pregnancy – week 32

I wish I had started writing some simple posts on this long ago but it really has been a whirlwind so I’m not going to procrastinate anymore.

So, pregnancy. M and I found out that we were expecting a little one in February. I didn’t think of any clever way to share it with him because basically we were both wanting it to happen and I was keeping him updated.

And, right now it’s Week 32 – only 8 weeks left! Here’s a short questionnaire I found on another mama blog that seemed fun to fill out:

Total weight gain: I have no idea. Ever since experiencing an eating disorder in high school I haven’t kept track of my weight but it’s been a gift to really be fine with it. Actually, the fact that you’re supposed to gain weight when you’re pregnant has been a real gift and I have felt the best in my pregnant body, and have loved dressing to show off the bump.

How big is baby: Apparently, as big as a squash! (But TBH these fruit and vegetable analogies are the weirdest to me, because who is to say what kind of squash it is! Spaghetti? Acorn? Butternut?)

Maternity clothes: All the time. I love them! Dresses have been good in the summertime heat though honestly around the house I like to be in just shorts and a t-shirt, often with the t-shirt rolled up to have my belly exposed. Being totally unconstricted is definitely the most comfortable. It’s actually through this pregnancy that I’ve discovered the wonder of online shopping. Finding clothes at OldNavy.ca has been the best and being signed up to their email list got me 30% off + free shipping on my first purchase and now I’m always getting updates on sales.

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Sleep: In my first trimester I HAD to nap every single day around 1:00pm. I also struggled to open my eyes and pushed my work-at-home start to 9:00am most days (in contrast to my typical 8:00am start). In the second trimester I was doing great but now I’m back to wanting a short nap most days. In the night I toss and turn and I’m always up once for the bathroom. Investing in a pregnancy pillow in the first trimester when I started to be restless has been a lifesaver.

Best moment this past week: Hosting my dear friend Meghan and her husband overnight! Meghan and I have been friends since Grade 6 and she moved out here to the East Coast for school in her second year of university, met her husband, and now lives in Hamilton, ON. I moved out here to Montreal last March and now we are close enough that a road trip if possible! If that weren’t enough, she is also pregnant and due within a week of me!

Movement: Baby’s bum is definitely on the left side. When I look down, my stomach is totally asymmetrical with a big lump hanging out there. He is kicking a lot, especially right before bed and I caught the funniest video the other day of him moving all around.

Food cravings: Nothing I’ve sent M out to get because I need it OR ELSE. Throughout the pregnancy I’ve been craving salty rather than sweet food, and luckily craving lots of fruit and veggies and just “real” meat-and-potatoes food. Actually though, meat hasn’t been that appealing and dinner is my smallest meal of the day.

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Food aversions: None.

Gender: It’s a boy! I still can’t believe it and am so excited for him to be surrounded by so many aunties (I have three sisters) when we visit Vancouver in December.

Labour signs: N/A though I do have a bad stitch that recurs in my right side which I’ve polled many people about. My doctor doesn’t seem to relate it to anything in particular and has advised that I stretch as much as possible. It helps when M massages it (of course).

Belly button in or out: Still in but definitely a lot shallower than it was before!

What I miss: Strenuous physical activity and general ease in mobility. I’ve basically avoided being active for most of this pregnancy out of fear of miscarriage. So I’m really looking forward to getting back on the active bandwagon after giving birth!

What I’m not loving: Mostly just feeling like a lump and not being able to be as productive as I used to be.

What I’m looking forward to: Just meeting this little guy! I’ve been trying to imagine what he looks like… blonde hair? Brown hair? Lots of hair? Blue eyes? M’s deep brown eyes (yes please)?

What I’m loving: Preparing things for baby/accumulating items. If you know anything about me you might know that I love all things thrift and second-hand, so when we received 4 huge bins of baby boy clothes from a friend who had a boy and is now expecting a girl, I was thrilled! I try to be conscious about not over-consuming though I do have a genuine love for THINGS, so getting hand-me-downs helps with that. I already don’t want Baby Boy to outgrow all the cute shoes and onesies!

Milestone(s): I’ve been adding to and researching for our registry (just started one at MyRegistry.com which I would totally recommend so that you’re not stuck with one supplier!) and we visited a store in Laval last night to test drive some strollers and car seats. Once those are chosen I feel like I’ll be able to breathe a bit easier (though my lungs are definitely compressed. The other day I was on a video call and I was asked a question that I had to answer in a lot of detail and man was I winded afterwards!)

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our gender reveal

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I know that this is probably an overload since I’ve already posted photos to my Facebook account and Instagram, but I’m writing down a few details for those of you who aren’t on those channels and also just to give more of the story behind how we did it!

I am a firm believer in traditions – it’s written all over my personality as revealed in my Myers-Briggs (ISTJ) and Ennegram type (6) – and so I always thought that I would wait until the births of my children to find out their gender. However, when I became pregnant with this baby, M and I knew that we just wanted to find out! It does make some sense with preparation and I’ve also heard that it can help the father to get more attached. Anyways, we talked about it and decided that we wanted to do a gender reveal with some of our closest friends and family – and because my parents would be in town around the time of our second ultrasound, it would be a special way to include them!

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For those of you who are unfamiliar, a “gender reveal” is a new trend of party where you have people over to share the gender of your child. It can either be a surprise just for your guests, or a surprise for you as well as your guests if you do it right! The most common way to do it is to have a cake baked with pink or blue food colouring inside and to cut into it together – though I’ve also seen balloons, baseballs which explode with colour, and other creative ideas. We decided that we wanted to do it and be surprised right along with our family and friends.

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This was how we did it: we went to our second ultrasound and told the technician that we didn’t want to know the gender on the spot, but would he please write it down on a piece of paper and place it in an envelope we had brought. (I was actually so nervous on the way to the appointment that I completely forgot both these things so I had to scramble in my purse for a receipt to write on the back of, and an old paycheque envelope!) We looked away during that part of the ultrasound and left the hospital with our super top secret envelope. It was SO tempting to look at it on our metro ride back home, but we managed to keep ourselves away.

Later that week I passed the envelope to our good friend Kathy who had agreed to make cake pops with the colour of the gender inside. Kathy makes beautiful cake pops and sweet tables as a business in Montreal. She was a fabulous secret-keeper for the next couple of weeks.

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We invited some friends and family over to our place on a Sunday afternoon for the celebration. I was incredibly nervous and excited – I was almost in tears the whole time! We passed around the cake pops to everyone and had a countdown. We closed our eyes and bit into the cake pops…

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It was a BOY!

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M and I were both overjoyed and it was such a special way to invite others into the process.

We’re keeping names secret (since that’s the only thing we have left to keep under wraps!) and are so looking foward to Baby Mortz’ arrival in October.

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Photos by the wonderful Beverly Ruso Photography.

Cake pops by 3 C Baking & Co.

on our living faith

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I found this prayer online last week and it really struck me so I wanted to share it:

God our Father,
if I could trace back
through the last two thousand years, marking out routes
from Jesus himself
and then through people
whose faith has touched others
and so reached me,
I would be astounded
by the individuals I would encounter.I give thanks, Father,
for all those people
over two thousand years
who have inspired others
and played their part
in passing on
to generation after generation the living heritage of their faith.

Especially I give thanks
for those who lived their faith
through difficulties
and hardship
and persecution.

I pray, Father, that I may grow in your faith and love through good times and bad.

Amen.

I didn’t grow up familiar with our heritage in faith of the church throughout the centuries.

If asked as a young person about the history of Christian’s faith and its value I would have probably despairingly pointed back to the early church and wondered if we could possibly recover their prayers and their ways of doing things since after all they were closest to Jesus’ time and Jesus Himself is our most important resource, no? But the truth is that the same Holy Spirit who lived in Him lived before Him, lived through the centuries and lives today. And He continues to draw all people (all!) to Jesus and to inspire many to follow Him in unique ways.

Not only that but Jesus Himself says that the Holy Spirit will teach great truths about Him to those who follow Him.

Eugene Peterson paraphrases it as such:

“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said.”

In other words, Jesus never said that “truth” ended in the words that described his life that we read in our Bible. And I think sometimes that in latching onto the “truth” that we believe is only held in Scripture or the life of Jesus specifically that we blindly miss what the Spirit has revealed through many other people about Jesus’ life and its meaning throughout the ages!

And so I believe that we can celebrate the great heritage of our faith by praying the prayers and learning the ways of the pilgrims, poets and ordinaries who have gone before us not because they had special access to God but because understanding Jesus and seeing Him in all the myriad of ways that we do is like looking at Jesus for who He really is – made beautifully more available to us through the love of pastors, evangelists, teachers who have cherished Him before us.