Monday, August 24, 2015

28 Weeks and Our Baby's Name!

As usual, though the pictures were taken during the 28th week, I'm closer to 30 weeks as I write this post. ;)

We started the 3rd trimester! And I can feel it! I feel big and much more tired. Carrying around extra weight everywhere is draining. But thankfully I am in good health, everything checks out fine at doctor's visits in terms of blood pressure, weight gain is normal, and I haven't had much swelling of the ankles, for which I am grateful. I do have spider veins and stretch marks in many places, but try to look on them as "badges of honor." ;) Leg cramps sometimes wake me up, but thankfully not as often as last time around. I am experiencing what heartburn is (ugh!) if I eat anything remotely spicy, but even that isn't too frequent. All-in-all, I am grateful!

Carrying Hadassah is getting much more difficult, at least for long stretches while walking. Around the house I take plenty of opportunities to scoop her up and cuddle her, as I know this is still the easiest time to carry both of my babies at once! But between my belly getting bigger, balancing Hadassah on the hip or the baby bump is just more challenging, and it doesn't help that she's getting bigger too. Based on the amount she ate at lunch today, it seems like a growth spurt is going on for her too! She seems to understand though, and Ryan is carrying her more, saying he needs to build up his arms even more after seeing another dad at church holding both his 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old while singing. *smile* Hadassah loves Daddy's strong arms, and seems to understand why I can't carry her more too. She'll say "Mommy carry baby in tummy, Daddy carry 'Dassah" in the cutest way.

Doctor's appointments continue to revolve around "too big, too big!" Seriously, I feel that's all I've heard my whole pregnancy... Our little girl IS a big girl, and the measurements are a tad bigger than the average baby, but I am not worried! I keep trying to tell them "this is normal - my family always has above 8 lb babies!" but because I refused the gestational diabetes test (not feeling it was necessary, being in the lowest "risk" category, not recommended by my midwife in the states, and just not a comfortable thing to do, traveling 1 1/2 hours downtown by subway on no food!), he kept telling me "But we just can't be SURE that you don't have it, so although your weight gain is on track and baby is "just" in the 60th percentile for size, you should do another ultrasound before delivery just to make sure baby hasn't jumped to the 80th or 90th percentile! I gave up trying to reason and thanked him for the advice, though I don't plan to follow it...

Another hiccup is the fact that we've heard that in China they don't recommend flying after 32 weeks pregnant. Our airline (Delta) has no restrictions on pregnant flyers, and we've called to make sure, as we need to wait until 35 weeks to fly out. So we're hoping the doctor gives me a flying certificate (it seemed like they would) just in case we have trouble with boarding the plane, as we've learned sometimes the officials at the Shanghai airport do things differently... The plan is just to not call too much attention to ourselves, dress in looser clothes, and pray there's no problem.

I have really enjoyed emailing out midwife, and she recommended I do exercises on the website Spinning Babies. I had wanted some more stretches and exercises good for pregnancy, and these are supposed to help encourage baby to be in the ideal anterior position. Hadassah was posterior, which made for a harder labor and delivery. No clue if the exercises will "work" that way, but they and the stretches just feel so good, that they're at least helping pregnancy be easier! I've started to look forward to doing them during Hadassah's nap time, as they leave me relaxed and with less tension in my neck, shoulders, and back. So thankful for some good, natural advice.

I did enjoy seeing our precious little girl on the ultrasound, too. According to studies, at this age she can dream, open and close her eyes (I think I even saw some of that on the ultrasound), stick out her tongue, and wiggles all over in fun ways. She was head down at the check-up too, so in a good position!

We also decided to announce her name before birth!

Okay, so it was kind of a mistake. ;) We've gotten so used to calling her by name, that when taking my parents on a skype tour of our new house, Ryan said, "and here's {name}'s room." So we thought we may as well just tell everyone. But we're sure about the name, and just not very good at keeping secrets I guess. ;)

Introducing Eliana Grace Wolfe

Pronunciation: "El-e-ah-na"

The meaning is special to us; "Eliana" means "My God has answered" and with all of the questions and seeking Him for direction from the time we learned we were pregnant, we have seen Him answer, and answer with Grace. He does give grace upon grace. And, with her being born at the start of winter, which will mostly be spent in Shanghai, she will be a special grace during those bleak, polluted and cold days. It's hard to be too down with a sweet new baby around!

Eliana is also the (Hebrew origin) name I gave the slave girl in the musical "Captive Faith" that I wrote and directed in 2012, my last musical before getting married to Ryan. :) So even though it's not *really* the name of a character in the Bible, to us it's so tied to that character (the slave girl in 2 Kings 5 who had faith and told her captor about Elisha so he could be healed) that it fits our desire to have someone in the Bible or Christian history to point back to in the names we give our children.

There were days during the early part of pregnancy, discouraged and not knowing what was ahead, that I felt like I was "captive in a foreign land" and had a hard time pressing on. Ironically, the song I wrote for the character Eliana in the musical encouraged me here:
I choose to find faith
While captive in this foreign land.
I choose to trust God
Though I cannot feel His hand.
I choose to have hope
Even though I’m far from home.
I choose to stand strong
Though I feel so all alone.
I choose to find faith…
God please give me the faith…
I choose to find faith… in captivity.
It's our prayer that our girl Eliana will have such steadfast faith and walk in grace.

We'll call her Ellie for short, which I like as much as the full, more flowery name Eliana. :) I can't wait to meet her in person, see her features in color, and cuddle her IN my arms. It won't be too long now... I have a feeling the next 10 weeks (since I'm writing this post around 30 weeks) will fly!


  1. I found your blog through Bethany Lane's facebook. I love your girls' names. I have three girls #1 is Cassandra Grace, #2 is Hadassah Faith and #3 is Eliana Joy. And we call Eliana, Ellie alot. :) I really enjoyed your blog. Blessings to you!

    1. Hannah, that is too neat! I guess the names aren't as rare as we thought, especially that you have a "Hadassah Faith" too! :) Fun! -Anna

  2. This post just warms my heart! We have such great memories of that play and such a wonderful and fitting name for your precious daughter. Especially fitting to announce her name along with the 3D ultrasound and with stating the fact that she is fully human, made in His image, therefore, she has a name! And, of course, we love her shortened name too as it reminds us of another beautiful girl we know.... ;) Praise God! -- Donna Jo

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment! :) And yes - "Ellie" just fit as a nickname for Eliana, but it's fun to think of the Clements with it too. She'll have great girls to look up to. :)

  3. It's a beautiful name!!

    Can't wait to see you in a few weeks.

  4. In Japan, we dressed our little ones in snowsuits at night to keep them warm in an unheated apt. Sometimes I put too many clothes on them and they would sweat! It was hard to know how many layers they needed.

    1. It definitely can be hard to know! Every change of the season it takes adjustment to know how much Hadassah needs to wear. Thankfully there are wall heaters in each room, which helps. And we'll try swaddling little Ellie like we did Hadassah when she was a newborn, as that can help make sure she stays warm too!