Grief and Joy can co-exist

This song hasn’t been a stranger on this blog before. I know I’ve referenced more than a few times. But to me, its worth noting again. March 27th… I should be preparing for a 1st birthday party. Instead I’m full of a mixture of feelings that most people don’t understand. So I don’t talk about them. There is a deep-rooted physical, emotion, spiritual wound that suffocates me twice a year with each loss. Not many people understand that even though I am having a perfectly normal, amazing, wonderful pregnancy today… I still feel pain for the others I have lost. And I don’t just feel it… It’s much deeper than just a “feeling”.

“Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm”

What’s amazing to me is the difference between last year and this year. But, also the similarities. Last year I was celebrating a beating heart and a lot of hope. It was just a short month later that things went south, and fast. This year doesn’t look too much different. We still have a heart beat, we had a seemingly wonderful anatomy scan (still waiting for the Dr. to call me about results). I still have hope and my heart is still joyful of the work the Lord has done over time. But this year my heart is quite heavy. I’m not as “happy”. Today is harder than it was last year.

“Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn”

To someone who’s never experienced this before they may not understand. It may seem silly to be weighted down with grief for a day or two. So, I don’t talk about it much. When I do, it usually comes out a little snippy. I’ve never once expected friends or family to remember such things, but then I feel a lot of feelers that it seems like this little life only made an impact in mine. Which I know isn’t true.

As my friend said today, “It’s a complicated mess…. It makes me wonder if this is our body’s way of protecting us.. like if we felt all the grief at once, we’d collapse? So now that we have joy to balance it, we can “afford” to feel the rest of the broken.”

I couldn’t have agreed more. Grief is complicated, it has no timeline, and it certainly has no limitations. It comes when it wants and lingers as long as it pleases. BUT, it’s how we respond to it that keeps us moving forward. It’s ok to not be ok, just don’t be taken captive.

“In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust You

I totally don’t mean to be a debby downer, so let’s get to the FUN part… Little Dude and his amazingness…

Next appointment: End of April (25ish weeks)
Weight Gain/Loss: Too much to me, but most say don’t worry (+14). As you read in my last post this is something that I, unexpectedly, am struggling with. And when I say struggle, I mean like really really struggle. I didn’t think this would happen. In fact before pregnancy I even was joyous over the idea…. But now that I am living it out.. It’s hard. So, from now on – I will not be including this. I’ve asked to not know my weight gain unless it is completely vital to my health or the health of little Mr. I had a surprise “day of” visit with my doc on Monday (hello contractions, a cervical check, and finding out that my bladder has “fallen out of place”, almost like a prolapse) and she suggested I watch my carb intake and limit my portions. Blah… So I don’t want to know anymore.
Exercise: *same* I’m not totally lazy, I promise…. Ok, well I’m just sucking at the whole exercise consistently thing…. whomp, whomp…
Maternity clothes: I think I am finally needing new tops. I usually wear fitted shirts, I’ve never owned a ton of the flowy/vintage like tops, but I think that will be my new style come summer. But I need to keep my work dress code in mind. I don’t mind showing off the bump, but I don’t need my shirts rolling up on me anymore! Ha! 
Sleep: I’m on a winning streak!!! YAY, well except for last night.
Food cravings:  RED ROBIN BONZAI BURGER!!!!!! Still. I’m ashamed. But I’m also craving Thai food something fierce. I get teased often for my lack of love for spicy food even though I am Mexican. Haha, but lately I want jalapeno’s, and Thai food, and curry, and hot sauce, and spicy salsa. I’m really enjoying my new-found love for spicy. I hope it stays.
Symptoms: I’m full. Always. I’m tired, often… Achy back, achy ribs. But otherwise, things are great!
Baby’s Size/Milestones: Little dude is about 10.5 inches long and should weigh about 3/4 of a pound. As soon as I get my anatomy scan results I’m sure I’ll get some exact measurements. He’s working on building up his first poo, exciting….. haha. He’s a busy body all.day.long. and all.night.long. He’s working on peeing ever 30-45 minutes, and he’s busy gaining fat to plump up!
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Movement:   It’s glorious. Seriously the best thing in the world. Once I knew for certain that was him wiggling around I’ve felt him non-stop since. It’s been amazing. Except I’m not sure how people manage to sleep through movement? How is it even possible?
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 being able to eat a full meal. I miss my energy.
What I’m loving:  Growing a baby, how amazing my hair feels and looks. I love that my belly is getting more and more round. I’m loving how active this dude is. His little feisty personality kills me.
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What I’m looking forward to:  I’m SOO looking forward to painting/decorating 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. OH, and my appointment with our Doula!
Baby Purchases:  I just found out via text that my hubs purchased him some Carolina Panthers onesies. I’m excited!!! Baby Gates are next!
Best moment this week: The anatomy scan. Little dude was twirling, kicking, punching, and wiggle worming his way around my whole tummy. It was comical. I had to get up a few times to get him to move a certain way. It was entertaining to say the least.
Hello 21 weeks, I’m excited you’re here and yet again, thankful that I’ve been blessed to experience everything this far!
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Ever Be

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
You shoulder our weakness
And Your strength becomes our own
You’re making me like you
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride

Free of all our guilt and rid of all our shame
And known by our true name and it’s why I sing

You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord
You will be praised You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

This song has been stuck on repeat in my car (at my desk, getting ready in the mornings…etc) for a few weeks now. I’d like to think of it as my newest anthem. With all the fear and anxieties I’ve felt over the last few months it’s a beautiful reminder of how incredibly faithful He has been. Through loss, through trial, through sorrow and sadness, through joy and victory. He has been so incredibly faithful and deserving of all of my praise. My one and only desire (above all else, including pregnancy, family, work, etc) is to continually be in a state of having His goodness on my lips. That the words I speak and the words I choose would directly reflect Him. Shamefully, sometimes I am no good at this, and that’s why I love His grace. It’s sufficient to cover my shortcomings. Anyway, the video isn’t of great quality. If you love it, I highly encourage you to purchase the CD that I heard it on.

We Will Not Be Shaken – Bethel Music ( you can watch their newest video of this song and others like it on this website)

It’s wrecked me and it’s brought on some amazing moments of worship.

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I’m not sure that I have anything fun/amazing to report about my week other than we’ve made it through another week. Ha! I’m not sure if I’m stoked at how boring our lives are right now, or if it’s bothersome. What I find super interesting is with how busy I’ve felt, I don’t have anything fun/major/exciting/sad to report.

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I think that this is a super accurate description of the type of fun we’re having at the Brooks’ home. That and finishing off the Parenthood Series Finale then getting sucked into far too many episodes I care to admit each night of the Black List – Don’t spoil it we’re still in season 1. Once we finish a round of a Black List binge I finally claim to be tired, then my body plays a cruel, mean, terrible joke on me. I lay down – BAM… It must be PARTY TIME..

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Or this:

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I must be on a Minion kick again. I just can’t help it, sorry.. But, not really.

OK, really…. Here’s the real scoop on the biggest happenings in our home…

Next appointment: End of February (17 weeks) – This will include an ultrasound.
Weight Gain/Loss: I am up 5 pounds max *I think*. To be honest I am not tracking this very well… First of all our scale at home sucks. If I look at my medical charts they ONLY have my pre-pre pregnancy weight and I was much thinner when we discovered I was pregnant for the first time (almost 2 years ago, and right after getting married, hello honeymoon body haha). I’ve decided that I really hate commenting on this subject, but I also realize I don’t want to forget the changes my body made. I believe my pre-pregnancy weight (for THIS pregnancy) was around 116.8lbs and today (I usually weigh myself on Friday’s) my first step on the scale said 119.8lbs and then the second step said 121.2lbs or something. So perhaps I may ONLY start making weight comments at each OB appointment. I’m not sure yet.
Exercise: Yoga, and I’m making an effort to do more stairs and walk more as much as possible! After the issues with my back (it’s getting 10000X better) I have been cleared for squats and planks! So I am adding this, on occasion, to my morning routine or bedtime routine.
Maternity clothes: About the same – I can’t say yes, but I can’t say no…. My jeans have been swapped for leggings and on days that I need actual pants I do wear low/small panel maternity pants/jeans. Most of my tops are fine still, however I do have a little bit more a tummy (and boobs, let’s be real) to fill them out more.
Sleep: I think I’ve reach a turning point. Over the last week my sleep has improved SO much. Although it takes me a little longer to fall asleep, once I’m asleep I’m out. I hope this pattern continues. Now I just need to not love my bed so much in the mornings.
Food cravings:  I’ve got nothing on my list that I HAVE to have. But I will say, at least once or twice a week I REALLY want a bean and cheese burrito from Taco Bell. However, it’s not too often that we actually give in to that craving.
Symptoms: I’m feeling a million times better this week. Perhaps I may be human again? The nausea is few and far between and totally remedied with a piece of gum, the sleep is better, the bloat isn’t so awesome, HA! The mood swings…. I’m doing so much better at controlling them, YAY! I’m learning that I’m more forgetful… But most times I forget that I’m getting forgetful and don’t write things down or remember where I put something important…
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I’m beginning to have more energy, but I do find I get winded a little more quickly and tired faster than usual. Ugh, let’s just not even talk about my skin (oh yeah, I need to ask my mom to send me some more samples… thanks for the reminder). But, as far as I can tell I think just maybe I’m just having a good week symptom wise. I hope it sticks!
Baby’s Size/Milestones: Baby is now the size of a Lemon measuring around 3.5 inches long and weighing just over 1.5 ounces. It’s wiggling around, sucking his/her thumb, and learning to swallow. I find all these little tidbits simply amazing. When I measured out how long 3.5 inches was I realized that babe would take up the length of the palm of my hand (yeah I have little hands). Amazing. Babe’s heart rate is still consistently in the high 150’s and low 160’s, but it also depends what time of day we take a listen.
Movement:  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: Colton. I know I say Colton every week. But it’s true. He’s always on my mind – especially lately. I also miss having the EXTRA energy to be a good housekeeper.
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Ok, maybe I’m the only who really truly notices when it doesn’t get done. I couldn’t be more thankful for a husband who has really loved me well lately and has taken on the majority of the house-hold chores. I mean seriously. There is something about walking in the door after working (on occasion 9+ hours) and seeing that the house is clean and vacuumed and the laundry is done and folded and put away. The bonus: lately even dinner has been ready for me 🙂
What I’m loving:  Growing a baby, how amazing my hair feels. Also, how quickly my nails are growing. All the new quirks my body is doing. It seems like everyday I notice something new now.
What I’m looking forward to:  Feeling movements and knowing the gender…..I can’t wait to see babe at the end of the month….. and buying ALL THE BABY THINGS.
Baby Purchases: Truthfully I am not sure that I’ve actually purchased anything since getting pregnant. I had purchased things while we were waiting, but today I got a text from my Love and he suggested we go start our diaper stash. My sister was super generous and gifted us her crib, and Ergo baby wearing carrier thing, and a bunch of other accessories. We have also been gifted a few books and toys. This stuff totally just blesses me and makes me realized how loved this little one is. Blows me away, every.single.time.
Best moment this week: Using my Doppler and realizing that baby is wiggling away too much to catch the heartbeat for very long. We end up trying to follow it around across my tummy, but we’ll hear it, then babe moves. Also with the Doppler you can pick up the sounds of it kicking. Kills me, every time. I love it.
Today I am now 14w1d, but I took my silly bump/selfie pic yesterday. And of course it showcases the lovely stripped black and gray dress. That has become my Thursday outfit. Soon enough, once the weather changes it will be a maxi skirt and a fun top I’m sure.
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Allllll of this to say:

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

He is worthy of it all. No ifs ands and or buts about it. It’s ONLY because of him I have the honor to experience any of this. I’m not deserving of it, I didn’t do anything to earn it, and I certainly will not take any credit for this tiny little life. It’s all because of Him, all to Him I owe.

Also, I could have sworn there was something else I REALLY wanted to share, but I can’t remember.. So maybe we’ll get lucky and next week I’ll have TWO blog posts!

Fabu Friday!!

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I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is Friday. Seriously, this week has kicked my butt and then some! My family is still in our house after a few unexpected delay’s in their closing of their home in AZ, thus delaying the closing of the house here in town. We love having them with us, the house is loud, it’s messy, and I’m not sure when the last time I really (and I mean REALLY) cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, but it doesn’t matter, we’re making memories. However, I am exhausted. Seriously Exhausted.

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I’m super excited because next week is only a 2 day work week for me, the rest is vacation! Then the week of New Years Eve it’s only a 3 day work week and then vacation time! I. Can’t. Wait.

So, as promised, I snuck in a few more pics of little man, Christian. He is such a busy body, all boy, crazy, wild child that he is hard to snap pictures of.

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The crack one is my favorite. Is there anything more cute than a kiddo crack? Seriously, my fav!

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It’s getting cold in Spokane, but we surprisingly don’t have any snow yet. Maybe, JUST maybe for Christmas we’ll get a dusting of it, but so far winter has been pretty mild. I don’t mind, I hate driving in snow. I’m not bad at it, I just hate it. Actually, I dislike driving in general, so adding any type of elements to driving conditions isn’t my favorite.

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Ok, it’s not of little bubs, but this…. Heart Melted. Princess Elsa and Uncle C-Rad snuggle buggin’ on the sofa. Can’t forget little Olaf! He’s in there too.

**Ultrasound pictures and update below**

The Pops came over for dinner sometime this last week (don’t even try to ask me which day, I can’t remember) and we got a little head start on getting ready for our Christmas Eve services at church. The Pops and I are doing a little special song/duet thing. Nothing makes me more happy then singing with my dad plays along.

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This also gave me and the Hubs the perfect opportunity to share an early Christmas gift 🙂

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The joy was short-lived because a few days later I started experiencing some bleeding and heavy cramping. Because loss is the only thing I know, naturally I freaked a little and called my nurse first thing in the morning. I know spotting and cramping can be completely normal. However for me, all 2 of the 3 losses we’ve had started with spotting and cramping.

My RE got me basically as soon as I could get there and we did an ultrasound. I am still measuring ahead and the first words that came out of Dr. F’s mouth was: We actually have a heart beat! I’ve never once experienced the SOUND of a heart beat. I have seen one, with Colton, but I have never heard it. We actually got to HEAR the heart. I don’t think I will EVER forget what that sounds like. Ever.

I got two souvenirs from my emergency visit:

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As we get closer and closer to the time frame that we know when Colton’s heart stopped, I have loads of anxiety and, battle frequently, thoughts of despair and hopelessness. I spend a lot of energy during my day choosing to be hopeful and constantly praying for peace and less fear. So the reassurance, and flexibility of my RE to calm my crazy brain is by far the greatest gift.

I’ve realized I’ve been pretty vague about where I am actually at. I am actually 6 weeks 6 days TODAY from my LMP, however at my u/s I was 6w4d and measured at 7 weeks. However, further measuring he said I was still only measuring a day a head.

It’s still so early. Sometimes I have little moments of fear for sharing, but I promised myself I wouldn’t ever censor myself or keep secrets on the blog. This blog is about real life, my relationship with Jesus, and being honest about the good, the bad and the ugly.

So, there ya have it!

HAPPY FREAKIN’ FRIDAY!!!

Freaky Friday? Oh my!

 

 

Freaky Friday?

Well, I’m a day late! But holy cow, I promise I have good excuses. Ok, well maybe not. Work was busy, and I have freaky-ness to share that consumed my after-work hours. As I mentioned in my previous post, there hasn’t been much going on to share. I try to snap a picture as often as possible, but somehow time just keeps flying by. My heart is still constantly thankful and being intentional about my uphill climb has made such a huge difference for me.

So I’m feeling like this accurately, and graphically, shows how my week went. Or more precisely, our Friday. WIN for my Friday: I wasn’t late for work.

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Isn’t that the truth? I’m so glad I am adaptive enough to go with the flow and be ok with what happens.

In the middle of my day I got an unexpected visitor(s). B brought little Peanut by to give me a super thoughtful gift:

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 I love flowers, like LOVE flowers.

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Anyone who really knows me, knows I love me some flowers. I especially love the little one who has such a big heart to give and give and give! I am so overwhelmed with such generosity!! LOVE them, and THANK you Peanut and B.

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My great idea: defrost chicken in a freezer bag in the fridge. Figured that would be sufficient. HAHAHA, I was wrong. Mid afternoon I get a text from the hubs that chicken juices had devoured our entire fridge. He spent the next hour cleaning out said fridge. Throwing away a good portion of food that had been contaminated (thanks babe, seriously!). This was also shortly before he had realized he left his wedding ring at work 30 minutes away. Haha, poor dude. I offered to pick it up on my way home, but he declined.

Once I got home from work it was time to cook. Dinner was going to be a yummy bread-less chicken parmesan – with the chicken that had caused the mess earlier. Although it made a mess, it was still good to eat and cook up, still cold just a leaky bag. Easy enough, right?

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Yeah, apparently my Pyrex dish didn’t feel cooking anything tonight. Shattered right in the oven. leaked all the juices from the chicken, making a huge mess of glass pieces and well, chicken. Lots have asked if the dish was cold or something, nope. It was room temp with just normal chicken.

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Shortly after we decided that it was a Taco Bell night. Yeah, not a healthy choice, but after the hassle, it wasn’t worth it to start over and defrost more chicken…etc.

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Taco Bell it was. It was good. Better than glass with a side of chicken, right? Ps: the green sauce from Taco Bell, my favorite!

When the hubs was on his way home from picking up his ring, he stopped at the store for a couple of items, I asked for pickles…. Well, I certainly got some pickles!! HAHA, 80FL ounces worth of pickles! The hubster knows me too well!

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So once we wrapped up the night with a little Taco Bell and a whirlwind of a day, I decided Saturday would be a “lay in bed and snuggle with the furry friends day”.

So, lap top in hand, HGTV playing renovation shows, this girl is snuggled in with a drama (hopefully, attempting chicken pot pie tonight) free Saturday trying to catch up from the crazies of Friday.

 

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I think my furry friends were ok with a Fabu “Saturday” instead.

Have a Happy Weekend!!