Category Archives: Pregnancy

Final Thoughts.

I’m only 37 weeks, but I decided to go ahead and blog my final thoughts/feelings on this pregnancy. I just don’t think I’ll feel like blogging again before Emrist gets here. I don’t feel like blogging now, but I’m making myself, because I did it with Harper, and that post is something I’ve enjoyed going back and reading over since he has been around. You can read it here, if you want.

So…what/how am I feeling? Calm, surprisingly.  I remember being sort of panicky right before Harper got here. I had a lot of doubts and fears. Would I be a good mom, or would I totally suck at it? Would I enjoy motherhood, or would I hate it? What would labor be like? WHEN would I go into labor, and how? And perhaps my biggest concern: would Benji be able to make it in time (he was living in Memphis)?

For the last month of that pregnancy, I had several staring contests with the ceiling that went on late into the night, and sometimes well into the morning. My fears kept me awake often. Well..my fears, and trying to remember who to send a thank you card to, and what to put in my bag for the hospital, etc. I guess it’s unfair to say it was always fear that kept me awake. It’s a shame you can’t drink when you’re pregnant! That would’ve calmed my nerves right down 😉

This time has been completely different though. I have a peace that I never really had with Harper. I’ve definitely thought about the when, where and how of everything, but I haven’t worried about it like I did with him. I just feel like everything will come together and work out somehow.

I’ve also just enjoyed being pregnant this time. Last time, I was so anxious to meet Harper and to experience motherhood, that I wished the time away while pregnant with him. Towards the end, I REALLY wished it away because I was miserable. I’m not doing that this time. Don’t get me wrong. I’m miserable and some days just plain suck. I joke about evicting her and getting her the hell-o out of me, just like any other mom nearing the end, but truthfully, I don’t care how long she stays. I’d be happy to hold her tomorrow, but I’d also be happy to hold her in 3-4 weeks. When I look at the big picture, I see that this time is such a tiny portion of my life (even though it feels like an eternity sometimes!)…and then it’s gone. I don’t know that I’ll ever get to experience carrying a baby again, so I am trying my best to remember and enjoy every little detail. Even the not so fun ones!

Let’s see. What else?

I kind of expected to feel a little sad at this point, but I’m not. I had a period of “mourning” right before Harper came because I knew it wouldn’t just be me and Benji anymore. I guess I was worried about how a baby would change our relationship. I expected to feel that same sadness before having Emrist. I expected sadness over no longer being a family of three and over it not just being me and Harp together during the day anymore. But I haven’t felt any sadness at all. I haven’t worried about how Harper will adjust, and I haven’t worried about him not getting 100% of my attention anymore. I know he will do great, and will love having a sister, so I am feeling nothing but excitement. If there’s anything that would make me wish the time away with this pregnancy, it’s my excitement over Harper getting to meet his sister. He just loves people, and I know it will be the same with her. I can’t wait to see them together.

So. That’s that. I’m excited, hopeful and calm (oh, and my back hurts). Everything a soon-to-be mom should be feeling! 🙂

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Son of a Breech.

Like that title? I did.

I had an “extra” ultrasound this past Wednesday. I guess that’s one perk to switching doctors and insurances mid-pregnancy: the new OBGYN practice wanted to perform an anatomy scan of their own, and the new insurance company had to pay for it since it was my first ultrasound under their policy. Nice.

I’m sure you’re all smart enough to gather from the title of my post that we found out Emrist was breech during the ultrasound. I wasn’t surprised. I’ve suspected it for a couple of weeks now just because everything feels so different compared to my pregnancy with Harper. Things are actually a little bit more, dare I say…comfortable? Sure…there’s back pain, but I’m not having to pee ALL the time like I was with Harper. I’ll take back pain over that ANY day.

We also found out that I have an anterior placenta during the ultrasound. This explains a lot. I don’t feel Emrist from the outside very often. I actually was beginning to think that maybe she was just one super chill baby. Umm…no. She’s just got a giant pillow of placenta (nice mental image, right?) in front of her, and when she kicks, it absorbs most of it.

I actually worried the day before the ultrasound that something might be physically wrong with her since I rarely feel her kicking on the outside. You’re going to laugh when you read this, but I started thinking that maybe she was a midget baby and her arms and legs just weren’t long enough to produce the amount of force that Harper’s kicks produced. I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought that. I haven’t even told Benji. Don’t judge me. Pregnancy makes you crazy.

So why am I blogging about all this? Well. Because it could lead to a repeat c-section for me (yippee!). And I just feel the need to write it out somewhere. The midwife said that if the placenta wasn’t anterior, and Emrist stayed breech, they’d be willing to still let me attempt a VBAC. However, with it being anterior, they will not let me attempt a VBAC if she does stay breech.  I don’t even know why positioning of the placenta matters, but apparently it does. I don’t think I would feel comfortable attempting a VBAC with a breech baby anyways, so it doesn’t really matter much to me.

It’s been two days since the ultrasound and I’m just now beginning to really process how I feel about everything. I’m 31 weeks, so Emrist still has time to turn, but with each passing week, the chances of that happening will get smaller and smaller. I have read a couple of stories about babies turning just before labor so maybe she’ll be one of those if she doesn’t flip within the next couple of weeks. Who knows.

There are all sorts of things that you can supposedly do to make a baby turn: acupuncture, inversion exercises, mentally imagining your baby turning, etc. But I’m just tired. I’m tired of caring. I’m tired of stressing. I’m tired of clinging to control I never had in the first place. I’m just tired, and I’m over it.

My birth experience with Harper was awful and traumatic. I’ve done so many things in the time since his birth to ensure that this one would be different (losing 50 lbs, reading, researching, using a midwife in place of an OBGYN, etc). And the thing I’ve recently realized is that this experience will be different no matter what I do. Regardless of whether I get to have a vaginal birth, or if I end up having a repeat c-section, this experience will be different. Only my attitude/perspective can ensure that it’s better.

I don’t know that I’ve every voiced this to anyone other than Benji, but here it is: when I had the c-section with Harper, I let it define me as being broken. As a woman, my body couldn’t do what it was created to do – give birth – so I have since struggled with feeling like something is wrong with me. I’ve been fighting for a VBAC to heal that wound, but I’m starting to realize that I’ve been looking for healing in the wrong place. Isn’t Jesus the Great Physician? Why have I been looking to a certain experience to heal my heart (and that’s ONLY if I get to have that experience) when Jesus can heal me, regardless?

For the past two years, I’ve equated having a vaginal birth with victory. I’ve equated it to a better, less traumatic birth experience. And that’s just not always true. A vaginal birth does not guarantee a better experience and it certainly does not make me victorious. Only my attitude can guarantee a better experience. And Jesus is the one who makes me victorious…not an experience.

So…this is me letting go of everything. I am surrendering to whatever experience lies ahead of me. I will live and I will learn. And hopefully I will be a better person because of it 🙂

The end.

Hello, Third Trimester!

I’m kind of freaking out about being in the THIRD trimester! While I was pregnant with Harper, time seemed to stand still. My due date couldn’t get here fast enough. This time around, it feels exactly the opposite. Time is flying by! And honestly…I don’t want it to. Partly because I know how much I will miss being pregnant (no matter how much it sucks at times) and partly because I am terrified of having a newborn again (um…PLUS a toddler). Holy cow!

I keep telling people that I’m scared of newborns, but that’s not really true. I’m actually just scared of the things that come with having a newborn —> anxiety and yucky postpartum depression. I dread feeling the way I felt for the first three months of Harper’s life. Part of me is hoping that I only felt that way because I was alone in Memphis…and because I was a clueless first time mom. Only time will tell, I guess. But rest assured, my doctors will be on speed dial this time. I will not suffer through it like I did in Memphis.

I had my first prenatal appointment since moving to Alabama on Sept. 11th. We moved on July 28th, and had to wait for our new insurance to become effective, and then we had problems with the cards (they put the wrong effective date on them). So I ended up having to go a lot longer between appointments than I had originally anticipated.

While still in Virginia I did look into some providers that I would want to see once I got here, but I was a total slacker once we finally arrived. I did absolutely nothing to try to find a doctor and I just kept telling myself that I would wait until the insurance worked itself out before finding a provider. I was secretly hoping that something would just fall into my lap. Yeah…I hate making decisions.

My midwife in Virginia had given me a website (www.acnm.org) to help with finding another certified nurse midwife once I got here. She gave me this website back in May and when I looked, there was a grand total of ONE practice that had CNMs for the whole Montgomery area. Umm…yes, folks…ONE! I was interested in going to this practice, but between having pregnancy brain and then going four months before setting up the actual appointment, I totally forgot all about it!

On Monday, I was hanging out with my cousin Grace (hey, Grace!!) and watching Breaking Amish (have you guys seen it?!). She casually mentioned a family friend with six kids who was raving about the doctor who delivered her youngest child. My ears perked up and I started asking questions. Long story short: this doctor was kind, personable, and did a happy dance while she was in labor (I interpreted this to mean the mom wasn’t just a dollar sign and he actually ENJOYED birthing babies). This doctor also prayed with her after her first prenatal appointment. I was hooked after I learned that he had prayed with her.

I want nothing more than to have someone attend the birth of my baby who isn’t just there for the money. I want someone who is fascinated by birth and who finds joy in the miracle of life. Someone who sees every baby as a wonderful, brand new creation…no matter if he/she has seen 10 born that day. This doctor fit the bill so I asked Grace to get the name of the practice from her friend. The friend texted back, and to my amazement, I learned that this doctor was at the same practice that had the CNMs.

I called that afternoon and they had me in by the next day. As I pulled into the parking lot, I was feeling a little nervous and a little guilty, honestly. I felt this way because I hadn’t done any research on the practice. I felt that since I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I should’ve done a little more work to get a doctor. I didn’t even know if this practice accepted VBAC patients and I was afraid they would turn me away. I glanced at the clock as I was getting out of my car, and it read 2:22. Those of you that know me, know that this is always God’s little way of nudging me and reminding me that he is in something. So needless to say, I felt at peace right away.

Once inside, I began the paperwork. Oh, my heavens…the paperwork! It took about 40 minutes – no exaggeration! My appointment was with Vicki, one of three CNMs at the practice. She actually came out into the waiting room to greet me while I was filling out paperwork – no nurse/physician has ever done that to me before – so I was immediately impressed by her. During my appointment, I fell in love with her! She was lively, kind, happy…and most of all, reassuring. She said so many things to encourage me in my decision to VBAC, and although she can’t deliver me (thanks for that, Alabama!), she promised to set me up with someone who wasn’t just “okay” with allowing me to VBAC, but who would encourage me to do so. HAPPY DANCE!

So yeah. I felt very taken care of while there! I am so excited about working with this practice for the rest of my pregnancy! 🙂 Oh, and get this! I also learned that the on-call doctor who delivered Harper (who I absolutely LOVED because she was so nice to me while I was crying) used to work at this same practice.  So neat and special!

I’m happy that this worked itself out and that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. What a major stress relief!

24 Weeks. And the name change.

So this will be a quick update, just for the sake of updating. I played around with Benji’s Mac and made this little collage! Nothing has really changed since my last update, except for the sciatic nerve pain. I can’t remember if I dealt with this when I was pregnant with Harper – I’m guessing not. I’ve had spurts of it for a few weeks now, but it really started to hurt me last week. I usually don’t have any problems with it until later in the day, so fortunately, it’s not an all day thing.

I don’t really mind the pain part. I mean…it’s not pleasant, but it’s bearable. What I’m really worried about is busting me butt in public. A couple of times while I’ve been walking, the nerve has caught on something (I don’t know how to describe it?) and I’ve almost fallen over because of it. Eh…that should be fun to deal with as I continue to get bigger and bigger!

Everything else is going lovely though. I honestly can’t complain.

And one last thing. Most of the people who read my blog, get there from Facebook, so I’m sure most of you already know! We decided to change the name a tiny bit. It’s not a big change. In fact, we’re keeping the name I previously posted about, and just adding an extra name into the mix. So…she’s going to have three names. (If I decide not to hyphenate that sucker).

Benji and I had a bet on the gender. If it was a boy, he’d name it. If it was a girl, I’d name it. We did this with Harper too. Anyways, although I have naming rights this time around, we did agree that the other person couldn’t hate the name that was picked out. Well…Benji didn’t really like the idea of calling Elm by her initials. SO…to compromise, we decided to name her Emrist Elizabeth Laine Martin and call her by Emrist. God be with her when she has to learn how to spell and write her name. I’m probably still going to use Elm as a little nickname, just like I call Harper by Harp, but the name everyone else will know her by is Emrist.

And that’s all, folks!

Elizabeth Laine Martin

We’re having a baby girl. I still really can’t believe it. I mean…I thought we were having a girl, but thinking it and then learning that it’s true are two different things. We’ve been extremely busy since my appointment on Friday, so I haven’t had much time to sit and really let it sink in. I’ve actually still been calling her “it” at times. Oops.

Immediately after our appointment on Friday, we went and picked up the moving truck. That took forever because Penske mixed everything up. We ended up having to go to their location three different times before everything was settled! When we finally got the truck home, we packed it up, and then left for Alabama the next morning at 4AM. We got to Montgomery right before 5PM on Saturday. And then we unpacked. Holy batman, we were tired! Today is the first day that I’ve actually felt semi-recovered from it all. I figured I’d take the time to talk about baby girl’s name, and the appointment before I forget all the small details.

First things first…her name! It’s kinda complicated. I love family names – LOVE THEM – but I’ve never really been able to come up with anything that I liked for a girl. One night last fall, the name Elizabeth Laine came to me, literally out of nowhere. I was trying to fall asleep, and was thinking about baby names instead of counting sheep. I’m not really sure why I was thinking about names, because I wasn’t pregnant at the time, nor was I planning on getting pregnant anytime soon, but names were on my brain nonetheless. I saw Elizabeth Laine Martin in my head, and immediately fell in love with it.

Elizabeth is my mother’s middle name. My father’s middle name is Lane (my brother and grandfather also share this middle name). Benji and I didn’t really like the spelling of Lane for a girl, so we decided to spell it like my step-dad’s name (Blaine) without the B. So…her name honors three different people that are important to us. It’s so very special ❤

This is the part that people may find a little weird. While I love the name Elizabeth Laine, I still wanted her to have a name of her own. After some thought, we decided to call her by her initials: ELM. Most of you who know me, know that I love trees…so yeah…it’s pretty perfect, in my opinion. Elm. I just love saying it out loud.

So now you know the name.

The appointment itself could not have gone any better. My weight gain and blood pressure were great. Everything looked perfect on the ultrasound. Elm’s heart rate was at 154 and my favorite part: she was measuring right on track, and not ahead. Harper was always ahead of the game in just about every area, and he was a BIG baby! I was really anxious to see what her head size would be, since I’m aiming for a VBAC, and it was normal (Harper was in the 98th percentile at birth). So I left feeling very encouraged. I also found out that I passed my one hour glucose test that I had taken two weeks prior to the appointment. It was an all around great day.

I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant and I’m still feeling pretty good. Within the past week, Elm has become super active. I can now see her moving from the outside – I don’t think that happened with Harper until about 23-24 weeks. It’s all so exciting and I’m just trying to soak every minute of it up. I know how fast 20 weeks can pass!

I didn’t take a picture of the bump this week, so I’ll just share my 20 week picture:

This was taken after a hike to the top of Humpback Rocks in Virginia.

So, that’s it for now. I’m hoping to update more on the move later. Lots of people that I need to thank for helping us out with everything. We are so blessed 🙂

Reflections Before Moving

Before you start, know this is LONG. I just needed to write it. I’ve been working on it for three days, and I don’t feel like rereading it for grammatical errors or misspellings. I’ve got a bad case of pregnancy brain, so I’m sure there are lots of mistakes, but I’m tired…so try and look past them for me…okay? 🙂

We move in three days. It seems so surreal. Especially considering that a little over two months ago, I thought we’d be living in Virginia for the rest of our lives.

I’m glad we get to go home. I’m glad this season is finally coming to an end. It was a rough one…possibly the hardest of our entire marriage. So many times over the past year, I wondered if it really was just a season. I prayed it was, but I honestly wasn’t sure.

It’s definitely something I’m thankful to be walking out of, but also something I’m thankful I walked through it in the first place. That sounds weird, but it’s true. This past year was a challenge, and I’ve grown in so many ways because of it.

When Benji and I got here, he was unemployed and we weren’t really sure what we were going to do. Although he wanted to work in a library, he applied any and everywhere that was hiring. He’s such a good man. After many interviews at schools, public libraries and retail locations, God blessed him with work in his field. We were so excited. The pay was awful – it was almost exactly HALF of what we had been living on in Memphis – but it provided insurance, which is what we really needed.  And it was a position with plenty of opportunity to move up into a higher paying position…or so we thought 🙂

When he landed the job, we knew I would need to work to make up the difference in our income. We talked about me getting a night or weekend job until Benji could get into a higher paying position. However, when he got the full details of his job, we realized that his schedule wouldn’t allow for me to have a “real” job. Not unless it was one that paid well enough for us to be able to afford daycare (about $700 per month here) and still make up the difference in his salary. After some thought, I decided to try babysitting instead so that I could make money while avoiding the expenses of daycare. I was blessed with a job almost immediately after beginning my search.

When August came, both of us started work. I guess this is when life got hard. Benji had to commute over the mountains to work and it made for some extra long days for the both of us. On most nights, he didn’t get home until right at, or after, Harper’s bedtime. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were always the hardest (and loneliest) because I was alone with Harper for nearly 12 hours a day.

Our finances didn’t really allow for many date nights – I think we’ve had 3-4 in the year that we’ve lived here – so we weren’t able to get away and de-stress very often. I’m a firm believer in taking time out for yourself (and your marriage) on a regular basis – I just think you have to in order to have something left of yourself to give to others – and we couldn’t very often.

There were so many times when I just felt like I had nothing left to give to anyone, including Benji and Harper. Our finances hung over my head 24/7. We didn’t have money to do things to take my mind off of it, so I’d just sit and think about it CONSTANTLY. It was a nasty cycle and I’m sure I was very unpleasant to be around.

Sometime in the fall, the cycle broke…a little. On paper, we didn’t have enough money to pay all of our bills, and yet…we were. We were making it, and paying for everything and I didn’t really know how. I slowly began to realize that DUH! God was providing. I started to see a pattern of God meeting our needs. And I don’t mean we were getting random checks in the mail either (although we did a few times).  I mean, whenever something would unexpectedly pop up, God would provide extra work for us to pay for it. True story! I began to relax and let go. Not completely, of course, but one by one, my fingers withdrew from the control I was so desperately clinging to.

And that’s when the shit hit the fan. Am I allowed to say that here? It’s just so appropriate for the next sequence of events!

I’ll be quick:

November: We moved. Our car was broken into and my purse was stolen. We found my purse, and everything was still inside. Our deductible was too high to make filing a claim worth it for the window repair. We got a ridiculous quote to repair our window and knew we couldn’t afford it. Prayed and bam! God provided through a wonderfully generous friend of mine. The next day I found out I was pregnant, even though we hadn’t been trying. Holy shat nap! We were filled with lots of joy and holy craps…because obviously, we could not afford a baby at the time.

December: Benji gets a speeding ticket. Harper gets RSV and a double ear infection. I get a $100 ticket for not having our car inspected because well…we couldn’t afford the $800 worth of repairs required to pass the inspection, but I still needed a way to get to my babysitting job. Two days later, I have a miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant. Almost immediately after my miscarriage, Harper comes down with pneumonia. I miss three weeks of babysitting because of it. We’re short on money because I’ve missed work and we’ve both gotten tickets. My precious friend Jenn asks us to housesit and dogsit for her while she goes out of town for two weeks. The money she gives us makes up what I lost from being unable to babysit.

January: Besides the emotional trauma of my miscarriage, it was a relatively easy month. I think God was allowing me a break because it was my birthday month 🙂

February: I unexpectedly lose my babysitting job without any notice. Unbeknownst to me, the parents had been looking for a replacement ever since I had missed the three weeks in December.  I understood, but felt very hurt and betrayed simply because they didn’t tell me until the day they let me go. It was Benji’s birthday and he came home to a crying mess of a wife. I ended up cashing out my savings account to make ends meet until something else lined up. And another God-sent miracle: a friend from back home who knew I had been fired sent us a $250 check in the mail. What a blessing! My grandfather also paid for a MAJOR car repair on our Matrix without us even asking him to.

Mid-February through March was pretty much just filled with me trying to obtain employment. The miscarriage made me desperately long for home, so my search was mainly focused on Alabama. I had a couple of interviews, but they fell through. I was actually relieved when they did.  Although I wanted to go home badly, I didn’t feel peace about the route I was taking to get there. I didn’t know why there was a lack of peace, and at times it made me SO angry, but I finally came to the conclusion that God must not want us to move to Alabama and I gave up.

That was basically the end of the crazy period. At this point in time, we felt like we were staying in Virginia for a while, if not forever. I made peace with the idea and we stopped looking for employment in Alabama.

Sometime in mid-March, I was out in the backyard with Harper and I just had a moment with Jesus. I was truly happy. As I sat watching Harper play and laugh while sniffing flowers, I yearned for even more of that joy in my life. I found myself praying for God to provide us with more children, and to provide a way for us to financially support them. The miscarriage had left a longing in both mine and Benji’s hearts; however, we had decided we could not handle the emotional rollercoaster of trying to get pregnant again. We also recognized that we couldn’t handle it financially. “Trying” had been on the shelf, and hadn’t even been discussed when I found myself in the backyard praying for more children.

After my backyard Jesus-fest, I told Benji I wanted to start trying again. I remember telling my friend Theresa that I felt so stupid for wanting to try because I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I also knew in my heart that it was the right time. I thought Benji would slap me silly when I brought it up, but surprisingly, he was on board too. Looking back, I know it was the Lord and here’s why: I was ALREADY pregnant! That’s right, folks! There I was, praying my heart out for more children, and there was already life growing in my womb. Does anyone else think this is hilarious? I do!

Most of you are up to speed on the events that took place after all of this because I actually blogged about them. Benji got an interview for a professional position here, and we were about 110% sure that he was going to get it. And then he didn’t. We were baffled. He was one of only three candidates selected to interview for the position, and he was the ONLY internal candidate, meaning he was already in their system. He knew everyone at that particular branch. It seemed like the next logical step for him, and he’s an amazing librarian, so why wouldn’t he get it? I believe it was because there was another, even better job that he was supposed to have and it was back HOME 🙂

So…what exactly is the reason for this blog post? There are a few.

#1 I want to remember….both the good and the bad things from the past year. I tend not to share publicly when we’re going through a tough time. Of course, I share with close friends, but I try not to write about it here until I’m out of it because it’s very easy for me to get all “woe is me” in the midst of trouble, and while yes…that’s a very real part of me, it’s unpleasant to see and read about, in my opinion. So I just save it for my poor, poor husband and friends instead! Sorry guys! Now that I’m (thankfully) walking out of this season, I feel comfortable sharing about it here.

#2 God has done so much for us over the past year. I just want to publicly acknowledge and thank Him. We haven’t been rich, financially speaking, but he’s blessed us beyond measure with love and relationships. We were able to spend a whole year with Benji’s precious family, and I met a wonderful group of moms that supported and loved me through everything I went through up here. I developed two, very meaningful, life-long friendships while here, and I will always be grateful for that.

#3 And lastly: I wanted to share a “simple” lesson that hit me like a ton of bricks. Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  The lesson? God’s definition of good is different from my own sometimes. Simple and pretty obvious, right? Not for me, considering it took a year for me to truly “get” it.

In the past, when I’ve heard that verse, I’ve always pictured my definition of good: healthy pregnancies, healthy children, financial security, retirement, a nice house, nice neighborhood, etc. But God’s definition of good for my life could be me experiencing the opposite of every single one of those things. I don’t know, and all I can do is take him at his word, and trust him through a seemingly bad situation.

Today would have been my due date if I hadn’t lost the baby in December. Obviously, I will always mourn the baby we never got to meet, but for now, I’m trying to focus on the good of it all. There’s another life growing in my womb. And we are going home on Saturday. Instead of being 40+ weeks pregnant for the journey, I’ll only be 21. Moving so far away would’ve been nearly impossible at 40+ weeks pregnant…not to mention unsafe and stressful. Just thinking about being in that situation makes me tired.

So today, instead of focusing on the bad parts of the past year, I’m focusing on the good that came out of it. I’m saying prayers of thanks for everything God has blessed me with, and I’m thanking him for his definition of good, and for knowing better than me!

17 Week Appointment & Mosquito Bites

Okay. So I’m trying not to only talk about my pregnancy here. However, one day, many, many years from now, I’d like to have my blog professionally printed off for my kids. I just think that would be a neat little keepsake (they may think otherwise, but whatevs). With that being the case, I want to document everything I can about my pregnancy without it being super annoying to the people who currently read my blog.  I’ve decided to try and cram everything into one “pregnancy” posting about every four weeks, or after every check-up. This is my first…expect the next one around the end of July 🙂

Note: that should read *aversions. And I got the turnip photo from here.

I had my 17 week check up this past Friday. I should’ve had a check up at 16 weeks, but couldn’t fit one into my schedule then. As a result, my appointments are all off and falling on odd weeks. Now, I won’t have the anatomy scan until I’m 21 weeks, instead of 20 weeks. The fact that I could technically find out what I’m having at this very moment, but have to wait almost another entire month, is KILLING me!

My appointment went really well! The baby’s heart was beating at 148 bpm – it’s always so reassuring to hear that sound – I hadn’t gained any weight (waaaaaa-hoooo!) and my blood pressure was 112/72. It was all so encouraging. I can only hope the rest of my appointments are just as good! 🙂

My dear friend Theresa kept Harper for me during the appointment (THANK YOU!). She has a daughter that is two months older than Harp. They are BFF.  


See. Aren’t they cute?

We had a last minute family get together at Benji’s grandmother’s that evening. The mosquitoes must think Harper is super sweet because they always eat him up no matter what I do. Despite having bug spray and light clothing on AND bug repellent torches burning all around us, they still bit him. They got him on the legs and on his right ear.

When I got Harper up for breakfast the next morning, I did a double take. I was looking at him straight ahead and his ears were….crooked. One was much, MUCH bigger than the other.  He looked like Alfalfa from Little Rascals. For a moment, I actually thought that his ears had had a growth spurt overnight, and the one ear had just left the other behind (ridiculous, I know!). But then, I remembered the mosquito bite. I’ll blame my stupidity on being groggy. Well…that and pregnancy brain.

It’s pretty hilarious that I didn’t think about the mosquito bite right away because Harper had actually been bitten near his eye the week before. That bite left his eye swollen for about three days:

His eye doesn’t look bad compared to this:

Amazing, right?!  His ear was completely better by Saturday, and never seemed to itch or cause him pain – thank the Lord! We’re very fortunate to have a nurse in the family (hey, Marcy!) so that we don’t have to rush to the doctor whenever something like this happens. Hopefully, he won’t always react to mosquito bites this way :-\

Pregnancy Dreams

Hey! I’m updating again, and it hasn’t been a month! :::::pats self on the back:::::

I had a dream last night and wanted to write about it here. Pregnancy dreams can be crazy at times, and while this one was definitely on the crazy/funny side, it was also neat and I don’t want to forget about it.

In it, I was going in for a regular check up (I think I was 18 weeks). I really wanted to find out the gender of the baby so I asked if they could do an ultrasound on me. They said no, so I decided to sneak into their ultrasound room and perform one on myself. When I saw the picture of the baby, it was actually just like looking at a baby in real life. There was color, and movement, etc. It looked nothing like an ultrasound. She (that’s right! It was a girl.) even had on clothing. I was drawn to her shoes above everything else, but I know that she had on a white dress and headband. Her shoes (which were sandals) were bright white and had flowers all over them. I don’t know why they caught my attention more than anything else, but they did.

She looked to be about six months old in the picture (hopefully this part isn’t true or I’ll be in trouble). She was smiling and laughing and looking right at me even though she couldn’t see me. At one point, I noticed that she had her molars. I began to freak out about that because I didn’t like the idea of a baby inside of me having teeth already (hello, Breaking Dawn, anyone?!). Just as I began to freak out, I saw God’s hands inside my womb. They started to fold her gums over her teeth. Now this sounds gross, but it was really neat to watch. I told Benji, it was like watching someone make a cal-zone. The gums were soft and doughy and folded over easily, and then connected to each other, to turn into a smooth surface. When everything was finished, her mouth looked like a normal newborn’s mouth. No teeth. Only a smooth, red, gummy smile.

And that was it. See. Pregnancy dreams are freakin’ crazy. But I actually really enjoyed this one. Most of mine involve bugs crawling all over me, so it’s always nice to have one with a cute baby instead. Even if the cute baby has teeth before it should! 🙂

I also wanted to give a tiny pregnancy update (with a picture!).

My belly this time around is ridonkulous. This was taken at about 14 weeks. I didn’t show until about 20 weeks with Harper. I’m not sure what’s to blame for showing so soon this time around. I’ve always heard you show sooner with subsequent pregnancies just because your body already knows what to do. But it could also be because I am 50 pounds lighter this time around. I don’t know, but either way, my belly is popping out like crazy!

Up until this point, I’ve been undecided on my feelings about the gender. With Harper, I was 100% sure he was a girl. You see how that turned out. This time, my feelings change every day. One day I think it’s a boy, the next I think it’s a girl. We find out on July 27th so I need to nail something down soon. After my dream last night, I feel like settling down on saying it’s a girl. We’ll see how I feel about that tomorrow.

Regardless of the gender, this baby is very active. It has already woken me up a couple of times with its little flutters. And sometimes, it takes my breath away with the way it moves. I’m not really sure what the heck it’s doing to produce that sensation, but Harper only did that to me once, and it was when he was much MUCH bigger.

Just like last time, I am excited about meeting this little one. I wonder what he/she will be like and what he/she will look like on a daily basis. Unlike last time, I am A LOT more patient. I am not anxious for the time to pass by. I am okay with waiting – even if he/she comes two weeks late – because I know the road that lies ahead of me. I know how hard those first few month are and I also know that I’ll miss being pregnant, no matter how much I swear to hate it in the weeks ahead. For now, I’m trying to soak this up and cherish it. It’s such a precious time, and it’s only for a season.

Umm…Hi! Remember me?

Yeah…so it’s been two and a half months since my last update. WOW! I think that’s my longest stretch for this blog. Oops. It wasn’t intentional. I just got way behind! I had some cool things to share and I wanted to share all the cool details tied into each story, but there was so much to say that I just kept putting it off and putting it off. And then more cool things would happen and well…you get the picture. I ended up not sharing any of the stories because I didn’t feel like it anymore.

So I’m going to give a brief update on our lives since March 25th – without all of the cool details because I’m just way too tired.

#1: Baby Number Two

This is probably more to blame for the lack of updates than anything else. I’m now 14 weeks along and past the worst part, but the beginning was a little rough. Not as rough as my pregnancy with Harper, but it was rough enough that all I wanted to do was nap in my spare time. And nap I did!

With Harper, I was sick almost 24/7 until 20 weeks, but I wasn’t really tired. With this pregnancy, I’ve been extremely tired (toddler chasing could be to blame!) and not as sick. I didn’t start feeling the nausea with this one until six weeks, whereas with Harper it was immediately. That’s actually how I knew I was pregnant with him. I’ve only had a few toilet huggin’ sessions this time and for the most part, I feel almost completely better now. Side note: every time I say that, I end up puking within 24 hours so I’m going to lie here and say I’m still sick 😉

#2 We’re moving back to Alabama! 

Yep, that’s right! When Benji and I found out we were pregnant and that he didn’t get a professional job in C-ville that he had interviewed for, we knew we were going to have to do something. He started sending out his resume to schools/libraries all over the country. Long story short, he e-mailed his resume to the Head of School at a private school in Montgomery, Alabama (only about 1.5 hrs from our hometown). They contacted him right away, flew him down to Alabama over Mother’s Day weekend, and hired him later that week. You can read a better and more detailed version of this here: My Mother’s Day Weekend Adventure.

It was AMAZING. Have you ever tried to make something happen on your own, gotten to the point of giving up and then had it happen right after you finally surrendered? That’s what this was like for us. After the miscarriage, and losing my job in February, and just being plain miserable and homesick here, we had tried everything we could think of to get back to Alabama. I had applied for jobs, Benji had applied for jobs, and nothing ever worked out.

We talked and decided to stop trying to go home to Alabama. And then yet another job (here) fell through for Benji. Instead of focusing on applying for jobs in Alabama, Benji decided to apply everywhere in the country. The job in Montgomery just came out of nowhere. It happened and it was so effortless because it was God. It felt so different from our earlier failed attempts to move back to Alabama. There was peace this time. No only that, but it is literally the BEST job Benji has ever gotten. It pays more than any job he’s ever held, it’s the perfect fit for him (elementary school librarian…need I say more?!), and the hours are phenomenal! We….are….pumped!

#3 Harper

I don’t even know what to say about Harp. There is just so much! It’s amazing to watch him learn new things every day. He’s a very fast learner and loves figuring out how things work. His vocabulary grows every day. Here lately, I’ve only had to tell him the name of something once or twice before he has it. It’s amazing. And he almost always tries to repeat us when we tell him the name of something. I love that he loves to try! My favorite words that he says are owl (this one is adorable!), apple and night night. Out of everything he says, those three are by far the cutest! Whenever he is tired, he comes to us and says night night. It melts my heart.

He loves being outside. We actually can’t say that word in our house (unless we’re really going) because when we do, he goes to the door and starts asking to go out. If we don’t follow through with it, all hell breaks lose lol. That same goes for walks. He loves going on walks with us!

He still loves fruit. Any and all kinds of fruit, really. Well…except for bananas. He loves broccoli, spinach, squash, zucchini and cucumber. And that’s about it for the veggies. He only drinks water nowadays. He randomly stopped drinking milk recently. He’s never been overly fond of it so it wasn’t too much of a shocker.  Fortunately, he does like cheese and yogurt so we give him those things instead.

He walks everywhere and climbs everything. He loves the stairs. He also loves to jump! Especially if daddy or mommy is jumping with him. We play lots of games with him. Our favorite game right now is getting him to make all sorts of animal noises. The best ones are monkey and sheep noises. He does them both perfectly and it’s HILARIOUS!

I could seriously write forever about the things he has been doing. It’s bittersweet because with each passing day, he seems less like a baby and more like a little boy. He has such a kind heart and amazing sense of humor. I can’t even imagine the laugh lines and wrinkles we’re going to have because of him!

#4 Pictures

Just thought I’d share a few pictures from the last few weeks:

Hopefully it won’t be another two months before you hear from me again 🙂

Ultrasound

I was on top of things when I was pregnant with Harper. Now? Not so much. I don’t know what’s up, but I have absolutely no interest in blogging right now. The only reason I’m writing this is because I know I’ll regret it later on if I don’t keep up with things so I’m forcing myself to blog.

My first ultrasound was on December 6th. I’m not really sure why, but the people had me come in before I was even seven weeks along. Now…I should’ve already known this since I’ve been through this once, but you usually can’t pick up a heartbeat on the ultrasound before seven weeks. I vaguely remember reading that when I was a few weeks pregnant with Harper, but that was almost two years ago and I have pregnancy brain right now. I cannot be expected to remember such things!

So basically, I stupidly went into the ultrasound expecting the same experience I had with Harper (I was 9 weeks along when I went in with him – we saw him AND heard his heartbeat) and got the crap scared out of me when I didn’t hear a heartbeat. Umm…SO not cool. The ultrasound tech eventually found the baby’s heartbeat on the screen. We could see the flicker, but the baby was TINY, so she never picked up the sound of it. Here is a picture of the tiny being:

I was a little disappointed when we left, but I’m glad I at least got to see the heartbeat. I would be driving myself mad if I would’ve been given no proof at all of a beating heart.

Overall, I’m still feeling pretty great. I’ve mainly been feeling sick in the evenings, if at all. That’s such an improvement from when I was pregnant with Harper! I have nothing to complain about really. I’m so thankful for new life! 🙂