100 Days, Round 2: 89-80

If you are new and don't know what this is about, just go to the very end of the post (or search for " What's This About? ", less the quotes) and check 'er out!

We're in the 80s, baby girl, so I love 'em!

Day 80 - Wednesday, July 11, 2012
How is tomorrow the 70s? Today I saw your doctor (she's both my OB while pregnant and also will be your pediatrician when you're born) and she marveled at the fact that I'm 28 weeks (29 on Saturday!) pregnant with you considering that she feels like she just met your 4-months-old at the time brother like, a few weeks ago. Instead, it was a year ago--he's 16 months today!

By all accounts, you are healthy and thriving. I'm having a bit of a rough time emotionally as of late, but I plan to write that in it's own post. Just know this--no matter what tough times I may endure due to pregnancy or even if there is struggle and suffering (who am I kidding with if? I'm sure there will be!) on my part that it is not your fault. I can honestly tell you I have never yet resented you. Also, if ever I do, there is grace and repentance from Jesus. Your identity can never be secure in my love for you, because though it is deep and bountiful it is subject to my sinful heart. But you can be secure in Jesus' love for you, and by his grace he gave you a mama who is always learning to not be threatened by my sin but rather to embrace the beautiful freedom that comes with confession and repentance. 

Things have been hard lately, love. I got some sad news today that I just didn't want to hear (that I need to rest more, quit worrying about exercise, keep doing exactly what I'm doing and get over it (my words, not my wonderful doc's) regarding weight gain, keep praying for you and the things I'm worrying about, and that I need physical therapy). I keep hoping for things to just be lovely and perfect and wonderful and for my heart to be all better with no surrender to Jesus and it's not happening. There's grace there, because I like to forget how desperately I need him.

But there we shall end these 80s, Juliet--I desperately need Jesus. And I love you so much that if the choice were to be thinner and in less pain and less tired and more emotionally and hormonally stable but not be graced with your existence, with being pregnant with you? It's not even a question. You win. You always win. You are my daughter, you are worth it, and though I can't have it all (be losing weight and feeling physically wonderful and be growing and serving you) it's fine. Really, truly fine. Not trite fine. You are my daughter and I ache to know you and raise you and love you and snuggle you and learn the grace of being a mama to a baby girl, you in particular.

So, 79 or so days until we meet face to face. No matter what may come between now and then, whatever is in Jesus' will, I embrace it and ask for the grace of a healthy, robust you at the end of this pregnancy and the beginning of a new chapter, the chapter of Hus av Hagglund, residency 4. 

Day 81 - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Mama watched the EEs today and was reminded that having a big family is a thing of much prayer and consideration. Having lots of kids sounds great in my head, but there are moments where all three kids are crying and I'm not sure it's a great reality. But then there are moments when Roger and Eowyn (26 months) try to give each other a kiss (it's very innocent--Roger knows mama loves kisses and so he thinks it's an appropriate form of affection to show anyone he is fond of!) or when Roger and baby Elijah (5 months) make silly faces and crack each other up. 

Then there are the harder moments, like when only a wee bit after generously sharing a toy without prompting suddenly Eowyn and Roger are pulling and fighting and crying and then Elijah is startled by the ruckus and gets inconsolable. It requires a lot of patient explaining to both toddlers, each varying degrees of unable to really understand, that our God is a generous God who gives us good gifts and he wants us to have joy in allowing him to make our hearts generous. Our deceitful hearts promise joy if we are greedy but actually we end up miserable and make others miserable, too :( I'm sure you'll hear these same things many, many times as you grow up, baby girl. 

At the end of the day, I'm exhausted--mentally, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. But I can honestly say it's totally worth it. Plus, though crazier things have happened, unless I get pregnant with twins a week after you are born (presuming on God's grace here that you come within a week or two of your due date) then my oldest child, Roger, will be older than 27 months. And unless Jesus has other plans, we hope to focus on you and Roger for a solid year, preferably 18 months, before even getting pregnant again. By then Roger will be 4 and that's a bit more manageable age for the oldest of 3 children than is 26 months :)

Really, though, your daddy and I simply want what Jesus wants. Much grace and sanctification are to be found in having more than I think I can handle, and many young children falls into that category. I do know in my deepest part of my heart that I won't regret having a big family but I would regret stopping with two babies (and no longer considering foster adoption later, which we currently are) because I was scared of it being hard.

Motherhood is hard, darling. There's much more for another post, but never believe the lie that motherhood will fulfill you or complete you or satisfy you. Only Jesus can do that, and even the best mama moment can be questioned and accused and robbed of joy. But resting in Jesus for his plan for me as your mama? That does fulfill even on the days I just feel like I'm failing at being everything I've worked so hard to become, because though God's grace does often allow us to be better than we were it is also always meant to remind us of how far there is to go. I am not perfect. But I belong to Jesus and I love you. That, my darling baby daughter, is enough.

Day 82 - Monday, July 9, 2012
This is a simple entry today. I have a gazillion things that occur to me throughout the day that I want to write about--either to you in an 100 days entry, or just a general topic on my heart for the blog, but then when the ability to sit down and write is actually present I find that the energy to do so is waning. Thus, since yesterday is a bit more lengthy today I will tell you this because it's most prevalent on my heart:

I love you. I am honored to be your mama. I confess a bit of fear, because moms and daughters can have competitive relationships. You might look at me and despise me. To be blunt and honest, that scares me. But I love and adore you and I know that I do not need to fear because Jesus has overcome the world. Not only has he overcome sin, but he has overcome the world's systems and ideas and included in that is the idea that you and I have to be at odds because it's expected and normal. WRONG! I know Jesus' Holy Spirit indwells me and I pray he will indwell you. I pray we will have a love that surpasses the mother daughter bond because it is the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. I ask Jesus for this for the two of us, darling girl!

Day 83 - Sunday, July 8, 2012
We had a cool thing happen today--your daddy and I were installed as deacons at our church, Mars Hill Bellevue. I was a deacon when I served in various capacities at our Ballard location, but needed to be officially approved of by the local elders at Bellevue. This was your daddy's first time being approved and it's a great honor!

I Timothy 3:8-13 speaks specifically to the qualifications of deacons; the point is not that we're less sinful than anyone else. Rather, we are being affirmed by elders over us as those serving faithfully in the church in a role that helps the elders and we're repentant sinners who, by God's grace, show marks of maturity in Christ. It truly is a great honor, not only to serve in the roles your daddy and I have been led by Jesus to fill but also to ask the Spirit for the humility to embrace and not shy away from the responsibility and privilege of the title. 

In keeping with aiming for more brevity in these daily posts where possible, I'll end with this: I pray that not only do your daddy and I continue to serve in roles that bless and help others at church, but that you see the same people with you at home on a daily basis that you see in the presence of "church" people. Our hearts are to be repentant, Spirit-filled and Spirit-led parents to you and your sibling(s) and I pray that any time you see hypocrisy in us we would repent and be honorable, not because we are so great, but because Jesus is so great that even filthy no ones like us can be used for his glory.

Love you, baby girl. By God's grace, I pray for the day that perhaps your daddy and I would be able to see you installed as a deacon in your local church. Most important is that you love and serve Jesus whether his call is leadership or not, but it would be a sweet gift of legacy to see you honored as a godly leader!

Day 84 - Saturday, July 7, 2012
This was such a good day! I'ma recap the events and then spend some time with your dada since we have a long day tomorrow! Today daddy let mama get some sleep (your kicking and your brother's odd, crazy antics from 2-3:30am kept me up super duper late) and then I got ready quickly to go pick up my dear friend Kim. We went to something called a Noonday Trunk Show--basically, this amazing company, Noonday, sells fair-trade and ethically far above reproach practices to allow artisans around the world to sell beautiful and high quality hand crafted jewelry and accessories. 

The best part is that today's event helped support the adoption of some sweet friends of ours who are raising funds to adopt a little boy who doesn't have a mama or dada, an orphan, from Eastern Europe. Mama got a gorgeous necklace and a birthday gift (a bit early! But I'm anticipating being distracted by you when it gets here!) for your Auntie Em. What I really love is that while companies like TOMS have a sweet heart behind them (for TOMS, if you buy their shoes they give a free pair to a child in poverty in Africa, possibly beyond), many studies find that giving people free handouts creates dependence and even entitlement attitudes on "rich" Americans. It does more harm than good in the long term :( It's not bad that people want to help! It's just that sometimes we try to do really good things but it's not as helpful as we hope. It's always great when we find something that is as helpful as we hope!

What's great about Noonday is that they empower people to work hard for a fair wage making a great product. This allows them to have health care, education for their children, food, and it's just a beautiful company really honoring them with the dignity of respecting their talents and abilities. I simply LOVE what Noonday is all about!

I got home a bit late and your big brother and daddy were really missing me, so we ran an errand and then took Roger to the park. He LOVES the slide and anything adrenaline related. We used a Groupon to pick up tasty burgers (yay that Fatburger has gluten free buns now!) and came home to get your tired bro to bed. Now I'm chilling with dada and looking forward to the cool events happening tomorrow...but I'll tell you about them then! Love you, darling girl!

Day 85 - Friday, July 6, 2012
Today was sweet--though your brother had a bit of a groucho afternoon (10 new teeth in 3.5 weeks'll do that to a person!) we had a sweet evening hanging with baby Caleb so his mama and dada could get a much needed date night. It was also a sweet evening because your daddy and I got to cuddle on the couch and enjoy a movie and just rest together--something we didn't realize how much we needed until we had it! And, truth be told, since daddy needing to take something into work that required him going in a bit late we got to do that Thursday night, too! Two nights in a row of just being together is amazing! I pray you always look at your dada and me and pray for a marriage like ours. It's not that we're so great, but Jesus has been really great to us and your daddy is truly my best friend, my first confidant, and he just gets me in every way. I had no idea love could be like this. I hoped for a shadow of this and it's just a blessing. But enough gushing--I simply pray for the good gift of your daddy and I living long lives so that you get to see Jesus modeled to you through us as you grow :)

Day 86 - Thursday, July 5, 2012
This was a SUPER low-key day. I've had a rough pregnancy and really needed some sweet rest and a day off! I really do love, love, love being pregnant. Two things are not in my favor: 

1: I only remember the great parts of pregnancy with your big bro. I remember glowing and the joy of feeling him move inside of me and just being in awe of the sweet gift of nurturing his growing life inside of me. Those are all true with you--but being in the midst of pregnancy reminds me of how much pain and discomfort and lack of sleep comes with the wonderful parts.

2: Pregnancy with you has been a lot harder on me than pregnancy with your brother. Understand, sweet girl, this is not your fault. Mama's bodies just respond differently to different pregnancies and this time my body has been having a lot of problems. Plus, I had an injury to my groin during labor with your brother that has been acting up a LOT and making movement hard...and chasing your almost 16 month old SUPER active big brother around isn't something I had to do when I was pregnant with him :)

So, for those two reasons this pregnancy has just been hard. But truthfully, baby girl, I wouldn't change a thing. The fact is that as your mama one of my callings is to love and serve you with a selfless love that is enabled by Jesus. I can be honest about the difficulty but it's also not without joy! I feel you kick and move and dance inside of me and then I was your big brother run and dance and run some more outside of me and I just am so blessed that going through the hard parts of pregnancy, by God's grace, result in an adorable lovely person whom I just can't get enough of! 

We'll see how I feel in 10 weeks, but tomorrow I'll be 28 weeks pregnant and I still pray that you'll stay in the full 40 weeks. I'd actually prefer to go a little overdue. I know most mamas think that's KUH-RAY-ZEE, but I'd prefer to meet you in October (you'll be 40 weeks on September 29). I just feel better about life with you staying in longer and getting as much development done inside the womb as possible. Plus, October's the best. month. ever. and it would be a sweet gift from Jesus for you to share having an October birthday with your mama (and tons of other awesome people!). But most importantly, I'm praying for a healthy you and the good gift of going into labor on my own this time. It's all in an open hand, though, and I'll share more about things like natural labor and the like on another day because my "short posts" goals have been pretty unmet today!

Much love to you, baby girl. Excited to meet you on whatever day Jesus already has written for your birthday :)

Day 87 - Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Woo-hoo! Fourth of July! One of my favorite holidays, if not my absolute fave! This year we were a little lame, I won't lie. Big brother has been having a rough last week or two with sleep (poor little dude went from having the same six teeth for 6 months to having 10 teeth, including 4 molars, break through in the last 3.5 weeks) so we stayed home. Our friends and neighbors, the Hinkles, came over and we just hung out. Daddy and Kayle played a WWII board game called Axis and Allies and we grilled and had good ol' fashioned BBQ fare. The Hinkles took baby Caleb home to his own bed and your mama and dada watched the Seattle Lake Union fireworks show...on TV :) Roger even watched a bit, too, because he woke up after a couple of hours of sleep and simply wouldn't sleep. Overall, lovely day :) Excited to have you here for the Fourth next year!

Day 88 - Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Oops, darling girl--it might be Friday and I might be updating a bit late. Since I'm doing 3 days at once I'm going to try and keep 'em a bit shorter...not my forte, but I'll try!

Today was a hard, hard day. Our beloved lead pastor's wife, who is pregnant with their fourth son and 10 weeks behind you, was diagnosed with cancer today. A mass was found last Thursday and your mama prayed many, many times every day for the good gift of healing and not cancer. 

Sadly, Jesus' will is different than ours. Ultimately, what is best is that Jesus gets glory, both in the hearts of the sweet Hurst family and all those who are praying for them and supporting them. As a beautiful added bonus, Jesus can get glory as the Hurst family and the Christians who love them share about what Jesus is doing. Many people fear the situation the Hurst family faces and the way they cling to Jesus through it, as well as those of us who love them cling to Jesus through it, is an opportunity for many to see the good character of our loving God.

To be honest, cancer is just scary, especially for a young mama with young children. To deny that its scary would be foolish--going home to be with Jesus is a sweet blessing not to be feared, yes. But there is so much more in between, from the pain of the treatments to the way it just takes over life. For anyone to just gloss over it with, "God knows what he's doing," makes me suspect that they really aren't counting the cost. Yes, God is sovereign and not only can he completely heal but also he did allow this in his sovereign will. That said, I fully believe that Jesus grieves with us, just as he did when he saw those mourning Lazarus' death, because we humans were not created with the intention of knowing illness and death. Sin corrupted God's perfect creation and to play off something as tragic as cancer in a young, healthy pregnant mama of four as no big deal is not reflective of God's character.

And, what caused your mama to shed many empathetic tears, is that while the possibility going to be with Jesus isn't "worst" case, as a young mama facing the possibility of my beloved babies growing up not knowing me just rips my heart out. This is why I keep asking Jesus for the sweet, good gift of healing.

Well this wasn't very short! I have two more tries :) Much love to you, darling Juliet! I am grateful for the health of both of us and continue to cry out to Jesus for a long healthy life for you--and for Angela and her sweet baby boy, too.

Day 89 - Monday, July 2, 2012
Another busy day today, baby girl! I've been in pretty excruciating back pain but I had to push through it to get us some clean floors. They get so messy so quickly now that your brother eats "real" food. Oofda! We also went to a celebration for the teenage students who recently attended camp through our church. That was amazing! Just seeing such young lives filled with so much pain and hurt and the hope of Jesus resurrection from the dead bringing them from death to life...it brought back a lot for your mama. My story was much like many of theirs, filled with a lot of pain and abuse and a desire to to just escape the pain of reality. But then Jesus brought about the time he had appointed for me to know him and though it's been a long process I've never been the same. I'm reminded how sweet the Gospel is--Jesus does everything and we get the grace of surrendering to his goodness and love instead of fighting to prove anything to him or anyone else.

I pray that your story is different, sweet daughter. I cannot protect you from all pain and suffering, but I do pray that abuse is not a part of your story. I also pray that you grow up secure in knowing you're deeply loved by both your daddy and me. I pray that you have sweet relationships with your siblings and that repentance is always abundant in our home. My heart for you is to know and rest in the goodness of your Heavenly Father, to cleave to the perfect love of Jesus, and to continually surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to be alive and thriving in and through you.

After the celebration your sweet daddy dropped me off to have an evening with some friends celebrating the birthday of a dear lady whom I adore. I love friends where you can just be you--no pressure to prove anything, no worries about whether you have your self together well enough or not. Such grace! I love these ladies who love Jesus and I am in awe of the freedom to just enjoy and love other women. No cattiness, no competition, no jealousy, just sweet sisterhood. How I pray you know that joy, Juliet! Never believe the lie that woman can't truly love one another. By grace it is possible, and when you do see your heart going to that ugly place there are the beautiful gifts of conviction and repentance. I pray you have sweet, deep, thriving sister relationships with other girls and women in love with Jesus! I pray I am always the first place you look for an example of a godly woman and that you find one worthy of emulation.

I adore you, sweet daughter. You keep taking your time growing healthy, but I do eagerly anticipate the day I behold your sweet face :)

What's This About?

If you weren't around for it, when I was pregnant with Roger I did a blog series when I reached 100 days remaining until his due date; I knew then and know that September 29, 2012 is really just a placeholder that means very little, but it was fun to count down with Roger. I decided that I'ma try to do it again with Juliet. Now that I have a lovely 15 month old keeping me on my toes I might not be able to hit every single day the way I did with Roger but I still plan to give it my best!

So here we go! The lowdown: I'll keep one post per "decade" of days, updating with the current day at the top each day. Day 10 plus any bonus days will get their own posts until the day our beloved Juliet Elise arrives! And, as with Roger, they'll be addressed to her personally.

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