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Did you see my last post announcing our baby news? Now that's out of the bag, I can tell you why I haven't posted for the last couple of months. I've been napping during my blogging time. I'm just out of the first trimester, and it was...surprising in many ways.
Physically, I felt fine right away, which is what I expected. I miscarried my first pregnancy in August, and had felt great during that one - so I expected the same with this second pregnancy. Around the 6 week mark I started to experience waves of queasiness that would come and go throughout the day. At first I was so surprised that I hardly recognized them! But after 2 or 3 days I couldn't pretend anymore. I got an acupuncture treatment to help with the queasiness - and might I highly recommend Michelle McGlade of BellAcu, for those of you in the Twin Cities.
Simultaneously, I started experiencing strong aversions to many foods and almost all strong smells. While the queasiness passed after about 3 weeks, and always gave way to hunger after short periods, the aversions proved to be the most frustrating physical symptom for me during this early stage. I knew immediately when thinking about a particular food, whether or not I would be able to eat it. I hardly wanted to eat any vegetables, and the foods I did want to eat were carbohydrates - toast, cereal. Patrick expressed concern that I wasn't eating my normally very balanced diet. Our midwife told us it was my body protecting me from foods that commonly carry foodborne illness (vegetables, meat). She assured us that it was ok to listen to my body and just eat what I could. I will say that I'm disappointed that I got "used to" eating only what I want - now that I'm able to eat more normally, that tendency does not work in my favor. If I want chocolate ice cream, I eat it! Hey, it has protein. ;)
I've also needed more sleep than normal. I'm grateful that I don't have a 9-5 job, but rather one with more flexible hours. This has allowed me to sleep longer hours at night, and even take occasional daytime naps. Some days I surprise myself with how much I can sleep! One surprise for me has been how much energy it takes to grow a baby - I guess I just hadn't really considered it. And when I think about the intricate systems developing inside my womb, it makes sense that lots of energy is required. I'm happy to share my energy with our little one, but it took some getting used to. Patrick has been generous with letting me sleep more, and even encouraging me to take naps: "It's ok to nap; you're growing a baby!". Before I was pregnant, it was more like: "Can you please get out of bed and pack my lunch before work?" His understanding makes me feel less guilty. :)
Emotionally, I have had ups and downs (shocker). I knew I was pregnant with this baby even before taking a pregnancy test at 12 days past ovulation, and both Patrick and I have felt a sense of God's protection and peace over this baby from the start. We've avoided any tests or interventions in the early stage, knowing instinctively that our baby is healthy and happy in my belly. So I initially felt calm, then as I approached the 6.5 week mark, where I miscarried in August, I could feel the anxiety building up inside me. I knew it was natural to feel anxious, and I recognized that it was probably unfounded, but it still bubbled up. Passing the 7 week mark was a great feeling! Shortly after that we traveled to Indiana for Thanksgiving, and I could shift my focus back to trying to feel better physically.
After Thanksgiving, I think I got caught up in how the pregnancy, and the changes it brought, were affecting ME. I felt tired, I felt weird, I had cravings, my body was changing shape. As the weeks went by, I started to develop a less than positive attitude. Not towards the pregnancy or our sweet baby, it was more a feeling of, "This isn't what I expected; pregnancy isn't as fun as I thought it would be". It made me feel bad, and eventually I stopped to think about why I was feeling this way. Once I realized I was doing the "me, me, me" thing, I knew I had to stop it! My life is no longer just about me; there's also another life, our child, who right now is living inside me. Even when he/she is out in the world, my life will never have the same priorities again. A friend said to me that pregnancy is about living sacrificially, and I've been thinking she's right. I can share my body, resources, energy, etc. with this little being for the next 26 (ish) weeks. It's part of my calling to be a mama.
In an effort to feel happy about it, and to feel as physically well as possible, I have implemented a plan of exercising almost every day (walking or doing yoga), and setting aside daily time for prayer/devotional/meditation. I know from my work as a doula that we have to care for ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually during pregnancy - but I suppose I wasn't prepared for it to be so needed so soon. Live and learn, right?!
The past several weeks, I've been feeling pretty good! I still sleep a lot, but exercising and eating (more) normally feels good. I'm looking forward to my second trimester, which I hope will mean feeling the "glow" and feeling the baby move. More updates to come! Thanks for sharing in our prayers for a healthy baby and healthy pregnancy and birth.
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