Chapter 3: Figuring Things Out
Originally written on February 27, 2013
Today is Wednesday. Last Monday was the day that changed our lives forever. By my calculations (i.e. online due date calculator), I am now 5w 4d pregnant and due on October 26. (Edit: after some re-thinking, I realized I actually know exactly when this babe came to be, and we are due on October 27.) 🙂
We’ve decided to wait to tell family & friends for a few weeks. At least until we have our first dr. appointment and possibly until we’re nearing the end of the first trimester. That’s 6 weeks away! The wait is KILLING ME. I’ve lied to multiple people about being pregnant in the past week. It’s funny how many people ask you jokingly (or maybe they were serious…). And I’m a terrible liar, so keeping this a secret and playing it cool is an amazing feat for me. I would equate this to keeping your engagement a secret from your very, very best friends. I want to shout it from the rooftops! I want to give people explanations for my out-of-character behavior. But, it’s important to note that my mom lives in Oklahoma, so it’s not as easy to tell her without some planning on the front end. And we have a very busy few months ahead of us…at the end of March, we’re planning a house-hunting trip to Portsmouth for a week (I’ll hit the 8- and 9-week markers on that trip), the weekend after is Easter, two out of four weekends in April, I am doing handmade markets, so traveling at all during that month is out, and then it’s May, which holds graduation and moving! Hectic. So, telling my mom will take the most planning…it will have to happen sometime between returning from Portsmouth and the start of April. However, if we can’t get to the doctor for the first appointment before we leave on our trip (which is usually done between 8 & 9 weeks…exactly when we’ll be gone!), we’ll want to take care of that and THEN go see my mom. We see the rest of our immediate families every Sunday, so that will be an obvious time to drop the news. I.seriously.cannot.wait!
The symptoms have hit me full-force; I’m exhausted and taking naps as often as possible, yet can’t sleep at night (I don’t attribute it to the naps, just the racing mind), I’ve had a couple of days of heartburn, a few days of nausea, and lots of cramps. LOTS. They’re pretty non-stop. I was really kind of worried about them in the beginning, but everything I’ve read says that so long as you aren’t seeing any blood and they’re not super intense, to not worry–it’s just your uterus stretching. There is a tiny human growing in there, after all. I stumbled across an old post by one of my favorite bloggers who had mentioned during her second pregnancy that she gets cramps strong enough to make her miserable during her pregnancies. She’s delivered two completely healthy babies, so that was reassuring to me, too.
And by the way, I’m sure it’s 100% more obvious to me (and J), but it’s hard to continually come up with explanations as to why you’re not eating/drinking something, especially when you have weekly meals with both sides of the family. Oh, that lunch meat? I’ll just have a salad because I am SOOOO full from lunch (lies. I am starving my brains out. Somebody gimme that sandwich!). Oh? That coffee? I’ll have decaf, or maybe just some tea because I’ve already had so much coffee today (lies. I haven’t had any and I would do just about anything for a cup of coffee if I were confident it wouldn’t hurt baby or make my heart race). Oh wait, I can’t have that herbal tea…or that one…uh, just because it doesn’t sound good (lies. I love that tea. I can’t have it because I’m growing a tiny human.) I, for one, can’t wait until I can tell the truth…lying is exhausting. Or maybe, I’m just exhausted because I’m growing a tiny human.
Anyway, tomorrow J is having lunch with the doctor that he did his family medicine rotations with during the 3rd year of med school. If our calculations are correct, I’ll be 19 weeks when we’re moving. That makes the whole finding-a-doctor thing a bit more complicated. So, for now, we’re going to go see this doctor that we know and trust and will make the transition to another doctor or midwife in Virginia when that time comes. I’m excited and a little bit nervous about going to my first prenatal appointment. I’m anxious to hear that the baby is progressing and healthy, but I actually HATE going to the doctor. Ironic, huh? Maybe I subconsciously married a doctor so that I wouldn’t have to go see one in a clinical setting. Wishful thinking, at best, since my husband can’t treat me or write me prescriptions. 😉
But deep down inside my human heart, there is another battle in the works. I’ll include a small(ish) excerpt from my journal from last week:
2.23.13 | 4w 6d
Today, I am struggling with the misconception that I am in control. I want to give that over to the Lord completely, but I know that it will forever be a struggle and battle and this pregnancy will be no different.
It’s been only 4 days since we got that positive pregnancy test. In those 4 days, I’ve poured over countless resources about having a healthy pregnancy, and, ultimately, baby. I’m feeling so constricted by what these resources are telling me to eat/not eat, do/not do. I’ve read differing opinions on things like caffeine. Stories of miscarriages. The likelihood of miscarriage in the first trimester. All of the sudden, my heart and my goals are nothing like they were last week.
I suppose I could live like a recluse, giving into the fear and worry that has crept in over the past few days…but that’s not what I am called to do. I am called to TRUST in the LORD:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8:15, emphasis mine)
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, emphasis mine)
THIS is what I am called to do and think and act like. Lord, please strike this fear from my heart! Break my heart for my disobedience! I want to be like Hannah who never saw her son, Samuel, as her own, but rather as belonging to the Lord! Do not let a spirit of fear take over my heart.
And this is just a glimpse of what’s been warring in my heart! Friends, if I could, I would be asking for your prayer today! But since I can’t, I’m asking you to pray whenever your read this, no matter how much time has passed. I have no doubt that this will continue to be a constant battle in my life as I struggle to hand over the “control” that I think I have.
Physically, I am also trying to combat symptoms. I’ve started taking my prenatal vitamins at bedtime, which helps with the nausea. I’ve armed myself with Papaya extract for the next time heartburn comes my way. I’ve been drinking ginger tea like it’s going out of style, partly because it helps with any nausea and partly because it’s one of the few teas I can drink! I’ve been training myself to take 15-minute power naps during the afternoon (and let me say…as someone who has always taken a very long time to wind down and go to sleep, it’s a super awesome feeling to be able to fall asleep in a minute or less for these power naps! Exhaustion has its finer points). The nighttime insomnia is something I haven’t quite figured out…my dear husband did his research on melatonin and decided he wouldn’t recommend it. Yesterday, my sweet SIL recommended organic cherry juice for my insomnia,. Despite not knowing we’re pregnant, she did know I was having trouble sleeping. I had to laugh…I did a preliminary check on my phone to see if I could drink it while pregnant and it’s supposed to help with insomnia because it presents natural levels of melatonin…so while I promised to try it as soon as I could, I wondered if that might be 9 months from now. 😀 J did his research on the cherry juice and decided that I was better off with that than straight melatonin, but that he wouldn’t make it a habit. I might try it and see how it goes! (Seriously, is it not better than taking Benadryl or Tylenol PM?? I’d rather chomp on organic cherries than fill my body with medicines, but maybe that’s just me.)
I’ll leave you with a 5-week, makeup-less picture…which is essentially pointless, haha! Maybe in a few weeks we’ll see some progress. I’m on the small side, so I’m interested to see how I’ll carry and how soon I’ll start showing.