2 mos pp 

I hate to start a blog post with “I haven’t posted in a while…” but there’s no way around it. I haven’t posted in a while. I gave myself a 2 month hiatus while I have adjusted to this completely different life I now lead called motherhood. 

I knew I would want some time off from blogging in this short time with my newborn and husband before he deployed 2 days ago. Now that he’s gone and my dear daughter is beginning to show glorious signs of a real sleep schedule, I think I am ready to get back in the swing of things.

I have so much to share. From her birth story to first days, early weeks of sleep deprivation, spit up being a part of every outfit, dancing to the sound of the furnace, baby products I can’t live without, baby products I shouldn’t have wasted my money on, and so many moments in between that I could have never imagined would make me so unbelievably happy.

I’m now officially a Mom Blogger, y’all.

And now, introducing my beautiful muse: Adelaide River.

  

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22w6d

Havent posted in a while cause things have started to settle and nothing much to report. But, journaling is healthy. 

Baby kicks. So hard. Wakes me up sometimes. This week she’s practicing her flips and tumbles. One second I’ll feel her kicks on one side of my stomach, and the next second she’s totally upside down kicking me on another side of my tummy. Crazy crazy kid in there. Future gymnast for sure.

Really hoping my belly gets more round and big for our maternity photos and baby shower later this month back in Knoxville. I ordered a couple cheap maternity dresses online and I want them to look like they fit correctly. My tummy is kind of lumpy/weird right now. I had a belly fat roll before pregnancy that I think is making the stretching process a little weird. Oddly thankful for it though, because it’s keeping me from developing an outie belly button, which I think are totally gross.

So yes, we have another trip to Knoxville planned. Originally just to do photography for a friend’s wedding, Drew was going to be deployed at this time but it got moved to March YAY, but now we’re making it a joint babymoon/wedding/friend’s graduation/baby shower/last visit for a very very long time. Going to spend a couple nights in Asheville, NC at our honeymoon hotel for a short babymoon getaway. Cannot wait. 

So weird to think that this time last year I was busy packing and preparing for our move out here. I had no idea what to expect, my life was going to get a complete makeover. It’s been a really full year. Stressing over training my dog to a new yard, learning to navigate a new city, being 900 miles from home, how was I to know that just one year later I would be 5 months pregnant with our first daughter?

I really miss home. But I know by now it would be driving me crazy if we’d never left. If it weren’t for my husband’s sacrifices we wouldn’t have a house, two wonderful dogs, job security, a decent income, and a future to feel safe about. I guess I sacrificed some comforts for this too. But it doesn’t seem like a sacrifice when you’re doing it for someone you love.

Like my changing body. I don’t really grumble about these stretch marks, or aches and pains. The fact that my body will never look or feel the same after this pregnancy isn’t really a problem for me. Because I’m doing it for her. Labor? Yeah that will suck. But I’m not mad. I don’t resent her, or our decision to be parents just because it’s going to physically hurt. Because it’s for her. And it’s all to bring glory to her Creator, who is insanely awesome.

I wanna take baby T to the Smokey Mountains when we’re in Knoxville. She’s not born, I know. But there’s a spiritual connection I have there that she’s gotta feel. The waters will be warm and the air won’t be too stifling or humid. I have this spot I want to take her that’s a small secluded waterfall off a pretty common trail that isn’t too well known. And just sit there and breathe and pray. And see if God has anything new to tell me about her. 

We haven’t named her yet, and we probably won’t anytime soon. We have a few names on the table, but no certain feelings about any of them. I’m comfortable with that. Her name just isn’t important right now.

It’s weird once you get past the excitement of learning the gender, how things just start to settle and stagnate. Her little movements are so common to me now, I’m not squealing and grabbing my husband’s hand to feel every little nudge. I’ve gotten about as far on the nursery as we can right now – we have a crib and a changing table dresser, repainted with new knobs, and most of her clothes and things we’ve picked up are organized. I have a couple projects to work on, but for the most part I have to keep reminding myself that there’s no rush. I’m barely over halfway there. We have so much time to paint and decorate and plan. And that’s a little overwhelming. I feel her, I know it’s a her, and I can’t fathom having to wait another four months to meet her now that it’s taken this long. My future pregnancies probably won’t feel this slow, but this is like glacier-slow. I need more hobbies.

Wow tangents on tangents on tangents. What a weird post, Molls. Way to just stick to your insane pregnancy brain stream of consciousness. You know actually, this post is a pretty accurate depiction of where my brain is at these days. Kind of all over the place, but in a settled kind of way.

So now to close, I’m going to sit here and think of all the things I would want to eat right now. Enjoy.

Oreo mint milkshake. Five Guys cheese burger. Lomein noodles. McDonald’s fries dipped in a Wendy’s frosty. Banana bread. Corn on the cob. Cookie dough cheesecake. Eggrolls. Super crunch sushi roll from Surin in Knoxville. Watermelon slushie. Caesar salad from Newk’s. Biscuits and honey. 

Ok… I’m starving now.

20w6d

Dear Sweetie,

It’s been a week since we found out you’re a little (growing) lady! 

Daddy got to come to the ultrasound and see you for the first time. His first freak-out moment came when we saw your strong little heart pumping. “Woah… And that’s a real heart… WOAH.” We could see the chambers and the blood flowing in and out. It was magical. All your organs and limbs are right on track and it was lots of fun to see how complex you’ve become. My favorite part was your spine. Can’t believe how long and strong you’re getting in there.

We tried but couldn’t get you to flip over and let us get a good photo of your facial profile. But we did get a sweet look at your lips & nose. The tech switched over to the 3-D ultrasound to try and get a good one of your beautiful face but you were holding your nose and we couldn’t see you! Funny girl, must have been feeling shy. I wonder if you’re a thumb sucker like your momma, or if you’ll stay left-handed like your daddy used to be (before the U.S. education system forced him to be a righty, which I promise would never happen to you on my watch.)

When we went down to see if you were a boy or a girl it was pretty obvious right away who you were 🙂 I got teary, and Daddy squeezed my hand super tight. It felt like for a while all the air left the room as we tried to wrap our heads around the destiny of our first daughter.

Our daughter…

Daddy is in the shower right now singing If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly. About 3 years ago he told me he had a vision of him singing that song in the car to his daughter in the front seat. I have always known he was meant to be a daddy to a girl. He will be so wonderful. Loving, supportive, adoring and proud. And Sweetie, no matter how tough he tries to be, you’ll always have him wrapped around your finger. You’re sure to be a Daddy’s Girl.

But don’t you ever forget that you’re mine too. You’re my first baby. My first positive pregnancy test. My first exciting gender reveal. My first morning sickness. My first tummy stretch marks. My first little kicks. Oh, those precious kicks… You’re actually kicking me as I type this. I can think of few things I love as much as these sweet nudges. You’re so active, and you love when Daddy holds his hand on my tummy to feel you move. 

I hope you like me singing to you. I hope it’s comfy in there. I hope you know nothing of life but love.

My sweet daughter, I don’t know your name yet. While it brings me some anxiety not knowing what to call you, I’m strangely fine with it for now. Your persona to me has been a beautiful nameless wonder so far. I get little feelings about you sometimes. The other night God told me about your mind, how smart you are, how clever. I asked Daddy if he had heard anything yet and he just said, “Grapes.” The next day I bought a big bag of grapes and I can’t stop eating them.

I don’t know you very well just yet but I know you are special. I feel like I’ve known all along you’re a girl, even though I really haven’t. But it makes perfect sense now that we know. Like the bits of your soul that I can sense have just always said so. I couldn’t be happier about it. I really couldn’t.

Hello, Sweetie. I’m your momma. I love you more than I can keep up with recognizing. It’s overwhelming and encompassing. It’s terrifying and wonderful. I feel like this is what I’ve always been made to do. You are my greatest adventure.

I love you.

Always, 

Momma

  

14w4d

For the past few weeks, hubs and I have fallen asleep both with one hand on my tummy over where baby is growing. He doesn’t say anything usually but I know we are both praying. Sweet prayers and tough prayers. The typical “God let this baby grow healthy and well with no complications.” And also the “Lord we pray against allergies, we pray against asthma, we pray against generational curses and mental disabilities.” Why not be specific? Ask and you shall receive.

A few days ago my friend and I were talking on the phone and she made a great point about parenting. We were discussing the sickness in parents today who are obsessive over their children to the point where they love them more than they love their spouse or the Lord. She said the thing is, the child isn’t yours. It’s God’s. From the moment it’s born, you give it to God. You surrender this baby to God’s will. You trust and you let go. You put aside your narcissism and obsessive love (both natural feelings) and you accept that this human being is going to have his/her own path in life, and his/her own relationship with the Creator. As parents we can influence and nurture as much as we choose, but at the end of the day, free will is a gift given to everyone. 

Last night hubs and I were talking about how neither of us has really gotten any spiritual connection to the baby so far. Contrary to my expectations, I have no idea who I am carrying. I have no clue as to the gender, or anything else. The only connection I have to it is the fact that I know it’s there because of how my body is changing around it. It’s been a little disappointing.

But hubs brought up a good point. Maybe God is guarding us from feeling a spiritual or otherwise connection to emphasize to us that the baby is His. He is gifting us with the beautiful opportunity to love and call it our son or daughter. As I tried to make sense of it in my head, hubs got a great word from the Holy Spirit:

God is the Gardener. He plans it all out and plants the seed, providing it with everything it needs to grow tall and strong, and bring him glory. We are the sun and the soil. We nurture the plant and see that it follows God’s plan for it as best we can. But it’s not our garden. The garden is only there to bring glory to God.

Definitely rang true in our hearts. #parenthoodiscool 

4w

How soon after finding out you’re pregnant are you supposed to fully believe that you’re pregnant?

I’m lounging in our art room with the window open, watching my neighbors across the street having a triple family playdate with at least 5 kids ages infant to 6 years or so. And I’m thinking to myself this is going to be me soon. It’s finally happening. A real baby is growing inside me RIGHT NOW! But for whatever reason, it’s not really sinking in. Like every 15 minutes or so I have to remind myself that I’m pregnant.

Part of it has to be that it was unexpected. Yeah we’re actively trying but between getting a new job, drama in the family, my best friend coming to visit and some weird left pelvic pain I was having a couple weeks ago I had pretty much decided it wasn’t going to happen this month. And for the first time since we started trying to conceive, I was calm. I had absolutely no anxiety about timing, about “the plan,” about not being pregnant… nothing. I was so chill. I had even decided I wasn’t even going to think about taking a pregnancy test unless I missed my period by more than one day.

Yet yesterday morning as I was laying in bed half awake half asleep, the inkling creeped into my head that I should just take a test that morning. I brushed it off initially like a ladybug crawling on my shoulder. But I kept feeling the urge to take one; void of any anxiety or worry, not even curiousity really. Just an inkling. So I peed on a stick, went to take my dogs outside and came back to the bathroom nonchalant and unexpecting as could be.

I swear it took me 30 seconds to even see there were two pink lines. And even when I saw the two pink lines, I looked at the dang directions to make sure I wasn’t kidding myself. My eyes darted from the test to the directions and back for a good bit while my brain played catch-up. To this moment I only like 83% believe this is happening. And even though I started hyperventalating and bawling my eyes out, it still hadn’t hit me. I’m pregnant!

I tried to take a video of my reaction on my phone, and its just sobby gibberish. I’m sure my child will find it horrifyingly embarrassing someday. I calmed down somewhat and tried to figure out what I needed to do. I planned how I would do a surprise reveal to my husband weeks ago, so I went about getting everything I needed ready for when he came home later that day.

Time seemed to go by incredibly slow, and I kept feeling like there was something I needed to text my friends/family, so I would instinctively reach for my phone but then realize I had to wait. Hubs needed to find out first, then we could decide when and how to tell family.

Hubs’ mom told his dad she was pregnant with a rubber duck back in the day, and it’s been the iconic symbol for their family and becoming pregnant. So I knew I would need to incorporate that into his reveal somehow. I got this inflatable duck baby bath at Target and put it in the bathtub with balloons attached to it, the pregnancy test inside, a note for daddy-to-be and a pair of little baby booties with duckies on them that my mom found on clearance ages ago. On his card on the front was a word cloud of all his nicknames over the years, and inside it said “Da-da… new nickname activates January 2016!” Pretty clever on my part I must say.

So when he got home, there was a note by the front door (and the garage door too just in case and would you know it? that’s how he came in, go figure) that said “rub a dub dub.” When he came inside I started playing Knocked Up by the Kings of Leon from the bathroom so he’d know to go in there, and I hid in the room adjacent to it. I set up the ipad to catch his face when he opened the shower curtain, and I videoed from my phone as well, coming in behind him.

Hubs’ reaction was priceless. He screamed, and started laughing – he got his huge smile on his face that I don’t think has left it since. “Really?! Really?! You’re serious!? AHHHAAA!” Got it all on video, so precious.

I think because I was so caught up in making the surprise work, I didn’t really let his reaction sink in and let it hit me that I’m pregnant and this is my baby’s daddy. Even then, it still hadn’t hit me. After the initial OH MY GOD moment had worn off, we had no idea what to do with our day other than call family and important friends and spill the beans. I knew we wouldnt be able to wait, it’s our first pregnancy.

It was fun to hear everyone’s reactions. Some people were more like “Am I supposed to be surprised?” while others were (thankfully) more “Oh my GOD. OH my God. This is AWESOME!” You’ll get the full gambit from the people you tell, everyone is different. Most people just don’t know how to react, so they will react poorly. One thing I learned from yesterday is to not let your own happiness and excitement be dictated by your friends’ and family’s reaction.

So now I’m over a day later and still trying to convince myself there’s a rapidly-growing zygote in my uterus that will likely develop into an infant. It’s kind of one of the biggest things in life I’ve been looking forward to, and it still hasn’t hit me. A friend of mine said it will sink in once I start vomiting in a couple weeks. I think that’s probably true.

So far I’ve just had pretty consistent light cramping, breast pain and some food aversions. I am craving ice cream and pickles, though I don’t know if that’s any different from non-pregnant me. I’m also craving mexican food, yogurt and ice water. I actually dreamt about ice water last night haha. I should start a dream journal.

So when is it supposed to sink in? When will this hit me? It hit my husband the first time he said “I’m gonna be a dad!” I think it is hitting me lightly in small spaced-out doses. Like when I took a second test and the pink line was even darker. Or when I calculated that my due date will be January 1, 2016 (please come early! We need the tax break!) Or when my dad told me “You’re going to be a great mom.” And maybe that is just how it will come to me, in small significant moments over the next 9 months of my life. It will come in faint quick little heart beats on my first ultrasound. In peppermint tea when I’m too nauseous to stand. In stretch marks on my tummy and lower back pain. In tiny kicks on my ribcage. In choosing a name for my first born child.

I’m honored. That’s a much better way to describe this feeling than “excited.” I am so honored.

~Baby Tolar~
eta January 1st, 2016