Livin' On A Prayer (Whoa, We're Halfway There)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sing it, you Bon Jovi fans - cause at nearly 20 weeks along...Whooooa, we're halfway there, whooooooa, livin' on a prayer! 
That's right, this third pregnancy is already at the halfway mark!  The baby is as big as an heirloom tomato and as long as a banana.  (Why, again, are all the sizes compared to fruits and vegetables?  I never understood this.  Can't she be as big as a bearclaw or as wide as a pizza slice?)

It seems all I get these days are wide eyes and dropping jaws when I reveal I'm not due until the middle of August.

On average, I would say 3-5 times a day I get asked one of the following:

Are you sure it's not twins?
Do you think you're due date is wrong?
Do you think you'll really make it until August?
How will you survive the summer?
But, again, are you very sure there is only one baby in there?

Yes.  Yes, I'm sure.  Yes, there is only one baby who is coming in August 2015.  Yes, for heaven's sake, yes.  (And this is the point where I smile instead of right-hook their face.)  Then, they abruptly follow up with a disclaimer:

It's cause it's your third baby.
It's cause you're built small.
It's cause it's a girl.
Huh.  I thought it was CAUSE I'M PREGNANT.

People, you are all so silly.  Trust me when I say that no one is more aware of how enormous I am more than ME.  I understand that your eyes immediately drift from normal-eye-contact to belly-staring-awkwardness as soon as you encounter me.

But, please, for heaven's sakes believe me when I tell you the facts about my own body instead of instantly second-guessing whether I am delusional, in denial, or grossly under-educated in biology.

This belly's got a long way to go.  It's gonna grow.  It's gonna take over my balance and most of my brain.  It's gonna be in the way, knock things over, and freak you out if a bit of it peeks out from under a too-small shirt I'm unwilling to part with yet.  It's gonna catch crumbs, hit the steering wheel, and hoist up my boobs (which aren't getting any smaller either, by the way).

I'm cool with it.  I'm loving it (most of it).  I'm dealing with it as well as anything - living on a prayer full of fear and grace that will get me from one day to the next.  One week to the next.  One month to the next.

If my growing being makes you wonder about the miracle of life, ponder the intricacies of anatomy, or stand in utter shock at the awe of how I seemingly defy the laws of physics - go for it.  Gawk away.

But please, gawk in awe of the Creator.  Give that jaw-dropping glory to He who is weaving the unformed before your very eyes.  Bug those eyes out at the God of the Universe who takes the time to build cells into a heart, brain, kidneys, and little fingers with prints as unique as a snowflake.

Now, that is something that will forever amaze me.  That, my friend, is something we can awkwardly stand looking astonished together, with gaping mouths wide open.

Twenty more weeks.  Hallelujah, bring it on.

It's a Girl! Now What?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bring on the tutus and bows!  It's another girl (yes, that makes THREE) for the Pardys.  As if my home wasn't covered in pink and purple enough already, this bouncing baby girl is bound to bring a whole new host of cotton candy colors with her when she arrives in August.


Three girls.

Let's process this, guys.  This is a lot of estrogen in one little household.  I think my husband is worried he might start growing breasts if he doesn't keep the windows open.

We are overjoyed to be welcoming another girl.  Plus, you can't beat the hand-me-down savings or the inevitable cuteness-overload photos that are bound to come from capturing the happenings of three little princesses (think of the Christmas photos! the Easter dresses! the delicious Halloween costumes that will make you gasp in awe!)  My heart can almost not handle the sweetness already.

The news of a third daughter didn't come without surprise, however.  Even those of you who put your votes in for the boy/girl poll opted to overwhelmingly anticipate it being a boy.  I join you in your shock!

As the ultrasound tech rubbed my belly with the jelly and revealed our wiggly baby (in all her black and white, other-worldly, glory) I held my husband's hand tight, not quite ready to hear the news.  The sweet one had her legs crossed politely, so it took a little while to jostle her into an immodest position.  Finally we got a clear shot, and I knew.

"Oh, that's a girl," I said definitively.

"Yes, it is!" confirmed the tech.

We smiled.  We sighed.  We stared.  It had not quite sunk in yet.

When I first got pregnant, I thought it would be a girl.  I know the statistics, and after two of the same sex babies, the odds of having the same again are quite high.  Still, both my siblings had beaten these odds by having two boys and then a girl, so I knew there was a shot for a Pardy boy in the making.

As the weeks went on, my pregnancy symptoms became drastically different than with my girls.  I had totally different cravings and aversions.  My nausea was terrible, and overall I felt much worse than with my girls.  It just felt like a whole new ballgame to me.  Surely, this had to mean it was a boy, right?  I couldn't rationalize any other simple explanation.  So, for the last several weeks, I grew quite keen on the idea of having a son.

As far as we know, this is our last baby we'll be having.  I'd be lying if I didn't say we hoped there would be a Pardy boy in the bloodline.  My husband is the last male Pardy, so it seemed natural to continue the most-fun-last-name-ever with this final child.  I began having visions of what it would be like, what our family would look like with a boy, and how I would connect differently as a mother to a son of my own.  It was weird, foreign, scary, and lovely.

And it made me wonder all the more who it was growing inside my bulging belly?

Every time I find out the gender of my babies, I'm thrown into an emotional paradox.  As the unknown turns into the known, one dream has to die in order for the other to transition into reality.  I'm thrilled for what it is.  I grieve for what it isn't.

I was not sad to find out I'm having a girl.  I was sad to find out I will not be having a boy.

We drove to go get lunch after our appointment.  I rambled on and on about the wonders of having another girl and how beautiful and magical it will be to have three daughters under one roof.  I had visions of hair-braiding slumber parties, giggling in dress-up clothes, and baking together in the kitchen like a homemade version of Little Women in real life.

I pulled into the restaurant parking lot, and burst into tears.  I had to take a moment.  I had to pause and grieve the vision of a son.  I had to let go of the idea that no tiny bow ties or hipster-mustache-onesies or matching-tuxedos-with-daddy would be in our future.  I had to allow myself to release the image of my girls creating a bond with a brother who would want to follow and protect them.

I had to say goodbye to this dream.  Deep sigh.  And I did.  And it felt great.  Well, it felt terrible and then great.  Relief is a beautiful thing.

It still took a while for the news to really reach my bones and sink into my heart (shopping for a pink dress helped!) As the reality of one dream became clearer, my tears dried up, and my heart became full as this new girl inside me began shaping the image of our family into what it was always meant to look like.

I hope you embrace my honesty for what it truly is - a human mother, grappling with the realities of life.  (Not to mention, a gut full of hormones that wreak havoc and any given time!)  I am not sad over what I've been given.  And I'm no longer sad over the dream that was lost.  This was a win/win situation, and I'm only grateful to God for the experience of pregnancy and the gift of another child.  There is no, "but..." There is no, "however..."  That's the truth.

And now?  Now, we celebrate!  In typical Pardy fashion, we wholeheartedly invite you to pray for our growing baby girl as we eagerly anticipate her August arrival with fanfare and thanksgiving!

Baby Girl Pardy #3 is on her way!  And I for one, can't wait to meet her.

Book Cover Reveal: For All Maternity

Monday, March 2, 2015

Several months ago I shared the exciting news that I wrote a book and it's getting published.  Well, it's been a surreal whirlwind since then.

I've been busy with editing, rewrites, and pinching myself to make sure this was all really happening.

Today I get to share the BOOK COVER!  I hope you love it, you share it, and you mark your calendars for MAY 1st when the book becomes available to buy!

For All Maternity
Coming May 1, 2015

When should I start a family?  Why do I want to become a mother?  How will my life change after having a baby?  It’s easy for questions like these to plague the mind of an already multi-tasking woman who just wants to shop for cute onesies.  

In For All Maternity, Emily Pardy encourages readers to ask the hard questions while humorously sharing her own tumultuous journey into motherhood.  From sitting awkwardly in marriage counseling, to learning how to breast-pump in the middle of the workday, this bumpy road to motherhood encounters lessons about body image, boundaries, and belief in a God who is more trustworthy than any baby manual around.  

Be sure and keep up with the blog to hear more info as the drop date approaches.  Thank you for sharing in this exciting moment with me!

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