I also had my second vivid dream about our little baby. The first was a month or so ago and I was learning to breastfeed my little princess. This new dream was immediately following labor as they placed my precious, most perfect little prince on my chest. I could rub his little checks and he would smile back at me. He was so beautiful and felt so real. I cannot imagine what those first moments will be like, but my heart feels so full just thinking about them.

Summer is starting to near a close, the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler, kids are now back in school and the first hints of fall leaves have been showing for the past few weeks. It makes me so excited for the cold weather, knowing that our little baby will be here this winter. Next summer, will be a totally different experience. Next summer, we will have a little baby to take on walks, teach the world to. We can't wait to meet you little one!

Weeks Fifteen thru Sixteen

Fifteen weeks and baby is now 4 inches long! Four inches! I am absolutely astonished by the amazing growth and perfection this little baby is making day by day. My baby app says that this week, baby can start recognizing my voice and seeing direct light shining through my belly. It is crazy to realize that our child can recognize things going on outside of my body at this point, and at such a little size. What a miracle.

Baby took its first trip to the ocean this week. I had a business meeting in Florida for a couple days and we spent Sunday night down on the ocean pier. It was so relaxing and nice. I think baby will definitely love the water someday. I also have started feeling some little random quick twinges in my belly every once in awhile. It almost feels like I can feel my heartbeat in my belly, but it is at a different rate than my heartbeat and it only lasts for a quick second. It is only when I am really quiet and still. I don't know if it is random stretching of my belly or if I might be starting to feel baby! I cannot wait to really start feeling kicks. I think I am finally going to need to buy some maternity pants this weekend because all my larger pants that have still buttoned up to this point are now out of commission and using the rubber band trick.

I continue to have some vivid dreams about our little one. They are starting to be more and more boy related so not sure if that is indicative of anything or just my mind racing with thoughts. I am also finding it harder and harder to find girl names that I like, but Marc and I are both in love with a boy name. Most people are saying they think it will be a boy, so we will see. Only 5ish more months until we will know.

Today, as I write this, I am just two short days away from entering into month 5 (17 weeks!). I had my 3rd prenatal appointment today and got to hear our sweetheart's strong heartbeat. The heartbeat was so much louder and stronger than when I last heard it at 12 weeks, I actually thought the doctor had picked up my heartbeat rather than baby's since she found it so quickly! Overall, the doctor said everything looks and sounds great. Praise the Lord! I am gaining weight on track, total gain of about 10 pounds so far. Overall, I haven't had any crazy pregnancy symptoms yet. No cravings, no aversions. I would say that this second trimester so far has been fantastic!

I am falling more and more love with this little baby each and every day. Each time I look down and see my ever growing belly, my heart swells with joy over this precious gift that God has given us. I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait for what is to come.

August 23, 2015

A weight

Being pregnant after so many years of waiting and longing, it is a strange I don't know quite how to explain. You want to be excited for yourself, you want to start planning and dreaming. Yet, your heart feels guarded and reserved not wanting to be hurt again. For so many years, every mention of baby sent your heart into aches, left you broken and raw on the floor wondering when you might be put back together again. Seeing friends hurt, seeing family hurt. Reading every announcement and bump-date felt like open heart surgery.

Then you get pregnant. You want it to feel real, but at times it doesn't because for so long it was just a hope that wasn't yours to have. You want it to feel real, but are afraid that if it is real there is still the possibility that it will be taken away again. You want to celebrate, you want to post pictures and share and over share with people, but you worry continually about the deep ache it may cause others. You find yourself in this world of joy, but knowing your growing bump causes others pain.

I have been there. I know what it feels like to ache to cry out and month after month feel no answers. I know what it has meant to give up my own dreams for a child and relinquish them into God's hands not knowing if that dream would ever get to be a reality.

And for that, I know this child, my child, is not my own. It is a pure gift from God, mine on loan from Him for whatever time He gives us. This child is redeeming parts of me that were broken and completely closed off. This child has allowed joy to creep back into those darkened places. This child has given me glimpses of God, His undying love and His pure joy over someone as small and insignificant as me.

And while the struggle is gone right now, it isn't. It is still there, a weight deep in my heart knowing what it felt like to wade through infertility and loss. It still creeps in, still feels like a label I must wear. I get it. I get you! I wonder at times if it will ever truly go away, something that has been a part of your life for what felt like ages. I hope that those lessons never go away. I hope that my heart is always compassionate to other's struggle because deep down every one is going through something, be it infertility or some other ailment or loss. My heart still breaks for those in the midst of this journey. It breaks each time I post something about my pregnancy. It breaks continually. Know that I love each of you, that I pray for you, I am here for you always.

August 5, 2015

1st Trimester Recap

Hey sweet little bebe,

Growing a baby is the most amazing experience, seeing you come from just a tiny little egg to now being 3 inches long. All your body systems have already been formed and you are starting to look less like a little dinosaur with a tail or a duck with webbed feet and more like a little human. On your first ultrasound you looked like a little gummy bear, with little stumpy arms, but now you have distinct arms and fingers and they can even bend and move. They say you are kicking up a storm, but I just can’t feel it yet. 

Like through our season of infertility, God just continues to teach me daily that He is in control, that I must trust Him fully. With each ache, spot, worry, I must commit it back to Him and trust that whatever happens this pregnancy, that, “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.” Pregnancy is a foreign landscape for me, nothing feels normal or the same day to day. That means each day is a chance for God to reign supreme. 

I never knew that the first trimester of pregnancy would be so physically hard on mommy. I truly want to feel blessed and excited because we have waited and prayed for so long for you. You are the answer to our prayers. I know I am blessed with a relatively easy first trimester because I know some women have it much harder, but growing a baby is exhausting work especially when you work 50 hours a week. 

Primary Symptoms: Exhaustion and breast sensitivity/growth starting day 1. queasy starting week 5, vomitting starting week 7, cramping through week 8/9
Total Vomit Count: 10
Weight gain: 6 lbs 
Cravings: No real cravings, but spicy and soups are good. Watermelon (temporary). Many things that are off limits, like deli meat and crazy herbal teas, sound really good. My nose is pretty sensitive to smells, but only in grocery stores and to my “grape” laundry softener. 
Total Ultrasounds/MD Appointments: 2 
Heartbeat: 160 BPM 
Crazy Dreams: Massive snake on the land and insurmountable gate, detective being framed for a mass murder at a lakeside (Gatsby style) mansion 
Total Work Trips: CA and FL, local conference 
Commons questions: How far along are you/when are you due? Are you going to find out the gender? How are you feeling? 
Funniest Moment: On our anniversary, I woke up and started eating my snack ASAP to ensure I didn’t get sick. Marc gently came over and wished me happy anniversary because I had clearly forgotten while stuffing my face with food. OR, we were walking the dog and I was cleaning up a very stinky mess. I went into a gagging coughing fit and was laughing hysterically. When I saw Marc’s face he was petrified as people were watching the scene from the greenbelt and their back porch. Pregnancy is glamorous my friends. 

Despite the symptoms, despite the worry my heart has felt throughout these last 3 months, we have seen God continue to show up and show off throughout this trimester. God is the worker of miracles and His timing and His ways are always so much sweeter. 

Ways I have seen God show up this trimester:
  1. Hearing your heartbeat twice and being given an EDD of Peyton’s loss week
  2. Hardly having to travel at all during my first trimester, only during the first few weeks (before I ever knew)
  3. Worship during bathroom breaks after spotting scares
  4. Peace that passes all understanding, low stress in a stressful time of life, finances and work
  5. His timing, not ours. Did not expect it at all, crazy point in life/debt but know this is his will 
  6. Not having to be super pregnant over the summer since we don’t have AC

We are truly blessed beyond what we can even comprehend right now. I am looking forward to gaining back some energy and less nausea in this upcoming trimester. I know that over the course of the next 3 months, you are going to make leaps and bounds of growth and development. My belly is just starting to really stick out, especially at night, and we get little glimpses of what a miracle you are. Daddy can even see you now. I am so looking forward to this next trimester when I can actually begin feeling you move. 

We love you sweetie, Mommy 

July 30, 2015

Baby No. 2 - Coming Feb 2016!

Over four years ago, Marc and I started along a journey with God, a journey that has taken us through the wilderness of infertility and loss. A journey that has brought us closer to the foot of the cross and breathing in the glory of His grace enough to help us get through each and every day. And in the midst of what has felt many times chaotic and messy, God weaves the best stories. God redeems what was once broken and paints a masterpiece that shouts “God did this! God is so good!” 

We are so blessed to announce that after 4 years, Marc and I are pregnant with a huge miracle and guys, it is all God. Little Baby {L} coming in February 2016, 3 years to the date that we lost our first baby. Gladness in the face of pain, glory in what was broken because when we are weak, then He is strong. 

Thank you to each and every one of you that has walked this journey alongside us. We did not go along this road alone. Thank you for your prayers and support each step of the way. And for my dear friends still wading through this wilderness, hold on to the promise that God isn’t finished yet. He is writing your story and His plans and purposes are so much bigger and so much better than we could ever hope and dream. We continue to pray for you and cannot wait to see God’s finished novel. Love you all! 

July 23, 2015

Pregnancy - Week 11 & Start of Nursery Ideas

Week 11, one week closer to our next little view of our growing peanut. I can count down the days until I hopefully get the chance to hear your sweet heart pitter-pattering away and maybe get a glimpse at your ever growing body. This week you are about 1 1/2 inches long and your body is almost completely formed! Even some of your bones are starting to become harder. You are being wonderfully knit inside of my womb, every little part of you is precious and loved.

As I opened my email this week, I was told by my Baby Center app that,
"If you're like most women, you're feeling a bit more energetic now and your nausea may be starting to wane. Unfortunately, you may also be suffering from constipation (caused by hormonal changes, which can slow digestion) and heartburn (hormones again, relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus). Just remember, all this discomfort is for a good cause." - Baby Center, Week 11
I feel like this description is almost spot on to what week 11 has brought. After almost a week and a half of relatively little symptoms, week 11 has brought back the nausea even as late as lunch time. I have started to feel winded when I go on a quick walk or run to grab something. I haven't been doing any exercise this pregnancy since I have been so exhausted and was for a few weeks really crampy. Now that my energy is starting to return, I am trying to get better about taking Roxy on daily walks to get some form of movement in. I am also feeling very constipated (TMI, sorry. Metamucil to the rescue!). However, I know that the future will soon be in sight as the 2nd trimester is rapidly approaching.

For the past few weeks, I have been posting more and more baby and nursery ideas, but I am finally starting to dream about what I want things to really look like. Since we won't be finding out if you are a little he or a beautiful she, most everything will be gender neutral to start off with. My plan is for a grey and white nursery, with lots of airy whites. I don't want a dark or dingy colored room. My thought is that the furniture will be a light grey, walls will be mostly white with one wall having grey and white stripes. I think I will bring pops of color (maybe orange or mint) in through the artwork and mobile. I mainly want the bedding staying in the grey, white, black ranges. The only struggle I am having with starting work on a nursery is that first, we are still not that far along so I know I should wait and two, we have no clue if we will still be here in February. I can almost guarantee we won't be living on the land by the time you are here, but our plans for building and moving change daily. So, for now, I will keep planning and dreaming.

Here are some of my inspirations behind my nursery dreams:
found here
On Etsy

See you at the doctor's office next week bebe! We love you peanut.