waaaay overdue update part I: pregnancy

there is a LOT to catch up on.  yikes.  book reviews and love story installments aside, our life has been pretty crazy the last couple months primarily revolving around 3 things: being pregnant, zach’s mom being in the hospital, and moving.  so let me update you on those 3 things.  (if you’re not interested in everything – feel free to skip this post and wait for the others that you’re interested in.  i won’t be offended.)

we’re pregnant!
it’s old news by now, but yes!  we are expecting our first child – due june 10th, 2013! 

a little backstory: just getting to this point was not an easy road for us.  we started “trying” for kids in april of last year (2011).  3 months later we had a positive pregnancy test – only to miscarry a week later.  it was sad and disappointing for sure, but we were well aware of how common it is to have an early term miscarriage the first time around.  to be honest, i wasn’t even surprised when it happened.  what did surprise us was the 11 months that followed – with no pregnancy.  that became a very discouraging, difficult and confusing season.  despite all the research and understanding and timing, nothing was happening and seemingly without clear explanation.  yeah i know, 11 months isn’t a crazy long time to “try,” but it sure felt long after conceiving the first time after only 3 months.  but then, almost exactly 1 year later, we had another positive pregnancy test in june!  we were cautiously excited.  and i’ll admit, i was far more cautious than excited.  aaaand a week later we miscarried again.  the 2nd time around felt nearly devastating.  i was a mess.  “seriously?!  after a WHOLE BLOODY YEAR of trying, we FINALLY get another positive test only to miscarry AGAIN?!” suddenly it felt like the question was no longer “when?” but “if?” i definitely hit a low point spiritually that i had never experienced before.  i didn’t wrestle so much with believing that God was good or loving or somehow had our best in mind… i knew that objectively those things were true… i just didn’t understand and i didn’t like that it had to be this way.  i told zach that i felt like the toddler not getting to eat candy before dinner – it doesn’t make you question if your parents love you or not simply because they are withholding what you want, it just FEELS like an unloving act in the moment because you don’t see or understand the bigger picture or know what may be coming later.  it was the difficult pairing of how our circumstances felt and what i knew to be true that caused me to struggle quite a bit.  and it was something of a lengthy struggle – not something i cried over for a couple days and then moved on from.  i felt like i was in a spiritual slump that lasted over a month.  but God was ever faithful and continued to draw me closer each day with scripture, song, encouragement, sermons and the prayers of others.  it’s not like i had never walked through something challenging before or struggled with not understanding God’s timing or His ways in my life.  but this particular event was just more difficult than anything else i had experienced before.

zach and i felt that we should at least do preliminary medical tests to see if there was something glaring standing in the way of a viable pregnancy.  we clearly were able to conceive, but wondered if there was something specifically getting in the way of the pregnancies sticking.  we didn’t necessarily think there was, but we thought it was the reasonable and responsible thing to at least check things out.  we did the initial round of blood tests and minor investigative procedures, all of which turned up “normal.”  we decided to continue with our lives for a few more months and see what God would do.  and so so so kindly – just a week after the last test, we spent a week away for our anniversary and God blessed our time – in many ways! but also specifically with a 3rd pregnancy!  i began to feel signs of possibly be pregnant within a week.  and 2 weeks later we had a positive test!  this time around was soooo different than the last time.  God had truly done a work in my heart and i felt a freedom and peace this time that i hadn’t had the 2nd time.  sure, we still battled fear of miscarrying again, but we resolved to continue hoping and trusting in God and simply be excited each day that we knew we were pregnant.

today i am 12 weeks and 5 days along – aaand experiencing the full range of first trimester symptoms.  not fun at all, but VERY encouraging as i hadn’t felt much more than some light cramping with the previous 2 pregnancies.  never have i been so happy to feel so awful in my entire life!  well… ok i have to admit, feeling nauseous for nearly 9 weeks does get old really fast.  but what we have gone through and knowing what a good sign it is to feel so sick has helped to check any complaints that spring up.

here i am at disneyland just a few days after we found out (and before the nausea hit):

i’m not even showing but we wanted to begin the documentation right away!

here’s me around 10.5 weeks, beginning to show:

aaand 12 weeks, definitely showing:

i have been “blessed” with a high waist and a very short torso.  which translates into: my belly popped EARLY.  at first it freaked me out.  then i realized that since i sure FELT pregnant, i was happy to actually LOOK pregnant.  my Dr isn’t concerned at all.  we’ve had 2 ultrasounds already and the 2nd one was amaaazzzing – little Baby Boomer was moving around plenty and just made us so happy! 

i swear i have experienced every single first trimester symptom in existence.  maybe not in large measure, but in some form, i’ve felt it!  nausea and exhaustion being the most prominent.  weeks 5-7 were very standard: fully nauseated right away each morning, helped by keeping food in my stomach, and wore off around 2pm giving me a few hours of relief even if i was uber tired.  week 8 brought a shift that i originally thought was for the better.  the nausea downgraded to general queasiness (yay) but started sticking around all day and all night (not yay).  sleep became difficult and i would wake up multiple times during the night and fight to get back to sleep.  bedside snacks helped some, but not always.  week 11 brought some relief.  i stopped waking up feeling miserable!  the nausea is still present, but most days it lets up by 10 or 11am and allows me most of the day feeling semi-normal.  it often returns in the evenings, but it’s far more tolerable and i can sleep through the night again.  hallelujah!  the tiredness is ever present but i’ve felt myself slowly gaining a teensy bit of energy back this week. 

oh and the food!  it’s alllll true, people.  pregnancy does WEIRD things to your body and food preferences!  from everything looking and smelling disgusting to suddenly liking/disliking opposite things than ever before!  i used to like my water cool and through a straw.  now i want it COLD and from a bottle.  for as long as i can remember, i have been a carbo-kid.  breads and crusts and baked items are my weakness.  now i eat a quiche and ignore the crust.  i get a bean burrito and eat all the insides and toss the tortilla.  dinner rolls?  eh.  desserts and sweet stuff?  not interested.  with 2 exceptions: bagels & cream cheese (i’ve eaten half a bagel + cream cheese almost every morning for the last 2 months) and donuts.  don’t ask my why, but donuts have sounded SO good and have actually helped settle my stomach.  see?? WEIRD!  potatoes of almost any kind are universally appealing: french fries, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes (thanksgiving was glorious!) and potato soup have been a staple lately.  and frankly, it’s hard to imagine ever eating real food again…

enough about me.  i’m sure some of you are wondering about zach in all of this?  he has been nothing short of incredible through it all.  completely flexible, compassionate, understanding, accommodating, selfless…  i mean, he was all of these things before, but getting pregnant has just allowed new sides of his character to shine in new ways!  seriously – from jumping out of bed to make me toast first thing in the morning, to rubbing my back, to not balking in the least when we basically ate fast food or take out for lunch and dinner for 3 weeks straight.  i’m not even joking.  and he has never once made me feel guilty about spending hours on the couch in front of netflix or struggling to come up with a food option that i felt i could tolerate.  and on the days when i feel bad for asking him to run out and get me something random at the store after a long day at work, he smiles and assures me, “sweetie, you are not high maintenance.  you simple graduated from ‘no maintenance’ to ‘low maintenance.’  it’s ok!”  he is SUPER excited to become a daddy and he already loves to touch and kiss on my growing belly. 

so that’s the latest on the pregnancy front!  thanks a million times over to all of you who have shared in our joy, encouraged us, prayed for us and continue to pray and check up on us.  i LOVE hearing stories and comments from other mamas about their pregnancies (makes me feel less crazy)!  the support from all of our friends and family has been humbling and overwhelming and a far bigger blessing than i ever could have imagined!


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