I have hesitated to post much about this…partly because in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that big of a deal…so many people I know have dealt with SO much worse. And partly because I don’t want to be a ‘Debbie Downer’. But, after waking this morning feeling down and defeated, I decided to get on the She Read Truth website, and I found this post that really spoke to me. So, I decided that I’d share a little bit about what has been going on over here the past few months and about the She Reads Truth article just in case there’s someone out there who needs to hear the message just as much as I did!
We have had a tough several months over here, and this pregnancy has been nothing like I imagined it would be. Some of it was me being naive about what pregnancy entails, but some of it is just how my body is handling carrying our baby boy.
Before we got pregnant, I imagined myself taking cute bump pictures every week or so. I imagined myself having the nursery all figured out and ready by the time I was 7 months pregnant (I’m one day shy of 29 weeks, and we’ve JUST put the crib into the unpainted, empty room, ha!). I imagined that I would be overflowing with JOY and excitement and posting updates frequently. Don’t get me wrong…we are SO excited to welcome this baby boy into our family in just a few months, and I do feel joyful a lot of the time. I guess I just expected to feel joy 99% the time instead of anxious, tired, sad…you name it, I’ve probably been feeling it. Over the past several months I have had friends text me to ask if I’m okay (y’all are so sweet and thoughtful!) because I’ve hadn't been in touch or hadn't posted in a while. I’ve had people ask me where the updates are…the want to see ‘the bump’ (haha!) and I’ve realized that I really haven’t posted much about this pregnancy or taken that many photos, and as a sentimental person and a photographer, that makes me sad. But, I’m also giving myself a little grace because of how unexpectedly challenging things have been.
It really all started back when I was about 6 weeks pregnant. I was so sick from the very beginning of my pregnancy...until about 22 weeks. It was HARD. I don’t want to complain about it, because I know so many women have it a lot worse than I did. But for some reason I didn’t expect to feel THAT sick for THAT long. Bless Robert for his patience and love through that time. Our routines got all messed up, I never had anything planned for dinner, I could hardly set foot in the grocery store without feeling like I was going to get sick because of all the smells, and honestly, more often than not, I could hardly stand up without feeling like I was going to either throw up or pass out. It was hard on me AND on him, but he made sure that I kept eating and that I was staying hydrated. I love that man so much, and the way he took care of me those first several weeks made me fall in love with him even more. One of the biggest blessings was that the worst of the nausea was during my slow season over the winter, so I only had a handful of sessions! I was SO thankful that I could do a lot of the ‘backend work’ for my business from home and that I didn’t have to be out shooting when I was feeling so incredibly miserable! (P.S. If you’re reading this and you're pregnant and dealing with sickness, I’d be happy to share with you what worked for me! It’s different for everyone, but I tried a LOT of things, and I’m more than happy to pass that information along!)
Finally at around 22 weeks I started feeling a lot better, and the nausea has only gotten better since then! (Praise the Lord…seriously!) I still have food aversions (meat is hard for me), but I’ve never been so thankful to FEEL GOOD!!
That brings me to a about a month and a half ago. We were feeling great— SO excited that I was feeling like a normal human again ;), we had plans to get the nursery all finished, I was excited about the sessions I had lined up with my clients, and things were just GOOD! Then Robert broke his hand. Actually, he shattered a bone in his hand, had to have surgery, and has been going through a slow healing process for the past 6 weeks! In the moment I was just SO thankful that I was feeling better, because for a couple of weeks he couldn’t drive or do much (it’s his dominant hand), and he was depending on me to help him with lots of things. In a way, we totally switched 'care giver' roles.
All this was happening as my busy season was really starting to ramp up, so I was a little bit stressed, because scheduling everything around doctors appointments, taking Robert to work and picking him up, and trying to make it all work with both of our schedules was tricky. But as always, God is good and everything (down town our hour by hour schedules) worked out just fine! There were moments that I didn’t know HOW we were going to get everything done/get to where we needed to be, but it did all work out. We were beyond exhausted, but we were keeping up with everything (pretty well, at least), and we were grateful that the situation wasn’t any worse! It also reminded me that I can worry and plan and schedule all I want (I did a LOT of worrying), but God is in control. I needed that reminder.
About a week after Robert was able to start driving again, I had a routine check up with my doctor. I went in and found out all looked good with baby boy and me! I was excited, too, because my brother’s wedding was in a week, and a little part of me had been worried about the fact that something could prevent me from traveling to the wedding because I was 27 weeks! But they printed out my sheet ‘just in case’ and sent me off to have a great time at the wedding! After the appointment I went to Walmart to make a few returns, and as I was standing at the counter, I started to feel awful. I started to get tunnel vision, and I passed out! Thankfully there was a wall nearby, and as I felt myself starting to slip, I leaned against it so that I wouldn’t actually fall. Some part of me that was still 'with it' enough knew that I should stop fighting the ‘pass out’ feeling and just get to a safe spot so that I wouldn’t fall and hurt myself or our baby! I am SO thankful for that little bit of awareness, because the situation definitely could have been worse! Long story short, Robert took me straight back to the doctor, and they ran a bunch of tests but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They ended up giving me my one hour glucose test a week early just to see if blood sugar was a problem. Interestingly, I didn’t pass, but I also had eaten a breakfast that had a fair amount of sugar in it that morning, so we chalked it up to that and scheduled a follow up appointment and my 3 hour glucose test for after my brother’s wedding. They told me to take it easy at the wedding (i.e. don’t dance too much, ha!), and they told me that I shouldn't drive until they had a better idea about why I passed out. Thankfully, Robert COULD drive now, and so we made the trek up to Virginia Beach that weekend and had SO MUCH FUN celebrating my little brother and my new sister!! <3 I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
That brings me to this past week. The 3 days before the 3 hour glucose test, they put me on a very strict diet. It wasn’t the kind of diet I expected, though…it was lots of carbs and bread (protein and veggies, too!)…which in hind sight makes sense, because they wanted to see how my body would process everything. The doctor said she doubted I had anything to worry about…but I was still a little bit nervous. They told me to bring someone with me just in case I passed out again during the three hour test, so my mom came with me, and I’m so thankful she was there to help pass the time! Right when I got there, they took my fasting blood sugar, and it was great! Then I drank the 100mg of sugar (EW!), and waited. I didn’t pass the first test. They told me I could still pass the whole thing, though, so I shouldn’t worry. The two hour mark rolled around, and they tested me again. I didn’t pass the second test, which means they diagnosed me with Gestational Diabetes.
I was pretty bummed, but at the same time, I was so thankful that they caught it early so that I can eat as healthy as possible for our baby boy! It’s going to be an interesting three months of diet changes, carb counting, finger pricking, and doctors appointments! I really haven’t been eating that poorly throughout my pregnancy, because my main craving has been fruit! Unfortunately fruit = carbs, so that part is going to be hard, but we’ll get through it! ;) This baby and I have a pretty awesome support system in Robert, my family, his family, and our friends…and I’m SO thankful. I’ve actually never had a season of life in which I’ve had to ask for so much help or depend on others so much, and that’s a little bit hard for me! But I’m so, so grateful for everyone who has pitched in or texted or prayed. We’re blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives!
And now all of that brings me to the other day. I woke up feeling tired, defeated, overwhelmed, and insecure. It has been a HARD few months, and part of me has so frustrated and asking questions like... Why do we keep having these health things popping up? Why can’t we just have a normal, easy pregnancy? Why is it that every time one of us (Robert or I) gets better, the other one seems to have something major happen?
I opened up my laptop and decided to go to the She Reads Truth website. I desperately NEEDED some reassurance, some encouragement, some strength, and some peace. Then I read this:
I realized in that moment, that for the past 6 months, while I have been praying, I haven’t been rejoicing in the trials. I’ve been trying to rush through them and just praying that they would end…and FAST. I’ve been in ‘survival mode’ just trying to get through each day…each hour, and I haven’t stopped to really sit in the tough things we’ve been going through. I don’t like to sit in the tough spots, but that’s where growth happens. That’s were deeper roots grow. It takes a lot of faith, but it’s worth it.
I’ve actually gotten a little bit of an unexpected break this week because of rain, and while I was frustrated to not be able to do my sessions with my clients, I realized that maybe I needed this time... To sit. To pray. To rest. To regroup.
I want to bring our baby into a home full of faith, joy, and love…regardless of the circumstances happening around us. Life has been tough, and we will have more tough seasons. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, though, it’s that God is faithful through it all. Even through the trials we’re blessed. We need to find “true wellness” in Jesus…not in our circumstances so that when life gets hard, we won’t be shaken.
If you’re going through any kind of trial right now, I encourage you to read this post. It was exactly what my heart needed today. Funny how God does that! ;)