Monday, 13 February 2017

The Pastor's Wife... A Whole New Journey Of Blogging

Well, I've been a Pastor's Wife for two whole months now. I can't tell you how many times I've started writing a post (usually just in my head) only to stop and think "Hmm... can I share that?" It's a whole new ballgame for a girl like me - someone who has so openly shared the ins and outs of wifery and motherhood up until now. I hesitate, but then I remember that writing is a God given talent, and blogging is something I have felt the Lord encourage me in time and time again. I think that there is so much power in our words, and so much strength in the words that we choose to share.

And so here I am. A pastor's wife and a blogger. I'm sure I will find my way eventually as long as I am careful to listen to the Holy Spirit and as always honour my husband in what I choose to share or not share.

I used to work in the church we attended before. I was the receptionist for 4 years and I loved it. (I only quit because we started our family and I wanted to be home with my babies.) Something I was always acutely aware of was the fact that my voice was, in some ways, the face of the church. If someone called our church having no experience or relationships to give them a sense of who we were, my voice - my tone, inflection, cheerfulness... that was where their first impression was formed. I was always careful to represent the church well. People can change their minds, but first impressions matter.

And now I am feeling this sense again. We are in the process of making first impressions with people. Each week I can see people looking over at us with inquisitive expressions. Some approach, start conversations, ask us about the few things they know about us (Have we moved to Westlock yet? Have we found a house? How do we find the commute?) We have begun tiny little budding friendships with a few, but most remain acquaintances and even strangers for now. And I know this will change. I know in time these people will become our community. Our family. I know that we will get to know them and they will get to know us, but for now I know that we just... don't. And so I hesitate. I think twice about what I post or don't post on social media (read: less pictures of glasses of wine) and I think that's ok. For now. But I am a blogger. I may have been posting less in the last year or two, but I am still a blogger, and that means that I am an open book. It has never been in my nature to be a private, quiet person. I am loud and thoughtful and opinionated and just because Chris is now a pastor doesn't mean that has changed. I think that I crave an authenticity in life and this is my way of contributing to it.

I do feel the need to be careful- knowing that some people may stumble across this blog and it be their first impression of me, and therefore also possibly of Chris. I also know that down the line someone who is new to the church could stumble across this place and find it to be their first impression of us and therefore the church. So I will be careful with what I have been entrusted with. But I am a blogger. I don't think I can stand this self imposed silence any longer. Writing is how I process things, and man I have had SO MUCH to process these last couple of months! Good things. Sad things. Happy moments. Life changing moments.

I will leave you with two pictures for now. They are both so incredibly special to me. The first is our last day at St. Albert Alliance. The place where we both "grew up" in our faith. The place where I worked for 4 years and Chris interned and we both volunteered in countless ministries. It was and will always be our family. This picture is of our church family laying hands on us in prayer as they commissioned us into vocational ministry in Westlock. I cried so many tears that morning, and just typing this now is making my tear up!

The next picture was from our first Sunday morning after that, being prayed for by the pastor and elders at Westlock Alliance. Our new home. We have so many hopes, dreams and prayers wrapped up in this place!

I will hold these two moments in my heart for as long as I live. Our life in vocational ministry is just beginning and I can't wait to see where it takes us!

Thursday, 12 January 2017


January has me thinking about home.

Chris got a new job in December. Not just a new job, but the job. After 5 years of school, waiting, praying, and more praying, Chris now has a full time pastor job. This is so exciting for so many reasons, and I think I'll need to dedicate an entire post to how the job came to be (because obviously there were a ton of God orchestrated things that happened leading up to it!) but for today I want to talk about the biggest life change that is happening because of this job- we're moving!

Chris and I both grew up in St. Albert, and for the most part have lived here our entire lives. We love St. Albert and probably always will. More so than just this city, we love the house we live in, which happens to be the house I grew up in. When Chris and I first got engaged my Mom announced she was planning on moving out. My two sisters and I were shocked and saddened because we all grew up in this house, and the significance of living in only one house our entire childhood and adolescence (and adulthood for a couple of us!) was not lost on us. We all love and value this house. It has always been home. So when my mom decided to leave, it was the most natural thing in the world for Chris and I to decide to rent the house from her. It also ended up working out very well for us financially while Chris was in the school, because my mom renovated the basement to accommodate tenants which offset the amount of rent we paid. Such a blessing!

So now fast forward to 5.5 years later. Not only did I grow up in this house, but now I have lived here as a married woman and begun a family here. We have made this house completely our own- we painted and decorated, removed things and added plenty of things. We tried our hands at gardening for a year or two, then turned the existing patch of dirt into grass, and now have placed a giant playset on top. We have hosted parties, potlucks, playdates, big family meals, games nights and get togethers. We have returned from short retreats and long vacations, collapsing onto the couch or into bed exclaiming how good it was to be home. We brought one baby home, and birthed one baby in this living room. We converted my childhood rooms into two nurseries and now one big boy room. My children's doors still have my childhood height markings etched into them.

There are a whole lot of memories all wrapped up in this house. A lifetime.

And now, we move.

When Chris first got the job in Westlock I avoided thinking about moving for at least a week. I didn't want to open the floodgates. I knew this would be a hard thing and it was just so much easier to avoid thinking of it, so quite simply, I just didn't. Instead I prayed. I asked the Lord to give me a peace that surpasses all understanding. In all worldly thought, this move will be heart wrenching, but I know that I have a secret weapon. The Lord really truly can make this easy for me. I wasn't sure how, but I knew he could. And so I prayed and I waited.

And in His faithfulness the Lord highlighted a conversation I had with my nieces and nephew. They were over at our house, staying the night and as usual, they were all eager to hold their baby cousin. One of them was holding her when she started to cry and so I took her back, and as babies tend to do when given back to their mommy, she settled down immediately. My 11 year old niece Dez asked why she calms down so quickly when she's in my arms. I told her "She knows me. My smell, my voice, my heartbeat. She lived inside of me for 9 months and so, to her, being in mommy's arms is like home." And as I said it, it clicked.

Home isn't four walls and a roof. Home is the sound of Chris' belt clanging when he's getting dressed. It's Elliott snoring in his bed, and the sound of his footsteps in the morning as he runs from his room to ours. It's the weight of a baby sleeping on my chest, and the tight squeeze of Elliott's arms around my neck when he hugs me goodnight. Home is the smell of fresh laundry as I fold and put it away. The creaking sound that Audrey's swing makes as she snoozes during the day, and the joyful new sound of her laughter. It's sitting around a table together eating a meal, and it's Chris calling from the kitchen asking if I need anything before he comes to join me on the couch after a long day.

Home is the smell, sounds and feeling of my babies and my husband. My memories are all wrapped up in them, not in this house. Every single significant memory in this house is attached to a person, not a structure.

And so I will pack up our belongings with care, I will take all my boxes and I will take all my people and I will unload them into a different set of walls and roof. I'll put my babies to bed, listen to Elliott snore, hear Chris' belt buckle hit the floor before we climb into bed and whisper how good it feels to be home.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Audrey's Birth Story.... The Midwife's Perspective

Ok, so first of all, a little love for my beloved midwife Tara. She is just... the best. I couldn't have asked for a better person to journey through both my pregnancies and births with. She is kind, compassionate and so full of wisdom. Writing this from her perspective was actually her idea. How awesome is that?

For those that may have missed it, you can read Audrey's birth story (from my perspective) HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2). Also, just to add to the birth story fun, you can read Elliott's HERE.

Ok, here we go... Audrey's Birth Story from the perspective of my midwife, Tara

One of my favorite parts of being a midwife is being able to walk alongside a repeat client for her next pregnancy and birth. Melissa is someone who engages fully in her care and self-educates, and her first birth had been a straightforward, uncomplicated event, and a delight. We midwives tend to see a trend towards second babies being faster and more efficient than first babies, and because Melissa’s first baby had arrived a week before her due date, I expected that this second baby arrival early was a distinct possibility – meaning we were all on tenterhooks for the week or two prior to her due date. However, the mind is a powerful thing, and the baby seemed to know it would be best to delay her arrival due to the difficult circumstances surrounding Melissa’s dad’s accident.
Finally, it was “time”. Given how well Melissa had coped with her first labour (from an outsiders perspective!), and given my distance to her house, I was planning to go in labour as soon as it appeared that there was any progress in the contraction pattern.  Melissa called around 5:30 to let me know that things had begun around 2am and the contractions were a little over 5 minutes apart. Almost every mom doubts that this is the “real thing”, so I encouraged her to get up and move around, try eating some breakfast, etc. No matter what happens, energy from food is usually a good thing. She was very calm on the phone, and I didn’t get the sense that things were particularly imminent, so I got up, dressed and ate something.
In the middle of that, Melissa was texting me to figure out how to fill the pool (which told me her contractions weren’t yet demanding her full attention), but by 7:30 was reporting that the contractions had now moved closer to 3 minutes apart and were hurting “substantially more”. I was on my way at that point, and was privately a tiny bit worried to hear she was alone since Chris was dropping off Elliot. My sense was things were definitely picking up and I didn’t think we’d be waiting until the afternoon to meet this baby.
I arrived at 8:15am to a very peaceful house, with Melissa blissfully enjoying the now filled birth pool. I asked a few questions – no, she didn’t think her water had broken, yes, the pool made things better, no, she didn’t want a vaginal exam (I didn’t recommend it). I got my equipment set up by 8:45 and tried to get a feel for where we were at with this labour. The baby’s heart rate was great, and all appeared to be progressing normally.
Like I had noted with her first labour, Melissa copes VERY WELL with her contractions and it was a bit tough to determine when to call my backup midwife due to how chill she was.  Dilation of the cervix doesn’t happen uniformly, so even if I knew how open her cervix was, it wouldn’t have told me exactly when the baby would be born. I encouraged her to tell me if she was noting any increased pressure in her bum (she was not), and started to apply counter pressure on her lower back, which seemed to help. By 9:20 I was starting to feel very “antsy”, I just had this feeling she would be pushing within an hour or so and I called Heidi (my backup midwife) and told her she should probably start heading over. Melissa wasn’t feeling any rectal pressure, nor had her water broken, plus she was still super chatty and concerned with logistics with Elliott in between contractions but …. I just KNEW.  Heidi was in the middle of dropping off some items at home and I remember telling Heidi that I was “pretty sure” she’d make it, but that she should probably come directly there, as she lived a fair distance away.
Sure enough, at 9:35, Melissa verbalized a SUDDEN and STRONG pressure in her bum.
And that’s when I knew Heidi wouldn’t make it, lol.
She was not yet spontaneously bearing down with her contraction, but started vocalizing for the first time.  Melissa was making “that sound”. That sound that women make when there is a baby descending through their vagina. It is a Very.Distinct.Sound. I hurried through the kitchen to the side of the pool where I knew the baby would be coming, and Melissa was DEFINITELY pushing. Nope, no time to get gloves on, but it didn’t matter. I was not going to be the one to catch this baby, as it turns out!
And, with literally one push, at 9:36, Audrey entered the world, vigorous, and delivered completely by the hands of Melissa. She brought the baby up to her chest, and the baby had great tone, was pinking up quickly, and was breathing/crying. I could only laugh at the fact that it had all happened so fast! I never look to see what the gender of the baby is, as it’s fun to watch the parents discover on their own, so I suggested Melissa check and see – a GIRL!

I called Heidi back and told her not to worry about driving all the way out – the excitement was done. Melissa’s placenta came easily, there was no suturing needed, and Audrey was in perfect health. What a beautiful example of how it is the WOMAN that delivers her baby – I’m just keeping watch. It was such a blessing to witness, and a joy to be there.

Stay tuned friends! I've convinced Chris to write his perspective too. It just might take a little while before he gets to writing it...

Friday, 28 October 2016

Audrey's Birth Story Part 2

Ok, so where were we? I had just crawled back into bed after getting up with Elliott. It was now probably about quarter after 4. I've had two contractions that felt quite real and I'm laying there waiting to see if I can fall back asleep or if I'll have another one.

And I do. And it hurts. And then Elliott wake up again.

Crap. crap.

So I get out of bed to see what he needs and he says he needs to go pee. I take him to the bathroom and then back to his room to rock on the rocking chair for another couple minutes. As we're rocking I feel another couple contractions. All I can think is "I need to get this kid back to bed because these really hurt!" I'm quite sure at this point that this is it. I feel excited, yet distracted by this kid that won't sleep! So I put him back in bed and go back to bed. It's past 4:30 now. Chris is awake and says something to me about how he's sorry Elliott keeps waking up. I grumble something back about how I wish he would just go back to sleep. I don't mention the contractions because I'm hoping that if Elliott goes back to sleep I can just labour quietly for a while so Chris isn't too tired when things really start happening. A couple minutes later Elliott calls out again. Chris offers to go this time so I lay there and try to figure out how consistent these contractions are. I'm not timing them, but I figure they are every 7-10 minutes and man they hurt! When I first went into labour with Elliott the first few hours were such a breeze! I could keep talking through contractions for the first bit, and even after they were a bit more painful I could still follow a movie plot no problem as I laboured on the couch. This time I feel like I skipped the easy breezy beginning and I'm in full on active labour. Ow.

Chris comes back to bed and we chat quietly about how tired we are and wish he would sleep. It's close to 5 now. I still haven't mentioned the contractions. Just after 5 Elliott starts crying again. If it were any other day I would probably take him to the couch to snuggle and hope he falls back asleep. I realize its time to fess up.

"So, here's the thing. I'm pretty sure I'm in labour, and that means Elliott is going to go to Gloria's so we really need to get him to sleep a while longer so he isn't a total bear for her..."



"Wow, you're sure?"


"Do you think we'll have a baby before lunch?"

"Well I doubt that, but it will be today for sure!"

So he took Elliott to the couch. I could hear him chatting away and knew right away he wasn't going to fall back asleep.

At about 5:30 I decide to call my midwife Tara. I've started timing the contractions because they are surprising me with how much they hurt and how long they are lasting. We chat for a couple of minutes. I tell her that they are coming ever 5-7 minutes and lasting nearly a minute. She suggests I get up and get some breakfast and see if they pick up or slow down. She says that she'll start getting dressed and ready too. I remember her asking if I thought she should hurry up and I said no.

Next I texted my Mom- the plan was for her to come pick up Elliott and take him to my sister Gloria's house. I figured it was a good idea to wake her up so she could get ready and head over seeing as she lives an hour away. Then I texted my sisters just so they knew baby was on the way!

I got out of bed around 6 and as Tara instructed I started making myself oatmeal. Except I kept getting interrupted by contractions- I would have to stop and lean over whatever was near me- kitchen counter, dining room table etc. I tried to keep timing them using an app on my phone, but I kept setting my phone down and not being close enough to it when the contraction started. I tried sitting on the couch to eat my oatmeal, but Elliott was a ball of energy and kept trying to climb on me, which did not feel very good! By about 6:30 I had realized that things were really picking up. I couldn't sit on the couch anymore and instead tried breathing through the contractions while standing/leaning on something, or while on all fours on the living room floor. Chris set up the birthing pool in the living room and asked me if I wanted a latte to which I replied yes.

So there I am on all fours in the living room. Elliott is bouncing in and out of the birthing pool having the time of his life, and Chris is making me a latte. I've barely touched my oatmeal. The contractions are now every 3-5 minutes and they are hurting more and more. It was right around now that I wondered why do I choose to birth this way? Maybe I should just head to the hospital and ask for an epidural because damn these hurt!

I text my Mom to see where she's at. She says she plans on leaving by 7:30. What??? It's almost 7 now and that means Elliott will still be around for another hour and a half? I text Gloria and ask her to be on stand by- we may need her to pick up Elliott before Mom gets here. She says no problem. I then go tell Chris to stop worrying about making coffee and to get Elliott's stuff together. Now please. I tell him that Gloria is ready to come get him when we say the word.

I think this put Chris into a bit of a tizzy because all of a sudden he went from leisurely making coffee to running around grabbing things and periodically coming in to tell Elliott to calm down and leave Mommy alone and not to jump on her.

Then all of a sudden he announces he's just going to take Elliott to Gloria's. He had texted her to come get him and apparently she didn't answer so he's just leaving. And just like that he's practically out the door. I stop to get a big hug and kiss from Elliott and ask Chris to take a picture because it makes me a little sad that this is the last time I'll get to hug him as an only child.

And now the house is quiet. For a split second I'm terrified that I'm in labour at home by myself. What if baby comes when I'm alone?? Tara had told me that second babies come fast. What if it comes really fast?? I push the thought away. Silly. I open up the curtains in the living room because it's light outside and I want the room to feel brighter. Then I text Tara and tell her that the contractions are coming every 3-3.5 minutes, are lasting a minute or longer and hurt substantially more. She replies that she is on her way and that it sounds like it's time to fill up the pool.

Chris calls just after 7:30 to say he's on his way home and asks if he has time to stop for a coffee. I say something like "No, no you do not. Come home now please." Gloria lives only 5 minutes away so he gets home sometimes between 7:30-7:45. While he heads straight to the espresso machine to make himself a coffee I inform him that will have to wait because it's time to fill up the pool. It takes no time at all, and shortly before 8 (after Chris closed the curtains, haha) I slide into the warm water and feel immediate relief.

Tara arrived less than 5 minutes later. I tell her that I just got in and I'm feeling good. She starts setting up all her things and we chat in between contractions. I think it was in these first few minutes that she was there that Chris set up the bed (put a liner and new sheets on top of the existing sheets.) Tara said that she sees no reason to do a vaginal exam - it really doesn't matter how dilated I am. I agreed. Things are progressing well and there is nothing to be gained from knowing if I am 3 cm or 8 cm. She checks baby's heartbeat with a doppler, and all is well.

The next hour goes pretty quick. The contractions are getting stronger each time. For each one I lean over the side of the birthing pool and breathe - the stronger they get the louder my exhales seem to get. I'm loving this birth pool- so much more comfortable than the tubs at the Lucina birth center- at least for me it is because I end up on my knees for each contraction, and the cushy blown up bottom is way nicer than a hard tub. I'm kicking myself for not making the labour playlist I had been meaning to. (The last couple weeks have been pretty nuts!) Instead I listen to a Pharis and Jason Romero album that I have been listening to with each bath I've had this pregnancy. It's mellow folk music and it does the trick. At some point I ask Chris if he's eaten breakfast yet (he hadn't) and tell him to go make himself some eggs. He seems surprised and asks if he has time for that to which I reply yes, with a chuckle (remember I still think baby is coming well after lunch time) He is happy to get to eat and disappears into the kitchen. Tara and I chat in between contractions and she applies counter pressure to my back with each one. At some point, (I think near 9?) I ask Chris if he's almost done eating, and when he is, could he come back in the living room? The contractions were getting more intense and I really wanted him there.

Tara told me to tell her when I started feeling pressure or "push-y" There needs to be two midwives for the actual birth and Tara's partner midwife Heidi was coming from Sherwood Park and would need time to get here. Nothing felt immediate or like we were in a rush. When I did start to feel pressure I told Tara and she replied to just let my body do what it wanted to and not to hold back and to let her know if I felt the urge to push. Shortly after that I heard her answer her phone while I was having a contraction. I think she stepped out of the room for a minute, but I heard her say something like "You might be cutting it close. No, it's fine, just go. See you soon." I remember wondering how long Tara thought it might be before I started pushing.

With each contraction I remind myself that each pain I feel is for a purpose. My body is doing exactly what it's supposed to. I try not to clench up and fight against the pain, but just to picture baby moving down. The last 4-5 contractions had been getting stronger and more intense with more pressure each time. Still no urge to push. As focused as I was during each contraction I still felt a little distracted in between. My mind was moving a mile a minute and as I tend to do when I feel out of control, I was micromanaging anything I could think of. Around 9:15 I told Chris in a panic that he needed to text Gloria. I was worried that no one would go visit my dad if both her and my other sister Nicole came to meet the baby. I asked him to tell her that if my Mom was at her house with Elliott she should leave and go visit him. (I later read the text he sent her, and he did indeed tell her what I asked, followed with "I don't know. Crazy labour talk" Ha ha.) Then about 15 minutes later I asked him to text her again- this time about Elliott. I told him to tell her that he would need to have his nap really early because of when he woke up. And just as I finished my sentence to him I felt another contraction coming on and said "but not yet" and moved to lean over the pool.

This one was different. It felt so strong and I felt so much pressure that I reached down to see if I felt the head. I felt my bag of waters (which still had not broken) bulging out. For a split second I wondered if they would go back in once the contraction was over. For the first time, I yelled out a long "aaaaaahhhh" with the pain. I felt my body pushing and instead of holding back like I remember doing with Elliott, I just leaned into it and pushed... and much to my surprise she came out! I reached down with both hands and caught her in the water- bringing her up to my chest.

I think the only word to describe how I felt in that moment was shock. I sat back against the side of the pool and cradled her, and all three of us were just... shocked. It just felt like this "holy crap!" moment. I couldn't believe that only two minutes earlier I had NO idea that she was that close to coming out. And in one push!! She was born at 9:36 am.

Tara asked if we saw what sex the baby was and so I moved the cord out of the way and spread her legs and saw she was a girl!! Second shocker of the day because I was SO sure this baby was a boy. I had been telling anyone who asked for months that I was at least 80% sure this was a boy. Just goes to show you there is no definitive way to tell without an ultrasound (and even then it can be wrong!) I was so sure because of the speed of the heartbeat - they say that generally speaking, a heartbeat under 150 indicates a boy and over 150 indicates a girl. Elliott's heartbeat was between 140-147 the whole time, and this baby was the same, with a few times being between 136-140 even. So, under 150, and even lower than Elliott's? I felt pretty confident that meant boy.

So there I sat, shocked. Holding our brand new girl. Audrey Hannah. Audrey, because I have always loved that name (and yes, I love Audrey Hepburn, but no she is not named after her) and Hannah from the Bible- I am always moved by her faith and the sacrifice she makes to the Lord.

Chris called our families to tell them. I delivered the placenta in the water as well, and then Tara helped me stand up and walk to our bedroom. This is reason #142 why a home birth is AMAZING. Only minutes after having my baby I walked the 10-15 steps to my own bed. And it felt like heaven.

Tara checked me out in bed and announced I had a "paper cut" size tear not worth stitching. At that moment nothing hurt. I wasn't tired. I felt like a complete rockstar and on top of the world. Got to love that birth high. Audrey came out rooting around and eating her hands so I latched her on almost right away when Tara was done checking me out. Chris asked me if I was hungry, which I was, and he made me the most amazing pancakes with whipped cream, strawberries and bacon. I ate not one, but two giant plates of it. That first post birth meal is pure joy- especially when you've given up sugar for the last trimester. Audrey stayed latched on the whole time I ate, and probably for nearly half an hour after.  

Tara weighed and examined her after we were done eating and nursing. She weighed 8 lbs 13 oz and was 20.5 inches long. And she is just perfect; fearfully and wonderfully made!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Audrey's Birth Story Part 1

What better way to dust off the 'ol blog than with a birth story?

I'll start a couple weeks before my due date. I started experiencing frequent "practice contractions" at about 37 weeks. They would come every night- often as I climbed into bed, as well as in the middle of the night. I would describe them as strong braxton hicks contractions that had no pattern, rhyme or reason to them. They wouldn't interfere with my sleep too much so I wasn't too bothered by them. Given that I had Elliott at 39 weeks and I was experiencing these contractions I fully expected this baby to come early as well. At my 38 week appt with my midwife she also agreed that she wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it to my next appt.

Then on Sept 16th (38 weeks, 3 days) my Dad fell off a ladder and was rushed to the U of A hospital with a skull fracture and brain bleed. All of a sudden I was praying that baby would stay put while we dealt with this emergency. And stay put she did! I am a big believer that a relaxed body will go into labour much easier than a tense, anxious body, and in my opinion the accident put my body into lockdown. I was fine with it because my focus was all on my Dad. I'm not sure I could have handled having Audrey directly after the accident because that first week-ish was so crazy up and down in terms of my Dad's recovery. Also, each day she didn't come meant one more day I could spend at the hospital visiting my Dad. I was grateful for each of those days.

Now fast forward to my due date. Tues, Sept 27th.

I started out the day by going to visit my Dad in the morning. I was feeling really emotional because I didn't have a lot of time to spend with him- I could barely stay for an entire hour just because of what time it was and needing to pick up Elliott from my friend's house in time for getting home for lunch and his nap. I spent most of the visit just sitting, holding his hand as he slept, but the last 15 minutes or so he woke up and was really responsive to me. At this point in his recovery he had only been "fully awake" for a couple of days, so it was really exciting to talk to him and see his facial expressions change, and see him try to talk (though he was still intubated and couldn't) I was able to read his lips for the first time. He said "I love you too" as I was leaving. The last thing I said to him was "See you tomorrow- unless I have the baby!" Then I chuckled and said "I think I've said that to you everyday you've been in here!" and he grinned. I walked to the parkade attempting to hold back, but the tears started coming once I sat in the drivers seat. All along I had been giving baby a "pep talk" each day saying that he or she needed to stay put until grandpa woke up and could talk. I remember taking a deep breath and silently telling baby that this was good enough for me.

As sat there crying I got a text from Chris. All it said was "I got the job!!!" which caused me to completely break down sobbing. We had been waiting more than two weeks to hear if he got this new job, and it was such a giant relief to finally hear that he had it. It felt like coming up for air after holding your breath for longer than you should. Relief. Release. Joy.

The rest of the day was pretty normal. Not much could get me down- especially because I had a massage booked for that evening! For days I had been telling Chris that I hoped I would go into labour after the massage. With Elliott I had a massage the day I went into labour, and like I said- a relaxed body can go into labour easier than a tense body! I was definitely hopeful.

My massage therapist and I chatted that evening about the excitement and anticipation. She asked me when my induction date was, which is a foreign concept to me because I have had a midwife with both pregnancies. I remember thinking "Really? Is that a thing?" I explained to her that I had a midwife and so therefor I didn't have an induction date, which seemed to confuse her! I left after my massage and said "I'll let you know if I have the baby tonight!" and we both laughed.

As I crawled into bed that night I realized that I hadn't secured childcare for the next day to be able to visit my Dad. I was annoyed with myself that I would have to scramble the next day if I had a chance of getting there, but as I drifted off, once again thought "Well, maybe I'll just have the baby tonight and won't have to worry about it"

I woke up at 4 am to the sound of Elliott calling for me. Not unusual. He's not a great sleeper and often wakes once or twice a night. Immediately, before I even got out of bed I felt a contraction. It was stronger than any that I had been having in the last few weeks. I actually paused until it passed before I climbed out of bed. I went to his room, picked him up and rocked with him in his rocking chair for a minute. Then I put him back in bed and headed back to our room. As per usual I needed to pee, and so I crawled in bed after that and shortly after had another contraction. Again, I noted how it felt quite a bit stronger and I wondered if this might be it.

(Spoiler alert: It was)

..... to be continued!

Monday, 25 July 2016

31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant

How Far Along? 31 Weeks

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Nope. I even ate a McDonalds cheeseburger last week out desperation/poor planning and found it to taste delicious!

Food Cravings? Oh, pretty much anything sweet! I decided to give up added sugar a couple weeks ago, so of course that's all I'm craving now. Donuts. (Smelling mini donuts at the farmers markets KILLS me each week) Ice cream. French toast. I just want all the sugar all the time. I am pretty stubborn however, so I've been resisting!

Mood: Pretty good! I definitely have my days where I'm already feeling SO done with being pregnant and want to go hide in a hole by myself until September, but then I get over it.

Symptoms: Mostly just getting bigger and more uncomfortable each week. My pelvis is still painful, and my back has started to hurt a bit, but both don't really bother me until the evening, so I can't complain too much. 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake- it's hard to turn my mind off, and it's even harder to get comfortable with the now-awake baby kicking away. The past 3 nights Elliott (and I) have been sleeping the whole night without waking up. It's been glorious! Praying it continues!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Baby is head down (and hopefully just stays that way now) and so most of the movement is higher up these days. Not quite in my ribs yet, but I imagine it won't be long..

Best moment of the week? A week or so ago we had a really nice Saturday where we had fun, but didn't jam pack our day with too much stuff. My favourite part was playing with Elliott in the front yard while I weeded the flower bed. He kept running up to both Chris and I and exclaiming "This is fun!!" before running back to his bike or somersaults. It was so adorable and totally melted my heart!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished (again.) We have a really c
ool feature wall planned and I just want to paint so badly!!

Belly Button in or out? In and no noticeable changes

Nursery Progress? There's been some real progress in clearing out the room in the past week, and I'm hoping to finally get it painted in the next two weeks. We have everything ready to move in once it's been painted. This time around I'm waiting until baby is born to finish decorating- I have distinct differences to how I want it to look for either a boy or a girl, so I'll do everything I can until we know who this baby is, then finish off the last details after he or she arrives!

Baby Loot: I have almost everything checked off my list! In the last couple weeks we've acquired a sound machine, some Aden&Anias blankets, a side table for beside the glider, and even a package of newborn diapers. THAT felt crazy to buy already. Man those things are tiny. 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

28 Weeks Pregnant

28 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry guys. No picture this week!

How Far Along? 28 Weeks, 1 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Still McDonalds (wouldn't be the worst thing if that continued after pregnancy!) and I ate a gross soggy wrap from Sobey's yesterday (well, two bites of it) so right now the idea of a wrap is pretty much the worst thing. 

Food Cravings? Not that I can think of.  

Mood? The past week has been a lot of ups and downs. These hormones are starting to get the best of me, and having a toddler who has decided to wake up in the middle of the night again doesn't help!

Symptoms: Well the pain in my pelvis is still a pain in my butt- mostly in the evening once I have sat down on the couch to rest for a while. When I try to readjust my weight or get up it can be pretty painful. Oh well. Right now I'm just thankful it doesn't give me too much trouble throughout the day. 
Lots of Braxton Hicks. They feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but I wonder if it's because I don't have the option of just not moving while they happen- I have a toddler and I run a dayhome. I move a lot, and that doesn't stop just because I'm having a little Braxton Hicks!
A week or so ago I had some trouble taking a deep breath for an entire two days. It was horrible and I'm thankful it went away. (And am praying it doesn't return!) 

Sleep? Sleep? What sleep? Ok, I exaggerating. I fall asleep fine, but then wake up at least once to pee and at least one other time because Elliott needs me to "read him one more book" Thankfully it takes less than 5 minutes to get him settled again, but then I go back to bed and lay awake while the soccer player in my belly settles down. I suppose the Lord is preparing me for what is to come!

Movement? Oh yes. Quite a bit. Most of the kicks are still quite low in my pelvis. I'm guessing that will change when baby turns head down. 

Best moment of the week? We took Elliott to the Calgary zoo a coupe days ago, and it was just so much fun! It was so sweet and wonderful to watch him get excited about the animals. Such a fun day!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery closer to finished- hopefully we'll be painting soon!

Belly Button in or out? In and getting more shallow each week!

Nursery Progress? We have been very slowly getting the room ready to paint. We moved a bit of stuff out of there, but still have more to move. Funny how much less time you have to do these things when you both work full time and have a two year old. 

Baby Loot: We scored a dresser and a glider off Kijiji just this past week. I'm so excited to get the room painted and move it all in there!!

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