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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pregnancy #2: Weeks 4 - 7

     The First Trimester has been quite a roller coaster ride.  It's very similar but also different from being pregnant with Jonah.  With Jonah I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks because I was having common signs (nausea, fatigue, tender top half, missed period), and took the test and voila, suspicions confirmed!  This time, I wanted to know earlier so I began taking the tests before the signs arrived, and found out at exactly 4 weeks, which is very early!  The test line just barely crept up and I was uncertain at first, but it darkened in a few minutes.  I prayed, "God is this for real?" and I felt perfect peace like He was saying, "Oh yeah, you're pregnant!" I was so excited but really wanted to surprise my husband better this time, instead of just showing him the test saying, "Look!" (the way I did last time).

Southern Made Photography by Ashlea Chance
It was actually the morning of May 10th, when we were going to do Jonah's birthday party in Alabama with our families, and it occurred to me that my neat-O photographer, mommy of 3 little boys, Ashlea Chance over at Southern Made Photography, may have just the prop I needed to make a really cool surprise picture!  Of course, she did, and we snuck off with Jonah during picture taking, saying we were doing something for "Father's Day" and she got the great picture above.
     I couldn't stand not telling John and so 4 days later she sent me a few more "sneak peek" pictures with that one at the end. It was one really stressful day of doubting ourselves and this whole job, and feeling totally useless, just one of those "spinning your wheels" kind of weary days, and I knew John needed good news.  I sat down with him on the couch, and said casually, "Hey look, she sent us a few more pictures." Then I scrolled through them very slowly, looking long and detailed with him at the first 3 just of us and Jonah, and then as soon as I went to the above picture, John read the shirt and gasped then said, "Really!?" and teared up and hugged me with one arm and kept staring at the screen.  It was great, such a special sweet moment for us.  Kudos to me for thinking of a better way of giving him the news this time, and then not spoiling it even though it was SO HARD to not tell him for 5 whole days!!

     Once I told him, it really began to sink in as real.  I found myself just as nervous and scared as when I found out I was pregnant with Jonah.  God, please don't let me have a miscarriage.  I know a lot of women go through that, please don't let me be one of them.  Please let this baby be healthy and go full term. I know now how fantastic it is to have a precious little baby, so I will be even more sad to lose one than if I never had one. Please let this baby make it!

     Then, I went through weeks 4 and 5 feeling absolutely fine, with my only non-normal feeling being some considerable lower abdominal cramps that slightly alarmed me. When I read more up on it, I discovered a lot of second-time moms had more cramping with the second pregnancy than the first, and it's probably just that cantankerous ole' uterus trying to grow again.  I read that as long as there was no bleeding it was probably not anything to worry about, so I didn't.  I decided that while I felt good I should take advantage of it, and so I did a big freezer cooking day and froze 13 bagged meals, and exercised and cleaned a lot.  I also noticed I was beginning to feel the extreme emotions when we watched the movie about the 2004 Tsunami called "The Impossible" and I just kept imagining not being able to find my baby or my husband and being so beat up, and I literally cried the entire movie.

    Week 6 hit me like a ton of bricks with the nausea and fatigue, and I began taking 2 naps a day and eating crackers and vanilla wafers all the time.  I also began having cravings and wanted Lucky Charms cereal most nights and then hamburgers a few nights in a row.  Lucky for me, my husband is a grill-master and he made me some delicious burgers.  I had 2 at dinner and one a few hours later.  I don't remember eating 3 burgers in a matter of hours before, but hey, a little person the size of lentil apparently gets very hungry!

     Week 7 brought on the easily triggered gag reflex, and the strong awareness of odors, that makes every little bad smell feel like it's crawling up your nose and down your throat to try to make you puke.  The sense of smell that knows there is a dirty diaper across the room even though the person playing with said baby has not noticed it yet.  The sense of smell that finds all the odors in the kitchen to be just obnoxious - the combination of runny baby peach mango food, with the whiff of the leftover spaghetti in the fridge, and then the brewing coffee, made me almost lose it one day.  Fortunately, dropping down into a squat and ducking my head down and hiding my nose in the collar of my T-shirt is my go-to move for fighting those nausea attacks where the front of my throat gets hot and the back of my neck feels cold and I just refuse to throw up because I hate it more than almost anything. The fatigue didn't get better, but I decided it was going to have to take a back seat to life and I would only surrender to ONE nap per day and just go to bed earlier if it became an issue.  Somehow, we managed to hide most of this from the kids, although they may have noticed I was sleeping more, was no longer addicted to exercise (because really, who wants to go run when you're working so hard to not puke?), and John was cooking more. John was having to help a lot more with baby diaper changes, and general household stuff.  He is a total trooper though, and treats me like a pregnant queen.

     During Week 7, I also began reading up on more baby/mommy blogs/websites and found some unnerving articles on pregnancy spacing.  Some people believe the earliest you should space pregnancies is a year and half to give your body time to recover and rebuild nutrition stores to have a healthy baby.  I thought oh well, I'm just 6 months short of that, and I eat super healthy and work out, so no big deal.  Then I read another "expert" saying you should wait 3 years between babies for the uterus to be fully healed and for your emotions to adequately recover not "belonging to yourself anymore."  Well, I think and pray my uterus is in a healthy position because when my periods began again on Christmas Eve, they stayed on a perfectly regular 28 day cycle again until we thought, "Hey let's go ahead and start trying again!" I also believe that I got over the whole "not belonging to yourself" business when we started being foster parents, in which case, I have done that for almost 3 years now, so I'm in the clear.  I also realized that I know several mommies who have children even closer in age than the 20 months apart that mine will be, and their younger kids are just fine!

     I also believe that the Lord does open and close the womb.   As soon as we surrendered and declared ourselves "Open" again, He saw fit to hang the "Occupied" sign up, so I should trust that His will is always perfect, and this baby will be the little person He so desires.  It's His will for us to trust, to have complete faith, and worry is not trusting Him, so I again was forced to conquer that nagging self-sufficiency desire to worry because I became pregnant again only 11 months after giving birth to Jonah.  I had to remind myself "His will, His way, for His glory...He must become greater, I must become less."  Fear is not from the Lord. God increase my faith, help me to trust you, help me to lean on you. Please make this baby healthy and strong. 

This became a very helpful verse for me to go back to when doubt or fear crept in:
I had to come to the point of saying "God, whatever happens, you are good.  Your ways are best.  You are sovereign.  This baby belongs to you. Thank you for letting me have it for now.  Please let me meet it and raise it and love it and teach it about you."

The song "Give Me Faith" (you can watch the authors of the song sing it here Give Me Faith You Tube) also began playing in my head a lot.  I heard a sermon once that described the best way to fight battles with fear was through prayer and praise, and I totally agree! You can read about pregnancy Weeks 8-12 here.

 Lyrics to the song:

"Give Me Faith"

I need you to soften my heart
to break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
to see that you're shaping my life

All I am
I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
that you're good and your love is great
I'm broken inside, I give you my life
Find More lyrics at

I need you to soften my heart
to break me apart
I need you to pierce through the dark
and cleanse every part of me

I may be weak
but Your spirit's strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will


  1. We got pregnant with Stephen literally 12 months later and I have had no issues at all. All of my siblings were about 18 months apart and my mom is as healthy as can be and still skinnier than me!
    Enjoy being pregnant!
    Jessica Ward

    1. Thank you Jessica! That is encouraging! Your big family is definitely healthy, smart, and attractive. :) I enjoy seeing pictures of your cute kids on fb, too.