The last days before baby.

October 8th, the due date of Baby Bucky, as we are affectionately calling this kid until we know more, has pretty much come and gone.  The nursery is ready for an occupant.  We are as ready as we can be to meet this little person.  Our families are anxiously awaiting.  I feel like we are in stage that seems so typical and cliché.  Just waiting on a baby, happily.  I don’t mind it he/she stays put for a few more days.


Throughout this experience, I have made some observations and acquired some favorites to share with others who are headed down this path.  I thought I would share them here, and a few pictures of the nursery, which is really a room for my delight more than anyone else’s.

First, Le Tote.  This is a clothes rental service in which you pay a monthly fee ($70) and they will send you 5 things at a time (two are always accessories).  While they have a “normal people” track and a maternity track, I think this is mostly beneficial for maternity clothes that one only needs for a short time.  You can wear each once, 5 times, whatever, and return dirty.  Then they will send you your next batch.  I subscribed to this for my last two months of pregnancy, rather than sitting in my closet each day having a tantrum.  I have averaged about 4 “totes” a month—I wear each item about once, throw each item in the return envelope dirty, and at the end of the week return, only to acquire the next one by about Monday of the following week.  It has made dressing for work so much easier.  I highly recommend it.  If you want to try it, let me know and I will send you a “free tote” online.


Also, safflower oil.  In the spring, Mom, Megan and I went to Santa Fe for a quick trip.  It was glorious, especially the few hours we spent at Ten Thousand Waves Spa.  The spa used safflower oil as massage oil and it doesn’t smell at all.  I have been particularly sensitive to smells during pregnancy (and most of life) and I have used this each morning as moisturizer to avoid stretch marks.  It has worked so far.  Scott says stretch marks will come when I “shrink,” so I will report back then.  I love that guy.


Babylist is another favorite.  This is a registry site that allows you to curate your registry from all corners of the web-world.  I registered for things on etsy, Nordstrom, Anthro, etc., and I think it made the registry process much more fun!  Of course most still love to buy from Amazon (me too) but branching out a little has been really nice.  


I have observed just how different it is for each person to be pregnant.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I have felt pretty good.  I don’t have to wash my hair as much.  People tend to be pretty nice.  I have less guilt about ice cream.  I can unapologetically eat in every single meeting I have during the day.  I had to replace two tires and they just gave them to me for free earlier this week.  I think I looked a little too large and crazy.  The tire dudes were a little freaked out.  I have had reason to celebrate with friends, and be with my family more.  Scott has checked so many house projects off our list.  There is sort of something natural to talk about with people.  There is excitement in the air.  It has been fun!  (And weird!  But mostly fun!)  But I know that is not the case for everyone, and I am really sympathetic to that.  It is different for everyone.  And that is really okay.

Mostly, through this whole experience, I am grateful.  Grateful for the experience.  Grateful for friends who have celebrated this baby.  Grateful for family who is excited.  Grateful for the prayers of our big world to pray us into parenthood.  Grateful for a husband who is steadfast and kind.  Grateful to God who is always good. 


When Breath Becomes Air


Admittedly, I have had a reading dry spell.  I have gone to bed earlier and napped when I would typically be reading.  But I have recently managed to work When Breath Becomes Air into my rigorous sleeping schedule and am so glad I did.  I finished it about a week ago and still find myself thinking about it.

First, I don’t read much non-fiction.  I prefer to escape in stories that are not real.  So a non-fiction book has to be highly praised and really grab my attention before I consider it.  This one came onto my radar through the Cup of Jo Blog.  Joanna Goddard, who writes Cup of Jo, is the sister of Lucy Kalanithi, who is the wife of Paul Kalanithi, the author of When Breath Becomes Air.  Once Joanna started talking about the book, it seemed like I saw it everywhere.  And now it is a New York Times best seller.

The book tells the story of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon diagnosed with late stage cancer in his last year of medical training.  Dr. Kalanithi writes about his life, his training, and the transition from doctor to patient.  He dies in the end; you should know that from the beginning.  But the beauty of the book is in his approach to death and his insights along the way.  Most of the book is not about death.  It is not depressing to read.  It is beautiful, smart, fulfilling and very enjoyable.  Read it and give it to all your friends.


God’s faithfulness.

Thirty-eight months after beginning our “maybe we should try for kids” journey, we finally heard the news I truly never thought we would hear. A positive pregnancy test. And more than anything, I am struck by God’s faithfulness in all 38 months. He is constant. He doesn’t change. And that faithfulness was and is enduring.

I have shared our struggle on this blog, here and here. We left off with a few questions to the world. Inquiring about international adoption. Inquiring about fostering. Inquiring about knowledge of a young girl seeking to find a forever family for her child, perhaps without using an agency.

Many graciously reached out with their own experiences. Those that shared, provided insight that helped Scott and me guide our next steps. I heard from high school friends. Long lost friends. Friends of friends. I am grateful for each contact. They made a significant difference. We did not know what we were looking for, other than something that felt like the right thing. We were looking for God’s guidance through his people.

A few of my observations from the experience:

The calling of a foster parent is no joke. My respect, admiration, and love for those super heroes runs deep. But that calling is not ours.

International adoption takes years. And lots of trips elsewhere. And well, there were a lot of reasons why it did not feel right to us. But my goodness, the steadfastness of those waiting for children overseas is inspiring! But it is not for us.

I won’t talk on the blog about all the ins-and-outs of how we got to where we are, other than to say that God was creative and good to us to reveal an avenue to carry a child, thus having a much needed gestational period for a much needed opportunity to get used to the idea of a child coming into the mix. If God made a gestational period for anyone, he made it for us. And I am grateful.

So here we are. Fifteen weeks pregnant, scared to death about caring for a little human, with gratitude coming out our ears. We utilized the help of Texas Fertility Center and just had to do one round of IVF. This one round opened my eyes to those who suffer multiple unsuccessful rounds. All the shots, the prohibitions, exams, blood work, and appointments could be endured because of our end result. It just seems like salt in the wound when a baby doesn’t reward all that junk. God bless each one who has endured that heartache.

October 8 is our due date. That gives us plenty of time to wrap our brains around all this and avoid mosquitoes with a vengeance.

Thank you to each one of you who has diligently prayed for us, encouraged us, and loved on us in the valleys of these 38 long months. We have felt prayers from all corners of our world. Thank you for lifting our names to God even when we really didn’t know what to pray. Keep it up because I think we will need all those prayers and encouragement as we make this transition to parenthood.

Still a family of two.

I wrote a post a few years ago about not being pregnant. I am still not and we are still a family of two. Before I posted that blog, Scott and I had talked a lot about expanding our family but the blog post increased the intensity of our thinking and conversations in a good way. I think it helped us go from each having a position—I wanted kids and Scott wasn’t too sure—to starting an actual exploration.

We know now that for us to have a child sharing our DNA would truly take a miracle. I pray for that and part of me still expects it. Because I know that while God may choose to provide us with that miracle bio-baby and I also know that He may not, I have gone through waves of sadness related to that loss. I think a child with our DNA would be really great—with a huge dose of quirky and hard-headedness. I believe God can do this for us, and we would delight in having a miracle baby. But we are also seeking other ways to expand our family. And maybe through those other avenues, however undefined they might be, our miracle might come. But the “other ways” just don’t seem that clear.

Our exploration has been slow and disjointed. God knows the end of our story. Only He does. And I am fearful that we will be too lazy, too antsy, too blinded by our own desires, too “something” to see God’s plan. I do not have answers.

We have explored various forms of adoption, basically on a quest to find something that feels right to us. I have no idea what that might be, but I am certain it will come. We went to a weekend at Christian Homes in Abilene, an agency that does domestic adoptions. I know some really wonderful parents and kids who used them. We went to a fostering-to-adopt orientation. Whoa. We walked away overwhelmed. But strangely I keep coming back to fostering to adopt. We just visited with friends who are hosting Ukrainian orphans for the summer. I am also intrigued with what is out there that would allow for a private adoption without going through an agency. I have heard some success stories like that.

Through fertility stuff and adoption research and just circling around it all to figure out our next steps, the private adoption and fostering to adopt things keep coming up. On the private-adoption-without-and-agency thing, how does one find a dear, brave birth momma who is considering such a thing? I think God works stuff like that out, but I can’t help but wonder who may read this blog, who knows of someone trying to make that hard choice, who might want to meet us and see if we might be a worthy family for their child? It’s worth a shot.

On the foster to adopt front, I have rejected it as too chaotic, but is it? I think I need to figure that out.

In the meantime, we enjoy being the two of us. We take advantage of just being two. We vacation.


We exercise on Saturday mornings, and sleep late on Sundays (you know, till like 8 am!). We have uninterrupted conversations. There’s more time to read. Scott can watch movies where people get blown up and not worry about traumatizing young eyes. But as time goes by, my heart continues to tug for a little person. I see people parent and dream of what a joy that would be. I want the honor of molding a heart and mind, and to point some little person to Christ, as their parents. What a big, dog deal.

Scott and I are together in our continued exploration. When fertility “stuff” did not work, I think being denied the choice caused desire to bubble up within him. In this regard, I see God answering our prayers to knit our hearts together. But he and I agree we are not getting any younger, and need to get going on whatever it is we are doing.

So I am casting questions to the blog world, and would love input on the following things.

Does fostering-to-adopt have to be as chaotic as I fear?

Has anyone used a faith-based agency in Austin that they recommend for fostering-to-adopt?

What agencies would you recommend for international adoptions? (I am intrigued but not sure it is for us, which is an about face from my thoughts last week.)

Does anybody have knowledge of an orphanage where we can adopt a child that is 2 or 3 years old?

Does anyone know of a brave woman considering her options with an unwanted pregnancy? I am interested but also scared of this. I am open to what God may have out there for us, but in reading about ethical adoption, I am struck by the need to keep my desperation for a family in check with a birth mother’s exploration toward adoption. I know, however, that God is big enough to orchestrate even something like this.

Thanks in advance for caring enough about our small lives to read and share. My email is chelseabuch at gmail dot com.