This pregnancy has been quite a bit different from my other ones. You would think that being older (30!) would make this pregnancy more difficult, but actually it has been much better. I feel incredibly blessed that I was on the GAPS diet for nearly a year before getting pregnant. I started GAPS in September 2010 and by the spring and summer of 2011, I was feeling better than I ever remember feeling in the past 12 years - full of energy, no stomach problems, happy. So when we started missing the baby years, I really felt ready physically to handle pregnancy and another baby. Truly, I thank God for this provision for my health as we had previously decided our family was complete, and I could not have known that I needed to prepare my body for this great task.
I was nauseous for months 2 and 3. I was afraid I would be sick the whole nine months like I was with the other kids. But I only threw up once, and when the first trimester was over, I actually felt better. I was really surprised by this but so, so happy.
For the first time, I had a great second trimester. More energy, so happy to be pregnant, the pregnant glow. Those things they tell you will happen in the second trimester but never did for me in the past. I would wake up, look at my pregnant self, and just be so amazed and happy, so thankful to God for giving me this one more chance to be pregnant and for really making it a good pregnancy. Sometimes, I would get sad thinking that this is probably my last pregnancy, then try not to think about that.
By about 7 months, things started to change. I was getting big and uncomfortable. Baby would get herself down in my pelvis, so that I felt like she was trying to come out. I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, something I hadn't really dealt with before. And my belly was often sore. I didn't want to be messed with by anyone. I felt like I was pushing my other kids away all the time, and that made me really sad. Hormones, too, were not making me a very pleasant person. Two weeks ago, I felt like this. I think God uses all these things to move us along, so we are ready for the next stage.
Then baby moved her head, and suddenly I feel really different. I just feel kind of regular pregnant, not miserable pregnant. Large and uncomfortable, yes, but not like I'm holding my breath and afraid to leave the house. I got sick last week (something I ate) and was down and out for about a day and a half. After that, I just had this feeling that enough was enough. I'm tired of being the bad mommy, the hormonal and useless wife, a totally spiritual slacker. I really am a big whiner when I'm pregnant (even though I declared I wouldn't be this time.) I've had really bad pregnant brain this time. Seriously, reading anything or even following along in a conversation has been SO hard. I feel totally brainless. Bible reading fell by the wayside, and you know things just go downhill when that happens. Thankfully, God is waking me up to my selfishness and laziness. I've been reading some, and God is growing me again, little by little. I've been reading the Bible and some Christian parenting blogs that truly are encouraging. Thank God that He is merciful, and He is faithful even when I fail.
Through it all, Jeremiah has been amazing. He has been so patient with me. He has taken on more around the house and with the kids. Yesterday, my legs and feet were so sore after cleaning the girls' room, and he gave me a massage. He's been doing dishes, laundry, getting groceries, painting things for me, gardening, running the kids here and there. And probably a million other little things that really add up.
The kids have benefitted too. Miah and Larkin have learned to work more independently on their schoolwork. They have become more helpful with laundry and dishes and other little chores. Miah, especially, has been a great blessing to me. She is so helpful and motherly with the others.
So now, I'm getting close. I'm really cherishing this time. I'm getting things ready for baby. I packed the diaper bag yesterday. I have all the things I need and mostly organized. Not quite, though. I still have a few things I'd like to finish up before our new little girl arrives. I'm alternating between trying to rest and trying to be productive. I'm trying to grab some extra cuddle time with the kids. The kids are excited about having a new sister. Zahana keeps telling me that she wants the baby to be born now. I wonder how things are going to go. I wonder what this new little person is going to be like. I wonder how the birth will go and how well and quickly I will recover. I'm looking forward to seeing our sweet, fragile bundle in my husband's strong arms. I'm looking forward to sitting out in the yard with my new baby laying next to me on a blanket and the other kids running around, playing in the beautiful spring sun. I hope there will be some flowers left when she gets here.
And one more thing. I have this nagging worry, that she's really a boy. Which would be totally fine, except that we are all anticipating a girl. We have a girl name picked out. We have pink stuff. We told Zahana she will get to share a room with her new sister eventually, and she's really excited about that. With all my other kids, I had secret desires for either a girl or boy each time. This time, absolutely not at all. I couldn't even pick if you asked me to. But now, I've imagined this baby as a girl for the past 17 weeks, so it would be quite a surprise if she turns out to be a he. Really, I think this is a silly little thing. The ultrasound was pretty clear. And we love boys just as much as girls.
Oh, and another thing. My hips hurt throughout my other pregnancies, which I believe was due to poor nutrition. This time, my hips have been fine until about three days ago. I think they're getting ready!
Here are some of the good things I've been reading lately:
GAPS while pregnant and breastfeeding
Preparing the gut and birth canal for pregnancy and birth
Administration of vitamin k to newborns
Benefits of delayed cord clamping
Laborade recipes, more here and here
Modern Alternative Mama
Spiritual Encouragement for Mothers
Leading Little Hearts Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Christian Womanhood - A short video clip by John Piper - highly recommended
The Better Mom
I Take Joy
The View From Hidden Valley
Encouragement for Mothers of Large Families (is 7 large?)
Large Family Small World
Large Family Logistics
Life in a Shoe
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.