24 Week Pregnancy Update!

So... I actually kept a real pregnancy journal with Landon, but I thought it would be fun to keep track of it online this time... mostly so I will remember. I have an awful memory these days. 

Baby size: Over a pound, and almost a foot long. About as long as an ear of corn!
How far along: 24 weeks
Hard to believe I only have 16 weeks to go! Which, by the way, totally proves that pregnancy is 10 months instead of 9. I do realize that we get two "free" weeks, but seriously, who came up with the idea that pregnancy is 9 months?! 4 weeks x 10 months = 40 weeks, people. .... yeah. Okay. Moving on.
Total weight gain: Depends on who you're talking to. Doctor says 3, I say 8. I lost five and gained them back when I stopped feeling so sick, so in my mind, that's weight gain. But the docs say to start with your pre-pregnancy weight. Whatever. Baby's growing. :) My midwife is super awesome and doesn't stress about the weight gain, she just emphasizes that I eat right. [I may or may not have indulged in some Christmas cookie ice cream tonight. It's Friday.]
Sleep: It has been so much better lately! I'm still waking up occasionally for potty breaks, but if I limit my water intake after dinner, it really helps. 
Food cravings: Nothing, really... except maybe Mexican... but I crave Mexican when I'm not pregnant, too.
Heartburn – It's not strong at all... just notice it after a big meal.
Ligament Pain – I've been pretty crampy/achy this week. It started getting bad around the same time with Landon, so I guess my babies just decide to go through growth spurts at the same time!
Sciatica: Way worse than it was with Landon, and it's especially aggravated after I work out. Just doing exercises and dealing with it!
Shortness of breath – It's not as bad as it was with Landon since I'm carrying lower, but I especially notice after I eat that it's harder to catch my breath, particularly if I'm sitting and squishing all my insides. :) 
Exercise:  I've still been able to keep going to the gym 4-5 days a week. Randy is home a lot these days, so he's able to watch Landon for me. I'm so thankful! It really helps my energy levels and is great prep for labor. 
Movement: This little guy is super active... like his older brother. But I absolutely love this part of pregnancy... it makes it so much more real! And... admission... super hard to concentrate in church when your tummy is jumping. :) 
What I’m looking forward to: Not being in the awkward stage of pregnancy - I feel like wearing a shirt that says: "Even though I may have eaten too much last night, this is NOT a food baby."
What I miss: My clear(er) complexion! Actually, I started really breaking out after the elections. So... maybe I should blame all those darn politics instead of hormones.
Overall, though, I am feeling well and have a lot more energy than I did. I think Landon is probably grateful that I'm not lying on the couch all day and am actually feeding him occasionally. Just kidding. Sort of. 
We are so thankful to God for this gift of pregnancy. I never cease to be amazed at the miracle of life growing inside of me. So thankful for the Lord's protection and sustaining grace.

So I went back to my previous pregnancy pics and thought it would be interesting to compare. One thing is certain: With Landon, I had a sweet tan from our cruise the week before! Ha.


Mommy thoughts

It's been an interesting last few weeks. Not because of my pregnancy - that's actually been great, minus the occasional congestion/indigestion/shortnessofbreath/roundligamentpain/exhaustion/gagreflex... you know. ;) I do really love this stage of being pregnant, though - not too uncomfortably big, sweet little baby kicks and punches, etc. I am carrying so much lower this time - baby Colton uses my bladder as a trampoline. For Landon, it was my ribs. So... it's either bruised ribs or continual potty breaks. Haven't quite decided on a favorite yet. Nightly routine: pee, climb into bed. "Randy, I gotta go to the bathroom." "You just went." Pee, climb back into bed. "Um... I gotta go again." "Are you serious?" Pee, climb back into bed. "Randy... um... really... I have to go again." No answer. Pee, climb back into bed, pray that baby will move his feet somewhere else. Fall asleep, wake up at some ungodly hour, pee, stumble back into bed... you get the picture. It's quite laughable - but not really. So... don't.

Anyway... back to the last few "interesting" weeks. I don't know if that was quite the right word choice. Before I was a mommy, when I said "interesting" it was just that. Now... it's maybe a combination of super frustrating/hilariously exhausting/completely laughable/emotionally psychotic. Anyway. One day, out of the blue, Landon decided that sleep was for the birds. He started fighting naps and bedtime - and we're not talking 30 minutes. Two hours is more like it - if we were lucky. It alternated between talking or screaming - no rhyme or reason. Nothing changed (other than cutting some new teeth, darn them). Throw in some pregnancy hormones and you have a puddle of tears. Not Landon, me. [You can take this moment to pray for my hubby.]

I know this might sound crazy, particularly to those of you who don't have babies yet, but I have really struggled giving this situation over to God. Landon is crazy, insane, never stops going, but he has been a good sleeper since he was just a few months old. [I imagine this has something to do with the fact that he uses all the energy he has during the day and can do nothing except fall into bed, completely exhausted]. So then, one day, he decides to forget sleep. Like went from 14 hours to 10. And this mommy likes control, particularly when it comes to sleep. Those two factors don't mesh. But... the important part is that I have a gracious, loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need to learn. And He will use some crazy random things to teach us those lessons. [For other moms, it may be something else that drives them insane. That's why there's apples and oranges, pears and tangerines. Now you all know one of my major flaws. But that's okay. You can pray for me better. :)]

So what have I learned? (Um... or what am I still learning?) One, I'm super impatient. Way more than I ever thought. This is not encouraging, but in another sense, it's good for me to see areas where I need Jesus to change me! Two, I can't control anything. Yup, I already knew that in my head - but I'm in a situation where I'm experiencing it firsthand. There really is absolutely no way to make a baby sleep... as much as I want to. Three, coming to the end of myself pushes me closer to God. And that's exactly where I need to be. Four, my strength is found in God ALONE. Not going to lie... it's hard being pregnant and tired and dealing with an overtired toddler. Thankfully, Randy has been home a lot these days, and I am so grateful for that. But ultimately, there is no where to turn for strength but my Jesus. He promises it fully and freely. And finally, I can apply the Gospel in every single situation, including this one. Jesus is so everlastingly patient with me and all my many shortcomings. He has willingly given Himself for me and sacrificed His life - and I'm upset because my day is messed up because my toddler doesn't sleep? His example is really all I need.

I know. Most of you are probably laughing at me by this point. Seems pretty dumb to stress over a kid sleeping, huh? And I guess it is. But sometimes God takes those crazy things we want to have control over, makes us realize we don't actually have control, and molds us more into His likeness.

Ironically, I think we are over this stage -- or getting there. The time change seemed to actually help him (weird, I know). I remember when he was a colicky newborn thinking that I would never ever ever have a child that didn't wince in pain every time he ate. Um... guess what? I do. When I'm in the middle of a stage, I feel like it's never going to end. So I'm learning to tell myself that THIS WILL PASS. And I get Randy to tell me that, too. He has handled Landon and my tears beautifully. I'm pretty sure every other guy in the world would look at me like I'm crazy and take a three-hour drive. Randy takes Landon, tells me to go to the gym and work my frustration out, and wears him out so he'll sleep. :)

And a huge thank you to my mom. I called her almost every day for three weeks, some days in hyperventilating tears, and she listened, loved, sympathized, and prayed. Never made fun of me, never told me I was screwing up, never told me I was being too emotional. I guess having seven kids makes her a pretty awesome veteran. :)

Anyway. That's all for now. Pretty random, I know. Just wanted to share some of my mommy moments. It helps me to write and be able to come back and read these - because I know there will be other moments I'll need to remind myself that we did make it through alive. :)

And for the record... I wouldn't trade being a mommy to my little Landon for anything. As frustrated as I get over silly things like sleep, I will never, ever tire of those sweet baby kisses and hugs, our nightly reading and snuggles, and all the precious moments God has so graciously given us. Rachel Jankovic, one of my favorite writers/bloggers, has a quote about mothering that has been on my heart a lot over this past month:
Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.

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