Quiet, Summertime Changes: Currently Series

Currently Series with Authentic Virtue Blog

I am thankful for the seasons life brings us. It’s summertime and the days are passing by as quickly as July’s rainstorms roll in. Our vacation time is over, we’ve settled in our new rental, and the fears of my first trimester and the misdiagnosed miscarriage are beginning to look more like memories instead of terrifying, first-hand experiences.

Life is quieting down and I’m finding new ways to make the most of my given time. I will not be teaching this year which means I’m not scurrying around decorating a classroom or writing lesson plans. The timing of baby’s birth did not combine well with the year’s contract. So, now is a season of letting go and preparing for what’s to come. Change is always difficult for my personality so there were quite a few emotions as I cleaned out my desk and put away lesson plans and curriculum. I’m going to miss the routine of being a part-time teacher and all the benefits that come from being in the student’s lives; I am looking forward to substituting though.

Dalton gently reminded me to focus on baby and all the joy this new season brings. I was a bit embarrassed by that — of course I’m loving baby and all that pregnancy means. But his words also reminded me that change is good and should be embraced. Now isn’t the time to mourn over a part-time job or be sorry over my changing routine and schedule. Now is the time to begin planning, dreaming, and investing in the new life which will forever change ours

I’m so glad I have time to plan for our new family member. His/her bedroom is slowly turning from a guest room/library to a garden and Beatrix Potter themed nursery combined with the guest room. Baby clothes have been folded and set into different categories. Blankets are being washed.

In the kitchen I’m trying new recipes, looking at freezer meal recipes (in preparation for our busy, recovering time), and trying to discover the best ways to accomplish meal prep a head of time. (Since waking up – cheerfully – and making breakfast for my Darling Man is a bit difficult these days.) I think I need to take a second look at my morning routines for being successful. 😉

Our new home is becoming more nest-like and comfortable. I finally have enough energy to weed through closets, the motivation to toss what I no longer need, and the desire to find the best ways to decorate our home. I’m hoping with each change I make it becomes more peaceful and welcoming.

Most importantly, I’m endeavoring to bring more focus on the Lord into my heart and home. Hymns and worship music are filling the air, negative thought patterns are being weeded out, and Scripture themed prayers are becoming more common. We have loved ones who need God’s grace in their lives, relationships which need treasured and protected, and a little one to raise up for the Lord; these are all things which come from God and are accomplished through His good will. They’re also things I can ask for in confidence knowing my Heavenly Father hears my pleas and understands my heart.

AuthenticVirtue.com // Currently Series on homemaking, pregnancy, and the grace poured into every day life

What beautiful things have come your way this week? Are there any changes you’re trying to adjust to? I love your comments and growing together as friends. Let me know what you’re thinking! 🙂

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Bump Update: 16 Weeks

Weekly pregnancy updates at AuthenticVirtue.com

It’s a sweltering July day and, sweet people, I’m sixteen weeks and a few days pregnant.

Baby Update: We’re 16 weeks and with 24 weeks to countdown! 🙂 Isn’t that exciting? Baby is now the size of an avocado. (Awe!)

Fun Fact: Baby Duncan may be able to finally listen to outside sounds! That’s perfect because I’ve 1) been talking to baby since day one and 2) have so many lovely classic pieces, lullabies, hymns, and sound tracks to fill our time and hearts with.

Mood: My mood has been much more relaxed and hopeful than in previous weeks. June was full of sweet busy times with family but it was also exhausting. July has been much more relaxed and helpful in my settling into our new home and establishing a routine which in turn has helped me settle into the reality of becoming a momma.

At 16 weeks moodiness seems to be taking a back seat although, like my friend Angel, I can struggle with strong and unexplained feelings of irritation or anger. My unexplained anger was actually my first prompt for taking a pregnancy test! I’ve also been told that I was abnormally aggressive during my first trimester which is something I hope is calming down.

So, overall, emotions are stabilizing back toward my normal. I still get weepy during sad movies (I cried again while watching Jin and Sun reconnect on Lost and during the last episode of The Office). I’m thankful God has shown some areas I can work on and given me the grace to 1) learn to be gracious again and 2) be gracious with myself and realize my 1st trimester was really stressful, crazy, and hormonal and mood changes are to be expected.

Sleep: Ah, sleep. It’s been interesting learning to sleep with my 16 week belly. Normally, I’m a stomach sleeper so learning to lay on my side has been difficult. I love it when Dalton turns to his side — I literally leech to him using his back like a pregnancy pillow. He graciously lets me do this (most of the time) except for when the house is hot (our thermostat has been chaotic). He hates waking up to me sticking to his back with both of us sweaty! Haha!

Weight Gain: Honestly, this is why I have avoided bump updates (tisk, tisk, Frannie — why are you so vain?!). I had read that few mommies gain weight during their 1st trimester and some even lose weight. At 16 weeks I’ve gained around 5 pounds.

I’ve been on slight bed rest/light rest orders since week 9 and have had two subchorionic hematomas (blood clots) most likely from two separate placenta tears. Plus, Missouri is hot, hot, hot this summer! In other words, my first trimester I took pretty easy. 🙂

When we discovered we were pregnant I began an awesome exercise routine but after spotting began I didn’t want to aggravate any issues. So, I’ve been pretty exercise-free these past months.

Mainly, my weight gain has been in the tummy region (hello, belly) and in the chest region (hello, bra size increase). 😉 Honestly, I’m not too worried about my weight gain because, other than special occasions, we have a healthy diet. I haven’t had one poptart or bowl of sugary cereal even though I’m dying to partake in these cravings!

Cravings: Speaking of, I am craving all things carby and sugary, like the said poptarts and cereal. Donuts, root beer floats, and pumpkin pie are also on the want-list. 😉

Exercise: With my blood clots being absorbed and decreasing in size I am feeling brave enough to begin exercising again. My plan? Stretching, long walks (on cool days), and kegels.

 Sickness: I’ve been enjoying nausea-free days for the last two weeks or so although I have headaches from dawn until dusk. I’ve been focusing on eating more protein (to fight against low blood sugar headaches) and good posture (to fight against tension headaches). Neither seem to be helping so until I discover why I’m getting headaches every day I’ll continue taking an afternoon nap which is the only thing that eases the pain for a few hours.

I am thankful that my sciatic pain is nearly gone. During week 14 and 15 I struggled with a sharp pain any time I lifted or moved my legs. I began some sciatic-specific stretches which eased the pain. Now, at week 16, I haven’t had one sharp twinge which is wonderful!

Best Part of Week 15: Dalton and I had a really great weekend together; God has been so kind in giving me such a hard-working, loving man and I love spending time with him! Also, my mom was able to visit for 2 days which was utter delight — she spoiled me with a homemade bag of puppy chow and we had lots of good time visiting and antiquing.

Looking Forward To: Seeing more family this week as well as an upcoming coffee date with a sweet friend. Also, I’m only a few weeks away from our next ultrasound! (Yay!)

Look at that bump! @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Are you a preggy Mommy? Maybe you’ve already had your little one? Or maybe you’re a single friend who isn’t near the season of having children yet? Either way, what are some things that surprised you about my list or that you experienced yourself? Do you have any ideas of what pregnancy will be like? 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

7 Ways to Make Moving Fun (or less miserable, your pick)

Moving Into a New Rental @ AuthenticVirtue.com

After having just moved I’ve been reminded how crazy, stressful and fun moving can be. Here are seven, tested and tried ways I’ve endeavored to making moving more fun (or less miserable). Enjoy!

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Celebrating Our Baby Again (And Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage)

Misdiagnosed miscarriage and still pregnant and celebrating!

Well, sweet people, imagine you’ve been given the worst news, experienced two weeks of mourning, and then were given the excited proclamation that hope still lived and thrived.

Welcome to my world of being pregnant with baby Duncan and our misdiagnosed miscarriage.

The facts: 

We’re still pregnant! (Isn’t God good?)

Baby Duncan is 10 weeks and 3 days old with a thriving heartbeat, moving arms and legs and as big as a prune (so cute!) That’s him/her in the picture above at 9 weeks. 🙂

I have a subchorionic hematoma which means I have a blood pocket which has caused the spotting and bleeding and much of the heart ache within the last three months.

The miscarriage was misdiagnosed due to my conception dates being wrong. Due to my irregular cycles, Baby was much younger than first thought. This is part of the reason our midwife missed seeing him/her and assumed we had had a miscarriage.

Although low, I am still considered at risk until the blood pocket is absorbed into the body or empties out.

The Story: 

On June 4th I went in for an ultrasound so we could understand how much longer our miscarriage would take. At this time we had been in the waiting period for two weeks.

Dalton wasn’t able to attend this appointment so I drove to the midwife’s alone, talking out loud, asking the Lord for His will to be done. I’m a very whimsical, imaginative person so hope is very easy for me to cling to; because I know I tend to wear rose colored glasses I spent most of the two weeks preparing myself to be practical, that I was, in fact, going to lose this baby.

But hope is a beautiful thing and deep in the corner of my heart I still asked God to be merciful and let the diagnosis be wrong.

I hopped on the big bed as the midwife jellied my belly and began looking for signs of our miscarriage’s progression. We were both silent, she as she checked and double checked (and checked again!) her screen and I as I looked at what appeared to be a baby where no baby had been before.

I nearly panicked when she remained silent for so long thinking something was amiss or wrong when she spoke words I still love to repeat:

Well, Frannie, there appears to be a baby in there! 

Of course, you can imagine the mass confusion, hysteria and nervous questions which came flowing.

Undeniably, there was an 8 week old baby with a steady heartbeat.

Since that moment, God has filled me with beautiful, amazing hope and praise.

I’ve since been referred to a specialist in Columbia, Missouri. I went in for an ultrasound with him at 9 weeks and he confirmed that baby appeared to be fabulous. The heart beat is high (170 per minute) and growth is perfect for our new due date, January 9th, one day after my birthday.

You can imagine the amazing, emotional roller-coaster life has been. I’m incredibly in awe, shock and wonder. I’m still going to have this baby. Dalton is still going to be a Daddy. God has still given us a little one, that for now, looks like we’re going to keep.

The Fears: 

Of course, fear is never far around the corner. Just last night we spent several hours in the ER due to sudden bleeding. But when the kind ER doctor turned off the lights and began the ultrasound she encouraged us with the words, “Baby’s heartbeat still looks great.” She believes I experienced bleeding because the blood pocket was emptying. Because baby looked so great and I’ve experienced no major cramps she felt she could encourage our hearts and say that all is well.

I’m also afraid of sharing news when I’ve already been wrong. I’m afraid of making mistakes and the thought of announcing our pregnancy, announcing a miscarriage, and now re-announcing our pregnancy freaks me out. I want the whole world to celebrate Baby Duncan (because all life is worth celebrating!) but I’m afraid I’ll have to make another major announcement and that scares me.

Finally, I’m scared of truly having a miscarriage. I’ve already “lost” this baby once; I’m afraid my heart couldn’t take it again.

The Truths:

Despite all my fears the truth is very simple: we have a healthy, growing, heart-beating baby who has surprised us all.

I’m experiencing all the normal pregnancy related symptoms like nausea, bloating, food cravings and aversions, growth cramps, and fatigue. (Whoo-hoo for being sick even though I don’t always feel that way) 😉

The only worry is my blood pocket which many women experience and still have healthy babies

I don’t know why we went through this. I don’t blame our midwife; I believe I am her first miscarriage misdiagnoses after 20 plus years of experience and successful checkups and deliveries. Her equipment isn’t the top of the line tech you’d find in a specialist’s office but I know there are women who have had miscarriages misdiagnosed by even those expensive pieces.

Right Now:

So, here we are, celebrating our baby’s life. I am so thankful that God saw it fit to let baby be well despite all the worry, fear, and misdiagnoses. I praise Him for being good to us, carrying us through a very stressful time. I’m also grateful for all the amazing friends and family who have been quick to celebrate, then support, and now celebrate again.

Currently, I’ve been ordered to a less active life. But according to Dalton that means almost complete bed rest. 😉 He’s been such a darling, sweet, caring husband. He means to do all the laundry, dish washing and other chores I typically care for until the bleeding subsides and we’re assured the blood pocket can cause no more alarm.

We are so blessed; mainly because through all this crazy upset God has carried us both through magnificently. Even though our experience has been so hard God has walked us through and blessed us with growing love for each other and His goodness and Person.

So, that’s it. Welcome back into the limelight Baby Duncan. We think you’re pretty amazing.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Current Life

Today's goal: to be an abiding woman not a doing woman. #authenticvirtueblog

A post shared by Frannie Duncan (@authenticvirtue) on

 

Hello, sweet people.

Today’s life goal? Eating enough and keeping my overwhelmed heart at bay.

It’s been a crazy, beauty-filled week with our out-of-town trip to see family and now news that the lovely rental we’re crazy about is ours and ready for a June 1st lease. Top that off with my body still in the miscarriage process and you’ve got the perfect mixture for my sitting around all day craving junk food, good books and a lack of packing.

It’s okay though. As much as I want to be super woman, I’m not; this season of life is pointing out that fact quite clearly.

I do want to take the time to say thank you to all you amazing people who reached out to us and sent your words of love and guaranteed prayers. We’re doing really well. Of course, sad days come and go but God is still good and we’re resting in Him during this days together.

Which reminds me of something … Dalton. He’s simply the best. It really doesn’t matter how sad, grumpy or hormonal I am — he proves himself to be in love with me, and more importantly, in love with God. His care is absolutely perfect and I couldn’t imagine living life with any other man.

(When you’re man hunting look for someone who will be able to hear your heart and help you bear hard days. Look for someone who chooses to understand your hurt all while finding ways to make you smile. These men aren’t perfect so don’t look for that … just look for someone who is truly, fully in love with God. )

So, life is busy right now. I’ve so many exciting plans for our new (bigger!) rental. It has a fireplace, an adorable 1950’s yellow kitchen (with an oven insert and island), and many built-ins. My favorite part? A large porch partially hidden by bushes. I expect many good, coffee-filled mornings spent in that place of refuge.

We have family coming this Sunday to help load our U-Haul and unload at our new home 5 miles across town. The first time we moved we did it in 5 days and completely on our own (we liked the challenge). But help sounds perfect this time around and I’m looking forward creating a home from our new rental.

I may a be a bit quiet over the coming weeks but know that I am so thankful for you. I’ll have a lot of fun sharing pictures of our new home, a post on my morning routine, and more words on the gains and losses this miscarriage has brought. There’s a lot of good in pain and God always leads us through loss in love.

Hope to be writing soon!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie