Baby Lopez | 36 Weeks


We’re in the month in which you’re to be born! I can’t believe its finally here. I’m so ready to hold you and see your squishy little face. You’ve had the hiccups quite a bit this month and your movements are getting so strong! You’re still sideways and you like to keep your head to the right, which it where I usually feel your little hiccups. People can even feel them on the outside of my belly, which means you must have some strong lungs! I’m looking forward to that first, super strong cry as soon as you come out.

Braxton Hicks are strong with you, little one. I’ve had a few that felt like real contractions. You have also kicked me SO hard, twice now, that I’ve had to stop mid conversation and recover.

The doctor continues to remind me that I’m measuring about a week ahead and that you are a BIG baby. Surprise, surprise. I’m actually glad you’re going to be big because that means you’ll be a good eater and you’ll sleep for LONG stretches… right?

Come soon little one! We can’t wait to see you.

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This final month is going by…. so… slowly. My goodness. Some days are REALLY good. I have a ton of energy and my nesting is in high gear. Some days require coffee and a whole lot of Jesus. Also, naps. I am so blessed that brother bear has adjusted to his new nap routine and bed time routine. It should make the process of rocking and nursing the baby constantly a little bit easier, or at least I can hope.

Alex and I have decided that Baby bear will be our last biological child. It’s not a decision we came to without great prayer, but we ultimately are very happy with the children we’ve been blessed with biologically. We’ve always been open to the Lord growing our family in other ways and we know that our family isn’t done growing, but I’m done growing them. Hah. Don’t get me wrong, I love my babies and pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but my body is done with this stage of life. I’m ready to start raising my little ones into amazing men and women. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has blessed us with this time!

As I’m writing this, I’m actually 37 weeks along (so is my picture) so we only have 2 weeks and 1 day left until my scheduled c-section. That means only 2 more weeks until we get to find out is Baby Lopez is a boy or a girl. I’m still 85% sure it’s a boy — as if I could actually know that.

For most of my pregnancy people have said, “Oh! you’re definitely having a girl.” But, recently almost every single person has said, “Are you having a boy?” I don’t know if I’m just all the sudden carrying differently or what, but it seems as though most people are jumping on the “boy” bandwagon lately.

This month has been an interesting time for us. On March 11th of 2014 I went to the hospital for my D&C, four days before that we had our second ultrasound to confirm that the baby’s heartbeat was null. Two days before that was our 8 week ultrasound where we would find out that there was a 7 week and 1 day old baby, but no heartbeat. To say that this past week has been emotional would be an understatement. I think Alex actually felt it more than me. I think because he never truly got to process it as it was happening, where as I’ve had the whole year to feel every single bit of the grief and pain to finally reach the point of acceptance. Maybe that’s what this feeling is. Acceptance.

The Lord has provided much distraction for me this past week, between family visiting and prenatal appointments, to retreats for Alex and maternity leave prep for me. I think He knew I needed the distraction, to focus on the joy that’s about to happen. I know I’ll have time to remember and grieve but I also think God wants me to notice and remember THIS pregnancy. I so appreciate that.

It’s been a long and tiring year, but also one full of so many, MANY blessings. God is beyond good.

Third Trimester…

I remember actually enjoying my third trimester with Teddy. With this little one I’ve had anxiety, insomnia, muscle cramps, restlessness, and mood swings. I’m all over the place these days. I can’t communicate what I need or want. I’m constantly hungry, yet I have heartburn no matter what I eat. I guzzling water like a mad woman. I’m chasing a toddler around and having to sit down every half hour or so.

I’m huge. I’m tired. I cannot make sentences.

I had a dream last night that the baby was a girl. Totally weird, since I’m pretty sure it’s not. Anyway, I was giving birth in the cafeteria of the hospital, while all the medical school graduates were lining up for graduation. My doctor took Alex and me back into the kitchen and performed my c section, while I was asleep. I woke up right as he was pulling the baby out. He laid “her” on the scale next to his computer and told me she was 6 lbs and 9 oz. then he peeled her from the sack and showed me the proof that she was a girl. Alex and I said, “whaaaaaaat?” Then I stood up (yes, after my c section), and my doctor dismissed us through the kitchen into the cafeteria. We passed the doctors in their regalia as Pomp and Circumstance began. We walked through the doors to the long table where our family was sitting, and I (in my gown) said, “Whelp! We’re all done.” And Alex told everyone in a hushed and mediocre tones that the baby was a girl. Everyone said, “Oh, that’s nice.”

No one even really cared. Or at least they didn’t believe it.

Later I grabbed some food (still in my gown), and my mom came with me. I was handed the baby by a nurse and they put a huge pink bow in her hair. She was well over 10 pounds by now and she looked exactly like my 2nd cousin Megan.

Then Teddy woke up saying, “All done NIGH-NIGH!”

Only 5 weeks and 3 days left until he head to the cafeteria. I mean, hospital.

Send Help!

It happened. I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where I get up, shower, do my hair, get dressed (no make up), and am so exhausted that I have to lay down. My back hurts so bad and I feel a migraine creeping on…

Send a chef.
Send a maid.
Send a nanny (for me, not the toddler).
Send help!

Only 6 more weeks left.

Baby Lopez | 32 Weeks

Baby! You are a big one and your mama is getting bigger and bigger. You’ve been all over the place lately, giving me heartburn and moving around a lot at night when I’m trying to sleep. I feel you move even more so than I did with your brother at this stage. I can actually feel your elbow or your foot when you kick and you leave it there for a long time. It’s almost as if you’re reaching out, wanting to come out. I wish you would! I’m trying so hard to rest as much as I can and enjoy this time where I can keep you safe inside me, but boy… the bigger you get and the bigger I get, the more I want you out!

You aren’t shy like your brother was. Anytime I hold someone’s hand to my belly you are sure to put on a show and I love it! I love having you so close and I love that you wiggly like crazy when you hear your Daddy’s voice.

Only 7 more weeks until we get to hold you! I can’t wait.

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Wow! 7 weeks left. So long and yet not at all. Almost two months but then it’s really not! I can’t believe this pregnancy is almost over. So much has happened this past month. Alex and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary and I turned 29. My parents met us in Pasadena the weekend of our anniversary and took Teddy for two days. In those two days, Alex and I tore it up at the house! We painted, scraped wall paper, binge watched FRIENDS on Netflix, and got the baby’s room ready. It was a precious time together and the house looks so great!

We also had some many random mishaps this month. My tire went flat after I ran over a nail, my back brakes were shot, Alex’s car broke down, and the plumbing under the sink went kaput! With each thing, came a bill or some money that needed to be spent but God provided through the month for us. We even found out Alex’s school loans are starting up again, since he graduated and that my medical bills for the miscarriage are not finished being paid, as we had hoped. AND, our flood insurance isn’t accurate and needs to be updated. We know this house is a blessing and we know that purchasing it was the best thing for our family, but man. When thing after thing piles up… it sure makes you wonder. In those times, its so important to remember what’s most important. We have our health, clean water, clothes, food, a roof over our heads. Even if it’s tight, even if we have to use all our savings for these last minute mishaps, God has provided and has kept us safe. Even if He didn’t, we would find a way to praise Him.

This past weekend, I was beyond blessed to have a shower thrown for me by my dear friend, Jonna. She commissioned my mothers, sisters, cousins, and best friend to help her pull off a beautiful shower in my honor. We spent Friday evening moving furniture, making centerpieces, and decorating until midnight. Then, Saturday morning we did all the prep for the food (which was DELICIOUS). A henna tattoo artist came and did full belly artwork on my baby belly, as well as art work on many other shower guests. There was mimosas, Italian sodas, quiche, scones, fruit and salad. I was blessed with all the gifts I needed to prepare for this little one and many of the guests decorated onesies for little Samuel or Eleanor. The decorations were beautiful and the company was even better. I couldn’t have been more honored, blessed, or celebrated.

This little baby is craving milk and semi sweet chocolate chips like crazy. I have to limit my milk intake because I’ve discovered that it’s what gives me heartburn! Also, I’ve had to cut carbs out of my dinner otherwise I’m up all night with heartburn as well. Peaches are also a craving I’ve had with this one, but I’ve noticed that my craving for brined food items to have gone down. I remember that could eat a whole jar of Spanish olives with Teddy and while, I’m sure I could, I haven’t really craved them at all.

This baby, constantly has me guessing as to what he or she will be, but I still stand firm that it’s a boy (at least at 80%). I had my 32 week appointment yesterday and we actually got an ultrasound! I had thought we were done with those. I’ve gained 17 lbs so far this pregnancy, which I’m happy with and Baby seems to be taking up all the space in my stomach as possible. The baby wouldn’t even fit on the screen! He/she is SO BIG now. I thought I was looking at his/her head, but it was an eye! So crazy. And, the baby is laying sideways, which explains the kicking of my bladder whilst grabbing at my ribs. The doctor also said, the baby has a fairly large nose. Hah! How you can tell that, I’ll never know but it’s cool. Teddy’s nose was pretty prominent too and it’s literally the cutest little bear nose, ever.

Okay little one… If I don’t make it to 36 weeks that would be fine with me! But, I’m guessing you’re pretty comfy in there, so I’ll see you when I see you.

Love, Mommy

Baby Lopez | 28 Weeks

Hey there little baby! Your mama is a little behind the times this month. You’re actually 29 weeks now, but life has been crazy and you’ve made me very tired lately. Really tired! We’ve made it to the third trimester and I could not be happier! I’m so excited to hold you. I feel so blessed to have had this precious bonding time with you before you are earth-side.

You are kicking like crazy and I’m finally being able to see it on the outside of my belly all the time now; not just when I look really hard. People have actually said, “Whoa! The baby just moved!” It’s seriously the coolest thing.

The doctor says I’m measuring bigger than my due date, yet I haven’t gained a ton of weight. Guess what that means?? You’re a big one! Just like your brother. That being said, I’m kind of happy we had getting you out of there at 39 weeks and a few days. Even though I love the chunky babies!

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We have been doing lots to prepare for this little one. Removing wallpaper, painting, planning, organizing. I’m getting as prepared as I can for maternity leave which starts the third week of March. It’s a crazy time to be going on maternity leave because it’s right at the beginning of new rotation at work! That means, I have to get everything prepared a month in advance for not only a new rotation, but all the curriculum for while I’m gone! Wow, it’s going to be a crazy month next month, that’s for sure!

Teddy has been such a great help around the house. I was just telling Alex the other day how I need to remember that teaching him is more important than actually getting anything done. He WANTS to help with EVERYTHING. He loves gardening, cleaning, cooking, dishes, and the like. It takes me ten times as long to do things and he often has meltdowns when I try to hurry him along a bit. I’m so excited to see how he settles into his role as Big Brother.

As I’ve entered my third trimester I’ve had a mix of emotions. Excitement, anxiety, sadness, joy, fear. This time last year was a crazy whirlwind of emotions and in the next few months it will all come full circle. God’s interesting that way, isn’t He? Last year, I didn’t know I was pregnant. In the next month, I would get sick with the flu and find out in the Emergency Room that I was pregnant with our second child. In the weeks following we would lose that child and I would have a surgery that resulted in my child being taken from my body.  And, without really planning it, we would get pregnant again for the third time… not realizing that I would be giving birth a year later, around the anniversary of his or her sibling’s departure from earth. I don’t really know what to feel and my mind seems to agree with my heart.

I have insomnia, which I did with Teddy too, but this sometimes seems different. I hear a baby crying in the night. I’ve kept the baby’s room off limits for the most part and I think it’s because I’ve tried to control my emotions about this baby. It seems crazy to me. I feel this baby moving around inside me, constantly reminding me, “Hey! I’m here! I’m alive!” and I completely fall head over heels for this little person I’ve never met. And yet, I still haven’t full accepted it. But, I love this little one so much — I know I do.

I’m so excited to, more often than nervous. I can’t wait to see what this little one will look like, act like, how he or she will fit into our little family. What he or she will be when they grow up. What kind of impact will they make on the world? How will they change me? How will the change others? I cannot wait to hold another tiny little one again. I cannot wait to have that flood of emotions when we finally find out, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” I cannot wait to snuggle and nurse and wear my baby. Oh, how I’ve missed baby wearing!

Only 10 short weeks to go and I cannot be more excited and nervous and ecstatic and terrified, and anxious! Oh Lord, give me peace. Let me accept your plan for me, for this little one, for our lives.


My One Little Word for 2015

For the past few years our pastor has asked us to begin praying about a “one little word” for the coming year. Last year my word was “Rooted”. I wanted to be rooted in Christ and rooted where he had planted me. Over the past year, it seemed like everything happening in my life was doing the exact opposite. Testing the strength of my roots; in my faith, my family, my spouse, myself, in God’s plan for my life. At the end of the year, I could definitely say that I had been tested and God held my “tree” up when I couldn’t anymore. He brought people to plant around me and hold me up, He showed me a place to rest, gave me a new home, a community of people to pour into and He restored purpose in my life. Yes, last year’s word was definitely “rooted”.

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7

This year, as I was praying about what word God had for me I wondered what the word would end up actually bringing about for me. I definitely didn’t think that “rooted” was going to bring about testing. So, this year I wanted to make sure that when God presented a word to me I didn’t immediately cast it aside because it might evoke something different than what I had hoped for. As I prayed, the Lord revealed to me two words, “peace” and “acceptance”. I think, that in a way, they mean the same thing. At least for me. You know that word “content”? I HAVE ALWAYS hated that word. I took it to mean that you had reached your peak, or that you were fine with where you were. How could that be good? How could it be a good thing to be… content. Everyone ALWAYS laughs at me when I tell them that, but I’ve always been the person who says, “Okay, what’s next.” “What can I do to make this better?” “How can this be more… perfect?”

I think God finally wants to teach the true meaning of being “content”. Now, my word for the year is not “content”. Either, I wasn’t really ready to accept that as my word or whatever, but I’m going with the suspicion that “acceptance” is really what God has for me this year. I want to learn to accept God’s plan for me, whatever it is. I want to live out of His purpose for me; His plan. I want to be able to accept whatever life throws at me with grace, peace and contentment. Yes, I do. I really do.

Is there “one little word” that God had spoken into your life for this year? Think about it, pray about it. And in a year review and see all that the Lord has done in your life. It’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24

Baby Lopez | 24 Weeks

Little baby, we’ve crossed the halfway mark and we’re rocking the second trimester, you and me. I’m pretty positive you’re a boy, although everyone (like pretty much everyone) says you’re a girl. Your kicks are so strong! Any time I take a second to slow down from chasing your brother around you make your presence known with a swift kick to my bladder or any other internal organ you happen to be next to. I LOVE your kicks though. I’m so happy to have the constant reminder that you’re alive and well.

I have crazy heartburn with you, just like I did with your brother so I’m guessing you’ll have a full head of hair too. I haven’t had any super weird cravings or carpal tunnel which has been fantastic (however, a slight addiction to coca-cola thanks you).

I can’t believe we’re full swing into the Christmas season already, then into the new year and THEN in three short months you’ll be here. Wow. I’m really enjoying this pregnancy and enjoying cherishing each moment with you until you come into our lives in a crazy way!

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Wow! I cannot believe this pregnancy is already almost half way over. This being my last, I’m trying so hard to take it all in and remember each thing. However, I’m already realizing that splitting attention between two kiddos (even with one in utero) is proving to be an interesting task. People will occasionally ask me, “So, do you feel like you’re ready?” And all I feel like I can say is, “I have no idea!” And truthfully I’m just not entirely sure there’s a way to prepare for life with multiple children.

This past month has been insane — to put it mildly. This month we put an offer on a house, got it approved, went through the inspection process, counter offers and closed escrow all this month! We moved in just this past weekend and the process went incredibly smoothly. I still am in shock that we own a home. It’s ours.

I’m nesting like crazy which is good because there are so many boxes to unpack and so much to get ready before this baby comes. But, I’ve been struggling with sciatica this time around. It’s something I haven’t experienced in past pregnancies and I don’t quite know how to deal with it. I only seem to notice it when I sit or lie down. It always starts to feel better but then there is a burning sensation too. So, as long as I’m on my feet most of the day I don’t really notice it, until my left side of my body twinges or I get numbness. Then I have to stop and ice my back.

Our new house is so great! It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a sunroom and a small office. The backyard is small and manageable. I LOVE IT. I’ve been pinning ideas like crazy on Pinterest and I can’t wait to tackle each little project one weekend at a time. Our neighborhood is so great. I’ve met two of the neighbors so far and I’ve heard people will come over and introduce themselves soon. I can’t wait. We’re on a cul-de-sac so there are always kids playing outside and there’s a great sense of community already.

I’m ready to start decorating for Christmas already! Let’s get this house unpacked and the tree up. I’m looking forward to this Christmas with Teddy and remembering to cherish this special time I have with just him too.

Happy Christmas!

A Name for Baby Lopez

Baby Lopez,

We’re not finding out what you are until you’re born (in so many ways, but more specifically whether you’re a boy or a girl). I used to be very torn about this decision but now I’m so anxious and excited. I can’t wait until March 26th, 2015 when we roll up to the hospital at 7:30 am and finally get to find out what you are.

Your Dad and I have thought and prayed about your name and finally decided on one boy and one girl name.

If you’re a boy, your name will be:

Samuel William Lopez

Samuel is your Grandma’s Mother’s maiden name; your Great Grandma. Her name was Margery. She died before your Grandma and Grandpa were married so I never got to meet her, but I’ve heard I have her eyes and her musical talent. She was a beautiful lady, just like your Grandma and we wanted to honor her by giving you her name. Your middle name, William belongs to your Uncle Jonathan (who’s birthday you’re stealing), your Grandpa, and his Grandpa. All of these men are extremely amazing, Godly people in our lives and we would be so thrilled to have you carry on this family name and prayerfully the spirit of the name. Samuel means, “God Has Heard” and William means, “Protector”.

If you’re a girl, your name will be:

Eleanor Rosalee Lopez

Eleanor was my Great Grandmother’s name. She passed away while I was pregnant with your brother, Teddy. She was a spunky lady who used to joke about putting a brick on my head to stop me from growing and in the morning would ask me if I was “bright eyed and bushy tailed”. Rosa was your Daddy’s Abuelita. She was also a spunky lady who never seemed to age. She was an amazing cook and loved to tell stories about her five children, whom she loved very much. Lee is my namesake, which comes from my mother (Lee Ann) and her father (Larry Lee), I never met my Grandpa Larry but my mother is someone special to me (and she will be special to you too) so I would be honored to pass down my name to you. Eleanor means, “Bright, Shining One”. Rosa means, “Rose”, and Lee means, “Plum”. That makes me smile.

Little one, you are so loved and whatever you will be, will be amazing. I cannot wait to meet you.


A Birthday for Baby Lopez

Baby Lopez,

We have your birthday picked. That’s so weird for me to say. I know the day you will be born. I thought only God could know that. Honestly, He’s probably laughing at me right now; Ms. Know-it-all down there pretending like she even has the faintest idea what’s in store for her. Oh, I know full well that just because we have a scheduled c-section date for you, doesn’t mean you won’t come earlier or that there couldn’t be conflicts or complications. I know full well who’s really in charge here.

Nevertheless, your birthday is scheduled for March 26th, 2015. Yes, it’s your Uncle Jonathan’s birthday. He actually specifically requested the day and hey, since your brother kind of stole his Auntie Ju-Ju’s birthday (May 20th), why not just round it out and take over another birthday as well, right?

Is this my first born crowning achievement? Have I won the ultimate prize that we all know every first born child dreams of — to outshine and steal all the spot light from their lesser siblings. I’m completely kidding of course, and my siblings know it. The truth is I feel as though I spent most of my adolescent and adult life trying to make sure I wasn’t “one of those” first borns and here I am stealing all the thunder. I know my family is just laughing while reading this and I’m sure there will be jokes for years to come about how royally selfish I was to rudely go into labor on my sister’s birthday and then have the gaul to schedule my next birth on my brother’s birthday. That’s me. Princess Natalee. Yes, we’re weird like that.

At any rate, I’m so anxious/nervous/excited to have the date scheduled and I cannot wait to find out what you are little baby.

Love you,

Baby Lopez | 20 Weeks

Baby March! We’ve been calling you Baby April, but just found out that you’ll be born in March via c-section. I get to schedule the actual day in a few short weeks. Wow. You are growing healthy and HUGE, by the way. I went in for my 20 week appointment two weeks ago when you were only 18 weeks along and you’re measuring an ounce and a half bigger that normal (meaning you were measuring 20 weeks, at 18).

Now that I know you’re probably going to be another huge baby, I’m kind of glad to be scheduling my delivery with you. And now, I’m even more excited that we don’t know if you’re a boy or a girl yet! Not that having a baby isn’t exciting enough, but the thought of knowing exactly when you’re coming makes it more exciting that we’ll get to find out who and what you are right after.

Keep growing and making your mommy huge — I don’t mind one bit!

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Wow, this past month has been a crazy whirlwind. We’ve been looking at houses on the down-low for a while and even gave up for a while. Then, our realtor sent us a few houses she thought we might be interested in. We loved two of them, put in offers, back and forth, back and forth, inspections, appraisals, and we might actually get a house for Thanksgiving. All in this past month.

We also traveled to Arizona this month, over my 20 week, mid-way crossover. All the Lopezes gathered together in Flagstaff and enjoyed time together for a few days. I actually got the flu the night we arrived and had to spend the first 24 hours of our vacation in quarantine, but Alex took great care of me and the baby. The next day we took to the Grand Canyon! Wow, what an amazing sight to see. It was kind of cloudy out, but it was still absolutely stunning.

Later, we took the kids for a ride on the Polar Express! My goodness, did they have a blast. They served cookies and hot cocoa and we sang Christmas carols all the way to and from the North Pole. The kids wore their pjs on the ride and Santa even paid a visit! I honestly think, of the whole trip, this was my favorite part. I LOVE Christmas!

Chasing a toddler around, working part-time, and growing another child has proven to be exhausting and thrilling all at once. I know how blessed we are to have each other and the amazing things we have to clothe, house, and feed us. We could not be more grateful. The second trimester has actually proven to afford me more energy and the ability to eat more — which has been showing in my waistline. Hah! I feel as though I’m about the same size I was at 28 weeks with Teddy, but I know it’s my second child and I’m being healthy and active so, it is what it is! I may need to ask for some maternity clothes for Christmas this year.

Please be in prayer for us as we transition into this next phase of life and also for the possibility of a house!