Stretched

Stretched.

So very stretched.

In all ways. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Thats the end of pregnancy, right? The magical waiting period where you wonder every day, ‘will this be the day I meet my baby?’

I’m stretched physically – obviously. Like, my belly can’t possibly get bigger, can it? My boobs are starting to feel a little stretched too but I know that becomes an even bigger thing after baby is here. Oh, engorgement.. Haha.

I’m stretched mentally. My mind is being pulled every which way and I have a hard time focusing on just one thing. My to-do list is big, my nesting instinct is raging. My mind is constantly going while trying to also stay calm in the midst of all this.

I’m stretched emotionally. I mean, hormones will do that to you. But emotionally also because I think all day about my three kids becoming big siblings to their new baby. I think about holding my new baby for the first time. I think about the emotions that come with a newborn. I think about watching Craig hold his tiny son. Emotionally, I melt. I’m so excited and my heart-strings are being pulled constantly.

Its such a magical, stretching time and I’m doing my best to soak in every last moment as we’re on our final countdown to Baby Brother!

People are Good and Prayers get Answered

Sometimes good, amazing things happen and are just too good not to share. In fact, this past week at church we were kind of challenged to share our testimonies or spiritual experiences with people. As I pondered how I could do this, I kept thinking of my social media platforms and wanted to think of a way to share on those. Then Tuesday happened and I knew exactly what I could share.

I have two quick stories that will really stick with me for a while and I am excited to share!

Lets start at the beginning.

FIRST STORY

On Monday evening and all through the night, a lot of Utah, our area included, was hit with a crazy thunder and lightning storm accompanied with TONS of wind and rain. The boys and I had stayed up late that night watching the storm and listening to it from their bedroom window. The next morning it was evident that the wind had done some pretty significant damage around our town. For some reason our area was spared from much damage, but as we drove to the grocery store that morning we drove through a neighborhood that had been hit hard by the wind. Some streets you couldn’t even drive down because trees, huge ones and small ones alike, were strewn across the road. Fences were ruined by these trees, some light poles were down, play houses and trampolines weren’t in their original spots.. It was a mess.

But it brought about some amazing sights. There were so many trucks pulling trailers coming into this neighborhood and trucks and trailers already there. People, strangers, friends and neighbors scattered these neighborhoods and were helping chop these trees into smaller pieces and haul them out of the neighborhood. I watched a man standing in a yard with his arm around a little frail old woman who seemed pretty upset about the damage to her big front yard trees. I saw people working together to lift big heavy tree trunks into trailers. It was really incredible and humbling to see.

It was a beautiful reminder that there are so many good people in the world. It was amazing to see these people coming together to help their community. I felt really honored to witness it.

SECOND STORY

I have been (pretty silently) stressing out about body image this pregnancy. Not necessarily my pregnant body – I’m actually really confident in my pregnant body. I love what its doing and I’m truly proud of it. I’m more obsessed and nervous about my after-baby-body. If you remember, before this pregnancy I’d got my body to a place I was super proud of. I’d lost weight and got into great shape. I know very well that once Baby Boy is here I’ll very likely be starting back at square one with my body. I know I’m gaining weight and I’ll have to put in a lot of work again to get my body back to that spot I loved before I got pregnant. I keep getting so fixated on this. I’m not in a bad mental state or anything, its just frustrating and consumes my thoughts from time to time.

So on Monday evening, pretty casually in my prayers before bed, I asked Heavenly Father to help me accept my future post-baby body. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I knew God knew what I was talking about.

The next day we went to the grocery store (where we saw all the amazing stuff from story one). While there, I ran into a girl I knew from an old neighborhood. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, but one thing I remembered about her is that she isn’t able to have children of her own. However two months ago, she and her husband were able to adopt their first baby – a beautiful little baby girl she had wrapped around her chest. It was exciting to see her be a mother and we had a nice little brief conversation and caught up.

As she turned and walked the other way after we chatted, she ended up running into someone else she knew. I remained on the aisle trying to find salad dressing that was taking forever to be located (something I know now was no coincidence). I could hear my old friend and this lady she knew chatting for a second and then the adoption was brought up.

Clear as day during their conversation, I heard the girl start talking about how she’s still having a hard time accepting that her body will never look like…and then she pointed down at me. Then she told the woman she was talking with she would kill to have her body “look like that,” one day.

The brightest, most amazing lightbulb went off in my head then. My post-baby body, whatever it may look like, is something that some people would do anything to have. And I’ve been taking it for granted. I’ve been dreading it. I’ve been disrespectful to it. But in that moment, my prayers were answered and I was reminded of just how special, sacred and wonderful my body is – even the body that I’ll have in those following weeks and months after giving birth to my fourth child. I love how the Lord works.

So now I’m going to do my best to hold tight to those feelings I had in the grocery store. I’m going to try to remember the epiphany I had and the reminder I was given that even a post-baby body is absolutely beautiful and worthy of lots of love and respect.

Friday Favorites: Glow Screen

Have you tried Glow Screen from SuperGoop?

If you haven’t, you need to try this magic out!

First of all, its an awesome and effective moisturizer. It also has SPF 40 which is an obvious plus. My favorite part is the super pretty (and lasting) glow it gives you!!

I’m loving this for summer, for pool days, for no make up days…ok lets be real, just for ALL days. This stuff is amazing.

Dear Baby

Dear Baby Boy,

I can’t believe it. You are almost here. Only a few weeks stand between now and the day I finally get to hold you. Touch you. Love on you. Kiss you. Feed you. Swaddle you. Stare at you. I’ve been looking forward to it for so, so long – and now its almost here.

You’ve saved me, buddy. I know the power a rainbow baby holds and the healing they can do for a mama’s heart. Already you’ve eased so much in me and I can only imagine the peace you’ll bring when you are physically in my arms. Oh, I can’t wait.

I can’t wait for you to meet your big brothers and big sister. They have been so eager to meet you. They’ve daydreamed about you for so long. They’re so ready. They can’t wait to be the very best helpers with you. They can’t wait to hold you and smother you (hopefully semi-gently, at least) with all of their big, big love.

Keep on growing sweet little boy. Keep on wiggling. Hey, if you feel like it go ahead and go head down unless being breach is what truly brings you joy 😉 I hope you’re just as excited to meet us as we are to meet you!!

Love, mommy

Friday Favorites: Geometry House

How about a little Friday Favorites? But first, I want to know what an item is in your kitchen that you’re obsessed with! Tell me about it!

Have you heard of Geometry House? They’re all they’re hyped up to be. Promise. My kitchen towel drawer is filled with their goodness (and subsequently one of my favorite little spots in my kitchen) and its my dream come true.

Their tea towels are our very favorite go-to hand towels. They’re so absorbent, dry things way faster than any other towel we’ve used and the designs on them are the CUTEST. Like seriously.

Their rags are equally as amazing. They get the job done. They’re all I use around the kitchen anymore and the designs are just as adorable.

Lastly, their reusable paper towels work, save me money on buying actual paper towel, are good for the environment and, you guessed it, are STINKIN’ cute!!

Have you tried them before?!

The Final Countdown

I feel like once you hit week thirty of pregnancy, you’re on the final countdown. Right? So that means that for a couple of weeks now I’ve just slowly been checking off days getting me closer and closer to little brothers due date. Its exciting! Time is moving fast and slow, but all kind of at the perfect speed. School will have started by the time he arrives (likely) and I’m not mentally ready for that, so I’m ok with these summer days dragging on, honestly. However the stretching belly pain, hip throbbing, achey back, nausea, sciatic fun and heartburn are also causing me to wish that time flew. Its a mix – but I’m ok with it all for the most part.

I’m doing pretty well. Still sick, but the longer it lasts, the more you’re used to it. Gestational Diabetes has been a ton more manageable this time around and I’ve learned so much more about how to handle it, listen to my body and understand the foods I’m eating. My stomach is really sore and I feel like way more often than I’d like to, I need to lay down just to take the load off. That, or go hop in the pool to feel weightless for a while, and thankfully my kids are always happy to get in with me (hallelujah).

The excitement is definitely growing. I’m imagining him in more detail now. I feel like I’m getting to learn more about his personality lately through his movements. He responds to sound, pokes, music and commotion. I’ve started going through the boys old baby clothes and am picturing him in them. Its been real for a while now, but its all getting really real lately.

I’ve also began the zillions of lists I make before having a baby. The hospital bag list, the things to do around the house before he’s born list, the list of random things I still need to buy, the list of postpartum care things I’ll need, the baby name list – because no, we are still not even close at naming this little man… You know, those types of things. But I actually love lists, so don’t confuse this paragraph for a complaint, because it isn’t at all.

As far as cravings go, I really don’t have any. Well any food cravings. I do, however, crave the smell of most cleaning products – especially laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I also love the smell of (don’t laugh at me) dirt. Oo, especially wet dirt. Yum. Am I psycho? I don’t know, maybe. But I love it all too much to really care.

I’m just really happy. I’m feeling hopeful and excited and can’t wait to finally meet this sweet little baby boy!! Life is good.

The Day I Found Out I’m Pregnant! – 1st Trimester of Pregnancy Log

It still doesn’t feel real. This 100% feels like a very, very good dream. But it’s actually reality! Today (January 3, 2022) I took a pregnancy test in the middle of the day and the clear, bold + sign told me loud and clear that I am pregnant!!!

The Story

We have been trying to get pregnant since October (my second miscarriage was in September) and I’ve been trying so hard not to get too hung up on the whole process, no matter how hard that can be for me. But a couple days ago I realized my period was due in the next couple of days and I hadn’t felt a single normal period cramp – and I’m one of those lucky people who start getting them a whole week before I start. I also finally let myself ponder on what the reasons could be that I get so tired in the evenings and have felt mildly nauseous for the past few nights.

Could I be for real pregnant?

I wanted to take a test but of course I didn’t have any in my house. So I added a pack to my online grocery pickup order and vowed to wait the 2 more days.

The day all these thoughts were starting was the day I was supposed to start my period. But nothing. The next day? Nothing. But that same day, I had my grocery pickup order in the late afternoon. I know it’s typically best to take a pregnancy test in the morning when you first wake up and use the restroom, but I simply couldn’t wait. I needed to know either way.

So in the middle of the day while Harrison was at school, Craig was at work and Emmett and Flora were content watching a show and playing with toys, I hid myself in the bathroom and took a test. I finished up then I watched it. I didn’t set it down for two minutes and walk away. I kept my eye on it the whole time. And as I washed my hands and watched it closely, I was greeted with a vibrant, clear plus sign.

Pregnant!

Connection

The connection Emmett has with his baby brother is pretty neat.

Before I even knew I was pregnant, he told me multiple times that there was a baby in my belly. I’d laugh it off, but he insisted.

Not long after I took a test and found out he was right and it felt like years waiting to tell him (and his siblings!).

Both before we knew I was pregnant and when we knew but the kids didn’t, Emmett would always include “please bless the baby in moms tummy” in his prayers.

When it came time to learn the gender we were all sure the baby was a girl. But not Emmett. He was adamant that this baby was a boy. I should have listened to him, because of course he was right and the baby was a boy!

There have been several other instances where he’s said something and it just reiterates to me that these two already have a special little bond with each other and I am so obsessed with it!

Birthdays!

These two beautiful people had birthdays last week!! Our Flora girl is two (how?) and Craig is thirty-something 🙂 I’m so grateful for both of them. I can’t think of two better people who are more deserving of wonderful lives!!

They Are Here

Their bedrooms are a little messy and their beds aren’t made.

Their dishes from lunch are piled in the sink.

Their pile of toys is continuously growing on the living room floor.

The kitchen table is covered in paper and crayons from their latest art project.

But they are here. And all of these little messes are signs of that.

I am so grateful for them. I’m grateful to get to sit here and play with them and snuggle them into my body. I’m thankful I get to listen to their funny stories and hear their laughter.

They are here and my heart is full.