Coming Up For Air

Hi friends!

I'm so excited about the next few weeks because there's a lot lined up on our schedule. I picked up an exciting new project for a friend's non-profit and I'll be neck-deep in that until the organization's annual fundraiser on October 17. I feel so blessed to have this work, but it's going to keep me from blogging for a while. I'm going to try and stick with my weekly baby updates because it's still so incredibly important for me to document these milestones. 

 Also, my final paper is due October 9th and then I will be finished with classes for my master's degree! *happy dance* I still have to complete the required portfolio, but I have until December for that so I'm not in much of a hurry there. 

Pierce and I are almost done with the nursery and I am nesting like crazy. I haven't actually nested (as in, I haven't actually gotten much done), but I'm doing my best to keep my weekends free from now on so I can finish all the home projects I have in mind before Lucy arrives (in just five weeks or less!). I pray for patience as we prepare to be parents. I want everything to be perfect when she comes home, but obviously I need to let go of these expectations because life is going to turn upside down. I think I just want the house to be in order so it's one less responsibility to worry about in the first few weeks that she's home.

A few more quick updates:
  • I can feel Lucy way down in my pelvis now and it's the strangest sensation. She's incredibly active and her size makes even the slightest movement noticeable (and sometimes uncomfortable). Sometimes I feel like she's going to break through my skin! Honestly, I find myself impatient to meet her despite the fact that there is still so much to do...
  • I feel great, but I've been having some cramps the last few days, which are not easy to ignore. I find myself thinking, "Is she going to come early? Is this it?" I imagine that will only get worse as the days go by.
  • Have I said how much I love my husband? Because I do. He is such a huge encouragement to me every single day.
  • We got the crib mattress! Thanks to our sweet family friends for giving us such a generous gift.
  • We'll attend the hospital's breastfeeding class tomorrow night and I am really looking forward to it. I can't say Pierce is exactly excited about it, but I know he's been on board with learning as much as possible to make our transition into parenthood as easy as we can. He is going to be such an incredible father.
Hope you're having a nice, relaxing Monday!

34 Weeks

You guys, it's officially fall. And not just because Starbucks says so.

Today has been the first of what I hope are many chilly days. The kind when it's just cool enough to wear boots and a light sweater without actually having to deal with all the ugly things that come along later when it gets really cold. Like dead trees and ice storms.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll be 34 weeks and guess what? We finally painted the nursery! My mom came over on Saturday and we knocked it out in a few hours. The toughest part was actually cleaning out the room because since we moved in we've been using it as a catch-all/storage/pet room and, man, it was kind of nasty in there. By eleven o'clock that night, we had finally put the storage items away in the attic (Well, Pierce did. I just watched. Those pesky ladders...), set up the crib, and mopped the entire room. Yesterday after work I painted the I Love Lucy logo on the nursery's pink accent wall. It was hard to do it freehand, but I'm pretty much in love with it anyway. I hope Lucy likes it as much as we do.

Baby Lucy: At last week's appointment, Lucy was still head down, which is such a relief because even though I'm still experiencing a ton of pelvic pain, I know every week that she hasn't moved is another week she probably won't. And having her in the correct position is essential for a natural childbirth experience. She's also back to measuring two weeks ahead which has us wondering if she'll come a little early. I'm totally for it now that her nursery is almost complete! 

Mama: Pelvic pain. Braxton Hicks. And now we can add heartburn to the list. 

Classes: We have our breastfeeding class on October 2nd, and we've been reading our book on The Bradley Method to prepare for labor. I feel much more confident about it knowing that I will have Pierce as my coach. 

Weight Gain: I'm up one more pound since my last update, so 22 pounds total so far. Pierce and I were looking at my belly last night and we both thought there is no way she can get any bigger. But with 6 more weeks to go I'm pretty positive she will. It just seems like my belly can't stretch anymore! Thankfully, still no stretch marks and, surprisingly, my belly button hasn't popped yet. I'm kind of wondering if it's going to at this point.

Cravings: I had way too much sugar over the weekend and Baby Lucy was not having it! My diet has been a bit poorer in the last few weeks and laziness is entirely to blame for it. All I want is comfort food, but after feeling sick on Sunday (and the thought of junk food making me want to puke), I have done better at making my own meals and sneaking in as many veggies as I can during the last two days. My body rebelled against me and I don't want that to become my habit, especially now that we're so close to meeting our little girl.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday!

goodbye summer

I'm the kind of person who loves fall and always waits in great anticipation for its arrival. But, really, there isn't much that can compare to a beautiful summer day on the water. And there definitely isn't much that can compare to a weekend of fellowship with wonderful friends.

My small group spent this past weekend at a vacation house on Lake Oconee. It belongs to our friend Lindsay's in-laws who use it as a ministry for people to come stay, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and relax. Even though I've never met them, Lindsay made sure to let us know that we could be at home there and I know I speak for the group when I say that their generosity was much appreciated. The house is beautiful and cozy and it was the perfect getaway for our group to end the summer with a bang before we jump into the crazy fall, job changes, weddings, babies,'s all coming up so fast! I love these women. They are such an incredible group of friends and spending a few days together, just us, was seriously the best.

On Saturday, Lindsay drove the boat across Lake Oconee so we could enjoy an outdoor lunch together and then, on our way back, we stopped at this huge rock so the girls could jump off. I watched and them from the water. Then we spent the night on the dock playing Cranium and talking about life and love before we all fell asleep on the couch downstairs watching The Sword in the Stone. Party animals, right here.

Goodbye summer. Until next time!

32 weeks

Eight more weeks, you guys! We're coming down the home stretch now and I'm currently sitting at my desk, surrounded by half-open baby gifts, with a nursery  down the hall we still haven't started. But we're making progress on getting our dog set up outside (her cute little house arrived on Monday!) and we should be able to get her room painted next week. That's kind of the hardest part, right? We can't do anything else until that's taken care of so once it is I will feel much better.

Now! To the updates!

Not much has changed since last week. I haven't had another appointment with my midwife, but I have one next Thursday and then we start the weekly appointments at 36 weeks. I find that getting out of bed is the hardest part these days, but once I'm up and walking around it gets easier. My ligaments just need time to loosen up. Also, the Braxton Hicks contractions are getting more frequent and far more intense. There still isn't any pain associated with them, but I suppose it's just a matter of time now...

My goals for this week are to make sure I get my breast pump ordered via the insurance company (thank you, Atlanta Falcons, for providing us with that fantastic service!) and get a pediatrician lined up. My godmother is a pediatrician, but she isn't in our network and she lives closer to my hometown, which is too far away, so she's helping us out in our search. Also, I need to make at least one appointment with the therapist recommended by my midwife just so I have that ally in case I need some help with postpartum depression. It's a sincere concern of mine considering what I've been through in the past, and I don't want to take any chances.

Other than that, I'm feeling good, spending a lot of time enjoying Lucy's kicks (and hiccups, too!), and looking forward to actually holding her in my arms. That's gonna be a good day.

that Friday when I finished my manuscript and other happy things

This picture was taken today. The day I finished my manuscript (again). And along with being incredibly tired of looking at it I am also super proud of myself.

I wrote this young adult novel last year and took it to the Atlanta Writer's Conference in November, where the agent I met with requested to see the entire manuscript. That conversation is seriously up there in the top five moments of my life. But after about six weeks she wrote me back and told me she didn't feel it was ready. She couldn't offer me representation at that time. But she also told me she'd love to see my future work because it was clear I was "a great talent" (and as disappointed as I was, that last comment pretty much made up for it).

About a month ago, as I was nearing the completion of my edits, I wrote the agent an email telling her I had taken her advice to heart and made heavy revisions (and I do mean heavy) on my novel and would she like to see it again when I finished? She wrote back the next day and said yes! So now here I am again preparing to send my baby off to be critiqued and potentially rejected. But with the potential for rejection also comes the potential for acceptance...and the potential for success as an author, something I've diligently been working towards since I was nineteen.

Even if the agent doesn't want to represent me this time around either, I am still happy with the distance I've come since last November. I think I always felt the story wasn't quite there, but it's hard to know how to change it unless someone else offers feedback. Even now I'm struggling because I don't have the ability to look at my work objectively. But the thing I'm most proud of is that I finished it. That I took the time to take her advice and try to make the manuscript better. And now when I look at it I see a much stronger story with more compelling characters. I stopped trying to explain everything they did and felt and just tried to make them as real to the reader as they are to me. And no matter what the outcome that is something to celebrate.

So on that note I say happy Friday to you all! It's going to be a wonderful weekend.

And now we're in the single digits...

Hi friends!

Wow. 31 weeks, you guys. I can't believe it. The time has passed so quickly since we discovered we were going to have a baby. I remember feeling a quiet little nudge at my heart in those two weeks before I took the test. I knew something was different, but I couldn't bring myself to admit that God might actually ask it of me. Of us. Being parents. Surely He knew better than to do that? Well, I suppose He did know better. I wouldn't have chosen it for myself at the time, even though I was trying to trust in Him; I so distracted by depression and anxiety that I couldn't fathom how He would choose it for me either. Still, I felt it. And the feeling was more than just a bigger appetite and a few cramps. I felt Him telling me to get ready because that downward spiral I was on was nearing an end and it was time for me to get off the ride.

And so here we are, twenty seven weeks later, and we will meeting our little girl within the next nine weeks. Sixty-three days! That's it. I still don't feel ready. But who ever does? I'm totally calm and confident about the birthing process, which might seem a little strange but, honestly, that I know I can do. My body is smart. It's done it's job well, thus far, and it will continue to do it. It's the "being a mom" thing that still makes me get on my knees in desperation and cry out to God for strength, for wisdom, and for courage above all else.

I don't suppose that's a bad thing, though, is it?

31 Week Update:

Baby Lucy: This girl LOVES when mama eats. Either that or she hates what I'm eating. I can't really tell. All I know is she is very active and loves to roll around in there. I will miss these moments more than anything. I can understand why some moms long for pregnancy again after their babies are born. There is nothing else in the world like feeling your baby move inside you. I'm grateful I get to have this experience.

She's still head down (yay!) and back to measuring a little bit ahead. Thankfully, at my last appointment, our midwife told me she's doesn't feel "big", just "long", which is to be expected when her mother is 5'10" and her papa is 6'2".

Mama: Pain. That's pretty much all I've got for you at this point. I'm no experiencing heart palpitations any more (such a relief!), but I have a hard time breathing unless I'm lying on my side and the pelvic pain just continues to increase. I wake up multiple times at night to turn over and every time I do I want to cry. I've been trying to continue walking as much as possible, even though I get stitches in my side after about twenty steps, because I really do feel better after some exercise. I just don't want to imagine what this will feel like when I'm full-term.

Midwife Appointments: All the midwives at Intown Midwifery are amazing, but I finally met Anjili last week. I had heard so many fabulous things about her beforehand and they were all true. I really hope she's the midwife on call when I give birth. I had a great time just chatting with her at my appointment and she was so encouraging!

Classes: I completed my water birth class and printed out my certification. Atlanta Medical Center requires its baby mamas to complete it either in person or online in order to have a water birth. Piece of cake! I'm really looking forward to the whole labor and delivery process. Pierce and I have both been studying the Bradley Method and I feel confident that he is going to be an incredible support for me on Lucy's birthday. I love him so much!

Oh, and I also signed us up for a breastfeeding class next month. I want to breastfeed as long as I can, and learning proper latch techniques and feeding positions are really going to come in handy. Again, I'm thankful for a husband who is as invested in this entire process as I am. He'll be attending the class with me!

Clothing: Same as before. Loving my two pairs of maternity jeans. They keep me sane and quite comfortable.

Weight Gain: 21 pounds total. I have to admit I was a little surprised at this number when I went in for my last appointment. I know Lucy is supposed to nearly double her weight from this point (she's about 3.5 lbs. at the moment), and so I definitely felt a little vain when I saw the number on the scale. 170?! You've got to be kidding?! Oh, but I was almost 150 when I got pregnant. It's cool, Wendi. Breathe. And take off a pound or two for clothing and shoes. Good Lord. Baby Lucy needs a healthy mama! Ain't no shame in it. Also, still no stretch marks, but the belly button is getting closer! I give it two more weeks before it pops, max.

Nursery: We have to get our dog settled in a new area before we can get started on this, and Pierce is currently working on this project. We did buy the paint for her room, though, and after my last shower my big sister sent us a crib! We can't wait to get it set up.

Cravings: Sugary yummy goodness. It's hard to stay away. Also meat (for the iron, I suppose) and cheese. But there's no surprise there.

Thanks for reading along! I can't wait to share Lucy with you guys when she gets here.

P.S. The tee is from Disco Belly and it is SO incredibly comfy. And it was on sale for just $15! Check out their website for more adorable maternity styles.