Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weeks 14-17

14-17 (June 26-July 23)
Baby's Size:
Baby has transitioned from about 3 1/2 inches to 5 inches, head to rump. Baby has gone from about  2 oz to 5 oz +.
All of my not fun symptoms (nausea, tiredness, etc.) from my first trimester have subsided!
New to me during these weeks was round ligament pain when I walk around or roll over during the night time. Also, I experienced a little bit of lightheadedness when I was on my feet for too long.
Still bell peppers and balsamic vinegar.
Best Moments:
Beginning my second trimester!
Breaking our precious news to the rest of family and friends!
Looking Forward To:
Feeling my baby's kicks!
Finding out baby's gender on August 6th!!
Picking out a name.

WEEK 14:

WEEK 15:
WEEK 16:
WEEK 17:
Sorry, no picture. :(
My handsome photographer, Colin, was out of town.

Friday, July 19, 2013

June Letters To Africa

It is July. I have just sent out my "June" letters to our precious Dominic, Eyouel, and Mugwaneza. Oops. Sorry kiddos! I promise I will make it up and double up letters this month!
For my letters, I used Compassion letter templates that are sent every time we receive letters from our children. At the top of the template is always a space to write a verse to share. I wrote:
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
~Psalm 91:11-12
My letters were pretty simple. I let them know how much I love them and their families--their family is a part of ours! I also wrote to them about various fun things they shared with us in their last letters.
 To our boys, I sent soccer mazes--they love their ball! I found one easy one and one difficult one for a challenge. I downloaded them for free on Printable Treats.
For our little lady, I sent three coloring pages that have simple activites on the back.
I hope they find excitement in their little packages! I love them so much, and I want so badly to smother them with love!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My First Trimester

My first trimester...a phrase I never thought would be a topic for a blog post! I am so grateful to the Lord for providing me with this miraculous experience of pregnancy. He gets all of the glory!

Because there was a long wait in us telling most family and friends, I have been slow in keeping my blog up-to-date. Without further adieu...

1-13 (March 27-June 25)
Baby's size:
In 13 weeks, our baby transitioned from nonexistent, to a single cell, to the size of a peach! At 13 weeks, baby was about 3 inches long from head to rump.
Nausea from week 7 to about week 13. Eating was such a chore! But, God blessed me with no vomiting. Hallelujah!

Tiredness during weeks 7-13. After work, I just had to come home and crash on the bed for a little while. And on special days, I would take 3 hour naps! And still sleep very well at night. No insomnia here.

Sore breasts
Frequent urination
Cramps and twinges
No cravings. If anything--cold, cold water always tasted so good!

Honestly, most foods. In particular, bell peppers and balsamic vinegar. Colin makes a wonderful pasta dish with all kinds of veggies, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan cheese. I just could not touch it! Ew.
Best Moments:
 Hearing my baby's heartbeat. And seeing our baby jumping around during a surprise ultrasound!
Looking Forward To:
Feeling little baby kicks and punches. Our gender ultrasound! Everything.

WEEK 12:

WEEK 13:


Monday, July 15, 2013

Sweet Sound

I had my very first doctor's appointment on April 25.
I had a LOT of blood drawn--6 or 7 vials I think. Wow. I also had a general physical and a urine sample taken.
I was given a copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting. It was a nice gift to receive, and I read it weekly to learn about what miracles my baby is experiencing! It sure is pure amazement--the life God creates throughout 9 months. He is so good.
I was so happy when I received a phone call that my tests all turned out normal and that my hormone levels were all showing that I was, indeed, pregnant. Every single confirmation helps! 
My very favorite confirmation has been an at-home doppler that I purchased. I found a Sonoline B doppler online on Amazon for $70. It was well-recommended in the reviews. The directions stated that it would be most effective in picking up the heartbeat after the first trimester, but some of the reviewers stated they found it earlier.
I received it somewhere between week 7 and week 8. Let me tell you--I tried every day, at least once!
 I was desperate to hear the sound of life inside of me.
Finally, on week 8, day 4 (May 19), I heard the most beautiful sound. My baby's heartbeat. I praised God immediately. It was in the 160s. Sweet sound.
In the beginning, it often took 5-20 minutes to find the heartbeat, because the baby was hiding so low. But now I find it immediately, and still listen every single day.
Another beautiful sound I have been hearing is baby kicks! My doppler picks up kicks and punches! And my little one is always very active. I still can't feel them quite yet, but the sound is so fun to hear.
I very, very highly recommend the purchase of an at-home doppler. Without it, I would have been even more of a nervous wreck!
I am praising God all the time for this miraculous blessing. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Telling My Husband I Am Pregnant

My last post left off with me sharing how I found out I was pregnant.
At this point of my story, Colin has no clue I am pregnant, and no clue I had been testing for almost an entire week!
I had never before held back from him when I tested, and often, he would be the one I would send into the bathroom to read the test for me. Back when there seemed to be endless hope.
I desperately did not want to get Colin's hopes up this time if there was any chance the tests could be false positives. Infertility has affected him, too. In the past, we have both been crushed time and time again when we were so sure the tests would be positive.
After 8 positive tests that gradually increased my assurance, I felt ready. In fact, I felt ready to burst!
I researched fun ways to tell him. I wondered what his reaction would be. I glowed with anticipation.
I had 4 hours to wait to tell my man he was going to become a daddy!
I picked him up from work that night, because we were sharing a car due to a minor car accident and a new car on order. I had thought about telling him in the car--then I thought no, I wanted to be able to see his face the whole time, and I was driving.
I was SO nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach. I was shaky!
So, we got home a little bit after 9 pm. I let him get out of his uniform and get comfortable. Walking into the kitchen, he was in a hurry to heat up his dinner.
I was sitting on our chaise chair and told him to sit by me for a minute. I think he started to get a little suspicious that something was up.
I told him to close his eyes and hold out his hands.
*I SO wanted to film this, but I knew he would notice the camera wherever I put it!*
At this point, he tells me later, he thought I was being silly, and we simply sold an Etsy item.
I placed the last two pregnancy tests in his hands. His eyes immediately opened! His jaw dropped. He stared at them. He looked at me. He stared at them.
He said, "Are you serious?!?" At least 5 times, I am sure.
I said, "I'm pregnant!"
We laughed.
We giggled over thoughts of our whole story--the years praying for this moment.
Today, we are still giggling! We still laugh in shock. We get surprised by my growing belly.
It feels like a dream.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finding Out I Am Pregnant After SIX Years


After over six years of trying to grow our family biologically, I became pregnant.
In those six years, do you know how many pregnancy tests I went through?
(Some of you do!)
Much money wasted, many tears cried, and much pain and frustration.
About two years ago, I finally found some really cheap paper pregnancy tests through Amazon that I bought in bulk. Money saved.
During my 8 months on birth control pills, I never thought about them, as I never needed them. But, when I came off of them in March, I immediately thought about them. You know, 'just in case'.
Well, come to find out, they were expired by a month or so. What a great reason to use them up!
I used my first one on April 17th (when I would have been 4 weeks pregnant).
I STARED at it. Held it up to the light. Looked at it from all different angles.
Was that a....faint....very faint....very very faint....second line?!
I say to myself, "A line is a line is a line, right Jess?"
So, I get all excited. I get nervous. Then I remember that it was an expired test.
Keeping my special secret with much uncertainty of its reliability, I test on the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd!
The line progressively gets darker and is about even with the test line at this point.
My hopes are up, my doubts are still there, and I know I need to have an answer right away!
I buy way-too-expensive tests at Walgreen's--one with lines and one that is digital. The check-out woman is trying to talk me into signing up for some savings card, and I just want to scream at her, "Lady, please let me simply purchase my pregnancy tests so that I can go home and use them!"
I finally leave, finish up my day of work, and rush home to take them.
The one shows very clearly two equal lines, and the digital one shows the word: PREGNANT.
I immediately thank our Lord.
After all of these tests, I am still very shocked and almost still in a state of disbelief.
*I am 16 weeks pregnant now, and Colin and I are both still feeling disbelief and shock!*
At this point, I have about 4 more hours until Colin gets off of work.
And, the story will continue!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Will You Still Adopt?

Another questions we are often asked is, "So, will you still adopt?"
The answer is, "YES, YES, YES!" Our hearts are still in our adoption and loving the orphan.
Some adoption agencies will not let a family on the waitlist become pregnant--if a family would become pregnant, they must discontinue the process and lose all of their progress. AGCI used to follow that rule. We are really thankful they no longer do. Since we are so far out on our lists, at least 2-3 years until a referral, we will still move on the list like usual.
However, we will not be able to accept a referral until our baby is a certain age--10 months, I believe(it is about 99% unlikely that we would receive a referral before then anyways).
Also, AGCI does not let a family adopt out of birth order, so we will likely have to change our paremeters to just one infant, or possibly twins, which happen very rarely. If the wait is really, really long, we can choose to expand our parameters again to include an appropriate higher age range.

So, yes! We are absolutely proceeding with our Ethiopian adoption.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How Did That Happen?!?

 Yes, I am pregnant!
The number one question people ask is, "How did that happen?!?" I'm sure most mommas-to-be aren't asked that question, but after Colin and I have been through over 6 years of infertility, it is a question on people's minds.
Colin's first response is always, "Well, you know, when a husband and a wife...." 
Physically, I was never told by a doctor that I could never get pregnant due to my PCOS (ovarian cysts), but I was told it would be very unlikely, especially without infertility treatments. I tried one unsuccessful round of clomid pills years ago and Colin and I both decided we did not want to proceed further with treatments for health, emotional, and religious reasons.
Last year, my cycles were dangerously irregular and heavy, and I was prescribed a year of birth control pills. After being on them for 8 months, I decided I needed a break due to them affecting my emotions and moods negatively, as well God doing a work in my heart after reading a blog post titled Should Christians Use Birth Control?, written by Mandy of Biblical Homemaking.
THE first month off of them, I became pregnant. The first month!
Underneath the infertility, we both know that God happened.
He arranged this in His perfect timing.
Baby is due on December 25th, Christmas Day. CHRISTMAS DAY!
Could God be any more clear that this was ALL Him?
We are so thankful and excited for our little miracle. We feel overly blessed right now. My heart is aching for all those still waiting for their little miracle. I am praying for you! Trust and believe.
I have so many words to write, so much to catch up on! Soon, very soon. If you have any questions for me about our journey, please ask, as I would love to answer! 
With Love,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Eight Months Dreaming

We have been on the waitlist to adopt for 8 months yesterday!
As slow as time seems sometimes, I think this first year of waiting has gone by pretty quickly. Well, 2/3rds of a year. :)
I think the last year will be the most difficult--knowing how close we are, knowing a momma in Ethiopia is pregnant with our little love.
It is really humbling to think about what our love's first momma will go through during her pregnancy and the baby's first hours and possibly days or months.
I like to pray for our baby's birthparents every night and wish good things for them. I pray they are well and their needs are being provided for. I pray they have good health and they have God in their hearts, helping them through their days.
I pray I get to meet them one day. I would love to know their story and who they are. I would love to know their wishes for their little one. I would love pictures. I pray for these things.
Eight months dreaming....we love our Sweet One!

So Proud

My love, Colin, got his official job offer last Friday!!
I am so excited for him, and for us as a family. I have been wanting to move for quite some time, and feel so lucky that God chose NOW as the time. The circumstances are perfectly lined up--only God could have arranged for all of our blessings to happen all at once.
Colin will start his new employment on July 15th. Please pray for his transition.
Colin will be living with my parents on and off for at least two weeks, and likely even longer. This will be temporary, but is necessary until we buy a house and close on it.
It will be difficult living alone for this time. I love alone time, but I love Colin more! Way more! He is my best friend, and it will be sad to not sleep next to him every night.
He will be spending his days off with me when two or more line up...maybe it will feel like we are dating all over again! :)