Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Homestretch // 8 months




Hello to week 34; only 6 (or so) more to go!


As I write this, Asher is moving around like crazy on my right side underneath my ribs.  Sometimes it isn't painful but this morning it definitely is!   Even though it hurts, I am so excited that he is growing and getting strong.

This week:

He is the size of a cantaloupe, weighs approx. 5 lbs. and is about 18 in. long.

Recap of the past 2 months:

-he has started hiccuping, it's so sweet!
-his movements have started to hurt
-unable to sleep on my sides anymore (literally have gotten stuck twice, it was horrible)
-aching back (due to sleeping propped up oddly on my back all night)
-hello braxton hicks
-stretching has become imperative every day
-going to the chiropractor once a week
-not able to eat as much, I guess my stomach doesn't have that much room anymore!
-getting more comfortable with the birth center, our bags are packed!!
-it's been difficult trying to balance work, studying for the GRE test, working out, and nesting
-we have everything we need, thanks to our amazing communities in MD and in FL
-my FL community threw me a baby brunch at First Watch, I felt so incredibly loved
-about to start book #4 (or 5?) about labor/delivery. I LOVE learning about all of this and preparing
-just started learning about recovery (I need to do lots more research)
-WE GOT A HOUSE! Praise God. Still searching for that 2nd vehicle though

So since we have a home we can actually make a nursery for our sweet babe! But... it's so close to his due date and I am honestly so exhausted so much that I don't know if I can manage it.  We have all of his things set up in our room and we might just leave it all that way ;)   besides... we have an entire house to furnish first (GASP!)

Hopefully next time I blog, it will be welcoming our sweet baby into this world <3

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Introducing Asher // 6 months


So this is our lil guy Asher Evan <3


Asher Evan is a name we finally chose because of the deep meaning and from the peace it brought us as we prayed about it.  Asher means "blessed/fortunate/happy" and Evan means "God has been gracious" and it's also Peter's middle name as well.  We really felt like this fit who our little man is.  He is the blessed one to whom God has shown favor.  We love it!!

Here in the sonogram he is seen sucking his thumb, shoulder touching his chin, and snuggled up against the placenta ;) what an amazing morning it has been seeing him move around inside of me.

He is 23 weeks this week (or, 6 months along) and is moving around like crazy.  He loves to be super low which also puts a ton of pain on my round ligaments (gah!)  But, he looks to be growing really well and is even sucking his thumb which we got to see him do on the sonogram!  This will most likely be the last ultrasound we get until we meet him :)  

Since my last posting at 19 weeks, this past month has been full of new pregnancy-related things for me!  I finished up reading this awesome book called 'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth' by Ina May Gaskin.  It is such a good read and has a ton of research put into it, which I absolutely crave right now.  It seems like I can't get enough information about pregnancy, labor, and childbirth right now.  So, ask away!  I most likely have read about it.  And if I haven't, I'd love to know about it! =) Here are a few things.


Did you know?

Hospitals have a 30-80% c-section rate depending on which one you go to. That reaaaaaally threw me off and made me dig deeper into the why's of the statistic.  I found that by having a home birth or birthing at a birth center the rates go down dramatically, even to 3% in some cases (not to mention the stats on how bad the drugs are for you and baby, the trauma that cesareans put on your body, all of the risks that doctors fail to mention, etc.)  The birth center we decided on only has a 8% transfer to hospital rate, and c-section rates out of that are even lower (and then even LOWER because I am hiring a doula to help me alongside of the midwife).  YES PLEASE!  I also feel like this definitely isn't for everyone because not everyone is low risk.  But, we decided that this is what is best for me and baby.  I also honestly just feel like God is calling me to do this personally.  I can't live in fear of what the world says.  I am standing on what God says I can do and how He has designed my body... perfectly!


Snippets from this past month:

-feeling and seeing him move
-Peter feeling him move
-chose a birth center
-hired a doula
-major round ligament pain
-starting to work out again
-craving tea, ice cream, eggs, and sauerkraut
-starting to receive gifts from our Amazon registry
-his drawers are filling up with clothes already
-emotions going a little wild at times
-fighting off tiredness and backaches

I also have received so many maternity clothes and baby clothes from our community and I am feeling the love tremendously.  I've been seeing how much God has truly taken care of me through the whole process... from giving me other mommas to talk with, to borrowed cars for the past 3 months, to every single hand-me-down.  I am so grateful.

Some things that I still question are like... when will we have a car?  Where are we going to live when we need more space?  But, I know He has a plan that I can trust, even if I can't see it.  Will you pray with us?  To trust in His timing, to be content and full of joy, and for Him to open up doors of provision for us?  Thanks guys!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

19 weeks // Boy or Girl?!

19 weeks // Boy or Girl?!




It's a BOY!!!

Today is the day.  I get an ultrasound to determine the sex of our baby!

Backtrack to last weekend.

I felt Baby O. move! I was laying on my stomach on the beach and felt one little "pop" like a little bubble was bursting right below/to the side of my belly button.  That definitely wasn't gas ;) it was so neat to finally feel baby move!  Then, the next day, I felt baby move once again. God, this is so amazing.

Ultrasound this morning.

It was a quick visit but I wasn't upset because we got to see our baby moving around and heard their heartbeat.  Everything looked great.  Then the doctor pointed to a little spot on the sonogram and said "what do you think that is?" and Peter immediately responded "IT'S A PENIS!"  I about died.  Not sure from the hilarity of the moment or because we were totally shocked that it was a boy... we were for SURE that it was going to be a girl!  Totally wrong ;)


-He's the size of a mango this week (I love being able to say "he"!)
-I am feeling a bit more tired than I was a few weeks ago and my stress levels are a bit higher than normal.
-The crib and dresser are freshly painted and we just need a few more things for the room.
-Now we know he is a boy, we can start registering.  I am super excited about this!
-I am looking into birthing centers instead of a hospital *gasp!!* ;) I am pretty confident this is the route I am going to take.  Plus, my doctor is leaving his practice anyway, boo.
(good documentary on Netflix to watch if you're interested: "The Business of Being Born")


So, baby boy, we are so excited to meet you!  You are already such a little prince.  We love you and can't wait to meet you.  Our family & our ywam community is also SUPER excited to meet you as well.  But, please, stay in there for as long as necessary ;) grow grow grow!

Oh, and we need a name.  So let the process begin.  Yay!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hello Baby O. // 12 Weeks

Hello Baby O. // 12 Weeks



Yep, we are having a baby!  To my amazement, at our ultrasound last week we found out that I was already 11 and a half weeks which was a big surprise :)  I estimated incorrectly that I was only about 8 weeks. Whoops! Peter came with me and we saw baby O. for the first time.  He/she was asleep and then woke up and moved their little arms and legs for us!  We could even see the little fingers and toes... it was SO crazy!!  We also got to hear their heartbeat.  It wasn't real to me before, but now it is definitely VERY real to me.

When we were first married we decided to put ourselves on the "5 year plan" and wait to have a baby... but we couldn't wait and changed that to just 4 years ;)  we are so excited and overjoyed that this little baby is healthy and growing!

Apparently, baby is the size of a clementine this week and I can definitely tell-- I've already gained 5 pounds, I'm very bloated, constantly have to go to the bathroom, have insanely vivid dreams at night, and I am tired all the time.  I had a bought of morning/all day sickness a few weeks ago for just a week and it has already subsided (thank God).  I have also noticed a teeny tiny bump which is exciting to see my belly grow!

Peter has been really supportive too, I am so thankful for him.  He is going to be an amazing Dad.

Well, that's it for now.  Next ultrasound is in 2 weeks.  Grow baby, grow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rehab




Hello world, I am still here. Still writing. Still learning.

Over the past year I've come to realize how my heart has been in desperate need of healing. Since leaving my job, going to YWAM, and learning more and more about the Lover of my soul, I can truly say that my heart has been through rehab.

I have been set free.

I never realized how broken I was until I found a newfound joy in truly being set free; set free from past thinking patterns, resentments, and unhealthy relationships; set free from placing the desires of this world before God's dreams and longings for it and His people. I am so grateful for my Father who sees me and who loves me enough to take me from my past and place me in a place of healing and growth.

I have missed blogging... and tonight as I sit wide-eyed in a quiet house with only the sound of a clock ticking and pandora playing classical music to my heart in the background, I feel a sort of nostalgia in my heart.  I've missed writing.  It's my heart... and I want to share what God has been doing in my life with this little community that has built around my blog.  So here's to more blogs in the near future.

Until next time,
Steph

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lessons Learned

Blog Series: Middle East

A look back at the journey God took me on and urged me to write about while I was there.


As I look back on my journey through my Discipleship Training School & our Outreach to the Middle East, my heart fills.  I contemplated at how much I wanted to put out for the internet world to read and decided I won't explain, but wanted to at least share the deep things... even just at a glance.  Here is a little peak at what God did for me through it all:

-Finding JOY in each & every single moment.

-Fighting against depression... & winning. Finally.

-Realizing that I AM worthy of deep friendships.


-Being vulnerable to others brings healing.


-Letting go of my past and becoming FREE.


-Forgiveness that brings breakthrough in my life & relationships.


-A much clearer picture of Gods character, goodness, and sovereignty.


-Trusting Him one step at a time. With everything.


-Letting go of my own agenda and trusting Him through it all.




That's it to my Middle East series. I hope y'all enjoyed!
<3

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dust

Blog Series: Middle East

A look back at the journey God took me on and urged me to write about while I was there.




Feb 20

Looking out the bus window at miles and miles of desert. As far as the eye can see-- dust.

We are all made of dust. We all return to dust. People all over the world are so similar; so much more alike than what we would like to think.

The first taxi we rode in in Ammon was driven by an older man. A devout man. A sick man. We asked if we could pray for him in Isa's (Jesus') name. He started telling us about Islam and how when you pray you have to wash and be clean on the outside. We thought differently, but we listened intently.


We heard his heart. He said we all have one God. Again and again-- One God. We agreed. He said it again. Na'am (yes), Allah, One God. We smiled and nodded in full-hearted agreement.

I saw a side to a Muslim that I had never seen before. I saw God in this man; a devotion and commitment that so many people lack. A layer was peeled back from my eyes of scales and the sun shined a little bit brighter. We said goodbye to the man ("Masalama")-- peace be with him.

I look through the bus window out over the sun-scorched desert. Miles and miles of dust, rocks, and hills. The sun's rays blind my eyes. Miles of reminders that we all come from dust and we all will return. A reminder that we can all be blinded to the reality that we are all here trying to make sense of it all; that maybe we don't have it all together... and that we are all so alike in so many different ways yet so different at the same time.

We are blinded by our skewed perceptions, stereotypes, and fears. Blind to the common ground between us; a mirage between 'us' and 'them'.

Let us open our eyes. See the dust.