pregnancy thus far

i haven’t written much about this pregnancy.  mostly because it’s the same boring stuff for most pregnancies.  it’s only interesting if you are the one pregnant.

but i did want to touch on the comparisons of this pregnancy with Elijah and my first pregnancy with Caleb. for myself and also for anyone thinking about hiring a midwife.  i know having your baby in the hospital is still the most popular route.  i’m not here to change your birth plan.  i’m just sharing the vast differences of my experiences.  obviously, birthing at home is on the opposite end of the spectrum as a hospital birth but i didn’t realize how different and awesome the prenatal care would be.

i had a fairly easy pregnancy with caleb up until the third trimester.  we had a lot of transitions during that time so, emotionally, things were out of whack.  physically, i was large and uncomfortable.  two things i knew were normal for the end of a pregnancy.  what i didn’t know was the amount of swelling and varicosity issues i had were severe.  at each appointment i was told to stay away from fried foods (which i did) and drink lots of water (which i struggled with, daily, but i tried to).  my feet swelled everyday within an hour of waking up if i was walking around.  by the end of the day, they felt and looked as if they would pop and were extremely sore to the touch.

i also struggled with sleep and restless leg syndrome.  some days, i would need to sleep in until 11 or 12pm because i was up all night.

i gained 35lbs.  not too bad, compared to some friends and most of America.  but i was at an unhealthy weight before pregnancy so i really only needed to gain between 15-25lbs.  by the end of the pregnancy all healthy eating (whatever that meant to me, i wasn’t that healthy!) went out the window.  i know now this is what mostly contributed to all of my problems.

which is why i am so very thankful that caleb was able to be born without intervention and rather quickly (10 hours after water breaking and 8 hours after labor started) because i knew very little about how the Labor and Delivery ward at the hospital handled things.  i dilated from 2cm to 10cm in three hours.  THREE HOURS.  that was some intense labor and i was told, not asked, numerous times that i should get an epidural and that people rarely make it through without wanting one.  that didn’t help much.  but we made it through and caleb was healthy.

fast forward three years to what i’m still praying is our second full term pregnancy.  i am beyond thrilled to have made it this far carrying Elijah and with ease.  i am currently 29wks 3 days and have started to feel Braxton Hicks contractions everyday.  more so if i don’t drink enough water. i still have varicosity issues.  my varicose veins have spread tremendously.  this is normal for subsequent pregnancies.  this began around week 14.  i also am, um, uncomfortable in some other places of my body because of this.  i won’t get into it but it was much more painful this time around than with caleb.  also normal.  with the help of my midwife we were able to come up with a “plan” that helps me have NO PAIN even though my legs look terrible with spots and busted blood vessels.  this was a huge answer to prayer.  i was gearing myself up for swelling issues and then this comes along! i wasn’t prepared.  i would text my midwife with problems and at each appointment we’d troubleshoot and try something new.  by 25 weeks i had a fairly good system of supplements and a sitting/standing routine.  not too hard.  if i had a “bad” day then i would need to wear my compression pantyhose.  not fun.  but after that appointment i switched to another supplement and upped my fluids.  no pain.  no pantyhose.  and no sitting/standing schedule.  it’s still important that i not walk or stand the entire day but i don’t have to time myself.

i also have NO SWELLING.  there were two days where i did swell.  i drank my fluids and tried alternating sitting and standing every 20 minutes.  it would stay away for most of the day but i had to stay on top of it. i looked at the changes in my diet and medication/supplement routine and found that if i cut out gluten 100% (which is what i’m supposed to do for my thyroid anyway but i was slipping back into old habits) then i don’t swell.  it was that easy.  now i don’t have to watch my sitting and standing time.  i may have to as Eli grows but it is a huge relief for now.  i was basically on bed rest with caleb by 33 weeks because i literally could not walk around and do much.  some days i’m shock over this.  i’ll look down at my feet and admire the fact that i can still see my ankles. they’re pretty good lookin ankles.

i still struggle with a full night’s rest but not as bad.  i don’t wake up as often and i don’t have insomnia.  i find my workout routine and Caleb really help this. 🙂 oh, and no restless leg symptoms so far! praise the Lord!  i tried doing some research and there’s not much that can confirm what causes it.  i make sure i have my protein (80 grams) each day and this seems to help the sleep/RL correlation.  i also see a chiropractor so i’m sure that helps tremendously, too.

i have gained 18-20lbs.  i am right on track with gaining 30lbs for this pregnancy which is the goal.  a midwife believes that most issues start with nutrition (or lack thereof) so i try to stick with our paleo/primal diet.  i have added cheese, whole milk, and cottage cheese to get the extra protein i need.  on this diet i know i’m getting the recommended protein each day as well as awesome nutrients from fruits and veggies for both Eli and me.  therefore i can eat within these limits and gain and lose whatever i need.  it’s so nice not to have to stress about gaining 20lbs over, etc.  i was never once told about any of this by my doctor.  i knew about the protein but only because i read so much.  i was told that all the pain i was feeling was normal because i was pregnant.  i’m so thankful to have a friend in my midwife who cares about how i’m feeling and works hard to relieve that pain.

so now the real countdown begins!

scripture print for birth



i stated last time that we’re planning a home birth.  i am so excited about the idea of bringing our son or daughter into the world in a safe and comfortable place.

i have no idea how i will labor.  or where.  but the birthing tub and supplies will be set up in our living room.  and so i’m designing and printing scripture to be placed in there, too.

my ‘theme’ for birth is that it is ALL God’s.  think about it.

1. it’s the most natural, beautiful thing ever…creating new life.  He is the creator.  All praise and glory are His.

2. yet, it can also be terrifying…death…we really must have faith that His will be done!

3. it’s the one (ok, there are probably others but this is the most common to us) thing that man, scientists, doctors, etc have not figured out.  the what, when, where, how varies from baby to baby. from life to life!  because He created us the same, but also uniquely. what day will i go into labor? will my water break? how long will it last?  will it be difficult or easy?  only God knows.  more trust and faith He has favor over us and our birth!

4. the detailed way He made a woman’s body and heart to birth. how is it that a blueberry-sized fetus turned into a watermelon?  and to live off a bulging bag of blood and nutrients…flipping and turning and developing organs.  and then, the grand finale, to know when to travel down the birth canal.  it’s AMAZING.  there is no way man could have invented it.

5.  then, of course, comes mothering and fathering.  if you’ve ever been one then you know what i’m talking about.  the total surrendering of your children daily, hourly to the Lord.  we are all just foster parents to His precious ones.

so, when I think of Scripture to meditate on for our baby and birth this is what I have in mind.  do you have other great verses?  I would love to meditate on passages but would like to print shorter verses so that I may be able to have them read to me or even read them myself during the birth.

more home birth preparations to come since this is my first go at it.  so consider yourself warned! 🙂

our alien baby

ahhh!  look at those alien eyes! 

 so, we had an unexpected sonogram wednesday.  i had gone in to see my midwife, cheryl, and she said i needed to call our backup dr to make an appt to get a our 18-20 week growth sonogram.  this is not required but we wanted to do this and we also would like to know the sex of the baby.  we only ever planned to have one sonogram so we were OK with waiting a few more weeks. when the nurse said she could get me in that day, i was a little nervous but i agreed.  so, 4 hours later, i was looking inside my own uterus at my half developed child.

lemme just sidestep for a second. i feel like something needs to be clarified.

God made this child.

God made Caleb.

and God made T.

that’s pretty obvious truth to those of you reading.

but, for some strange reason, now that T has moved from us everyone tries to fill his spot with this new baby.

i’ll have you know, this is a completely foreign thought to me.  like, when the first person (oh, yes, there’s been many) mentioned how we must be reeeeeeeeeeally excited about this new baby i felt nonplussed.  we would be excited either way.  they are all completely separate little babes to me.  if the Lord were to take Caleb today, there would be a forever hole in our family.  until heaven.

each of my babies are different.  each of them were uniquely designed by the Lord.  and each of them have a separate place in this family.

and T has a forever hole.  and he deserves to have his space reserved and remembered.

parents (well, people in general!) who have lost someone want, more than anything, for others to remember them.  it’s the best and most thoughtful gift.  yes, it hurts sometimes.  i still have tears when i talk about T.  not everyone knows how to deal with that, i get it.  so i speak for myself here.

please remember him. do not replace him.

let my babies be who God designed them to be.

wow, that sounded defensive, didn’t it?  i actually am rarely offended by any comments in regards to fostering. and this was definitely not a case where we were hurt or offended.  we understand that others are trying to grieve as well.  there’s nothing you can say that will hurt my feelings.  this, the letting go of your child, is what everyone fears.  we made it. and we’re telling you how can make it through, too.

ok, so back to my baby #3.

i picked a song for her.

ugh. the sono tech totally messed me up.  she thinks it’s a boy but could not get a great angle to tell.  i would loooove a boy.  i have everything for a boy (except a name) and i know what to expect the first three years. comfortable.  and then my baby went all Henson on us and got comfortable right where he/she was.  couldn’t tell what was going on with that nub between its legs.  whatever.  i still say girl.

so, i picked a song for her.  it’s Psalm 46 by Jenny & Tyler.

The LORD is my refuge and strength

Therefore I will not be afraid

Though the mountains give way

And fall into the sea

He will come and rescue me


The LORD comes to me at break of day

He reaches down to guide me in His ways

Though the oceans roar

In this dark and stormy sea

He will come and rescue me


Halleluyah, He is with me

Halleluyah, we cannot be moved

Halleluyah, He is with me

Halleluyah, I rest secure



that looks pretty bland just sitting there in text.  youtube it or visit their site if you haven’t heard it.

dane and i started learning it together.  when i sing it, all of my emotions from the last 4 months start to surface.

the joy, the sickness, the despair, the laughs, the intimacy, the hate, the tears, the saying goodbye.

and saying hello, again.


is there anything more beautiful than new life?  this tiny thing shows much greatness in our King.

the final verse of the song is my favorite and main prayer in my heart right now:

Be still and know that He is God

He will be exalted over all

Come and behold His strength and majesty

Yet He will come and rescue me

this prayer covers our fostering experience and now this pregnancy and future labor and delivery (uh, Lord, please rescue me).

i am so excited to see how the Lord uses it, in my heart, over this child.