Monday, April 30, 2012

23 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  23 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 8 inches long, weighs a little over 1 pound, and is the size of a papaya.

Total weight gain/loss: I really have no idea how much I weigh at this point.  I'll visit the doctor this week, and then I can determine how much weight I've gained since finding out I was pregnant. 

Maternity clothes:  I've integrated several of the shirts The Best Friend gave me, but I'm still able to wear many of my shirts and dresses.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to make it through the end of May with what I have.  I'd really rather not have to purchase more dresses/shirts for work.  I feel blessed that I have been able to borrow so many things up to this point and that school will be out in just a few weeks. Then, it's shorts, tank tops, sundresses, and flip flops for this girl!

Gender:  We believe she's still a girl, and we'll find out for sure this week. :)

Movement:  I haven't felt her move much this week.  I worry that that means something could be wrong, but I'm trusting that everything is ok and that she's just still small enough to be moving in there without me knowing it.  Did I mention we'll be having an ultrasound this week?! I'm really looking forward to seeing her move lots on that screen! Would you pray that the Little One looks great and perfect and active and that all my insides are knit together like they should be?  Thank you! We appreciate your prayers more than we can ever say.

Sleep:  Sleep, for the most part, has still been going well. 

What I miss: Pretty much everything that being on "pelvic rest" prevents me from doing. 

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes and Salt and Vinegar Chips.  Saturday, our friend Hank came over to hang out and have dinner with us.  I was telling him about my cravings, and he said, "So...pickles and ice cream, huh?" Haha! Clever guy :)  Side note:  For dinner that night, I fixed blueberry pancakes (which were a bit runny and looked more like crepes) and cantaloupe.  And, we had a cheesecake pie for dessert!  Here are some pictures of some less-crepey blueberry pancakes I made a few weeks ago.  Just because.  These were pretty yummy, too, but I must say I did, in fact, enjoy the crepey version the other night. :) I'm incredibly old-fashioned when it comes to fixing these homemade pancakes ;) I follow the Bisquick recipe, add a TON of point in measuring, and sprinkle in some flax seed.  Sometimes, I'll add a drop of vanilla or almond extract.  As for eating them, The Husband and I differ on our pancake preparation routine.  He piles his pancakes one on top of the least 5...(I'll get a picture next time), digs out a giant hole in the center, puts butter, and pours in the syrup.  A lot of syrup.  This is not one of our healthiest meals!  I, on the other hand, get two or three pancakes spread out on my plate, melt LOTS of butter on top of them, then add some shredded cheese on top of each for some extra protein.  The sweet/salty ratio of this meal is so tasty!


Symptoms:  I feel like this is the "Duhn, duhn, duhn...complaining section" of the post, and I don't like that.  I shouldn't complain because I'm so very blessed.  It's just difficult to be on my feet or in a chair for most of the day while my back is spasming and the tendons feel like they're popping and stretching apart in my chest.

Exercise: No gym time; praying, praying, praying that the doctor says everything looks great.  I'd love for her to give me the go-ahead to get back to at least walking/stretching/doing light weights at the gym.  I just feel so...inactive. 

Best moment this week:   I don't know that this week held a "best moment."  I mean the week wasn't terrible; nothing just stands out as spectacular.  Actually, that's not true.  Worship yesterday morning was pretty phenomenal.  I love being a member of our worship team!  So, the "best moment of the week" was worshiping together as the body of Christ.  Have a great week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beautiful weather

Last weekend was so beautiful (really the last few weeks have been so lovely, weather-wise) that The Husband moved the wooden rocking chair in our bedroom out to our balcony, so I could read out there and enjoy the weather.  I stayed out there for at least an hour before my eyes became heavy, and I realized that if I didn't get up and start moving around, I'd fall asleep out there.  Between chapters, I took a few shots of my view.

It was gorgeous outside; perfect temperature, a slight breeze, quiet neighborhood.  Well, mostly quiet.  As  I was reading, I heard a voice from around the corner downstairs say, "If you don't poop, I'm gonna squeeze it out of you!"  Haha, I had to try very hard to stifle the giggle that was threatening to pop out and let that unhappy woman know she and her disobedient dog were not alone!
That's all for now.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

This guy named Hank

Hey y'all!  I have never done a post like this before, but I feel compelledCom-pelled, I tell you.

The Husband and I are friends with a guy named Hank. Well, his name is Henry, but everyone calls him Hank...except his sweet mom.   
Hank joined our church a few years ago, and then he joined the small group we were apart of last year.  Ever since that first meeting, The Husband and Hank have really gotten along well. :) Haha! Can you tell?!
Picture taken by the talented Bethany.  Hank's on the left; The Husband is on the right. mom is eating a strawberry :)
He loves dogs, and he has rescued many over the years.

He's smart and has a great sense of humor.  He's pretty witty!
Haha, they are two of a kind!

He sings with our worship team at church.
He works hard at his job (something to do with computers), and he's also a co-owner of a something-to-do-with-computers business.

He recently sponsored two children through Holt International, and it has changed his life.

He's an amazing friend with a very generous spirit. 
Just a few examples:
~He's volunteered to buy groceries and make dinner for us twice now.  He's a great cook! This last time, he made Shrimp Marsala! Yum!
~He's giving of his time and talents.  He's helped paint the nursery and move furniture.
~He bought a nice mattress for the Little One's baby bed.  Just because.

He's a good listener and a great guy to hang out with!  We love having him over!
Doesn't he have a nice smile?! Um, not The Husband.  I mean, normally, The Husband has a great smile...

But most importantly, he's a follower of Christ.  He walks the walk.  I know this to be true because I see Christ in him often.

And, he has not been snatched up yet by the right girl!! How can this be?

I don't know if anything will come of this post, but I told him that I know God has someone perfect out there for him.  What if she's reading this blog right now?!
If you know of a gal who would like to chat with Hank and get to know the guy we know and love, leave me a message.  None of the messages get posted without me reading them first.  If you'd rather it be private, please say that (I promise not to post it) and send me your name and a way to get in touch with you (email would probably be best).
Go on!
Take a chance.
You never know where God will lead you, and this could be a neat opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and meet someone new and great!

22 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  22 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 8 inches long, weighs about 1 pound, and is the size of a spaghetti squash.

Total weight gain/loss: I suppose I spoke too soon about not being hungry.  I've been eating and eating this week.  The meals (or snacks) are small, but I eat pretty often.  We don't own a scale, and since I haven't visited the gym (it was just a exercising) since Monday, I don't know how accurate my weight gain is.  But as of last Monday night, I have gained *about* 10 pounds so far. 

Maternity clothes:   I'm still able to wear a couple of my pre-pregnancy dresses, several shirts, and one pair of jeans.  I've been integrating in several maternity shirts and shorts into my wardrobe, as well.  The shirt I'm wearing below is one my bestie loaned me.  It's not a maternity shirt; it's just a size larger than I normally wear, but it's just as roomy.   

Gender:  It's still a far as we know.  I joke (but only a little) because a few days ago, a girl I went to high school with (who's a few weeks behind me in her pregnancy) found out that instead of having a girl as they had been told at their last visit to the OB, they were instead having a boy!  We go back in a few weeks for another ultrasound, and I'm hoping to hear the phrase "It's still a girl!" :) I can't explain how happy we are and how much we love the Little One already.  We love saying her name and talking to and about her, and we are ready (but we can wait!) to meet her in 18 or so weeks!

Movement:  Days--I've felt her once or twice during the day, but it's not often.
Night--we both feel her at night when we're lying down.  She's especially active (most nights) during our prayer time.  She gets to kicking while The Husband prays; I think she's joining in :)

Sleep:  I hate to say anything about sleep, but *right now* sleep is going ok. :)

What I miss: The things being on "pelvic rest" prevents me from doing. :(

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes and Salt and Vinegar Pop Chips (or any vinegar chips, really).

Symptoms: I had TWO more spasm-free days this past week!! The days where I have spasms really get to me.  The pain is terrible and often has me lying on the floor throughout the day.  I've also experienced some pain right below my chest on the right side--either due to my skin/muscles/ribs/ligaments being stretched or to something being pushed up into that area.  But I'll take that pain over the muscle spasms in my back any day!

Exercise: I haven't been back to the gym.  It's frustrating because I can feel my body stiffening up.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is for my health and the Little One's.  I really don't want to complain.  I am very aware that I am so blessed to even have the opportunity to belong to a gym, to be a member of a class there, and to enjoy it as much as I do.  I look forward to heading back there when: a) we find out that God had completely knit the amniotic sac to my uterine wall or b) I've recovered from giving birth.  

Best moment this week:  I have to say that feeling the Little One move so much at night has really been a sweet time for The Husband and I to share together.  This pregnancy has brought us even closer, closer than I could have hoped for or imagined, and I'm SO incredibly thankful that God has allowed these moments to take place.  My husband is many wonderful things; this pregnancy has made him even more so...or maybe my pregnancy brain just allows me to see it more! Hah!
As a close second, my parents gifted us with a new sleeper sofa so that we can have overnight guests again!
This is our old couch (not a sleeper sofa).  Goodbye, dear friend.
And, here is our new couch!
 The Little One's nursery used to be the office...which used to be our guest bedroom.  Because of all of the changes that have taken place since our wedding last July (9 months ago today!!), we haven't been able to have guests (family nor friends) sleep over, and I've missed that.
So, the invitation is out there, loved ones!
Have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

21 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  21 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 7 inches long and the size of a large banana.

Total weight gain/loss: I lost a little bit of weight this week (probably due to the fact that I'm not nearly as hungry as I have been). So, taking that into account, I've gained 8 1/2 pounds so far.  

Maternity clothes:   Pre-pregnancy dresses, shirts, and one pair of jeans; maternity shirts and shorts

Gender:  We're having a girl! It's so nice to finally be able to use those feminine pronouns. :)

Movement:  We've felt sweet baby girl move lots this week.  Last night, while we were praying and The Husband had his hand on my belly, she was kicking and moving up a storm.  It was a really precious moment and one I won't forget any time soon.  

Sleep: Sleep has become tricky lately.  I am resting, but the last few days, I haven't been resting well, so I'm pretty exhausted throughout the day. 

What I miss: The things being on "pelvic rest" prevents me from doing. :(

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  AND, I have been craving chips that are vinegar flavored like nobody's business.  I have no idea why! My favorites are Sea Salt and Vinegar Pop Chips.  A-mazing!

Symptoms: I had TWO spasm-free days this past week!! They were awesome days, and I'm hoping and praying there will be many more of those days to come. :)

Exercise: No trips to the gym this week.  I have been stretching and trying to keep my muscles loose, but I can definitely tell flexibility-wise and strength-wise that I haven't done any actual exercise in a while.  

Best moment this week:  Oohh, I think it's gotta be a tie between (1) our Gender Reveal Party with all the excitement, generosity, and happiness that filled the atmosphere and (2) the times The Husband and I feel her move and kick together.  Love it!

**Just for funsies, search for "17 weeks" in the search box, and you can see me wearing the same dress.**
That's a lot of growth in just four weeks! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The post in which I reveal the gender of our baby...

Today, we had our Gender Reveal Party.  The party in which the gender of our baby was revealed to all who attended.  We, after our last appointment and ultrasound, decided that praying for our baby by name was of great importance to us.  So, we opened the sealed envelope with the baby's picture inside and found out for ourselves the gender of our baby.  We began praying for the Little One by name, and to me that was a huge blessing.  It's been quite difficult, though, not referring to the baby by a certain gender-specific pronoun!


But, people, the wait is over!

And, we couldn't be more pleased!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Take a guess!

Our Gender Reveal Party is coming up VERY soon, so I thought it would be fun to see what you think the gender of our baby is.

Please cast your vote on the poll at the end of this post, and then if you have time, I'd love if you'd leave a comment saying which one you guessed and why. :) 

Did my morning sickness clue you in?  Was it the shape/size of my belly?  Was it my cravings or my crazy mood swings or the horrible back spasms I've been experiencing?

Ok, and you're off! Cast away!
(Haha, that was one of my least favorite Tom Hanks movies...that and Sleepless in Seattle, but movie choices are a topic for a different day! But hey, if you'd also like to comment below on your least favorite Tom Hanks movie, then by all means, feel free!  *Side note*  I really do like Tom Hanks movies...just not those two.)

Which gender do you think our baby is? free polls 

Monday, April 9, 2012

20 Weeks--Halfway There

Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  20 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 6.5 inches long and the size of a small cantaloupe.

Total weight gain/loss: I've gained 9 pounds so far.  

Maternity clothes:   Pre-pregnancy dresses, shirts, and one pair of jeans; maternity shirts and shorts

Gender:  Our Gender Reveal Party is next weekend, and the baby's gender will be revealed to all!

Movement:  Monday afternoon I felt a few kicks and flutters, and I felt them again on Wednesday and Thursday.  That was very exciting! 

Sleep:  I'm sleeping pretty well; the sinus congestion and frequent trips to the bathroom are preventing me from sleeping through the night, but the sleep I am getting seems to be doing the trick.

What I miss:  Sitting or standing for long periods of time without back pain.

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  

Symptoms:  My back pain is still there; although Thursday was a back-pain-free day!  Friday, I made it until we were standing at the front of the church singing that night before the pain started up again.  I just have to take more resting breaks.  I have to lie down when I feel it start to come on.  This is going to be difficult while teaching, but I can't go all day long suffering with the back spasms as I have.  It's stressful and painful, and I definitely don't want either of those things transferred to the baby in any way.

Exercise: I went twice to the gym.  It looks like I'll be cutting WAY back on exercise.  Which is upsetting.  I know, though, that it's so important to the well-being of the Little One.   

Best moment this week:  Seeing our sweet baby on the ultrasound screen and watching those darling arms and legs move around.

Easter morning, I had three dresses picked out.  I just knew that ONE of them would fit.  Wrong. :(  This is the only summery/spring-time dress I could fit into because of my expanding ribcage.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


How am I today?
Uplifted by the prayers being said on our behalf. You can never know what it means to me knowing that there are so many out there bowed before our good and gracious King on behalf of our Little One.

How am I today?
Anxious for what this new development in my pregnancy could mean for the health of our baby.  I've cried more than once today, and it's only 10:45.

How am I today?
Feeling guilty for doing too much; feeling guilty for doing too little.  Around the house.  At work.  At the gym.  What if it was something I did?  But I can't go there; because if I go there, I'll stay in that place of worry. That's not a place I long to be.

How am I today?
Filled to the brim with love for this child.  This child. And thankful.  Hopeful and thankful, yet again, that God has chosen us to raise and nurture and love and lead this blessing.   Daddy and I love you soooo much, Sweet Baby.

How am I today?
Today, readers, I am joyful.
Last night, the eve of Good Friday, The Husband and I were at church.
We sang and reflected and heard once more of the GREAT love our Savior has for us.

How He CHOSE to give up His life (He wasn't murdered).

How He CHOSE to be rejected and beaten and cursed (which fulfilled prophecy...Isaiah 53 is an awesome chapter to read.  It was written around 600 years before the birth of Christ, and yet it speaks SO clearly of what would happen when the Messiah came).

How He CHOSE to willingly do it FOR, me, everyone who would accept this gift.

The headmaster of the school I get to teach in mentioned Psalm 22 at our last faculty meeting.  I had never heard before what I am about to type, but if you have, please bear with me.

As Jesus hung on the cross...a sinless, perfect He hung there weighed down by the sins of all mankind, he quoted from Psalm 22.  Our headmaster said that before there were chapters and verses to refer to in scripture, the people had to memorize it.  The scripture.  It was their history and their stories and their songs.  It meant something to them.
Because of this memorization, when they needed to refer to a section of scripture, they would say the first line, and others would know what part they were referring to.
So, when Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?," it seems as if He was referring to Psalm 22.  He didn't quote the entire chapter out loud, but He did end with "It is finished," which is incredibly close to "He has done this."  Please read the whole chapter--it's not a long chapter, but it has soooo much in it.  Look closely at verses 16-18.  Wow!  Scripture is powerful stuff.  What's more amazing is that Christ fulfilled that prophecy and much much more.   FOR US.

So, how am I today?
Grateful for His grace.
Thankful for His sacrifice.
Overwhelmed by the remembrance of His victory and soon-return. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Loved.  Oh-so-loved.

Happy Easter, my friends.
May you remember the gift that was given so long ago, and may you look forward to the return of our Risen Savior and King.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ultrasound Update & Prayer Request

**Updated with video of the ultrasound at the bottom.  The last shot in the video is the latest picture we have of the Little One. There is a song that plays in the background (one of my favorite Selah songs), and to enlarge the video, you can click the button on the bottom right.**

This is more for my sanity than it is for anything else.
I'm writing out the events of today's doctor's appointment and ultrasound so that I don't have to keep rehashing it for those who ask.
And, so that our friends and family can begin praying specifically.

It's been a long day.
Before we left for our appointment
Here goes:
The appointment started with my weigh-in (up 9 pounds so far) and blood pressure check (normal).   Then, we heard the heartbeat, which was wonderful (145 bpm).  We headed into the ultrasound room after waiting a bit.
The doctor came in, asked a few questions, (we told her there had been more bleeding this past weekend), and she began the ultrasound.

The good news:
1. The baby looks healthy!
2. The level of amniotic fluid is good.
3. The piece of placenta the doctor thought she saw near my cervix last time has either moved or was never there to begin with.

The other news:
1. We don't know what has caused the bleeding.
2.  My amniotic sac and my gestational sac never fused together like they were supposed to.
3. My amniotic sac hasn't attached to the uterine wall, which means the amniotic sac that houses the baby inside my uterus is just floating around in there.

#3 is the real issue.
Because it's not attached, and is therefore not quite stable, there's a higher risk of pre-term labor.   The chances of my water breaking are much higher than if the amniotic sac were attached.  I'm only 19 1/2 weeks right now.  Pre-term labor is not something I want to even think about.


So, the doctor has put me on pelvic rest.  Probably for the rest of the pregnancy.  *Ahem* those "special" moments with The Husband are banned and exercising is out.  She said to basically "veg out" this pregnancy.  However, she did say I can walk (just not at a quick pace), so  I will continue going to the gym and will continue to take advantage of their air-conditioned track.  I'll also do the stretches before and after because I know it's beneficial.  I need to ask her when we go for our next appointment and ultrasound in a month about swimming this summer (though The Best Friend says the doctor will probably nix that, as well).

I am *incredibly* grateful that the baby is healthy, that there's plenty of amniotic fluid, and that I'm not having to be on bed rest.  I can continue working, which is a huge blessing in itself.

For those of you who pray:
1. Please approach the Throne of Grace with thanksgiving.  We received three pieces of very good news!
2. Please petition God for a miracle.  We are praying and believing that His hands, the mighty hands that have knit the Little One together so perfectly, would knit my amniotic sac with my uterine wall and that He would prevent any more bleeding from occurring.
3. Please, please (this is THE most important one) pray that our Almighty God would be glorified in all of this.  

God is good!

Thank you all so much for loving us and walking this road alongside us.