At home, Baby #2

Four.

As I sit here writing this on a Sunday afternoon, all my babies are asleep. Yes, all of them (Alex and Charlie included). So it’s the perfect time to finally post some of my favorites from Nora’s newborn photoshoot!

We considered hiring a professional photographer for these pictures but it really came down to us being too cheap and too lazy to look into it much, hah! So with my little Nikon DSLR in hand (and the free editing apps on my phone, yep that’s how cheap I am), I went to work on capturing these moments for our family. And you know what? I love how they turned out. Not because they’re perfect (they’re certainly not!) but because they’re our family and because there are four of us now and because there’s just a whole lot of happy in these pictures. 🙂

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The blanket my sister made for her. 🙂

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How most of this photoshoot actually went haha! Toddlers.

We love you SO much, NoJo, and we are so incredibly thankful that you’ve officially joined our family!

Baby #2

She came with the sun

Nora Joy. Our sweet October sunshine girl is here! She was born ten days early on Thursday, October 19th at 9:13am. She was 7 lbs, 6 oz, 19 inches long and absolutely beautiful in every way.

Processed with VSCO with c2 presetSince the day we found out that I was due near the end of October, I had the 19th in my mind as the day I really wanted my daughter to be born. Both of my high school best friends have their birthdays on that day so I thought it would be special and fun for my little girl to be their birthday buddy. But I never expected it to actually happen! Such a sweet little gift on top of everything else. 🙂

Earlier that week (on Monday) I started having some actual contractions. I always have Braxton Hicks throughout my pregnancies but I could tell these were the real deal. I was so excited thinking labor was starting! The contractions never got consistently time-able, though, and they never worsened in their intensity. By dinner time they had fizzled out completely. I was hopeful that labor would start up that night or maybe the next day, but Tuesday and Wednesday were totally normal days with maybe one or two real contractions sprinkled in just to keep me on my toes.

I went to sleep kind of disappointed on Wednesday night after a day of trying things to get labor going (walking around, eating spicy foods, bouncing on my yoga ball). The next day was the 19th and it looked like we were going to pass right by it. Oh well, I thought, she would come when God’s timing was perfect for her. I fell asleep around ten and was woken up about 3 hours later (around 12:45am on Thursday, the 19th) to contractions.

I stayed in bed for about half an hour timing contractions on an app I had on my phone. Alex happened to wake up and notice what was going on but I told him to try and get some sleep while I figured out the pattern. I was expecting it to be like my labor with Jameson, with contractions staying consistent and progressively getting closer together and more intense. But these were totally all over the place, sometimes feeling really intense and sometimes fizzling out before they got started. They were 6 minutes apart, then 3 minutes apart, then 7 minutes apart, then 11 minutes apart, then 4 minutes apart. It was a mess haha.

I texted Alex’s cousin Michelle (who is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital we would be delivering at) and she happened to be working! She gave me some advice and then I called my midwife (Stacie) at 2:17am to let her know what was going on. Since there was no set pattern with the contractions Stacie advised me to take some Tylenol, drink some water, and try to sleep. If it was real labor, it wouldn’t go anywhere.

I ended up laying on the couch in the living room watching The Office for awhile as I kept trying to time contractions. They were still ALL over the place but never more than 11 minutes apart. I found the pain to be far far worse laying down, but getting up made the contractions come closer together. Eventually I settled on resting on the couch between contractions and getting up to move around as I felt one coming on. Alex was able to help me here and there by rubbing my back, praying over me, and talking me out of hurrying off to get an epidural. And I was asking for it hardcore this time. I don’t think I ever asked for it with Jameson’s labor, but this time on top of contractions I felt so sick to my stomach all night long. And honestly I was scared about it being a very long, drawn out labor since the contractions were a hot mess. I was worried about how to know when to go to the hospital, worried about when to have Alex’s dad come over to stay with Jameson, worried about speeding through the end part of labor and not getting to the hospital in time (we barely made it with Jameson). Basically I was just fearful and not trusting the Lord.

Finally around 6:20am I got up, threw up, and decided right then and there that we’d better just go to the hospital even though contractions were still kind of random. The intensity of them was enough to push me to make the decision. I figured the worst that could happen is they’d send us back home. As soon as we decided, I had a 20 minute stretch of no contractions at all. I was able to get all our stuff together, say goodbye to Jameson (who happened to wake up right before we left), and get into the car with no problems. During the 20 minute drive to the hospital I had one good contraction and nothing else. I started feeling silly for having us head out since labor was obviously slowing down. But then we were there and I knew I should at least have them check me out.

The nurses at the front desk were kind of like, “You’re in labor…?” and I wasn’t able to give them the pattern of contractions because there wasn’t any. I guessed they were on average about 10 minutes apart. They checked me in and sent me to triage where, lo and behold, they found I was 6-7cm dilated and 90% effaced! “Yep, you’re having a baby today!” the nurse said, and I looked at Alex and kind of just shrugged my shoulders. Guess we’re meeting our daughter today! It was 7:20 am and the sun was finally up.

IMG_6666Shortly after that I was moved into a labor and delivery room. The tub was filled with warm water and ready for me, but I had to wait a bit to get in because the baby’s heart rate dipped down every time I had a contraction. They let me in a little while later and it felt sooo nice. I never got to use the tub with Jameson because he came so quickly. This time I was able to use it for ten whole minutes hahah. All of the sudden I felt like my water had broken (hard to tell in the tub, they later said it didn’t break completely) so they hurried me out and back to the delivery bed since the hospital doesn’t allow tub births. Everyone was standing by watching me closely because they knew once my water broke, she would be here within a matter of minutes.

Sure enough, pushing contractions started and it was go time. Alex prayed over me and then we got started. I was trying to be careful at first because I pushed Jameson out so quickly that his poor little face got bruised. I didn’t want the same thing to happen this time. But with each contraction, her heart rate would dip again. So I started actively pushing with Alex holding my hand and Michelle by my side. Ten minutes later I was reaching down to pull my daughter up and onto my chest in one of the most incredible moments of my whole life.

dsc_2428-1Everything felt so surreal but also so vibrantly alive. There is nothing in the world like it. I was holding her and crying and looking at Alex in amazement and everything was perfect. I couldn’t believe she was here (and looking so much like her big brother) and it was less than two hours since we arrived at the hospital. I think once we got there and I knew I could relax and have my baby safely, everything just got moving. I never did find a pattern in the contractions, though. The closest I got was between 5am-6am when they were about ten minutes apart. Besides that, my labor never really followed a set plan the way it did with Jameson. And honestly it never felt quite as intense as it did with Jameson. I think part of the problem I was having all night was thinking it would be worse than it was.

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Holding his daughter for the first time.

WGUHE5716MYIOE6902MVVUE6062KWUCE5197God was so gracious to me and gave me such a wonderful labor and an amazing delivery. From start to finish it was only about eight and a half hours and I was able to do it completely naturally, the way I had been wanting to and praying for. It all fell into place even better than I was expecting! Alex went to get Jameson a little while later and he was able to meet his sister just a couple hours after she came into the world.

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First picture as a family of four!

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The next 24 hours were filled with a few visitors (mostly family), lots of brand new baby snuggles, and plenty of rest for me (although honestly this recovery has been incredibly smooth and simple). I could barely take my eyes off my daughter the whole time (still have trouble looking away). She is breathtakingly beautiful and so so sweet.

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Jameson’s first time holding his sister. I couldn’t stop crying!

Oh! And her name. ❤

It was a debate the entire pregnancy about what we would call her. Alex had his favorite, I had mine and eventually we decided to wait until she was born to settle. We both liked each other’s top picks but we wanted to be sure we chose the one that fit her best. After she arrived, she looked so much like Jameson that I honestly couldn’t see either name on her. Alex saw “Nora” right away (probably partly because that had been his top choice all along haha). I didn’t want to give up on my favorite name (which we may use in the future if we get the chance) so she didn’t have a name at all until probably 6 or 7 that night. Finally I looked down at her, tried both names out, and Nora just fit. The dark wavy hair, her sweet and even-tempered personality, the classic feel of the name…it all just fit. There’s no other way to describe it. And knowing that Alex was so sure and so in love with the name…how could I choose anything else? I was a little sad to leave my favorite name behind but Nora is my favorite name for her, my daughter. We gave her the middle name Joy because it’s my middle name too and because my dad always used the acronym of it to teach me about what true joy is… Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. JOY. I want to do the same for Nora.

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Her name literally translates into “a joyful light” and she is exactly that. Our little sunshine girl. I fall more and more in love with her each time I look at her (which is all the time) and she fits into our family as if she was always a part of it. I can’t believe we were ever without her.

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of our sweet Nora girl. ❤

And just a few more from our hospital stay…

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At home, Baby #2, DIY

Our simple & sweet baby girl nursery

I’m so excited to share this today! Our baby girl’s nursery is complete. I’m almost 36 weeks right now so we still had a bit of time to finish it up, but I’m so happy it’s done! (Nesting totally takes over my mind at the end of my pregnancies.)

snapseed-36We chose to go very simple and minimalistic this time around, partly to save some money and partly because my style in general is pretty subtle and classic. The room has a sort of shabby-chic vibe to it, but the decor is really just the basics and a few statement pieces I found along the way.

Our color scheme was mostly neutral (whites, creams, and grays) with hints of dusty pink and very light green. I figured this would be easiest to customize later based on her personal style. 😊 We started with the dresser and glider, which we already had, found a crib to match, and added the rest here and there over the past few months.

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Some of the pieces came from Hobby Lobby, some from Target, some from Marshalls. But my favorites are the ones that are homemade (my sister and I each crocheted a blanket) and the ones that came from my childhood room, like the framed picture and “The True Princess” book on the bottom shelf. Basically I’m a sentimental sap, pregnant or not. 😉

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Beautiful blanket and bow made by my sister.

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The first complete blanket I’ve ever crocheted! (Don’t ask me about the one I tried to make for Jameson…it was a hot mess. I’ll try again soon haha.)

This room has quickly become my favorite in the house. It’s so naturally light and pretty that it didn’t need much work to begin with. Adding a few little personal touches here and there was all we really had to do.

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I can’t wait to bring our little girl home to this pretty space and fill it up with love and sweet memories and that perfect newborn scent!

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And I can’t resist posting one of my little photography assistant. Because look at that face.

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See you soon, baby girl! xoxo

Baby #2, Bumpdates, Pregnancy

Bumpdate – 31 weeks

I had an appointment with my midwife earlier this week so I thought I’d do a little update! Especially since there really aren’t many more of these I’ll be able to do before she’s here. 😱

I’m technically closer to 32 weeks now but the pictures and the appointment were at 31 weeks so that’s what I’m going with for this post. 🙂

Overall, things are still looking great! I passed my glucose screening with no problems this time around (last time I had to go in for the dreaded three hour test), my blood pressure is still good, and little miss has a strong heartbeat (around 140 bpm). She was head down at this last appointment but my midwife mentioned she’s still got some room in there, so it’s possible she’ll flip back and forth a few more times before she settles on a position for birth.

I’m up to about 10 pounds gained total so far, which is better than it was but still not great. They were hoping I’d gain 25-35 by the end but I just don’t see that happening. My belly is also still measuring small (about two and a half weeks behind). Even though the baby looked great at our last ultrasound they want to keep a close eye on my growth to make sure she’s still on an upward curve. It could just be that she’s a small baby (or in a weird position) but if, in two weeks, she’s still falling behind they will probably want to do an ultrasound to make sure she’s okay. From there they might find that everything is perfect, or they might suggest I get induced after I hit full-term at 37 weeks. Some babies just do better on the outside once they’re past 37 weeks. I’m really hoping and praying I can avoid an induction, though, because I want to do this 100% naturally again. And because an induction would mean I’d probably have to switch over to the doctor side of the office rather than stick with the midwives I know and love. But of course my little girl’s health is the most important thing and I’ll do what I need to do to make sure she’s safe and getting everything she needs.

I’ll keep my blog updated as we find out more! Now onto the bumpdate… How far along: 31 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of romaine lettuce. She’s approximately 18 inches long and should weigh a little over 3 lbs.
Movement: Some of her kicks and stretches are kind of painful now! Especially when she’s laying horizontally in my stomach and she decides to stretch completely out. You can actually see my belly get shoved outwards in either direction. And she’s usually so close to the front of my belly that sometimes you can see her little elbow or knee poking out throughout the day, and sometimes you can even grab it! I’ll never get used to that haha. Most of her kicks are on the right side of my belly, which is exactly how it was with her big brother. 🙂
Major symptoms: Symptoms have been relatively mild, I would say. I’m definitely more tired than usual and I get out of breath so easily, but aside from that it’s actually been even more mild than my pregnancy with Jameson. Braxton Hicks contractions have been picking up a bit but that’s really more annoying than uncomfortable.
Best moments this week: Last weekend was my best friend’s wedding! I loved that I could be involved in everything and I loved seeing her in total bliss that whole day. I was pretty wiped out by the end of it all (we had the bachelorette party on Thursday, the rehearsal and dinner on Friday, and then the wedding itself on Saturday) but it was SO worth it! I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it.
Looking forward to: Tomorrow is officially September which means I’ll be able to say, “Next month I’m having a baby!” Plus September means my first baby will be turning two, and I can’t wait to celebrate him with all his favorite things. 🙂

At home, Baby #2, Bumpdates

Bumpdate – 29 weeks

Third trimester already! We're almost there! This pregnancy has been flying by and simultaneously dragging on. It makes no sense but that's how it's been. Some days I'm like "OH MY GOSH SHE'LL BE HERE IN 11 WEEKS" and then other times I'm like "oh my gosh, I can't believe how much longer I have to go." It's equal parts exciting and frustrating.

Anyway, we had our midwife appointment and final ultrasound this morning! Once again we got a great report, praise God. Little miss is growing right on track (48th percentile), her heartbeat was strong (134 bpm), and the ultrasound showed that everything about her is perfect, which we already knew. 🙂 She's still breech right now (about half of babies are breech at this point) but she should flip by the time we hit 34 weeks.

I was a liiiitle bummed about the ultrasound today because we could barely see her face at all. She was pretty much folded in half so her feet were covering her face and what wasn't covered by her feet was covered by her arm flung right across her eyes. No matter what we did she would not move, which was not surprising to me at all. She's never cared much about being poked or prodded. She just does her own sassy thing. The ultrasound tech couldn't really show her to us in 3D (which is what I was most excited for) so we only have a few profile shots. I was so looking forward to seeing what she'll look like when she's born because I was hoping it would help us finally settle on a name, but it looks like we're waiting 11 more weeks to figure that out. Oh well, babies rarely follow the rules anyway. 🙂 I should be used to it by now!

As for my health, things look mostly good too. My blood pressure was perfect and I did the 1 hour glucose test while we were there (we'll have the results of that on Monday hopefully). My weight gain is still a bit of a problem, though. I was so sure things were looking up but I only gained a little over a pound since my last appointment four weeks ago. That makes about 8 pounds total this pregnancy, which wouldn't be a huge problem except that my daughter makes up about three pounds of that and the placenta/fluid/uterus is another part of it. My belly is only measuring at 26 weeks right now, even though the baby is right on track. My midwife straight up told me to start eating ice cream every night haha. Not so much for the baby right now (she's doing fine), but more so that I can get some fat storage in place for breastfeeding after she's born. I'm not sure why this is so hard for me this time around but I'm going to try my best to eat more protein and healthy fats and hopefully get the ball rolling these last few weeks.

Phew! That was a long introduction! Let's get into the actual bumpdate. 😂

How far along: almost 29 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a pineapple. She’s approximately 17 inches long and weighs around 2 lbs, 10 oz (according to our ultrasound today).
Movement: From what I can tell, she's a pretty routine type of baby. There are certain times a day where I can almost guarantee she'll be awake and moving around. She has an active time in the morning, another right around 1pm, and another around 10pm. Of course she moves around at other times throughout the day too, but those are her most active times. She also loves music and will usually start kicking whenever something comes on loud enough, or when I sing. In fact that might be why she's always awake around 1pm…that's when I read and sing to Jameson before his nap. I often wonder how many of the songs and the books we read will be familiar to her after she's born. 🙂 Her hiccups are picking up a bit too; she usually gets them a few times a day and they last at least five minutes or longer.
Major symptoms: Typical third-trimester symptoms happening over here. I pretty much always feel like I have to pee (and sometimes she reminds me with a swift kick to the bladder), I have lower back pain here and there, and the shortness of breath comes and goes (although it's actually subsided a bit since my last bumpdate, possibly because she's changed positions). It's getting harder to stay comfortable all night between the peeing and the big ol' belly and the sporadic shifts in my body temperature. I've also been dealing with some common cold stuff which isn't directly related to pregnancy, but kind of is because I never get sick. This is the second time this pregnancy I've had a really horrible cold so I'm almost positive it's because my immune system is lower in general right now. Still getting Braxton Hicks contractions every day too, which I'm all for because the more practice my body gets now the easier labor will be (right? hopefullyyy).
Best moments this week: Definitely getting to see our girl at the ultrasound. Even though we weren't able to see much of her face we did get to see her little lips making kissy faces and watched her stick her tongue out a few times (so adorable!). Her mannerisms were so much like a newborn's already and it was really sweet to see.
Cravings: I'm just not a craving type of person I guess. I should probably just take this category off haha.
Looking forward to: Umm cooler weather? It's been so hot in AZ and I'm so ready for fall, especially because that means it's baby season. 😀

Baby #2, Bumpdates, Pregnancy

Bumpdate – 25 weeks

image1It’s been a quiet month over here, but I’m jumping back on for another pregnancy update! I’ve missed blogging and I really do want to keep track of certain things for the future, it’s just hard to find the time. I think this is only my second bumpdate of the entire pregnancy, actually. With Jameson I was already at like 20 of these! Oh well, second pregnancies, right?

We’re at 25 weeks now and I had a check up with my midwife just a few days ago. In general everything is looking great! Baby girl’s heartbeat was strong, my blood pressure is good, and my weight gain is decent. I don’t own a scale so I never know how much I weigh, but my midwife told me I’ve gained 6 pounds so far. It’s less than she’d like (she told me I need to try and gain at least 19 more pounds within the next few months) but she’s not concerned yet because I’m doing everything right and everything else seems healthy. I had no problem gaining weight with Jameson so I’m not sure why it’s different this time but it probably has something to do with the fact that I’m chasing a toddler around now. 😉 Plus I’ve been exercising regularly and trying to choose healthier foods, something I wasn’t too great at with my last pregnancy.

Anyway, let’s jump into the rest of this bumpdate!

image2 (1)How far along: 25 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a Napa Cabbage. She’s around 13 inches long and weighs about a pound and a half.
Movement: I’ve been feeling her more and more every day! Not everything is a giant kick, but I can feel it all anyway because of how big she’s gotten. She sometimes gets the hiccups (pretty rarely, though) and she’s a lot less feisty than Jameson was in there. Most of the movement happens when I lay down, and especially at night. We love watching my belly change shapes as she wiggles around and Alex gets to feel her pretty much every day. I love this point in pregnancy!
Major symptoms: Symptoms are starting to pick up a bit. I’m having a lot more lower back pain than I had with Jameson and I get out of breath so easily. Like standing up sometimes makes me winded haha. Sometimes I even have trouble catching my breath when I’m just sitting around! I still get Braxton Hicks contractions daily, although surprisingly not as often as I had with Jameson. And we’re to the point now where my feet start hurting if I stand for too long during the day. Oh and the last major symptom is a weird one, especially this early in the pregnancy. I’m definitely heading right into the nesting phase and it’s driving me (and Alex) crazy. I’m a huge type-A organizational planner anyway but this is over the top. Last night I spent THREE HOURS researching and writing out everything from my plans for her nursery to my labor and delivery outfits to freezer meal prep to every last thing we need to buy for her still. We have months to go on this pregnancy but my brain literally would not slow down until I had a plan for absolutely everything I could think of. It was making me so panicked and out of control but I couldn’t do anything to stop it or distract myself until I powered through and mapped it all out. I knew exactly how ridiculous I was being but I swear there was no stopping it! Hopefully it gets better as I make progress on my to-do lists because I don’t think I can take many more nights like that haha. 
Best moments this week: Getting to spend time with the two kids I used to work with, dressing up like cows with my sisters and my niece and nephew to get free Chick-Fil-A, setting up our new double stroller (!!!), buying our first few things specifically for this baby girl, and definitely hearing my daughter’s heartbeat at my appointment. 🙂
Cravings: Still nothing much. Cravings aren’t really something I seem to get. I kind of want to get at least one though, ya know? Like one really random, undeniable craving. 
Looking forward to: Starting to get my daughter’s nursery ready! I have it all planned out in my mind, we just need to start actually working on it. Also looking forward to my next appointment in 4 weeks where we’ll have our final ultrasound! I don’t think we opted for this ultrasound with Jameson so it’ll be really fun to see her at almost 29 weeks. She’ll look pretty much exactly how she’ll be when she’s born! 

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That’s all for now! I’ll probably be be back in a few weeks after our ultrasound with some pictures of this sweet girl and another pregnancy update. 😊

Baby #2, Pregnancy

It’s a girl!

We are so thrilled to announce that this sweet little one is a GIRL! (Although Jameson was a little less thrilled because he wanted to hold the balloon.) 

We had our 20 week anatomy scan on Monday and she is absolutely perfect in every way, and definitely all girl. 😊 We were kind of assuming she was a girl since our ultrasound tech guessed it at our 12 week scan (the same scan it was guessed that Jameson was a boy). But two months of waiting to find out for sure, plus the fact that it was a very early guess, made us question it. Luckily it was the right guess, though, and now we can get excited for our first daughter! 


She’s the first Iwanski girl in three generations. How blessed are we?! When I first met Alex and got to know his family, I started to prepare myself for the idea of maybe never having a daughter. Iwanski’s are always boys. When I found out about Jameson it was totally confirmed in my mind. I’m a boy mom, I’ll probably always be a boy mom. And that made me a little sad but mostly happy because I love my boy so much. 

So this precious girl is such a sweet and unexpected blessing. I feel so humbled to be able to raise both a boy and a girl. To walk through life with my children in completely different ways. To be grown and shaped and challenged in areas I wasn’t expecting. To enjoy experiences I didn’t think I would have. I already know she’ll be the perfect addition to our family. I’m so thankful God chose her for us. 

And I can’t wait to see Jameson as a big brother to his sister. 😊❤️ What a wonderful big brother he’ll be! 

At home, Baby #2, Bumpdates

Bumpdate – 19 weeks

I’m almost halfway done with this pregnancy so I figured it’s about time I write one of these! I was so consistent when I was pregnant with Jameson and posted a bumpdate once a week for the entire pregnancy. But it’s much harder to be on top of things like this when you have a toddler in tow. 😉 So instead, my goal for this pregnancy is to post an update whenever I find the time and that’s going to have to be good enough.

How far along: Almost 19 weeks (I’m a little early with this post). Gender is still a mystery! We have our anatomy scan on the 15th which will tell us for sure if it’s a sweet little girl or another beautiful boy.
How big is baby: About the size of a mango, or 6 inches long. Weight is right around half a pound.
Movement: Totally different this time around. Jameson moved a LOT and very often. I actually felt him moving several weeks earlier than I felt movement with this baby, which is not usually the norm. It makes total sense, though, now that I see his personality. 😉 This baby is much more chill and doesn’t get annoyed by me poking him/her or moving him/her around the way Jameson used to. And this baby hasn’t gotten the hiccups yet, which is another difference. Jameson had hiccups at least once a day by this point and continued to get them every day after he was born (for awhile at least). Even the times of day for movement are different between the two of them. Jameson was go-go-go all day and then totally still as I was going to sleep. This baby is more sporadic throughout the day and picks up the pace at night, which worries me for after birth hahah. Based on what we know about me and Alex’s personalities as kids (from stories and old home videos), I was a lot like Jameson is energy-wise and Alex was a lot more mellow. So it would be fun if our kids happen to match each of us in that way. 🙂 One last difference, though, is that Alex has felt this baby move already, which took a lot longer with Jameson. He actually felt this baby for the first time on our 3 year anniversary – a sweet little gift for him!
Weirdest symptoms: Symptoms are all pretty tame, just like with Jameson. Besides the minor stretching and pulling feelings, and starting to feel a little heavier in my stomach, everything is mostly normal.
Best moments this week: Monday was a holiday so we had Alex home – always so nice. 🙂 Wednesday one of my closest friends and her two little ones came by for a playdate, which was so fun. And tomorrow is my other close friend’s bridal shower! Lots of great stuff this week. 
Cravings: Nada. I never seem to have cravings while pregnant. Although I have been tending more towards fresh foods this time around. With Jameson I wanted french fries and greasy hamburgers and chocolate and all that bad-for-you-but-delicious stuff. This time, not so much.
Looking forward to: FINALLY finding out the gender in less than two weeks!




P.S.The outfit I’m wearing above is all from H&M. No one told me with my last pregnancy that H&M carries maternity clothes and I’m so bummed I missed out the first time around! I went last weekend and found so many great things. Super cute and comfy and reasonably priced. I’m a huge fan already!

One mistake I made with my first pregnancy was not investing in a few maternity things I really loved. I ended up stretching out a lot of my regular shirts and just sort of “getting by” on cheap and kind of ugly maternity clothes the rest of the time. I remember being confused about why I never liked the way my baby bump looked and never feeling like myself. I think a lot of it had to do with not knowing how to dress for pregnancy. So this time around I’m doing things differently. I invested in a few really great staple items I actually love (and kind of hope I can wear beyond pregnancy) and I already feel so much better and more like me.

Baby #2, Pregnancy

Pregnancy reveal!

I recently shared about the family photoshoot we had done last month when my grandma came for a visit (which you can see here) but I conveniently left out a few choice pictures. 😉 Alex and I announced our pregnancy to my family right smack in the middle of it!

One thing I regretted a bit about how we announced my pregnancy with Jameson was that we didn’t capture any of the reactions of our family members. So this time I wanted to change that. And the timing couldn’t have been better! We found out we were expecting when I was about four weeks along and three weeks later was our family photo session with our photographer friend, Erin of Graced by Light Photography. So Alex and I decided to wait until then to announce our news (much easier said than done!).

A day or two before the shoot I messaged Erin and asked if she could help me out with the reveal. She was SO excited and so eager to make it perfect for us! We decided to do it midway through the session so that everyone would be comfortable and having fun. As we walked from one location to another I whispered to Erin that I was going to do it as soon as she was ready. She set us up at the new location, took a few test shots, gave me the secret signal we had set up (really just a thumbs up haha), and then right before the next shot I stepped forward and shouted, “Hold on!!! Before we take this next picture there’s something I want to say… We’re having another baby!!!” And Erin immediately started snapping away. Just look at these reactions! Totally worth keeping the secret. 🙂

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I’m so thrilled with how the pictures came out! They’re even better than I imagined. Many, many thanks to Erin for capturing these priceless moments for us to keep forever! ❤

Baby #2, Pregnancy

Our second baby story

IMG_2465IMG_2461WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! I can finally announce it loud and proud! We’re expecting Babeski #2! Is this for real?! I still feel like I’m in a state of shock, but the best kind of shock there can be. We’re having another baby. We’re having another baby! I am so dang excited!!!!

We told our families when I was about 7 weeks pregnant, but we’ve known since I was around 4 weeks. It was HARD keeping the secret, especially from my sister aka my bff aka the person I tell everything to… but I knew we were getting family pictures taken the next month and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to surprise everyone at the same time AND capture all their reactions! It just seemed too perfect a coincidence to not take advantage of. So we waited. 😊 And it was SO worth it!!! I’ll be making a separate post about the photoshoot reveal very soon, so stay tuned!

Anyway, now that I’m in the second trimester (a little over 13 weeks to be exact) we felt comfortable announcing our beautiful little blessing! And today I’m sharing a bit about our second baby story with all of you. 😊

The journey to pregnancy has been completely different this time around. With Jameson it took us a little while to get pregnant (you can read more about that story here). There was a lot of frustration, a lot of tears, a lot of negative pregnancy tests. I was assuming the next time would be exactly the same, if not even harder. But oh man, did God bless us with this child.

For a while there I was really really really content with our family life as it was. Just Alex, Jameson, and me. (And Charlie.) I wasn’t ready for another baby and I couldn’t really picture a time in the future where I’d be in the same place I was before Jameson…that place of wanting a baby so badly that it just consumed me from the inside out. There were times, sure, when I’d catch a brief stint of baby fever but it would be gone several minutes later. I was just really thankful for the happy little life we had, just the three of us.

But at the same time, I knew I wanted our kids to be close in age. Two and a half years or maybe three at the most was our ideal age difference. But since it took us so long to have Jameson I was worried it would be a much bigger gap. I was expecting ovulation tests and checking my basal body temperature every morning and trying for months on end like we had to do with Jameson.

So you can imagine my surprise when, based on pretty much NO evidence at all (zero symptoms, barely even late, we weren’t even “officially trying” yet), I took a pregnancy test on February 20th and…it was positive. I wouldn’t have even taken the test at all if it wasn’t for the fact that I happened to have some cheap tests in the cabinet just waiting to expire. I pretty much just took it to prove to myself that I wasn’t pregnant. I actually remember leaving the test in the bathroom for the three minutes and walking away saying to myself aloud, “You’re not pregnant. There’s no way you’re pregnant.” I walked back in a few minutes later and the two pink lines were right there. No denying it, I AM pregnant. 😊

So after I practiced some deep breathing and my head stopped spinning and Jameson stopped freaking out because I was being super weird and sitting on the bathroom floor saying, “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Okay this is happening. Oh my gosh.” I got Jameson into the wagon and we went on a walk so I could clear my head a bit. I was SO excited and so in love already but also just plain confused because, like I said, we hadn’t spent months trying and we hadn’t been planning everything out like we had with Jameson. I wasn’t expecting this for at least another six months or so, probably even longer.

But even as all the questions and half-formulated plans flooded my brain (are the kids going to share a room? Should I go to the same midwifes as last time? What am I going to do about my best friend’s wedding in August, for which I am a bridesmaid and for which I will now apparently be almost 7 months pregnant?!)…I was also oddly at total peace, which I can only say is the grace of God. He knows my heart and my needs better than I know them myself. He knew I’d never get to the place of being ready to officially start “trying” for a baby again. Is anyone ever entirely ready to give up their special time with their firstborn? I didn’t know if I’d ever be. He also knew how scared I was to start that difficult process all over again, all the disappointment and the planning and the stress. So he just said, “This is your perfect time. You’re doing this now.” And here we are again. I’m reminded once more, but in a totally different way than with Jameson, that I’m really not the one in control. And for that, I am SO thankful.

Half an hour after I took the test, Alex got home from work and I told him the news in a totally non-cute way. Basically I was just like, “Hey, so I have to tell you something. I’m pregnant.” And he immediately grabbed me in a hug and then we just looked at each other, slightly confused but so so excited. He asked how I was doing because he knew I’d probably be freaking out and then he grabbed Jameson and added him to our family hug, our first one with all four of us.

One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that we really don’t know when we’re ready for things. We might think we know, but that’s usually not the case. With Jameson, I thought I was ready for such a long time and I wasn’t. God had better plans. With this baby I really thought I wasn’t ready at all. Again, God had better plans. 😊 We are given what we need when we need it, whether we agree with the timing or not. We can be wise and thoughtful with our actions, sure, but ultimately the Lord is the one who directs our steps. To me that is an incredible blessing and a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t have to know or plan everything.

Praise God for his goodness! We are so thankful for this second precious life He’s given us. What great love the Father has lavished on us!

See you in six months, little one. ❤

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