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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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!!!

Fabu Friday!

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Another week has passed. And I’m telling you, it typically surprises me when it comes but this time I feel like it took a million years forever for Friday to get here. Dragging on and on and on……..

Last Friday, on our agenda, we had a pretty rad concert to catch. And let me tell you, it was rad! I feel like I finally found “my people”. When I lead worship at my church I typically don’t hold back. There is loads bouncing, jumping, and singing my guts out (usually until I am really out of breath). It’s so fun. Once Hillsong United came out, I discovered something….I’m telling you I BELONG WITH THEM! Haha, ok, I don’t think I could keep up with them, but man, it was so great. It was really an amazing night of worship (and entertainment).

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I am super thankful to have had the opportunity to go (allll thanks goes to my amazing boss).

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Huge difference…

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I can’t tell you how true I think this statement is. 🙂

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Happy (almost) Turkey/stuff your face full/eatwaytoomuchandfeelsicklater Day! If you guys have a large family or small group you might be starting the binge fest early. I know we are, festivities start Tuesday. I better bust out my leggings and stretchy pants now.

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This guy, Georgie, kills me. He has never ever snuggled me (or anyone for that matter) like this before. It was a glorious 20 minutes of snuggle time with my furry friend.

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This. This was my favorite part of the week. Ok, that’s a lie. I’m not a big fan of needles, at least it gets injected into the tush area where my eye balls cannot see how far the giant needle goes in, last time the hubs was a champ and did it flawlessly – this time the nurse did it, and I was bruised for days. I get weak just thinking about it. Anyway, triple lining of 8.5 and TWO follies of 17mm and 27mm (10,000 Novarel). I had some small little ones lingering around but nothing noteworthy or nearly mature enough to consider.

 TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m voting for twins. If I have a say, that’s what I want. Two for the price of one.

Ok, just kidding, but seriously, I’ll take what whatever He’s willing to give!

I think for the first time in our entire journey I am absolutely terrified of both outcomes. I soo want it to work but at the same time I am completely scared. I haven’t even really been able to clearly communicate the fear of either outcome. I think what might terrify me the most is a negative outcome or another chemical pregnancy. I’ve had two of those and 3 losses. But what’s equally terrifying is the possibility of actually achieving pregnancy again and get attached only for it to fail in weeks to come – and that’s only an assumption – it could also go perfectly. See I can’t even decide what’s worse, even though I was trying to.

So, what makes this Fabulous? Well, truthfully, I think it’s completely amazing that I (we – hubs and me) only have ONE responsibility. Have sex. 1, that is fabulous in itself and I don’t think that needs any explanation. 2, I have no control of the outcome. God, the author and creator of life, has all the control and a major plan for our life. Whether that includes children……or not. Ouch, maybe that’s what’s hard to really swallow…. Perhaps my desires and my idea of a family isn’t at all what He has planned. Some how that has to be ok, and right now, it’s only sorta ok. But regardless, its fabulous because this relieves me of all the pressure to perform. We just simply rest in the decisions and provisions and ride along waiting for direction/answers. Now THAT is Fabu! That is what Fabulous is all about, my friend!

Tonight, I get to have a slumber party with two girls, who happen to be my favorite, I hope they’re ready for pictures!

Have a Happy Friday!

Oh and in case you were wondering how many selfies it takes to get ONE good one in the car (don’t worry we were waiting in line at a coffee shop, not actually driving), here’s your answer:

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