Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Remembering Those Happy Days Preparing for Levi

I find myself constantly thinking back to what I was doing two years ago as we waited for Levi's arrival. It was such an incredibly happy time. And I was - and am- so thankful that God would give us such a precious gift. So I thought it would be fun to take a look back on what life looked like then as we prepared to meet our brand new baby boy. :)

Maybe one day I will feel called to share more, but for now, please know that my pregnancy with Levi was absolutely one of the most miraculous and humbling and amazing experiences of my life. I had terrible, difficult pregnancies with tons of complications with the three boys, and that was after an ectopic pregnancy that landed me in the ER and nearly cost me my life when I was 23. Doctors warned us that I may never be able to conceive and carry a baby, with or without intervention, but thankfully this was not the case for us. And if you've been reading here a while, then you know our adoption process with Isabelle was one of the most agonizing experiences we have ever gone through, and then we endured several failed adoptions that broke our hearts between 2011 and 2014.

So when we found out we were expecting little Levi, we were so completely in awe that God would give us this miracle after everything we'd gone through. (I was also terrified, but I will write a separate post about how I tried to deal with that overwhelming fear.) For the first time, I had no complications, and I LOVED being pregnant, which was completely new to me. I had terrible morning sickness and migraines well into the third trimester, but it truly seemed like such a small, trivial issue in light of the bigger picture. I knew I didn't want to take any of it for granted, and I don't think I did.

We made it official with this announcement to the world in early October. Which was a joke...because in real life, I'd popped out in the beginning of September. Oops. ;)

I was cleaning out Ethan's closet in our old house and happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror...whoa!!! I was maaaaybe 10 weeks there? WHOA. I look annoyed, but I was ecstatic about the whole thing. Promise. We'd also begun house hunting around this time, and it was kind of awkward because I was still so sick and would need to get to the bathroom ASAP at times, in front of realtors. Fun times. And we hadn't told anyone outside of family yet, so trying to hide that bump was, well, you get the idea. ha ha

Sometimes I forget that we spent a few years homeschooling. In many ways, I miss it.  And in many ways, I do not.
 Study break!!
Apple picking and pigging out on goodies :) Such a wonderful day exploring and having fun with them!

Birthday roses :)
And to be clear, that is a pillow under the plate.

The night our team won the state title. SUCH a fantastic night!!!

I very clearly remember thinking that I could never hold my hands around the bump in a cute way like every other expectant Mama...I blame it on my disproportionately short arms, haha

Fall Sports Night with these two soccer stars. Ethan received the Coach's Award that night! So proud of his hard work!

Bill and I found out that we were expecting a BOY!!! I was thrilled! I had had several girl dreams by this point, so I was a little surprised, and then we had to go back for additional testing which was scary, but everything was fine and he was healthy and growing perfectly. So thankful! We also decided to keep our big news a secret for a few more weeks, and it was such a happy time for us as a couple sharing this big ol' secret. :)

I had a special date night with Isabelle to tell her our secret- I had several reasons for doing this, and it was such a wonderful time. Then WE surprised her big brothers with the news! I wrote about that in this post.

We were preparing to move to another town, but we enrolled the kids, so there was a LOT of driving back and forth for a few weeks. Every morning ended with Caleb and me, killing forty five minutes before his day began. Sometimes we'd take a walk, other times grab a treat. Such special memories for me. There were also several pull-over moments for poor old Mom, ugh, and Caleb clearly remembers those mornings, ha ha!

Also, you know what's super fun when you're six months pregnant? Moving.

We celebrated our December birthdays and then we moved the next weekend, and then it was Christmas and New Year's. Whew!

 Somewhere around the end of January, I decided I was only wearing Spring colors. So over winter.

Getting organized!!! All those teeny tiny baby clothes!! I couldn't get enough. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I was so, so thankful for it all.

We took our big trip to Florida! I was excited about two things:
1- going to the beach
2- just slipping on flip flops!!!!! Heaven!!!! We still had snow up north...

I've shared these a thousand times, but I can't help it. They are so special to me! You can read all about our Florida trips here and here if you'd like.

More nesting!!! I still have that giraffe and elephant onesie. :)

Oops, that should have been above...I remember sitting on the couch in the early morning after the loooong drive home from FL, finishing this baby quilt. It was freezing cold that morning, but the sun was streaming through the windows and I felt so happy. He still sleeps with this every single night and day.

Jonah's 15th birthday! Exactly one month before my due date!

We had the best day!

 This shirt makes me so nostalgic. I almost kept it. Almost. Still 4 weeks to go!!!

I took big sis out for a girl's day and we got haircuts and milkshakes. So fun!

Later that know, documenting :)

Whoa! ha ha

We finally pulled the trigger and purchased this set. I LOVED it! Well, I loved how it looked. It was not at all comfortable for me. Boo. When we learned what a terrible sleeper Levi was, we sold this set and purchased... a recliner chair. Not what I wanted in the least BUT you can lay back and hold a baby all night. True story. Happened a lottttt. Anyway, I was thrilled every time I walked into our room and saw this corner.

My Mom and friends threw me a sweet baby shower. You can see more pictures HERE.

 More waiting...

Filling this top out as much as it can go!!

This little nook of our room made me soooooo happy! (Lots of people have had questions about setting up a nursery in the master, so I shared more about that HERE.)

More waiting. I actually loved this dress. It was still too cold to wear it out, but I remember wearing it around the house a ton.

And my favorite striped tee. That's a whole lotta stretch right there. :)

And here we are, still joking and laughing and SO excited to meet our little guy! Things looked pretty great at this point...

Okay, so I ended up adding way more photos than I thought I would, but I just couldn't help it. I love remembering that time in my life! I'll be back tomorrow with Part Two. It's so fun sharing these special moments with you guys, thanks for reading. :)

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