I’m one of those who knew I’d want to take a bump pic each week once my belly started popping, so bump + update = bumpdate. It’s crazy how fast time is flying by and one of the ways we wanted to remember this time was to update this blog post both as a keepsake for us as well as a way for us to share our lives with others. Ryan is taking the photos of me in the nursery and with each photo we’re including a verse that represents our prayers over this little miracle. It has already been a wild ride for sure, and we hope you’ll continue to pray and encourage us on this journey together!
WEEK 13: The first trimester totally kicked my butt, but thankfully the fatigue and sickness finally started to taper off. I never felt like doing anything and wanted to eat pizza and french fries all the time. If you know me well, you know this is SO not me! This baby is totally Ryan’s! He is the pizza eater between us. Oh! I also stopped at Wendy’s for a burger and Sprite quite frequently. Seriously…Ryan’s baby. Insert big eye emoji!
WEEK 14: Finally! I am starting to feel somewhat like my old self! I’m more tired than I was in the first trimester, but overall I am feeling so much better. I still don’t want fruit and can’t really stand the thought of eating it. Things definitely are different, but we are having fun!
WEEK 15: We got some news that rocked our world this week. Routine blood work showed that I had been exposed to a virus which has been known to cause harm to babies. We’re going in to see a high-risk doctor this week and we’re asking for lots of prayers. Even in this, we know God is still sovereign and in control!
The night before I talked to the doctor to find out about my blood work, I had a vivid DREAM where the doctor told me Baby Worthen was a girl (even though I told her not to tell me)! In the dream, I could see the baby’s face and body and she was absolutely perfect…it was incredible! God also spoke to me in this dream and told me, “Don’t you remember, I’ve already given you the name of your daughter.” I pretty much held on to this dream the entire week. It was a sweet reminder that God has formed this baby in my womb, and again, He is in control!
Later in the week, we saw the high-risk pregnancy doctor and got to see Baby Worthen through an ultrasound. The doctor said the baby looked great, but she wanted to do some additional blood work to see if they can learn more about the presence of the virus. We’re anxious to hear the results, but we’re praying and trusting fully in our Lord. We also didn’t see any “boy parts” in the ultrasound, but it’s still too early to say if it’s a boy or a girl.
WEEK 16: Well, God did it again! We got a call from our doctor this week that all my blood tests were negative…no virus and my previous blood work was a false positive! The nurse was amazing and listened to me as I cried rejoicing in the news. She said, “You don’t have to worry anymore!” WHOOOOOO!!!! Okay, maybe I do still worry a time or two. Sometimes I wonder if there really is a baby growing in there. Ha! This is the most amazing experience ever in the history of EVER!
Keep on praying! We feel them and need them. Maybe we’ll find out in a few weeks what the gender is. What do you think…boy or girl? I know one thing for sure, we’re feeling SUPER thankful right now!
Week 17: Shew! What a week. Ryan and I both got the stomach bug and it ended up putting me in the hospital. Luckily, it only lasted 24 hours and we were both better the next day, but it was completely and totally awful! I haven’t had much of an appetite and I’ve been kind of scared to eat normal food. I’ve still craved Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles though. Yes, I totally feel like I’m five again. I eat cereal every morning for breakfast because it’s about the only thing that sounds good.
My sister and I took a fun little trip at the end of the week to go and visit my aunt. We loved visiting with our family and got some good sister time in, too! I think I was still recovering because I felt pretty bad the whole weekend. My sis and aunt were troopers and still made me have fun. The spa day was my favorite! This whole trip was inspired by my sweet husband…For my 30th birthday this year, he gifted a “sister trip” to me. With the threat of Zika EVERYWHERE, we were pretty limited with where we could go. My sister loves the Steelers and we do have some strong Italian roots, so we thought it’d be pretty awesome to go and visit our aunt for a girls’ weekend. When we arrived, Ryan had ordered and sent flowers to my sister, my aunt and me and said “…when the Polis girls are together, that’s a reason to celebrate.” It was a perfect sister trip before the baby comes!
Week 18: I think this has been my best week yet. Since the first time in about 18 weeks, I’ve managed to work out five days in a week. You all know I love working out, but this is something I could barely manage to do during the first trimester. I never felt good and instead of beating myself up over not working out, I just tried to do what I could do. All bets are off when you’re pregnant (so I’ve been told) and I’ve found this to be SO true. I still don’t enjoy sweets and my Laffy Taffy phase has passed. See…I told you all I felt like I was five again! Foods I ate during the first trimester totally gross me out now…I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be able to eat some of what used to be my favorites. I still enjoy pizza though!!! Ah…acid reflux is awful and something I’ve never experienced before, so Tums have become my new best friend!
This is the week we find out whether Baby Worthen is a boy or girl! Ryan and I are pretty excited. We’re planning to share Thanksgiving week with my family and I can’t wait to enjoy my mom’s homemade cooking! Thank you again for all of your prayers. We still need them and cherish them!
Week 19: I am still feeling good! I think the most exciting thing from this week was feeling the baby move for the first time. I had an “I think that’s the baby moving” kind of moment at first, but a couple of days later I knew it was definitely her I was feeling.
On Wednesday evening, I was lying in bed getting ready to go to sleep and I felt what I think were somersaults from her. It completely took my breath away. It’s the craziest and weirdest feeling and I am so anxious for Ryan to feel her. I still can’t believe this is happening! Pregnant mommas: Do you and did you feel this way? I keep wondering when it’s going to set in. You’d think my expanding belly would make it feel real, but I just can’t get over God’s miracle in all of this.
My emotions have been somewhat stable…haha! I’m not crying as much unless I’m watching a good Hallmark movie or I start thinking about the change that’s going to happen in our lives. I know this is all worth it, but change is so hard for me; it always has been.
Pizza is still my numero uno craving! I used to judge Ryan for getting Little Caesar’s Hot-and-Ready pizzas, but that’s pretty much my favorite right now. Gross, right? I know. Don’t judge! #impregnant
Week 20: Wow. We are half way through this thing! How has time gone by so fast? The little bean is still growing and moving around a lot more. I feel her at random times throughout the day, usually when I’m sitting at my desk, on the couch or lying in bed at night. Runner still loves laying her head on my belly and wants all the snuggle time she can get. I am still feeling good and have energy until about 7pm each night and then I’m ready for bed. The only other big change that happened this week was with my car. The car I had was too small in the back to fit a car seat, so we decided to get an SUV. I am very thankful we could make that change, but I cried. Yes, you can laugh at me because I cried over a car, but change is just so hard for me!
And her name is…
Do you remember when I shared several weeks ago how I dreamed that I was having a girl and the Lord spoke to me in that dream and reminded me the name He had given us for our daughter? We have loved being able to call our sweet baby girl by name since finding out.
Back in September, Ryan and I shared a special moment where we were talking about names and feel God gave us this verse: “This is what the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who we will help you says, Fear not, O Jacob my servant; and Jeshurun who I have chosen. For I will pour out water on him who is thirsty, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like willows by the streams of water.” Isaiah 44:2-4.
Our sweet baby girl’s name is Willow Rose.
Roses play a super special part in our relationship. Ryan proposed with 600 red roses and I had roses all throughout my wedding bouquet. She’ll have the middle name of Rose for another reason, and if you know me well, you know that I love the Golden Girls. Love might actually be an understatement there…I have precious memories of watching the show with my grandmother when I was younger and Rose grew to be my favorite character. Her sayings are priceless and I love how witty and spunky she is. Rose just makes me happy! We love it and think it’s the perfect name for her.
Thank you for all the continued prayers and messages…They mean the world to us!
Week 21: I have definitely noticed little Willow popping out more every day. Some days I feel like a barn and other days I feel like I look somewhat normal. Some days I am okay with looking pregnant and other days, well…I just have to readjust my mindset. I feel I am being a typical girl when it comes to this, but I am also just being honest. One of my love languages is affirmation and Ryan does a great job at telling me he thinks I’m beautiful. Of course, my mind goes to thinking what? How? I’m huge! Ha! Why is it so hard to accept a compliment?
Working out has helped make me feel good and built my self-esteem on days when I don’t necessarily feel like myself. With my growing belly, I’ve decided to focus on things I can control like my butt and arms. No joke! I’m working out with a personal trainer and it’s been so helpful! It keeps me motivated and makes me feel good. I’ve been running on the treadmill a few times a week, but good gracious, I literally stop to go pee two or three times just while running a couple of miles.
I’ve learned that Willow does NOT like me eating chocolate. I get sick pretty much every time I try to eat it. I’m already starting to question her girliness over this chocolate thing. What girl doesn’t love chocolate? I didn’t like sweets at all in the first trimester, but I’ve started craving them again. I’ve also stepped up my pizza ordering from Little Caesar’s Hot-and-Readies to Jet’s thin crust. YUM! It’s gotten to the point where we’ve eaten pizza so much that Ryan told me the other night he is sick of eating it. That was a bit devastating to say the least.
I am feeling Willow a lot now, but mostly at night when I go to bed. She wiggles all over the place. She also moves a lot when Runner lays her head on my belly. They’re going to be buddies…I just know it!
Week 22: This has been a fun week! I saw Willow moving around outside of my belly. I knew if I could see her moving, then Ryan would be able to feel her soon. Sure enough, that night I laid down in bed and he felt her right away! It was one of the coolest things for us to experience together. Ryan was super excited! This whole experience is still so miraculous and mind-blowing for me. Some days I am just in awe thinking about how God designed all of this to be.
We’ve been on the go a lot lately, filming a ton of weddings and I’ve been trying to finish up all of our Christmas shopping. Filming has definitely gotten harder, and basically just bending over is not as easy. I tire out more frequently and my back hurts often. We have two more weddings to film in December and then we’re taking a break until after the baby is here!
It’s a bit surreal to think we are getting closer to her due date, and it’s a little scary if I can be honest. I got to hold my dear friend’s newborn baby this week and literally had knots in my stomach thinking how I couldn’t do this. Seriously! I am going to have to deliver a baby and then be responsible for this same baby. I am kind of laughing about my crazy thoughts, but oh my goodness!!! Mommas, please tell me you’ve had these same thoughts! Please make me feel like I am not crazy! I’ve also had a few panic moments this week thinking about how we don’t have a crib or haven’t registered yet. This whole experience is literally flying by.
One of my best friends gave me a Christmas gift this past week – a bracelet that says “Expect Miracles.” Sweet Willow Rose, you are our little miracle and that’s a fact. I know I’ve said this a lot already, but everyone has been so amazing. I can’t get over your love, support and prayers!
Ryan and I are proud to call you our friends, our community, our people. Wishing you the happiest Merry Christmas!
Week 23: It’s Christmas time!!!!! I had a couple of panic moments this week in thinking that we hadn’t registered yet or bought a crib. Well, the crib is ordered and the baby items we “need” are registered. We decided to shop local for our crib and ordered it from a small place in Lexington called Nursery Time. We registered at Buy Buy Baby as we were headed out of town to visit Ryan’s family for Christmas in Ohio.
That was an experience. I think it would have been better for our marriage to have registered on the couch of our home in our comfy clothes. I had Ryan research the bigger items we needed while I depended on my momma friends and a fair amount of research I had done for the smaller, but necessary items.
With nearly each item I asked him to scan, he replied with statements like, “It cost that much? Why do we need that? What are we supposed to do with this?” For the love!!!
Let’s just say the thought of throat-punching him while registering may have crossed my mind a time or two. You’ll be happy to know, we made it out alive in under two hours. We spent the weekend in our comfy clothes, on the couch, adding and deleting items on our registry…just how we should have done it in the first place. We also registered at Babies R Us and Amazon. I think we are pretty set on the items we need (and a few extra wants…Little Willow needs to be accessorized)!
I am still feeling great! I have an occasional headache, but it’s nothing to complain about. I still crave pizza on a daily basis, eat cereal at least once a day (Frosted Rice Krispies, anyone?), love grapes and have to drink a Sprite every now and then. I craved chocolate this last week and it’s actually helped with my headaches a time or two. Eating it hasn’t made me sick, which happened in previous weeks. Maybe this girl does love chocolate after all!
Week 24: Baby Willow is definitely growing. My non-maternity shirts are shorter and tighter and the amount of times I have to pee in one day is beyond me. I can’t even keep track anymore. Besides the occasional headache and the dancing I feel on my bladder, I am feeling pretty good! This past week I’ve caught myself a couple of times exhausted from a previous day of work. While I still feel that I can keep up the pace of working out, cleaning house, and doing other odds and ends in a single day, the next day I am usually wiped out! Plus we filmed four weddings in this last month and well, I have been pretty pooped!
We filmed our last wedding of 2016 on New Years Eve. In fact, it’s our last wedding until after the baby arrives. It was so bittersweet. I teared up as guests celebrated the bride and groom with a confetti send-off at midnight. Getting to be a part of moments like that are just so special to us. Yes, it’s an incredible amount of hard work, but Ryan and I truly love doing this together.
I’ve enjoyed my Christmas break from my full time job, but I’m anxious to get the semester started. I absolutely love my job at Asbury University and love getting to be a part of students’ lives. I am still plugging away on my doctorate and have a busy semester ahead. I can’t believe we only have four months until Willow arrives! Ryan has been busy building furniture and we’ve been hand-making a lot of decor for her nursery. It’s coming together and we love all the special memories we’re incorporating into her room.
Please keep on praying; I can feel them and need them! Happy 2017 y’all! It’s going to be the best year yet!
Week 25: So this is the week where I start feeling like a whale…Shew! It has been a week. I started back to work, and while I have still tried to maintain working out my energy has just completely gone out the door. I am so tired all the time, but I am sure part of it is readjusting to a new schedule. You mommas out there are probably laughing and thinking, “You just wait!”
I think I’ve kicked my cereal habit (for now, at least). I was eating at least one bowl per day, but I haven’t really enjoyed it lately. Pizza is still my number one craving and I love eating any Italian food. I want a Caesar salad and cookie dough so bad I can’t stand it! I told Ryan the other day those are two things I want as soon as Willow is born. I’d also like to have my body back and fit into all my old clothes. Here’s to hoping for that dream to come true!
The last few weeks have been kind of hard for Ryan and I. I have been so emotional and the smallest and most ridiculous things seem to spark arguments. I’m thankful to have a husband who cares enough to want to work through things and become better as a result, but it’s definitely not a fun process. I know my overly sensitive emotions have played a role in how I have handled things, which doesn’t help at all. Sometimes we just have to step back and remind each other of what’s going on and how much we love one another. The devil doesn’t want us happy, but we refuse to let him win.
Week 26: Yep. Still tired! Ha! This was an exciting week though…we went on a babymoon!!!!! When Ryan asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him the only thing I would love was to go on some kind of trip with him before Willow is born. My two love languages are words of affirmation and quality time. We’ve been incredibly busy these last couple of months with work, school and weddings so I was craving some good quality time with him SUPER bad!
Our trip to Naples, Florida, was everything I could have ever wanted. I was so excited about this trip that I even asked several friends to be praying it up for us! I just didn’t want anything stupid to get in the way and I was hoping Ryan and I would be able to relax and enjoy one another.
It. Was. PERFECT! The weather was beautiful, the time of rest was amazing, the food was great and the company was incredible! Sometimes I just sit in awe in thinking about the ways Ryan loves me. Sure, we have ups and downs like every other couple, but this man loves me like no other. All he cared about was showering me with an incredible weekend and that’s exactly how it turned out.
We laughed about past memories, talked about our future with Willow and just soaked up all the good feels! Hopefully, you followed our Instagram stories on Reel Special’s Instagram channel to see all the fun we had as well as a few mishaps. If you missed it, I’ll just tell you that two mean airport security ladies made me cry after I had to throw out two small bottles of sunscreen I had just purchased (travel tip: according to the TSA quart-sized bags full of liquids are much safer than gallon-sized bags…who knew?!). Also, we realized Ryan’s license was expired when we went to get the rental car (which turned out to be a whole separate issue after the credit card company screwed up our car rental reservation), and the list could go on. Thankfully, those prayers were answered and despite the variety of issues, we had the best trip together.
I can’t believe I’m almost six months pregnant. Time has flown by and as each day passes, these experiences are becoming more surreal. Please keep praying for us and for Baby Willow. Your encouragement, prayers and support help me every single day!
Week 27: Ryan and I did a quick maternity shoot this past weekend. This is something I honestly did not want to do, but when one of your best friends just so happens to be the most amazing photographer and she tells you it’s something you have to do…you do it. I’m so glad we did! Not only was that such a precious time with Ryan, we now have some amazing photos to look back on.
I feel God is still teaching me that I don’t have control. As much as I want to have control and plan out every little detail of my life and Willow’s, that’s just not God’s plan. He knows what’s best and I just have to trust Him, in all things!
I’m feeling okay for the most part, just tired all the time. I slept six hours straight the other night without having to get up to go the bathroom. I felt like a new woman. Ha! My hormones are all over the place and I cry most often when I’m completely exhausted, which happens to be at the end of my weekends. I think I am trying to still fit in everything that I can and run around like I used to and it’s just not the same. My bump definitely gets in the way a lot and bending over is not quite as easy as it used to be. This whole growing a human thing is hard work!
Week 28: I’m officially in the third trimester now. Believe it or not, I still can’t believe I’m pregnant. This whole experience has been so surreal and discovering day by day the miracle God performs through a little life is absolutely mind blowing to me. People tell me often that holding your baby for the very first time is like no other experience. I can’t even begin to imagine what that’s going to be like. Ryan and I are so excited to meet her and I can’t stop thinking about what she’ll look like. I’m so curious about her and can’t wait to see her.
This past weekend was so exciting for me. One of my very best friends hosted my first baby shower and it was everything and more. The love I felt was so overwhelming it moved me to tears…lots and lots of tears. In fact, after the shower was over, I came home and cried a lot more. I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness for the thought and love that went into every piece of the shower. And, for so many of my amazing friends to come together for such a sweet time. I am beyond blessed and I don’t take that for granted.
You’re probably over all my talk about pizza, but I am still loving it! Pizza and any kind of Italian food is my go-to! I have developed a love for hot fudge sundaes, especially sundaes from the Cheesecake Factory. I may have had three in the last couple of weeks. I know, shame on me, but they are SO good! I’m still pretty tired all the time, but trying to just push through. This semester is already proved to be incredibly busy, but I am trying to soak up every spare moment I can with Ryan. Even in the midst of the busyness, I am trying to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the weeks I have before she gets here. Willow Rose will be here before we know it.
Week 29: This was a really, really hard week. I came down with a cold and it was a cold from you know where. I felt absolutely miserable, had to cancel a couple of classes and managed to workout only one day this week (and that was only because I had a session with a personal trainer). I tend to beat myself up when I don’t workout as much as I feel I need to, but this is the first week in a long time where I realized my body is not just mine anymore. I have a precious living soul inside of me that I also have to look out for, so instead of getting down on myself I decided to just rest.
I feel God spoke to my heart a lot this week. It’s been so easy for me to say “I feel like a whale” or “Well, I’m alive” when people ask how I am or how I’m feeling. I remember walking up to my office the other day (three flights of stairs because I refuse to take the elevator) and feeling beyond frustrated that I was so out of breath. Like, literally, it takes so much energy to climb those flights of stairs to my office every morning. As I wallowed in my frustration with being “over” getting out of breath, I realized this source of my frustration is the very thing I prayed so much for.
In that moment I felt my perspective completely changed. It’s as though God reminded me that I have no right to get frustrated and for goodness sakes, stop being so hard on myself…I am growing a human! I shared this realization with my college girls as I lead our devotion for class that morning. So much of our attitude depends on our perspective and sometimes our perspective needs a little tweaking. This life isn’t all about you, or me…this life is about loving others, cherishing others, building each other up and living it to the fullest. Yes, I have my blah days being pregnant and days where I definitely don’t enjoy it, but I decided this week that my perspective has to change on how I feel I see myself and how others see me. I’m pretty sure I’ll spend the rest of my life learning this. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the 11 weeks I have left of Willow growing inside of me. I’m going to continue to thank God for her and enjoy her Daddy like never before.
Life is so sweet and I am beyond thankful for the reminder of this.
Week 30: Whoa! 10 weeks left! I really thought I’d be over pizza by now, but it’s what’s on the menu at least two times per week. I did sneak over to Goodfella’s after class last Thursday night and about had a life changing experience after one bite of that heavenly delicious slice of cheese pizza. I texted Ryan immediately and told him I’d been missing out the past seven months on Goodfella’s!
I finally started feeling better after a week of misery. Having a bad cold and being pregnant is not something I would advise. I was very thankful for a good doctor’s visit this week and little Willow is right on track with her growth.
Ryan and I headed up north to Toledo this week. His mom and sisters threw me an amazing baby shower. Being surrounded with Godly women who have prayed for us to get pregnant was just about more than I could handle. Sisters, aunts, moms, nieces, and dear friends all came together to shower me and Baby Willow. It was so sweet and all the decorative touches were so perfect. I really can’t describe to you how loved and special this made me feel. One of the most amazing feelings is looking around a room full of women knowing they’ve been in this journey with me since the beginning. They were praying for God to bless us with a family and we were finally all together celebrating that answered prayer.
Sweet Willow…you are more than an answered prayer. You are going to move mountains and I am so blessed that God chose me to be your momma!
Week 31: We’re in the single digits now. Nine weeks to go! I’m feeling so much better this week, but goodness am I tired! All. The. Time. I came home from work the other day with the mindset that I’d take a 30 minute nap, wake up and walk the dogs then work on homework the rest of the night. Yeah, that nap turned into two and a half hours.
Ryan has been working hard in her nursery and assembled her crib this past weekend. Seeing it all come together definitely makes this feel more real. We have a couple of things left to do in her room before we feel it’s “perfect,” but we love it so far. Even though deciding on colors and her nursery theme was a source of emotional frustration and crying (on my end) between Ryan and I, I’d say it’s come together quite well and I love how invested Ryan has been into all the details of her room. Let the shower gift organizing and laundry washing begin!
I feel her move all the time and I catch myself constantly thinking about what she’s going to look like. I am so excited to meet her and see her and can’t believe there are only two months left until her due date. I caught myself thinking a lot today about God’s perfect timing. After church today, we stopped and talked to some of our closest friends – one who just had a baby and three others that are due in the coming weeks. It’s just amazing to think about how God truly does know what’s best for our lives and how he shows support by surrounding us with a community of love and friendship.
Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, don’t ever tell a pregnant woman “You’re getting really big” or “You’re looking really pregnant.” It’s not a compliment. We’re already sensitive about our growing belly and that’s just one more thing to make us emotional. From the looks of it, I have two more months to stuff my face with pizza and get all the naps in I possibly can. Just tell me to keep up the good work…haha!
Week 32: I’m learning that the emotions of feeling overwhelmingly loved and showered just don’t go away. This was a really great week topped off by an even better weekend. My best friend, sister and mom came up from Knoxville to help throw a baby shower along with one of my closest friends here in Lexington. The thought behind every single detail of this shower was beyond amazing. Willow received so many heartfelt gifts and books and her nursery is just overflowing with love. God knew I would need the community that I have for such a time as this and I am beaming with thankfulness and gratitude for all my friends and family.
This really is such a sweet time of life and I am trying hard not to wish it away or get caught up in life’s busyness to miss it all. More than ever, I’ve just wanted to soak up every minute with Ryan and absolutely love being around him. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved being around him, but there is just something so sweet about this time. I look forward to our weekly Wednesday night date nights (because that’s really the only time we get to see each other throughout the week) and I also enjoy our wedding-less Saturdays where we do odds and ends around the house, run errands and sit on the couch and eat pizza with the dogs cuddled next to us. I know life will change once Willow is here, but it’s going to be what we make it.
Thinking about this next week has me feeling overwhelmed that it’s already going to be March. I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone by. With all of our baby showers almost complete, it’s time to finish up last minute touches to her nursery and put away all of her clothes. I also just want to spend these next several weeks praying over Willow and the delivery. This is the part I’m most anxious about and I have to remember that God is in control.
Oh, and can I just mention the amazing letter Ryan wrote for Willow? I hope you’ve had the chance to read it. It made me cry, of course. I love every single word he wrote to her and know he will spend the rest of his life loving her and cherishing her.
Week 33: Another week down…another baby shower! Several of my coworkers at Asbury University threw us our last baby shower and it was so special! Ryan was able to leave work and drive out to Asbury to help celebrate. We had pizza and cupcakes with buttercream icing…it was amazing…and the décor reflected two of my favorite childhood books, Just Me and My Mom and The Giving Tree. I, of course, cried the minute I saw everything! We have been incredibly blessed by friends, family and coworkers throughout this pregnancy and I don’t know what we’d do without our sweet community. God is so good!
Another amazing thing that happened this week was getting a sweet surprise when we heard a knock at the door and found a couple angels carrying our stroller and car seat to gift to us. Queue ALLLLL the tears. I was (and still am) speechless. Completely floored. It was the last big item on our registry and Ryan and I had planned to buy it, but little did we know God had something else in mind. To the two amazing people who blessed us with this gift. THANK YOU.
I am still feeling pretty well, just constantly tired. I am up a few times each night and toss and turn a lot. That’s good preparation for a newborn, right? Willow still moves around all the time and I’m pretty sure she likes to kickbox…haha! I’m craving anything strawberry flavored even though I still haven’t been able to actually eat strawberries. The thought of eating them grosses me out, and the same applies with anything made with or consists of cream cheese. I. Miss. Cheesecake. Mexican food is still a big NO on my list of foods I’m craving, but I pray my love for that cuisine comes back when she’s born!
Ryan has been absolutely amazing and deserves the “greatest husband ever” award. He has put up with my grumbling and complaining, has dropped everything to help me, and has even attempted to cook dinner. God bless him!
This has been a fun journey and I can’t believe we only have seven more weeks!
Oh, and can I just mention the amazing letter Ryan wrote for Willow? I hope you’ve had the chance to read it. It made me cry, of course. I love every single word he wrote to her and know he will spend the rest of his life loving her and cherishing her.
Week 34: I haven’t had pizza all week. I know…I am just as shocked as you are. It was a super busy week with work and school and pizza just wasn’t in the cards. I’ve told Ryan over and over again how bad of a wife I was this week. He had to help make dinner one night (which is totally not his thing) and then fend for himself the other nights. Poor guy! Wednesday night is always our date night, but this past week I had to work at Asbury until really late so that meant our date was postponed until Friday. By the time Ryan got home from work on Friday, we were both so exhausted that we napped and went to dinner around the time I usually go to bed. We’re soaking up our last few weekends of dates and eating out before the Little One arrives.
This felt like a really long week and I didn’t quite have the energy I normally do. Maybe I should stop eating Fruit Loops for breakfast and choose something that will give me a little more pep in my step. Haha! We don’t normally keep Fruit Loops around, but I grabbed a box off the shelf while shopping at Kroger last week because they looked so yummy I had to have them! Other than that, I haven’t really had any cravings this week.
This week is my spring break and I’ve had an itch to travel somewhere warm and tropical, but I figured staying home and finishing Willow’s nursery and getting some school projects done would be better use of my time. I managed to get everything washed and put away, so now we just have a few more things to hang in her nursery and it will be complete! It has been so amazing to see our vision come together and it wouldn’t have been possible without my handy dandy and super creative husband. Thanks, babe!
We also attended a child birth educational class on Saturday. That. Was. Interesting. I might have left a little scarred from a few things we had to encounter, but we sure did have some good laughs. Ryan was a trooper and it did make this whole thing feel a little more real. I did have some brief moments throughout the day where I thought I couldn’t do this (the whole delivery thing). Insert big, huge eye emoji here!
One of my best friends keeps reminding me that women have been delivering babies pretty much forever, and I know God is in control and everything will be just fine but if you’ve read this far, I do have one prayer request: the delivery is something I am most scared about.
Would you pray that God will give me a peace about this part of our pregnancy? Yes, I definitely trust Him, but goodness am I nervous! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that “medical stuff” wigs me out and I just want everything to go okay.
We’ve valued and cherished all of your prayers thus far and can’t thank you enough for all the support you continually show and give us.
Only six more weeks!!!
Week 35: I can count how many weeks we have left on one hand. Holy moly!!! This was a hard and stressful week and I am happy to see it go.
I spent most of my week stressing over school projects that I was trying to get ahead on. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I strive for “A’s” in all of my classes, but goodness, I was all tears and stomach aches because of it. I managed to get a lot of work done and a sweet ending to the week was finishing up Willow Rose’s nursery. Ryan worked on the honey-do list I gave him and put together her Pack & Play and her Rock & Play. I’d say we’re about ready for this little one to grace our lives!
My belly is growing big and breathing has become uncomfortable…haha! She makes herself comfy on one side of my ribs often and still likes to throw her kickboxing skills at me throughout the day. Maybe this one will love the gym as much as I do!
Besides the normal, my only other craving this week was a chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s. My senses are crazy and I feel like I can smell everything. I ended up giving Runner a bath because I felt she was too stinky. Poor pup! Seeing how she’s super obsessed with my belly and overprotective of me, I can’t wait to see her with Willow. Ah, this is getting more real by the day!
Week 36: Four more weeks! I can’t even believe it. Now that her nursery is finished, I have been working hard trying to complete my projects for school. Once those are done, I think I’ll feel “ready!” I just keep wondering what she’s going to look like and how big she will be. So many of my close friends have had babies over the last several months and it’s just been an amazing thing to experience- to see their new little miracle, to see all the joy and God’s perfect timing. I just can’t wait for Willow!
I’m still working out, eating pizza at least once a week and getting my Frosty fix every once in a while. Ryan even craves them now, too…haha!
My best friend’s wedding is next weekend in Knoxville and I think I have everyone I know praying for me that I’ll be able to make it through. I’m looking forward to going to Knoxville as it will be my last time going “home” before she comes. Goodness, how time has flown. We don’t even know what to expect, but I can tell you Willow sure does have a momma and daddy that love her so much already!
Week 37: What a crazy and exciting week! After class on Thursday night we headed to Knoxville to get the wedding festivities started. Yes, I was totally nervous being away from Lexington with three weeks left to go. I had a bazillion friends praying for me because I wanted to be able to make this wedding more than anything.
My craving this week- anything banana! I asked my mom to make a banana pudding for me for my birthday and it. Was. Delicious. I loved being with my family and best friends throughout the weekend and just kept praying that this little bean would stay inside of me. Luckily, she did and the wedding was so amazing. Ryan filmed the entire wedding while I filled the role of a bridesmaid. After eating some cake (of course my piece was loaded with icing) and sending the bride and groom off, we darted back to Lexington for a peace of mind.
These last couple of weeks have been more than crazy trying to get things organized at work and finishing some pretty big projects for my doctoral program. I’ve been pretty stressed about it all, but God always works it out. Always.
Ryan is beyond amazing and I honestly can’t find the words to describe all he does for me. You all… he is absolutely incredible and takes care of me so well! He is going to be the best daddy EVER! Three weeks seems so far away yet so close. Life is about to change and we couldn’t be happier about it!
I’ve told you all before that the delivery is what I have been most nervous about. I sat down a few weeks ago to write out a specific prayer and also had my mom (who is my prayer warrior) write out a special prayer. It has changed everything. I feel so excited now! Yes, I am still somewhat nervous, but the peace I have is what I needed. Thanking Jesus for this!!!
Week 38: Well…we took this picture just minutes before leaving for the hospital. I am still in shock that she’s here! I honestly thought she’d come late and so did everyone else.
This was a pretty normal week…work and grad school. Ryan helped me edit my final project for UK on Monday night and Tuesday is when I started having some symptoms. I actually went to the doctor on Monday for my weekly checkup and I was only one centimeter “and a wiggle.” I felt some contractions on Tuesday, but thought they were just Braxton Hicks and I was trying to recover from a busy wedding weekend in Knoxville.
You know I’m an open book, so this next part is just, well…funny. Besides what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions, I was also leaking. Well, I thought I was just peeing on myself here and there and figured it was just my muscles relaxing preparing for her due date.
I decided to work from home on Friday, April 7th, so I could get caught up on grading and other work. I went to the gym that morning and was texting some friends of how I was still “leaking.” They both strongly recommended I call the doctor just to make sure everything was okay before heading into the weekend, so I called the doctor and ran over to their office real quick for them to check me. I totally thought I’d be headed back home shortly and my day would go on as planned, but they tested me and sure enough, my water had broken.
I immediately started crying. Happy tears of course, but also shocked at their words of “Your water broke, you’re going to have a baby!” AHHHHHHHH!!!! Are you for real? I texted and called Ryan as I was leaving the doctor and the tears just poured. I was sweaty from the gym and didn’t have anything with me, so I ran home real quick to shower and get our stuff.
I had no idea what to expect and I can’t even begin to describe what the labor and delivery was like. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I was 38 weeks and one day when I delivered Willow Rose. I definitely did not expect her to come two weeks early, but my goodness, am I so glad she’s here!
All I can say is our Lord is perfect in His timing. Absolutely perfect. He knew when it was the right timing for us to get pregnant. He knew when her birth date would be. He knew everything. Week 38…you were our BEST week!
She’s here! Meet Willow Rose Worthen. She is an absolute gift from the Lord and we have cried the most happy tears. She is beyond anything we could have ever expected and Ryan and I have had the best week as new parents learning all new things.
I want to take a minute to talk about Ryan. I knew he was incredible, but goodness gracious, was he everything and more for me during the delivery. We had a couple of challenges during the delivery and the pain was quite intense at times, but Ryan was incredible and encouraged me the whole way through.
The moment we laid eyes on our girl is a moment I will never ever forget. Seeing her for the first time and seeing Ryan become a father has to be one of the greatest moments of my life. He was made for this…absolutely made to be a dad. Seeing him love our Willow Rose is so beautiful and what they say is true…I have fallen more in love with him this week than I ever thought was possible.
Motherhood is hard and I’m only one week in. The emotions are real and something you really can’t prepare for. I cry just looking at her. I cry at the thought of Ryan going back to work. I cry remembering her birth. I cry wondering if I can really do this. I have all the emotions….ALL the feels!
You have prayed for us, encouraged us, supported us and loved us so well through this journey. We can’t thank you enough and feel so incredibly blessed. Our community is what’s made the difference for us. The texts. The calls. The meals prepared for us. It’s all been so touching and we are just so incredibly grateful.
Now that the bumpdates are complete, you may be wondering what’s next for our blog. Ryan and I plan to continue writing about our marriage, travel, parenting and our fun adventures with Willow Rose, so we hope you continue with us in this journey!
We’re only one week in, completely smitten, and have a lifetime to look forward to with our girl. Little one, we waited nine months to love you for a lifetime and that’s exactly what we plan to do.