Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Running out of time

A little P.S. from my last post; J and I got into a doozie of an argument Sunday night before bed. It wasn't about anything major, but both of us being tired and processing our own anxieties about the changes ahead in our lives plus pregnant hormones elevated it to quite the event. Some major discourse from the image of a story book happy ending - and then came the space to ask for and receive forgiveness, to chose to love, and to compromise. The beauty of discourse was revealed once more. That in the midst of the places we fear and avoid, we can truly find intimacy that would be impossible under different circumstances. Thoughts on this will be swishing around in my head for a while.

Anyway...this past weekend I was intentional to put into practice some of the things I had learned or reflected on during the women's retreat. One of which was to make more of an effort to reconnect with friends and make more of an effort to maintain the relationships I consider to be important in my life. On Friday night, we had dinner with our friends at their house which was fabulous! And then on Sunday and Monday I had coffee dates with friends that I had not seen in way too long. I feel as though I am already seeing the benefit from taking time to prioritise the rocks in my life! Just feeling more like myself, my heart's a little lighter.

For the past year of my life, if not longer I have been wanting to be a mum. I have dreamed about what that season of life would be. I have ideals and ideas of what it will look like. I am holding loosely to my expectations but I have been very much waiting to be a mother. I have tried along the way to be fully present in the life until that day but truthfully I've been waiting for this next season to begin.

And now motherhood is on the horizon I have suddenly been hit with revelation that I have only got 5 months or so left before baby and I am so curious to know what God has in store before my life takes that totally unknown turn to parenthood! I don't want to waste a second of the time I have left pre-baby!

I am having some slight regret for wishing away this season and am adamant that in these next five months I will dig in to all that is in store in my pre-mummy days!

Monday, February 27, 2012


At church yesterday we listened to a sermon about Discourse. Our Pastor is currently in the middle of a series called 'Every Square Inch' recognising and highlighting that God is in every part of our lives. To illustrate how God is present in the discourse of our lives, the sermon included interviews with some church members who are or have been recently unemployed; finding intimacy with God even as life is not what we expect or think we deserve.

This sermon was a really emotional time for me. As Richard introduced the topic, my thoughts immediately went to my own story. My struggle with anxiety seemed to steal multiple months, even years of my adolescence and young adulthood. It limited the life I lived, and in some ways still has a hold on my life in a way that feels inescapable. I am aware of my own inability to control my body, and my health and can only rest in the truth that I discovered in the darkest nights. God is with me. And He can sustain me. In my weakness He is strong, and he can lead me and guide me to amazing adventures beyond my own imagination.

After that season, I moved on to yet another chapter where life was not how I imagined it would be. I was single for a long time and struggled to find God's plan in my singleness, I wanted him to be close and I desired to know him as the role of husband as I waited. He was faithful to meet me even in the darkest days, of which there were many as I struggles with the loneliness and fear of living life without a partner.

Most recently, our miscarriages and struggle with fertility has been another place that God's love and grace has overwhelmed us. Our losses were heartbreaking. Impossible to overcome in my own strength. Impossible to find strength to try again, impossible to hope without the hope that only faith in Jesus can bring. And now the blessing of a pregnancy...beyond anything we were able to do in our own strength.

I have a testimony of finding God in the discourse. His faithful presence found through loyal and loving community, encouragement from scripture and the constant prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ. God has taken from me, things which I never thought I could lie without, but in doing so I have found intimacy with Him that would have been impossible without the losses. The wounds that cut the deepest led to the deepest. In Him will I am blessed beyond what I could arrange for myself.

Life can be hard. It can be full of expectations not met, unfulfilled dreams, unimaginable loss and yet always the possibility of deeper intimacy with our maker.

As I prayed this morning for friends who are in the midst of the heartache of the discourse in their lives I wept. I realised that my heart was not resting in the love and intimacy of Jesus. Instead it was fighting resentment that this pregnancy is not how I imagined it would be.

I'm nauseous, I'm fatigued, my anxiety is rearing it's head way more than I expected, I am uncomfortable, the pain in my behind makes turning over in bed a 20 minute adventure, and a very painful one at that. This is not what I signed up for.

I expected God's peace to carry me and instead every cramp, twinge and unknown sensation brings blind panic to my very core. I expected to enjoy every moment, we waited SO long for this. And disappointment is a dangerous emotion to hold inside. It can steal joy. It's certainly been stealing mine. I am disappointed. I want to feel less pain and more peace. Finding God's hand amidst this miracle pregnancy is not difficult, I have instead focussed on all that is not what I believe I deserve. And I certainly have not been digging in to let God wipe my tears, hear my heart cries and forgive my unbelief and my ungrateful heart. Is this God's plan? Is it lies of the enemy? Is this another season on true discourse and opportunity for intimacy?

Lord, forgive my heart. It's been hardened. Thank you for this gift. Thank you for the lessons I have learned about you grace and love that have prepared me for what life throws my way. Help my to know you more in the midst of this pregnancy; whether embracing unmet, undeserved expectations or calling out the enemy on his crap and living into the beauty I find beneath. I want to know you more. I once again surrender this pregnancy to you. This child is yours. Please bless this time as our baby grows inside me, keep them safe and healthy. Draw me closer to you through it all.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lots O' belly!

Belly updates...Thanks for asking for updates, it reminds us to capture this time in pictures! Honestly, life/pregnancy at the moment is not really lending itself many natural opportunities to take pictures so these will have to do. I hope that I will have more energy to be social and actually leave or house for something other than school, work., church or grocery shopping (our highlights right now!) I will say we went to dinner at a friends house on Friday night which was fabulous but it's been a while since we have had plans on the calendar.

On to the belly.

I feel as though I am stretched to my max. Friends and common sense assure me that I am not. These were taken exactly two weeks apart. There is not a huge difference, but certainly some growth visible!

Here we are at 15 weeks

And here is 17 weeks

Friday, February 24, 2012

17 weeks and counting...

Butt pain is still giving me grief. Last night at 4am I spent 15 minutes trying to roll myself out of bed to go to the bathroom. I was in tears it hurt so much and none of the tricks I had been using to move without pain were working. When I woke up this morning I rolled out of bed and got up and going without any problem. Go figure, I guess it just depends on how the mood takes it. Walking is slower than usual as every other step gives a sharp pain but I can get around. I found some good stretches to try out so I am hoping they help.

In an exciting update, I have been feeling the baby move! For a week or so I have been feeling flutters that I thought might be baby but last night when I lay still in bed he or she had a dance party! Unmistakeable. J was very sad that he couldn't feel anything from the outside, and I am praying that that happens soon so we can share this incredible event but for now, selfishly I am happy that its me that gets the baby lovin'. It only seems fair with the negative physical stuff I have to deal with. I seriously cannot believe that we are far enough into pregnancy that I can actually feel our baby move. According to Google, this week baby is the size on an onion. Cute. The cutest onion in the world.

I am well aware of the growth spurt going on in me. My hunger has again reached teenage boy proportions. But my energy levels have dropped a little too and naps are back in my daily schedule and waves of nausea have been more frequent again so my inspiration in the kitchen is severely lacking! Hoping that the new copy of cooking light which is just sitting on the counter waiting for my perusal will help in that area.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A pain in the bum (literally)

As far as pregnancy symptoms go I feel as though I have got off pretty lightly. I certainly had nausea and fatigue - which has had a second lease of life in previous weeks, but even those have been mild in comparison to some other pregnant friends (It doesn't feel mild at the time, but I know it is)
I have managed to avoid most other uncomfortable symptoms, my skin has actually improved since pregnancy.

However, a few weeks ago I began to notice an ache in my lower back. At least that is how i would explain it, but if I am honest it was always a little lower, in the bottom region! In the past few days it has moved from the middle to my left cheek. And it has got much worse. I wince when I find myself in a position that triggers it, the pain shoots down my leg.

Being gone this weekend and sleeping on a harder mattress seemed to trigger it. For the first half hour on Saturday and Sunday morning I could barely move! By the time I was ready for bed on Sunday, it had got so bad I was literally in tears, and struggling to walk. I told Jeremy I was going to crawl up the stairs because I thought that would help...bad idea, crawling position was even more painful than standing. I can laugh about i now but at the time it was far from funny.

It was bad again yesterday and today after I woke up but seemed to ease at least a little through the day. However climbing up the stairs to my class today was a little comical from the perspective of the other students!

I am hoping it eases in a couple of days, but otherwise I might have to give my doctor a call and see if she can find a physical therapist who can help me and my rear end feel less painful. My googling has led me to believe it could be some sort of sciatic nerve problem which makes me a little anxious because we are not quite 17 weeks yet, and I really need a properly functioning bum cheek for the next six months to be bearable! Praying that it gets better soon.

When I thought about pregnancy and for so long when my prayers were to be in this very situation I had a very picturesque idea of what that would mean. I am trying not to complain about anything because I do recognise the gift that this pregnancy is. But I think I am in the midst of a reality check that pregnancy isn't all rainbows and unicorns with fuzzy edges and dipped in chocolate. This can be a tough thing for your body to go through. It is a miracle but that doesn't eliminate the physical realities!

So this tired pregnant lady is signing off and doing a funny walk worthy of John Cleese into the kitchen to help my hardworking hubby finish making dinner. In my can't be trusted to not have a spasm and drop something hot but I can still mash a potato!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rocks and Sand

This past weekend I was away a couple of hours south of Seattle for our church women's retreat. It was an amazing time and I am still reflecting on so much of what was discussed and some of the changes I want to implement but one idea really stuck out to me.

It was the idea that we often get stuck in the business of our lives and it prevents us from truly living into the calling God has for us. The speaker used an illustration of three big rocks in jar, explaining that these rocks were the things that should be our priorities, but that often we fill the jar with sand first and then try and fit in the rocks, but they don't fit. The sand is the small things in life that can consume our time but we would never claim as a priority. However, if we put the rocks in the jar first and then put the sand in there is room for everything.

This was such a great illustration for me. I constantly feel stretched in a million directions and "busy" but when I actually look at how I am spending my days I am not sure where all my time goes - or I am sure, I am just not happy about the ways I am spending it. I am making small sand the priorities and feeling stressed about trying to make the rocks fit - which they don't and can't.

I want my marriage to be a priority, to be the wife I know I can be. I must make sure that I am caring for myself, and that I am making my school work being done to the highest standard possible. I see how I am making choices which push these rocks out of the jar and filling it with the sand of Facebook, Pinterest the Real Housewives of Anywhere... to name a few.

I am blessed that we had small group time during the retreat where we could share some of the revelations we found as well as the next small steps we wanted to make to ensure that our rocks reclaimed their place as our priorities. As we fill our lives with the things that are truly important to us we will feel less business and more contentment and in this way we can better bring glory to God as we seek to serve him.

I am feeling really inspired because I feel as though I have been in the same "stuck" place for a while now. As we process this pregnancy and open ourselves to the possibility that we could actually be having a baby we have to face our fears in the most painful and raw way. It is easier to turn on the TV and not have those conversations. It is more comfortable to talk about everything in theory saying "if" and not "when". It feels safer not change anything in our home to indicate this child could be joining our family in case something goes wrong and we have a physical reminder.

So we are stuck in this place of disconnection from reality. In that place we are safe but joyless. And joyless people don't have energy for cooking, cleaning or school work, let alone having the emotional capacity for relationships. This weekend was a break from the stuck. It reminded me what I was missing. Now I have to make to get my rocks and my sand in order!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Daddy duty and thinking ahead

I know that often in pregnancy Daddy's can feel left out or disconnected from the baby until it's born. Of course in some ways this makes total sense, the baby is not growing in side their body, they won't feel movement in same amount or frequency that the mama can/will. I was wondering how J would be through this pregnancy, would he feel that some disconnect? And my prayer was that he would feel connected, and that he would feel involved in the pre-natal season of our child's life.

I am overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility J already feels toward the well being of our baby.

He has researched which foods I should be eating and even bought fish to help make our baby smart! ha ha
After reading something about how classical music can be stimulating for a child in utero every station in our car is classical! It is still crazy to me that our child can already hear the world around him/her. And what a sweet fact we found, that often babies in the womb can hear male voices sooner and more clearly because they are lower. So now he makes sure that "baby can hear him" if we are talking in bed before we go to sleep he pulls the cover down so my belly is exposed! ha ha

This week I ended up at a last minute doctors appointment because of a suspected UTI - the initial results were inconclusive for that kind of infection so I have to wait for the cultures to grow - (yuck) however I did test positive for another "down there" infection. Nice...and potentially way too much information to share?! Sorry if that's the case. Anyway, there is a simple treatment for the infection I have but if the UTI is confirmed I would have to go on antibiotics. I told J that they called in prescription for me to start taking now which I could continue or stop once the diagnosis come though. Then I get multiple emails form J with all this research about antibiotics and his concerns about some of them and birth defects. (So we have decided to hold off taking anything until something has been confirmed tomorrow)
But I love that he cared enough to research and be so concerned about his baby already.

I have no concerns about him as a father and especially about him feeling connected.
It makes my heart so happy to consider what a blessed little one we have on the way to have a father who already loves him/her so much.

In just 5 more weeks we will find out whether it is indeed a him or a her! We will also find out more about the specifics of their anatomy, we will make sure that their heart, kidneys and other vital organs are developing normally. Of course, I have a slight underlying fear that something will be less than perfect. I trust God's plan, but I also not his faithfulness is not dependent on us having a 'perfect' baby. We are once again called to submit to God's sovereignty and bigger plan.

But we can also desire a child who will not have to fight health battles their whole life. And that is our prayer. So please pray with us that he or she will get a clean bill of health at our scan. And that we will have peace in the weeks ahead as we wait for it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Belated Valentine

My belly is continuing to grow, we are officially 16 weeks tomorrow, and it's hard to hide that there is something growing in there! I am told that any time now I could start feeling little movements!! I can't wait. I know that will so wonders for my confidence in believing that this is actually happening. I also know that J who lays his head on my growing belly each night to see if he can hear or feel baby, will be very envious until he is able to feel him/her from the outside!

Happy belated Valentines day to you all. What a special day. I know some people don't like Valentines day because we should be doing nice things for those we love every day and not just on the one day society tells us too. I agree, but I also love taking a special day to think of extra special ways to show the one you love, just how much they mean to you and for that reason - I am a fan. Plus, I have a husband who very sweetly and predictably brings me beautiful flowers and chocolate every year so I have no reason to dislike it!

This celebration again excited me as I think ahead to our expanding family and how our celebration will be different next year with a little one to share in the love festivities. Selfishly I am quite happy to have had one final Valentines day where I alone am the apple of J's eye.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Driving this baby

I can't believe the weekend is over already. I have done a lot of driving practice! I do not have a license, and have been working towards getting one for about a year. I am learning on an automatic and until last weekend we only had J's manual so we were borrowing cars for me to learn on. Then we decided that I would learn best if we just got a second car and had me drive every time we went somewhere together. So we did. I have a car now so I better learn to drive it!

This weekend we went out for about an hour and then later in the day we went out for another chunk of time at an empty parking lot to practice my parking....let's just say that we will need to be going back for more practice this week! ha ha

Today I drove to and from church which felt great.

I have struggled a bit moth nausea again the past few days which sucks. I thought I was past that. I am also really struggling to keep on top of my hunger. I am constantly hungry and constantly needing to eat but I am so tired of trying to think of snack to eat! Hoping this is just a growth spurt or something and the hunger might settle to a dull roar soon.

I managed to dust the bedroom and even got a load of laundry on tonight. I swear women who manage to keep on top of their housework, and jobs and other social and family commitments in early pregnancy deserve a medal...in my personal opinion, they are just showing off(!) All that to say I am hoping to be coming out of the zero energy stage of pregnancy. It's been a long time coming. I would be jumping up ad down with excitement but I just don't have the energy!! ha ha

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just an average day really

So my test score from my class wasn't as bad as I thought. I guess I am managing to retain more French than I thought!

Today was my Dr's appointment, just a regular check up, as though this is just a regular pregnancy. I guess from the outside it looks normal enough. But to me this will always be a special pregnancy. I guess every mother feels this way, but this pregnancy is God's gift to us and we can't get over how blessed we are. It will never seem normal to us.
The visit was nothing special, she listened to the heart beat which she found easily and is still the most beautiful sound in the world, and strong at 160. My blood pressure was great and weight gain was technically nothing. I say technically because the last time I was weighed was when it was snowy here and I was bundled up so even though I took off my coat and boots that time I still had many more clothes on than this time!
I am weighing myself weekly so I know that I have gained about 1.5lbs since my last appointment. I guess that's good. I am still in my regular weigh 'zone' so getting on the scale isn't too much of a strange experience yet - but I am under no illusion that it will not climb up into never before reached territory! ha ha

As much as pregnancy has been consuming my blogs recently, I do have a few other things on my mind! One being that I am hosting a community group through my church this winter. and last night was the first meeting. It's called, "Let's spread the Love" and is about finding ways to encourage the missionaries that we support as a church. I have been part of the missions committee for almost 5 years and in that time we have had lots of idea about ways to support and encourage the missionaries Bethany but in recent years, our committee has had a drop in membership and we have been finding it hard to do anything more than just the essentials, so we are all really excited for this group to bring a new lease of life, and new ideas which will in turn encourage our missionaries, and help them to feel better supported.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Things not to do while pregnant #647

Try to learn a language

Seriously. This quarter of school has by far been the most challenging for me. First of weeks of school I was still in the throws of nausea and extreme hunger, after which came total distraction when we hit our 12 week mark and the real day dreaming about babies began - and by day dreaming I also include the hours spent trawling the Internet for nursery ideas, and cute baby stuff in general! The past couple of weeks I am realising that I have retained little to nothing from this quarter, and I have a test today that I believe will uncover my secret. Yikes.

I can fully participate in class and feel like I know what I am talking about but somewhere between the classroom and getting home to do homework all I have heard and learned fall away. Maybe it fell out on the bus?

I had hoped that pregnancy brain would not interfere with my life too much but I really want to do well in this class, and it is frustrating that it is a little beyond my control and I feel like I am struggling.

Does this short term memory lapse get better or am I doomed? (Pretty sure I knew how to ask that in French once.)

In other news, our grocery budget last month was blown out of the water! seems that even though I am far from eating for two, I am craving variety so needing to eat every couple of hours whether a snack or a meal as well as eating gluten free has created a rather large whole in our grocery budget so we had to pull from other areas of the budget...good thing I have had 0 desire or energy to go out and our entertainment envelope has been untouched for sometime!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to dress this changing body...

About a month ago, I noticed that by the end of the day my jeans felt uncomfortable snug and I would have to undo the buttons to get to the end of the day.

I had heard rumor of a wonderful piece of clothing called a 'Belly Band.' The loop of material made of elastic that you can wear over the top of your undone jeans and trousers so that you can still wear non-maternity clothes even if they are too snug to wear done up all the time. I wore my belly band religiously until this past weekend when I think I have had to retire it. I was hoping that I would be able to stay in regular clothes way into my second trimester but it doesn't look like that is my most comfortable option.

By the end of last weekend my clothes were uncomfortable around my waist. My mother-in-law had taken me shopping for maternity clothes the week before last and I was happily surprised by what I found. The jeans with the huge elastic band...turns out they are not as ugly as you would think and potentially THE most comfortable pants I have ever worn. Why don't we make all jeans elastic-waisted?

Plus, the tank tops and t shirts in the maternity store are all really long, which will be great when I have a real pregnancy belly, but for now, they are just great for me as a tall person!

I imagined that pregnancy clothes would be like wearing a neon sign around my neck saying, "Look here, pregnant woman walking" and I was afraid that people would think I was silly because of the lack of baby bump. But the clothes just look like normal clothes, the only difference is that they fit wonderfully and feel great.

So, I guess my clothes shopping will be limited to only a few stores now, or a few departments but I am ok with that. I am excited to be able to dress my growing bump and still look cute. This will be the season for accessorising because as we all know earrings, necklaces and bracelets will fit no matter how big this belly gets!

I wish we had taken belly pics earlier (I first wrote belly shots, ha ha, not quite the same). Jeremy and I were both afraid that taking pictures too early would jinx the pregnancy or something, but now I don't have any of my lovely flat belly to use as a baseline! I am not sure when it became socially acceptable to take pictures of you tummy and show others but somewhere along the line it did. So here I am a week ago at 13 weeks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

N.T. scan and Snowmegedan 2012

Written January 19th, 2012

It has been snowing like crazy for the past few days and today contained hours of snowfall and an ice rain storm. It is snow day 2 from school but we had our scan scheduled at the hospital and snow or ice, we were going to see you again little plum.

So we wrapped up warm, J is working from home too because the roads are so nasty, and off we set. Luckily the hospital is very close by so we didn't have to slip and slide for too long.

My bladder was full on arrival, as requested by the doctor, and in to the room we go with our lovely sonographer. I laid down and the probing began. Easy to see you baby and your strong heart beat. You are measuring well and growing like a weed. However, the sonographer saw that you were sitting up straight - very cute, like a little gummy bear but apparently is the absolute wrong position to get the measurements that they needed to. For an hour the sonographer worked to get you in the right position; I turned on my right, and to my left, she elevated my feet, prodded you with the wand, had me cough, had me walk laps around the hospital and eventually empty the bladder (thank you Lord!) You were batting back whenever she prodded you with the wand and you covered your sweet face with your tiny hands. It was just precious.

Let's not forget the moment you decided to wiggle like you were running, arms and legs going and I couldn't hold in my screech of laughter, it took me a good few minutes to settle myself and stop my belly from shaking. Man, you were cute!

The first sonographer called in reinforcements from her boss. He came in and tried to get you in the right position but to no avail so we were told to come back in an hour for another go!

Already a feisty little thing aren't you!!? I would expect nothing less as the contributor of half your genetics, and we love you so much already.

So, under the charge to refill my bladder for the second appointment, and not wanting to venture out into the arctic conditions more than we needed to we stopped at the little cafe in the hospital. J had a sandwich because he hadn't eaten lunch and suddenly this scan had become an all day affair and I had water and a hot chocolate. I may have over estimated just how much liquid I was consuming, because by the time we were called back into the exam room, I could literally not stand up straight because my bladder was so full! I must have looked so silly, but I couldn't think about it at the time I was too busy focussing on not peeing as I walked. Only a few minutes into the second scan the sonographer took pity on me and let me go to the toilet! Feeling much more comfortable, back on the table you were turned around, and though you were face down rather than the ideal face up they were able to measure what they needed to - you're so independent already! Everything was in the normal range which was good, and the blood work they did will come back in a week or so - we pray that that will also show you are as healthy as you are cute...

You are now the size of a plum, about 5cm from rump to head. Just precious and moving all over the place.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Written January 14th, 2012

Every morning I wake up pregnant is a new lesson in surrender. I have to balance my human fear with the peace that I can find in God's promise of faithfulness, but I am greatly aware that his faithfulness may not follow the plans I have. God is faithful. If our pregnancy goes to term, or if it ends tomorrow, He is still faithful.

I was so moved by something Michelle Duggar said at the memorial service her the baby she and her husband lost at 20 weeks. I don't have an exact quote, but it was along the line of how in awe she was that God's purpose had been fulfilled in this this little life in just the short time she was alive. I am trying to hold onto the truth that God's timing is perfect, and his plans give us life and hope. Each day I am pregnant is a gift, an opportunity to be thankful. I do not know the end of this story. I do not if this pregnancy will go to term, I have no guarantee that this baby will be in our arms. No guarantee. And no reason to believe that I deserve a happy ending. I am unworthy of such a gift, and am so aware of my own faults, failures and lack of faith.

Would I stand in awe of God's purpose fulfilled if this baby went to heaven before we meet him (or her)? Would I seek God's comfort? Perhaps, I am protecting my heart from this pain by expecting the worse, disconnecting from the hope this pregnancy brings?

I feel very conflicted as I have to make a choice each morning to step into God's plan. To allow total surrender to him. Not trying to hold onto to this experience in a way that holds me captive, but holding it with open hands to God's better purpose.

I don't "feel" pregnant today. I am tired, and aware that my body is dealing with something strange but I have not felt stretching like I have been used to, and not feeling nausea like I have before. Instead of having thankfulness be my initial reaction, I am instead fearful that it means things have ended and my baby's heart if not beating anymore. Of course, this is not the first time I have convinced myself that a symptom or lack of a symptom meant everything is over, only to be proved wrong at a scan showing a growing and perfect little bean, heart beating strong.

It's not fun to be so afraid. And it's not who I am purposed to be. Where is my joy? I don't want to put it on hold until August but how can I connect with it in this moment? Am I willing to risk investing fully in the hope and possibility of this pregnancy, the truth of God's goodness and power and the peace that passes all understanding? Am I prepared for the pain which would come from a loss at this late stage, after fully investing?

I don't know if I am willing to step into that unknown. And in the truth of my resistance and fear, I hear once again God's gentle call to full surrender.

This is a lesson I am learning every moment of every day. I hope to find more freedom to embrace the hope and joy as I choose to actively surrender to God.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Candy Craving

Written Jan 10, 2012

(10 weeks 5 days pregnant)

This week has been the week of chewy sour candy...I can't get enough. I am really liking the gummy cherries and just polished off a packet of tropical Starbursts in record time. Still not wanting to eat chocolate, which is very strange...I am not sure what the sour candy craving means you need baby, but my teeth won't be happy if this continues.

Today I went out and ran some errands after class which felt really good. I have been coming home and taking a nap after school most days but that hasn't made me feel much better so perhaps exerting more energy will make things better? I guess we'll see.

I woke up with a monster headache when I had to pee at 6am (the third bathroom trip of the night). It was still there when I got up for the day a couple of hours yesterday. It is becoming a weekly occurrence, I hate headaches. I am trying to drink water and keep hydrated in case that is playing a role in them but it is hard to drink even more water when I already seem to spend half my life in the bathroom!

Today was a big day. I had two separate conversations about our baby, and I felt comfortable talking about it like we actually might be having a baby. If the unbuttoned pants were not enough of an indicator of the reality of the situation, my heart has not been able to hope that we might actually have a baby in our arms this year. As the second trimester approaches and week after week the baby is growing and developing normally, the fear is beginning to disperse and the hope is starting to shine through.

We are so aware that there are no guarantees in pregnancy. It still makes me envious when I read a facebook post saying. "we are having a baby in *insert month" meaning they are VERY newly pregnant, or even after gender scans, "we are having a boy/girl" Even then, the sense of confidence with which those statements are written makes me nervous. I am not sure that I can ever be so glib about it. IF we get to a gender scan, I can only ever imagine the statement, "I am pregnant with a *insert gender" I wish the experience didn't make me so guarded but at the same time, it makes me even more appreciative of every moment.

In the sickness, I am not wishing away the days but instead can be thankful to experience the crazy hormones of an early pregnancy. I can suck the juice out of each moment.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Still surreal

Written January 6th 2011

Yesterday we went for our 10 week scan, the baby is measuring well, a few days behind, but I am told that is totally normal. We got to see him wriggling around even more and his little arms and legs were much clearer. (I am saying his because I don't want to say "it's" but God is still the only one who knows baby's gender)

I can't wait for week 13 when we officially announce and I can finally post up all these entries which have been sitting in my drafts folder for weeks and weeks! I haven't been as quiet as it may have seemed!

I am starting to really have trouble doing up my pants. Until this week I have been pretty much able to do up my jeans when I am walking around and just undone them when I am sitting but the pouch gained a little gumption recently and refuses to be tamed by the button on my jeans anymore. I found something online called a 'Belly band' which means I can wear my jeans undone without being socially inappropriate! The band goes over the whole area so regular pants can be worn further into pregnancy pushing off the need for actual maternity clothes for a little while. I am not sure how long the band will give me in my regular clothes, but I am told I shouldn't be getting a real baby belly for a little while yet. It certainly is at the point where at certain times of the day I have quite the bump and then at other times there is barely a hint of one. Below my belly button feels much firmer to the touch. I guess there really is something growing in there.

I am still feeling pretty disconnected from the baby, but very to the pregnancy. I know it is self protection, and I have promised myself once we hit (God willing, if we hit) 13 weeks I will let myself get excited and stop feeling like a fraud. I know its happening on an intellectual level, but it is still too surreal to actually think through where this might lead. I am not sure if it is more scary to think this could work than to think it may not at this point. For so long I was so focussed on getting and staying pregnant, I never really thought ahead to actually being pregnant.

That is a new reality, and one which I am holding off embracing for a few more weeks. For now I am happy in the limbo life. Well, not happy, but comfortable! Once we have told our secret and other people know what's going on, I won't be able to live in this place so I am making it home for the next couple of weeks, knowing I can't stay forever. It makes this time a little more sweet.

This weekend we are telling a few of our closest friends, people we want to tell in person. I know that will help me to start mentally packing to get ready to move out of this limbo land. Plus, I can't wait to share our joy and hope with them and the more people praying for our little bean the better!

Now it would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that today has been the worst sickness day in a while. I had to miss class this morning because I felt so sick, and all day I have felt nauseous and exhausted. I am not complaining, but I think it deserves a mention, if only to make me super grateful for the days when I haven't felt that way - and hopefully for the days ahead when these moments will be gone. I hear that soon my hormones will be evening out and my body will begin to feel more human and predictable again. That may be an overstatement. I will have a growing belly and I am sure a million other strange pregnancy consequences, but I hear rumors of starting to glow very soon. I need to keep that end in sight. Bring on the glow, right now, I am not even dimly lit!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

About the Christmas reveal

Written December 27th, 2011

Little bean, you are making it pretty tricky to keep your existence a secret at the moment. We told your grandparents you were growing over Christmas and I am sure you have felt their prayers ever since, they were so excited. I was glad to tell them for a million reasons, but one because it gave them a reason to not worry about me sleeping 18 hours a day during our Christmas celebrations!

This week, I am still having waves of nausea, they hit further apart but more intense. I am not sure if that's better or worse. The hardest symptom for me to cope with now is the exhaustion. I wake up tired, do very little in the days (at least while I wait for school to start), then I nap for a couple of hours before waring myself out by eating something and then being in bed before 9pm. According to what I have been reading, this week my hormones will stabilize and this will start me on a road to feeling a bit more normal again. I can't wait...but I will take all of this if it means you are growing healthy and strong in there little one.

We get to see you again in a couple of days. I always get nervous before a scan because I have a fear that they will tell me you have stopped growing, or your heart has stopped beating. I hope and pray for a healthy report and even more pictures of you! I think you have almost grown out of your tail, so that's good.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

8 weeks pregnant

Written December 22nd, 2011
Feeling so sick. I hope this mean you are growing strong little raspberry. Today we hit our 8 week mark, and apparently you grew from a blueberry to a raspberry in just a week. I am not sure they how they figure that out, but I just want you to be growing healthy and strong.
My tummy continues to cramp and twinge and feel stretched so I am hoping these are continuing signs of you making yourself at home.

By the end of the day my tummy is so very bloated and your daddy and I pray that one day my belly will stick out like like that because its full of you baby and not just gas and poop - which is gross, but apparently accurate at this point in a pregnancy!

I discovered via Facebook that another friend is having a baby this summer. I keep letting myself get excited about the possibility of sharing this journey with friends - but I still can't quite let myself believe it is happening.

I am so ready to share our news. I know we are keeping it a secret for our own peace of mind and of course a dramatic Christmas reveal for our parents but I feel very alone in a situation that feels overwhelming. I need prayer and feel as though it may be a prayer burden on the shoulders of the very few people we have shared with.

I look forward to confessing.


Written December 21, 2011

Another scan today. We had to make sure that your little heat that had just begun beating a week ago had got stronger. And it had. Today we saw your heart beating at 163 beats per minute. Just as the technician was telling us that by next week we might even see you moving around, you gave us a little wiggle! It was so sweet. Clearly you like to be the center of attention - you are my child!

We also got more pictures of you. We already have enough for an album!

We have decided to tell your Grandparents and your aunt and uncle the news of your presence at Christmas which is only a few more days away. I know they are going to be so happy to hear you are on your way and they will be so thrilled that they can meet you next summer. They have been praying for you for as long as we have, you are already so loved. Just keep growing healthy and strong little one. We are so in love with you already.


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