Brielle at nearly 18 months old. She played in the suitcase for nearly an hour and a half. I wasn’t about to disturb her!
So I thought I’d share my favourite parenting resources so far. I have a teensy weensy bit of experience since I only have a 17 month old and a 2 month old, but what I’ve read or listened to has been helpful for what has been, and sounds helpful for what will be. Here they are:
1) The Importance of Biblically Disciplining Children This sermon by Voddie Baucham is excellent. He outlines three different stages in parenting: the discipline phase, the catechism phase and the discipleship phase. This is something I will listen to many times while I am a mother and I have children in my home!
2) Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick. This book turns the idea of “do these things and you will have good kids/Christian kids/well-rounded kids” on its head. Yes we must train the up in the way they should go, but we must also model grace to our children in the way we parent. We are God’s representative to our children so we must show them grace as God has shown us grace. This is much harder to practice and takes more time, but it is truly loving our children when we show them grace. It was a convicting read as it kept bringing me to the foot of the cross and convicting me of sins in my life and also reminded me that this parenting thing is only enabled by God’s power in me, as 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
3) The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott. This book is broken into two sections. The first section addresses the fundamental and primary need of the Gospel in our children’s lives. The second section outlines practically how to train our children in each stage of their growing up years. I found this to be an easy and fast read but well worth the time and something I will read again.
4) Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel R. Beeke. So full of Scripture and the Puritans! I loved reading this book. It was deep and rich, yet intensely practical. I am a Baptist, so I skipped over the Presbyterian section at the beginning, but I still found it extremely helpful. Another book I will reread!
5) Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. This book isn’t so much a parenting book as it is a little book of encouragements during the baby and toddler years. This woman has five children 5 years old and under! She made me laugh and encouraged my heart as I read about her joys and mishaps with her littles. It’s a small book but definitely well worth every penny!
Let me know what you think of these resources! Have you read any of these books or listened to the sermon? What did you think?
I’m going through Brielle’s clothes, taking out the 12 month and some of the 18 month size clothing and making room for the 24 month clothes that she is just now fitting into. Evelyn is also bursting at the seams of her newborn size clothes, so I had to replace them with her 3 month things! I had washed the laundry the day before and folded them all, but the drawers were so full nothing more would fit, so I put the stacks of the girls’ clean clothes on the rocking chair. Well, I didn’t watch Brielle closely enough and while I was tending to Evelyn, Brielle found the piles far too irresistible. She picked each piece of clothing up and dropped them on the floor, talking quietly to herself. When I came in, I figured I might as well start switching! Once I had cleaned out the smaller sizes and began picking the clothes Brielle had scattered off the floor, Brielle noticed what I was doing. She started picking items up and handing them to me. Of course, her help was so sweet and much appreciated! She became delighted at helping me and every piece of clothing she picked up she wanted to hand to me. Sometimes I can’t believe what a big girl she is becoming!
I finished Brielle’s drawer and opened Evelyn’s drawer. This drawer is the middle drawer and Brielle could actually reach into it, so now that all the clothes were picked up off the floor, she thought it would be fun to begin pulling Evelyn’s clothes out of the drawer. This is when I decided to get the camera out! I wish I had gotten it out earlier to capture the mess and Brielle’s delight in helping, but here is the little I did get!
Lately, this is where Brielle can be found late in the afternoon. She peers out the window and scrutinizes every car, looking for her Daddy. When he does pull up, she squeals delightedly and crawls rapidly to the door so she’s all ready to be swept up into her daddy’s arms. And the sentiment is definitely mutual because Aaron will right away get down on the floor and play with her. She brings him toys and books to show him as long as he will sit with her. It’s safe to say that this is my favourite period of the day.
When I hold you in my arms, Love
It’s the strangest feeling
The things that used to matter
They don’t matter to me
When I see you
And you’re smiling
How my heart aches
So full it is about to break
You make me believe in love
I could never count all the ways
That you change me, Baby
Every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue
When I’m with you
When I hear you, and you’re crying
It resonates, Dear
In a place I didn’t know was there
You make me believe in love
You’re sweeter than strawberry pie
Just like the morning
Your smile brings the sunshine
- JJ Heller, When I’m With You
This morning I heard happy chattering from Brielle’s room, something I hear nearly every single morning, another thing that makes me so happy to be a mama. I went into her room and this is what I found.
I’m not quite sure how she got her arm through the neck of her pajamas! This is the second time she’s done this. She sure is a crazy kid! The other night I snuck into her room to get something for Evelyn and discovered Brielle sleeping perpendicular to her crib with her legs stuck out of the slats. There was no way I could put her blanket back over her when she was in that position! I wish I could keep snapshots of all of those moments. Thankfully, there are snapshots in my head, memories of moments like these. Like now, as Brielle offers me soggy Cheerios to eat and gives me a toothy grin every time I eat one. I sure love this kid.
How time does seem to fly when I want it to slow down the most! My precious newborn is not a newborn any longer. She has filled out so much since the tiny little girl she was at the beginning. She even has a belly! A testament I guess to what a good eater she is. She still has her red hair, although her hairline has receded some rather like an old man! She has deep blue eyes and pale skin. She smiles nearly the entire time she is awake and giggles too. She loves people and loves to interact. Aaron loves when his little girl smiles at him, so he will get close to her and talk and talk. I love to watch the two of them interact. Evelyn loves her daddy right back too! She is sleeping through the night (praise God!), which makes me feel so good each morning. Brielle still loves to kiss Evelyn on the forehead. She also tries to put Evelyn’s pacifier in her mouth, which is adorable to watch. I can’t wait until Evelyn starts interacting with Brielle. I do believe that Evelyn recognizes her big sister though, because when Brielle leans in to kiss her, Evelyn will smile. Evelyn has also already shown an affinity for music by Bach and Schubert, which differs from her big sister who likes Beethoven and Liszt. (Gotta raise ‘em right!) Of course, our house is filled with many different kinds of music, so they both like many kinds of music.
Redemption. What a marvelous thing to meditate upon. We are saved from all our vices, everything that we look to for satisfaction, the things that threaten to drown us so that we perish, separated completely and eternally from the only One who can completely and totally transform us and make us new. Because that’s what we need, to be made new. The unexpected part is that it’s always done in ways we never could have imagined or asked for. Sometimes in ways we never would have wanted. You see, what we don’t realize is we need to be saved from ourselves, from everything that we hold dearest. And by doing that, He shows us that those things would never ever fill us or help us like He can. But the best part of all this is that Christ is good and wants our good, so with His hands holding every moment, we can trust Him gladly. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. We can welcome everything that we encounter with open arms and a willing, grateful heart. This is the best place to live: resting in the everlasting arms. Praise Him.
Just a handful of pictures from the last three to four months of Brielle. She has really changed in so many ways. She says Daddy, duck, doggie, bubbles, Mama, more and hi. She cruises and crawls. She pulls herself into her little chair. She wraps her dolls in blankets like I do with her little sister. Most of all, she loves to look at books and be read to.
I found this post as I was updating the site today. It should have been posted in January! This is reflection on 2012! It will be time to write a reflection on 2013 before I know it.
February On the way to church one Wednesday night, we rear ended someone. Thankfully, we were going between 5 and 10 mph and we hit the tire on the back of their Jeep so they walked away without a scratch. Our Acura on the other hand didn’t fair so well. The hood was completely folded up like an accordion and smoking like crazy. We were just about to sign on our new house and therefore funds were quite low in our bank account. There was absolutely no way we could buy a new car! Thankfully our insurance provided us with a rental car even though we were both under 25. When Aaron got to Enterprise to pick the car up, they gave him a choice between a Jeep and a red Camaro. Can you guess which one he picked? Of course, the Camaro. We drove around in that red Camaro for several weeks.
We began looking at cars online. I was really struggling with trusting God during this time. How were we going to buy a car with such seriously depleted funds? And we were also preparing for the birth of our Pixie and were buying the gear we needed for her. But I didn’t just want God to drop money out of the sky (although that would be nice). I wanted to really learn to trust God, no matter how He would get us out of this mess – no matter if we did have to get a clunker of a car and really had to scrape by for awhile. The Lord really honoured my desire in this, teaching me how to trust Him no matter what. At the same time, He also provided for us far beyond what we could have expected. We received an anonymous gift of large monetary value that enabled us to look at cars that were in much better shape. I was blown away by God and amazed at His gift to us. He didn’t just teach me how to trust Him, but also provided us a way out.
The first week in March we painted our new house and cleaned it from top to bottom. We painted the nursery a nice pale pink with a slight lavender cast. The house was already a nice yellowish tan everywhere which matched all of our furniture and decorations. In the master room, we painted an accent wall a deep red. That weekend, our kind church friends helped us load up a Uhaul with all of our belongings. The truck was packed before 10am and then unloaded again at the house before noon. They put together our bed and put the sheets on it, put clothes in the drawers, books on the shelves and dishes into the cupboards. We were again blown away, this time by the hands and feet of Christ helping us move into our first home. Aaron’s family helped us out too and provided a large and delicious lunch for everyone who showed up. The next weekend, Aaron and I spent some time together in a nice hotel in downtown Cincinnati celebrating our first anniversary. But before we went to our hotel, we stopped to look at a Toyota Camry we had seen online. It was three years old and only had 10,000 miles on it. Such a great deal! Something that was only possible with the wonderful financial gift given to us by God. We bought the car that night and said goodbye to the red Camaro. That weekend we also attended a Skillet concert to celebrate and got our faces melted. The last couple weeks in March, my cousin from Texas spent with us and it was wonderful having her here for so long. Also, two dear couples celebrated their weddings and we got to attend those. One was in Michigan and we saw a bunch of friends and family while we were up there. March seemed to disappear in a blink.
My memory is fuzzy about details so we’ll move to going through seasons rather than month by month. I was growing bigger and bigger every day and it was so exciting getting Brielle’s nursery ready. The bedding was pink Pooh Bear and we hung little original Pooh pictures over the changing table. We put up a shelf near the ceiling and arranged all of my Precious Moments figurines on it. I hung all the pretty little pink dresses and outfits in the closets and washed the brightly coloured cloth diapers in preparation for our little girl.
Now I’m going to tell you something so that you can learn from us. I had about two months to go until Pixie’s birth. I attended a Bible study at the house of a friend of mine and she had just purchased a puppy. This guy was teeny and white and so super cute! My friend brought him into the room after the study was over and she plunked him down in my lap (biggest mistake). I was gone. Such a cutie and we had to have one! So that afternoon I hopped online and looked at puppies for sale in the area (second biggest mistake) and sent Aaron links for my favourite little faces. Aaron had been wanting a Maltese anyway, so why not now? We could have him all potty trained before our baby was born! Aaron was hooked. And guess what we did the very next weekend? Drove about an hour to a breeders and picked out our little seven week old Maltese puppy. Boy was he cute! We brought him home and began the rigorous process of potty training him.
And then I was put on bedrest. Well, mostly bedrest. My doctor told me that I had to get off my feet or she would order my bedrest. I was swollen and huge like a big balloon from water retention. My blood pressure was on the higher side of normal. Both things that concerned my doctors especially with my genetic risk of preeclampsia. So potty training the puppy went out the window. (Now you know why it’s not a good idea to get a puppy two months before you’re going to have a baby!) Family and friends really rallied around us during this time since I couldn’t make dinner or keep the house clean. Aaron’s mom cleaned the house for us and brought quite a few meals to store in our freezer. Our church set up a schedule to bring us meals on a weekly basis. And I went into the doctor for my 39 week appointment and my blood pressure was really high. Since it was so close to when Brielle was due, my doctor suggested I go ahead and be induced because of the preeclampsia. So here is where Brielle’s birth story fits in!
I wish I could remember every way in which the Lord took care of us. He was working in big ways and small ways. Every corner we peeked around and rock we lifted had the fingerprints of God all over them. He never ceases to amaze us in the good He does for us every single day. Praise Him!
Here is little Evelyn Rose’s birth story! I will be including every detail I can possibly think of, so be forewarned if reading about amniotic fluid makes you balk. It was four days past her due date and both Aaron and I were pretty relaxed. For some reason, we both almost felt like because we missed the due date, she would be born all the way at 42 weeks. So I think we both had relaxed our waiting and maybe that is why she decided it was time. I woke up some time between 2 and 3 am on the morning of the 29th of August with definite contractions. I had had Braxton Hicks sporadically from about 37 weeks on and even one bout of consistent Braxton Hicks that we mistook for labour that lasted 18 hours. But when these hit, I knew. I kind of laughed at myself for thinking that anything from before was actual labour because these were so vastly different. They were very spread out I think, because they woke me up but I would immediately fall back to sleep. Around 4:30am, it hurt too much to go through one of those while laying down, so I quietly got up, trying not to wake Aaron. I knew if I woke him and told him what was going on, he wouldn’t sleep anymore. I read a little and then got in the shower to distract myself. I was excited that it was actually time! I was also very excited because I really did not want to be induced and wanted to experience spontaneous labour. At 6am, I woke Aaron up and told him what was going on, and I think he almost didn’t believe me just because we had been waiting for so long! I also texted my doula, Erica to let her know that today was going to be the day! She texted back that I should eat a good breakfast and to keep her posted. I started to fix myself some eggs while Aaron got in the shower. I wasn’t sure when we would need someone to pick up Brielle but I figured it would be good to give Aaron’s mom a heads up. She wakes up early, so I went ahead and gave her a call. I also called my friend Jenny whom I had asked to be a part of my birth team.
Telling people increased my excitement because it made everything feel all the more real. I texted my mom and other family, and my mom replied, asking when I wanted her and my sister to fly out. I told her that I wanted to see them as soon as possible, thinking it would be in the next couple days, but my sister texted a little later saying that they would be there later that afternoon! That bolstered my excitement even more, thinking I would get to see both of them that very day! By this time, Aaron and I are not really keeping our voices down and moving around the house in a more normal fashion and so Brielle woke up in her room. I went and got her up and she sat on the kitchen table in her diaper and little pink t-shirt and shared my eggs with me. It was so sweet, she kept leaning over and wrapping her arms around my neck and hugging me whenever a contraction would hit. My contractions were consistently about 30-40 seconds long and on average 2 to 4 minutes apart. Aaron’s mom came over about 7:30-8am and helped feed Brielle and get her ready to go. Jenny arrived with her little guy and transferred him over to Aaron’s mom too. Even though each contraction was very real and I knew this was definitely baby day, it felt so surreal, almost as if the real action hadn’t started yet.
The contractions pretty consistently stayed 2 to 4 minutes apart but gradually became longer in duration. Once the contraction was over however, I felt very normal and chattered away like this was everyday business. It felt so wonderfully and amazingly different from the induction with Pitocin that I had with Brielle that I loved it. Erica arrived probably around 9am and we all decided to go for a little walk down the street to try and keep things moving. We walked probably two blocks with me leaning on Aaron each time a contraction hit. Between each contraction, we talked about birth and just how amazing the entire process was. Erica suggested that we go back home and let me try to nap because the further along the contractions progressed, the less likely a nap would become and I needed to save my strength for later. So we headed back home and I lay down in bed. My contractions had spaced out a little and I couldn’t help feeling a little worried that labour would stop. Aaron was worried too I could tell. But Erica reassured us that my body knew what it was doing and sometimes things slowed down for a little and everything would be alright. I was able to nap for nearly an hour, waking up for each contraction. At 10am, I couldn’t stand the contractions in bed anymore so I got up and sat on the birthing ball in the living room. Again, it was more like visiting with friends in between contractions than laboring and sometimes I almost wondered when the real deal would start, even though each contraction was quite painful! Each time I would change positions, it would cause a contraction. I got down on my knees and leaned over the birth ball and Erica did some rebozo sifting. I had read some about rebozo sifting and was excited that I got to experience it! Rebozo sifting is when you take a scarf and wrap it under the pregnant woman’s belly and hold both ends and “jiggle” her belly back and forth. Between contractions it felt so good and relaxing. It also helped Evelyn settle down into my pelvis more effectively, thus making each contraction work harder. Of course, that also made them more painful when they did hit, but my amazing birth team kept reminding me that the harder contractions were the effective ones and I needed to welcome them.
After this, it was close to noon so Erica went to go look for food for everyone and I sat again on the birth ball. (I loved that thing!!) Aaron had been applying counter pressure on my back whenever I needed it, but I switched to wanting him to squeeze my hips. This isn’t just a light squeeze either, this is using all your strength to counter the contraction whenever it hit. While Erica was gone, Aaron did that and Jenny alternated with him whenever he got tired. It really took the edge of the peak of each contraction. Erica brought back Panera for us and we sat quietly and ate lunch. The contractions at this point were becoming pretty excruciating so it was harder for me to rest and talk between. I believe this is also when I started becoming more vocal. Jenny constantly reminded me that I needed to breathe out the contraction and focus on controlling my breathing because that’s the only thing I could control. I couldn’t make the contraction go away by breathing fast. It was early afternoon at this point and I was beginning to say things like I can’t do this during the contractions. Erica helped me into the shower. The hot water would feel good during the contractions and it would be a change of positions, hopefully again helping the baby move down. The water did feel amazing. I stood with the hot water hitting my belly and then when a contraction would hit, I would turn so the water was hitting my back and lean against the wall. At this point, I really turned inward in my focus and became silent through the contractions. Between them, I would put my hands on my belly and talk to the baby in my head, telling her how much I loved her and what I imagined she would look like. Aaron came in and talked to me for a few minutes, then Erica came in and then Jenny came in. When I was alone again, I sang A Mighty Fortress is Our God in my head over and over. Unbeknownst to me, the others were rushing to get things together because we had to leave. Erica knew things were getting very close. They came in and told me it was time to go but I told them I didn’t want to move, I wanted to stay in the water. Every time I would move, a new contraction would hit. But they told me we had to go and as soon as we got to the hospital I could get back into the water. They put a dress over my head and helped me out to the car very quickly. Oh how I didn’t want to go anywhere! Erica told me that I would probably labour a little more at the hospital but that I was probably close, that the car ride would be horrible but we had to go now. I got to the car and another massive contraction hit and I leaned hard on Jenny. She helped me into the car and Aaron took off as fast as he could to the hospital. It was about 3pm at this point. Jenny rode in the back and kept up a constant stream of talking, encouraging me and speaking Scripture and singing hymns. That was what helped me get through the ickiness of sitting in a car during each contraction. Thankfully, I only had about three in the entire 20 or so minutes it took to get across town. At one point, I remember Aaron looking at me with such love and tenderness and saying he was so proud of me and he loved me. That gave me so much encouragement. I was saying over and over during the contractions that I was done and couldn’t do it anymore. They kept telling me I was doing it right then, I was almost done, I had gone through most of the labour already and had only a short time left.
When we finally pulled up to the hospital entrance, Aaron jumped out to talk to the valet and Jenny got out to help me out of the car. I turned in my seat and put my feet on the ground and my water broke everywhere. I had not really dried off from being in the shower and now my dress was covered in amniotic fluid. Someone brought me a wheelchair but I’m sure Evelyn’s head was right there and the thought of sitting down was really uncomfortable so I said I didn’t want to sit, but when they tried to get me to walk I didn’t want to walk either. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the amniotic fluid was green and there was meconium in the fluid which means Evelyn had had her first bowel movement and she possibly had aspirated it with the amniotic fluid. I am glad I didn’t know at that point because I think it would have really stressed me out. The rest is really quite a blur and I’m sure I will leave out bits, but this is what I remember. We finally got into the lobby of the hospital but that just about did me in and I think I had another massive contraction. I’m sure I freaked everyone who was standing outside when we pulled up and the people walking through the lobby. Aaron was unsure of where to go because we hadn’t been to this hospital so we were all very relieved when we saw Erica walking up. I was still standing near the wheelchair, unwilling to sit or walk. Erica knew exactly what I needed and when I said I couldn’t sit, she told me, “Yes, you can.” And I sat. She grabbed the wheelchair and we headed upstairs. I remember just sitting in the wheelchair, almost feeling mind out of body, thinking I just can’t do this anymore. Apparently, after being so vocal in the lobby, I went completely silent. We got to Labour and Delivery, and Aaron had to sign some papers so Jenny and Erica took me back to triage where they would check how dilated I was and put in an IV line. As soon as I got into the room, I felt this strong urge to push and told everyone. The triage nurse said, “Never mind, we need to get her into a room!” Erica turned the wheelchair around and wheeled me down the hall into a room. They got me into a bed and the nurse went to check me and she barely got a fingertip inside me because Evelyn’s head was right there. She told me, “you’re complete!” I thought, “No! I wish I wasn’t so that I could still get an epidural!” Such a funny thought, because I really wanted to have a natural birth but mentally I wanted it to be over and for some reason the epidural meant all the pain would be over to me. But I was pushing! It was about to be over! I guess rational thought flees at a moment like that. I pushed some little pushes as they rushed around getting a resident to be there since there was absolutely no time to get my doctor there. Erica told me afterwards that my room had quite a few people in it. The triage nurse was there, the charge nurse was there, my L&D nurse was there, the resident was there, and of course Jenny and Erica. After Aaron signed the paperwork, he went to the triage room that they had told him I would be in, but no one was there and they had rushed me back so quickly that the nurses didn’t know what room I had been put in. Aaron said he followed the sound of the yelling and found me. He was worried he wouldn’t make it in time! I’m not sure when he actually arrived. I felt a massive urge to push and pushed as hard as I could with my body. It’s such an indescribably feeling, because if you didn’t do anything your body would push all on its own. The feeling is pretty incredible. So I pushed as hard as I could and Evelyn came out. One huge push and head, shoulders and little body came out. And oh the relief! I felt so much better. I felt so shocked that it was completely over. I think it was also a little shocking because it was only one push really. They put her on me and I held her precious little body for the first time. Almost immediately, I told everyone that this was exactly how I wanted to give birth. I was so very, very happy. I hadn’t chickened out at the end like I thought I would and I made it all the way through without medication! I even got to have my ideal birth of laboring at home as long as absolutely possible and only had to push at the hospital. I got the added bonus of no huge IV needle in my hand, which made me so happy to because I hate needles. The emotional high and the adrenaline rush made me feel on top of the world even though physically my body was tired. I wish I could convey just how happy I was not only to finally meet my precious Evelyn, but to have exactly the kind of birth I wanted made me ecstatic. I even touched Evelyn’s head as she was crowning and Aaron cut the cord, both things that made me even happier. I knew Aaron was happy too because for several hours afterward he wore a big, proud grin. Evelyn was 6 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches long, born at 3:37pm.
We are so happy with our precious little Evelyn Rose and so glad she is here. She is such a precious gift!
So this post will mainly be about pregnancy and the accompanying ups and downs, so be forewarned! We weren’t really trying to get pregnant a second time so close after Brielle’s birth, but I remember in December of 2012 just feeling sure that I was pregnant. It was a little too early to take a pregnancy test and I wanted to wait until I would have a true positive or negative and not have to deal with the whole false negative stuff, but as each day passed the feeling that I was pregnant grew stronger and stronger. The strange thing was that I had no other signs, like tiredness or nausea or whatever. It was just this sense that I was pregnant. I almost didn’t want to tell Aaron, because I thought how could I tell him it was just a feeling, nothing definite! However I did tell him, and we both couldn’t stand it, so I took a pregnancy test. And boom, two pink lines showed up pretty much immediately! That night we had quite the rollercoaster of emotions, excited and scared and everything in between! At that point, Brielle was only five months old, so it was a little overwhelming facing the another baby so soon. But we were definitely excited and couldn’t wait to tell family!
This time around, we wanted to find a creative way to tell both of our families that we were pregnant again, so we brainstormed a few different ways to do it. With Aaron’s family, we found a large cardboard box and taped a piece of paper on the bottom that said “To be delivered August 25th, 2013″. I filled it with towels to give it some weight so it didn’t feel like an empty box and then wrapped it in Christmas paper. On Christmas day we gave them all the box and got some great reactions. With my family, we were going to see them a few days after Christmas, so the plan was to get them all together for a picture, but instead of taking a picture to turn the camera onto video and say, “Okay everyone, 1, 2, 3 say Anna’s pregnant!”, which sort of worked. My sisters know me too well and they had it figured out before I said anything, and of course my mom knew before anyone else!
As for the actual pregnancy, I really didn’t struggle very much with morning sickness which I was very grateful for! It was only after I ate something unusual like Mongolian that my stomach rebelled. Most of the first trimester I spent forgetting I was pregnant because I didn’t feel too different. The first time around, I was so tired all of the time, so this time I was so grateful that I didn’t feel that way since I had a little baby to take care of! When Brielle hit about 7 months old, I think the pregnancy hormones started to effect my milk supply (I was still nursing). Brielle was very cranky and didn’t want to nurse but seemed hungry. So we had to switch to formula which actually went really well and Brielle’s crankiness went away.
Once I hit the second trimester, I had so much energy! I felt great and told everyone that I loved being pregnant. The one thing that was a little unusual was that every once in awhile, my heart would race and I would feel very out of breath and have to sit down. I had had that same thing only a handful of times with Brielle’s pregnancy, but didn’t think much of it and didn’t remember to mention it to the doctor. But this time around, it was happening a lot more often. When I mentioned it to my doctor, he suggested I go to see a cardiologist to make sure it wasn’t serious, but reassured me that it was something that happened during pregnancy for some people. A few weeks later, we were at church and I was experiencing the heart racing and breathlessness while singing. I ended up passing out which scared Aaron and a lot of people at church. We go to a small church and Aaron and I sit toward the very front so it was hard to miss when I passed out! Thankfully, it seems like it was just probably me overheating and my blood pressure dropping suddenly, but I now sit down in church during singing! No need to have that happen again! I did go into a cardiologist and they ran some tests, but it looks like it’s just a heart arrhythmia from all the stress pregnancy puts on my body. Thankfully it’s nothing serious!
When I got to 26 weeks, I went into my OB for the routine gestational diabetes test and it ended up coming back high. I freaked out and overreacted, but my sweet husband helped me realize that it wasn’t the end of the world, and if I did have gestational diabetes, that was God’s will for us and He would help us get through it. My doula also reassured me that it wasn’t as huge as I was making it out to be. Honestly preeclampsia was “bigger” than gestational diabetes! I went into the hospital a few weeks later for a more intensive test which would determine if I really had gestational diabetes. It involved fasting overnight and then going in early in the morning. They drew your blood on an empty stomach to get your blood sugar level, then had you drink a really sugary drink. Every hour after you drank the sugary stuff they drew your blood for three hours. They were looking to see your blood sugar spike and then come down. If I had gestational diabetes, my blood sugar would stay high and not come down. Aaron was such a trooper, sitting in the waiting room at the hospital with me all morning one Saturday. We got there about 7am and couldn’t leave until about 12:30 or so. He also waited to eat until I could, so we were both starving by the time we left the hospital! (My husband is amazing!) Thankfully, the Lord was very good to us and my blood sugar was awesome on all four blood draws! The nurse told me to go eat a Snickers bar when she called and told me.
Now that I’m in the third trimester, I just have the normal aches and pains that accompany looking like a beluga whale. My back hurts now and again, every so often my leg gives out because of sciatica pain, and sometimes I feel breathless. Thankfully that’s the extent of symptoms though. My blood pressure looked like it might be trending higher for a couple weeks, but thankfully at my appointment this last week it was back under control, and my doctor said preeclampsia doesn’t look like it’s a problem, at least for now. I am very very grateful to God for this because being induced and having to labour on my back for most of my labour because of the high blood pressure was absolutely horrible and I really don’t want to have to do that again. I am praying for a normal spontaneous labour where I can labour at home for as long as possible and be up and about. But again, all of that is in God’s hands and we are holding onto our wishes and desires with open hands, knowing that God has a plan and He wants my ultimate good no matter what happens. Just like last time, it will be Aaron and our doula Erica in the room supporting me as I bring this precious girl into the world, with one addition. My friend Jenny has graciously agreed to support me as a part of my birth team. I know that those three will help me through the tough journey of birth and because they are all believers will point me to focus on Christ and look to Him for the strength when I can’t go on.
I am so excited to meet this little one. Last time around, I was so miserable at this point in the pregnancy I just wanted it to be over, but this time I am just excited to meet my second daughter. It will be here before I know it, I am sure! My next post will be the story behind her name and the person who we are naming her after. We are not keeping her name a secret like we did last time, but I want the announcement to be special so you can understand just how special the person is who bore her name.
Baby girl number 2 is soon to make her appearance. It still hits me as odd that Aaron and I will be the parents of TWO children. We are no longer newlyweds, people! Somehow I still think of us as newlyweds, a young married couple. I guess we qualify as a young married couple, but we also qualify as a young family of FOUR (almost). The Lord has been so very good to us. I am just about 36 weeks along, and mentally trying to prepare that this little girl could make her debut any day now. In general, this pregnancy has gone much better than Brielle’s, something for which I am very grateful since I do have a little toddler to chase after! I really enjoyed the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester. At this point though, it’s hard not to look forward to the aches and pains going away after labour and delivery. My back tends to remind me that I’m carrying a little 5 pound child (approximately) constantly! I do enjoy feeling her move around continually and am trying to enjoy it because I really miss that movement once the baby is born! Sometimes it is difficult not to feel nervous about the upcoming labour and delivery process first because of how difficult and traumatic it was last time and second because no matter how you look at it, labour and deliver is not easy! That’s when Aaron reminds me I don’t have the grace to face any of it right now and God will give me the grace I need when that time comes. I know I could never get through that entire process without God’s strength and without my precious husband. Aaron is such a rock for me. There are so many times when I reach the end of my own strength, whether physical, mental or spiritual and Aaron is always there to hold me up and encourage me, helping me to go on while pointing me to Christ and His eternal strength.
Lately Brielle has been such a busy bee. She crawls at such a lightning fast speed and is always exploring. She follows me around everywhere, which I love, and is always attempting to “help” me. Today I turned around and she had found the paper towel roll from the cupboard and was tearing big pieces of it off and strewing them on the kitchen floor. She loves to pull books off the bookshelf and clothes out of the basket. She will crawl underneath the kitchen table and push all the chairs out, something which makes her very happy. She said her first word this week which was very exciting! We had gone to an outdoor concert at a park and someone brought their basset hound with them. When Brielle saw the dog, she got very excited and pointed and said, “doh-doh!” several times. So just to make sure it really was her trying to say dog, we pointed the dog out again and again, and every single time she said the same thing. The next morning too when Spurgeon and Mocha came to greet Brielle, she said the same thing. So I think we’re safe to say that is her first word! We honestly wouldn’t have guessed that would be the first word, because we say “Daddy” more often, and Aaron’s mom has tried hard to get her to say “Nana” for a long time now. But oh well, this child has always surprised us and kept us on our toes! I love being home with her each and every day, being able to watch each new discovery and watch each new development. What a blessing! I cannot understand how much I love her. It grows so much more all the time. Brielle Madelyn is such a gift from God to both Aaron and I and we love her more than we could ever express. A few weeks ago, Brielle woke up in the middle of the night and was upset, so I went in to her room to see what was wrong. I rocked her for awhile to calm her down, and she put her little baby hands on my face and nuzzled my nose with hers. I had never done that to her, so it really surprised me and made me giggle, so she did it again and she giggled too. That is something that I will cherish forever. It certainly made getting up in the middle of the night worth it!
Speaking of getting up in the middle of the night, yes I am up at 2:30am! Sleep isn’t the most comfortable thing right now, so sometimes I get up and read or write in my books for my girls. It’s so much better than laying there and thinking about how I can’t sleep. This big belly doesn’t make it easy!
There’s so much about this pregnancy and what we’ve been up to that I haven’t kept this little blog informed of! I will attempt to write another post with those details so that any followers that I might have feel like they know what’s going on in our lives.
I am back! I took a little hiatus for awhile, not really intentionally, but I’m ready to post more and keep you all in the know about this little family! I’m not promising anything regular, but I am going to actually post! There’s so much that has happened and that we’ve done, so it’s difficult to know where exactly to start. I know my previous post said “to be continued”, and I do have a partial post written to continue what I was sharing. Hopefully, I will be finishing that soon and posting that for all of you. Today we’re just going to start in the here and now.
Brielle Madelyn is turning 10 months old tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that she’s nearly a year! She is still a baby, but when I think of Brielle as a 1 month old and Brielle as a 10 month old, I feel like she’s practically a toddler! She’s definitely her own little person at this point. She has continued to be a very happy and content child, to the happiness of her parents. We feel very spoiled with such an easy baby. This is what our days tend to look like:
8am – 9:30am: Brielle wakes up with a smile on her face and enjoys her first bottle. We look at books together, read some Winnie the Pooh and The Jesus Storybook Bible.
11am or so: Brielle goes down for her first nap. She tends to talk happily to herself for twenty minutes and then falls asleep.
1pm or so: Brielle gets up and eat some finger foods and then enjoys her second bottle.
Each afternoon tends to be different, in fact, this model is pretty loose, but it helps you all get the idea of what we’re doing each day. When we’re home, she will play on the bed while I fold laundry, or sit in her high chair and play while I work in the kitchen. Other days, we spend the afternoon with her Nana, Nanny (great grandma) and Auntie Amber. She also enjoys riding in the front of a cart at the store and taking in all the sights and smells wherever we are.
Late afternoon, Brielle has her second nap. When she wakes up, she generally sits with us at dinner and eats some sort of finger food, then Aaron gives her her bottle and plays with her until bedtime. Brielle absolutely loves her Daddy. Her face just lights up when he comes into the room, comes home, or interacts with her. Then between 7pm and 8pm Brielle goes to bed.
Some other things Brielle is doing: She loves to stand, but can’t yet stand up by herself. From the very beginning, she has loved to stand in our laps. Lately, I’ve been taking her and standing her up against the couch or the coffee table. She likes doing that, but can’t quite figure out how to maneuver around. She smiles nearly all the time and makes some pretty hilarious facial expressions. Her Nana gave her a dolly, and she loves to hug her and “kiss” her face (which is more like licking her face). She has a yellow giraffe and a pink giraffe and she loves both of them, but the pink one is her favourite. Aaron named it Raffy and she sleeps with it. It is so sweet when you bring Raffy to her because she will grin and reach her arms out to it.
Brielle loves to look at board books. She holds them exactly like she is reading it, and will stroke certain pictures. She likes the picture of the dog in the animal book, and will stroke the puppy and talk to it. We have two board books with pictures of babies in it, and she recognizes that they are babies and will just talk and talk to them.
Brielle also absolutely loves music. She has a little baby radio, with buttons that play different sounds and music, and when you hand that to her she laughs! When music is playing, she rocks her body back and forth like she’s dancing. She definitely has music in her soul! At the moment, her favourite music is Owl City and Beethoven. (Quite the combination eh?)
We love our sweetie so very much. I absolutely love, love, love being at home with Brielle all the time. She changes so much all the time, I wouldn’t want to miss any moment for the world. She is just so much fun to be with.
And now it’s time for the announcement part of this post. We are expecting another little one! We found out just before Christmas, which provided an opportune time to give the news to our respective families. This pregnancy has been smoother than the previous one, which is nice since I already have a baby to take care of! I had a little morning sickness during the first trimester, but it only popped up when I ate something unusual and my stomach was not a fan. Now, the only symptoms I really have would be backaches toward the end of the day. We’re also hoping that preeclampsia would not rear it’s ugly head this time. I am 19 weeks along right now, and we’re scheduled to have an ultrasound next week to find out baby’s gender. We’re pretty excited to find out if we’re going to have another daughter, or our first son. We would love either! Sometimes it seems strange that we’re going to be parents of TWO children!!
Now, this post has simply gotten long enough, so I shall sign off for now, but more to come soon!