32 Weeks Tomorrow

31 weeks and 6 days was as far as we got when I was pregnant with Leeland, so tomorrow we enter uncharted territory. I can hardly believe it! In the last few weeks, we made our registry at Target, had a baby shower, painted the baby room, set up the crib, and picked a name – Finley Isaiah.

Time has been moving quickly lately. I imagine it’s because I feel mostly good most of the time. I’ve started having a hard time getting comfortable to sleep at night, I have heart burn pretty frequently, and my back is sore sometimes, but beyond that, I still feel good.

This pregnancy has been so different than what I thought it would be. I imagined I would cry every day thinking of Leeland, but I haven’t. I have had days where I’ve cried missing him, but it’s not every day.

I think one of the hardest things about loss is the forgetting. I was thinking about my sister a while ago, and I realized I don’t remember her voice at all anymore. I can’t remember her laugh or the way she walked. I wish we had the technology back then to take videos on our phones any time. I could have captured those things.

Our time with Leeland was so short. He was only alive in my belly. I thought I would be so sad when I got pregnant again, but carrying his brother has been a gift of remembering for me. Sometimes I close my eyes with my hands on my belly and just go back in time for a moment. I didn’t even realize until Finley started being wiggly that I had forgotten what it felt like when Leeland moved in my body. Finley sits differently and moves differently than Leeland most of the time, but sometimes I get a sweet glimpse of when his big brother was still alive, and I am so thankful for those moments.

We have another appointment in Iowa City this week to see how the placenta is looking. At our last appointment, my doctor wasn’t worried about it implanting too deeply anymore and Finley is looking great, but my placenta was closer to my cervix than he was comfortable with, so he will be checking to see if it has moved out of the way. Worst case scenario would be a C-section in a few weeks if it doesn’t move out of the way, but we are praying that it’s moved, and I’ll be able to deliver naturally at full term.

We’ve getting excited to meet our boy!

 

Ultrasound Day! It’s a…

Yesterday marked 21 weeks already – over halfway! That doesn’t seem possible, but here we are. Jamin can feel the baby move now!

I have been completely blown away by the generosity shown to us by our friends from the early miserable weeks to now. We had our anatomy scan in Iowa City yesterday, and some friends bought us a hotel room 5 min from the hospital for Sunday night, so we wouldn’t have to battle the weather or cancel the appointment. I am so thankful for the people in our lives!

Jamin and I have prayed daily for this baby and that everything would look normal with my placenta and know that many others have also prayed for us. We were both excited to find out the gender, but we also knew this appointment would tell us if there would be complications with delivery if the placenta had implanted too deeply in my uterine wall.

It’s a miracle. The doctor said nothing looks abnormal with the placenta. He isn’t worried about any complications, and even gave us the option to deliver locally! We decided that going to Iowa City would still be best because they are the experts if anything does go awry at delivery. The chances of the placenta implanting improperly increase when there is any abnormal tissue in the uterus, and not even two years ago, my entire uterus was full of scar tissue, and even after the surgery to clear it out, the entire right side was still full, but God is a healer. The placenta is attached on the right/back side of my uterus and found healthy tissue to attach to! Thank you, Jesus!

We got some great pictures of the baby, and it was so cool seeing it move on the ultrasound screen and being able to feel the movement, too. The doctor told us that the baby looks great and totally normal!

Nose and lips

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From the beginning, I thought we were having a girl. Jamin initially thought it was a boy, then switched to a girl.

Thankfully, my sister solved her puzzle to find out the gender last night, so we don’t have to keep it a secret…

We are excited to announce that it’s a boy!

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We still don’t have a name for him, yet, but it is so great getting to say, “him,” and not, “it,” anymore! It’s crazy to wrap my mind around having two sons now. We are so excited!

Jamin is going to get started on his room, and we will make a registry soon – both things we never got to do for his brother.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, and, please, continue to do so in the months to come.

19 Weeks and Weird Dreams

Monday was the 19 week mark for this pregnancy. Only two more weeks until we find out the gender of the baby!

My 20 year old sister asked if we would tell her first. I told her, “probably not,” so she asked if I would make a puzzle or something for her to figure out. Naturally, I went to work seeing if I could find some puzzle safe with a secret code to put a note in, but I decided I didn’t want to spend any money, so I made a cryptex safe out of cardboard and popsicle sticks. It’s pretty sweet. Unfortunately, making the elaborate puzzle for her means we won’t be making a public statement about what we are having until she figures out the code for it.

I’ve dreamt of having the baby twice. I never had vivid dreams like this with Leeland, and I don’t remember most of my dreams when I’m not pregnant, so it’s strange to wake up and remember almost every detail of all my dreams. In this dream, I went into labor and we knew we wouldn’t make it to the hospital in Iowa City, so we stopped at some small town hospital. There was green shag carpet in every room, and I was really concerned about the cleanliness of it. We had a girl and I remember naming her Emie, then I was really upset because I realized I wouldn’t know who people were talking to for the rest of my life because it is so close to my name – and that’s not even a name on our radar. The doctor weighed her and she weighed 4 pounds, and I was mad again because we are skipping the infant car seat and have a convertible one that can hold babies as little as 5 pounds. I couldn’t believe we would have to buy an infant for just a couple weeks of use!

Some of my dreams have been hilarious and fun like the one where my brother found an orphaned kitten. I asked him to let me raise it because I would do a better job than him. When he brought it over, though, it was NOT a kitten. It was a baby gorilla, and I begged him to let me keep it because I’ve wanted to have a baby gorilla since I was little.

Other dreams have been stressful or even scary, but, thankfully, those don’t happen too often.

I think I’ve felt a couple tiny flutters of the baby moving, but they are so infrequent it’s hard to know for sure. I expect they will be happening more and more soon enough because I remember I was about 19 weeks when I first felt Leeland move.

Oh, and we purchased what will be our diaper bag! I’m pretty excited about it; I’ll write more about it later.

15 Weeks Already

The last couple weeks have flown by! The first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant went by very slowly because I felt horrible, but week 14 brought quite a bit of relief from the nausea I was experiencing, and I’m getting some energy back. I’ve had a few bad days here and there, but feel mostly good now!

My next appointment is in a little over a week, then it will only be a month until we go to Iowa City for the 20 week ultrasound, and we will find out the baby’s gender. Some people enjoy the surprise of waiting until the birth, but I am not some people.

I’m excited to know what we are having, so Jamin (yes, Jamin has taken this job on himself) can start working on a nursery. My husband likes to say that he is a pacer and I’m a sprinter. That means I like getting things done fast, so I can cross them off my list even if that means spending 12 hours on a single Saturday to get it done. Jamin likes to take his time – an hour here and there – until the job is done. It could takes weeks or months, so I am excited for him to get started, just in case it takes months.

We will also start working on our registry once we know what we are having.

It’s strange to be thinking about those things because we didn’t get to do either when I was pregnant with Leeland.

In the last week we also discovered that we have a Houdini baby on our hands. I don’t really look pregnant, yet – mostly like I ate too much for lunch – but when I lay down with a full bladder, you can definitely tell there is a baby in there. As soon as my bladder is empty, though, the bump disappears!

The baby will double in size in the next month, so I’m sure I’ll be showing all the time very soon. For now, I’m laying on my stomach every chance I get and enjoying being able to breathe while I lay on my back.

Week 12: The Good, The Bad, and The Better

Pregnancy is already an emotional roller coaster, but, man, the last week has been a lot.

Week 11 began with me still scrambling to find a local doctor who would be willing to do shared care with my doctors in Iowa City. Bonnie at UIHC is an angel. She works in release of information, and I emailed her about 8 times asking her to send my records all over the place, and she did it right away!

As I called every provider in the area, I braced myself for a lot of rejection.

Then the black Friday ads came out. I don’t care about shopping, but I love a good deal. Jamin is all about finding the good deals on black Friday. We aren’t crazy, though. We go out when it’s convenient for us and if the deals are still there, great! As I scanned the ads, I saw something.

I don’t always think about the life growing in me (maybe that’s terrible, but it’s true). Most of the time, I’m just trying not to throw up. But sometimes I think about this baby and what life will look like and all the things we will need. I enjoy researching products. I don’t like to spend my money, so if I have to, I want to make sure I am getting a great product. One day, that led me to researching car seats. I had decided what the best one was, but it was over $300!

So when I saw it on sale for 50% off at Target for black Friday, I knew I wanted to get it.

But then the enemy came whispering in my ear like he does so often. You might not know, but he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s not a nice guy. He’s a real butt hole, and when I first saw that car seat, he tried to make me ignore it.

“How do you even know you’ll need that?”

“You are at high risk for miscarriage, and you’re not out of the clear yet.”

“Don’t tell Jamin. He’ll want to get it, too. You know the terrible ways that pregnancy can end. You really want to be stuck with a car seat if it comes to that?”

“Isn’t it a little too soon to be making plans?”

What I’ve learned, though, is the best way to shut him up is to do exactly what he says not to, so I told Jamin, and he said we should try to get it, and the enemy lost that battle.

But as we made our game plan for getting the doorbuster car seat, those whispers came back. There were a couple times that I thought about saying, “let’s just forget about it.”

It was out of stock at the first store we checked. Then it was out of stock at the second one, even though their inventory showed they had two left. In my desperation to get it half off, I even checked the stores in Vegas (my brother couldn’t believe I was going to send him on a car seat run – and I would have if they hadn’t been out of stock EVERYWHERE). I checked in Arkansas and Tennessee where my brother and my dad live, and it was out of stock there, too.

We came up empty handed by the time Saturday came along (aside from the TV we bought that barely fit in our car, but that’s a story for another time). In one final attempt to snag the doorbuster deal, I checked where in the entire country this was in stock, and it showed Sioux City, Iowa, which just so happens to be where my best friend since childhood lives! She got there just as they were unpacking a new shipment in the baby aisle, and sent me a picture to see if it was the one I wanted. IT WAS!!!!! We got the freaking car seat!

Later that night I got a message from Melissa, the woman who photographed Leeland’s birth, congratulating us on my pregnancy. I had been wanting to get in touch with her because Jamin and I decided after we had Leeland that, if I ever got pregnant again, we wanted her to photograph the birth, and she said she would! I am so excited to have her with us again.

On Sunday, I felt like crap. I was exhausted, had a headache, and felt like I could throw up all day. I took a 3.5 hour nap and still didn’t feel better. It was probably the worst I have felt so far. I was just glad that I didn’t have to work that day.

Then yesterday. Ohhhhh, yesterday.

Yesterday was rough. I felt nauseous all day, and I got my first rejection call from a doctor. I gotta say, I don’t know if there is anything that makes you feel like something is wrong with you more than a doctor saying they don’t want to take on your case.

I have also been eating Greek yogurt for breakfast every day for the last month and a half, but, yesterday, my gag reflexes decided it was too thick for me to eat anymore. I only ate half. And I noticed that this bad taste I’ve had in my mouth for a while was getting worse. Any time there isn’t food in my mouth it tastes horrible. Brushing my teeth doesn’t help. Swishing mouth wash helps just long enough for me to go to sleep at night.

But last night I woke up twice and had to drink some water because my mouth tasted so bad!

That brings us to today.

I have felt physically horrible today. This nausea usually comes and goes throughout the day, but it has been constant today. I tried yogurt again this morning, hoping that yesterday was just a fluke. It was not. And that stupid bad taste is still in my mouth,

BUT…

I got TWO calls today from TWO local doctors saying that they would see me! One could fit me in as early as tomorrow! Thank you, Jesus!

I was really hoping that week 12 would bring a little relief from symptoms, but instead it brought me a doctor, so I guess I’ll take that for now.

His Peace Wins

About a week ago I was walking down the stairs to my basement and I said, “Jesus, thank you that I am so full of peace right now.”

I wasn’t doing any sort of self examination or anything. The thought just came to my mind, so I said it out loud.

After I said it, I started doing some reflection. Continue reading “His Peace Wins”

9 Weeks Tomorrow

I can’t lie. When they told me I was only 8 weeks along last week, I was disappointed because pregnancy has been rough, and that meant I had at least another month of the really hard stuff. And I know that some people would say, “you should just be grateful you can even get pregnant” or “a lot of people would love to feel sick knowing they were having a baby.” But can I just say this? If I were a billionaire with constant explosive diarrhea, I should be allowed to complain about my diarrhea every now and then, and it wouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s still nice being a billionaire. I feel like it’s the same with pregnancy. I should be able to complain a little bit about feeling nauseous almost all day and being crazy tired without it taking away from the fact that, yes, it is cool that I’m growing a human. The miracle of pregnancy is not lost on me.

I wasn’t sick during the first trimester at all with Leeland, but I was sick every day after the first trimester. That sickness was different, though. I could manage it as long as I ate something every 5 minutes. This time around I haven’t really been able to find anything that helps consistently. I’m sure the only reason I haven’t puked is because I am willing myself not to. My brain is stronger than my stomach! And I have food aversion this time around. Never had that with Leeland, either. Most of my favorite foods are totally off limits and others are touch and go depending on the day. Chocolate is pretty repulsive to me right now, and pizza has only been successful once. I’ve had vegetables twice in the last 3 weeks! How sad is that?!

I’ve been dreaming WAY more frequently than usual. I’ve had one dream that the baby was a boy and two that it was a girl and also a dream that I was a black woman. In one dream, I named her Amy. My sister says she is “team Amy Jr 2019,” and I think that infiltrated my dream.

Being pregnant with Leeland taught us how to live day to day out of necessity. We just didn’t know which one would be our last, so it was hard to look beyond the day we were living. It’s another reason I am thankful for him and his life. Because I have found myself doing that, but not because I have to. I am expecting that we will make it full term with a healthy baby, but I want to live day to day, too.  I don’t want to take it for granted and rush through these weeks just because I feel like junk. There is something freeing about just living in today. I’ve found myself imagining what life will be like a year from now, and that’s okay, too, but I really like being able to be right where I am without letting fear or impatience take me to a day that hasn’t even come.