Filling In the Blanks

Hello to friends near and far! I’m struggling with what to say because I’ve become so accustomed to my extended break from (most) media that I can’t think of what to share or why anyone would want to ‘hear’ it. I’m far from a recluse, but if you’re not a neighbor or a local friend in one of several busy circles I’m involved with, I guess it may seem like I’ve dropped off the planet.

I shared the amazing news of our surprise pregnancy after 14 years of fertility struggles, then poof! … I was gone. My whole entire second trimester was free from media sharing on the blog and Facebook (unless you follow me on Instagram, where I only share a little via picture update from time to time). That’s how I prefer it and how it will mostly remain. But, I also had the amazing experience this past weekend of being honored with a baby shower and so many sweet friends said they had no idea the story or details … some even showed up thinking this was a shower for another adoption. That tickled me a little bit, but it also made me feel badly for going off the grid. (When they saw my swelling belly, it all made sense!)

But I’m not blogging to explain my absence necessarily, but really just to give an update. Most will be in pictures, as they explain the past several months so much better than my words can.

To fill in the blanks from my last post (at around 14-weeks) I started feeling the baby move around 16 to 18 wks (little pulses of movement, much like muscle spasms with a slight sense of having an electrical charge). The anatomy scan at 20 weeks wasn’t greatly successful (measurability-wise) as baby decided to stay facing the back of its cozy home and quite sleepy as far as movement. Two weeks later, baby was showing off some new skills and hamming it up for ultrasound tech. They’ve been able to identify our baby’s sex since around 18 weeks, but we’ve remained steadfast on not finding out and it’s nowhere in our charts, so the doctor and staff are totally game and are excited to find out along with us at birth!

There were no findings or measurements to raise any concern for the baby’s health–everything has checked out great! We know all too well how precious hearing this news truly is. Our hearts are heavily burdened for close friends who have not heard the “everything is normal” report and it has changed our perspective greatly. When your darkest days of parenthood were supposed to be the most thrilling, it gives you permanent lenses through which to view life and its circumstances. No parent should ever take one moment of their child’s life, health, and well-being for granted. Likewise, no person should ever take their fertility for granted, either.

These days, my belly is bulging, jumping, and aching, and my feet are still swelling, though the cooler weather is helping. I’m experiencing normal changes for the third trimester–and I love every bit of it! A few weeks ago, baby was just under 2.5lb, now closer to 3lb. Momma has experienced a weight neutral pregnancy in that I’ve gained zero thus far and have actually lost. They are doing ultrasounds every 3-4 weeks to make sure baby is growing right along and the doctor says there’s no concern for my lack of gaining. Being a larger mama, that’s actually a good thing. Also, my glucose test showed no signs of gestational diabetes which was a great relief!

That brings me to now, 70 days until due date. I’m not fixated on that estimated date at all. Baby comes when baby comes! God is in control and has a perfect plan in which I can wholly rest. I’m perfectly fine with not rushing the timeline! We still have lots to do to prepare. Painting party, anyone? 🙂

As I mentioned earlier, our family was tremendously blessed by the presence of so many sweet friends that came to celebrate this amazing miracle at last weekend’s baby shower. And my–they were so generous, too! We can’t believe our eyes when we see our home filling up with baby gear once again. It’s truly incredible!

I’m just going to go straight to sharing some pictures with little captions. I’ve shared more than I thought I had to offer, but feel free to comment or email me if I left anything out!

30 Weeks! (Nov 1, 2014)

30 Weeks! (Nov 1, 2014)

I had so much fun crafting and thinking of ways to bless these women who gave of their time and resources so sacrificially to etch this sweet day forever in my memory! I’ll have to post another time about their goodies, because it really was so much fun to create for them!

Six of the sweetest friends and baby shower hostesses! I love my small group!

Six of the sweetest friends and baby shower hostesses! I love my small group!

Here’s a collage of the 22-wk scan. Sweet, amazing details!

22-wk anatomy scan

22-wk anatomy scan

Just keeping it real. Real puffy, that is!

Swollen piggies!

Swollen piggies!

20-wk scan

20-wk scan

I wrote this note in my Bible in mid-May as I prayed for how God would grow our family as we sought our next steps toward a second adoption. ‘Harvest Song’ leapt in my heart as a an anchor for what God would do next. I had no idea we were 4-weeks (expectant) into that journey to meet that precious life. After 14-years of unexplained infertility, we were given a glimpse into pain with a purpose. In the face of adversity, we had received the gift of His no’s and yes’s–all demonstrating His power and grace as being fully sufficient. His silence did not equate his absence. He was not and is not apathetic.

This scripture framed my heart on the Truth and promises of His word: there was joy ahead; a song of harvest! God will use the fields we labor and suffer in to bear fruit–HIS abundant blessings! The wastelands won’t linger, but they will be restored with living, flowing streams of water; your weeping will be followed with shouts of joy and the return for your trust will be a gathering of harvest!

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I’ll wrap up with my utmost thanks for those of you praying, asking my family and closest friends for updates, and being happy for our happiness. I’ve not always been good about that last part when there was so much pain inside, but I’m trying to get better at that! 😉

What the hey, one last picture of daddy and big sister singing You Are My Sunshine to the baby bump. Oozing with sweetness!

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From my view!

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8 thoughts on “Filling In the Blanks

  1. Erica says:

    Hey Jules! Congrats on your upcoming new edition, I always knew in time, that god would bless you with a little Arvin-gene infested bundle of awesome sauce! You deserve it! Also, your hand writing looks like our granny’s and that brought some memories to mind that I needed today! I love you and thanks for that!

  2. Jonathan says:

    I am so happy for you and I’ve missed you. Please come back to Facebook. You updates and funnies I missed seeing. Congrats!!

  3. Sandy says:

    Julie,

    I am so unbelievably overjoyed with seeing your sweet smiling face. My prayers and best wishes are following you throughout your days!

    Much love,
    Sandy

  4. Bri says:

    Can I just tell you that, since we were 15, I’ve thought you one of THE most beautiful women I’ve ever been blessed with, but seeing that belly – oh, man!!! You’re even more gorgeous and I can’t tell if it’s the belly you’ve waited so long for, or the smile that can’t be missed from space!!! Love you, girl, and I’m forever praying and cheering for y’all. You rock!

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