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Josephine Louise – 39 Week Update

07/12/2016

I’m just a couple days away from my due date (July 15) and so far Baby JoJo is still hanging on. My last day of work was Wednesday and I’ve felt so much more patient and relaxed since my leave started. I think that feeling of trying to tie up loose ends everyday “just in case” and also that disappointment of “I guess I’ve got to go to work tomorrow after all…” was causing more stress than I realized. I’m using this potential week or two before she’s born to visit with friends who came in from out of town (check out #sistermomsonthefarm on Instagram if you’re curious!), hanging out with my sister and her kids who are coming to visit this week, and spending as much time as I can hanging out and playing with Ali and Zay: swimming, going to the park, walking at the mall (it’s too hot to walk outside!), swimming some more… And also making sure the nest is ready for our new little chickie to be welcomed home.

It seemed like my last update was some grumbling about things going wrong… particularly breaking my toe which led to waddling/limping and then some crazy back pain. I’m happy to report that my toe is 95% better. It’s still a little tender, especially if bumped, but I can walk pretty normally. I did 4-5 weeks of physical therapy for my back pain and I’m feeling significantly better than I was a few weeks ago. I’ve got a lot of stretches and exercises to work on, now and after the baby is born. Overall things are going really well. I’m very ready for labor to start and to meet our littlest lady face-to-face, but I’m also feeling patient most of the time. Isaiah was 5 days past his due date so I’m preparing myself for that possibility. Five days past Jo’s due date would fall on Ali’s 5th birthday, July 20. She goes back and forth between wishing for that and wanting to keep her birthday her own. She’s been hoping and praying for a baby sister for a long time so either way Josephine’s arrival will be a gift to Ali, as well as to the rest of us.

39 weeks:

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38 weeks:

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37 weeks:

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36 weeks:

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35 weeks:

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Here’s how Jason nests: He’s working his butt off with two careers (realtor and touring musician), and he then does gigantic landscaping projects (like building a retaining wall) as a way to decompress after a stressful day. Not to mention he’s also picking up a lot of my slack inside the house with cleaning and helping with the kids and groceries and things like that. He’s a rockstar! I am so thankful for him and all he does.

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Father’s Day 2016:

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This little guy takes after his daddy in a lot of ways! He’s currently a big fan of vacuuming and a sweet friend sent him a special one of his own in the mail.

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Ali is so excited about her baby sister! She hugs and kisses my belly several times a day and tells me how much she loves Josephine already.

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Practicing with a baby doll…

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Lots of hanging around together.

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Popcorn movie nights (when Mommy is too tired to do anything else!)

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Jason and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on June 14 by going to Josephine the restaurant for dinner. It was really lovely!

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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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9 weeks.

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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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39 Weeks

04/15/2015

I’m quite sure it’s God’s design that by the end of 9 months we are mentally and physically done with pregnancy. It’s been fun but I’m ready for the next chapter. Jason is too. And Isaiah is too, whether he realizes it or not. He’s been so squirmy lately and I sense that he’s feeling cramped. We’re outgrowing this present state and we’re all getting a little fidgety wondering when it’s going to end. Zay has dropped lower into my pelvic bones, which is where most of my discomfort is coming from…and perhaps his, too. Rather than complain about it, I’m trying hard to keep my perspective in check. So this is my pep talk to myself:

I’m blessed. I am blessed to be pregnant. I am blessed to be adding another child to our family—a FOREVER child. A son. I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving, handsome husband. I am blessed to have a beautiful, spunky, sweet daughter. I am thankful she will grow up with a sibling and they will always have each other. I am blessed to have a good, steady, flexible job. I am blessed to have a husband who is living his dream with his career. I am blessed to be in good health and to have a perfect, textbook pregnancy and a healthy baby in my belly. I am blessed to have a good doctor and a good hospital that’s accommodating to moms who want a natural birth experience. I am blessed to have a God who is strong when I am weak.

Jason’s done a bit of traveling in the past week and thankfully we made it through all of that without incident, including when he was 12oo miles away in Pharr, Texas. (Ironic name, huh?) He got home from his latest trip early this morning and he won’t be doing any more traveling until after Isaiah is born. God’s timing is perfect, isn’t it! So far Jason hasn’t had to miss any work and it’s quite possible he won’t have to miss any at all.

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My fingers have swelled from time to time but the other day I realized I almost could not get my rings off, even with cold water and soap. I’m now going without any rings for the first time in 13 years and my hands feel so naked!

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Enjoying a little bed rest while Jason was in Texas and a friend generously offered to keep Ali for an evening.

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The unflattering reality… Ali saw me in these pajamas and said, “Mommy! I don’t want to see your belly sticking out!”

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Can you tell he’s dropped? My doctor confirmed again this week that his head is down and he’s sitting really low. If I make it to next week still pregnant I’ll have one more official belly comparison photo.

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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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