May 23, 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant and Life the Last Few Weeks

So. Here I am. Still gestating.

38 weeks and 3 days.

I'm not overdue but for some reason I feel like I should have had him by now. I tell people a vague due date because it varies by a few days from the last menstrual period (I just said "menstrual") and the ultrasound, and we all know it's just an approximation anyways.

I vacillate between just letting him come when he comes and wanting to intervene. Although I will say this. I'm going to just go ahead and come out with it. Last week when I was unbelievably and deathly sick? It was because I did the whole castor oil route.

My friends. My dear blog-world friends. Don't. And I mean never. Never do it. Don't do it. Do NOT do it. Not only was I ill from every direction, I was violently ill. As in I've never thrown up with such force in my entire life.

(Ok, now I've not only used the word "menstrual" but I'm also describing in detail the depths of my illness. Blame it on the Final Days of Gestating.)

So I've pretty much strayed back onto the straight and narrow and am slightly more content to just let him come when he comes. Although tears were shed today that I would really and truly be pregnant for the rest of my life.

It's not just that, thanks to my sciatica, I'm in constant pain, it's just as much I want a living, breathing baby in my arms. There is no describing the loss and physical and emotional emptiness of holding your still baby in your arms, knowing your time with her is desperately short and there's no going back. There are no adequate words to convey that depth of pain. So while yes, I'd like to not be in physical pain any longer, I also just need that warm, living Lovie in my arms.

So I try to tell myself that every day that goes by is one less day I have to wait to meet him and hold him and kiss him and snuggle him.

And for lack of more content, here are some phone pics from the last few weeks.

Playing with friends and their first time wearing goggles!

The following few pictures are of our backyard right now with the lilac bushes blooming. I cannot get over how beautiful they are and how unbelievably magical it smells when you step out our back door. Jesus sure does create beautiful things.

Look at them blooming behind the play set! 

His love for sunglasses runs deep.

Luke's nursery!

I have a world map to go on that wall. I just need to frame it with some rustic wood and I'd like to incorporate somehow the song, "He's got the whole world in his hands," around it.

Eating lunch outside.

We got that table and bench off of Craigslist and it's the official steal of the century. I can't even tell you how much they gave sold it to us for.

There's a story behind this but I'm sure he'll just appreciate me posting the picture. 

Dentist appointment! They did so awesome.

This recliner was Matt's Mother's Day gift to me and we've forged a deep and lasting bond.

Happy Friday, my friends. May Labor be with me and a Happy Memorial Day with you.

May 05, 2014

FAQs you may have had (and pictures of Baby Luke's shower)

I'm asked questions on a regular basis about Grace and Luke and where we're at now with everything and other related things. And I don't usually mind (unless I discern more morbid curiosity and little to no genuine concern or I am simply not in an emotional or mental frame of mind to process things; then I usually keep my answers short and will change the subject).

So I thought if there were any of you that had these same questions, I'd post a SAQ (sometimes-asked-questions) post. (And this feels easier right now for my fragile nearly 36-week pregnant mental state than having to form deeper thoughts into sentences...)

So here it is.

Are you going to have another c-section with Luke? I've actually never had a c-section. All of my babies have been delivered naturally, which I am very thankful for. So that's the plan for Baby Luke.

How do you feel about having another boy? Awesome. I can't hardly even stand the thought of having sweet little Luke in my arms, I feel like my heart will burst open from the happiness. Even if Luke had been a girl, there would never be a replacement for Grace. And seriously, if I get one more negative comment like Another boy??? or Well, a girl just must not be in the cards for you (that one happened a few days ago) or another sigh and look of disappointment, I will lose all my Christian goodwill. All of it.

Where do you feel like you're at now? This is a hard one. It honestly depends on which day you ask me. I still sometimes get super angry at the depth of her loss and all the should-have-beens and never-will-bes. And I still have very, very sad days; they're just not as frequent or as sustained as they were even not too long ago. Grief is a journey that continues on.

How was her birthday? Very, very, very sad. Seriously, I woke up and already wanted the day to be over. I was super thankful and blown away at how many people went by her resting place to leave notes and cards and flowers and cupcakes; it was the brightest spot of the entire day. But the whole of the day felt oppressive and heavy and sad. In fact, we took Sunday to simply recover from how emotionally taxing it was.

How are the boys? They're wonderful. They talk about Grace all the time and have finally (I think) gotten that Grace is in heaven with Jesus and Luke is in my belly. They are so excited to have their very own baby.

When are you due? End of May-ish, but you better believe I will be doing everything I can to "encourage" labor earlier.

I can't think of any other questions. I know, that was kind of anti-climactic. I'm telling you, 36 week-pregnant brain, it's fragile.

So I'll end with pictures from the most amazing baby shower my dear, dear friend, Courtney, threw for me this weekend. It was honestly one of the most beautiful events I have ever attended and I definitely felt a huge sense of unworthiness that it was all for us. Courtney has this very rare gift to not only create beautiful things but to combine the spiritual aspect as well, which brings a whole other depth of beauty and meaning. I love that I will have such meaningful things to hang in Luke's room because of it.

This is Courtney. I am so sad this is the only picture I have of her that whole day and none of the two of us! 

Seriously, so thinking beautiful!

This was the most amazing cake I have ever had. It had lemon and huckleberry filling. I'm dying now just thinking about it.

Courtney made everything you see, including that sign with the "L" which is already hanging in Luke's room.

This will also be hung in his room.

This is not even all the pregos that were there! And we're all from the same Bible study. At one point, literally 10 of the 20 or so girls were pregnant. 

She had the guests write prayers or blessings and they were hung with twine on that wood thing you see (which will double as Luke's mobile, without the cards). She also had them write him birthday cards for all the way up until like age 14, and create pages for a coloring book for him! So many creative, beautiful things from that day.

Writing cards and making coloring pages.

My beautiful mama on the left and one of my most beautiful friends, inside and out, sweet Rachel.

Three of my favoritest and funniest friends.

A selfie (don't judge) with Ali, whom I only love to the furthermost galaxy and back.

The food. The fruit kabobs. The apple slices topped with chicken salad and pecans. To die for. All of it.

My mom giving her most genuine smile.

The WORST shower game ever, and only because I had to participate. If I were just watching, the BEST shower game ever.

Waiting for the worst/best shower game ever.

Being informed that we had to dance (blind-folded) (to hip-hop) until our audience was satisfied. (Only to find out that the game was rigged so that I would be the only one dancing at the end.) (There's video but I conveniently don't know how to upload it.)

Stop. You just wish you were so endowed with these kinds of moves at 9 months pregnant.

Kerstin and I KILLING it. 

Laughing at the video. Ellie (in the denim vest) definitely won for Most Exuberant. I couldn't stop laughing when I watched her on the video. I'm very jealous of her moves.

Oh, I could never say enough about this girl. Sweet, beautiful Meghan who has one of the purest hearts of gold of anyone I've ever known. I hope I'm half as wonderful as her when I grow up. And she's a Baby Whisperer.

I wish I'd gotten a picture with everyone there so I could personally highlight how wonderful each of them are. I am ridiculously blessed to know such awesome women, and to call them friends is even more amazing to me.

Courtney, you're an unsung hero in my life and there aren't enough adjectives in the world to describe how awesome you are and how thankful I am that we "randomly" met in a cell phone store (true story!). Thank you for making me feel so special and for honoring our little Luke's life in such a beautiful way!

And to each of you who came, thank you for celebrating with us and making the day so fun and special. I truly feel so blessed and honored to know such beautiful women.

So now we just wait for his arrival! Hopefully sooner rather than later...