Flying By…

I’ve been as good about updating this blog as I have with doing my devotional for Baby Ben. That’s right folks, its a BOY!

Apologies early as this will be more of a factual, housecleaning post over one that is incredibly insightful! The last four weeks have certainly came and went. Our life sometimes happens at warp speed so don’t blink, you may miss it! At 15 weeks, I was able to participate in an ultrasound manufacturer where they do testing on all their equipment. In exchange I was paid $40, received live video/dvd and images of baby, and there was a very good chance we were going to learn the gender. Daniel had to sit in the waiting room for the first part of the appointment. Admittedly, I really wanted him by my side! Instead I had six Chinese doctors and a very knowledgeable and experienced Ultrasound Technician in the room. I laid on my back and my stomach became a research tool. The second the ultrasound tech put the Doppler on my tummy, the entire room of Chinese men cheered. That was a bit startling, but I could only assume that they had discovered that baby Ben was a boy! The technician didn’t say anything to me as I had asked her to wait for Daniel to be in the room, but the cheers were somewhat obvious so I knew immediately it was a boy. When Daniel came into the room and the technician told us to look up at our baby, Daniel’s eyes teared up! He is so excited to be having a boy, just as he’s been praying.

Benjamin Israel Grund. Benjamin means “Son of my Right Hand”. Daniel and I have never disagreed about baby names. I never read any baby book names or sought advice from friends or family. I always knew in my heart we would name our children with strong, Hebrew, Biblical names. Benjamin is the youngest son of the 12 tribes of Israel. He was the son of Jacob & Rachel, and Benjamin is referred to as righteous young child, who remained with Jacob when the older brothers plotted against Joseph. When Jacob blesses his 12 sons, in Genesis 49, he describes Benjamin as a wolf that prowls, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing up the spoils in the evening. Daniel, LOVES wolves! But this part was merely a coincidence. We love the strong meaning that comes from his name. More so, Daniel likes initials and wanted a name that would spell BIG, so that we can call him BIG Ben. Israel is the perfect name that sits there comfortably! Its where Jesus is from and that can’t be too bad.

I am now 17 weeks and 2 days. The belly is protruding and fortunately for me, that’s all that’s protruding. I was somewhat unsure about how things would “look” when I was in early pregnancy. I hoped that my belly would just get round and full, and that it would be noticeable! Thanks to good genetics I think, my belly is doing just that. Baby Ben is about 5 inches long (4.8), and weighs about 5 ounces about the size of a pear. His heart is now regulated by his brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as mine! What else is up? He’s practicing the survival skills he’ll need at birth — like sucking and swallowing.

As for mom, I’m in this stage where I guess I don’t really “feel” pregnant. Other than my protruding belly and occasional fatigue, I feel pretty good. I get heartburn a bit which is no fun, and I’m in bed by 9:30 but I guess that’s all preemptive for the future. Its hard to believe that I’m 5 months pregnant, and by the time we get to LA for thanksgiving, I will be 6 months. Meaning when I return home, I will only have 3 months until baby is BORN! Don’t get me started on this…

Updates for non-pregnancy house items. Daniel and I had to make some adult decisions this last month which is part of why I went MIA. While we worked really hard to get the condo sold, in the end everything just fell to pieces. Daniel and I were faced with the choice to either move forward with the condo AND a brand new home or just release the brand new home. We decided the right choice was to release the new home and just rent a bigger place for ourselves and our growing family, and find a renter for the condo. Which we’ve done! So the new plan is that we’re moving into a 3 bed, 2.5 bath home in Redmond Ridge on October 25th. This is the shortest I’ve ever explained this story so go me!

More to update in the coming weeks!! Grow baby Ben, Grow!

September Grace

The weather is finally changing and I woke up to thunder, lightening, and rain coming down in full force. I believe myself to be a true Seattleite in that I love the rain and enjoy it when the season finally changes. While I was grocery shopping yesterday I noticed that the pumpkins are out! Small things like this really do bring me joy, I know, I’m kind of a nerd.

This has been a big month so far in Grundland. For starters I turned 13 weeks and in a few short days I’ll finally officially be in my 2nd trimester. Oh the joys! We announced our pregnancy after a healthy (and 4th) ultrasound last week to our extended friends and family in email. We had some back and forth discussion about whether or not we would announce on Facebook. This was a conversation that people ten years ago wouldn’t of had with their spouses! My BFF actually never announced her pregnancies on Facebook because all her kids are pre-Facebook. Talk about a culture shock.

So the discussion was somewhat short. I asked Daniel if he felt like he wanted to announce it to the “world” so to speak and post something cute or funny on Facebook. Due to the loss we had in January, going back and un-announcing our pregnancy was devastating to say the least. I’d say that’s in the top three worst things about miscarriage in general. Having to tell people that you are no longer pregnant. Daniel felt that it was unnecessary to announce on Facebook. His “argument” (not really just appropriate word for the sentence), is that he doesn’t even use Facebook. Pretty compelling argument. Since I am an avid Facebook user I have felt a little weird about NOT announcing. Even though the real friends and family in my life all know, there feels like there is something missing on my daily status updates.

I decided along with Daniel that it was just a silly tool that we use to let everyone know at once what we’re doing at every moment of the day and that ultimately, it didn’t matter. Truth be told, I’ve felt convicted that this tool I’ve been an avid user of for several years, isn’t actually that healthy in regard to relationship. Since my loss I’ve gained a lot of friends who have had their own losses or are suffering with infertility. As happy as we are to be pregnant again, I really don’t feel right about rubbing it in the faces of the women I know who long for the same thing! I weep with my women friends who are in agony that they cannot conceive or they have only had miscarriages. In announcing to these women specifically, I had to spend time in prayer and discussing the “how to’s” with Daniel. Just as I didn’t want to re-live my own loss, I certainly didn’t want them to have to re-live their daily struggle.

My grandma Blossom would tell me that spiritual maturity is when all of your mirrors become windows. I love that. Without sounding self righteous, maybe I’ve just grown up a little? One of the advantages of being an older mom is that I don’t really care what people think. I’m more set in my ways and when people come at me with advice or opinions, I simply listen and then sift through the egocentric garbage and respectfully change the subject. I really haven’t given into the new “modern mommy” things I’ve seen occur in this generation. Between cloth diapers, breastfeeding until 18, anti-Hospital everything culture, how is a woman ever suppose to find her own way or ever have her OWN story? My mom and I had a really good laugh over this the other day. She said she was forced to use cloth diapers and the second disposables came out, she was the first in line at the store! In her day, it was very taboo to breastfeed and most women were being encouraged to use formula only! Although she breastfed all four of us kids, she was in a culture that didn’t support it or her homebirths!

I am not interested in the controversy that I may be stewing but I am interested in getting just one simple point across. The one thing that is consistent from every woman I meet who is either a mom or a soon-to-be mom is that they all loath the advice they receive from anyone within spitting distance. So I started thinking, what does it look like to be Christ-like even when the hormones racing through your body are screaming at you to do the opposite?

I don’t have a solid answer yet, I’m still mediating on this as part of my own walk with Christ. The one conclusion I’ve come up with is that we should be kind to one another. Even if we “know better” or have been through a horrendous experience, we should still be KIND to one another. The fact is, us first time mom’s are going to learn JUST as the old timer’s did, what works for our baby/children. It may not be by using cloth diapers, it may not be by solely breastfeeding. It may just be by the GRACE of God that we get through it at all!

Now for a little silliness. A friend of mine who writes her own blog did a little survey to get her “readers” (that makes me sound like there are more then 5 of you), up-to-date on her pregnancy status. So I stole it from her!

How far along: 13 weeks, one day!

How big baby is: From my sources the baby is a size of a peach which I happen to be wanting in excess for some reason!

How I’m feeling: Sleepy occasionally but noticeably more energetic! Even enough to be one of those really annoying pregnant women who go to the gym every day! This will most likely all change after baby comes but right now I am totally moving my body.

Weight: My husband doesn’t even know my weight so you aren’t getting a number folks. The good news is that I’ve gained very little weight so far and plan to keep my weight gain to a minimum as I’m already a fluffy girl!

How I’m changing: The bump has certainly arrived! Daniel likes to rub my belly before he leaves for work telling me how much he loves “us” both! I can’t wait until there is an actual baby for him to kiss goodbye!

What I miss: Right now I miss nothing except my husband during the day. I am really enjoying this season and I hope it continues for a while.

Cravings: None. None what-so-ever and frankly I’m kind of upset about the whole thing. Something tells me that it’s God’s grace though because I’m trying to keep my weight in check.

What I’m NOT craving: Junk food of any kind. It all makes me want to gag

Movement: I’m way too early (medically) to feel baby move just yet. I swear to all things holy that I felt a little something non-gas-like movement but I won’t actually know if it was real or just wishful thinking until I get further along. Check back with me around 18 weeks!

What I’m looking forward too: 20 weeks! I seem to look forward to every week being a new milestone for me to accomplish but in October we’ll be entering a momentous occasion where we get to learn the baby’s gender. I’m actually finding out at 19 weeks because our awesome OB is letting us do it on Daniel’s birthday!

Happy FALL folks!

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New Creation

New Creation

Every Sunday at church I enter the sanctuary, hand in hand with my husband, and a lump in my throat the size of a plum seed. Its not a medical condition (that I know of), its the anticipation of worship. I’ve always loved worship music and at my church its really quite spectacular. It isn’t the fear of singing I once had as an early Christian or the judgment from others. Fortunately our band is loud enough you can’t even hear yourself sing! At the end of service when we go into worship again, all the children get let out of their classrooms and b-line for the stage to dance and worship to Jesus without constraint or hesitation. Up until about 11 weeks ago, I both dreaded and loved this part of my week.

Daniel and I were engaged in December of 2011 on New Years Eve. At some point I will tell you about the “super date” that he planned for us that day. We only dated 6 months before getting engaged but we knew really early that we were going to marry one another so both our families were beyond pleased. Since I had spent 8 years waiting for this man to come into my life, after we eloped, (yes another story for another day), I really felt as though “this was it”. This was what I had been waiting for and now life was just going to take off from here! We’d start our family and you know, that would be super easy. Have sex and make babies right?

I really enjoyed that first 6 months of marriage. I hadn’t a care in the world about when we’d get pregnant or how we’d get pregnant. I just enjoyed my new husband. Even though I was approaching that 34 years birthdate, I was not at all concerned that growing our family would be an issue. We were pregnant the first time in 5 months. That pregnancy ended in what was the first time I had ever heard this term, Chemical Pregnancy. My doctor was so casual about it I brushed it off and to our excitement we were pregnant just 3 weeks later! Everything appeared to be going very well in that pregnancy. We had an ultrasound, with a heartbeat, and the ultrasound tech told me that after you see the heartbeat your chances of miscarriage goes down to less than 3%! For some reason however, that wasn’t comforting.

We miscarried January of 2013. Yet another story, for another day, in another post.

After nearly 12 weeks of pregnancy I was completely baffled and confused at what was going on in my body. This was now technically the second loss in a small amount of time. My little world crumbled when I started to face the real possibility of infertility. To my surprise I wasn’t angry at the situation and I wasn’t angry with God. I simply just wanted answers. So I got them.

I spent several weeks seeing what my options were from that point onward. I wanted to know what tests were going to be needed for both myself and for Daniel. I wanted to find out if we had any genetic issues or potentially unseen internal problems that were overlooked in my pre-pregnancy visit. After several months of blood work, exams, conversations we came up with nothing. My naïve self was no longer a living person. She died when my new self got married and started the process of starting her family.

*****

This is where I came from and now I’ll tell you where I am 8 months later. I am pregnant. With a perfect, rapidly growing, baby Grund. This pregnancy has been such a new experience from my previous one. I am not worried about baby in the slightest bit. Jesus has swept peace over me like a warm blanket on a rainy day. My prayer to Him was that He would mercifully close my womb until it was His timing for us to have a healthy baby born into our family. I have prayed most of my life even when I wasn’t walking with Jesus, and I can tell you now, I’ve never learned to pray until I started praying for this child.

God has created a new creation! When I go to church with my husband on Sunday, I cry every week. I cry out of joy for the children who worship Jesus without hesitation and I cry because I now have an image of my child when he or she comes into our church to worship God. I’ve learned that its only by God’s grace that He has allowed this life. Its by His grace that I am allowed to be a mother and a parent to this child. Having lost a baby in this journey already, I take nothing for granted. My favorite memory verse in the last few weeks have become very clear to me and I want to share them here. Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.

Amen.