Monday, July 04, 2016

The Pregnant Post

Well folks, I'm pregnant.

The decision to have another baby was probably one of the most difficult decisions for me to make.  I know that sounds hugely dramatic but it's true!  For a lot of reasons, I really struggled to know if our family was complete or not.  For starters, after the miscarriage I really felt like I'd have more solid conclusions about my feelings and what I wanted and what the Lord wanted for me and my family.  Instead, I just felt a thousand times more confused.  I had a lot of serious conversations with Mike, myself, and the Lord.  Truthfully, part of my confusion was that in those discussions I realized that I was holding on to a lot of what could be and what I thought things should look like.  The miscarriage brought up a lot of hurt and pain from losing Laila and made feelings resurface that I thought I had worked through.  I had to work through them again.  That all made it very hard for me to decipher what I was really feeling and what I was just holding onto from the past.  I feel like I found a lot of peace and made a lot of progress in letting go of what I thought my life and family would look like.  That peace allowed me to acknowledge that I am actually very happy with the way my family is right now.  I find so much joy in my children and I feel like I am satisfied with what I have and actually do not feel like I'm missing anything (besides Laila of course).  I do not feel like another baby would make me more satisfied with what I have now or that another baby would complete me in any way, if that makes sense.  Those realizations alone probably made me more confused than anything.  If I felt satisfied with what I had, why have another one?  My thoughts continued to come back to, "What if...?" and I finally decided that until I could feel confident in being done, I wasn't able to close that chapter in my life.  So here I am, pregnant again and ultimately, I finally feel confident that this is it.  If something happens again like a miscarriage, I still know that this is the last.  That feeling is quite a relief to me.  

So, the most common question I've gotten is how am I feeling.  I feel fine.  I don't want to down play how I've felt but I also don't want to make it into something it isn't.  I've had worse and I've had better.  I have felt sick every day all day but no throwing up.  I've wanted to throw up a lot but besides a lot of gagging, that's as far as it's gone.  There were a couple of really bad weeks but it has gotten better over time.  That said, most food doesn't sit well with me.  The biggest culprits of ickiness are dairy (ice cream, milk, and yogurt are the worst) and sugar.  The problem is that I have been craving sweets but it never makes me feel better.  Water also made me feel worse.  I was trying to keep hydrated so I'd drink a lot of water and it just made me feel nauseated.  So, milk made me sick, water made me sick, juice made me sick.  I did find that I could stomach Ginger ale but all other sodas made me sick.  I have been eating a lot of Ramen this summer.  The broth and plain noodles help me.  I don't have a lot of desire to cook or eat so we've eaten a lot of sandwiches this summer.  I even made freezer meals when I first found out I was pregnant knowing that I'd probably be sick but none of the freezer meals sound appealing at all.

I'm 14 weeks and food still doesn't really make me feel better so I'm not sure if it's going to go away or not.  Until last week I felt famished all the time.  I felt like I had been fasting for hours even though I had just eaten.  Sadly, eating didn't make me feel better but not eating made it worse.  Thankfully, I am finally feeling less hungry.  That is a relief.  Also, I can finally drink water without wanting to vomit.  So, I'm making improvements!

Besides the "all day sickness" I'm tired.  With previous pregnancies I found that I'd be falling asleep every day and couldn't keep my eyes open.  This time I do feel some of that but it doesn't seem as extreme.  Instead, it's my body that just feels exhausted.  I have felt like every movement took energy.  My arms and legs felt heavy and I just felt drained all around.  I think that is also improving.  I've been taking every opportunity to exercise when I can and to just push through the exhaustion and sickness.  I am finally feeling like I can do exercise without wanting to collapse from exhaustion.

It's been a busy summer so far and I have found that I've pushed myself too far some days.  Our day trips to Big Ridge Park and Kentucky Splash took everything out of me.  It takes me the rest of the week to recover and get my energy back.  So far, July is less scheduled than June was so I'm hoping I can just relax and catch up on things I have been too tired or sick to do this past month.

As for the baby, so far things seem to be going well.  The baby has a good heart beat of 160 and seems to be growing as it should.  This last check up they looked for Spina Bifida and Down Syndrome and both seemed ok.  I also took a bunch of blood tests and haven't gotten those results back.  My next check up is the gender ultrasound and I'll be 17 weeks.  The kids are dying to know that the baby will be.  Piper is insistent that it is a girl.  Today at church she looked across the room to a little baby girl and and then put her head in her hands and sighed saying, "I want a baby sister just like that one."  She keeps talking about how she wants a roommate.  The other day she finally told me, "Ok.  I'll be ok if the baby is a boy if it comes with a dog." Haha.  She's awesome.  For her sake, I hope it's a girl but really, I don't think I have a preference.  When I had the miscarriage I really wanted a sister for Piper but I've since made peace with that and would be perfectly happy with another little boy.  The boys also want a girl but they are just excited about us having another baby.  They have been so cute and protective of me.  They say, "I'm really sorry you feel sick Mom, but I'm also glad you are sick because that means you probably won't lose the baby!"  They have been so helpful and understanding when I am feeling icky or need a nap.  It is a much different experience being pregnant now that the kids are so much older.  It will be fun to see what we are having and fun to watch the kids interact with their new sibling.

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