Baby Girl #2 - 34 Weeks!

Ahhh...I'm aching to write, as I've had so much on my heart and mind. I just keep putting it off because I don't know where to start and I'm spending my down time reading, researching, and thinking of all the things I need to do!
I can't believe my sweet baby girl will be sometime around 6 weeks from now!!!  Where has this past month gone??  It's amazing...and crazy, and awesome, and overwhelming, and unbelievable!  I think she literally dropped yesterday, as all of a sudden I woke up and felt a little different and like my belly started hanging lower - kind of weird.  But the only reason it might be so noticeable is because this little one has been pretty painful in there.  The way she has been positioned has almost felt like she's straight across my belly and she rounds that back like she's pushing to pop right out!  With this pregnancy I've felt like I could lean forward a little too much and tip right over.  Ha.  I never felt like that with Selah.  This little gal is also a mover and a shaker.  My placenta is positioned differently, which I think allows me to feel her more, but it's kind of hilarious.  When I sit or lay down at night, it's like my body has a mind of it's own, and I'm often taken back by how it feels like my body is hopping and jumping outside my control.  It's especially fun because Kevin can obviously see our girl rockin' and rolling in there.  Our little gymnast. :)

I LOVE when Selah is sitting on my lap, leaned up against me and Zoe gets to moving.  It is the most amazing feeling to have both my girls so close to me like that.  It's the same at night when I rock and sing to Selah - she'll be laying her head on my shoulder and her body maneuvered around my big belly and Zoe will be moving all over the place at the same time or kicking me like she knows something's there.  I am so savoring those sweet times.  I'm definitely at the place now where people are saying, "You're just SO pregnant."  Ha.  I do think I'm sticking straight out more, possibly due to what I was saying earlier, about feeling like she's pushing out as hard as she can.

I'm also entering the "grieving the end of another pregnancy, eager to hold my new little one, trying to pray through my labor/delivery/end of pregnancy anxiety" stage.  Even yesterday, feeling like she dropped I felt like crying because I might not have captured a good picture of her in my belly before that happened.  Ha!  So crazy and funny, but the hormonal waterworks are always real. :)  You wouldn't know it by my lack of photo updates, but last summer I made the cutest weekly update banner with one pendant that was velcroed on so I could change the number each week.  But I did a horrible job at keeping up with that, partly because it was tough to fit it all in a picture.  And for better or worse, I always change my camera to crazy settings as I work on different photography things, so sometimes I just don't have the motivation to walk Kevin through how to take an actual in focus photo.  So ridiculous, I know.

The other basic details:

How far along: 34 weeks

How big is baby? Size of a pineapple (though she totally feels like a bowling ball!)

Gender: Girl!

Symptoms/Cravings:  I've had a whole lot of crazy sciatic stuff, where sometimes it will catch and make me stop to catch my breath.  I am also totally empty on energy by dinnertime.  Mentally, emotionally, physically.  Insomnia is particularly regular, and I want every dark chocolate thing Trader Joe's has to offer.  This sweet tooth is insane.  Hmmm...maybe I've solved the mystery of why she's moving around so much in there! :)  I still just love having this big belly...and I really will miss it when it's gone and I feel like I have to suck it in again.  Another good reason to do a whole lot of babywearing! ;)  It's gotten pretty tough to hold Selah while standing for any length of time, but I still love to scoop her up and snuggle her whenever I get the chance or she needs me to.  And we do enjoy our couch time, especially since I started letting her watch Mister Rogers.  Fun memories with her. I am also aching to write an update post on her and her precious little growing personality!  I am praying so much for this new little life, and embracing this special time of having her so close to me.  It's just incredible and I'm SO grateful for this experience!  Life is happening so fast it's crazy.

Fun fact: This entire pregnancy I've only bought two maternity sweaters, one clearance maternity tank top, and a $6 pair of jeans.  I was also given a different pair of jeans.  I haven't been able to wear my other maternity clothes except for a few shirts (because it was summer), but I am surviving!  I say that just to be an encouragement to those on a budget.  I might not be too fashionable, and I might be getting especially tired of the clothes I have been wearing, but I'm so thankful to have saved a lot of money by not heeding the pressure to look cute or trendy.  (Not to mention it helps that I'm home a lot!)  That said, these last several weeks might get a little tricky, as it will definitely become impossible to wear some of the non-maternity shirts I've stretched to the limits!

Special moments with Kevin:  It has been so neat that he can feel her move so much...and he always starts talking to her and telling her how excited we are to meet her.  And he prays over her and my belly, which we did with Selah last night with her little hand on it.  She knows Zoe's name and we've talked a lot about big sister/baby sister...and as much as she loves other little babies I can't wait for her to meet this very special one.

Other than that, I'm longing for the sun with most everyone else.  I love that Spring is coming...and I rejoice in the Lord for all the newness that comes with it.  Oh how I'm focused on treasuring these baby years...there are definitely tough days and ones when my patience wears thin...but I know these are special, special times so I sincerely want to savor it. 

There is so much more on my heart and mind, and things going on in life...covering all different emotions...but I'll just have to make myself write more so I can share it.  For now I'll end with the verse that's on the artwork above the crib in the nursery:

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; I trust him with all my heart.  He helps me and my heart leaps for joy.  I burst into songs of Thanksgiving." Psalm 28:7


Happy Heart's Day From My Little Loves

(Today is a super special day, because February 10th is the day that my husband and I met 5 years ago!  I'll never forget the big smile he had when he greeted me in the atrium of his church, after I made a very nervous drive from Cincinnati to Louisville.  I will forever be thankful for that life-changing day, when God answered a prayer I had prayed for many years.  I love you Kevin!)

In honor of "love month" Selah and I did a little photo shoot a couple weeks ago.  It was quite a workout for mommy and baby, but we got some cute ones.  The first one is what we sent to our families last week...

This was what the photo shoot really looked like most of the time.

"Baby sister?"

And yes, our little Lovebug's name is Zoe!  This is a name I have loved for a long time, and I will dedicate a whole post to more of the story behind it soon, but below is part of what I wrote on the back of the card we sent with the photo to our families.  We are praying so intensely for this little one, and are just so excited to meet her and have our girls together!

"We are naming our new baby girl Zoe!  We have both prayed over and love this name, and have chosen it because it means "life."  John 10:10 says that there is one who seeks to steal and destroy, but Jesus came so we "may have life and have it to the full."  In New Testament Greek this abundant and eternal life is translated "zoe."  We rejoice over our little one's new life and pray she shares this message with many.  We can't wait to meet her!  Thank you for your continued prayers for a healthy baby and safe delivery at just the right time."

Speaking of Jesus and love, here's my favorite song about both right now....

Lady Lovebug at 30 weeks!

(This was at my 30 week appt.!)

I can't believe I'm moving right along and embracing the 3rd trimester with this little one!  I mean good grief...we will be meeting this little lady before we know it!  The first trimester and a half I was crazy sick, the second trimester I felt great with lots of energy during the second half of it, and now I'm on a bit of an every other day path.  Meaning one day I'll feel all "nesty" and productive, and then I am completely wiped out the next.  But half-time productivity is better than none. :)  Yesterday Selah and I both took 2 naps and I had a rough day for whatever reason.  And my emotions are a little cuckoo, which I keep telling Kevin to embrace.  Here are some more fun details...

How far: 28, 29, 30 weeks (I originally wrote this at 28 weeks, then tweaked it at 30, now I'm 31 1/2!  I'll try to write a more updated post soon.  Flying by!!!)

Size of baby: Butternut squash, 3.1 lbs!!! (Technically a head of lettuce by now) Wow, can't wait to meet this spunky little gal.

Gender:  We're having a GIRL!!!  Yay, fun and different experience to know.  I love calling her "she" and praying for her/talking to her by name.  Keeping the gender sealed in an envelope until Christmas was a really fun way to build up the anticipation and create a special moment...so I highly recommend doing something like that if you're thinking of finding out but want to do something fun.  (I also think that balloons in a box thing would be fun!)

Name:  Speaking of which, yes, we have a name that I love and that most importantly for us is so significant in the meaning.  I made a fun photo announcement for our families, then I'll share more publicly.  Exciting!  Naming a baby always feels like a lot of pressure...such a privilege...and I don't know that it ever totally sinks in and becomes just right until the little one is here and we can see her face!  (but I'm trying to teach it to Selah;) Tough to keep in the details...can't believe we kept everything in for so long last time!

Pregnancy symptoms:  I have backed off the cinnamon roll cravings - thank goodness!  And have definitely loved salads or soups lately.  And I have been excited about cooking and meal planning for maybe the first time in our marriage!  (Which I'm thankful I've finally come back around to...I've always loved to cook, but just haven't found my groove in the past few years)  My sciatic is really bothering me, and sleep is either great or rough.  This sweet little gal is pretty low down there and resting on some nerves that aren't the most comfortable.  And when she kicks/squirms/punches it hurts definitely more than with Selah.  But she also feels more "up front."   Finally, I definitely think I look even more "motherly" with this pregnancy.  Last time I did a lot of swimming in the last trimester, and I'm a little nervous about not having that these last few months.  Definitely don't want to set myself up for shock with the body aftermath of this pregnancy.  Yet I love what I just read in a great book I'll share soon.  She said our bodies were meant to be used up, not preserved like in a museum!  Ha - love that!

Sweet moments:  Selah is definitely a snuggly gal, which I am so thankful for.  It is not unusual for her to come up and just give me a big, long hug for no reason.  She did this a few days ago, and I just held her, thinking about these next couple months as the last months with just her.  I am beyond joyful that she is getting a sister, but I do want to embrace this time before our family changes again.  But I certainly am excited to have all four of us together!

On my mind lately: A lot of domestic things.  I find myself wanting to connect and relate to other wives/moms who might find the daily tasks at home a struggle sometimes.  Or the repetitive nature of it all.  I am definitely seeking God on what's going on in my heart with this one.  I'm also working on a post to share some of my favorite mom books lately, which have helped me realize the pressure I put on myself and how often I feel like I'm failing if I don't live up to my own expectations.  And I know I want to be a mom who offers grace to my husband and kids, but I'm finding I need to do a way better job of receiving grace myself!!

Meaningful verse this week: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therfore I will wait for him.  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."  Lamentations 3:22-26

My prayers for my little ones are intense and seem constant lately.  Carrying a baby in the womb and having one outside my body brings my heart to my knees all the time.  I feel like I can't pray enough for these two, and have a feeling it will always be that way.  I can still hardly believe that I am a mom, and I'm just really thankful.