Monday, January 28, 2013

I can't wait!!!

So it has been awhile since we found out we are having a little BOY!.I honestly can't wait!!! This pregnancy seems to take forever! I feel like the days and weeks go by so slow...but I know I need to enjoy each phase. I still have really bad vomiting days but they are NOT every day all day now, so I get a few days every now and then where I feel great! Hopefully as time goes on the sick days will disappear altogether.

During one of my sickest days I decided to write what I was excited about for this baby--just to help get my mind off my misery. It kind of turned poetic...kind of:) Read if you'd like!!!

 I Can't Wait:

I can’t wait until I feel that uncontrollable, desperate love a mother has for her child. 
I can’t wait for those tiny flutters of you, kicking and swirling around. 
I can’t wait to feel those swollen ankles, indigestion, and poking-out belly just so I know you’re there, growing. 
I can’t wait for those intense moments as I undergo pain like unto death to give you life. 
I can’t wait to hear your first cry as your voice announces your arrival. 
I can’t wait to see your face for the first time; to look into your eyes, at your perfect nose, and tiny hands, and know that you are mine. 
I can’t wait to smell you, to rub my nose against your soft cheek, and to hold you close. 
I can’t wait to feel your chest rise and fall with mine as you take your first breaths. 
I can’t wait to take you home for the first time, to have you alone at last!
I can’t wait to change your first diaper and to clean your first mess…its just proof that you are healthy! 
I can’t wait for those sleepless nights, for I am the only one who can keep you safe, for you are mine.

I can’t wait for all the firsts. You are my first in every way and I will be there with you as you first discover the world.
I can’t wait for your first laugh, your first tremble, your first bitter tears. 
I can’t wait to see your face as you first try solid food. 
I can’t wait to learn your fears, your joys, your comforts and your pains. 
I can’t wait for those first toothy grins, and those first shaky steps, and to know I am the one who catches you when you fall, for you are mine.

I can’t wait for your first rainstorm. 
I can’t wait for your discovery of ladybugs and the feel of sunshine on your skin. 
I can’t wait for you to grow excited at airplanes and scared of vacuums. 
I can’t wait for you to first see trees, sky, and soft green grass. 
I can’t wait for the first uttered words that only I can understand. 
I can’t wait for your arms to reach up to me when you are tired. 
I can’t wait for your little fingers to first feel the roughage of a sidewalk, or silkiness of a kitty’s fur. 
I can’t wait to endlessly pick up thrown cheerios and carrots as I discover what you like to eat. 
I can’t wait for your grocery store tantrums, and nightmare filled nights. 
I can’t wait to be your mother, the one person to comfort you and love you despite it all...for you are mine

I can’t wait for your first bruise, your first band-aid, and your first disappointment.  
I can't wait for your first best friend, your first tree house, and your first adventure.
I can’t wait to see you first kick a soccer ball, first baseball game, and your first big win!
I can’t wait to walk into the living room and see you sitting there, tousled hair and scrunched pajamas, sitting with a bowl of fruit loops, lazily watching Saturday morning cartoons. 
I can’t wait to watch your daddy teach you to tie your shoes and to ride a bike.
I can't wait to know what makes you happy, to know what you love in the world. 
I can’t wait to see you struggle; to see you try and fail, and then see you learn to succeed. 
I can’t wait to be this special witness of your life, from most precious beginning, to when you think you’re all grown, and then to when you realize you're not grown at all. 
I can’t wait for you, I can’t wait for our life together, and I can’t wait for the privilege to call you mine. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It's a BOY!!!

Wow. Yesterday was incredible. It was the first day in such a long time where I was actually feeling better. I only threw up two times the whole day! They were in the early morning and I was almost nausea-free after lunch. It was such a blessing. I was so grateful that I was feeling good because we had a little party that night where Ben revealed our baby's gender to me. We invited friends from med school and friends from church and had cookies and milk for treats. I was really nervous all day. I had been convinced it was a boy since the day I knew I was pregnant and have had dozens of experiences where I've felt that it was a boy and I was worried that once I knew the gender for sure I would be disappointed...not in the gender, but in myself for having "feelings" that were wrong. But sure enough!! Momma knows best and it is a boy!! I am so ecstatic to have a son. I had always wanted an older brother and now all my other kids will have a wonderful big brother. I also know that ben will be gone a lot through school and his career and it will be awesome to have another man in the house:) My joy is really beyond words and the love I have for this baby boy is overwhelmingly sacred. I am so excited to be a mother and to have a son! I can't wait!!!!

This is how Ben told me it is a boy:

The funny thing was the VERY first thought I had when I saw it was a boy was that if this was in older days, like in the days of King Henry the 8th, I wouldn't be beheaded!!! I've been reading too many novels lately! Bahaha!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Addiction of Comparison

I have decided that I need to write (for mostly my benefit) the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having. The last three days have been extremely depressing. I have been so weak, my energy stores so depleted, that I wasn’t able to get out of bed for three days. This hurts. I am not that person. I am not that person who EVER watches movies all day or leaves the dishes in the sink undone. I am not that person who only gets up to eat and pee. But for the last three days I was that person. Something happened and this pregnancy sickness really took over.

 If it was only the migraines, dizziness, and muscle fatigue, I could still probably handle it. But it’s this insane amount of vomit that projects itself from my throat almost anytime I stand up that really gets me. You’d think I’d learn to just not eat. And I’ve tried that. I’m so exhausted from the constant efforts to try to refuel my aching body; but to not eat sends me into a fit of dry heaving. The dry heaving becomes so severe that blood vessels burst all over my face, neck and chest… and I’m left shaking on the bathroom floor.

Yes, it is that bad.

And that worse part? I hate that this is me. This is my reality. And it makes me depressed and angry. Why? Why do I have to experience this? I hear from other pregnant girls my age that they never felt sick at all (especially not in their second trimester), haven’t lost or gained a pound, and feel a constant prego glow from their cheeks. When I hear this I can’t help but compare myself to them.

I compare to their skinny bodies my ever-growing butt that seems in competition with my belly, despite the rollercoaster of nutrition that I am on. I compare my scarce ability to walk around the block to women I know who are planning marathon runs in their third trimester. And yes, I compare myself to my friends who are already third trimester and barely showing at all. I feel like a ship packing on the cargo for a long and trying journey.

Not only do I compare myself to others, I compare my current self to the me of the past. I compare my swollen, tired body to when I was dancing all day on the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company. Man, was I in shape then. I compare myself to me just last spring, when I finished top 10 females in one of the Nation’s most challenging and acclaimed half marathons. I compare myself now to before I was pregnant, when the dishes were sparkling clean and a warm meal welcomed Ben home every night. I compare myself to when I was able to work two jobs, bringing home good money for our savings.

I can compare myself to just about anything and anyone if I get going. I can do this because it is an addiction. It is addicting to pity myself and ask, “Why me? Why now?” It is addicting to expect life to come easy and without hardship. It is addicting to let my pride rule my thoughts as I justify comparison. But any addiction is dangerous, and I’ve realized it has led me down a hard road.

During these last exceptionally hard days I asked Ben to give me a blessing. The words of this prayer touched me so deeply and so profoundly that I found myself indescribably humbled. I was told to be grateful. Be grateful for the hardship I am going through; because it is only through this hardship that I will truly understand the suffering of my Lord, Jesus Christ. In all my discomfort and illness to bring forth a new life, I will begin to comprehend the suffering Christ went through to bring us all New Life. This is my own Gethsemane. The words of the hymn Where Can I Turn for Peace describe it best:

Where, when my aching grows,

Where, when I languish,

Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

I have felt that my whole life I’ve emphasized the Savior’s understanding of our pain. I’ve borne testimony that He knows all our pains and sorrows. I still believe that with all the conviction of my heart. However, never before have I sought to understand His pain, and His suffering. Up to now, all my pain has been for my own sake, centered on me. Now that I have this amazing life growing within me I know that my suffering is for someone else. And even though my hardship is so small in comparison, I am grateful to have this miniscule understanding of what suffering out of love for another is like.

This experience is definitely not over. I imagine actually giving birth will be more excruciating than I can imagine; but I feel at peace now. I know that I am blessed to have knowledge of God’s tender mercies. I am blessed to know that I can turn to Him for peace. And more than anything, I feel blessed that my loving Heavenly Father gives me these experiences for my own growth and strength. I cannot compare my journey of progression to anyone else’s. It is my own travels, my own experiences that will shape me into who I am to become. There is no comparison there. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

True feelings about Pregnancy...

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Today was an exciting but exhausting day. So I dropped Ben off at school and then rushed to eat breakfast. That is the one thing about this pregnancy that I REALLY don’t like. It’s that my life completely revolves around FOOD. It goes like this, “Oh my gosh I need to eat or I’m going to puke.” So I grab something to eat and it makes me think this, “I’m so not hungry but I must eat or else I feel like I’m going to die!!!” Then I eat and struggle to gulp bits of food down. Ever tried to eat cereal when extremely nauseated?! It is terrible. Then, suddenly…its like the sun appears and I feel AMAZING! The dizzy is gone, the nausea abated, and I feel like I can continue with a normal life.

15 minutes later the glorious food I struggled so hard down my throat is in the toilet. As I flush I grimace as I realize how similar it looks in that porcelain white toilet bowl as it did in its original porcelain white cereal bowl. I must’nt have digested at all! There the food is, in all its glory, a little soggy, but still food. It is so GROSS I vow I can never eat that food again. (By the way this occurs so often my list has become invariably long: panda express, nachos, caesar salad, chicken salad, bannanas, my favorite Thai restaurant, barbeque chicken, ham sandwiches, chili, costa vida, and etc. –all these foods forever banned, at least until scarred brain undo the gluing of these food images to the smell of vomit, and I feel those images are permanently there).

But hey, surprisingly, after I throw up whatever I so painfully ate, I kinda feel like eating again. That feeling of really shaky, dizzy, and I just might pass out comes again and I’m like, “Food! Now!” so some dutiful friend (most usually this falls on my Ben or mom) searches through the fridge like it’s the depths of despair trying agonizingly to find something that I’ll eat.

And then, like magic, I eat their precious gift and all pain goes away. This miracle food has stopped me from dying! Praise it! Save it! No one is allowed to eat it but me! And I will eat this food breakfast, lunch, and dinner until I throw it up and a new golden goose must be found. My longest streak? A baked potato for lunch and dinner for four consecutive days. Glorious. Until, you know, the inevitable happened. I haven’t found my winning ticket like that potato since then. Ah.

But life is great, you know? Honestly, I have never had better incentive to exercise. I go on long walks outside and the cold air literally freezes the nausea. I imagine a cartoon of a big, handsome Knight riding upon billowing clouds and wind, coming towards me. He has his sword pointed at a Green Monster that has me chained by the neck, dragging me along as his slave. ‘I’m warning you, Nausea” says my Knight in shining armor, ‘you are not welcome on these wintry walks” And amazingly, out of desperate fear I’m sure, my nausea slave master, who is green and slimy and drags me all day, is now small. So small I have to pick up the poor guy and tuck him in my pocket and now carry him along…so light and small its like he is napping quietly in the back of my mind (or tummy).  For those few moments when its is SO cold no sane Houston is out and about, I, the true Utahn, strap on my shoes, wear a light jacket and T-shirt and walk out to freedom. It is pure bliss.

Speaking of long walks in the cold, today I actually was able to jog a little. And though I’m only 13 weeks pregnant I swear this tyke likes to play trampoline on my bladder whenever I jog. You see, I have this intense urge to pee as my feet hit the pavement in a steady beat. It is so intense, I have to stop and walk a little, and then…no urge to pee. So I start jogging again and then I have to pee so bad!! Eventually I let go of all decency and decide to just let it go, just pee while running (the best runners do it, I’ve read in Runner’s World magazine, ok?) So just in the moment when I expect all relief to come flooding in, I realize I really don’t have to pee. So I just press on. The discomfort in all reality is worth it for my escape from my Green Nausea Monster--I think I just saw my Cloud Knight wink at me…he’s definitely keeping him in check.

Pregnant and Crazy:

So today on my running adventure, I experienced quite a few things. First , when I put on one of my favorite shirts to go out in, I suddenly felt like a giant cotton creature had swarmed its massive arms around my neck, choking the life out of me. Needless to say, I had a crazy moment and cut that shirt in half. NOW, you pesky creature, you don’t have a T-shirt collar (or really sleeves, for that matter) to choke me with!! But, honestly, most comfortable shirt ever. I love it, really. All you pregnant people out there, if you ever get attacked by the Cotton Choking Creature, just smite off its head!! (Acutally, by removing that scrunchy neck part of a T-shirt, you can make the shirt have a more feminine shape and it looks pretty cute!)

Well, then, after I had conquered that Creature, I set off to put my nausea at bay. On my run I witnessed some extraordinary things. First, the cutest Asian couple, walking quickly with matching Barney purple sweatsuits caught my eye! They waved to me and pumped their fists in the air. “Yeah!” I thought, “Go me! I’m pregnant but I can do this!” Then I turned the corner and ran through this amazing trail that is lined with Trees that are so feral and winding that they seem to reach for each other across the path. It is beautiful. In my mind I actually thought for the very first time, how much I love Houston and how LUCKY I am to live in a place with all these beautiful parks and paths to run along. And the ducks! There are ducks everywhere and squirrels and you can run almost right through the zoo on the path. I love it. There are ponds and trees everywhere. Every once in a while the little kids’ train toots its horn as it winds on by. I really am so in love with this run. I reached the part of the park where there are huge monuments to Sam Houston and a large fountain that sends a refreshing splash into the air. Just then, while all these positive thoughts fill my mind, I see ahead of me a black gangster-dressed man pull down his pants. Ugh. I turn my head just before seeing too much, and he pees in the fountain!!

Well, it’s not Provo, and its definitely not like running around BYU campus, but hey, its home for now.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

LONELY. SO LONELY. Ben has been at his clinics rotation for 12 freaking hours!!! This is his first day!! I really hope this doesn’t forewarn of how it will be the next two years. I MISS HIM!! Today was a hard day as I felt so dizzy and still nauseated all the time. Will this sickness ever end?! I tried running and was pooped out after 3 miles. But hey, I did 3 miles! Better than nothing…even if I did sit on my butt most of the rest of the day. I find myself day dreaming of the days when I can throw caution to the wind and run as fast as I can. The wind in my hair, breath coming in and out in a refreshing pattern, and the steady beat of my feet hitting the pavement.  Oh! I can just feel it now! But alas, my body can barely jog without me passing out from overheating. Ugh. The thought of a treadmill—my one true exercise buddy—now sends me reeling in disgust. I guess the good thing is that this pregnancy has taught me to love running outside…yet I fear this cool weather won’t last long. I better use it while it lasts!

Tomorrow I get that test to find out if my baby is a boy or girl…as well as if it has down syndrome or trisomy 13 or other disorders. To be honest I have been salivating with excitement for this day for a long time now…but suddenly I have cold feet. What if my baby has downs? For the rest of my pregnancy I might feel regret, anger, frustration, and sadness. Wouldn’t it be better to not have known? I know that I will love my baby no matter the condition, but to have the next six months be ones of dread would be really hard. However, I have faith. I am going to raise this baby to be a good member of the church, a missionary to all, and a strong character. I will give my all, my everything, for this child. I will sacrifice all my resources to raise this baby with all the love in the world. I already dream and hope and long for the day when I can take this baby to church, to read scriptures to it, and to sing hymns together.

Truth be told as I write this, I only see a son. I have a feeling this baby is a boy. I see myself raising him to be a righteous missionary and leader. As I imagine myself holding my baby, it’s a him. Honestly, if tomorrow reveals it as a girl I WILL BE SHOCKED!. But still happy. I admit I have a greater fear having a girl, I’m afraid of my own insecuritites. So in fact a girl may be the best thing to teach me selflessness…but maybe God is going to break those lessons easy and give me a boy first. Like I said, either a boy or a girl, I will be ecstatic. I’m just so looking forward to being a mommy. Especially after days like today, when I’ve not a soul to talk to or be with.