Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The 33 Week Mark



Only 7 weeks left! (Looks like my belly button popped, but it hasn't. Yet.)

I almost can't believe I am saying that! I remember getting past the halfway point and thinking wow, I have a long ways to go yet. Where now, I only have just weeks left - it's barely worth saying "months" anymore! Yet we are just soaking in every little bit of her being inside of me. 

Baby: She is extremely active, and definitely has her awake and sleep times. When she is active, I can usually feel her little bottom, feet, and legs just squirming. It's incredibly cute. All of a sudden I will see a little foot or heel pop out the side of my stomach, as she tries to get comfortable. I tried to videotape her moving the other day, but I think she is maybe a little camera shy - we'll see if that's the case when she comes out :). At my last appointment on Thursday, the doctor admitted for the first time in words, that yes indeed, she is a big girl. As he measured my stomach and looked at the chart, he said that we are going to have to keep an eye on her. I will have another ultrasound in 4ish weeks to determine more precisely how big she is. I have been told by numerous people as well too, how much I have grown and how big my stomach is. Some wonder if that bothers me, but not in the least bit! Honestly, being told these things just excites this mother! I figure the bigger she is, the healthier she is. If God decided to bring her into this world today, she would be okay.

My Body: My blood pressure is still great at 110/72, I do not have any swelling, and my weight gain is good. I always worry about that a little bit to be completely honest because of course I have never weighed this much in my life, but I just go by how I feel, how my clothes feel, and what the doctor says. He says I look great, so I am going to take his word for it :). 

Food: Maybe not as hungry as I used to be, but eating healthy foods definitely help me feel great. Every night I do have acid reflux, so Tums are still wonderful. Whoever invented them was really thinking about pregnant people too. Plus, they say that added calcium can't hurt! I do not have food cravings, but more or less certain foods sound good because others definitely do not. Thankfully I gravitate towards fruits and cereal and not chips (because I know what they would do to me later :)). 

Her Room: I am getting things organized (shocker there, right?), which continues to be such a fun process! I spent a good chunk of time figuring out the car seat (kind of complicated) and putting together other things that needed figuring out too, like her breathable bed bumper. As the room comes together, we just stand and stare, dreaming and imagining, what life with her will be like. We can't wait to see the finished product once we have everything we need. 

Miscellaneous: Some days I am just thankful for the internet. Because of my basketball schedule, I am unable to attend classes at our local hospital, but I have found some great resources online for breastfeeding, labor, delivery, and caring for a newborn. Also the books I have are wonderful resources as well. I feel you can only prepare so much and really, the rest just has to be left in God's hands. I can educate myself as much as I can, but really, this whole process from the beginning has been in God's control. I am so thankful for a God who cares so deeply and so lovingly!

So here's to only 7 more weeks (or less). Who knows what those weeks will bring, but all is well, and we are going to keep trusting forward that God will protect this little one and continue to, as she makes her debut! 

I found this little blurb in one of my weekly pregnancy emails to be a little comical, but SO true! I chuckled because lately I have been taking a little longer to get out of a chair, while maybe even throwing in a little grunt at times. Then I read this:

Pregnancy survival skill: How to get out of a soft chair
Put your feet flat on the floor and bend from the hips. Push on the armrests with your hands! Use your stomach muscles. If upward motion is still elusive, pick up your magazine and yell for more mint-chip ice cream. (Standing up is totally overrated anyway.)

There's a little humor for ya!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Appreciate The Moment

This is a lesson that has taken and is still taking me, far too long to learn: appreciating the moment.

Busy days can get the best of us. Looking at the calendar, our schedules fill up. Demands from every corner fill our minds with what we AREN'T accomplishing, maybe even creating a feeling of guilt of how inadequate we are because we can't fulfill them all. Moments in life are just that - moments. Little points in time that pass by all too quickly.

Moments.

There have been many moments in my life, that I would love to relive in a way. Two of them being our wedding and honeymoon. In those moments, I felt the world just stopped and all that mattered was that Dan and I were getting married and were going to spend forever together. Call it a sappy love, but I remember thinking about nothing else, but the fact that Dan was going to be my husband. I look back at that time in my life with such joy, peace, and excitement. Time taken as we appreciated the moment.

Little did we know that those moments would spur us on through some of the most difficult of days. Days when the last thing we wanted to do was appreciate the moment - the moments when we had to say goodbye to our babies. Moments when we left the doctor's office discouraged that I could not have a child. Moments that I, back then, far from appreciated. I remember blogging about them, blogging about the deep hurt and frustration I felt. I wouldn't necessarily call that appreciating the moment, but maybe living in the moment, since that was our reality.

Appreciating reality is so much easier said than done. As Dan and I have been reflecting on the journey God has taken us on to parenthood, we find ourselves appreciating those harsh realities. Those moments where we were so heartbroken and so torn apart, where we had nowhere to turn, but to God. It is in looking back, that we realize God had a perfect purpose in each and every one of those hardships. We humbly admit that we would not appreciate this moment, of preparing for our baby girl, if it wasn't for the losses we experienced. If it wasn't for not being able to have a child for so long. If it wasn't for the day we said "I do" and from then on, committing to put Christ first in our marriage, despite what life would bring.

We did not realize that appreciating those moments, would be so valuable today. It has been in looking back, that we have realized how gracious and faithful God has been. I know, easy for me to say as I sit here almost 33 weeks pregnant. That is why I tread this water with hesitancy. Yet we also know that those 8, almost 9 years before, those years of struggle and loss, have made this journey that much sweeter. God always has a good plan - a plan that begs us to appreciate each and every moment because we do not know what lies ahead. We love our baby girl so much already because God taught us what it means to love before - with our first 2; and especially since He first loved US. We know how God has to orchestrate everything just so, so that any parent can be a parent - a true miracle. We know that God has a good and intended purpose for everything He allows - a purpose FAR greater than we could ever imagine.

That is why we are trying to appreciate every moment we have with our baby girl - even if she's still in the womb. We know how precious life is and at any moment, God could take her back to be with Him. That is why we want to cherish her every move. God's gift each day of having her with us. God's gift of being able to walk this journey with my husband who has loved and cherished me, always.

What in your life is hard to appreciate? What moments would you rather not remember? In what ways has God maybe used those difficult times to exalt Himself, while growing you in the process?

Appreciate every moment. I sometimes wish I would've had more faith and trust in God during those trying times. I am not saying you can't cry (don't worry, I still do over the pain we experienced), but I think it is easy to lose track of the path God may have on us. Don't lose faith and trust. Let those tears fall and allow God to wipe them away!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Little Details of Life

In thinking about only having 8 weeks to go, as much as we want this baby to be in our arms, we also want her to stay put for just a little while longer. Pregnancy is such a mix of emotions - the excitement to meet her, but the desire to just keep her safe and sound in the womb until the time is just right, it's hard to know what to want. In waiting for our baby girl to make her debut, we look back at this whole process and just treasure each and every moment. Every moment of this pregnancy. Every moment of realizing there is a little human growing inside. A little human so full of life, yet so tender and vulnerable. A life we can't wait to meet and a life we couldn't be more thankful for.

We didn't know what to expect when I got pregnant. Pregnancy was a new road, a new adventure, and even in a way, a new challenge. A challenge and adventure we just couldn't wait to discover. You see, it's the little details that have stolen our hearts. It's the little details that have made this process so precious, so valuable, and often unexplainable. In thinking about meeting her soon, I want to share some of the little details that have made this journey worth every second.

I want to preface this with saying that I know many women who dream of being pregnant. Dream about having another child, but can't, or even dream about that first. I say these things with hesitancy, knowing that there are so many who hurt and carry the burden of not carrying, with them daily. We think of you. We pray that one day God will bless you beyond measure and that one day, you can experience the joy of pregnancy.

Joy in the littlest of details:

  • Being given the opportunity and gift of being able to carry a child
  • Being given the gift of being able to try and get pregnant
  • Counting down the minutes until Dan woke up so I could tell about the positive home test
  • Calling our parents, family, and friends that indeed, I was pregnant
  • Feeling little changes in my body within weeks of finding out I was pregnant
  • Calling Dan to get anything lemon to eat to subside nausea and drinking ginger ale
  • Seeing our baby girl on an ultrasound at 7 weeks - even though the thought of a miscarriage was so heartbreaking, the joy we felt after seeing her heartbeat - what a blessing.
  • Feeling her little feet and hands move around
  • Feeling a sudden burst of energy as she stretches out (or doing who knows what else)
  • Losing my appetite for some foods, but gaining a love for others
  • Having to quick run to the bathroom for fear of peeing my pants
  • Waking up in the middle of the night from our baby girl moving - LOVE that
  • Watching the progression of my stomach grow through pictures
  • Putting on a shirt and realizing it only covers half of my stomach
  • Seeing my belly button disappear as she grows
  • Chewing tums like candy
  • Being able to wash my hair every 4 or 5 days - gotta love prenatals
  • Jumping at the feeling of feeling her kick
  • Resting my hands on a stomach that is carrying a child
  • Dreaming about names, what we want to do with her, what she'll look like
  • Having to bend over to see my feet
  • Seeing how my shirts are showing wear on the belly because I rub my stomach so often
  • Washing her little clothes and barely being able to fold them because how little they are
  • Putting her furniture together
  • Looking in her closet and seeing her clothes hanging
  • Feeling her butt sticking out in my stomach and her little feet poking out
  • Praying for our little girl
  • Grabbing a hesitant hand and putting it on my stomach so they too, can feel LIFE inside
  • Registering and finding all of the little things we have dreamed of having in our home
  • Feeling my body starting to prepare itself for labor
  • Letting every moment of this journey not go to waste
This is just a short list of the blessings we have felt. The little details that have changed our lives! We continue to trust forward that as we literally see her grow (my stomach is definitely bigger by the week), that March will be here and we WILL hold her in our arms!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Changes Welcomed

This moment in our life, we have dreamed about for years. Years of prayers, years of dreaming, and years of wondering when, just maybe when, it would be our time to have a child.

Many have said "oh, just wait until you have to change diapers and stay up with her all night because she is crying" or "just wait until this child takes up your life".

Call me naive and unrealistic, but our reality right now, is that these changes are welcomed and we have hoped for them for 8 years.

I never knew how much you could love someone without ever officially meeting them. With our first two, we fell in love with them even before we knew they were to be. We fell in love with the two babies that we spent so long preparing for - preparing our hearts for. That is why it was so difficult saying goodbye to them. But that is also why it is so easy welcoming this baby girl into our lives. Our love is ready. Our arms are ready.

I never knew how much fun it would be to plan for a baby. If I could only put into words, the feelings that overflow my heart as I fold little onesies, dust her dresser, make a headband holder, help put together a stroller, and read all about what it means to have a newborn in the home. All of these things fulfill a dream that my husband and I have only thought about and wondered.

I never knew that I would feel so ready to have a child. The thought of changing a blowout diaper makes me laugh. The thought of needing to bathe her after what she ate, excites me. The things that probably most despise, I can't wait for. I want to take the time to enjoy every moment, like we have been able to do with this pregnancy.

I never knew I would look forward to a sleepness night, spent with our baby girl. And at that, possibly many sleepless nights. Parenting is not going to be all roses, but when kept in perspective of the fact that we have been praying for moments like those, all of those long nights are going to be so worth it.

Will everything go as planned? Not at all. In fact, that is why we are not going into the delivery with a birth plan. Will everything be easy? Not at all. In fact, I will probably cry. I take that back - I WILL at some point. But this new chapter in our life is something I have been waiting and praying for, for so long. Change is not always easy, but change makes one stronger and helps fulfill dreams.

And that is why we can't WAIT to welcome this baby girl into our life!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

30 Weeks!

 Oh to be 30 weeks!
 
This week as I was praying and thanking God for taking us this far, I found myself whispering the words to my Father "I am pregnant. I am PREGNANT." Tears welled up in my eyes as I spoke those words with so much hope, yet peace that God had answered our prayers. I am sure God just sat and listened, as He saw His daughter just in awe of what He did and is doing.
 
I wish I could write about every conversation Dan and I have about her, but they are just too numerous to count. The hope, anticipation, and dreams we have for this little girl. Dreams that were birthed back in 2011 when we embarked on the journey with our first two. Those dreams, we never let die, but realized God had us lay them to rest for a few years. Yet in the meantime, He had orchestrated things just so, and even miraculously healed my heart, so that I would be the one carrying. We never imagined. And that is why each and everyday, we "hold" our little girl with such tender hands and tender hearts, knowing how precious her life is. If she only knew. We know her siblings are watching her grow and one day we will all be united as one big family - but until then, we will continue to proclaim His name, as an earthly family of 3, praying our 2 children in Heaven, proclaim His name their own unique way.
 
This past week has been filled with much movement and even more anticipation! On Friday, we headed to the hospital for a tour of the labor and delivery floor (since our schedule doesn't permit us to take any classes). I have to say, they are nice rooms and we are very blessed to have such wonderful facilities in a rural area! What a wonderful staff as well. We will be well taken care of! It also made the idea of going into labor more real - in a good way! Am I nervous? Not really...I think I am more wondering WHEN, so that I am not in the middle of a basketball game and my water breaks! At least lets hope not!
 
My Body: I am noticeably getting bigger and my stomach getting harder, but I feel good. My shirts are definitely tighter, but a belly sticking out, is something I have DREAMED of and am embracing every moment! I can tell my body is starting to prepare for labor in little ways, but that too, is thrilling. I still have zero swelling and my blood pressure on the lower end - what a blessing! The two things the doctors were worried about, are concerns that have yet to be put on the table. If you ask Dan, he would tell you that I have snored for the first time in my life! I of course have no idea, but the combo of my sinus issues and not being able to breathe as well, has caused me to gently wake up from Dan's little taps to wake me up so I stop. He's great about it! Granted it's not all the time or every night, but I can officially say I have now snored (though at least I am not sawing logs!)
 
Food: I am getting a bit of an appetite back, but find myself still eating smaller meals, as indigestion can quickly take over. Tums still taste GREAT and solve the problem immediately. AND, I also like chicken again! No holding back anymore!
 
Baby Girl: As I said earlier, she is 4 lbs. 2 oz., which is about a pound above what the books "say" she should be, but her parents explain it all! We just can't wait to see how big she really is when she makes her grand appearance! I can feel little feet or hands at times. She probably thinks I am trying to move them, but really I just want to feel them! They are too precious to not touch! I also felt her hiccup for the first time! At first I wondered what in the world those little "pulses" were, but then I realized she probably had the hiccups - my heart just melted.  
 
The room: We also found a rocker/recliner from our local furniture store, which was exactly what we were looking for, for a good price! I didn't even take my purse in because we were just going to look - lo and behold, I found myself running to the car to get it so we could order it. Pictures to come eventually, as it won't arrive until early February. It was the last "big" item we needed. We still need to get plenty, but the room is coming together! I just have to wash some of her clothes and find a good place for everything. I am starting to work on decorations and am in the process of making curtains for her room. Every time I walk into her room, I get so giddy!
 
Here's what 30 weeks look like:


Thursday, January 8, 2015

We Have A Basketball Player!

Our baby girl sure is growing!

Today we had the chance to "see" our baby girl again! I had my 30 week appointment, which also meant a "growth" ultrasound where we saw that she is as healthy as can be! What a BLESSING! One. Step. Closer. Each. Step. A. Miracle.

She was pretty active (not surprised)! We could see her moving her eyes and blinking, covering her face with her hands, and just livin' life in the womb!

We also learned that yes, she will be taking after her mother - with her long legs. Dan is tall, but not as "disproportioned" as I am (I have a 37" inseam). Dan on the other hand is 2 inches taller than me, but only a 34" inseam, which means that we have a 5 inch difference, all in leg. Well, our daughter is probably going to be falling into the steps of her mother, as she was in the 98 percentile for femur length! When the doctor found her leg, he said "and we've got some long legs, which I'm not surprised" and then to see the measurement come in at 98%? That means her "leg growth" is 4 1/2 weeks ahead (measuring at 34 1/2 weeks) of where I am right now - imagine how long they will be when I actually give birth to her! The thing is, everyone has been joking that once I get past the head, it's just going to be all leg - well, that is now confirmed at this point to be true!

She also weights 4 lbs. 2 oz., which makes her a little larger than average, but nothing to be concerned about (lets be honest, we knew she was going to be a big girl :)). Her head is also measuring a little above normal, but again, it's just fine. My doctor estimates she'll be at least an 8 lb. baby, which I'll take any day, considering what she weighs now! But like he said too, she'll just be all leg. Can you imagine what's going through her head? Wondering why in the world there is so much leg in there? Her feet are going to be above her head - forget her sucking on her toes - they'll be too long! Ah...just can't wait to meet this little girl!

I am also doing very well. Doctor said it'll take awhile to get over this sinus pressure and it may not go away until after I have her. But that is just fine with me. He suggested a decongestant to help. The sinus pressure doesn't effect her at all and that's all I care about! My weight gain and blood pressure are spot on and so is my abdominal circumference. So even though she is bigger, I am measuring to the day, what I should. So where she is? No idea :). On the printout it does say my estimated due date is March 3 (instead of March 17), but the doctor is not changing it my date at this point. So this girl could make an appearance at any point then in those 2 weeks I figure!

What a blessing it was to see this precious gift again! We are so giddy every time we get to see her and can't stop talking about her.

This is a picture of her face. She is lying on her side, with an eye right in the middle of the picture, nose to the left, then lips. Rather blurry (especially with the black blur), but it's her :).

Here she is showing us her fabulous arm - apparently she was proud of it!

Those were about the best pictures we could get, but it's the moving images that we saw, that will always stick with us. So much life in such a small child! Now I am going to be going to the doctor every 2 weeks (which is normal), to make sure all is good!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One Step Closer With The Baby Room

The face of concentration!
 
Dan had the chance to be Lego-man again (and this time it was legit)! Our dresser that we also ordered online came right before we left for Michigan for Christmas, so we had something to look forward to when we came home. I can't take any credit for the assembly as Dan did it all - and I have to say, it was not easy as the directions apparently were no good (and yes, I do remember reading that on the reviews). Dan said at the least the reviews were right - a great dresser, but the directions, not so much.
 
It is a Storkcraft Avalon 6-Drawer Universal in Espresso from Wal-Mart, to match our crib. It was kind of a long shot in guessing if the color would be remotely close, but thankfully it matches almost perfectly!
 
After the baby shower we had in Michigan, we now have baby items to fill these drawers! I couldn't wait to start putting things in the drawers, so I unpacked a box of diapers and lined a drawer with them. Maybe an odd first item to pack our drawers with (and maybe it's completely normal), but I have to wash all of her clothes yet, so diapers it was! The toys I still have too much fun looking at, so I still have those setting out.
 
 
I'm telling you, it takes some serious concentration when you do not have good directions!


 
 
THE FINISHED PRODUCT! 

Every time we walk into her room, I can't even explain the words and joy that fills
 our hearts. We just dream. We just imagine. We even can't wait until those wee hours of the morning when we have to rock her back to sleep. Speaking of, that is the next item on the list - a rocker/recliner for the baby room. We are going for something comfy as we will be spending many hours in it I am sure! But hours we honestly can't wait for. I know there are many of you thinking "oh you just wait...you will not enjoy those morning hours" and you may be right. But for now, this is something we have been wanting for so many years, so for now, we will continue to be excited!
 
I will continue to post baby room updates as we get it completed! Who would have thought that we would have the opportunity to do this - what a gift!