Little Man

Pregnancy Secrets Revealed Part I

When I got pregnant, I thought I already had an idea about what to expect for the next nine months. However, I am convinced, now having gone through pregnancy for the last 5 months, that a woman’s memory is distorted after having her child. At first I thought it might be a sort of secret society type movement to not share weird details of pregnancy, and I guess it makes sense…if everyone knew what you REALLY go through in nine months, I think they may be a little reluctant to take on the responsibility. The Polly-Anna side of me, however, believes that once the baby is born, the overwhelming joy that comes with parenting masks any difficulty, uncomfortableness, pain, or worry that is experienced during pregnancy.

For those of you who are pregnant, or are thinking about becoming pregnant…here are a few things that I learned that I didn’t expect during my first months of pregnancy. I hope it puts some of your minds’ at ease, and maybe clears up questions that you might have. Let’s start from the beginning…

1. Just because you decide it’s time to get pregnant, doesn’t mean you will be able to right away.

I was convinced that the month Drew and I decided to start “trying,” we would become pregnant. I am not saying this couldn’t happen, but it is unlikely. Women often don’t share how long it took them to conceive. I think many times they simply don’t remember, and often times, it seems a little irrelevant once they have had children. However, I found it extremely important before I conceived, and that is why I am sharing this with you. After researching on my own, I found that on average, it takes couples one year to conceive. This average is made from couples who get pregnant right away, from those whom it may have taken several months, and of course those who it takes a year or longer. What I’m saying is, just because you haven’t gotten pregnant yet, doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you or your husband. Many things can affect your ability to conceive.

Did you just get off birth control? It takes women’s bodies months to re-adjust hormone levels after being on medication that does all the work for you. Take this into consideration.

Are you stressed out or worried about infertility? Stress and worry are very common, but they also can be a barrier for conception. I was obsessed with becoming pregnant for many months, and then Drew and I decided to get a dog. My focus shifted from baby to puppy, and that was the month that we got pregnant. Try your best to focus on something other than pregnancy and see what happens. This doesn’t mean going from having “baby” be your every thought, to having “baby” be your every-other thought! Really try to put it out of your mind and get excited about something else that is happening in your life.

Are you trusting God? This is easier said than done, I know. But we trust God with our very lives, and he knows the deepest desires of our hearts. We must give him our trust in this area and know that he is in complete control. His timing is perfect.

2. Responding to baby questions can be simple.

Do you want to have kids? How many? When are you going to have a baby? Have you guys started trying yet? So and so just found out they are pregnant, isn’t that exciting?

Questions, questions, questions! It seems like the day after you get back from your honeymoon, friends, family, and even mere acquaintances start with a myriad of baby questions.  For some people, this may not have phased or bothered you at all, you may have even welcomed the curiousity. For others, like me, this may have been one of the most difficult aspects of pregnancy to deal with.

As I just discussed, the process of conception looks different for everyone. Some may become pregnant the very first month they begin “trying”, others may take a year or longer. Still, there are many couples that have difficulty after years of trying various fertility methods, and are unable to conceive. No woman can predict what her fertility journey will look like, and this can be an overwhelming fear for many. The questions, while they may seem harmless and are often spoken out of honest curiosity, can be the last straw for women who have indeed been trying to conceive for some time without success.

The Lord has taught me something after having gone through this process-to lean COMPLETELY and UTTERLY on him. He is the only one who knows if and when we will become pregnant. We want him to be in control, he has a very specific timing for everything and knows the exact generation your child will be created for. I heard a sermon once, and the speaker said the most beautiful line in reference to God’s purpose for each one of us, “The day you were born was the day God decided the world needed who you are.” You see, God is the perfect designer and creator, lean on him and the pressure will be off you and your spouse.

I began answering these types of questions with simple, direct answers. I would simply say that it was our desire to have children, as many as God would give us, and we were trusting him with the timing for each. You are not obligated to give anyone a specific number, date, or time for your children. The fact is, YOU CAN’T! And for those who have been dealing with a fertility struggle, my prayer for you is that you will trust that God does have a plan, even if it includes no children. He believes in you, he has made you perfect in his sight, he has set a beautiful path before you specifically for your generation. Seek his will, and trust that his outcome for your life is better than you could ever hope or dream.

3. Implantation bleeding can be your first sign, but you may not get it at all.

Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg implants into the wall of your uterus. Think of it like this: your uterus is like a hollow egg shell, and in that shell is a thick lining containing nutrients capable of supporting a fertilized egg, like soil. When the fertilized egg reaches your uterus, it digs itself into the rich wall, like a seed being planted into soil. This is called implantation and it can cause very small amounts of bleeding. This blood is not at all like a period, it is light pink in color, usually not red or brown, and is typically only a few drops. I did have implantation bleeding with my baby, but something to remember is that it is completely normal not to have it. Only 20-30% of women experience implantation bleeding. It usually occurs between 6-12 days after ovulation, and a urine pregnancy test can show a positive result 4-5 days after implantation. Some women might not even notice this, but if you are on the look out for any sign or symptom, as I was, you might just appreciate the pink spots as an early positive for pregnancy!

 

 

 

DIY Projects

Let Freedom Ring!

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays. Freedom is often overlooked in America, and even taken for granted; but each day on the 4th of July, we remember our freedom and how we came to receive it. I decided it would be fun to make a wreath for the holiday and I think it turned out pretty cute. Below is a tutorial…

You’ll Need:

18 inch styrofoam wreath

10 yards of 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon

12 X 12 sheets of scrapbook paper

Assorted star stickers

Metal ruler

Scissors

Hot glue gun

Directions:

Cut a sheet of paper into six pieces, each measuring 4 X 6, for large medallions. For medium medallions, use 3 X 6 pieces, and for small medallions use 2 1/2 X 3 1/4 cuts.

Fold each piece of paper lengthwise in small, accordion-style pleats. Use the edge of a metal ruler to guide you, and to sharpen creases.

Fold each pleated paper in half.

Glue inner edges together.

Press and hold.

Gently fan out pleats.

Glue the second fan in place.

Then the third.

And finally, the fourth.

Add a star.

Repeat these steps for the rest of your various sized medallions until you have about 35-40.

Wrap wreath form in ribbon until completely covered.

Attach a wreath hanger.

Begin gluing the largest medallions to the wreath.

Continue layering with the medium, and then small medallions until the wreath is completely covered.

You’re all done! Hang it pretty on your door and enjoy!

 

 

 

Cook-ing

Just-Like-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

It’s the beginning of summer. It’s HOT. I want cinnamon rolls? Deep down I know it’s not quite fitting to eat a warm, sticky, cinnamon-y roll in the dead of heat, but I did. And it was totally fitting for me! This recipe takes a little prep time…ok a couple of hours of prep time (because of the dough), but trust me, if you too are having the craving, or just need a staple like this in your recipe book, it is TOTALLY worth the time! Make them the day before you want to serve them, they keep well in the refrigerator.

 Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour if that’s all you have)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

 Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

 Icing

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 Directions

1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Meanwhile, with a dough hook attached to an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in warm milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Let it stand for 10 minutes until yeast is foamy. Add the eggs and butter, and then slowly incorporate the flour. Add the salt last. Mix until a dough ball is formed. Turn off the oven. Place the dough in an ovenproof bowl and cover with a moist kitchen towel. Place in the oven for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

2. After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

 3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread the dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll dough into a long log shape and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. (If making the night before, cover the rolls at this point and store in the refrigerator).

 4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving. (If making this enormous recipe for just a few people, individually ice the rolls you plan to eat, freeze the remaining rolls and store the rest of the icing in the refrigerator).

PRINT THIS RECIPE

 

 

 

 

Little Man

And We’re Having…

 

A baby boy!!! We have decided to name our little one Elijah Paul, Eli for short. Drew and I are so excited to welcome this precious gift into our lives. He will arrive November 20th…my perfect little turkey! Here are a few pictures we got from the doctor’s office:

And here is a video. It’s a little hard to see because I couldn’t figure out how to turn it sideways, but the best part is hearing all of the reactions anyway! Thanks Papa for taking it!

Eli’s Debut