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Josephine Louise – 34 Week Update

06/06/2016

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It’s been 10 weeks since my last update on my pregnancy with little Josie Lou or Baby JoJo or whatever nickname I’m trying out at any given time. We’ve both grown a lot. I hope she’s not hurting the way I am. I was reading the other day about what happens to your abdominal muscles when you’re pregnant, which is pretty fascinating. But also that it takes time (duh) and certain exercises (oops…) to regain your core strength after having a baby. After Isaiah was born my lower back was still hurting for much longer than I expected and I certainly hadn’t regained my ab strength. Then I got pregnant again. No wonder 1. my baby bump popped out so quickly, 2. I look like I’m 4 weeks further ahead than my last pregnancy despite my fundal height measuring right on track, and 3. my lower back is very unhappy with me. Project regain core strength is set to begin 6-8 weeks after Jo is born. In the meantime, I’ve been waddling around trying to make the best of it and enjoy my pregnancy.

When barefoot and pregnant goes wrong…

Last week while I was bringing in the outdoor cushions in our courtyard before a storm—yes, barefoot and pregnant—when I accidentally stubbed my middle toe on my right foot really hard on the corner of the concrete step. Ouch! I’ve never had a stubbed toe hurt so bad. In fact, I’ve broken toes once or twice and it didn’t hurt that bad. Two days later my foot look like this and I still couldn’t walk on it.

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Time for an X-ray. The NP confirmed it is broken (the third bone in, the proximal phalanx) and set me up with buddy taping and a splint (lovingly known as “the boot” around here). She says it’ll be healed up in about 6 weeks…which comes out to a week before my due date. I went from waddling to hobbling. It’s been…ROUGH. I’m really trying hard to keep a positive attitude but some nights I just sit in the shower and cry from the pain and exhaustion. And the pregnancy hormones, obviously…

A little recap of my weekly #martinababybump updates on Instagram, weeks 8-32:

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Last week at 33 weeks:

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I’m now 34 weeks.

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I’ve been doing a lot of this lately…attempting to rest while also giving my kids supervision and opportunity to play. I had been going for walks every day but now swimming and hobbling are my only forms of exercise. The latter is surprisingly exhausting.

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My fingers have been swelling, especially out in the summer heat and humidity, so I’ve removed my rings from now until whenever I can get them back on. After Isaiah’s birth, I couldn’t get all my rings back on for at least 8 weeks.

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I’ve been nesting as much as I can manage. I took advantage of some sales and a coupon and got a big delivery of diapers the other day, two boxes for Zay and four for JoJo.

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With the $15 in gift cards I got with my order, I got a new changing pad cover from the Oh Joy for Target collection. I love the colors.

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An outtake of my weekly picture from 30 weeks. Ali wanted to be in it with me.

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Other than the aches and pains I’ve already grumbled about, my pregnancy is really going well. I have much to be thankful for: Every check up Josephine is measuring on track, strong heartbeat, moving around lots. My blood pressure and pulse are always fine. My blood tests and urine tests have been good. My weight gain is good for where I started (technically underweight). I’ve gained almost 30 lbs. so far. I’ve been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. The other night I had so many I was inspired to start getting some things together to pack my hospital bags. I’ll also need to pack bags for the kids to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a few nights so I don’t want to leave too much running around for the last minute, in case things go quickly. My labor with Isaiah was 24 hours so I’m praying for much faster this time. Also, how about 5 days early instead of 5 days late. Is that too much to ask?

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Josephine Louise – 24 Week Update

03/25/2016

I’m long overdue for a blog update on my second pregnancy. Back at my 20-week ultrasound we found out we’re expecting another little lady in July. She’s growing along perfectly, praise the Lord!

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We let big sister Ali be the first to find out the news by opening up a gift bag with new t-shirts for her and Isaiah and a little baby girl dress. She was/is so excited! She kept saying all along that she hoped and thought it was a girl. She happily exclaimed, “I win!” since the girls now outnumber the boys in our family.

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Shortly after finding out the news I started searching through my storage tubs of baby clothes to see what little girl things I kept from Ali. Not a lot. Plus she was a pretty big 2-month-old when she joined our family so I never really had any newborn girl clothes. But I did find these adorable shoes that were given to us by my sister-in-law but Ali’s feet were already too big at the time. I’ve been holding onto them for 4 years hoping someday I’d have another little girl who could wear them.

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I also got a big bag of hand-me-down clothes from my nieces. A few items here were originally Ali’s, then passed to two of my nieces and now they’re back for our youngest daughter to wear. Fun!

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A little recap of my weekly #martinababybump updates on Instagram:

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I’m now 24 weeks.

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We’ve decided on a name! Josephine Louise.

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I sent Jason a list of 6 names I liked, what they meant and why I liked him. This is the only one that he loved from my list. Joseph is my favorite character in the Bible (the old Testament one). It means “Jehovah increases” which is perfectly fitting for her and for this season in our family. It’s not just a physical reality as our family has quickly grown, it’s a promise for the future. Louise is my middle name and it means “renown in battle.” Josephine is a not-too-common, sophisticated, old-fashioned name with tons of cute nickname potential. Jo, JoJo, Josie, Joey, Josie Lou, JoJo Louise. We’ve been calling her Baby JoJo so far. I pulled out this pretty fabric that I bought back when I was expecting Isaiah, before I knew he was a he, and I’m excited to make something for Josephine out of it.

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Nutter Butter – 1st Trimester

01/08/2016

I haven’t blogged much about my second pregnancy (or anything else lately for that matter…) so I thought I’d do a recap of my first trimester as I’m now 13 weeks along. I found out I was pregnant with our little Nutter Butter baby on November 6. It was a Friday afternoon and Jason was out of town. I texted him a picture of a positive pregnancy test and he called me right away. Surprise! Later I went to the store and bought another 2-pack of tests. Just to be sure…

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My first ultrasound was at about 6.5 weeks. We could see the baby’s heart beating but he or she was a little too small to measure accurately so they had us come back 2 weeks later. Also, at this point the ultrasound tech saw “a flicker of something else” that our doctor said could be an identical twin. Or could be just an ultrasound blip. Because it was so small it was hard to tell for sure.

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After a really long 2 weeks while we tried not to think too much about the possibility of identical twins, we saw a healthy 8.5 week old singleton on the ultrasound. Phew! Twins would have been fun but…we are already looking at having two little ones pretty close in age.

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This is how I announced our new addition to social media:

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8 weeks. My belly popped out really quickly, probably because my abdominal muscles were still stretched out from having a baby in April.

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I was super tired early on in my pregnancy, which I think had a lot to do with breastfeeding and sleep regression from Isaiah as my milk supply waned, combined with normal early pregnancy tireness. I’m now completely done nursing Zay and he’s been sleeping much better the past several weeks as we transitioned him to formula. I had some nausea earlier on too, just in the evenings and when I was hungry. Now that all of that has passed, I’m feeling quite good. This pregnancy has seemed easier than the first one and I think there are several factors: I’m more distracted with my other two so I’m not thinking about my body and my baby quite as much, my body has done this before so it’s not all new (my journal from 13w last pregnancy was complaining about my belly skin stretching and feeling so tight…not at all this time!), and in general I just know what to expect so I’m not obsessed with learning new information or tempted to worry about every little symptom this time. Life is moving forward quickly and I’m thankful that all is going well. At my 12w OB check up this week they did a full work-up of tests and everything came back normal, thank God. I also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. In just a few more weeks (March 1 to be exact) we have the 20w anatomy ultrasound, which is when we’ll find out whether we’re expecting another girl or another boy. I’m so excited for that!


40 Week Froggie Update

04/23/2015

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40 weeks. I was hoping I wouldn’t make it to this last photo in the series before Isaiah made his appearance but alas, here we are. On my due date I was a little bummed, despite words of encouragement and funny quips from many friends. (My favorite is the friend who said, “The over ripe ones are the sweetest!”) We ended my due date with amazing Indian food for dinner, hoping I could heat him out. Didn’t work but it sure was delicious. I woke up today and did my usual morning ritual. I read my Bible and Jesus Calling while I ate breakfast. Then I prayed blessings over Zay and his delivery while I drank my tea.

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On my drive to work I had a realization that it was absurd for me to be disappointed that he wasn’t born when I expected. What about this entire process—from his conception to today—has been within the grasp of my control? I had some more thoughts about this as I was taking a walk on my lunch break and I shared them on my Instagram (@mrsallbright) with the photo below:

I’m taking a walk today because it’s gorgeous outside and I get tired of sitting on my butt in a cubicle all day, not because I’m trying to induce labor. Yesterday I was feeling a bit disappointed that my due date came and went and I didn’t get what I expected. Today I asked God to forgive me for wanting to control something that’s so far beyond my human ability. I should have learned this lesson already. Nothing about becoming a parent went as I originally planned or expected and it has turned out so much better this way. God waited until a point when I was completely content in my motherhood to our precious Alianna and as a foster mama to five other beautiful babies, and was truly content to not ever experience pregnancy to surprise us with this sweet little blessing growing in my belly. Jason and I always knew it was possible and we purposefully decided we’d stop preventing it OR pursuing it and just leave it up to the Creator. Surprises are way more fun! There is so much peace when we can fully let go in trust and go on with life.

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I had my 40 week check-up yesterday. Everything looked great, as usual, except that my belly was measuring smaller than the previous week’s appointment. My doctor requested that I get an ultrasound just to make sure fluid levels were still good. So Jason, Ali and I got to go to an unexpected ultrasound. It was hard to get a good look at him because he’s so tight in there and he moves a lot. We did get a quick glimpse of half of his face. Everything is measuring just fine with Zay, my amniotic fluid, etc. Thank you, God! He’s average size and in position to come out without any problems. We are ready and we are content. As another friend joked, “They always seem to come on their birthdays.” He’ll be here soon!

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My Baby Shower

03/30/2015

I woke up the morning of my baby shower and thought, I’ve waited a long time for a baby shower. I don’t deserve a baby shower. It was truly a huge blessing. As soon as she found out I was pregnant, my sweet sister-in-law Ginger asked when she could throw me a baby shower. Four years prior I had organized hers and she has been wanting to return the favor ever since. When we started foster parenting, also about four years ago, some dear friends organized a quick foster-child shower. It was super helpful to us and we were able to collect some kid gear to cover the wide range we were preparing for: birth to age 5, boy or girl, one or two kids. I’m not devaluing that blessing in any way. But after four years of parenting six different little ones, this time it was a bonafide baby shower to celebrate the specific little guy we have the gift of 9 months advance notice to prepare for. Also, it’s the first time we’ve had a child coming that we know is staying so it actually makes sense to own some things rather than just borrow temporarily.

My sister-in-law organized a beautiful tea party with the help of my mom, who hosted at her house. My sister Jessica and niece Iris were able to come down from Pennsylvania and join us. Lots of friends came with kind, thoughtful gifts for our little Isaiah. I’ve so enjoyed opening, washing, folding, sorting, setting up all of his precious little things.

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All of the photos above were taken by my friend Beth Rose. Did you see how many adorable babies came to my baby shower? Isaiah already has a crew of baby friends waiting to meet him.

Alianna had lots of fun with Iris.

 

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I’m so thankful Jessica and Iris could come to visit the weekend of the party. Here we are with my mama.

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Speaking of mamas, both grandmothers spoiled our little guy with tons of presents but these handmade gifts deserve a special moment in the spotlight. My mom, “Grandma,” knitted this adorable gray sweater. She used the same pattern to make a purple sweater for Ali three years ago.

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And Jason’s mom, “Nana,” is a crochet-machine! She made Isaiah a blanket, a little stuffed lamb, a bunch of washcloths and two adorable little pairs of booties. The loafers are so tiny!

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I love, love, love handmade goodies. Those are the things I’ll keep forever. I also registered for gifts through Amazon with some links to Target.com—pretty much the only two places I shop for anything that’s not food or secondhand. A few items I was so thankful to be given that might be of interest to other new or expecting mamas:

Carter’s 2-pk. 44x44inch Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets, Blue
I love the Aden and Anais ones but let’s be honest; these are much cheaper! I love the feel of thin, flowy muslin blankets for swaddling, snuggling, spit-up wiping, etc.

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Bumkins Waterproof Starter Bib, Blue Crocs and Turtles, 2-Count
Bumkins brand are my favorite bibs for baby feeding because they’re machine washable or easily rinse/wipe-able and they pack super small in a diaper bag.

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Comfort & Harmony Peanut Air Swaddle
So I know I just said how much I love muslin swaddle blankets but for a good, long, nighttime sleep, I prefer a more secure swaddle wrap. I’ve borrowed velcro wrap style swaddlers from friends before and they’re nice. I inherited a couple of hand-me-downs of those. I’m really excited to try this one though, because it zips up the front with a split zipper (diaper changes without taking the baby all the way out) and snaps at the neck. No busting out of this one! Plus it’s pretty lightweight which will be good since it’ll be summer very soon after Isaiah is born.

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Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf, Grey Chevron
I fell in love with the idea of a jersey knit infinity scarf and ended up sewing myself a bunch (and soon I’ll have them for sale in my Etsy shop too…) but this one was my first love. I really love the gray and white chevron pattern. I’m not sure I can pull off a scarf in the summer in Nashville—even a lightweight one—but these are small tucked into a diaper bag and surely will be very useful in the fall and winter.

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Tommee Tippee Bottle, 9 Ounce, 3 Count
After using our Playtex VentAire bottles for 4 babies, I’m ready for something new. Our Playtex set, like the popular Dr. Browns have just too many parts to wash. These Tommee Tippee have the vent built into the nipple and the bottle itself is short and ergonomic for adult or child to hold. Most important (for the first time, for me) these are supposedly great for combining with breastfeeding because of the nipple design. I’m super thankful to have this new set.

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All product pics above are from Amazon.com.

I already shared about our new bouncy seat and Moses basket in this post about Finishing Touches to the Nursery.

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36 Week Froggie Update

03/26/2015

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I’m 36 weeks pregnant and just as tired as I ever was at the beginning of my pregnancy, if not more. The most basic human functions of breathing, walking and sleeping are all more challenging. I’m not sleeping well due to hip joint pain, getting up frequently to pee, heartburn and sudden leg cramps that jolt me out of bed faster than anything else. As unfun as all of that sounds (and is), it’s still totally worth it because I’m just in awe of this kid growing inside of me and the amazing transformation my body is capable of going through. And as I’ve said in my past several updates, I’m totally in love with feeling Isaiah’s movements. I love to interact with him. All of the complaints…I’m positive that it’s part of God’s design when it comes to the end of pregnancy that the mother is so mentally and physically done with being pregnant that she is ready to endure whatever it takes to hold her child in her arms. I have four more weeks until my due date (April 21) but dude is considered full term next week at 37 weeks and all the way up until 42 weeks is considered a healthy pregnancy. Lord, I know your timing is perfect and you have Isaiah’s birth date already picked out. I just pray it’s on the early side and if not, that you would give me lots of patience! Speaking of God’s perfect timing, Jason is a touring musician and he just got a new gig, which is a huge answer to prayer, especially as it pertains to income during a time when I’m about to take a big chunk of unpaid time off work. It also means he will be out of town 7 or 8 days in next three weeks. Again, I’m totally trusting that God has got the timing of all of this worked out perfectly so that Jason will be present for Isaiah’s birth. I think Easter would be a great day to have a baby…just putting that out there. I am so excited to deliver our little guy and start into the next season of our lives. Pregnancy has been harder than I expected and more amazing than I expected. I’m ready to be done now. Speaking of done

Isaiah’s room is officially done. There is nothing I’m waiting to finish. The bouncer will end up in the living room once he arrives, not in front of the closet. And we’ll have him sleep in our room in a Moses basket for the first little while so he’s closer for feedings. I love to sit in this room to pray and dream. The other day Jason came in here to open the window and sighed, “Isaiah’s room is so peaceful.” That’s the best compliment I could get on his nursery design.

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Big sister Ali loves to feel her little brother’s hiccups. (I do too!) She’s always asking me if he’s hiccuping and reminding me to tell her whenever he starts.

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The picture below is me giving Ali a bath… I put her in the tub and then I collapse on the nearest couch. “Mommy, I’m done playing. Come wash me!” she calls from the bathroom. “I can’t… I’m stuck on the couch.” Seriously, it feels like I’m pinned down by a small boulder. Thankfully Jason has been jumping in as much as possible to take over my typical mom duties and turns out she likes it better when he does her baths anyway because “you’re more gentle than Mommy.” Win-win. 😉

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And now for some pregnancy memes to explain how I really feel:

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Our bags are mostly packed. The car seat is installed in the van. Arrangements are in place with family and friends to take care of Ali and our animals. We have plans in place with our jobs. My doctor says everything is on track and looks perfect. In summary, here’s the hashtag I’ve been using frequently on Instagram: #imreadywhenyouarebaby.

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32 Week Froggie Update

02/25/2015

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At 32 weeks, It’s starting to feel like my boy is running out of space in my belly. Perhaps he’s been growing faster than my body can stretch or perhaps that’s just what it feels like as he gets tighter and tighter in there until my due date. I can tell his head is down where it’s supposed to be a lot of the time now, which means it’s getting easier to tell where his arms, bum and legs are located, especially when he’s moving. Which is often. It’s neat to look down at my belly and almost be able to visualize the little guy. His nursery is all ready. His coming home outfit is ready and his diaper bag is packed for the hospital. His clothes are washed and waiting in his dresser. Diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths are all stocked. We are ready for him. Of course, there will be more nesting to be done in the next 8 weeks… I’d love to have a stockpile of frozen meals and I’m hoping for the inspiration to clean out the pantry. I started packing my own suitcase for the hospital and then realized most of what I need I’ll have to throw in at the last minute (clothes I’m still wearing every week, toiletries, chargers for electronics, snacks, etc.) In a few weeks I’ll wash the infant car seat cover and install it in our van. In some ways, I’m so ready to not be pregnant anymore, and in other ways, it feels like I’ve been pregnant for so long that I can’t imagine not being pregnant. It will be a strange feeling to not be physically connect to my son anymore. More than anything, I’m excited to see and hold my son in my arms, to kiss his little face, and to share him with the rest of my family.

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