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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 34), Fostering, Quarantining, & Kathrynne is home!


34 weeks! And what a week it’s been! Kathrynne getting stuck in Suriname because they closed the borders (gratefully, her group got on a special flight this past Monday —  see below), spending hours at the NICU taking care of the preemie we’re fostering, everything else in our life getting cancelled… it’s felt like a pretty unprecedented week!

Highlights

Pregnancy-wise, I’m doing well. I feel like baby had a growth spurt this week and I’ve popped even more. Very few clothes still fit and I feel pretty big, but I’m not at the totally miserable stage yet, so I’m grateful.

Getting comfortable while sitting and sleeping is becoming more of a challenge, but that’s to be expected when you’re in your final weeks of pregnancy! 😉

Notable

I’m thankful to not be experiencing much swelling yet. My face is definitely a lot puffier, but other than that, so long as I keep my feet up for part of the day, I’m usually good.

We’re hopefully bringing our NICU baby home soon, so I’ve spent some time this week making sure everything is in order for both babies — baby clothes are washed, diapers are stocked, a second bed is ordered, etc.

I also sat down and mapped out the bones of a feeding/sleeping/life routine today — since our little preemie is on an every three-hour feeding schedule and will most likely continue that once released from the hospital. We’re getting excited to think of being a family of 7 soon — but also trying to savor our last few days of being a family of just 5.

Cravings

I’m mostly only hungry in the mornings now. I’m usually famished for the first few hours of the day and then I’m not that hungry after lunch. I’m eating lots of apples/peanut butter and Raisin Bran/milk.

Oh and we found that vanilla ice cream before bed helps me to sleep better and not wake up with heartburn as often. I have no idea why, but hey, if it works, it works! 🤣I’m also eating dates every day and drinking red raspberry leaf tea to help prepare for labor.

Weight gain: 27 pounds

She’s home!!! After being gone for 11 days, getting stuck in Suriname due to the country completing closing their borders, and being told she might not be able to come home for 30 days… we got to witness God move some pretty huge mountains in a very short amount of time. (The government arranged a special flight out of Suriname for them and a handful of others who were trying to get back to the US!)

A huge thank you to the many who prayed, the school administration who worked tirelessly to get them home, & the government officials who bent over backwards to make this happen.

Also, we are so proud of this girl! She handled the whole thing like a champ and told me she decided to focus on the positive in it instead of dwelling on the what if’s or unknowns.

She came back stronger, more resilient, more independent (in a good way), more aware of the goodness and provision of God, and so incredibly humbled by how many hundreds (thousands?) of people were praying for her and their team to make it home safely.

Thank you all to the many, many, many of you who wrote, texted, and messaged to tell me you were praying. It has truly been a humbling experience to be the recipient of so much love and kindness this past week… especially when SO much else is going on in the world. We are blown away how deeply you care about our family.

And now we’re hunkered down at home for the next few weeks trying to stay as healthy as possible and keep our home as germ-free as possible since we’ll likely be welcoming a medically fragile babe into our home very, very soon.

(Interested in seeing the creative things my kids are finding to do each day while home 24/7 or want to follow along with our foster care journey? Be sure to follow my stories on Instagram. I usually post there multiple times per day every week day!)

Speaking of Instagram, I posted this earlier this week and thought this might encourage someone today:

This is what the last 8 days of my life have looked like. Sitting in the rocker in the NICU rocking this tiny preemie we’re fostering and praying. (Note: The mask is just one of the many precautions the nurses are having me take to keep me and baby as healthy as possible.)

I’m usually a go-getter, a very driven person, who will have 15 balls in the air I’m juggling at any given time. My brain isn’t good at slowing down and I typically find living life at 100 miles an hour (with short pit stops here and there) to be exhilarating and fulfilling.

But right now, this is my season to rock, hold, comfort, and speak words of life to this precious baby. And that is enough.

I look down at this bundle I’m holding and realize, this sweet child doesn’t know anything about the chaos or fear going on in the world. Baby just wants to eat, sleep, and be held. And as long as I’m holding this child, they are almost always completely relaxed in my arms, resting deeply and peacefully.

As I sit here, I think of so many of you who are struggling today. Some of you have written in and told me how you are facing scary unknowns, big financial setbacks, possible job loss, fear of the future, worry over immunocompromised loved ones, separation from those you love, and so much more. This virus is personally affecting each of us in big ways.

I just want to remind you — as I am reminding myself — to crawl up into Jesus’ lap and let Him hold you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. And He will give you what you need for today.

There are a lot of unknowns in my future right now — as I am positive there are in yours. If I let myself start dwelling on them, I can begin to feel scared and stressed. But God hasn’t given me grace for tomorrow or next month. He is giving me grace for today and I can rest in that.

And so, I sit here and rock — trusting Jesus that He has my future, my NICU baby’s future (and all the possible medical issues and things with that far outside my control!) my 34-week in utero baby’s future, my other 3 kids’ futures, my husband’s future, the future of our business, my extended family’s future… in His hands.

I rest in that and rock on. ❤️

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30 Comments

  • Emily says:

    So happy to see your daughter is home! What a wonderful God we serve!

  • Joely says:

    Your faith and serenity are very comforting in our rapidly changing, tumultuous world. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Laura says:

    Love the pics and positivity you display. How much of a preemie is the foster baby? Just wondering how close in age the 2 babies will be.

  • Heather says:

    My father in law eats a bowl of vanilla ice cream or frosted shredded wheat with milk every night for heartburn. So glad Kathrynne is home! Praise the Lord!

  • September says:

    We had a long term NICU baby….that three hour schedule is a gift and stick with it! In some ways bringing home that infant was easier than my full term babies because of the schedule. One weird side effect from NICU, though, was that he couldn’t sleep with total silence or total dark, because he’d only know. A place with nonstop beeps and footsteps and always some level of light. Good luck—you can do this!

    • Lauren says:

      So glad to read all this wonderful news! I saw your Instagram post picked up by People magazine online a day or two ago. I just saw your picture along a headline on their site and thought “hey, I recognize her!” (even with the face mask) and it was, indeed, YOU and your precious foster baby! What an amazing testimony of God at work in your life and this brand new creation of His too, at this very uncertain time for all of us!

    • That was so encouraging to hear — thank you!

  • Patti says:

    Look forward to your updates each week! So happy you are all doing well!!! Stay healthy and thoughts and prayers for you and your family as you welcome two new lives into the world.

  • Denise says:

    So glad your daughter is home. God tells us many times in the Bible to not fear and now we need to hold onto His promises. I know that the things we go through are meant to equip and strengthen us. May God bless you and your family.

  • Holly says:

    I can’t help but think back to not that long ago when you shared about how God had closed the door on your fertility treatment (or when y’all were looking into it) and you said that you were hoping for twins. And now here you will find yourself with 2 babies at once, not exactly twins but pretty close. God is so good and His plans are always perfect!

    • I don’t recall ever saying I was hoping for twins — I don’t think my torso would be big enough to hold two babies at once! 🙂 — but we had definitely hoped for two more babies when we went in and did all of the fertility testing! Just one year ago, I did a video sharing about how the door to more babies had been completely shut for us and how we had grieved and moved on. Little did I dream what God had in store for the future!

  • Kim says:

    I am so happy to hear that your daughter is home!! Praise the a Lord for how He worked out the details for her to come home.
    I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you. I have been following you for 12 years now, and you have encouraged me in so many ways over the years! From what I know about you we have a lot in common, and I resonate with so many things that you transparently share. Because of that, you have challenged me to grow in many different areas of my life! Thank you!

  • JJ says:

    Your daughter’s testimony is so encouraging!!! Thank you for posting that she’s home!!! She has a great advantage to have had such a faith-building circumstance so early in life, and the Lord is so gracious.

    • Yes! She’s had quite a few pretty significant faith-building experiences in her lifetime so far. It’s been so cool to witness and it has definitely grown her faith!

  • Mylynda Smith says:

    I love this post. I have been so busy in the last few weeks that I have only had time to scan through @moneysavingmom.com and promised myself to go back and read posts later. I am so glad to hear that you guys are doing great. You are an inspiration to so many. You and Jesus just keep on rocking!

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement!

    • Janet says:

      This baby is so blessed to have you as a mom as well as your loving family. Admire your courage and trust in Jesus despite all that is happening around the world. Im from Malaysia and currently there is a lockdown here. We are staying indoors with so much gloomy news and insecurity. But your courage and faith is truly an inspiration to me. Im a longtime follower of yours…almost 15 years i think! And you never failed to inspire me. Stay safe! You’ll be in my prayers. God bless you, your family and the little angels that will be brought to your home soon 🙂

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