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.






Little nudges.

That’s how I describe what these first magical kicks from baby feel like. They’re rare and faint. A couple inches below my belly button is where I’ve felt them strongest. I poke at the area to try to get baby to keep kickin. It’s most active before I go to sleep and when I wake up, laying on my back and keeping really still.

Precious little nudges.

My little nugget’s nudges.

Baby’s nearly 1lb now, and 5 inches or so long. I’m honing in on the halfway point here in the next couple weeks. It’s weird with my due date being Jan 1, cause my countdown is easy – however many days are left in 2015.

Had my first swelling incident the other day. I went to a botanical gardens with a friend and it was a pretty warm day, not excruciatingly hot. The whole walk took us about two hours. When we got back inside I went to the restroom and I didn’t notice it till I was washing my hands how swollen they were. They were huge! I couldn’t budge my wedding ring at all. They were all red and puffy and crazy uncomfortable. I went out and showed my friend who said I must have had an allergic reaction to a plant I touched or something. It obviously wasn’t that, I was reacting to the heat and my increased blood volume. Crazy times.

I hope I don’t get super swollen in my 3rd trimester. It just seems so uncomfortable. If it happens it happens I guess but at least it will be winter. 3rd trimester in the summer would be a nightmare.

I’m sensing an increase in appetite this week and I need to try to keep that in check. I’m worried about gaining too much weight too fast. I already have stretch marks around my belly button, need to cave and get some cocoa butter stuff.

So thankful hubs comes home from his trip for work today! I realized how much just having him around means to me support-wise. Also he’s just a wonderful husband and best friend. Deployments might be the death of me. (Coming March 2016…)

In other news our second pup caught our first pup’s stomach bug from a couple weeks ago. It means at least two trips outside in the middle of the night and lots of carpet cleaner usage for the second time in a month. Poor baby looks so sad and scared though. I guess it’s preparing me for baby sleep deprivation.

Also my dogs killed a bird yesterday and I lost my freaking mind.


Stretch & Scare

We (I…) had a bit of a scary thing happen the other day. 

I started having a strong, sharp pain on the left side of my abdomen Tuesday afternoon. It started out in one area then felt like it was running from my ribs all the way down to my groin, all along the left side of my abdomen. Honestly started out feeling like a pulled muscle. But it progressively got really intense, hurting whether I was sitting, standing or laying down. 

I really got worried when it began hurting intensely when I urinated. I wasn’t even pushing my urine stream, and it was still a super stabbing pain. It was a constant battle all day of trying to fight off the evil thoughts and stay positive. Since I haven’t felt the baby move yet, it’s hard not to worry something could be wrong. I’ve been dying to be able to feel it move, just so I can have that peace of mind at the very least.

By the end of the night, I was in tears and the pain spiked at about an 8 on a scale of 1-10 when I urinated. I actually have a fairly high pain tolerance, too. Hubs immediately made me lay down and prayed over me. I love when he prays – he has a crazy gifting of faith in chaotic situations that makes me feel so at ease. We prayed that the pain would just melt away in my sleep. I was so scared in the moment I was just bawling. But I was able to fall asleep.

In the morning, the pain was gone. I could tell that I shouldn’t stretch or strain the area still, but I haven’t felt the same pain since. Hoping it was just this muscle that my registered massage therapist friend described that runs along the sides of my abdomen and can get crazy stretched during pregnancy. Over the last week my tummy has gotten a lot more pregnant looking so that would make sense.

Anywho, trying to see that little scare as a teaching moment to stay calm when I don’t know what’s happening, and just trust God’s design for my body. He wouldn’t put my body through something it couldn’t handle. He designed this process to be possible. He made my body to hold and grow my baby. I can do this without fear that I couldn’t manage the process. 

And also to remember that He has gifted me with an unbelievable husband who desires to love me like Jesus and be the best father to this little life that he can be. He’s doing a damn good job so far.


Finally truly looks like I’m pregs and not just that I maybe ate a big lunch or haven’t done a crunch since 2010. Belly feels harder and junk. Crazy stretching pains all along the sides of my abdomen pretty much all the time. Getting up is getting difficult. I almost passed out in church this week – I couldn’t get comfortable in the chairs and felt lightheaded, and I feel like there wasn’t adequate oxygen flow in the room. I’m most comfortable sitting/laying at a slight incline with my feet curled up next to me. Also starting to have lower back soreness, and my tailbone randomly started being sensitive to hard surfaces the other day. Pregnancy is weird.

A lot of women say they can feel baby move by this point. It’s supposed to feel like gas, or other bodily functions. How am I supposed to know, then? I haven’t felt anything that I could even question as being baby moving. It’s making me go crazy. At night I’ll like hold my breath and try to concentrate real hard on the area where my belly sticks out the most and wait for some kind of squirming to happen. Nothin yet. Hopefully soon. I wanna feel the nugget in there, as creepy as that thought actually is.

Other than that, I’ve got so much energy and appetite back, relatively. I can actually do things other than couch potato marathon during the day, though afternoon naps are pretty mandatory. And I get hungry for things! Lots of different kinds of foods! I can only eat about half the portion size I would normally eat before pregnancy but I feel healthier because of it. I love salads and fresh fruit. Anything fresh tasting. I had some pesto on a pizza the other day and the basil was so fresh it was amazing. No more nasty greasy food cravings thank God. 

Visiting our hometown has been really sweet, but it’s also made me really sad to have to go back tomorrow. I loved getting loved on my family and friends, it made the pregnancy feel more real to see their excitement. And then just the feeling of community – I miss it so much. We had it in such abundance for so long, and then now we are so isolated out there it feels wrong. I’m glad to have the adventure of somewhere new but there’s just something about Knoxville my heart will always gravitate towards.

Oh, yeah. Won’t find out the gender for another month, this is torture.


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