Category Archives: Pregnancy

Not just another baby story

I thought it would be fun to share the story of my daughter’s birth from the photographer’s perspective.

 

I was sweating in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart when Tamika called me on a swampish July afternoon to ask me a question. She wanted to know if I would photograph her daughter’s birth. “I don’t know how you feel about that,” she laughed; I didn’t know how I felt about it either. There are several factors my mind quickly went to that could have kept me from saying yes, for instance, gratuitous pain or bodily fluid, both of which I’ve long assumed I have a low tolerance for. But Tamika has me wrapped around her finger and she makes everything in life feel beautiful and celebratory. I’ve known her for over three years now but only in the last year have we built a firm friendship and have become ingrained in each other’s lives. She’s taught me how to celebrate the mundane. She’s shared her family with me, her dreams, her precious tea. She laughs with me a lot and gives me a sassy look -a look I can’t help but imitate regularly. I trust my life with this woman. She is quiet, she is fierce, and she loves Jesus. She is also very intentional with her life and friendships. I didn’t understand fully why she wanted me there but when someone like that has loved you so well, a big question slowly turns into a simple answer: absolutely.

Fairmount House

Close to a week before the birth I dropped by the Fairmount House to talk through the details surrounding Tamika’s delivery. It should have been no surprise to hear the plan entailed being just as quiet and chill at seven centimeters dilated then when she’s sewing a peplum top sipping on some hot tea. She wanted a peaceful and subdued atmosphere but I doubted this projection. I was leaving for Atlanta for a conference a few days later and texted her to suck that baby in until I returned. Baby obliged and the family went to the hospital half an hour after I returned to the city. That’s what I call perfect timing.

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I joined them at 10:20 PM on a Saturday night, a weary traveler who hadn’t showered in two days and smelled like beef jerky (Let it be known, I erased this sentence twice before I resigned to full disclosure) I anxiously walked through the deserted halls of the hospital, finally forced to face my small anxieties I previously squelched of what would happen that evening. The nurse buzzed me into the maternity ward. I could hear a fresh baby crying in a room down the hall; I smiled and breathed deeply as we entered our room. It was dimly lit, smelling of lavender and peppermint. Tamika curled up on her side in the hospital bed, smiling between contractions, happy to see me.

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Labor was less stressful than I had braced for but I imagine Tamika could tell a different story there. There wasn’t any drama. There were minimal monitors and beeping. Husband wasn’t stressed. Nursing staff wasn’t rushing in mid-contraction to see if it was time to push. No one rushed anywhere. I’m not entirely sure why I was expecting these things. Too many episodes of Offspring, I suppose. Tamika labored quietly.

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Her friend, Louise, tended to her every need and encouraged her as she progressed in labor. I sat back quietly with her husband, my camera always close. I’m one of those sense-ers, the people who can walk in a room, lick my finger, hold it to the wind, and come back with pretty accurate readings on tension and drama in the situation. Being in labor and delivery was a constant sense check, especially when you’re capturing someone’s pain. An hour into that room I came to the definite conclusion that there will always be something inherently awkward about sitting on a couch with your legs crossed sipping on a cup of coffee while watching someone agonize a child out of their body, or even worse, taking pictures of them. There’s just no way around it.

That evening reminded me that, like most things I’ve experienced in life, is experienced individually, but is done best together. It’s good to lean in the uncomfortable circumstances of life and stay with loved ones even when you feel incapable of healing or helping. Sometimes our presence and our attention can be enough; not enough to change people or pain but just enough to remind each other that we don’t have to be alone when we hurt; that when we absorb the desperate squeezing of a hand our willingness to sit with the suffering produces the courage to keep on. Tamika has sat with me as I’ve cried over heartbreak or confessed sin in my life or probably more commonly, where I’ve been unwilling to see the next best step. Andy Crouch says that persons created in the image of the triune God do not flourish unless they are placed in community. As I’ve flourished, this past year I’ve learned a healing community looks a lot like a delivery room; waiting, anticipation, and continual prayer. And when the time comes, change happens.

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In the wee hour of Sunday morning, it was time. The doctor walked in followed by two nurses who stood in the back ground, waiting. The doctor asked me to help her tie her scrubs and she casually sat down on a roller chair and asked Tamika, “Are you ready to have a baby?” Husband, who appeared relaxed all evening, crossed his arms expectantly. As Tamika readied herself, we all rose to our feet, like a palace waiting for their queen. The room grew quiet, Tamika’s pain the only thing heard. When she bore down to push, I looked around the room at the seven of us. I thought about each generation before us, who labored out the next, and on and on, that brought us here, to a darkened hospital room to bear witness the birth of this little one. Tamika grabbed husband’s hand and I thought of my own mother’s soft tan hands gripping a cold hospital rail and my dad’s arm, as if it eased any sort of pain. It is crazy how humans can love each other that much without the slightest clue of who they’re bringing into the world and the heartache tethered to them. It’s crazy knowing my mom –like many others- would do it all over again if she had the chance. It’s even crazier to know paradoxically, that even that sort of love leaves the deepest part of me wanting, aching and lonely to be filled with an even holier, perfect love that only God himself can satisfy.

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It has always been mysterious to me why God came to us as a baby. I’ve wondered why didn’t he show his power by parting the sky when John was baptizing and instead a dove, drop a grown-up Jesus down then (or any other time and place, for that matter). But there, in that hospital room, I couldn’t help but think of Mary and how quietly the world changed when she gave birth and about how much the world that Jesus was born into desperately needed him as much then as we do now. Christ lived, died, and conquered death for that world and this one, with a promise to return. And so we’ve waited. At twenty-six, I’ve sat in front of enough television screens riddled with mass shootings, missing planes, abducted children, oil spills, and beheadings that at times life can feel so heavy that I’m sure it will split in two. Some days the goodness of life can be overwhelmed by the senseless viciousness of it. The earth has pretty much always been broken, as it has always been round. While Tamika labored to bring her little girl in the world, another friend’s days old daughter died that night in a NICU; the same night we stood in joyful anticipation of life, another room sat in grief. When I hear of these paradoxes, the wars and slavery, sometimes they just get called ‘life’, a pat answer for the worst kind of realities and confusion we live with. It has been difficult to look at the state of the world and not ask God what the heck is going on, what’s the plan here or ask ourselves, why can’t we just get it together for a second and stop killing each other? Over the years my trust in God has wandered in every direction–to his very existence to whether he’s even good to us. It’s inconceivable to me that God still wants me–the doubter, the naysayer of his love and kindness–and yet, I’ve felt his kindness in spite of my disbelief over the years. It’s wounded me in the best way; a wounding that has cut my pride down to size, picked me up, and loved me in spite of myself. There is so much in life I do not and will not understand but my prayer is that I, like Paul, will always say,

“How great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! Or who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever!”

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So when my dear friend cried out in pain as the child that she’s hoped and loved and labored for came, Jesus spoke to me in that room, in the still small voice recounted in Isaiah. He spoke the very words he spoke to his disciples in Matthew 24, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” And then he comes backFor good. And with one incredible push, a tiny Contessa Grace was welcomed into the world, quietly and wide-eyed on a dark Sunday morning. Her eyes moved about, as if she was taking in the new world and upon assessment, let out a pitiful grunt of approval. All seven of us chuckled quietly. It completely took my breath away. For the first time in my life, I understood pain and suffering in a whole new way. We can exist in a world of pain and still rejoice because we know hope is being born. It is all light and momentary affliction in view of the glory to come.

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Half an hour later, I sat on the couch holding Contessa in all her un-bathed curly-headed, slender fingered, baby-grunting glory, pushing back tears. Tamika looked over at me at one point and just raised her eyebrows and gave me a half-smile, like we’d both experienced something crazy. We had. I will always be grateful for Tamika and her husband inviting me into their sacred space and entrusting me with the honor of telling Contessa’s birth through my camera. I laugh thinking about the doctor looking at me before Tamika pushed and asking me, “Are you good?” –I can’t imagine what my face was saying. I can’t ever get it to shut up. Mostly, I’ve come away amazed at God’s design and how he is found at the start of every life, how he holds and tends to each one so carefully. I’ve seen his kindness and blessing in the face of suffering.

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I’ve thought a lot since then about what I would want Contessa to know about that night if she ever finds herself leafing through those photos. I would want to tell her that when she was born all the lights in the hospital shined brighter that night because that’s how it felt, as if her birth charged the earth’s battery by two hundred percent. I would tell her that her mama laid her on her chest and locked eyes with her and just smiled and said, “Well, hello there.” like they had met before and her daddy looked her over a thousand times like the Sistine Chapel. There was a small party with nurses who cooed and a doctor that smiled and Louise who giggled and Bri who took pictures. God smiled and the angels rejoiced.  And more than anything, I would want her to know that even though life is a struggle, we all count it a privilege to be here in a world with her, to live, to discover, to love, to yearn, to live life together, imitating the Creator.

 

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A miscarriage experience

The following is a letter to my son.  Even though he will not read this, it is necessary for my heart.

My dear son Rohan,

I was so looking forward to seeing you.  Your older brother was only 9 months when we found out you were on your way.  So, you definitely snuck up on us brotha.  I wasn’t worried though, God’s timing is perfect.  Take that back, I didn’t worry much.  But I did become anxious at times thinking about if I could produce enough milk to feed you, or if I would have to supplement like I did with your brother.  I knew you were coming when my body started feeling a-certain-kinda-way.  Constant nausea without the vomiting, for a few weeks, seems to be commonplace with our pregnancies.  Such a small price to pay for such an amazing gift.  You were no exception baby boy.

Your big sister had just started her first year of homeschooling.  You should have seen me trying to take her through lessons while being stretched out on the couch.  I thought I was pointing to words in a book for her to read along, but when I looked up my finger was all off the book somewhere.  I was too miserable to even sit up, but I tried really hard to remember I would only feel that way for a short season.

Your dad had me laughing.  He said that one day I was fine, then after we took the test and found out it was positive, within 24 hours I was an absolute mess.  I guess he couldn’t understand how it happened so fast.  Maybe he thought is was psychological, but I say, “welcome to the wonderful world of mommyhood”.  I knew something pretty much amazing was going on inside of me.  Your dad had me laughing on several occasions actually.  Just like he told me the gender of your brother and sister, he told me that you were a boy.  He chose a name for you shortly after.  That’s just how it’s been in our family.  Your dad was spot on with your siblings.  He lets me know when he feels really drawn to a particular name.  I have often found myself in prayer a lot after he reveals the name.  Once I told him I would pray the opposite of what he was praying.  Lol.  Talk about division.  It was all in fun, but some of those names were just hilarious to me.  I will probably holler (hearty laugh) if we see you in heaven and you’re a girl.

I thought I was on my way out of “baby season”, but I had to give up any thoughts of having a normal nights’ rest for a loooong time.  Well, you would have just given us a new normal.  Soon my mind began thinking about all the handmade items  I would make for you.  I started sewing last year, and it is such a joy to learn.  You were going to be so cute in your little appliqued tee.

It would have been so much fun seeing you grow alongside your siblings.  You probably would have knocked all of their milestones out of the park because you were trying to catch up with them and do everything they were doing.  Even though we will not experience the joys of having you here with us, we will remember you.  You have forever changed our numbers.  And when people ask me about my children, I will not forget you.  People don’t talk much about this stuff, you know?  I had no clue so many women share this same experience son.  I mean, you hear the numbers, but you really don’t think about it.  At least I didn’t.

I’ve thought about how I won’t be able to tell you that God loved you so much that He sent His only son to live and die for you on the cross.  But hey, you are way ahead of the game son now that you are with Him.  So happy for you.  Can’t wait to see you.  I must finish out my days here, allowing the Lord to guide me through each season of life.  Such a sweet partnership.  I pray this can be done in faith and with much joy in each experience.  You were a great reminder of the brevity of life.  I have found myself not being so uptight about certain things, because hey, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Son, you are special to me.  Hopefully I can comfort others with the same comfort I have received from God concerning you.  Until we meet……………..

Resting in His love, (you are doing the same)

Mom

Conceived by love, received with joy, and born in peace.

Yep.  That pretty much explains the events surrounding the newest addition to our family.

It’s official!  Our little man is here.  He is too precious!

Abraham was born in November of 2011.  He weighed in at 7 lbs even and measured 19.5 inches long.

I love to hear birthing stories.  Back in the day I was a faithful watcher of TLC’s “A Baby Story”.  My friends would often find me singing the show’s title to them in an unforgettable soprano voice.  Lol!

The creation of life is nothing short of miraculous.

I was much more involved in this birth than I was with my first.  This sounds a little weird, but I can explain.  With “curly cutie” I had no clue what to expect.  I did some reading and talking to people, but nothing too intensive.  Fairly early on in my first pregnancy I was scheduled to be induced in the event she didn’t come on her due date.  I knew pretty much nothing about the induction process, but by the time I reached 39 weeks I didn’t care what they did to my body.  I wanted that baby out!  Such a sweet combo of excitement and fatigue going on inside of me.  She was wonderful in every way too.  Long story short, hospital at 6am, Pitocin at 8am, epidural around noon, baby at 3pm (after 3 pushes).  I was fortunate in that surgery was not a part of this story as is the case for many inductions.

This pregnancy was different.  I wanted it to be different.  I actually wanted my body to feel.  I wanted to know what my body was doing.  I didn’t want an epidural to have me “in the clouds” again.  I thought to myself, “This can’t be too hard.  My body was designed for this.”  I thought about what an ideal situation would look like for me, and I tried to capture that on paper in the form of a birth plan.  I know that things don’t always go as planned, but I still wanted to have one.  I did my reading.  Here are some highlights from my birth plan.  I wanted……

–  dimly lit room with soothing music (I brought my ipod and speakers)

–  to not be confined to the bed, but able to move around freely

–  to use the birthing pool  (I really wanted to just go ahead and give birth in the water)

–  baby placed on me immediately after birth

–  to exclusively breastfeed

–  ability to consume beverages and snacks of choice

If you desire to see my birth plan in its entirety just leave me a comment.  It was pretty short, yet detailed.  You can also do a search and pull up several examples of birth plans.  There is no one right format, just whatever works for your family.

And, can I just say that EVERYTHING on my birth plan came to pass!  Talk about blessed.  You don’t even know the half.  Lol.  I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

The day I woke up at 3am was unlike any other early morning I had for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  The contractions I was having seemed to have been “kicked up a notch”, and they were coming every 5-7 minutes.  I thought to myself, “we could be onto something.”  I knew to pay attention when they started coming consistently.  At this point, they were still very bearable.  I was just concentrating on getting through that minute. This went on for several hours with the contractions increasing in intensity every hour it seemed like.

Around 7 or so I knew I would need some help.  I could not talk or do anything while I was having a contraction.  My husband called it my “quiet moment”.  He could tell when one was starting because I would get silent and bow my head.  He told our daughter I was having a quiet moment.  She got quiet too.  My eyes were  closed, but I could hear her little voice in the background praying for me.  She is sure to get the “big sister of the year award”.  She really has a kind heart.

I decided to get into the tub and turn on the jets.  Pure relaxation for the next 1.5 hours.  In between contractions that is.  During that time I called my doc to let her know how I was feeling.  I told her I would keep an eye on things and call her back in a little bit.  I didn’t know if it was time for me to go to the hospital or not.  So, I just continued to labor at home.  The last thing I wanted was a “falsie”.  The hospital is about 20min away and I did not want to be told to “go home”.  When I was ready to get out of the tub, I pretty much knew it was time to head to the hospital.  Bags were packed and at the door, “curly cutie” and I put on clothes.  I’m ready to walk out of the door and guess what my husband is doing……cleaning.  Now, I know I take pain “like a champ”, but when I say it’s time to go, IT’S TIME TO GO!  Lol!  Here he is with vacuum in hand, letting me know that things have to be in order.  He finally said, “Oh, I should get dressed, huh?”

At the hospital, we (me, husband, curly cutie, nurse) had to stop twice on our walk from registration to labor and delivery for me to “breathe and sway” through contractions.  It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would.  I really didn’t know how I thought it would feel.  I wanted to bear the pain without medication, but I wanted it close by just in case.  Don’t trip.  Lol.

After twenty minutes of monitoring, I went right into the birthing pool.  I absolutely did not want to be strapped down to a bed if it was not necessary.  My doc rocked!  She supported every decision.  I didn’t even get an i.v. in my arm.  I progressed very quickly from six to ten centimeters.  The two nurses caring for us were absolutely amazing.  One nurse had been helping deliver babies for 40 years.  It’s quite hard to believe, but she said our child’s birth was at the top of her list.  Before I knew it, my water broke and the “show was on”.  I didn’t know this then but my body wanted to push immediately with that next contraction.  I did not let it push for fear of “doing #2” in the tub.  Does anybody still call it that these days?  Lol.  I know….I was clownin’.  Was that TMI?  Well, I’m trying to give it to you straight.  I must have gotten over that pretty quick, because I had my husband go tell the nurse I was ready to push.  Curly Cutie was taken to a nearby room.  She stayed with mommy most of the time.  Such a big girl.  Those contractions were coming in such a beautiful rhythm…..right up until the doc and nurses came in to assist, scoop poop and catch baby.  No contraction for another 5 minutes.  I guess my body was getting ready for what was about to happen.  By this time, my hands and legs were numb.  I didn’t know if it was time to freak out or just remain calm.  Either way the baby was coming.  Now, the hospital doesn’t necessarily like for the babies to be born in the tub for some reason, but that didn’t stop my doc from making it her  business to allow me this experience (if all went well).  So, she’s standing there, and asks me, “Do you want to stay in here or go over to the bed?”  With numb legs I wasn’t going anywhere honey.  She then said, “Well, I guess you better turn over and push.”  I said, “ok”.  It was an “over and out” type of situation.  I turned over and the baby came out.  Lol!  One push folks!  I started to bear down and my body took over and pushed little Abraham right out.

And there it is!  On with our new family or 4.

Anybody else like baby stories?

7 month update

This has been the longest I’ve gone without making a post I think.  I’ve kinda missed this thing.  Life is always happening, and I’m glad to be here.

well, month 7 is in “full waddle swing”.  I’m doing well to “keep my center” folks.  The belly is getting pretty big.  Lol!

Bam!  There it is!  And don’t be like, “what belly?” like some have.  In person, this thing would be knocking you and anything close to it right over.  It knocks “curly cutie” around constantly.  I mean, can I wash dishes at the kitchen sink without constantly bumping into the sides?  Nope.

Recently, I was thinking about how different this pregnancy is from my first.  There are things I do now that I’ve never done before, like……..drink coffee.  I can’t even believe I just typed that.  Coffee was so not on my “things to drink” list.  I’m a tea kinda gal all the way.  However, time and space do bring about change.  Now, for some strange reason………I like it.  I really like it.  Then there’s this other thing…….

my beloved fried egg with secret spices!  Ok, the spices really aren’t a secret, I just don’t know what to call one of them.  I think you call the main spice Zaater.  The only other two seasonings I use are garlic salt and cracked pepper.  This baby is fried in a skillet with a “teench” of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  And just call me happy!  Gotta have it almost every day.  The whole house has been converted.  We have never gone through a carton of eggs this quick.

In other news, switch to the new doc was a success.  From what I’ve seen, she is my kinda gal.  Kind, gentle, and knows her stuff.  Not to mention, the hospital has a birthing tub!  Woot!  Some of you know that I really wanted to try a “home birth” this go ’round.  That didn’t quite work out, but I think that working with this doc and her staff will get me the closest I can possibly get to a natural birth although it will be in a hospital.  I even made a birth plan.  I feel like I was “out to lunch” during my first pregnancy.  I didn’t know nothing about nothing.  How do you like that sentence?  But boy, God sure saw me through that.  I ended up being induced with “curly cutie”, and was happy to do it.  I didn’t know any better.  I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being induced.  In my case, it just was not necessary.  I already had my induction date midway into the pregnancy.  A good amount of inductions do lead to c-sections.  I was in labor a few hours (I guess), and after 3 pushes she was here and loud.  Lol!  I consider myself fortunate not to have had to go to surgery.  Back to the birth plan.  Now, I am not one of those moms will get upset if things don’t go exactly how I’ve laid them out in my plan.  It is just a list of things I hope to see happen during labor and delivery.  I’m glad to be going in with a little bit more knowledge than I had the last time.

I have made my requests known, and the only other thing I need to do is trust God.  He is TOTALLY responsible for me……spirit, soul, and body.  I believe that.

Let’s see what else.

– cloth wipes are pretty much done

– decided to hold off on making a  lot of the baby items.  The shower is coming up and I’m sure I’ll have plenty.  I’ve just been super excited about adding more items to my “I know how to sew a…” category.  The time will come when I’ll be able to get to some of these things.  Hey, maybe even sell them.  I have made some items that are quite beautiful.

– working on a special surprise to be presented to “curly cutie” at the baby shower.  You all will absolutely love it.

– received a glider chair, would like to re-cover the cushion.

– have a list of freezer meals just waiting to be prepared.  Waiting for a deep freezer.

– plans are underway to make a table and chair set for “curly cutie’s ” room.  If you guys have not checked out the free woodworking plans at http://www.ana-white.com, you need to head on over and see what Mrs. White has been up to.  The woman is bad (that really means good).  Now, y’all know with my background in Tech Theatre, that I have a “little builder” on the inside of me.  This woman’s plans speak to that builder.  Lol!  She is good  at what she does, and shows you how to build furniture very similar to what you could find at a well known store with only paying a fraction of the cost.  Case in point……

This is the table/chair combo I speak of.  I think this table would be perfect for the kids’ room.  Maybe a couple of them even.  So, here’s the deal.  Ana made the table for about $17.  Each chair came in at less than $4.  If I bought the wood on sale at the lowest price I’ve seen at one of my local stores, I would be paying close to $10 for the table and less than $3 for each chair.  This does not include tools or finishing items (primer and paint).  Tell me that’s not a deal.  This is what makes me cringe at the thought of spending $100+ for children’s furniture when it can be made for considerably less.  All my husband wants to know is its ETA (estimated time of arrival).  Yeah, I made him a believer when he came home from an out-of-town trip one day to a freshly painted accent wall in the bedroom, and a custom made headboard for the bed.  So, let’s see if we can make this happen before baby.

Wheww, this post is long.  Was that enough update for you?  I hope all is well where you are.  Until next time.

Update:  Read about my  birthing experience here.

Update

I figured it was “high time” for an update.  What has been going on over here?  Let me see.

– Curl Cutie turned “4”!  I know, you probably thought she was turning “14”.  Not yet.

– I have not had a headache for almost a month.  Somebody say “glory”!  Kinda forgot about even having them.  I have been “losing weight and feeling great”.  Lol!  What commercial did that come from.?  I thought about it, so I had to use it.  Now, we all know there has not been any weight loss over here.  The baby is making sure that is not the case.

– I am 6 months pregnant now.  At my last appointment,  the scale was only reading three pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight.  I can understand why though.  Not much of an appetite at the beginning.  Even now that my appetite is back, I can should only eat a little bit at a time or my body starts to feel heavy and uncomfortable.  Do I always listen to my body?  Certainly not.  I have been sleeping with a body pillow for support.  Makes my nights so much easier.  I have also been trying not to drink any liquids close to bedtime.  A full bladder does not make for a good nights rest for me.

– I have not made much progress on my handmade baby items to-do-list.  I have officially completed two cloth wipes.  Lol!  Oh, I don’t think I told you guys we are cloth diapering this go ’round.  I was supposed to and never got around to the post.  Let my husband tell it, I have completely neglected this blog.  You are reading this post because of his encouragement.  So yeah, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about cloth diapering.  It has definitely made a “come back” folks.  I don’t think it ever really died, but information on the internet has taken the guess work out of this fine art.  Besides, cloth was used long before disposables hit the market.

So, there is still lots to get done, and time is standing still for no man.  Here is a brief list of other things I would like to work on before the baby arrives……Note: I’ll get done what I can get done and that’s that.  I still want to enjoy every day of this pregnancy and life as we know it, before EVERYTHING changes.  So, even if I only get two more wipes done……then I guess that will give me four wipes whereby I will cleanse the baby like he has never been cleansed before.  LOL!!!  Here’s to hope….

– some freezer cooking

-try my hand at a cloth diaper cover using PUL fabric with fold-over elastic.  I’ve already successfully made a fleece pocket diaper from a free pattern online.

-make: stash of cloth wipes, bibs, burp cloths, nursing cover, nursing pads, changing pad, wet/dry bag for cloth diapers, changing pad cover

-gather recipes for homemade baby food

-gather materials to be used with “curly cutie” this preschool year.

*Of course there is more, but this is all I’ll add for now.  Consider yourself slightly updated.

“Do you want to know what you’re having?”

This is what the sonographer asked me at my first scheduled ultrasound.

Of course I do!”

Now, interestingly enough, I had just declined my husbands request to load up “curly cutie” and have them both accompany me to the appointment.  Why?  Well, it was 8:30 in the morning and, technically, I was not supposed to find out this information until next month.  So, I rested on the table in a perfectly dimly lit room.  The mood was set for a most beautiful nap.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so much sleep in my life.  I was too excited to go to sleep though, for I was about to hear the news of the century!

Do let me say that my husband already had this thing figured out.  A couple days after we found out we were expecting, he came to me with his thoughts on the gender and name of the baby.  I just laughed.  He did not.  He was serious as serious can be.  He had prayed.  I told him I would pray the opposite of what he was praying.  Lol!  I didn’t really do that, but we have this running joke between the two of us.  If one says something the other doesn’t 100% agree with, we say that we will pray the opposite.  Of course the opposite is whatever we want.  I know, silly, but we always get a good laugh out of it.  This was no exception, because his chosen name had me hollerin’.  My husband definitely has an “old soul”, but I was not expecting him to take it that far back on me.  Maybe I’ll share the name later, but for now just know that “I hollered” (that’s a term we use for laughing hard and loud).  So, as I rested on the table, I didn’t feel too bad about him not being there.  He already had it figured out.  For him “faith was not surprised”.

This baby is certainly not ashamed,” the sonographer said.  I laughed.

The first thing she could see was genitals.  All you could see was little legs in the air.  I won’t put the baby out there like that.  But I will show this…

The hubs was absolutely correct.  We are preparing to receive a beautiful baby boy at November’s end.  You should just see the excitement going on over here.

Well, that’s all for now.  I will be back to share some things we have in the works over here.  It’s “newness” all around.  Things will be quite different from the time “curly cutie” came “on the scene”.

Oh, “Operation Accumulation” has begun.  Remember when I mentioned that we gave pretty much everything away pertaining to babies?  Well, the blessings seem to be taking us over already and I hadn’t really gotten anything “kicked off” yet.  Praising God for His faithfulness.

Where have you been experiencing new life?  I’m convinced it is all around us.  Physical/emotional/spiritual/financial/mental, etc?

Note to pain

Dear pain,

Don’t know if you are aware, but you are not welcome here.  You think you can just come in any form you please (nausea, headaches, aching whatever, etc.) and have your way with me?  You are sadly mistaken, and your notice is served today.  This may hurt you, but you are not my portion. So, keep it movin’.  I have no problem reminding you…

Ever heard of a miracle?  Well, yeah, that’s what my body is working on this very moment.  Children are a blessing from the Lord.  I don’t see why the process to get them here can’t be a blessing as well.  This will be a wonderful pregnancy.  As much as I know you want to take part in this experience……you have not been invited to this “negro spiritual”.

Lol!  This is supposed to be serious, and I’m up here laughing.

I thought you had gotten the picture.  I mean, with us just celebrating the death-burial-resurrection of Jesus and all.  You could not keep Him.  The grave could not hold Him.  He bore you in His body so mine wouldn’t have to.  I stand firm on that promise and will remind you as frequently as necessary.

Never yours…truly,

Tamika

When have you had to tell pain to “go”?

Nausea……be gone.

Does this come in pill form?  Sure wish it did.  Or does it, and I’m the only pregnant soul that knoweth nothing of it?  I have been trying my best to stay hydrated and nourished.  Kinda hard when you really don’t have an appetite or the desire to raise a glass to your mouth.  I did hear of one thing that is known to help some women.  Ginger.  So, my husband took me straightway to our local health-food store.  Here is what I picked up.

I nibbled on a piece on the ride home.  “Oh ginger, you sweet/spicy non-treat you!”  Lol!  I love sweets, but they are not all created equal.  I really wanted it to taste good.  Oh well.  Before the night was over, I used these slices to make a quite delightful cup of tea.  I just put some slices in a little pot with water and boiled them on the stove top.

All I can say is I am up and moving today!  Not saying the ginger made all this goodness happen.  It may have played a part.

I just talked with my husband.  He calls me a few times a day when he is away to check up on us.  He told me he was having a great day today, and asked how “curly cutie” was doing.  I told him she is doing well today.  He was glad and told me that he woke up this morning speaking “life” over us all.  Yesterday was one of those days.  You know, the kind where it seems like everybody is “needy” and “moody”.  His words reminded me of a passage I read to “curly cutie” from the book of Proverbs 12 this morning.

“A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth…” verse 14a in KJV

The blessing and encouragement he spoke over us has also blessed him this day.

Today makes five years with the man that has ravished my heart!  And I am full of joy.  My husband is so thoughtful, kind and giving.  Guess what he gave me for our anniversary?

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What is this?  You know what this is.  If not, read on.  If you know, still read on.

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A baby!  Yep, you read it right folks.  We are with child!  It is true that the blessings of the Lord make one rich and add no sorrow with it.  We are so excited to have another “curly cutie” on “bake”.  I do have some reservations though.  I think I have forgotten what to do with a baby.  You see, my first “curly cutie” is swiftly approaching her fourth birthday.  And those who know her personality know that she processes information like an adult at times.  She started talking in complete sentences very early on me.  So, I probably had a baby-baby for about 10 months.  How do they grow up so fast?

My “curly cutie”

So, in addition to me not remembering what to do, we no longer have any “goods” that pertaineth (I did just add -eth to the end of pertain.  I like doing that to words.  Hey, we all have something.) to an infant.  Why? We gave them all away.  Yeah, we did think about the possibility of having more children in the future.  However, it is hard for us to hold on to “stuff” for tomorrow when others have need of it today.

I know, it just came to me what I shall do.  I will start “Operation Accumulation-Baby Edition”.  More details to come.  Don’t have any at the moment since the idea just came to me.

Question:  When you are blogging, how do you indicate when you are laughing at something you wrote?  Do you just write a sentence expressing that?  Do you use “lol” at the end of the funny (even if only to you) statement?  Or, do you just enjoy the moment and move on?  I mean, I don’t know.  Are there any hidden rules out there I need to know about?  I laugh a lot, so I need to know these things.

So, anyway, it looks like we have a “turkey baby” on our hands.  That gives me good time to prepare.  There are some things I would like to do this time that I did not our first go ’round.  That list to come soon.

What has you full of joy today?