pregnancy

Currently

Craving:

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nuts and dried fruit (thanks, Mom!)

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these

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this (greek yogurt with pineapple—yum)

DSC_0088cheese (always)

 

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sugary cereal (because when am I not??)

(and have given up on mayo (thank goodness) and cuties)

Wearing:

Yoga pants: Doctor: “So are you really into yoga??”

Leggings

Maternity tanks

Doing:

nesting (like crazy…can’t seem to turn my brain off)

dreaming about vacation (spring is just around the corner!!)

Week Wrap-Up

This week has been busy + productive!

Daddy was off on Monday AND Tuesday so we had an extra long weekend—FABULOUS!

 

I finished MG’s quilt and we are working on painting her new room and bathroom.  She is wildly excited about everything “BIG GIRL”!

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On Monday, N pulled down all of the boxes of baby clothes and toys down from the attic.   They were fairly well organized in boxes by size, but due to some dresses and other things lasting for multiple seasons, everything needed to be re-sorted.  It was a 4+ hour project.  But I’m happy to say that Mayby has a stocked closet of 0-6 month clothes and toys ready to go.  It was so fun seeing all of those clothes again and I’m so glad  she will be able to re-wear a majority of them.  Precaution was taken to HIDE them from MG as the two pieces she happened to stumble across, she was already claimed for her little doll posse.

On Wednesday I had my glucose tolerance test.  MG accompanied me for the hour+ appointment.  I was a teensy bit nervous to bring her along, seeing as it is such a long appointment, but I had nothing to fear.  I have come to the realization that we have crossed over from her being my “little charge” to my “little buddy”.

She asks all kinds of curious questions, “Mama, juice?”  No baby, this is yucky juice.  I love hearing about all of her observations.  She thinks the wavy walls are snakes and the window ledges are benchesAnd her special treat is picking out a dum-dum for when the doctor comes in the room.  She always picks pink.

It also doesn’t hurt that there is a fully stocked kitchen and toys–most importantly a baby–in the waiting room.  We breezed through the appointment and she was sad when we had to leave.

To reward our efforts (me passing, she attending), we enjoyed a cozy lunch at Culver’s.  Another fun thing about this age is going out to eat.  She will eat slowly and thoughtfully, watching everyone around her.  N and I are always amazed at how much conversation we can have at a restaurant now!

And she was so thrilled about her cheeseburger, fries, and a “big girl” cup of water that she continued to give me spontaneous hugs and kisses throughout the meal.  Have I mentioned how much I love this age?

Although it still makes me a little sad to change up our comfortable routine, I am excited about having two curious, excitable, loveable little girls in my brood.  I hope MG teaches Mayby all of her sweet sisterly ways.  If hugs and kisses count, she is well on her way to being fully stocked.

 

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Twelve weeks and counting!

 

The Coolest Cucumber

This week Mayby is the size of a cucumber….

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But with a belly like that, who’s to really say?

I’m 26 weeks now and it’s official: I’m pregnant!  I’ve started to get stranger comments so if there was any doubt before, I think we can now safely put it to rest.

Twenty-six weeks also means that I’m one week away from…gulp…the third trimester.  I know, crazy right?  We can’t believe it either.  I was enjoying the second trimester so much that I’m kinda sad  to say goodbye.  I remember the days being pregnant with MG just c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g by and I’m kinda wishing this one would slow down a bit too.

But God has a way of preparing you for the next stage and I’m already starting to feel some of the groanings of the third trimester: more fatigue, a bit of sciatia, the tight-as-a-tick belly after eating (no matter the size of the meal),  the slightest touch of heartburn at night (just enough to get me excited that maybe she’s growing some hair in there!!), ribaches and backaches at the end of the day, an underestimate of the size of my belly (we’re getting to the stage where it’s not uncommon to look down and find a splotch of pasta sauce or chocolate ice cream on a not too discreet spot on my protruding belly) and a belabored dread of bending over.

Oh and feeling much better too.  Other than getting “sympathy belly” every time someone mentions the (shudder, shudder) nasty stomach bug that is going around right now.  Every once in a while the nausea will return at night and then it becomes a game of pregnancy or Norovirus?  Kind of like the gunshot or fireworks? game on the fourth of July, but much less exciting.

It’s just the beginning, but it’s the beginning of the end (sniff, sniff).  Bittersweet because I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again (Lord willing, maybe?), but sweet because I also get more excited everyday about meeting her.

MG is too!  Just in the past month or so, she has become very curious about my big belly and about all of this sister talk.  She asks questions about her all the time.  “Mama help me?  Change Mayby’s diaper?” translation: Mama will I be able to help you change Mayby’s diaper?  (oh yes, child, as often as your little heart desires)

Oh, and one final note to all pregnant women: don’t watch the Business of Being Born Pt 2 at 26 weeks into your second pregnancy.  It will send you straight into full-blown Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.  And Lord have mercy, there’s no going back now…

See you in (eek) 3 months, Mayby!

The Journey to #2, the finale

{this is the conclusion to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8}
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
Lamentations 3:25-27
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:13

Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before. But it was no good trying to throttle this hope. It might – really, really, it just might be true. So many odd things had happened already.” – C.S. Lewis from the magician’s nephew

We were told by my doctor to take the next month off and begin the game plan with the following cycle.  I watched my hormone levels do crazy things  and knew that we still most definitely needed the boost to help us become pregnant again.  In a way, it was validating.  We weren’t trying too hard to force things, we truly needed help.

Early August, we began our next medicated cycle.  I found myself fighting apathy.  I had grown so weary of the whole roller coaster that I didn’t want to care but also wished I didn’t care as much as I did.  It was such a mind game.

That month, I asked God for an early ovulation day.  He granted.  I asked Him for an early implantation day.  He granted.  For once, I felt all of my prayers– down to the most tiny of requests –were being graciously answered .  And for the first time since I had ever tracked my cycle (ever, including with MG), I had a near perfect BBT chart.

Finally the day came to have my follicles checked and the shot administered.  I felt hope creep back into my heart.

In the interim wait I heard again from my encouragement friend.  She was writing to tell me that she had also heard back from another friend that didn’t know me but had prayed for me in her experiment.  For some reason today, she felt deeply moved to send this to me:

“The LORD has not forgotten you.”

It was just the encouragement I needed to put the fight back in me.  I felt all of the months of loss and despair go behind me.  And while I did not have any guarantees as to what the next months would hold, I felt content that God would be giving us the desires of our hearts in His perfect timing….whatever that may be.  How beautiful it is to walk in knowledge of God’s awareness.

Seven days passed and I began my daily HPT’s, searching for clues.

On day nine, the color faded, but not as much as I would have liked.

Days 10-11 were the same.

And then on day 12, the line appeared very dark.  I began to get nervously excited.  I showed my results to N.  He said, “Let’s continue to pray you are pregnant.”  I replied that I was still trying to convince myself of this, but this dark test told me that it was not IF I was pregnant, it was IF this pregnancy would be viable.  Of course after two miscarriages, every hopeful thing is clouded with a little doubt and insecurity.

On day 13, the line was very dark.  It was a Thursday and  I contemplated how I would get in for blood work the following morning before 11am (they closed early on Fridays) when I had a commitment from 8:45-11, not including drive time.

And  I thought.  “Why not see if you can go today?”  It was still 24 hours before they told me I could trust a home test, but I wasn’t sure how strict they would be about coming in a day early.

I called and they let me.

I waited anxiously for the phone call detailing results.  But this time it was different.  This time I had a dark test, significantly darker than it had ever been last time.  And deep down, I knew that meant I was pregnant.  Just how pregnant?  And how healthy?  Those were the questions I wrestled with.

The nurse called back mercifully early and I could hear a pep in her voice that had been missing from all previous conversations.  “Well, your blood work came back at 63 which is great considering we usually like to see it between 50-100 at this point. Come back in two days to make sure it is rising.”

Sixty-three!  Sixty-three!  A beautiful, healthy number.  I had told myself I would be happy with 20-30, and it had been more than double that!

And an added bonus-because N didn’t know I was going to the doctor that day (huh, neither did I!), I was finally able to pull out that card I had tucked away for him nearly 9 months ago (the MG shirt had been long outgrown) (also, coincidentally, I had “accidentally forgotten” to bring the card on vacation in July).  I carefully wrote down all of the news and sealed and addressed the envelope as “SQUARE 2”, as we had joked that we were constantly trying to get out of SQUARE ONE all summer and God kept placing us back there.

When he arrived home from work, he immediately welled up when I handed him the card, before he even could read what was inside.  He knew exactly what square 2 meant and that it was filled with joy.  We  laid on the bed and shed tears together.  It  certainly was not how I envisioned my announcement going 9 months ago, but our circumstances had changed us.  Instead it was deep and beautiful and emotional.  The perfect punctuation to our story.

And you know how the rest of  it goes.  The hormone levels continued to rise.  The progesterone made me incredibly sick and I was finally able to wean off of it on week 10.  We affectionately named our May baby, “Mayby” (a fitting name indeed after months of “maybe we are pregnant and maybe we are not”) and prayed for health and safety.  She grew and let me know she was in there much earlier than her older sister with regular kicks starting at 15 weeks.  We went in for the best news on December 24 and found out we were expecting a healthy baby girl.

Even though we had to grieve the loss of some of our dreams (like a 2012 baby) The “weird” thing was, all of our desires still came true.  Just at a much different timetable than we ever expected:

-we were able to tell much of my extended family our news in person
-we were able to tell both of our families the gender news in person
-the girls will still be two grade levels apart, assuming that everything else matches up (just as N had desired)
-and overall, this pregnancy has been much more “by the book” than MG’s…which has been a nice little bonus

And really, the dreams we had to sacrifice are ones that now I can see were for the best. (the best gift of perspective has been all of my friends having their babies on “our” due dates and realizing that with each one, we are just not ready for that, yet.).  And the timing of this baby is just beautiful in so many God-filled ways. I still don’t understand why we had to take this painful journey to arrive here, but He has continued to remind me of His love for me as He has revealed to me many small, but important to me, details in the timing of this entire thing.

I still don’t understand the miscarriage and what it meant for us, but I do know one redeeming thing that came out of it: remember how we originally told my family the pregnancy news in person before it turned into a miscarriage?  Well we didn’t have a chance to experience telling them in person with Mayby, so I like to think of that as a little consolation prize.  We got to have that moment with them when we did, not knowing that it wouldn’t be coming this time.

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As I sit back and reflect on our story of the journey to Mayby, I can’t help but feel gratitude.  A strange sentiment indeed to feel after so much confusion and darkness. But I truly feel thankful that God led us on this journey.  Not only did it strengthen us and our resolve for one another, but it taught us how we respond during trials and disappointments.  And the most important lesson of all: it taught us how much we have to be grateful for.  And it is a lot, that is to be sure!  One day I will be able to look in our Mayby girl’s eyes and tell her how much we longed for her.  She will forever be a testimony of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing in our journey.

{the end}

Love ya, Papaya

This week Mayby is the size of a papaya…

 Or so they say.
Twenty-two weeks feels like a big accomplishment.  We are almost to the stage of (Heaven forbid) viability outside of the womb and each week that ticks by is a little sigh of relief.
So how are you feeling??
Well, I can’t say I’m not enjoying this pregnancy “sweet spot”.  The time right before I’m large and uncomfortable, but right after the yuckiness of the first trimester.  I am glad to land here for a while.  It is so nice to know a little about our Mayby and to start making  preparations for her arrival.  And I love feeling the regular kicks that I know I can count on when sitting or lying down or while enjoying a good meal :).  It was only at this point last time that I began to feel MG’s first kicks, due to the way the placenta was positioned.  So this is a welcome change.
I thought I was out of the woods with the sickness as I had about 2-3 days of absolutely no nausea whatsoever.  But lo and behold it reared its ugly head the past two nights starting around 10pm and lasting throughout my sleep.  That is all I have to complain about though so I feel very blessed.
Very blessed indeed as I have had some friends go through some trying things like infant loss and premature births in recent weeks.  It is so hard to understand why?  and why not me?  If I have taken anything away from their stories it is not to take this little wiggling life inside of me for granted.  I am so attached to her now, I feel it would destroy me if something happened to her.  In the beginning, it was different.  I gave her my heart but held a tiny piece of it back for the what ifs and the just in case.  And I always checked for blood and let myself be indifferent at the doctor’s office and had horrible miscarriage dreams where the only conclusion was, “well I knew this was going to happen.”  But we’ve since crossed the line. She is one of mine now.   Every night, I rub my hand across my ever-expanding belly, letting her know that I am there,  praying for the health and safety of my girls.  After all, there’s not much else I can do.
If there is anything I have learned from this pregnancy it is that she doesn’t belong to me.  She is a gift.  A beautiful and treasured gift that I will fight to appreciate every day that I have with her.
We love ya, Papaya.  See you in 4 months!

 

P.S.  Starting next week, I’ll be sharing the story of our Mayby, so stay tuned!

The Sweetest Potato

This week, Mayby is the size of a sweet potato.

But let’s be real, sweet potatoes come in all different shapes and sizes: some wimpy and tubular, others warped and overgrown.  So that doesn’t really give me much to go off of.
We have crossed into 18 weeks and surprisingly the nausea has still.not.left.  Granted, it is not nearly, NEARLY what it used to be.  But it still catches me off guard every single night has I reach for a snack, without fail, two hours after dinner.  It then resurfaces two hours after snack.  At least it is remedied by carbs.
No crazy cravings anymore, just normal ones (I get food cravings in regular life, not just pregnancy life).  Every day I’ve had some kind of soup and a grilled cheese for lunch.  Oh and those clementine cuties too.  I’ve never been fond of citrus other than grapefruits…but right now I can’t get enough.
Eighteen weeks also means that the BIG ultrasound is a little over a week away.  Still lots of thoughts to share about that (all to come next week).  But I’ve been having some crazy dreams about it lately.  The first one was pretty normal.  First they told me it was a boy, but then after careful examination said, “nope, it’s a girl.”  The second two both came on the same night and both involved somehow missing the ultrasound.  Which was crazy stressful because apparently we were driving from over two hours away and made it with only an hour to spare until closing.  The tech refused to see us but said that we were definitely having a boy.  That was fine, but I was sure that I needed proof.  I begged her to examine me, but she refused.  Ahh, the beautiful stage of crazy pregnancy dreams.  I’m ready for them just to put me out of my misery and tell me one way or the other.

Other than that, sleep has been pretty mercifully easy.  I still catch myself sleeping on my belly, but I know the time for that is drawing to a close.  About time to break out the body pillow!

N was able to feel our little potato kicking around for the first time last night.  It is crazy how much we’ve both forgotten since last time.  It makes this one feel new and fresh and I love that.
It has also made this pregnancy fly by.  We are nearing the half-way mark which is just ludicrous.  The mothering instinct is kicking in hardcore as I try to figure out how to make room for another little person in my nest.
Only 5 more months!  Let the feathering begin!

 

Just Go With It

I wrote this at the end of my first trimester and decided to post it today in honor of my last post.  Enjoy 🙂

I thought about titling this one  Surviving Mamaland: Morning Sickness with a Toddler.

But quickly realized I had no sound advice that is guaranteed to work.  Instead, it is more of a working philosophy consisting of four words: Just go with it.

Your house hasn’t been cleaned in two weeks?  Just go with it.
You suddenly hit a spurt of energy at 12am and all you want to do is dust?  Just go with it.

The only appealing thing you have in the pantry for lunch is nacho cheese cheese puffs and vanilla yogurt: Just go with it.
Your toddler requests the same meal?  Just go with it.

You spend the morning glued to the couch and your child has never seen a full episode of Sesame Street?  Just go with it
Your child now requests and is obsessed with Elmo at every waking moment: Just go with it

Your child is so used to you sitting in the chair during “playtime” that she now directs you to it immediately after lunch: Just go with it
What you lack in energy, you make up for enthusiasm (“Wow!!  You are such a good picker-upper.  I wonder if you could reach Mommy’s book for her?”): Just go with it.

Thankfully, I also had the help of a fantastic husband who worked full-time and then came home to take on much of my workload and the aid of wonderful friends/family who came to my rescue at just the right times.  But I do have to say, I am happy to kiss the first trimester woes behind and get back to the structured and routined lifestyle that I know and love so well.  One can only just go with it for so long!

FAQ’s

Not that I think I’m some sort of celebrity with a FAQ section,

but the truth is, as soon as you announce your pregnancy, you tend to get asked a lot of the same questions.

Like:

1) How are you feeling? Terrible.  Can I be honest? Absolutely terrible.  I’ve been nauseated morning, noon, and night since 5.5 weeks.  I’ve had a few days of reprieve in recent weeks, most notably around weeks 9-10, but it came back with a vengeance last week.  Consider that this reprieve came after 32 days of feeling like I was on the verge of food poisoning.  I hate to complain, but seeing as how I haven’t been able to vomit out all of my sickness, I’m going to vomit out my feelings.  Even my “good days” aren’t in reality all that great.  A good day is waking up feeling normal, eat breakfast, two hours later feel nauseated.  Eat whatever carbs are on hand that haven’t already been deemed adverse in order to slay it.  Repeat every two hours.  This must be timed well with bedtime otherwise,  tossing and turning will be met with a rolling stomach.

 

But that is considered a good day because I don’t have to function with the constant nagging feeling that I am going to vomit everywhere.  Add onto this: extreme fatigue, raging hormones, and eating things that the inside of my body rarely sees.  These things mingled together have put me in somewhat of a depressive funk.  I just haven’t felt like myself in weeks.  And that has surprisingly(?)  caught me off guard. However, the light is at the end of the tunnel.  This trimester ends on Saturday and it can only get better from here, right?

 

That is my honest answer to that question, however, I hope it doesn’t diminish the fact that this pregnancy was so desired and longed-for.  I know that there are many women who would do anything to have a bout of morning sickness.  I feel you. So please don’t take this in any way as ungratefulness.  

 

2) Were you sick with your first? Yes and no.  With MG, I got sick on the exact same day, 5.5 weeksinto it.  I threw up a lot more in the beginning, but I think that’s just because I didn’t realize that eating somehow curbs the puking.  It’s a very weird thing.  I just don’t remember it lasting this long or being this intense.  Maybe that’s because I wasn’t chasing around a toddler at the time or maybe it’s because this time I was on a progesterone supplement (which they say magnifies your symptoms)  Or maybe it’s just because it is the second. Who really knows?  It’s a very strange thing.

 

3) Do you have any cravings?  Just like last time, cravings and aversions both.  Cravings come on strong and must.be.satisfied.asap.  Mostly to comfort foods: mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, avocadoes, peanut butter, turkey sandwiches, pb&j’s,  cheese.etc.  The most surprising has been mayo.  Not like I want to eat it plain or anything (sick!), but I want it on sandwiches and find myself dreaming about things that are made from it.  Surprising because non-pregnant me sees mayo and wants to gag.   But somehow it becomes not only acceptable, but desirable come pregnancy.

Once a craving has been obtained, and deemed desirable, I must have it one other time.  And one other time only. After that, the craving has officially been satisfied and I do not want to see it ever.again.  Aversions have been to meat, vinegar-y things, sweets that aren’t sour, and anything with a strong odor.  Most unfortunately, this time of year I usually gorge myself on PSL’s, Reese’s pumpkins, and copious handfuls of mallow-creme pumpkins.  This year, I haven’t had a single bite/sip.  Not even a candy corn.  I think I’ll buy a couple of bags on clearance and save them for when I am finally in the mood.  Such a shame to be sick during this time of year.

4) Does MG know that she is going to be a big sis? Nope.  She has absolutely no concept of it.  She is a sweet and nurturing little soul to her babies, so I’m really hoping that trait pays off.    Worthy of note: recent time spent with a few newborns definitely shows some jealousy issues springing up.  Trying to figure out now how best to handle this.  Any advice?
5) Are you going to find out what you are having?  YES!  No part of me wants to wait.  I want to find out early and often.  Which always leads too…

 

6) Do you have a preference?  I’d be lying if I said I/we didn’t.  I’m sure I’ll share more on that later.

 

7) Do you have any inklings? Yes.  More on that later too.  But let’s not forget, I was wrong last time.

 

8) Do you have a name picked out?  Of course!  I’m too much of a planner to leave that one to whim.  In fact, shortly after MG was born, I felt the burning desire to name siblings for her.  Only because I wanted to make sure I would like them for a lengthy amount of time.

We are both highly attached to our girl name and have settled on a boy name too.  I also have two alternates, one boy and girl.  Have I ever mentioned how I have a peculiar fascination with baby names?  I’m sure I’ll touch on that later.  Until then, we’ve decided to call it Mayby (and if a certain pop song did NOT just make its way through your head, consider yourself a winner in the pop culture wars!  seriously, I am envious)

 

9) Are you sharing it?  Uh-uh.  Nope.  Sorry.  Just like last time, we will keep you in suspense till the bitter (and considering the way my body loves to be pregnant), I do mean bitter end.

 

10) Will you consider the epidural this time?  Consider it?  Yes.  Beg for it again?  Probably.  To say I haven’t been more than a little preoccupied with the thought of back labor and lengthy pushes again would be a lie.  Last time was different.  Last time I was blissfully naive.  This time, I have to have a solid gameplan in place or else I’m going to spend the next 6 months paralyzed in pre-labor purgatory.  Part of that gameplan has been to switch doctors to a practice that will give me up to two weeks before forcing an induction (of course pending on the baby’s and my health) and to a hospital that will allow me to have access to a birthing tub (not to give birth in which is illegal here, but to labor in).   The birthing tub is my focal point.  It is the one thing I did not get to try last time and I think it would have made a world of difference in my pain management.  At least that is what I am hyping myself up with.  Second babies come faster and easier…right?  RIGHT?  Did you hear that, Mayby?  Mama is counting on you!

 

Thanks for your interest (whether intentional or not!) friends,

Personal note: Of course now that I have shared my  exciting news, I have a whole host of new topics to discuss!  But my basic blog philosophy will remain the same…I’ll still be sharing glimpses of our life, new mama advice, cute pics of MG etc.  Plus, I really want to share the entire story of our Mayby.  I’m working on it, but I still need some time to do it justice.  So hang in here with me as I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming with some pregnancy-related stuff.  But know that I‘m still the same Sweet Mama K.  Just with a little spring in my step and bump on my belly 🙂

It’s true

I’m adding inches too my waistline, losing hair, having several emotional “crises”, feeling rather grumpy, and losing sleep.  No, I’m not turning into a middle-aged man,  
                                           I’m PREGNANT!!

In honor of gaining an extra hour of sleep this weekend, here’s to losing many more come May.

Mayby on Vimeo.

There’s a story and a half about our Mayby, but for now, I will entice you with this quote:

“Well, you know how it feels if you begin hoping for something that you want desperately badly; you almost fight against the hope because it is too good to be true; you’ve been disappointed so often before. But it was no good trying to throttle this hope. It might – really, really, it just might be true. So many odd things had happened already.” – C.S. Lewis from the magician’s nephew

MG’s Birth Stoy: The Pregnancy

My pregnancy with MG was very routine, and for that I am grateful.

I battled nausea, vomiting, food aversions/cravings the first trimester.  And I learned that something the size of a blueberry can make an indelible impact on your life.  Up until the pregnancy (and especially the 6 months prior), I had eaten very healthfully, completely sworn off gluten, had little need for medicine, and maintained a strong pride in my active lifestyle.  Then along came the beautiful pink lines and all of a sudden I was unrecognizable.  Thank goodness for the meds that kept me from vomiting hour after hour.  Thank goodness for the hot dogs that I allowed myself when literally nothing else sounded palatable.  Thank goodness for the Saltines (filled with gluten) that sometimes substituted as dinner. Thank goodness that God began humbling me through a tiny, unknown creature.

The second trimester was blissful.  Gone were the sleepless nights and the odd food relationship.  I gained back my lost first trimester pounds with joy + more.  We found out we were having a girl.  That’s when the fun truly began.

Because that little tiny creature began to take shape as a real human being.  A girl.  Our daughter.

Oh what a novel thought.

Day and night I was consumed with thoughts about her.  Her flutters in my belly brought flutters to my heart.  I dreamt about her, talked about her, prayed for her, shopped for her, could not wait to meet her.

I woke up every morning with a smile on my face and a round belly to keep me company.  I quizzed friends over must-haves, reveled in baby shower bliss, and took pictures and notes to document every bit of this incredible journey.

 {guessing game over the size of my ginormous belly at a shower}
But right along with all of the joy, happiness and bliss came something very dark as well: anxiety.  I’ve always been very careful and controlled, but that control took a turn for the worse during one of the happiest times of my life.  I wrestled with vivid nightmares, new fears, and even concerned myself to the point of tears over whether or not to take a prescribed medication to heal up an infection.  I partially blame the miscarriage for putting a dark cloud over my joy, but I also know that it is partially my nature too.  Unfortunately, this anxiety did not disappear after she was born, it only intensified.  And I found myself seeking out advice from many other seasoned moms and a counselor in order not to spiral.  That, along with a lovely little book, “The Power of a Praying Mom” by Stormie O’Maritan, helped me to realize that my fears were completely out of my control (scary, but true).  And that God loved my MG even more than I did and was watching over her even when I could not.  So I rested in that, even when I found myself not believing it.  And today I am at a much healthier place with all of it.
That being said, during the third trimester, my mind was all over the place.   Often between great joy, day dreaming about the future, and sometimes playing the fearful game of “what if?”  And in some ways, I attempted to gain control by preparing everything I could possibly think of in advance.  We built her crib, readied her room, took Lamaze class, finished up our meetings with Julie, stocked our pantry and made freezer meals, and I nested the house within an inch of it’s life.  And then I waited.

N would be up and out of the house before my feet hit the floor every morning and I would come downstairs to find my daily “to-do” list in my planner had some added items.  Laundry, Gro store, clean carpets, CONTRACT.  He was as ready as I was to meet MG.

There is, however, nothing like getting the stomach flu at 39 weeks to take your mind off of everything.  And so that’s where I found myself at the end of my pregnancy.   The doctor very chipperly told me, “Well sometimes vomiting will induce labor!”  And I found myself praying that the first chapter of my birth story would not begin with me in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.  Do I regret praying that?  Sometimes.  Because that began what would be the longest wait of our lives.  Waiting for labor to begin.

And since turnabout’s fair play, I’m going to keep you waiting to find out what happens next.

Until then,

 

part VI

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