Saturday, April 30, 2011

Colby's Response

Now let me say, I have loved everyone's response to us having a baby. We have felt so surrounded by love and support. God has been SO good. He is SO good. We could not feel more blessed. However, my favorite response came from Matt's cousin Colby when he found out we were having a baby.

I'm going to give you a small background on Colby. I met Colby Christmas 2009 in DC. Since then, him and I have been buds. When we play games, he often lets me win and calls me "the queen." I love it the most because it makes Matt so mad that Colby likes me better. :) He is one of the kindest, sweetest, toughest, and funniest six year old boys I have ever met.  We even had the privilege of having him in our wedding along with his awesome sister Shelby. Colby and Shelby stole the show with their dance moves at the reception. Matt and I adore Colby and Shelby.

Anyways, Laurie, Matt's mom, called Oma to tell her the news about the new member of the family to come. Oma was with Aunt Cyndi and Colby. As Laurie was telling Oma the news, Oma was repeating it to Aunt Cyndi and Colby. Laurie told Oma, you better reserve October, you are going to be a great grandma. As Oma repeated it, she said aloud "In October, I'm going to be a great-grandmother." Colby heard this and immediately responded, "In October, I'm going to be a DAD!" Congratulations Colby, yes, yes, you are going to be a dad. They quickly told Colby, that he wasn't going to be a dad, but he would be a cousin.

Here are some pictures of the amazing time Matt and I got to have with them in California this past Christmas. Oma and Opa let us come visit them, and we had the best time. Matt is blessed with a very large and sweet family.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

14 Weeks

Along: 14 weeks
Size of baby: Baby is the size of a lemon. This week Clementine can make faces such as frowning or smiling. The little eye brows are growing in and he/she could potentially be getting some hair. I think I came out with a Mohawk- I know Matt would LOVE this.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I have no idea. I’m guessing the same.
Maternity Clothes: I’m still wearing my normal clothes. The pants are feeling good for now.
Gender: I’m thinking girl. In six more weeks, we will have the big reveal. Matt and I were talking boy names last night, and he said, “I don’t know why we even bother, we are having a girl.” We shall see!
Movement:  No movement yet. I can’t wait until he/she starts kicking!
Sleep: Lucky me, the lower back pains are starting to kick in. I hear there are pregnancy pillows, so I’m going to do some research. Maybe I’ll request one for Mother’s Day. I’d love any suggestions if y’all have any?
What I miss:  Besides Ashley and Luke Baker, nothing right now.
Cravings:  Pickles, fruit, salad, and ice water. I went through a whole jar of pickles in 2 days.
Symptoms: Lower Back pains, morning/evening sickness, and tears. We watched a whole season of Friday Night Lights within 4 days. I had some tears. I’m not sure if Matt saw because I quickly wiped them away, but I can cry super easily now. I have never really been a cry baby (besides movies where kids die----Bridge to Terabithia).   Matt may have a cry baby for a wife for a while. Wish him luck.
Best Moment This Week: There was a Ugandan childrens choir at our Easter Service on Sunday, I had more tears. It brought back all these memories of Africa where Matt and I met. We were so blessed to get to spend time with this orphanage who would sing. This trip still continues to change my life. I LOVE these kids. Matt and I are actually considering having the middle name of one of our boys named after an amazing man we met while living in Zambia for 6 weeks. Our good friend Ashley Epler is getting to go back this summer. We are so excited to see God move again through her. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grammy Tammy & Grandpa Jim

Let me just say, I believe God prepares our hearts for the unknown sometimes.
This story is one that makes me smile every time I think about it. Our God has such a sense of humor. I believe my mom and I sometimes can be the same person on the same wave length of thoughts. Now, she has way more sass and class, but I don’t try to compete with that. Anyways, I love this story.
Matt and I originally planned on waiting to tell everybody at 12 weeks that I was pregnant. We really didn’t know what to expect. If God planned on taking this baby home before he/she was born, we didn’t want to have to “untell” my pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, if I miscarry, everyone will know. I will tell people how excited we are to meet our son/daughter in heaven someday, but for the first bit of the pregnancy, we wanted to play it safe.
After 6 days of knowing that I was pregnant, Matt and I really started to stress out about how we were going to afford a baby, how jobs and Matt’s schooling would work out and how we were even supposed to be parents! These questions started to become burdens that we were trying to bear alone and couldn’t. One night Matt and I were lying in bed talking future. It became apparent to us that we needed emotional, physical, and spiritual support. I suggested that we talk to my parents. I was already starting to feel the first trimester morning sickness and had no idea what was to come. I needed my mom to help walk me through some of these crazy issues that people don’t tell you about when you are pregnant (when you get pregnant, ask me about it, I will tell you the fun little secrets your girlfriends never tell you).  Matt agreed it was time to tell our parents. Since mine live 8 minutes away, we decided to start with them. So that next morning, I tried calling my mom at about 7:00. I rehearsed the conversation in my head at least 29 times.  She didn’t answer because she was working, so I just waited in anticipation all day. Finally, around 2 PM  I see my phone ringing. I quickly step out of my office. If you know my mom, she talks 100 miles per hour with very few pauses. She begins to tell me all about her day. I listen as patiently as I can, waiting for the pause to break the news. After about 10 minutes, there was a small pause and I quickly told her I had big news.  I could hear her sit down and take a deep breath. I began to tell her how I was pregnant and felt completely overwhelmed. She was awesome. I was afraid that there would be disappointment and concern, but she was thrilled and excited. She knew that it was God’s timing and His baby. That was her immediate response. She told me that Matt and I’s whole relationship had been on God’s timing and asked me if I had expected anything different (good point, Mom, good point).  She walked me through different tactics to fight morning sickness such as saltines by the bed side, drinking lots of water, staying away from dairy, keeping small snacks at my desk, and sleeping as much as a can. She offered the exact words of encouragement I needed. She then proceeded to tell me that God had been preparing her heart for this. She said for the last two weeks she had been going to Central Market and seeing all of these stuffed animals. She didn’t know why, but she kept feeling inclined to buy them (10 if them to be exact). She told herself it was almost like she was preparing for a grandbaby, but that couldn’t be possible. She also said that she kept thinking about how I was turning twenty five years old and she had me at twenty five. She said immediately when she heard I had big news, she knew I was pregnant. WHAT??? God really? You told my mom I was pregnant.  God is funny. I love it. He had prepared her heart for the unknown.
I told her that if she wanted to tell my dad, she could. I also said we’d love to come over there tonight and tell him too. She explained to me that work had been crazy that day, and she thought this might be too much for him to handle for that night. I completely understood. I knew he’d be excited, but he had been a big encourager of our “5 year plan,” so I figured we should wait until the timing was right. He’s a realist. Babies aren’t easy and he would be processing our long (yet joyful) road ahead.  We planned on coming over Thursday night to tell him.
Around 4:30, my mom talked to my dad and found out he wasn’t working late. She knew we needed to tell him that night because my mom is the worst surprise keeper-she is the one that gives us our birthday/Christmas presents two weeks before because she just can’t wait. She knew that if we tried to wait until Thursday, she’d pop. We headed over there about 6:30 and he got home at 7. My mom warned us that although God had been preparing her heart, my dad would have no idea and she didn’t know how he’d respond. She said she knew he’d be excited but probably more shocked. That gave us an idea. Matt had gotten wait-listed for one of his PhD programs he applied to, so we decided to preface the news with we have two exciting pieces of information. Matt would go first with the school information and I would follow with the baby. So, we all sat down and Matt quickly began to explain that he had been wait-listed at Southwestern and my dad was happy for us. Matt and my dad talked logistics for a while about this school and the program. Once there was a pause, I told him that the other big news is that we were having a baby. His face was priceless. He smiled and said, “Well, congratulations.”  We then explained how we found out and how we were terrified. They both immediately said that they would be there for us in every way. They had nothing but positive, encouraging, supporting words to say. We could have felt more blessed. We had been praying our families would respond with excitement and joy, and God answered them.  The rest of the night was full of stories, laughter, and my mom’s amazing cooking.
Philippians 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
We are rejoicing for this baby to come!
<>< Natalie

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baby Clem-in-Timeline

So the first question we always get asked as people find out we are expecting is, “Were y’all trying???” I always respond with a smile, “No, no ma’am or sir we were not trying.”  Now, I’ll be honest, I’ve had baby fever since about the second week of our marriage. Matt would always say he couldn’t take me anywhere without me pointing, staring, or ogling at a baby. He called it my “babydar”. He joked I could spot a baby mile away.  I do love babies, however, no we were not trying. I did not “pull the goalie” as our friend Ashley Ludeker so hilariously calls it. We didn’t do anything unusual or have a sudden switch of birth control. No, we were preventing-but God had bigger plans.
How did we find out? This will be a story we will never forget-one that will live on forever amongst the Clem family. I was five days late in the month of February but thought nothing of it. I thought with the stress of busy season (tax) coming and Matt’s school situation unfolding, my body was just acting funny. I didn’t think there was any way on Earth that we were pregnant. I was determined it was not a possibility. My running buddy Ashley, a.k.a. my other half in Austin(we’re a perfect match-even our husbands have man-crushes on each other), who knows more about my life than she probably ever thought possible, suggested that it was time for us to get a pregnancy test. I thought okay, I’ll text Matt and have him pick me one up on his way from home. He agreed and brought home the fancy  $12 EPT test. That day after I got home from work, I quickly headed to the restroom and was ready to see my affirmation that stress had made me late. Well, I took the test. Supposedly, if you are pregnant, you will see a “+” and if you are not you will see a “-“.  This wasn’t my case. I took the test and I saw an “I”. No plus, no minus, just a solid vertical line. Matt and I both were like okay, I obviously did that wrong. We decided to eat dinner and try again. So we did.  Lo and behold, the second test was also an “I”. At that point, we were super frustrated and I had proclaimed to Matt, Ashley, and myself that I was NOT pregnant. Two days later, I decided it was time to call the EPT hotline. I thought that could give me some answers. During work, I went downstairs and made the call. After some holding on the phone (15 minutes which felt like 10 hours) I talked to a woman and told her my circumstances. She responded with, “Well ma’am, congratulations, you are pregnant.” I quickly told her thank you and didn’t believe her for a second. I decided I was going to take another pregnancy test. This time we weren’t going fancy; I was going to use the $4 test from HEB. So I did and within two seconds, I saw two blue lines telling me that I was going to be a Mom.
How did we respond? Terrified, absolutely terrified. We had only been married 5 months. We had so many unknowns coming our way. Matt was applying to grad schools all over Texas, I was headed into 60 hour work weeks with no idea what it looked like to be pregnant, and we had no idea how to be parents. Brokenness. Complete and utter brokenness. It was amazing. It was life changing. I have never been more amazed by what a faithful and sovereign God we serve. I will have to tell y’all more about it in a later post, but we could not have been more surrounded by His love, mercy, and kindness during those next couple weeks.

This child is a child of God. We will raise her/him to know that. We want this child to be a testimony to God’s faithfulness and ever-renewing mercies. I cannot wait for this miracle Clementine to know how much God loves her/him. This child was God’s gift. We cannot help but sing praises knowing that this was God’s plan all along. Our baby is going to be a testimony of God’s love for His children.
As I write this I still feel overwhelmed that God had planned for us to have a child and become parents so soon after we were married, and I know that our marriage-and our faith-will become stronger because of it.
Please continue to pray for Clementine’s growth and development.
:) Happy Easter! :)

Hope our baby has my sense of style! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

13 Weeks for Baby Clemintine

Along: 13Weeks
Size of baby: Baby is the size of a peach
Total Weight Gain/Loss: not sure, same? With morning sickness I think I lost about 7 pounds. I know with the doughnuts, Cinnabon, and pizza that have been lying around my tax office, it might have gained some. Matt and I need to purchase a scale here in the near future. I've just been putting it off. I didn't want to obsess over it.
Maternity Clothes: I'm still wearing my normal clothes. The pants do seem to feel a little tighter this week. Not sure if it's the baby, or if it's the endless snacks that I have been eating to make these 60 hour work weeks doable.
Gender: I'm thinking girl. We won't know until the beginning of June. My mom said her symptoms were really similar to mine. I guess that's just stuck in my brain. I also know that I am the oldest and Matt has an older sister, so it seems that a girl usually rules the roost around both of our households. I'm not expecting anything different if we have a girl first. I was quite the bossy and smothering older sister.
Movement: Nothing yet, I think that will happen more around 16-22 weeks.
Sleep: sleep has been good. I have to use the restroom at least once every night. I usually want to go to sleep by 8:30 or 9. I have been super exhausted since about week 6 of my pregnancy.
What I miss: I miss coffee. I love how it makes me feel in the morning. I also miss Ashley Baker. She is in Peru for six weeks, and she was my accountability/running partner. The baby's exercise has gone down significantly since she left last week. I also miss sharing the small details of my day with her. :) I know she is having an amazing time sharing the gospel in Peru as well as teaching orphans English!
Cravings: Salads, fruits, and sweets! I crave Greek salad and every type of fruit. I love berries the most along with apples.
Symptoms: Constant car sickness, tired, and grumpy. I'm hoping for the second trimester pick up any day now. I feel blessed though. I can't complain. Morning sickness is a good sign, and I
m glad the baby is growing inside of me. I constantly know he/she is there.
Best Moment This Week: We got to housesit for my parents this past weekend. Matt loves my parents dogs and just gave them so much attention. He kept running around and playing hide-n-go- seek with them. It is hilarious. He’d hide and eventually Bartle would show Mayberry where Matt was hiding. She would peak her face around the corner and Matt would scream. It scared her, but made her so hyper. These dogs were eating up his attention.  He'd play fetch for hours. Bartle constantly stares at Matt watching his next move. I have never seen a dog love a human so much.  It was an amazing glimpse of how he will be with baby Clem. We also got spoiled and once my parents came home, they cooked up steak and potatoes. We had a really good time. Grammy Tammy and Grandpa Jim are quite excited for the newborn to arrive !:)

Here is my silly husband showing what it looks like to be married to a 13 week pregnant woman :)! He has been the best!