To read Part One, Click Here

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Do you want to hear the sweetest thing EVER? Last night when I came home from the Return to Rest retreat, I walked upstairs to unpack and saw that Will had painted the entire nursery while I was away! A beautiful and cozy light gray we picked out the other week! I couldn’t believe it. He has been just the sweetest husband I could ask for during this pregnancy. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Also, there’s gonna be a real live baby in my house in just a few months. What the what! This is getting real, people!

It is so hard to believe that I will already be 6 months pregnant THIS WEEK. My belly has grown quite a bit since the photo was taken above… this whole process is still quite surreal. I’ve been told that I’ll never really get used to it, even when the baby arrives, and I know that will be the case for me. My prayer is that I would slow down and enjoy every season of this, knowing that I’ll never be pregnant for the first time again.

Since I last shared my heart about my journey with this sweet baby, not much has changed, yet everything has changed.

I’m still the same independent, goal-setter, anti-clutter, love-my-sleep, entrepreneur, love-my-husband, focused, love-to-travel, joyful Nancy that I’ve always been. And yet, I am ALSO a Mama who loves to feel these kicks, who loves the challenge of planning a maternity leave, who loves the thought of Will being a Daddy, who loves tiny hats and mittens.

For some reason, I thought that I couldn’t be all of these things at once. I thought I’d have to sacrifice my ambition for mommyhood. But I’m realizing, I don’t. It’s ALL who I am. I don’t have to choose one or the other, I simply have to choose to be comfortable in who God made me to be.

Day by day, month by month, I’ve traded my anxiety for joy. I honestly am very surprised at how much I am enjoying this journey. I thought I’d be kicking and screaming the whole way, since I dreaded being pregnant for so, so long. I’m thankful for God’s goodness to me early on – that he began to prepare my selfish heart for this season long before I got pregnant. This is God’s good plan for me, and it’s much sweeter when I lay down my own expectations and plans and simply embrace His plans.

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Some highlights of my pregnancy so far:

We’ve decided to keep the gender a surprise
After much deliberation and many conversations, we have decided to keep this little one’s gender a surprise. We are praying and hoping for a healthy baby, and while we both think it’s a boy, we are very excited for the moment of anticipation in the deliver room when the doctor says, “It’s a ____!” We decided this for several reasons: First, we want practical and neutral gifts that can be shared among siblings. Secondly, I’ve heard its great motivation in the delivery room when you are ready to meet your baby. Lastly, it’s one of life’s last greatest surprises, and we wanted to keep it that way. People have been surprised for thousands of years, and I love the anticipation of it. Not to mention – every single couple that has highly encouraged us to wait to find out has done it themselves, and said it was the best thing they’ve ever done!

Names
The plan is that we will pick out one girl name and one boy name before we go to the hospital! We have a handful of names that we like, but we are very undecided. Hoping it will become clearer as time passes!

Cravings / Food
I love salty, savory, vinegary food. My favorites have been pickles, Olive Garden salad, anything with banana peppers, and all dairy products! Whole milk has never tasted so good. I also eat granola + bananas + yogurt every morning and it never gets old.

Movement
This has been my favorite highlight of all! I’ll never forget when I was lying on my bed one night at 20 weeks, and I felt this baby having a dance party in my belly. Will hadn’t felt it move yet, but I was convinced he would be able to feel it. I called him into the room, he knelt down beside my bed, and after waiting with this hand on my belly for a few moments I felt a solid kick. He looked at me and said, “WAS THAT IT?!” We both started laughing and I said, “YES!” Since then, our little one has not stopped. It’s constantly moving and kicking and I love it!

Learning
Let the book reading begin! Will is reading The Birth Partner and the Expectant Father. I’m reading What to Expect and How to raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor. We have a long list of books on parenting we want to read this year, which we will be sharing soon. We signed up for Birth Classes and we watched the Business of Being Born Documentary as well. Goodness there’s so much to learn. I want to educate myself as much as possible, while keeping an open mind and being willing to welcome whatever story God chooses to write when we welcome baby Ray into the world.

That’s it for now, friends. The same ol’ me with a growing Mama’s heart. For all you entrepreneur Mamas out there – I’d LOVE to hear from you! What are your favorite books? Resources? Advice?

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P.S. We’re also taking Bradley classes & loving them!

Yay for Baby Ray! So exciting to hear more about you & Will’s exciting journey to parenthood :) My hubby just wrapped up reading Husband-Coached Childbirth & loved it. Dr. Bradley gives so much insight for our husbands to know & understand from the current stage of pregnancy all the way up to labor & delivery. I’m currently reading On Becoming Babywise, which had been highly recommended from family & friends.

It is a joy to read (and learn from) your words Nancy. And I agree with all of the above, it is amazing watching your heart grow and expand. Wishing you well xo

You are so beautiful and I love your story. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you…girl or boy, both are amazing gifts from God!

Nancy- you look beautiful! Love your updates and reading your goals! XOX

Wonderful! I read A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in your childbirth experience — and I really enjoyed the words of many women about their childbirth experience. You and Will will be absolutely wonderful (you already are!)

My ob is the doc in the business of being born. Totally discovered that a few months after I started seeing him. Make sure your hospital is on board with your preferences before you show up. Oh, and get a doula. Best money I ever spent!

Not a mama, but I have already read All Joy and No Fun (HIGHLY recommended), Simplicity Parenting (most relevant for slightly older kids), and am currently reading Expecting Better (I think you would like it based on the “in spite of your doctor” book!)!

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