Tuesday, July 12, 2016

7/12/16: Pregnancy Details...

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Winter semester got a little crazy, and then I got pregnant, but I didn't know that was what was happening at first, I just knew I felt nauseous and exhausted all the time. Once we found out (relatively quickly, working with a fertility doctor) the nausea was full-blown and I was basically couch-ridden for a month there in the first trimester. Not sure why it was so intense, but all I know is I was immensely grateful it was Spring semester and I could take the time I needed to just rest and recover every day.

I keep trying to think about what else to write about first, but I'm struggling because it just feels like being pregnant is dominating our lives and thoughts right now. So I guess I'll just stick with the pregnancy strain for now until something else comes up. And I'm sorry I'm not writing about how the recent news events are impacting me. It just feels a little overwhelming to try to dedicate a post to articulating all the feelings right now, but that's definitely never far from my mind right now either.

So...pregnancy. Since I haven't blogged since we found out, I wanted to document how it's been for us. It's been wildly different from the miscarriage last year, in a great way, yet I've been surprised how quickly complaints fall out of my mouth about the physical effects of pregnancy on my body even in the aftermath of the pain of infertility struggles. I have so many friends struggling with fertility and who would give anything to feel as sick as I did, so I try not to complain publicly at the very least, but Dave has definitely gotten earfuls about the seemingly endless vomiting, the peeing every 5 seconds, and the general fatigue that's making it difficult to function. As frustrating as these symptoms have been, though, I haven't stopped feeling overwhelmingly grateful and humbled for the opportunity to grow and eventually raise a healthy baby with Dave.

Last year when we saw the positive pregnancy test, I was filled with fear and trepidation immediately. I was afraid of a miscarriage happening, yes, but mostly I was overwhelmed by the idea of becoming a mom. I didn't feel ready at all to be raising a little one, and I didn't feel like I had worked through enough of my emotional stuff to not pass on some pretty intensely unhealthy patterns I had developed (Remember, I was finishing a master's program that had taken it upon itself to point out to me all of my flaws and weaknesses). I felt like I was doomed to fail as a parent and that I would inevitably raise a broken child who would struggle to succeed in life. Sounds a little dramatic, I know, but when I finally processed what the negative feelings surrounding the pregnancy were about, those were the fears that surfaced.

I don't know when that all shifted exactly, but over last year I've been able to work through the fears by honing in on who I really want to be, how I want to treat people, what's important to me and what's not, and learning how to truly unconditionally love and be loved. I feel like I'm in such a different place in my life than I was a year ago. I feel centered, strong, capable, kind, compassionate, empathetic, and loving. I feel like it's okay that I'll make mistakes parenting and I'll accidentally hurt my children sometimes--because I know how to say sorry, I know how to repair a relationship, and I know how to acknowledge that I'm not perfect and address it when I need to. Not that any of this is coming easily to me yet, but I have a really amazing husband encouraging me along the way and helping me recenter when I feel like I'm losing those pieces of myself. I've surrounded myself with friends who know what we call "Core Erin" and love her and support her when she chooses the harder right. And I feel like I've really got some amazing people who love me and want me to succeed. That brings a whole new level of confidence about this whole mothering thing I've never felt before.

So this time, when we saw the positive pregnancy test, I felt a little bit of fear that I might be miscarrying because I was spotting like last time, but as soon as we confirmed that things were normal and healthy, I didn't feel any more fear--just excitement and love for our little bean!! It's been entirely different this time around and I honestly can NOT wait to meet this little babe in December.  I wish it was December right now (and not just because I'd be one semester closer to graduating...)!! I never thought I'd be this unabashedly excited without the nerves when I was pregnant, but I really feel like, we can do this, and if it's too hard, we'll find help, and we'll survive.

Now, that's how I'm feeling emotionally. Logically, on the other hand, I definitely struggle when I think about the logistics of birthing a child and returning to school about a week later full swing with the hardest semester of my program yet. It's a little scary trying to predict how much my arms will be able to take of holding, nursing, bathing, rocking, and loving a baby, when right now just cutting out pictures for our Sunbeam lessons on Saturday nights have me icing my arms and wrists every Sunday...But we're trying to figure out carriers and find the lightest version of everything possible to help make the transition as easy as possible on my arms. And we know that during school we just might need some outside help because physically I may not be able to do it all. Also, it's always an option to delay a semester of my program, but I really would rather not do that if I can help it. Any delay of graduation makes it all the more likely that graduation will never happen, haha. I'm not the first, and I won't be the last MFT PhD student to have a baby during school, so I know it can be done, and I have some great friends helping me along the way already with it all.

So overall, I'm almost at week 16, the second trimester has been significantly better than the first, but I still have some random rough days, and I'm just getting more and more excited about meeting this little one!!

10, 14, and 15 weeks! And I LOVE maternity clothes already. :)