Well, if you follow me on social media, you may or may not know that I am 14 weeks pregnant today – but I am picking up the blog again to capture some thoughts as I still kind of can’t believe it!
I am so grateful that God has given me the chance to experience pregnancy again and grow our family, and here’s to believing HIM more than statistics (“0% chance of conceiving naturally” due to Mike’s cancer, said the doctor. Then we had Abi! And now, baby X – and no cute nickname for this little life yet, haha!). And while I don’t hesitate to share as I’m a bit of an open book, I do struggle with how to share I know the topic of infertility is so heavy…I have friends trying to conceive, others who have lost babies, and still others who have been told it won’t happen for them. Each person’s story is unique and personal, so it is with a heavy heart for those whose story is not unfolding the way they’d dreamed that I share our news. But I do also want to share how it happened for us (hint: more prayer!) and also what’s been different this pregnancy as compared to the first go-around with Abigail. In a nut-shell:
Unlike with Abigail, I knew right away I was pregnant.
How I Knew
The first tangible sign was that I started dropping things out of nowhere (I got so clumsy with Abi, too!), but there was something else. I had quietly committed a month to pray specifically in the positive direction of conceiving. I really strive to accept whatever situation God guides us into, and we were thrilled to have Abi and of course wanted to be happy with just her – what if she was our only shot? – but instead of praying “…if you will it,” I decided to pray specifically FOR a baby, just for a month, and just whenever I thought about. Gratitude for what was, what God planned, but being bold in my prayers and allowing myself to dream. I was inspired by my study of the Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz. When it came time to check, I just knew that those lines were going to be positive – and day by day they got darker! I was simultaneously not surprised that God would have answered my prayer like that so clearly, so directly, and yet also feeling so overwhelmed and grateful because I know he doesn’t always answers prayers in what we’d interpret as a “positive” manner.”
A pslam that has been one of my favorites for many years is Pslam 37, and it contains verses that I’ve struggled with but also held onto tightly, not often understanding them but still enjoying them. It is a psalm of exhortation to patience and trust. In the NIV, verses 3-6 are translated as:
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.”
And it’s that committing, that trusting my heart’s desires to God that’s always been a bit…vulnerable to me. I have struggled with these verses for many years; Do the “desires of my heart” need to be lined up with God’s for him to grant them? What about if that’s not what he wants for me? How boldly do I pray?
The Message translates those same verses differently:
“Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
settle down and stick to your last.
Keep company with God, get in on the best.
Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
…a different translation, a different take-away! I like the idea of opening up before God and him acting on whatever needs to be done – I can trust him. And I can wait and be patient as I trust him.
I really don’t have any answers; all I have is the story I’m living, the reality I’m facing, and prayers that sometimes are answered so strongly that my only response is awe before God – and other times, prayers that go answered, unheard, as it seems, when all I can do is trust God’s bigger picture. I still return to Pslam 37 – it is a “life Pslam” for me and one I will continue to read and also take to heart.
How I’m Feeling
In terms of a more physical update, I have been more nauseous with baby X (we won’t be finding out the gender of this little one either – a surprise just like with Abs!) as I didn’t experience nausea once with Abi. It took several weeks before I felt like myself again this time around, but the nausea left in California – it was so nice to have help from my parents during that time (Mikey was in Africa for 3 weeks for work!) and I enjoyed their help and of course company!
I tried to be grateful for feeling unwell every time because I knew that meant that there was a life growing away inside of me! Pretty mind-blowing…But I’m grateful to be on the other side of the nausea now! It did prompt me to dive deeper into the nutrition side of pregnancy, expanding on what I learned last time, and devoured Lily Nichol‘s “Real Food for Gestational Diabetes” (don’t have it that I know of and am not concerned but wanted to read it and am being mindful all the same!) from a friend and ordered “Real Food for Pregnancy…” Loving it and will report back!
So while the nausea is more or less gone, I’ve been fairly tired – especially in the beginning! – much more so than with Abi, and I guess that’s normal and to be expected with a toddler.
Now my energy is a bit up, so my workouts are back to being more consistent, which leads me to…
Fitness in Pregnancy #2
Readers might remember I followed the BirthFit prenatal programming to a “T” while pregnant with Abigail, and while I loved it, I knew I wanted to try something different this time. I knew I needed more pelvic floor work (I still have my prolapse and still struggle to commit to these very-necessary-for-me pelvic floor exercises!), and struggled to keep moving for a few weeks in that first trimester. But motivation came in the form of winning Brianna Battles’ and Heather Osby’s The Pregnant Athlete Training Program from an Instagram series. It’s set up with strength, metcons, rest days and intervals and I’m really enjoying it! In and out in 20-45 minutes, emphasizing the back and glutes but also total body fitness, and I’m feeling strong even with this growing bump (yes, much faster than the first time!).
Well…still discussing them and thinking through it all, but we won’t be finding out the gender again (it’s the ultimate surprise!) and we are working with our same team of midwives, which is awesome! Hopeful for another home birth if all goes well, but also holding loosely to the plan as things develop. And Abi? Well, she points to Mama’s belly, is LOVING her dolls and babies lately, and I think will overall enjoy being a big sister – but I’m sure she’s in for a shock in the new year! 😉
I’m sharing most of life on Instagram, as usual, and may return to blogging here and there, but I wanted to document a bit of my thoughts around the beginning of this pregnancy and stand upon God’s goodness to us, for whatever reason he has decided to give it. We are thankful, full of emotions about being parents to 2 kids, and excitedly awaiting mid-February 2020!
Thanks for following along and sharing in our joy!
Live well & be well,
Bonnie (Mike & Abigail)