Remember those visitors?

Well, we got the pictures 🙂 They just got back to the states from their meetings in north Africa and I’m definitely jealous of all they got to do there! It sounds like it was amazing… not as amazing as the 36 hours they had here (ha), but amazing. Without further ado:

We went to the national monument. Seriously, I really did look like I had a ball in my shirt. It cracks me up to see pictures now.

We were excited to be there at just the right time to see the changing of the guards. They’re all the same height. And when they change they yell out their name and where they’re from and it’s creepy. It was also a bit warm that day (nice to us, but warm if you’re in full uniform) and the helper guy came up to one of the men and wiped his face down and such…. first time I’d seen any of them break form.

Of course we went to the castle… D.Nelly, what is up with that smile? You look sooo glad to be here 🙂

With K.Sam… I miss her. It was so refreshing to catch up 🙂

Her face makes this picture. Again, geez that belly was big.

Popsicles!!! Haha. Only the pink one was mine 🙂 The other was Josh’s. I wasn’t that hungry!


And, in other news…. I went to the doctor yesterday and everything is healing fine. BUT, wow is her office different than my doctor. I mean, wow. My doc is definitely like going to a doc in America minus the AC. This doctor’s office totally reminded me of an old soviet union doctor’s office or something. The secretary was super sweet and kept talking to us while we waited (the doc was late), but honestly my brain was only half working and I was tired and hot (again with the no AC and it was 104* outside yesterday).. but she was sweet. The doc spoke enough english, and it’s not like I had tons of questions… so it was doable. She was really nice, but not the same. She did come straight from visiting my doc, though, and said she’s doing well. Just resting now for the required 2 weeks. Keep praying for her recovery! Poor lady.

And we ventured out to the mall again yesterday. Lincoln did well until it was about time to leave and I think he was so hot in the ergo… he’d just had enough. But he’s done really well lately taking him out 🙂 He still had his freak out hours yesterday evening, but Josh somehow gets him to calm down every time… praise the Lord.

OH! He had his first bath this week. Hated it. I think it’ll be better when we can put him in the tub instead of the sponge bath method. It’s just hard here with the way their tub is situated.

He may look calm in this picture, but that hand on his ear tugging…. that’s his I’m-so-angry-I’m-grabbing-anything-I-can move. By the end he was beet red from screaming so much. Poor thing. He needs another bath today probably, but we might wait for Nana to do it 🙂 Hehe. She’ll be here in 2 days!!!

Seriously, can he get any cuter?!?!?? And check out that eyebrow, see how it sticks out already. Gets that from his dad, for sure.



And the craziness continues…

Quick post re: the insanity of having a baby in a foreign country.

I was supposed to go to the doc on Friday to have the episiotomy checked and just get checked in general with all the post-pardom issues and what not. Well, earlier last week she called and said she was on bed rest til Saturday and would call when she could reschedule. I LOVE my doctor here and was super bummed to hear she was sick… but I’m pretty sure she had a billion deliveries last week, so I thought maybe she just pushed it too hard and got sick.

Not so. By yesterday, she still hadn’t called… which was weird. I was thinking, you know, I’m feeling pretty good (physically…. mind you) and the episio isn’t really hurting anymore, so maybe I’ll be ok just to not go. But then a good friend was like, you should call. If she wanted to see you it’s probably important just to get checked. So, today I tried and it didn’t ring, so I sent a text. Turns out my poor doc had to have emergency surgery for a torn herniated disc and is our of commission until 6 August. Of course, I’m bummed that I can’t see her, but I feel worse that it was that serious!

Moving on. She said I could go to a colleague of hers for the check up and gave me the number. Let’s get something clear. Going to the woman doc is NOT my favorite thing. It was fun when there was a baby in there and we got to see him every time and I didn’t get violated, but now we’re back to the no baby, just uncofortable-ness visits. It’s hard enough with the doctor that I really, really like. So, I assumed since my doc has perfect english, she’d send me to someone else with english speaking abilities. I called, no english. Oh crap. I made it through the convo, explained that I had a baby and an episio and my doc said to call this doc… and made an appointment. Then she gave me the address. I totally understood it correctly and was able to find it on google maps. Victory! So, tomorrow I’ll go to the new doc and pray she speaks english at least enough to understand if there’s a problem.

It’s just nice to know even with post-pardom lack of brain I can still hold my own in this langauge… whew.

Oh, the hormones!

Well, we’re a week and a half into Lincoln’s life and he’s still the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Life with him at this point, however, is more difficult than I thought. At night, he actually sleeps decently well, wakes up to eat and goes back down normally without much of a fight. At least once a night it takes 30 minutes or so, but that’s only once. I can’t complain.

Day time is a different story…. for some reason, he eats well and sleeps well at night and then it’s a fight to make him eat long enough during the day. So, he doesn’t eat well, then pretends to sleep til we try to put him down, then he pitches a fit. For an hour. We try everything we know, then I feed him again and he acts like he’s never eaten before…. for a short time until he falls asleep again and we start the cycle over. When he does sleep, we spend a lot of time like this:

When he doesn’t nap…. I start questioning everything. Am I doing something wrong? Is he not getting enough milk? Does he have something wrong with his stomach or something that keeps him from sleeping? Then all the tears start flowing. Ugh, hormones. I’ve cried more in the last week than probably since I was a baby myself. Mostly it’s been prompted by the aforementioned questions and feelings of inadequacy, but there have been a few times where all the sudden I just start crying for no reason. It’s so weird. Josh will look at me and be like, what’s wrong? and I have no answer… I’m just weepy. Definitely ready for the hormones to be balanced out 🙂 And for baby boy to get into a schedule and sleep/eat well. Until then, I just keep asking God for grace to survive on minimal sleep. At least he’s adorable 🙂

Lincoln’s First Week

I know technically he’s a week old tomorrow, but I wanted to post a few pictures and thoughts… in bullet point form because I’m lazy.

– I HATE cutting baby fingernails. It is horrible. I nicked the poor baby’s skin on his pinky finger 😦 How in the world do you cut his nails without hurting him?

– Breastfeeding is starting to get painful… I’m at that point and I know it passes. But it’s still so amazing that I’m his source of nourishment. I’m not gonna lie, it’s actually one of my favorite things still. And he’s a good sleeper in between feedings, so the exhaustion hasn’t been unbearable yet.

– I’m not a fan of episiotomies. I know it was necessary and the doc tried hard not to have to do one, but still. Grrrr.

– My belly is shrinking faster than I thought it would. I still definitely look like I had a baby…. but at this point it kind of could also pass as a bad muffin top or something 🙂

– Look at those cheeks. Ah, I love it.

– This is his “oh my, it’s a hard life” pose. And this is the first outfit we bought him as soon as we found out it was a boy and tpday will probably be the last day it’ll be worn. We still haven’t measured him, but it’s looooong and all his newborn super cute outfits are already too small 😦

– It’s HOT here. Ugh. So, so gross. We have fans on all the time and windows open all but the hottest part of the day and I’m still so sweaty… which means he’s so sweaty every time I feed him. Poor little guy.

The Due Date Came… and So Did HE!!

Lincoln James Sizemore was born on his due date… which makes him really awesome. Apparently only 5% of babies come on their due date!! And we definitely didn’t expect him to come on Saturday, for sure.

I want to write all the details of the birth before I forget them all! And just as a warning, don’t read it if you don’t want to hear pregnancy/labor related terms. So here goes:

Friday night we went to the track like normal and Josh ran while I walked 3 miles. I was pretty convinced this sweet boy was going to be late, so I was doing whatever I knew to help him come sooner. For the past week or two every time I walked, I would have contraction-ish things, and Friday was no exception. But they weren’t any worse than normal, so I just assumed I had more time. I even complained to my mom that night on the phone about how he was never going to come.

Fast foward to 5am Saturday. I went to the bathroom (for the third time) and came back to bed… when I sat I felt a gush of something and thought it was just the heavy discharge that everyone talks about during the last few months of pregnancy. I’d only started getting it about a week ago, so it was still new and annoying. Anyway, I went back to the bathroom and cleaned myself up, got new underwear and went back to bed…. but it just kept coming out. I grabbed a towel from the bathroom to sit on and shook Josh awake and told him I thought my water broke. I was in complete shock. I think I was actually trembling a bit – that, “Oh stink, I’m not prepared for this” scared kind of trembling. Josh was so out of it… he asked where we were, then said, ok and rolled back over. In the mean time, I decided to call my mom since it wasn’t the middle of the night at home. Then, we decided to sleep while we could before the contractions started.

About 6:15 I started having some contractions, but they weren’t bad. I downloaded an app to time them adn by 7 they were about 7.5 minutes apart, so I thought I’d go ahead and take a shower since we were supposed to go to the hospital when they’re at 5. I told Josh what I was doing, but again, he was exhausted and out of it… so I let him keep sleeping. Showered, called the doc, who was just starting a c-section and said she’d meet us at the hospital at 10 when she was done and we could go ahead and go there whenever we thought it was time. By 7:30, contractions were strong enough that I got Josh out of bed so we could start getting ready to go to the hospital. By 8ish they were between 3.5 minutes and 6.5 minutes apart…. so we loaded up and headed in.

We got checked in and they hooked me up to the monitor and we were left to just hang out and let things progress until the doctor got there. At this point, the contractions were like a minute each with 2 or 3 minutes break in between and manageable. RIght before the doc got there, I had one more painful contraction that made me nauseous…. and when she walked in I was just sitting on the ball leaning over the toilet. Awesome. She told us that the nausea happens when you dialate, so she wanted to check me. I was only at 1 cm. Woo. So, she left us to go to the office for 2 patients and then was coming back. At this point, I was still feeling ok. The contractions were strong, but there was a break in between long enough to recoop and not feel like I was dying.

That didn’t last long.

By 12 the contractions were unbelievably strong. They were lasting about 1.5 minutes with only a thirty second break in between. Everything I had read said contractions like this happened at transition… when you’re going from like 8 to 10  cm and are almost ready to push. I started telling Josh then that if I wasn’t almost fully dialted, I was probably going to get an epidural. Now, I was one of those all natural all the way types…. but this was madness. If it was transition and it was almost over, I could do it. If not, no way. We asked the nurses when the doctor was coming and they called. She was on her way! Praise the Lord. When she got there she checked me again and I was only at 4 cm. And then we asked for the epidural. Josh asked me more than once to make sure I really wanted it since I told him before that I might ask for one and he should really, really question me on it. But I definitely did. There was no way I could deal with contractiosn like that for 6 more centimeters. It took another hour or so for the anesthesiologist to get there and get the epidural in… and then it took about 30 more minutes for it to take effect. In the mean time, I lost what little bit of food was left in my stomach. By 2 I was feeling much better and by 3 I was fully dialted.

One of the reasons I didn’t want an epidural was because they say it can stall labor… not the case for me. The doc actually said they usually have to augment contractions with pitocin after an epidural, but mine just got stronger. So, that was good 🙂 And I’m even more glad I went for the epidural. Once I was dialted, we had to wait 20 more minutes or so for him to get low enough to start pushing. Around 4 I started pushing… and the anesthesiologist ended up pushing on my stomach with the contractions to keep him from coming back up. That was super helpful, but not the most comfortable thing 🙂 But, at 4:51 he was here!

Josh also got to cut the cord, which he was pretty excited about. He put the glove on, then handed over the camera and had to put on a new glove. Then touched the bed and had to put on a new glove again. At that point, the doctor said… “Just rest your hand here.” He was just helping with the comic relief 🙂

I ended up having to get an episiotomy… and I’m not sure how big it is because the doctor just kept saying, it’s small, it’s not that big, etc. She knew I really, REALLY didn’t want one, so she tried hard to avoid it, but Mr. Lincoln decided to come out with his hand by his face… just like he was the whole time in my belly.

Look at his peach fuzz… just like his momma had 🙂 He definitely started crying the second he was out. AND, I forgot. So, obviously with the epidural I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore. But, when he was coming out it was so weird… I could feel his arms and legs wiggling and kicking. He was definitely active!

3.52 kilos (7 lbs 12 oz). They don’t measure them here, but we’re pretty sure he’s long…. Some of his onesies are already tight.

We are totally enamored and in love with Lincoln… and definitely still in shock that he’s here! We’re working on the breastfeeding deal and so far it’s going well. This week the main goal is sleep and eat. So far, so good. We’ll try to at least stay up to date with pictures.

Pain in Childbirth

No, I’ve still not experienced it. But when we went to the track tonight, I was feeling braxton hicks or false labor or some other baby related pain and was waddling worse than normal listening to my iPod thinking about childbirth and how scary it is at this point…. especially when the doctor says, “He’s a bit big for you, but I think he should still  fit.” Yeah. Anyway. Walking along and Daniel Renstrom’s Comfort Ye came on (yes, I listen to some Christmas music year round…. it’s encouraging). So, I’m thinking about childbirth and listening to this song and had a great moment of spiritual renewal or whatever you want to call it. Life here is rough, especially spiritually, and I’m just walking around the track listening to this song and it breaks into the Emmanuel, God with us part and I seriously about threw my hands up in the air! Childbirth has me contemplating the effects of the fall… since the whole pain as woman’s punishment thing is definitely feeling real to me at this point and there’s a line in the song that says, “Comfort ye, weary Christian, just as Christ was raised he will soon return to gather those who follow him by faith.” The promise of redemption. For some reason it just hit me hard tonight. This is not how the world is supposed to be and He has promised it won’t always be this way. He is returning victorious and we can rejoice in that…. even while bent over with the pains of labor.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling thoughts 🙂

39 Weeks

Well, as far as pregnancy goes, nothing to exciting this week. Still playing the waiting game… It is getting harder to sleep, but I don’t know what of that is pregnancy related and what is just heat and excitement. I’m definitely having more aches and pains at this point, but that’s to be expected. I think I may be having pretty sporatic contractions, but I have no idea. He still seems to be wiggling around a lot, which I thought would slow down towards the end. We go back to the doctor on Monday, so she’ll update us then 🙂

I may or may not have woken up from a nap all of 2 minutes before this picture. And I had to flip the image for consistency sake…. I always face left!

How convenient I was wearing the same shirt 10 weeks ago…. and now you can see what both sides of the shirt look like!

There is some serious stretching going on at this point!  And as if my skin wasn’t translucent enough to begin with, you can now see every vein in my stomach. Weird.

In other news, we had such a good time with our visitors last week!!! For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Nelson (who officiated our wedding) and Kimberly (who I lived with just before Josh adn I got married) both work on this UNC systems project dealing with arts in the Islamic world and had meetings near by and managed to fit in a very short trip to see us! After a missed flight and some crazy luggage issues, they finally made it in on Tuesday night and then we spent allllll day Wednesday hanging out, catching up, viewing the plethora of sights here (all 2 of them) and enjoying the local cuisine. It was so refreshing for us to chat with old friends who know and understand us. Huge blessing. We totally stayed up til 2am talking Wednesday night and then were up to take them to the airport Thursday morning. So sad for them to leave so soon, but even just a day was awesome. And then I took a 3 hour nap Thursday afternoon! Ha. Glorious. Of course, Kimberly took pictures and we forgot to put them on the computer before they left. Eventually we’ll get them…

Other than visitors, life is super boring while we play the waiting game. I guess we should take advantage of it and enjoy it while we have time to just chill and relax.

It’s the Little things…

So, before we moved up north we were part of an AMAZING small group here in the capital. We miss those people so much!!! And we miss our deep times in the Word… in our own language… that we understand 🙂 Hehe. Anyway, whenever we’re in town we try to hang out with at least one of the families (since our trips had only been a day or two, it was hard to fit in more than one). Well, yesterday we went to the Aquarium with some folks from small group who we’d not seen in a while and it was super fun! The husband works for the embassy and is out of the country, but it was great for me to spend time with the wife! She’s hilarious. Such a blessing. When we were leaving, she mentioned she had a gift for the baby and some hand me downs from her boys (which are few and far between here… and therefore very valued). Today after Josh went to language he stopped by their house and came home with the most awesome bag of goodies:

Ahhhhhhh, it’s so amazing. Since they’re here with the embassy, they have access to the American grocery store at the support center and can get all these goodies that are impossible to find here. Seriously, we are so blessed! When she said a gift for the baby, I totally thought a cute onesie… I did not expect all this! And she got USDA ground beef for the tacos! Now, they have beef here, of course. But it smells awful when you cook it and even though it tastes good… it’s not the same. It’s not as good as American beef. AND, I’ve been talking about waffles for months now. We even bought a waffle maker recently…. but see that box of eggo’s back there?!? I think I could down the whole thing in 10 minutes. And they’re blueberry!! She also got us some sliced deli ham. Seirously?!?!? Josh was in heaven.

Even thought I’ve already said it… and Josh has said it…. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! Now baby boy will become acclimated to a few American flavors 🙂

38 Weeks

Quick tidbits from the last week.

Arby’s no longer has normal, really yummy ice cream. It’s now sakiz flavored. Why they would do such a thing is beyong me, but it’s disgusting.

The Anatolian Civilizations Museum would have been much  more fun had half of it not been closed.

Dark Shadows was really funny. I love Johnny Depp. My bladder can no longer make it for the entire duration of a movie.

Hot dogs still taste as good as I remember. Maybe better, since they weren’t that great when we lived in the states. And gatorade is amazing. Josh submits that pork is still the best meat ever. He throroughly enjoyed a pork steak sandwich at the independence day celebration (yes, it was 5 days before the actual holiday).

The weather here is amazing right now! But, I would like to make it known that the temperature in our house is probably still equivalent to all you a/c users in America, despite your record breaking highs.

Walking hills when you’re this pregnant causes lots of hopefully labor inducing type feelings. We hope.

Chinese food is soooooo good. Someone please open a restaurant up north.

The words, “Wow, he’s grown” are not so comforting from the doctor at this point. Baby boy is measuring around 8 pounds…. and still growing.

“He’s not dropped yet” are also not comforting words. Please, baby boy, come out soon! We want to meet you!

Limited internet is no fun when you rely on interet for all the shows you want to watch.

The olympics start really soon!!!!!!!!

And creepy fish, courtesy of Josh. It looks like it has real lips. Seriously.

Annnnd, this is an exciting month. Here’s what we have going on:

Tomorrow, friends from the states that we’ve not seen in 2 whole years are coming to town for a couple days before meetings in the big, big city and then more meetings in North Africa.

Sometime within the next 3 weeks, baby boy makes his arrival.

At the end of the month, my parents finally get here!! It’s dad’s first time leaving the states, so I’m pretty excited.

What I’m not excited about:

Ramadan. And all the restaurants up north being closed pretty much the whole time my parents are here. At least they’ll get to try some yummy national food for the few days we’re still in the capital.