baby Fortunato

After seven months of “no’s”, on April 17th we received a holy YES!! Baby Fortunato is making an appearance, December 18th (ish) and although mommy and daddy’s plans for Christmas will be totally up in the air/unplanned, we have no doubt this will be our best Christmas yet!IMG_0448

  • If you’re here just to access our hand-me-down Google sheet or registry, scroll all the way down to the bottom for those links — also, you’re our hero!
  • If you’re here just to read the story of how we found out we are expecting and what’s happened since, scroll down to the three pairs of shoes pic and start there
  • If you’re here and you’re in your own waiting (any kind of waiting!) season, keep reading from here!

It’s funny to me that my Grinch/pretty much anti-Christmas self got married 6 days after Christmas and is inviting my first child into the world near Christmas-time. My long term bestie, Sheree, thinks it’s dang near pee-in-your pants hilarious and she’s been giddy watching me slowly shed some of my Grinch-ness — now even listening to Christmas music!

Seven months of waiting doesn’t seem that long. It’s not even a year. And in my 30 years of life it’s not even 2% of the time I’ve lived on this earth. However, when there was a light at the end of the chaos of last summer we decided August was the time I’d wrap up my last 90 day pack of birth control. Actually, that’s not entirely true. We were going to wait until March 2018 to start trying to have kiddos. Our plan was to go to Puerto Rico for our honeymoon in early September and then wait the 6 month period for Zika protection before trying in March but a devastating hurricane hit the island and….I’ll talk more about the journey to baby for women’s eyes only in a later post.

For now, I’ll just say the waiting was HARD. Like really hard.

No matter how much faith or patience or endurance I had, the roller coaster of…try to make a baby, wait a yucky amount of time (2 weeks) to find out if it worked, get the “no” it didn’t/feel the heartache/grieve, then sit in misery for another yucky amount of time where you can’t do ANYTHING (but drink beer and ride roller coasters and all the other things you can do when not pregnant), to only try again…. **REPEAT**… IT SUCKED.

In light of other’s journeys, my waiting 7 months seems like a tiny nothing compared to some of my friends who have waited years and years to be called “mommy”. I’ve even hesitated to say “we waited” because I’ve heard from other’s “that’s not that long”. But the reality is waiting SUCKS, for anything.

Waiting 3 minutes to find out if the pregnancy test is a yes or a no sucks.

Waiting one day for medical test results sucks.

Waiting two days for the cute guy to call back sucks.

Waiting a week for the new Grey’s Anatomy to come out sucks.

Waiting a month for the cute guy to propose sucks.

Waiting a day or a month or a decade for anything… SUCKS.

As I sat down to write this blog post (on the day it is to be posted even though I’ve had 8 weeks to do it… #procrastinator), I was drawn to my (current) favorite Psalm — 34. And when I got to verse 18, it stopped me in my tracts:

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

I’m obsessed with The Message version:

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

Waiting is heartbreak. Waiting feels to me like being kicked in the gut every day, hour, minute I’m not getting what I am waiting for.

There’s a song that was healing for my soul while waiting for Baby Fortunato.

If you’re waiting, I challenge you to pause a second from reading and listen to this song instead.

Then spend some time writing in your journal about this season. I wrote these lyrics all over my journal. I wrote them on my bathroom mirror. They were my battle cry. My plea. The “I know this is truth but dammit, it’s SO HARD”

This is my favorite part:

Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting

The waiting for this baby to show up in my belly season closed only to open to another season of waiting … waiting for a healthy baby to show up in my arms. I still have this song on repeat. I trust God is working on my heart, soul and mind as He preps me to be the mom of a little one on the outside of my womb. He’s prepping my marriage, He’s prepping my body physically, He’s giving me a runway to prep my home, He’s working. And since He’s working, I’m not done waiting.

This song is extra special to me as I wait for my little one, a little one that will arrive at Christmas. No matter what theology or even history says about when Jesus was actually born, Christmastime brings Jesus as a baby to the top of my mind. God willing, I’ll be ushering my little one into this world at the same time we are celebrating when we ushered in the Savior of the world, as a child, and that humbles me beyond belief.

For all I know of seasons
Is that You take Your time
You could have saved us in a second
Instead You sent a child

His timing is perfect. I know this as truth even though I can’t say I believe it in my heart of hearts even 80% of the time. I don’t understand why He does what He does. Why he took a dear friend of mine’s mother from this earth this morning and why you’re still waiting for your baby to be in your arms. I don’t understand Him but I trust Him.

Sweet sister, if you’re still waiting for a baby (or a husband), email me, text me. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you’re alone of that you’re waiting isn’t of value. These two areas I’m pretty good at and promise to now give you a whole bunch of “when the time is right” crap because let’s be real, that’s SO not what you need to hear right now. You also may not want to read the rest of this post. There will be a day when you will have your own baby story but for now, go back to that journal, crank up that “Seasons” song, show God your broken heart and feel Him near.


On April 17th, 2018 our 7 months of “No’s” had me squeamish. “Let’s just wait until tomorrow morning” I said. But that night, I couldn’t settle into date night. I couldn’t relax and was basically frozen on the couch. Every month there had been this precious 2 weeks of hope. Hope that there was a baby growing in my womb. Each “time of the month” or negative pregnancy test would send me back into the “waiting” phase. That night Lukas said “why wait? Let’s take a test now”.

I did my thang and we sat on the bedroom floor waiting for the three minute timer to go off. I partly wanted to stay in that three minutes forever because in those three minutes there was hope and not more heartache.

The timer went off and I told Lukas I couldn’t look so he went into the bathroom instead.


I think to myself — welp, there we go. Another negative and he’s trying to let me down slowly, let me sit in my three minutes a bit longer.

“Babe, babe… I think you’re pregnant. Come look.”

He wasn’t sure he’d read the instructions right (and was nervous about giving me a false negative reading) but low and behold, that second line was as dark as dark could be.

We sat on the bedroom floor in shock.
We’re having a baby.
We are pregnant.
There’s a human growing inside me.
HOLY $#!&!!!!!

There were a LOT of those statements over the next 24 hours as we sat with this secret… just us.

The next night, we called my mentor/woman I call my sister and said “ummmm, HELP!!!” because we had no idea when to go to the doctor, when to tell people, what to expect, etc. We attempted to Google all these things and basically learned never to Google anything about pregnancy or babies, EVER. Her wisdom was to share the news with anyone in the first trimester who would grieve with you in case of a miscarriage so we started making plans to tell our fam.

Due to schedules and how the cookie crumbled, my brother and his wife were the first to find out. John Belt holding his niece or nephew is about going to wreck my heart when the time comes!!!!

IMG_2925The same weekend, baby Fortunato got to attend his Auntie Sheree’s wedding in momma’s belly. It took my breath away when we got her wedding pics back and there I am in the background, with a HUMAN GROWING IN MY BELLY. So surreal.32235270_10160456592345341_5850214020904124416_oApril 22nd, heading home from St. Simons was when the nausea hit. And it did not stop or let up at all for THREE straight weeks. I was in bed 95% of the day, struggling to keep anything down and wouldn’t eat anything other then biscuits. Which at this point in my pregnancy the thought of a biscuit makes me want to run screaming from the room I got so tired of them.

The next weekend, due to my dad and mom being apart for his work, we FaceTimed them and had them open a gift we’d hidden in their house the weekend prior. It was a tiny (SERIOUSLY how can something be that tiny?!?!?) t-shirt that said “I’m on Island Time”. Watching them realize they are grandparents for the first time is a memory I’ll treasure forever. Y’all know me so of course I documented it!

Next up, Lukas’ clan, where we got to surprise his mom with her favorite birthday present to date! Her scream was priceless and getting to share the joy with all three of his sisters and dad was so fun. We won’t share the news with his nieces until Aunt Virginia is showing because it’s hard enough for kiddos to wait for Christmas, let alone when a cousin is part of their Christmas present this year!

Next up, Auntie Sheree had to find out because I had already planned to visit her while Lukas was away on a business trip. She started texting about fancy restaurants and plans for the weekend and my stomach did back flips at the thought of any activity, the cat was out of the bag and she promised to make me nothing but biscuits. She kept her promise and let me stay in bed the whole time, escaping for a few hours to get a little Vitamin D on baby’s “first” beach trip. IMG_3079This was one of those moments when I felt like I was totally lying to you guys on social media. Oh yeah, I’m great, all smiles, the beach is perfect, BLAHHHHHH. The truth behind the smile was I was STRUGGLING but making the most of it. I heard from so many people “sick momma, healthy baby” so I have taken all of this nausea in stride (for the most part), knowing that me being sick is a really good sign that my nugget is still around, still growing, and sucking all of my nutrients to keep his/her own self healthy… isn’t that what being a mom is all about… giving your kids everything you have??

Another wedding baby Fortunato attended was his/her Auntie Raleigh’s. The only ones at the wedding who knew about nugget were our family of six and it was really neat to feel like we were keeping a secret from the world! It was also really fun to tell them a few weeks later that there was an attendee they didn’t have to pay for 😉


Leading up to Raleigh Kate’s wedding I was SO ANXIOUS. I had been sick, in bed for three weeks and had no idea how I was going to stand up there during the ceremony and read the Lord’s Prayer, let alone pull myself together and look halfway decent for photos. Thankfully, the day we left town we had our first midwife appointment to which she gave me magic anti-nausea pills that made me (although still SO EXHAUSTED) at least be able to keep food down and hold it together to celebrate the nuptials!

It was at this first appointment we “saw” baby for the first time and heard it’s heartbeat. Some in that room (may or may not be a tall bald man) totally lost it and cried crocodile tears at the sound of his son or daughter’s heart beating. I think that was the first moment it really hit Lukas that he was a dad!!! Thank goodness the technician added an arrow to this ultrasound photo because… is that really a baby in there??

20180510_image_03Our second ultrasound came a month later and we were like OHHHHHH there’s the baby!! IMG_3642-1He/she was super wiggly and I’m shocked paused long enough to get this pic. SO CRAZY I AM GROWING THIS HUMAN IN MY BELLY.

I’m finally not feeling like I’m going to die every minute of every day. Night time’s are still really hard and I usually fall into bed by 9pm begging sweet sleep relief from the nausea that started creeping back in around 7pm but baby is giving me my days back! Mornings are typically awesome and afternoons sometimes require a nap depending on the day’s activities. I’ll officially be 13 weeks on Wednesday (June 13th) and ask for your prayers as nugget continues to grow into the person he or she is being created to be… how cool is our God??!!

Our latest date night was spent at Babies-R-Us this past Friday. I’m a small individual and the thought of having to maneuver a stroller in public places is some kind of stress. I’ve witnessed mom’s have the hardest time in the airport (even me holding her baby one time as she wrestled with her stroller!!!!) so finding a smooth rider with ONE CLICK folding capabilities was high, high on my list of needs. We went to the store, only expecting to test a few out and find one that works to add to the registry.

Ten minutes in, I was pissed off at the world and taking it all out on Lukas “why don’t you know anything about strollers??” that turned into my melting down over struggling to carry a car seat WITHOUT A BABY IN IT, I mean “HOW CAN I BE A MOM??” I don’t want to be a mom, I’m over it. Let’s not do this anymore. Lukas calmed me down, reminding me we were on the same team and that we were going to do it… together. To which I turned and the holiest of grails of strollers was staring back at me. I pushed it. SO EASY. I folded it. WITH ONE CLICK. We then found the matching car seat. SO LIGHT. And a pattern I liked — grey and black cause we won’t know the sex for several months.

Our Babies-R-Us is going out of business so this hallelujah thank you Jesus stroller and carseat combo was on killer deal so we bought on the spot. Why wait? Lukas said!


Now that I have the stroller and car seat, all the rest can be hand-me-downs!! We already have so many precious momma’s in our lives who’ve walked this journey out before us give us stuff and we are collecting it ALL! Make fun of me if you like (I am my mother’s daughter) but I already have a running Google Sheet based off of another friend’s “things you ACTUALLY need” baby list. If you scroll through and have something you’d like to give us to free up space in your attic or let us borrow in this season, click here, put your name next to the item, and I’ll be in touch with specifics.

If you’re a member of our village who has a gifts love language and INSISTS on giving Baby Fortunato gifts, we have a registry on Amazon which can be accessed by clicking here.



xoxo, va

4 thoughts on “baby Fortunato

  1. Pingback: baby girl has a name – Following the Fortunatos

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