Category Archives: Pregnancy

Choosing To Trust

After I gave birth to Samuel, I made Mike promise me that if I started taking about wanting another baby, he had to talk me out of it and remind me that I never wanted to be pregnant again. My pregnancy was tough because of my pre-existing back issues and my labor and delivery was a nightmare- 27 hours of labor, a third degree tear, infections for both Samuel and me, and a good 6 weeks before I was able to just sit without pain. I never wanted to do that again. I was adamant.

Fast forward two years. My body had healed from the delivery (well, mostly) and my heart began to change. I told Mike I wanted another child. He reminded me of what I had said and talked me out of it, just as I had asked. But the aching in my heart persisted and I brought it up to him again and told him I had changed my mind. He worries so much about my health already, adding another pregnancy, and after 9 months, a child to the mix really freaks him out.

The desire did not go away so we began praying about whether or not I should stop using birth control. I have infertility issues and getting pregnant again would be a miracle (just like the first time), so we stopped using birth control and left it up to The Lord. That was 9 months ago. I’m still not pregnant and we continue to trust The Lord with our desires.

However, the past few weeks have been very hard for me. I’ve found out that three friends are pregnant- just this week, as well as watching my sister’s belly grow as my new niece grows and developed inside of her. My heart has hurt so much today.

When I realized I wasn’t pregnant this month, I felt a mixture of disappointment and relief. Disappointment because I do want another child, I want Samuel to have a sibling to grow up with; relief because I could take a pain pill when my back went a little crazy and I needed strong pain relief, which led me to feeling disappointed again because my body is so messed up.

I am so incredibly thankful for Samuel. He is truly a miracle and brings us so much joy. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting another child because God has already given us Samuel and I have friends who so desperately want to have a child. Who am I to ask for another one? And then I feel upset because I have friends who have lots of children and I wonder why God has only given us one. It’s a tangle of many emotions!

I’m not exactly sure why I even wrote this post, maybe to get it all off my chest, maybe I’m hoping someone reads this and knows they are not alone when they too feel tangled in mixed emotions when it comes to their infertility and the feelings of injustice. Either way, I’ll end with this- I am choosing to trust The Lord with my family and future even when it’s painful.

Birthmarks

Updated 7/29/14

I originally shared the picture and post below when Samuel was 7 months old. He just turned 3 a couple months ago. It’s amazing what time and experience teaches you. I don’t hate my stretch marks. I don’t hate that my tummy is a little saggy or that it will never look the way it did before I gave birth to my awesome little boy.  I love my body now. In the last couple years, but especially the last couple months, I have had a realization. This is the only body I get. Most of the time it hurts all over, my legs are chubby and my tummy much softer than it was when I was in my 20s. But you know what, I respect my body now. I am blown away at the strength my body possesses. Those chubby legs carried my fussy baby around the house when I had to walk circle for hours in the middle of the night. My wider hips hold my toddler when he needs to be close to me, but I also need to get other things done. My squishy tummy provides entertainment for my son when he pokes it and says, “Daddy’s tummy is hard, Mommy’s tummy is squishy”, and then he throws his head back and laughs. See, my body bears the scars and marks and size of my past experiences. Some days I look at really fit, slim people and I want to look like that, but I know it will never happen. I am disabled and this body won’t allow me to work out like a crazy person and get super toned, and I love food. 🙂 I am ok with that. For the first time in my adult life. I am ok with that. I love my body. I love the curves and the strength and even the squishy parts. Now  this doesn’t mean I don’t want to be healthy, this means that I will be as healthy as possible- for me. No more self-loathing, no more tears when I look in the mirror. I see Mike’s smokin’ hot wife and Samuel’s amazing mommy.  It’s taken a long time, but I am there and I couldn’t be happier. I wish the same for you, precious mommies!

 

Written 12/23/11:

I loath my stretch marks. I get disgusted when I look in the mirror and I see my saggy, misshapen, striped tummy. This picture made me think…then cry. It was all worth it when I think of my baby boy. I thought I would share it with you.Image

 

Lasts and Firsts – A Contemplation

I have been contemplative lately. I have been thinking about lasts and firsts.

It started with baking cookie for Easter. My mom, sister and I have done this for as long as I can remember. This year, when I woke up on baking day, I felt excited and sad at the same time. I was excited to be sharing this special tradition with them, but also sad that this would be the last time I would experience it without having Samuel split my attention. Then a couple of days later, Mike and I went to Costco for a few things and we ate pizza in the food court. It could be the hormones, but I teared up thinking that this little Costco outing might be our last time enjoying pizza together there without Samuel.

Each evening as Mike and I sit down for dinner, I wonder if that will be our last dinner together without Samuel. I know there will be times when Mike and I will get a sitter and go out together alone, but I am sure our minds will wander to Samuel, texting the sitter to make sure everything is ok, knowing he is fine but thinking that we should probably get home.  When I take my morning shower, I have been taking just a little longer, knowing it could be my last uninterrupted shower for a long time….funny that even now, Samuel invades my thoughts all the time. Seems like especially lately, I can’t go even a few minutes without thinking of him.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to meeting our son (especially at 38 weeks,  feeling like a Gigantisaurus, waddling through my days). I can’t wait to hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him. But, I know when he decides to arrive our lives will be changed forever.

Although I feel emotional about the lasts, I am definitely looking forward to all of the firsts,  the first time I see him (Will he have hair? What color? Or will he be bald??), the first time I hold him (how much will he weigh?? Will he be skinny or a little chubster?), the first time I nurse him (Can I really do this??). I am looking forward to seeing the look on Mike’s face when he meets Samuel for the first time, looking forward to learning how to be parents, knowing we will make mistakes but praying that God’s grace covers our family.

Yes, I feel sad for the lasts, but overjoyed at the firsts we will experience. Maybe today will be the last day without our precious baby boy! I sure hope so!

The Story of Samuel (Part 2)…Behind the Name

How did Samuel come to be Samuel? Why is he not Joshua or Jeremiah or Levi? What makes his name so special to me?

Here is the story of how we named our son.

Every month that I did not conceive, I would pour my frustrations out  to the Lord. I would cry, yell, lay in bed for hours. My heart felt like it was shattered into a million pieces. How it could shatter every month for 22 months is beyond me, but it did. After crying out to the Lord for answers and not receiving them, I would give God the silent treatment. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to Him. I felt betrayed. I would see parents – bad parents, parents who cursed at their children, who neglected them; I would hear stories of women who aborted their babies because it was an inconvenience to them, or parents who would beat their children and I was so angry that God allowed those people to have children, but not Mike and I, not some of my best friends who wanted children just as badly as we did. It all seemed so unfair and I couldn’t bring myself to be honest about my feelings before the Lord. Ignoring Him, while going through all of my churchy duties seemed easier. Then as the months went on, I felt more and more desperate. I felt like I was falling apart. My relationship with Mike suffered. I felt hopeless and helpless and angry all the time. Sometime during the last 6 months or so of infertility treatment, I broke down and was honest with the Lord. Part of me feared punishment for my attitude but I knew the faithfulness and love of my God, so I poured out heart to Him. And of course, He picked me up and comforted me. He led me to the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. As I read the first chapter, I was amazed that this story that happened thousands of years ago, could have been my story now.

1 Samuel 1:1-20

Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.  And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.  This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.  And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.  But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.  And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.  So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.  Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.  Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.  So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”  But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.  Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”  And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.  So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”

Like Elkanah and his family, Mike and I love and serve the Lord. We have walked with Him as faithfully as we could almost all of our lives. Obviously, Mike doesn’t have 2 wives, but just as Peninnah provoked Hannah, the men and women I spoke about earlier played the same part in my life. I can also relate to Elkanah asking Hannah if he was not better to her than ten sons. I am sure Mike felt like that. I remember him asking me if God did not give us a child, if he (Mike) would be enough for me. I also remember not answering his question. I also spent many hours praying to God, telling Him that if He gave us a child that we would dedicate the baby to the Lord. We would do everything we could to raise that child up to follow Christ.

I also find it so interesting that Eli the priest thought Hannah was drunk as she was pouring out her heart to the Lord as she wept in anguish. I always wondered if people knew my bitterness of soul or the way I cried out to the Lord some days that they would think I was a crazy person. I love the way Hannah describes her feelings – She uses phrases like “to make her miserable”, “she wept and did not eat”, “bitterness of soul”, “wept in anguish”, “I am a woman of sorrowful spirit”. Oh, how I know those emotions intimately! I have felt those things so strongly I didn’t think I would make it through the day.

I love how the story says that God remembered Hannah. Elkanah knew his wife and the Lord thought of her at that moment and He opened her womb. I sometimes wonder if it was the same when I conceived. Did God think of me at that moment and open my womb? I am overwhelmed at the thought!

When Mike and I found out that we were having a boy, we knew his name was Samuel. There was no other name that fit him so perfectly, no other name that is more of a testament to our journey or the faithfulness of our God.

My favorite passage of this story is 1 Samuel 1:27 which reads: 


This Scripture is on the wall above Samuel’s crib. I sometimes go into his nursery, sit in our rocking chair and let the tears flow. We are so blessed! I am due in just about 4 and a half week and I can’t wait to meet our miracle baby, this child we prayed to receive for so long. I can also relate to Hannah’s prayer in Chapter 2.

And Hannah prayed and said: 

“My heart rejoices in the LORD; 
My horn is exalted in the LORD. 
I smile at my enemies, 
Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 

“No one is holy like the LORD, 
For there is none besides You, 
Nor is there any rock like our God.

I understand her excitement and awe of God and how He works. If we had not gone through the excruciating journey to have Samuel, we would not be the people or parents we are today. We may not understand why God did things the way He did, but we know that there is no other rock like our God, and as we raise our precious child, we will stand firmly on the ROCK of our salvation.

The Story of Samuel (Part 1)…My Journey through Infertility

It has taken me months and months to be able to write about my son. I am not sure why today I feel ready; maybe because I don’t feel like I’m going to make it all the way to 40 weeks and I feel like the time is ticking away, or maybe it’s because people have been asking me lately to share his story. Either way, today is the day.  Bear with me as I know this post will be quite long.

Mike and I were married on October 7, 2006. We were both 23 years old. We knew we wanted to wait a couple of years before starting a family. In the back of my mind, I always had a nagging fear of a diagnosis I was given at age 16. I was told I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Then after running a few more test, the doctors told me that because my Testosterone levels were not high, I probably didn’t have it, but either way I wanted to be prepared so I started researching it. PCOS is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look (facial hair, weight gain, acne). If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease

Not only did I have the fear of NOT GETTING pregnant, I had the fear of GETTING pregnant. On top of the PCOS (which I was re-diagnosed with after Mike and I started trying to conceive), I have Degenerative Disc Disease, for which I have had two failed back surgeries, and I also have Fibromyalgia. My desire to be a mom trumped my fears though, I knew without a doubt this is what I wanted and no amount of pain or bed rest would keep me from trying to have a baby.

Mike and I started TTC (trying to conceive) September of 2008. We tried for almost a year with no results so I went a saw a fertility specialist in June of 2009. This is when I was re-diagnosed with PCOS. My periods were very out of whack so it took until January of 2010, with hormone treatment, to get my cycle  regular enough to start infertility treatment.  The time between June and January was extremely frustrating, feeling like we were just wasting precious time. During that time I had a test done called a Hysterosalpingogram or HSG, in which  radiographic contrast (dye) is injected into the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix.  The uterine cavity fills with dye and if the fallopian tubes are open, dye fills the tubes and spills into the abdominal cavity. This shows whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked. You can imagine the pain of this procedure, not to mention the lingering pain afterward. By God’s grace, the test showed my tubes were not blocked! There was a chance I could conceive, I just needed to actually ovulate.

In January of 2010, I started treatment for my infertility. I started taking a medication called Clomid. Below is a chart stating the chances of conceiving with different treatments of  unexplained infertility (which is what I had).

Type of Treatment                        Approximate Chance for Pregnancy Per Month

Try on own – no treatment                                                          1.3-4.1%

Insemination, no ovarian stimulation                                    3.8%

Clomid + intercourse                                                                     5.6%

Clomid + insemination                                                                  8.3%

Injectable meds + intercourse                                                  7.7%

Injectable meds + insemination                                              17.1%

From: Guzick D, et al: Efficacy of treatment for unexplained infertility. Fertility and Sterility 1998;70:207-213.)

So as you can see, for 13 months, Mike and I had a 1.3 -4.1% chance of conceiving. After starting the Clomid,  it was bumped up to 5.6%. Not the most encouraging number, but we were willing to give it a try. Clomid was originally developed for treatment of anovulation. The medication will often induce ovulation in women that do not develop and release an egg (ovulate) on their own, such as in women with polycyctic ovaries. That’s me! Each doctor is different in how the prescribe Clomid and how to take it, but this is what I had to do – On day 3 of my cycle (day 1 being the day my period started) I would take 100 mgs. of Clomid each day through day 7 of my cycle. Clomid has some nasty side effects, such as blurred vision or vision problems (spots or flashes), breast tenderness, dizziness, enlarged breasts, enlargement of the ovaries, flushing, headache, hot flashes, lightheadedness, mood changes, nausea, pelvic pain or bloating, stomach pain, and vomiting. You name it, I had it. I have to say the worst side effects I experienced were the pelvic pain and the mood changes. Sometimes the pain in my ovaries would take my breath away and make me double over. I did not feel like myself. I can’t explain how I felt, I just knew I didn’t feel right.

So after taking the Clomid for 5 days, on day 10 of my cycle, I would have to start testing to see if I was ovulating and Mike and I would have to start timing intercourse , every other day until day 20 of my cycle. At first it was just weird. Those of you who have struggled to conceive and have had to do this, you know what I mean. Whether we were in the “mood” or not, it had to happen. After 7 months of this, it became torture. Not only did we have to deal with the emotions and disappointment of not conceiving every month, but we had to deal with losing the feeling of intimacy with each other. We no longer saw each other as lovers, or being intimate as a special blessed time, but as a chore, an obligation, a forced act in order to make a baby. I went through times of feeling worthless, knowing that Mike wanted to be a dad and I couldn’t give him a child. There were times I wished he had married someone else, so that he would not have had to suffer through this. Mike was always supportive; he let me take the lead. I knew he would continue this treatment for as long as I wanted to, and that made me feel even more guilty. I was putting him through this, all because my body didn’t work right. He would always tell me that it wasn’t my fault, that it was no one’s fault, but that didn’t change the way I felt. I felt I had ruined his life, that his dreams were shattered because of me. My relationship with the Lord also suffered. There were weeks of silence between us; I felt angry and betrayed. There were also times of unexplained feelings of hope and comfort I knew could only have come from the Lord. I am still blown away at the faithfulness of our God when we stray or can’t face Him because our feelings and thoughts.

Because the long-term side effects of using Clomid were not very documented and what I had read really scared me (higher chance of ovarian cancer), I decided that although my doctor would have let me take the Clomid for up to 12 months, we were stopping at 9 months. Baby or no baby, 9 months was it for us. My body, mind, and spirit could not take it any more.

We pretty much gave up hope of having a biological child (since In Vitro Fertilization was not an option for us because the chance of multiples is so much higher and we weren’t sure how my body would be able to carry one baby to term with all of my health problems, and let’s face it, the money). I started researching adoption, domestic and international. We decided we would save up to adopt and that was how God was going to give us a child. For me, my goal was not to be pregnant, my goal was to be a mom. I wanted to carry a child and experience that miracle, but if God chose to give us a child in another way, I was okay with that. Mike was a little more reluctant, but he was willing to be supportive and go along with my plan since my desire was so strong.

I became pregnant with my miracle baby on the 8th month of Clomid. I took a pregnancy test on day 30 of my cycle. I didn’t think there was a chance I was pregnant, but I felt compelled to take the test that morning. Mike was at work and I called him and told him that the test looked positive. It was a little test strip that came with the ovulation test strips I bought. It looked positive, but I wasn’t sure, so I took another test. This time it was on a regular, one line or two line kind of test….I waited 5 minutes and then looked at the test – NOTHING! Not even the control line showed up! By this time I was almost hysterical…Was I pregnant? Was I not? It was like someone was playing a really mean trick on me. I took a 3rd test and it was definitely positive!  I stared at the test for a good 10 minutes, tears running down my face, playing out the rest of my life in my head, feeling like the whole process was worth it, but wondering if I would ever get my relationship back with my husband, worrying I would miscarry this baby I had prayed for everyday for almost 2 years.

So that’s how it happened. That’s the journey we went through to conceive our precious baby boy. This was not easy for me to relive, not easy for me to type out for the world to see, but I hope it brings encouragement to people, men and women who are struggling with the same thing.  

Pregnancy Update

I am now 28 weeks pregnant. Honestly, the time has flown by. I remember calling Mike at work telling him that I thought the pregnancy test I had been staring at for 5 minutes was positive. It seems like yesterday! It also seems so very long ago. My body has gone through some amazing changes. Looking at my first pregnancy picture at 4 weeks-

And now at 28 weeks –

I am blown away at the transformation my body has made thus far!

My back pain has been minimal and for that I’m praising God! With every week I cross off the calendar and I’m not stuck in bed, I am incredibly thankful. Even my doctor expected my pain to be much worse. If you look back at previous entries in my blog, you can see that the back pain did come on full force at times. For the last month or so though, I have been able to walk much more and do housework with out a problem. I still have to stop and rest more often than I think most people would, but I never imagined I would be able to keep up on the house like I have been. I know Mike is thankful too! 🙂

Samuel’s nursery is almost finished. There are few things that still need to be done, but giving me a power drill would be a dangerous thing, so I have to leave those last things up to my wonderful (but extremely busy!) husband. I will post pictures as soon as it is finished. I will have to check with Mike’s schedule and homework load, but I’m hoping for sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Steph and I are having 2 joint baby showers this month. There were so many people who we wanted to celebrate with, and most of them were mutual friends and family, so 2 joint showers made the most sense. My mom is throwing us one next Saturday and we are more involved in the planning of this one than the other shower that my best friend and Steph’s mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are throwing for us the Saturday after. They have kept us in the dark about almost everything! I like being able to be so involved (I LOVE planning parties!) and also surprised too (No stress, just show up and party!).

I have been doing a lot of praying and reading in preparation for Samuel’s arrival. I have known most of my life that I was meant to be a mom, but now that it’s happening I feel overwhelmed and panicked at times! I am relying on my mom to answer some questions for me, as well as some moms my age. With the Lord’s help and the support of family and friends, I know Samuel will grow up being loved and trained up the way he should go. I am amazed at how much the Bible speaks on how to raise children. I guess I never needed the information before, so I didn’t notice, but now I’m soaking it all up! I am excited for this new journey and I also can’t wait to share it with my sister. I am so blessed!

2 of My Favorite Pregnancy Helps

Last week was a terrible week pain-wise and someone recommended the following product to me. I had heard of belly supports, but never one with a back support. My mom and sister loaded me into the wheelchair and took me to the Motherhood store in the Moreno Valley Mall. The saleslady was really helpful and knew exactly what I needed. This support wraps around my belly, then another piece wraps around my back and then the last piece goes above my belly. I have to admit it takes some getting used to, especially having to take it off and then put it on every time I use the bathroom, but with the relief I am getting, it is totally worth it! If you are pregnant and experiencing back pain, or if you belly is starting to feel really heavy, I recommend this product. It was $38.99 – a little spendy, but getting some relief is priceless!

My second favorite product that has been a huge help to me, not only during my pregnancy, but for about a year,  is what I call my Grabber. I think it may really be called a Gopher or something like that, but we call it my Grabber. Bending down to pick something up that I have dropped is close to impossible and doing so can cause me a terrible amount of pain. Without my Grabber, things would stay on the floor until Mike got home and picked up my trail of milk caps, socks, pens and other goodies! I paid $9.99 for it at Target. If you have a hard time picking things up, I would recommend this products to you for sure!

Update

Let me start this by letting you know that the pain makes my brain pretty fuzzy, so if none of this makes sense, forgive me! I feel the need to get some feelings out on “paper”.

I am just about in the middle of my 19th week- half way there! The last couple of weeks have been agonizing. The back pain I am experiencing is debilitating and thinking about another 4 1/2 months of this is scary and overwhelming. I see my doctor this morning for a regular check up and once again I will ask him if there is any medication I can take besides Tylenol for the pain. I would never want to do anything to put Samuel at risk, but with the pain I am in, I am wondering if the pain and stress my body is experiencing now would be worse than taking something.

Being completely dependent on people is one of the most difficult things in the world for me. I like to be the one who does everything, helps everyone. Not being able to even move on my own, to turn over or walk to the bathroom by myself is a struggle emotionally, not to mention physically! I have had so many people offer to help me, but I only feel comfortable with my mom and sister helping me. I would hate for someone to come into my home and think ill of me because it’s a mess. I know this is ridiculous since I can’t even move, but still, the pride creeps in and I refuse help. The Lord is working on me with this. As a woman, I want to alway appear presentable and able. Unfortunately, I’m neither on most days!

Another thing I am struggling with is my relationship with Mike. He is such a good caretaker. He helps me try to get comfortable and brings me anything that I need. When the pain is this bad, I don’t feel like myself. I am not talkative, I tend to turn inward and want to be alone. I hate that I push him away, but I feel myself doing it unintentionally. I want to be a wife, not a patient. I am also working on this.

It’s funny how when you have no choice but to be quite, the Lord shows you so much! He has shown me quite a few sins and shortcomings that I need to work on, but He has also showed me how blessed I am. I am sure I’m biased, but I am married to the most incredible man, I am carrying a miracle inside of me, and I have the best family in the world. I am so thankful for the blessings in my life; the pain does blind me to them at times. Learning to get through the pain and into the wonderful things in my life feels like crawling through mud. Fighting the depression and helplessness that accompanies chronic pain is honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. Those of you who deal with a chronic illness know exactly what I’m talking about!

I worry people think I’m complaining when I talk about my pain, but I think that being honest about my struggles may help someone else who is struggling with similar feelings. I think people need to be more open about things like this. What I would give to have someone tell me that they feel the things I feel sometimes. We all struggle with something. Life isn’t easy – for anyone. We have an obligation to lift one another up and encourage one another to press on towards the goal, to keep our eyes on Jesus. I pray everyday that God uses my chronic pain to His glory.

There are a few ways that find meaning and comfort in the times when I feel like I’m barely treading water. One of them is writing notes to people. If I am helping someone else, then I don’t notice the pain so much. Another thing I do is pray for people. I have a unique opportunity to be home all the time not be able to move. I know that God can use that. If I can’t be out in the world being used, the Lord will use me right where I am. I also read my Bible a lot. I find much comfort in the Psalms. In the times when David was being hunted down by Saul, he poured out his agony on paper and it encourages me. He starts many psalms much like this post, feeling helpless and hopeless, but ends them with acknowledging the power of his God, the greatness of our Creator and Sustainer. Here is one of my favorites.

 

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

I am praying the Lord uses my babbling to His glory. Although I feel that the enemy of pain is exalted over me most of the time, I trust in His steadfast love. I may be shaken, but my heart rejoices in His salvation because He has indeed dealt bountifully with me.

Time is Flying By!

I can’t believe it has been a whole month since I have written in my blog! The days seem to fly by when I am feeling well. And I have been feeling well much more than before. I started getting prenatal massages every two weeks and up until now (last night was torturous!) I have felt like my old (somewhat messed up) self. I forgot to turn the heater on last night and I think that is why I was in so much pain. I got up this morning and turned it on, heated up my rice bag, and made some hot chocolate. I am feeling much better but I’m afraid if I move too fast or turn a certain way, I will be in big trouble. I suppose having to be so aware of my movements is good – keeps me in constant communion with the Lord. I have always noticed I pray more when I’m in pain.

November was a really good month for my physically, but not so much mentally. I found myself worrying so much about things – family relationships, my cluttered house feeling like it was closing in on me, the baby…the list goes on and on. I spent a lot of time reading my Bible and praying and I also started to write down the projects that need to get finished before the baby comes. This seemed to help my anxiety a little, but even last night I was freaking out thinking “What if the baby is a boy??? I am not sure I could handle a circumcision!!!!” I am sure all you moms who have boys are laughing at me right now, but I gotta say I’m still a little freaked out this morning about it! LOL.

Mike asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I decided that I wanted projects to be done. There are so many things to do- furniture needs to be moved out of my office, soon to be nursery, and into various other rooms in our house. The piano needs to be moved back into Mike’s music room, the entertainment center needs to be moved to another wall, the book cases (now in my office) need to be moved to the living room wall that now has the entertainment center. My desk needs to be moved into our bedroom, the baby’s dresser/changing table needs to be painted, not to mention the nursery needs a new coat of pain! AHHHH!! Obviously none of these things can be actually done by me, so having all of it done as a Christmas present seems perfect. It’s all I really want. That, and to spend time with my incredible husband. Only 16 more days and he has Christmas Break. This is also the amount of days until we find out if Baby Levitsky is a boy or a girl!! I think I will take my sister’s advice and make a paper chain! You know, the ones that we made in school to count down until Christmas!! I think I will make it green and red and use it as garland and decorate with it!

My next post (hopefully not in a month!) will show some of the Christmasy things coming up- our decorated home,  the Ladies’ Christmas Dessert and maybe some pictures from my cousins’ Welcome-Home-from-Afghanistan  Party this Saturday!

So Far, So Good

I’ve wanted to write in my blog for a while now, but I’ve been lacking the energy. I love love love being pregnant, but the fatigue is almost too much. I am not sure if this is normal pregnancy tiredness, or if my fibromyalgia fatigue has something to do with it. I’m sleeping so much more and it has been even more difficult than usual to get my household chores done.

The morning sickness started on Sunday, at exactly 6 weeks. It has mostly been in the morning, throwing up once or twice, then I’m fine in the afternoon and evening. The ginger ale coupled with the salty saltine crackers seems to help.

I can tell my body is already changing. My stomach is bigger, but it doesn’t look like a baby bump yet. It just looks bloated! Most of my jeans feel a little snug and with the help of the Be Band, I’ve been able to keep them unbuttoned. The Be Band is a band of stretchy material that you wear over your pre-pregnancy pants until you can wear maternity pants. It has already been a life saver. Right before I found out I was pregnant, I bought a super cute pair of skinny jeans. I really wanted to wear them for our anniversary dinner last night and with the Be Band I was able to keep them unbuttoned (and then unbuttoned and unzipped after our huge dinner at Olive Garden!)

I have not had many aversions to foods yet. I have been craving bacon and Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks. Last week it was cheesecake. So funny how our pregnant bodies work!

Sleep has been difficult the last few days. I’ve been getting up at least twice each night to go pee and I can’t seem to get comfortable with my back. My back pain is steadily rising, which is not what I expected at all. I assumed that as soon as all of my medication was out of my system, my back would go haywire and be extremely painful. That has not been the case. The pain is a little worse without the medication, but manageable so far. Praise the Lord!

Well, I think it’s time for a nap. 🙂 I will check back in soon.