Monday, November 25, 2013

Finding out I was pregnant

This post was originally written when I was 8 weeks along. I wrote a few posts back in the very early weeks of pregnancy that were honest and raw and real and kind of depressing - I wasn't very excited about being pregnant, even though it was all done on purpose, and I struggled to be cheerful through the sickness (still sick, still trying to be cheerful). This post may also run along those same lines. I'll share some of those things I wrote now because I want to be real about what I've felt during this pregnancy. I am sure some people come along and read my blog and read me for what I really am: A whiney, ungrateful twit who doesn't deserve the blessings I've been given. But really, I am working on it. And in the mean time, it helps me to share. Maybe it helps others when I share, too. Who knows? So, without further ado, here is how I found out I was pregnant.

I hadn't had many symptoms that hinted to me I was pregnant. In fact, I was pretty positive that we were not pregnant this month. I knew (or at least I thought I did) when I had ovulated and I also knew we had not been lucky in love on that particular day. There were a few minor things that happened that made me stop and think, "Hmm...what if?" but all of them could have been explained away by something other than pregnancy. For example, I found an old sippy cup of milk and a chunk of it slipped out of the straw, still in straw-form, and I absolutely gagged all over the sink. Now, I'll admit that's pretty disgusting, but I had always thought I had better gag reflexes than that, under normal circumstances. Another thing was - I kept waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, when I never ever ever do that. But hey, I was just glad I didn't wet the bed this time like I did last time. Also, I had cramps. I was tired, I was cranky, I had really bad pain in my tail bone -- but all of these things are also symptoms of Period Doom, too, so I really honestly didn't think anything of it.

I tested the day my period was due. I set the test down on the sink and watched as the first line appeared - the one that said the test wasn't faulty. Then I watched as the liquid seeped over the rest of the test, clearing a bright white patch in its wake. I shrugged my shoulders and tossed that test in the trash. I wasn't really affected by it, as I had been expecting it. At this point, I started thinking, "Well, maybe we need to wait a little longer. I really don't want a middle-of-the-summer baby, and I really don't want to be sick during our trip to Hawaii. This is good. We will aim for 2 1/2 to 3 years apart instead of 2 years apart." I called Adam, told him I wasn't pregnant, and went about my day. I was happy with my new decision to put off trying for a little longer, even though we hadn't been trying for very long.

Later that afternoon, I went to the bathroom again. Unbutton, pull down, turn aro --- what. the. junk is that?
I did a double take, whipped around and snatched that test out of the garbage, pulling my pants back up with one hand.
I stared and stared.


It was faint, but it was there.
A second pink line. 

My first thought, when my hand hit my mouth and my eyes got big, my very first reaction to the news?

Oh shi*

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry to others reading this who pray and pray for a second pink line. I'm sorry to others reading this who are offended, regardless of their own ability to get pregnant. I'm sorry to myself that I still haven't kicked my occasional swearing habit and that a curse word is an automatic response and I'm sorry to my baby. I'm sorry that those were the first words out of my mouth after finding out I actually was pregnant.

The next 30 minutes weren't much better. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I held that stick and sunk to the floor and cried with my head on my knees and just kept asking myself, "How am I going to do this?" and "What was I thinking?"
I cried harder when Axton came in the bathroom, thinking about how much I love him and knowing I would love this next baby just as much, despite how difficult it was going to be. I cried in amazement, knowing I had LIFE in me. I cried because I had done it again and the first time hadn't just been a lucky fluke. I cried because I knew it was a miracle, and how could I - me, of all people, be the recipient of a miracle for a second time?

I didn't tell Adam that night because technically you're not supposed to trust a pregnancy test after 10 minutes. So I waited until he went to bed and I tested again. The line came quicker this time, and was just a shade darker. I left it out on the sink with a note that said, "I guess I was wrong" for Adam to find in the morning.


A second post I wrote, on how this pregnancy has been very different from my first one already (it's a mix of past-tense and present tense, sorry for the confusion):

I knew it was going to be different, even before I got pregnant. 

I remember one sunny summer day, I was jogging with Axton, thinking about how I wanted my next pregnancy to be different. I wanted to continue to exercise, I wanted to eat healthier, I wasn't going to have interventions during labor (no induction via breast pumps, water-breaking, or otherwise). As I ran, I told myself it was going to be different, mentally, too. I wasn't going to let the first-trimester-blues bring me down. I was going to BEAT IT, damn it, and I was going to win. I wasn't going to succumb to my tiredness and my ickiness, eating everything in sight (but only if it sounded good) and being lazy on the couch all day. I had an inkling that it would also be different because this time I would be carrying a girl - and when I thought about that, I got all choked up and knew I had to be a better me to show my daughter what kind of a woman she needed to be to make it in this world. I wanted her to be different from me - better than me, stronger than me, kinder than me.....but she wouldn't be those things if I didn't first show her how. 

And then I got pregnant and immediately it was different. My reaction to finding out was different. Different from last time, and different from what I thought it would be. My sickness was different.....oh, was it different. With Axton, I would be sick in the morning, throw up, and then find some relief in the evenings. I had strong aversions to specific foods, and strong cravings for other foods. And then it was gone by 13 weeks. This time around, I don't throw up and I can never guess what is going to set me gagging, but the nausea is constant and strong and neverending, regardless of what I eat. The only sure thing about it is, it gets worse when I don't eat. So I eat, whether or not it sounds good. And guess what? I'm 14 weeks now and only minor improvements have occurred. I am still crossing my fingers relief is coming.

Mentally, it has been different, too. I lacked the excitement, the drive I had the first time around. When I told one of my sisters-in-law about me being pregnant, she texted me the next day and said that she was checking on me because I had sounded bummed when we chatted the night before. It made me so sad and so mad at myself that when sharing such exciting news with my family, I couldn't even muster up a happy voice! What is my problem?

I'm a lot more emotional and cranky and paranoid. Up until about a week ago, I kept worrying everyday that I was going to find blood in my pants - I'm sure I worried about miscarriage the first time, too, but I have recently had close friends go through miscarriages and other difficult pregnancies and losses so it really hit me strong this time. The worst part? What I feared about having a miscarriage the most was the fact that I would  have gone through a few measly weeks of feeling sick and have nothing to show for it, and will eventually have to do it all over again. And also that, if I did have a miscarriage, I would carry heavy guilt and think that it was my own fault because I wasn't happy to be pregnant, and that I had somehow caused it to happen.

Do you see how selfish I am?

 I want to keep running, and have done so a few times, but I feel like I am taking another selfish risk in doing so. That I am putting my baby in harm's way just so I don't gain as much weight. (Though I also find it extremely hard to want to go running when heavy breathing makes me gag) I haven't been as faithful in taking prenatal vitamins. I don't sleep as much as I want to because I don't have time to. I feel sorry for Axton whose Mommy will soon be not everything she used to be to him because she can't handle it all - especially after the baby does come.

I told my mom that if she came out to help me with Axton after the baby is born, that I would just end up missing Axton the whole time, and that it would make me sad that he was sad because he wasn't spending as much time with Mommy. She didn't understand and laughed at me, thinking that I was somehow saying he wouldn't want to spend time with Grandma, which wasn't what I meant at all. I meant that my relationship with him will have to change, and that change scares me and makes me sad.

I had a few newborn shoots this week and I was so excited to go to them. I thought for sure that seeing these fresh new little people would push all these negative feelings about being pregnant aside, and make way for excitement and joy for this little one. I was horrified that it did nothing of the sort. In fact, it may have made it worse. I liked the babies just fine when I was holding them and posing them and sure they were adorable, but when I got back out to the car and was alone again and thought about that being me in 7 1/2 just scared me even more. I saw, with my own eyes right before me, how hard a newborn was, and the memories floated back to me. The painful first 3 weeks of nursing, the constant crying, the continuous diaper changes, the bags under my eyes, the sore body and emotions running high.

Now that I'm in the second trimester and miscarrying is less likely, now I have started to be paranoid about preterm labor. I saw a video floating around on the net of a tiny little guy, born at just 25 weeks, and I cried during the whole video. Then I hopped in the shower and cried and begged God not to have that be my burden - not just because it is scary not knowing if a baby that tiny will make it or not, but also because, and this is what I begged, "Please don't make me choose between my first baby and my second baby. Please don't make me split my time that much - to leave Axton so I can go see the other one. Don't make that my life for months. I could not bear to be ripped in half like that." And for the rest of the day, I would cry whenever I was alone, which happened to be the drive in between every single photo shoot I had that day. So I had a lot of alone time.

But then, you'll never guess what happened. You won't guess because if another woman told me what I'm about to tell you, I wouldn't believe her. I would nod my head and smile while she told me, but inside my head I'd be screaming, "Nope, don't believe you. You may think that's what happened, but really, you're wrong."

But it did happen to me, and it's not just what I think happened, it really did happen. So....believe me.

I felt that baby move.

I felt that peach-sized little tumble of a jumble inside me tickle my uterus. It was light and airy and kind of eery, and it most certainly was not gas (trust me, I've felt plenty of that lately and that wasn't it). It was different and it tickled and I felt it while lying alone in bed one night, quiet and peaceful and thinking. Of course, I cried.

I am getting more and more excited. I was sad that it took me awhile to be excited, but then I talked to one of my best friends - one that recently went through a horrific (is it okay that I use that word to describe this?) miscarriage. I was nervous to tell her, of all people, how I was honestly feeling about it all. I didn't want to offend, I didn't want to appear ungrateful. But she was understanding and told me that there was a reason we are giving 9 months to prepare for a baby - and it's not all just physical reasons. It's also so we can mentally and emotionally be ready. She told me that it was okay, what I was feeling, and that it ("it" being my excitement) would come. Then yesterday a friend wrote a comment on my post that said, "It took a lot longer for me to allow myself to be happy when I found I was pregnant the second time." Her words brought me comfort, too, knowing I was not alone. Knowing how wonderful and genuine and loving of a mother she is, and knowing she felt similar things. It made me feel less bad about myself. I also liked the she used the words "allow myself to be happy." I can give myself permission to be happy. I can give myself permission to ignore the comments I am not looking forward to, the ones that tell me I shouldn't be showing as much as I am for only being X amount of weeks. I can allow myself a chance to honestly evaluate my feelings and then find a way to change them.

If it's a girl, we already have a name picked out, and her daddy is already wrapped around her finger. And if it's a boy, and I get another little Axton only different and completely himself, well.... I'll be over-the-moon. Because awhile back I reminded myself that someday Axton will not let me kiss him on the mouth, or hold his hand across the street, or rock him before bedtime - he already doesn't let me snuggle with him anymore. And immediately the only thing I could think of was, I need to do this. I need to keep going. I need this second child. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Alright, alright.... I'll tell you.

I'm pregnant.

And though I'm not ready to share the news with the world of Facebook just yet (so if you post anything on there I will probably delete it - you've been warned), I thought it would be a good, healthy step for me to at least share with my blogging friends.

Every time I came online to post something on here, I would get scared and back down. I would say, No I should wait until I'm in the 2nd trimester. Or I should wait until we find out the gender! Or I should wait until after the wedding I have booked. (And then I booked a birth session and I thought, I should definitely wait until after that) (though those things are in February and March, and by then I will be ginormous anyway).

It started to bug me, and I wondered why I wasn't willing to share the news with my friends who would be happy and excited for me, why I wasn't willing to admit that I am going to have another baby.

I figured it out, though, and that's why I'm overcoming it by sharing the news. I am afraid to admit that change is coming. I know the more people that know, the more the reality sinks in, and reality scares me. But I have to admit it:  my life isn't the same anymore.

I purposely told myself I wanted to carry on as normal - I was going to book as many sessions as I could, and I wasn't going to let this pregnancy slow me down. I've been extremely nauseous and of course absurdly tired, but still I kept going. I didn't want to have to change myself and my life. I didn't want to announce anything for fear my clients would see and think, "Oh she is going to be 6 months pregnant when she shoots our wedding. She is ill-equipped for the job. Just what was she thinking?" As I said above, I just booked a birth session, for which I am over-the-moon stoked about, and the only thing I can think about is, "I can't let them know I am pregnant before then. Let them just figure it out when they see me the day of their child's birth, by then it will be too late for them to change their mind."

This time last pregnancy, I had already packed away my regular clothes and was proudly sporting maternity gear, baggy as they were. Yet this pregnancy, I am clinging to my jeans and trying my hardest to cover any bump that may be appearing. This time, I don't want people to know.

And that bothers me.

So I'm telling you.

I am due the first week in June.

I am excited, I am. But I think, just maybe, I am also terrified.