First account of my pregnancy

As I’ve told friends that I am pregnant – one piece of advice I’ve received from my mom friends is to write everything down. Details of pregnancy will elude me at some point, so I am going to heed that advice and keep some blog posts to reference in pregnancy # 2 and beyond.  So here goes…

Finding out

I knew I was pregnant before a test ever confirmed it. I had a feeling of course, but it wasn’t the first time I had told Mark, “I really think I’m pregnant this time.”  So, I kept it to myself a little more than usual.  Also, Mark was in his last week of preparing for the CFA Level 2 exam so I wanted to wait to take a test until that was behind us. 

On the day when Mark was taking his exam, I went to a birthday party for my friend’s daughter. When I saw my friend that morning, she immediately told me that she’d had a dream that I was pregnant! Shocked, I told her that I thought I was. 🙂 

Two days later, on a Tuesday night, I took a test. For the first time the results were positive!  We had roommates living with us at the time, so I remember calling Mark into our bathroom to show him the test.  I had a distinct emotion of wanting validation that I wasn’t going crazy – that the test indeed said that we were pregnant.  While I knew it to be true, I don’t think I 100% accepted it until we saw the heartbeat on the screen two weeks later.  I completely believed I was pregnant, but it’s such a surreal life change that I almost expected the doctor to tell me that I was mistaken.  Thankfully, we were not mistaken!!

Telling our family

We found out on June 6th that we were pregnant, and later that month on Father’s Day we decided to announce it to our family.  I hope to always remember those phone calls. To both sets of parents we introduced it by saying Happy Father’s Day, you are going to be a Grandfather!! With both of our parents, there was a mixture of tears and silence (good silence).  Lots of tears and joy.  This will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. 

We talked to my sister, Mark’s sister, and skyped with my brother in Austria. Each call was filled with so much joy! Aunts and Uncles for the first time!! 

First trimester

From what I’ve heard from friends, I have had a relatively easy first trimester. Here’s what I’ve experienced:

  • First few weeks I didn’t want to eat anything green (veggies), so I stuck to mostly tan/white colored food like chicken, potatoes, crackers, cookies, and some fruits. 
  • Beef and pork were off-limits for those first weeks also
  • I had a couple of instances of really upset stomach when I hadn’t eaten in a few hours, but I learned quickly that I needed to snack (healthy snacks!) every 3 hours or so. Doing that curbed almost all nausea.
  • Cooking was pretty unappealing until at least week 9 or so
  • Tired at work! Especially around 2:00-3:00, I struggled to not fall asleep at my desk. I took to doing almost no work in that twilight hour and instead walking around, eating my post-lunch snack, and talking with coworkers. 
  • Tired at night!  Same thing at night. I think I stayed awake more than my body really wanted because every time I’d go to bed, I would fall asleep immediately. 
  • Pregnancy brain. My doctor confirmed it’s true, and Mark confirmed long before. I started forgetting things, and I am usually so darn good at medium to short-term memory. 🙂 

All in all though, it has been a great first 13 weeks. Being tired was a reminder that my body was working hard to nourish our little one.  Every symptom and change has been more confirmation that this is really happening! Now I’m slowly but surely seeing my “bump” become more defined, and I am soaking in the joys of carrying God’s great gift to us. We are looking forward to February 2012 with great anticipation!   

    “Religion closed his mind with a darkness”

    Last night I finished chapter 89 and page 401 of Ahab’s Wife, my book club month for June. This book has enthralled me from the beginning, and I am still eager to read the remaining 300 or so pages.  I like the book primarily because the author has a splendid gift for writing and an uncanny ability to describe human emotions and character traits in a way that opens the eyes of the reader. 

    One character, Una’s father, is a man driving to taking his own life after an empty lifetime of life-sucking religious pursuit.  "Religion closed his mind with a darkness,“ is how his wife remembered him years after he died.  His religion forges a great gaping divide in the father/daughter relationship. Una is even forced to leave home and live with her aunt because her father could not bear her religious rebellion any longer. He would quote Scriptures that were plucked out of context just to wield power over his daughter. All of the religious things he held so high ended up leading him to death. 

    The author really spoke to a subject that has been invading my heart lately – namely, that religion leads to death.  When you think of religion, what comes to mind? Laws, rules, good works, church attendance, devoutness, etc.   With those associations coming to mind, I can understand why less and less people are walking into churches these days.  

    I used to call myself a "religious person” but I no longer claim that title.  The faith that I have in Jesus is not founded on laws, rule-following, church-attending, or my own good works.  I used to be religious. I know what that’s like.  It’s a never-ending cycle. You try and try but fail. When you fail, there’s guilt or shame. Then you pick yourself up to try and try again.  Not before long, you’ve left that mountain top and fallen in the pit again.  It’s tiring.  Without an escape, it leads to despair and spiritual deadness. 

    I thank God every day for saving me from that deadening cycle and giving me freedom and a full life through Jesus. I now experience a deep joy, a path that is filled with hope, and a genuine love that compels me to bless others.   Jesus cancelled all debt that I owed to God now and forevermore by living a perfect life and sacrificing Himself on our behalf.  My debt has been paid; now I walk with a song of joy that I have been forgiven and I am free to live fully!  

    This Easter I celebrate the new life that I’ve received through Jesus Christ. By His grace alone and not because of my own works, I was buried with Him into death and risen to walk in the newness of life! 

    This photo collage is just a glimmer of the abundant life that He breathes into me daily. Thanks be to God for His glorious love and mercy on me!