Friday, June 29, 2012

Pregnancy Post #1

I promise not to become one of "those" pregnant women that overwhelm Facebook or the blogosphere with my experience as a preggo, BUT I do want to record and share some of this exciting time! It is strange to realize that so many of the pregnancy symptoms are actually true - not that I believed they didn't exist, it was just hard to imagine that I could all-of-a-sudden be completely disinterested in eating a salad! So, here's a quick overview of what the first two months of being pregnant has been like.

Weeks: I'm 9 1/2 now. We found out at 5 weeks.

Weight: 112. Down 5 lbs from my first appointment at 5 1/2 weeks.

Cravings: I wouldn't say I have any real cravings, but it seems like when I want something, I want it and I can't think of anything else. Some of these "cravings" have been: messy nachos from Taco Casa (when usually I get chicken tacos!!), coconut soup and crab angels from Surin, sausage biscuits, orange juice, bread, salty stuff, and Fruit Roll-Ups.

Aversions: At first, I was grossed out by everything except bread and rice. Beef is currently the only thing that I can't even think of eating, but I have had trouble with eggs, salad/lettuce, vegetables, fruit. Veggies & fruit were surprising to me - I LOVE some produce! But the weirdest thing that I haven't been interested in is CHOCOLATE! It doesn't gross me out, but... I'm just not interested in it!

Struggles: I am having a hard time taking my vitamins. I hate pills of any sort to begin with, so having to take ones with a nasty aftertaste is even worse. I'm trying to suck it up and do it for the baby but it is hard! Lately my appetite has been better, so I feel like I'm naturally getting in some important vitamins and nutrients, but I need to find a vitamin that works (maybe even just a chewable one would be better than nothing!).

Bump: No official baby bump yet, but I can definitely tell that some of my pants are fitting differently. I try to suck in, but it's not really going anywhere!

Symptoms: "Morning" sickness hit me right around 6 weeks and usually lasted ALL day. It has gradually gotten better, but I have been taking Zofran to help on the days when it's bad. Fatigue is also starting to set in - but usually a 20-30 minute nap helps! I've also been constipated... hey, I didn't say this was going to be a pretty post!! It actually hasn't caused me any pain or discomfort, but it's just annoying.

Gender: Blake and I both think it's a boy. Well, I think it's a girl but I have guessed wrong with the past 5 pregnant girls I've known, so... I'll go with boy.

The first few weeks went by SO quickly and now things are slowing down just a tad. I feel like I should be further along, but we're getting there! Next time I do a pregnancy post, I'll put up a belly picture. Right now I just feel like there's no point - my stomach looks like a pretty normal stomach, but I have a feeling it won't be long before there's a noticeable pooch!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happier Days

For a few years, it seemed like my life revolved around sadness and tragedy. The long line of sorrow started on September 21, 2006 when my daddy unexpectedly passed away. Six months later, my uncle Jerry lost his battle to cancer. In March of 2008, my grandmother died after her health spiraled to the point of heartbreaking demensia. Two months later, my 18-year-old cousin Jonathan was killed in a car accident. And in January 2009, my amazing granddaddy peacefully left this world.

Funeral after funeral, my family whispered, When will this end? Dealing with all the grief was exhausting. It felt like our family was withering away. But, as in all things, we all knew it wouldn't be like that forever.

In September of 2009, my mom met Fred and I watched joy being restored to her. People asked if I thought it was weird that she was dating, but anyone who knows Fred knows he is a keeper! Had it been anyone else, I might have felt differently. But Fred is the perfect person for my mom and the happiness they bring each other is evident.

And in March 2010, I met Blake and I think people saw in me what I had seen in my mom. My spirit was lifted and as I realized that he was "the one," I also realized that our family was thriving again. Marrying Blake was a reminder that happier days were to come.

Right around Christmas time, we learned that one of my cousins and a close family friend (who is basically a cousin these days!) were both pregnant. In January, I learned that two other cousins were pregnant. And just a month ago, Blake and I learned that we, too, are expecting! We will have two babies born in August, one in September, one in October, and ours in January or February.

It's like life has come back to my family. Sickness, sadness, and death are always lurking. With a family as big as mine, there is always a struggle going on with someone. But the idea that five babies will be born into our family over the next several months is a reminder that our family is growing as it should. Death comes, as does life. Sometimes they are intermingled, other times it seems like we only get one or the other.

I'm glad to see the joy and excitement bubbling in my parents, my cousins, aunts, and uncles. New life is coming in abundance and we are ready!

And as for me and Blake, we are just happy that we have made it this far! Our first year of marriage had plenty of stress - from not having a place to live at first to me not even having a full-time job until November! I remember signing for our apartment lease not knowing how we would be able to afford it on our own (our parents promised to help us if we needed it). God provided for us then - just a month after moving into our apartment, I was offered a job for the school year. I have faith that God will do the same for us again. We have not only ourselves to support but now a baby, and we are trusting God to provide a job for me soon. God has shaped us into people dependent on His goodness and He has blessed us with a happy, healthy marriage.

I'm so thankful for happier days, happier times, and happier circumstances. The bad times come and go, but God's faithfulness endures forever. His plans are perfect and He never fails to fulfill His promises. We pray for continued favor and blessing over the next year of our marriage, good health for our growing baby, and for the stability of a job for me. And we pray that we can use the hardships and happiness we have experienced to bless others.

To God be the glory!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's Recap

School ended almost four weeks ago and what a month it's been! The start of summer has been crazier than expected, and here's why:

Just two days after going to work for the last day of the 2011-2012 school year, Blake and I found out that we'll be having a little one around January 27, 2013! It was a complete surprise, as we weren't planning to even begin "trying" until the fall. But, we are ridiculously happy and every day the idea becomes more and more real in our minds. I'm 8 1/2 weeks now and we've had two very good visits with the doctor. At our 6 1/2 week appointment, we got to see the little peanut and we could see and hear the heart. Now I'm just battling morning sickness and fatigue - no big deal, right!?

Oh, and on top of being newly pregnant, I'm also back on the job hunt. So far it's been rather disappointing. Lots of applications, resumes, and cover letters... very few returned calls. I don't want to go into detail, but... I have GOT to find something ASAP! The wait is killin' me.

Blake has been teaching his very own history course at UA since the beginning of this month. He's teaching the latter part of American history and, although he is swamped with work, he loves it! I can't wait for him to finish his PhD so he can do this full-time. He loves it... and I also have to admit that it is nice to lay around in my PJs while he has to get up and go to work. :)

Hmmm... what else? Morning sickness has taken a pretty big toll on me and it took me a couple of weeks to decide I wanted the magic medicine that makes you feel better. Now that I have it, I'm trying to take it ONLY when I really need it and on those days, I feel fabulous! Hopefully I can keep the sickness at bay so I can actually start doing more fun things!

That's about it for us... Blake is obsessed with basketball right now and I am obsessed with coconut soup and crab angels from Surin. Like, I would eat that for breakfast if I could! We'll celebrate our first anniversary in just six short days. What a year it has been!!