cravings & such: i have been wanting protein, big time. just my body’s way of getting geared up for something pretty major in the coming weeks. i have also been wanting candy. sour, sour candy. [thanks halloween marketing]. and people have been offering to make spicy food for me. our family seems to have some chefs with ulterior motives.
the bump: oh yes, i have one of those.
cool & cute things: she is just hanging out in there. napping and stretching. and packing on that layer of fat.
new things: she weighs about 6 pounds 7 ounces according to our ultrasound tech. she is a little thing. but, healthy and happy with a strong heartbeat. plus, she is head down and super low in my pelvis…assume the position!
meaningful moments: getting to see her little face during a quick ultrasound check-in this week. she was sleeping and all curled up in my hip bone. and, she was making the cutest little sucking movements. her little lips were moving away! oh, she was just so sweet. i can’t wait to see that little face.
the countdown: 7 days…one week! come on…just a tad early
current size: a mini watermelon. although, i like to think of her as more of a seasonally adjusted, tiny pumpkin.
oh my goodness. what if this is my last dear peanut letter? we are so close now that it is a real possibility. your papa and i keep saying things like…this could be our last weekend, just the two of us…this could be our last dinner before she comes…this could be your last day at the office…this could be the last load of laundry before she arrives…and on and on and on. we aren’t getting our hopes up that you will arrive early but we are doing our best to prepare, just in case. the reality is that i could very well be writing three more letters to you [eek! please don't linger that long!] before your arrival. this sure is a lesson in patience, little one.
God is teaching me to be still. even though i am so very excited to meet you and get to know you, i am trying to soak up the last moments of this season. i am trying to enjoy the final days of pregnancy…i know that not everybody gets to experience the birth of their child in this physical manner. so, i am trying to not complain but to be grateful that my Heavenly Father has allowed me to carry you. that He has allowed my body to adjust and to sustain you for this long. so many women cannot conceive. so many women have turbulent pregnancies. some women’s bodies fight against them. some women’s bodies just can’t or won’t carry them through to the end. i have been given this special gift of pregnancy and heaven forbid that i take that for granted. in my moments of frustration, i remind myself that God has blessed me with this time and wants to use this time to mold my heart. no complaining allowed!
God is using all of it to prepare me. when i bump my bump into a chair, He is teaching me to slow down and be watchful. when i cannot do the things that i used to do in the same way, He is teaching me that i am not in control and that i need to rely on His supply and grace. when i get frustrated, He is teaching me self-control. when i have to swallow yet another capsule or vitamin or healthy supplement, He is teaching me to put the needs of others before my own. God has me in training. i am training to be a parent. He is molding me into a mother. preparing my heart for your arrival. and i need to take advantage of this time because once you arrive, little one, we move into major on-the-job training. bring on the feeding charts and piles of diapers and pediatrician visits and sleep deprivation. it is going to be so blissfully bewildering.
cravings & such: nothing new to report here. just enjoying some of our favorite restaurants and meals before becoming a family of three.
the bump: getting bigger and feeling heavier these days. bumping the bump into things is super fun…
cool & cute things: baby has really plumped up! she probably weighs about 6.5 pounds and is over 19.5 inches log. if she is born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. if she is born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue OR turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she is 9 months old. a child’s irises may gain more pigment in the months after birth but the usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. can’t wait to see them! blue like papa? greenish gray like her mama? brown like grandmama ridley?
new things: baby girl has a firm grasp and her organs have matured to the point where she is ready for life outside the womb. wahoo! we are ready for life outsde the womb too.
meaningful moments: playing with the baby carrier. perusing the pages of her new books. interviewing a naturopathic pediatrician [who we just love!] enjoying her movements. picking out fabric for a cute little project with my mom…montessori teething rings with mini minky blankets. too cute. thanks mom!
hello there miss peanut. i hope you are having fun hanging out in my pelvis! must be a nice change of scenery for you. i can tell that you are reveling. i must say, while i like that you have shifted down out of the ribs [sweet full lung capacity!] you are making things a bit more goofy in the “walking” arena. hmmm. please don’t make me resort to waddling, little one. not a cute look.
on a super adorable note: we got your diaper starter pack in the mail and they are just the cutest things! your papa even brought one into work with him to show off how tiny you are and how precious those little BM-collectors are. i think he’s got it pretty bad. papa-citis has taken over. and i am no better. we are officially those people. the ones who tear-up over smooshy, squiggly, and goofy-looking ultrasounds. the ones who show off diapers to co-workers. diapers! the ones who ooh and ahh over crocheted baby hats. the ones who sniff baby lotion. [that one might be just me] we are your parents. your earthly stewards. the ones that God has predestined to care for you and raise you. what a tremendous blessing and calling. what an overwhelming gift. and you are stuck with us, little one. all our flaws and eccentricities and personality. in spite of it all, please know that our hearts’ desire is to be godly parents…with a generous helping of grace and plenty of prayer. we love you and we take you and our new role very seriously. such a prodigious, substantial, considerable [and all words BIG] responsibility swaddled into such a tiny package. you are a precious gift from our Heavenly Father that we will preserve, cherish, love, cultivate, and polish. for His glory and for our good.
cravings & such: nothing special. anything yummy works for me. i am watching the excessive sodium intake [sorry chips and queso] to help keep thoses snuffaluffagus-esque ankles at bay.
the bump: getting bigger and moving a lot. baby girl likes to test the tactile strength of my uterus by stretching-out into forbidden territory. liiike…my ribcage! or my sides. i think she is trying to wrap her legs around me to see if her toes can meet up at my spine. i keep telling her “nope. that zone isn’t for you, little one. you get the belly area”. does she listen? um, no. a sign of her determined nature for sure.
cool & cute things: if i were to go into labor today, her lungs would be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb.
new things: baby weighs about 6 pounds and measures about 19 inches long.
meaningful moments: putting her little diapers into the dresser drawer. placing the changing pad on the dresser. practicing with our new baby carrier. oooh, hubby is going to look so dreamy carrying our little girl! is there a more handsome sight to behold? can’t wait. the first load of baby clothing. all those teeny tiny baby things make laundry day so much better! [yes, i know. i hear myself. i am savoring this feeling now and saving it for later on so that i can reference it when i am knee-deep in cloth diapers and spit up. and then, i will laugh at my silly former self before diving into yet another load of "all those teeny tiny baby things that make laundry day so much better". laundry day which now equals every day. yes, life is about to change.]
the countdown: 21 days. did i mention, full term? three weeks – give or take – to go!
current size: the length of a stalk of swiss chard
hello there, little peanut. your parents are pretty excited to meet you. we keep staring at your sonogram. that little nose. your ears. the eyelashes. your tiny fingers all curled up next to your mouth. the hair. it is kind of our new favorite thing. a parental pacifier to keep us from jumping out of our skin from excitement. you will be here so soon! my goodness. we can’t wait to meet you and see that precious face. will you have your papa’s nose? will you have my hair? i hope you don’t mind if we just sit and stare at you for a while once you arrive. because the real thing will be so much better than the sonogram…
just so you know, i have scheduled out all of my doctor appointments from now until the due date. woah. on the calendar. the doctor was happy with us this week and said that everything was progressing beautifully. your heartbeat is strong. my blood pressure is good. you are growing at a consistent rate. and the belly size is small but solid. all good. just waiting for the right time.
love, your mama + your papa
JOINT FAMILY ADDENDUM
with regard to the aforementioned “right time” remark: your entire family respectfully requests that you, while chatting with God, mention the following arrival tips and suggestions. you know, in case He asks your opinion on the matter…your family has some ideas and opinions [ahem, always] to help you along.
please, do not arrive earlier than sunday, october 21.
saturday, october 27 – tuesday, october 30 are nice dates.
please, no halloween birthday. the ongoing birthday party expectations are frankly, overwhelming for everyone.
if not before wednesday, october 31, please refrain from a thursday, november 1 or friday, november 2 arrival.
saturday, november 3 – monday, november 5 are good days too. try to steer clear of election day. too much political pressure that day. it is best to stay put and swim around for a bit longer in a blissful state of unawareness.
PLEASE do not loiter in the uterus for longer than one week past your due date. i know it seems nice in there, but we’ve got some soft, warm, and cozy things waiting for you on the outside.
if you must delay, please do not come on saturday, november 10. that is coco’s birthday. the poor thing already has enough personality disorders and neuroses, we don’t want to send her off the deep end by making her share a birthday with the “favored, non-furry” baby of the family. who knows which of your stuffed animals she might rip to shreds in a psychotic break… let us just keep the familial peace and sidestep the issue altogether.
with respect and love,
[and in the knowledge that it is God who numbers our days]
[and with an understanding that the same God who knows the number of grains of sand considers our requests]
your nerdy, scheduled, active, and kooky family.
don’t roll your eyes, little miss, i’m sure you’ve got some of these genes going on…
cravings & such: same ol’ stuff. the usual snacks and healthiness…with a weekly [or more] date night, big meal splurge.
the bump: solid. a solid ball of baby. a swirling, waving, kicking solid ball of baby.
cool & cute things: she is packing on the pounds. but doctor says that she does appear to be on the smaller side of the scale. i mean, her folks aren’t exactly giants, so… she is close to 5 1/4 pounds now and about 18 inches long. honestly, i don’t know how 18 inches of baby is curled up inside the “ball” but she is doing it. hurray for the incredible yoga baby!
new things: baby girl is shedding most of the downy hair that has covered her body, as well as the vernix [white, waxy stuff that coats and protects the skin while she floats in the amniotic fluid...it keeps her from coming out all prune-y]. baby is ingesting these things [gross. don't worry, we will improve upon that menu soon, my dear] to help practice her digestion and to create her first bowel movement. get fired up for baby bowel movements folks!
meaningful moments: organizing tiny baby clothes! all those onesies and tiny pants and kimonos and leggings and socks. teeny tiny and just itching for a baby to fill them out. well, not itching…they are getting a gentle and soothing tumble in safe-for-baby-skin wash. soft, soft, soft.
the countdown: 28 days
current size: a crenshaw melon [whatever that is]. sounds fancy. like a melon with a british accent.
hello again, little one. i trust that all is well inside the belly. things are going pretty well on the outside. we are getting so very close to your joining us out here! very, very close. i am now seeing the doctor weekly until your arrival. she will be checking that heartbeat of yours and making sure that things are strong and that you continue to grow. at our last appointment, she told me that you are on the small side of the scale. but teeny in a good way. as in, a good size for your mama… they are going to keep an eye on your fattening up in the coming weeks. they want to make sure that those duck fat fries make it to you instead of to my booty. it isn’t very kind of me to hog the fatness.
did you know that in less than two weeks, i am considered full term? that means that if you were to come early, they wouldn’t stop you. wow. we have almost made it, sweet girl! but if you don’t mind, please stay in there a bit longer than two more weeks. your papa would relish the extra time to get those final ducks in a row. and i don’t mind the extra baby chub that you will gain. however, if you would like to join us a few days early, we wouldn’t mind that one bit! for some reason your papa thinks that you will be here by october 27th. i guess we’ll see if he is that smart and intuitive. october 27th! if you arrive then, that means you will be here with us THIS MONTH. oh. my. goodness. so soon! and we are so excited to see that little face of yours. eyelashes and all.
cravings & such: taking in a bunch of good stuff, one bite at a time. i am trying to get the most nutrition packed into the smallest package since big meals can be a bit much these days. bang for my caloric buck, people…sausages, hamburgers, and fries notwithstanding. and i am really trying to steer clear of sugar since it makes me feel icky after i consume it. but sometimes i just have to break down and indulge that sweet tooth because it does taste pretty darn good while i am consuming it. think sour stuff and super rich chocolate and milkshakes. yum.
the bump: it is just there. my ball of baby. enough said.
cool & cute things: baby’s kidneys are fully developed and her liver can process some waste products. yippee! getting ready to fill those itty-bitty diapers. basic physical development is now mostly complete. her job in the coming weeks is to just put on weight. home stretch. quite literally.
new things: things are getting tight in there. baby girl is over 18 inches long and weighs about 5 1/4 pounds. because she is so snug in my belly, she doesn’t have as much space for those dramatic somersaults anymore. but, as she gets bigger and stronger, those kicks and punches are feeling more intense.
meaningful moments: this was one crazy week. somehow, in my genius, pregnancy hormone-addled, placenta brain, i scheduled a whole lotta action for this week. i mean, i crammed it all in. we went on our hospital tour, we met with the pediatrician, and we had another doctor appointment complete with ultrasound. ooohhh…she is a cute one! a cute one who really likes to suck her thumb and nibble on her fingers. she even blinked for us and we saw her eyelashes. eyelashes! but i must say, in spite of the crazy scheduling, we do feel much better after this week. more settled and resolved. a bit more a peace. and more eager than ever to meet our little girl!
the countdown: 35 days. woah, folks. that is like, a month!
current size: a honeydew melon. awwhh…my little honeydew.
um, would you look at those little headbands? too cute, right? i bet you just can’t wait to wear them. i wonder what you look like…hair? peach fuzz? blonde? brunette? straight or curly? whose nose will you have? whose profile? ears? eyes? so many questions. your papa and i just can’t wait to meet you and discover the answers to all these questions and so many more.
what will your personality be like? quiet, contemplative, reserved. boisterous, outspoken, bold. sweet and shy. serious and sassy. will you have your papa’s musical ability? will you have my dramatic tendencies? will you be an avid reader? will you have a dash of nerdiness?
so many things are swirling in our minds right now. we like to talk about you before we fall asleep…and after all the discussion, we just pray. knowing that God is knitting you together and knows everything about you. we are comforted by this fact and we look forward to meeting you and discovering who he has made you to be. sweet girl, we pray that you love Jesus and follow hard after him for your whole life. may he be your identity, value, and joy.
1 samuel 1:27-28
for this child i prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that i made to him. so now i give her to the Lord. for her whole life she will be given over to the Lord.