pregnancy update (any day now)

There are 14 days until my due date. Tick. Tick. Tock.

The prospect of going into labor is always a little scary, but I'm trusting in God's strength and in my body's ability to do the work ahead. We'll be delivering at the local birth center, a place that brings me great peace.

pregnancy update (any day now) 1
14 days to go

In other news, I won a contest yesterday. The prize? A labor & delivery shoot with a local photographer. I was initially elated...but then shy. I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn down the prize. Tim said, "Are you sure you want someone to have photos of you naked forever?" And I was all, " Um. No." So that pretty much settles things.

People keep asking if we are "ready" and if there is anything we "need." Well, we're certainly ready to greet our little girl (and, as for me, I am more-than-ready to not be pregnant anymore). I have a bag packed, but we have yet to buy newborn diapers. I have an itty bitty wish list on Pinterest too. But, we mostly yearn for your prayers and maybe a hot meal or a loaf of bread afterward?

We don't have a name yet. Tim & I are notorious for waiting until the last second to pick one. With Kayla, we decided on the drive to the hospital. With Liv, we decided in the tub, about 30 minutes before she arrived. Our list currently includes 8 names, but we'd love to hear your suggestions. Go.

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74 comments on “pregnancy update (any day now)”

  1. Wow! I knew I hadn't checked back in a while, but it has been longer than I thought! Congratulations! New babies are so sweet. I'm wishing you lots of luck and remembering you in my prayers.

  2. It is so nice to stop by; your blog looks beautiful and I love the changes! Congratulations on expecting baby #3!!!That is such wonderful news Stephanie! I wish you the best!!!

  3. You look beautiful!! And I'm smiling because this post is about 2 weeks old, and I thought "a sweater? jeans? she must be so hot!" But then I remember that is was so chilly a few weeks ago!

    I'm not one to give girlie advice, but Michael would have been a Claire :)

    1. Claire IS a beautiful name. It's on our list of eight, actually. Our final decision will be made this week (because she'll be born this week!). :)

  4. I feel the same way about having someone else there while I am in labor, I wonder if it would make me slow things down unintentionally, so I am glad you are listening to your instincts for what is right for you. The only girl name I would still love to use is Naomi, other than that I've used my favorites up :-) but I bet you will see her and know exactly who she is. Hope you are at peace these last few days.

  5. Yay! Not long to go! I'm due with our 2nd (gender unknown) on the 17th. We've had our girl name settled for ages - Jemimah Jean. I think it's beautiful, so delicate and girly but will suit an adult too. Our first girl is Abigail Rose ( jemimah means dove and Abigail means "her fathers joy"). Everyone seems to think I'm having a boy tho, so we will have to wait and see!

    1. I agree. A delightful choice. Do you think you'll call her Gem for short?

      Also: How are you holding up? Only a few weeks to go!

      1. I think Jem would be her nickname but my 2yo pronounces Jemimah as "Mimah" so we'll see!
        I'm holding up really well - I have been seeing a chiropractor almost fortnightly since the start of my third trimester and it has helped so much!
        Looking forward to hearing how your labour goes :-)
        Bec

  6. Hey look at you! So excited for you. Your first and my first are just weeks apart in age, and our second babies are months apart, but this time -- no baby for me. I hope it all goes great for you!

  7. Hi!
    Congratulations! I have 2 girls and we named them Jessica (I've seen it me "God's Grace" or "God Beholds")Grace and Lauren Grace. Other names we liked were Julia Grace or Emma Grace. I think the name Helena is pretty too. My middle name is Grace so I passed it on to the girls.
    Lots of great name suggestions!
    Kathy

    1. Beautiful pictures! I agree! But...I still think having an extra person in the room would distract me from focusing in on the very hard work of bringing a baby into the world. To each her own.

      Also, I like your name suggestions. Thank you.

  8. If we had had a girl, her name would have been Mikayla Nicole. So I'll recommend those names along with Beth, Keri, and Erica. :)

    I'm so excited for you! I hope you sing your way through another wonderful delivery!!!

  9. You dont look like a woman about to give birth...so cute! I dont want to wish it on you but waiting a few extra days would be really helpful. The 18th is a good round number and I'd never forget her birthday. ;) Hehe.

    We cant wait to meet Sheaffer Girl #3. Our three girl names (we never got to use) are a little old now, but they were:

    Vanessa
    Mallory
    Whitney

    When can I steal you for lunch or something?

  10. Yay for the end is near! You look fabulous. I know by the end I was uncomfortable and sore and hot (West Texas summer.) I too say talk to the photographer that would do the shoot and express your concerns/desires. Having some beautiful photos (even if they're just of her after she's here once you get home) would be a real treat since chances are you and your family will be focused on welcoming her and not on taking photos.
    As for names: (some we liked for my son if he was a girl)
    Alexa
    Avery
    Meredith
    Morgan
    Lillian

  11. You look fantastic! It's so exciting being in the home stretch. I'll bet your little girls are so excited.

    Regarding the photography prize, I'm going to disagree with most of the other commenters and agree with you. For me, I would NOT want a photographer in the room. I am also a private person, especially with nudity, body fluids/functions, etc (you know what I mean!) I believe that bringing a baby into the world is an intense, life-changing, beautiful event, and I want to be fully present in the moment. That would be very hard for me if there was a stranger in the room. Tim is an awesome photographer so maybe he could snap a few shots quickly if you want photographic evidence. Obviously it's a super personal decision, so good luck with whatever you decide!

    Our little girl will be named Kathryn Lynn, after her two grandmothers. Kathryn is a name that dates back to the 1800s for our family. We will call her Katie when she's little, but she can always switch to Kate or Kathryn if she wants to down the road. It feels weird to already have a name because our son wasn't named until he was a couple days old!

    I love Darcie's suggestion of Harper. I also like the name Anne.

    You and your family are in my prayers. I'm off to check your Pinterest list!

    1. Yay! Someone who agrees! ;)

      The name you chose is exquisite. I would definitely go for the name "Kathryn," but - again - that's one of my sisters names and I'd rather not single her out from my other three sisters. Clearly, my mom had excellent taste in names! ;)

      "Anne" is always a winner, but we've already used it as a middle name.

      1. Stephanie, as the photographer that offered the contest, I want to assure you that you can choose as much or as little to be documented as you like. There are no rules to birth photography! If you like you can use your prize to capture the first meeting of your new daughter and her older siblings and take some first pictures of your new one, or you can use your prize to capture the whole event- it is up to you!

        My sister was the photographer in my room so it was a whole different experience for me--I love capturing births because I am in awe of how God created us and what He has made our bodies capable of doing. Birth is different for each mom and how it is documented is up to you! Let me know if you want to capture those first moments (after she is born and you are fully clothed of course!).

        Amber Lea

        1. Hello Amber Lea! Thank you so much for your professional and thoughtful comment. I apologize I haven't been in touch directly on Facebook, but I HAVE been thinking about you. :)

          It would be wonderful to have you there to capture the first moments/meetings after the birth. I'll DM you to talk details (and ask a few more questions). Thanks for being willing to work with me. Also - Congrats on YOUR new little girl. So happy for you and your family.

  12. I understand your feelings about that prize you won - but I'll second what everyone else is saying and see if maybe you could get some right after pictures done - with no nudity allowed :)

    I'm horrible at thinking up names - my husband picked Chantae which is a beautiful name. I like old fashioned names so I picked Annalee to go with it. I like names like Annabell, Madeline, Rachael, Danielle... and a friend of ours named their little girl Gracelynn, a name I also like. If Brandt had been a girl I wanted to name her Maylinn Elise. With Chantae we didn't find out the gender but had her name picked out from the very beginning - but we couldn't agree on a boy name so it's a good thing she was a girl! Then when Brandt was born we found out that we were having a boy but didn't agree on a first name until the night before I went in to have him. His middle name is Taylor, a family name.

  13. You look fantastic! Not 38 weeks at all! I, too, got nervous before labor started. Third time around you really remember how it hurts. But my body rocked! I was so much more in control and my baby girl arrived in less than 45 mins after arriving at the hospital. You're going to be AMAZING! I already have a burning desire to do it all over again.

    Here's a few names that were on our list (and I don't get mad about name-stealing):
    Annabelle
    Jane
    Betsy
    Ella

    Can't wait to hear the news!

  14. Yay! She's almost here! I've been thinking of you and thinking how our little girls are going to arrive within weeks of each other. You surprised me with not having a name chosen yet. We have one, but I've been on the fence about it: Maeve. Maeve Elizabeth to be exact. What do you think? Mick is all set with it and has been since we found out it was a girl. Here are some other ones I was considering: Bridget, Cecelia, Helena, Maura/Moira. I also like the names Janette suggested. I would add to her list Madeleine as well. I could see you with a Madeleine.

    1. I've been thinking about YOU too. Remind me when your due date is. How are you feeling? Where will you deliver? Tim & I often discuss how we need to get you and Mick to come visit AZ. Maybe when the babies are a bit bigger? :)

      The name you (almost) selected is beautiful. Such a lovely combination...uncommon and classic paired together. Elizabeth is actually one of my very favorite names, but it is one of my sisters names and I'd rather not single her out from my other other three sisters.

      I really like the name "Cecelia" too, but it means "blind" or "sixth" - and we prefer names with positive meanings.

  15. So interesting about the pics... my doula (and friend) took a bunch of pics on her iPhone, mostly after the delivery since she was helping and it was FAST. There are a few that are borderline, but I trust her. :) I'm glad to have most of them since I have very few with either of my boys. Wish I could be there to do it for you! ;)

    Sorry I have no name suggestions!

    And best wishes for the last few days! I know I was kind of dreading the whole going into labor part too, but it will hopefully go fast and then just be a memory! :)

    And how much do I love that you have paper plates on your wish list, hilarious! ;)

    1. It might seem like an unusual request, but having a big stack of paper plates on-hand is so helpful postpartum. The fewer dishes to wash, the better!

  16. 1. I love that you guys haven't picked a name.

    2. I totally agree with what Jenny J said about your prize.

    3. Put me down for a hot meal after baby arrives.

    4. Harper.

  17. Only 14 days left! That flew by...but then again, I'm not the pregnant one! I know how these last few weeks can be. I will be praying for you! Sorry I have been an MIA friend lately...crazy busy times and clearly I am slacking on blogging as well. My lack of presence is not indicative of the consistency of my thoughts and prayers though!

    You won a free photoshoot...that's special...and you DON'T have to be naked in any of them! Think of it as a gift to your little one...as the youngest of six kids, I know how it can be to not have many pictures taken, life gets busy and the camera stops clicking. I literally have ONE baby picture of myself and I was 18 months old! This could be something special and fun, not only for you, but for the girls too...I am sure they could be in some of your photos with you...and your newest one will love and appreciate them as she grows. I totally get the 'not wanting naked pics of yourself' though...but maternity shoots don't need to have that!

    Can't wait until you have her and we get to share in the news with you..and I am eager to hear her name! Praying for you! Perhaps you can have her 11 days early and she and I can share a birthday :-)!

  18. I personally think you are beautiful, and cannot wait to see the new baby. I am sure she will be amazing, just like her sisters. :-) We love the names, June, Lilly, Rylie, and Dublin for girls!

  19. Yay...you are so close to the finish line!!

    Before I went into labor I was very specific that I didn't want ANY photos of me in labor (I think I was picturing just the pushing or something), but in hindsight I really wish I had photos of being in labor (still glad I don't have any of the actual pushing/delivery :) .

    Names: Paisley

  20. We're definitely praying! And I can run my bread machine a few extra times and make a trip down to Tucson when we hear of her arrival!

    And though it's totally up to you, of course, you really should think about doing the labor pictures! I have several photographer friends who specialize in these photos, and they're wonderful- tell her what you want/don't want, and they can do amazing things. I don't think you'd regret having them done- because seeing a baby's entrance into the world, or immediately thereafter, is unbelievably cool. But if you did, then you don't have to show anybody the pictures! :)

    1. You are too kind, Kara! Thanks for that awesome offer. We WILL meet one of these days!

      Part of my concern is that the photos are forever the photographer's property and, although I'm sure she'd be gracious about my requests, she'd still end up with some of the least flattering photos of my entire life. If I could have her use MY camera, I'd be more apt to say "yes." ;)

  21. Wow, I can't believe you are almost there! So excited for your family.

    I considered having a birth photographer at my last baby's birth but then chickened out. I just wasn't sure I wanted anyone else there in the room with my husband and I. And also the whole being naked thing bothered me too so I totally understand your feelings. We did however have a friend come and take pictures of us right after our daughter was born and while we introduced her to our other 4 kiddos. Those are the most treasured pictures I have. Every time I look at them I can relive that beautiful moment and all the joy that went with our kids welcoming her to our family.

    I love the name Evangeline (nickname Evie). It means Good news. :)

    Praying for a safe and peaceful birth. Can't wait to hear when she is born.

    1. Evangeline is on our list! The meaning is beautiful and I love the nickname potential (Eve, Evie, Ella, Ellie, Eva, etc.).

  22. Congratulations! Looking great in the final stretch!
    I also want to encourage you to reconsider turning down your prize. A great photographer will honor your request to take only modest photos during the process. Some of the most beautiful photos I have seen are taken when a baby first enters the world. Can you imagine having a forever image of the first time you laid eyes on your sweet baby? You'll always remember the moment, but you'll never be able to re-create that special look. If you are completely against having a photographer there during the birth, ask if you can have her come just after to do a "newborn welcome" session at your birth center. She could come be there when the rest of your family meets your new little one! Just think about it!
    On a different note...I think it's great that you haven't picked a name yet! We actually left the hospital with our first born without naming him. We wanted to meet him for a bit. We also won't name our new little one until after he gets here. What if his name just doesn't "fit" him? ;)

    1. Love that you waited to name your baby until after you had a chance to get "acquainted." We may end up doing the very same thing.

  23. Congrats on winning the contest... are you sure you have to be naked IN the pics? Can't they take some with you before/after with clothing on? :) Too bad if you have to turn it down... maybe you could negotiate with them to do some newborn pics AFTER you deliver and get all feeling good again? :) I hope you somehow get to use that fun prize!

    Best wishes and prayers to you as you enter these final few days - so exciting you'll be holding a new baby girl in your arms in just a short while! Good luck on names! I love literary/old names like Charlotte and Jane! :)

  24. Congratulations on making through the nine months. Knowing of your nausea and totally getting it I think it's worth toasting to.
    You will do great. I've thought of my births as marathons and that has really helped. That and staying grounded in whichever way that helps you. But I did want to say that you might consider asking the photographer to arrive after your birth, like right after. Some two hour newborn photos with mama would be pretty priceless.
    I'm not sure what I think of birth photography in totality (said as a birthing woman whose births dramatically slowed down every time another person entered the room throughout labor), but some shorty-thereafter photos would have been great.
    Cheers to you and your beautiful family. And may you meet your newest child on this side in peace.

    1. That's a good consideration, Jeanine. I am a very private person in labor (I'm not the kind of person who invites sisters, moms, and friends in the room) and would prefer that there not be a stranger present. But perhaps newborn shots directly after...

  25. As a girl who dreams of becoming a birth photographer, I urge you to re-think giving up your prize!! Seriously, you can meet with the photographer and specify about what you want in the photos (no nudity, etc.) Also, you can always make sure you are wearing clothes (or a delivery gown) while in labor, unless you really don't like that! ;) Or if you birth in a tub, you can wear a loose fitting dress so you aren't naked. It is so worth it though for the pictures, at least for those newborn baby pics. Or at least that is my opinion! :)

    As for names...hmm...I like super unique ones as you already know from my blog, so I'm not sure you would like my suggestions. I don't really have any names that I can think of right now though. What type of names do you tend to like?

    P.S. You STILL look great! :)

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! Truthfully, the last thing I want to be thinking about is what I am wearing (or not wearing) during labor. It's already hard to enough to focus on the task at hand without additional distractions. ;)

      I admire super unique names, but tend to steer toward more "classic" names. Another factor that is important to us is the meaning of names. For example, we like the name "Mary," but it means "bitter." We also like the name "Rachel," but it means "ewe." As a result, both names got nixed from the list.

      1. Oh I totally understand! ;) I do like the other ladies suggestions of having the photographer there for right after the birth, so you can get some of those newborn goodness pics.

        Name meanings have also been extremely special to us and even though our girls have unique names, the meanings are still beautiful!

        Wishing you lots of luck naming her! I am sure that when she is here, her name will be perfect! :)

  26. So excited for your family. Funny how you are waiting, we already have one picked out for if we have another girl. I really like Jane or Grace for the middle name (fitting too for around Easter) Other ones I like include Abigail, Hannah, Isabelle, Madison, Victoria. All the best!

    1. We've already used "Grace" as a middle name.

      "Jane" is in the running as a middle name. There's a high probability that it will make the cut.

      I love the name "Isabelle," but that one's already taken by my niece. I have six siblings (five have kids!) so the name pickings are getting slim! ;)

      1. More name suggestions: Sophia, Sadie (good meanings I think) also Emma and Alexandra (not so great meanings but Lexi would be a cute nickname. I know it is difficult finding one that no other family member has used and also one with a good meaning. I wanted to name our son Caleb "Cal" for short, but it means "Dog" in Hebrew, so Roger was not okay with that!

        I would not be comfortable with many people in the room, let alone a photographer. It is such a private, special moment - no need for distractions, pictures can be taken soon after with baby or next day. Normally, you already feel exhausted and are ready to rest for awhile,. You are beautiful and photogenic, but I would not be okay with that.

        1. I was just going to suggest "Calvin" instead of "Caleb," but I looked it up and the meaning is "bald." It makes me wonder who came up with name meanings anyway! ;)

          We really love the name Emma, but are a bit disenchanted because it is so popular. That said, it IS still on our list of possibilities. Thank you for your suggestions.

  27. I'm not sure I can help or give suggestions on the name part. With my last preg, before I knew he was a boy, I couldn't even think of ANY girl names...so good thing he was a boy! I like Sarah, but obviously never committed to it, since I didn't name my daughter that. I was going to give my daughter the middle name of Hope (but was talked out of it) but I still like that name... OK, so I guess I sort of did give suggestions.??? It's just such a personal thing to name your baby. Good luck! :) And btw- you look AMAZING! You could always do a photo shoot with clothes on, right? I know a lady that does perg photos and most are clothed...the only nudity might be a popping out belly of a shirt, but it's definitely not necessary. Just a thought. Prayers to you and your baby girl for a happy and healthy/safe delivery. :)

    1. Yes, I have done matenity shoots with clothes on, and then a FEW with my belly peeking out, but we didn't share those with anybody else - just for me and hubby (and my sister got a peek! LOL).

    2. I, too, love the name Sarah. BUT that's one of my sisters names and I feel strange singling her out when I have three other sisters. ;)

      "Hope" is currently on our "middle name list." Such a beautiful meaning.

      RE: the photo shoot. It's specifically for labor + delivery photos (not maternity). Hence the naked part... ;)

      1. Hi, congratulations on your new baby. Maybe you can tell the photographer only baby, no mom photos.
        My names are all the names I would have named my daughter, but instead I had three sons.
        Clara violet
        Marigold Elizabeth
        Rosemary

        1. Does it really matter what the ancient name meaning is? It is so much open to interpretation. For example, my mother always told me that Rachel meant lamb of god, so much more appealing than just ewe.

          1. What a wonderful reinterpretation. I definitely hear what you are saying.

            When I hear the name "Rachel," I tend to think of someone who is very pretty with a sparkling personality and dark hair (because that fits the "profile" for most of the Rachels I have known). :)

  28. So excited that you're so close to meeting your new little one! Can't wait to hear about her arrival, and praying everything goes smoothly & beautifully for you.

  29. so exciting!! We don't know if we're having a boy or girl yet, but if it's a girl our names are between Parker (a family name) and Stella. For the life of us we can't figure out a boy name! I will be sending prayers your way Stephanie!!

  30. Love the books on your list. I saved all of my Tasha Tudor books and ended up having boys. My name suggestion is Tasha or Tasha Tudor.

    1. Isn't that book wonderful? Kayla, Liv, and I were all enamored by the antique illustrations - absolutely charming! I hope to check out the whole collection from the library. Which of her books are your favorite?

      1. I hope you can find them. her books are hard to find! I grew up with them AND LOVE THEM, but I never find them at the local library, and usually they are a bit pricey on amazon...

          1. Added to my book list. (I hope our local library carries it!). If not, I can always InterLibrary Loan request it. Does your library offer that service?

    1. Thanks again for that e-mail. You had some excellent suggestions (including several that were already on our list!).

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