I’ve started waddling (a 32 week #albrechtlittle update)

I’m breaking my monthly-only pregnancy updates because some what-feel-like momentous things have happened lately. And I’m not just talking about the size of my growing belly.

Yesterday I came home after church for a quick lunch before running off to youth group, but my body would not have it. When I got up to get ready to leave, my sciatic nerve pain was out of control and I only got to the bathroom by literally crawling. Turns out standing, bending and lifting (nothing heavy!) all morning is starting to take a toll on my back! I miserably laid on the couch until Jacob got home, sulking that I couldn’t even be productive while cooped up.

I’ve really started missing things I used to take for granted, like bending down to pick up food I dropped in the kitchen or getting off the couch in one swift motion.

There were a few looser maternity tops I hadn’t yet worn because they made me look frumpy instead of cute… Those definitely fit now.

I can almost always feel the baby moving! She’s getting big enough that I can feel basically every movement, not just the dramatic kicks and twists. I’ve even felt either a hand or a foot a few times – that was way cool.

We went to our child birth class this past weekend… And I can say that while I previously felt okay about labor, now I am freaking out. YES, it’s incredibly amazing what the body can do, but that doesn’t make me excited for MY BODY TO DO IT. Have mercy.

It is getting real, folks! This week we are picking up our crib, Jacob set up the bassinet and rock ‘n play last night, and some friends are coming over Friday to help me make/hang curtains, paint furniture and generally finish nursery prep! We also had a date night this weekend with a baby name book in an attempt to narrow our options (we aren’t any closer).

Little Girl, we are very excited for you, even though I’m a bit nervous for your dramatic entrance into the world.

Can’t wait to kiss your face soon.

PS – Apparently you’re roughly the size of a head of lettuce and weigh about 4 lbs. Where did the other 16 I’ve gained come from?! I expect an explanation when I see you. Part of me hopes you’re small for my own sake (hello, grand entry), but part of me hopes you’re bigger so I can feel less like a whale all by myself. 😉 But I promise we will love you either way.

Thoughts On Maternity Clothes + Pink Blush Giveaway

PinkBlush Maternity GiveAwayMaternity Clothes Post Maternity Giveaway

Photos taken at 32 weeks pregnant.
Photos taken at 32 weeks pregnant.

Can I just say…. MATERNITY CLOTHES. Hall-e-lu-jah. My body is changing in some shocking ways for this first-time pregnant lady. The other day I was getting ready in the bathroom and could not get over how much just in the past week or two my body has changed! My belly is less “bumpy” and moreso just out, which means essentially none of my “pre-pregnancy” shirts fit anymore. If they still wrap around my body, they are juuuust short enough that it’s high time they get boxed away for next winter.

So needless to say, I’m grateful for maternity clothing that makes me feel cute even when I’m starting to feel big. And I’m grateful I live in this current day and age of trendy maternity clothes, not the day and age when my mom was pregnant… she describes her maternity clothes as “tents.” Ha! Sooo flattering and confidence-boosting. 😉

One of my favorite maternity clothing stores so far is PinkBlush Maternity – they have the cutest little maternity boutique that offers a wide variety of styles for every season! I picked this happy peach maternity top photographed above because I needed something to brighten my maternity closet – I’m a sucker for neutrals, so everything I have is so dark! This is one of my favorite tops to pull out on a yucky day when I need some brightness around me.

Where do you love to shop for maternity clothes?

Thanks to PinkBlush Maternity for providing the shirt photographed above AND for the opportunity to give YOU a little mid-winter shopping spree! There’s a $75 giftcard up for grabs (for either their maternity line OR their womens line, which I also love!!) You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25.

Another year full of firsts and lasts. Today is my 25th birthday! My quarter of a century, I’m-officially-halfway-through-my-twenties birthday. And so much has happened.

This past year I changed jobs, leaving my first out of college “real” office job to come on staff at our church as a Worship Arts Pastor at our new campus. I was (and still am) blown away by the ways God ordained every small step in that process – I love getting to use so many of my gifts in my profession. And what a privilege it has been to stand up with my peers and lead us all in proclaiming the truth of Scripture, confessing our need for God, and showing up week after week to worship through corporate services. I am wowed by all God has done in my own heart through this job.

I got my very own guitar for my birthday last year – an incredible gift from Jacob and my parents that showed their investment in that season of my life and their belief in my success. I didn’t think it was possible, but my love for music has absolutely skyrocketed because of that guitar. I wrote my own songs this past year and mustered the courage to share them with friends and our congregation. Again, a “secret dream” I had been harboring for a long time, really even unknowingly to myself.

We found out we are expecting our first child in August last year. A shocking and, again, incredibly forming experience for us. I don’t even recognize parts of myself because of how much God has changed me over these 7 months of being pregnant so far. I loved being pregnant during Advent and anticipating the coming of the baby Jesus while also waiting expectantly for our own child to make her appearance this year. It has always sounded so cliche to me, but I can only imagine how much God will change me through motherhood. I haven’t even met our daughter yet and he has already done so much work in me because of her.

We received life-changing, world-turning news that threatened to leave us bitter and without hope. But again, God works patiently in our hearts and has done so much already. We still have some serious work to do in our hearts and in healing, but without the bitter, life couldn’t be nearly as sweet. For everything there is a season, after all.

This past year I read a ton of books, invested in deeper friendships, failed miserably with other friendships, laughed, cried, sang like nobody’s business, cooked and meal planned better than the year before and became (slightly) less OCD about having a clean house. God reignited my love for Scripture and grew me in the discipline of meeting with him. Jacob and I watched way too much Netflix, finally canceled the gym memberships we never used and got serious about saving money.

As I look to 25, I see motherhood, a strengthened marriage, further discovery of our giftings and how we can put them to work, new and old friendships blossoming, the humbling beginnings of parenthood and deeper relationships with Christ that infiltrate every thought we have, decision we make, and word we speak. God, I am looking to this year with expectant hope that you will be ever near to us and show us your glory, your plans, and your love. We are waiting with hope.

For Our Little One, 30 Weeks

pregnancy

Dear Little One,

Somehow we are just barely holding onto double digit weeks until you arrive! Time is flying and I feel you more and more each day! I bought your dresser this past week from the cutest antique shop in Milford and can hardly wait to bring it home tomorrow!

Your Nana, Papaw, Grandma and Auntie Olivia are all visiting this weekend to celebrate your arrival at our baby shower!! I’m already feeling all sorts of emotions just knowing so many people are gathering together to celebrate your life and to help us prepare for your arrival! It’s taking all of me not to squeal every five minutes with excitement.

It turns out that I failed the glucose tolerance test last week, so today I’m sitting through the longer 3 hour version, hoping to get some good results! My appointment today will have them drawing my blood every hours, and I plan on indulging myself in a good book while I wait between draws. My biggest prayer is just for you to continue developing healthfully, so we will take whatever comes at us to make sure that continues!

A few noticeable changes:

+ It’s no longer the best idea to bend over to tie my shoes – I realized I can hardly breathe and all my organs feel squished. So I have to squat to do that or to pick things up off the floor.

+ When I’m sitting, I can often feel you pushing up against my ribs or your occasional kicks in that direction. So no more slouching for me!

+ Yesterday I was working on some songs for band practice tomorrow night, sitting in the spare bedroom (soon to be your room!). I looked down and was genuinely surprised at how big my belly is getting! It seems to have turned into a basketball overnight.

+ I’ve gained a total of 16 lbs so far, as of my appointment this past Monday, and only a little over 3 lbs of that is you! You are supposed to gain about half a pound per week from this point on.

+ You seem to love when I play guitar! Every time I play, I can feel your body pushed right up against the guitar on the right side of my belly. I hope this means you’re already a little musician in training! 🙂

With your shower coming this weekend, I know I’ll be spending the next few weeks organizing and re-organizing your things, starting to wash your clothes and making lists of the last few things we’ll need before your arrival. I can’t wait.

love you already sweet girl,

your mama

pregnancy 28 + 30 week comparison

The Day We Found Out

I’ve hesitated to share this post for some time now because our story isn’t a fairy tale, we’ve-been-dreaming-of-this-moment-forever story. And I know a lot of you can relate to that, and a lot of you can’t. 

We were surprised and not yet trying to expand our family when we got a positive test. But because of how much God has changed our hearts and grown us to count the seconds until Little Albrecht gets here, I wanted to record the whole process. This journey is a testament to us of God’s faithfulness – in providing when we didn’t fully understand at the time and in drawing us nearer to him because of it.

———— 

The day we found out.

To be honest, I said a bad word. When I walked into the bathroom, fully expecting to see only 1 pink line, but instead saw TWO, I was shocked. And overwhelmed. And scared out of my mind.

It was Monday, August 3rd, early in the afternoon. We had just returned from taking a group of students to Maryland for CIY the week before, so I was home catching up on laundry and straightening the house. My period was a couple weeks late by this point, but I had taken two tests before we left for CIY that were both negative, so I assumed my cycle had gotten messed up and my period would show up in due time. While we were away, a friend encouraged me to take one more test when we got back, just to be sure.

I fought her on it, saying that I felt completely normal. I hadn’t experienced any “symptoms” like nausea, exhaustion, headaches, etc. I had just spent the week with teenagers 24/7 for goodness’ sake! But sometime early that Monday afternoon, I remembered my conversation with her and that I had an unused test in the bathroom. So I peed on it, left it on the bathroom counter and laid down on our bed while I waited.

Believe it or not, I actually forgot I had taken the test and got sucked into checking every possible app on my phone – ha! When I remembered (about twenty minutes later), I headed to the bathroom and  pulled up Erica’s text thread on the way there. I started typing, “Took another test – no worries…”

But thankfully I looked up before pressing send and then promptly erased everything I had typed. There were two lines on the stick.

I didn’t feel full of joy, but I didn’t feel disappointment,  either. I felt overwhelming shock and fear for what’s to come. All I could think was I’m not ready to be a mom – I’ve even told people I don’t WANT to be a mom right now. What is this going to change about our lives?

I immediately texted Jacob asking him when he’d be home from work and told him I had something to show him. He responded, “On my way!” and I thought that surely meant he may suspect the truth, but come to find out he just thought I bought him something. Ha!

I showed him the test and said, “This means I’m pregnant.” His eyes widened, I nodded and then promptly started crying, but he wrapped me up in a hug and said it would all be okay. (He was right of course.) I explained to him my fear and shock and he agreed. We hugged more and eventually broke into laughter because of all the feelings and the pure shock.

Ready or not, our lives were changing.

And at 27 weeks along already, I couldn’t agree more – our lives are changing drastically. But we are both looking forward to it. Praise God for his faithfulness, provision and his tendency to take us places we couldn’t have imagined for ourselves.

Fridays are for Organizing?

Jacob came home from a late meeting on Friday night to find me buried in our pantry with boxes and bags of trash surrounding the area and chairs and brooms leaning against everything in sight.

“Well, that looks like a fun way to spend your Friday night.”

He has no idea. I’ve cleaned out the four (fairly large) closets we have, the laundry closet, the junk drawer, underneath all sinks, the vanity drawers in the bathroom, the fridge and freezer and our underwear drawers all in the last couple weeks. I can’t stop. It feels so good to make space in our lives by getting rid of things expired, kept for “just in case” days or straight up junk.

It’s probably my way of nesting since we don’t actually have many baby items for me to organize yet. I should brace myself for after our shower this month – February will be a whole new round of organizing and nesting baby things, I’m sure ;).

I also scheduled my labs for later this month, ordered my breast pump through insurance and finally looked into the list of pediatricians I collected from fellow mom friends a couple weeks ago. Time is flying by and I’m so glad to get those things checked off my list! Little Albrecht has been moving around like crazy the past few days… the sensation feels almost as if she is just thrashing around in my belly. I can only compare it to how it feels when your muscles twitch or spasm – it’s like that feeling, only amplified and it keeps happening!

—-

My #thankfulproject today:
+ Not waking up to an alarm this morning
+ Rediscovering my curly hair after more than a month of straightening it
+ Gifted women who compile Bible studies to encourage other women
+ Making room in our lives by getting rid of stuff

What were you up to this weekend?