Category Archives: Baby Wastell: L1

L1: Week 31.5 update

One day you’re wearing Old Navy & Gap tall sizes just fine, feeling all cute and pregnant.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.31 PMAbove: Week 25

And then one day you can’t button any of your winter coats, you’re buying Tums for the first time in your life ever, you’re waking up multiple times a week with muscle cramps in your legs and feet and seriously child, would you please MOVE off my bladder.

I have to pee ALL the time.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.21 PMAbove: Week 28

Trimester the Third, we are not really friends.

I can still tie my own shoes, but just barely. Bending over and reaching the floor is an issue, but actually getting up is the bigger problem.

My belly button, once a loyal member of Team Innie, is barely hanging on to its insider status.  I’ll spare you a photo, but it looks totally different than it used to, and the skin is all soft and squishy and tender to the touch. It’s like all the little wrinkles are unfolding and that skin has never seen the light of day before.  So weird.

I have to pee ALL THE TIME.

Despite regular visits to the chiropractor and a OB-prescribed back brace, my SI joint pain has not improved, and it has been 20 weeks since I have been able to comfortably roll over in bed. The simple act of getting out of bed or up from a couch is often tear-inducing and requires help.  Honestly? It’s really tough emotionally.  I cry a lot.  My back issues have definitely been the worst part of being pregnant. I would NOT be a good candidate for long-term chronic pain.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.29.49 PMAbove: Week 29

The baby is about 17 inches long and weighs 3.5 pounds.  I’ve gained 23.5 so far, so despite occasionally feeling like a whale, we’re both right on track.

Most people think of in-utero babies being in the fetal position. I’m convinced mine spends much of its day doing jumping jacks, making snow angels, kickboxing my internal organs, practicing tae bo and doing other calisthenics and cardio. At least that makes one of us.

My uterus is now larger than a soccer ball, in case you aren’t terrified of pregnancy yet.  Good lands.  Bodies are insane and amazing and whoa.  However, my blood pressure is AWESOME, and I have not developed gestational diabetes, for which I am very thankful.

I have to pee ALL the time.

The baby gets hiccups several times a day.  I can feel the rhythmic “hic, hic, hic” clear as day.

And I’m tired.  Not really sleepy, but I feel like I just worked out most of the day, except all I did was carry a laundry basket up the stairs.  The struggle is real, kids.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.08 PMAbove: Week 31

“What’s my birth plan?” you ask.  Make it out alive, all 3 of us.  Really.  That’s the whole thing.  We haven’t taken our birthing class yet, obviously.

Also, we don’t yet have a car seat that fits my car, any diapers, or a name.  But, we do have amazing friends throwing showers for us, an almost-mama who is in full-on nesting mode, an almost-daddy who likes to sing silly love songs about the baby and the belly, and we’ve still got 8-10 weeks before the baby’s due date.  We can do this.

You might need to remind me of that at least twice a day between now and then.

We’re going to be a three-family, and I have to pee ALL the time.

One Word 365: Help


Actually, I can’t host Christmas this year.

I can barely get up off the floor by myself.

And I don’t actually know what in the world to do with a newborn, really.

Yes, staying in therapy is the best thing for me.

2015 will be another year of change and uncertainty. We’ll need our community to show up in strong and tangible ways.

What do I have to give?

I believe, help my unbelief.


Learn more at One Word 365.

Dear Mary,

We’re driving a lot of miles this Christmas, and you’ve been on my mind today.

Mary, did you know? 

Did anyone tell you? Did you know about the peeing when you sneeze?  Or laugh? Or hit a bump on the road too hard? No one told me.

God, that donkey ride must have been uncomfortable.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people. 

Did you know that soon you wouldn’t recognize your body anymore? That your skin would be stretched tight under your used-to-be-flowing robes? That your very patience would be stretched thin? That your joints would loosen as hormones and tears flowed?

How high was your blood pressure? Was your anxiety skyrocketing? You had to raise the very SON OF GOD. No big deal.  Behind the blue headdress and sweet flannel graph smile we’ve pasted on you, were you freaking out?  How the old biddies must have loved to give you advice. Glory.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace among all men.

What did you think when you heard his name? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus. Had you always wanted to name your son Peter or Matthew?  

And Mary, can we talk about the hunger and the cravings? Did you wake in the night, your body needing something that you didn’t possibly have on your store shelves? You didn’t even know about Jello and Joseph wasn’t there with you – bless Elizabeth for tending to your pregnant self.  Is that why you wrote that line in your song?

He has filled the hungry with good things.

How did you do it? I’m freaking out about giving birth in a hospital filled with white sheets and technology and nurses and maybe a blessed epidural. No one can mommy-shame you for not having a natural birth. Take that, internet. But how did you do it? The little porcelain nativity set on our mantle is so clean. No hay, no mud, no blood and life pouring from you.

I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.

And you lost a son, too, didn’t you?  My heart grieves this Christmas for mamas whose arms are empty, whose arms are missing one of their own. Did you know it would come to that for you? Could you even have imagined how the prophecies would play out?

Who were you when you weren’t preparing to be mama to the prince of peace? Some call you virgin, some call you holy mother. Some call you queen of heaven and saint.

This Christmas, dear Mary, I call you friend.

What I’m Into / November 2014


There is no better way to kick off the holidays than with a Red Cup on November 1.


Despite my pregnancy-induced caffeine restrictions (not total elimination, hallelujah!), I got to cross off a Dad-Daughter Bucket List item in experiencing pour-over coffee together.  We’re so fancy, I know.  It was darn good coffee.


My beloved autumn colors stuck around for a few days before cold fell hard and unwelcome.  Omaha had a few weeks of January weather in November and trust, I am NOT into that.

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Team Wastell celebrated our 3rd anniversary on November 4 – voting day.  Or, our votaversary, as we celebrated this year.  I claimed words of gratitude, community and grace for our lives.  (Anniversary #2 and Anniversary #1)


I found a picture of my sister at 22 weeks, and was so excited to wear a nearly-matching tank top when I hit 22 weeks so I could take matchy-matchy sister belly pictures.  So fun!!

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My mom graciously agreed to make a baby quilt for L1, so we picked out gender-neutral colors for the blanket.  The back will be light grey with dark grey polka dots.  Soft things are my favorite.


We celebrated Thanksgiving in Kansas with my parents, in what was a much needed few days of relaxation and someone-else-cooking.  Bless.  We’re excited to see some of Chad’s family later this week and even more later in the month.

What I’m reading & what I’m watching
I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy brain or just being busy, but I went from my past average of reading 4-5 books a month to finishing none in November.  Zero! I don’t remember the last time I read zero books.  I even hosted book club (and chose the book) and didn’t manage to finish the darn thing.  I’m still caught up with Grey’s and Nashville, and we’re waiting for a quiet evening to catch up on Scandal. We saw Interstellar in the theater after good reviews from several Facebook friends, and were terribly disappointed.  I generally feel pretty easy to please when it comes to movies, but I didn’t really enjoy Interstellar at all.  Can I have my $12 back?

Little things I’m loving
Sans photos: Mandarins, every scarf ever, Christmas music played too early, friends showing up, caramel brulee lattes, new lip gloss, board games, and the end of November.  It was a long month.  The beginning of Advent is upon us – rend the heavens and come down.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.


L1: Week 21.5 update

Week 17Pictured above: weeks 16-18ish

10 things about being 21.5 weeks pregnant.
Some more fun & games than others; in no particular order.

1.  Stretchy pants forever, baby!  I’m notably judgy of Leggings as Pants, and for the general population, I maintain my case.  But you guys, maternity jeans are just the worst.  Those high-top waistbands make my belly itch and what are jeans even without pockets?!  I’ve been living in Kohl’s non-maternity Vera Wang Legging Pants and some really awesome discontinued Target maternity leggings that a generous friend let me borrow.

2.  Pregnancy hormones are no joke.  I got take-out pancakes from IHOP for lunch one day and they forgot my butter.  I cried in the office lunch room for a good 10 minutes.  Just could not get a grip.  That seems to be leveled out a bit, but wow, I felt unbalanced and off my rocker there for a while.  In other news, I really love my therapist.

3.  Snacks. No shame.  Baby Wastell looooves the baked goods.  I’ve never baked this much in my life.  I’ve got muffins in my oven for days.  I don’t have any other specific cravings that have stuck, but the day that Chad took the GMAT I could not get enough to eat, and since then, my appetite has definitely been increased.  I’ve gained about 13 pounds so far – right on track.  Found out this morning that 15 oz of that is the baby’s weight.  The rest is snacks.

20 weeks bump
Pictured above: week 20

4.  Back pain.  Since almost the day my nausea went away at week 10, I’ve had pretty bad pelvic/sacrum pain.  I’ve bounced around to a few different chiropractors and finally found one that I like and who is also in network. After not being able to comfortably roll over in bed for weeks on end, hope is on the horizon. Hallelujah.

5.  I get to pre-board on all our Southwest flights, thanks to my “temporary disability.”  And, I get to bring my Companion husband along with me.  I’m not sure how I feel about this in light of people with actual non-temporary disabilities, but the rule is the rule, and I’ll take it.

6.  Insurance & medical billing. Oh my goodness, YUCK.  We have high deductible insurance, so we thought we might try to pay cash for this thing, and wow was that process ever a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma stuck in a web of swear words.  So, using our insurance in the traditional manner, it is.

7.  Peeing when sneezing is a real thing.  It is terribly unglamorous and made me laugh and cry all at the same time.  What else are you people not telling me?!

8.  Ultrasounds are amazing.  The still 3D photos are really creepy IMO, but the technology is so amazing. I love seeing L1 move around.  This morning, baby was yawning and stretching (I hear you, kiddo), and we saw its pinky finger wrapped around its big toe.  So cute.  I feel it move occasionally, but not nearly as much as the ultrasounds revealed. Active little thing.  Here’s its profile this morning, and its foot and forehead last week.  So flexible!

11-11-14 BABY W_5
So much of baby-expecting feels overwhelming, but I LOVE imaging what it might look like.
This morning we saw a 3D rendering of baby’s lips that look an awful lot like mine.  🙂  🙂  🙂

9.  Being pregnant is just totally weird.  My body is growing this whole other life inside of me.  That is just so weird and so…beyond words.  As a woman, my body was created to do this, and it happened to me on accident, and yet there’s so many women who would give their right arm to be pregnant, and there’s nothing they can do to make it happen.  I feel a deep, joyful connection to the global tribe of women over history who have borne children, and a simultaneous deep hurt for my friends struggling with infertility or other circumstances that keep them from being pregnant.

10.  My husband is incredible.  Seriously.  Chad is so patient with my hormone-induced tear fests, assures me that I’m beautiful, enthusiastically eats the things I bake, is gracious when I ask him to carry things for me, stops for decaf Starbucks without complaint, lets me sleep (almost) as much as I want to, keeps me laughing, and reminds me that he loves me daily.  In the game of marriage where we don’t keep score, he wins all the points every day.

Claiming words

il_570xN.510319143_gulu (image credit)

This little one who has claimed residence inside me has made me want to clean and organize and purge all the things.  A strange new addition to my body, a strange new addition to our family – what old can I get rid of?  How do we make room?  How do we do this?  I lean against you and you lean against me and we are held together.

I was cleaning out my Google Drive because why not, and found these words prayed over us that day as we said our vows.

Gratitude for the love that has brought these two together. Commitment of ourselves to love, support and celebrate their lives. Grace and favor of God on their lives.

Isn’t that perfect, what Tim claimed for us 3 years ago? And today, in these thin places, these tight spaces, in this season that feels so unknown so often, they’re ours still.  I claim these words for the times when my tears and words fall harsh, when my wifing isn’t done well, when things just. feel hard.

I claim gratitude – for you, for your strong and steady hands, for the ways that you love me big and small, for your hard work and big dreams and how you make me laugh.

I claim commitment – to those who love us and hold us up, to those who stood witness to our vows, to those who witness our every day, to our community far and wide, to our own 2-almost-3 family.

I claim grace – I claim redemption, I claim all things new, I claim abundance, I claim beauty, I claim you & me, I claim faith and life and grace.

I love you.  I still do.

What I’m Into / September 2014

What I’m not into? August, evidently, as I completely missed last month’s linkup.  August, you were filled with first trimester nausea and naps and not wanting to do a darn thing other than lay around.  I did go to a conference in Austin with my best friend from high school, and got to meet two internet friends in real life over brunch, which I am definitely into.


There’s nothing I love more than a big, blue sky.  I’m such a flatlander.  Any more trees than this and I feel claustrophobic.  Give me space, give me room.  There’s enough for all of us.

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My sister and her littles came to visit our hometown, and it was the most delightful time of laughter and memories and eating Mom’s familiar food (three cheers for dinner that someone else made, amiright?!) and sistering.  It was just the best.

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Husker football is in full swing and I rocked Go Big Red lipstick just because.

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Before we announced my pregnancy, Chad and I had family photos taken in our home.  I did contact the photographer about scheduling a shoot before I was even pregnant, but we didn’t actually get it scheduled until I was a few months along.  We have loved this season of life – being a 2-family, living in Omaha, living in our house especially, and I’m so glad we decided to celebrate that.

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We visited our dear Hutterite friends in Manitoba and enjoyed absolutely gorgeous weather.  Canada is not always quite so kind to us, but WOW, I love autumn.

15.5 bump

On the baby front, I’m 16 weeks now and starting to show a bit of a bump. This week I’m wearing all my favorite shirts one last time before they don’t fit anymore.  I reorganized my closet with some new maternity shirts in rainbow fashion of course, and realized I don’t own any yellow.  No Y in my Roy G Biv, sorry.  My 14 week pregnancy update is here, if you’re so inclined.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included Anna and the French Kiss, The Expats and The Accident.  I also managed to read a bazillion books in August, which you can find here.

What I’m watching
Fall TV is back! Fall TV is back!  I’m back with Grey’s and Scandal, plus I’m giving Madame Secretary and How to Get Away with Murder a chance for a few more weeks.  Selfie and A-to-Z will be guilty pleasure laundry-folding accompaniments until they get cancelled, I’m afraid.

Around the web
I’ve been working hard not to get sucked into the inevitable swarm of mommy-guilt-inducing world of blogs and articles about cloth diapering, organic baby food making, no-chemical cleaning, whatevering.

Instead, I’ve been reading recipes for salted-caramel-popcorn-chocolate-chip cookies, because growing a baby is hard work, y’all and mama wants cookies.  Also, soup.  I love autumn.

Little things I’m loving, sans photos
Girls night. Our new neighbor. Saturday wandering the outlet mall with a good friend.  Chili & Cinnamon rolls.  Happy Hour with the bestie. Pants with elastic.  Hallelujah.

Adventures in Piggery
Gro Master moved into its new offices, so it’s been packing and unpacking and reorganizing and ugh I don’t like moving. The end.Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 3.34.11 PM


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

L1: Week 14 Update

Finding out
I had really wanted the first words out of my mouth when I saw a positive pregnancy test to not be “Oh, sh!it,” but there it was.  I walked out of the bathroom and tossed the stick on the bed in Chad’s direction, then promptly buried my head under a pillow.  Two teeny stripes on the teeny tiny plastic stick, barely bigger than a match.

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I half wanted it to be right and half wanted it to be wrong.  This was SO not planned.  But ugh, even the idea of trying to get pregnant just seemed to suck all the fun out of sex.  We had talked about maybe this fall.  Mid-July wasn’t so far off; it would be okay.  But this was SO not planned.  So I peed on another stick.  That second line was fainter than the first test had been.  But really, those pregnancy tests cost about $.17 each, part of a multi-pack of ovulation strips and preg tests that I bought on Amazon.  So I found another pregnancy test in the linen closet – trusty Walgreens brand – and peed on that one.  The test was quite possibly expired.  But it was definitely positive.  We laughed in disbelief and cried happy tears and stared at each other in stunned, crazy silence and finally fell asleep somehow.  The next morning, I peed on another stick.  Just to be sure.  We’re having L1.  The first Little to join our family.

My niece Dalya drew a picture and it’s pretty much the best ever

How I’ve been feeling
I never threw up during my first trimester.  I know; I’m lucky for that.  I did, however, feel kind of hungover all day every day for the first 10 weeks.  Dull headaches, that gross sour stomach feeling, craving breakfast burritos, don’t talk to me in the morning, do not touch me, I just want to take a nap, do I really have to get out of bed?  It was exhausting.

And the girls hurt.  That was actually the first symptom I noticed, right away.  My breasts feel A) uncomfortably huge, and B) badly bruised.  Super fun.

I’ve also had some pretty unfortunate lower back and hip pain.  I’m doing pilates and other stretching and going to a chiropractor and not sleeping super well very often, to be honest.  That’s probably my least favorite part about being pregnant so far.


We found out right at 4 weeks, and I didn’t have my first appointment until almost 9 weeks.  Those 5 weeks were long.  I felt sick, but I didn’t feel pregnant. The sonogram helped make it a little more real.  We heard the heartbeat at my 12.5 week appointment – loud and strong at 167 bpm.  Everything looks good so far and we really love our OB.  We don’t love that she’s at Lakeside.  West Omaha, womp womp.

At the 10 week mark, the nausea went away almost completely.  As long as I don’t let myself get too hungry, my stomach feels pretty pre-pregnancy normal. Now at 14 weeks, I’m still exhausted and touch-sensitive and exhausted and my back and hips still hurt and I’m still exhausted.  I would definitely like to take a nap. But all in all, pretty good.

What I’ve been eating / not eating
During the first few weeks, I was on a pretty steady diet of animal crackers and corn chex.  Then for a while, popsicles and grape kool-aid were the only things that tasted good.  I could (and did) eat other food, it just didn’t taste very good.  I’m still not loving to eat meat that I cook myself.  For the past several weeks, homemade Chex mix is hands down what tastes best.  I really miss hard cider, but Chad found some non-alcoholic cider at Target that hits the spot.  With the exception of one unfortunate incident involving an entire can of Pringles and a lot of regret (omg don’t do that), there haven’t been any ridiculous food issues so far.  I totally reserve the right for that to change in the future.

How I’m really feeling
I continue to be simultaneously super excited about having a Little, and also super overwhelmed by the timing – Chad is applying for business school for Fall 2015, and admissions decisions are announced the week after L1 is due.  We’re slowly marching towards the edge of a Big Life Changes cliff, and we know that we have no idea what waits beyond.  We’re in this together and I can’t say enough about how supportive and patient and gracious Chad has been – SO VERY, but it is a lot right now.

Also? No one told me that I’d feel fat before I felt pregnant.  I gained right at 5 pounds during the first trimester, which is totally okay, but WOW it’s uncomfortable to feel too big for my clothes.  Shirts that fit normally very quickly didn’t. Thanks, girls.  The old hair-tie in the zipper trick saved me from buying new jeans for the first couple of months, but it didn’t feel good or look normal (to me).  I switched to elastic waist jeggings and maternity pants this week and got a new maxi-skirt and I’m never going back.  BLISS.  Buttons and zippers are for the birds.


No significant bump yet, just big boobs and a few too many snacks.  And my big weird claw hand. Maybe I’ll have Chad start taking these pictures for me.

The best moments
Telling my sister was pretty awesome.  She may have screamed.  Posting it on Facebook & Twitter finally was amazing.  It was like engagement night all over; watching the joy and celebration roll in like ocean waves was tearful and overwhelming in the best way.  Online excitement is real excitement and online friends are real friends, yo.

I took a 5th pregnancy that 3rd morning, just to make sure it stuck.  Yep.  I’m having a baby.  Little #1 is coming – due March 19.  Our 2-family is becoming a 3-family.  We’ll never be the same.