Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weeks 17-20

I have absolutely loved the last month of pregnancy. While I know my first trimester could have been much worse (I'm grateful that I had very few symptoms other than insomnia and a general "bleh" feeling much of the time), I totally feel more normal now. More energy (much needed now that school has started) and I'm really trying to rock the pregnancy belly which is way more apparent!

Dad and daughters
[16 weeks] This was an amazing weekend we got to spend in Des Moines going to the Iowa State Fair, I got to hang out with Liz and Carla and their boys one morning, we got to celebrate Dan and Rebecca's wedding once more, and we said "bon voyage" to my sister as she headed off to Brussels for the next 9 months. Here's my dad and his two daughters in my parents' fabulous back yard.

17 weeks
Around week 16 I was starting to feel some movement, and it definitely became more prominent as I noticed it more and more-but still not every day or on a regular basis. This picture is after the big dinner our campus hosts for all faculty and staff at the end of Opening Week-the start of the new school year! Thanks to Carla for letting me borrow this dress, along with many of the clothes you will see on me-mixed in with some of Liz's maternity wardrobe as well :)

18 weeks
This was a fun week. Jon felt a baby kick/punch/fist bump (who knows what's actually going on in there?) for the first time-and it's still the first one he's ever felt. Every time I feel action and tell him to put his hand on my belly, all movements cease :) We also got to celebrate Evan's 1st birthday and spend some good time with friends at his party! This picture was taken at the Sunken Gardens in Lincoln-a beautiful, free, outdoor garden that is just breathtaking! Another thing we love about living in Lincoln.

19 Weeks
Sorry about the creepy close up (blame the photographer I guess...just kidding! Love you Jon!). Also, I'm obviously tired-Wednesdays are LONG days for me. Nothing in particular sticks out about this week-just getting into the swing of things with fall schedules.

20 weeks
20 weeks! I can't believe we're halfway there (I know, everyone says this...) but seriously! It seems like so long ago we found out that we're pregnant, but at the same time I feel like I've just blinked and the weeks flew by. This was a hard week in our lives-as you can probably tell by the even MORE tired look on my face. This picture was taken at the end of a long day-I led a memorial service on campus for a student who died in a car accident two weeks prior. We also found out this week that a college friend's dad had passed away, a good clergy friend's dad had fallen off a roof and was in a medical coma with brain bleeding and many fractures, and a dear family friend from home lost a battle with cancer.
But it was also a momentous week in our pregnancy-the reminder of life in the midst of death and suffering was so overwhelming as I was able to see my belly move with baby kicks (Jon, of course, still hasn't seen it yet...same situation as when he tries to feel the kicks!). While my heart has been so heavy for friends and family suffering this week, to have the ability to look down and see and feel the life growing inside me is such a poignant reminder of what a gift life is, and how grateful I am to be experiencing this part of the circle of life right now. More on that later...

We have a very exciting week ahead-our 20 week appointment is tomorrow, and while the sex of our baby will be revealed, it won't be revealed to us! Our friend Carla is baking a cake for a reveal party at my parent's house on Friday, so we have to wait ALL WEEK to find out what we're having when we cut into the cake! Place your bets now-boy or girl?? Jon and I both think girl-though I've been thinking boy a lot more lately, too! So stay tuned...a post about the party will be posted soon :)

Love, love, love to you all!


  1. So glad you posted more pictures! Mega-Bee had a growth spurt between 18 and 19! Can't wait to hear how the reveal party goes!!!

  2. Mara, you look amazing!!!! I'm so glad you have felt great lately. My friend calls this "the rockstar trimester." =)
    Your reflection on life in the midst of suffering and death is poignant and true. I'm telling you--pregnancy, birth, and motherhood have done more to shape my theology than 3 years in seminary! This baby is so lucky to have such a deeply reflective mama...
    I can NOT wait to hear about the party! What a CUTE idea!!!
    Love to you and your little family,