Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Morning Reflections of a Pregnant Woman

Yikes. The lower back pain has really started flaring up the last couple of nights. I know I'm carrying a lot of extra weight in front and probably overcompensating with my lower back. But I don't feel much discomfort during the day. It's the not being able to lie on my back at night that really aggravates it. Laying on my side all night with hips and spine out of alignment really kills me by midnight. I will probably have to break down soon and by the savior body pillow all my pregnant friends have been telling about. For now I'm still trying to see what I can do to self mitigate that doesn't cost a ton of money. If I get up and spend an hour or two in the recliner at night that helps straighten everything back out a bit. But not so great for quality sleep. I also picked up a maternity bathing suit at the consignment store and plan to start water aerobics this week. And a friend is mailing me a prenatal yoga DVD that I'm hoping will really help loosen things up. Let's see, only five more months of this to go right?

In more exciting news, the count down is on to our 20 week ultrasound coming up on March 1st. I really can't say I have a gender preference at this point. I can get excited about either or but at this point, we just can't wait to find out. Should be a pretty exciting week.

Don has had a busy work week this week and three appointments today so I get the house to myself. So much cleaning and organizing to do. We got way behind this week on household chores. Our second fridge also broke which was storing all of our meat. I was able to save it in time and get all the essential items transferred over to our main freezer but things are crammed and I have a major fridge cleanout on my hands to deal with today.

My craigslisting is going extremely well. Turns out it's really easy to sell things on craigslist when you are home ALL THE TIME. I'm surprised by how many day time sales I've made just by working from home and being available for spur of the moment purchases. So far we've been able to pick up a couple of bookcases, a very nice microsuede glider and ottoman for the nursery, and a new kindle, and I'm still $50 ahead at this point. I still have about $100 worth of merchandise listed at this point and once we finally consolidate our offices I'll probably have another $150 to list. On my wishlist to obtain still are a quality jogging stroller and a crib. So I'm thinking we're in just about the right spot to accomplish everything I was trying to do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I just find myself lately so genuinely happy. I'm feeling good and healthy. I have almost no stress or anxiety. I've been getting quality sleep. I feel so at peace, blessed and excited. I find myself laying there in quiet moments and just thinking to myself, "Wow, I'm so happy." I have lots projects on my mind but still so much time to execute them that it's more exciting then overwhelming. I know life will get busy, demanding, difficult. But that really doesn't seem very threatening when I'm so happy. Is this part of the second trimester bliss? Nature's way of balancing out Postpartum depression with Prepartum euphoria. I don't think so. I think it's just the peace that comes with the realization that I have been so deeply blessed in life and love and there is very little in this world that can shake that.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Good Trimester

17 weeks today. The second trimester is glorious. I feel better and things taste better. This is very important to me. Tonight we had a glorious dinner of coconut rice with beef stir fry. So delicious! I told the baby he/she better like Thai food because we are eating this!

I am definitely showing these days. I have a single pair of maternity pants right now which are sweats that I am pretty much wearing every day now since I work from home. Still trying to get by with my regular jeans and a bodyband for going out but that's quickly going to come to an end. Anyday now I'm suppose to be able to start to feel the baby move and I am so excited for this. As of yet though, still no signs that I can recognize. I sometimes even lie there really still at night and focus and try to see if I can detect anything. Nothing. I guess it will happen when it happens.

The countdown has begun to the 20 week mark which is the halfway point and also the time we will finally get to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. We set our appointment for March 1st. I'm so excited to actually have it on the calendar to look forward to. The first few months seemed to go so slow but now they are starting to feel like they are whizzing by.

The serious nesting began a couple of weeks ago. We've decided our grand plan is to convert my current office in our master bedroom suite to the nursery and consolidate our offices into one where Don's office is now. We started with a giant clean out of the shed to make room for some extra storage and free up closet space that we will need once the baby is born. Don's office still has a lot of cleaning and organizing to go but we've already determined that DG is finally getting it's own storage unit so we can unload all of those file boxes that we have been carrying around with us taking up valuable real estate in our lives for the past 6 years. We've also taken a few trips to the dump and the goodwill drop off. It feels so good to organize, consolidate, purge, and only store seasonal items that we plan to actually use or keepsakes that have actual significance and importance to us. Everything else is gone, gone, gone.

Anything I can identify as a large ticket item I've been posting on craigslist and we are hoping to make enough money from the sales to cover the costs of our projects. So far I've made $115. We're also planning on taking some books to the used bookstore and hopefully make a couple of bucks there too, although we are not expecting much. But at least it will free up more space. Eventually we also need to get rid of the second fridge to make room for strollers and high chairs and the like. We're thinking of replacing with a small chest freezer for meat storage, but then we also really need to replace the main fridge with a side by side fridge as is it's too small. That's a lower priority project so likely won't happen until closer to summer time. The good thing about starting early with the nesting is that I have a long time to browse craigslist and shop for the really good deals rather than having to rush out and get what's available.

In other second trimester news, according to the pregnancy websites I follow, our baby can now hear and recognize our voices. I came up with the bright idea of Don and I reading books outloud to each other at least a little bit every night so that the baby can start to bond with our voices. It is so much fun and I love it. It's all I want to do now. Goodbye television! We're starting with a couple of books by Marcus Borg called Speaking Christian and The Heart of Christianity. Reading Theology together is fun because we can read it and then discuss and I wonder how many intellectual/spiritual/intimate conversations we will get to have together just the two of us once the baby is born. Eventually though I also want to add in some fiction fantasy like The Hobbit and maybe Game of Thrones series.

HOLD THE PHONE: I think the baby's moving. When it feels like something just did a somersault in your stomach, that's the baby right? Maybe Baby Early really does like Thai food!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Everything is One

This morning, this hymn popped into my head and has been moving me in a new way. I even felt inspired to write a fourth verse. Verses 1-3 are the original hymn, verse 4 in italics is my addition. So I thought I would share:

Everything is One

Lo, the falling stars and light,
Lo, the morning then the night,
Lo, the ashes with the earth.
Lo, the rising and rebirth.
Lo, the mountain and the sky,
Lo, the worship lifted high,
God, afoot within the universe
and everything, everything is one

Ah, the water and the wine,
Ah, the sunlight on the pine.
Ah, the winter and the snow,
Ah, the heavens, with below.
Ah, the broken bread, the cup,
Ah, the worship lifted up,
God, afoot within the universe
and everything, everything is one

Oh, the healer of the pain,
Oh, the maker of the rain.
Oh, the future of the seed,
Oh, the music of the reed.
Oh, the splendor of the light,
Oh, the Spirit in the night.
God, afoot within the universe
and everything, everything is one

My, the capable and weak,
My, those who find and those who seek,
My, the the glory and the might,
My, the meager and the slight,
My, the sacred and profane,
My, the pleasure and the pain,
God, afoot within the universe,
And everything, everything is one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Icky Trimester

I somehow was in the dark about the challenges of the first trimester. I am convinced our mothers never tell us how hard it actually is for fear they will scare us off from producing their much desired grandchildren. After finding out I was pregnant, the first week or two were a mysterious bliss. It was like carrying around a secret that I myself wasn't actually sure I believed. But I remember distinctly the day of that dreaded Google Chat Text to Camille: "Oh, Crap.... Here comes the nausea."

I still don't understand why they call it Morning Sickness. I preferred to refer to it as "All-Day-Feel-Like-Poo." The first night of Morning Sickness followed an evening of appetizers including Jessica's Famous Clam Dip and some Krispy Kale Chips. Two things I will not be able to look fondly on again for some time. Luckily for me, except for one night of dry heaving, I never threw up so I wonder if it may not have been as severe as others get. And for every few bad days, I would get a respite of a good day or two to recover.

The fatigue of course was constant. I had the bright idea early on that I was going to take brisk walks on my lunch break to help boost my energy and I quickly learned that this was having the exact opposite effect. I was very glad at that point to be working from home where I could lay down and rest for my hour lunch breaks which became necessary. I was able to keep a 40 hour work week still, but that was about all I could do and the last hour of the work day was always a struggle. The housework, cooking, and grocery shopping pretty much fell to Don and if I had a boost one evening and was able to unload the dishwasher I felt like I deserved a medal. I started to wonder and be in awe at the women I knew who were on their second or third pregnancies and working full time jobs outside the home, and tried to keep in perspective that I really did have it easy.

The most challenging thing for me though that I was not prepared for was the fact that your tastebuds completely change when you are pregnant. Forget even trying to work around the nausea, things simply didn't taste right anymore. Coffee, chocolate, and black pepper all taste like dirt. The idea of meat completely grossed me out. Vegetables were too "strong" tasting so for a while I had to switch to frozen vegetables because they have almost no flavor. Bread and crackers, which were things I almost never ate before, along with fruit were my new staples. The most challenging week came when we went to Boise for the Christmas Holidays and stayed with Angie and Mike (Don's sister and brother-in-law). I felt so bad for them because they wanted really badly to try to prepare foods that I could eat but there was just no working around my appetite. I could never tell from one minute to the next what would sound good, or more accurately, what the one thing would be that didn't sound bad. We spent a lot of money on food in the first trimester (a lot of which went bad), and learned to buy things in small quantities.

Angie asked me at one point if I was really excited about the pregnancy and if I ever had trouble believing that this was actually happening for us. I told her that honestly when we first found out that I was definitely in awe of the magic and mystery of it all, but since the full blown side effects of the first trimester had appeared, I was more than anything just focused on surviving it and looking forward to the promised land of the second trimester.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I've been thinking a blog or two about the pregnancy is in order. I think that someday I will want to look back and remember some of my experiences and also that my child might want to know some day what it was like to carry him/her before we even met. So best to get a few thoughts down before the whole thing slips by.

I suppose I should start with finding out. Don and I started "trying" about four months before we confirmed. The first thing you learn about pregnancy is that despite what every adult ever told you when you were a teenager, the odds of actually conceiving are so much narrower than you would have ever possibly imagined. A LOT of things have to line up for pregnancy to occur. I'm not complaining at all about 4 months as I know a lot of people for whom it took much longer. The timing couldn't have worked out more perfectly for us. I was really hoping to get pregnant before my 34th birthday and we found out in Mid November with 6 weeks to go that we were. Mostly that was just because I wanted to have the baby before I turned 35 and this would have given me enough of a cushion not to stress out in the final months of the countdown.

The first month or two were a bit nerve wracking in trying to discern any possible signs from my own body that would tell me I was pregnant before one of those little sticks could. Of course every "sign" of pregnancy, is similar to a sign that you are about to start your period so there is really no way of knowing. The first month I took a test 5 days early and then again 2 days early because I was so excited and wanted to know. I learned pretty quickly not to waste $14 on Quick Response tests and all you could do was wait until you skip. So we went along for the next few months and finally in the fourth month, not expecting at all that anything was going to happen, I actually lost track of my specific dates but knew generally about what week we were shooting for. Don had to go to the midwest for a work conference in mid November and on the day of his return, I thought I might waste another pregnancy test because it would be worth it when he got home to surprise him if it was good news. Even though I was thinking it was probably a little early still I went ahead and tested. I went in the bathroom fully expecting a no and had a split second of disappointment until I noticed the rather faint second line but it was there! I was so excited I kept going back in and looking at it every few minutes to make sure it was still there. Now I just had to wait several hours for Don to get home so I could share the news with him.

As luck would have it Don was flying in to Seatac with a two and a half hour layover before the leg back to Bellingham. It was so frustrating to have him just an hour away and still have to wait so long. He was going to be home about 9:30 p.m. and I couldn't wait to pick him up at the airport. Since Don proposed to me at an airport, I started to think if there was a creative way I could announce to him that we were going to be parents when I picked him up. Unfortunately, I got a very frustrated call from him a couple of hours later saying that he had missed his flight! There was a mixup with the gates and unfortunately he didn't figure it out until it was too late. No other flights were going out that night to Bellingham but he was able to find a shuttle that would get him here around midnight. It was so frustrating for him and I couldn't tell him why but obviously frustrating for me too. I decided to go to Fred Meyer to do a little grocery shopping to pass the time. I remember being so tired when I was walking around the store that I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I also remember the checker asking me how I was doing and wanting to tell him and everyone else, "I'm awesome! I just found out I'm pregnant!" But I refrained.

After I got home and put the groceries away I realized there was no way I was going to be able to stay awake so I settled into bed and set my alarm for midnight. Finally midnight rolled around and I went out to warm up the car to go pick up Don. I was so tired I literally felt like I had been drugged and might as well have just had 4 alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel, I'm sure that's about how safe it was. Luckily the hotel where the shuttle was being dropped off was only about a mile away and I made it safely there just before Don's arrival. He looked about like death warmed over too after a super frustrating and exhausting day of travel but I had to tell him I was too tired to drive home and needed him to take the keys which he was not thrilled about.

When we got home we both settled happily into the comfort of our own bed and started to unwind the day with a little chit chat. I asked him a little about the conference and eventually our conversation came around to the topic of our terrible habit of skipping lunches. I mentioned to him that I was motivated to start eating healthier because I needed good nutrition "in my condition." It took him a second but after a long pause, he repeated "in your condition?" To which I responded that yes I was pregnant. There was immediate celebration and comments of "well that makes the whole disastrous day worthwhile." I don't remember much of the conversation after that, but I do remember how tenderly he cuddled me that night and thinking that even after 8 years of a very wonderful marriage, this man loves me even more than he did 5 minutes ago.