Bittersweet: week 37

What a gift these past nine-plus months have been for me. I can’t believe we are weeks away from meeting our baby girl!

It’s been a hot summer and yet I have been so fortunate to have time off from my work to sleep and take care of myself.

Over the past two weeks, my body is progressively feeling more sluggish and the water retention makes me feel like a water balloon.

Crazy to say, I LOVE this!

I really don’t want the pregnancy to end.

I know, I know. It will only get better when she is in my arms. I believe that to be true as well. But I will never be pregnant with her again.

I have loved feeling her kicking and moving on my insides.

Being with her everywhere I go.

I feel bonded and connected to her in a way that only a mother can and I am feeling this sense of gratitude for the mere opportunity to carry a child.

We have waited for FOUR YEARS as a couple to become pregnant.

I myself have wondered for 20 YEARS if I was going to be able to experience this incredible gift of pregnancy.

Now that I have been living it, I don’t want it to end.

I understand the purpose of pregnancy is to deliver and raise a baby to a child to a young adult.

For me though, I knew I would always have children (through adoption if needed) so I knew that the raising of a child would be in my future.

It’s this precious period and the gift of pregnancy that was so unknown to me- so desired.

Will I ever be able to experience pregnancy again?

I pray this to be the case.

At the same time, I’m aware that this may have been my one opportunity.

What a great one it has been.

I mourn the ending of such a sweet time in my life.

The way I feel in my body, carrying this life, is something I pray to never forget.

People look at me with a precious look of endearment and excitement.

I feel this look only happens to pregnant women.

Once Maxee comes, I will join the ranks of all the other women who are mothers and this special space of pregnancy will be in my past.

I’ve heard it said before, “don’t be sad that it’s over, but happy that it happened”.

I can soak in every moment of this pregnancy and know that I have made the very most of it.


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_89cc.jpg

Many have commented that they ‘bet I’m ready for her to come out and have my body back’.

Partially yes, I’m ready to be able to roll over in bed or get off the couch without pulling on Hubby or strategically maneuvering my limbs to prop me up. I’m ready to get back to jogging and bending over to stretch my hamstrings.

In reality, though, I don’t want to wish away any minute of this gift.

God, thank you for gifting me with the experience of growing and carrying my child inside of me. Thank you for allowing me to share my body with this sweet little human and provide a safe and healthy home for her to grow and form.

Thank you for entrusting me with one of your precious children.

May these final weeks be savored and these 10 months be engrained in my memory as an example of your love, grace, almighty ability to create life and power for redemption.

Advertisements

Babymoon with Cankles

Week 35- Florida beach.

With 7 days left in our window to fly before I am grounded, we hopped on the plane and headed for the white sand beaches and warm water of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. What a gift this was to experience the weightlessness of my body while wading in the salty water of the Atlantic. The waves were mere ripples and the clarity was astounding. Watching the schools of fish swim by as I gave Maxee the first experience of the ocean.

I know she didn’t feel the difference since she has been swimming her whole life, but the relief it brought me was fit to perfection.

The heat was a bit much for what I am used to and I rocked the pregnancy suit well. My typical position of laying on a towel- face down- while soaking in the sun was a distant thought, although it did cross my mind once to carve out a belly hole in the sand and nestle into the soft sand.

We walked up and down the Hollywood Beach boardwalk each night, people watching and listening to music. As the night wore on, my walk became a waddle and my ankles turned into cankles.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8995.jpg

We saw little Maxee’s at different ages playing in the water and walking the boardwalk- building our excitement of what we will be able to do with her once she arrives.

The years of building sandcastles and playing in the water that we have to look forward to.

Our mornings were slow, we enjoyed the relaxation and sleep-in time together and mostly soaked in the companionship we have come to rely upon.

Maxee is kicking and moving so much more in the past weeks and I can see her spunk when I sit down.

Hubby is growing more connected to her with each night we sit and watch her put on a show for us and we can only imagine what it will be like in a handful of weeks when she is in our arms, stealing the show once again.

We return to reality just shy of our 36 week- no travel- mark, rested and relaxed and ‘ready’ for her to come when she is supposed to.

One week later, I am just shy of 37 weeks and am doing everything I can to keep the swelling down. I have visited my chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist. All say I’m doing great and to continue to move my body as much as possible and drink water!

I feel like I’m growing into an oompa loopa or Violet the blueberry on Willy Wonka and will soon float away.

Preggos in the Sunshine

What an incredible summer break/ third trimester this has been. I am grateful for the opportunity to rest as much as I needed to through weeks 28-35 of my pregnancy. The weeks when I have felt the most tired and rundown have been the weeks where I have taken 2 naps!

My typical daily routine has been:

  • wake up and spend time with God and being of service
  • Eat breakfast
  • Nap for about an hour
  • Go to the gym for about 45 minutes for cardio or a class (still loving BodyPump!)
  • Run errands or focus on work
  • Eat lunch
  • Do some reflecting and reading
  • Nap for about an hour and a half
  • Enjoy time with Hubby
  • Eat dinner
  • Enjoy the summer nights

Pretty good to me!

Of course, I have worked and been a responsible adult but with a job that allows for summer vacation such as this, I’ll take all the relaxing I can get!

Some highlights of my pregnancy this summer.

Week 32– Final hike of the season.
The hike itself was pretty and rejuvenating! The night that followed though was horrible.

I seem to have overstimulated Maxee with the exercise and fresh air because she was not wanting to go to sleep… or my body was too sore to relax.

I tossed and turned and ended up half-sleeping on the couch to try and position myself with various pillows and angles to get it ‘just right’.

I don’t have a huge belly but this doesn’t mean she isn’t growing!

Instead, she is pushing into my diaphragm and ribs and so there are sharp pains in the right side of my ribs and I have a shortness of breath when I’m reading out loud.

Week 33– A baby SHOWER.
Some of our friends put together a wonderful backyard BBQ/baby shower for us that was to start at 6pm.

At 5pm, the friends came to transform our house and backyard.

Mind you, Hubby has spent the majority of the summer fixing up various outside pieces of our house in anticipation of the party and Maxee coming while I have focused on nesting on the inside.

At 6pm, the heavens opened up and the flood of water rushed from the sky like a broken dam. It continued to downpour for 2 hours, completely changing our plans.

What did I learn from a Baby Down-Pour that I can take into mothering?

  • I can plan all I want, but what is going to happen, will happen. Accept what is and not pout about what is not.
  • Rain on a wedding day brings good luck to the marriage… might rain on a baby shower bring good luck to parenting?
  • The flood of water rushing down the gutters on the sides of the street may mean Maxee will just slip right out of me and labor will be just the same ‘wash’ of a delivery! (Haha)
  • Many friends from all aspects of our life were represented and seemed to enjoy their time, what a gift it is to have so many friends who love us and already love Maxee.
  • I don’t need to go out to buy and plant flowers in the planters just for one party- knowing the remainder of the year they will be scorched by the sun. It’s not worth the time or money.

Week 34– Pregnancy photoshoot.ABVB1CmxQPGlwXjzIFOqzw_thumb_89ac.jpg

We wanted to capture this amazing gift that God has given us.

A true miracle to have a baby growing in my stomach. This might be the only pregnancy I am given to experience and I wanted to take in every moment, including this beautiful baby bump.

Week 34– Breastfeeding Class
So much to learn and it all seems premature as we don’t know what type of feeder we are going to have. I’m praying for a good little latcher and eater and then a wonderful sleeper… but also trying not to have too high of expectations for this little button.

The class was helpful and for the most part, a review of all the things my friends have shared. BellyBliss does a nice job of offering support to mama’s and I’ll also look into LaLeche League to learn more.

Any tips you want to share with me… I’m open!!

Realities are Hitting Me…

Trimester 3 has come too quick.

After the all-day sickness subsided around weeks 16-18, I felt as though I was on top of the world.

My body felt good, I had a cute little bump growing, and my energy was back.

Filled with gratitude I was walking with a spring in my step that I could eat regular food again, smell without getting sick, and be active with friends and family. Thank you, God!

If I could sum up trimester 2 it would be: energetic, positive, hormonal rollercoaster, stressed. (Grateful for understanding co-workers!)

I don’t think it helped that my final push of the school year (and all the emotions/stress that come with the spring wrap up without being pregnant) was mixed into those weeks for me as well.

As I posted a couple weeks back (here), I have had a lot of emotions come up for me around this pregnancy and they are only going to continue as we move closer to Maxee’s arrival date.

We made it through all of that nuttiness… and now we are onto the final 3 months! Image result for trimester 3


Do I have gestational diabetes?

During week 28, which officially began trimester 3, I took the glucose test. Thankfully I was able to do a fasting blood test instead of taking the glucose drink.

I arrived at the doctor’s office first thing in the morning and they took my blood.

I then ate my normal breakfast (about 600 calories) and as soon as I took my last drink of water, began the 2-hour countdown.

At 2-hours, they took more blood.

Done!

Within the week they called to say that I passed with flying colors- no gestational diabetes here!


With trimester 3 came the start of summer break from work and have a little more time to think about my life as a mom, I am noticing more fears and apprehensions as to what it will be like to raise this little human.

I have begun reading Parenting, by Paul David Tripp. I believe this will be a book I revisit over my next years as a parent but it’s a good place for me to start thinking about parenting from gospel principles.

More than anything, I am feeling the fear of messing Maxee up. That I really have no clue what I’m doing.

I’m scared that I will do things that are going to hurt or scar her emotionally. I want to be perfect and do everything ‘right’.

I am feeling the weight of what a role of a parent is and not wanting my ego, identity, pride, selfish desires, jealousy, envy, or critical thinking to get in the way of her growth.

Yes, I am prone to all of those listed (and more) and fear that I have the ability to really mess this precious little human up.

Welcome to parenting!

I am slowly (finally) starting to get what parents always talk about when it comes to feeling inadequate.

Glad I’m not alone in feeling these fears, but what in the world will I do with all these daunting thoughts?

This is what I do know:

  • I know that I am not alone.
  • I know that she is not here yet and regardless of how many books I read or people I talk with, I am not going to be 100% prepared.
  • That I will take each situation as it comes and learn as I go.
  • I know more than I think I know.
  • She will start off as an infant and grow with me as I grow in my parenting.
  • I can do this with the help of my research-loving husband.
  • I can ask other for guidance along the way.
  • I have a HUGE God in my life that is ultimately the power in my life… and Maxee’s. I’m just a trusted steward of this little human. She really is His.

God, please help me to be a good, loving, caring, supportive, strong momma to little Maxee.

I think that is where it will need to be for me- in God’s hands, with humility.

Reminder of miracles

Here we are sitting at 30 weeks pregnant. Who would have thought this would be my reality?

I re-read some of my journal entries over our 4 years of trying to become pregnant and here I am with a tiny human growing inside of me.

Such a miracle.

Here are some of my thoughts as I recall begin all over the place with emotions and uncertainty as to what to think, how to show up to my days and constantly being reminded that God is so much bigger than me and my plans.

“My mind is all over the place. The art of capturing thoughts onto paper and making them a part of history. How does one take a snapshot of the thoughts that flow on a regular basis? What does it look like to put everything into words so others can relate? Writing has always been therapeutic for me. It’s a way that I can organize my thoughts and also begin to see situations and emotions for what they really are. By writing what I feel or think, I am able to slow my mind down and discern actions and decipher next steps.

Today my thoughts are all over the place. I can’t decide if this is a time to pull out my journal and do some processing or if this is a good time to type and see if it might help someone else.

I feel as though I have all these thoughts, questions, emotions bottled up and if I were to be smart then I would create them into blog/blog posts and begin gathering followers.

My stomach cramps every once and a while. I also have a slow dull pain every so often as well and I can’t help but wonder if that means my period is around the corner, or if I am in fact pregnant. This time of waiting has felt different. Although we still have 3 more days until we are able to try for a result, I am grateful for the distractions of life. I have chosen to pray and turn my eyes to God every time I begin thinking about pregnancy. I also have only checked Google one time this entire 2 weeks and quickly remembered that Google searching will not answer if I am pregnant and that is essentially why I go online. The only way for me to know if I am is in a few days when I see one or two lines on that darn stick. I am praying that if we are not pregnant that I get my period soon so we can move forward. I don’t want to wait longer than necessary, but what does that really mean? No one wants to wait longer than necessary but isn’t that the point of waiting. To be present in the moment of the intended lesson of what can be learned by waiting.”

– April 24, 2018

I wasn’t pregnant at that time. It was the final straw of our mini-medications before we would decide if we would stop all drugs and go for adoption or pull out the big guns and go for IVF.

Amazing how much changes in a year!

Just sit back and watch.

Now here I am, typing and watching my stomach punch out in different directions. It’s as if Maxee is reminding me as I reflect on where we have been in this journey that miracles do exist, and she is one of them.

Image result for baby kicks