The Pregnancy Chronicles: 20 Weeks

Part II

I can’t believe I am halfway through my pregnancy already! Part of me feels like it has gone by quickly and the other part of me feels like it’s taken a lifetime to get here! Either way, I’m so thankful we are that much closer to getting to meet our little babe in December! This is a relatively huge milestone for us, not just because we are halfway but also because we had our 20 week morphology scan today which was both exciting and terrifying for two reasons.

1. Do we have a healthy baby?!// My faith in God has definitely grown (and needs to grow much more) since being pregnant because I’ve realized that I  literally have no control on any outcome of my pregnancy. I can’t tell you the amount of anxiety and worry I’ve had leading up to this ultrasound because I feared that the ultrasound technician would find something concerning or abnormal with our little babe. I’ve known several people who have had bad things happen to their baby later in gestation so that makes it feel a little “closer to home” and that it could happen to us. However, I’ve been reminding myself over and over of God’s goodness, faithfulness and his unconditional love for our family. Why should I let the devil steal my joy and time with my baby right now? Why allow these fears to master me when they might not even be legitimate concerns? We had a sermon on Psalm 139 on Sunday and let me tell you what…Jesus has been rocking my world through these verses since then! Verse 16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” I clung to this verse while I was in the waiting room at the OB office. Jesus knew every little detail about our sweet little babe even before it was even a perfectly shaped embryo! What an encouragement it was to take that verse with me as I walked into the ultrasound. By God’s grace, the ultrasound technician said that our baby was measuring one day ahead of where we currently are in gestation and that she did not see anything of concern! What an absolute relief! It felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders after that appointment!

I’m still working on believing and trusting in Him fully throughout the rest of this pregnancy because, in the long run, those anxieties will only magnify once baby makes their grand debut. But, what an encouragement it is to know how deeply the Father loves us and all the plans He has for our little baby all ready! He’s knitting this little squirt in my womb as we speak and our babe is fearfully and wonderfully made. What an awesome reminder to take with me throughout the second half of this journey!

2. Baby Fleer is…//Finding out the gender was definitely the most exciting part of our morphology scan, for sure! Zach and I opted not to do the genetic testing at our 11 week appointment, so, because of that, we had to wait until our 20 week ultrasound to find out the gender! I was so excited to find out because, let’s be real…I’m ready to shop and decorate the nursery! Ever since the beginning of this pregnancy, Zach had a feeling that were were having a girl! He’s guessed genders right for many of our friends prior to their gender reveals and his feelings have always been right! We even performed some old wives tales tests to figure out if it was a girl or boy. We performed the pencil test (dangling a #2 pencil from a string over my wrist [our neighbors swear by this one]) and the ring test (dangling my wedding ring with a string over my stomach) and both of them solidified our feelings that we are having a girl! Even the wives tale about fetal heartbeats revealed that we were having a girl. That wives tale was correct for my friend, Laura’s baby, too! Along with Zach’s feelings that it was a girl, we became more confident about it when both of my parents had a feeling that it was a girl too (even a dream revealing that it was a girl). We even have our girl name picked out! So, really, our morphology scan was just solidifying what we already knew…baby Fleer was indeed a girl! Right…?! As the technician scanned over our little babe and revealed the gender, I was shocked when she pasted the words, “It’s a BOY!” on the screen! Tears of joy welled up in my eyes as soon as I saw that ultrasound picture. I looked over at Zach and he had the biggest grin on his face while he said, “I guess I was wrong!” He always envisioned himself having a boy when he was younger but with our difficulty to get pregnant prior to this, we were both just so happy to have A healthy baby! The gender didn’t matter to us. But, now, that we officially know the gender, we now have a future little hunter we are looking forward to meeting in December! I can’t wait to kiss that little boy’s cheeks and see if he acquires his daddy’s red hair and smart aleck personality! 🙂 Praising God for our little son.

4C2D8577-8994-4E4F-826C-45931665DC7006FD6EB9-96F9-4A2E-AEF8-CFE85B59E0985CC55CF8-2268-4D92-AF31-42F291C0A1D073EA579A-C08F-4B2A-BD5E-F2323B7D4AF2526BA532-1001-4DFF-833E-BC2EACC0CCCE90F7EE87-12FA-4780-BD18-91914D5870A9E87D858C-4F74-44E6-B04A-479DEF3D71D0

What Is Your Soul Thirsty For?

Happy Tuesday, my friends! Today, I bring you a guest post from my friend, Kira Ouellette. Kira and I worked together in Kansas City and we soon bonded over our love for the Lord and desire to seek Him in the midst of marriage and parenthood. She currently resides in rural Kansas with her husband and two year old and is passionate about studying scripture. She was reminded the other day that our souls should be thirsting on more than just day-to-day duties but on God Himself. Great perspective!
//Kira and Vincent
What are some of those things in life that just feel amazing?  You know, the flip-side of your pillow or a sit in a hot tub while snowflakes come tumbling down on your eyelashes…  I realized one of these things today that I will indulge in more frequently now that I’ve found it!

Today’s thought comes to you from my work out cool down.  Today is July 9, 2018.  Temperature is 97 with a heat index of 105.  I get my run in for the day during my daughter’s afternoon nap AKA ~2pm. It’s the hottest part of the day but that’s my opportunity and a mommy has to do what a mommy has to do – right?  At the end of my workout my fingers are pulsing and almost throbbing while I swing my arms walking, working to cool down and lower my heart rate.  No, this is not one of those amazing feelings I was asking about earlier, but it’s a prerequisite.

After my ‘cool down’, if you can call it a ‘cool down’ while it’s still 105 degrees outside, I go inside and go straight to the kitchen sink.  I know that my time is running away and soon my 2-year-old will be up from her nap and my time to myself will be gone.  I need to get to work on my secretary stuff today but I’m drenched in sweat and even my hands are sopping.  I need to get at least my hands clean so I can return to working on other things, so I turn on the cold water.  WOW! That feeling of the cold water rushing over my sweaty hands was completely amazing! I couldn’t help myself. I stood there several minutes in the cold water thinking of how much relief it was bringing.  Something so simple was more satisfying than my morning cup of coffee.  It was a cool relief after my 40 minute work-out in the sweltering heat.

I got to thinking today about how just as my hands and body need that refreshing moment to cool down, my soul needs refreshing daily as well.  I stay home with my little, take care of a garden, look over the animals, secretary for a Christian Rodeo organization, try to keep the house clean and meals on the table etc. Moms (and wives) do this on a daily basis.  We have our hands so full that we run ourselves ragged nearly every day.

I need daily time with the Lord to renew my strength and to renew my soul.  The days I go without time in my Bible spent with Jesus, I find myself wearing out easier, having a shorter fuse, and being much more selfish.  Rather than fruit, my life is producing weeds.  I’m not able to filter my to-do list and everything seems equally important.

Without my focus being on the Lord, I can’t function well in my day.  The Lord is my strength and my cornerstone.  When I rely on him, I find that I can be more patient and I can see windows of opportunity that the Lord provides.  I do believe that with a Godly focus, I can filter my to-do list and realize what is important and what can wait.  God is so good, he is my rock.  Nothing else in this world is as stable as my Lord.  I need time with him daily just to function in what the day brings.

Lamentations 3:22-24 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  24 “The Lord is my portion, “says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

God’s mercies are new every morning and it’s something I need daily! I can’t expect to do well being a mom and wife with an impact if I don’t let the Lord impact me first and foremost.

Food for thought: What is your soul thirsty for today? What are you trying to fill your soul with that isn’t actually filling you up? God’s mercies are new every morning and He’s always there waiting for you to come and drink.

The Pregnancy Chronicles: First Trimester

Part I

So, since I’m a soon-to-be mom and this pregnancy journey is all new to me (and super exciting), I figured I’d start a pregnancy series highlighting some of the exciting, challenging and surprising things I’ve experienced throughout my pregnancy…and maybe a few bump pictures, also! Because, if you haven’t guessed, I’m enjoying being on this journey! It’s something I’ve prayed for for so long and I’m so thankful I’m getting to experience it now!

Today, I begin the first in the series detailing my first trimester! As I look back, my first trimester flew by, however, while I was in it, it felt like an eternity of waiting. I prayed that the Lord would provide me peace about this pregnancy and honestly, I believe he granted that to me. I had a sense that this baby is healthy and that I will get to meet them come December. That peace definitely got me through the first trimester jitters, for sure! Below, I wanted to share some things I experienced in my first trimester.

Symptoms:
Food Aversions// For the foodie that I am, food aversions were no joke! I’ve never had an issue with eating food…until I was pregnant! I’d have days where a juicy hamburger sounded good, until I got three bites in and then suddenly, I was full and no longer craving a burger. Often times, I just wasn’t super hungry. Towards the end of the first trimester, Zach kept telling me, “Maren, you need to start eating something.” Luckily, sometime into the second trimester, I’ve finally regained that foodie mentality!
Aches & Pains// This was probably my worst symptom of the first trimester! I can’t tell you how many weird aches and pains I experienced on a daily basis. Lower back pains, aches in my hips, tightness in my abs, as if I had worked out (but hadn’t at all) and cramps. There were nights I’d just take a hot shower and then grab my best friend, the heating pad, and go to bed. It became a way of life for me.
Nausea// A friend told me early on that if I started to feel nauseous, I should eat something! Bagels, Cheerios and Saltines became my best friends throughout the day. Once I experienced that queasy feeling, I ate a snack and I was back to normal!
Exhaustion// Holy time for sleep, Batman!! I’ve always needed 8 hours of sleep, but man, oh man, once 4:30pm hit, I was EXHAUSTED! I could have slept 8+ hours every day! Often times, I wouldn’t make it past 7:30 before I was passed out. There were nights I had to have Zach drive us home if it was after 7:30pm because if not, I was at risk of falling asleep!

Despite these symptoms, it made it all worth it when we saw our little babe at 7 weeks! Because of our previous miscarriage, we had the blessing of being able to have an ultrasound early on and get seen by my doctor frequently. I cried like a baby when I saw that little heartbeat on the ultrasound. What a miracle! Jesus performs miracles everyday, especially when it comes to the blessing of life and this definitely has been a miracle!

4658F92A-2F03-453F-A6B0-DE9AC486DB31
This is the moment I fell even more in love with our little squirt! Note: This is NOT twins. The baby is on the left and the yolk sac is on the right.
16603C88-3B5F-4C0F-9EDD-01AFE8E9F943
My first sign of a baby bump at 10 weeks
925570FB-4293-4B7A-BEF4-D231398C95BC
Taking a bump picture together has always been Laura’s desire…well, here’s our first one! 10 weeks and 26 weeks!