Friday, August 29, 2014

Long usual!

Well, in spite of having this new app that allows me to post pictures and write posts from the iPad, I haven't been too good at keeping this blog up to date! Let's be honest...I stink at blogging these days! I can happily say, though, that I'm enjoying my life as a mom...blogging just doesn't seem to be one of my favorite ways of spending free time like it used to be.

Where do I begin?! Well, let's just start by saying that we have ourselves one amazing baby!! He has been so good at sleeping and eating, and we are so, so blessed! We've had a few ups and downs along the way, but overall he's been a very "easy" baby. 

(Less than a week old!)

We are following the BabyWise method of sleeping and short it's an eat, stay awake, then sleep routine as opposed to an eat, sleep, wake routine. It is supposed to help set baby's metabolism and help with digestion, resulting in better sleep at night and although I can't really explain it well, I'm all for it because Joshua's been sleeping through the night since about 8 weeks or so. It started off with 5 hour stretches, then 6, and now we put him to sleep between 7 and 8, I feed him around 10:30 and he then sleeps until 7am (and sometimes we end up waking him then!)

(First family photo)

I must confess I feel nervous posting our routines and methods because they're a little different from the norm, but I don't think I should feel that way...every baby is different, every parent is different, and whatever works for you is best for you...and we've found a routine that works for us and we're sticking to it!!

He's on about a 3 hour schedule from one feeding to the next, but I'm in the midst of transitioning to a 3 1/2 hour schedule as he seems to be less hungry at feeding times and doesn't seem to mind when we do stretch it out to 3 1/2 hours.

The BabyWise method of sleeping is basically that you watch for sleep cues and put your baby in their crib awake, but sleepy, and allow them to settle themselves to sleep. We've kind of been doing that, but mostly just recently. I had been usually rocking him to sleep and then putting him down, but he has in the last couple days been doing really well putting himself to sleep so unless he's really struggling, he's been going to sleep on his own! What a blessing!! Like I said, he's a really "easy" baby!

(Warning...skip this part of you're not interested in breastfeeding!) 

Just as an update from the last post...we finally have nursing down!! I'm sooo thankful God helped us through our struggles and he is now exclusively breastfeeding! It sort of just "clicked" one day... We had prayer day in a city about 2 hours from home and I brought the pump with me in case my plan to try nursing all day went "bad", but it actually went really well! I don't have any pain anymore! I don't know if he "grew into" nursing, or if my nipples just got tougher, or if he changed the way he was drinking or something, but it basically just happened in one day! I was still doing bottles for the 10:30 feeding and first thing in the morning (have I mentioned how amazing my husband is, letting me sleep or get stuff done, by taking on the first morning shift?!) but eventually decided that since I was having to get up when Joshua was getting up anyway because I needed to pump due to getting so full overnight, that I would just nurse him and then 'hand him over' to Bobby for the next while. Then about 2 weeks ago I decided to try nursing him for the 10:30 feeding. I hadn't been because I figured he'd be too sleepy to actually eat, but he has actually been doing really well, eating while sleeping! ;) (BabyWise calls it a dream feed) So, he transitioned to exclusive nursing!

Now our new "struggle" is that he won't take a bottle! We've tried several times and methods, but he just won't do it! Of course it's not a terrible problem to have, but just limits the amount of time I can be gone from him now :( i know people say if he's hungry enough he'll take it, but yesterday when we tried that, I just couldn't stand him crying because he was hungry! It's one thing for me to let him cry it out when he's tired, but my heart couldn't take it, knowing he was crying because he was hungry so I 'gave in' and nursed him because he would not take the bottle! Oh well, it really is not the end of the world, and he is not the first baby who required full time nursing! ;) I'll get over it! 

Every day I'm growing in my motherly's still a work in progress, and I often struggle with doubts about whether I'm going to "mess up" my baby. One thing I'm finding through various blogs and forums is that I'm certainly not alone and my worries are normal and shared by many! First time moms have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and it's overwhelming! There's so much to learn, plus there's crazy hormones to deal with, and it all happens so suddenly! Thankful I have a wonderful support team through my husband, family, teammates and a few wonderful, great listener friends...I am blessed! Every day The Lord reminds me I can't do this on my own and I need His help. (Sometimes more than once a day!)

Parenting is an incredible journey. I'm already seeing how God uses this journey to shape and grow His own children and I'm experiencing a greater understanding of the depth of His love for me through my relationship with Joshua. Just as marriage has refined (and continues to refine!) me, parenting is doing the same. Who knew how much a 3 month old baby could teach me?! I have a hard time not looking ahead and worrying about the parenting challenges to come such as discipline, but God continues to remind me to live this life one day at a time, cherishing the here and now. He brings me so much joy and I feel blessed I get spend every day with such a sweet, happy baby! (Don't get me wrong, like I said before, we have our moments, and I've had a few meltdowns!)

The other day as I sat rocking Joshua to sleep I was suddenly filled with awe and wonder that I was living out my dream of being a mom. There is nothing like rocking a baby to sleep, and I was overwhelmed by the fact that God has chosen me along with Bobby to raise this precious little boy. My heart was so full that there in my arms I held this physical answer to prayer....for so long I longed to hold my own baby, I longed to know what it was like to feel the depth of a mother's love, I longed to experience the feeling of being "needed" by a little one...and now, here I am, a mother. At the same time, my heart continues to ache for those who are still experiencing those longings...praying for them earnestly, reminding myself that God's ways are higher than my ways and His ways are beyond my understanding. It feels bittersweet to enjoy this blessing that God has placed in my arms, and once again, I'm left wondering what to say... I don't have all the answers and I still don't understand why God has chosen me to be a mom while others continue to wait.......

On that note, I'm not quite sure how to close! I feel torn in wanting to share all the sweet pictures we have...I know many people find great joy in seeing them, but I also don't want to be "rubbing it in". I guess I will just post a couple of my favorites as I know there's many people on the other side of the globe that can't get enough of him! Enjoy! :)

We are blessed!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Don't Worry, He's Here! :)

Well, hopefully those of you who follow my blog also follow me on Facebook or Instagram and I haven't kept you waiting for news! ;)

Joshua Michael Baden was born (via emergency C-section) on May 19, 2014, weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces! He's now 6 weeks old and growing like a weed :) We took him to his "one month" check-up yesterday and found out he's over 10 pounds now!

Now that it's been 6 weeks, hopefully I can remember his "birth story". I've been meaning to sit down and do this for a long time now, but I'm still at the point where all I feel like doing when Joshua's asleep is sleep myself! Bobby wrote his account a few weeks ago so I might have to use his to help me remember the details and add them as a PS after I've read his again.

May 10th (Joshua's due date) came and went and I had no signs of labor... at all! Every doctor visit we heard "the baby's still up high...not yet!" But, something we were also hearing every doctor visit was that my  blood pressure was high and there was protein in my urine. Both of these are signs of pre-eclampsia which is very serious so they kept a close eye on me. My doctor decided that if by Friday, the 16th, there were no changes in my blood pressure and protein numbers, they would admit me and monitor my diet and try to get me more relaxed.

41 Weeks, hanging out at the hospital
Sure enough, we went in for my appointment that Friday and my numbers were still high so I got admitted. I have to say, I had it pretty good! The hospital we were at was so wonderful! The room we were in was a private room and more like a hotel room. I didn't feel like I was in a hospital at all! Bobby was even able to stay with me, and this was going to be the room we'd stay in until going home with our baby. Friday night we just relaxed, watched a movie on TV and were both able to sleep quite well. It felt like we were on vacation!! There was talk of being induced soon, and the doctors were going to meet on Saturday morning to decide what would be best for the baby and I.

Saturday morning we found out that the doctors decided they'd wait until Monday to induce so from there it was just a waiting game. In the mean time, my blood pressure was being monitored and they kept a close eye on the baby too, using the fetal monitor belt (or whatever that's called). Saturday night's sleep was a little less restful than the previous night as my blood pressure was checked several times, as well as fetal monitoring. (when you have the belt on you can't really move so I was "stuck" on my back and I wasn't really able to sleep) The last monitoring on Friday night caused the nurse a little bit of worry as after an hour she couldn't get the baby to really wake up and active for a clear reading. She told us she'd be back around 2 to come and check again so of course we didn't sleep well, first knowing she was coming back in just a few hours and second thinking about something being wrong with the baby.

She came back in at 2 on the dot and strapped the monitor on again. She came back after about an hour and told us that they wanted us to go down to the delivery room (instead of them having to keep coming up to our room to check) so they could keep a closer eye on the baby because they still couldn't get a very good reading. So, with our bleary eyes and foggy brains, we headed downstairs right then.

The next few hours are kind of a blur for me as it was very stressful and scary. My blood pressure kept rising (even though from the start even before I was admitted, I never felt any different than usual, and felt relaxed) and they were beginning to say the baby was showing signs of distress. At one point Bobby said my top number was over 200! (normal is usually 120-130 or so) The head doctor who we think was on call came in to look at me and said they'd keep a close eye on us and decide what to do in the morning when the other doctor came in. There was still no clear decision as to whether things were headed in the direction of induction or C-section which added to the stress. I really didn't like either choice, but I knew the doctors knew what they were doing and trusted their decision.

When the doctor came in Sunday morning he almost immediately decided that things were starting to look dangerous and that I needed to be transferred via ambulance to a nearby bigger hospital where they would be more equipped to handle an emergency C-section. And before we knew it, we heard a siren outside, the paramedics came in and were putting me on a stretcher and I was being loaded into an ambulance. Thankfully, Bobby was able to stay with me and ride along, but unfortunately he didn't really get a chance to pack our things and only had a minute to grab the essentials. (he got to go back later and packed us up and brought our stuff to our new hospital).

Just before I was transferred, they gave me some medication to lower my blood pressure and in the ambulance it really dropped (almost too much!) and by the time we arrived at the other hospital things had really settled down and after being assessed, it was decided that they would hold off on doing a C-section until Monday when there's more staff around. We had another relatively quiet afternoon/evening, but throughout the night I was again monitored and also had an IV in so I didn't get much sleep. In the wee hours of the morning I started getting sick (I think due to a medication they had given me to clear out my system before the surgery) and by 6am it was decided that they'd do a C-section right away instead of waiting until later that afternoon because it seemed that the baby was in distress.

Before we knew it, I was being prepped for surgery, and was getting an epidural. Unfortunately Bobby wasn't able to be in the room with me (not sure if that's because it was an emergency C-section or if that's how they do things in Japan) which was a big disappointment for both of us. I was pretty scared because I had no idea what to expect and it was happening so fast, but the whole time I felt God's presence and was at peace. I don't remember much of the details now, but I remember I was really surprised at how rough the Dr. was. Although I was numb and couldn't feel any pain, I felt pressure and pulling.

Again, before I knew it, I heard that sound that every expecting parent longs to hear... a healthy cry! I don't remember if they told me before or after I heard him cry, but one of the doctors told me it was a boy and several people in the operating room congratulated me. After a bit, they brought him by my head and I got to meet him and they let me touch him. They took two pictures which are now precious possessions! I don't have it scanned yet so I can't post it, but maybe someday I will. After that, they finished off the surgery and eventually I was taken back into my room to recover. The part of the surgery after he was born was really rough and felt like it was taking forever. I can't really explain how it felt, but I remember wishing it would just be over!

Unfortunately Joshua had some breathing trouble (I think maybe fluid in his lungs or something) so he was put in the NICU for a while. Bobby was able to meet him shortly after he was born and was on the way to the NICU. The next few hours were really tough. I was in quite a bit of pain, and the after contractions (where the uterus starts to shrink) were the most painful thing I've ever experienced! I thought that I hadn't had any Braxton Hicks, but now I think I did have some, without realizing they were contractions! There were a few times when I was pregnant that I felt pains, but they were different from what everyone describes them as so I didn't think they were. Anyway, that day I slept most of the day, and poor Bobby went back and forth between my room and the NICU (which unfortunately had limited visiting hours, even for parents). He was able to hold Joshua and give him a bottle which thrilled both of us. I was really sad that I didn't get to see any of that. It was SO hard to be away from him, having no idea what was going on. I didn't get to see him again until later the next day when they brought him in my room to see me.
Holding Joshua for the first time... my smile says it all!
I don't remember very clearly if it was on the second or third day after he was born, but I was able to try nursing which I was really thankful for. I didn't have a birth plan or anything like that, but one of my strongest desires was to be able to try nursing as soon as possible. It was pretty disappointing that didn't happen, but having him receive formula in the nursery was not the end of the world. Thankfully, he did (and still does) really well taking both a bottle and nursing.

By about the fourth day of our hospital stay, he was staying in the room with us all day and night which was so great. I was able to bring him to the nursery whenever I needed to rest. I didn't start walking until day 3 (I think) and was still in quite a bit of pain, but Bobby said he noticed a considerable difference in me after Joshua was brought to our room. Recovery was pretty tough and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!! I have to say, even at this point, it feels like Joshua will be an only child! ;) (half kidding, half serious... not wanting to think about going through all of that again and also having to worry about Joshua's care during that time)

I don't feel disappointed or "ripped off" that I ended up with a C-section like a lot of women talk about. I think it's because I didn't have a birth plan, and I'm thankful for that. The only things I was disappointed about was not being able to give birth at the hospital I originally planned on (we had gotten used to the nurses and loved my doctor, and we really liked how they did things like being pro-nursing, and rooming in), Bobby not being able to be in the operating room with me, and not being able to see Joshua for the first 24 hours. Overall, I was well taken care of, and was so thankful for all the nurses and doctors who helped us through our first week as a family. God was (and still is!) so good to us and although it was one of the most stressful and scary times in our lives, we are thankful to have this story to tell Joshua (and others) of God's hand of protection over us.

I was in the hospital for a week which some people might think is crazy, but I was really thankful for that time and glad that I was able to rest when I needed to, and recover from my surgery. There were plenty of ups and downs, but we survived! God is good!!

These days we're kind of in a routine... Joshua's on about a 3 hour schedule. The first month was quite good, and Joshua was a very easy baby. These days though, he's been a lot more fussy and we're having more "off days" and plenty of times where we just don't know what to do to make him stop crying...but we're doing ok. We're both pretty exhausted, but making it. I'm SO blessed to have Bobby in my life. He's been so helpful and he's an incredible dad. I appreciate how hands on he is and know that I have it really good!

Nursing has been a bit of an issue for Joshua and I. I've had some extreme pain that we can't seem to get to the root of. Any time a nurse watches him feed they say he has a really good latch, but I'm in pain the whole time he's feeding which I know is not normal. Something's wrong, I don't know what. We've heard lots of people mention tongue tie as a possible cause of pain, but it's not obvious and we don't really know how to explain it to the doctor. We will be seeing an English speaking pediatrician for his first immunizations from then on so maybe he'll be able to help us. These days I'm pumping and feeding him breastmilk exclusively which I'm very thankful I'm able to do, but really wishing we could just get this nursing thing down! Last week I was nursing once a day... some days were better than others and I think I'm tolerating the pain a little better, and today was the first day of trying twice a day.

I hate knowing that something is wrong and not being able to fix it. I've done a ton of reading, seen several different nurses/midwives here and watched plenty of YouTube videos, but nothing seems to help. I'm praying through it, and trusting God will help us. It's definitely been a trial that I wish would just go away! Anyway, perhaps I'll write more about it another day, but that's all I'll say for now.

We're in love with our little boy and feel so blessed to be parents! We're on a journey that requires constant dependence on the Lord, but so thankful He's entrusted this precious gift to us!

My battery is running out so I guess I'll do a picture post another day! Thanks for sticking with me!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

No Baby Yet...

Finishing up day 5 of being overdue...
It's not so bad because I've been feeling so good, but people keep asking "any baby news yet?" Which makes us all the more anxious!

I guess this us only fair since I was 16 days late (my Mom is probably loving this...except tomorrow is her guess for the big birthday so she's hoping for some action soon!) Apparently full moons increase the number of labors and tonight happens to be one so I'm sure it'll be another "sleep-like-a-kid-on-Christmas-Eve" night! ;)

We have our regular appointment tomorrow...looking forward to seeing if there's any progress. As of Tuesday's visit, baby was still up high.

There's a chance I might get admitted tomorrow...I've been showing some signs of preeclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in my urine) and the Doctor said if my protein levels are higher tomorrow, they're going to admit me to monitor my diet and help me relax...and go from there, re-assessing (need for induction) early next week. Little do they know how relaxed I am at home and how little salt I eat! (And being in the hospital with no baby will probably make me restless) oh well...just more time to enjoy pre-baby stress free (aka sleep as much as I want) time, I suppose.

Anyway, that's all for now...will try to update if I don't get admitted! (There's no internet at the hospital so if you don't hear anything, I'm likely chilling at the hospital!)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

39 weeks picture

Just testing... I think I figured out how to post pics from the iPad...
This picture was last Sunday before church :) haven't taken my 40 week pic yet because I'm still in my pj's ;)

Due Date...

Today's the day... It's May 10, baby's estimated date of arrival. If only baby knew that! Due dates are torture, in my opinion! You can count down all you want, but more than likely, will not have a baby in your arms at the end of the day! ;)

Yesterday's doctor's appointment went well. Dr says baby is very "genki" (healthy/active) but the monitors show no contractions, and apparently baby is still sitting up high (so much for my back pain theory!) She said I'm maybe about 1cm dilated... so, we continue to wait!

Anyway, that's all the news for now... Meanwhile, we continue to wait, and I'll keep working on that to-do list! (It's nice to have the time to do things on a to-do list, but I'm just lacking energy/motivation to get those things done!) Any distraction ideas for this coming week are welcome! ;)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Waiting Game...

Well, impatience has finally kicked in! Last week, I couldn't help but smile at how Bobby was daily mentioning how excited he was for this little one to make his or her entrance into the world, but I personally was content to keep on waiting because I've been feeling so good. I couldn't really relate to all the women who just can't wait for their pregnancy to end!

But, this week, I think because it's the week of my due date (Saturday!!!!) I'm starting to feel a little impatient myself! I'm still feeling pretty good, considering I'm almost at 40 weeks. I'm feeling blessed to have had such a smooth pregnancy. Just yesterday though, my lower left back has started hurting, making me wonder if baby is shifting or has shifted into "getting ready to come out" position.

I've truly been sleeping like a kid on Christmas Eve these last few nights...I think because I've heard most labors start in the middle of the night, I'm expecting that to be what happens for me too! I've had weird dreams, frequent mid-night bathroom trips and wishful thoughts minor twinges I think I'm feeling in my belly might be the start of a contraction. I haven't had any Braxton Hicks contractions, so I literally have no idea what to expect which makes me more antsy (hence the excitement over every tiny twinge).

I have my 39 week appointment tomorrow which I'm excited about. Last week I was 0.5cm dilated which was encouraging to hear, but I know it doesn't mean much...especially when the Dr. Says "See you next Friday" quite confidently! ;)

Bobby started a poll on his Facebook page the other day for date and gender guesses... Earliest was May 8th... which is today! The big questions are if I will have a baby outside of my belly this Mother's Day, and if this baby will share a birthday with their cousin, May 12!

We're feeling pretty ready, as far as preparation goes...bags are all packed and by the door, last minute checklist is on the fridge, car seat is installed...but as for being ready to be parents, I don't think we'll ever feel ready for that! ;)

My parents are coming on May 21st for a month and we're all getting excited about that too! It will be really neat to be able to show them "our world"! Hopefully baby and I will feel up to some outings with them because I'll be sad if I don't get to see them experiencing things for the first time, but we'll have to wait and see!

Sorry for no pictures again... This is another iPad update so I can't get it to cooperate! I guess that's all the news for now...we'll just be waiting! The news of baby's arrival on here will likely be delayed as we don't have internet in our hospital (and I'll be there for a week!) so be patient!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thank you, God, for giving us mothers!

Came across this video today and it made me wonder, What am I getting myself into?! ;) just kidding! 
Thought it was really good... Might or might not have made this mama-to-be a little weepy at the end! 
I'm so thankful for all that my Mom has done for me over the last 28 years and I know the next few weeks, months and years to come will increase that appreciation even more! I can't say it enough... I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My small faith...

Sometimes I think God must just shake His head and smile at my lack of trust in Him and His provisions...
We decided before we left the States that we were going to go ahead and buy a stroller and car seat in Japan even though we knew they were more expensive than in the States. We could have paid extra to send them as extra pieces of luggage when we flew but in the end decided that wouldn't be worth the headache of having to lug around extra boxes while traveling. I am glad we didn't have to deal with that, but since coming back to Japan and doing more car seat/stroller research, I started to regret that decision. We've run into a few different problems... I originally wanted a travel system (car seat that fits on top of a stroller) but have since changed my mind. Anyway, they're not very common here, and the ones you can find online are at least $600.

Then after eliminating that option, we started looking at just car seats (and maybe getting a stroller later on if we feel it's necessary) but then found out that Japanese car seats don't have carry handles or bases...apparently everyone just takes their baby in and out if the seat everywhere they go. I'm not too keen on having to wake up my sleeping baby when he or she falls asleep in the car so this was pretty disappointing for me. We did end up finding one for a whole lot cheaper than most car seats, but it doesn't have a base, and it doesn't have a 5 point harness (none of them here do). And, because it was so much cheaper than all the others, it makes me wonder how safe it really is/how well it's made.

Now I know I'm starting to sound like an over protective mama (and maybe I am) but safety is not really something I like to compromise on! Hope I'm not opening up a can of worms with this post, but in my opinion, Japan just doesn't have the same car safety standards for kids that we're used to and apparently they don't mind. Car seats are required, but we see kids up and moving around in vehicles all the time. Anyway, with our baby coming in only a month (give or take), I was really starting to worry/feel like we were out of options. I was also feeling bad because we had a friend offer us an American car seat but I turned it down because it was "expired" (which I'm not convinced is an actual concern) and she ended up giving it to someone else.

So...all this to say I've been praying God would give us wisdom and provide for us, but at the same time wasting time worrying about it. In the mean time, He was probably just grinning waiting to hand me my little gift... I just got a call from a very sweet American couple that works on the Base offering us their car American seat, as their youngest recently outgrew it! They are so generous and they've blessed us in many ways in the past.

So, now we have a car seat! And once again, I've been reminded of my need to cast my cares on the  Lord and wait for Him to work! We've seen him provide in so many ways for this little one (and for ourselves) I don't know why I'm so surprised!

In other news, I'm at 35 weeks now, and going to the doctor once a week now! We went yesterday and I had been expecting to learn more about what delivering at this hospital was going to look like, but apparently I have to wait until next week or the week after. (Apparently they're counting in me having this baby on time or late!) I'm pretty sure it was hormones that got in the way, but after the appointment, I had a little melt down as my fears were getting the best of me. On top of the appointment being different from what I was expecting, I'm learning that I don't like "unknowns" and this whole having a baby experience in general, let alone in a foreign country is full of unknowns! I know this might be opening another can of worms, but we also found out that even though getting an epidural is an option, it's a little different than how they do it in the States... and they only end up giving them to about 1 in 200 (over 3 months) births which makes us nervous due to the lack of experience. So... it's looking like I'm in for a natural birth...which is not the end of the world and what I was leaning toward anyway, but it's kind of scary that the only thing they "offer" is visualization! I was hoping for more of something in the middle between an epidural and nothing at all, but oh well... Again, thus is another area I need to trust God and His care for us!

So, that's enough rambling for now! Hope you enjoyed this post anyway! Until next time...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Closer and closer...

My how time is flying! We're already back in Japan and we're just 6 weeks (give or take) away from holding our little one in our arms!! I'm not feeling very ready... not sure I ever will be! These days the thought of this baby actually coming out is quite terrifying. I think because it's such a huge unknown, it makes it even scarier. We went to the doctor on Friday and found out we'll talk more about what delivery will look like at our next appointment which will hopefully help with some of those fears.

Our flight back to Japan went as well as could be expected. It was an unusually empty flight so we had a row of 3 seats to ourselves. The extra space was nice, but it didn't help either of us sleep any better...but that probably helped with sleeping better here. We're almost back to a normal schedule, but still going to bed on the early side and waking up early. Bobby's fear didn't come true and we were very thankful... I didn't have the baby in the air! ;)

We're slowly getting the nursery ready... moving around furniture, getting rid of clutter and eventually decorating. Right now the crib is full of baby stuff that's waiting for a home! I already like the way it's looking though and can't wait until it's all done. I have discovered I really like purging and organizing, but it can get overwhelming at times, feeling like you have so much stuff that you "need" but have nowhere to put!

We've gotten back just in time for the cherry blossoms! This is by far my favorite time of year with all of the spring flowers, and now the cherry blossoms everywhere you look! Today we went for a picnic under the trees and I loved it! Here's the link to an album I posted on Facebook... I'm sure more will get added as we enjoy more of the blossoms this week.

I once again forgot to take my 34 week picture on the right day and still haven't done that yet, but here's my 33 week picture... I don't have any other pictures to post at the moment because I need to figure out a way to access my iPad pictures on my blog, but hopefully I'll figure something out soon!

Well, I should get going... off to our co-worker's house for dinner! (we are so spoiled!)
Until next time...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Catching up...

Hello there!
Sorry for the lack of blogs these days... nothing too exciting happening, and not being able to post pictures from the iPad are my excuses :)

Pregnancy is still going really well! I haven't had any serious gallbladder attacks since we were in Canada in January so I'm very thankful for that... I know it's because people are praying! Hopefully it won't give me too much grief even after the baby is born.

All appointments have been going well and everything is looking normal. I'm in the third trimester now so we're going to the doctor every 2 weeks now (next week is the first time for that).

Here's the comparison picture I posted on instagram a couple weeks ago...

(top left is 24 weeks, top right is 25, bottom left is 26 and bottom right is 27 weeks. I don't see a whole lot of change, but sometimes it depends on what angle I stand at and I can't seem to get it the same every week.)

Bobby's home church planned a shower for us a couple weeks ago, but it got postponed due to snow, but it's coming up this Saturday! I'm looking forward to it and we already feel so blessed, but also nervous because I've never really liked opening presents in front of people ;)

In other news, I became a US citizen this month!! That means all our paperwork headaches and travel restrictions are behind us!!! God allowed things to happen so quickly and smoothly and I got my passport in the mail yesterday! That means we're heading back to Japan on March 25, and we'll be having this baby in Japan! We're of course sad that we won't get to introduce this little one to Bobby's family for a while, but I must confess that the idea of bringing our baby to our own home from the hospital is really exciting! I'm already nesting in my head and can't wait to get back and start rearranging and organizing!

That's pretty much all I can think of to write about for now. If you want to follow me on instagram to see more pictures, my user id is princesshill86. You can create an account and you don't need to post pictures or anything, but you do need an account to view my pictures.

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dancing belly!

So I have to say,that all the "firsts" of pregnancy have been so much fun for me! I'm really blessed that I have had a really smooth pregnancy (aside from having gallstones, but that's another post for another time!) and I am just soaking up every minute of this time with a baby in my belly!

One of those fun firsts happened last night as I was laying on my back in bed reading. I could feel the baby moving around quite a bit so I decided to pull the covers off and lift up my shirt and watch my belly for a bit. Sure enough, we got quite a little show! He or she was moving all over the place! I've seen a few twitches here and there, but this was really the first time I've seen any major stomach shifting because usually when the baby moves, it's not exactly at an appropriate time for me to whip up my shirt and stare at my belly! :P We were both laughing at the little squirmer inside of me and it made me one again realize how blessed we are to have a healthy little one coming our way. I really understand what it means when the Bible talks about Mary "treasuring these things in her heart" because that's exactly what I've been doing! (And the baby's not even born yet!)

Anyway, it was really fun and also super weird to watch my belly dancing around, watching it move, realizing I had no control over what it was doing! Sometimes it was a slow "rolling movement" across my belly and sometimes it would be a great big push out. I've been looking forward to this for a while now and definitely got a good show last night :)

Tomorrow I'll be 26 weeks! Time is flying, and I'm sure it goes even faster when baby is here, right?
Bobby's home church women's group is throwing me a shower next month and I'm so excited about that! It is kind of tricky knowing what to ask for when we don't even know where this little one will be born, but we did put together a registry at Babies R Us which was fun... But slightly overwhelming too!

Anyway, I think that's all the news for now. Sorry no pictures this time... For some reason I can't upload pictures to my blog from the iPad.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Overdue Update!

Well hello again!
Thought it was time for a long overdue update! Sorry for those of you who aren't on Instagram and can't see the pictures I post.

Pregnancy is still going well, and we are so thankful for that! I'm 23 weeks now and it's hard to believe we're past the half way mark already!! I'm still feeling pretty tired, but these days I'm feeling pretty good... still not quite at the "Superwoman" feeling many women say comes along with the second trimester though. I'm sleeping pretty good and haven't had the typical complaints of back pain or frequent bathroom trips, but something tells me that will be here before I know it!

I am feeling quite a bit of movement these days, pretty low and it's very cool to know that little one is doing well in there! Bobby was able to feel a good strong movement (no clue what part of the baby's body it came from) one night as we were falling asleep and that was super exciting! Sometimes when I lay still, I can see my belly "twitch". Haven't noticed any patterns to sleep and awake times yet, but it seems as though this baby is a fan of Tim Horton's :)

It's so fun to experience all the "firsts" of pregnancy that I always dreamed about... we got to hear the heartbeat at the doctor's the other day  (we didn't get to hear that in Japan because I think they just look at the heartbeat on the ultrasounds) and we had our 20 week anatomy ultrasound a couple weeks back. We had no idea just how much can go wrong in a pregnancy until the technician explained everything she was looking for! We are SO thankful for this healthy baby and a smooth pregnancy! (from what the technician saw anyway!)

Belly isn't too big yet, but I think it's getting a little more obvious I'm pregnant each week. I feel like I'm still at the point where people probably just wonder if I am or not. I'm loving being able to buy and wear maternity clothes! It's crazy how expensive brand new clothes are so I've been having fun finding post Christmas 50% off clearance deals and shopping at thrift stores. I'm so thankful we are here in North America because I have been able to get pants and bras that I'm sure I never would have been able to get in Japan!

We've registered at Babies R Us because our home church is having a shower for us! That was fun, but also slightly overwhelming! :) It's really hard not knowing whether this little one will make his or her appearance in Japan or Maryland! (oh, and by the way, we aren't finding out if it's a boy or girl)

Well, my battery is running out so I need to finish up! Thanks again for keeping up with us and praying for our little blessing :)

21 weeks...

23 weeks...

Eventually I'll remember to wear the same shirt each week so it will be a little more obvious how much growth has happened :)