Matt’s reaction to my reaction the day we found out we were going to parents.
Our first ultrasound. We sat there, Matt and I, waiting for the nurse to call our name, uncertain but ready. I glanced over my left shoulder at Matt, finding him to be (very discretely) taking deep exaggerated breaths, and simultaneously attempting to take his pulse... I laughed, somehow reassured (even if his heart-rate was abnormally high) because my man was there beside me, still making me laugh... I remember teasing him, asking if he was pregnant too? ... but really, I felt the exact same way.
“Seeing” baby for the first time. There aren’t really any words. He was 12 weeks old. Alive. With his own heartbeat, pumping blood into his tiny body, showing-off his somersaults and countless flips.
This tiny human being, this little life, reduced me to wordless wonder...
Matt stood next to me, eyes glued to the screen, hand halfway over his mouth, a jumble of awe and love and excitement written all over his face.
“For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained from me, when as yet there was not one of them...” ~Psalm 139
Amazing, isn’t it... that though we have yet to meet our little guy, God knows everything about him, down to the most minute detail. That our heavenly Father has been providentially watching and caring for him since before he was even a thought in our mind.
The day I learned that ultrasound pictures are printed on thermal paper. It was the day I took all the images from our very first ultrasound to Fedex to have them laminated. In an effort to preserve those precious, initial ultrasound photos, I had thereby destroyed them—accidentally turning every single picture we currently owned of our first child completely black...
The tangible ways I noticed God’s love for me in this season... despite myself, amid fear, doubt and uncertainties I can remember, on several occasions, an unexpected surprise or gift that would come my way, some through others, some not, where it seemed as if He was reaching down to say, “I’ve got this, it’s going to be ok.”
Matt building the crib, while I was crashed on the couch. As excited as this driven, must-do-everything-now-as-in-right-this-minute, momma-to-be was to see the gorgeous grey crib that just arrived all set up, the impersonating interior-designer in me, just could not muster the energy. Instead, I slept through the entire process. Not sure how far along I was at this point, but I can tell you my first trimester meant that I was A.) adverse to almost all food and B.) taking mid-morning naps and still crashing at 6pm.
That one Saturday afternoon with Jenny and Jessica on the beach, the one where no one knew we were pregnant and we weren’t telling. There I was, taking in a beautiful beach day, down at the water’s edge, with two amazing friends, just chatting the afternoon away while kicking my feet in the surf and watching the waves ignite explosions of foam around our ankles. Not a thought in my mind about spilling the beans because, of course, Matt and I would tell all our Hawaii ohana together, at a later date, and in some “very cool” fashion... But my sweet, insightful friends must have picked up on the fact that Matt and I were changing a few things and suddenly one asked me outright, if we were pregnant...? Caught off guard, I looked up and hesitated (literally for all of five seconds) but my (very brief) hesitation told them all they needed to know and there were happy tears before I could even nod yes. Their reaction was totally unexpected and a very sweet blessing.
The first time I felt the baby move.
The day I got an enormous bill from our electric company. It was more than double what we normally pay. Confused, I went into the office to show Matt. He nonchalantly asked me if we had just gotten a refund from our old electric company in California (despite the fact that we had now been Kama’aina for over a year now). I told him we had, but didn’t see where he was going with it... whereupon, he casually mentioned that I might’ve paid the wrong electric company. I still wasn’t tracking. (I did, however, blurt out that I hadn’t missed paying a single bill in eight years of marriage, thank you very much.) Only after snatching the file from the cabinet, did I finally put two and two together—like he said, I paid the wrong electric company...
Saying “adios’ to our island-truck,” ... because momma got a new ride :)
My request to make an ice-cream run in Denver; evidently 16 weeks was the magic number for my all-day-and-even-worse-at-night, “first trimester,” “morning-sickness...”
Our Maui trip. Being together. Slowing-down. Enjoying the sunshine, white-sand beaches and sea-breezes. The treat of a Trilogy cruise and Molokini snorkel adventure with the parents. Seeing whales, turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, astonishingly-vibrant coral, crystal blue water and countless fish in a kaleidoscope of color. Side-note: whenever I see one of the incredible little fishes of the islands, I marvel anew at the genius of the great Creator—He can paint a titanic canvas of gold across a tropical sunset sky, and then reproduce the masterpiece, in miniature, on the body of a tiny fish. My prayer is that the same will be true for our lil man, who will be, Lord-willing, given a Hawaiian birth certificate and grow up surrounded by the wild beauty of this place.
The first time Matt felt the baby move.
Celebrating 8 years of marriage. Taking in the magnetic qualities of this beautiful island atop ATV’s and watching the world mellow out on an evening catamaran cruise with the person I love most.
Squeezing in one last surf-sesh at five months pregnant. Happy as a clam to be hanging ten with my man and savoring a spectacular Hawaiian sunset, side-by-side, atop surfboards. Watching as the water sparkled and the sky turned from blue to grey to orange and yellow at the western rim of the world.
Climbing all 4,000 of the Haiku Stairs (aka the Stairway to Heaven) in the pitch black of a full moon; lil guy told me he loved the view from the top ;)
Matt’s happy dance down the hall of the doctor’s office when he found out we were having a boy.
Randomly changing my mind and deciding to completely remake Ryker’s room, after months of insisting that there would be no getting rid of the still-practically-brand-new king bed that was currently sharing the space. Not sure what changed my mind, but everything came together beautifully.
The great fun of celebrating our “baby-on-board” in Kansas City, with a houseful of old friends around a hot cocoa bar, in the warmth of my childhood home. Just like all those fond memories of growing up, when countless friends could be found walking through my parents front door, to gather in the kitchen, nibble and sip, and chat away the evenings.
At Christmas, pondering Christ in the womb, it’s almost unimaginable that God’s plan to save us included him coming as a baby—that our God was once in utero too...
The afternoon my husband (who firmly opposes all shopping trips and considers a cardboard box preferable to spending hours searching for the perfect crib) spotted a truly fabulous Star Wars quilt at Pottery Barn Kids and insisted it was a must for the top bunk.
The calm spirit of my “other-mother” and her willingness to serve and care for me. I arrived in California bewildered by the intense (and completely debilitating) contractions that had started (for reasons unknown to me) the day prior in Arizona... coupled with an 101 degree fever no less, and sporadic episodes of Braxton Hicks thrown in for good measure... However, 24 hours later, and under strict orders to rest on pain-of-death, she had nursed this momma-to-be back to health.
The sweet blessing of being with our California family and the absolutely beautiful baby shower they held in honor of this new little life that the Lord is entrusting to us. I was beyond blessed by the tangible way they shared in our joy and excitement; absolutely encouraged by my friends love for us in this season, as we look forward to meeting this lil guy.
Getting to watch lil buddy on the 3D ultrasound. “Seeing” what he was up to in there, which looked like a whole lot of chillaxin and sporadic sessions of training to be a golden-glove boxer.
The sweet and encouraging note I found, secretly tucked into the book I brought to read while taking the (absolutely horrific) four hour glucose test—my husband words cheering me on through the bane of my existence.
Purchasing our first Sleep Number bed. Matt had recently turned 30 and I was 7 months pregnant—so you get it when I tell you that we were literally counting down the nights till we would fall into its luxury and drift off into the best sleep of our lives... In reality, however, the first night in our new bed went more along the lines of Matt storming out of the room at 1am to sleep on the couch, and by that I mean not actually getting any sleep at all because he was too mad to sleep. Subsequently, I awoke at 2am to find him gone and thereby had to haul my pregnant self out of bed in the middle of the night to go search for where in the world he could possibly be. Apparently, something had gone wrong with the “bladders” that make up this (luxurious, top-rated) mattress, and Matt had been awakened by the shooting pain in his hips to find himself sleeping directly on top of the box spring... We now laugh about how, though disoriented, he was just able to make out the curve of my belly while wading out of bed unhinged.
Listening to Matt as he prays for his son.
And the night we still hadn’t decided on a name, but Matt prayed for “Ryker.” It was kinda a done deal after that.
Determining to never ask the doctor another question, because every time I have, it has resulted in some form of unpleasantness... or borderline torture... like further blood draws...
The night Ryker kept kicking and punching me from all sides and every direction as we attempted to watch a movie. I had Matt put his hands on opposite sides of my belly so he could “see” for himself. I was not prepared for his reaction, which was to stand-up and start singing Flashdance’s “he’s a maniac, maniac,” while rapidly punching his hands into the air and stomping his feet on the ground (to which I’m still not sure if I can refer to as dancing).
Celebrating our lil ball of “sonshine” in this beautiful place God has brought us, with many of the amazing friends He has blessed us with here in Hawaii. I was completely overwhelmed with the kindness and love showered on me as our ohana gather to celebrate the upcoming arrival of baby Ryker. What an enormously beautiful day it was.
Discovering a folder entitled “letters to my son” on Matt’s computer.
The strange looks I encountered pushing an empty stroller for five miles, while 9 months pregnant. Little did they know that my friend had sold me her bob stroller and I had just given it a good washing with the hose... the stroller was literally dripping with water and I thought a walk in the sunshine just the thing to help the drying process along. It was only after I was well on my way that I stepped back to consider the scene...
And how could I forget the car-seat-drama... Matt spent 2 hours, with manual in hand, installing our first car seat into my car, which was not an infant click-in-and-out car seat, because for nine months I had insisted that I wouldn’t need one... But upon discovering that my new bob stroller was capable of holding an infant car seat, I immediately saw the error of my ways and immediately went out and purchased a second car seat—of the infant click-in-and-out variety. This meant that Matt not only had to take out the original car-seat from my car and re-install it into his vehicle, but also install the new infant car seat into mine, which (in the interest of keeping it real) resulted in a disagreement over how both of the car seats should be installed... thankfully, we were saved by the neighbor.
The numerous ways in which my husband has loved me through these ever changing seasons.