Tuesday, October 5, 2010

23 Week Checkin

So, I lied. I didn't come back yesterday to post. The NVP started up at about 4:30 and lasted almost til 8:00pm and then by then I was too exhausted to get up and write. I am really trying to keep a right heart about this, but last night, I just lay there whimpering. I always knew labor would be hard. I just didn't expect the whole 9 months to be hard. Call me naive but this has just caught me a by surprise. And yet, I also realize how easy I have it compared to some, so I struggle with that, too. I'm sick, but my baby is healthy, and after the news so many got this week to the contrary, I really want to focus on rejoicing in that.

It's a hard thing--to pray so long for a child, and then to hate being pregnant. There, I said it. I've struggled with admitting that, but there are times I'm just overwhelmed with how difficult this is. I've really been praying that God would help me manage that and I am able to at least enjoy some of it now. I know it's all worth it in the end, but it's a little hard to remember that when you're crouched over the porcelain throne for the umpteenth time.

I'm super emotional these days. Fortunately for DH, my raging hormones haven't converted themselves to a psychotic rage, but I am a blubbering mess a lot of the time. I cry at EVERYTHING. I cry almost daily now, for no reason at all. And while in my sane moments I can laugh at the absurdity of it, I also really hate being enslaved to my hormones. I have the sweetest DH on the planet though, who just nods his head and hugs me and bears it all in stride, even if he's rolling his eyes on the inside. There are so many things about pregnancy that I used to think were myths or exaggerations--the crazy dreams, the tear fests, the pregnancy brain, the frequent trips to the bathroom. I'm here to tell you that they're all real. DH would probably agree with you secretly, but might be afraid to admit it lest I burst into tears again ;)

I've been struggling at church, too. I'm the secretary there and these days, Sunday mornings feels more like another day at the office than a time of worship. I leave church feeling exhausted, rather than refreshed. I do have friends there who love me and care about me, but so many people fail to forget that I'm a person too, not just the secretary. They don't start the day with "Hi Jen, how are you?" Instead, they jump straight to what they need or want. It's not malicious or intentional and I go to church with some really amazing, wonderful people. And I know if I wasn't so hormonal already, it probably wouldn't bother me. And everyone thinks that their one question or comment isn't a big deal. But every Sunday I field 5 or 10 of those "one little things" and so it adds up. And in that way, I'm like a guy. I can only be in one box at a time. For example two weeks ago I walked in and two people started in with questions and concerns about the church directory. I spent the first 2 worship songs thinking about the directory instead of about worship. Then I spent the next song worrying if I'd offended them when I asked them to bring it up with me during the week instead. It's so hard for me to get back to a place of worship and rest once my "work" switch has been switched on. I've tried every way I know how to ask people to stop putting me in my work box on Sunday mornings, but I've not been very successful. It just feels lonely and tiring. I don't feel like I can go to church and just be "Jen" anymore. I've tried finding some solutions but they involve either leaving the church to at least worship somewhere else, quitting my job, or stepping down from the ministry roles we're in, and frankly, none of those solutions really fit. So it just perpetuates, instead. And again, I know it's compounded by my hormones, so dealing with it is hard because I know there's a certain amount of absurdity inherent in it. And I DO know I have friends who do focus on me as a person, so I'm trying to remember that in the midst of feeling a little invisible.

I miss Mike a lot. I still cry regularly and am not really dealing well with his death. I just can't wrap my head around it still.

I really miss my best friend, too. She moved across the country two years ago. We've maintained our friendship through frequent phone calls and a few visits, but it's just not the same. I want to be able to go hang out, or go shopping together, to be in Bible study together, to just rest in each other's company. I want her to go to my ultrasounds with me and be at my baby shower and to come visit us in the hospital when he's born. I just miss her a lot.

So I guess between the emotional hormonal thing, the physical weariness, the spiritual weariness, and my loneliness, I guess I'm still (or again) in some kind of a funk.

The other thing that's become readily apparent is how much of an invitation to fear parenting really is. Up til now, aside from the medical decisions we made about storage, thawing, transfer, etc, most of our decisions have been "fun." What will his name be? What color will we paint his room? What carseat do we like. But we're quickly moving into the more important decisions. And you just make one and another one comes. And it's striking me that it will be like that for the rest of my life.

I don't like to make decisions. When I must, I need like 20 pages of research, 5 different opinions, and days of thinking and praying time for each of my options. The upside to this is that once I DO make a decision, I'm comfortable with it, but it takes me forever to get there. Well, when the decisions are coming every second, you don't have that kind of time. As a person predisposed to fear, I can recognize that that would really be a trap for me. I can become paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision. By God's grace, I haven't yet. But I've felt the Devil's invitation to give my heart over to it and I am trying to be watchful and am praying for the Lord's protection from that temptation.

So that's where I'm at. Not bad or sad really...just broody I guess? And it's good. I see God continuing to turn over the rocks in my heart and let the bugs of insecurity, loneliness, people pleasing, worry, and fear crawl out so He can squish them. But it is a tiny bit tiring ;) I am glad He's doing it now though...I feel like it puts me a couple steps farther ahead on the journey to becoming the kind of woman I want to be for God, for Todd, and especially for Matthew. Learning to parent will be hard enough--so if we can get some of these things out of the way now, all the better!

So I guess that's the story, morning glory.

Here's my weekly update!

At this point you’ve pretty much adjusted to the fact you’ve got a moving little gymnast inside of you, but now they’re going to kick up the party a notch because they can hear and react to sounds from the outside world. Sounds from your alarm clock, a thunder roll, or that darned car honking at you across the intersection can actually jar their little ears enough to elicit a kick or violent bout of squirming. Of course this also means that their little ears are picking up the sounds of your voice and those near you. So go ahead, sing a lullaby to your little angel—if they start kicking, it’s likely they just want you to stop… or maybe it was a kick of approval? You decide. Your baby's tiny taste buds are still growing and their bones are continuing to ossify (harden), their tiny veins are visible through their translucent yet wrinkly skin. (Think of it this way: they’ve been swimming in the equivalent of a long hot bath for the past 23 weeks, so you can’t blame them for being a little prune-like.)

And here's our 23 week picture. At my last doctor's appointment, my weight change was at net 0 from the day of transfer. Baby weighed exactly middle of the range. The doc was pleased with both of those. But my belly measured big. The doctor said if I measure big again, he'll do an ultrasound--not sure what he's looking for. If I'm fine and baby's fine, I'm not sure what kind of problem that leaves. But, we'll see. But it did vindicate me a little bit of why my belly is looking so big despite the lack of weight change. I was beginning to feel a little nuts because my scale wasn't budging, but my clothes weren't fitting! Guess we'll see what the measuring tape says next time! (And if anyone can clue me in as to what he might be looking for, that'd be great!)

Hugs to you all!


  1. Jen, I think it's very cool that you're working through some of your temptations to fear (and boy howdy, I hear you on temptation to fear) BEFORE he comes. Then, when he's here and you're worried, you'll already have your mind steady and decided on turning to prayer rather than anxiety, even while your heart is besieged. Among many things, motherhood is an amazing tool for sanctification. You're forced to face so many of your weaknesses, and to admit them and ask God to supply the lack. Sounds odd, but facing those and giving them up to our Father is one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.

  2. I'm quite sure it won't make you feel better, but maybe you'll end up weighing less after the baby is born than you did before you got pregnant. ;) What a way to lose weight, eh? Kind of like getting the flu. Blech.

    Ok, all joking aside, I completely understand hating being pregnant. You're not alone in that feeling.

  3. Thanks for being a listening ear to me on Facebook, while you're struggling too. Praying for you! :)

  4. Jen - Glad for all the good updates, and sorry to hear about all of your struggles! It is so true that parenting is an invitation to fear - I have struggled with it, in greater or lesser amounts, for the past five years. I'm afraid the temptation doesn't go away with time... the subjects just change! And I know exactly what you mean about the church stuff, because I have experienced the exact same thing, LOL!!!!

    Things your doctor might be looking for: if you didn't already know that you were carrying a singleton, measuring large for gestational age might indicate twins; also a LGA (large for gestational age) baby (sometimes associated with gestational diabetes, but other times completely normal); also polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). Glad things have worked out for you and your doc now that you got NVP meds worked out!

    Hope to see you soon!!


  5. D-he did mention that he wanted to check my fluid levels. What does it mean if there is too much fluid?

    Miss you too.

    Jess, Ashley and Emily-thanks so much for your encouragement.

  6. Hey there Jen!

    Enough of feeling crappy!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!! I want you to be able to ENJOY this a teeny bit, but, alas, this in NOT about me! Hee hee.

    I think that you need to come up with a pre-rehearsed response for Sundays. You need to be able to worship without interruption from job-related concerns. Something like, "I can't give this my full attention right now. If you'd contact me this week, I'd be happy to help you out." Then, smile and walk away. Rehearse this a few times and completely detach emotionally. The more you say it, the more comfortable you'll be.

    You look great, even though you feel terrible!

  7. I like the "script" idea Lacie suggested!

    As for your feelings, they are what they are, and I have no doubt the hormones are the culprit. I had some interesting episodes myself (during pg)! Lots of grace there! As for future pregnancies, you never know how they will be 'different.' Maybe the next one, Lord willing, will be much better and actually enjoyable.

    Hugs to you! I love your real-ness!

  8. Hi, Jen! Yes, checking fluid levels would be checking for polyhydramnios (too much fluid). There are various risks to baby with polyhydramnios, including placental abruption and cord prolapse during birth. However, it's really rare, and the side-effects are rare and usually only present in uncontrolled situations (which yours wouldn't be), and when it does present, it can be managed with expectant management (keeping an eye on it) and other measures if really necessary - however, it's almost never necessary. Also, the tape measure is highly subjective - it can vary according to how baby is presenting on a given day (high in pelvis = higher measurement), and it's very subjective by the person doing the measuring - if you get two people measuring, you will very often get two different measurements. If he does an u/s, it will (I think) be the same type as that done on K. - that is, measuring amniotic fluid levels by measuring pockets of fluid surrounding baby (might be a different method since you're earlier), which is also highly subjective. However, most likely the issue will straighten out without any more problems, and I'm sure your doctor will keep good tabs on it. May I say "Don't worry?" :) Don't worry - I know that's impossible! :) Love you! See you Saturday, I hope!!

  9. I'm so sorry you're feeling so terribly. You've waited so long and struggled so hard to get where you're at and now you can't even enjoy it. I'm sure afte Matthew gets here you will be able to forget all the terrible pregnancy part. Praying you feel better real soon!!

  10. He probably just wants to check your amniotic fluid level, as that can make you measure ahead. I loved your post, especially the raw honesty. I think as long as you feel comfortable sharing your honest feelings, you are doing okay. We all get a little crazy during pregnancy...totally normal...you're doing great! Here's to a speedy and more relaxed finale! :)

  11. Hey Jen! I had polyhydramnios with Ben. I started measuring LGA at about 32 weeks. All they did was a couple ultrasounds, like the ones D was talking about above, where they measure the pockets of fluid to determine your levels, and also did a non-stress test where I got to sit in a big comfy chair and press a button every time I felt him move. It really wasn't a big deal, but like D said, something your doctor will keep an eye on, if this is the case. And I COMPLETELY agree that the belly measurements are totally subjective. I'm sure there is nothing to worry about there.

    And please don't beat yourself up over how you have felt about being pregnant. It's okay!!! Who would enjoy everything you've been through? But in a few months you'll be gazing into those beautiful little eyes and saying to yourself "it was all SO worth it." And I promise you, it will be. Hang in there!!! And if there is anything you need, let me know! I'm here for you! Love you!!!

  12. Oh my goodness...I love your honesty about not liking being pregnant. I worry about that as well. It's weird to want something for so long and then when it comes, be miserable. I think it just means you are completely normal. Pregnancy is different for everyone and for some, it's simply not a pleasant experience. I wonder if it would help to have a box for people to put their requests, needs/problems by your office door and just direct them to the box on Sunday morning. ...Okay, I'm sure you've already tried this...I just feel so bad for you not getting your worship time and want to offer some kind of idea. Praying you find your answer and are allowed to be just Jen, wife to Todd and Mommy to Matthew on Sunday.

  13. Jenn-Pregnancy isn't fun at all. I love the outcome, but pregnancy is difficult. There are things that I do like about it... the movement, etc., but all in all it is tough, but completely worth it. Hang in there.

    I measured really big with the boys because of the multiple gestation. Since you have had so many ultrasounds already, I seriously doubt that you could be carrying more than one, but it does happen every once in a while. He is probably looking at amniotic levels.