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 sensation....one 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. 

July 16, 2015

Pregnancy - Week 9 and 10

Ninth week and especially 10th week have been pretty golden! I finally feel like I have made a little bit of progress this week. This week, most of my symptoms have stayed pretty constant, nothing surprising or horrible. I have learned that if I eat a small snack of fruit/nuts prior to moving out of bed in the morning, my nausea stays minimal for the day. It is so good to have not thrown up in over a week! I also have felt more energy, at least enough to not have to nap over the weekends. Maybe it is because it has been a busy week all factors of life aside, maybe I am just learning this new norm of how I feel. This week we celebrated our 9th anniversary, finally got the water well put in on the land, I served jury duty and Marc has been working tons of overtime.

During my time at jury duty, I got caught up on my reading about baby's progress. This week, baby is now 1 inch long. One inch! That is so incredible. And over the next couple weeks, baby will be growing 1/2 inch per week. Week 10, baby is now the size of a kumquat. By my next doctor's appointment, baby will be a full 2 inches. This week, I feel like my belly is possibly starting to "pop" more. In the morning, it feels suspicious, but by the afternoon there is no denying my bump. I feel like this is probably early to think I am popping out, but I know every woman's body is different and I have a fairly short torso. I know I will look back on these pictures and think, "you thought that was popping?" However, it makes me wonder if I can hold out another 2 weeks or so to tell people at work. I also have been having occasional sharp pains right above my hip bones. They are random, but wondering if this is the start of round ligament pain as my uterus starts to move upward to prepare for baby to go on its little growth spurt. Either way, Marc and I both can physically see that I am pregnant now which makes this all start feeling even more real.

Marc and I celebrated our 9th anniversary this week. It is incredible to think we have been married this long. I am so blessed with Marc and cannot wait to see him become a daddy over this next year. He is such a godly, hardworking man. Marc is starting to talk about this little bebe a lot more and is getting so excited to be a daddy. We can't wait!

July 2, 2015

Pregnancy - Week 8

We made it another week! Week 8 can be summarized as one of the hardest weeks so far and easiest weeks all at once. It was a fantastic week full of telling family and friends, barbecuing out for the 4th of July and time off of work! So far a handful of people know about the little bebe including our immediate families, my best girlfriends, some of our couple friends and some of Marc's coworkers. I have yet to tell work or to make it more official to the rest of the world. Something in me just keeps wanting to wait a little longer.

The start of week 8 continued with vomiting, exhaustion and cramps. I felt really uncomfortable and cramping also making me nervous. My aches also started to move into my head and back, which I believe is probably since my center of gravity is slowly changing and I am holding my body differently based on how clothes are fitting, etc. I have also started using some Burt's Bees body butter to help with those areas that are getting tighter. My acne has also been in full swing this week. My pregnancy glow looks more like a 13 year old who hasn't learned proper hygiene yet.

Week 8 ended with occasional vomiting, although I think I have found a trick. If I eat something first thing in the morning when I get up and don't wait until I am showered and dressed, then my stomach seems a lot less queasy. My nose is also getting more sensitive to smells. I had this vivid smell of grape soda in my brain all day and realized it was the new laundry softener that was in the other room (cap closed, never been opened). Grocery store isles (like cheese, prepared foods) are still pretty strong and brutal. I also have had a spurt of energy the last couple days, which has been very welcome. I can actually stay up until 9:30 pm without napping! Finally, week 8 brought my first pregnancy craving....watermelon! I cannot get enough of it. Overall, week 8 has ended well and I cannot wait to enter into week 9!

This week I started to feel "some mommy guilt" as I was really uncomfortable and generally just not feeling good. I feel so guilty thinking that way, not soaking in every symptom and thinking this is the greatest thing in the world. I don't know what I expected, but I guess different then this. Others make pregnancy look so easy and glamorous! I keep reminding myself how worth it every one of these symptoms will be in the end. I can anticipate the glory of pregnancy will only get better and worse along the way. I know what it is like to be on the other side, wanting to be pregnant and wanting a baby. This is what I have wanted and dreamed of for so long. So this week has been trying to enjoy even the gross or annoying symptoms because in the end I would take it any day. My symptoms could be much worse and I could not be carrying a child right now, and for that I am so grateful. God is so good and keeps putting my mind and stress at ease every step of the way. He has blessed us more than I can comprehend right now, for that I am so thankful.

I swear this smells like grape Kool-aid from rooms away, but not when you open the lid and wash your clothes. Then it just smells like spring flowers. Grapes, people. So good, I just wish my clothes smelled that way too! 

June 29, 2015

Heartbeats of Redemption

Four years ago this May, exactly, Marcus and I started on the long and often painful journey to become parents. Little did we know the time it would take, the patience it would develop, the closeness God was teaching us. Then 2 years ago in February 2013, we suffered a great loss as our first baby, Peyton was taken straight to heaven at about 6 weeks. For each of these four long years, we have wandered through the wilderness of pain and loss, clinging to God's promises, knowing that His timing and His ways are so much more sweet than our own plans.

Today, our story feels complete. I can see the goodness of God in each of those moments of wait, in each of those moments of doubt. Today, we saw that sweet little heartbeat of our second baby. Today, we saw redemption as only God can orchestrate. Today, at 7 weeks and a handful of days, the doctor gave us our estimated due date of early February 2016 (3 years to the date of sweet little Peyton). A time that has been painted with sadness, now is dripping in grace and beauty. It is only God who can write stories like that. His stories and His ways are so much more than we could ever plan ourselves. God writes the best stories.

Today, as Marc and I sat in that doctor's room for our first prenatal appointment, hand in hand upon my chest, we got to see our child's little heart beat fluttering around. Redemption. We got to hear what the doctor called a strong, healthy heartbeat. Redemption. And it takes everything that is within me not to just cry out in utter joy, GOD DID THIS!!!!!! I just want to sing it from the mountain tops.

We are officially half way through with week 7. Baby is about 1.1 cm big from CRL (crown rump length). Right now, our baby looks like a little gummy bear, but we could see arms and legs starting to form. The coolest though was watching the heart beat, actually seeing it move and beat. That had been a prayer for a long time.

Symptoms this week have been all over the board. I had a quick scare of spotting early last week, but it hasn't repeated so I am not sure what that was. I have also had nose bleeds the last few days. I think the biggest symptoms this week remain my extreme fatigue (I took 2 naps a day this weekend) and the nausea. This week, queazy has taken on a whole new level. Actually this morning, I had my first round of complete morning sickness. But I will take each and everyone of these symptoms knowing that it means my baby is healthy and growing, that my hormones are all sorts of wacky for the sole purpose of nourishing my little baby. It is worth it, so worth it.

Other things to note, this week baby came with me on its first work conference. Luckily, it was in town, but it is quite the experience of energy, lack of sleep and tons of fun. I even won and award and had to give a speech in front of 500 people. Also at my appointment, the doctor found a cyst on my right ovary. She believes this is where I ovulated from and it will resolve itself, but they will keep monitoring it. It could be why I was feeling some minor cramping the last few weeks.

Overall, this pregnancy has been going really well so far. We are just so thankful for each day, each moment that we get to have with this little one. Thank you Lord for answered prayers and redemption and restoration of what felt so broken and messy for so many years. We are officially pregnant!