The big 3 – 0!

This journey I’ve been on to get to hold a title of mommy has been one of loss and sorrow and heartache, it has been quite the whirlwind. It’s been filled to the top with tears and so many highs and a lot of low low’s. There were so many moments I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the other side. The emptiness I felt seemed so permanent.

I recently purchased a new album, one that I’ve had my eyes on for quite some time. I just hadn’t actually bought it. But, I did. And I am so glad I did. Lindsey Stirling is quite possibly the most talented violinist I’ve ever listened to. But, then again, I haven’t listened to very many. Her album Shatter Me is excellent. I’ve been playing the whole thing constantly and just getting lost in the direction of each song. It’s awesome.

One particular song, see above video, took the wind right out of me this morning on my way into work. Although there are no words I felt like it adequately plays out what the last (almost) 3 years of my life have been like. All I could visualize was a broken bird who fought and fought to survive and then found itself thriving and in closing has found peace and contentment. I might sound crazy, or interpreting things all wrong, but it just…felt right. The whole time I kept thinking about me, and my husband, and the crazy things we’ve lived to tell about, of all the things we’ve thrived and flown our way though. How we’ve navigated and came to a place of peace and rest and contentment.

Anyway, if you’re into orchestra/rock/techno/awesomeness I would highly suggest rocking out to a little of her music. It’s awesome.

Due Date: August 6th, 2015

How far along: 30 weeks!! Holy cow, I just can’t even really grasp the idea that I’m this far. That we’re this close. It’s been a wonderfully challenging experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have noticed that my anxieties that I had in the 1st tri about loss and not trusting my body are returning and on occasion I get wrapped up in the worst case scenarios. Even though I have no reason to NOT trust simply because I’ve never made it this far.. Regardless, the anxieties are there, they’re real to me, and I do my best to deal with the fears as they come.

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Next Appointment: June 11th – two weeks from today. Yesterday’s appointment was great, with the exception of my ever loving hormones playing nasty tricks on me and making me have a cry fest in front of the nurse and doctor. They handled me well and were very sensitive to whatever I was being emotional about. It was embarrassing!

Gender: Boy – Crosby Dixon

Exercise: I did it! I went for a walk yesterday and I even did my hill that I fear! I was a little worried it would send my hip back into pain and soreness, but low and behold, I FEEL SO GOOD! I’m a little sore since I was inactive for several weeks, but I am thrilled that I feel so much better and can actually move around! No more limping!

Stretch Marks & Belly Button: Nope 🙂 and it’s still half in half out. It’s weird looking.

Sleep: I don’t even know why I bother. I average about 4 hours MAYBE 4.5 a night. So I am thankful I am getting SOME sleep.

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Cravings: Nada. Well, maybe fruit – It’s like I’m starting to relive my first tri. Bring on the fruit and cold food! I do find I was hamburgers more often..

Symptoms: Growing belly, bust and butt! Tired… I cry, all the time, most the time for no reason at all. Apparently a symptom I’ve been experiencing is low iron, my doc recently put me on a prescription, but as of yesterday they’ve now doubled my dose as my iron levels are so low I am at an increased risk of bleeding? No wonder I want hamburgers frequently 🙂 Hopefully that helps with some fatigue and resolves before labor and delivery.

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Movement: Always rolling, twisting, kicking, punching.

Baby’s size/Milestones: Crosby is head down and his tush is in my right ribs! My midwife guessed that he probably weighs about 3.5 lbs and things are measuring just perfectly! He may be practicing opening and closing his eyes and even tracking moving objects (uh, not sure how many objects he’s got moving around in there, but apparently enough to learn this skill). He should start to gain about .5 lbs per week from here on out, and this momma should gain about 1 lb per week from here on out (although I will be totally ok if I don’t gain sometimes or gain less than that!). I’ve even FINALLY felt the hiccups and he had them for so long I think it was starting to tick him off. He became very active after a while, so I’m just guessing he was getting annoyed of them. I wouldn’t blame him if he was, those buggers can be annoying sometimes.

Labor Signs: NONE! He’s not quite as high anymore, but I still have some Braxton hicks on and off. Again, those mean nothing.

Miss Anything: I miss sleeping, I miss sleeping on my tummy, and I would love a nice cold Sangria, or Blue Moon. Maybe a glass of wine. I don’t need them, it just sounds good with the changing weather!

What I love: My little man, growing a belly (most of the time), preparing for his arrival, celebrating his little life already!

What I’m looking forward to: Baby Showers! 🙂 4 more sleeps until my first shower! Preparing even MORE for his arrival! Packing a hospital bag, installing a car seat, you know, just the usual prep stuff!

What I’m reading: Uh, well, I’ve been not so great at reading. I’ve picked up my book a couple times, but mostly I’ve been doing reading/research on vaccines and pediatricians, and post baby, pre baby stuff. I’ve been reading some articles on breast feeding too. It all makes me very excited to step into a new journey.

Recent Purchases: We’ve literally bought nothing since last week. WAIT, we bought a new return vent cover thing for little C’s room… Does that count? Our camera came in the mail on Tuesday, so I have a feeling a memory card is next, then pretty soon our wallets will be very empty because we have a lot left to buy. YIKES.

Best Moment this week: Maternity pics. I felt all oooey and gooey love sick for my hubs that day. It was fun having pics taken and then what was not so fun, the allergies that came after… Thank you Lord for Benadryl being safe. I even treated myself to a s’mores frappe from Starbucks. It was worth every calorie. Also some flowers bloomed in our yard! OH, and also little Mya came to visit us… Ok, well maybe she didn’t come to see us specifically, but I’d like to think so. She’s the best. Thanks S and T for letting us hog your baby for the afternoon 🙂

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Marching, Doula’s, and a name for Squishy

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I will start with this. Story of my life. I usually end up finding a few in random closets. My cat, Syd, loves these things. So I have many a causality per week.
Next, I’m going to toot my own horn for a minute…. March of Dimes…. Can I just say – WOW!
My original goal was $250 to raise. I met that. So, I set a new goal – $500. I’ve met that. With people’s generous donations my total fundraising stands at $510. So, like I have before.. I set a new goal. This one is lofty. This one is a stretch. But I KNOW that if there are more generous people out there I can meet this goal. Dollar by dollar.
New Goal – $1000.00
So, if you feel compelled, please, please, please donate. This goes to a wonderful cause. I have a HUGE goal. I’d love to meet this goal. It’s a big one. But, the cause is so worth it. Plus, it’s one that I am super passionate about. It’s important to me that all mothers and babies get a healthy start to pregnancy and life. I’m always going to advocate for full term babies!
So, if you feel led, here’s my personal page: http://www.marchforbabies.org/babybrooks
This week is boring, basically because not much has changed, really. So, feel free to skip it. I just feel like I should write down what 23 weeks looks like so that someday I can look back and not ask, what happened to week 23….
Next appointment: End of April (25ish weeks) – However I will add that my first Doula appointment was on Tuesday. I’m stoked. We nailed down a decent birth plan. One for her and one to give to the hospital staff. I probably sound a little nuts, but I am soo excited to be attempting a natural, un-medicated birth. I’m excited to experience what my body is capable of. I’m really excited to feel and watch my body do something that I have always assumed it didn’t know how to do (I’m learning to trust!! GASP). I’m really excited to nurse. I’m mostly excited that I have a really great support system in place to help me achieve all this. Also, she suggested I read a few books, this is my first, so far I love it!
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Ps. If you are in the Spokane area, I highly recommend her. Sarah is quite possibly the sweetest and she LOVES what she does.
Exercise: Still walking the pup most days after work. Still participating in my once a week yoga at work. Someday when we finally replace our DVD player (which is currently broken) I will pop in the yoga DVD I ordered forever ago.
Maternity clothes: Yes and no still. Some shirts are, some shirts aren’t. Most of my skirts and pants are maternity though. That likely won’t change anytime soon 🙂
Sleep:  Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. But, most days I lose.
Food cravings:  I will say my craving for Thai food has exceeded the desire for a Bonzai Burger. Although both always sound good.
Symptoms: I can’t. I just can’t even start…. I will say: Purpose. I’m thankful there is a purpose. (side note: who decided that it was a good idea to put ribs where you’re supposed to grow a baby??? It’s not my favorite idea at the moment)
Baby’s Size/Milestones: Little C is still transparent, and a bit red because of the developing veins and arteries under skin, but this won’t last long, as Little C is about to pack on the fatty chub that gives skin a more person-like look. Little C’s face is fully formed, and is simply waiting on the fat to fill out. Little C is starting to kick like crazy, usually in response to noises hears from the outside world. Little C is also busy constructing the blood vessels in his lungs that will allow him to breathe the air on his own once he is born. Little C is a bit over a foot tall, the size of a bunch of grapes, and he weighs probably more than average, because lets face it, at 21 weeks he was a fatty already.
Movement:  It’s glorious. Seriously the best thing in the world. Little dude has found my cervix, bladder, and also my ribs as practice for his soccer skills.
What I miss:  I miss a lot, but mostly my memory. I miss being able to control my emotions a little better. Seriously. It’s like a flame that moves to a forest fire in a matter of seconds sometimes, and then before I can even realize what’s happening I’m in a pile of tears that snowball into sobs. It’s the weirdest thing ever. I do not like it.
What I’m loving:  Unrelated: New Furniture. LOVE IT. I feel like I have a grown up living-room! Growing a baby, how amazing my hair feels and looks. I’m loving how active this dude is. His little feisty personality kills me. Loving my craving for Thai. I’m loving his name……….
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What I’m looking forward to:   I’m SOO looking forward to painting/decorating Little Mr’s room, which I say every week. But we bought paint last weekend. Now we just need to move a few things around to make room to paint. I’m looking forward to Maternity pics and new hair cut and color in May! Looking forward to so so much. A life full of baseballs, tackles, snuggle sessions, and raising a man who loves Jesus. VIABILITY (1 more week)!!!!!!!! Baby Showers!!!!!!! I feel so spoiled and blessed.
Baby Purchases:  Notta thing bought this last week (well, except paint – does that count? Oh, and Momma got some new clothes…. Sorry bubs, momma took the prize this week). I just have been working on a list of things we need still and things to register for. I feel weird about registries, I feel weird about letting people buy us gifts. We paid to get here, we knew the expenses of a babe were coming…. But I will have an open mind and allow blessings to come, if they come. I never expect gifts, though. Ever. I’m always humbled and blown away by people’s generosity.
Best moment this week:  On Easter, we started telling people his name, that was pretty awesome. This is completely unrelated, but it’s my besties birthday! This last weekend her and I had a girls date and got appetizers and pedicures. It was amazing! I have sooo much love for her, she doesn’t even know how much of a blessing she is.
Happy Birthday Sweet friend!!
Hello 23 weeks! I can’t believe you’re here. I can’t believe that I’ve been gifted this amazing opportunity. I hope that as things get more and more uncomfortable that I never once take this experience for granted. That I remind thankful and humbled at Gods amazing grace.
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March of Dimes

This year my boss has asked me and my amazing co-worker to be Captains of our Annual March of Dimes fundraising team. At first I was excited to jump right in and do whatever it took. Then I realized the date of this event and I spiraled down into a little ball.

April 25.

All my dreams and plans and fundraising ideas fled my mind and I was absorbed back into some painful, yet bitter-sweet, memories. If you haven’t been following along for too long, April 25th was the day we finally said our sweet goodbye’s to our boy Colton. It was a traumatic and lonely day for me and my husband. It was sad and gutted me to our core, and a year later I still feel like I have major holes in my heart.

As we’ve healed and accepted our new normal I decided that instead of seeing this task as burden I would use this as a great opportunity to share my story and honor Colton, as well as all our little ones who never made it here. I would take this opportunity to raise money for awareness. Where I work, I am honored that I set up and help provide the space for the March of Dimes board members to use for monthly meetings. Because of this, I actually received so much support and information from some of their board members and employees. They gave me so many resources and even a genetic counselor (who sat on the Board) offered to sit with me and look at my genetic testing as a second opinion. How could I not return the favor and show my love and support for all they’ve done for me!?

So I never do this, but I ask that you consider, pray, talk to your spouse or significant other, and see if you are able to support our cause and donate to our team. If you are unable to give financially, I ask that you join us in celebration of Colton on April 25! In the past we have released balloons on the anniversary date, and I believe this tradition will follow us all the days of our lives. Also, be praying for us on April 25. We have been so encouraged and filled to the top with love and support and I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to know people are praying. It’s always a hard day when anniversaries come around. They are… bitter-sweet. Even more so when you have a babe healthy in your belly. It’s an ever-present reminder of what I miss, but also a blessing to know that it seems as if we finally have our babe that we’ll get to hold.

Thank you in advance for your support!

My Little Cashew is my reason why. He is my reason for Walking!

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If you have any questions or need the link to donate to our team please email me at: mlwalker0909@gmail.com
I’m not gonna lie people, these weekly update things are getting BORING! Mostly everything is the same, so feel free to skip it. I just don’t want to forget for myself. There are some changes though. I am technically 18+6 today, but here is my 19 week update!
Next appointment: End of March (21 weeks) – This will include the full anatomy ultrasound.
Weight Gain/Loss: *same* I officially hate this question….. So, I was WAY wrong. Since pre-pregnancy I am up a total of 9 pounds. I thought this was a lot, but the nurse said that it was well within normal… YIKES, no matter how prepared you think you are to watch the scale move UP, it still stings a little when you see a weight you’ve never weighed before in your life.
Exercise: *same* Yeah, I suck. But we’ve gone on a couple of walks and I still do my once a week yoga. So, I’m not totally lazy.
Maternity clothes: *same* – I can’t say yes, but I can’t say no…. Mostly normal tops (although I’ve noticed they’re starting to roll up on occasion haha). Pants/leggings/skirts all maternity. Especially at the end of the day!
Sleep: *same* Terrible. I need a million pillows, I need a heat pad, I need space. I have a feeling this is going to continue.
Food cravings:  RED ROBIN BONZAI BURGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously though, I still have not yet indulged in this craving and I want to so bad. Soon enough, I will have one and it will not be a pretty sight. Whomever I am with better not stare too bad, cause I will be in complete shovel mode I’m sure of it!
Symptoms: Headaches are better, my back gets tired more quickly, I’m still tired 99% of the time. My knees bug me if I am on my feet for longer periods of time, my appetite is still good but I’m noticing my portions are getting smaller cause I feel full really quickly. But I also noticed (probably because I am SO short-waisted) that my uterus is already about 2 inches above my belly button. Bending over isn’t my favorite, sleep.. I want more sleep. Also, WIN – My skin is doing better and better each week, I hope it stays that way!
Baby’s Size/Milestones: Baby is now measuring about the size of a zucchini. Now if you live in Washington State and grow your own, I can promise you my babe is not that large yet, but I am assuming the store-bought size 🙂 Kicking, rolling, punching, twisting, hiccupping, and swallowing still. Baby should weigh at about 9 oz and is working on sprouting tiny hairs on his head (I hope he’s a blonde like my hubs!!).
Movement:  I can now say that without a doubt I feel movement. It’s glorious. Seriously the best thing in the world. I can’t wait for it to be consistent!
What I miss:  I miss being able to bend over and tie my shoes without feeling like my lunch/breakfast/dinner will come back up. I miss Blue Moon. Not sure why…. That sounds odd, but maybe cause it’s usually really cold and really refreshing when it’s nice outside. That’s about it!
What I’m loving:  Growing a baby, how amazing my hair feels and looks. I’m loving that I *KNOW* I’m feeling more and more movement. I’m loving that now I don’t just look kinda chubby. My belly is getting more and more round. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to hear my husband comment on it. We tend to poke it a lot.
What I’m looking forward to:  *same* Letting my hubs feel movement once I get bigger. Looking forward to painting Little Mr’s room. Looking forward to announcing a name. Looking forward to so so much. A life full of baseballs, tackles, snuggle sessions, and raising a man who loves Jesus.
Baby Purchases:  CLOTHES, ok, so we didn’t buy a ton more. But we just needed to buy the cute ones. BUT, this is what I want to purchase next, or register for, or something. Haha, I am IN LOVE with this diaper bag. It has three options for carrying (back-pack, over the shoulder, and across the body).
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Best moment this week: Feeling little dude move more than once a day. Feeling more energy. And completely unrelated to baby – working on our Easter church service worship set. I can’t wait!!
Hello 19 weeks, I’m excited you’re here and thankful that I’ve been blessed to experience everything this far!
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Make it Last, For a Hundred More Years…

A diamond ring and twelve red roses
Everything she ever wanted
All those dreams and now they’re finally here
She’s so young and he’s so perfect
They waited for love and it was worth it
She wants to feel like this for a hundred years

All this life still yet to live and they can hardly wait
They can laugh
They can cry
The future looks so beautiful and bright
They can dance under the moonlight
‘Cause God is smilin’ down on them tonight
And she wants to stay right here
Make it last for a hundred more years

She’s got blue eyes just like her mother
Three years old, he’s crazy for her
He wants to freeze this day before it disappears
She’s spinnin’ like a little princess
Makin’ sure he’s gonna notice
He could watch her twirl for a hundred years

She’ll grow up and she’ll leave home but until that day
They can laugh
They can cry
The future looks so beautiful and bright
They can dance under the moonlight
‘Cause God is smilin’ down on them tonight
And he wants to stay right here
Make it last for a hundred more years

And its only time
But it flies right by
And today is sweeter than we know

And so they dance under the moonlight
While God is smilin’ down on them tonight
And they want to stay right here
For a hundred more years

Our wedding day was quite possibly one of my most favorite days I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. This song was what we chose for me and my Daddy to walk down to meet my man at the altar.

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This song couldn’t be a better description of what we wanted life to look like, what we wanted it to feel like. So far, it does feel like that. Some of these big life moments we’ve gotten to share make me want our minutes and our days to last a hundred more years. There are certainly some  experiences that I wish would never end… You know, those days where your heart is so content it could explode? We’ve been really lucky and had a lot of those moments. I know I’ll never forget the moments we want to quickly end, or fly by with exponential speed… But those aren’t the moments that fill you. They are certainly purposeful and meaningful. But moments that are full, that make you want to stay right where you are, those are what get us through some of the tough stuff.

Yesterday was one of those days.

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Yesterday was one that I never imagined I would get to see.

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Yesterday was one of those days where the love I am capable of feeling grew to an immeasurable size.

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Yesterday was a game changer for me.

RPL (repeat pregnancy loss) can really mess with someone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it robs a lot from you and you have to fight tooth and nail to get it back. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Part of this is not feeling “connected” to a pregnancy. I wouldn’t dare say that I didn’t love this babe before yesterday, but I can you right now, it’s not even close to the same love I feel today. It’s different. It’s less guarded. It’s less fear-driven. It’s less scary. To be fully honest, I don’t even know how to explain it correctly so that anyone who reads this understands the before and after “feelers”. Today, I finally feel more connected, more like a unit of oneness. Yeah, the pictures are kinda creepy looking, but also so freaking cute I could stare all.day.long. But it finally sank in that this thing on a picture will become a tiny human in the outside world (Lord, willing). This little thing I keep starting at has flipping kidneys?!? I watched as its little heart pumped away in different chambers, I watched this little tiny person sleep snuggled up to the placenta like it was a soft pillow. It has personality, and is practicing things that it will continue to learn once here, in our arms.

Surreal. I don’t even understand it, and I won’t even try to. I simply cannot comprehend how this was woven together so delicately.

“And she wants to stay right here
Make it last for a hundred more years”

Next appointment: End of March (21 weeks) – This will include the full anatomy ultrasound.
Weight Gain/Loss: I officially hate this question….. So, I was WAY wrong. Since pre-pregnancy I am up a total of 9 pounds. I thought this was a lot, but the nurse said that it was well within normal… YIKES, no matter how prepared you think you are to watch the scale move UP, it still stings a little when you see a weight you’ve never weighed before in your life. I guess the good part is from my last appointment to this appointment ( 4 weeks in between ) I gained a small 3 pounds 🙂
Exercise: I’ve been bad. I haven’t done anything in like a week and a half. But I plan on popping in that Yoga DVD soon, I’ve convinced the hubster to join in on my bendy movements.
Maternity clothes: Same – I can’t say yes, but I can’t say no…. Mostly normal tops (although I’ve noticed they’re starting to roll up on occasion haha). Pants/leggings/skirts all maternity. Especially at the end of the day!
Sleep: Meh. sometimes ok, sometimes not.
Food cravings:  I’ve got nothing on my list that I HAVE to have. I’m still having a love obsession over fruit and veggies! WIN!
Symptoms: Tired. Headaches, oh my gosh the headaches. They turn into full-blown migraines about 3-5 times a week. Dizzy, lots of dizzy. Growing a belly!!
Baby’s Size/Milestones: Baby is now measuring about 6 inches long and weighing just over 5 ounces. Babe was measuring 3 days big at 17 weeks 2 days (while I was 16+6). During his/her sleepy time (aka my ultrasound) the heart rate was 152. But once I was in to see the new doc/midwife babe’s heart rate bumped back up to 156. The placenta is in perfect position, the cervix was perfect. And…… baby is officially a he or a she 🙂
Movement:  *same* I’ve decided that I’m not going to listen to my doctor anymore about movement. I don’t care where the heck the placenta is or how it will change what I feel from the babe moving. At this point it’s said to be unlikely that I feel the baby – I happen to maybe disagree. Someone said to me a few weeks ago, ” Whether you’re right or wrong about feeling the baby move, it’s better to just go with it and believe that it’s baby. No one can REALLY tell you that it’s not, and no one can REALLY tell you that it is. So you may as well enjoy whatever you feel and believe that it’s your baby.” I loved that. I know that I am super sensitive to what my body does so sure, maybe it’s gas… Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s digestion, maybe it’s not. But clearly new things are happening in this area and I’ve noticed. I choose to be excited and hope that just maybe it’s the start of something.
What I miss:  I miss my skin…. I don’t want to look like an acne-prone teenager anymore. I also miss having the EXTRA energy to be a good housekeeper, although I have noticed I’m getting better, I think. That might be a better question for my man to answer, haha! Although I only ever drink decaf coffee, I’ll admit the extra boost of sugar in the mornings can be a nice pick-me-up!
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What I’m loving:  Growing a baby, how amazing my hair feels and looks. I’m loving that I *think* I’m feeling more and more movement. Love the fact that my belly is progressively getting larger and larger!
What I’m looking forward to:  Knowing that what I’m feeling is movements and knowing the gender… I hear that I’m having a party this weekend, a party where I’ll get KNOW who has taken up residence in this body of mine. I hear that there will be lots of things both purple and blue (I know, I’m not a huge pink fan). I.can’t.wait.
Baby Purchases:  My bestie Amber was super generous and gave us some gifts recently. I was proud I didn’t actually cry cry, I only got all welled up and almost cried. It was super thoughtful and super generous!
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It has bath stuff, lotion, teething rings, a toy (picked out by her amazing 4-year-old), q-tips, and some other fun miscellaneous items. I love it! They also gifted us a TON of bottles! Yippe!!! Starting the stash early. I couldn’t be more thankful for friends and family that is supporting us on this journey and excited to love on this little one!!!
Best moment this week: My ultrasound. Also, my first midwife appointment. It is still within the same practice I was at, just different people with different goals and more interested in the birthing experience I WANT instead of what works for them. I was THRILLED to have had an amazing appointment, incredibly thorough and she was super awesome. Also, we had a double date night. I’d been craving PF Changs lettuce wraps for WEEEEEEEKS, and I finally got them. It was a fun night with some of our most favorites!
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Hello 17 weeks, I’m excited you’re here and thankful that I’ve been blessed to experience everything this far! Keep your eyes out for our “What will Baby Brooks Bee” announcement!
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