The Glorious Second

I’m roughly 15 weeks along now and am in my second trimester.  People have told me that this trimester is blissful.  I have yet to experience it.  I’m still achy and sore all over as my muscles tighten in my shoulders and back yet loosen in my pelvic region.  Today I spit up three times, each having the vinegar taste of vomit.  I know the title of this post is misleading and discussing bodily releases is not the most pleasant thing to read about.  I honestly don’t really know what to post about other than this though.  This is my current experience.  All that to say, I keep anticipating when pregnancy stops feeling like a nuisance (because there are women who’ve had it worse and frankly with everything going on in the Middle East and Asia I really can’t complain about my pregnancy since I’m growing this kid with such creature comforts like peace and indoor plumbing) and I start enjoying this answered prayer.  I am grateful, I just don’t think I’ve ever truly dealt with all the fears and knew exactly what to expect before now.  It is a lot different than I thought it would be and nothing like my sister-in-law’s pregnancy that I envy so much (she didn’t even know until she was 7 months along)!

Here’s to finding strength in Christ yet again because I have absolutely none of my own.  In him this’ll be a glorious experience if I’d just rely on him and less so on myself.

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The Stork’s Delivery

I can remember wanting to be a mother for quite some time.  I already knew the lack of sleep and night feedings that would await a parent.  There are countless stories of the ridiculous things kids do and say.  Children are expensive.  I knew all this.  You grow up hearing all about parenthood and child-rearing.  You don’t hear much about the pregnancy process.

Your body undergoes massive changes.  Some have it easier than others.  I wouldn’t say I’ve had a difficult pregnancy with this kid, but it hasn’t allowed me to be my typical energetic, bubbly self.  I’m a major extrovert who likes to be out of the house.  This pregnancy has seen me at home in front of the TV most of the time because I don’t have the energy to do anything.  Perhaps my sedentary lifestyle has intensified this fatigue.  If I actually was exercising and moving would I be less sluggish?  I’m not sure.  Probably.

Anyways, I wasn’t expecting pregnancy to be like this.  I feel gross half the time.  You hear about the glow.  All that is glowing these days would be the night-lite in the bathroom if we had one since you’ll spend half your night in there trying to relieve yourself since pregnancy slows down all bowel movements and speeds up urination.  That might be too graphic and not the glorious pregnancy stories you hear about.  This has been my experience though.  Yes, I loved hearing the heartbeat and I’m grateful that Frank dotes on me like a princess, but other than that, this baby growing is exhausting!  I feel silly saying that.

I wish those stories of the stork delivery were true because you always imagine the bundle of joy in your arms, not the sleepless nights without a swaddled babe, the endless bathroom hours, and the ability to fall to sleep during the day since you are so wiped from the night before.  (Not sleepless because you were doing something fun like making the kid…)

Perhaps the stork image was meant more for adoption.  Another woman grows the child and you get the joy of imparting knowledge into a kid.

I’ve been told I’ll love this.  So far I’m to tired to enjoy it.  All I’ve thought lately is how the rest will not come from by body and that I wished the stork would just drop this kid off and I wouldn’t have to be a blob.  Thankfully, if I just start pursing it, the peace of Christ and his strength will get me through this.  In a way, it’s like God’s saying I am the stork, I just chose the means in which it is delivered into this world and that you have to lean on me to get through it.

A Stranger’s Advice

A home fitted with igniting dangers

alerted the children of potential fatalities.

As the little ones marched through

they voiced precautions and preventive measures

to rescue ash and charring flesh.

In keeping house in tidy fashion and lives prepared,

they could snuff a flame from scorching their timber.

In such a dwelling to instruct

you’d never think injuries could be incurred.

Alas, the stairs jarred my spine

and made me think that three months later

I’d sustained a serious infraction against normal anatomy’s operation.

Then just a week ago the shooting jolt ran down my other side,

not on the side with the point of contact I’d made on the metal rise,

and made me think that maybe its this thing inside

pushing on a nerve.

Yeah, I thought my back pain and inability to walk, without intense pain, was due to a fall I sustained while giving fire safety trailer tours to kids.  Then the pain shifted to the side I didn’t fall on (my left back rather than right back side).  I’m beginning to think it is just another pregnancy joy: my kid growing and pushing against my sciatic nerve.  I did get good advice from a stranger as I was walking out of Panera telling the kid to get off the nerve.  The stranger overheard me and did a pity laugh as she recalled her time in pregnancy.  She gave some wonderful advice to rock on all fours and that should shift the baby’s position.  We’ll see how long it fixes the pain.  For now, I’m just grateful God sends angels along our path when we are sore and need counsel.

Revealed

I’m not posting to Facebook quite yet.
My readership is small here so I’m announcing it: I am 14 weeks (or thereabouts) along. The threads of fear that I’ve been posting were due to me wrestling with the upcoming arrival of our little one. I hadn’t dealt with these before and as I watched the words “PREGNANT” scroll across the digital read out I must admit I panicked. I was scared the first time around too, but this time all my fears of miscarriage played into more panic.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. It was surreal. Now as it happens and the day approaches I’m nervous. There, I confessed, me the girl who feels she was destined to be a mom, that I am worried about this thing called pregnancy and motherhood. So far I dislike the changes my body is undergoing and I’ve had to stop a lot of activities because I just don’t have energy. That is hard for me to do as I hate being a home body. I’ve told Frank that the rest of our kids will come from someone else’s body through adoption. I still want 5 kids, I’m just not so sure I want them coming from me now. Also, we’ll see how many kids I want after the first one. I can’t believe I’m admitting that! I’ve always thought I’d have a big family. I guess realities are different than dreams.

There you have it though: I’m expecting. That’s also why I haven’t been as consistent in my posting as I’d like. I’m too tired some days. Please excuse me from not keeping up as much as I’d like.

Wondrous Love

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

While singing this hymn in morning devotions I thought of a short poem:

What love is this that you would take the weight of Creation’s fall?

You willingly fell upon that cross

and with pierced feet you allowed us running passage to your throne.

Sins waters deep we were treading and so you bled

that we could rise above and be set free

from that dreadful stain and instead be clean.

It might possibly need some refining, it was just a quick thought this morning and it was really the first line of Christ taking the fall of Creation.  I know we are sinful because of the Fall, but we are free, free indeed because he carried that weight in our place.  To think of that gift this morning was wonderful.  We are a blessed people and my faith will be made stronger in his presence, something I haven’t gone to meet in a while if I confess.  It feels good to pull open my prayer book and let it guide me since I’ve been wandering and it points me back to him and his promises in the Word.  God will lead and I need only trust him with all uncertain paths that lie ahead.  Wondrous love can help us get through anything.

Home Delivery

So I keep getting static from people about the desire to one day have a home birth. They say what is a midwife going to do if you need a C-section. Well, they transfer your care and they know beforehand whether or not that is going to be a problem. Midwives are actually very skilled in their profession and must undergo schooling specifically in birth. They aren’t trained in surgery like OB-GYNs because they are supposed to help your body do what it is meant to do. Americans have exaggerated emergencies for as long as I can remember. We also medicate ourselves at the slightest onslaught of pain. We have become a numbed nation.

Women aren’t educated about the medicines they are given either. An ultrasound could be a couple weeks off on the due date and there could be several babies that are in fact premies because women are induced thinking they are “past their due date”. Yes there is a time when a woman is pregnant too long and it could cause brain damage to the child, however this is rarer than doctors make it sound. Also the medicine given to induce labor, Pitocin, actually worsens the contractions. A woman who is administered Pitocin will feel greater pain in labor than one who is not because the baby is under duress and you are falsely telling the body to contract. Pitocin blocks natural inhibitors to pain that are present in a natural birth. Women who are induced will frequently request an epidural because the pain is too unbearable. An epidural causes even more duress on a baby. Since that is the case women wind up having emergency C-sections.

Also, the tale of big babies- 9 pound or greater- has led many women to being sliced on the table. Sometimes the baby will come out at 7 pounds even though the ultrasound said it would be 9 pounds. A woman also needs to dilate to 10 cm before pushing out the head of a 10 pound kid. She should dilate to 10 cm even pushing out a 5 pound kid. Too many women are told they aren’t progressing fast enough because we are a nation that can’t seem to wait for anything. We microwave our meals, text message friends rather than drive to see them, and now say it is safer to cut a woman open to pull the baby out-forgetting to mention that it is MAJOR surgery. We are also basing our knowledge of labor progression off a chart from the 1950s! Even that chart, when thoroughly studied, is incorrect.

Now trust me I’m a fan of modern medicine and I’m not an alien to hospitals. I spent most of my childhood in them. I just don’t want that for my kid. I want my children to handle cuts and bruises without running to the ER. I want to deliver in an environment where I feel comfortable. If pregnancy makes you tired as I often hear why would I want to leave my house at 2 am and drive a half hour to the hospital unless I really needed to. Also, at a hospital I wouldn’t be attended to 24-7 because there are so many other patients. With a midwife I will be looked after for as long as labor takes. She also cleans up and stays with me a little bit to educate me on nursing before leaving. I’ll also be able to eat, sleep, and drink when I want to. In a hospital you can’t do that as easily. They don’t let you eat. (Not letting a pregnant woman eat—whoever thought that up!? I’m pushing out a kid from my crotch would I really care if I accidentally pooped because I ate? I don’t think so.)

In a hospital you lay on your back and use stirrups. This is one of the worst positions to deliver a baby in because it puts stress on your back. In fact, the best way to deliver is most likely in a squat position in water. The water soothes aching, contracting muscles.

Now I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and place for emergency care and sometimes it is needed. However, the C-section and Pitocin administration statistics in this country lead me to believe that we are treating birth as an emergency before it even becomes one. Women’s bodies were meant to do this. Yes, complications can arise but that is less frequent than this country has made it seem. Also, must we be so fatalistic? Birth represents life. Can’t we be a little bit hopeful, a little bit optimistic? This is a question coming from someone who has experienced a miscarriage! I had one, but I know my God is a provider and will bless us how he deems fit, children or not. I am still hopeful that when I am pregnant again that I’ll be able to do this because God designed my body to deliver babies and he gave me the desire to do so too.

Please go to Google, type in Evidence Based Birth, and read her articles. The author is a nurse and researcher. Get educated and maybe you can help stop people from scolding me and essentially telling me I’m endangering my child without having been educated on the issue themselves! I had a miscarriage and want a kid, why would I willingly risk its life? I wouldn’t. Gah, sorry I’m just upset that people treat me like a child and that I don’t understand labor because I’ve never gone through it. It’s my choice and if I need a hospital and doctors at some point, okay, but women have done this in homes for centuries. (Home birth is safer now than before because we understand infection better and can even take measures in our home to help prevent it). Stop being force-fed from doctors and just accepting what they say. Read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. (You’ll see that most doctors also base their calculations off you having a 28 day cycle and for women like me, I don’t have that cycle…mine is more like 38 days. My OB-GYN calculated my ovulation on that and misdiagnosed me with PCOS because he just wanted a diagnosis whereas my fertility specialist said that some women just have odd cycles and she didn’t know why. I didn’t have any cysts in my ultrasound. How can I have PCOS without cysts? I’d rather have a doctor say he/she doesn’t know than just pick a diagnosis because then I’m a “problem solved”.) Understand your body so you can have discussions and questions for doctors. Let them know you know stuff too and they shouldn’t treat you as inferior. Yes they have years of schooling, but you’ve spent your entire life in YOUR body and sometimes you can know yourself better than a textbook.

Anyways, I just say all this because I’m growing increasingly tired of everybody thinking they know what’s best for me and my baby. Frank and I have discussed our options and weighed the pros and cons, the costs and benefits. This was not a flippant decision. For once I want to experience something and not drug myself up. I know it’ll be painful, but that’s okay. I can just get Frank to massage me or alter positions to make me feel better. I can do this. I was meant to do this when the time comes. Perhaps once I do this, Lord willing, people will see that it is a special delivery, having a baby at home.

*sorry for any horrible grammar—also in other posts as well*

Shallow Button

Another pregnancy oddity that frightens me is the shift from an concave bellybutton to a convex bellybutton. Yes, the in vs. out shape. An “outie” has always somewhat disgusted me, like back hair. I don’t know why and perhaps it is a slight shallowness on my part. I do apologize. It’s not that I have something against people who have those traits, I’m just a bit disturbed by them. I know it’s weird. Those traits are less of an oddity than my repulsion.

Anyways, I don’t want an “outie”. For one, I had gallbladder surgery when I was in my early 20s and I fear that the scar will tear slightly. I know it won’t. I’m sure they account for that when stitching a person back up.

I hope our kids don’t have an outward bellybutton. I also hope our kids don’t have red hair (which would only happen if both Frank and I carry a recessive trait) because my mother might treat them differently. Yeah she dislikes redheads. It’s strange. I guess that’s why I haven’t ever had an attraction to redheads—I know if I brought him home to Mom she’d scowl.

I guess we all have affinities for certain traits and are disgusted by others. It is not that we’d treat someone with those characteristics differently, it just means we see it through evolutionary lenses as survival in our tribe. That is the best explanation I can give, other than I’m just shallow and I should apologize and repent, asking God to have me like those features.

I have to come to terms that when I am pregnant I might have a convex bellybutton for a while. I even dreamed of it last night…a stupid nightmare in my mind. Oh well, if having the joy of a kid means having to deal with increased hair growth and a protruding bellybutton I guess I can come to live with it.

Obesity and Disease

Will my consumption of sugar make a child addicted to sugar too? Will the foods I eat result in physical or mental disabilities? Can I prevent my child from having certain ailments simply by consuming the right foods? I know I shouldn’t blame myself if the kid does have issues even if I did eat okay (not awful, not great, but just alright), but a part of me feels that any children I did have with problems would be because I could have done something different in a pregnancy. My husband assures me it is the result of the Fall, not mine, but don’t I contribute to the Fall? Every day I choose to sin rather than surrender I’m buying into the deceit that has slithered by and offered false promises. I can’t help but think that obesity and/or disease in my kid would, in part, be my fault for what I chose to or chose not to eat in a pregnancy.

I have really got to stop worrying though. Worrying can’t add hours to my life and if anything it’ll make it harder to conceive or if I get pregnant, harder to carry to term. Pray this spirit of fear and anxiety will be released. Pray I’d use fear to become stronger, more faithful—to listen to God’s truth in times of trouble. To rest and listen, not wrestle and be stifled.

(Did you see the most recent Dr. Who episode by the way? Use fear to become a better, more able person! I know it isn’t a Christian show by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like correlating sci-fi with faith and seeing the interplay of the two. Also, I know that was completely side-tracked, but I just enjoyed the episode so much I wanted to mention it.)

Woman of Valor

What does a woman of God look like?  Beth Moore did an excellent prose piece that discussed who a woman of God is.  You can find the prose at the link below:

http://blog.lproof.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/identity_text94.pdf

In the simulcast she went on to say that you are a woman of God.  He calls you!  He has equipped you with your talents to share the gospel the way you express it!  You are a part of his plan, his purpose.

I’m not where I want to be and often wonder how I’m serving God or what I need to do to serve him.  Perhaps it is time I stop observing stories, complaining of my own, and letting him step in to transform my reality into his dream for me.  I’ve already caught a glimpse of his amazing blessings through my husband.  If I just embrace God, stop wrestling him, and rest in the passionate pursuit I’ll find that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be-mother or not.  New Jersey resident or otherwise.

C6H12O6-A Body Cries

A sweet stuffed nation turns gluttonous bellies sour.

I gorge on treats, thinking I’ve found food’s treasure

but I might have made this trivial.

It is a cause for concern

when my sweat drips maple

and my dreams don’t soothe

because sleep abates the exhausted core

as my liver drowns in a fructose coma.

I regret my back sliding nature.  I need to stand firm in convictions, be it food or faith, regardless of the criticism I receive from others.  I know how I feel when engaged in devout practice and I need to press onward to a healthier me-spiritually, physically, and mentally.  Life is too short to live drenched in society’s fad.  I need to stand firm and do that which I claim I should and want to do.  It is only in doing so that I’ll be able to lead any future children by example.