Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So similar...and so different....

One of the things about having pregnancies so close together is that it's not too hard to remember how things were and compare them to how they are. Even if you don't want to, you just can't help it.

So, periodically, when my heart can take it, I go back and read about how things were with Matthew at this point (23 weeks!) in my pregnancy with Luke. Because as much as it shouldn't be too hard to remember...it's painful and my brain just doesn't always let me go there. I am so, so thankful I wrote as much as I did, and I wish it was more. Every time I read one of my posts about Matthew, I feel motivated to write more about Luke so that I have every morsel of him available to me whenever I want.

Then life gets in the way and I just need to make the time.

Last July, I was 23 weeks with Matthew. We saw Dr. Sweeney at 23w3d and yesterday, with Luke, we saw Dr. Sweeney at 23w0d. I love that I had appointments with both of the boys at this point. So many things similar....but so, so different, obviously.

Luke looked fabulous yesterday! Dr. Sweeney (who was very, very missed these last few weeks!!) said Luke was a very easy, easy baby to examine and was just adorable. (I have to agree!) He was measuring at 1 lb., 4 oz. (52%ile and 4 ounces heavier than Matthew did at this point) and had really full little cheeks. He definitely has my chin and it is getting more and more pronounced to the point that you can see the dimple and I again am so thankful for that in him because it is one of the most precious things I loved about his brother. I thought about going to one of the ultrasound places for a 4D video, but honestly, I get the same pictures at Dr. Sweeney's (better, I think!) and it feels like hanging out with your family watching the baby there!

I haven't gained anything; in fact, I went back to about 108, but honestly, I think the prior weeks were a little fluffed from cruise indulgence. Luke's gain is just lovely, so that's what counts. The heartburn is way worse than it was with Matthew (probably because I'm carrying so much higher!) and sleep is evasive. John tells me every night that he hopes I sleep well. I thank him and then say, "I just hope I sleep." Of course, I type this as I've been up since 5 am because that's not happening, but that's ok...I can nap if need be.

It turns out that there was no UTI (but took the medicine anyway), but Dr. Shonekan's office wants me to come in on Wednesday and test again to see if anything is going on. Dr. Sweeney isn't the least bit worried--he said that a lot of time there is white blood cell contamination in the clean catch samples and as long as there was not any bacterial growth (there wasn't), he'd not worry.

So I'm not. Honestly, I am not worried (much) about Luke. I'm more worried about something happening to John...and that seems to be getting worse and worse, but I was telling a friend on Sunday that I really and truly have been blessed with a peace about Luke and his little life. She told me that she could actually see that on my face.

So when you see pictures and see happiness and joy, know that it is the grace of God, pure and simple.

That joy and lack of anxiety lives with such a deep and drowning heartache every day...and wins.

That's grace. That's mercy.

Here are a few pics!

22w6d...not thrilled to take a picture because we were about to give the dogs a much-needed bath, but John insisted...

Luke...look at those cheeks!

"I wanna rock and roll all night!"

Sweet little grin...

Practicing his swallowing...in the middle of a swallow!

"That's all, folks. No more pictures, please!"
(For the record, this is SUCH a familiar face...I've seen it on my grandmother and my mother and in the mirror many, many times!)

Like I said, I had an appointment with Dr. Sweeney yesterday at 23w0d with Luke and last year with Matthew at 2323d...and I am so glad that I have similar pictures. There are definitely similarities in the boys--especially their penchant for keeping their hands up by their face and their chins. Luke (on the right) has fuller cheeks and Matthew had his Granddad's eyebrow structure. Love, love, love the pictures I have. I am so grateful for them.

Here's what's going on with Luke this week:

Week Twenty Three: Sense of balance develops

You are 23 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 21 weeks)
  • He or she measures over 28cm and weighs up to 550 grams.
  • The baby is over 11 inches tall, weighs about a pound.
  • The eyebrows are visible.
  • The child can successfully suck.
  • Bones located in the middle ear harden.
23 weeksYour baby does a regular 'workout' inside your womb. He or she turns from side to side and head over heels. Thanks to a fully developed inner ear, which controls balance, your baby may have a sense of whether he or she is upside-down or right side up in the womb.

Skin pigment is now forming. The fetus is now proportioned like a newborn except it is a thinner version of a newborn baby since its baby fat has not developed much yet.

The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily. Baby has begun producing insulin, important for the breakdown of sugars.

If born now, your baby would have a 20% chance of survival, the odds going up with each passing day. By this week, your baby weighs a little over 1 pound (500g). Its crown to heel length is 11 inches (28cm).


  1. So glad things went well at your appointment and that you are feeling such a sense of peace! You look beautiful, hope things continue smoothly for you:)

  2. It's quite impossible not to make comparisons, isn't it? You look cute even in your doggie washing clothes! And yay for more sweet Luke pictures!

  3. Lori, I loved reading this post. And I loved that you wrote so much with Matthew and now with Luke. What a treasure. You boys pictures are beautiful. And I love how they both have dimples- how adorable!!!

    much love to you. Can't wait to 'meet' your little man


  4. What a beautiful little face! So happy you have these wonderful pictures. As always, whether you are bathing dogs or bathing in the sun, you look amazing!

    I'll be praying the insomnia subsides and you can go to sleepy town :) As for worrying about John, oh how I understand that one. I worry about Nicholas every move.

    Hope that you have a good week sweetest friend. Much love to you always.


  5. You grow cute babies. :) Aren't good appointments just the best?! I do hope you can get some good sleep.

  6. I love your pictures!! You are right, it is hard not to compare pregnancies. Even when we try not to, sometimes it just happens.

    So thrilled Luke is doing great.

  7. All three of you are so adorable in those pics! I am so glad that you are feeling God's peace!

  8. They really do look so much alike! I can't believe how quickly time seems to be going (says the non-pregnant person ;)). You have gorgeous boys, for sure.

  9. Wonderful pictures. I feel for you on the heartburn front. I had heartburn with both of my boys. I would get it even if I drank water! Thankfully I had tums and pepcid to help!
    The pics of the boys are so beautiful.

  10. Love those beautiful boys! Sending up prayers for sleep and easy breathing.

  11. praying for you and loving the pictures!!!

  12. Where has time gone??? 23 weeks already. There just is a look of peace on you face in all of the recent pictures you have posted and it is wonderful to see. Praying for sleep and relief from the heartburn. My doctor allowed zantac and thank the good Lord he did. It is all that would help.

  13. You and Luke look wonderful. What a sweet little face.

    I'm so glad things are going so well and you're feeling good. I do hope you can sleep more. I have many nights where it evades me, too. Must come with the territory!

  14. I can certainly understand the comparison, I am in a completely different situation, but I too find myself thinking Ella did this or that when she was _ months old..anyway a beautiful mom and sweet baby..love the pics :)

  15. Oh Lori!! You look amazing, and Luke looks adorable, and Matthew...precious beyond words!!!! You are so lucky to have so many amazing pictures of the boys :)!!!! My heart overflows!!!!

    I remember the sleepless nights!! Like clock work I would wake up at 3am and would have to have two pieces of toast with cheese before TRYING to get back to sleep. Brett spent many nights in what was to be the boys bedroom because I had SOOOO many pillows around me, under my belly, my back...everywhere. And Brett kept feeling like he was getting pushed out! hee hee hee...that's a fun memory for me!

    I am glad that you are finding peace and joy in this pregnancy and about Luke's precious life! And sorrow will always be woven in there...but I'm glad when I hear you sounding hopeful and joyful.

    We rejoice in your pregnancy with Luke, and we cherish each memory of Matthew. Matthew will never be forgotten!!!!!! EVER!

    Heather (heathershope - HP)

  16. Those pictures are amazing. What a cutie! Glad you had another great appointment!