37 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

How Far Along: I am 37 weeks and 5 days16 days until I'm 40 weeks! (Whaaaat?!?! There are times I thought this day would never come. And while there is still fear I may lose my rainbow baby, I can feel my heart growing as it prepares to welcome our little bundle to actually live with us this side of heaven!)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 34 pounds. My weight gain is up and down. And my home scale doesn't always register the same as my OBs does. I can't complain. It at least means my baby is growing for which I am very blessed! And I'm pretty sure I gained somewhere around this amount with Zoë. 

What's Up with Food: I only crave unhealthy food. Not such a fan of that. However, because we generally don't keep much of it around, I generally don't have it to nab. Just kind of stinks when what I want is something I shouldn't have. 

How I Feel: Like if I can mentally keep this baby in until February 1st, then I could care less with when she comes. Why February 1st? It puts us a few days past 38 weeks which makes me feel way more comfortable about her arrival than if she came now, though I highly doubt now would pose too many issues anyway. Either way, it gives me peace of mind.

Maternity Clothes: There are very few tops I can wear. I'm thinking it'd be nice if I could just hole myself up on a couch, though that does nothing for Zoë's mood and nothing to keep me healthy for labor and birth.

Movement: She has pretty consistent times of movement these days. And with as little room as she has left to grow, it generally doesn't feel so great. Pretty sure she loves to sit indian style, too, as I frequently have to bony protrusions showing on opposite sides of the upper part of my middle. Always makes us laugh.

Sleep: What is that?!

What I Miss: Being able to roll over in my bed, yet at the same time I wouldn't trade it for the world. It just means we're that much closer to having a bundle of joy welcomed into our home.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Holding my sweet rainbow baby!!!!!!

Favorite Moment of the Week: As it would happen, it was actually last night. Aubrey was doing one of her alien-like indian style shows. I asked Zoë if she wanted to feel where her baby sister was. She got excited and ran over to me. As I took her little hand and rubbed whichever part of Aubrey was showing itself, she laughed and then patted her. Can't wait for Zoë to be a big sister!! She's definitely going to be great at it. (I'm sure there will be much teaching in the ways of getting in trouble too.)


Thoughts on Marriage and Counseling

So I had mentioned in one of my more recent bumpdates how the highlight of my week was a marriage clinic Ben and I went to.

While I'm not about to get into specifics of what exactly went on during our time, I will say there was much learned we both felt was a tremendous help in making sure we have a solid foundation to build on. Something about our time also started the wheels spinning as far as how people view marriage counseling or seminars.

Honestly, this is a vast generalization I'm about to put out there, but I hear it all the time in many different ways:

"Oh, we're good! We don't need counseling."

"Well, we/he/she/I would never do ___________."

"We don't have problems."

"They went to counseling?! Gee I didn't know they were so far gone."

The statements I've heard are numerous. They all run along the same lines: our marriage is good, thank you! We don't need help. And counseling is only for those who are completely gone.

However, if there is one belief I have about counseling and marriage, which was solidified by our three days to work on what we have, it is this: whether so far gone you're ready to call it quits or living on one of the beautiful plateus marriages have, there is always something to work on and always  something new you can learn to strengthen your marriage. And counseling is both for the good times and the "HELP! We're drowning!" times.

Yet many people can't even muster the courage to say they need or want or went to counseling. It's like this massive elephant in the room whereupon anyone who finds out they had to "succumb" to counseling will no longer be their friend or pity them. The lens through which counseling, really for anything, is viewed is rarely a positive one.

My heart hurts just thinking about it. Partially because of empathy, but more so because the three days Ben and I spent working on our relationship has brought us closer than I think we've ever been in our 4 years together, 3 years of marriage. We learned are continuing to make a communication model taught during the clinic a habit. We were given tools to help us be at our healthiest spiritually and emotionally. We were given insights into one another to help us understand where the other is coming from so the playing field is even.

At the end of it all, much is left to our choices. We can't be forced to continue what we were taught in those three days. We could choose to leave everything taught us behind. We could choose to see counseling as only for those who are ready to abandon ship.

Then we would have missed out on the awesome opportunity placed before us.

Without rambling any longer, I say all of this to encourage anyone who wants to get married, is engaged, or is already married: counseling is one of the best ways to make sure the foundation of your marriage is solid to build on. Every marriage will have it's times where a crack needs to be fixed. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage because we are all broken people, but what there can be is a marriage willling to always face the hard parts as well as the blessed parts of the relationship so that it may thrive in a world where many circumstances strive to destroy a beautiful relationship. So whether there is a crack needing repair or a desire to keep a good foundation strong, I encourage you to see counseling as a great support to keep a strong foundation.


36 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

How Far Along: I am 36 weeks and 5 days. 23 days until I'm 40 weeks!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 29 pounds. Heck yes! I actually lost weight between my 34 and 36 week check. I was overjoyed. I'm still pretty stoked! Now to hope I've only gained a pound or two when I go in for my appointment this week. Ha!

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Nothing has changed here. I might as well write off Bananas until the end of this pregnancy and then I may not be able to eat them after anyway. Not sure if I've said this before or not, but I'm no fan of bananas period. The only reason I eat them during pregnancy (well...I did when I was pregnant with Zoë) and while I'm breastfeeding is because it's been said it will help with a child having taste for what you eat and I would love to not argue over fruits and veggies. Especially bananas considering they are one of the cheapest, easy to obtain fruits out there.

Gimme' some of that!: Potato chips. Why can't I crave anything actually good for me this pregnancy? I mean, seriously!

How I Feel: Exhausted. Like she has no more room to grow. As though people stare at me and wonder if I'm going to drop a baby right there in the middle of the grocery store. I'm kind of wanting to go into hiding. No, I'm not joking.

Maternity Clothes: This is another reason I want to go into hiding. Most of my tops are too short. They don't cover and look quite strange on even with a cami. Plus, yoga pants and comfy pants feel so much better than regular clothes. Not that my maternity pants don't fit, thank the Lord! I think I really would hide if I my maternity pants weren't fitting right, too!

Movement: Let's just say we see body parts moving across my middle. It's definitely there.

Sleep: Not so great. It probably doesn't help that it takes forever just for me to get myself out of bed. I'm really trying to avoid sleeping on the couch, but I'm not sure I will be able to. I've already stolen Zoë's step stool so I can get in and out of our bed. (Our bed is up a little more than most so we can use underneath as storage.)

What I Miss: Easily getting comfortable. Not worrying about my swollen limbs. Being able to carry Zoë without worrying about if it will be enough time for her. Easily sitting on the floor with her and not being distracted by the discomfort of every position I try to sit in. 

What I'm Looking Forward To: Having Aubrey in my arms. Being a family of four. Watching Zoë step into her role as a big sister. Being able to enjoy time with Zoë, when I do have it, without the discomforts of full term pregnancy. 

Favorite Moment of the Week: To many of you this may sound crazy, but honestly the highlight of this past week was finding out my doctor doesn't start checking for progress until 38 weeks. The more I ask questions and have office visits with my doctor, the more I am convinced God laid His entire hand on how everything panned out with my care for this pregnancy. I am beyond grateful to have an OB who is willing to let my body do it's thing and treat pregnancy and birth for what they are when there aren't risks involved: perfectly normal.


35 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

And because I was curious, and thought you might enjoy seeing for yourself, I made a collage of bumpdate pics from 15, 25, and 35 (so today's pic) pics. Funny enough, I wore the same shirt for my 15 week pic as I was for today's post, thus we get a pretty good look at how much this little Miss has grown!

Umm...well the secret is out now: if there be any confusion as to why the pics would be labeld as day 4 for the week versus day 5, I would take my pic the day before but write the post on Monday. And a complete aside: I love how pic monkey will let me turn my pic over so they're all facing the same way. Easier to see the change!

How Far Along: I am 35 weeks and 5 days. 30 days until I'm 40 weeks!
Woah, Bessie! Time is flying by like crazy. There are days, like today, where I feel like it's flying and it's slow all in one fell swoop. As much as I am trying to enjoy the moments I am given daily, it's getting to a point where I'm pretty much uncomfortable all of the time. Either way, this train is nearing it's final destination and it's not slowing down!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Mmmm...this is a bit of a sore point as at my last appointment I had gained way too much weight in two weeks time. That said, my last official weight gain check was I had gained a total of 34 pounds. Not horrible, by any means, but when almost 10 of that was too fast it slightly makes me cringe. Guess we'll see this week where I'm at as I'm getting ready to start weekly appointments. Eeeek!

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Still my only aversion has been Bananas.

Gimme' some of that!: I did have a craving this week...but I can't remember what it was now. And I'm not even sure I was able to satisfy the craving. Ha!

How I Feel: Exhausted. all. the. time. And I'm on the back end of a head cold/sinus infection and ear infection. Not fun at all. I still can't really hear out of my left ear, but thankfully everything seems to have healed. And it didn't rupture which is great.

Maternity Clothes: I mean, isn't this a given? I can't even fit some of the shirts I did at the beginning of this pregnancy. Fun times...makes my whole feeling like a whale just that much more prominent, even though I don't look it and I see pictures and know I'm not near as big as I feel.

Movement: I am able to feel her move just about any time she changes her position. Even the smallest movements can't really be missed.

Sleep: This is getting less and less. Preparing me for when she's here I guess, though I'm not waking up because she's having a good ol' time in the MOTN. I'm waking because the bathroom seems to call my name no matter how much I try to limit water intake after 7.

What I Miss: The ability to turn over in my sleep without waking up. If I have to change positions for comfort, I will fully wake up, take several minutes to get myself rolled over and adjusted, and then have to fall back asleep. Not very conducive to a good nights rest.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Aubrey Kate's arrival! It's so close I can barely contain all the 100s of emotions I'm feeling.

Favorite Moment of the Week: This week was soaked in tons of great blessings to the point I can't really pick one. For that I am very grateful. However, I guess if I had to pick just one it's one I will have to fill you in on more later: Ben and I went to a 3 day Intenstive Marriage Clinic. Best thing we have done for our marriage in it's three years. So, so grateful for the opportunity to go!


33/34 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

 33 Weeks (Notice the little hand reaching up? Yeah, the story of my life these past few weeks is "Mommy! Hold you!" which in Zoë language translates to "Mommy, I want you to hold me while you're standing up. No sitting down." Needless to say "no" has to be the answer sometimes.)

34 weeks

How Far Along: I am 34 weeks and 5 days. 37 days until I'm 40 weeks! (Holy smokes I'm at the end of this pregnancy!)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: This makes me sad...mostly because I gained 9 pounds in two weeks. Boo hiss! I had an appointment this past week and I had gained a total of 34 pounds. I know for some this doesn't seem like much, but that is what I gained total with Zoë. Hoping to not make that my track record.

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Bananas.

Gimme' some of that!: So I'm not sure if it was this past week or during my 33rd week but I had a strong craving but didn't know what it was for. I had to run to the grocery store for something else, saw sushi, and knew that's what I was craving. So I bought a crunchy california roll and man did it hit the spot!

How I Feel: Exhausted. It doesn't help that this past weekend I've come down with an awful cold/sinus infection with all the drainage running into my ears. Needless to say all I want to do is lie around the house.

Maternity Clothes: Yes with many of the tops not being long enough anymore. Not enjoying that problem one bit.

Movement: Pretty much the same. She's not crazy active but she has her moments where I'll get several kicks, jabs, and looks-like-an-alien-invading-my-middle moments.

Sleep: I'm up using the bathroom way too many times to count. On top of that, the insomnia is back. Thus between the two I'm not getting very good sleep.

What I Miss: Not having to prop my feet up to drain the fluid from them. (The swelling is awful right now and nothing helps except for elevating my feet.) Also, I miss being able to lie comfortably in bed and hate it feeling like it takes forever to move myself to a different position when one becomes uncomfortable.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Counting down the days until I have a precious baby in my arms. Aubrey will never replace the one we lost, nor have I ever expected that ache to go away, but I know there is some healing in having a baby after a miscarriage.

Favorite Moment of the Week: This week Zoë has been running around the house singing. The other night, as Ben and I were singing with her before we left her room, she burst into full song singing "Jesus Loves Me". Melt. my. mommy. heart! We're definitely really starting to get full swing into the "terribles" (I'm going to call it that because I've been told it extends past the age of 2.) and sometimes I want to pull my hair out. But those moments where you can see just how sweet of a heart resides inside the screamer makes me not want to trade any of it for the world. Precious, precious memory!