Wednesday, April 19, 2017

20 weeks

You guys, Serena Williams announced today that she is 20 weeks pregnant. I always knew we were so same - successful, super ba chicks.

Today I'm 19 weeks, 6 days, tomorrow being 20 weeks. Or so they think.

Had the second (and hopefully final, as no more are necessary unless something is wrong) ultrasound today for 20 weeks. That day I was 19 weeks, 6 days and baby was measuring at 20 weeks, 5 days. Supposed to be around 10.5 ounces, but that day was 14 ounces. So either a whopper or joining us earlier than we expect. I'm hoping for the latter.

This baby is so much bigger than last ultrasound. It made it much more real to see it's little hands and little feet more distinctly. To see he or she opening their little mouth (even tho they kinda looked like a dementor when they did, which is kinda appropriate​ since they're literally sucking life from me) and moving their hands away and toward their face. Seeing them in 3D, seeing the chambers of the heart working. Hearing the tech take measurements of the brain and saying this is a smart baby.

I have not felt definite movement yet, I'll think something is movement but then I'm unsure. The tech and the midwife said this baby moves a lot, so when I do feel it, "I'm in for it" ...whatever that means. I'm just going to hope and pray this child won't affect my sleep too much, that we will hopefully synch up with our sleep.

It was a lot of feelings today. I'm very glad Jason was able to be there last minute, to see our baby one last time before we meet them in person.

Now I wanna see this baby every appointment though. Shame you have to pay for that ;)

Look at these creepy pics of the adorable alien dementor baby

Dementor baby

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ten Years

I'm wearing my grey chucks in NYC on Easter weekend, you loved your chucks. This year Easter not-so-coincidentally collides on the same day as the tenth year reminder of the day we lost you and 31 others taken too early from this earth.

It is unbelievable yet believable at times that you have been with Jesus and all those fabulous peeps having a grand old feast for ten years now. I'm jealous in many ways and have frequently wished I could just join you all. I miss you all so much, now more than ever (which I didn't think possible).

Life has continued on, of course. It doesn't stop for death, no matter how much we want it to. We both would have been 28 right now, until you gained another year this summer. Maybe you know already (don't know how quickly news spreads up there), but I'm going to have a baby in a few months. I'm gonna be a mom, and that's pretty weird. I'm sure you would have been in a similar phase of life now, as everyone our age seems to be doing this too.

Your parents have continued to be such a loving, kind, precious part of my life. They're learning so much from Jesus, as you did, almost on a fast-track in your time here.

Life continues on after death. I have learned this too many times. The only good thing I have yet to see coming from any of these painful experiences of loss is helping others. Mourning with those who mourn, perhaps the most difficult empathy there is, especially when you are mourning as well.

This recent time in life (past 10 or so months) has dredged up many of the feelings that I thought I has worked through after your death. The first time I really questioned my faith and "God's plans" was through your death. I did not see God as a merciful God for a while, I had been ripped to shreds at the notion of you not being protected by Him that day. And the same feelings have come back this past year. It is so difficult to wrestle the notion of a loving God amidst your own immense pain and suffering, where you have a hard time seeing the hand of God in much because of your grief weight constantly pressing on you.

But I have seen resurrection life in your death, because I have seen one seed fall to produce much grain. I have witnessed first hand how love can multiply out of the agony of death. I keep this tucked away in my heart and mind, knowing I will see it again, even if it may take a while.

This past week I had another birthday. Another year. This apparently prompted one of my friends to share something with me they had never shared before. I had met them just before a trying time in their life where they lost one of their dearest friends tragically. I shared my grief with them through your story, and I gave them a copy of a book that had helped me see better. We continued our friendship, mostly online, but hung out various times as well. They shared with me something so precious about how my life has impacted theirs on my birthday. It is probably my favorite present this year. But it reminded me so much of you in what he said. And it gave me such hope, that even in my time of this second season of doubt through grief, if we just continue to love as we have been shown great love, that's truly all that matters. It doesn't matter how much we struggle, but we must love. We must empathize. We must mourn with those who mourn. We must step out of our own discomfort and into others' to love them fully, purposefully, and truly.

I continue look forward to what awaits us there with you all, I cannot wait for the grand reunion. In the meantime, I also look forward to seeing how the kingdom of God will be made manifest here on earth as it is in heaven.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal." John 12:24 msg

Rachael Elizabeth Hill, my childhood best friend, and one of a handful of best examples of Christ's love that I have experienced in my time on earth.

Friday, April 14, 2017


19 weeks, almost halfway there and I haven't written a thing about this season. So I'm on a bus ride to NYC, perfect time to gather my thoughts.
I always wondered how people "didn't know" they were pregnant, and now I know.
December is a busy month for all families, and our December 2016 was, to say the least, extremely stressful. I'm sure most are aware, but Jason's father, Chris passed away the morning of Christmas eve. We had already taken on responsibilities to help his parents, and helping Kim became paramount priority. We honestly didn't really have much time to think of ourselves, so me considering momentarily the notion of me being pregnant... eh there just wasn't really time. Especially since I had also just been in a car accident in which I finally had to give up my precious swagon. I was not surprised my cycle was late, it usually is when I'm stressed. When that happens, it's usually about a week late, but that week came and went. I made a decision that after two weeks I'd get the test, do the thing.
The day before I had decided to take the test, I got together with my dear friend Colleen. Colleen and I formed a quick and deep bond a few years prior, she and I both share the gift of prophecy. Though I'm still getting accustomed to mine, hers is well formed. We caught up on the past year or so of life events. Of course Scotland came up, how we are going to move there, our dream finally realized, and our goal to start trying for a family once we got there.
Colleen says, "oh, so I didn't want to ask bit since you brought it up, are you pregnant?" I told her I was unsure and taking the test tomorrow. She replies, "well, it's funny you say that, because God told me 'pregnant' the moment I saw you today." I take it in stride and figure we will know tomorrow.
I had been at one particular place of work since Sept of 15, and had started looking for a new job in Feb of 16. It was the worst employer with the best employees, friendships formed that I wouldn't trade for the world. But it was extremely stressful, and I still didn't have a new job in January of 17. This had been weighing on me heavily, Colleen and I prayed together about this too in addition to many other things. It was a precious and powerful time, and I will always see it as the definitive end of one season and beginning of another.
As you could have guessed, I took the test the next day and it was positive. It was hard to believe, and it's honestly continued to be hard to believe. Most of the time in these 19 weeks I haven't felt much different. Aside from week 15 where I had a good bit of nausea for the first time and vomited once (yes, in the second trimester). When I wake up I don't think I'm pregnant until I roll over or have to sit up. Most notably has just been the fatigue in the evenings and the occasional stretching feelings in the belly. At week 19 I've still not felt any real movement from this kiddo, sometimes I think I will have felt something but it's always very questionable, nothing definite.
What remains continually precious to us is that this baby came to life before Chris died. Even though we so desperately wish they could have met and shared so many precious memories together, its a comfort knowing they shared a short time here unknowingly.
I've missed my passed loved ones very much in this time, wishing Nanny and my other grandparents could be here to meet their first great grandbaby. Papa is very excited about being a great grandfather. I'm so grateful I have blankets that Nanny made, I get to snuggle my little one with something her hands created.
We have also loved sharing the news with those close to us before it hit social media. That's just really the best. Nothing will top Kashif's reaction, ask us to tell you that story when you get a chance.
We told my parents for my mom's bday, made a card with top secret information enclosed in a miniature "Clue" like envelope. That was lots of fun.
Kim was very excited at the chance of a September birthday to finally be in the family as it is the only month no one in the family has a birthday. But we would also love for this baby to be an August baby (to get here sooner heh!) and share Chris' birth month.
I had wanted to tell Debbie (NYC friend who I am about to see for the first time since her birthday in Dec) in person. We had planned a trip in Feb/early March, but it ended up falling through, so facetime it was. Her reaction was my second favorite. She just kind of screamed, fell over, and started weeping in typical Debbie fashion. But now lil nug gets some Auntie Deb time :D
The photo announcement (kilted holding a baby kilt) was a plan of ours for a while before even before Scotland. Kim had given us that kilt a few Christmases before, "for whenever you guys end up having a baby. I just couldn't pass it up!" That photoshoot was a challenge, I could barely fit in the kilt anymore, and I actually took it off immediately after the photos were taken and put on a different skirt over my knitted tights in the waterfall area of Bryan Park. No shame.
Other random things is we invested in a waterpick as my gums were more sensitive than normal, and bleeding a good bit. Without that waterpick, don't know how my mouth would have fared. Apparently you also build up more plaque during pregnancy bc your body doesn't see it as a priority... thank you waterpick for the assist.
Some know this, but we do not plan on finding out the gender. This is really because I don't want to know (nor do I want any gendered clothing ew), Jason does, but how could he keep that kind of secret from me for 4ish months? It would be an iocane powder situation "ah you're pretending it's a girl so you won't think that I think it's a boy" or vise versa.
The nursery theme is Singin in the Rain... you guys thought it would be Star Wars. Nah, too overdone. Haha.
There's so much to consider, and we haven't made all the decisions that have to be made, there's just so much. I have been slowly accumulating an Amazon registry, we will likely do Target as the other.
We chose VCU for delivery, go Rams (no alumni discount unfortunately). I love their approach, that birth isn't a medical situation to be remedied but a life event to go through with the help of trained medical professionals. They have a great team of midwives an a more natural way to bring in a baby, which I'm all for. It's been a delight thus far, especially since they also have a secondary location that isn't downtown!
Anywho, that's all I've got on the brain heading into Lincoln tunnel with my Bbie on the other side. We shall see how I fare NYC as a prego lady!