Sometimes you just need to treasure the ponders of your heart...

Monday, February 24, 2014

All About FOOD!

Happy 9 weeks!  The end of the first trimester is clearly in sight and I'm hoping for an easier time of it.

The biggest question I get these days is -- "How are you feeling??", by which we all know they mean, "If you're not okay, no details please, but I really do hope you're okay (mostly so we don't have to talk about the details!!)!"  In my B.P. days (Before Pregnancy), I was very tight lipped about all bodily functions/feelings/sicknesses, unless it was as simple as a cold (which gains you some sympathy points).  Now, it's what's happening and therefore, all I can focus on, and shoot, you asked!  So I'm going to tell you, in great detail, with some grimaces, how I'm feeling.  You did ask after all...

I've mostly been feeling crummy.  All the time.  All. The. Time.  I munch on tortilla chips with a face that says "I don't think this will help", though it 2%.  But 2% is better than nothing when I'm staring down The Quease. 

We stare each other down often.  Sometimes he wins.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes it's a draw and we're both left moaning.

I'm learning new tactics every day for winning.  I'd like to think he's got nothing on me.  Unfortunately, he's equally as good at changing things up.  What worked yesterday doesn't work today, and what works today doesn't work tomorrow.  Sigh.  Such is life, right?

Before we found out I was carrying this little chickadee, I was already feeling nauseated.  I thought it was due to our performances of Les Miserables in concert.  Three hours of sitting onstage in a room packed with people, stage lights, and a radiator directly behind your back would surely make anyone a tad queasy, right?  I broke up a few leftover candy canes and calmed my stomach with peppermint during songs that didn't include me.  Granted, the first time I did so, I hadn't pre-broken the pieces small enough and had to bite it with a loud SNAP! that seemed to resonate in our intimate space. The peppermint helped.  But I was only at 4-5 weeks at that point and the consumeyourlife sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness!) hadn't fully kicked in yet.

Then three pregnancy tests later, not only did I realize I was hosting a tiny guest, I discovered I was also entertaining a very sensitive stomach.  Certain cravings kicked in full force -- holy pickles and cheese, Batman! -- and within a week turned to food aversions instead -- don't mention dill pickles in my presence, please.  Others popped up with more gentleness (red peppers, vanilla wafers, strawberry poptarts) and disappeared just as quietly.  The two constants that have satisfied cravings and also consistently soothe my stomach are lemonade and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I'm drinking lemonade by the Super Double Gulp ( nearby 7-11s are fantastic), but only eating the ice cream in one scoopfuls (and no, not multiple one-scoops...all the time!). 

I've tried many of the tricks I've found online and tidbits of advice that everyone has.  They sort of work...sometimes...  Ginger ale helps for about 5 sips and then I can't stand it anymore.  Same with Sprite.  Ginger tea makes me gag; peppermint tea only helps for the first 3-4 sips and then it's nasty.  Saltine crackers were great -- now they turn my stomach.  Pretzel rods were amazing last week, until I threw them up enough.  Peanut butter still works as a calming agent, but only in moderation.  And believe it or not, oatmeal has helped the last two's hoping it lasts!

Thankfully, my fellow employees have been so gracious and compassionate.  When The Quease stares too hard, someone is always quick to come cover my desk/phones for me so I can high tail it to the restroom for some quality time hugging, spitting in, and yelling at the porcelain throne.  Mostly I yell (silently) at it, because (TMI warning!!) I tend to just dry heave.  I've really only thrown up about 4-5 times, but I can't even count the number of times I've been about to -- and haven't.  It's a little maddening sometimes, because I think I will just "feel so much better" if I could only toss my pretzels.  But it isn't the flu, and the times I have let loose a bit have not been pleasant nor have I felt better afterwards.  Talk about a shaking, shivering, crying wreck.  Once, I was sure I was drowning and would die vomiting all that water that didn't seem to stop as I smacked the ground with my fist longing for breath.  Not fun.

Obviously, I know that it could be a lot worse.  I'm actually keeping food down, which is great.  But it's quite uncomfortable to say the least.  My incredibly supportive husband keeps telling me I'm doing a good job and that I can make it (I confess to whimpering...a lot...  Make that whining... a lot...).  And I'm sure he's right. :)

I spend most of my thoughts thinking about food -- mentally running down a list of what sounds good to eat (nothing).  I even resorted to scrolling through the emoji of food items on my phone once to see if anything triggered a desire of any kind.  Nada. 

Ironically, I feel the best when I'm full.  Not overly full (THAT is miserable!), but comfortably full.  I'm learning to tell the difference between hunger and nausea, and when I catch it early enough, I can circumvent the nausea by feeding the hunger.  Books, etc, recommend 6 small meals vs. 3 big meals, but I'm finding that a small snack every 20 minutes or munching most of the day is honestly what keeps me feeling best.  And I don't think I'm gaining too much weight yet. ;)

Funny story:  We went to the aquarium the other day (which I think is a great place for a baby -- I can't wait to take ours!), and afterwards it was definitely dinner time.  Now, when hunger comes on, it comes on HARD.  No warning.  Utter pain and emptiness and very demanding  -- I tend to react in the way I imagine the baby will react when he/she is hungry.  We walked outside and it hit me oh so intensely.  I pretty much begged to go to the Mexican restaurant across the street (the only thing around for miles) and conveniently had a craving for a bean burrito.  We went.  I think it was easier than listening to me moan in my Quease battle.  Well, what do you suppose they had on the menu??  A "Pregnant Burrito" - a burrito filled with beans.  I got a good laugh out of that!  How did they know???

Now, all that being said, today has actually been a very good day.  I only dry heaved about 3 times (a record!), and only spent a few morning hours pushing away The Quease.  I've had a steady stream of lemonade, an orange, a yogurt, a granola bar, oatmeal, and some crackers and chips.  Lunch was catered in for a meeting and they had leftovers, so I helped myself to some grilled chicken, mac & cheese, potato salad, baked beans, and a large stack of hamburger pickles (it's the dill I can't handle!).  Like I said, being full helps a lot.  And hey -- a free lunch??  Yes, please!

So that is my exciting report on food.  It's truly what I think about most these days -- mostly as an attempt to feel non-queasy.

In answer to your question, I mostly feel okay -- nauseous now and then, and exhausted pretty much all the time, but I can still solidly put it in the "okay" category.  :)  So thankful that it's not worse and so far, uncomplicated.

Btw, you should ask my husband for his hilarious movie premise based on queasiness.  It definitely brightened up my day...even if The Quease did still hang around...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Heartbeat Flickers that Spoke Life

Isn't it beautiful?

I mean, it's just a grainy picture of some shapes, but isn't it exquisite??

Life.  There's life in there.  And I'm in love.

I'm also blown away.  The waterfall of love and excitement happily cascading over us these last few days has touched the deepest part of my heart.  The part where I tuck the things that bring tears rushing to my eyes with the love of it.  I am greatly moved by words of congratulations and well wishes and advice and expressions of joy and excitement and celebration.  In high school, one of my favorite words was "effulgence: radiant splendor; a brilliant radiance; a shining forth".  The words I read (and yes, the "likes" that kept piling up!) was like a shining forth of love - a brilliant splendor of joy - an effulgence of family.  So thank you.  My heart is full right now.

What an unexpected journey!  I just finished reading The Hobbit and I feel as bewildered as Bilbo welcoming in a houseful of dwarves and wizard. (Think I spelled that wrong?  I looked it up!)  Only, I don't think we're going "there and back again" this time.  I think we're headed for "there and all that lies beyond".  For the record -- we were very, very surprised to discover that all of my exhaustion, nausea, and mood swings had a reason, and it wasn't that I had just started a new job with a new (earlier!) schedule and was juggling two shows at once.  Surprised as we are, though, we are also very excited!  I suppose I would be more outwardly excited if I felt better...whoever named it "morning" sickness LIED!

Last week, we snagged an earlier doctor's appointment (who wanted to wait till March 5th??) and met our wonderful doctor.  She was really fantastic.  I don't like doctors, like, at all, ever, but she was very soothing yet professional, and that comforted me greatly.  And then she did the ultrasound.

Talk about magic.  There on the screen was this little...thing...that wasn't there before. And then we saw it -- and I wanted to hold my breath.

A tiny flicker.  A really teeny, tiny flicker of light flickering at high speed.  A heartbeat.  Its heartbeat.  His or her heartbeat.  Life.  That little heartbeat flicker spoke life.  It said, "I am here!  I'm alive!  I'm new!  I'm growing!  I'll see you soon!"  And as silent tears fell from my eyes, I took a deep breath and realized my life will never be the same.

I wasn't expecting new life.  I wasn't even hoping for it.  Eventually, yes, but not actively.  But life there is.  And it is living.  And growing.  And completely changing my body.

And my heart.

I still don't know how to wrap my head around all of this.  I tear up every time I say (or even think!) "I'm going to be a mommy."  I'm not at all ready for this.

The other day, I typed a message to Landon -- crying -- and said, "We're having a specifically and fearfully and wonderfully made baby!?!?"

So when all is said and done, Someone was ready for this.  Very ready.  I don't know why, but He really wanted this one here sooner than I was planning.  Still wrapping my head around that, too...

If you have a chance, watch this video.  And when you start hearing them sing "Hallelujah!" as the baby is being formed, remember - absolutely remember - the amazing, breathtaking, breath-giving, specifically and wonderfully made-ness of yourself...and know that I'm crying with you.   

Now, the real question is....will my baby be born with a beard??