Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lake of Egypt

1. Ghost stories









2. Boat rides to get ice cream at the marina


 4. Swimming, swimming, swimming


 

5. Hiking











6. So much boating



7. Hand, foot and mouth. Levi barely slept at night hence all of these pictures of him falling asleep during the day.





4th of July

Reagan was down at Lake of Egypt over the 4th of July but the rest of us went over to Peoria and the riverfront for the festivities. My mom made a low-country shrimp boil and homemade onion rings that Zach and I are still talking about.











Levi asked for a Tiger from the faceprint lady but naturally only sat still enough for whatever this is. The best part was actually well-meaning people trying to guess what they thought he was. 




Monday, August 1, 2016

Baby #4 (<---love that): The First Half

Prefacing this by saying, I really try to be super sensitive to pregnancy announcements. I have had this weird experience of being on both sides of the pregnancy spectrum. I know what it's like to be blindsided by pregnancy and be overwhelmed and ill-equipped. I also know what it's like to desire a child and it just not happen. For whatever reason the timing wasn't right and in hindsight I can see how divinely each of our kids was given to us, but it's easy for me to say that I wouldn't change a thing, now. But in the moment it sucks and I have friends who are going through that trench and I really feel for them. Especially when we are in the life stage where everywhere we look someone we know is announcing their baby news. I am thinking about you friends and being mindful of this season (only a season, because it can't/won't last forever. xoxo)

The first half: a timeline of sorts 
(I kept coming back to update this as time went on and I'm so glad I did.)

January 31st - negative

February 1st - negative

Sunday, February 7th (Reagan's birthday) - run to the grocery store for some things for dinner while everyone is on their afternoon siesta. Grab another test. Before I get home I throw the box away and put the sticks in my jacket pocket so no one is suspicious. It reads positive that afternoon. Obviously, I text Sam and ask her to pray for me.

Monday, February 8th - set up an appointment to have my blood drawn for the next day. I have a history of miscarriages and it just gives me a peace of mind to see what my numbers read and how they increase over 48 hours.

Tuesday, February 9th - Zach goes back to work. While Shep is in preschool, I take Levi to my appointment with me. I see a doctor who is a member at our church and pretty much every woman I see on a regular basis also uses this office so it shouldn't be a surprise that I run into my friend Leslie (plus her husband and two daughters) while in the waiting room. I spill the beans about why I'm there. Then I remember I haven't told Zach yet so I ask them to keep it on the down low. Tally - 5 others now know and Zach doesn't. Later that night Zach texted and asked if I was pregnant/take a test/do it right now. I just googled images of negative pregnancy tests and forwarded them to him. He was none the wiser.

Wednesday, February 10th - see Leslie at Gospel study, still haven't let Zach know

Thursday, February 11th - tell Zach I have a dentist appointment then go and have my blood drawn. She said my hCG levels were at 185 but my progesterone was at 18.5. If it's lower than 20 they offer you the progesterone supplement. I had decided ahead of time if they offered it I would decline and in the moment I still felt confident with that decision. Given a flower by the office because it's Valentine's Day week.

Friday, February 12th - Zach goes back to work. It's snowing and I'm trying to wrangle the boys across the parking lot and into the car while also carrying a cluster of helium balloons including a giant number 9 for Reagan's birthday party the next day and my phone starts ringing. (FOR EVERYONE WHO COMPLAINS THAT I NEVER ANSWER MY PHONE PLEASE PICTURE THIS SCENARIO EVERY TIME YOU CALL AND TAKE PITY ON ME.) I listen to the voicemail and the nurse is super joyful and says my hCG levels have increased from 185 to 654 in the last 48 hours, they hope for them to double every 48-72 hours so this is great and I have a permasmile while driving home.

Sunday, February 14th - insanely perceptive friend Ashley notices flowers I have on the counter and questions the one that is different and asked if I really got it from the dentist...perhaps because she also goes to the same doctor I do wink wink (the dr. is just going to start doing yearly exams at our bible studies.) I tell Zach that night, he is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited. Adding this later because rereading it I realize it might sound weird/cold to others- I postponed telling Zach because I wanted to be able to give him an accurate read on the situation when I told him I was pregnant. Like if my numbers didn't come back looking good then I could preface my announcement to him with "I'm pregnant, but...it looks like it's not going to work out." Or, "I'm pregnant! And you can get excited because things are looking positive." I fully admit it is my way of protecting him in some weird way.

Friday, February 19th - heartbeat ultrasound. Kind of a bummer. Everything measures a week behind therefore no heartbeat is seen. My heart sinks assuming this means the baby has stopped growing and a m/c is inevitable. Encouraged still by how healthy everything looks my doctor confidently questions my cycle lengths and we determine that because the last few have been oddly long that places the timing of this exactly one week later. I leave feeling mixed emotions. It stinks that I'm actually less along than I expected and for assurance purposes I reeeeaaalllly wanted to see a heartbeat today, but I'm still hopeful that this time is the real deal.

Next few weeks. SO SO SO SO SICK. Black out migraines during pregnancy are a first for me this time. Also, the thought of anything but dry saltines make me want to gag. Zach carries the weight of our household. He's the real MVP of this pregnancy. We are not perfect but I'm totally digging how we've grown over the last 9 years. He cooks, cleans, shops, takes care of the kids and I curl into a ball and die.

Tuesday, March 8th - basically 8 weeks u/s, goes well. My OB refers to my yolk sac as "lovely" several times. Don't hear that everyday.

Tuesday, April 5th - 12 week appointment, I hold my breath at every appointment so when she couldn't find the heartbeat via doppler it was sort of a nail biter moment. I ended up getting an u/s out of the deal and everything looked great. HB was at 156. We also forgot to pick up one of the kids from school so Zach left me at Bromenn until he could get back. He also dressed ridiculous to embarrass me. His outfit can only be described as "expecting my fourth child but first with this baby mama." Oh! I've only gained 2 lbs which is a happy change of pace to my usual first trimester 20. I'm crediting all of that sickness. By 12 weeks I'm feeling much much better. Still tired and most food doesn't sound that great but I'm functioning.

Wednesday, June 2 - 20 week ultrasound. Brought Reagan with us which was super fun. My doctor does the ultrasounds and spent a ton of time giving us lots of good profile shots (my favorite) and explaining everything to us. Measurements looked great and right on track! Baby was itching its forehead and practicing swallowing. Did not find out the gender. Nor really had any desire to.



9ish?

11 weeks? This was Easter.


 Varicose veins, so hot right now. Like literally, they are actually hot to the touch.

 And now, a 15 week photoshoot by Reagan + outtakes








I added all the random belly-selfies I've taken, against my better judgement. They are embarrassing but I guess still noteworthy for this fetus I suppose. Also very grateful to have a growing belly. It's also funny to look back at me thinking I was HUGE at 5 weeks compared to the delicate flower I am now (opposite.) I am an early shower though. I am short (obv) so there is not much room for a baby to grow but out.

ALSO NAMES. Please someone help us. We are trying so hard not to put ourselves in the same predicament we were after having Levi (we literally had zero ideas going into his BIRTH.) But nothing is really sounding good right now. Please reveal the right one to us, or just tell me what to do.