Realities are Hitting Me…

Trimester 3 has come too quick.

After the all-day sickness subsided around weeks 16-18, I felt as though I was on top of the world.

My body felt good, I had a cute little bump growing, and my energy was back.

Filled with gratitude I was walking with a spring in my step that I could eat regular food again, smell without getting sick, and be active with friends and family. Thank you, God!

If I could sum up trimester 2 it would be: energetic, positive, hormonal rollercoaster, stressed. (Grateful for understanding co-workers!)

I don’t think it helped that my final push of the school year (and all the emotions/stress that come with the spring wrap up without being pregnant) was mixed into those weeks for me as well.

As I posted a couple weeks back (here), I have had a lot of emotions come up for me around this pregnancy and they are only going to continue as we move closer to Maxee’s arrival date.

We made it through all of that nuttiness… and now we are onto the final 3 months! Image result for trimester 3


Do I have gestational diabetes?

During week 28, which officially began trimester 3, I took the glucose test. Thankfully I was able to do a fasting blood test instead of taking the glucose drink.

I arrived at the doctor’s office first thing in the morning and they took my blood.

I then ate my normal breakfast (about 600 calories) and as soon as I took my last drink of water, began the 2-hour countdown.

At 2-hours, they took more blood.

Done!

Within the week they called to say that I passed with flying colors- no gestational diabetes here!


With trimester 3 came the start of summer break from work and have a little more time to think about my life as a mom, I am noticing more fears and apprehensions as to what it will be like to raise this little human.

I have begun reading Parenting, by Paul David Tripp. I believe this will be a book I revisit over my next years as a parent but it’s a good place for me to start thinking about parenting from gospel principles.

More than anything, I am feeling the fear of messing Maxee up. That I really have no clue what I’m doing.

I’m scared that I will do things that are going to hurt or scar her emotionally. I want to be perfect and do everything ‘right’.

I am feeling the weight of what a role of a parent is and not wanting my ego, identity, pride, selfish desires, jealousy, envy, or critical thinking to get in the way of her growth.

Yes, I am prone to all of those listed (and more) and fear that I have the ability to really mess this precious little human up.

Welcome to parenting!

I am slowly (finally) starting to get what parents always talk about when it comes to feeling inadequate.

Glad I’m not alone in feeling these fears, but what in the world will I do with all these daunting thoughts?

This is what I do know:

  • I know that I am not alone.
  • I know that she is not here yet and regardless of how many books I read or people I talk with, I am not going to be 100% prepared.
  • That I will take each situation as it comes and learn as I go.
  • I know more than I think I know.
  • She will start off as an infant and grow with me as I grow in my parenting.
  • I can do this with the help of my research-loving husband.
  • I can ask other for guidance along the way.
  • I have a HUGE God in my life that is ultimately the power in my life… and Maxee’s. I’m just a trusted steward of this little human. She really is His.

God, please help me to be a good, loving, caring, supportive, strong momma to little Maxee.

I think that is where it will need to be for me- in God’s hands, with humility.

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Reminder of miracles

Here we are sitting at 30 weeks pregnant. Who would have thought this would be my reality?

I re-read some of my journal entries over our 4 years of trying to become pregnant and here I am with a tiny human growing inside of me.

Such a miracle.

Here are some of my thoughts as I recall begin all over the place with emotions and uncertainty as to what to think, how to show up to my days and constantly being reminded that God is so much bigger than me and my plans.

“My mind is all over the place. The art of capturing thoughts onto paper and making them a part of history. How does one take a snapshot of the thoughts that flow on a regular basis? What does it look like to put everything into words so others can relate? Writing has always been therapeutic for me. It’s a way that I can organize my thoughts and also begin to see situations and emotions for what they really are. By writing what I feel or think, I am able to slow my mind down and discern actions and decipher next steps.

Today my thoughts are all over the place. I can’t decide if this is a time to pull out my journal and do some processing or if this is a good time to type and see if it might help someone else.

I feel as though I have all these thoughts, questions, emotions bottled up and if I were to be smart then I would create them into blog/blog posts and begin gathering followers.

My stomach cramps every once and a while. I also have a slow dull pain every so often as well and I can’t help but wonder if that means my period is around the corner, or if I am in fact pregnant. This time of waiting has felt different. Although we still have 3 more days until we are able to try for a result, I am grateful for the distractions of life. I have chosen to pray and turn my eyes to God every time I begin thinking about pregnancy. I also have only checked Google one time this entire 2 weeks and quickly remembered that Google searching will not answer if I am pregnant and that is essentially why I go online. The only way for me to know if I am is in a few days when I see one or two lines on that darn stick. I am praying that if we are not pregnant that I get my period soon so we can move forward. I don’t want to wait longer than necessary, but what does that really mean? No one wants to wait longer than necessary but isn’t that the point of waiting. To be present in the moment of the intended lesson of what can be learned by waiting.”

– April 24, 2018

I wasn’t pregnant at that time. It was the final straw of our mini-medications before we would decide if we would stop all drugs and go for adoption or pull out the big guns and go for IVF.

Amazing how much changes in a year!

Just sit back and watch.

Now here I am, typing and watching my stomach punch out in different directions. It’s as if Maxee is reminding me as I reflect on where we have been in this journey that miracles do exist, and she is one of them.

Image result for baby kicks

Pregnancy Hormones are Real!

After this weekend, I have no doubt that this idea of pregnancy hormones are a real thing.

I don’t know why I thought I was immune to it but this weekend is a prime example of how crazy I can be in my head.

If I were honest, I didn’t want hormones to be a reality for me.

I wanted to be immune to the changes because there is still a small (or large) part of my thought process that doesn’t want to succumb to emotions.

I fear negative emotions and how my reaction to having a negative emotion reflects on me as a person.

Admitting that I had a weekend of mood swings feels like I’m a weak victim, lumped into the ‘pregnant woman’ excuse that I thought I could ‘fight’.

I am humbled, which makes me want to cry.Image result for pregnancy hormones

Actually, as I’m writing this (on the airplane) I am holding back tears over how sad I feel for how powerless I am over all these things that I’m experiencing in my head.

The worst feeling of all is that I feel so alone in this rollercoaster ride of emotions and I don’t really want to bring anyone along for the ride because I know rationally that this is all just a ball of emotion full of extreme feelings rebounding in my head.

Once I am back in my comfort zone of home, in my regular routine, my nerves will settle down and I will see how ‘off’ my thinking was this past weekend (and even right now).

 

We traveled to be with my in-laws for some major life celebrations- graduation, wedding, 65th birthday… a weekend I didn’t want to miss.

Although sitting here traveling home, I am filled with frustration that I couldn’t control myself better.

I’m embarrassed.

Going into this weekend, I felt ‘off’.

Knowing I have felt the shift in my emotions this past week, I began talking about my fears of this weekend being ‘out of my comfort zone’ and praying about how I was going to make it through.

How do I be around extended family and be pleasant when I feel such disconnect within?

I chose to stay quiet.

Listen as much as I could.

Go with the flow.

Not have too many thoughts.

It seemed to work for the most part.

Unfortunately, this guarded approach wore me out.

Feeling tired from the back and forth of chatter in my head.

I cried when I felt my heart fall heavy.

I laughed during an enjoyable conversation.

I became angry when I didn’t feel supported.

I threw a temper tantrum when I felt challenged.

I got short with my conversation when I felt threatened.

My body grew hot when I noticed I was thinking thoughts that were rooted in fear.

I woke up tired after a full day of activity the day before.

It’s really uncomfortable and difficult to feel so out of control and living in a vulnerable space on my inside when I am in a situation like this and yet, I knew I needed to show up.

I don’t feel I handled a few situations well and sit here with regret for what I could have done differently.

Why did I say that? Was it really that important that I jumped into the conversation in that way? How could I have said it differently? Why am I giving in to the fear that surrounds me when we talk about this topic (having a newborn)?

There are so many different ways I could have approached this weekend and yet, I succumbed.

 

What I have learned though is that I:

  • am hormonal.
  • am tired.
  • feel uncomfortable at times in my body.
  • need my own space.
  • become overwhelmed easily.
  • need to learn how to take care of myself on a different level now that I am pregnant.

Feelings of regret and embarrassment sit within me today. Simply because I couldn’t control what I was feeling and wasn’t more attentive to the space I needed to give myself when I felt this wave coming on.

I am pregnant. I am hormonal. There is not much I can do to stop the emotions from whipping all around me.

What can I do?

I can slow down.

Take care of myself by getting rest, journaling, going for walks, keeping my life simple.

Mother protector is taking over my thoughts and certain decisions on how we are going to do things are laced with fear.

I want to be a good mom and I don’t want to mess up my child.

This overwhelming sense of responsibility has washed over me and I wish someone else would just tell me what to do because I’m scared of making a mistake.

There have been a few topics of conversation between Hubby and me that haven’t gone so well.

I am noticing a pattern within these conversations that string together irrational thoughts, beliefs, and emotions which only intensify the issue.

Mainly these comments are around parenting.

I have NO idea what I’m in for with having a newborn.

I am trying to learn from those around me and I really want to try to do things with Maxee that are for the best for her.

Am I putting too much pressure on myself though?

Am I letting the ideal overtake the rational?

 

As much as I want to hear people’s experiences of what worked (and didn’t work) for them, I notice myself becoming more clingy to certain approaches and standoffish towards others.

 

When I am liking an idea or approach then I seem to throw my stake in the sand and claim that for how “I” want to do things.

Then I become anxious about talking to Hubby about it because I don’t think he will understand or be on board.

I do my research by talking with friends, reading books, writing, and spending time in prayer. Not much of an evidence-based approach, while Hubby is more factual with his decision making and wants to see the data and research.

 

Clearly, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have never done this before.

I’m looking for some security in the unknown that is up ahead. I’m trying to get as comfortable as I can with the big “?” of what our life is going to be like and how will we approach an infant?

I want to know and choose the approach that will be best for our baby to confirm that I’m a good mother and ultimately, that I can, in fact, do this thing called parenting.

Looking for certainty… where there is none.

So I spend time talking with friends and thinking through how I’d like to approach motherhood and parenting. I come to my conclusion and then I have to remember that there are two of us in this parenting relationship.

 

First, he has his own views on topics, and I find it challenging to live in a healthy partnership while navigating these unknown waters.

Why do I get so set on a certain plan (knowing it will most likely change) and then upset when Hubby is not on the same page as me?

For one, I feel scared. I want so much to have a good experience of motherhood and don’t want to regret doing (or not doing) something.

What if this is my only baby? I don’t want to mess it up.

Second, I feel unsupported. Selfishly, I want him to jump on board with anything I want to do- just be along for the ride. In reality, though, this is his ride too. This is his child too. I need to respect his process as much as he is respecting mine.

Third, I don’t feel trusted. Because my decision-making process is different than his, I don’t feel as though he trusts me to make a decision for us.

What this does to me, it makes me want to shut down.

I want to throw up my hands and stop trying and instead give him all the control and just do what he says.

Either I’m in control and he just comes along… or he’s in control and I don’t concern myself with any of this.

Not the most healthy, or rational, way of thinking.

Thankfully, Hubby is very much of the approach of wanting to discuss and be on the same page before we move forward with a decision. He likes the process of bringing ideas and facts to the table and talking options through.

So how do I engage with him IN the process as opposed to hearing something that sounds good, deciding on it for myself and then claiming it to be what I want to Hubby?

Slowly.

Allowing the process to unravel.

Recognizing these aren’t decisions that are made quickly

Giving myself space for the discomfort of the conversations to take place and know that I can always table something I don’t feel comfortable with until another day.

What gets me riled up?

Talking about this with other people when I’m feeling defensive or uncomfortable. Feeling as though I have to prove or protect something in a conversation.

What am I learning?

  • How to have adult, healthy conversations
  • How to engage with a partner in making decisions
  • Letting go of ‘my way or the highway’ thinking
  • Not shuttering with inferiority to a one-sided approach

Hubby and I adjusted from our single lives to being married.

Now we are adjusting from making decisions together about ourselves to making decisions about another human.

I am uncomfortable. I do not like feeling stretched and challenged to change.

Yet, this is where I will grow.