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Our Story

I wrote up our story, the one I shared at the campus ministry event last Friday, and added it as a new page in the top navigation bar of my site. I wanted to write it down and put it somewhere so I can go back and read it when I get discouraged. My WordPress professional hubby (have I ever told you that he builds WP sites for a living?) reminded me that page updates don’t show up in reader feeds so I wanted to let you know that the story was there if you are interested in reading it.

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14 weeks

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Baby 3 is the size of a lemon and is doing all sorts of interesting things now. He/she can suck his/her thumb (developed the ability to grasp), can change his/her facial expressions, and, very importantly, has functioning kidneys and is making urine.

I stopped taking progesterone all together this past week after going every other for a few days. The only reaction I’ve wondered about was a massive migraine that lasted through many doses of Tylenol, applications of heat, and two large cups of caffeinated tea. It could have been caused by the progesterone but it also could have been the change in weather we’ve been experiencing.

I hesitantly say that I might be starting to feel better. Bloating causes much of the problem so if I have Gas-x tablets handy, I make it through the evening in much better shape. I also think I’ve started to feel the baby move. It’s usually when I laying on my back and everything is more compressed. It isn’t constant like with Ben but just an occasional tap-tap-tap around the lower side of my belly button.

My belly is very much popped out so I’ve started weeding through my closet to pack up things I won’t be wearing for a while as well as pulling 3/4 sleeve and sweaters out of my maternity clothes storage bin. I’m fairly certain I was wearing maternity clothes with Ben earlier because my office clothes were less forgiving than sweatpants and t shirts!

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Help and Advice Needed

A few months ago, I was invited to speak at a women’s event hosted by the campus ministry that B works for. The organizer told me their theme for the evening was “transition” and asked me to speak about my experiences with a transition in my life.

Obviously, my life has changed considerably since I was in college but I couldn’t pinpoint one particular moment to speak about. Instead, I started thinking about our marriage and journey to becoming parents, especially our two babies that we didn’t get to meet. It might be a bit of a stretch but I am going to share our story for the first time in the context of “faith during crisis” or “how do you keep it together when everything is falling apart.” I’m scared of putting everything out in the open but I know that I am not doing these young women any sort of service but keeping these experiences to myself. They might not face the same set of crises or disappointments that we have but it is guaranteed that someone will lose a job they love, someone will suffer through losing a loved one, and some will walk alongside someone who is sick.

This is where you come in. I know I can speak for hours about how I felt and how I coped and how God has blessed me in the midst of struggling but I wanted to ask other women as well. What Bible verses spoke to you while you were struggling with crushing disappointment? Did you find a quite from a devotional book particularly encouraging? Between all of us, I know there is enough experience to fill books.

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13 weeks

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Baby 3 is the size of a peach and even has fingerprints at this point! Baby is growing away and weighs about an ounce. I thought I felt a few fluttery kicks this week but I can’t be sure. I keep waiting for something that really feels repetitive and bubbly at the same time. When I lay on my back, I can tell that my uterus is much larger and heavier. I can feel a weight pushing down lightly. It won’t be too long before I can’t even do that anymore!

Since I’m now in the second trimester, I should feel better soon, right? I’ve had some wicked headaches this week that have knocked me flat. B had plans for several evenings so I was on my own for dinner and bedtime in addition to daily stuff. I’m keeping food down more often than not, and that’s good.

I’ve decided to taper my progesterone intake this week. Starting today, I am going to take one pill every other day instead of daily and will hopefully feel confident enough to stop entirely at 14 weeks.

A friend of mine is 8 weeks further along in her first (second) pregnancy and we’ve spent a lot of time this week discussing baby registries. I shared the checklist I used when I made the registry for Ben and helped her make sure she didn’t miss anything important. They are not finding out the sex of their baby though so that makes picking gender-neutral everything much more important. Talking over registries this week has motivated me to start one on Amazon for this baby. We don’t expect any more showers and aren’t missing any essential gear so this is to fill in the holes where we are missing a few things (baby bath tub, a second pack n play, pacifiers, etc). We’ve tentatively decided that Ben will move to a twin bed instead of a toddler bed when the time comes so we don’t need to waste money on a second crib mattress. B has been talking about building furniture for a while so he might be making Ben’s bed!

My widowed grandma decided this week that she does want to move into a retirement home that she’s had her eye on. My mom went to visit and tour the available apartments there this week and grandma, who has a hard time making her own decisions, picked one out! It needs a bit of work before she can move in so that won’t happen for another 8 weeks or so. Why is this relevant to a pregnancy update post? B and I are more than likely going to buy her house as our first rental property! We are equally excited and concerned about the bigness of making this change while also expecting a child. Our goal will be to have renters moved in before September so, other than having more responsibility, more projects to complete over the summer, and more tax deductions next year, things should be settled by baby time. If you’d like to hear more about why we’re moving in this direction and more about the house, I’d love to give details in another post.

 

 

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18 Months

18 months seems like an incredibly old age. Ben is a great kid with lots of opinions, an odd sense of humor (takes after his dad!), loves to play, watch shows, “go go” in the car, play with the kitties, read books, go for walks, eat pretty much everything we give him, visit his grandparents, play “Zehda” with dad after work, and explore the house. He’s getting toddler opinions and the stubbornness that goes along with it. The other day, he burst into tears because he thought I poured the wrong cereal into his snack cup!

Ben mimics so many words now that it is difficult to list what ones he knows. He can say tons of food words, ask for a show (Baby Einstein), greet people (he says hi to everyone when we’re out), say goodbye, talk about books, talk about what he’ll do with his daddy when B is done with work, and many more things. He talks almost constantly now. We heard him singing along with the song “Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down” from Winnie the Pooh last week.

There are only three things Ben will not eat: Broccoli, pasta, and american cheese. Everything else is fair game. His old favorites are still his favorites but he loves bread (“brea”), lunch meat (“mee”), green beans (“bee beans”), and crackers (“crker”). He still uses a handful of signs along with his food words but even some of those are being replaced by verbalizing. Please is consistently a sign but thank you is more often words than signs than it was a month ago.

Ben and I like to go out adventuring every morning. Some adventures are common and boring, like grocery shopping, but there are times we go play in the kids area at the mall or explore a new store. My mom takes Ben for Grammy Day at least once every two weeks. I get so much done without having to stop working to change diapers, pick up toys, refill sippy cups, and give healing kisses when Ben falls. Ben climbs now, mostly just the living room ottoman but he’s really good at stairs and will try anything that he thinks is low enough. We’re going to have quite the time keeping an eye on him when it warms up enough to play outside!

Ben is wearing 18 month clothes and size 5 shoes. His size 4 Converse are finally getting a bit small. I’ve amassed quite a collection of 18 and 24 month winter and summer clothes so I shouldn’t have to do much shopping for Ben until after Baby 3 arrives. I still need to go through his dresser and pull out the 12 month onesies and pants. T-shirts and jackets fit longer than onesies or pants so he still wears his 12 month tees regularly. I’ll put those in storage eventually. I haven’t changed his cloth diaper sizing but he’s moved up into size 4 disposables, mostly because I had a huge stash from my last two Honest Company shipments and had run out of size 3 diapers. Ben doesn’t see the pediatrician for his 18 month well-baby checkup until the 31st because the doctor is out of town. I’m sure I’ll have some more accurate stats than “bigger than 15 months” at that point!

Well Baby Checkup:

Ben weighed in at 23 lbs 3 oz (34th %), was 33.5 inches tall (82nd %), and his head was 18.5 inches around (37th %). He didn’t gain much weight but that is to be expected since he’s hit toddler stage where he runs instead of walks and is always on the move. He is a tall little guy though! He’s outgrowing his 18 month sleepers already so I’ve got to dig out the 24 month pjs I have in storage. The doctor seemed pleased with his progress in social skills, learning to use silverware, talking, sleeping, and showing off his personality (Ben was a little ham the entire time we were there).

Ben only had once vaccine, the second Hep A shot, and now he is done with vaccines until he turns 4. I can barely imagine my baby turning 4 but I’m sure it will come sooner than I expect. He also doesn’t have to go back to the doctor until he turns 2. I told the pediatrician about Baby 3 and his/her expected arrival around Ben’s birthday so it is very likely that I’ll schedule a tentative appointment but cancel and reschedule for both kids at once since our pediatrician doesn’t make rounds at the hospital were I’ll be delivering.

Their 18 cheat sheet says that by this age, Ben should be doing some of the following: Speak 5-10 words (check!), walk up steps (working on it), Uses a spoon and fork at times (check!), stacks 2 blocks (check!), helps around the house (check!), can point to one body part (check!), and runs (hahahaha!). He is doing great, just like we thought!

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Celebrating the bath mohawk

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This photo harkens back to our Disney trip in 2013 but Ben is much bigger this time

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Ben LOVED the Finding Nemo ride at EPCOT. He ran around to check out all the fish in the aquariums at the end of the ride

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Fsssshhh!

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Disney was exhausting! He took two naps a day for most of our week there

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Strutting his stuff! We bought him a sheep backpack/harness to help keep track of him and we were very thankful we did!

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Coloring is fun but he still loves to chew on the crayons

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Meeting the Boss at dinner on our first night. Mickey was the only character Ben warmed up to while we were there. No tears but was clearly not interested in getting closer

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Benny and his Daddy

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Dumbo!

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Ben passed out minutes after getting off Dumbo and slept all the way through the Little Mermaid

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Dinner with a Toddler

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Glorious bedhead!

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Post-Disney, we stayed with my great aunt and uncle in Cape Coral, Florida. All Ben would talk about all week was playing in the water with daddy

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The church the college students stay at has a preschool and daycare and Ben loved to play with their toys. We may have to hunt for a car this summer

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Our boy loves brooms and vacuuming, even when traveling

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Ben was a big hit among the college students and enjoyed hanging out at the church and took pretty good naps every day.

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We stopped at a church on the way back for a few hours (the students were staying the night, we kept driving) and Ben’s eyes were HUGE when he saw all the toys in the nursery. He had so much fun playing with new toys after two weeks of the same bag of toys

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Ben loves checking out my friends’ kids on Instagram

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Winnie the Pooh was one of my favorite movies as a small kid and Ben thinks it’s pretty sweet

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Spring is Springing

Ok, Spring is not really springing in. It’s more like a slow army crawl but I can see small patches of grass in the lawn, our driveway is gaining back all the space the snow banks stole, and the edging around our gardens and trees is starting to appear.

To encourage the snow to melt a little faster, I did what I could by putting away all the winter decorations I had out and pull out the spring and Easter stuff.

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12 weeks

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Like most pregnant women, I’ve been looking forward to week 12 for about 6 weeks. Those 6 weeks have been very busy and eventful and it’s been a struggle to keep up. My morning sickness is different this time than with Ben so I’m still praying it disappears soon. I felt better at the beginning of last week but worse toward the end so maybe I’ve reached the point where everything worsens before suddenly improving? Either way, I’ll be stopping progesterone by the end of the week and we’ll start telling our news to the general public.

Baby is lime sized, wiggly (see last week’s update), reacts to me pushing on him/her, has nerves, intestines, functioning kidneys and a whole lot of other important things. I’m anticipating “popping” more than I already have and hope to pull out maternity clothes soon. I can’t wait for more space for my bladder and stomach! I realized when i was digging through the bin of maternity clothes that last time I stayed in regular clothes as long as possible (with the exception of pants) because I don’t have too many items that are distinctly for when my belly is small. It doesn’t help that this spring has been much, much cooler than two years ago. I remember wearing a sundress to a bridal shower at 13 weeks last time. This time, I’ll be glad to not wear boots and a down coat!