The end of 2015

I think it’s been nearly a year (well almost but not quite) since I last wrote and what’s funny is that I have a draft sitting on my desktop about Nella’s 1st birthday back in July! The year keeps speeding up as we get older and life is filled with different events and happenings. Here we are at the end of 2015, about to get ready for 2016 with all of it’s newness and readiness. Ready to make 2016 THE year.

What 2015 has taught me was to be in the present. I feel I’m very much a planner. It might not show up in my every day life, but that I like to see things a week from now, a month, a few months from now. I like to have little milestones through the 12 months of the year so being in the present can sometimes get away from me. But now, especially having Nella, being in the present is a gift in itself.

About a month after Nella’s first birthday, we all went on our first real family vacation. I say real because the very first time we travelled as a family was when Nella was just about 4 1/2 months old and she basically slept, squirmed and chilled the entire time. This time she was 13 months old and walking and toddling and taking everything in. We ventured off to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for a week. Tony and I had never been there before and we have always wanted to go, so right around Christmastime last year purchased Virgin Air tickets and booked our AirBnB’s for our two locations. We spent 2-3 days in Portland and the rest of the time in Seattle. It will probably go down as one of my favorite trips so far.

Everything was unfamiliar in the most beautiful of ways. Traveling with a baby toddler, trying out an AirBnb, adventuring through uncharted lands of lush greens and majestic mountains. We certainly were far, far away from Texas. And it was so wonderful. Nella did AMAZING throughout the whole trip. She did great flying and since everything we did while we were in the PNW required driving at least 2 hours she was in her car seat a lot and she was a trooper. By the end of the trip she realized she didn’t like being put in her car seat but she would suck it up and remember she loved staring out the window once we hit the pavement. The scenery was beautiful and the culture was so different. One of my greatest joys was seeing it all through Nella’s eyes. She took EVERY. SINGLE. THING. in and truly appreciated it. She was fascinated. Perplexed. Awed. It was so fun just watching her explore this big world around her.

It was a busy trip but such a good one for all of us. It truly reminded me to be in the present. Of course, we all can’t have epic trips all the time to put us in that mindset but it is really is so important to be in the present.

Psalm 118:24, ESV “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

This verse is one that I’ve heard a lot and such a ‘simple’ verse but I love it. Because it tells you exactly what we should be doing. Rejoicing for THIS day. When I stop to think about what this verse is truly saying, I realize that this specific day is one that the Lord has made. I wake up and the day as begun and it began with the Lord’s creation. HE has opened my eyes. HE has given me life. HE has given me movement. And I REJOICE.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the weeks and moments and busyness of life that we forget to stop and be GLAD in today. Especially now that we’ve hit the holiday season, November-December just FLIES by. We had a Christmas party at the beginning of December and I was busy getting ready for it the couple hours leading up to it and the house was buzzing as people came in but there were a few moments where I stole myself away and just thanked the Lord for the people he’s put in our life and at this moment we were just rejoicing and fellowshipping and enJOYing each others’ presence. 

So as we start to wrap up this year, I pray that these last few weeks and going into 2016 are filled with beautiful moments. Moments that bring you joy and celebration. Rest and Rejoice in the Lord!

2014

What better way to start 2015 (or 3 months in..) with a reflection post of 2014.

2014 was a big year for us, no doubt about that. We started the new year in Tennessee and ended it in Texas. The beginning of 2014 was bittersweet. We moved from our home of 6-ish years to our home state at the end of January. There were a lot of “see you laters” between my work, Tony’s work, and our church families. BMI had a little baby/going away dessert reception that was a surprise. Our sweet, sweet friends threw us a going away texas bbq dinner. And our church family prayed over us in our last service.

Moving back to Texas was and still is an adjustment. We moved into my parents house, to save money as I didn’t have a job lined up and just to help save money for a house. I was in my 2nd trimester and Tony just booked up his spring plans with a tour. I applied for a few jobs but never got one, which I was actually thankful for because it allowed me to rest and get ready for our baby girl.

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The spring felt like eternity to me since I wasn’t working and Tony was on the road full time from February to April. It was a blessing because that was our main source of income as I wasn’t working, but it was a little lonely at times since he was out traveling so much. In May I was able to tag along on one of his work trips and we made it a mini babymoon.

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Summer time came and the heat welcomed us with open arms. I am so thankful I was due more in the beginning of the summer than in August or September. Once Tony was home, we began working on the nursery. We antique shopped and craiglisted for several items that included her dresser, nightstand and crib. We were able to paint her room and furniture and put it all together. I love the way her nursery turned it out. It was a mix of old and new, Tennessee and Texas and full of love. That last month of my pregnancy, I would go in there a lot and just sit in the rocker imagining how life would be with a baby. I knew I would be spending a lot of time in that rocker for the next couple of months at least.  I day dreamed of what our daughter would be like. I couldn’t wait to see what she looked like.

Nella was born two days before my actual due date and it was a beautiful weekend to have a baby. She just turned 8 months this past weekend (a new post coming soon) and I can NOT believe it. This past summer was filled with newness and sweetness. We became parents to a beautiful baby girl and began a new chapter in our story.

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In the start of the fall, Tony booked himself on a 2-3 week international gig. My mother-in-law traveled to Italy for a month. My parents went on an alaskan cruise and vacationed around the united states for a month. It just so happened, all these trips happened at the same time and it was just Nella and I at home.  I learned a lot during this time together. I had been pretty anxious about this week or so alone with her because just before this, she hadn’t been sleeping through the night, which meant I hadn’t either and it started to take a toll on me. But just when I thought I didn’t know how I’d be able to take care of her by myself, she started sleeping through the night and looking back, I’m so thankful for that time alone. She relied completely on me to take care of her and I welcomed that opportunity. I kept reminding myself that she wouldn’t be that little forever and this was a sweet sweet time that would go by all too fast. She was amazing during that 1 week. She slept through the night, kept to a pretty good schedule and was just learning how to smile, so her sweetness level jumped even higher. But I will say, I didn’t do it alone. A few of my dearest friends would come over in the evenings so that I could shower and walk Rhody, keep me company and/or would stay the night so I wouldn’t be alone. I am SO thankful for these sweet friends that took their time to help serve my daughter and I.

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After Tony and my parents came home, the rest of the fall flew by. Tony and I enjoyed lots of free days going on walks, going on picnics and just enjoying ourselves. I knew I was going to start looking for a job around the end of fall so we cherished these last moments before I went back to work.

The holidays were so wonderful. It’s so special to be able to spend it with family and friends. It was our first holidays with Nella and they were so special. She is too young to remember them or even realize what’s going on but I’ll never forget this Thanksgiving and Christmas with her.

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We ended the year with a new tradition. Dinner at Cracker Barrel and back at home on the couch with pajamas.

2014 was such an amazing year. We grew, we stretched, we celebrated life, and we cherished each moment. It was almost sad to see 2014 go but I can’t wait to see what 2015 will hold! Nella will turn 1, which is hard to believe, and we’ve got a couple of family trips already planned. So 2015..the Williams are ready for you!


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New moms and moms-to-be

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I recently read this article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenny-studenroth-gerson/they-shouldve-warned-me_b_6471948.html) and this was pretty on point. Here’s my version:

When I announced I was pregnant, I had a lot of mothers express their advice. It was helpful, honest, and some of it a little daunting at times. A lot of them concluded “get your sleep now” and then followed with a small laugh and a “but it’s so worth it.”

But really..it is SO worth it.

When I first had Nella, it was an emotional 2 weeks. These are some of the thoughts that I had on a regular basis:

Oh my gosh..can I really do this? What the heck am I supposed to do? I just want to sleep. Tony gets the easy part because he doesn’t have to do these every 2 hour feedings. I can’t imagine feeling normal after this. I just need help. Please go to sleep, pleeease go to sleep. She doesn’t get enough milk from me, I’m a terrible mom.

No one told me that I would cry uncontrollably at the drop of a hat. Or that it was just plain HARD. Those first two weeks (and maybe more) are all about adjustment and challenge and newness. You’ve just brought in this miracle into the world. Your body goes through a ridiculously amazing journey. Your hormones and emotions are heightened. You have no idea what to do with this little baby.

But…at the same time you do. At least I did. I didn’t necessarily know what to do in certain situations but I knew that I became a mom and that I was HER mom. I knew that even though I hadn’t gotten the glorious amount of sleep that I used to get, it was more than okay. It was more than okay because looking down at this little babe, my heart felt like it was going to burst every time. I didn’t think it was possible to feel so full and whole than when you become a mother to a precious precious child. The exhaustion fades away when you pick up your child from her crib and rock her in your arms. Because in that moment you switch from all about me to all about her. My priority in life changed and she was my priority. To comfort her when she was cried because she didn’t know this new world she was brought into. To hold her in my arms and show her I am a safe place that she can always turn to. The joy of knowing that she was my daughter overpowered any challenge I faced with rocking emotions and uncontrollable hormones.

A friend of mine once told me that after she had her son and someone asked her how it was going, she would burst out of happiness. She said that it was truly a joy to serve him. And that’s what I learned. It’s an absolute joy to serve my daughter. To put her needs before mine is a no-brainer. I realized I stepped into the motherhood role not knowing anything but gained such a reward of being a mother. I had no idea motherhood would be such an amazing privilege. In the moments where I would wake up incredibly tired and pleading she would sleep for just a few more minutes, it all melted away as soon as I stepped into her room and looked at her sweet sweet face. As soon as I picked her up, I didn’t care too much about what time it was in the morning. Those sweet early morning moments where it was just me and her, were one of the greatest memories I’ll hold dear. Because in those moments, my heart was full and I couldn’t imagine loving her even more than I did before.

So yes, everyone says get your sleep now! And resting while you can is definitely a great idea if you have the opportunity..but enjoy these first few moments and weeks where you and your child get to know each other. This exhausting newness is just a season but it is just such an amazing season. You will get your rest back and feel normal again. But these first few weeks are heart filling and satisfying. I am so grateful the Lord made me a mother and cannot wait to see Nella grow up..well I can😉 but I look forward to seeing her grow and experiencing everything new.

Moms..This miracle of a baby is yours by the grace of God and ultimately, His. And I praise the Lord you are about to experience this wonderful, life-giving journey.

And I know I’m only nearly 7 months in and am incredibly blessed to have the help from my parents and Tony’s.

a very Merry Christmas

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I put a picture on Instagram last week with the caption mentioning that it was pretty safe to say that Nella was the greatest gift I have been given this year and probably years to come. It was her first Christmas and even though she was too young to really be excited about it, it was still a pretty special Christmas.

This time last year, I was about 11ish? weeks pregnant with her. We found out we were pregnant the weekend of Chris and Megan’s wedding. Actually, it was the day we came home from Texas. We had been trying for a little over a year and every time I took a test, I would take a deep breath in and hold it. After about a year of trying, we thought I could go see a doctor just to make sure everything was working right before we started to “worry”. After a few blood tests, my doctor put me on Clomid when she found out I wasn’t ovulating. After a couple of cycles of clomid and no successful pink sign, we decided we would wait until we moved back to Dallas and got settled in, which would be about 2 more months.

We had gone down to Cushing, TX for the wedding of Tony’s younger brother Chris. By this time, I hadn’t gotten my period but had already taken a pregnancy test a week or so before this so I knew I wasn’t pregnant. We had a wonderful weekend celebrating with Chris and Megan but I noticed I would be cramping ever so often and figured my time of the month was just about to come. By the end of the trip, I still hadn’t started and asked Tony if we could go to the store on the way home to pick up a test..just for fun.

We picked up chipotle and headed home and had dinner. Afterwards, I went to the restroom. Now, I had probably taken about 75 tests before this one and every time I thought  THIS MIGHT BE IT!! And I waited impatiently patiently to see that little cross sign show up. And every time, I would just get 1 solid line. I can’t even tell you how many times I would just wait JUST to make sure it wasn’t late to show up. And every time it didn’t, my heart sank in a pool of disappointment and I would let out a big sigh and say “Ok Lord..not this time..I’m kind of upset…but I know your timing is perfect and I put my trust in it”.

But this time..that holy sign appeared. And I couldn’t believe it..but I WAS PREGNANT. I really can’t remember all of the emotions I had at that moment, but surprised was probably at the top of my list. I think because I was just sort of banking on the fact that I wasn’t pregnant, that I couldn’t believe the test showed positive! I called out to Tony from the hall and this is what I said:

“Um..if I was pregnant..would that daiquiri I had at the rehearsal dinner hurt me?”

I actually asked a version of this question quite a few times so it wasn’t really an odd question to him or nor did it give anything away. I simply walked out and put the test on the table. (it was clean…btw)

Shock. Shock was his reaction as well.

We couldn’t believe it..we were actually going to be parents!

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I’m going to shorten up the next few points here because I’m starting to feel like this is getting a little lengthy..

The next day I couldn’t wait to call the doctor and tell them and ask them when I could come in for an appointment. I really could have come in that day and have the run that ultrasound machine. But they did some calculations and said they would see me when I was at least 8 weeks along, that was probably about another few days or so… We went to that doctor appointment together, ecstatic about what we were going to see..and then..the uncertainty.

The screen wasn’t showing much but I figured that was what it was supposed to look like, until the doctor had a look of concern on her face. She said that it was probably earlier than we thought it was so they couldn’t see anything on the screen. She scheduled me for another follow up a week or so later and figured we would be able to tell a little bit more. Well..she must’ve thought something else was up because she also had me do some blood tests as well.

The next couple of days, I got a call from the doctors office wanting to explain the results. I was pretty on track as far as how far along I was, but since they couldn’t see anything on the sonogram..it didn’t look hopeful. By the end of the phone call, she apologized and said this could be the early signs of a miscarriage.

A miscarriage. I’ve heard this word more recently because of a dear friend that had gone through this one too many times (here is her blog to read her incredible story http://itsthegrayfamily.com)

But I thought..surely not me..I mean..that can’t be possible.

I hung up the phone and let the tears run as I called Tony. I explained everything to him as I stood out in the cold parking garage at my work. I told him I didn’t want to be at work anymore and all I wanted was to just come home. I couldn’t go home because I didn’t have enough vacation time to take, so I just sat there the rest of the 3 or 4 hours left of work in disbelief, discouragement, disappointment and distrust.

We were told to wait 2 more weeks, basically wait for it to happen, but if it didn’t to come back in after the 2 weeks and see where we were at. Can I just say those two weeks were probably the longest two weeks I have experience in my 27 years of life. I was anxious, worried, impatient. I couldn’t think about anything else. I prayed and pleaded. I was cautious. Any little life I could save, I did and took precaution.

And after two weeks had passed, and many prayers from family and friends later..we got the best news at our next sonogram.

“I love when I’m wrong..” – our doctor

And there we saw..a little gummy bear of our baby. With a STRONG heartbeat and a smile on our doctor’s face. “It looks like you have a little miracle baby here. You’re measuring perfectly at 10 weeks with a strong heartbeat.”

Of course I cried. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. Tears of shock (again, because when you find out your pregnant..that takes a while to sink in)

Our little miracle baby.

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So fastforward to this Christmas. It was a very special Christmas. This Christmas, I saw and held the visible reminder of God’s faithfulness. It was a season of celebration and rejoicing because God had given us the gift of a healthy, wonderful baby girl. It was a gift that we didn’t think we would receive or wouldn’t receive right then. But His timing is so perfect. It wasn’t 2 years ago, it’s not 3 years later, but it’s this year that we had her. I am so grateful that our season of waiting was not a longer one, for I know friends who have waited longer and are still waiting for a little blessing to come. And that waiting period is probably one of the hardest things in the world. It tests your faith, it tests your relationships, it tests your own self. But God shows to be TRUE and to be faithful and to be strong. In that period, I learned to lean into him and to lean into his truth. Some days I didn’t want to, or felt like I couldn’t..but he never lets go. He is sovereign and is here to be our rock. He held us in his palm, knowing that greater things were to come and he knows our hearts desires.

So following a season of worrying and waiting, came a season of faithfulness and rejoicing. Where a trial turned into celebration and weakness turned into strength.

This Christmas just exemplified his goodness. We spent it with family, taking turns holding Nella. Watching her trying to figure out this season. She napped and played with bows and it was the best Christmas yet. Because God is GOOD..ALL THE TIME.

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a girl in this world (pt.1)

When you find out you’ll be bringing a little babe into this world, by the grace of God, that’s big news as is. When you find out it’s gonna be a girl, that’s even bigger. Not to say that boys are easier by any means, but the world puts a different type of pressure on young ladies these days and who knows what it will be like years from now. So here is one of my letters and prayer to my precious little girl..

My sweet daughter,

I’ve only had you for five months, but I’ve been praying for you for much longer than that. When we found out you were a girl, I automatically thought hair bows and flowers, dresses and tights, pink and fluff. To dress you up like a little doll was going to be fun! I couldn’t wait for all the fun hair accessories and cute dresses that came along with it. I knew my heart would burst every time I would see your dad with you because daddy’s little girls have a special place in my heart and there is no denying there is a special bond there. And then I thought a little bit about what the world would be like for you. I thought about how little ladies have this constant pressure to be flawless and thin and in shape. How women have to have it all together and to be able to run the household AND have time to cook dinner right after their pilates class. How young girls are hit with insecurity every where they turn whether it’s through facebook or instagram or pinterest..anything that is available at your fingertips. How America, as wonderful as a country it is, puts this heavy pressure on women to be the prettiest, the most successful, to have this, to have that, and to be all together.

Please know that this is NOT reality. That specifically as children of God, we are designed in His image but that we fall short of perfection because we are human. We have flaws. I have flaws. We’re not airbrushed and we don’t live our lives that way. But thank the Lord for that, because in our weaknesses and in our shortcomings, He is greater and stronger. I pray that you find your identity in Him. I pray that you don’t get sucked into what the world offers on a shiny silver platter. That when it seems like this heavy load to look a certain way or be a certain way bears down on you, that you in turn look to God because that is where your identity is. That is where you know you are a child of God and you are BEAUTIFUL. It doesn’t matter what you wear, who you wear, what you have, what you don’t have, who you’re with, who you’re not with, what’s cool and what isn’t. And I know it’s easier said in done because I struggle with this, along with your aunties. But this is where you have the support group of some amazing women that love you. Please know that you can come to me or any of them ANY time you are feeling down or discouraged, because sometimes you just need a support group to walk along side of you.

And if you feel like you don’t fit in or don’t have anything to offer, don’t change anything about yourself. You are SO loved as you are.

And that you do have SO much to offer this world. You have so many friends and family that pray for you often that you come to know the Lord and have this wonderful, personal relationship with him. And I know that He has some AMAZING things in store for you. You’re going to be a world changer and it won’t be because you posted this amazing picture of your outfit, or where you’re at, or who you’re with..but because you KNOW who you are without the conveniences of this world. That you know that you are so, so, wonderful and so beautiful inside and out. And I already know that, but I’ve known that ever since I knew I was having you. God has given me the most precious gift in you and I am so honored to be your mother.

I could probably go on and on and I feel like this will be an ongoing letter and prayer to you, Nella, but it’ll be something that will probably always be on my heart. You are my daughter and I love you, I will always be here for you and will always be your biggest cheerleader in this crazy thing called life.

 

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Nella Rosalie Williams

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It’s been 7 weeks since our precious little girl has entered the world. She was born on July 12 weighing in at a beautiful 7 lbs and 12 oz. And she was beautiful.

The night before Tony and I had gone out to dinner with some good friends celebrating one of my bests’ birthday. At a few moments during the night I had mentioned “she could come tonight! or tomorrow! or next week, or during dinner!”. She could make her appearance at any moment, especially after my last check up. That wednesday I had gone in for my 39+ week checkup and everything looked great. I was actually dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced. My doctor was surprised and kept saying “I can’t believe you’re not in labor..” I couldn’t sleep much that night knowing that it really could be any moment. At any moment was the start of the biggest event in our lives! And of course, I googled how soon labor started for women that were 4 cm dilated and 70% effaced and with every braxton hick contraction I thought “Is this IT?!”.

A few hours after dinner, I started having those contractions and thought “here we go with the braxton hicks”. Over 10-15 minutes, they felt a little different though. There were a tad bit stronger and they just didm’t feel like my normal braxton hicks I had been getting over the last few months. 20 minutes went by and I started to wonder if this was the real thing and lie awake wondering if I should tell Tony or not. I decided to let them roll for an hour and if they were still coming in strong, I would wake Tony up.

At 1:45 I gave Tony a nudge and told my sleepy husband that I thought these were the real things. But I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t know what to do. I really didn’t want to go to the hospital and then have them send me home saying it wasn’t time..1) because that would just be disappointing and 2) they were actually pretty bothersome, so what was I supposed to do with the pain? He said we should go to the hospital and if they did send us home, then we’ll figure it out. So while he was getting ready and I had just packed a couple of more things into our go bag, I went and woke up my parents to let them know what was going on.

Thankfully our hospital is just about 7-10 minutes away. It was so warm out, even for being around 2am in the morning. I forgot what a Texas summer felt like. When we parked in the emergency room, I felt more confident that these were the real things and that I was pretty close to labor. We got checked in (which actually took a little bit longer for someone being in labor), and we got settled into our room. About an hour later or so, I opted for getting the epidural. My plan on that was holding out on the juice until I really needed it or until it was the last moment I could get it and not to prove anything but just because I wanted to have a halfway natural birth. (You can ask me about all that if ya like, I know natural births vs. traditional hospital births can be a hot topic). The contractions were just getting a little more intense and I was wanting a sweet relief and to be able to somewhat “enjoy” the delivery process. After it had kicked in, Tony said it was a night and day difference in me. It was sweet relief alright and today I am still thankful I opted for it. I was able to really relax and we actually were able to catch a 1-2 hour nap afterwards.

A couple of hours later, they went ahead and gave me a low dosage of pitocin and the doctor came in to manually break my water. And a couple of hours after that, I really started feeling the pressure of her making her way through. I couldn’t feel the contractions but I certainly felt the pressure. The nurse went ahead and paged for the doctor again and had me start the pushing process. I would push 3 times in a row and each time she would count to ten. The doctor came in at probably the last 3 sets of pushing and when it felt like I couldn’t push anymore, our little girl came out.

And she came out with lungs.

She also just had swallowed some liquid so I’m sure that didn’t feel comfortable.

The feeling was relief, honestly. Labor is NO JOKE. But after I caught my breath..I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe what my body went through. I couldn’t believe I had just birthed a human being. I couldn’t believe that human being was my daughter. I couldn’t believe that we became parents, just like that.

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But I could believe how beautiful she was. I could believe how much I instantly loved her. I could believe that God created such an amazing little being. When they put her on my chest, I instantly knew how to hold her. I still felt clueless but at the same time, I knew I was her mom and she was mine. I knew that she would depend fully on me a lot in these fresh new weeks. I also didn’t cry like I thought I would in that moment. Tony and I just took those moments to cherish and admire our new daughter. It was just him in there with me with the doctors and nurses, and even if I had wanted 3 other people in there during the pushing, they would ask them to step out after the child is born so that mother and child could have that skin-to-skin bonding moment with just the child and parent(s). It was such a special moment. It was our little family and we were in love with our newest addition. When the nurse wheeled us out of our delivery room and into our postpartum room, though, that is when the tears came. When my mom saw her granddaughter for the first time, it was a special special moment for me. She was itching for a grandchild and to watch her hold her granddaughter…well, that was a golden moment, one for the books. It was pure love in that room as other grandparents and close friends came in to awe over this little miracle.

Our little Nella has been prayed for and prayed over since the very beginning. She has an amazing support system. She has people that love her so much and pray for her. I am SO thankful for these people..people that know the Lord and love the Lord. It really does take a village to raise a child, as we have had SO much help these past few weeks from my parents, to my in laws, to my close friends. We are SO appreciative of the love and support we have received since our little miracle entered the world.

To our sweet girl: You are just about a week from your 2 month mark and I can hardly believe it. The weeks have been slow and fast. The first couple of weeks were an adjustment for you and I, but my favorite moments were the ones in the wee hours when the world was asleep and it was just the two of us. You have taught me how to live in the moment. I am honored to be your mommy and look forward to the days to come. I truly can’t believe you are my daughter and tho I wish you could be this little forever, I look forward to seeing you grow into a beautiful little girl and how the Lord will continue to use you. You are a sweet sweet blessing and I love you more every day.

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thoughts before baby

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Well I am just about 2 1/2 weeks til my due date! Although I realize babies rarely come on the actual due date, it’s hard to believe we will be welcoming a little baby girl very very soon.

This last month for me, I think, has been the most “WOA” month out of the whole pregnancy. There’s the initial surprise and anticipation when you first find out, but there’s nothing quite like the anticipation during the last month of pregnancy. Because by now, you’ve gotten over the morning sickness, the butterflies about what the doctor will say at this appointment and now all she says is “Looks good! I’ll see ya next week, if not before then!” So this month I have had a lot of moments where I stop and think WOA, I’m about to have a baby. I’m about to go through one of life’s hardest things on my body but will result in one of the most beautiful, rewarding little beings in my life.

To be honest, before I get to the awe and beauty of realizing this is right around the corner, I have about 5-10 seconds where I freak out and wonder, WAIT…Can I really do this? Can we really raise a child? Another human? Am I going to feel so miserable the first few weeks or however long when everything is new for both of us and we both can’t sleep? Did we wait long enough to enjoy our couple time after getting married? Can I never ever sleep in again? Will I be a good mom?

I’m pretty sure those are normal thoughts, and anyone who is a mom can probably back me up on feeling those feelings. But then I do get to the awe and beauty of realizing our life is about to change….but for the better. Because we believe in a God who’s timing is perfect and that can handle anything. So I think that answers my question about Tony and I. We’ve been together for a total of 9 years, and have been married for 4 1/2 of those years. Life has given us sooo many adventures as a couple, ones that have shaped us, grown us and matured us. Ones that were just plain FUN! Ones that were challenging. And as we start a new chapter, I know the adventures will keep on coming. It’ll just be different. There will still be time for the two of us, which I’ve mentioned before how I wanted to keep date nights and us time a priority, but together we will be learning this thing called parenthood. We have each other to lean into and encourage and I’m grateful for that.

I’ve had friends say the first few weeks are the hardest. Our sleep pattern is completely wack and it’s just the fact of having a newborn that won’t make it exactly easy as pie. You don’t know what to do at times, so then you feel helpless. And I mean..people don’t shower for like…days and you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep, is what I’ve read. And then once you get past that, and feel like maybe this little human will survive under my watch, she continues to grow. And you constantly wonder if you’re making the right decisions as a mother or father. Will we be good parents? But we believe in a God who never leaves us. In the thick of things, He is right there. In the joy of little and big accomplishments, He is right there. So I think that answers my question about having a baby. He knew exactly when we would be having this baby and has designed women to go through this process and for a lot of moms, they just step into that mom roll as soon as that baby is on her chest. I think it’s a magical thing that happens in the moment, and God knew exactly what that moment would produce.

I think thoughts before baby are a lot of insecurities and just not knowing what to expect. But like a lot of things, once you get into it, you realize you CAN do this. After friends have told me what harsh realities to expect, they always end with “BUT IT’S SO WORTH IT.” And I know that it is, but it’s still encouraging to hear and remember on a daily basis. And then you have those sweet, sweet moments where you say “Yeah..it’s definitely worth it.” Not to say that you yourself won’t have many sleepless nights, red eyes, constant questions and other insecurities…but still, I CAN do this. I have been chosen to carry a child, to raise her up, to love her, to support her and stand beside her. And with an amazing husband, and a wonderful family, and a God who is for me…I know I can do this. I look forward to seeing her face and holding her for the first time. I cannot wait to go through life’s firsts with her, gaining a whole new perspective through her eyes. I’m so eager to see what she will teach me in her years to come.

I would say this has been the most emotional month of my pregnancy. Not in a “I’m-crying-at-everything” kind of way, but just in a way where I feel like I go and feel through every emotion and try and process it. I try to anticipate what’s about to come. But I feel like I am in for a beautiful new chapter and I truly cannot wait!

(Oh…I also think..this is the last month where I can get away with any pregnancy cravings or comforts, where people tell me to sit down or not worry about anything. THAT was nice. Also, where Tony would treat me to a late night gas station run for root beer and a choco taco and not think twice. Eating for two can be pretty fun at times. I’ve also pretty much taken a nap almost every day of this pregnancy. THAT was GLORIOUS.)