Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halfway!

I cannot even believe that I am going to say this, but I am...

20 WEEKS, which means I am HALFWAY!

Yes, this has been an extra special day. Every day is special, when I can wake up pregnant. When I can feel our lil babe moving inside. But this day, is extra special as I think about being pregnant for 20 weeks! I remember when I was in the single digits, thinking "oh my goodness, it's going to be 10 years before I hit 20 weeks!" Well, it hasn't felt like 10 years thankfully, and every week, I feel has just been special.

Baby: 20 weeks means our baby is about 6 1/2 inches long (from head to rump), and 10 ounces in weight, about the size of a cantaloupe. I am able to feel our baby move more and more - actually really the movements are just more noticeable. Sometimes I honestly think I have a gas bubble (no, I'm not afraid to say that), but I am happy to say that it really actually is the baby. I love it when our baby says "hello" from within!

Food: I don't have too many cravings, like a "have to eat it right now" feeling, but I do enjoy THOROUGHLY, macaroni and cheese, cereal (of course), starting to really like chocolate, and fruit. I am thankfully starting to like vegetables again though (with dip), but I'll take it! I know I need to eat a few more, so I am glad my tastebuds are willing to accept them again. I eat MANY meals a day - but actually you can't call them meals b/c it's a graze.

Feeling: I can't even begin to tell you how good I feel. I can't even begin to tell you how blessed I feel. This mama is just so incredibly happy to talk about anything baby, anything about being pregnant, and anything about just loving on a child. I know I have so much to learn and that is why I am all ears. Everyone's experiences are different, but I want to be a person who is open to options and the love and support of others. Not a day goes by without realizing what a miracle this still is.

Sleep: Again, I feel almost sheepish saying this b/c I know so many do not sleep well while pregnant, but I am sleeping so well! I can't roll over as quickly as I used to, as our baby now has to adjust with the roll, which I am learning takes a bit more time, but I am sleeping AWESOME. When that alarm goes off I sometimes wonder how in the world it's morning already, but I can always wake up ready for the day. About 1:00 I struggle for about an hour, but that's fine with me!

Clothes: I am pretty much in maternity clothes full-time. YAY! I just LOVE saying that! I LOVE maternity clothes! AND, I found a pair of jeans from Old Navy that are JUST long enough that I am now going to buy another pair of, since this is the only pair I have found thus far, without spending our lifesavings on a pair. They rock and are so comfy! I didn't realize what I was missing out on, when it came to maternity clothes!

And so hitting this 20 week mark has just been such a joy. The joy of thinking of new life growing within, the joy of thinking about what parenthood will be like, the joy of thinking that next week we will find out (hopefully) what gender our baby is, and the joy of thinking of what God is doing in our life. We can't wait to call our child by name when we find out what gender it is! We are not sharing the name though, so hopefully we don't let it slip - we will probably just stick with Cletus until then :).

Here's to 20 more weeks until we meet our lil babe!



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Our Dreams Continue...

I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are to become we pray, earthly parents.

One night while in the Keys, I could feel the baby just going crazy. I felt a big kick and told Dan "put your hand here" and on my side, the baby wound up for a BIG kick. Dan's first words "was that the BABY?" You bet it was! The kicks or maybe even boxing punches haven't been as strong since, but what a blessing to experience that moment together. To giggle. To dream. To continue to believe that this dream is coming true.

 Week 19!

While in Florida, I was able to experience "the looks". You know, those quick glances that people give you - not in your eyes, but at your stomach. I love the fact that eye contact is made second, only to our baby's. To hear the words "congratulations, when are you due?" These words I longed for. I cried over. I grieved over. But our grieving has been turned into speechless joy. 

To celebrate a child that is fully alive, yet safely tucked away, until God feels it is his/her time to make their entrance. We are only a week and a half away from finding out what gender our baby is! Many have asked what we prefer and I can honestly still say, we could care less. 
We just pray for healthy. Many think it's a girl, and I say "great!" Some a boy, and I say "great!" Dan just wants to spoil and I told him that is so attractive. These things too, we longed for. To see him looking at baby clothes, with awe-ing eyes, folding them ever so gently, just dreaming about that day.

There is something about seeing this baby grow. I can't help but talk to our child and think when I put my knees up, wondering if Cletus (yes, our child still has that name) thinks "mom, stop squishing me!" or "mom, why aren't you moving? I'm bored!" To put on maternity clothes and love the feel of seeing that lil pouch starting to pop. To feel the love of so many, who are praying us through this journey.

Our trip to Florida maybe wasn't ideal with the weather, but the reflecting, growth, and appreciation for what God is doing in our lives, only continues to get stretched and felt. 

Literally.

Thank you for your prayers and for enveloping this child into the body of Christ already!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

One Last Getaway!

One thing Dan and I value incredibly and have since the beginning of our marriage, is taking time away together. It is something we plan for and always can't wait for. In planning to expand our family in 4-5 months, we decided that now would be a GREAT time to take a Babymoon. 

We were going to stay state-side, but as we added up the costs of what it would be to stay in a hotel, drive, and pay for every meal, we wondered how it would compare to a trip down to the Florida Keys. Sounds absolutely crazy because that type of a vacation seems way more expensive, but let us tell you, it is not! We found an amazing deal on a cheap condo, insanely cheap car rental, and decent flights. Then we can also cook our own meals, as cheap and easy as we want. It was by far a good choice, even though...IT RAINED 4 OUT OF THE 6 DAYS!

That was a bit of a bummer as we came down to Florida in hopes of soaking in the sun as we traveled to different state parks/beaches, but after our first day of rain, we decided that that was not why we came down to Florida. We came to work on our marriage, grow closer together, and just enjoy the area. We read a piece in the book Jesus Calling where it talked about finding joy in the "easy" and simple things in life, when they are right in front of you. Sometimes through the storms and overcast skies, you have to look harder for that joy (yes, the book used the terms overcast and storms). As cheesy and ridiculous as this may sound, we had to find different ways of finding joy in the simple, when the weather wasn't what we expected. We experienced the remnants of a hurricane that never turned into one, in Mexico. At one point it was a tropical depression, but again, it didn't turn into anything huge, just LOTS and LOTS of rain.

One of the crazy happenings was when we got the rental car place, they ran out of the car that we had paid for (an intermediate, like a Toyota Corolla). We told the guy when we walked out to the lot (b/c you could choose what you wanted in a certain row) that there weren't any, so the manager apparently told his worker to offer them a minivan or a Ford Mustang. The worker told the guy that it's just the 2 of them so they will choose the Ford Mustang, but that's all they had! So of course, we chose the 'Stang! Definitely a pleasant surprise as we had gotten a GREAT deal already on the car rental, but then to be upgraded to a Mustang? It was a blast!

Dan caught a little guy off the dock by our condo
The 2nd night, the weather was still great, and got a great sunset pic!
Heading out to dinner at the Islamorada Fishing Co.
View while eating there
Even though it was raining, we still went to one of our most favorite places in the world - Bahia Honda State Park


Dan trying to get a large crab to emerge from the rocks

I am so afraid of heights, like walking on this bridge - I was hanging on for dear life!

On Tuesday we went to another beach and decided to just sit in the rain - why not, right? Our view overlooked the ocean - one can never get sick of that!

Some of the crazy skies


Another favorite place - we frequented this place OFTEN!
It rained incredibly hard when this storm came through!
On Sunday (one of the nice days) we went kayaking out in the bay - the water was SO clear!
We caught a lizard fish - those things have NASTY teeth!

Jellyfish
On Monday, even though it was very cloudy and rainy, we decided to go on a snorkeling trip anyways and we are so glad we did! We had such a great time, as we both LOVE snorkeling - we never get sick of it!

We saw AMAZING underwater life - fish we had never seen before, colors that pictures just don't do justice to. We saw a fish that was literally all the neon colors meshed into one fish - spectacular! What a creative God we serve!







You can't really see it, but the fish below my "M" is a yellow and blue!

Large barracuda under our boat

On yet another rainy day (our last full day), we decided to keep embracing the rain, so we decided to go kayaking. Didn't expect it to rain as hard as it did, as it got crazy windy and rainy, but we just laughed and laughed! It was SO much fun! You can see the little dimples in the water - those are hard raindrops.
 Ironically we even caught fish!
 Hard to tell, but it is absolutely POURING while we took this picture!
 It rained so hard that it flooded the path/street and the white boat behind the kayak Dan is pulling, is just floating away
One of our favorite things about the Keys is the KEY LIME PIE (the real stuff, of course!)
 One thing that has grown is our little BABY! Oh my goodness! Our baby is growing astronomically I feel - and we only went out to eat twice, so it's not because I ate more!
 Another rainy day event was going to the History of Diving Museum

 Because we love snorkeling so much, we decided on our last night to put on our gear and go in the condo's pool for awhile, since we were not able to go as often as we had hoped. Yup, we are 2 over 30 year olds, acting like children, but we had SO much fun! You may laugh, but you know you want to do it!
What a drive down the Overseas Highway looks like (there is one main road that goes through the Keys).
 Before the rain came, a beautiful sunset there was!
 Where we stayed
 View from our balcony - no it was not a hurricane, but it sure looked like one at times! No water view this time, but the price sure was right!
 Our last night there, even though it was raining, God gave us a GORGEOUS sunset! What a blessing!



We feel so blessed to have been able to take this trip. Such great conversations, such growth, and such anticipation for what God has for our future and this little one! Even though we experienced a rainstorm (that locals say never happens like this one), we did not let it put a damper on the fun we had TOGETHER.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

18 Week Update!


18 seems like a big number. A big week to hit. I am not sure if it's because I am past my 17 week appointment or the fact that I am 2 weeks away from being halfway! 

No matter what number I hit, I feel like it's a huge milestone. A milestone we never even thought possible. A milestone we have never imagined journeying towards. Each milestone is a gift from God - a representation of His grace in our lives. 

Dan has said at times, he forgets that I am pregnant as this is just so surreal. We will wake up, he sees my tummy, and we are reminded of the gift of life. We find ourselves rubbing my stomach, saying hi to our sweet little one, letting him/her know how much he/she is loved already. We have so much love for a child we never met! How is that possible? Well, those feelings of love were created when we were in the IVF process with our first 2. Those 2 actually were not physically created yet, but God had grown in our hearts, a love for those 2, that would soon become a part of our family. And honestly, now carrying this child, we still feel the love is the same. Of course the experience much greater, but the love for our children never weakens, whether here on earth or in heaven.

That is why our hearts go out to those who may not have children by what our world would call the "natural" way, but a heart that loves a child, is something that cannot be diminished or taken away. God led us down a very unique path to having children, but our love for them, is no different. Same for those who adopt. God has created places in our hearts for those children to fit right in - an empty space that God overflows with a child. It may not be the way we all grow up thinking it will be, but before time, God already knew what children would be in our lives. 

How humbling to think. That God knew He would care for our first 2 with His own very hands in heaven. And now Lord-willing, we pray that God would reach through our hands, to care for our first earthly child. What a blessing of stewardship! 

That is why I love eating raspberries. That is why I love eating cereal. All. The. Time. To think that our child is "eating" those things as well, makes me love eating healthy. But I unfortunately also love my salty potato chips at times and maybe sneak in a bowl of ice cream. I figure it's dairy, right? Our child lets me know when I eat too much of something as my stomach grows to astronomical proportions! Smaller and more often is better for this girl! 

I am still loving every part of wearing maternity clothes! The belly band, well, still an absolute wonder how that thing works so well, but it surely is creating more "space" in my pants! I just have to remember to cover up my undone zipper, as I am reminded of by my dear husband!

My body, well basically my stomach, is growing incredibly fast. Dan was gone for 2 days last week and he said it has grown. I would agree, as I am now in a part of the pregnancy where the baby starts to grow extremely fast. It has grown a 1/2 inch in one week, and is now the size of a bell pepper (for reference). I held one of those in the grocery store and couldn't believe that our little one is that big already! That if we HAD an ultrasound this week, we could probably tell what it is! Although, our gender-revealing appointment isn't until week 21 (in case you were wondering). 

Still not a fan of chicken - I had turkey not too long ago, and I am thinking it's more the consistency of it, that I maybe am not a huge fan of. Regardless, that is about the only food that I will pass on. Other things I just may not eat a lot of, but do not mind eating.

And our baby, well, he/she is a mover! I am starting to feel our child more and more - especially when I bend over or squat. I feel the baby is telling me "don't squish me mom!" I can't WAIT for Dan to start feeling the movement too. We are getting closer!

Dan and I are looking forward to our babymoon that is coming up in a short bit here! We decided to take one more getaway before this little one comes. We are ready for some sun, fun, and relaxation!

Did you go on a babymoon when you were pregnant? If so, where did you go? 

Thanks again for walking this journey with us :)