26 Weeks Pregnant

Crystal

How far along: 26 Weeks

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Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of a butternut squash or a bowling pin…he feels more like he’s the size of a bowling ball though!

Total weight gain: I don’t want to talk about this, but doctor is happy (and baby is healthy)!

Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them—not the most stylish clothes to wear, but they aren’t what they used to be.  I bought another dress to wear that I do love…I might wear it for the baby shower, but I haven’t decided yet.  Some clothes I feel fabulous in and others just make me feel not so great (like the oversize shorts and shirts I wear to bed)—superficial I know!me
Sleep:  I have quite a bit of difficulty sleeping…after laying on the right for so long I’m sore, so flip to the left, then after so long I’m sore again and flip…then I have to flop out of bed to use the bathroom…then he thinks its time to play and is kicking…then the alarm to wake up sounds.

Best moment this week:  Hmmm…Craig’s surprise date night to see School of Rock…the baby was rockin out to all the music!

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Symptoms:  Well no more heartburn now that doc prescribed me something.  Shortness of breath, back pain, and of course feeling baby kicking quite a bit—we can even see him moving!

Food cravings: I wanted a Thanksgiving meal, so that is what we had…soooooo good!!!  Apple Cider, Belgium waffles, and apple pie or apple crisp too!

Food aversions:  None

Gender: Boy

Name: Still no name…nothing we are both totally in love with yet, but we will agree on one eventually.

Labor signs: Too early for that, but I swear I felt a couple contractions while walking around the public market yesterday.

What I miss:  Laying on my stomach in bed or being comfortable just laying on the couch.  Bending over with ease is another thing I miss—if you come to my classroom and see highlighters on the floor it’s because I have stopped bending over to pick them up!

What I look forward to:  I was not a fan of the idea of having a baby shower at all, but I am looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, celebrating our little MVP, and having a good time.

Milestones: Does the Bills leading the division count?  Maybe baby is good luck for them? (although as I’m typing this they are not doing so well…come on Bills…Super Bowl this year!)

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Bump: It’s more like a hump now…

 

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Crystal

Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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A Simple Moment of Waiting…

While on a visit to a local park to take some photos of a friend I snapped this photo of a stranger waiting to feed the ducks.  You can’t see it in the picture, but he has a loaf of bread and they are on their way to feast on the treat.

I wonder, what is he thinking about?

I do regret not stopping to learn more about him and share the photo I captured.

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Share in a comment:  What would you caption this photo?

Crystal

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Photo Challenge: Waiting

My Top 10 Unexciting Moments of Pregnancy

After writing the Top 10 Best Parts About Being Pregnant I thought it might be fun to think about the struggles.  I am beyond thankful to be pregnant, but there are some moments that can cause some frustration.  This is what I came up with…

10. Doctor Appointments:  I feel like I’ve been to the doctor’s more than Wegmans lately.  I was going more than usual so he could monitor me a little closer, but it is worth it to make sure everything is in order and baby is healthy.

9.  Zika Virus:  We wanted to do some traveling over the summer, but Doc said no due to the risk of the Zika Virus.  I’ll usually go against doctor orders without batting an eyelash, but I’m not going to put my child at risk—maybe we will plan a weekend babymoon close to home instead.

8.  Maternity Clothes:  Ok, it has been years since my previous pregnancies and maternity clothes have improved quite a bit, but they still have a long way to go!  What woman wants to look like they are wearing a tablecloth?  Enough with the stripes! And what is with all the bows and ties—just because I have a child growing inside of me does not mean I want to look like one!

7.  Weight Comments:  I have never had so many people feel like its appropriate to comment about my weight!  A “family member” recently felt it was appropriate to address me by saying, “what’s up fatty” (just one of the flavorful comments she made).  For one I’m not fat, way thinner than her (not to mention I have a full mouth of my own teeth), and I’ve only gained nine pounds according to my last doc appointment.

6. People asking when the wedding is:  If we had a dollar for every time we have been asked this we could have a destination wedding and pay for our entire family to come!  Just because we are expecting does not mean I’ll be waddling down the isle!

5. Shaving, clipping toe nails…anything involving bending over:  Things are difficult to reach, see, and it can be incredibly frustrating.

4. Sleep: I toss and turn quite a bit!  When a comfortable position is finally found it only lasts just a short time.  I’m too hot!  No, too cold…where did I kick that blanket?  Where is the Pepcid?  Ohhhh…not a leg cramp….not now!  That can’t be my alarm—I just fell asleep!

3. Hearing “you’re crazy” or “are you sure you want another?”:  I’ve never been one to walk to the beat of the drum society is playing…and I don’t intend to now.  I’m fully aware that I am in a sense “starting over” as some say, but just because you are afraid to live your life, doesn’t mean I am.  People have called me crazy for all kinds of decisions—being a teen mom, going back to college, wanting to teach students with disabilities, wanting to teach in the school I’m in…all of which make me incredibly happy and proud, so how is that crazy?

2. FatigueAt the end of the work day I am spent!  I’m on my feet the majority of the day, then it’s picking up from practices, cooking dinner, cleaning up the house, and I do try and make time in there for a nap or at least some couch time with my favorite blanket!

1. Mood swings:  These hit me off guard (pun intended)!  They have finally seemed to level out, but they were quite intense earlier in my pregnancy.  One second I was fine, next crying over a nothing, and then the temper would come out of nowhere!  I’ve never experienced such a range all at once—my family deserves an award for putting up with me through them!

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Share in a comment:  What is/was your least favorite part about being pregnant?

Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Best Parts About Being Pregnant

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Pregnancy isn’t always full of positive experiences, but I took a moment to reflect on what my top 10 best parts.  This is what I came up with…

10.  More to blog about:  With all the excitement I have more to write about…I just have to commit to taking a specific amount of time to write per day/week.

9.  Organization: I’m a pretty organized person, but now I have stepped it up a notch and started to update my lists of birthdays of family and friends–I used to be a lot more thoughtful and send cards for special occasions and now I want to make it a goal to do that again!

8.   No period:  Does this one need much explaining?

7.  Another excuse to take pictures:  I enjoy taking photos, and another reason just makes it even better!  I have very few photos of my previous pregnancies, and this one being my last means I will take tons!  I’m sure I will drive some nuts with them all, but I’m excited and proud of my growing, healthy baby…and body.

6.  A reason to buy new clothes…and shoes….and bras:  Even if I’m not a huge fan of maternity clothes I do like buying new clothes…I have been able to find quite a few items that I like to wear, and I will be needing to stock up on some winter items too!  Since I’m on my feet all day teaching I *had* to go shoe shopping too.  I’ve found that sketchers have some really comfortable shoes and some of them are cute!  I did have to break down and buy new bras which I didn’t want to do at first, but I’m much more comfortable now—that could explain why my moods have leveled off lately?!?!

5.  Learning more about my body:  I have learned more about my body by being pregnant this time around than I have ever.  I have more of an interest in learning about what is going on, so I research everything.  I now realize that the cramping I  usually feel mid-cycle is actually ovulation, I know the difference between an ovary and follicle,  what the placenta vs. uterus is, and even the various theories of gender swaying and prediction—I became a bit obsessed with reading all about those!

4.  Presents:  Who doesn’t love presents?  I have received maternity clothes, a mani-pedi gift certificate, a homemade blanket, packages in the mail of goodies for our little one, and bags of baby clothes that will be a huge help!  I’m a lover of those fun types of surprises, so they are definitely one of the best parts of being pregnant!

3.  People (including students) are generally nicer:  Maybe I’m imagining it, but students and co-workers seem a lot more friendly.  Even strangers spark up conversations and smile more than usual.  Who can be mean to a pregnant woman I guess?  Friendly people means one happy pregnant momma!

2.  People are more likely to go out of their way to give you what you want…cravings:  Not that I abuse the perk, but I do enjoy being given what I want, when I want it…man I have a penchant for those Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins!  Craig is picking one up on his way home from work as I type this.  Now if I can convince my mom to make her lemon poppy seed bread…hmmm…is she reading?

1. Realizing there is a little life growing inside…beyond amazing:  Taking a moment to really think about the life growing inside, the miracle of it all, how I’m chosen to carry this tiny life, wow…God is great!  Feeling his movements is precious, but most moms know there is that uncomfortable feeling my cousin Brittany describes perfectly when she said, “the worst is when he will literally feel like his foot is coming out of your va-j!”

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On that note…my next post just might be about the struggles of being pregnant.

Share in a comment: What is your top favorite part about being pregnant or having been pregnant?

Crystal

 

 

Update: 22 Weeks Pregnant

My goal was to keep up to date with the pregnancy updates, but again I find myself slacking.  My grandfather experienced a stroke and gave us quite the scare, so we have been spending as much time at the hospital as possible—maybe I will dedicate a blog post all about him because he is one amazing man!  He was moved to hospice, but has been making positive improvements and will be moved soon to begin therapy.

 

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“I felt him kick” (Grandpa in hospice)

 

I am also back to work now that school has started.  I have so many new ideas for my students that I have been spending a lot of time planning creative lessons for them!  Being pregnant while teaching is a first for me, so this semester will be interesting.  Hmmm…I went into labor in school with my eldest daughter…will I go into labor with this little one?  I guess we shall see!

How far along: 22 weeks, 1 day today

Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of corn on the cob, but he sure feels like he’s the size of a watermelon already!

Total weight gain: my last appointment I gained 9lbs which was a huge change from losing weight…Doc was happy!

Maternity clothes:  I am wearing them every day…winter will be here soon though and I do need to decide if I’m buying a maternity coat or not…hmmm….thoughts anyone?

Sleep:  I toss and turn quite a bit because he is quite active mixed with the fact that I can’t sleep on my stomach!  Pillow between the legs is a must too!

Best moment this week:  Grandpa feeling the baby kick…he was so excited!  My boyfriend was also finally able to feel and witness our lil guy practicing his jump shot…he has been incredibly active!

Symptoms:  Heartburn like crazy…I’ve never been one to experience heartburn, but now I can drink water and all of a sudden the burn is on!

Food cravings:  Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins (warmed up, cut in half, with butter)….yummmmmmmmmm!!!!

Food aversions: none

Gender: Boy

Name: None set in stone yet…it is difficult to name a child when you’re a teacher.  We are waiting until after he is born to share the name though.

Labor signs: None, but I swear with all the movement he might break my water soon!

What I miss:  Being able to clip and paint my toenails without contorting myself

What I look forward to:  maternity photos…yes, more of them

Milestones:  today marks my first day starting a full week back to work…I can no longer squeeze between the clusters of desks in class and have to take the long way to reach certain students

Bump:  growing and noticeable, healthy

 

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Happened this week

 

 

Any advice you would like to share?  

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Trusting HIS Timing

My vision for this post was to announce that my divorce is final, but unfortunately that is not the case.  I was sent a letter from Edward Gangarosa who is assigned by the court to review the documents before being sent on to the judge.  He wrote in the letter that I needed to file two more papers and then resubmit them.  That sounds easy—although I was annoyed I figured it doesn’t take that much time and went to pick them up to file them.

When I picked them up there was a blank form, paper-clipped to the form I already completed.  I was confused and asked the employees in the Supreme Court office if they knew what he meant by doing this (as this is not mentioned in this letter), and they were also confused.  I decided to call Gangarosa for clarification to avoid any additional hold up.  Well he said I needed to redo the form because the one I submitted was an old form that has been revised—ok, so why didn’t he say anything months ago?  This paper has been completed since September and he is just now requiring this?  He also seemed incredibly bothered that I am not seeking maintenance in the divorce.  I told him that I’m sure he is used to women wanting every last dime from their ex, but I have everything already—everything I’ve worked for and care about.  I’m no ordinary woman!  I have zero desire for my ex’s retirement and want to just move on with my life.  I was crying out of frustration and told him that I will resubmit this form (which also requires me to send it to the prison to be signed by my ex and notarized), but after this if he continues to pull this I will be writing a formal complaint.  I really don’t like to pull that card, but I have had enough!

I’ve spoke to several people already who have shared similar stories and I will not allow him to abuse his position and prevent me from obtaining this divorce.  I was also informed that I should write a letter to the attorney general, which I am considering.  There is even a complaint online about him that is similar to my experience.

I wouldn’t mind if this was one time, but every time I submit the paperwork he writes me a letter of corrections that need to be made and when everything is fixed he finds something else.  He has even stated that I did not include documents that were clearly there.  Not to mention he is a lawyer, but has many grammatical and spelling errors in his letters.

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The paperwork is sitting here on my table ready to be sent to the prison…God willing this will be the last paper I’m asked to re-submit.

I have been living my life mindful not to be negative and part of me struggles to understand why God is prolonging this—I do know I am where He wants me, and He is working things out even if I can’t see it.

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Crystal