An Update at 26

Today started the 26th week of my pregnancy. It’s hard to believe I’ve got just 3 months to go until Elanor gets here. At lunch today Stephen and I were talking about how incredibly excited we are. The holidays are going to be double the fun this year. Before Christmas we will have 2 little girls!

I know I’m crazily inconsistent with these, but here’s another belly photo.

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I love mom smiling in the background while she plays with Sarah and Graycie.

We have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow. We can’t wait to hear our little ones heartbeat. This pregnancy is so different than Sarah’s. Well, somewhat. I’m just as tired, just this time I don’t get to take a nap. Heck, I think I’m more tired than last time… probably because I’m chasing and entertaining a toddler all day.

My diet is a lot better. Stephen has been a big encouragement with that. I have been craving sugar non-stop. That’s annoying. I decided to buy sugar free jello for my night cravings and that’s helped a lot. That, and adding a few chocolate chips to my bowl of strawberries and bananas. It’s a magical combo folks, give it a try sometime.

While my eating habits are better, working out has been a lot tougher this go around. Yes, it’s better than last time, but I’m not as consistent as I want to be. Being pregnant in Florida during the summer is atrocious! The humidity and heat are such a vicious combo. I was on a couch to 5k program, but had to stop because of a fun new knee injury. I try to go on walks, even more so for Sarah’s sake, but all this rain has been making it impossible. Is it Fall yet?!

Alrighty, it’s this gal’s bedtime. 6am comes so quickly these days… plus, I need to enjoy an early’ish bedtime and getting to sleep uninterrupted while I can! Enjoy your night.

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A 24 Week Belly

Being that I’m more than 1/2 way through this pregnancy I thought it was about time I share a belly photo with you. Unless you’ve see me in person, there’s no real way to see how our little Ela is growing, so this’ll have to do.

I haven’t been very good with belly-progression photos this time. Life has been SO busy and chaotic this go around. Between chasing Sarah around and trying to clear this house and make room for a new family member, my pregnancy-brain is at an all time high. Thankfully nesting has kicked in early so I’m getting all the cleaning done while I still have the energy (and ability to move around without a belly in the way).

One of my newest accomplishments was emptying the old guest room of all it’s stuff and making room for the girls. We are going to have both the girls in the same room (Elanor will initially be in a bassinet in our room), so we are swapping them into the bigger of the 2 spare rooms. Cleaning that room out was a heavy task! I don’t think I could have gotten it done without my mom and sisters help! I can’t thank them enough for helping me!

The room-transformation photos will come later, for now you get this lovely self-taken belly photo.

 

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Our 25 week appointment got cancelled today because of hurricane Isaac. Just over 3 months to go until we get to hold our newest little girl!

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Sharing the News

This go around we decided to share our new baby news on Mother’s Day. What a perfect occasion to have all our family together without having to do any extra planning. Stephen was awesome and recorded their responses, which we knew you would enjoy watching.

To start, we gave each of our moms a card…

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 the card said this on the inside
(which is the picture we used to tell you via the website)

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Here we are telling the Wells family
(you may want to turn your speakers down, my moms happy voice is a tad louder than most)

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and telling the Ringl family

Stephen’s mom had jokingly asked me if I was pregnant the week before at church, which I laughed at her for asking. Mothers intuition is real folks!

Stephen’s mom had actually made a joke asking if I was pregnant the week before.

I’m so glad Stephen captured these moments for us to cherish and share. On the first video, where we told my mom, Sarah and Miriah didn’t realize she was reading her card and both got freaked out because of how loud she got. Their faces were priceless.

Hope you enjoyed this peek at how the excitement started. We actually made them wait a week and a half before they could share the news with anyone. We wanted to wait a bit longer but I think our parents brains would have exploded, haha.

Now it’s another siblings turn to add some kiddos to the family! I want to be on the surprise side of the camera, haha. Come on you guys, we need to add some more cousins to the mix (except you Val, you’re contributing twins in August so you’re off the hook for a few years)  ;)

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What I’ve Learned: Labor & Delivery

I’m a little sad to say that this is the close to my “What I’ve Learned” series. Thanks for hanging in there and reading over the past 40’ish weeks of the pregnancy.

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  1. The last two weeks of pregnancy felt as long the previous 8 1/2 months. How 2 weeks could feel that long I’ll never understand.
  2. I was lucky enough not to get swollen during the last few weeks. However, I was told that I looked like I’d be in labor any day with a follow up of how I had “pregnancy face”.  Helpful Tip: don’t tell that to a pregnant woman. Ever.
  3. When they finally brought Sarah to me I was shaking bad from the medications and was too nervous to hold her. My nurse told me if you bite your tongue you won’t shake. It worked & I FINALLY got to hold my baby. Delivery nurses can be amazing!
  4. Having a lot of visitors at the hospital was great, but I had no idea just how tired I’d be. Plus, trying to coordinate and work around a feeding schedule was really difficult. I looked forward to and loved any and all private moments I got with our girl.
  5. I gained a total of 40 pounds over the pregnancy. When we left the hospital I had lost around 15 pounds. That was encouraging news, but what were those extra 25lbs from ?! ; )
  6. While ‘on her way out’ the Doctor announced “we’ve got a head full of hair”! I’ve never been so excited about a baby having hair as I was at that moment. I was extra excited because I so want Sarah to have her daddy’s dark thick locks.
  7. I have an awesome new-mom trick… I can fall asleep within 15 seconds. Sometimes I blink & it turns into a “mini nap”.
  8. If you tested positive for Strep-B, when you check into the hospital be sure to check your IV-Stand and make sure it rolls smoothly. Otherwise you may get stuck with the one I got and when you try to roll/push it you know you got one like the ghetto cart people leave in the aisle at Walmart.
  9. I didn’t want to send Sarah to the nursery, even at night, because I wanted to stare at her and watch her sleep. I don’t regret that decision for a second.
  10. Eat on your way to the hospital, even if you are in heavy intense labor. Otherwise you are stuck with ice chips from the moment you check-in until possibly hours after the baby arrives. By the time I got to eat it had been well over 32 hours since my last meal.
  11. I have gotten a major case of ‘pregnancy brain’. It took me over a week from Sarah’s birth to check my phone voicemail, and I don’t think I remember a single one of them. Trying to keep track of feeding times, wet diapers, when I last ate, and what day it is, is next to impossible.
  12. I wish I had enjoyed the leisureliness of a simple shower the past few months. Now I’m lucky if I can grab a shower in 2-3 days time, and when I do I am rushing and listening to see if I hear Sarah getting upset. And bubble baths… I can only dream of the day that that will happen again.
  13. Because I was sure we were going to have a chunker of a baby I packed normal 0-6 month outfits for the hospital. Be sure you pack a premie outfit, just in case. Nothing I had packed fit Sarah, and still only about 4 outfits do.
  14. Last, a shout out to my amazing husband. He has been my rock throughout all of this and he continues to amaze me with his compassion and love for me, and now for Sarah as well. I’ve never seen a man look so handsome as when I watch Stephen with our daughter. God is good friends, and my patient and comedic husband still continues to surprise me with his endless love and growing heart. I have never been happier.

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This is what new moms do:  Stay home and stare at our new additions doing absolutely nothing…

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It’s A Wonderful Life

I wanted to give you a few snapshots of the past 5 days in the life of the Ringls.

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Our first family photo

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Sarah’s Welcoming Party

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Mommy-Daughter Time

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One Proud Dad  :)

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Having a feeding lesson with our sweet nurse

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Heading Home with our baby girl
(it was Mardi Gras so the nurses gave me beads)

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Our bundle of joy

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There you have it. A few shots of our first week as a family of three. I wanted to give you a few pictures while she is napping. Turns out having a newborn keeps you busy 24/7. We are adjusting and I’m getting used to getting sleep in 2 hour spurts every now and again. We have had a lot of wonderful help from family and friends and I can’t stop thanking the Lord for this sweet child. It’s been a long journey, and I could not be happier with His timing and new creation of life.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Today (it’s still Friday in our house) we celebrated ‘Happy Due-Date Day’ with Sarah. Celebrating now involves passing our sweet girl back and forth to cuddle with. It’s the best celebrating method ever!!

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Maternity Shoot

I have been one lucky pregnant lady. With all the lovely prayers and gifts we’ve received over these past 9 months, this weekend a sweet friend took some maternity pictures for me. I had been wanting to get some done, but financially it just wasn’t in the cards for us. This is just another unexpected surprise that has shown us just how wonderfully giving our friends and family are. I am continually amazed at peoples generosity. You’d think my mind would be blown to full capacity, but it keeps happening.

I stayed with my parents this past weekend while Stephen led a Disciple Now group for our old church, Olive Baptist. Natalie came over on Saturday and took some sweet photos of me and my pregnant self. She did a fantastic job! The weather was absolutely perfect, 75 with clear skies.

Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.

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Natalie was amazingly patient with my slow-moving self throughout the process. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the pictures turned out and this beautiful time she captured. I know before we know it Sarah will be here and I will miss having her so close and safe. I will always treasure these photo’s. Moments captured during the last days before our family changes forever.

If you are reading this, thank you for all of the thoughts, prayers, and love. I can’t wait until I get to start sharing pictures of our new addition.

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{37 Weeks}

I can’t skimp out on you too much.

Here is our 37 week belly shot.

Yes, she is large and in charge! Definitely building my back muscles with how much I have to balance myself from toppling forward. That, and trying not to feel like a complete bafoon when I ‘waddle’ from place to place.

We are almost there friends. We’ve got 2 weeks and 5 days max until we met our new addition. Of course I’m voting for tomorrow, but since when do kids listen to their parents?!?  ;)

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A [late] Weekly Photo

I’ve been falling behind on showing you a ‘weekly bump’ picture and decided I’d give you one, even if it’s not the most current.

Here we are, 36 weeks along (aka: 2 weeks ago).

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I’ve got tomorrow’s post almost complete, so be on the lookout :)   Also, since we are starting week 38 tomorrow keep your eyes peeled for a few more ‘belly pop’ shots!

Happy Friday-eve,

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A Love Letter

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Dear baby girl,

You are almost 38 weeks old. We are so ready to finally meet you. Your daddy was telling you last night that he is ready for you to come join us. I think he is growing impatient, which is really cute to watch. Your grandparents are also more than ready for you to join us.

You should know, as much as I want to hold you in my arms I will really miss our moments together. Feeling you squirm around to get comfortable, being completely safe in my tummy. I will finally have to share you with everyone else. Is it okay to admit that I want to be your favorite?

I’m so excited to see your face. I can’t help but wonder what you look like. Will you have dark hair like your dad, or light hair like me? Will it be straight or curly?! Your grandpa Ringl had a dream about you and you had a head full of curls. I’m jealous he got to see you, even if it was a dream. When I dream about you it’s always really weird. One time you were born an egg and I had to keep you under a heating lamp. Yes, you have been giving mommy really weird dreams. I know whatever you look like you are going to be absolutely beautiful.

Last night I thought you were trying to kick your way out of my belly. It’s so fun to watch you move around and make my stomach look like a big bowl of Jello. I have a feeling you are going to have some powerful lungs, getting the hiccups twice a day must be building them nice and strong! Loud or quiet, we are ready to hear you.

I’ve been told that the moment we lay eyes on you we will understand an entirely new form of love. Which is hard to understand because we already love you so very much. I can’t wait to kiss you and count all your tiny fingers and toes. I wonder how big you’re going to be? The Doctor said she thinks you’ll be about 7 pounds. Of course I know there is no way to really know until you get here. I bet you will look so tiny in your daddy’s arms. He set your car seat up in the car for you. We even have your diaper bag packed and ready.

Feel free to knock when you are ready to come join us. There are a ton of people waiting to answer.

I love you,
Mommy


Weekend Highlights

In case I haven’t told you, I’m a lucky lady. The past two weekends I was blessed to have been given 2 lovely baby showers. One by my family in Biloxi, and the other from my sister & mom-in-law. Both were amazing and so overly generous of the friends and family that attended. Baby Sarah is one lucky girl, and other than some last minute things, she is free to enter the world at anytime, with a nursery close to complete for her!

Here are some pictures from my shower in Biloxi.

Mom & I

Cousin Angie & Myself
(I have her to thank for my new hairdo)

with my Aunt Patty

Angie’s girls: Paige & Kaley helping me open gifts :)

The sweet diaper cake

The whole gang!

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Then, the following weekend we had a shower at our church…

the decorated fellowship hall

This picture makes me smile – can you see why?

ya, the funny guy in the background is my awesome hubs!

My sister, Val, and 2nd mom :)

My family that came: Sister, Mom, Aunt Vicci & Judy

The Sweet Cake

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We have some very amazing friends and family. We know that so many people have been praying for us, and for this baby, during and before this pregnancy. We are so excited about getting to meet this child and share the love of Christ with her. I pray that she will yearn to get to know Him and love Him as much as her father and I, and that we can be the examples He wants us to be.

We’ve got a little over 4 weeks people. Well, that is if we hit on or before our due date. I would like to encourage you all to pray that she comes on or before March 11th, I don’t think I can wait any longer than that ;)

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