Sunday, April 28, 2013

28 Week Bumpdate

The Bump:

Comparison:
I certainly feel like I've popped...some more!  She's about the size of an eggplant, and I have started getting the "when are you due?" question from strangers.  

Milestones:
I am officially in the third trimester. I still can't believe we have less than three months until my due date.  I've reached the point where my doctor's visits have gone from once a month to once every two weeks.

Symptoms:
  • Fatigue is returning, similar to how I felt in first trimester.  I kept saying I never thought it went away, but now that it's back with a vengeance, I realize it actually did get better during the second trimester.  But it's a lot easier to deal with without nausea and vomiting, too!
  • Still occasional heartburn
  • Still having Braxton Hicks contractions, but it's either less often, or I'm just getting used to them and not noticing them as much.
  • back and foot pain
Cravings:
  • Ice cream
  • Had my first craving for watermelon the other day, and felt like a true, cliche, pregnant lady.
Fun stuff:
  • Luke and I basically finished registering today.  There are a few more things I'll probably add, and I'm sure I'll change my mind about some things, but the bulk of that overwhelming job is taken care of!
  • We've made a lot of nursery progress.  We finished painting, replaced the ugly fluorescent lights with a  new light/ceiling fan, and had carpet installed (thanks to my in-laws for all their help!)  I'm getting lots of little details and accents put together, and loving every minute of it!  Today, Luke put her wall decal up above the crib, and I am in love! Again, we found it here.



  • Scarlett got a Sophie teether from some family friends.  These are just the cutest things ever.  And now I feel like a hip and trendy future mom.  Ha!


What a fun (and probably painful and uncomfortable...) 12 weeks we have in store before Scarlett's arrival.  Now it's time for finishing up the nursery, showers, birthing classes, and last-minute freaking out!  Bring it, third trimester! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

When Mother's Day Hurts


June will mark 3 years of waiting for a baby for Luke and I.  And luckily at that point we will only be one month out from meeting our daughter.  But I'm just saying that to show that I am no stranger to waiting for a baby.

I still don't know why God made us wait so long for a baby.  Nor do I know why he chose to bless us with this pregnancy at a time I least expected it.  Chalk it up to His mysterious ways, and His perfect timing.

I am so beyond thrilled that we are so close to meeting Scarlett, but there has been a tiny, dark cloud over my entire pregnancy.  And that is the fact that I have friends, blog friends and in-real-life friends, who are still waiting on their miracle baby.  I can't fully be excited when I have friends who are hurting so much while they wait.  My own period of waiting has given me a heart for these women.  

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and I didn't want it to pass without acknowledging the women who are struggling with this disease.  

I also wanted to address the fact that Mother's Day is just a few weeks away.  It's not a happy holiday for everyone.  

Last year, I wrote a post the day after Mother's Day, about how it had gone fantastically and I hadn't felt discontent at all.  

What I hadn't bargained for was a few hours after writing that post, having one of the most alienating experiences of my entire life at a mother-daughter banquet.  

Actually, it wasn't a "mother-daughter banquet."  Our church makes a big deal of calling it a "Daughters of the King" banquet.  That way, every woman feels welcome, whether she has children or not; or whether she has a mother or not.  Usually it's just a fun night to come together, have a catered dinner, and listen to an inspiring speaker.  

Last year the banquet started out great.  I sat at a table with my mom, grandma, aunt, cousins, and a few friends, and we had a great time visiting.  

I wasn't ready for what happened when we entered the sanctuary to hear the speaker, though.  She started out with some funny jokes and anecdotes about motherhood -- how hard it is, and how it takes such a special type of person to be a mother.  In the first five minutes I was choking back tears.  On and on she went about motherhood, and how it was the most difficult and rewarding job anyone could ever be blessed with.  

I was kicking myself for sitting in the front with my friends, instead of in the back with my mom and grandma.  As I felt the hot tears sting my cheeks I felt like everyone was watching me.  I desperately wanted to sneak out of the sanctuary, but didn't want to draw attention to myself.  I felt trapped.  

Her sermon was like the culmination of two years of mourning while waiting to become a mother.  It made me wonder why God didn't think I was ready for this wonderful, difficult, life-changing job.  It made me think there was something so wrong with me, and as I said earlier, it was probably the most alienated I have ever felt in my life as I sat in a room full of so many mothers.  On top of it all was a layer of guilt for having such selfish feelings.

I somehow got my feelings in check, and made myself stop listening to her words for the remainder of the service.  But as I left the room and saw my mom, I started bawling, right there in the middle of everything in the church lobby.  I could not pull myself together.  Luckily I think my grandma and mom were the only ones who saw me crying.  I just left as quickly as possible so I could go home and cry in private.

I am crying fresh tears today remembering how much it hurt.  I know the speaker had only good intentions in preaching about motherhood, but listening to her words was one of the most painful hours of my life. 

I never posted about this experience because it made me feel guilty and immature.  For a long time, I never understood why her words hurt me so badly.  But looking back on it almost a year later, I know that it was okay for me to have those feelings.  And I'm posting it today to show you a little bit about what it's like for someone who is struggling with infertility around Mother's Day.  

I can only imagine the pain is probably equal for someone who has lost a mother, or who doesn't have a good relationship with theirs.  

So if you have a friend who is struggling with infertility, give her an extra hug on May 12.  Send her a text, and let her know you are praying for her.  Be careful about what you share about your own Mother's Day, because it can be like salt in a wound to someone who wants to be a mother more than anything else in the world.

And if you are struggling with infertility this Mother's Day, know that it's okay to be sad.  Don't make yourself feel guilty on top of all the grief.  I don't often advise skipping church, but this might be the one day a year it's okay to have special one-on-one worship time with the Lord at your kitchen table or on your front porch where you won't have to watch the baby dedications, or listen to sermons about motherhood.  Know that there are people who are praying for you, and God has a perfect plan for your life! 

I really believe that Mother's Day will always be a bittersweet day for me.  Obviously I am so excited to be celebrating my first Mother's Day in 2014 with an almost one-year-old.  But I believe that day will also serve as a reminder of the pain I experienced during Mother's Days while waiting, and as a reminder of all my friends who are still struggling with this ugly disease.  

In the end, I know that God has grieved over every tear I've ever shed over this situation, and I have faith that He will use every bit of pain I experienced for His glory.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Fear or Surrender

There is nothing I wanted more in this world than to become a mom.  and I am so blessed that my dream is coming true in a mere 3 months!

However, if I've learned anything in the past 6 months, I've learned that bringing a child into this world brings fear like I never would have imagined. 

For one thing, I already feel like I would do anything to prevent Scarlett from ever getting hurt - physically or emotionally.  

Let's even talk about my cats for a moment.  There have been a few rare occasions when I have accidentally caused them physical pain.  Like the time Ellie was hiding under the bed when I was making it, and I stepped on her tail, causing her to jump up and hit her head on the metal part of our bed frame.  She yelped and ran across the house, and I frantically ran after her to scoop her up and try to make her feel better.  You guys, I even shed a few tears because I felt so bad.  Luke thinks I act ridiculous when things like that happen.  But it's just an innate part of my nature: I want to nurture things.  I want to take the pain away.  

Lately I've been thinking about Scarlett.  As much as I wish I could shield her from pain, I know that is impossible.  She will get scraped and bruised.  She will be betrayed by friends.  She will have her heart broken.  And as much as I wish this wasn't true, I'm sure I will be the cause of her pain at times, too.  

But being afraid of all the pain Scarlett has ahead of her is just the tip of the iceberg.  There's another aspect of this whole parenthood thing that really scares me.  And that is that I have helped to create a human, and 50% of her DNA came directly from me.

Gulp.

Nothing has ever made all of my shortcomings seem so crystal clear.

I find myself praying things like, "God, please don't let Scarlett be timid like me."  "Don't let her be as selfish as I am."  "You can give her my curly hair [she's going to hate me for that when she's 13!] or my girly-ness  but please not my freckles or my awkwardness.  Please don't give her my terrible eyesight or my height.  Or my tendency to worry to the point of making myself sick."

Unfortunately, I don't think it works like that.  I don't think we get to pick and choose the characteristics we pass on to our children.  And while there are certainly traits of mine that I hope Scarlett does not get because I know they've made my own life more difficult, God is the one who's in control of her life.  Not me. I'm sure He has created her with so many sweet traits, and some not-so-desirable ones too.  Because we are human, and we are not perfect.  But God can use our imperfections for His glory, and I pray that He will do that with Scarlett. 

I've been wrestling with these thoughts and fears for weeks, and I had finally felt a peace about it all.  And then the other day I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw post after post about the Boston Marathon.  As the horrific details unfolded, I felt the tears streaming down my face.  And for the second time, I felt a little selfish for wanted to bring another human being into this evil, fallen world.  

(The first time I felt that way was on December 14 -- Sandy Hook).

If the world is this corrupt now, what will it be like when Scarlett is my age?  What will she have to deal with?

It's terrifying if you let yourself think about it too much.

But then God reminded me that, yes, we live in a fallen, sinful world.  

However, we are all made in the image of God.  And for every tragedy happens, there are hundreds of thousands...maybe even millions of people praying over the situation, and doing whatever they can to help.

There is still plenty of good in this world.  And as Scarlett's mother, it is my job to help her find it.  Once again, it goes back to the fact that she is a child of God.  No matter what she faces in this life, He is with her, and He will protect her.  He has a plan for her life.  I am just here to push her in the right direction, and teach her what she needs to know.  

In light of all of that, there is no fear that has any validity.  I might as well stop with the "what ifs" and embrace the fact that I have a powerful God that can answer that question a million times over.

He is the answer.  So I am ready to let go of all these fears! 

Now, I wonder how many times I will have to re-read this post to give myself a pep-talk, as Scarlett and her future siblings grow?  Ha!  If only surrender was a one-time thing.  But I find it to be more of a daily decision.  Here's to many, many days of making that decision as we begin this journey of parenthood in a few months!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Finally, A Day Out!

I have to be honest and say that the winter blues hit me pretty hard this past winter.  I don't even think I realized the extent of it until it started warming up past freezing temperatures in the second week of April, and I started feeling alive again.

It really was a long and very cold winter here in Ohio.  That's something we can say every year, but this year was even worse than normal in that we had no relief from the cold during the entire month of March.  Praise the Lord for the warm weather and sunshine we've seen in the past week!  

Anyway, Luke and I have a tendency to live slightly like hermits in the winter months, because it seems easier than going out in the cold.  But I had been itching to get out and spend some quality time with him.  Especially since these are our last few months just the two of us!

Luckily, last Friday we had some errands to run in the Akron/Fairlawn area, so Luke took the day off and we made a whole date day of it.  I needed that quality time so badly, and I'm so thankful for it!

We started the morning off at The Sweat Pea Cafe for breakfast, after Luke's phone told us to go there. (What did we do before smart phones and the "Around Me" app?)  Luke ordered chocolate chip pancakes that were as big as the plate, and I had an omelette filled with avocado, cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.  I told Luke it was a super food breakfast with all that healthy stuff inside.  The hash browns on the side were delicious, too.  Although admittedly not as healthy!




We tried not to stuff ourselves, because we were meeting my sister and brother-in-law for lunch in 3.5 hours.  To burn calories between meals we did a little shopping.  I found another pair of maternity jeans that actually weren't too long at Motherhood Maternity, and they weren't as expensive as I was expecting, so it was a successful shopping trip!  Other than that, we just browsed and had fun window shopping in stores that we don't have around where we live.  You really realize how limited your choices are in Salem and Alliance when you visit a place like Fairlawn for the day!

Next stop was lunch with Andrew and Julie.  I've had dozens of people tell me that I have to try this burger place called The Rail.  Especially considering that Scarlett apparently wants me to eat her weight in burgers daily.  Anyway, all of The Rail's beef is all local, so that's a win in my book!  The atmosphere was fun, and the food was delicious!  So hopefully we can go again sometime.  


Next stop was the movie theater to see Jurassic Park in 3D.  Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books, and I love the movie too, so I've really been wanting to see the movie again in 3D since it was re-released.  It was totally worth it.  After seeing it many times before, I nearly had a heart attack at least eight times during the 3D version.  Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen.  It is just one of the best suspense-building movies of all time.


After that it was time for a little more shopping, and then we headed home.  We came home and I think we fell asleep around 7.  Seriously, being old and pregnant is hard work.  Or just being old, in Luke's case.  In our defense, we had to be out the door at 6:30 AM to make it to to an appointment that morning, and we had gone to bed later than we should have the night before.  But seriously, you know you're not young anymore when you spend your Friday evening sleeping on the couch.  In fact, Luke turns 29 in a mere 2.5 weeks.  Our twenties are rapidly coming to a close!  ...Along with a lot of our freedom.  But that is something I would gladly hand over after spending 9 years together, just the two of us.  Bring on the babies! 

Regardless, I was glad we got to spend a little time together before Scarlett gets here.  I'm hoping to squeeze as much of that in in the next 3 months as possible!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

26 Week Bumpdate: End of 2nd Tri!

The Bump:
Continuing to grow...according to thebump.com, she's about the size of a head of lettuce.  And I think her mama is growing in areas besides just the belly, but we won't talk about that...

 Since this is my last bumpdate in the second trimester, I did a collage of the bump progression through second tri.  I remember thinking my bump was getting big around weeks 12 and 14!  Haha!  Now I can barely see anything there.
(Somehow I looked bigger 2 weeks ago, but I think it's just the angle of the camera)

Milestones:

I'm down to double digits until my due date!  99 days and counting...

Every day feels like a milestone now...one more day closer to meeting her, and one more day that she has developed and grown

Symptoms:
  • Occasional heartburn, but it seems to have subsided some
  • Still having Braxton Hicks contractions, at least a few every day.  Yesterday I actually was freaking out a little because I was having them so often.  But I never reached the "danger" point where you're supposed to call the doctor, as in, there were never more than 6 in an hour, and they weren't really painful.  After I laid down for the evening, they completely went away until this morning.  I guess it's just my body practicing for the big day, and there is no need to worry!
Cravings:

  • Nothing too extreme, but burgers are always in the back of my mind.  We had some really good ones on Friday at a burger bar called The Rail in Fairlawn


Aversions:
  • Nothing. I'm going to stop adding this section on future bumpdates, because I feel like I would eat anything and everything right now. Although I'm trying not to...
Fun Stuff:
  • Nursery work is officially underway.  The room is painted, and carpet will be installed soon.  Luke also put the crib together, and we ordered a cute name decal for above it.  The decal was Luke's idea, so we can always tell her that was her Daddy's special gift for her room (even though I technically made the final decision on the one we picked).  This is what it looks like, but the letters will be dark gray, and obviously it will say "Scarlett" instead of "Olivia."
    I found it in this shop on Etsy.  The seller has tons of cute decals!
***

Well, that about wraps up the second trimester!  I still have 1 more week, but I'll be in the 3rd trimester next time I post an update!  I was just telling Luke that first tri went by at a snail's pace, but second tri flew by!  I'm sure 3rd tri will probably fly by too, up until I get super uncomfortable.  It's starting to feel so real, and I'm honestly starting to freak out a bit!  We still have so much to do!  I'm sure it will all get done somehow.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Photo Dump

video

This is obviously not a picture, but a video. Scarlett was punching away this morning (her legs have been on the opposite side of my stomach at both ultrasounds, so that's why I'm guessing it's a punch and not a kick) , and I caught her on a very quick video!

Spring is emerging slower than I ever could have imagined this year.  It was 21 degrees when I left my house yesterday morning.  It's been quite depressing if I'm being completely honest.  However, at the end of the day when I emerged from the dungeon practically window-less building where all my classes are, it was sunny and in the 50s!  And the 10 day forecast looks pretty promising, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s for most days.  I was so excited, I had to take a picture while I was at a stop light in Akron yesterday.  I have a thing for blue skies and puffy clouds.

On Tuesday night, I met a friend for dinner, and then decided to do a little shopping for some more maternity pants. It was a bust, to say the least.  I need some dressy pants for clinicals and church.  I'm finding that maternity clothes usually come in simple small, medium, and large sizes, but are all about the same length to fit the height of the "average" woman. Ugh.  I was hoping to avoid expensive stores like Motherhood Maternity, but I'm getting desperate, and I know I'd have more luck there.  My last hope will be Old Navy before I try there.  Being short is such a pain sometimes!  

I was a bit depressed that I had no luck finding any clothes, so I eased the pain by buying something for Scarlett.  I was thinking this might just be a perfect going home outfit since it will probably be so hot in the middle of July!  I thought a cotton onesie would be comfortable for her, and I thought this one was just cute and girlie.  I might end up buying something a little fancier, but I just want her to be comfortable.  I can't believe I'm thinking about a coming home outfit already!  I'm quickly approaching the third trimester-- the home stretch!  I can't wait to meet the little baby we've been waiting YEARS for!  It feels like my whole life has been leading up to this!

I guess that's all I have for today since I already shared all of my Easter/spring break photos.  Happy weekend!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break and Easter Weekend

I am currently coming off of the high that was spring break, 2013.  I had a whole week off from school, clinicals, and homework (that part was my choice, and I don't regret it one bit!), and it was amazing!  I'm glad I only have five more weeks left until the end of the semester, or it would have been really impossible to be back and sit through 5 hours of classes today.

I didn't do anything too out-of-the-ordinary or special for break, and the weather was (and is still) HORRIBLE for a lot of it, but I still really enjoyed the leisure time!  I spent it:

Watching lots and lots of March Madness basketball.  My bracket was going strong until Ohio State choked on Saturday. Basketball is always a good excuse to spend time with friends and eat good food!


...having a date night with Luke where we went out to dinner and crib shopping.  We picked one out, and it should be here in the next few days!

...having another date night with Luke where we bought a new couch and love seat.  I guess it was furniture-buying week for us.  Our sectional that we bought a few years ago just didn't fit quite right in our new living room, and our cats had punctured the heck out of the leather. No more leather furniture for us! Luke and I both agreed that the new stuff is much more comfortable than our old sectional.  The cats think so too!

...stopped at White House on the way home from my doctor's appointment on Friday because Scarlett wanted me to.  That's what I told Luke, anyway.  It's good to use her as an excuse sometimes...

...attended an Easter egg dying party at Luke's aunt's house on Good Friday.  I think I was about 10 years old the last time I colored eggs, so it was fun!  I tried to get creative, and made an ombre egg

...We were lucky enough to enjoy a little bit of sunshine (what's that?) on Friday and Saturday.  

...On Saturday night, my mom, sister, and I had a headband-making party for Scarlett.  Julie made the headband holder.  This is at least a good starter set!  (I hope Scarlett likes headbands, because her mama sure does!)

...on Easter Sunday we went to church, then had lunch with my family, and dinner with Luke's family.  We were on-the-go all day, so when we got home, Luke and I both fell asleep on the couch before 9.  I wonder what holidays like this will be like with a little one to tote around?  I'm going to have to start drinking more coffee after she's here!  Always nice to spend time with family, though, and to celebrate that He is Risen! 


Now I have 5 more weeks of classes in the spring semester, followed by a week-long seminar, and another 4 week summer class.  And then I will officially be done with school until Scarlett is about 5 weeks old!  Where are the brakes?  Time is moving to fast!  And yet too slow at the same time.  How's that for an oxymoron?

I hope you all had a blessed Easter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

24 Week Bumpdate

The Bump:
I'm starting to feel slightly huge.  I'm trying to keep the big picture in mind, and remember that this is a lot smaller than I'll be in July!
I have The Bump app on my phone, and every Monday I get a little reminder of what fruit my baby is the size of.  The first few weeks when the baby was just the size of a poppy seed, then an apple seed, and then a blueberry, I was wishing time would go faster and baby would be comparable to a bigger fruit, like a lemon or an orange.  Well time has moved more quickly than I had imagined it would, and I have officially reached the weeks of what I have dubbed "The Scary Fruits."  This week, baby is the size of a canteloupe.  And it just gets scarier and scarier until we reach the absolutely terrifying watermelon at 39 weeks.  Yikes.

Comparison:

Milestones:

Luke finally felt Scarlett move about a week ago!  I can tell we've hit a growth spurt or something in the past couple of weeks, because her kicks are getting so much stronger!  She startles me sometimes, and I'm often wondering what in the world she is doing in there!

We have officially reached viability week!  That means that if, heaven forbid, I were to go into labor at any point from now on, Scarlett would at least have a chance of surviving outside the womb.  Of course I want her to stay put until I'm at least 37 weeks, but reaching this milestone does feel like a bit of a relief. 

I had my 24 week appointment on Friday and got to see Scarlett on an ultrasound again!

Symptoms:
  • Still dealing with extreme hunger and weepiness
  • Heartburn arrived sometime between weeks 22 and 23.  I only get it at night, usually when I'm laying in bed, no matter what I eat beforehand.  It is only really bad when I roll over or change positions.  The other night I was laying on the couch and it hit me.  I told Luke, "Ugh, it feels like there is acid burning my throat! ...Oh wait, there is acid burning my throat!"  I really have never had heartburn before, so this is all new to me.  And I'll take it a thousand times over before suffering through first trimester nausea again!  I'm trying not to complain about it too much for that reason. 
  • I'm starting to have some Braxton Hicks contractions, usually just once every few days.  It is a really odd feeling, where everything gets extremely tight in my abdomen.  If I touch my stomach during one, it feels very firm, and I can feel where the baby is a lot more distinctly.  They always freak me out a bit, but they're not painful at all, and are totally normal at this stage of pregnancy.   
Cravings:
  • Pass the sugar!  All I want is chocolate these days.  Scarlett must be extra sweet!  
Aversions:
  • I've been really not into cheese lately.  Very strange for me.
Fun Stuff:
  • We ordered a crib!  It should be here in the next few days, and I can't wait to set it up!
  • Nursery plans are coming together.  We're going with a very light bluish gray on the walls, and grey and yellow accents.  No theme, really.  Just simple and feminine. 
  • Also, of course my shower from the girls at school was a totally fun surprise!

I can't believe how fast time seems to be moving!  In a month, I'll be in the third trimester, and then Scarlett will be here before we know it!  I've never felt so scared or so excited about anything in my entire life!