Tuesday, May 29, 2012

God Gave Us You {book review}

I can’t get through this book without emotions welling up.

Each time we found out we were pregnant, our initial reaction was gratitude. On our knees, mouths giving praise, we thanked Him. The one who gave, generously.  Our daughter is coming in just over a month and our hearts overflow with gratitude….for God gave her to us.

This sweet little book is a retelling of a daughter’s life and her parents heart emotions as they waited for their darling Little Cub to enter the world. From conception to birth, the book walks the nine months of pregnancy, all the while, reassuring Little Cub of the One who gave her to her parents. God did. This book would be great for expectant parents, older siblings awaiting a new baby, and for the babies themselves as their minds begin to wonder, “How did I get here?” The illustrations are adorable and the story simple yet profound. A great reminder for adults and children alike.

Yes, like Little Cub, sweet daughter, after three years waiting, when you ask “Where did I come from?” we will answer, God gave us you.

Because He did.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby B - 33 weeks

Less than 6 weeks (hopefully!) to go before she comes! Crazy, pure craziness if you ask me. I can still remember when we were 6 weeks pregnant, staring down at two pink lines, praying she would remain for 34 more. And although we’re still praying she will be brought to life outside the womb, it’s mind boggling to think there’s so little time left.
DSC_1365 (7)This past week has been filled with the everyday rhythm of life. Errands, cleaning, sorting, making, talking…just living. We finished up our birthing classes and our baby care class. There were a couple of tips I picked up in the care class but after 8 years of nannying I’ve pretty much experienced everything. It was a great reminder and I think Alex much appreciated the quick lessons on diapering, swaddling, and calming a baby. Packing the hospital bag is on my agenda for this week…it’s hard to imagine the fact that she really could come any time she wants at this point…although we’d both love for her to stick around inside a bit longer:)

How big is baby?

This week she’s as big as a durian fruit…I don’t really know what that is! Babycenter says pineapple which to me is easier to imagine! After our ultrasound this week, baby at 33 weeks 3 days weighed in at 4lb. 15 ounces. Sources above say this week she should be right over 4 pounds and 17 inches long. So she’s a bit bigger. Not surprising to us. Daddy was 10lb. 8 ounces and mommy was 8 lb. 6 ounces. So if she came a little early, I’m thinking she’ll fare just fine! She’s busy losing wrinkles and growing longer each day.

During our final ultrasound they checked to make sure my placenta moved up. Well, they were not able to get a great measurement because her head is securely fixed in my pelvis…right where it should be. But given what they could see, it seems as if it did move up which means a c-section will not be necessary unless other complications arise. Phew! She’s also curled up along my right side….her bottom is right under my ribcage and her legs extend to the left. So fun to know just where everything is!

How am I feeling?

To be honest, (not complaining) these past couple of weeks have been a little more difficult. I am slowly filling with water. And that’s hard to wrap my mind around. Just one more illustration that we are really not in control of anything. I’ve been walking a lot and eating well and yet the water keeps the scale slowly moving up. This is one area I did have an expectation to land in and I’m feeling a little disappointed that it may not finish as I’d expected. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter…I want her healthy and growing, but on the other hand, filling with water is not comfortable at all for this mommy. Taking one day at a time and hoping for the best!

How am I changing?

Not many changes except for a big belly:) I’ve had more people ask this week if I’m due soon which just makes me laugh a little since I always have to respond…nope, still 5 weeks left! And I’m swollen from the water. But other than that I’m feeling good, I can still do a lot of things, and I’m enjoying every minute of having her grow within me. Pretty miraculous if I do say so myself!

Little Tidbits:

Nursery Additions: Her nightstand arrived and has been put together, monitor is set up, and window shade installed. Still a few things but they’ll get done in the next week or so.
Pounds gained: 1.5, total 27
Names decided: one, she has a name, unless of course we change it at the last minute!
Projects left for nursery: Custom monogram, bookshelves, lamp, chalkboard (I’ll do an update soon!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baby B - 32 Weeks

This past week went by in such a blur…thinking back I’m sure it was a good one. The hard part about writing at the end of the week is just remember what on earth went on! Well I’m grateful this week for google calendar…looks like last week we had tons of fun at our second birthing class, setting up more of the nursery, walking with friends, and garage sale-ing!
I’ve really enjoyed our birthing classes and now that we have finished all three I know Alex and I feel far more informed and prepared for anything that might come our way when this little one comes into the world. As a more tangible/visual learner it was great to see things via video, work through things ahead of time, and practice some practical exercises that may or may not help. We are not preparing a lengthy birth plan. That might be frowned upon, but to be honest, we’re not that type. We’ll have a few bullet point items, but as a first timer, I’m a big believer in walking into new and unfamiliar situations without any preconcieved notions. I don’t want our birth to be disappointing in any way and I know if I came up with a list of our “wish they didn’t happens” and they did, I would tend toward disappointment. What helps is that Alex is completely on the same page and at the end of the day, he has stronger opinions on what he doesn’t want to happen than I do. Hopefully that helps in communicating our preferences to our birth team.

How big is baby?
Baby Girl Brogle is around 3.75 pounds and 16.5 inches long. We had our last ultrasound today to check and see if my placenta moved up…it did:) But we also asked…well begged, our OB to do a growth check as well. What can I say, we’re curious parents. Low and behold at 33 weeks 3 days, baby girl weighed in at 4lbs. 15 ounces and was in the 50% percentile for everything. She’s head down and curved around my right side. Not surprising at all since I feel fists punching my side all day long. While not spinning around inside, she’s busy fattening up, growing hair, and probably feeling a little more squished.

How am I feeling?

Feeling pretty good. We had quite the whirlwind weekend this past week, heading to Milwaukee for our final baby shower. It was such a great time but I was definitely feeling tired and swollen by the time we got back. My feet are still swollen and I feel huge, but those pale in comparison in how excited I am that a baby will be coming into our home in less than 8 weeks…hopefully!

How am I changing?

Not many changes these days except growing larger, which is fine by me if it means a healthy baby at the end. I’m still getting out for walks almost everyday, for between 1-3 miles which feels great and am starting to get a few more things crossed off my list. Not related to me, but I think we landed on a name. A few weeks ago Alex let me in on his name choice, so essentially we each have one, but I have to say after much prayer and consideration, he may have swung me over to his side. So until she’s born we’re calling her by that name, though we’re open to changing it if it just doesn’t fit.

Little Tidbits:

Gratefulness for the generosity of friends and family: OFF THE CHARTS!
Cravings this week: Salt and watermelon; hopefully they cancel each other out and the swelling from salt is appeased by the watermelon? I can hope!
Weight gained: 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks for a total of 25.5
Classes left: Baby care and breastfeeding

Ps…I guess she decided to listen to mommy…she’s now occupying every square inch of my belly and my hunger has been satiated:) Let’s hope this listening thing continues…

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby B - 31Weeks

Seriously cannot believe it’s been 31 weeks, well 28 weeks really, since we found out we were pregnant! These next 8 seem like they will be here before we know it.
DSC_1429 (2)So many changes around our house this week in preparation for Baby B. Yesterday we picked up our glider and put it in place and during the previous week, Alex installed the chandelier in her closet and most of her things have found a temporary home or have been put in their permanent place. Our shower last weekend went so well. My sister, sister in law, and mother did such a great job organizing and executing everything! Not only that but like I’ve said before this little one is a little spoiled already:) So many fun things were given and I was obviously anxious to put everything away…so for the most part I have:)

This week also marked our first labor class through Amma Maternity and our hospital tour. Both were extremely informative and helpful…I know we’re both happy we went and are both looking forward to our next couple of classes. I’m feeling the need to start packing my hospital bag even though I realize I would be doing it ridiculously early…so in lieu of packing I was hoping everyone could help me out by mentioning some must have’s to take with us!

How big is baby?

This week baby is as big as a pineapple! Other sources say she’s as heavy as 4 oranges. Either way she’s taking up all sorts of room in my tummy. The average babe at this point is just over 16 inches long and just over 3 pounds. Considering she’s measuring ahead, I’d put her at the larger end of things but who knows! She can move her head from side to side and her iris's now react to light! It’s pretty amazing to think of all the things that go on within my uterus considering we were formed from the dust of the earth.

How am I feeling?

Much better than last week I must say. Getting out in the fresh air and walking more has helped keep the swelling down and spending good amounts of time in the Word and prayer have definitely helped my attitude and frustrations. I was getting to be quite the bear and this week things have been looking up. Grateful for grace! Also I’m famished. Seriously, so hungry. I wish she would just move up and squish my stomach so I wasn’t hungry all the time. Yesterday I stocked up on lots of fruit and veggies so at least I can fill the void with things that are good for me.

How am I changing?

Definitely have noticed the difference a big ole tummy makes in getting around. I can’t squeeze through tight spaces anymore and tying my shoes is getting a bit more difficult. Oh and remember last week I mentioned my belly button seemed to be flattening. Hmm…I take that back. It’s back out in full force. Apparently I also look like I’m carrying low, which I am pretty sure I am. The lady at Bachmann’s would not believe me when I told her we were having a girl:)

Little Tidbits:

Cravings this week: Peaches. Where can I buy some?
Days until final shower: 5
Miles walked per day purposefully: about 2
Emotions celebrating Mother’s Day: Go here for more I know far too many, myself included, in which Mother’s day is bittersweet for one reason or another…Thinking of all of you yesterday and sending out hugs!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This is for you

One would think this day would be me great joy; for I am a mother. But to me it’s another reminder of years of hurt, of friends and family hurting.

I’m not saying it’s not enjoyable to be celebrated or to celebrate. My mother is one of my best friends. I couldn’t imagine life without her. And she deserves to be celebrated; for her sacrifice, love, encouragement, and grace.

I can celebrate her everyday…just as she deserves to be.

But there are others; friends and siblings who have lost their mother, plenty of friends who have been told they can never have children, and those still awaiting motherhood. No matter how much you try to celebrate others and try to avoid your own heart emotions, they creep up. There’s a void on this day. A hurt in your heart. I remember the years we waited for this…and to be honest now that it’s here, being celebrated isn’t on the top of my list.

To me it’s just another day.

To you who are hurting, who are waiting, who are trying to understand, who are grieving, who need hope, who want to hide from reality today…

I’m not offering words of “encouragement” like so many offer: everyone is a mother to someone , at least you had your mother for quite some time, you’ll be a mother soon…I’m offering you the hope from the one who knows.

”For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:15-16

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

He is with you. He will carry you. He will wipe the tears. He will hold your hand. He hears your cries. He knows your pain. He is near. He is enough.

Thinking of all of you, who are waiting, hoping, hurting, grieving on this day.

Sending hugs and love.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baby B - 30 Weeks

We’re in the final countdown! YAY!

This past week was full of fun: over the weekend we headed back to WI for our second shower, with family and friends, and other highlights included ordering the crib mattress, setting up the crib, finishing up painting the nursery, and full on nesting!

Really I couldn’t be more excited to meet our little lady and more nervous for what life will look like on the other side. So many unknowns but I know we’ll be able to figure things out. Until then, I’m enjoying the nesting phase that has kicked in full force. Crossing things off my list and getting things ready has been the name of the game this week. All the clothing she has through 3 months has been washed and put away, we’re abounding in diapers, and all necessary things are bought and either put away or awaiting arrival this week.

I’m hoping to start organizing my office and the rest of our house this week. So many things I’d love to get done but I know even if they stay unfinished all will be well:) The thing I’m looking forward to this week is heading out to garage sales. If you live in the Twin Cities, this weekend is the big Woodbury sale!

Fun to compare what has happened in 30 short weeks:

DSC_0049                               30 weeks at my shower with my mom and sister

DSC_1395                                                              20 weeks
DSC_1498                                                             10 weeks

How big is baby?
She’s getting bigger! Around 15.7 inches long and approximately 3 pounds. She’s strong enough to grasp a finger, her eyesight is getting better and better, and her skin is getting smoother. Still measuring a week ahead according to the doctor and hopefully we’ll know a little more about her size at our next ultrasound in two weeks.

How am I feeling?

Honestly, a little down. The Lord, through my pregnancy and hormone changes, has definitely been showing me some things that are hard to work through and emotionally draining. So they’ve been on the forefront but physically I’ve been feeling good, despite my feet beginning to swell. I headed to the chiropractor last week and the few adjustments I’ve had have completely eliminated my back pain and for that I’m really thankful.

How am I changing?

My belly button is still protruding though it’s starting to flatten out a bit more. Like above, my feet have been swelling quite a bit which is not the most comfortable. Also I’ve noticed that my face is definitely filling out more this past week. Can’t say I’m surprised given the extra weight I’m carrying around!

Little Tidbits:

Weight gain: 1.5 pounds for a total of 21.5
Days until final shower: 11
Things still coming for the nursery: glider and rug
Times I find myself in the nursery: infinite…can’t stay out!