Halfway to Meeting Baby: A Pregnancy Update

Hi friends! We are a few weeks into October, one of my favorite months in the year, and I thought it would be fun to share a little pregnancy update with you all.

You’ve been massively supportive, unbelievably kind, and I want to celebrate every moment of this miracle! As of today, Baby Sowell is the size of a cantaloupe! A cantaloupe...in my belly! Can you believe it? Honestly, my brain cannot compute. Nevertheless, it’s true! Baby is growing by the minute, and it’s wild to even type these words: we are halfway to becoming a family of three. I shared with a friend this morning that this week is big, but it also just feels different.

For the first time in our whole pregnancy, I’ve finally given myself permission to imagine what life will be like with a baby in our arms.

Our journey has been so unique, and even though I have fought very hard to not let fear or worry have a voice in my ear, it’s been tough to take in the good news without wondering if bad news lurks around the corner. I’ve learned that when you lose something or someone, the old adage “time heals all wounds” certainly bears some weight. With each passing day and week, after every appointment, and during every little baby kick...I heal. I exhale. I learn to trust again, to hope, and to really enjoy these moments as the gifts they are.

The other night, I had a vivid dream we were in the delivery room.

Reed delivered our baby like a regular Grey’s Anatomy stud, and in a blink, a midwife placed our bundle of joy in my arms. The scene changed to Reed running down a hall in his scrubs, bursting through double doors to the waiting room. He shouted, “It’s a ______!” (My dream bleeped it out - haha!) and our crowd of friends and family cheered. He asked my parents if they wanted to meet their grandbaby and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I woke up from the dream at around 5am and cried silent tears of joy. I knew it wasn’t real, but I smiled as I thought, “It will be.”

Little moments like these...baby moving around in my tummy nonstop, and today’s ultrasound have been steady reminders that God has us in his loving hands.

This morning’s appointment was the one when we were able to find out the gender, to which we quickly declined (mostly so I wouldn’t change my mind!), and we got to enjoy a long ultrasound...seeing every little part of baby’s growing form. The moment our technician began, we saw a precious waving hand on the screen! I felt so emotional, it was almost as if baby was saying, “Hi Mama and Daddy, I’m doing great!” Everything looks normal but we will receive more detailed results next week. Our technician shared that baby’s size is a bit above average...which makes sense considering Reed was a 10 lb baby himself! I was just over 5 lbs when I was born, so I’m hoping ours lands somewhere in the middle. Baby kicked and spun the whole time, making our technician’s job a little difficult, but she laughed the whole time, telling us our baby is active and healthy.

Physically, I’m doing great! I can’t muster up any complaints, as every moment feels like a blessing.

Of course, some of my symptoms are uncomfortable, but for me, they are indicators this pregnancy is progressing in a normal way. Some of my current symptoms are cramping legs, strong fatigue around 3pm every day, occasional heartburn and indigestion, and some lower back pain. Reed and I went on a difficult 7-mile hike last week, which I so enjoyed, but definitely felt the next morning! Last weekend, we had some dear friends in town, and we drove all around the Bay Area. I loved every minute but felt more tired than ever when Monday rolled around! Everyday, I am learning my limits, listening to my body, and taking it easy when I need to. Sundays are funny days, because when we are setting up for church, no one will let me lift a finger! We’re a mobile church, so setup and breakdown are “all in” and as much as I want to help, I know things are different and asking for help isn’t weakness. (A hard lesson to learn for a doer!)

My belly is growing rapidly, but my midwife assured me it’s so obvious because of how otherwise petite I am, and it could be an indicator of a bigger baby and/or an earlier delivery date! I absolutely love it, and because I know I am eating healthy (aside from the occasional donut run!), staying active, and growing a healthy baby...you won’t find me obsessing over weight gain. I feel this time of year is a great one to be pregnant, because it’s not too hot to wear stretchy leggings and big sweaters!

Friends and family often love touching my tummy, and I have no problem with it!

I know lots of Mamas who don’t prefer “being a petting zoo” (which is totally their prerogative), but this is another one of those things I deeply appreciate, because people are sharing in our joy over our miracle! We feel over the moon to have so many genuinely loving people around us, many of whom have been praying with us since the beginning of this journey. I want to share as much of this with our tribe as possible!

I started a registry (eep!) and thus, the baby gear research has begun.

This doesn’t feel overwhelming, but so exciting! One of my closest friends gifted us with the crib I wanted at our housewarming party (cue all the happy tears!) and we picked up the cutest changing table for free, thanks to the Nextdoor app! I have a fun vision for our nursery, and I love walking through the baby section of stores, wondering if our little one will sport baseball caps or frilly headbands. One small perk of waiting to find out the gender is our focus can be on getting the things we’ll actually need for a baby, while waiting on clothes until necessary. Babies grow so stinkin’ fast, and onesies are surprisingly expensive, so I’m in no rush to have the perfect outfits. As far as we’re concerned, a stroller is more important!

This week, Reed and I will begin reading a few books together.

We have some Christian parenting curriculum we’re excited to dive into, and I’m going to get a head start on our baby book. Being halfway makes all of this feel so real, and we want to walk into parenting intentionally...with a heart to humbly learn, but also with a plan! My Dad always told me, “without a plan, you plan to fail!” Of course, raising a child is less linear than most things, but I think the principle applies. We will be kind to ourselves along the way, and are sure to make countless mistakes, but without any preparation, we make it harder than it needs to be.

I feel so incredibly grateful to be on this journey with Reed.

He is a remarkable husband... loving, patient, present, intentional, sacrificial, hardworking, romantic, playful, and Christ-like. Our baby is already the luckiest to have a Daddy like him! Thank you for joining us on this special journey, and please continue to pray for us and our baby. We feel the love and prayers already, and count ourselves deeply blessed to have you in our corner. Let me know in the comments if you like reading these updates, and I’ll be sure to post more in the future!

Keep celebrating,

All photos by Makenzie Photography, mugs by Beholden Prints, and onesie by Simple but Sassy. My vegan leather jacket is old from Abercrombie & Fitch (find similar one here) and dress is from Target (find similar one here). Reed’s denim jacket is from Levi’s and his shirt is from H&M (find similar one here.)
Special thanks to Peet’s Coffee on Chestnut Street, SF for being so accommodating to our shoot & for serving our coffee in our mugs!