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Welcome Baby Faith

Four weeks have passed since Baby Faith joined us in the real world. My husband and I welcomed our baby girl – Faith Nicole – weighing eight pounds, eight ounces and 21 inches long.  She had plenty of time to grow after spending 10 months and four days in the womb!  I must admit that I was very antsy (and uncomfortable) every minute that passed after her due-date. But she’s here now and she is absolutely perfect!

Life as a new mom has been amazing…a whirlwind…very tiring…but nevertheless amazing! My husband and I are adjusting well and enjoying this time with Faith. I am so thankful for a healthy and complication free pregnancy – exactly what we were praying and believing for and God once again showed His faithfulness.

I’m in the works of starting a new blog to share my new life as a mommy, wife and all the other titles that I wear. I’ll keep 20somethingsurvivor going but I hope you’ll visit me on the other site as well. I’ll link my mommy blog to this post soon until then (Update: visit me at suchamomblog.wordpress.com)…here are a couple of pictures from Faith’s newborn session.

Photo credit: Niguel Valley at Niguel Valley Photography

Photo credit: Niguel Valley at Niguel Valley Photography

Baby Faith

 

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. – 1 Samuel 1:27

Peace and Love

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It’s Baby Time

Well 40 weeks have come and gone…I’m at week 40, day two and our baby girl has still not made her grand entrance into this big ‘ole world. Maybe she’s a little shy? Or maybe she’s just a little too comfy in my tummy. Whatever it is – I hope that she’ll decide to join us soon!

I’m so looking forward to seeing her sweet little face. I’ve tried just about everything on the natural induction list to prod her along – not quite sure it’s working.  She’s already proving to be a very persistent kiddo…I’ll let her have her moment.

God has been good to us both! My entire pregnancy has been an awesome experience. I’m so grateful that I get to be Faith’s mom. We’ve had an outpouring of love and support from many friends and our family. I’d like to publically thank everyone for their prayers, gifts, words of encouragement and help during this pregnancy.  I am thankful for you all!

In March, Kevan and I had the opportunity to take maternity photos with our favorite photographer – Niguel Valley. Here are a few of my favorite shots…

Maternity Photography

Photos by Niguel Valley

Maternity Photography Maternity Photography Maternity Photography Maternity Photography

Photos by Niguel Valley

We’ll have a little person in the house in the next few days. I can’t wait to introduce her here!

Peace and Love

One Month to D-Day

I'm a little over six months pregnant in this picture.

I’m a little over six months pregnant in this picture.

Boy time sure does fly when you have a baby growing in your belly! I am now eight months pregnant. Just a few weeks away from Baby Faith Day! And I’m so excited and ready for it to happen!

My husband and I attended a few classes to prepare us for labor, delivery and the first few months with Faith. I learned a lot and I am so glad that we attended classes. For all of my expecting mommies (and dads) out there, please attend a class (or two) to educate you. We had to pay a small fee for our classes but it was worth it. There are a lot of free classes out there so find one in your area and make time to go. Also, check out some books from your local library (or buy them). I have the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Your Baby’s First Year and I’ve found them to be very helpful. I’ve also found websites such as The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and What to Expect to be helpful as well.

Classes and books have helped to make all of my nervousness and anxieties subside. I’m looking forward to life with our baby girl. Here’s what I’ve taken from these last eight months of pregnancy…

  • Every pregnancy is different so take those pregnancy stories that friends/family/and strangers share with you with a grain of salt. Especially – those freaky, scary stories. I don’t know why people feel the need to share these stories with a pregnant woman but they do. You don’t need anything to try and shake up your faith right now – so block those stories from your memory and stay focused on having a happy, healthy pregnancy.
  • Take care of your mind, body and soul. Get enough rest. Eat well. Exercise. Pray. Spend time with your family and friends. I’ve found meditating on Bible scriptures and what God says about me and our baby to be very encouraging and helpful. I’ve also slowed down…quite a lot. I used to constantly do and go so I’ve been spending more time relaxing and stopping all the action before becoming overwhelmed.
  • Hormones will make you a very emotional person. I’m not typically overly emotional but I’ve found myself crying at the most weird, random times and for no apparent reason. I’ve cried over food, television shows, being tired, the thought of seeing Faith for the first time…and I’m sure there’s more.
  • Nine months may seem like a long time but trust me it will go by so fast. I suggest getting organized quickly and tackling bigger projects at the beginning of your pregnancy. You may not feel like doing much of anything once you hit your third trimester.
  • Feeling your baby kick and move is exhilarating…every time it happens. This experience has truly been the best – no matter how hard the jabs have been.

I’ve had an awesome pregnancy so far and I’m truly thankful to be a mom. To all the new parents out there – Congratulations! And if you have any nuggets of wisdom to share, please feel free to do so.

Peace and Love

Joy to the World

IMG_9984Guess what you guys???? I’m pregnant! Goodness, it’s been forever since I’ve posted here but I’ve been busy, very busy (smile).

My husband and I are expecting our little bundle of joy in late April. She – yes she – is already awesome and we can’t wait to meet her! We’ve decided on a name – Faith Nicole. Faith because if you’ve read any previous posts on this blog then you know my faith is important to me. And Nicole because it’s my middle name – why not name the miracle baby in honor of her mom.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, my doctors shared options for preserving my fertility since I was so young.  However, I decided not to pursue any of those options and instead I chose to trust and believe that if I desired to have a child – God would make it so that I would have one.  (Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4)

When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in November 2013, I did ask my oncologist about having children in the future. She advised me to not have children since the cancer I had was triggered by hormones – particularly estrogen.  Fast forward to early August, a missed period, two pregnancy tests (of course I did the test twice…for confirmation 🙂 ) and here we are! Five months pregnant with a healthy baby girl.

When I say God is good! I absolutely mean it! He is so faithful. After my first diagnosis, I began to thank God often that I would be a great mom. I began to thank Him for my future child. Even before I met my husband, I was in the habit of giving thanks for my child – who I couldn’t even see. That’s what faith is all about!

I continue to be the show-and-tell girl everywhere I go (especially to medical clinics for checkups with my obstetrician and oncologist). The girl who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 25 years old and metastatic breast cancer at 29 is having a baby. Yes I am and it has nothing to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with God. He is so ah-mazing! I encourage each one of you to keep believing and keep the faith. Anything is possible with God!

Photo credit: Niguel Valley Sr. at niguelvalley.com

Photo credit: Niguel Valley Sr. at niguelvalley.com

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:6

Peace and Love

My Brother and His Camera

My little brother – who happens to be six feet, eight inches and five years younger than me…but hey he’ll always be my little brother – is dabbling into photography.  I love pictures! I love looking at pictures. I love being photographed as well (I like the element of surprise when you see the finished product). So, the last time he visited home (he’s a full-time Army man) we spent an evening taking pictures. Here are a few…

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There are plenty of other pictures…follow him on Instagram @kixxcam.

Peace and Love

Hope and Faith

IMG_22-3159383645-OI often have lots that I would like to say and share but I rarely take the time to do so.  Kudos to all of the professional bloggers in the world!  Clearly you have to be dedicated, organized and disciplined to consistently write and post – I’m working on it (smile).

Over the last few months, I’ve been busy living. Which I hope you’ve all been doing as well! Update on my health, I am doing extremely well.  Thank you Jesus! *doing my praise dance* My doctor took me off of the chemotherapy drug – taxotere – back in March. Since then, I’ve been taking two targeted therapy intravenous drugs – perjeta (pertuzumab) and herceptin (trastuzumab).  My body is responding well to both. All of the cancer activity is continuing to decrease. God is so good!

I would like to encourage everyone out there that may be currently receiving cancer treatment to stay strong and hopeful!  My faith in God is the reason why I can smile and live during this whole experience.  You see, I believe that God heals.  I’m a Christian and therefore I believe that by Jesus’ wounds, I have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).  I didn’t grow up knowing much about God’s healing power. In fact, it was rarely emphasized in the church that I attended. Miracles and healings aren’t limited to biblical times. God heals and does the supernatural TODAY!

I believe that no obstacle I face is too big for God. I also believe that He can do the impossible.  So when I come across well intentioned cancer bloggers sharing their frustration with having to live with cancer for the rest of their life – I am saddened.  Saddened to know there are many people who are still lost without Christ and that there are many Christians who do not believe that God heals or desires for us to be healed.  Jesus came so that we may have life and have life more abundantly.  God never ever wants His children to be ill and without hope.

Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer does not have me – God does!  My life is in His hands. I am healed. I am whole.  No cancerous tumors can live in my body.  I will live a long and cancer free life.  And even if the doctor’s report does not reflect this – I will continue to believe and say it! (Death and life are in the power of the tongue. – Proverbs 18:21).  I invite you to believe. I invite you to let Jesus into your life.  Let Him do for you what you could never do for yourself….be hopeful…and keep the faith.

Peace and Love

 

P.S. If you ever want to know more about Jesus and healing – let’s connect …email me at 20somethingsurvivor@gmail.com.

No Hair, Don’t Care

IMG_6-3159382308-OBack in February, I had the idea to do a photo shoot with my new bald head.  I shaved my head at the end of January.  By then, I had two chemotherapy treatments under my belt and I couldn’t stand seeing the clumps of hair that would fall whenever I simply scratched my head. So, I decided to get rid of my thick and curly tresses.

I spassed out a couple of times after the big shave.  This was surprising since I had experienced losing all of my hair during the first cancer diagnosis in 2010. Nevertheless, I had a moment…or two. I don’t have any bald pictures from the first diagnoses. I have a couple of pictures of my short boy cut but none where I’m bald or almost bald.

So after losing my hair this time around, I decided that I wanted to take pictures in a pretty dress. And I did just that. My friend Niguel – who is an awesome photographer AND also shot my wedding – took a few pictures of me. On a crisp March afternoon, I had photo shoot time with Niguel and his sweet wife, Kristen. Here are a few of my favorites…

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Thank you Niguel for the beautiful pictures! You rock! Check out more of Niguel’s work at niguelvalley.com.

Peace and Love