Wednesday, April 30, 2014

20 Week Check-Up

Except that as I write this, I am actually 22 weeks and 1 day. 

Needless to say, I am terrible at keeping up with this whole 4 week update at a time pregnancy thing. 

I will try better at 24. Promise. 

We went for our 20 week appointment, otherwise known as the anomaly scan, during my spring break on Thursday, April 17th. It really worked out well that this visit ended up falling during this week since it was going to take about 20-30 minutes just to do the ultrasound. 
The ultrasound tech checked all the major organs and took a closer look at Emery and the uterus, and checked to see that sweet baby boy was developing normally. She also looked to see where the placenta was lying in the uterus. 

We also invited our mamas to this appointment, neither of which had ever seen or had an ultrasound of this type. Needless to say, having them both there was really special and something I am sure none of us will ever forget. 

Two sets of twins, no doubt. 
Up until this point, I had yet to feel Emery kick - which was making me more than a little nervous since I had been told by my doctor, and the general public, that you typically begin to feel movement as early as 16 weeks, but definitely by 18-20 weeks. 
However, I had read that if the placenta is in front of the baby, you wouldn't feel movement as soon and as much. 

As it should turn out, that would be the case.
We began the ultrasound and she first let us hear the heartbeat, and shared that I was measuring a little ahead - stating that Emery could potentially make his grand entrance by the end of August! She then asked if I had felt any movement, and when I nervously told her, "No," she said, "Well that would be because your placenta is right in front, acting as a cushion!" 
This mama did a huge sigh of relief. 

From there, she went through the rest of the ultrasound and everything looked great! We loved getting to see the heart, the brain, the kidneys, the diaphragm - so very cool. No words to express the moment in seeing all of this....
....or the dismay that follows over the truth about abortion when you are in those quiet and unbelievable moments. 

After we finished up with the tech, we met with my doctor for a lengthy 5 minutes, and she stated after looking at the ultrasound information, "Everything looks PERFECT!" She had nothing but good things to say, and said my weight, measurement, blood pressure, and vitals were good as gold! 

Weight gain: 14 lbs (6 lbs from 16 to 20 week appointment). Part of me thinks that I am still gaining too much, but every visit I ask the doctor, and every visit she looks at me like I am crazy....and says my weight gain is perfectly fine. She also reminds me that I was little to begin with; so every pound will seem like 5 in my mind.
Did I mention how much I love her???

Sleep: Ugh. I don't want to talk about it.
Maybe I will feel more like doing so next update. 

GenderB-O-Y, BOY!!! 

NameWe finalized baby boy's name on Saturday, April 12th, while on a mini road trip to IKEA: Emery Anthony Edens!!! A blog post with the name explanation is to follow at some point....

Feeling: Great! I have no major complaints...I can honestly say, I love being pregnant. It is such a blessing! I deal with major aches, pains, and soreness in my legs, calves, back (and more recently my feet), but I think it's the nature of my job and standing on my feet all day. I am not coming home as many days from school and feeling like I must lie down and rest for a while before getting some things done around the house though. I also get really bad indigestion and reflux still, but it does pass. 

Cravings: Still nothing. 

Health: I am officially considering the fact that I teach kindergarten - up all day, on my feet, putting on the greatest show on earth - a huge daily exercise regime. I walk about 2 days a week, so I'll take that, too. Eating the same, trying to get in lots of fruits, veggies, and milk. 

I was 22 weeks yesterday, and my next appointment is Thursday, May 15th for a general check-up and talk with the doctor.

20 banana. 

I am so grateful to God in heaven for the grace of a wonderful, healthy 20 week check-up, and as of late, I cannot seem to forget how thankful I am for LIFE. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Snakes and snails…

…and puppy dog tails! 

Baby E is a…baby BOY!

Who knew!? So many of our family and friends were thinking pink, pink, pink…and I’ll be honest, I believe that deep down in my gut, that’s what Jonathan and I were thinking as well. I was truly going off of nothing; the Sunday before our gender reveal party, while in the shower (which, sorry for the TMI, but that, along with the car, is where I do some of my best thinking, praying, and talking with my Father), for a minute I had what some might call my first, and only, instinct of a baby girl.

Other than that, no motherly instinct on gender…at all.

I truly feel that this was because if I declared the gender one way or the other, particularly out loud, that I felt I might be showing favoritism towards either, resulting in feeling guilty if I was wrong. Jonathan had a dream around 6 weeks about it being a girl; one so real, with emotions felt so strong, that had him thinking a girl as well.

But…blue it is. And we could not be MORE excited!

Girls had more votes at the party...but boy won!!!
As you may recall from my last post, we were to have our gender reveal party on the Saturday after our Thursday appointment with the OB.
The party went SO well and was so, so much fun! I truly cannot say thank you enough to my parents for allowing us to have it at their house, – which is immaculately beautiful and was the perfect place – for the food preparation, decorating, and overall hosting along with help from my sweet sister, to Sandra and Jerry for all the added decorations, food, and punch, to Sandra and Rebekah for the photography, and to my BBFF JB for all the help in setting up and getting things ready, and the biggest task of all, prepping the reveal!

Some of you may be wondering…how did we reveal the big news??? Well…

Many people did not believe that Jonathan and I did not find out the gender when at the doctor that Thursday, but…we really did not (I know…me wait?!?! Shocking to say the least). We had the tech put the sonogram in a sealed envelope, and we then passed the mysterious, wonderful secret on to one of our nearest and dearest friends, Joya (she might as well be family). Prior to the party, I had purchased a piñata, along with blue, boy wrapped mints and pink, girl wrapped mints. I gave all of it to Joya, and simply told her to fill the piñata as the picture led. Apparently, there are new and improved piñatas around these days, and instead of hitting them with a ball bat, you take turns pulling ribbons (18-20 or so included) until one of them is THE one – and as you pull, the piñata busts open and all the candy drops! 

Sweet she kept it a secret, we will never know! 
So, you’re probably figuring it out by now.

Joya filled the piñata with the correct mints and Jonathan and I took turns pulling ribbons until the piñata busted…of course, the last ribbon was the winner, and I was the one to excitedly pull it! I’ve got to say, this was a really fun way of finding out together, along with everyone else, because my heart was beating overtime and the excitement and adrenaline behind not knowing as each ribbon was pulled was just too much fun!

The best part of the entire day, however, was Jonathan’s reaction to the blue wrapped mints as they fell to the ground. He cried…and then cried…and then cried some more. I could do nothing but grin from ear to ear as I imagined a precious baby boy growing up to be just like his incredible daddy!

This picture pretty much sums up his joy. I love it. 
We also had a reveal cake that one of my students’ sweet and precious mama offered to bake for us and it was absolutely beautiful! That was a lot of fun cutting into as well! 

AH-mazing cake. 
At the end of the afternoon, my daddy asked, “Well Lu, was it everything you dreamed of and more??” I replied, teasingly, that it was even better than my wedding day, but truly, it was perfect and we feel very fortunate to have enjoyed another blessed day with family and friends, filled with lots of laughter and fun! 

Lots of beautiful, handmade decor: 

Pink and Blue teams: 

Pulling ribbons from the piñ's blue!!

Happy parents and grandparents! 

Weight gain: 8 lbs (3 lbs from 8 week to 12 week appointment, 5 lbs from 12 to 16 week appointment). I am still not used to this rapid weight gain, so each time the nurse has me stand on the scale and I read it, it freaks me out. I am still wearing all of my regular pants and jeans, but with a BeBand. I am not uncomfortable, and I don't feel bigger than my normal self...just in my belly, of course. The doctor said my weight is perfect; right on target, so I'm taking her word for it. 

Sleep: I am still up and down all night. For bathroom trips, and tossing and turning from side to side throughout the night. I continue to sleep well for about an hour to an hour and a half, and then I am awake to turn, potty, or grab a sip of juice in the kitchen. I too, like many mamas, truly in my heart believe this is the Lord's way of prepping us for what's to come once sweet baby is here! 

Gender: B-O-Y, BOY!!! 

Name: Remember me stating that we had no CLUE for boy names, yeah, well...since finding out, we have a couple of ideas, but haven't completely finalized anything yet. 

Feeling: Pretty good, actually! Continuing to gain back energy, but still coming home some days after work and crashing on the couch - last week in particular was a doozy. About once a week to 2 weeks, I get some bad constipation/indigestion/reflux, and I am somewhat miserable...but it does pass. 

Cravings: Still nothing in particular. I just told someone this week if I had to say I had craved something, it would definitely be juice. We didn't have any in the house for a few days, and after Jonathan brought home some orange juice this past week, I downed 8 oz in about 8 seconds flat. Still not doing great with the whole milk thing, but trying. Trying is still good, right?!

Health: Haven't done much better with walking; last week's weather, and schedule, really didn't permit it. It was super cold, rainy, and I was super busy at school with evening performances. We're supposed to have some great weather this week, so that is my goal! Eating habits are the same, so I am continuing to try and do better there as well. 

I was 18 weeks on Tuesday and my next appointment is Thursday, April 17th. 

So for me, what does having a baby boy mean??

I’ll admit…my immediate reaction, when alone with this new overwhelming, but joyous news, made me nervous. However, as time has passed and I have had more time to reflect, the more excited I have become.

Every time I am alone with my thoughts, all I can think about is holding my precious baby boy. My mind begins to wonder about so many things:

Will he have his mama’s fair skin, blonde hair, and hazel eyes…or his daddy’s tan complexion, orangutan hair, ears too big for his little head, and beautiful, long eyelashes???

What about his personality?? Will he be caring and bubbly yet stubborn and defiant like his mama?? Or, so considerate and thoughtful of others yet prideful at times like his daddy??

Will he be talented athletically and want to play sport after sport after sport, or will he have so much talent in his body artistically that he doesn’t have the time to even use it all??

My mind wonders every day, so much so, that it’s all consuming – but in such a good way. And then I remember:

None of that truly matters.

Unless he is discipled.
By his daddy and mommy. From the moment he takes his first breath.
To be trained up. To be more like Christ. 

To have knowledge of whom God is, to believe, but most importantly, to understand that even more than he will ever need us, he will need Jesus. To cover his sins.
And once believing, to be continuously, daily, striving to be more like Christ in showing those around him who Christ is and that salvation is more than a prayer. It’s a daily way of life.

And then I am overwhelmed. And my wonderings change to prayer. Prayer for the Lord to equip Jonathan and myself to be good parents, but most importantly, to teach our son to know the Lord and to love him with all of his heart, soul, strength, and mind.

To make a disciple.

God help us to bathe our child in prayer even now.
And to reflect on our own hearts, striving ourselves to be more like Christ for the sake of salvation for our first-born son.