^Baby at 14 weeks-I'm just over 16 now^
It has been a while since my last post but I am finally getting back on my "writing" feet again. Part of me is not even sure where I should start.
This pregnancy has really thrown us for a loop so far. The best word that I can use to describe things so far is rough. I had morning sickness during my pregnancy with Asa but that experience did not prepare me for what I've been dealing with this time around. My midwife told me that I probably have/had hyperemesis this time around (which basically just means that you throw up A LOT). There has been a lot of throwing up at gas stations and the grocery store parking lot. The time of day never seems to matter, what I had eaten beforehand (or didn't) did not seem to matter either. It is safe to say that the first trimester and even some of these early second trimester weeks have been spent in survival mode. I don't share this because I am hoping you will feel bad for me (but if you want to... go ahead, because it was horrible) BUT I do think it is important to share that pregnancy isn't always sunshine and butterflies- even though my first one certainly felt that way.
Another hurdle that I didn't anticipate was how the sickness and exhaustion would impact my emotional well-being. It is physically exhausting to be literally sick, but to tell you the truth, I have felt even more emotionally exhausted (thank you hormones). You can only lay on your bathroom floor for so long before your mind starts weighing you down. I have been trying to keep my mind focused on the blessing of this pregnancy, but even that felt impossible to focus on some days. One of the most helpful reminders has been the excitement of other people- family, friends, and my husband. Seeing their joy and anticipation has truly been the hook that grounds me and reminds me that this part of the process is fleeting...even if I were to deal with sickness the entire time.
I also came to a point the other day where I realized that I had been trying to do this mental part on my own. During the worst of my sickness, I have struggled to pray and struggled to connect with God. I kept telling myself that "I" could do this. You know what? That couldn't me further from the truth. I quickly found out that I do a really poor job of dealing with these things when I do it on my own. I have finally started to let God into my worst moments. It doesn't make those moments go away, but I have experienced an overwhelming feeling of compassion, one that tells me that I am not suffering alone, and it has lifted my spirit despite my physical state. I am so thankful for that.
In addition to letting God in, I have been trying to have more grace with myself. I was surprised at how frustrated I had gotten with myself while being ill. In all honestly, it has felt like my body was betraying me by getting sick so often. It just didn't make sense that I could have such an easy, enjoyable pregnancy the first time around and then have a totally different experience this time. Through talks with friends, my midwife, and reading ridiculous articles online, I have realized that having vastly different experiences isn't that uncommon. In fact, I am learning more and more that the range of "normal" during pregnancy is absurd. I am also learning that it is okay to be honest that this pregnancy hasn't been a walk in the park and that I do not need to feel ashamed of that. I am giving my body the grace that it needs when I am ill.. I am now letting go of the expectations that this pregnancy needs to or will be like my previous one. It doesn't always come easy but once I remember to ease up, it does feel like a huge weight has been lifted.
The last thing I will share tonight is that I believe I am finally started to turn a corner in terms of how I am feeling (PRAISE GOD!). The last two days have been some of the best so far and I haven't thrown up in almost a week. I have noticed a few of the worst symptoms lessening but I think I have been too afraid to start getting excited about feeling better in case things worsened again. But here I am at 16 weeks, deciding that it okay to rejoice in the good days, and feel a little sad on the bad days. It is okay that this pregnancy hasn't been "perfect" so far and it is okay that I am struggling through parts of it. At the end of the day, isn't that what grace is all about?
And while I have you here, how about you? Did you find that your second (or third, etc) pregnancy was very different from your first? Or has your first pregnancy surprised you in unexpected ways?
I'd love to hear any thoughts and wisdom from your own personal experiences, too. :)