Forty One and Two

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It was forty one weeks and two days ago that I was forty one weeks and two days pregnant with the sweetest, spunkiest, loudest little red headed girl that I’ve always known. Lately I like to watch her play with her brother, and I just imagine me as a little girl, a teenager, a college girl, a newlywed… I’d daydream and imagine what my life would be like, and what my kids would be like. I look at Lincoln and Emmeline and just imagine God smiling at those thoughts of the Younger Mes, knowing that they would be the most fun, perfect for me and adorable in every possible way. It was always them. It was especially always Emmeline. She has been tucked in my heart for as long as I can remember. Every roll, every reddish hair and eyelash and invisible eyebrow. She is the the red cherry on top.

At nine months old she is fearless and demanding. She loves to make us smile and acts just so goofy at times. She dances, loves music and truly embodies her middle name, Joy. Just making eye contact with her across the room is enough to make her whole body wiggle, a chuckle erupt and her little nose scrunch. She tries to walk and doesn’t seem to remember that she can’t, even after falling face first on the hard floor several times a day. She will yell and swat at Lincoln if he takes her toy or gets in the way, and if he stays too close for too long she’ll pull up on him to standing. This is especially entertaining because he knows that if he moves she will fall and then cry and he doesn’t want to get in trouble for making her cry, so he just stands there and yells for help…

I am in a place where I know, like I know, I am slacking in some areas. Some important, some not-so, but I am not slacking in the loving my babies department. I am snuggling, hugging, singing, dancing, walking, playing trucks, tickling, kissing 110%. Like, I am all in. I was made for this. I’m exhausted out of my mind and pushed to new physical, mental and emotional limits on the regular, but man. This is the good stuff.

Before I had kids, I think I thought the biggest trial of new motherhood was losing the baby weight. Like, really. I think I thought you were pregnant, had the baby, life was normal (just with a baby now) and you worked as hard as you could to lose the baby weight as fast as possible. I heard someone say that it was important to give yourself grace because it took nine (10. It took TEN) months to grow that baby, so it may take nine (DIEZ) months to go back to your pre-baby size.

So, I don’t know about all that baby weight nonsense because once these jokers were out, the LAST thing on my mind has been what size pants I wear. Partially because I only wear leggings now, but also because there are SO many other things that I need to spend time and energy on. Like these kids want to eat… always. Laundry is spilling out from all the corners of my home. I also like, work and stuff. Both times I’ve also dealt with some pretty intense health stuff myself, so how much I weigh? Do not care. Do not know. Do not want to know. Also, if a health professional asks me how much I weigh, I will tell them how much I weighed when I started college.

Real life, though. Nothing is the same after having a baby. After Lincoln I remember being so upset with Marshall for just going back to work like it was no big deal. For me I felt like NOTHING was the same. My body, my skin, my brain, my days, my nights, my time– what I could eat, drink, etc. Literally this child had changed every single thing about my life in one foul swoop. BAM. Life completely altered.

And then, a few months passed and then a few more months passed and then  suddenly I looked up and realized that we had done it. We had made it through, and while nothing was the same as before, it was the same as the day before and the pattern continued until it felt normal. It happened around this time. Lincoln was around eight or nine months old and I just remember feeling a little less insane and less like being in survival mode all the time. It did not occur to me then that it had taken almost the same amount of time of gestation for me to get used to him on the outside, but it totally was around the forty week mark.

The number forty is used somewhat frequently in scripture so I did a little digging just to see what the deal was with God and that number. He’s all about some numerical significance. Forty symbolizes a period of testing or trial. And if the forty weeks of pregnancy and the forty weeks that follow does not fit that perfectly, I do not know what does. Tests and trials ABOUNDING. The thing that is cool about the forty thing, is usually after the period of time of the trial, something really cool happens after. Noah in the Ark forty days and nights– and bam! Waters recede and there’s a fresh start to humanity. And also rainbows. Moses hung out on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights and received laws from God– a pretty big deal to Judaism and subsequently, Christianity. Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness and by the end of it, foreshadowed his ultimate victory over Satan by resisting him completely when he was really hungry during that time.

I don’t  know. I’m all  about the numerical significance, too. Just doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me that human gestation is forty weeks. That is a time of trials and tests for sure, and what follow is truly incredible.

Speaking of numerical significance,  this is probably my most favorite thing. So I was overdue with Emmeline. 10 days. I was due April 30 and she came May 9th and that last  stretch was a crazy emotional roller coaster. So a few weeks after she was born I was driving around and noticed the oil change sticker on the inside of my car had 5/9/17 on it and I was super confused as to why we got an oil change on Emmeline’s birth day (It is also worth noting that it is not very often that I am the one to take a car in for an oil change, because I don’t know what the dates on the stickers mean). In my sleep deprived newborn stupor, I called Marshall and he explained it to me and I laughed OUT LOUD because for weeks “When is the baby coming?!” was basically the only thing we ate, slept or breathed. We obsessed over every contraction, every potential sign of labor, everything. Literally in my car, in my eyeline that I saw every single day was her birthday. It was right under my nose the whole time. So hilarious. Nothing’s a coincidence! We are handpicked. Oil change stickers and all.

Emmeline’s Birth Story | Part 1

I have written and rewritten Emmeline’s birth story at least five times now. It has been so hard for me to authentically describe the experience, and reconcile wanting to savor and remember every single detail of the day, and not “overshare” and write a novel. All in all, the experience was so spiritual. It was just incredible. It was so much more than I thought it would or could be. 

My friend posted this on Mother’s Day this year, and it resonated with me so much. Breathing was my lifeline during labor. This probably sounds weird, but breathing has always been hard for me. I grew up with asthma, and even during this pregnancy I really struggled with feeling short of breath and that will spiral into a panic attack of sorts. In my labor with Lincoln I had been recovering from the flu at 38 weeks and I still had a cough and some congestion and I remember the position they had me in to push I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and it really freaked me out. I was most nervous about that happening again during labor and asked several different midwives on several occasions if I’d have access to oxygen if I needed it (I would have). Once I got ahold of my breathing around the time my water broke, contractions were a breeze. I’d feel it coming, breathe deeply, force one extra deep breathe at the peak and then exhale it out– sometimes I’d whistle it out. Enjoy the break with easy breaths and do it again. As long as I was in an upright position to control the breath it was no thing. So when I saw this quote from Ann Voskamp, it resonated with me so much. So, so much. 

“… so, yeah, parenting is hard & beautiful,
and very, very hard & very, very beautiful, 
and sometimes you just get down on the floor & weep 
& there’s no shame in it — tears just saying we’re loving deep.
Parenting is hard, not because we’re getting it wrong, but because we’re getting to do holy work — holy work *is* hard work.
That’s the miracle of parenting:
labor never stops & we never stop having to remember to breathe.
And even the sound of our breathing is saying His name – YHWH.
And all the parents exhaled… and our every breath calls for You to come, Lord, please come — Come help us to labor over these beloved children, that they’d deliver into the wide expanse of Your fulfilling grace — 
& never forget their name: Beloved.” 

Wow, right? I was about five days postpartum reading those words, ugly crying my guts out. I remember with Lincoln feeling so exhausted in those early days, wondering when I’d get a chance to actually rest my heart, mind and body after the whirlwind of labor. Never. I am still running that marathon, but with another little baby in tow. I did get some good nights of sleep in the meantime though. 

But this quote, and the blog post I linked above, which I’ll link again because it’s worth opening in a new tab and reading right now perfectly sums up how I feel. Additionally, this post does as well. I remember breezing, no really, breezing through the end of my labor, not noticing transition, just listening to my body and feeling myself begin to push her out and thinking how easy it had been. Until the time came to actually push her out into this world and then I heard myself saying over and over: I can’t do it. And somehow, I did. I reached deep within my heart, soul, lungs, self and here she is and has been for a month now. The perfect metaphor for how God delivered ME from so many things. Those postpartum days with Lincoln, those seemingly endless days of painful eczema all over me, the early postpartum days this time where looking forward at our life seemed IMPOSSIBLE, how am I ever going to recover/heal/thrive/keep everyone alive? And somehow I am doing it. Despite telling Marshall and anyone who can listen over and over that I can’t. I’m totally doing it. Not on my own, but with God in me and breathing through me every step of the way. 

And that is how my labor went. 

I’m nearly a week out, starting this, (almost 3 weeks out finishing it, and a month out rewriting most of it again) and the memory of it all is already starting to be fuzzy. Her whole birth was so spiritual. Even the last weeks leading up to it I felt God just pulling my focus away from everything and onto him, refining me to prepare me for the transition from mama to one, to two.

As it was happening and immediately after, the pain was so real and I was so glad it was over and I’d never have to do it again. But now, looking back, God was so present in that room! In our car as we drove to and from the birth center (twice). In our bedroom and bathroom as I labored with Lincoln sleeping in the next room. He was undeniably with us in every single moment, and I don’t think there was ever a time I’ve felt him so near. I’m already finding myself longing to feel another contraction, to feel his peace and strength breathing with me. It was so supernatural, all of it, but I think there’s nothing really normal about bringing a baby earthside. The whole experience was just so worshipful. In my head I kind of (admittedly) dramatically equate it with being present to the burning bush in Exodus. God was there. It was terrifying, comforting and miraculous– all at the same time. So, here’s how it all went down…

 Monday the eighth was business as usual. We had an ultrasound at Wake Med since we were 41 weeks, after that Marshall went to work and Lincoln and I spent the day wandering around downtown. I had become an expert at ignoring contractions so I’m honestly not sure if I had any during the day or not. I remember having some in the evening that were a bit more noticeable at 7 minutes apart but like they had been, they fizzled out as soon as I sat and rested or changed positions. That evening we had a photo team meeting at the church office that I really had been wanting to go to, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to being in labor or having a newborn, so I was really excited to go. My wonderful friend Amber who had been rearranging her life for weeks to photograph our birth was there and as we left she was like “ok! Last chance! Do I go with you guys to the birth center?” and I was like “nooooooo, nothing’s happening tonight. Go home and sleep!”

So we went home, gave Lincoln half a melatonin (he is normally asleep by 7:30 and we didn’t get home until 9 and he was literally running laps around the kitchen…). Marshall and I both were hungry so we sat in the kitchen and talked for a while, I texted with some of the members of our photo team the usual “is this real life? I love you guys so much” stuff and I felt this sense of peace. Like, just being at that meeting brought me back to where I was postpartum with Lincoln and I was able to see so clearly and vividly how much God has changed me and my life in the past two years. It was almost like exactly what I needed to see and feel emotionally to realize that I really was ready to do it again– and if I wasn’t, I knew that God was there with me in the middle of it all.

Marshall went to bed and I had trouble winding down so I took my 41 week belly mirror picture (#priorities) and played on my phone and tried to lay down and relax. I realized after about 10 minutes I wasn’t getting comfortable because I was having contractions laying down! That had not happened yet with my prodromal labor, so I ignored them for a bit and then started timing them. I’d doze off in between and then after a few it wasn’t comfortable laying down anymore so I got up and got the birth ball and bounced some. Turns out I was not a fan of contracting on the ball so I didn’t do that a single time more. I timed them for about an hour then told Marshall that they were five minutes apart, different feeling than the others I’d had. We were supposed to call the midwife at 611 (6 minutes apart, 1 minute long for 1 hour). I got in the shower and washed my hair and shaved my legs, pausing every 5 minutes to breathe through a contraction.  I have no concept of time, but I kept having some doozies and they felt really back to back, so I asked him to call to let them know we’d be along at some point soon.

There were two midwives I hadn’t met yet, and everyone that I knew that went to Baby & Company raved about Jualeah and Mandesa. I actually cried (read: ugly cry sobbed) a few nights earlier to Marshall about how I was so disappointed I didn’t even get to meet these amazing midwives that everyone else had loved.

He called and low and behold Jualeah answered! I talked to her for a bit, and my contractions seemed to stop while I was on the phone and she said to text her when it looked like we were going to come in. So I hopped back in the shower and resumed contracting and enjoyed the hot water.

After a while, I got out of the shower and got dressed and was hit back to back with two pretty big contractions and Marshall and I agreed we should probably go to the birth center as they were coming consistently and getting stronger. We got the car loaded up and got Lincoln in the car, fleece firetruck jammies and all. Contractions spaced out a little bit in the car, but the drive was dreadful. I was not coping well in the car at all. Like, I was definitely saying some four letter words quite loudly. We called my sister to let her know we were en route with Lincoln and after weeks of sleeping with her phone on high volume being “on call” for us, she didn’t wake up to our calls or texts, which is kind of hilarious. In the end it totally worked out perfectly the way it was supposed to, but it was so funny that she didn’t hear us!

When we got to the birth center I was greeted by a new midwife to the practice, Alexa, and she triaged me. While she examined me, in between contractions I told her how excited I was to be in active labor because I never really went into consistent really active active labor with Lincoln withou pitocin (so, pro tip: you’re really not in active active labor if you’re telling people how excited you are about it… no matter how far apart or strong your contractions are). I was still 3 centimeters and not all the way effaced, same as my 40 week appointment more than a week earlier. She recommended we go back home. Since we had Lincoln with us we agreed, although I was dreading the car ride home and back already. Jualeah was there resting and I asked if I could meet her (sorry, I woke you up, girl…) so she came out right as I had another contraction, and talked me through it and held my hand. She asked me where it hurt and I told her all the way around my back and pelvis and she grabbed a bed sheet and rebozo-ed my belly pretty tight with a bed sheet. Instantly the back pain was gone and the next few contractions were intense but way more tolerable since my back was spared. Looking back I think she shimmied Emmeline into prime position because things got intense pretty quickly once we got home.

Marshall loaded up the car and I contracted a few times in the parking lot and we headed back home. I felt a little discouraged for sure, but I knew these contractions were different than my prodromal labor ones and it was happening! A promise fulfilled in itself. A clear start to labor. I figured maybe by that night she’d be here or we’d at least be laboring at the birth center. I did not anticipate how quickly things would progress once we got back home.

Part 2 coming soon!

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Right Now: 41 Weeks


Right now we’re guessing…  41 weeks 1 day! 


Right now I’m feeling pregnant in that… big belly! Biggest it’s ever been! Backache like whoa, and super exhausted. I think I’m getting all the icky pregnant symptoms now. Serious back pain, my arms and feet keep going tingly and numb. Last night I’m pretty sure my blood pressure was kind of low, no matter what I did or ate or sat I felt really floopy. Better today though. 

Right now I’m eating…  Well the week of my due date I went ALL OUT and ate whatever the heck I wanted and felt terrible. My belly was out of sorts for days. It is finally back to it’s normalish self, and we’re back to eating at home most of the time which means mostly paleo, and a few GF/DF treats here and there. No big cravings, except sugar. Because it’s delicious and addictive and I’ve awakened the sugar monster.  

Right now I’m loving…  wrapping my belly and hips. Oh man. So good. Feels SO GOOD. 

Right now, like last time… This is super foreign territory heading into carrying this girl two full weeks later than Lincoln. BUT prodromal labor may actually last forever… going on 4 weeks of daily contractions. I’m working on a whole post about prodromal labor. So, get excited.

Right now, this is different than last time in that…  Surviving prodromal labor! I get to sleep every night, and labor all day. It’s exhausting and mentally trying for sure, but so different than last time. God has given me peace abounding, and it’s a minute to minute struggle sometimes, but this labor is already so different. 

Right now I’m looking forward to…  birth! But also lots of fun things on the docket for this week: we had our 41 week ultrasound today and have a photo team meeting tonight. Wednesday I’m meeting up with my friend at Baby & Company for a bellies and brunch (!) for a picture and snackies. Thursday we have a non stress test scheduled and they’ll strip my membranes and we’ll get all the deets on this mysterious induction that will take place on Monday if she doesn’t come before then.

Right now I’m reading… checked out Missional Motherhood and Uninvited from the library. So far loving MM. 

Right now I’m wearing…  In this moment my black OS Lularoe leggings and an XXS Irma. Y’all, I’m pretty sure I’m never actually going to have another baby (see 4 weeks of prodromal labor, up there) so I’m kind of bummed that I’ve only reaped the wonder of Lularoe + Pregnancy once, but so. stinkin. practical. Glad I’ll have it for the postpartum days! 

Right now I’m watching… Elevation Worship Shine a Light Music Video on Youtube for Lincoln. He loves it. Over and over and over. 

Right now I’m listening to… Death To Selfie sermon series. So freaking good.

Right now kinda nervous about…  Oh there’s a million things to be nervous about, so I’m not nervous about anything. I can’t let my mind go there. No need to waste time typing it out– there isn’t anything to be done about things that haven’t happened yet. AM I RIGHT? 
Right now celebrating…  our ultrasound this morning was so great. She measured 7 pounds 9 ounces (Lincoln was born 7 lbs. 5 oz. at 39 and 4) and was practicing breathing, moving around, heartbeat great, fluid levels awesome– the doctor we saw said she got a “perfect score” on her biophysical profile. So that was like the best news ever. Really, I’m super duper at peace with the fact that I’m a vessel. I’ll be pregnant as long as I need to be, but in my head its engrained that after 40 weeks the placenta starts to not work as well, and fluid levels can drop, and the risk for stillbirth or a NICU stay increase. So seeing her, although I didn’t recognize anything but her head and belly, just doing great in there was really encouraging and just what I needed to make it another week. Really, ultrasounds are like not distinguishable at all to me, but the general “squishy baby” shape was LOUD AND CLEAR and that excites me. Can’t wait to see her. In a week! (or, I guess “less” but SO FAR THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE, ha!). 

Forty Weeks and Fries

I’m at the end of my fortieth week of pregnancy. Forty weeks of being pregnant. Teehee.  You guys, it’s a hoot! I’ve had an awesome pregnancy, been pretty chill with all the emotions, felt pretty great and then that due date came and a switch FLIPPED.

It’s a roller coaster. Minute to minute. I’m good. I’m great, God’s in this. Then NOPE WAIT GOD LEFT ME HERE WHY I AM HERE. And then, no, I’m good he’s in it. NOPE HE’S GONE AGAIN WHY ME. Literally within 60 seconds. It’s hilarious. Also, at times a bit tearful. A little exhausting also, I need a nap pretty much constantly.

For example, yesterday we stopped at Zaxby’s for lunch because Marshall had a free combo coupon. I asked him for a grilled chicken sandwich with no bun (so I could use my own gluten free bun at home) and fries. And he said, “Can you just eat some of my fries?”

DUN DUN DUN.

Here are all the things I thought in my head in the eternal 9 seconds before I responded out loud (with grace straight from mother Mary, if I can brag on myself for a second. All those Bible studies about marriage basically trained me for this week):

  • Why are you questioning me? (Think Evil Queen in Snow White voice, with hand wringing)
  • So, you don’t want any fries? I’m basically 41 weeks pregnant. I will eat all your fries. I will eat all the fries in the world. AND STILL BE HUNGRY. 
  • I gave you my fun money debit card to buy this for me with. I am spending my FUN MONEY ON ZAXBY’S. THIS IS WHAT IS FUN TO ME RIGHT NOW. GIVE ME FRIES.
  • Why do you question anything regarding food when it comes to me right now? Do you want to die?
  • I am going to cry. My chin is quivering. I just want my own fries. I am going to actually cry ugly sobbing tears right now. 

But instead of any of these things, I just calmly asked:

“Why can’t I have my own fries?” Legitimately wondering if there was some reason I didn’t see as to why I should eat some of his fries and not get my own.

And the man, whom I love more than life itself, rolled his eyes, sighed and said “you can have your own fries.” and walked away and got me my own fries. If he only knew how hard it was for me to ask that question, which was CLEARLY the least sassiest and most polite and productive thing to do in the situation. 

And here’s what I love about him even more, he doesn’t even know he rolls his eyes and sighs. He does it so seamlessly and quickly, I’d probably normally miss it. But I’m 40 weeks pregnant and I see eeeeevvvvverrrrryyything. Okay, so I didn’t see him do it. But really, he probably rolled his eyes. I mean, it was hard to see with his eyes facing the other direction. But I’m pretty sure I heard a sigh through the closed car door as he walked away. When you’re this pregnant you have super sonic hearing, seeing, and eating powers. You do. So that’s where I’m at. 40 weeks pregnant (I guess, 41 weeks today). I see everything, and I will eat all the fries.

(Read a similar story about Olive Garden and breadstick tears during my pregnancy with Lincoln here. Seriously. Pregnant ladies and food.)

And, in all seriousness…

Thank you one million times one million times one million for all the texts and emails and social media comments of friends thinking of us and praying for us. I cannot even really put into words how meaningful it is to know we have so many people loving us and praying for us. We’ve got a routine 41 week ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow to check on our girl and if she comes on her own it will be before the 15th when an induction is scheduled. We’re really doing good, feeling great (just sleepy and hungry, ha!) and are riding out this once in a lifetime experience of being THIS pregnant! I’m already seeing some really sweet ways God has blessed us and loved us in this wait time, and can’t wait to see how her birth goes and his hand in it all. He’s never failed us yet, and we know he’s here in the middle of the wait. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}

Strawberry Picking

Two weeks ago we met up with a few friends to go strawberry picking! In all honesty I was feeling super pregnant, super grumpy, super impatient and super thirsty and Lincoln was all of the toddler equivalents. I wanted to stay home but I’m so glad we went. We were driving each other bananas all morning, but this was a lovely thirty minute break from all the bananas driving. It was gorgeous weather!

Lincoln was bored with it at first and then realized that they were strawberries he could eat, and then he was ALL OVER THAT. He did really great and ate some whole ones (green leaves included) and then later found it was much better to just take one or two big juicy bites and then throw the rest of the berry somewhere. I didn’t realize it was pay by the bucket and didn’t fill all of ours up and by the time I paid it was too late and the toddler was too done. So, next time we know. Pile it up. All the strawberries. So fun to see these friends, and my dear friend Stephanie gave me some fresh eggs from a friend of hers and they were delicious. Great day. Great eating day.

Sidenote: My lil’ Nikon 28mm lens never disappoints. The color of these photos is incredible. Most of these are straight out of the camera, I had to tweak exposure on a few because the metering doesn’t line up 100% with the lens and my body, but I am just in awe. Yay eyeballs and cameras and weird lens configurations and adaptors.

THANKFUL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Paleoish Pregnancy

So, I’ve only been pregnant twice. The first time, I did it like they did in the movies. I slept a lot, laid around, treated myself to milkshakes, bagels and baked brie whenever I wanted, and went to yoga class like once (you know, that one scene in the movie where they go to yoga?) and I reaped the, uh, benefits.

Benefits being, I felt pretty awful. I was sick pretty much the entire time with something (sidenote: I was also teaching K-2 Spanish at the time so par for the course probably with a lowered immune system), I was exhausted and irritable and pretty much miserable for the full 39 weeks and 4 days. I had all the classic pregnancy symptoms– swelling, insomnia, fatigue. I gained like 60 pounds. I had eczema everywhere. My face broke out. My iron was low. I had more asthma attacks during that pregnancy than in the year beforehand. The heartburn was terrible. And really, the only thing anyone ever said was “yeah… hormones” in regards to any sort of question or complaint I had. No one ever said, “well, are you eating well?” I was just eating whatever sounded good which was bread and cheese and Dr. Pepper (and also, apple juice if I remember correctly). It wasn’t until the crazy postpartum eczema days when I got serious about researching and diet and learned so much about paleo that I began to plan for my next pregnancy when I would eat better. And honestly, at the time that pregnancy didn’t seem so bad! Until I had this one and I realized how awful I felt.

This is mostly for myself, just to remind me should we ever venture down this whole pregnancy thing again (sitting here at 40 weeks + 2 days thinking probably not) that there are some serious benefits to a paleoish pregnancy. And I say paleoish because I did not adhere to any sort of strict paleo anything at all during the 40 weeks. As soon as morning sickness hit me at 6 weeks, I was all about the comfort food: Goldfish crackers, the Cheddar Bo (ew), and bagels with cream cheese. I splurged here and there throughout, a handful of times on a burger, regular people donuts or a biscuit. Most of the time though, I tried to stay gluten/dairy free in my splurges if that meant making my own, or waiting (ugh, waiting!) until I could get to a GF/DF bakery to get whatever thing it was that I had to have.

The thing that is MOST encouraging to me is that even adapting an “80/20” approach, 80% paleo, 20% whatever else… (and honestly sometimes more a 60/40 approach) was that I still felt great and seemed to reap the benefits of being totally paleo, even after a splurge. I only had eczema flare up a few times and with good moisturizing and reeling the diet back in and focusing on nutrient dense veggies and things, it almost always resolved within a day or so. Current exception is on my hands, where it has been pretty itchy and flarey for a week or two now, but I’ve had several splurges and have been eating quite a bit of dairy daily out of self pity for being pregnant for so long. I’m also “past my due date” so you know, hormones, stress on the body or whatever.

So, I’m no doctor or healthcare professional. I realize that every pregnancy is different. There are lots of different factors for me this time: I’m having a girl, I have a toddler to chase, I’m not working outside the home (although I’d tell you, all “mommy wars” aside, working from home with a two year old is the hardest job I’ve ever had– teaching kindergarteners how to use Google Drive included, although I think easier than teaching high school…). BUT! I believe that food matters. What you use to fuel your body with is über important, in fact the most important regardless of whether you are not pregnant, don’t ever plan to be pregnant, want to be pregnant, are pregnant, breastfeeding or a dude. Food matters. It absolutely matters. And I’m thankful to have experienced life post-paleo, I’ll never ever go back to the standard American diet. I’ll splurge here and there, but vegetables are forever a big part of my life because they make me feel awesome (and they make my eczema go away, and I’m not stuffy anymore, and I don’t have allergies anymore, and I don’t have asthma attacks or headaches anymore, and the list goes on and on and on and on…).

PS: And in case you’re like “wait, what is paleo again?” it is a diet without dairy, grains, legumes and refined sugar. There’s a ton of philosophies out there and different adaptations but that is the basic framework. Some people do raw grassfed dairy, some people do white rice, some people eat beans… the idea (that I LOVE) is that you are eliminating all the inflammatory/potential trouble foods for a period of time (Whole30, anyone?) and then reintroducing them slowly and one by one to see how they make you feel. If they make you feel bad in anyway, don’t eat it. If you “tolerate” it well, eat it up. Obviously, if you have food allergies/intolerances/Celiac’s Disease/Autoimmune Disorders there are some things you should probably avoid forever, BUT the idea is to give your gut/body a break and feed it great things and then see how you handle the not-so-great. I totally recommend finding a doctor/healthcare professional who values diet in treating chronic illness and picking their brain! I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices my whole life for eczema, allergies, asthma, belly issues and it wasn’t until 2015 that I finally found a doctor who said “you don’t eat dairy and gluten right?” first thing when they met me. I literally hugged her. Check out the “we are paleo” page at the top for some of my favorite paleo bloggers and resources on the web! There are many! 

swelling
last time: Around 25 weeks I was not able to wear my wedding rings because my fingers were so swollen. I had cankles every day, I woke up every morning with puffy fingers. By the end I could only wear fake Uggs in two sizes larger than I normally wore.

this time: None until this week (40 weeks!). Literally no swelling, have been wearing my wedding rings the whole time up until this week. I honestly think it is because of the weather too, it’s been a bit warmer outside and my fingers are a little puffy and my toes are too (but Marshall says he doesn’t see it).

insomnia
last time: Basically I didn’t sleep at all during my pregnancy with Lincoln. I remember telling my friend about my insomnia and she was like “wait, I thought that was supposed to be third trimester” but it was the whole dang time.

this time: It’s been in spurts, but for the most part I’ve slept great up until the past few weeks when I’d wake up to pee and not be able to go back to sleep. Usually if I can get up to pee before 3am I am good, but after 3am I can’t get back to sleep. Probably also contributing factors is I’ve learned how to “get ready for bed”.  Maintaining good work boundaries has helped with this, relaxing in the evenings before bed and I also diffuse lavender most nights and use a humidifier. All these things help, I think.

fatigue
last time: I was so tired the whole time. Just always exhausted.

this time: I was so tired first trimester, slept for most of it. Once 16 weeks came though I felt great and did up until like 35 weeks when I got another batch of exhaustion. I was sleeping all night and going to bed way early and also napping during the day to get by. In general though, my energy level has been awesome and honestly better than when I was paleo and NOT pregnant (which I don’t freaking understand). We were out walking over the weekend and Marshall told me I was doing such a great job of “hanging in there” and I was like what are you talking about? I feel amazing! and it is so weird to me. I was literally 40 weeks pregnant walking uphill, sweating profusely and smiling and chatting with Marshall. So weird. So so so so weird. So not “me”. I really wonder if maybe I’m going to be running marathons or something crazy after this baby. Barely recognize myself.

weight gain
last time: I was ~130 when I got pregnant with Lincoln. I lost about 10 pounds first trimester from all the puking, and before I delivered at my last appointment I was 179 which freaked me out so I didn’t look at the scale again until several weeks after I delivered. So +50 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight, but 60 if you include gaining back the 10 I lost….

this time: I had been maintaining at around 120 since really going paleo (but I never weighed myself because my clothes always fit! I was never bloated! Did not used to be the case!). I weighed myself this morning and at 40 weeks + 2 I am 148. BLOWS MY MIND. Even all the emotional eating splurges lately (GF/DF treats have sugar too, you guys) I’m still on track to gain the “recommended” 30 pounds and nothing more even if I go to 42 weeks. Blows my mind. Blows my mind! Like two Sundays ago I had 4 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in one sitting and the next day I went to Dunkin and had 3 more. And then this past Sunday I went to Rise and had a regular person biscuit (bacon egg and cheese, baby) and two doughnuts. I don’t even understand it.

eczema
last time: It was terrible. It was everywhere. My belly, my sides, my hands, my arms, my shoulders, my back, my face, my legs, my eyelids. So bad.

this time: A few localized places. I’ve had a few patches pop up on my face, but with targeted moisturizing they’ve gone away (seriously, I fell in love with the Beauty Counter Nourishing line this pregnancy because of this. So far I’ve only been able to save up enough for the face wash, but soon I’m gonna get the rest of it!). The inside of my arms have kept a patch or two the whole time, my hands are pretty flared right now but other than that no issues. After my big Rise Splurge I had a spot pop up on my cheek but it has since settled.

break outs
last time: Everywhere. My chin, cheeks and forehead. The whole time. Make up was my BFF.

this time: Not a ton! Just on my chin and cheeks some and honestly only in the past couple of weeks. Another reason I liked the Beauty Counter stuff, it helped clear my face up but improved my eczema too. So great!

low iron
last time: I had been anemic pretty much my whole life, pregnancy was no exception. Around 20 weeks I went on an iron supplement to keep my levels normal.

this time: NO ISSUES. I’ve been at 12 at every single blood draw for the first time in my whole life.

asthma
last time: I had to use my inhaler a ton, but again I was sick, it was cold/flu season and used to be pretty normal for me if I had a cold/respiratory infection.

this time: I don’t even have an inhaler anymore. I did have a few nights of I can’t breathe moments, but I realized finally that it was anxiety (yay? Ha not really) and not actually asthma. There was a perfect storm of me being a little too warm, a little too heartburney and laying down and feeling like I was being smothered from the inside by a baby in my lungs that happened a few times and we realized that is what caused it. I’d be half asleep, feel like I was suffocating and then freak the eff out, and it made everything worse. BUT factor in a good temperature for sleeping (74º on our thermostat and not a degree higher) + a humidifier right beside my bed + avoiding heartburn (no coffee or chocolate after 12noon + Maty’s Heartburn relief if needed) and diffusing lavender made a world of difference and I’ve had no issues since really. If I start to feel panicky like I can’t breathe I made sure all the things are going and sit down and breathe in the humidifier for a bit and then I’m good. No more freakouts. (Having had asthma my whole life and being forced to take swim lessons for most of my childhood makes me really really anxious when I feel like I can’t get a deep breath. Like really bad. Really really anxious.) Moral of the story: no asthma attacks, period

heartburn
last time: It started around 6 weeks and stayed until like 2 days after delivery. I thought I had strep throat a few times because it burned my throat so bad, and this was also probably a contributing factor in the insomnia because I couldn’t lay down.

this time: Like none, except for when I took the freaking prenatal vitamin. I switched to the Flintstones multi-vitamin around 20 weeks with no issues and have been HEARTBURN FREE until like the last 2 weeks. Coffee and chocolate are what kill me, and then water  makes it worse. But not bad enough to actually stop drinking coffee or eating chocolate…

So, there you have it! My anecdotal evidence of a paleoish pregnancy! I’ve been “prelaboring” off and on for a few weeks now (that whole phrase is crazy to me) so no telling when this girl will actually come or not, but I am excited to see how/if this delivery is different than with Lincoln. My hope is it’s speedy (and soon, ha!) but I’ll be super interested to see if my balanced hormones and awesome feeling play a part in early/active labor and postpartum. More posts to come!

Right Now: 38.5 weeks

Right now we’re guessing…  38 weeks and 4ish days. 


Right now I’m feeling pregnant in that… Ginormous belly, super sleepy, ravenous, peepee all day. 

Visited the midwife on Tuesday– girly is still head down, I’ve only gained .6 of ONE POUND since 36 weeks (yeah, I went to Chipotle AND Panera after that appointment and ate a lot), and now we just wait. Bag is packed, “Go Time” list is on the fridge with who to call and in what order to make sure all our dogs/toddlers/stuff is handled. My next appointment isn’t until May 4th (40 weeks 3 days), so really just…waiting. Also, I’ve reached the point in pregnancy where my appearance is alarming to people. Constantly offering me chairs and water and sympathetic looks– which is sweet! But, in all honesty, I’d rather just not be noticeable. 🙂 It would be nice to run my errands and do my life and not have strangers talk to me constantly and ask me how I’m feeling. Although, I am glad that dumb giraffe had her baby. I was tired of giraffe small talk. Do I sound really grumpy? I’m not that grumpy. I’m really not. 

Anywho, operating under the assumption that this our last pregnancy and this is the last time I’ll be this big, this pregnant, this everything… and it is helping my perspective. Trying to enjoy it and take every day as it comes and stop overanalyzing every twinge. We already know we’re having a girl, we know she’ll be here AT LEAST before May 14th (that will be 42 weeks at which point an induction or c-section would be performed) so there aren’t many surprises left– adjusting my perspective to enjoy it when it comes! Maybe we’ll have the big dramatic water breaking in public thing (although that wouldn’t help with the whole being alarming/noticeable thing). Although, I’m hopeful it will come on quickly and without doubt! Praying for a clear LABOR IS STARTING sign– and that we have enough time to get everybody where they need to be before she comes. I’m looking forward to laboring in the tub at the birth center. 

Right now I’m eating… paleoish to the max! I’ve had some dairy (mostly in the form of cheese and sour cream at Chipotle in the past two weeks) and I had a regular person burrito at Moe’s because I needed it (I really did– the steak and beans + rice were perfection). Really just trying to be honest with myself at this point– gluten and dairy don’t make me feel great. I usually get congested in my nose and it gives me a belly ache on some level, so it’s a lot easier for me to decipher “Is this a contraction?” if I take out the gluten/dairy factor. Also, congestion in my nose + giant baby in my abdomen squishing my lungs = instant anxiety about being able to breathe. So trying to love In Labor Kellie of the Future by not indulging and falling face first into a pizza. Because I’d kill a whole pizza. But I would also feel… terrible. 

Also, the almonds have forgiven me! After a stomach bug (that really just made me nauseous for 48 hours) right after Christmas 2015 I have had a very intense aversion to almond milk and almond butter (and rosemary…). Literally in the past month I cannot eat enough almond butter and I am craving almond milk like a weirdo. It only took 1.5 years, but yay. 

Right now I’m loving…  sleep. I pretty much have to nap every day to stay alive. Sleeping pretty great at night (once I fall asleep) only getting up once to pee usually. Also, we set up a fan in our bedroom and I love that. The first night we used it I slept until 8:30am. I don’t think Lincoln did, but I didn’t hear him AT ALL. The best sleep of my life. 

Right now, like last time… I don’t have a lot of clothes to wear. Also, my undies are too small.

Right now, this is different than last time in that…  I am feeling awesome and am not really anxious about birth/what is to come. 

Right now I’m looking forward to…  just knowing when she’s coming 🙂 I know it’s impossible to know, but there are A LOT of fun things in the next two weeks that I want to go to, and it would be nice to just know. Also, looking forward to knowing her temperament, how hard it’s going to be with two kids when I’m solo. We’ve talked about some trips this summer and some weekend trips for Marshall to go play bass and I am so hesitant to give him the green light, not knowing if I’ll be a complete basket case with both kids overnight by myself. Looking forward to a time where everything isn’t so “unknown”, I guess. 

Right now I’m reading… Ummmmm…..nothing. Finishing up Mrs. Betterhalf study today, actually. I should figure out what to read next. 

Right now I’m wearing…  the ultimate capsule wardrobe. I have one pair of maternity shorts, one black maxi skirt, one colorful maxi skirt and like 4 shirts and 4 dresses that are suitable for wearing in public. I have a couple of oversized tees and one pair of gym shorts that I wear at night for sleeping. I’m actually totally cool with my lack of options, and I’ve MISPLACED(!??!) my black Lularoe leggings which bums me out. They totally still fit. 

Right now I’m watching… Marshall and I are watching Prison Break on Netflix, and when I’m working or solo I’m re-watching White Collar (again), and Season 6 of New Girl. In this moment Lincoln and I are watching Trolls. I think he’s growth spurting, kinda sleepy, kinda grumpy, eating everything in sight. So we went to the Redbox. 

Right now I’m listening to… Listened to a bunch of The Birth Hour podcast, but then I got kinda freaked out about labor so I stopped listening. It was encouraging, but hearing this one lady talk over and over and over and over about how awful her labor was was…. not encouraging.

Right now kinda nervous about…  right now? No nerves really! Work is under control, we have lists, bags packed, freezer stocked, plans A B and C for what to do with Lincoln depending on what time of day it is and who is in or out of town/at work. We are as ready as we can be. I also don’t really have this need to have everything perfect because we aren’t going to be away from home for a long time. Less than a day, really… and while it would be nice to have everything hanging on her walls, it’s not really vital to us bringing her home. I may be not remembering correctly, but I know I’ll be in the bed resting a lot of the time, but I also feel like with the Solly Wrap I can still move around the house comfortably toting her around to finish up anything/play with Lincoln/cook/etc. 

Right now celebrating…  I got a new camera. I am so happy. Marshall found a Mark ii for $800 on Amazon marketplace with fewer actuations than mine that died a couple weeks ago. Canon had quoted around $600 for a repair of mine, and this one is in way better shape and has less wear. We are still on track to pay off my student loans this summer, just no big payment this month which is totally fine. I wanted to be cool and not be a brat and wait a little bit for a new camera, but every time I talked about how I was sad to bring Emmeline home with no camera and I would be legitimately surprised that I would burst into tears talking about it. This turned out to be a happy compromise and having my camera the past 24 hours has been THE BEST. Especially since it doesn’t really cause us any financial hardship, and not postponing our debt goal. Not sure why we didn’t think of it sooner…. I was kind of having an identity crisis about what kind of camera to upgrade to, but honestly spending more than $1000 on anything felt like too much pressure. I want this to be our family camera that I can carry around with kids and stuff, not something I am too scared to touch or take with us. So feeling very very very thankful! Like exploding grateful. Also now that this is settled I made travel plans to go to Indiana this summer for a quick day trip (!) to do some family photos for dear friends, in June I’ll take some photos at another friend’s little girl’s first birthday party, and just having it to take video and photos of Emmeline’s first days will be super special. Thankful for these little tools. 

PS: I totally sat outside at Starbucks and self timered like a total cool kid. Dat belly tho. 

I’m a tulip bulb.

This spring our tulips bloomed for the first time. I planted at least twenty bulbs and only three of them grew to completion, but they were so gorgeous. They were also surprisingly short lived, which is good to know for future gardening. Watching them grow and bloom though was really exciting for me, I’m just amazed by nature and the process of it all. 
When we first started going to Elevation I was coming out of a really challenging and refining season of postpartum anxiety and severe postpartum eczema, and one week pastor Steven preached a sermon called the seed is on schedule. It was during this sermon that I finally understood why people would get up and clap and shout things during his teaching because like everything he said, I was like YES! THIS IS ME! THIS IS LIFE! THIS IS EVERYTHING! AMEN! SO GOOD! Watching the bulbs grow into these beautiful flowers, having had planted them in the ground in the fall unsure if they’d do anything at all, was a miracle in itself. They grew so strong, so tall, so certain of their fate after sitting in the darkness of the dirt for literally months of winter coldness. So remarkable. If I were a tulip bulb, I’d surely wonder at some point if I had been forgotten, if maybe a mistake had been made because surely I was meant to be a tall, beautiful flower, not to spend most of my life sitting in the cold, dark earth. Which is totally how I felt in those first months of Lincoln’s life. I was meant to be more, not trapped in the dark.
I see so many parallels in my pregnancies and nature and seasons, I’m so thankful for the way God has designed it all. We welcomed Lincoln in the winter, and I literally felt like a tulip bulb. Trapped in the cold, dark, earth– unsure of my new territory, unsure of everything to come, unsure of why I was there. It was necessary for me to be there, though. I had to grow, I had to develop, I had to mature so that I could bloom and grow strong and tall as a mom, wife and woman. Although it was dark and scary at times, it was there that I became what I was intended to be, just like a tulip. 
I’m prepared for some more dark earth time, and some of this pregnancy has been that for sure. There have been moments, some days, some weeks even of darkness wondering what it will look like for me when this baby comes and what our new normal will be like. Preparing emotionally, and logistically to grow my heart with room for two has been a process that is only just beginning. I’m excited, open, expectant, and ready to bloom. 

Right Now: 37.5 weeks



Right now we’re guessing…  37 weeks 5 days


Right now I’m feeling pregnant in that… huge belly, Braxton Hicks out the wazoo, some “strong” ones, tired, emotional. Kinda grumpy, don’t really want to be grumpy which is creating some residual “grumpy with myself for being grumpy” grumps. 

Right now I’m eating… pretty much paleo, some gluten free things, some dairy. 

Right now I’m loving…  this slow spring break week with Lincoln. Many of my students are on break so they aren’t as communicative as normal, and I’ve prepped a lot of work ahead of time so I’m sleeping in a bit and we are just being kinda lazy and slow paced. It’s really nice. 

Right now, like last time… My eczema is flaring a bit, but differently it is ONLY on my hands and inside my arms. A major improvement from last pregnancy and postpartum. It’s hard to even complain or feel bummed about it, even in the “flare” it’s still so much better than it was. So thankful for my healing. God is the best.

Also, last time at 37 weeks I was diagnosed with the flu, and over the weekend I had a 24 hour throw up stomach bug. Talk about deja vu. It was pretty gross, but did not induce a single contraction (just BH. All the BH) and I was able to sleep quite a bit when I wasn’t puking. What are the odds though?!?

And also, also like last time my camera mysteriously broke. Yep, just stopped working. I got an ambiguous error code, Googled, tried all the things, called Southeastern Camera and they recommended sending it to Canon. I got the diagnostic and repair estimate yesterday (almost $700 to replace mainboard) so we decided to just have it sent back and to save up for a new one. I’m bummed, to say the least. I cried quite a bit yesterday about not having it when Emmeline is born. I was really wanting to do some cool video at the birth center after her birth and to take my own newborn photos and our own “every day” photos of those early days. We’re gonna make it work and it’s fine, but it’s kind of sent me spiraling into another photo identity crisis, I feel like part of my body is missing. It’s going to be okay though! It will be A OK. Just kinda hard to believe it happened AGAIN and that I just sold my spare camera that literally sat untouched for over a year like a week before it died. Just, crazy bananas timing. I guess that’s what happens when you’re $5k away from paying off your student loans and you have to decide what you want more, a new camera NOW or to be debt free NOW. I feel like debt free NOW vs. October is the “right” choice, but I want a camera. Waaah. Okay, whining over. 


Right now, this is different than last time in that…  It’s going by so fast. And I’ve been more emotional like this week than I ever have in my life. Yesterday I wept through putting Lincoln down for nap and just laid and snuggled him for a long time and watched him sleep like a total creeper. Our just the two of us days have been so sweet and wonderful, and I have zero regrets. It just went by a lot faster than I anticipated! 

Also, the weight gain is CRAZY. If I continue gaining at this pace and deliver at 40 weeks, I will have gained a total of 30 pounds EXACTLY. SO different from Lincoln, where I weighed a legitimate forty pounds more at this point. I really could care less about the whole weight thing (really just more concerned with a whole body eczema flare– that is to me what I think “baby weight” is to a lot of moms), I know that with eating well, sleeping, walking (etc) afterwards the weight will come off as needed (or my body will hoard it for milk-making like it did last time)– nothing is permanent. But it’s just crazy how different this has been with my body actually, like, healthy. 
Right now I’m looking forward to…  labor! What?! Yeah. So, I’ve had a bunch of random contractions and I’m excited for the real deal. 

Right now I’m reading…  Um, pretty much just what’s on Instagram. And “how to jumpstart labor” threads on Facebook mom groups. No shame. 

Right now I’m wearing…  oversized t-shirts. I got two XXL man shirts at Target for $3 each, one has Ninja Turtles on it and the other has Curious George on it and I’m just rotating them. My Lularoe Julia dresses still fit (pretty much a cute oversized T) and I have a couple of maxi skirts on repeat. Thankful for the warm weather for sure, for sure. Also, flip flops. I like flip flops. 

Right now I’m watching… Right now we are watching Chuggington. Spring Break, woop woop. Also watched Madagascar and the Netflix Madagascar holiday special quite a few hundred times already this week. 

Right now I’m listening to… listening through the Seven Mile Miracle series via podcast. Because of our weird serving schedule and FPU and being sick and randomness I haven’t caught every week “live” so catching up– it’s so good. Can’t wait to read the book someday.

Right now kinda nervous about…  a little nervous that I have a forever pre-labor ahead of me again. There have been a few times in the past couple of days where there’s been significant contractioning for half an hour or so and then it’ll just stop. Trying to stay positive and walk, eat all the pineapple and trust that God’s timing is perfect! I’m really not “over it” in terms of pregnancy, I’ve felt great and still feel great, I think it’s just knowing that she *could* come any day and that my body is getting ready has me like LET’S DO THIS OK? I forgot what a mental struggle the last stretch is. Just, all the mind games. All the “is this it? Is this labor? Is it starting?” Praying for myself in that I can let it go and just be surprised when labor starts. My midwives won’t check for dilation until my due date, so trying to adjust my perspective to enjoy one of life’s greatest surprises and not focus on the what ifs. 
Right now celebrating…  It took me longer than I’d like to admit to think of something to write here. The past day or so I’ve been focusing on the negatives a bit (like OH FEELING LIKE IM GONNA BE PREGNANT FOREVER and MY CAMERA DIED and I HAD THE PUKES AND IT WAS TERRIBLE) so it’s good for me to reflect a bit. Honestly, the past few weeks have been so wonderful. I have the most wonderful friends– all around. Some great friends from church threw a shower for me a few weeks ago and prayed over us (and I ugly cried) and it was such a fulfillment of what God whispered to me two years and some change ago during my darkest days as a new mom. I craved real community and real friendship, with no pretense, just authenticity and he has given me such a special group at Elevation. The thing is too, is it’s not even like a real “group” like, it’s just people I’ve met and come to know by serving with them and hanging out every now and then, and it’s just been so natural and so real and everything my heart needed. Having them pray over me and our family was just the biggest heart and soul hug, and I could not be more grateful. Celebrating that! Celebrating fulfilled promises and answered heart prayers and that the very best is coming. It always is. 

Right Now: 33.5 weeks!




Right now we’re guessing…  33 weeks and 4 days

Right now I’m feeling pregnant in that… big third trimester belly, baby kicks and baby cartwheels

Right now I’m eating… a lot! Nausea has come back some and craving a lot of starchy carb things. A lot of gluten free bagels with goat cheese, rice with grass fed butter and salt, and cramming veggies when I can without wanting to hurl. Somewhat intermittent aversion to poultry is back, which is kind of a bummer. 

Right now I’m loving…  this season. Lincoln is so fun, work is crazy but I’m getting better about boundaries and protecting my joy, sanity and Kellie time. 🙂 It’s a CONSTANT battle and I have to be intentional, but this is the greatest. 

Right now, like last time… heartburn comes at night and has made falling asleep tricky. I have discovered though that if I stay away from coffee and chocolate after noon, it’s not as bad and the lemon La Croix bubbly water stuff (but Aldi version) really helps settle things before sleeping. 

Right now, this is different than last time in that…  I feel awesome. I talked with my chiropractor about it, and there are some aches and pains that come and go, and the occasional shooting pain through all my lady parts that makes me wonder if a baby is about to slide out but I feel so good. I even had a little cold last week and I wasn’t feeling 100% and wasn’t sleeping great, but still bounced back pretty quickly and I feel awesome. If I’m not feeling good I can really assess: am I drinking enough water today? Do I need a good for me snack? Have I been on my feet too much, do I need to rest? and usually one of those three things helps. 
Right now I’m looking forward to…  This baby girl’s birth. I tell you what, nerves for the intense pain aside, I am so looking forward to experiencing labor again a little more experienced than last time. We’ve never really set a number of kids that we wanted to have so this could totally be my last pregnancy, and I am savoring. It’s so special, such a special season. 

Right now I’m reading…  doing the Mrs. Betterhalf study with my eGroup. I still have the rest of the Respect Dare (seriously) and Grace Not Perfection (seriously) to finish. Up next is the Bradley Method book that my friend Amber let me borrow.

Right now I’m wearing…  still quite a bit of “normal clothes”. Several Lularoe leggings still fit and two friends let me borrow maternity pants (one pair of jeans, one pair of black jeans) and I’m set. My dresses fit well, skirts fit well, I have plenty of tops with room to grow– spring weather can come back now! 

Right now I’m watching… just finished watching “White Collar” again while I worked. So good. 

Right now I’m listening to… Dave Ramsey podcast! The debt free screams are like crack to me right now. See why below…

Right now kinda nervous about…  currently in this moment, absolutely nothing. I am filled with what can only be defined as peace— a borderline supernatural peace. 
However, a few weeks ago I started spiraling a bit down the path of anxiety over anything/everything and had a long talk with my midwife about it. After dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety after Lincoln’s birth for so long without help and getting off of Zoloft during first trimester, I have been super honed in on my thoughts and feelings this pregnancy. Being alone most of the time with a toddler and working online leaves a bit of a deficit for me with “real people interaction” which is a lot of time to be alone with yourself when you’ve got something on your mind. There were a couple of days where I was kind of in a funk, and really wasn’t excited about anything. Really looking forward to my life two months from now and beyond (having a baby, stumbling through the last month of the semester with a newborn, starting a new school year in the fall with two kids and losing my kid-free work time, and just… working and wrangling kids for the next of forever?) just exhausted me and made me feel kinda hopeless. The funk persisted for a week or so and then I had an appointment with my midwife and asked about going back on Zoloft as soon as baby is born. I really did not want to go on it during pregnancy (there are some studies about withdrawal symptoms in newborns and the potential for respiratory issues in newborns if mom is on it– I was only on 50mg so the likelihood is super duper small for us, but I just am not cool with risking it– period. Especially considering how difficult weaning from Zoloft was for me and the physical withdrawal symptoms). 
Side note: midwife care is amazing. She talked to me for so long about what was going on and making me feeling this way and helping me decipher between “normal” pregnancy mood swings, options for medicines during pregnancy and after that are compatible with breastfeeding, and most of all she was just so encouraging and LIFE giving. I forget that being a mom is a lot. I forget that being pregnant is a lot. I forget that working from home full time is a lot. I forget that adding any/all of these things together is a lot. She reminded me that this is a hard season filled with a lot of demands and needing medicine to help me be my best for myself, my husband, my kids (! still not used to saying that) is nothing to be ashamed of or to take lightly. There was a time where I was ashamed about being on medicine for depression and anxiety, but those days are gone, thank goodness. I could care less what others may think about me in that regard, and I honestly think more women struggle with it than admit to it and for them to hear a “me too!” is more important than anything. End sidenote. Also, get a midwife! 
Anyway– to sum it up, she encouraged me to dry a combo of a B complex vitamin supplement and a Vitamin D supplement and within a day I could tell a BIG difference in my outlook. So crazy how it works like that. She said to keep walking and being outside (and that light therapy is good too!) and eat veggies and if I feel like Zoloft is something I want before baby comes that it would be totally fine and we’d cross that bridge when we get there. Did I mention I love midwife care? I legitimately left the appointment feeling SO LOVED. 
Right now celebrating… well, people. This is the craziest thing. According to the spreadsheets, we are going to be done with our debt (except for the house) in June. Like, this June. Like, not April, not May, but JUNE. I can’t even really process this. There are a few things that have to happen, 1) we have to stay in budget (which we’ve already planned for excessive things we need to buy for baby, diapers, a Dock a Tot (yeah, I want one, etc)). There will be a post or a series of posts about all that, but man. What a world Emmeline Joy is going to be born into. So yeah, WE ARE CELEBRATING THAT! We planned on it being the fall, so if something changes or I end up delivering at the hospital it will be the fall, which is totally fine and amazing but man. What a journey!