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

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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 

14 Weeks

Dear Blueberry,

We’re 14 weeks! You have grown to the size of a large navel orange- its crazy to imagine! I can feel a small part of my stomach is more dense and tighter and it freaks me out when I feel it. You are busy working out and have turned my uterus into a Baby YMCA. Your still practicing kicking, curling toes and working your arms. You are also practicing breathing, sucking and swallowing. 14 wks

 

I’ve had one of the best weeks yet of being pregnant. Nausea hasn’t been hanging around as often and I’ve got a little bit more pep in my step. However, my emotions have taken over. I cry nearly every day and I am so sensitive. Your Daddy has been so comforting and making sure he gives me extra love and comfort. My cup overflows because of his love. You will be so blessed by him.

My face has totally broken out and it’s out of control. I will take the crazy, over-emotional and 13 year old break outs over nausea and throwing up ANY day!

I’ve not been craving anything lately but now that my nausea is at bay, I’ve been trying to load up on major super foods like fruit, leafy greens and whole grain. I sometimes have enough courage to eat chicken (the only animal protein I eat) now and again but it’s a rare occasion that I do. I will have my next appointment at 16 weeks and then another one at 20 weeks to see you on the ultrasound and find out if you will be a London June or a Finley Monroe!

Everyone asks what I think you will be and I have to say that I’m feeling a girl vibe. I have tried so hard not to because I didn’t want to be one sided but I simply can’t help it. Your Dad has said this from day one but we will shall see in 6 weeks. I can hardly wait! I have been busy creating Pinterest nursery decor boards. One for a girl and one for a boy. London June’s Nursery Inspiration and Finley Monroe’s Nursery Inspiration. I’ve also been pinning a lot of advice, tips and articles about breastfeeding, labor, sleeping schedules and etc. Mommy in the Making Board . If you can’t tell, I’m already head over heels, obsessed with you! I think of you all the time!

Love you,

Mom

 

 

Shining Light on Honesty & Doubt

Dear baby,
Today I come with honesty and struggle. I woke up at 4am with a stunning migraine and didn’t go back to sleep until 8 and then slept for another hour. The migraine persisted through out the day so I laid in the bedroom, curtains drawn, covered in blankets. I thought about crying but knew that would aggravate my head even more. So, I laid there for hours alone with nothing but my migraine, my thoughts and you.

Fear crept in.

For the first time in my pregnancy I had a moment of thinking “What am I doing, what have I gotten myself into, am I really ready for this, for you?” Even though I’ve yearned for you for some time, I never expected to get pregnant so soon. After we told everyone, a common response was “You’ve only been married a year?! Wow!” I have suppressed that sting of judgement but it all surfaced today when I rested in silence. The reason that response stings is because it lifts the veil and shine lights on my own self doubt.

Is this too soon? Are we ready? Have we had enough time as a married couple before we bring you into our lives?

I can try to justify and defend myself when people respond with that scary reminder that your dad and I have built a very strong relationship for six years in the making. But the fact of the matter is that there will always be someone judging someone for whatever reason. What I have to focus on is not the responses and judgment of others but of my own self judgment and self worth. I need to remind myself that God is in the midst of my fear and struggle- both physically and mentally and that this is now a part of my story. Struggles, fear and the joy of it all. The Glory.

I could write letters to you that only shared the positive and exciting things but I would be robbing you from the fact that life needs suffering and joy. Labor will truly be an example- my suffering will bring joy (you) into the world. When Jesus gave his entire life and ministry to the ones suffering around him, he labored tirelessly. In doing so, he brought life and joy into the world. People ridiculed judged and eventually murdered him. It was there on the cross, that he faced doubt- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was there on the cross, where he gave us permission to question and hold our suffering and doubt to the light. No longer, do we have to pretend that everything is okay and going well. We had been freed to be honest with our hearts.

My dear baby, I hope you learn this sooner than I did. I hope you know it is okay to question your faith and your thoughts. I hope you know that I will love you no matter what you believe or how you believe it.

I hope you truly know and feel loved. Always. I pray your Dad and I do a good job making sure you do.

So, even in my struggle and doubt please know that I want and love you through it all. I have days where I feel so prepared to be your Mom and then I have days like today where I swim in doubt. And yet, you are a part of me now and a part of our story.

Love you always,
Mom

Struggle

Today I struggle with the world I am bringing you into. I wept for far too long today after watching some very tragic news. My heart is breaking for innocence swept away and lives lost. You are safe inside of me now. Secure. Warm. There will be one day though, that you will be breathing in this world’s air. You will be vulnerable and I won’t be able to protect you at all times and that makes me sick to my stomach. I’m nervous to unleash you into this place. You will always find security though, in my arms and in the arms of your Maker.

May God always envelop you with enduring love & peace especially when you are frightened and unsure. When my love is not enough, may God’s be. May you seek it and know it well within your soul. 

Loving and wrapping my arms around you more than ever today, 

Mom.