On Patience and Letting Go

Dear London,

I have said it before and I will say it again- you are my biggest adventure. 

My biggest life lesson.

My biggest lesson on patience.

My biggest teacher on learning to let go of control.

On Monday morning we had a scheduled appointment for a non-stress test to make sure you were doing well and staying healthy at 41 weeks. They hooked me up to the monitor with one strap monitoring your heart beat and another strap to monitor me and record any contractions. They strapped me up and left me and your dad in the room for 30 minutes while we listened to your sweet little heart beat. While we were listening, I noticed that my stomach was for lack of better words, balling up and moving up high. I thought that was you trying to get away and move up from the heart monitor because you always seem to wiggle away when they listen to you. I remember exclaiming to your Dad how intense it felt and how strange it was for you to move up like that. Every time “you moved” the line on my monitor would shoot up like a mountain. When the midwife came back in, she looked at the print out of the test and said “Girl, you are contracting!”. I looked at your Dad in disbelief and laughed. I wasn’t in any pain, it was just extremely uncomfortable and weird feeling. The midwife needed to monitor us a little longer so she once again left the room. While she was gone, I begun to recognize the rhythm of the pressure waves and they seemed to be getting more and more intense. Once she came back in, she asked if I would like to be checked (for dilation) and I agreed. She declared that I was 50% effaced and 2cm dilated, almost 3. I was a little disappointed by that but glad that there was some change since the last time I was there. She asked if I wanted my membranes swept to encourage more dilation and said that since I was already contracting that this would be a good time to try to kick things into gear. I agreed once again and almost immediately regretted it. I was not expecting the extreme amount of pain that followed. I had not prepared my mind for it. I had read up on the procedure before and it was described as a gentle sweeping of the bags of water from the cervix. I thought it would feel much like a dilation check. I was very wrong. It tried breathing through it but totally forgot to turn to my hypnosis because it happened so quickly. I quickly began doubting that if getting my membranes swept was this bad that there was no way I could give birth to a big ole’ baby! Once she left the room, I crumbled into your Dad’s arms and cried. Partly, because I was in a lot of pain but mostly because I felt like I had already failed and surrendered to a medicated birth.

He reminded me that I didn’t use my hypnotherapy and that I was contracting while she was sweeping my membranes. He gave me a major pep talk and reassured me that I could still do this and be true to my birth plan and hypnobabies method. That Dad of yours, is true knight in shining armor.

By the time we got the car in the parking lot, my pressure waves were so very intense and I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive home. (Your Dad and I drove separately because he was supposed to go to work straight after.) I wasn’t even ready to be driven home; the thought of riding passenger while these pressure waves were going on was unbearable. So your Dad and I sat in the car for a good 30 minutes and waited to see what would happen. Finally, I realized we just needed to get home so that I could stretch out and get more comfortable. So off we went, and by the time I got home the pressure waves were still consistent but not as intense. I soaked in the tub for a while and listened to my hypnobabies tracks and instantly felt relaxed and calm. I really begin to enjoy the fact that I could identify when a pressure wave was starting and when it started to roll away. It gave me confidence that I could anticipate them and get into the rhythm of them. I also got excited because I really felt that you were coming soon.

This went on for hours and hours. I moved around and practiced different positions but I was surprisingly most comfortable when I was laying on my back. I felt like I could focus better and control my deep breathing better. The intensity of the pressure waves varied. There were waves of very intense, long pressure waves, sometimes coming in 2 at a time- before one would dissolve another surge would rush in. Those were especially exhausting because I didn’t get to rest in between them. Others would be weaker and not as long. Around 4:45 I noticed them coming in quicker and more intense. They were a minute or less apart and lasting about 3 minutes. That’s when I told your Dad to go ahead and pack up the remaining toiletries because I felt like the real deal was going to happen. I wanted to make sure that this was in fact the real deal so we waited a couple more hours and kept track with pressure waves. They remained the same rhythm and so we called my Mom and let her know that she probably should head our way because we were thinking about going to the hospital soon. Your Dad was great about calling the midwives and communicating what was happening. Once Mum Mum got there, my pressure waves had reached a new intensity and the pressure and sensations were no longer confined to my abdomen but ran all the way into my legs and were rolling in quicker. My Mom and Lucas knew it was time to go and without saying anything Lucas left the bedroom and called the midwives and I broke down in tears. I cried not because of the intensity I was feeling but because I allowed fear to creep in- I was nervous for what was to come and in my mind I knew it was time to go to the hospital.

The midwife told us to come on over so she could check me to see if I had dilated since that morning. So in record time, we all calmly got in the car. Your Mum-Mum sat behind me and massaged my shoulders and hummed which kept me calm and collected and I continued to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks. We checked into Triage and I was pretty disappointed in how we were handled. I was told that I was already pre registered since I was a midwife patient and that all I would have to do is let them knew who I was. That was far from the case. I barely could focus enough to fill in the form and then a gruff man that wreaked of smoke begrudgingly led me through a series of electronic forms to sign. This is not what I expected and standing through my pressure waves while trying to be conscience enough to sign my name a million times was proving to be difficult. I was then led by a nurse to my room in Triage where she asked me to put on a hospital gown. I had decided a long time ago to wear my own clothes for various reasons- self empowerment, not feeling like a sick patient, comfort and I didn’t want my ass to be hanging out when I wanted to walk the hallways. The nurse immediately was taken a back from my request (I asked if I could wear my own dress) and she told me it would be easier if I wore the gown. The usual passive Sydney would have relented and would have put on the gown to avoid conflict, but Mama Bear Sydney came out and I looked her in the eye and politely told her that I would be more comfortable wearing my own clothes. She again was taken aback by my assertiveness but didn’t challenge me about it again. I surprised myself a bit but was glad that something in me was able to communicate my needs. Mum Mum and your Dad were not happy how I was treated by the Triage staff either but all became better once the Midwife and Midwife student came in. I was totally reassured by their peacefulness, genuine concern and communication. The mood of the entire room changed and I knew I was in good hands. They monitored us both again with the non stress test and I continued to have pressure waves, though they seemed to be dwindling in intensity. The midwife checked my dilation and I was still at a 2. I knew then, that this wasn’t real labor because the 8 hours of pressure waves hadn’t caused me to dilate. They asked me to walk the hallways for a hour and come back to be checked again to see if there was any change. I accepted then and there that I would be sent home and didn’t think walking the hallways was necessary but I followed their advice for good measure. Once the nurse and midwives left the room, my Mom commented on how different the attitudes of the triage staff were compared to my midwives- she said she could tell the midwives genuinely loved what they did and were passionate about it whereas my nurse seemed to be just counting down the hours to her paycheck. It definitely was a night and day difference and who knows, maybe I came in at the end of a shift change and she had had a long day but nonetheless, I was thankful and reassured by my decision to be cared for by the midwives.

Your Dad and Mum Mum walked around the hallways for a hour with me while I stopped and breathed through pressure waves. I could feel them lighten and roll in further a part. We got a good idea of the layout of the 4th floor though and peeked in a few of the postpartum rooms. When the hour was up we went back and I was checked again and just as I had expected, there was no change but she did say that your head had come down further. She said that she recommended a sleeping pill so that I could get some rest and sleep through the pressure waves so that if real labor was to start, I would be well rested. She also ordered me to eat a meal since I had only snacked on little things all day. So, I agreed to the sleeping pill and we stopped and ate before we headed home. Once my head hit the pillow, I was out and only got up a couple of times (compared to the 5 or 6 times I usually have to go) to use the restroom. When I woke that morning, the pressure waves had gone and I knew I had officially been faked out. Mum Mum had stayed the night in case labor was pending so she decided to stay with me the entire day and go walking with me to try to jump start things again.

So off to the Franklin Square we went and we walked and walked and walked. It was unbearably hot so once we walked the entire down town of Franklin, we decided to walk in the cool air of the Cool Springs Mall. Again, we walked and walked and walked until I could walk no more. We headed home where we both crashed and took a nap. Your Dad took the day to spend with Gramps (his Dad) and his cousin. I was glad he was able to have some guy time after being so involved and hard working the day before. Once he came home Mum Mum decided it was time for her to head back home and told us to call her if she needed to turn around. I knew you wouldn’t come last night.

As we laid down to go to sleep last night, you became more active than I have ever felt you before. Your movement as of late has slowed down and changed because the lack of room but last night I suppose you decided to test your confines. You kicked me hard and dug into my ribs and pelvis and it felt as if you were beating me up from the insides. At times, I yelped out loud because of your aggressiveness. Your Dad couldn’t believe how wildly you were moving and how you made my stomach contort every which way. This continued for quite some time and there was no way you were going to let me sleep. Thankfully, you settled down and I must have crashed. I woke up this morning feeling defeated and feeling the time constraint of your impending medical induction.

2 more days. 

I never ask for prayer but last night as your were practicing kick boxing, I called out in a lonely Facebook status for prayer that you would come on your own.

strongly want nothing to do with a scheduled induction for so many reasons. I really don’t want to start medical induction that could very well lead to the downward hill of many interventions. More than anything, I do not want Pitocin because of it’s many horrible side effects to baby and Mom. And with Pitocin, natural pain free labor is nearly impossible and I have prepared and prepared to have you naturally because I really believe it is what is best for us. I do not judge anyone who has gone the medicated route one bit. For some, it is the best way to go for their situation. I do not want others to think that I think I’m some how above medical intervention because if it comes to it then I will have to submit and let go. It won’t be easy for me, especially since I feel so passionate about letting nature take its course but I will trust my guidance from the midwives and our carers. I just want to give you the best possible start to life- I realize how important that is. I also realize that there are completely wonderful and healthy moms and babies born every day that under go medical intervention. In fact, the majority of American moms and babies do.

Letting go of the control is just a very difficult lesson for me to go through. If your anything like me, you will come to these mountains and have to face them too. Right now, it’s hard for me to see the peak but I’m trying to let go and trust. For someone who doesn’t believe that “everything happens for a reason” it’s hard to hear the comments that this is all God’s plan. I don’t sign up to the theology that everything is predetermined and we are just puppets on a string being played out by some god. I believe God exists and lives within each of us and when we recognize this we become active participants of bringing forth the Kingdom of God on Earth. Ultimately, it is our decisions and the way we live our lives that cultivates the love of God in our communities and homes and makes God alive and real. So, at times, it’s very hard for me to just be side lined and say God’s plan will prevail. I do understand though, that there is a balance to be found. That although it is I who can directly accept the God in me to live through my life and callings, that I also must submit to the Spirit’s whisper, quietness and calm. Because I am a go-getter and I push to make things happen, I have to be so intentional about allowing God to move within me rather than trying to make God move. It’s my stubborn nature that gets in the way of being patient and letting myself go to God’s spirit and I already see my stubbornness in you. Your poor Dad has no chance!

So as I’m learning one of the hardest life lessons, I see and feel the God in me more than ever. I recognize the phrase “Namaste” which means the God in me sees the God in you in a completely new and deeper way. I understand better that the God in you is already cultivating a deeper relationship to the God that lives in me and is challenging me to be more receptive of the God spark that resides in each of us.

My dear little one (although the midwife estimates that you will be at least 9 pounds of wonderfulness!), I hope your Dad and I and our community as a whole allows you to cultivate the God spark within you in the way that you can relate to and understand. I hope we can find the balance of not forcing our views and beliefs on you but give you the tools, confidence and curiosity to pursue your own truth.  I hope you don’t allow your stubbornness hinder your opportunities to love deeper, understand better and trust within. But if you do, I hope that when the real hard life lessons present themselves, you choose to let go and be patient with yourself and others and allow yourself to learn.

Whether you come on your own, or medical induction becomes necessary, I know that I will have my sweet London June in my arms by this weekend and that gives me great joy and victory.

I thank God that you are my greatest adventure, my biggest joy and my best teacher. 

See you soon little one,

Mom xo

False Labor & Cheeks for Days

Dear London June, 

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions.

Monday morning I woke up at 3am very nauseous and feeling really weird. I threw up and threw up and shortly after had some intense pressure waves (contractions). I also had some extreme lightning bolt type pain through my pelvis, lots of pressure and excruciating back pain. I was sure this was the onset of my ‘birthing time’ (labor). I called the midwife and she told me all the signs pointed toward GO but I needed to time my pressure waves, take a warm bath, drink water and see if I still progressed. After I got out of the bath I noticed the pressure waves dwindling and finally laid down and before I knew it I had fallen asleep from exhaustion. I woke up and the pressure waves had completely gone and I felt defeated, sad and unsure. I had given so much of my focus and hard work during the false labor and had gotten so excited that I would finally be meeting you. I called into work to let them know that there was no way I could come in after all of that and your Dad called in too so he could stay with me.

We took another early morning nap and when I woke up I felt the strong urge to walk. I don’t know where I got that burst of energy but that’s all I wanted to do. So we went to the local park and power walked about 2 miles in the hot sun. We came home, ate lunch and then got ready for my Midwife appointment that had already been scheduled. I was so hopeful that after all that hard work that I must be a little bit dilated. She checked me and nope, not dilated at all. I almost wept. So silly, I realize but I was sure I would just be a tad dilated. I was a little bit effaced though and that made me feel better. She checked to see if she was head down and was nearly sure she was but not 100% certain. I voiced my concern that it had felt like you had flipped or moved into a higher position because since 32 weeks you dropped really low but the past few days you have seemed to be up so very high. So she suggested an ordered ultrasound just to check and make sure you were not breach. Just her saying that made my stomach turn and I instantly agreed just so that I could have the peace of mind. So this morning your Daddy and I went for the ultrasound and she checked all your organs and measured your bones and checked your position. Sure enough, you were head down and I sighed a huge breath of relief.

When we went in for your 4D ultrasound at 30 weeks we discovered that the umbilical cord was lassoed around your neck. This was unnerving to see and I asked the Midwives if there was anything we could do. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done while in utero but she assured me that this is quite common and most of the time they simply just unwrap the cord as they are delivered. I didn’t let this stress me out but it has lingered in my mind since and I have prayed that you would remain safe and healthy. So today, as she was conducting the ultrasound I asked if there was any way she could check to see if the cord was still wrapped around your neck and she surprised us by agreeing that she could and she switched to the 4D ultrasound. Thankfully, she said the umbilical cord was no longer wrapped around your neck but floating in front of your face. Once again, I breathed a huge sigh of relief!Image

I was even more surprised that she got a terrific angle of your sweet squished face! I really had no idea we would be able to see you because you were head down and facing my back. 

Let me tell you, I have never been so tickled in all my life! It was such a pleasant surprise and treat especially after my disappointment from earlier this week. We oohed and awed and giggled over your AMAZING, to die for chubby cheeks. There is NOTHING better than chubby baby cheeks and I was really hoping that you would inherit them from your Daddy and I. 

Here you are at 39 weeks and 4 days- just 3 days away from your due date! 

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The ultrasound tech also let us know that you have a head full of hair so we better get our bows ready. I failed to tell her that I already have a variety packed in your hospital bag ready to go. My Dad thought the black shadow around your head was your hair and I laughed and let him know that was just where the picture cut off because the rest of your head was too far into my pelvis to capture. If that was your hair I would laugh hysterically because it looks like an Elvis wig! Mom was concerned about the photo of you sucking your thumb because she though your eye looked like a frog eye and again we laughed. That is just the distortion of the ultrasound from where you were moving while they took the photo. I absolutely love that you were sucking your thumb and you really remind me of my sister, your Aunt Whinnie. Everyone is so smitten over how beautiful and cute you are…get ready for lots of cheek pinchers coming your way! I can not even express how smitten I am. Seeing your sweet, chubby face was exactly what I needed to get through this week and gives me something to focus on as I try to patiently await your arrival. 

As I was getting my hair trimmed today, Amanda my hair dresser & friend brought up a great point. She reminded me that Monday night, although disappointing, might just be God’s way of giving my body and mind a final dress rehearsal. That totally clicked and made sense to me and even though I am a bit disappointed you aren’t here to cuddle with, I am blessed that I got a chance to prepare myself for what’s to come. And when I look back on it, I am pretty proud at how I did and how calm and relaxed I remained. It gives me hope that I can really do Hypnobirthing and have a safe, quick and easy birthing. 

So my little chubby cheeked cherub, I will cherish the very few moments, movements & hiccups I feel inside of me because I know I will miss them and feel empty without you in there. I will feel good that you will never be more safe and cared for than you are now in my womb. I will take joy in the anticipation of awaiting your arrival and gawk at your chubby cheeks a thousand more times before I get to see, kiss and squeeze them on this side of the world. 

Love you always, 

Your very excited Mama xo 

Baby Showers, Sobbing, and Nesting

Dear London June,

Some time has passed since I last wrote you. My entire pregnancy has flown by, but especially the past few weeks. I am actually 37 weeks pregnant as of yesterday but I want to update on all the ongoings that have been going on.

35 weeks:

I craved BBQ turkey from Whitt’s even though I haven’t been there in like 10 years.

I went to my Midwife appointment and I was measuring right at 35 weeks. She pushed all over my tummy to locate your position and you were still head down. She took your Dad and my hands and pushed them down so we could feel your head! It was so weird. I asked if the bump I always feel above my belly button was your bottom and she confirmed that I was right. Girl, you move that booty all over. One second it will be on my right side and then the next moment it’s all the way over to the left. Workin’ it already. Last night I woke up because my belly felt so tight I thought it might explode- I rubbed my hands all over and woke your Dad to feel because there was a HUGE lump on the left of my stomach. You were sticking that little booty WAY out. Hilarious…and a little alarming. The midwife appointment before this past one, she checked your heart beat we could hear you hiccup the entire time. It was so sweet.

-You are so very active. I LOVE feeling you move and seeing it too but sometimes you are so active it wears me out! So exhausting but so worth it. The other night your Dad was making a birth play list of calm and relaxing music to play while I labor with you in the hospital. We started to play some upbeat Ray Charles and etc and you apparently loved it- I have never felt you move so much, so fast and so crazy! It’s as if you were dancing! We put my phone on top of my stomach and you moved it all over the place. Your Dad was especially amazed and said watching you move in my stomach could never get old. He still loves laying his head on my stomach (it has become VERY uncomfortable for him to do this so I ask him not to put his weight on it) and feeling you kick and move- you still kick him in the ear.

-We had three baby showers and girl, you racked up! Your Aunt Whinnie and your Mum Mum hosted the first one and it was absolutely amazing! We had an English High Tea and so many came out to shower you with things you need. I was amazed by the generosity and the amount of handmade gifts. People are so excited to meet you!

Shower #1 (British High Tea): Your Mum Mum & Aunt Whinnie threw the absolute perfect, dreamy shower.

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Baby Shower #2 (Cute, vintage inspired shower at work)

Ms. Megan, Ruby and Ms. Brenda (Your future preschool teachers!!) photo-98

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Shower #3 (Casual, SO fun shower at my favorite place, Taco Mamacita)

These ladies are your crazy dance aunts. They are over the moon excited about you and I can’t wait for you to meet them and hear them laugh and teach you to love dance and life.

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We feel so very thankful and blessed by so many who have showered us with so much love, support, excitement and goodies for you. It has been so refreshing to see our community uplift us during this time. It truly takes a village! I am so excited for you to meet your community in the many forms it exists.

Now that I am week 37 and full-term, you could come at any moment and that is so very exciting…and nerve-wrecking! I am so anxious for your mysterious arrival- when will decide to come? Will it be while I’m at work or at 3 in the morning? Will my water break in public or will I start labor with contractions? As a slight (ok, full-on) control freak, I’m trying my best to be patient and calm and it’s not always easy. Recently, I have really struggled with feeling overwhelmed and under prepared for your arrival. I was (and sometimes still am) having a difficult time seeing how we are going to afford the extra bills that come with a new human. I was stressed by the messiness of our house- how did it get so out of control recently? And what are we going to do with all this new stuff for you? I also really have been struggling with not so much the fear of actual labor (Hypnobirthing has truly helped with my anxiety with that) but more about the aftermath and recovery of birthing. Earlier this week all of this just crashed down on me at once and I wasn’t capable to sift through all of this emotion at once. Your sweet Daddy wanted to sit down and write out 5 year goal plan. I know he feels under pressure too and this was his way of trying to make us feel more prepared but at the moment he presented this idea, I was already on the verge of tears. Oh boy, did they roll. I wasn’t sure how to organize my current emotions and feelings at that current moment, let alone plan out 5 years of goals. I sobbed.  and sobbed. and sobbed. I sobbed because of all my fears & emotions and then I sobbed because I felt bad that I had ruined your Dad’s sweet attempt to look out for his family. I sobbed because I couldn’t stop sobbing. I sobbed for every reason in the world.  Your Dad disappeared for a bit and then returned and swooped me up to the bathroom where a candle lit bubble bath was awaiting me to the melodies of Norah Jones. He totally knows me. And then, instead of shutting the door and letting me be, he sat on the edge of the tub as I sobbed and rubbed my shoulders and splashed warm water on my back until I calmed down and the tears stopped. Never had I felt more vulnerable. Never did I feel more loved. He didn’t utter a word, he just met me in my vulnerable brokenness. He was present with me. Normally, it would have been easier perhaps for both of us if he had shut the bathroom door and let me deal with it. But because he was willing to sit in my vulnerability with me and I allowed him to love me in that way, we both connected in a much deeper way than ever before. So, my little London, you have brought us together in new ways and deepened our understanding of marriage, commitment and relationship. I have already fallen deeper in love with your Daddy as I watch him transform into a Father. The way he was excited to install your car seat, how he loves to pick out a book of your already vast library to read to you every night (already…its so sweet and you kick and move the whole time he reads), the way he talks about and dreams about you. I can’t wait to see him hold you for the very first time.

I needed that good sobbing session. I was holding onto fears that were both legitimate and silly. This past weekend we accomplished a lot. We went through each room of the house and de-cluttered every cabinet, drawer and crevice and then deep cleaned it all. It took one and a half days and totally kicked both our behinds but now we both feel so much better. You might say that I am in deep nesting mode. My anxiety level has completely lowered quite a bit by making the house welcoming and perfect for when ever you decide to come. We also deep cleaned the car, inside and out and installed your car seat and packed our hospital bags in the trunk. The birth plan is written and ready to go and there is a basket of diapers and wipes in every living space of the house. We are so stinkin’ prepared it’s almost laughable. What I am not emotionally prepared for, we are double prepared for practically. My goal for my life is to live intentionally, but sometimes I take it to the extremes and put far too much pressure on myself and others. I’m always in constant search for middle ground and some type of balance.

You are still my biggest adventure and life lesson.  

Love,

Mom xo

37 weeks

(I still have LOTS to post. Posts coming up: Your nursery, Meaning of your Name, Hypnobirthing and Birth Plan. Hopefully, I can get all of these written and posted before you arrive!)

 

Filling your Closet & Self Worth

Dear London June,

27 weeks later, I still find you to be my biggest joy- even when I’m not feeling quite cheerful all the time. I haven’t written to you since Granny Boo’s funeral because life happens so quickly. I feel like every time I find my “new normal” something else comes along and twirls me off my feet and I’m left trying to regroup and reorder. Such is life. Learn to flex when life does or you’ll end up breaking into pieces.  The flexing might be uncomfortable and it will stretch you to extremes but it’s much more difficult to move forward when your trying to gather and mend the million pieces of your shattered spirit. So move with the wind and make friends with it. Dance with it and invite others to join you. Don’t go it alone.

We recently found out that you are 2 whole weeks older than we originally thought. I think that news hit your Dad pretty hard. I’m excited to see you two weeks earlier but your Dad and I are feeling the time constraints of buying our first home tighten. …And so we go with the wind and learn to flex. We are trying to find peace in the midst of the unknown. We want to be as prepared as we can for you and make things perfect but we know that life doesn’t come in a perfect package. You, however are the greatest gift I could wish for and I’m like a little girl on Christmas Eve waiting for your arrival. Giddy while standing tippy-toed.

I’ve been avidly shopping for you on Instagram. It’s gotten out of control. Your wardrobe (you already have a full one waiting for you) is full of vintage perfection. In fact, 99% of it is vintage.

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It’s swoon worthy.

Instagram is a social media outlet that allows you to upload photos and share them instantly with your friends. A huge community of moms trying to make a little money sell their used and vintage thrift baby clothes finds for VERY affordable prices. Some use it to make money where most use it to afford new clothes for their children. I recently opened up my own shop called “LovedbyLondon” (inspired by you London June, obviously!) where I have been selling my vintage finds from thrift stores! My goal is to save enough money from my profit to buy a fancy dancy digital SLR camera before you arrive so I can take ridiculous (and ridiculously high quality ) amounts of photos of you.

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I was surprised how well I’ve done so far. I have found it just as fun to sell as it is to buy! I love sharing unique, precious and vintage pieces that make other mamas and babies happy to wear. I plan on doing this as long as it makes sense. One day I hope to sell the clothes you out grow even though parting with it already seems unbearable. You will be one fabulously dressed little lady. When I go into big box stores, I rarely find things I like for you. It seems like dressing your baby in teenage styles is the “in” thing but I can’t bare the thought of putting you in a neon pink onesie with a garish logo slapped onto the chest. Oh lawdy. No ma’am!

Today a fellow IG Shop owner @babylegslove (Go follow her adorable shop!) is hosting an IG Shop Appreciation Day. Each shopper is encouraged to post a picture of an item they have bought from an IG and tag the shop they bought it from. What a cool way to connect, share joy and spread the love! It’s also just too fun.

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I love that I’ve found this little community of mothers that share my joy and love for vintage and baby wear. I have made several shopping buddies and I am really thankful for all the support and encouragement this community exudes. For all my readers out there I highly encourage you to jump this bandwagon if you are looking for a fun, affordable, quick and easy way to shop for you and your kiddos. It’s like a giant yard sale with out the early mornings and  gas money. Not only can you find something for your little one, you can also find something for you. Housewares (like vintage pyrex, afghans and decor), jewelry, shoes & makeup. And unlike shopping at that creepy old man’s yard sale next door, you know that the money you are spending is helping out a fellow mama! Now that I am selling, I can truly say that it is fun but it is also a TON of hard work and coordination. I have always been treated so well while shopping my friends’ shops and I really appreciate the time they take to answer questions, take detail photos of their product and tag me in products they think I would like. Not to mention that many take time to write sweet little notes and tuck them away in your package! You can’t get that kind of compassionate customer service anywhere else.  I love opening my mailbox and finding packages from my IG shopping friends- I’m sure my mailman is suspicious though.

So how do you get started?

Follow some of my favorite shops:

@rockitvintage @irisandfriends @mythriftedgoodies @la_luneandstars @jandmcloset  @ottoandadelaide  @baileyandmommy @lydiaslittles @shopholeinmypocket @finnleysgarden @riversthings @hazelandgray @babylegslove @babylovesclothes @punky_mac @minascloset @djshandsies @djsvintage @gocharliejo @shoplittlemouse @juliesvintagefinds @modernnest @ohhadaleelee @penelopesthings @lydielove @scarlettandkhloe @kimballscloset @0nelittlehanger (spelt with a zero) @aboyandgirlshop @thriftyjune @wornbyus @kingsklothz @emptyingemm@chels_littleones @shoplittleacorn @robinsonthread @kingandnavy @moxie_mina_shop 

All of my items posted in the above photos were bought from shops like these! All you need to do is set up a Paypal account if you do not have one already. Then start shopping! Most shops have a policy that is pretty standard: Claim your item by leaving you Paypal address. Pay for your item(s) within 24 hours. No refunds/returns. Some shops include shipping into their prices but others, like myself price items as sold and are determined by the buyers zip code/weight of items.  Before claiming an item, make sure you read the shop’s policy because they can vary.

Before you know it, you will have made friends, shopping buddies and scored some priceless treasures. I already know I want to save a lot of my IG finds for London’s memory box/future little girls.

Now, back to you my sweet little girl.
Not only has my spirit been flexed and stretched but so has my body. I feel like a giant elephant on a hot summer African day. In other words, mama aint feelin too sexy these days.
I know I’m supposed to embrace this new “shape” I’m taking (expanding) on but I avoid full length mirrors (especially right out of the shower) like the plague. I have literally doubled in two weeks and this is by far the most extreme change I’ve endured so far. (and it definitely shows in my facial expressions- LOL.) (Also, the second photo was taken after my beloved hair dryer died during mid blow and my hair was outta control. wah wah)
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I’m not wanting sympathy; I just want to shine light on the fact that watching your body grow uncontrollably at race car speeds is tough. It’s really tough. And it’s okay to acknowledge that. Yes, I know my belly resembles Santa Clause’s tummy after a full world’s helping of Christmas Eve because I am growing a spectacular little human being but I’m just trying to learn how to love the stranger I see in the mirror. London June, if you are anything like me and every other woman in the world, you will struggle with your self-worth, identity and image. Please know that it is normal and okay to face that struggle. But please also know not to allow that struggle to lie to you and tell you that you are nothing less than important. People can be really mean..really really mean (especially girls, and even women). Surround yourself with people that exude love and encouragement. Let their words be the ones that you take to heart and spirit. And if you ever have a single doubt that you are beautiful run to me so that I can gush over you and confirm your beauty. Even, especially when you are going through those awkward teenager years. I will probably be thrifting amazing clothes for you then and hopefully encouraging you to create your very own style but just know that all the amazing (and beautiful vintage) clothes your closet holds can never hold a light to your inner beauty (I know, cheeeeeeesy but oh so true). I hope I can model that your wardrobe is just the (fabulous) outer shell of the even more fabulous inner spirit of you.  So, as I struggle to embrace the sexy pregnant goddess within, I encourage you to embrace whatever stage you find yourself in when you read this. You might miserably fail and end up stripping down naked and crying in an empty bath tub after trying on 6 different outfits that made you feel more elephant than the last one. But then you can call me and I will tell you to get your naked ass up and get dressed and do what you have to do. Move on, learn to flex and bend and dance with the wind. And if you do end up snapping and your spirit breaks into a million pieces, I will be there to help mend them back together. One by one.
Love you so much already, London June. You are still my biggest adventure.
-Mom.

20 Weeks with you, London June

Dear London June,

This past week we have celebrated 20 weeks with you which included seeing you for the very first time, finding out that you are a sweet little girl and buying you sweet vintage dresses. I’m 21 weeks today but wanted to recap this milestone.

20 weeks

 

How far along?  20 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain/loss? 4 pounds gained
Maternity clothes?  A few pieces but still rocking a lot of my dresses with leggings and maxi skirts!
Stretch marks? A tiny few that I got in the beginning but no more since- yay!
Sleep? What’s that? Getting up 2-3 times a night to pee and then tossing and turning for the rest of it- also having horrible nightmares EVERY night.
Best moment last week? Seeing you for the 1st time, finding out that you are a London June and sharing it with our friends!
Movement?  Yes, everyday! Usually about 30 minutes after I eat. I love every kick and sometimes it takes my breath away! Daddy is still jealous he can’t feel them yet.
Food cravings? Sweet things which is so abnormal for me since I’ve always been a salty person!
Gender? GIRL!
Labor signs? Oh lordy, no.
Belly button in/out? In.
What I miss: Sleep, my clarity of thought, my brain (better get used to all of it)
What I am looking forward to: Holding you for the 1st time, seeing you move from the outside, daddy being able to feel you kick
Milestones: Half way there baby!!!

My evening ritual is soaking in a hot bath to relieve some of the aches and pain and decompress from the stress I’ve been feeling. This past week is the first time I’ve really felt pregnant. My belly is stretching and aching and round ligament pain is a daily occurrence (OMG!).  Your Daddy is a hero though, and massages my sore feet before I go to bed. Heaven sent.

I’ve entered an odd stage of life where joy and pain collide and I often find myself clueless on how to merge the two. It is a confusing journey that is riddled with guilt and submerged in grey. You are our joy- it abounds and runneth over. The pain involves relationship turmoil and illness of a loved one. Then add in major life decisions (job and upcoming house purchase and relocation), pregnancy hormones  and lack of sleep and this mama is on the breaking point. Whenever I feel the joy abounding, the guilt quickly sets in and asks “have you forgotten the pain?” I know this is preparing my heart for a lifetime of weaving the joy and pain together but knowing that truth doesn’t make it easier. I know this isn’t the first time joy and pain have collided in my life but never has it been so tangibly apparent. You will find yourself in this place one day, sweet girl, and I hope you rely on the love that surrounds you. I hope the pain isn’t so lethal that it steals your joy away. Nothing and no once could steal the joy we have because of you.

As I trudge through the joy and pain and try to make sense of it all, I love you through it all. The changes my body is going through mirror my soul search. Your growth and health cause my body pain and make my bones ache but it is that pain that is bringing me close to my joy, my baby. You are my biggest life lesson, you are God revealed, you are my revelation.

Love you London June.

Mom

Week 18.

Dear Blueberry,

My immune system died. So puny.

BUT I just don’t care.

I’ve come to accept it and I’ve become a pro at nursing my illnesses.

I took 4 whole days off of work because of my viral infection and stayed in bed the entire time.

I don’t know the last time I’ve ever done that.

[Major strugglefest]

But I’m on the mend.

During my bed ridden times I researched all natural remedies and I think I’m becoming more and more hippyish by the second.

I’m learning a lot about the dangers of modern medicine and how we have a lot of healthy, natural medicines at our finger tips.

So, Im drinking Elderberry syrup like it’s going out of style to help build my immune system and curb the chance of another bug/viral infection.

DETERMINED.

On Saturday, I drug myself out of bed to attend a mandatory training class for a world church conference I am a voting delegate for. I was miserable and there was no way of hiding it. During the midst of training a very dear church family member (he married your Dad & I) came up to me and whispered something in my ear. He said he could see I was feeling awful and wanted to remind me that if I wanted to be anointed with oil and prayed for I could. This is one of our church’s sacraments and it’s something a lot of churches don’t do and I’m so glad our church upholds this holy act found in scripture. I have only ever been anointed once when I was in third grade and struggling with major health issues. I was passing out a lot in the middle of class and went through a lot of different specialists and tests to basically come back with no answers. When I look back, I think I had anxiety attacks mixed with a vitamin overdose. I took a bottle of Flinstone vitamins and ate all of them and didn’t tell anyone until years later after I saw a documentary about how a kid had done the same and suffered the same type of symptoms I did. (In my defense they tasted like candy and were shaped like Flinstone characters- yum!) ANYWAYS, I remember there being something very special about being anointed with oil and prayed for. That’s all I really remember…and the fact that I wasn’t fond of how the oil made my hair look. This time, I realized how special and holy it was to me. I don’t think it is a magical wave of a wand that is meant to make me all better. Instead, it reminded me of the deep love and care my Maker has for little ole me. It reminded me that in our weakest moments, God forces us to ask for help from others. It reminded me how good community is. It reminded me that to see God, I had to become my most vulnerable. Did that prayer heal me of my illnesses? No. It did something much bigger. It soaked my soul in holiness, hope, community, dependence, humility and restoration.

And, in a way it did make me feel “better”. I’m now strong enough to move on, even in my physical state, to love others deeper, wider and stronger. It forced me to get over it and look at a much wider perspective.

and then there’s you. you have given me the greatest joy this week. the type of joy all the moms that have gone before me have told me as I was head over toilet, throwing up and asking “what have i gotten myself into?!” “but it’s so worth it” they would smugly say. “you’ll forget about all of this when the baby is here” i would weakly nod my head and subconsciously roll my eyes because those words only tease me in the here and now of the struggle. but you, blueberry show me a glimpse that speaks much louder than their good hearted comforts. you have been busily dancing away in my tummy- wild enough that i can feel you through out the day. in odd places where i just cant wrap my mind around what’s going on inside of me while i order coffee or get a root canal. its a bizarre and wonderful sensation. like a special secret that i only know about. the kind you really want to loudly proclaim but can’t because your best friend swore you to secrecy. you twirl and twist and oddly im much more at home with the feeling than i previously thought i would be. you surprise me daily. you’re moving as i type this, connecting me to my thoughts and screen scribbles in a new way. your dad is overly jealous and anxious to feel you more than ever. so impatient, that dad of yours. bless him. as he was trying to find your heartbeat on the doppler, you surprised the both of us with your 1st big kick. with a loud “POP!” to the doppler, your dad’s eyes almost popped out of his head. he spent the better part of the night trying to recreate the moment, pressing on my belly, trying desperately to entice you to strike back. you played hard to get and he sulked back to his side of the bed, defeated. already working him. totally whipped. warms my heart so much. 

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we then proceeded to watch unreasonable amounts of YouTube videos of babies moving around inside mama bellies. we were equally traumatized and in awe by the experience.

The music is so dramatic.

 

Love you.

Mom

Your Daddy

Dear blueberry,

I want to dedicate this post to helping you know your Daddy’s love for you before you were set in motion. You hear a lot from my perspective so I hope I can give you a glimpse of your Daddy’s heart.

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I think he is beginning to feel a little left out of the process. When I exclaimed over feeling your flutters for the first time, he wanted to know when it was going to be his turn to feel you kick. I don’t think he liked that it would be quite some time until that happened. He longs to feel your movement and can’t wait to hold you. As I was collecting photos for inspiration for your newborn photo shoot he oo’ed and awe’d over daddy/baby pictures and picked out the ones he wanted to mimmic. He talks about what kind of parent he wants to be and thinks that I will be the softy and he will be the disciplinary figure. I laughed, because I know the opposite will probably be true. You will totally have him whipped. I watch him love and play with your older cousins and my heart melts because I get a glimpse of the joy he will have over you. One of the many reasons I fell in love with your Dad was seeing how wonderful he is with children. Children and animals are drawn to him, and that is always a terrific sign of a good soul. (watch for that as you fall in love with someone) He rubs and lays his head on my belly in hopes of being close to you- it makes this mama swoon. When ever I have a craving he is ready to go and retrieve it for me (and you) and when I’m not feeling good he is quick to try to mend me. He is eager to learn all about pregnancy and labor and checks his daily pregnancy tips on his iPhone apps every day. He always does the dishes. He stops me in public (aka the aisles of Target) and kisses me far too passionately for public and I always say “enough!” and he never listens. I’m glad he doesn’t. (I’m sure you think thats way gross, but deal with it and be glad you have parents who love each other). He’s goofy and says things like, “I love you, baby” and I will respond “Love you too” and he will sarcastically say “I wasn’t talking to you babe, geeze!”. He also dances inappropriately wearing only his underwear in the kitchen. I hope you never have to witness such foolishness. And just this past visit to the midwife your Dad was so gross and passed gas in the elevator and when we stopped on a floor to let a lady in, he turned to me and said “Babe! Gross!” I could knock him out sometimes. Be prepared to being subjected to similar experiences (aka the car- he will lock those windows on you). If you are a boy- Lord, help me!

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I say all of this to make sure you know that your Daddy is over the hills obsessed with you and your Mama. You are oh so blessed and so am I. He will be the one who kisses your boo-boos and then makes you laugh hysterically over something silly. I am so excited for you to meet him and call him your Daddy. I know my heart will be fulfilled watching him grow into his new role.

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My cup runneth over!

Love,

Mom

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On Climbing the Mountain Top and Falling Back Down (16 Weeks)

Dear blueberry, 

After the dental horror, I had a few days of pure pregnancy bliss. No morning sickness, no pain and to top it all we had a glimpse of Spring weather. I wore a blouse that was comfortable and flattering and I felt good for the first time in a while. 

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I felt so good that when my dance family invited me for dinner and a cozy night in, I said “HECK YES!”. Oh, it was so good for my soul and I hope you heard our laughter and their voices. I hope you get to know and love these ladies as I do. We talked about the nature of God and questioned the real stuff of life and in the same wind we laughed about vaginas and all things inappropriate. We cursed ex-boyfriends and cried over heart break together. We rejoiced healing and restoration of health. We ate a ridiculous amount of steamed broccoli and linguini. We loved on each other and tried to soak in our togetherness. May you find a community that makes your soul dance just as these ladies have mine. I hope you get to know them as your Dance Aunts; they are so excited and curious about you! 

These past days have been mountain top experiences- some of the best I’ve felt since you came down from the heavens. I relished in them and praised God. 

The past two days, however, have been rough and I felt as if I had fallen into the valley again. I got really sick again which really felt frustrating. I thought my “morning” sickness was back and I wasn’t ready to welcome it again. 

This morning your Dad and I went to my 2nd pre-natal visit for our 16 week appointment. We got to hear your heart beat again and she said you sounded great! Going in, I was so worried that she was going to tell me that I had gained too much weight too fast. I have felt so insecure about my growing bump. When I asked her how much I gained, she told me that I had actually lost one pound since my first pre-natal visit. I was completely shocked- I still am! It’s hard to believe because it really does look as if I have gained at least 5 pounds! She said that was because you have moved higher and closer to the front of my tummy and that my uterus is the size of a melon! Crazytown. She said that losing wasn’t all that bad and probably due to me being so sick. She said that we just needed to try to focus on gaining a pound a week for a while. Hopefully, I can keep some food down so that you are getting all the nutrients you need. I have been putting down some kale smoothies and lots of veggies and fruit. I’m not backing down, either! We also scheduled our first ultrasound for 19 weeks (just 3 weeks away!) to determine your gender. Miss London June or Mr. Finley Monroe? We will know and celebrate who you are with family and close friends by hosting a gender reveal party. Because, everyone knows this mama likes to host a good party! You are worth celebrating. 

I am so blessed by you whether I’m standing mountain top in this journey or deep in the valley, because with you, I’m never alone. You reside right inside of me, reminding me of how important this new calling to be a mother is. Residing in both of us, is the the Spirit that whispers “You are enough” which gives my heart rest and deep comfort. Every time I hear your heart beat or feel your flutter, my heart soars to new places and gives me hope for new life. I value both my times on the mountain and in the valley because it’s shaping me into the mother you need. I’m very aware that I’m creating with God and it’s at times intimidating. Most of all, it is glorious and dance-worthy.  

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You are truly my biggest adventure. 

Love, Mom 

I Hope You Get Your Dad’s Teeth & 15 Weeks

Dear baby,

I haven’t been as active on the blog lately because of some major tooth drama. While I was hanging out with your Mum Mum (we were on a hunt to find a few clothing pieces to hold me during this awkward size time) I began to feel some tooth pain but with all my dental issues I wasn’t alarmed. Nothing out of the norm! We ate dinner and then I was off on my way home to Nashville. Gradually, my tooth pain became worse…and then worse…and then unbearable. I found myself speaking out loud a few mantras, trying to calm myself while I drove. I repeated “This too shall pass”, “You are okay”, “You can get through this”. The pain began to radiate up into my whole left side of my face and my sinuses. I could no longer speak out loud and I tried to decide whether I should pull off the side of the interstate. I decided that was a bad idea as it was dark and rainy and I just wanted to be home. I tried focusing on my breathing and I held my face and cried. I called my Mom. I didn’t know what else to do. She’s been through all my other horror dental experiences and has shared the same kind of pain. I just needed to hear her voice and have her talk me through the rest of my drive.

I hope I can be the person you call when you’re at the end of your rope. 


I was managing but staying in front of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced  but then I hit a wall and I knew the pain was winning and radiating more fierce than ever. That’s when I lost it. I couldn’t breathe through it anymore and I burst into uncontrollable sobs…while driving. I knew this wasn’t good and Mom tried her best to get me to focus on driving. I got home, gave Lucas the phone, went directly to the medicine cabinet to find Tylenol. I then applied an ice pack directly to my face. My Mom directed Lucas to make warm salt mixture and I gargled with it, all whilst sobbing. I was terrified that the pain wasn’t going away. Eventually, after the ice pack practically froze burnt my face off, I got some relief. I took some Phenergan to knock me out and settle my nausea (the pain made me want to throw up). I slept through most of the night, occasionally having to apply the ice pack and then I would dose off.

I’ve known pain like this before. Because I have a genetic disease called Amelio Genesis Imperfecta that is dental, I have spent a lot of time in the dentist chair. The pain I was feeling was like an abscess times 1,000. I went to the dentist the next day and sobbed the entire way there because the pain came back. Thankfully, this time your Daddy was driving. Once they saw me crying in the dentist office, they rushed me to an open chair, identified where the pain was and then stuck a giant needle with heaven inside (a numbing agent). Then the gods sang as my lips seemingly grew ten x’s larger and my entire left side of my face felt like it was melting off. Total relief. And I soooo didn’t care if I couldn’t feel the drool rolling down my chin; the pain was gone!

After lots of X-rays (and me slightly freaking out and telling them a thousand times that I’m pregnant) they immediately found two huge abscesses next to each other. One of these teeth were so long that it went up into my sinuses which was what was causing me the pain to radiate into my sinuses. He said that this infection had been brewing for about 1-2 years and it doesn’t hurt until it gets big and then BOOM it hits you like a ton of bricks. I was shocked! He also said that because I’m pregnant my gums were very agitated and swollen which might have contributed to the massive amount of pressure I felt.

Within 15 minutes of being there, they started root canal number one out of two. He focused on the bigger abscess and drilled a hole in my crown and pulled out the nerve. He said the nerve should have been stiff like a splinter but it was completely limp (and sooo gross) and dead. He couldn’t believe it! Then he exclaimed about how much infection was draining out and even laughed. At this point, it didn’t bother me. I was just so relieved that I was getting this horrible stuff out of me that caused so much trauma.

I was however, constantly aware and worried about how this was affecting you. I had my arm around you the entire time as if I could shield you from what was going on. I was glad that they put two lead aprons around you during the X-RAYs and called my midwife a couple of times to get the “OK” on some of the medication they would be using during the procedures. Still, I was worried for you. Also, I was operating on fumes. The adrenaline rush I had the night before and the during the trip to the dentist exhausted me mentally and physically and it was difficult to think straight. I had nothing left and I just wanted to kiss the dentists and their staff for fixing me up so well and treating me with calm voices, reassurance and communication.

I talked to my Mom after the whole ordeal and we both agreed that if I could get through that much pain with just a dose of Tylenol, I probably can get through birth. At least with labor pains, their is a glorious gift after it all unlike the unrelenting tooth pain I felt. Sometimes, I really think all these trials (the big & small) that I have gone through while carrying you is just preparing me more and more and making me strong enough to be your Mama. I know bringing you into the world will make our lives more difficult and our pockets smaller but the reward will much outweigh all the discomforts. You will make our trials seem like ant hills because you are our greatest treasure!

I hope you get your Daddy’s teeth. 

Baby Blueberry Update:

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Also, in the past few days I am almost absolutely sure I’m feeling you! During one of my many bathroom trips during the middle of the night, I laid awake for some time and felt you nudge me. It wasn’t a kick or anything that powerful. Instead, it was if you were leaning against my abdomen where we find your heart beat! I also felt several stirrings or tuggings. It’s hard to express what I felt but it was definitely new and exciting! I was shocked and continue to be shocked when I feel these new sensations. I find I usually feel them when I’ve been very still or laying down- usually in the middle of the night or when I take a bath! I think your Daddy is getting jealous because he wants to feel you kick so badly. That won’t be for several more weeks probably.

Loving you always,

Mom

13 Weeks.

Just like the number 13, this week was just awkward. Nothing terrible or even bad. Just awkward.

It reminds me a lot of how I felt when I was 13. I knew that I was an official teenager, but didn’t necessarily have the guts to own it just yet. I was awkward. I had make up but didn’t know how to use it, hair product that couldn’t save a perm gone bad (oh, so very bad) and boobs that didn’t know what they were doing.

And at 13 weeks pregnant, I find myself with similar feelings of that awkward stage I long to suppress.

This past week, nausea has been so much better! (PRAISE JESUS!) I only had one really bad experience whilst preparing meals on wheels for Christmas with our church. I began to season a humongous bowl of sliced apples with nutmeg, sugar and cinnamon when I was overwhelmed by the sweet smells. I ran out of that kitchen like my booty was on fire. Several sips of ginger ale, (that I keep on hand at all times) a Zofran and 30 minutes of rocking myself on a stairway, I was back to normal. I’m becoming a pro on handling this nausea business- like a ninja.

Now back to the awkward. You have definitely moved from my left hip bone to right smack dab to the middle of my belly! It took us a while to find your heart beat on the doppler because we were trying to find you in your old hangout spot. Now, you are much, much easier to find! It used to take us a good 15 minutes to find you, because you were far back there. Now, Dad can find you within a minute and your heart is so strong and fast. Usually measuring around 150-170 bpm! Because you have moved to the front of my belly, I am definitely seeing a baby pouch. It is a lost cause to suck in these days- it’s just too uncomfortable. I’m having to learn to just let go (both literally & emotionally) and accept that this is really happening. Of course, I knew this was happening for quite some time now but now you’re making a physical appearance it’s really sinking into my pores.

Today I changed 3 different times before exiting the house. I just felt awkward and not very pretty or beautiful at all. I didn’t want to be seen in public and it put me in a foul mood. My brilliant self decided this would be the best time to get your Dad to take my 13 week photo (because I have been putting it off all week and I thought we better do it before I turn 14 weeks tomorrow). This was a terrible idea because seeing my pouch and how my new dress didn’t hang just right led to a downward spiral of emotional roller coaster. I ended up snapping at your Dad because he asked me where something was a bajillion times even though I told him I would look in my purse once we were in the car. I then blamed my disappointment of my 13 week photo on your Dad’s lack of photography skills. He picked up quickly why I was being such a peel and told me he knew I didn’t feel good about my body but he thought I was absolutely beautiful. At first, I wanted to smack him because, well, I’m not sure why but then I tried to believe it and smiled a little. As we drove to lunch at one of our favorite spots (Taco Mamacita) I decided it was time to stop being a 13 year old about this and accept that I’m going to be big as a house. I’m going to put my big girl (okay, my extra big girl) panties on and suck it up. The bigger I get, the closer I get to holding you. Bottom line. Even if the bottom line is bigger than I would like.

So even though I am not feeling my most confident, I’m posting my 13 week photo. Because I want to remember it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. I want you to see my struggles and my victories. I hope it gives you the courage to do the same one day.

Share your vulnerabilities. It sucks. Big time. But every time you do, you become more of who your Maker gloriously made you. You become braver. You become wilder. You become you. 

Me awkwardly at 13 weeks carrying my proudest joy, my biggest adventure, my most prized possession.

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In a few weeks, I will look back and laugh at how annoyingly dramatic I am being. When I’m as big as a whale, I’ll want to kick my awkward 13 weeks ass. I’m allowed to say ass. You are not.

Love you always,

Mom