On Being With Child.

Pregnancy really is a wonderful thing. In just nine months, a single cell miraculously grows into a baby.  I get to experience this miracle every day. For future reference, I want to document the best, worst, and most surprising things about my pregnancy (so far):

Weeks along: 28 (3rd Trimester)

Best things about my pregnancy:
1. By far, feeling (and seeing!) the baby move is the absolute best part about being pregnant. No one else is more aware of my baby than I am, day by day.  I remember the first time I felt baby’s first movements.  I was about 17 weeks along and lying on our couch.  I sat for almost 30 minutes with my hands on my bare belly just waiting to feel something.  And then I did!  Once I became familiar with what the tiny, tiny movements felt like I began feeling him at least once or twice a week, though I still had to be intentional about waiting for it.  By Thanksgiving (I think I was 22 weeks) I was feeling him about every day.  Then something really cool happened: I began SEEING his movements from the outside!  It was at that point that Joey was able to feel and see the baby as well.  Now this is an every day, several times a day, occurrence. Baby boy is pretty shy and does not move around much when there’s a lot of noise going on.  He moves around especially at night and early in the morning.  It’s the BEST!

2. Warm baths.  Okay, this one doesn’t really have much to do with being pregnant.  But it should be noted that the amount of baths that I take has probably doubled or tripled ever since I found out I was pregnant.  Baths are pretty much my favorite way of relaxing.  I take one about two or three times a week now.  Baths pretty much instantly relieve any kind of pain or tension I am feeling in my body.  LOVE IT!!

3. MATERNITY CLOTHES!  Having a baby bump is fun — it’s cute, womanly, AND provides opportunity to wear maternity clothes.  Maternity clothes are more flattering and comfortable than normal clothes, if you ask me.  They are never too tight around the stomach but pretty much always cinch down your sides so it provides definition.  Can all clothes be made like this please?  And the jeans are the BEST.  Especially the ones with the panel.  Mama got me some maternity skinny jeans for Christmas with a panel…and they are the most comfy jeans I have ever owned!  It will be sad if I ever get to the point when I can’t wear them anymore after I’ve gone back to my normal size.  But I will definitely be wearing my maternity jeans for as long as I can after pregnancy.  No zippers, no buttons, a comfortable panel that hugs you…glorious.

4. The joy and excitement.  Sometimes if I am sad or stressed, the thought comes to my mind that I am going to have a baby soon and I am happy again :).  Not that being pregnant is my main source of joy (God’s presence, love and approval of me is!), but it sure does brighten my day.  When I took that pregnancy test the night we got back from India on July 26, 2012, seeing that second line made my body go from so-nervous-I-feel-sick to OH MY GOODNESS I’M SO HAPPY I’M CRYING!! in like, 2 seconds.  And then the JOY of finding out the gender…the anticipation consumed my thoughts and emotions for a few weeks and having the sonogram to see the baby and find the gender did not disappoint.  It was so magical.  There are not-so-fun parts about pregnancy, and definitely lots of questions and uncertainties concerning being a momma, but the joy of bringing a human being into the world far outweighs any of that.

Worst things about my pregnancy:

1. Rarely sleeping through the night.  Pre-pregnancy, I could sleep through anything.  While I still sleep fairly well compared to most people, ever since I got pregnant, even at the very beginning, sleeping the whole way through the night is rare.  At the beginning I would wake up either to go to the restroom or for no apparent reason at all.  Now, it’s usually to get more comfortable (or, in the case of a couple nights ago, because of a horrific charley horse in my calf!).  I guess this is the Lord’s way of easing me into being a mom of a newborn baby!

2. Appetite changes.   First trimester, I was hungry all. the. time. but almost never could figure out what sounded good to me.  Mostly, I wanted cold food like cold grapes or bananas.  That and cheerios.  But I just remember feeling like I could never eat enough, like my stomach was a vacuum.  I had to eat every one and a half to two hours or else I would get these horrible hunger pangs that made me double over and feel nauseous.  Second trimester, my appetite calmed down a bit and I began to eat mostly what I would eat before I was pregnant.  But sometime during my second trimester (around Thanksgiving), I had the opposite problem — I didn’t feel like I could eat anything!  Not because I didn’t want to but because anything I ate made me feel really full.  If I accidentally ate too much in one sitting I would feel like my stomach was literally just about to burst open.  But, again, that calmed down.  Now, I have gotten used to eating smaller portions more often and am in a good rhythm with eating.  I will eat pretty much anything I would eat before hand (except barbeque).  The downside NOW is the acid reflux :(.  I had never really experienced that before.  But I noticed a few weeks ago that if I ate certain foods the sensation of gas or acid climbing up my throat would appear.  Not fun!  But that is usually diffused by some H-E-B version of Tums I purchased a while back.

3. Back pain :(.  This has been probably my biggest complaint from about 23 weeks on.  It started as minor lower back aches at the end of the day every once in a while.  Now, I do back stretches several times a day to relieve pain and am constantly re-situating my pillows all around me during the day while I am sitting in my chair or at night when I’m trying to get comfortable.  Joey’s parents got me this AWESOME body pillow for Christmas which has helped immensely!  What usually does the trick is to have the body pillow tucked slightly under my back, giving me some room to lean back on it a bit, and my little pink cylindrical pillow I’ve had for 4 or 5 years in between my legs.  I usually alternate between that and having the pink pillow under my back and then hugging the body pillow.  I love this position but the pink pillow isn’t always enough to support my back while sleeping on my side.  What I really need is TWO body pillows, one in front of me and one behind me ;).  In my head I imagine two body pillows sewed together towards the top and bottom with just enough space in between to slide in and straddle my legs around them.  That would be glorious.

4. General discomfort.  As I am starting my third trimester I am finding it harder to remain comfortable in any one given position.  Sitting especially is hard (which stinks ’cause I love sitting in my chair).  This morning I noticed that while sitting I was having a hard time getting good breaths in.  I imagine that this will only increase the bigger I get.

The most surprising things about my pregnancy:
1. No morning sickness.  I admit that I have been extremely lucky in this pregnancy. While I did get nauseous more easily in the first trimester than before I was pregnant, I did not have much sickness.  Nausea would come and go and could usually be cured by a bit of Emetrol (like Pepto Bismol but safe for pregnancy) or some cold grapes.  I did have some bouts of car sickness (which I have never had before) which ended up with me over the toilet (or on the side of the road in once instance…gross gross gross) but it was not the norm.  All sickness/nausea went away by 14 or 15 weeks.  Though, as I just wrote about, I have had a few complaints about pregnancy, I would take back pain and not being able to sleep through the night over constantly throwing up, any day!  I know women who were sick constantly during their first trimester or, even worse, throughout most of their pregnancy.  Thank you, Lord, for a pregnancy with minimal sickness!!

2. The questions I am asked a lot. I guess it’s not the questions that surprise me as much as the frequency of them.  To settle curiosity, I will write down the FAQ’s and answer them ;)

–When are you due? March 25, 2013
Is it a boy or a girl? Boy
Do you have a name picked out? Yes: Arden.
–What does that name mean? Passionate, intensely focused, devoted (related to the word “ardent”)
–Do you have a middle name picked out? Not quite. We are pretty sure we will end up choosing a certain one but we haven’t had a lot of serious conversations about it yet.
–Do/did you have much morning sickness? Nope! I have been very lucky.  A little nauseous towards the beginning but never unbearable or in the morning.
–Have you had any weird cravings? Not really.  My first trimester I would have been happy eating Chipotle every day.  Not sure that I would classify that as a “weird” craving, though.  My appetite has changed a bit but I have never craved pickles with ice cream, ketchup sandwiches, dirt, chalk, or anything weird like that.
–Are you excited? Yes! Joey and I are thrilled to be having our first baby.
Do you feel ready? No :).  But, then again, I’m not sure that anything could completely prepare a person for having a baby.  Kinda like getting married.  You just gotta go through it to know what it’s like.
How’s the baby room coming along? It’s coming.  We are in the process of having the carpet put down.  After that, we’ll need to add trim and doors.  Other that that we just need the furniture and the baby and it will be a baby room!

These questions can come one at a time or in a series (sometimes even close to the order that I put them in).  But by far the number one question I have gotten asked ever since I found out that I was pregnant is this one: How are you feeling?  Now, I’m not sure if people who ask this question really want to know how I’m feeling–not that they don’t care, however, if I were to be feeling miserable and throwing up all the time they probably would not want me going into all that right then and there.  In that way it’s kind of like asking someone, “Hey, how are you doing?” (everyone knows that when this question is asked as a casual greeting it’s not usually custom to answer, “I’m doing rotten, let me tell you why…” It’s just part of the culture down here!).  My usual answer to “how are you feeling”  is, “Great!” :).  I’ve gotten very used to this question — it’s the new, “What’s up?” ;)

3.  Just how much I am falling in love with little Arden already!  I don’t always necessarily feel a strong connection to him, but I do have moments, mostly when he’s moving around, when I just get lost in thought about meeting him, getting to be his momma, the great plans God has for him, how cute he will be…and everything in the world seems right.  I can only imagine the feelings I will get when I meet him for the first time.  Wow… I am so blessed <3

I had more fun writing that than I anticipated!
Much love, Molly

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