First off, the reason I’ve been silent for the last few months is mainly due to morning sickness. Yes, you read that right.
We’re pregnant! I’m overwhelmed with the Lord’s working in our lives.
Several of you know we’ve been praying that the Lord would give us children, and I’ve had some hard times during most of last year with feeling jealous and hurt and afraid (that we couldn’t…) as more and more couples we knew announced their pregnancies and shared their joys. It hadn’t gotten any easier for me other than trying to give it to the Lord right away as the feelings come. I shared some struggles (not explaining what they were) on the blog here back in October and November last year.
Early this year our doctor had some concerns on my family medical history and some symptoms I was having so she referred us to an infertility specialist and we had been preparing for that appointment.
I went through a rough time in processing the fact we were being sent to a specialist. It felt scary. I started to wonder if there were problems. I was also concerned about whether seeking help would come across as manipulative or trying to force God to give us children. A kind friend helped me see it as a way to optimize our options, not necessarily taking things into our own hands. We made the appointments and we filled out the forms for a late February appointment.
Then at the end of January I took a pregnancy test because I was experiencing some weird symptoms. The test was positive and we discovered I was “four weeks along.” That explained why I was waking up in pain and why I was very tired. I think I was in shock for a few days. I’d had to get used to the idea of seeing a specialist, then suddenly we didn’t need the specialist!
We told our parents that we cancelled the infertility specialist appointment. They are excited. We are excited. (Maybe I’ll try to explain more in a future post, that I truly am excited, but I’m not jumping up and down shouting excited. It’s more a quiet feeling of awe…) We shared the news with our parents and siblings right away and slowly shared it with more and more friends. We haven’t intentionally kept it secret, but mostly due to my lack of energy and nausea, we haven’t made the effort to call or email more people right away. I’ve been overwhelmed with the joy and excitement others have for us. It’s been such a blessing.
I’m 17 weeks along now. Just this week we’ve been accepted into a midwife program at a local hospital that allows you to work with one primary midwife through the entire pregnancy and the birthing rooms are set up to replicate a house. I am thankful that we have a kind and caring midwife to help us. I have an appointment in a few weeks for the “20 week” ultrasound where we will find out if it’s a boy or a girl.
At the beginning of this pregnancy I had severe cramping for days on end, with much disrupted sleep and I was very limited in movement due to pain. Then I had a bleed one afternoon during the fifth week. My mother-in-law went with me to the emergency room at the closest hospital and Steven left work and met us at the hospital. The blessing from that was seeing an ultrasound picture of a tiny gestational sac and hearing that it was a proper pregnancy, not ectopic. It was still scary to sit and wait in the hospital for the ultrasound, and blood results. With some follow-up blood work, the HCG pregnancy hormones continued to rise, which are all good signs. We had a follow-up ultrasound the next week and saw a flicker of a heartbeat on the screen.
The cramping shifted to nausea and the nausea stayed. For weeks. Since around the end of my fifth week (early February) to around week 14 (mid April) Steven had to take over all cooking and house jobs for most of that time. Meat and cooking smells sent me to the bathroom. Steven’s had to still avoid onions and garlic if he wants to kiss me because the smell lingers for days. I wasn’t eating much for weeks. My sense of smell has increased and we have to take out the rubbish more frequently.
I had another bleed at week 8 (late February) and we made our way to another emergency room (larger hospital, close to the blood bank) and we spent the day there. They gave me a bed, and I could rest, sort of. My biggest concern that time was I have a negative blood type and if the baby has a positive blood type and if my blood mixes with the baby’s, my body will most likely develop anti-bodies against the baby, or my body will consider future babies “foreign” and attack them. The hospital couldn’t do much for us with the bleeding (it was only spotting that morning) but they did take some blood tests and gave me an injection of anti-D to help my blood not develop antibodies against the baby. I had a follow-up ultrasound from that later that week, and everything seemed fine. (That’s three ultrasounds by eight weeks gestation.)
If you’ve not heard of Anti-D or the concerns about negative blood types, this video on youtube may explain it. I cried when I watched it, because of the work of one man and doctors, I have hope that we won’t lose babies because of my negative blood type. There are not that many donors who can help. It’s such a small thing for them to share, but it’s huge for me.
Since the nausea has mostly worn off and I’ve been able to start doing a bit more, and each week I’ve been able to handle more tasks. I’m still throwing up a few times a week, but I’m feeling more like myself, and able to cook again to give my sweet husband a break. Steven has taken his leadership and carer roles very seriously. He is helpful with running errands, cutting up fruit for me, helping with the house and listening to me or just holding me as needed. He’s excited, but also taking this dad thing seriously with reading books and showing his desire to lead our family. I’m so thankful for him.
The last few months have been surreal for me. I’m a mother. My childhood dream of being a mother is “coming true.” We have great love for this baby already.
Yes, I’m showing a little bump. I’ve felt the bump for a long time, but it is only now starting to show through my clothing. I don’t really care for the bump shots. Sorry people, but I don’t feel comfortable putting those pictures out there, so I’m afraid you may have to come visit and see me in person if you want to see the bump. I’ve switched to wearing some maternity and some clothing that is normally too big.
No, I haven’t really felt the baby move. There have been many times I thought I felt it, but when I’ve “felt something” it was at night and I kind of think I was probably dreaming it more than it really happened.
Somehow the Baby has acquired the nickname “Bobby.” My Dad has also been contributing very helpful names such as Earl, Earline, Penrod and Penelope. Steven liked the name Penrod and added it to Bobby. We’ve been calling the baby “Bobby Penrod.” Steven reckons it sounds like the name of a famous race car driver. Poor child. Yes, we’ll probably find out whether it’s a boy or girl. No, we probably won’t call the baby Bobby Penrod when he/she is born.
Yes, for if I’ve had cravings. Yes, there are foods I’ve wanted, but many I’ve not been able to eat either because of gluten or just that they are from Canada or the US and not available here. I’ve craved Maple cream (something my grandparents make), nanaimo bars and tourtiere (Canadian foods I can’t get here unless I make them), cinnamon rolls and many other foods going back to my childhood. I’ve made a few things from scratch, but most we tried to find something else that was appealing. Fruit has helped the most and now that I’m eating meat again and normal meals again and I’m finally starting to gain a bit of the weight back that I lost. I found ice cream helped for a few days. Pizza helped for a time, cheese and so did cranberry sauce. The one meat I’ve been able to eat all along is tuna (another childhood favourite…).
I’ve been humbled and taught much over the last year on how I need to trust the Lord. Now is no different. We’ve been praying that the Lord’s will be done in regards to this pregnancy. Our baby is in God’s hands. We may have him/her a short time or for the rest of our lives, for however long, we’re grateful for the time we do have with this baby. I’ve been trying to pray that I not hold on too tightly. I am honestly very scared at times that we will lose this baby. With the bleeds and weeks of nausea, I am realizing the Lord is putting me in a place where I’m having to wait and lean on Him. He is our strength and our Rock.
I’ve been thinking through the Psalms and in my reading I’ve been reminded of Job’s sufferings, and Joseph’s and Paul’s. It’s encouraging to know that God is in control. I’ve been reading a lot, many books on various topics, but mostly biographies.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
For this child I prayed;
and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
1 Samuel 1:27
We ask that you pray for us in this waiting stage, for God’s will to be done in our baby’s life, and in ours. Also as we prepare to parent this little one, that we be taking this task seriously. Thank you for your understanding and patience in my silence the last several months and we thank you for your part in our lives,
Steven and Beth