(Just took these pics tonight on our walk...thus the only ones that made the post for now. ;)
We found out we were pregnant on September 30th. I actually was with my mom, making a quick stop at Target on our way to my then future sister-in-law's bridal shower in Kentucky. I had decided to let my body tell me this time if I was pregnant, because I had some negative tests the months prior and I just didn't want to get back on that emotional roller coaster when I could just wait. But I was getting a little curious because I was at least a week late I think. So I grabbed a test at Target, took it in the bathroom, threw it in my purse...and peeked down at it while Selah and I were almost to the car. Needless to say, I was excitedly shocked, not expecting that moment to be the one I found out about my 3rd baby. :) And I really wanted to Kevin to be the first to know, so I actually made it the whole day and trip without telling my mom, which was certainly tough!
That night when I got home I told Kevin I got him something that day and gave him a bag with the test in it. It was sweet and we felt overwhelmingly thankful! I was 5 weeks at that point. And oddly enough, I was doing that Whole 30 thing and still had a week left - which I endured, but it wasn't my favorite. For the rest of my pregnancy I have loathed the thought of Paleo things, even just reading about it. Ha. Must be something about being nauseous with what you're eating a lot of at the time.
Our first super fun moment of the pregnancy was telling Selah (and Zoe). We had been praying with both of them for awhile that God would provide a brother or sister, so Selah was anxious for this prayer request to be answered. We sat them down and asked what we had been praying for, and Selah said, "A baby." Then we showed her the ultrasound and said look what God put in mommy's belly! Of course she wanted to know if it was a girl or boy and proceeded to say in the cutest way for the next several weeks, "We don't know yet," in her sing-song way. I have loved, loved, loved feeling the baby kick and experiencing it with the girls. They just giggle and smile and think it's the neatest thing when they actually get to feel it or see him move. We actually face timed our family's on halloween, to show the girls' costumes and tell everyone what our "treat" was. They loved it.
The most shocking thing about this pregnancy...I have not thrown up one time!!! Isn't that crazy?? If you have read my other pregnancy journeys you would certainly know that it is. Physically this time has actually been so smooth in a way I'm not used to but have loved. I started out way more fit than I have in the past, and I have no idea if that has contributed or not. My fatigue in the first two trimesters was absolutely crazy though...and I don't think the winter helped much. My emotions also took a huge toll during this pregnancy - I got pretty low in those dark winter months. It felt much more like 'time of the month' nonstop hormones than it has in the past. As much as I've documented and journaled for many years, it's been interesting to me to see how hard of a time I've had putting my thoughts and feelings on paper when I've had moments of struggling. Thankfully with the beauty of the Spring and the fun end of this sweet pregnancy, I am just enjoying this little one I have grown to fiercely love and know to some extent, as well as his amazingly sweet two older sisters. Oh my goodness I just cannot wait to see them with him. They are in the cutest stage right now, the best of friends and blooming personalities. We sincerely adore our two beauties and are delighting over them daily. Such an amazing way to connect to the Father's heart, but knowing and enjoying them.
One of the first significant times I felt this sweet one move/kick was during the reception of my brother's wedding, which was 18 weeks. I was sitting at the table eating the delicious dinner they had and I felt it - it was neat because that was an amazing day...I have absolutely love seeing my brother and sweet sister-in-law Emilee experience the purest, most intentional kind of love. I am so, so thankful for how the Lord answered many years of prayer with their relationship and union.
We did find out on January 6th, my 34th birthday, that we are having a sweet baby BOY! We honestly were excited about any possibility, knowing the moment we met our sweet baby he/she would be the perfect one for our family. I had a strong feeling towards boy simply because of my crazy lack of sickness. But we were truly shocked when we opened the envelope/present we had wrapped it in...mostly because we have been in deep with girls and pink around here. But Selah was so cute and started saying right after we found out, "I knew it was a boy." Ha. So funny. It's also been so sweet to see Zoe grow through this experience and become more and more aware. She loves, "Baby brother," she always wants to pray for him, and she knows he's why mama's lap has lost so much room for her. While she is so good at being my baby girl, and love and needs her mama, she also has such a nurturing heart and will be a great big sister. It is just going to be so much fun to see, even with the transitions we'll inevitably have to walk through with her. Selah is such a flexible gal, so good at adapting to new things, with an adventurous and trusting spirit. I think one of the toughest transitions for me might be how big Selah will inevitably and automatically seem with her baby brother here. And she will rise to the occasion of the responsible and helpful biggest sister, which will be awesome but such a reality check of how fast she is growing up. I cannot believe she has left the toddlerhood and will be four in September. Wow. Wasn't I just writing about her being in my belly? The sweet days just fly by and I desperately treasure as much as I can. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for these answered prayers. May my whole life be an expression of gratitude for these precious people and the purposes you've created them for.
Our little guy has been such a mover, with the funniest kicks and rolls, the kind that sometimes make me self-conscious that someone might notice me and think, "Whoa, what's going on in there?" ;) That part definitely reminds me of Zoe. But he reminds me of Selah in that he pretty much found his favorite spot and has kind of stuck to it, especially this last trimester. It seems like he's been curled in a sweet little ball, he'll stick his bottom out and firmly kick my right side. I've come to expect it so much that now I'll just say, "Hi there little buddy." I know that I don't know that this little guy is going to sincerely rock my world and melt my heart. Getting to have him all to myself for a bit is always such a sacred, special time of bonding for me and my babies. I don't rush the end and am super sentimental because I know soon I'll have to share and eventually experience separation. Probably sounds a little silly, but until they come out and remind me it's much better in my arms, it's a real "end of the pregnancy" feeling. I also consider myself an "under-productive procrastinator," so having bonus nesting time at the end always turns out super fruitful! Like I finally finished his quilt, my most complicated yet. Some people like to get the baseboards clean; I feel the need to finish the quilt! :)
And truth be told, especially with the physical ease of this one, I just love being pregnant. But even with the girls, I've never felt more right in my own body, and I'm kept in a constant place of gratitude and worship, that this can actually take place. I don't normally get stretch marks until the last two weeks, then I receive my special little souvenirs to carry with me always that will remind me of this sweet and amazing privilege and blessing. I do not take it for granted, and I am humbled and in awe of the whole thing. I cannot believe my third time around is almost over - I don't know how the Lord might choose us to bless us in the future, but it's hard not to feel shock that I am already almost finished with my first three times to have this amazing experience. I am doing everything I can to treasure it, and I will do the same when this sweet boy makes his arrival!
I am definitely excited to see Kevin experience the arrival of his son too. I think t's already harder for husbands to really grasp all that's going on during pregnancy, and they don't get the neat experience of bonding through the carrying and getting to know all the little details and movements of the little ones. He is always overwhelmed when he meets our new babies for the first time, completely in awe of what has just happened. But I think the reality of a son, that we have neither one experienced yet is going to be special in a new way too.
When it comes to our little guy's name, we are not officially sharing until he's born. But it was surprisingly not as easy to land on this time around. I had been praying a specific prayer about this baby before we ever conceive, largely based on the purpose I feel God has laid on my heart in light of some of our experiences and what He's taught us over the past few years. We have always had one boy bible name for a son, and weren't expecting to not just go with that. But one day I googled bible names for a specific meaning, and what popped up took me by surprise, while also beginning to engrave itself on my heart. Kevin wasn't totally sold and we prayed many prayers and had quite a few discussions. We went back and forth with a few arrangements and ideas, but finally have excitement and peace over this little guy's name. It might be a bit different in some sense, but filled with meaning and was completely inspired, which is truly us, and the same as it's been for our other two sweet ones. We are both really excited. Now I just want to put a name with a face and snuggle this sweet guy. Nothing compares to that overwhelming first moment meeting a new life...truly, nothing. Such a sacred experience, that brings greater meaning and understanding of the power of new life in the Lord as well. I just can't believe I'm about to be surrounded by more than my arms can hold...but thankfully not my heart.
I think I'll end this post by linking to a song our family loves to belt in worship together when we're in the car and it comes on. Thank you Lord for overwhelming us in this way, for drawing us to yourself through our little ones. Thank you for knitting this baby boy together for your glory, for forming him and loving him, and carrying us all to this time and place. We ask for your powerful protection and provision in delivering him and bringing him into this world and our arms. In Jesus' name.
(**Please note, this is an obviously fast and brief overview of a lot of life lived over the last 9-10 months. There is so much not mentioned about life and friends and family; hurts and hardships/joys and sorrows we've walked through with others during this baby growing time. Just wanted to say that. :) )