Thank you for all the well wishes, prayers, and congratulations on our baby announcement last month. We are so overjoyed to be expecting a son in the spring and cannot wait to meet this little guy!
A few weeks ago, I asked on my Instagram whether you would be interested in reading a blog post about the realities of pregnancy. And a whopping 100 percent of you said “yes.” (I’m so glad because I was totally going to write about it anyway!)
Pregnancy has been wonderful and miraculous and awe-inspiring, but it has also been hard.
Many days feel like a roller coaster. Yet I never for a second want to complain, and I never want to forget the amazing miracle that this baby is. I have seen second hand the realities of miscarriage, of preterm birth, of babies born too soon. Of infertility and the deep, painful longing for a child in the midst of intense loneliness. I have watched dear friends and family members walk through each of these things. I, too, expected to struggle to get pregnant—I never would have predicted that this would be our story.
Maybe you are reading this, and you desire that child who is not yet in your arms. My heart goes out to you. The Lord hears you and recognizes you. You are not alone. His mercies are new every morning, and his steadfast love never ceases (Lamentations 3:22-23).
If reading about pregnancy in any way is difficult for you, please skip over this post and know I am thinking of you. If you’d like to talk or have a prayer request, please send me a message here.
The week before we found out about the pregnancy, I wrote this on the blog:
I have felt my emotions running the gamut these past few weeks. Anger, frustration, impatience, irritability. I have felt like a hormonal teenager all the time, getting annoyed by the slightest things and allowing a cloud of negativity to hang over my usual sunny self.
Well, now it all makes sense. In the early stages of my pregnancy, I felt crabby, moody, and continually frustrated by little things that normally wouldn’t bother me. Throughout most of my first trimester, I felt excited and joyful about the baby—yet I couldn’t shake the hormonal mood swings. I was up and down; I felt like I was going mad.
The day I took a pregnancy test, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I thought I had some sort of stomach bug or maybe food poisoning. It was a Sunday. Charles and I got ready to go to church, and I decided not to eat breakfast like usual. I thought holding off would calm my stomach down. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t.)
As soon as our pastor stood up to preach, I had to rush to the church bathroom, sure I would be sick. Nothing happened. I went out to our car, where I sat with the air conditioning hitting me at full blast. August in Nashville is pretty dang hot, and whatever illness I had was making me even more flushed. Charles came out of the service and drove me home. I looked like a dog with my head out the window during our car ride. We reached a block away from our apartment before I made him slam on the breaks so I could get out of the car and get sick.
At this point, we both still thought I had a stomach bug. Except then the wave of nausea passed, and I was able to eat a light meal. A few hours later, I felt horrible again.
Charles and I looked at each other, having the same thought at the same time.
Could I be… pregnant?
I quickly skedaddled to our nearby grocery store to pick up a pregnancy test.
It was positive.
What does it really mean, though? I’m sure it’s false. I need to take another one.
Cue me driving back to the store to get another test. (Note to self: Next time, buy a pack of tests to have on hand.)
I think after that Charles and I started laughing. Like that soft, excited, is-this-real-life kind of giggle. I still wasn’t convinced I was actually pregnant, but the evidence sitting on the bathroom sink in front of me seemed clear. Times two. We hugged and kissed, and I couldn’t believe how truly happy I felt in that moment.
I never in my life imagined getting pregnant immediately after getting married. In fact, a few years ago, I thought I’d get married in my early 30s, have kids a couple years after that, and just see how things go.
But God slowly changed my heart over the past few years, giving me a stronger desire to be a mom, even though I wasn’t sure what that would look like. I watched as dear friends a few years older than me had their first kids, and my heart melted over and over again holding each one of them.
This has been the year of unexpected expectedness. Of God showing up when I least expected it. Of His faithful steadfastness in the midst of so much change.
These 20-something weeks of pregnancy moved slowly at first and now they are flying by. I felt nauseated and exhausted for the entire first trimester. The mere sight of vegetables was enough to make me gag. And the smell of most meats, except a good beef hamburger, could really set me over the edge. The CrockPot became my enemy. (Just ask my husband—thank you, dear!) I didn’t have much of an appetite. Instead saltines and oyster crackers were my constant companions at work, in the car, and on my nightstand.
As I transitioned into the second trimester, I gained back some of my appetite, although let’s be honest, macaroni and cheese and pizza are still my go-tos. I’ve learned to have grace for myself as I eat way fewer vegetables, exercise a whole lot less, and sleep a lot more. I’m not writing much on this blog or practicing as much yoga or planning as many coffee dates.
My productivity level feels like it’s sunk to a new low—which is when I remind myself I’m actually busy working on the greatest project I’ve ever taken on. My son.
A sweet friend texted me this week:
“He’s already teaching you the selflessness of being a parent… laying down your needs for his.”
And it’s true.
Whenever I feel anxious about not being productive and not “doing enough,” I try to speak that truth over myself. I’m listening to my body and doing exactly what God has called me to do. I’m doing what my baby boy needs me to do.
I feel him kicking me almost every day now. I’ve even seen my belly move up and down as he threw a few punches. He’s getting stronger every week, and we’re predicting he’s going to be quite the athlete. Feeling him inside of me is both crazy and comforting. It doesn’t seem real at times, but I look forward to his little dance every night as I lie in bed.
Pregnancy is difficult. It is uncomfortable. It is overwhelming. There are times when I feel utterly terrified of labor and woefully unprepared to bring a child into this world.
I don’t ever question that this is what I was made to do.
Excited. Thankful. Blessed.