24 weeks | Baby Sweets

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Well aware it's Wednesday, but slipped my mind to take a picture until now. Looking well more than my #24weeks, but I guess you'll have that with #baby3! Say it with me VIABILITY! #pregnancy #pregnant #babybump #maternityootd #bumpstyle
How far along: 24 weeks. [24 with Ezra24 with Isaac]

How big is baby: A cantaloupe at 10.5 – 11.8 inches and 12.7 oz. At week 24, Baby Sweet's progress isn't just about internal stuff, it's about her looks too. With pinker, more opaque skin, she's looking more and more, like a baby.

Weight gain/loss: I awesomely put on a good 5 additional pounds, which gave me a total gain with clothes on at my midwife appointment of 21lbs. The scale seems to have settled to 18lbs total and I'll be looking to maintain this for awhile now. Considering I seemed to put on 10lbs between my Oct and Nov appointments [including Thanksgiving and staying in a hotel for a few days for Levi's wedding] and putting on 11lbs between my Nov and December appointments, my midwife did tell me that I gained too much and that I'll have to get it under control.


There were so many supportive comments on IG. I seriously can't convey how appreciated they were. I just want to stress that I trust my midwife, otherwise I wouldn't be under her care. I wasn't complaining she said it and I don't think it was out of line. I don't believe that pregnancy is a free ticket to the buffet line of over indulgence and would much rather put the work in now to continue to be healthy after the pregnancy. A healthy mama is the best foundation for baby's future health and while weight might seem trivial, it's my best opportunity to help my little one. It just really, really, really sucked to hear that I wasn't doing that.

This pregnancy has definitely been different and I'm carrying differently. My whole entire day can be ruined just by the way I feel upon waking up and I'm only 24 weeks into this! My confidence has totally been shattered, but maybe that's the point.

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 

Sleep: Still having pregnancy nightmares.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Can you say salads, salads, salads. I'm not a big calorie counter, but know enough about what should go into my mouth that no one should be concerned I'll be dieting, but I'm going to rely heavily on vegetables and lean proteins. To boot, the button on my maternity winter jacket popped the same day I was told I'd gained too much. Awesome.

After 2 1/2 pregnancies, this button finally had it! Easy fix, but not until after errands. #pregnantgirlproblems

Movement: Still pretty infrequent, but definitely daily.

What I'm loving: I have a healthy baby. My family is healthy. I am healthy.

Symptoms: New this week, shortness of breath and feeling like I'm unable to move.
What I'm looking forward to: My Mom and I picked out yarn for a beautiful chevron baby blanket. I can't wait to see how it turns out. 
Yarn shopping with my Mom. #chevron #babyblanket, say whaaaaat?! #teamnopink
Best moment of the week: Tony and I were able to go into Enlightened 4D Imaging with the boys and my Mom and it was with great certainty confirmed that Baby Sweets is indeed a baby girl! 
I'll spare you the other pictures. Sweet baby girl! Isaac just kept saying "It's MY baby sister."

Official Big Boy

Friday, December 21, 2012

photo (1)

Tuesday night, while Tony was at hockey, Ezra shed his baby locks and now looks like the almost 18 month old that he is.

It probably had a lot to do with the fact that there were a million people waiting, but even more that Tony wasn't there and that I was watching Isaac, but I wasn't as emotional during the actual cut. Ezra did fantastic sitting in the chair and only got upset when he saw an Elmo doll that was out of his reach, and boy did he want it.

Ezra's hair was no where near the unruly mess that Isaac's was by the time he had his first hair cut, so it was cleaned up in short fashion and we were on our way.

As I said, I wasn't emotional then . . . it still gets me now though, every time I run my fingers through his hair and they fall empty too quickly.

23 weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Untitled 

How far along: 23 weeks. [23 with Ezra23 with Isaac]

How big is baby: A grapefruit at 10.5 – 11.8 inches and 12.7 oz. Baby Sweets is listening to my voice and heartbeat, and even loud sounds like cars honking and barking.

Weight gain/loss: Pushing towards 13 lbs.

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 

Sleep: The pregnancy dreams are a little much lately, especially after Friday’s events. I can’t seem to have a sweet dream for anything.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Still not craving hummus like I have in the past. I’ve eaten it a few times now and enjoyed it, which is a definite change from the beginning of this pregnancy, but it’s no where near normal. I pretty much eat two Claussen pickles upon arriving home from work everyday. And I’m eating ½ a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips nightly it seems. Blergh. When Ezra hears the cupboard door open he comes running, because he knows he’s going to get a treat and it’s literally the baking cupboard, so all he is expecting are chocolate chips. It’s not like it’s the sweets cupboard. True sign that I’m eating too many.

Movement: Baby Sweets is supposed to be establishing a pattern of awake/sleep times, but just like with the boys I haven’t seemed to figure it out. The little one is active and Tony got to feel his first kick, but it’s not too regular yet.

What I'm worrying about: Oh you know, just brining another child into this broken world.

What I'm loving: When I do get frequent kicks. I just love it.

Symptoms: Heartburn, insomnia, moodiness, fatigue, sore boobs, weight gain . . . you know the usual. I’m just so tired right now.

What I'm looking forward to: Christmas plans, starting with our hot dog picnic at my Mom’s on the 22nd! And then after the Christmas fun, our elective ultrasound on the 27th. I think both Tony and I are in a holding pattern of borderline acceptance, but are still somewhat reserved. I’ve found myself telling people “It’s a girl, so I’m told.”

Best moment of the week: Tony getting to feel the baby kick and Isaac proudly showing me the present he picked out for his baby sister.
Oh that smile makes me happy! Isaac so excitedly picked out a present for his new baby sister. #begrudinglypink #johndeere #itsagirl #proudbrother

Reacting

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I don't think an hour has passed, including much of my sleeping hours, without thinking of the tragedy at Sandy Hook. I don't think my words are big or will bring comfort to anyone, so I feel incapable of addressing what happened.

Instead, I can share how we reacted.

Friday night, after Isaac and I were diagnosed with Influenza and shelled out $140 for Tamiful prescriptions, we bunkered down at home and did the only thing I could possibly imagine: we just loved together. Inspired by Erin's recent Christmas tree picnic, we put a blanket on the ground and ate pizza. Next up were root beer floats and Ice Age 3.
Christmas tree #pizza #picnic with the littles tonight, inspired by @erinkkr, because I really couldn't think of a single other place I'd rather be. Next up Ice Age: Continental Drift, popcorn and ice cream. #familytime #boymama #holdthemclose

We cuddled, snuggled, kissed and hugged. Every minute Tony and I aware of the grieving parents who were unable to do the same. Isaac's fever returned and he ended up falling asleep in my lap. My legs were achy, as I too had the flu, but I couldn't move him. Thirty minutes later, there we stayed still cuddled up, mother and son.
My stomach bug didn't go too far, as Isaac has been diagnosed with influenza. So hard to see him sick, but totally soaking up his feverish cuddles. #baby1 with #baby3 #holdthemcloseFriends, we're both still here. I just can't put him down. I want to hold him forever. And ever. #mychildmyheart

It was a hard weekend, with the boys and I being sick. It never seems that their sickness results in a meek spirit, but we stayed cooped up together and I just reminded myself how blessed we are to be entrusted with these small lives, for as long as God allows. I spoiled where I could, with treats and cuddles.
Because nothing beats macaroni and cheese when you have the flu. Not pictured: my HEAPING bowl of #comfortfood. #fluprovisionsExtra snuggles were kind of mandatory today. No ifs, ands, or buts. #ezrajohn #loveforct #mychildmyheart

Just really, how very blessed indeed.
It's been a trying day, to say the least. All said and done, incredibly thankful for these three rowdy bodies. #boymama #holdthemclose

Living in Minnesota

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This past weekend, Minnesota caught on to the winter memo and we got snow. A lot of snow. In our case 14" of snow. And you know what, this family absolutely loved it.

How can you not when you get to enjoy these two faces just drinking it all in?

Ezra was absolutely entranced by the falling flakes. He's been pretty short changed by way of snow the last two years, as if he would remember, so it truly seemed like he was seeing a miracle.
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And well, Isaac, he's pretty much Tony's right hand man. He is so excited at the opportunity to shovel, I think it helps boost Tony's enthusiasm too. Especially since, we still don't have a snowblower.
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I love love love this image of Isaac and only wish I'd had my real camera out still. Check out that clump of snow on his tongue.
"This will be the best snow day ever!" #minnesotanboy

And the best part is, after all that fun in the snow . . . we got to come inside, warm up again and Isaac and I finished the gingerbread cake pops that we started nearly a week earlier, on Monday. For those of you who thought I was joking on instagram, it was 100% truthful.
Ezra had an absolute ball in the snow and wanted to jump right in to clear the pathway. #minnesotanboyTake heed, goodies from the Fontaine house may have been created under the "pants optional" by line. #boymama

22 weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 Untitled
How far along: 22 weeks. [22 with Ezra22 with Isaac]

How big is baby: A large papaya at 10.5 – 11.8 inches and 12.7 oz. Watch what you say – my baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that babies find gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby's starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day.

Weight gain/loss: Tipping the scale at 12 lbs now. I’m already nervous about Christmas.

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 

Sleep: Isaac has been continuing his wake up trend, which seems to be passed on to Ezra, plus a titch of pregnancy insomnia and this mama is tired.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Salads, salads, salads. I really want vegetables, of all kinds. I essentially want an hibachi in my house.

Movement: Baby Sweets and I are getting to know each other with more movement every day! Tony has only tried to feel once, but unfortunately didn’t get any outside kicks.

What I'm worrying about: I’m really focusing on the necessary transition to get both Isaac and Ezra in the same room. Oh my gosh, it’s going to be awful, I just know it. Mamas with little ones similarly aged (3 ½ and 1 ½) and spaced (26 months) do you have any insights?

What I'm loving: Daily letting it sink in further that I’m going to have a daughter!


Symptoms: Heartburn, insomnia, moodiness, fatigue, sore boobs, weight gain . . . you know the usual.

What I'm looking forward to: Christmas plans, starting with our hot dog picnic at my Mom’s on the 22nd! And then after the Christmas fun, our elective ultrasound on the 27th. I think both Tony and I are in a holding pattern of borderline acceptance, but are still somewhat reserved. I’ve found myself telling people “It’s a girl, so I’m told.”

Best moment of the week: Tony’s sweet response to my bad, bad Monday!

One Little Prayer

Friday, December 7, 2012


Last night, in a very small moment, during a very ingrained bedtime routine, Isaac stopped me to say "Mama, today at Grandma's, I asked Jesus into my heart."

All cluttering thoughts disappeared, as I focused on that single sentence.

We haven't spoken much about accepting Christ recently, with the most poignant conversation being in October, after Tony's Grandpa passed, so this completely took me by surprise. I should have been more prepared, as Isaac has randomly sprinkled into conversations that he wants to go to Heaven and that he would like to ask Jesus in his heart, but when I've asked if he'd like to pray then his response has very nonchalantly been "maybe a little later." And I've left it at that.

I didn't want to scare him with enthusiasm, so I asked if he'd prayed with Grandma or if she'd heard him, as I'd be very surprised if she didn't tell me. He told me that she hadn't heard him, so I asked if he'd like to pray again with me.

As a reminder, this is the boy who has in the past gotten very mad if I've initiated a conversation about God or tried to pray with him when it hasn't been his idea, so even by asking I was taking a risk.

To my surprise, he happily agreed.

And as my mind raced to remember key component of a salvation prayer, in comprehensible terms for my 3 1/2 year old, he readily repeated everything that I prayed with him. He was so happy when we finished and I asked him if he could feel Jesus in his heart. He said he did and I reminded him that Jesus was always with him and that he could always talk to him, like saying he was scared, mad or sad.

Isaac chimed in to say, "Or I can say 'Jesus save me!'"

And hearing my oldest, who so often is causing trouble, say those sweet words with such joy, well, there's just no way to express how it made me feel.

I squeezed him close, told him just how proud I was and then laid him down for bed.

And then I sat and marveled.

I don't think less of his choice because he is just shy of 4 years old. He has enough comprehension to understand that Jesus loves him, He died for his sins and that through his belief he will go to Heaven. And by the covenant established through Jesus' crucifixion, he believes, with but the faith of the child, with the innocence of a child, he believes.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Minted | Review

Thursday, December 6, 2012

There are so many options for Christmas card designers, but friends, if you haven't checked out Minted's line up of Christmas cards do yourself a favor and skiddaddle on over!

I adore the designs at Minted primarily due to the originality, but also for the quality of their paper. Let's go back to the designs though, see Minted does something pretty crazy, they showcase indie designers from across the world! Through this diversity of their 1000+ designer community, and also design challenges, they always provide just what you were looking for . . . before you knew what it was that you were looking for.

That said, it's almost impossible to decide. From the front designs . . .
MIN-2K4-CHR-001_C_PD

MIN-2M9-CHR-001B_A_PD

To the additional options!
MIN-2M9-CHR-002D_A_PD

And one of my favorite options is the Address Assistant. Yeah, Address Assistant, in which you can either input them yourself [still faster than typing], email to request or you can just upload your file of addresses. Pretty gosh darn amazing.

21 weeks | baby Sweets

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

 Oh heyyyyy #21weeks #babybump. Dang if you don't seem to be grow by leaps and bounds! #baby3 #pregnant #pregnancy


How far along: 21 weeks. [21 with Ezra21 with Isaac]

How big is baby: A freakishly large pomegranate at 10.5” [from head to toe]. Baby sweets gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.

Weight gain/loss: Thankfully still holding at a 9lb gain.

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 

Sleep: Unfortunately both boys got a stomach bug over the weekend, resulting in vomit and diarrhea. Coupled with a few late nights of photography business and this mama is quite tired. I’m calling an earlier bed time tonight!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Oh my gosh friends, I feel so funny loving on pickles so much, but Claussen pickles are honestly the bomb. The bomb. I said it. Last night, even better, I had dill pickle dip. I think I found the one I had last night at my friends fabulous favorite things party. I seriously could have just taken the bowl and eaten it myself! Sadly, I still have not been reunited with my previous love affair, hummus. It honestly breaks my heart. There is a little place in the skyway called the Real Meal Deli and I’m currently obsessed with their Strawberry Sedona Salad with strawberries, green onions, goat cheese and pecans.

Movement: Baby Sweets and I are getting to know each other with more movement every day!

What I'm worrying about: Oh just those dollar bills still. Thankful to be able to pay our bills though and that paying down debt is our foremost concern.

What I'm loving: Daily letting it sink in further that I’m going to have a daughter!


Symptoms: Thankfully not as much heartburn in this past week, but it’s still there. I’m just ridiculously exhausted and I think you can see it all over my face in the above picture. Also, consistent with old wives tales, I seem to be carrying all over with this baby girl and it’s really starting to get me down. I feel as wide as a house right now, which is insane, knowing what’s coming. I just feel like my hips are gelatinous and that I’m weekly seeing more and more spread to the East and West.

What I'm looking forward to: Spending time with friends this weekend.

Best moment of the week: Convincing Isaac that we really shouldn’t be telling everyone our names for his baby sister. See, I thought that it was possible Isaac could be my ally in the name game, even though it could have just as easily backfired on me, so I shared the three names that Tony and I have cleared for consideration. As luck would have it, I mean as God would fashion it [Tony, wink wink], Isaac did prefer my name choice, even over Tony’s favorite. Too bad he’s so excited about the name that he started telling people, like my Mom. We’ve yet to officially decide on the name, but I’m so glad I got Isaac to agree that we should keep the name a secret! Let’s see if he remembers. 

MishMash

Friday, November 30, 2012

1). I tried wearing my too big Old Navy full panel maternity jeans. It was worse than comical. Unfortunately  even worse, the two pairs of Gap Black Friday maternity jeans I scored for $24 a pair came in yesterday and are also too big. Being that I've never bought Gap jeans before, I assumed they would be smaller than Old Navy and so ordered the same size as I currently have that are too big from Old Navy, and I was wrong. :(
My $24 Black Friday Gap maternity jeans arrived, but since I've never owned a pair of Gap jeans I incorrectly guessed I would be a size larger than ON. Back they go. :( Still no maternity jeans and I'm hanging on by a thread!@fontainenine means so well, and knew he was off the mark bringing these home, but INSISTS Target doesn't carry #claussenpickles. This from the same guy who also was adamant they don't carry Cool Whip. #pregnantgirlproblems
2). Tony tried to fulfill my craving and replenish my empty pickle jar [doesn't that sound like a euphemism?]. Unfortunately instead of coming home with Claussen pickles though, he had the above. Now, I'm no pickle snob, I just love a good dill, but this pregnancy, I must have Claussen's!

3). Given the many circumstances of the ultrasound, Tony and I have decided to do an elective ultrasound at the end of December to confirm that she is in fact she. While we want to assume the best of people, since no ultrasound picture was provided like one was with Ezra of the goods and there is no detail of the sex on the ultrasound report, since it is frivolous to the primary diagnostic, we just want a little bit of confirmation.
Soooo, we're doing this after Christmas. It won't be ideal for 3D imaging, but given the circumstances of our ultrasound and that gender isn't even noted in the ultrasound report, because it isn't necessary to the main intent of the ultrasound, we would lNot so keen on this baby names app, something about Joseph and Joshua being listed as girl names . . . #fail #thisbabywillneverhaveaname
4). Baby names seem to be a bit more pesky this time than with Ezra. See with Isaac, we went in 98% sure he'd be Micah, but were so glad to be able to change our minds without disappointing friends or family or nullifying personalized gifts. Our short list from Isaac came into play with Ezra, but Ezra came out of nowhere and soon became a top contender! While we've had an extremely short list of girl names with each pregnancy, I assumed that a new name could come into the running and surprise us again. Unfortunately, Tony is a little more opinionated than I bargained with girl names!

The good news is that we agree to three names and they are three good names, but we don't agree on our favorites. Although, I do have one powerful little ally, Isaac. :) I listed all three names and one was a definite no, one was okay and he told me he likes the name I like. Time will tell, time will tell.

20 weeks | Baby Sweets

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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How far along: 20 weeks. [20 with Ezra20 with Isaac]

How big is baby: A banana at 6 1/2 inches. Over half a foot!

Weight gain/loss: The last two weeks have not been kind to me and I’ve managed to put on an additional 4lbs, for a total 9lb weight gain. I’m glad to be gaining, just not so quickly and close together!

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any. 

Sleep: I haven't been able to sleep really deep lately and I hate it.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I’m still noshing on pickles, Claussen pickles that is and we’re currently out of them! I managed to still eat pretty paleo friendly last week, including Thanksgiving, but I think I just ate tooooooo much. This would definitely explain why heartburn made it’s return so early.

Movement: Baby and I are getting to know each other with more movement every day!

What I'm worrying about: Our financial game plan to get me home. Tony and I have some work to do, tightening the belt, pinching the pocket book and all the good like. My brother’s wedding cost us a dime, so November was out, Christmas this month and a trip to the Dells in January, but we’ve got to stay on track and pay down that debt!

What I'm loving: Daily letting it sink in further that I’m going to have a daughter!


Symptoms: Heartburn. Blech. Also my stomach just popped with the additional 4 lb weight gain!

What I'm looking forward to: I took advantage of a few online sales and can’t wait until my new maternity jeans come in! I finally bit the bullet and just wore the too big Old Navy ones and they are absolutely comical on me. They’re just too big!

Best moment of the week: Um, that would be finding out the sex of our 3rd child! We’re having a girl! 

Red Lights :: Baby Sweets' Reveal

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I remember distinctly just how excited I was upon waking the day of Ezra’s anatomy scan [aka 20 week ultrasound]. Somehow, I had shaken the pregnant-after-a-loss anxieties and I was just happy, exuberant and yet somehow relaxed. Such was not the case the morning of Baby Sweets’ ultrasound. Sunday night, I kept occupied with several last minute “reveal session details,” and somehow found myself sewing quick mittens out of red fleece until 11:30pm . . . which turned into anxious thoughts that kept me up until well past 12:00am.
Because no one carried what I was looking for . . . And, I'm too anxious to sleep, I'm seeing mittens for the boys. This is why I plan an elaborate reveal, getting lost in the details keeps my mind off of the "what-ifs" of a less than healthy baby.So um, those reveal pictures tomorrow am are going to be a *little* chilly. @ginazeidler I KNOW you love me. #babysweets

The alarm sounded at 5:15am and Tony and I were groggily up and at ‘em for the day. In a flurry of activity, we got the vehicles loaded, bodies dressed and out the door. Unfortunately, with snow and traffic, we ended up running behind.

I ran into the hospital to check in and my whole concept of the day’s progression was put off track when the receptionist came back to the front after conferring with the ultrasound tech, informing me quickly “You’ll have to reschedule.” Ten minutes. Ten minutes. Where could we have picked up ten minutes to have not been late? I started getting upset immediately, refusing to take the rescheduled appointment. All I kept thinking was that if the hospital hadn’t of lost my original appt time, which was at 8:00am, we wouldn’t be in this situation. We wouldn’t have had to leave the house before 6:30. I turned into one of “those people” and was very firm that I wanted an appointment that day. No one budged. Almost on the verge of tears after speaking with scheduling, I left the lobby. Tony followed me out, but then said he was going to go back, “Just to talk with someone.”

Talking with someone turned into him asking to speak with the ultrasound technician, who very unhappily obliged. Tony stated our case, why we were upset about the original lost appointment, that we had both had to take time off of work and that we’d had to arrange child care to which the ultrasound technician finally threw up her hands and said “Fine, I’ll take you over my lunch!” Now, with time and perspective, we know that it wasn’t her fault. We know that we were the ones who were late. We wanted something to be done to remedy the situation, but at no point were we rude, exhibiting un-Christ like behavior, or ask her to take us over her lunch. We did still end up feeling like “those people.”

So, with a rescheduled ultrasound at 12:00pm, we left the hospital to join the boys and my Dad for breakfast, followed by killed time at Target and the toy aisle, followed by Ezra napping in the Jeep and Tony and Isaac heading off for the mall. When Isaac fell asleep in the car though, Tony just decided to drive around for awhile before coming back for the rescheduled ultrasound that we were early to. Again handing the boys off to my Dad, who thankfully had a very flexible schedule yesterday, we walked in for me to check in for the 2nd time. Since leaving earlier in the morning, I think it ate at both Tony and I that we acted unlike ourselves to be so forceful. At that point, I think we were both just as nervous for how awkward the scan could go, so much as whether the baby was healthy! Thankfully, we brought full arms of appeasement via small gifts from Target for the receptionists and the ultrasound tech. When she greeted us, you could tell she had resolved to be curt, but professional, until I handed her the gift and subsequently choked up in thanking her and apologizing. Both were extremely well received and she said “I’ll just say thank you, and we’ll leave it at that.”
New game plan, breakfast with the boys and my Dad, rescheduled ultrasound at 12:00pm, reveal later in the afternoon. #flexible #myhusbanddidntmakefriendsSoooo we showed up EARLY with gifts for the rescheduled ultrasound. #babysweets #heartisinmythroat

With that behind us, I laid down for the ultrasound and immediately started to cry when she showed us both hemispheres of our Baby Sweet’s brain. With both Ezra and Baby Sweet’s, it’s the brain that gets me going, followed shortly by viewing all four chambers of the heart. While my loss was early, it doesn’t lessen the fact that I understand how absolutely miraculous each and every healthy pregnancy is. It never ceases to amaze me.
BABY ON NOV 26_7

It’s interesting, how so many people love how I “creatively” announce my pregnancies and find out the sex, while just as many seem to hate it. It’s seen as over the top and ultimately narcissist, which I’ve never understood, as it’s personal and intimate to us. Instead of finding out with a stranger in the room, we get to find out together, as a family. Tony loves going along with it and helps in any way he can, as it fills our time leading up to the big ultrasound. And while the reveal is focused on the gender, it allows us to forget about the what-ifs the ultrasound could discover until only a little window of worry is open. We know that the ultrasounds sole purpose is as a diagnostic tool to determine health of the baby, not the future paint color of the walls of the nursery.

But I digress, over and over we heard how all of the measurements looked good and lined up, pounding in that indeed, there was again, a healthy baby. We didn’t give her any indication which sex we were hoping for, but had just asked that she not share with us. Instead, I had printed two pictures, clearly labeled “It’s a boy” and “It’s a girl” for her to pop into a sealed envelope. At the end of the ultrasound, once all of the required measurements were taken, she asked Tony and I to look away while she tried to get an idea of the sex. Baby Sweets wasn’t too cooperative and the tech tried for around 5 minutes to get a better view. She said at the beginning that she had a “pretty good idea,” and then quickly stated, “Yup, I know it now.” This led Tony to believe Baby Sweets was a girl and for me to only more firmly believe our third boy was on the way.

As we wrapped up the ultrasound, we again thanked her for taking us. She again asserted that the gift was unnecessary and that led to us thanking her yet again! I was just beside myself that we had a third healthy baby! Such an amazing blessing!

My Dad took the boys to Target for a 2nd time during the ultrasound and we met up for lunch, each boy sporting a new toy . . . Ah, Grandpa. :) We ate lunch before I took off for my follow up appointment with my midwife, which aside from her and I both thanking God for a healthy baby, was largely uneventful [which are the best kind]. 
I'm so sorry friends, trying to update as I can! We have a HEALTHY baby! God is SO good. Now waiting on my midwife, we get to know the sex soon!!! #babysweets

I was in and out within 35 minutes and found myself leading a caravan to the tree farm for the reveal session . . . finally, only 6 hours after originally planned!

Thankfully, Gina and our friend Julia were both able to still make it at the later time, with Gina shooting a session in between. I was slightly concerned that the tree farm would dislike our shooting during business hours, opposed to the original time that we’d discussed which was before they even opened, but the owner Neil seemed pleased we were there and didn't seem to have a single issue with our plans . . . small generator and all.

So, we set off to find our tree location. Tony, Gina, Julia and I, a rag tag bunch of Minnesotans with too many layers on to count to compensate for the 15F weather. We made short work of decorating the tree, before I set off to dress the boys in their outfits [ie layers, lots and lots of layers]. It was my favorite kind of busy, the kind that keeps your mind full, until before you know it, you’re standing with your family, in front of your best friend and Dad, ready to find out the sex of your 3rd, and for all intents and purposes, final child.

Unfortunately, not everything went as planned . . . you know, kind of like the entire rest of the day, and my poor sweet, happy hearted Ezra could.not.stand.the.cold. Nothing would soothe him, so we decided to just go for it. We stood, our family of 4 ,in front of that beautiful Christmas tree and I had no clue whether red or blue bulbs would be shining when I opened my eyes. I listened as Gina, Julia, my Dad, Tony and Isaac counted down from 3, but I wasn’t ready when they stopped. I didn’t gather myself, I didn’t reflect, hope, wish, anything. I just opened my eyes and for a moment must have completely lost myself, because I forgot what I was looking at. I thoroughly believe there was a look of confusion the first few seconds my eyes were open, because I just couldn’t comprehend: RED. Red lights. Red lights meant a girl. A girl? We’re having a girl? Typing this I still can’t believe it.

So many people have said comments to me over the course of this pregnancy and even yesterday, even comments on this blog, regarding my “always wanting a girl” or “trying for a girl” or anything somehow related to the assumption that given my having two boys, I would most certainly hope to have a daughter. I think I’ve finally pinpointed why it irks me so. It seems to short change God. It doesn’t acknowledge the definite heart change of the magnitude only He can swing that has occurred to only recently open my heart to a daughter. I really wanted three boys. No, this has not been my dream since I was a little girl, as domesticity and mothering were not roles I desired to fill, but since marriage, since Isaac, that is what I envisioned, a mother to three sons. I thought I understood her, that mom, she felt safe to me. I can without a doubt say it was never my dream to have a daughter. I hope I’m accurately describing the condition of my heart and my hopes, because it’s why I want to explain to every single person who seems to give me the knee jerk reaction that I “must be thrilled,” that while yes, I am overjoyed [which is a work of God], I’m also recovering from the loss of my original dream. I was so convinced it was a 3rd boy, while I spoke of hoping for a girl, I was already planning what my future looked like as a mother of three boys. And then there's just facing the fact that there are women, desiring a daughter, desiring a son, desiring any baby and here I am with the guff to lay it out there that this wasn't what I envisioned.  It’s a very confusing mix of emotions. 

And well, what everyone wants to actually see, the pictures. Gina Zeidler and Julia Prichard were troopers, especially considering the weather, let alone the schedule changes. Gina is my dearest friend, the one who has taught me how to be a friend. I treasure these images so much! I can't explain the shock, but the pictures can!
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And . . . just getting into it! When we opened our eyes!
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"You're going to have a little sister Isaac!"   
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"See Isaac? Red lights!"
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Smiles all around!

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