Tag Archives: pregnancy

24 weeks (Baby FOUR)

Sorry there is no picture this week. Maybe I’ll get one this weekend. Doubtful, but maybe.

You can also check out the similarities/differences from 24 weeks with Baby #1.

How far along? 24 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: At my last check up (2 weeks ago) I was + .5 lb.

Maternity clothes? Nope. Just my favorite maternity yoga pants that I wear even when I’m not pregnant.

Stretch marks? no new ones

Sleep: Decent, though not enough. I’ve been getting up with Steven every morning around 4:30.

Best moment this week: Taking the kiddos to the Christmas parade. They all loved it this year!

Movement: yep

Food cravings: I’m doing good to have an appetite at all most days.

Gender: unkown

Labor Signs: nope

Belly Button in or out? still in

What I miss: my husband

What I am looking forward to: Steven coming home on Saturday night

Weekly Wisdom: If you couldn’t eat cereal in the morning yesterday, or the day before, or last week, or the week before, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not going to end well to try to eat it the next morning.

Baby’s Development:

“Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.” -babycenter.com

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23 weeks (Baby FOUR)

I’m feeling like a terrible mother to this sweet baby. This year has been an insanely wild roller coaster ride, and we haven’t even gotten off of it yet. I’ve done a terrible job of documenting this pregnancy though, and I’m already regretting it. It’s more than halfway over, and I have yet to get to really enjoy this pregnancy the way I did the others.

If you’re interested in how this pregnancy stacks up against some of my others (because I’m sure you are haha) check out 23 weeks with Baby#1 and 23 weeks with Baby #2.

pregnancy photo

How far along? 23 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +.5 lb (on a good day)

Maternity clothes? nope, unless you count my favorite maternity yoga pants that I wear whether I’m pregnant or not 🙂

Stretch marks? no new ones

Sleep: decent

Best moment this week: Steven’s surprise birthday party!

: Yep

Food cravings: Mexican


Labor Signs: had a few Braxton Hicks contractions

Belly Button in or out? still in

What I miss: having my own house

What I am looking forward to: Christmas

Weekly Wisdom: Write everything down. Everything. Pregnancy makes your brain mush.

Baby’s Development:

Baby’s little face is fully formed…minus the baby fat, of course. The next task at hand for baby: sprouting two teeny-tiny nipples!” – thebump.com

“Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.” – babycenter.com

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19 weeks (Baby Number Four!)

This entire year is a big blur. It has been one major event/crisis after another, and poor Baby #4 hasn’t gotten any blog space!! I feel terrible for it! I’ve actually taken several weekly pictures that never got posted. 😦 Now we are in the process of selling our home (moving in with my parents in 2 weeks!!), so we don’t currently have internet service at home. I’ve just been running up our phone bill with extra data charges. Oops. I just happen to have a spare minute tonight while we are at my parents’ house, and my husband went shopping for a tool to work on his car. 

How far along? 19 weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: +1 lb (Or so the scale says tonight. I think that varies depending on whether or not I keep breakfast and/or lunch down. Today was a decent day.)

Maternity clothes? Nope

Stretch marks? nope

Sleep: I have 3 kids, ages 3 and under, and weird pregnancy dreams.

Best moment this week: Snuggling with my boys at nap times.

Movement: Occasionally

Food cravings: none this week

Gender:don’t know (Daddy is working 6 days/wk, and we’ve had no time to go for another ultrasound!)

Labor Signs: nope

Belly Button in or out? still in

What I miss: Nothing at the moment. I’m feeling really great.

What I am looking forward to: Buying a house!

Weekly Wisdom: Make lists. Lots of lists. And phone reminders. It’s your only defense against pregnancy/mommy brain.

Baby’s Development:

Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby’s skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. (Picture yourself after a nine-month bath, and the need for protection makes sense.) You might actually get to see the vernix at birth, especially if baby is premature.” -thebump.com

“Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.” -babycenter.com

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Colgate SlimSoft {review}

Being pregnant, my gums are pretty sensitive. WHen I brush my teeth, I usually can expect it to hurt a bit and make my gums bleed (tmi, sorry). That’s why I was really  excited to finally find my Colgate Slimsoft VoxBox in the mail yesterday!
I tried it out, and my old toothbrush found itself in the trashcan immediately!

The first thing I noticed was the easy-to-open packaging. I’m a photographer, but my degree is in Digital Media & Design. Packaging design is important to me. This was super easy to open, so that made me happy.

easy open package for toothbrush

The next thing I noticed was the nice design of the brush handle. Really large toothbrushes kind of annoy me, so I like this smaller one.


Then the best part, the super soft bristles that clean really well! Those little blue-tipped bristles gently get down below the gum line to remove all that nasty plaque, and the thin shape of the brush allows it to get in all those hard to reach places of your mouth.


My silly pregnancy gum problems are no longer an issue, and my teeth are clean! Are you looking for a new toothbrush? If so, I recommend then Colgate SlimSoft. 🙂





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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . I received a tooth brush to facilitate this review through Influenster.com. No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ.

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Things not to say to a pregnant woman

*Let me apologize ahead of time that I’m a bit worked up about this subject after a conversation with a friend this morning. I’m climbing up on a soapbox 🙂 I told her it might end up in a Facebook status rant, but the more I thought on the subject the more I had to say.


When I was pregnant with my first son I came to the conclusion, for many different reasons (including a recommendation by my doctor), that I wanted to experience birth with no pain medication. Who knew that such a personal decision would bring forward the opinions of so many people I knew! Many of them even being people who had no opinion about anything in my life prior to that moment. I heard everything from, “Why?!” to “Oh, you’ll want that epidural honey!” to “Wow, you’re crazy.” I can’t think of a single person that told me, “You will never regret it,” or “It’s really not a terrible experience.” (But that’s the not-so-scary truth.) And the crazy thing? I’m not sure any of those opinions came from people that had done it. Actually, one of the most popular things for people to tell me was how I would really want an epidural, but theirs didn’t work, so they got some other pain medication. Um, great argument there gals. I even  remember someone asking me, just a couple of hours after the birth of my sweet son, “So, are  you going to do that again?” I wish I could remember who it was and their face when I said, “Sure!” Two more kids later and I think everyone finally understands that I’m a little stronger, and hard-headed, than they first imagined me to be.

Unfortunately, that’s the one piece of advice I give other moms who have a desire to have a natural birth, “Be hard-headed.” Why, in this day and age of all-about-me must moms throw a hard-headed fit to have a child without pain medication? All the ridiculousness over a stinking epidural! It should not matter to anyone a single, tiny bit if their sister, friend, cousin, sister-in-law, daughter, grandaughter-in-law, or next door neighbor chooses not to get one. They were created to ease the mother’s pain during childbirth. They are not intended as life-saving devices.

Over the last year or two, I’ve had many, many moms-to-be contact me with questions about or seeking support on their choice to go med-free in the delivery room. Sadly, most have shared the same experiences. Very few people in their lives are supportive of their decision. Why? That is so sad. Pregnancy and giving birth should be a happy event, filled with smiles, encouragement, laughter, and love. If you are one of those Debbie Downers saying, “You can’t,” “You’re crazy,” or “That’s stupid,” or rolling your eyes and saying, “Oh-kay. If you think so…”  I ask you to take a look at your motives. Is there really any good reason for your comments? I highly doubt it, and if there is a reason at all, it might have more to do with you than them. I’m also quite certain that if that mom-to-be had said hurtful things about your choice to have pain medication in labor, you would be very offended and have hurt feelings. I’ve even heard stories of my friends and aquaintances being told these things in the labor and delivery room! Let’s take a moment to think about that situation. Is it really a good idea to say anything mean to a mother in labor with no pain medication? Joking aside, unless you were there when the child was conceived, you do not have the right to be in the delivery room in the first place. If the mother allows you to be there, even if it is just for a few minutes while she is the early stages of labor, that is a privilege! That is a very private and special time and experience. Your job is to be supportive, calm, and probably quiet. Not condescending, not rude, not ugly in any way. I simply do not understand why everything we are taught about being kind and helpful suddenly goes out the window when a woman chooses natural birth. It’s almost as if she’s committing a sin.

If someone chooses to go straight to feeding their baby formula, that’s okie dokie with me. If a mother chooses to get an epidural, that’s okie dokie by me too. What’s not okay with me, is doctors, nurses, family, friends, and mere acquaintances being rude, unsupportive, and even mean and making fun of mothers because they want to experience something that God made their body to do with less medical intervention. There’s no excuse for such ugliness.

So to those moms that want to go pain med-free, I say – You can do it! It’s a wonderful experience, and you won’t regret it. It’s hard work more than it’s pain, and worth every second.  And the whole no catheter thing is pretty great too. Oh, and getting up to take a shower as soon as you want after the baby is born… And leaving the hospital 24 hours later…



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Note: This is Part Four. To start from the beginning CLICK HERE.

Saturday morning Steven left his hotel with a co-worker and arrived at the car rental business a little after 9. If at all possible, he’s always early. This time it paid off. He was told when he reserved his car the night before they wouldn’t open until 10, but once again God helped us out, and that information was wrong. He was headed home by 9:30 am. When he called to tell me he was headed home, a huge wave of relief and peace washed over me.
I have to say that I am always amazed at my husband’s navigational skills. He took a much different route on the trip home than when they had driven out there. He drove home with no map and no GPS. I’m quite certain I would have wound up sitting under an overpass on the East Coast, bawling my eyes out and lost as a goose if I had attempted that.

I really don’t remember a whole lot about that day. I had planned to stay home from church, but a couple of hours in to our morning I realized the boys and I would go crazy if we sat at home all day. Yes, 40 weeks and 3 days preggo, I loaded up two toddlers and took them to church by myself. Yes, I’m crazy. Note to self: Never do that again.  It was exhausting, but it was just the distraction I needed.  When I got the boys loaded into the truck and started the ignition, Every Storm Runs out of Rain by Gary Allen was playing. I sat back as another wave of peace like only God can give washed over me. I knew our storm was running out of rain. Finally. (Though at that point I was just thinking the immediate. I had no idea that another storm in our life was also running out of rain. More on that later though.) That song had been everywhere I turned since Steven had left the week before. We headed off to church, and when the song ended, I switched the station to KLOVE. I Need a Miracle by Third Day was playing. Again, a song that I had heard over and over all week – always when I needed it most and when I was on my knees praying for a miracle. Then it was Praise You in this Storm. Oh how I cried! All three of those songs had been played over and over any time I was near a radio the entire time Steven was gone, and then on the last day, to hear them all at the same time. I felt God’s reassuring hand on mine, letting me know to just keep praising Him because he had not forgotten us.

When we got to church, I dried the tears and put on some mascara. (That makes every day better.)  I laughed as person after person stopped me to say, “I thought for sure you’d had that baby when you weren’t here last week!” Nope, still waiting. (At that point I was 90% sure the baby growing inside me was a girl based solely on the fact that I was 3 days overdue and all the drama!) But I was beaming when friends would ask about Steven and I got to say, “He’s on his way!!”

I tried to stay busy the rest of the day with cleaning, playing with the boys, and resting when I could. I’m always a nervous wreck when he drives long distances, and even more so when he’s traveling alone. It was all I could do not to call him every 30 minutes. We did check in with one another every couple of hours throughout the day, and at 9:38 that night, my amazing husband walked through our back door. Relief. Happiness. He was home. God is good. God is faithful. I went to bed feeling very, very BLESSED.


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Hold on Sweet Baby

Note: This is Part 3 of the story. If you want to start at the beginning CLICK HERE.


Thursday arrived. I was officially 40 weeks pregnant, and my husband was somewhere on the coast of Maryland.  I went about my day as usual. I had a checkup with my midwife. The look on her face when I told her where Steven was is  something I’ll never forget. I’m certain she thought I’d lost my mind as I calmly explained I didn’t know if he’d be home anytime soon. I remember laughing as I showed her a picture one of his co-workers had posted on Facebook that morning.  Only we could have this kind of crazy stuff happen…

Friday arrived. Our baby was officially late. I kept hearing over and over, “Wow, I bet you’re ready to have that baby!” or “You’re OVERdue? I can’t imagine!” At 40+ weeks, it’s not really a big deal though. The baby had dropped, so I wasn’t terribly uncomfortable other than being tired. It was just a waiting game to me, and each minute that passed was a minute closer to Steven coming home, whether that was before or after baby arrived, I didn’t know. I really wasn’t sure if I wanted our little one to wait it out or just hurry up and be born so we didn’t have to worry about it anymore.


Saturday arrived.
With a jolt.
At 4 a.m.
And a trip to the OB floor of the hospital.
Much to my relief, the on call doctor assured me everything was fine, but my body was definitely showing early signs of labor. God was giving us an unexpected notice…and hopefully time to get daddy home. Oh praise Him! As soon as we left the hospital, I started calling Steven. Another bump in the road. He was now somewhere in the mountains of West Virgina, wading through snow, waist deep in some areas, with zero phone signal. The same was true for all his co-workers too. It would be 6 or 7 before they got back to a phone signal. A little after noon (after 1 pm there), he just happened to be walking out a line (in search of the two guys that had been sent to do it earlier that morning) and found a random spot higher up with a small signal and took the opportunity to call me. If those two guys hadn’t had trouble, he wouldn’t have been looking for them, and he probably wouldn’t have called until that evening. Once again, there was God. Always there with a bigger plan than what we could immediately see. I told him what was going on, still not sure if he would have any way of getting home. His company was short on trucks in the area, so I knew he couldn’t just drive one home. He didn’t hesitate, “I’m coming home. Let me work on it and call you back.” That was the longest afternoon and evening ever. He was in rural West Virgina. Everything there was closed on Saturday. No one was answering the phones at the small airport an hour away from him. The one car rental business in the nearest town closed at noon, an hour before I had talked to him. I was praying fervently and very anxious. Finally, at almost 10 pm, he was able to reserve a rental car online. It was 2 hours away from him. It was 12 hours from home, and he couldn’t pick up the car until 10 am the next morning. I could hardly sleep that night. I laid awake for hours praying.


Hold on sweet baby. Daddy’s on his way.


39 weeks

This was the last belly picture taken. I believe it was taken the Friday before he left. 


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storm calls at 40 weeks pregnant: hazard of being a linewife

Edit: This is part 2. To start at the beginning, CLICK HERE.

October 28, 2012
The call. That dreaded storm call. Every lineman’s wife cringes when the phone rings and there is a major storm brewing somewhere. We all know what it means – days, nights, weeks, or more, will be spent alone, worrying about our husbands and trying to carry on the day-to-day stuff by ourselves, as if nothing is wrong at all. We juggle jobs, kids, grocery shopping, family events, and whatever else life throws at us, all while continuously praying for our husband’s safe return. (And trying to avoid reading the stupid comments on the Facebook pages of electric providers while checking for updates.) This call was different though. I was almost 40 weeks pregnant with our third child, and the storm brewing was a combination of a two different storm systems colliding on the East Coast – Hurricane Sandy. She would later be nicknamed Frankenstorm.  We both knew the ramifications of a storm like Sandy could take him away for weeks. Weeks that we could not afford to go without a paycheck with a third baby joining our family. We had been discussing it since Friday and had decided he had to go. Friday had been our warning. It had given us a chance to prepare ourselves a little and realign our weekend so that we could spend as much time together with our boys as possible.

Rewind to the previous Friday morning, October 26, we were told he would be leaving Saturday morning more than likely. At first, I accepted the news well. I was probably in denial more than anything. I knew though, that he had to go, and whining wouldn’t change that. We decided to head into town to pay some bills and go by the courthouse for early voting. We stopped at the end of our driveway to check the mail, just as we do nearly every Friday. Inside was an envelope with no return address. I assumed it was a card for our little one’s impending arrival. However, inside I found a prayer written by an anonymous friend. To this day, I don’t know who wrote it. I have a few suspicions, but it doesn’t really matter. I just hope that sweet friend reads this and knows that we had to stop the car and hold one another and cry over it. It could not have been better timing. It assured me that someone wasn’t just giving a comforting answer of “I’m praying,” but was genuinely invested in our family and cared enough to let us know this, but at the same time this person was so humble as to want to take no credit for it. When they put that prayer into the mail, they had no way of knowing exactly what God had planned or how it would be used to comfort us that day. Hopefully that sweet friend is reading this though, and knows how much I appreciate their kind words. I keep that envelope tucked away and still read it from time to time.

Well, Saturday came and went with no call. We started to relax a bit, but were also trying to prepare ourselves. Then Sunday rolled around. We skipped church to be together at home, knowing he could be gone for a while. The call finally came that afternoon. He would be leaving from their usual hotel the next morning. That was absolutely the hardest goodbye ever.  God must have carried him out that door because I know he wouldn’t have been able to leave any other way.

The next few days passed in a fog. The boys were wilder than usual, I was more exhausted than usual, and I was mostly numb. People would ask what we were going to do, and I would shrug, and say, “We’ll just wing it.” I found myself saying over and over,”It’s just part of the package.” “It comes with the territory.” I knew when I married him this situation was a possibility, but every linewife prays it never happens to her!

But I felt loved. Loved by friends. Loved by family. Loved by church family. Loved by strangers. Texts, Facebook messages, hot meals, frozen meals, and offers to babysit poured in. (I know people thought I was crazy, wanting to keep my two wild toddlers at home all time, being so exhausted, but I couldn’t hardly let them out of my sight. They kept me from falling apart.) I was so amazed though, at all the prayers and kindness from everyone.  I am so thankful for every person that took the time to check on the boys and me, ask how Steven was, or pray for us. I’m pretty sure all the prayers are what kept me from going crazy. I assured Steven that even if he didn’t make it home in time, we would be well cared for, and he didn’t need to worry. I felt God’s arms around my family like never before. In those moments where I wasn’t numb, I was at peace. Being at peace with a situation I had no control over was definitely God’s doing! I can be a bit dramatic when things get hectic, so for me to be at peace with it was strange.
Throughout that week, Isaiah 43:19 played in my head, over and over.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and springs in the wasteland.”

On Wednesday night I took the boys trick or treating with my parents, yet another holiday (Ok, maybe it’s not really a holiday, but it’s a fun tradition for us.) without Daddy. It was fun, but bittersweet.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t ALL fun. 🙂


I still had no idea how it would all turn out, but I saw God’s hands at work.



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40 weeks

I apologize for taking so long to get back to my blog. Things have been more than a little crazy around here. In fact, if this post doesn’t make any sense, please forgive me. I’m operating in a fog tonight.

Today I am 40 weeks pregnant with my third child. That doesn’t seem quite possible. I feel like just yesterday it was late Spring and I was shopping for pretty maternity dresses, excited about my growing baby bump. Now it’s turning colder, and more often than not, I find myself reaching for a light sweater in the morning to cover my ginormous belly. Most women would be more than ready to give birth at this point. Many dread the thought of having a baby after their due date. With my two previous pregnancies, I was that way. Of course, both my boys decided to come before their due dates, so I got off a bit lucky with them. This time though, I’m in no hurry. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to hold my sweet baby. I’m ready to not have to fully wake up just to roll over in bed. I’d like another few days though. I’d like another week if possible. I would also like for my husband to be home. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy took my lineman away to the East Coast. As of this evening, he was staying in a hotel somewhere along the coast of Maryland. He is a two day drive from our home in Arkansas. The plan (for now) is that he will be heading into New York tomorrow. With storm work you never know what is going to happen until it’s actually happening. Our entire life seems to operate that way I guess. We can make plans, but we have no idea what will really happen. We have no idea when this baby will arrive, and we have no idea when Daddy will be home. I’m still praying for a miracle. (On a side note, the song I Need a Miracle by Third Day seems to be popping up everywhere I turn for the last two or three days. Isn’t it funny how God is in control of even the smallest details in our lives?)

We’ve had a lot of trials over the last month or two, and in each one, this verse has found it’s way into my head and heart.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

I have no idea what the plan is, but I know God has one. I know he is doing great things that we can’t yet see.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

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35 weeks (#3)


How far along?35 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 20 lbs.

Maternity clothes? Definitely

Stretch marks? This is my 3rd pregnancy. I prefer to not even pay attention to them.

Sleep: Decent. I’m pregnant and two toddlers crawl in my bed nearly every night; I don’t expect it to be fabulous.

Best moment this week: Lincoln told me several times, “Mommy, you’re the bestest ever!” and “Mommy, you’re my bestest friend!”

Movement: Does this kid ever not move?

Food cravings: Dr. Pepper (bad, bad, bad!)

Gender: don’t know

Labor Signs: Baby has dropped (Yay, I can breathe!), baby is head down, lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and a few real contractions here and there.

Belly Button in or out? still in

What I miss: my husband

What I am looking forward to: Getting new flooring in my bedroom this weekend and taking the boys to Pumpkin Hollow!

Weekly Wisdom: No matter how desperate you get for food, do not give in to McDonald’s for breakfast. I felt yuck.

Baby’s Development:

Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore (Ha!) , but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.” –babycenter.com

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