The {Birth} Story of Millie

On Saturday morning (the 21st), I woke up with some contractions. I was all set to go to the hospital and then.... They faded - completely. So instead of heading to the hospital, I headed to town for groceries. Afterward, I unknowingly snapped my very last pregnant picture. =)

I spent the rest of the afternoon frustrated, eating pineapple, and attempting to bounce on my exercise ball. Kinda hard to do with a toddler around!! Nothing was happening, so I made dinner, we gave Charlotte a bath and put her to bed. 

The contractions came back after that, and I seriously considered going to the hospital again. I even texted our babysitter and my MIL to let them know the situation. Once again, nothing happened. The contractions slowed down and then stopped by the time I got ready for bed. 

Then around midnight I started having contractions about every 20 minutes or so. They weren't too bad, but they were kind of annoying since I was trying to get some rest and all. Around 3am I decided just to get up and move to the living room. I didn't want to wake Joe if the contractions were just going to go away again, and I thought the exercise ball might help with the pain. (Which it did.) I spent the next 2 hours doing random stuff around the house, bouncing on the ball, and leaning on the kitchen counters during contractions. A little after 5, I was so tired and out of things to do, so I headed back to bed. The contractions slowed down a bit so I could get some rest, but they were getting fairly strong. I think I ended up waking Joe around 7, and then Charlotte woke up so we all got up and had breakfast. Or attempted to...

Halfway through breakfast I felt like I might vomit. It was at that point I decided we really should go to the hospital. We texted the babysitter and called my MIL. It took the babysitter (which was actually a couple from our small group at church and their 2.5 yr old son) about 20 minutes to get here, so we got ready while we waited. Surprisingly, I was still able to move around and do stuff. Charlotte kept asking me if I was okay during contractions - "Okay, mommy?" It was seriously the cutest thing ever. She is such a sweetie. =) She almost had a meltdown as we left for the hospital, but thankfully she's easily distracted.

I had one strong contraction on the way to the hospital, and another as soon as I got out of the car to walk in. (Yes. I walked in. Because I'm stubborn and was determined to walk that baby out!) Once we got in L&D and into a room, the nurse asked me about a gazillion questions, and finally checked my cervix. 

I walked into the hospital dilated to 7cm.

Joe was shocked. LOL! I'm pretty sure my nurse was shocked, but she hid it pretty well. I had a feeling I was at least 5cm, but you just never know. So, obviously, I got admitted and we got prepped to have a baby!

After being in early-ish labor for about a day, I was totally ready to have this baby!

I don't think Daddy was quite as prepared as I was. ;-)

I'm assuming that they set up our room so quickly since I was already at 7cm. 

My nurse and the baby's nurse felt pretty certain I'd have her by lunch time. But babies come when they come, and Millie was in no hurry to make her entrance. Yet.

Unfortunately, my OB was not on call this weekend. Her call started the next day...so I was seen by her "partner". He seemed nice enough, but I was kind of upset that my fantastic OB was going to miss this. But, my nurse, Carman, was pretty awesome so that helped make up for it. She made sure I was able to do as many things on my birth plan as possible. A lot of women go there for natural births (since they're the most "baby-friendly" hospital in the area), so that was really nice.

Once I dilated a bit more, I was able to sit on their labor ball. I was on that thing for most of the afternoon. I bounced and rocked back and forth, and side to side. Between that and having Joe put counter-pressure on my back during contractions, I'm not sure I would have made it. Not only does the rocking help with contractions, bouncing (and just sitting on it) helps the baby's head get into the right place. 

After an hour or two on the ball, I started to get really uncomfortable. My nurse helped me change positions - or just stand up, leaning on Joe - several times. Not long before Millie was born, I ended up leaning over the back of the bed, squatting into each contraction. No lie - it was hard work. But it really did help with the pain. There's also something to be said for controlled breathing. It hurt so much worse when I wasn't taking deep breaths.

I also had Joe pray for me/us several times while we were there. Not just for the pain aspect, but also that her birth would be expedient. I was getting tired, and I was really ready to meet her and just be done

At some point between getting off the ball and back on the bed, my nurse checked me. I hadn't dilated much, but I had started to feel lots of pressure. We considered going ahead and telling the on-call doctor to come in, but I'm not sure if we ever reached a decision. What I do remember is this:

I got back in bed, laying on my side. The contractions got way more intense and closer together. So much so, that I could hardly think. At some point, I started feeling the "ring of fire." I mentioned it to my nurse (who hadn't left my side in a while) and I'm pretty sure she left the room to call the doctor at that point. Everything is hazy because I was completely in "labor land." 

Soon after, my nurse started telling me not to push and to try and breathe through the contractions differently. I completely understand why she didn't want me to push yet (no doctor!), but telling a woman who feels the urge to push to not push should be considered torture. At that point, I got a little cranky. I distinctly remember telling her to stop pressing on the monitor on my belly because it hurt so much. I think I asked her to stop several times. Joe was in the bed with me, putting counter-pressure on my back still, and reminding me to breathe. I can't tell you how many times I told both of them that I couldn't not push. It hurt to not push. And really, my body was doing 95% of the work. I wasn't voluntarily doing it, it was just happening - kind of like instinct, I guess.

Eventually, I think my nurse got the gist that this baby was coming whether the doctor was here or not. I remember her all but running to the door, and yelling at the nurses' station, "Someone make sure Dr. Charity is on his way!" I really wanted to laugh, but, you know...contractions, baby in the birth canal and all. Next thing I know (as my body is still doing most of the pushing), I'm surrounded by nurses, and 2 of them are trying to flip me to my back. This hurt like crazy, first of all. I think I may have yelled at them, but I don't remember what I said. LOL! I remember my nurse telling me to push 3 times. Twice for her head, once for her little body. And there she was. I felt her little arms and legs flop onto my legs, because they didn't even have time to break down the bed for her arrival. 3 pushes, you guys. My body did all the work before that. Amazing. And seriously, what relief I felt after she was born! All the other natural/drug-free birth stories I've read talk about this high you get...I was totally there. =)

I had wanted a mirror to see her birth, but obviously things happened to quickly for that. I also had wanted to delay clamping/cutting her cord, but we weren't able to for two reasons: 1) A nurse delivered her instead of a doctor, so they followed 'protocol.' 2) Her cord was wrapped around her neck twice, so they wanted to make sure she was okay. After that, the doctor walked in. Then the baby nurse (who was fantastic, by the way) handed me my vernix-covered little girl for some skin-to-skin time.

Yes, I made Joe snap a shot of our first feeding.
I look like a hot mess, but that's what happens when you birth a baby. ;-)

I can't remember how long we got to hang out like that, but after just a few minutes she started bobbing her head and making her way to the breast for her first feeding! This moment was second only to pushing her out. It felt so great to be able to have that time, and for her to feed all on her own.

The only downside of her fast, non-medicated birth is that I did end up tearing this time, and so needed stitches. I can honestly say I have never disliked a doctor more in that period of time than I did this guy. He was not very gentle (unlike the OB that I hand-picked), and apparently he didn't realize that most redheads need more medicine to actually get numb that other people do. I had to tell him repeatedly that I could feel what he was doing. 

Overall, I feel great about her birth. I feel great about myself - knowing that my body can do this without any help. I also feel so much better physically than I did after Charlotte's birth. The recovery has been different because of the tear, but I feel so much more myself this time - and not in a haze from all the drugs.

Daddy and Millie =)

Thanks to my doctor, who stopped by the next morning, we were able to go home after only 24 hours in the hospital. That, my friends, is another upside to having a non-medicated birth! 

Took my rainbow baby home in her rainbow blanket from Auntie Anna!

Things have been great and also difficult since being home... We had help for the first week, but now we're on our own! I know we'll get the hang of having two littles eventually, but right now it's a roller coaster. So, we'd appreciate your prayers! 

We are so thankful to have this little rainbow baby of ours...and also for her big sister, who has been very sweet to her. Perfect way to end the year. =)


Finally Ready!

It should seem obvious by now that I'm more than ready to have this little girl who's been growing in my belly for almost 39 weeks. Her lovely little room, however, hasn't been ready until this week. It's been a serious work-in-progress. While I took my time with Charlotte's nursery, it was finished a couple weeks before she was born. I've been burning the midnight oil around here lately, trying to get everything done before Millie arrives! I know it could be another week, but I've felt all along that she'll be early. How early isn't exactly up to me, though!

Her room was more work than Charlotte's was mainly because I was already pregnant when we moved into this house. Not only was I pregnant, I was still in the first trimester and feeling sick most of the time. Oh, and I had another baby to take care of! So, pregnant, sicky, and mama to big sister....kind of throws a kink in things! Because we obviously wouldn't need her room to be ready for a while, it became the catch-all room. Which basically means if I didn't want to deal with certain boxes or pieces of furniture, that's where they ended up. So when it came right down to it, we had a lot of boxes to go through and furniture to move or get rid of. 

Just to give you an idea...
There was a lot more in here  (top pic) when we started clearing things out!

Pretty sure it took 2 months for this kind of progress. LOL

And then I had to actually make her bedding. I really procrastinated on this one way too long. I didn't order fabric until November. I had honestly planned on doing it earlier, but money has seriously been tight around here lately. I don't really even know what happened... It was just like all of a sudden - no extra moneys! Anyway, ordering fabric took forever. Then it took me a while to work up the nerve to start. Cutting fabric is seriously nerve-racking because once you cut, you can't take it back!

Bumper fabric

Quilt fabric (this was pre-cut for me! ;))

Also, I've never made crib bedding before. I've done a few quilts and other small projects, but nothing like this. Suffice it to say I was really nervous about it. Thankfully, I have a seamstress for a best friend and she walked me through it. Pretty sure there were a few times she wanted to come through the phone and smack me. ;-) I freaked out a lot and bugged her with a ton of questions. My brain doesn't work the way hers does, first of all. Second, I'm pregnant and my brain just does not work the way it used to! 

Long story, short: I have an awesome best friend who sent me instructions, texted more instructions, and Skyped/FaceTimed for even more instructions. Oh, and she also let me borrow a foot for the sewing machine that ruffles things. If not for her....well, I might have thrown in the towel before I even got started.

And now, after weeks of hard work and late nights, here is the final product! I did the quilt first, because I had fabric for it first. =) Though not perfect, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. 

The bumpers took the most time to cut out, but were probably the easiest part to sew. I wish I'd known that going in, because I probably wouldn't have put it off for so long!

And finally.... The crib skirt!! Putting this thing together was a huge pain. Cutting it, and even hemming it, wasn't so bad. But getting it just the right way onto the fabric that goes under the mattress? Ridiculous. 

I have to say that, even with help, I'm pretty darn proud of myself. ;-) It's definitely not perfect, and there are some things I would love to change, but I did it. It's done. 

                        I'm ready to see her in this bed!


Very Pregnant

That's my response to everyone who keeps asking "how are you?" Because seriously...that's how I feel. =P

Taken at 38 weeks, 1 day. Officially the most pregnant I've ever been.
And quite possibly the most tired I've ever been.

How far along? 38 weeks. And feeling it.

Size of baby: At my ultrasound last week, they estimated her to be 6lbs 9oz. I'm not totally sold on that, but suffice it to say she's full term and out of room! 

Maternity clothes? Absolutely.

Best moment this week: Getting that much closer to having all of her bedding done and nursery 100% ready. I should have it all done by the end of the day today. THAT is a great feeling!

Miss anything? Yep. But I really don't like complaining. I'm definitely ready to not be pregnant anymore, but I'm thankful that she's healthy and growing!

Movement: Oh, yes. She's a mover, even this big.

Food cravings: All the sweet things! You know, as usual. 

Food aversions: None, really....

Gender: It's a GIRL! 

Labor signs: Sadly, no. Like I said, I'm ready for this. 

Sleep: Sleep is frustrating. I'm so uncomfortable...I wake up throughout the night to turn over, which hurts. Then I wake up for potty breaks. *sigh* Have I mentioned I'm ready? Although, I know I'll just be trading these wake-ups for middle-of-the-night feedings...but at least I'll have a cute reason for waking up. ;-)

Symptoms: Basically, I just ache all over - feet, back, hips, pelvis...you name it.

Belly button in or out? Out. Definitely out.

Looking forward to: Having this baby girl! But first, getting her room (and the house) as ready as possible for her arrival. =) Hopefully a birth story will be on the blog next week! A mama can hope, right?


A Christmas Mug {Swap}: Link-Up!!

Hooray! Today's the day!! 

By now, most of you should have received a little something special from your swap partner in the mail. I got word that my partner finally received hers just a few days ago! Woohoo! Even after the little snafoo, I was glad it got there in time for the link-up. =)

Unfortunately I have not received mine yet, but that's okay! I was happy to see her reaction to receiving her package. And I know I'll have mine eventually! These things happen. =) And in the event that something similar has happened to you and your partner, I'll be keeping the link-up active for a week.

I'm looking forward to reading about how the swap went for each of you! And if you want, feel free to post about the swap on Instagram. You can tag me (@gijoeswife) and use #ChristmasMugSwap to make it easier to keep up with all the posts! {Just FYI, my profile/pics are private on IG. Keepin' it stalker-free and all that. ;-)}

Merry Christmas, and happy coffee-drinking!


A Christmas Mug {Swap}: Check-in!!

Once upon a time, in a land called The South, there was a woman named Sarah. Sometimes, this woman forgot things - important things, like events she was hosting. This is part of that woman's story.

So, I initially set the deadline for swappers to receive/send gifts for December 10. The reason is/was because I wanted to do the link up on Monday, December 16th. I thought it'd be nice to for everyone to have received their mugs by then. And then I let my husband my partner's gift... So, hopefully she'll get it sometime before Christmas. *sigh* Silly husband....


So, swappers, have you sent your mugs? Received them? Do tell!

And don't forget, I will have a link-up ready for the 16th so that you can share your goodies (not those goodies *wink wink*). Are you ready?! =)


My Little Family + 37

While we were in NC for Thanksgiving, I had one of my SILs snap some quick (and I do mean quick) family photos of us. Thankfully, we managed to get a few good ones! I was kind of surprised considering how spur-of-the-moment it was. Good surprise, though, since these are doubling as Christmas and maternity photos. :)

Charlotte loves doing this! I can still hear her say, "one, two, free!" Haha! :)

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
This one is my favorite.

And this one is a really close second. Because seriously, look at her face!!
I just love it. 

And since she reads my blog, thanks for taking the pics, Anna! And for Charlotte's dress. LOVE!


Holy geez, you guys. This girl has dropped low!

How far along? 37 weeks, you guys. Thirty. Seven.

Size of baby: Big? =P Big enough, anyway. Full term!

Maternity clothes? Um, yes. Oddly enough, I have a tshirt or two that 'fits', but all maternity...and some of hubby's tshirts. Haha!

Best moment this week: Seeing her cute little face on the ultrasound, and getting her nursery a little more organized. (Big thanks to hubby for that one!)

Miss anything? At this point, I pretty much miss not being pregnant. But I want this girl to grow as much as possible, so I'm trying not to complain too much. 

Movement: Girl is a crazy mover. Feet in and under my ribs all throughout the day!

Food cravings: All the sweet things! What's new, right?

Food aversions: I think we are kinda past those. I pretty much want to eat everything, haha!

Gender: It's a GIRL!

Labor signs: Actually, I haven't had any in a couple weeks. I'm okay with that...as long as she comes on her own!

Sleep: Meh. Sleep is getting stinky. I want sleep. I enjoy sleep. It's just not easy these days.

Symptoms: Back, hip, and pelvic pain....heartburn... You know, pregnancy things. ;)

Belly button in or out? Oh, it is so out. It was only a matter of time!

Looking forward to: Finishing her bedding (my goal is to have it done this week), getting her nursery exactly the way I want it...those types of things. 


...And Then There was Thanksgiving

I swear it happens every year around this time... 

I do great blogging before/around Thanksgiving, and then WHAM! Between the celebrating, decorating, cleaning, traveling, cooking - whatever I happen to be doing - and life, I forget to stop and blog for a minute. Not to mention this year I'm also preparing to, you know, have a baby. That's kind of a big deal.

So, Thanksgiving!

We left Wednesday afternoon to spend the holiday weekend in North Carolina. A holiday! With family! *gasp* We've made it to see family for Christmas - usually - but this was our first Thanksgiving with family since before we moved to Hawaii. And seriously, that feels like a bazillion years ago now. Our lives were so different then... We were still newlyweds, still new to the Army, didn't have babies, and...just different. It was definitely a nice change. {Although I'm not sure if I will ever agree to traveling 9 months pregnant again. Even if it is only 4 hours in a car.}

We had a great time with family, but I have zero pictures from Thanksgiving. I'm blaming preggo brain on this one! I did attempt a few shots of Charlotte with her cousins, but none of them turned out well. Of course.

On Black Friday, we boycotted shopping {even though I was dying to get an iPad mini} and went to the mountains in search of Christmas trees. Even though we didn't come home with a tree, we enjoyed tagging along with everyone else. 


Grammy, Gramps, (Joe's grandparents) and the kiddos.

Charlotte and Eden holding hands. They are the sweetest little girls!!

Charlotte and Auntie Sarabeth, clearly excited about Auntie Sara's tree. Haha

Charlotte and Auntie Anna

Family pic! One of us wasn't thrilled. 

My cuties. LOVE.

Saturday, my lovely SILs threw me a baby shower! It ended up just being family, but that was just fine. I didn't have any family around for Charlotte's shower, so it was a nice change. Although I did miss seeing my NC friends, I knew it would be difficult to arrange with it being a holiday. We also took some family pics, but I'm saving those for later. Spoilers. ;-)

The preggo and the hostesses with the mostest. ;-)

Family shot!

Me and the gifts. =)

We drove back to GA on Sunday, and I've basically been playing catch-up with laundry and housework ever since. We left the house in a bit of a mess (all of us got sick with a cold last week), and then Charlotte's cold got worse on Monday. And I'm 9 months pregnant and tired most of the time. So....bad combo! Plus, I've got quite a bit of things to do to get ready for Millie's arrival. 24 days, people. Twenty. Four. Days. Until my due date. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that one!

I have a couple posts rolling around in my brain, so stay tuned! I promise not to go completely AWOL unless I'm giving birth or something. ;-) And even then you know I'll be back with baby pictures!! 

How are you recovering from the holiday....and preparing for the next? 


Thankful - What a Week!

So I have no idea what really happened this week, but obviously blogging took a backseat. I think maybe I'm just tired. Oh, and I've also been working on Millie's quilt. So it's not like I've been doing nothing. (And taking care of a toddler, too!)

Between my bible study at home, church, and PWOC I feel like I've been given opportunities all week to stop and be thankful for something. And that's really a good thing, because life isn't always easy...and we're so busy and caught up in what's going on in front of our faces that sometimes we miss stuff.

Here's what I'm thankful for this week:

Because this should always be #1: my faith, my salvation.

It's the only sure thing I have. Everything else in this world will fade away. Most of all, like that verse from Job, I'm thankful that I know that my Redeemer lives.

I'm thankful for sweet, sweet new friends, who do amazing things like watch my daughter for me...

....and then clean my kitchen, too. Her husband (who randomly had the day off - thanks, Army!) also raked and bagged a ton of leaves in the front yard. I mean....seriously. It doesn't get any better than that!

I'm thankful not only for my sweet little rainbow baby, but that she also is head down again. :)

Can you see her hands clasped together and in/near her mouth?! Ah, so cute!

I'm especially thankful for these two, and their relationship that melts my heart.

This was after he came home from work one day (for lunch, I think). She was so, so happy and wanted him to tickle her. Haha! She is getting to be more of a daddy's girl every day. Just recently, she started asking him to "read da book" before bed. So now, I get her ready for bed and hand her off to daddy (after I get a hug and kiss, of course :)). I gotta say, it's kind of nice that she doesn't feel like she needs me to put her to bed every day. I do miss it occasionally, but I also know it'll come in handy when Millie comes.

I'm also thankful that this week is finally over. =P It felt so long and drawn out! Probably because it was busy. I'm looking forward to hanging out and relaxing a bit this weekend. 

I hope ya'll have a great weekend!

34 Weeks...Say What?!

How far along? 34 weeks! And holy moly, look at that bump! {Now that I'm almost 35 weeks, it seemed like a good time to do a post. Haha!}

Size of baby: Well, I haven't looked it up, but at the last ultrasound, little missy was estimated to be about 5 lbs. And the rest of her was right on target for her gestational age. Wahoo!

Maternity clothes? Oooooh, yes.

Best moment this week: Finding out she was back in her head-down position! At my appointment last week, she was breech which totally freaked me out. I am totally on board with delivering a breech baby, but most hospitals and doctors are not. Anyway, I'm just glad she turned back around. That I can handle. :)

Miss anything? Yes and no. I miss being able to turn over in bed, get out of bed easily, not having heartburn or back pain....but that's just all part of it.

Movement: This girl is crazy active. Not all day, but she moves a ton. Of course, now that she's bigger I feel every little movement, so there's that too.

Food cravings: All the sweet things!! Doubly frustrating thanks to GD. *sigh*

Food aversions: None, really. Other than the usual list of things I don't eat. ;-)

Gender: It's a GIRL!

Labor signs: Yep, had some of those this past weekend! Sunday I had contractions for an hour. About 30 minutes in, I started to freak out (because OMG it's too early for that!) and decided I should drink some water and lay down for a bit. That did the trick, though not immediately, and they slowed down right at the hour mark and then just went away! It was so crazy because I never had anything like that happen when I was pregnant with Charlotte. I had the normal, run-of-the-mill Braxton Hicks, but nothing like this! Even better - when I mentioned it to my doctor, she was totally happy about it. LOL! She is with me on not inducing this time (at least not before my due date), and she said this is a good indication I won't need to be induced. Hooray!

Sleep: Getting worse. :( I wake up all the time, either because I'm uncomfortable, need to use the bathroom, or I wake up sweating. Ugh. A few nights ago, I didn't get to sleep until 1am because miss Millie was having a dance party. *sigh*

Symptoms: Everything. Well, except nausea. 

Belly button in or out? Almost out! Depending on her position, sometimes it is out. 

Looking forward to: Finishing her quilt, starting her bumpers, and going to NC for Thanksgiving next week! It'll be our first Thanksgiving with family in 4 years, and the first time in 3 years that I won't be cooking or hosting. Slightly weird, but also great! 

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? Hosting? Visiting family?


Christmas Mug Swappers, Swap Away!

So, this post is basically just for the lovely ladies who are doing the mug swap with me this year. Sorry to all the rest of you!! (But if you're looking for a recent post to read, you can check out yesterday's thankful post. It's a bit sappy, but worth a read, IMO. ;-)) This was supposed to go up earlier in the week, but we had a power outage and then a super busy couple of days and, well.... It didn't happen. That's life, right?

Anyway! On to business. :)

  • After the sign-up deadline (and a minor snafoo or two), names have been drawn!
  • Although it doesn't show up this way on the website, the person you drew in the swap also drew your name. I've checked and re-checked that, so don't worry!
  • Now's the time to get a wish/recommendation list to your swapper! You can do that by creating one on the Elfster site, making a board on pinterest and sending that to your partner, OR simply by sending them a message. Easy peasy.
  • Make sure you also get your mailing address to your partner. That's kind of important. ;-)
  • Don't forget, your partner needs to receive their gift by December 10th!

Now, go forth...shop, and swap! :)


Thankful Thursday

One thing I really like about November/Thanksgiving is that it gives you a good reason to take a look around you and be thankful for all your blessings - big and small. So that's the reason I'm doing these posts this month. 

Here's what I'm thankful for this week:

My in-laws. Example #1? A text from my FIL yesterday:

I could go on and on, but I'm so thankful that I have a good relationship with them. And I'm really looking forward to my MIL staying with us for a while after Millie is born. AND I'm looking forward to having them 3-4 hours away next year instead of 12-13!!! 

Babysitter possibilities. A couple from our small group have 2 girls (a teenager and a "tween") who could quite possibly become regular babysitters for us. Our small group meets at church on Sunday nights (mainly because it's a marriage group and we need childcare) and all our kids were in a room together playing last week. When I mentioned babysitting, both of them basically said "sign me up." LOL. Not that we can afford it all the time, but I'd like for Charlotte to have a regular babysitter. And I also think it's good for teenagers to babysit - gives them an idea of what parenthood is like. ;-)

Friends who bail me out! This week Amanda is watching Charlotte for me while I go off to my OB's office again. Next week, a friend from our small group is watching her for another appointment. Since I have to do NSTs now, it's really best if I have someone watch her at home. Unless Joe were able to go, too. Then it might be okay. But he's in class this week and next. Thanks, Army.

My babies. I suppose this one is a bit of a given, but it's still true. Charlotte is growing so fast, it seems. I mean, really. I don't know where my baby went. For the most part, I'm loving this stage/age she's in. She's hilarious, smart, chatty, and OMG so sweet. The unsolicited hugs are my favorite part. This growing thing is definitely bittersweet for me. 

At least she still looks like a baby when she sleeps. Right? :)

Even though I haven't met Millie yet, I'm thankful for her - for the opportunity to grow her, and feel her move inside me...even though those movements are really starting to hurt! I admit to complaining a bit more than when I was pregnant with Charlotte, but truth be told, this pregnancy has been harder on me. More than anything, I'm looking forward to meeting her and getting to know her. And I can't wait to see how Charlotte is with her!

So smushed in my belly, but SO sweet.


The Stare

It never ceases to amaze me that people feel the need to "weigh in" one way or another on someone else's life, especially that of a total stranger. You kind of expect family members and close friends to offer unsolicited advice, or even off-the-wall remarks. You expect it because you "do life" with these people - you call, text, send photos, and share pieces of your life with them. Naturally, they have a response to anything big - or small - in your life. But strangers? That's what I don't understand....

Last night, we went to eat at Cracker Barrel. We didn't go because they were doing something for Veterans Day (they weren't), but simply because we wanted to. While we waited for our food, Joe suggested that I go look around the shop because I always want to and never get enough time whenever we go. Obviously I jumped at that chance. ;-) 

I took my time perusing the store, looking for possible Christmas gifts or cute clothes and toys for the girls. As I was looking over the toys, an employee stopped to ask if I was having a boy or girl. Since I'm very obviously pregnant, this is pretty common and unsurprising. I answered her, and she mentioned how fun it was shopping for a girl. I basically replied with, "Yes, I'm very familiar with that since I have an older daughter too." Then, of course, she asked the next obvious question: "How old is she?" When I told her that Charlotte is 19 months, she said nothing, but widened her eyes and stared at me.

She just stared. That was it.

But the look on her face said it all - all the things I've heard before:

Oh, you're going to have your hands full!

Don't you know how this happens?

Oh, that's awfully close together!

I bet that was a surprise!

And on and on and on. Because I couldn't care less what she had to say next (if anything), I laughed and walked away. 

Because what would she say if she knew? If she knew that we lost a baby before this one? If she knew that this baby was helping to slowly, but surely heal my heart? What would she say if she knew that I don't care that my hands will be full, because my heart will be overflowing? If she knew...she'd probably be the one walking away from the conversation with nothing left to say. 

I have no doubt that having 2 under 2 will be difficult. But I also know that this is my path. It was chosen for me - or I was chosen for it. And by the grace of God, I'll get through any tough times ahead. Besides, I'd rather have my young babies and my husband with me and have tough times, than not have them - or any one of them - at all.

Also, how can you be upset with someone for making cute kids like this one?!
(P.S. Let this serve as proof that we did, indeed, visit a pumpkin patch this year. ;-))


Thankful Thursday

First things first, don't forget to sign up for the Christmas mug swap I'm hosting this year if you're interested. Deadline is the 10th!

Last November, I attempted to do a thankful post every day. 

I'm already kind of over seeing all of the daily posts on FB. Is that bad? I mean, I'm glad people are taking a minute to be more aware of the blessings all around them, but it really seems forced from some people. And that bothers me, times a million.

Anyway, I think I've decided to do one post a week. Mainly because I'm so scatterbrained that it's easier to do it one week at a time. ;-) I do think it's good to take some time out of the day and think of all our blessings. Our church/pastor is doing a series called "Blessed" this month, and the message this past week just really made me think. It's challenged me too, which is good, but also hard. Anyway

Things I'm thankful for this week:

  • Friends that help out in a bind. (Shout out to Amanda for coming to my rescue this week!)
  • Potential new friends from church. (I need community like crazy.)
  • Fall temperatures. Because, oh my goodness, did I miss this!
  • PWOC. It's been such a great thing for me. The Bible study alone has been fantastic. And getting to know some of the other women in my "class" has been great, too. I wish I had made some closer friends (and I still might) in my study, but this was something I feel like I really needed. It really has been perfect.
  • 2 nap days. Charlotte has been sort of transitioning from 2 naps a day, to one. Some days she's fine without one, and some days she most definitely is not. It's tough trying to figure out... She's always been a high sleep needs baby, so I never know when she's truly ready to drop a nap. Example? Last week, she fought her morning nap 3 days in a row. So I gave up and we went without. This week... She's had a morning nap twice (she went with me to my OB appointment on Tuesday, but I could tell she missed her nap), and both times she slept for 1.5hrs in the morning and 2-3 in the afternoon. WHAT?! I do not understand this girl.
  • 4 day weekends. Not gonna lie, I'm loving that this weekend is a 4 day. We have several things that need to be done, and there is no way that even half could get done in 2 days. Which really ends up just being one - Saturday - because of church on Sundays. I don't know what all we'll be able to get done, but even if we just do a few things, it'll be progress.
What about you - big plans for this weekend?


32 Weeks, Baby

First things first, don't forget to sign up for the Christmas mug swap I'm hosting this year if you're interested. Deadline is the 10th!

How far along? 32 weeks! Duh. ;)

Size of baby: BIG. =P I didn't look up "standard" size at this point, but we had an appointment yesterday. According to the ultrasound, she weighs 4lbs 14 oz. Charlotte was 5lbs 5.4oz at birth. Also, her little leggies measured at 34 weeks. Haha! I wonder if I'll have a bigger baby this time around....? I know those measurements aren't 100% accurate.

Maternity clothes? Um, yes. Still needing some more fall/winter shirts. 

Best moment this week: Definitely seeing her on the ultrasound. And since I had an NST, I got to listen to her heartbeat and movements for a good while, too. And, as always, having nurses/doctors exclaim I have quite a mover on my hands is funny. ;) My girls are nothing if not active!

She's head down (hooray!) and all smooshed, 
but that's her little face with her hand right in front.
Also? The thing above her head is the placenta. Poor kiddo is super smooshed!

Charlotte was pointing at her pictures, saying "Millie! Millie!"
It was basically the cutest thing ever. 
(Especially after her complete meltdown during my ultrasound yesterday.)

Miss anything? Sleeping on my stomach, and generally not being uncomfortable.... But those aren't really big things.

Movement: See above comment. =P She moves like crazy! Just like her big sister. Although she definitely hurts me more. Haha

Food cravings: Last night I really wanted a donut. That's about as outlandish as my cravings get. 

Food aversions: None that I can really think of.

Gender: It's a GIRL! :)

Labor signs: I mentioned to my OB yesterday that I've had some weird pains in my stomach, and um...she thinks they're probably contractions. Soooo, yeah. They feel a lot different than any I ever had with Charlotte, so I guess I just haven't recognized it. Further proof that every pregnancy is different.

Sleep: Sleep is meh. I rest fairly well (most of the time), but I'm definitely getting up for potty breaks. I've been waking up in a sweat a lot lately, too. Comfort isn't always an issue, but I think I'm just getting used to hurting. Back and hip pain are just part of it!

Symptoms: Some heartburn, back and hip pain, and 3rd trimester exhaustion has definitely kicked in. Hence yesterday's almost 2hr nap. I even surprised myself on that one!

Belly button in or out? Both? It depends on how Millie is positioned and how I'm sitting. If I'm standing up, it's more like half in, half out. I give it 2 more weeks before it's an outie all the time.

Looking forward to: Getting her quilt done, working on the rest of her bedding, and getting her room all set up! One step at a time.