Thursday, 26 June 2014

38 weeks 2 days

{ghetto mirror shot...hollla}
Baby: Baby boy is 19.75 inches long and 6.8 lbs approx (I can't wait to find out how much he weighs!!!)

If you haven't read this update, you may want to before you read this, everything will make a lot more sense :)

How I'm feeling: Feeling pretty good! Better than last week! I'm still very exhausted. Yesterday I was feeling frustrated that at 38 weeks I'm having to pack for myself, pack for my baby (which by the way is really hard when you're a first time mama!!), clean my whole house, get all the sheets washed, and get everything in order to be able to leave on the train tomorrow to go have baby boy. It's been hard work, but I know that I will be happy I did the work ahead of time when I come home sleep deprived with a new baby. This has been a very exhausting week, and I just can't wait to get to our new location and CHILL!!!

Sleep:  Sleeping has actually gotten a little better this week. I still get up to use the bathroom, but I have been able to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods. I'm sure the exhaustion has a lot to do with it!

Workouts: My workouts have been going going going getting my house in order. We haven't had time to go for a walk the last few days. Where we are headed is a very serene place in the woods...I plan on walking while we are there. There is no wifi or anything, so not much to do, which is PERFECT. We can relax and walk and just wait for baby!

Clothes: Still sporting sweats and big T's or tank tops whenever I can :) I'm so relieved we will be the only people staying in the house we are going to so I don't have to think twice about looking like a scrub all the time.

Cravings/aversions: I did enjoy a slushy thing yesterday. Still liking cold things. But no real crazy cravings.

Movement:  Always moving around, just been getting more and more different. 2 nights ago I felt him drop even more...ah...that was the weirdest feeling ever, he's quite an active little guy.

What I'm loving: Loving that only the Lord could turn the craziness of us having to leave into a sweet thing. We are now really looking forward to this little get away. I think it will be so nice to relax and be in a quiet calm atmosphere with no noise from the internet or world. Just Joshua and me waiting for our boy. We get another mini baby moon and I am thrilled about that. I am soooo excited to see my parents too. My mom is doing okay, but they will be stopping at her hospital in Illinois on the way here, so hopefully she'll be feeling much better by then. I can't wait to see them and for them to see their grand baby!!

Daddy: Joshua has been great. I think we've fallen even more in love through this adventure. It is such a joy to go through all this craziness with him. We are great partners and truly balance each other out. He has been so helpful in getting everything ready to go. We haven't let this hectic time bring us down and have truly just been enjoying each other. I couldn't be more blessed. 

We head out on the train tomorrow & will be to New Liskeard by Saturday afternoon! Baby boy can come any time after that, though I wouldn't mind a few days to RELAX before he does...but he's the boss! :)

Thank you for your prayers! I will try to do an update from Tim Horton's once we are there, but if'll be seeing Baby O's face very soon!!!

<3 <3 <3

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

another CRAZY Moose adventure: baby edition

{this is an email that Josh sent to some pastor friends back home that perfectly captured our last 72+ I thought I would share!}

This morning I was catching up on Pastor Joe's teaching through the Psalms and I came to Psalm 105. As I was watching and thinking through the Psalm and the things Pastor Joe was saying I was struck with how applicable the truths of this Psalm are right now for Kristen and I.

On Friday June 20th at 1:30 there was a scheduled tour of the OB department of the hospital here on the island. That morning we got a call from our friend Jacob (he and his wife are nurses here) and he asked if him and his wife Meg could see us before our tour. So Kristen and I went over to their apartment at 1:00, and we had no idea what they wanted to talk about (of course we were curious).
They sat us down and proceeded to tell us that the hospital staff was informed that morning that the hospital had to shut down (to a degree) the OB department for over 3 weeks. Evidently, the hospital planned very poorly and were going to be down to only 3 doctors for 3 weeks and only 2 of those doctors are able to deliver babies (usually there would be at least 9 OB doctors). (We are thinking, "What a great time to short staffed...for our first baby!") Therefore, they were advising the ladies who were 38 weeks pregnant and over to leave the island and go south to Timmins Ontario, and have their babies at the hospital there. The moment we heard that, as we were sitting in Jacob and Meg's living room, we both looked at each other and smirked and said, "we aren't surprised." From that first moment we had that peace that surpasses our ability to understand! We had NO idea what we were going to do, where we were going to stay, when we were going to leave, or how we were going to pay for all of the travel expenses!...Yet we had a peace. We knew without a doubt that God would pave the way, and pay the way.

From there we went to our scheduled tour. As the tour was happening we asked the lady showing us around if what we had heard was confirmed and if so when do we need to leave. She said (and I kid you not), "Oh, you heard about that?" (That response affords a big LOL!). Kristen and I couldn't believe that they were not going to tell us on that tour. As we talked we found out that there was a staff meeting at 2:30 to discuss what exactly the hospital was going to do (and apparently they would specifically discuss us and our case being that we are non-Native and Americans with really no where else to go). On our way out we ran into 2 doctors that we know and are friends with and they said that someone would call later and give us the needed details. But one of the doctors looked at us and said, "Oh, I feel so bad for you guys!" (We thought that was funny.)

Later that afternoon we did receive a phone call from a doctor and he told us that we did in fact need to leave Moose Factory and go to Timmins to have the baby (this is still Friday). He said that we would be OK to leave on Thursday the 26th (which was a relief because Meg and Jacob, our nurse friends, said we would have to leave on Monday the 23th--which would have given very little time to plan and prep!). So we began to plan as best we could; we asked around and got in touch with the VERY few contacts we have in Timmins, and of course we prayed and we trusted the Lord. Mind you, the hospital was offering zero financial aid for our trip out, they just said you have to go, and this is all because of poor planning on their part. As you can guess we had to really ask the Lord to keep us calm about that. (If we were First Nations [Native] then our travel costs would be covered, so we are on our own.)
This is getting long so I'll skip ahead to yesterday, Monday the 23rd. Monday morning comes and we still haven't really nailed anything down--we don't know where we will stay and we don't know if we will go to Timmins ON or another town called New Liskeard (also in Ontario but further than Timmins). However, one of our friends here started a fundraiser for us by selling baked goods! It was a total surprise to us, yet a huge blessing and confirmation that the Lord was going to provide. And another good friend on the mainland in Moosonee deposited some money into our account; so the Lord is providing and we are encouraged.
Within just a few hours yesterday (Monday) all of our plans fell into place--or I should say, were divinely orchestrated. Another friend has parents who live in New Liskeard Ontario and she said that their house was empty (her parents are away for about 6 weeks) and we were more than welcome to stay there (and there is plenty of room for my in-laws to stay there as well when they arrive on July 3rd!). The hospital there is great and they have a great OB department and they are willing to take us on short notice. Also her parents said we could use the car that they left once we get there.
Then, another friend who lives up here, who is going out on Friday on the train (same day as us: the 27th), said that he and his wife would drive us to New Liskeard on Saturday after we get off the train Friday night. So in a matter a few hours our housing was covered, our transportation was covered, and people have donated almost $800 towards travel expenses!! It is hard to express to you just how above and beyond God has went in preparing and providing for our trip! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! (Eph. 3:20)

To summarize: We were told that we cannot have our baby here, where we live, because of poor planning, and that we have to leave our home and travel over 5 hours away without any monetary aid from the hospital who is telling us they can't take us. We have no where to go, no where to stay and no way of getting there--and this is our first baby! The circumstances on the horizontal were totally against us and could have caused great anxiety, BUT "He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness" (Psalm 105:43). "He is the LORD our God" (Ps.105:7) and "He remembers His covenant forever" (Ps.105:8) -- He will never leave us nor forsake! Truly, underneath are His everlasting arms! So all of our plans are covered and accounted for! We are leaving Moose Factory on Friday the 27th on the train and we will arrive in New Liskeard at the house we will stay at on Saturday the 28th. Our train tickets are covered, our 2 and 1/2 hour ride from the train station in Cochrane to New Liskeard is covered and the hospital in New Liskeard has accepted us and we have an appointment there on Monday the 30th.
We could not have asked for a better arrangement. We are now looking forward to this trip and even MORE excited for our son's arrival! "Truly God is good"!! (Ps.73:1).

Thursday, 19 June 2014

37 weeks

{these are *around* 37 weeks--I've been sick with a cold the last couple days, so haven't taken a super recent picture}

Baby: Baby boy is 19.25 inches long and over 6 lbs!

How I'm feeling: I'm feeling okay! A few days after 35 weeks I hit a wall, and haven't been the same since! So tired, can't sleep at all, baby boy has dropped so there is lots of pain in my pelvic region, let's just say he can come tomorrow and I wouldn't be sad! :) As far as he goes, he's pretty much all ready...everything is developed, so we're waiting on him to make a move! 

Sleep:  Not sleeping very much at all. This makes for one crabby Kristen...just trying to help my husband learn extra patience before baby comes! ;) I roll over probably 50 x a night and wake up to use the bathroom every 2 hours. It's also pretty painful for my belly...I've tried fitting a pillow under it, but nothing seems to work! 

Workouts: We've been walking lately! Unfortunately the bugs have arrived in Moose Factory and they are BAD (we literally encourage people to come here in -40 degree weather, rather than the Summer because of how bad the bugs are!) So our walks have lessened since they've gotten here, + it's REALLY painful in my pelvic area to walk, but the doc says it's not bad pain, and I do like to still be active, so it's been worth it. I was doing yoga with a friend (non prenatal) and I was pretty excited about all that I was able to do even with this huge belly, but again, hit a wall about a week ago, so it's only prenatal yoga for me here on out! (which reminds me...I should do that today!!!)

Clothes: Clothes shmothes. I walk around the house in tank tops with my entire belly hanging out and shorts all day every day. I have two awesome pairs of maternity shorts from target that are still great at this point, but there have been really cold days lately, and I'm not fitting well into any of my prenatal pants because of the band over my belly. I always make a point to dress nice for church, so I've still managed to do that, but the other 6 days of the week I'm straight CHILLING.

Cravings/aversions: I haven't had too many cravings lately. Food hasn't been getting me as excited lately...WHOA...crazy, I know. I think it's just my cold at the moment. BUT, I did have the great idea of making BBQ chicken nachos the other week and OHH MYY GOODNESS. They were good! I've had them 3 x since :) (i guess maybe it still excites me a little ;) )

Movement:  Since he has "dropped" the movement has been different. Still very active, just different. (He has the hiccups right this second...AH, HE'S SO CUTE!!!!!) This will forever be one of my favorite parts of pregnancy...I feel so close to my little guy, and have had friends tell me that I'm extremely in tune to him and what he's doing, I've definitely felt that way! Love my little baby boy and our special bond!!

What I'm loving: Loving that in TOPS 4 weeks (though I think he'll be early...COME ON BABY) he'll be here!!!!!!! I've been so filled with excitement and anticipation to see what he looks like. To have him laid on my chest right after he arrives. To cuddle him and smell him and hold him and kiss him. These thoughts are definitely getting me through the tough and painful times. I'm loving the support and love we've received. I had a friend call me 2 days ago telling me she was spending the whole next day cooking freezer meals for Josh and me and asked us what we wanted. That kind of love and support is so amazing. I don't take it for granted. It's an undeserved blessing and I'm so so so grateful to our sweet Lord for showering us with love and grace. 

Daddy: He's the best. He's been really sweet in this uncomfortable time. Always telling me it's okay to cry, and holding me when I do. He even painted my toes a couple days ago because I said I couldn't go into labor with unpainted toes (I'm not ridiculous at all)  and heaven knows I'm too huge to do it myself!!! It was really special and sweet and loving and his comments were hysterical. I'll remember it forever. We were told to pack our bags yesterday, seeing that he could literally come at any time, so that was a pretty surreal thing.
We've both been pretty relaxed...enjoying our last days as the 2 of us.

It's been a little tough too with my mama in the hospital still having a very up and down recovery. I'm so uncomfortable and want him out, but I also know my mama will be sad to have missed it (though of course no one has control over that). Please continue to pray for her as they've now been in the hospital a week longer than expected. Pray for speedy recovery and that her million hour drive to Cochrane (and 5 hour train ride to Moosonee) can be comfortable!
You can also pray for my labor. I think every first time mom is a little apprehensive and nervous about labor. I mean the bible talks about labor pains like 4 million times...SCARY! Pray that I can get in the zone and get a hold of my mind and focus and breathe. My mind is my worst enemy in times like this, and I get panicky, so I'm really praying I can keep control of it and focus. 
Pregnancy has been by far one of the biggest blessings and neatest experiences of my life, and I pray I can say the same about labor (even through the pain). It's all just such a beautiful gift, and I am grateful!! 
Thanks for reading and for your prayers!!
A few pictures:
ready to walk!

BBQ chicken nachos...YUMMMM. Dang, now I'm gonna want these for dinner AGAIN.

{My friend Brittany and I made big chocolate chip cookies for all the men at church for Father's Day, and wrapped them up in tissue paper (thanks for the idea Martha) with a sticker saying "Happy Father's Day "Be strong and courageous" {Joshua 1:9} They loved it!)

This is our mode of transportation to the church in Moosonee in the Summer. I LOVE IT. The river is so calm early in the morning and absolutely beautiful!

This little cutie pie and I matched at church on Sunday (my friend Brittany's 8 month old, Raeya)

This man is a gem and I adore him.

{ever cool us in our hats...i LOVE him!!!!}

Friday, 6 June 2014

prayer for my mama

:: Hey family and friends ::

I come to you with a request that is very important to me.

Would you take some time to pray for my mom as she has what we hope to be her final surgery today at 12:00 PM EST? 
For those who don't know, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer last June. She had surgery last October that left her with a temporary ostomy bag, then went through several months of radiation and chemo, and now, on Friday, she has her last surgery to do a reversal, hoping that the bag will be a thing of the past.

The hospital that she attends (Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Illinois) was incredibly impressed with her recovery after her first surgery last October, which my mom totally credits to the abundance of prayer. 

I have been praying so much. Someone who my mom knows who has the same type of cancer and who had the same procedures had a very bad experience with the second surgery (the one my mom has today) and actually preferred to go back to living with a bag. Please pray that my mom's body kicks back into gear, that all the different parts involved will reawaken and that she heals so quickly.

She'll be driving up to Moose Factory with my dad just 4 weeks after the surgery to meet her first grand baby. Please pray that everything before that goes well so that they can have a smooth trip. 
Please also pray for my dad. He has been absolutely wonderful through all of this. He is so unbelievably selfless. My mom brags on him all the time. Pray for strength for him. 

I can't express how much we appreciate your prayers. 

Thank you!!!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

35 weeks!

 {35 weeks}

Baby: Baby boy is 18 inches, 5.25 lbs and about the size of a honey dew melon! HOLY MOLY!!!

How I'm feeling:  Physically, great! Some days I feel really big and uncomfortable.  I think the days when he has a little growth spurt, I feel it, and  feel whale’ish’, but most of the time I feel really good! Emotionally, overwhelmed with gratitude. Our trip to the States put me over the edge…we were SOOO loved on and supported, it was overwhelming in the best way possible. I am beyond grateful that we are so taken care of and that this little man is already so so so loved.

Sleep:  Sleep has been pretty rough, I toss and turn all night + get up to use the bathroom sometimes up to 3 times. It leaves me feeling crazy tired during the day. Last night though, I only got up once, and slept pretty well so for the first time in a while I don’t feel too tired today! I’m thankful for the preparation to be up all through the night when he’s here!

Workouts: While we were on vacation, I didn’t really work out, there was an occasional walk, but we were so so so busy, so I was still definitely very active. Right when we came back I got into going on daily walks + squats and lunges and yoga! Trying to be as active as I can these last 5 weeks!

Clothes:  When we were in the States I was able to buy some maternity shorts, and a few tank tops. Shorts and tank tops are definitely what I’m most comfortable in at this point, but it's been a little too chilly in Moose Factory for that, so comfy pants and sweat shirts have been a regular occurrence. Josh and I crack up when I put t shirts on to work out in our basement…they just ride up so much, they definitely don’t fit properly anymore.

Cravings/aversions: I’ve been really loving juicy things like watermelon, and tomatoes! My lunch for the past few days has been a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato on it. Mmm. Also, they had strawberry lemonade at my Georgia baby shower which I’ve been craving ever since, so once we got back to Moose Factory, I made my own version of that! So good. And unfortunately, I have definitely been craving sweets!!! We were doing SO great with not eating sweets before the States…but we definitely splurged while we were home…so now the hard part is going back to not eating them…probably not gonna happen…

Movement:  All day, every day. It was so fun being home and letting everyone feel his constant movement. There were always hands on my belly (which I love) and our boy never seized to show off! Sometimes (like right this minute) he likes to shove me in my rib cage. I just gently rub him until he moves. He is all up in my grill. He also moves a lot after I eat really yummy food...he's so gonna be a foodie like his mama!

What I'm loving: Loving that he’s so close to being here. Loving that we feel as prepared as we can. Loving that the Lord is continually teaching us and growing us so much to become a better spouse for one another, and better parents. Loving this stage in life…it has been SUCH a joy!!!

Daddy:  Joshua is so excited and anticipating the arrival of our baby boy. He says, “ As I learn more about, and ponder pastoring and parenting, I’m looking forward to seeing the over-laps and similarities between the two” Ever cool my husband. I love him sooo much. We were talking about how we wouldn’t mind if the baby came 2 weeks early…then realized that means he would be here in 3 weeks…wowzers, crazy. We are EXCITED!

What I'm looking forward to: I’m so looking forward to the arrival of our little guy. I’m looking forward to learning and growing in some area’s I really struggle with like stress and patience and being slow to speak. I’m looking forward to holding my little baby boy and taking it all in. I’m looking forward to fighting for joy in those early weeks when fatigue and uncertainty will want to win, you can pray for me about that if you're so inclined.

I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to be a mom. I’m thankful the Lord saw it fit to allow us this privilege. Our greatest desire is to honor Him in and through our baby boy. Thanks for reading!