Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Halfway There

I sat back and thought about it today. With the exception of school, there aren't really a lot of moments in life when you know you're at the half way point. You don't always know when chapters of your life are going to start or end, so how, when you are half way through a chapter, would you know that you're at half way?

Getting to Avery's 20th week of gestation this week has been pretty surreal. Last week was so emotional - my birthday, finding out she's a girl (that took a couple days to really process! I was 100% expecting that ultrasound tech to tell us we were having a boy!), among other things. This week, hitting that 20 week mark and knowing that we've already finished half of the pregnancy is shocking. There were weeks in that first trimester that I thought would never end. Now I'm wishing there was some gear I could shift into to slow things down!

And then there are moments like today when she's kicking up a storm, and I so look forward to her being out here where other people can enjoy her company as much as I already am. (Please not for at least 18 more weeks though, baby girl!!)

Everyone so sweetly asks how I'm feeling, and aside from the lower than usual energy reserves, I'm feeling really good. I can feel the muscles in my abdomen stretching more again this week like they did when I first started really "showing." And, my poor skinny feet like to swell up on me instantly when I wear anything with a heal.

I think about that scene in 'Into the Woods' when the Baker's Wife gets pregnant and you see her go from a flat belly to full term in 5 seconds and sit in awe of God's design for life itself. How wonderful it is that we have these 40ish weeks to prepare for the new life that's about to come out into the world and not merely a day!

Now am I like some moms-to-be enrolling in every class at the local hospital or birthing center or reading every piece of literature I can get my hands on to prepare for labor and delivery and newborns? Hardly! Other moms look at me aghast when I answer some of their questions about my plans for the next 20 weeks. "She doesn't have a clue," has got to be the overarching thought running through their minds. That's okay. They're entitled to their thoughts, and I appreciate them keeping those thoughts to themselves.

The truth is I feel like this pregnancy has mellowed my personality a lot. When my family came to spend Easter weekend with us, my sister Katie agreed - and who better to testify to a change in my personality than the woman I shared a room with for 13+ years! Some days I know I'm functioning under baby brain, and other days I hope this more laid back Lindsay sticks around after Avery gets out here.

Again, I sit in awe of God's creation... How wonderful is it to have this time to grow and develop in areas of my life personally before I step into this next chapter of my life?

Time to step more into my identity in Christ above all else.

Time to evaluate whether my life truly follows a faith first, family second, career third priority level.

Time to support my husband as the wife he needs while he finishes this massively exhausting chapter of his life and steps into an even more intense chapter called "Bar Prep."

Time to really become a better listener.

Time to master being more present in the present.

Time to accomplish goals.

Getting ready for a baby should consist of more than figuring out what kind of birthing technique I'll use or what kind of baby wipes we'll purchase after she's born - getting ready for a baby should encompass a lot more prayer and personal reflection as we prepare to become parents.

The time you have while being pregnant should change you in some way. I don't think the Lord designed pregnancy to last for 40 weeks just for the baby's growth and development...

I hear people say all the time, "Where did they get 40 from? How did the doctors figure out if you count from this date out 40 weeks that's when a baby usually comes?" Well, I'm sure they covered that in my OB class in nursing school, but I don't remember the answer. But I did just recently notice the significance of average gestation being 40 weeks - it's 40. Read the Old Testament and you'll see what I mean. 40 days and 40 years are all over the place in the Old Testament - go read it. God working in a time frame of 40 is just His way. So, why wouldn't gestation last 40 weeks? I just love that.

And I love that He's using these 40 weeks to do more than just carefully craft Avery while she grows and develops inside of me. I love that He's using these 40 weeks to mold my heart and grow my spirit in ways that I never imagined He would.

So here's to being halfway there and to expecting great things ahead for this next half of the chapter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We'd Like to Introduce You to Our Little Girl!

So, it's been a crazy several weeks in the Warford home! Four weeks ago, when I typed "Big Ultrasound Appointment" into my and David's shared iCalendar for April 15th, I thought it would be FOREVER getting to today. But, oh no, it came so fast, I could have practically pinched myself as we drove to the doctor's office today. "Are we really doing this right now? Is this really happening?" 

Thankfully, pretty much as soon as I wrote my name down at the check-in desk, one of the nurses was ushering me and David back to the ultrasound suite. And I don't think it was a full two minutes after the ultrasound tech squirted that oh-so-sweetly-warmed-up-ultrasound-gel onto my abdomen that she was pointing right to THAT spot on our little baby.

"This is a thigh, and this is a thigh, and these white lines right here, those are girl parts. It's a girl!"

So, everyone, without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to Avery Lynne Warford!

She was quite the wiggle worm this afternoon! Apparently, she loves to move around and bury her head into my pelvis! I just started to feel her move last week, but the last couple days I swear she's been doing summersaults! Today, she was upside down for most of our visit. But, oh my goodness, watching her do a few barrel rolls was enough to make this heart do a flip of it's own!

That is her hand in a tiny fist above her mouth. Doesn't she have a cute little nose?! At one point she pressed her face right into the ultrasound probe (I'm sure that thing has a technical name - but that is not the kind of medical terminology that's coming back to me these days!) and you could see her bone structure. I know I'm partial, but this little girl is already gorgeous at barely 20 weeks!

And check out that skinny foot! Her other foot is on top of it. She's already learned how to cross her legs. : ) When I think about the places those feet will go, it brings tears to my eyes. Oh that she will see and know the beauty of the world and its inhabitants that her Maker created. And may they be blessed, strong, and courageous feet always carrying the hope of Jesus.  

We are giving the Lord praise this evening as we thank Him that everything looks anatomically perfect. Of course, as we have from the beginning, we covet your prayers as Avery Lynne continues to grow and develop. Prayerfully, the rest of this pregnancy will continue to progress perfectly as it has, and the next set of pictures we share with you will be in September once she's made her grand entrance!

We have a lot to do before she gets here! David is about to sit for his very last set of final exams in law school (Praise the Lord!!!) and will graduate next month. Then he'll sit for the bar in July! I'm working towards earning my first Mary Kay car and debuting as a Mary Kay Sales Director this summer. And, oh yeah, there's the whole question of, "Where are y'all going after law school?" to answer. And the answer is still the same, "Wherever the Lord gives us the job!" 

It's going to be a busy, crazy, 20ish weeks to say the least. We're so grateful to have such an amazing group of prayer warriors rallying behind us all over the world. We thank you for the way you bless our lives and are thrilled to introduce you today to our little girl. : )

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16