Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge--10/21/2012


1.  What creeps you out?

Mostly?  People who don't understand the concept of personal space.  I seriously don't need to have a conversation two inches from your face.


Oh, and if I don't know you?  I don't want to touch you nor am I interested in you touching me.  This is why the whole "meet & greet" thing at church weirded me out.  What some people need a handshake to accomplish, I would rather do with a smile and nod.


(Clearly, if we know each other?  I'm willing to break down a few of these barriers.  But the two-inch conversation?  That's a friendship deal-breaker for me.) 


2.  What's your least favorite candy?

Tootsie Rolls.  Oh, and circus peanuts.

3. Are you a fan of scary movies?  What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

My imagination is constantly on overdrive, so I've learned that scary movies aren't for me.  Before I learned that lesson, however, I convinced Favorite to take me to see The Ring.  Big mistake.  Huge.  I couldn't sleep in a room with a television for over a year.  It even creeped me out to be home alone in a room with a television that wasn't on.

Eventually, I did get over that fear (irrational as it was), but every creak, tap or drip makes me jump and imagine the criminal masterminds who are attempting to kidnap me and my little dogs.  (You know, because we'd be such desirable prisoners.)

4.  What part of life confuses you the most?

People, I suppose--even myself.

I don't always understand a person's motivation or why s/he perceives situations in a particular way.  I don't understand my own personality flaws or why I consistently revert to certain behaviors when I've worked so hard to eliminate them from my repertoire.  Or why many in the Christian community consistently condone pride (or at least turn a blind eye to its presence) while criminalizing a glass of wine.

Any and all of those things draw me to consider what I value as a human being and what Christ calls me to value as a Christian.  And allow me to say, I definitely don't understand why there are individuals who see themselves as spotless and perfect while pointing out the non-sins of others.  Juxtaposition never works when it comes to Christianity.  Ever.

The human heart is a bit difficult to analyze, no?

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...your favorite seed?

I'm a pretty big fan of sunflower seeds--especially on salads.  Over the summer, I added chia seeds to my oatmeal or pancake batter pretty frequently.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?

From September of last year to September of this year there have been few parts of my life remain untouched.  While many of those changes were uncomfortable and frustrating, God consistently prodded my heart for the sake of shifting my attitude and direction (physically, emotionally, spiritually and any other way an attitude can be shifted).  And that was only over 365 days.  Imagining ten years is a little overwhelming.

But the biggest change I see in ten years?  The addition of at least one Little Houseman to our household and all the things that come with parenthood.

7.  What do you a) love most and b) like least about the Hodgepodge?

A.  Most of these questions aren't things I would ever think to address on my blog.  There are also times when Joyce provides access to information or news I would've missed entirely otherwise.

B.  I don't always have time to participate and it really is a regular attendant community.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

In the last week, I've come to realize that there are reasons I became a teacher that will never make sense to the general public.  It doesn't matter how hard I work, how much I manage to help a kid or even how much time I log with my students in/out of the classroom.  There are groups of people with preconceived notions regarding my grading practices--even when a student consistently struggles with one thing I have repeatedly emphasized.  Despite comments to the contrary, I didn't become a teacher to help a kid fail or even perform poorly...liking the student or not liking the student really isn't part of the equation.

On another note, Project Priority is underway.  So far, I'm halfway to my weekly walking goal.  (I probably need to raise the bar a tad.)  And I've committed to reading through the Psalms using the SOAP method for my devotional time.  (I really like this method because I feel like I'm interacting with scripture instead of just reading.)  Ordering my days is starting to become a tad easier, and I'm realizing that consistent goals help me to focus my time and energy on what is important in the minute.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Little Navajo--18 Weeks

How Far Along: 18 Weeks  (I know I'm missing a picture.  I'll try to rectify that tomorrow.)

Size: Little Navajo is the size of a bell pepper.

Gender: My official appointment is Nov. 13th. I'm anxious to start calling Navajo by the appropriate pronoun, but I won't get that opportunity until Nov. 24th because Favorite and I intend to be surprised with the rest of our guests at our gender reveal party.

Movement: A LOT more frequently this week.  Navajo taps, flips, punches and swims.  At least, that's what I'm feeling so far.

Sleep: It's off and on.  I sleep well for short clips, but I don't sleep well through the night.

Maternity Clothes: Pants: Yes. Looks like I'm going to have to break down and wear those full panel pants.  Not.A.Fan. Tops: Sometimes.  Usually I can get away with "normal" clothes if the shirts are a little longer.

Symptoms: Migraines are a regular occurrence--once or twice a week.  Recently, they've started to make me sick to my stomach.  But there are definitely worse things.  (Morning sickness, anyone?)

I'm thirsty all.the.time, and if my bathroom visits are any indication, my body is actually doubling the amount of liquid I ingest in a day. (And that number is significant. I drink a minimum of 96 oz. of water besides milk or the occasional glass of iced tea.)

Aversions: Meat in general--though I'm trying to find ways to work chicken back into my diet.  I've committed to crock pot cooking two meals a week so I'm hoping the bird marinating in other flavors may help.

Also, Hazelnut coffee, Cigarette smoke, Pickles, and Eggs.

Cravings: Milk! At one time, I quit buying it because we would have to throw it out due to expiration dates. Now, I go through about a gallon a week. It's a huge change for grocery store visits.

And ice cold water. In large quantities.

What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Feeling toward pregnancy:  This week, Favorite and I were at a fall festival at church.  Toward the end of the evening, one of the kids got really upset and starting having a meltdown.  I was standing across the room, but the screaming drew my attention.  As I was watching the scene, a friend looked down at my belly and said, "I hope you know what you're getting into."

And all I could think was that screaming happens.  Poop happens.  Vomit happens.

But so does giggling.  And Christmas.  The first time they smile or read a book.  There are hugs and summers and swinging.  Meals.  Discovery.

And there's a feeling of being completely and totally responsible for another person that brings me to an understanding of the type of person I want to be.

So do I know what I'm getting into?

Not at all.

But I'm looking forward to every single surprise I would've never experienced otherwise.

Best Moment this week: Movement.  And I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment over committing to a regular eating/exercise regimen again.  I hate to be the one to admit this, but I actually miss running a little bit.

I'm too cautious to start again, but I'm definitely setting mile goals like I did over the summer. 

What I'm looking forward to: The Gender Reveal! I can't wait to know if Little Navajo is a girl (like Favorite believes) or a boy (like my father insists).

Starting a baby registry...once I can figure out what I "need."  (A few friends from work are helping on that front.)

Breaking down and ordering the crib off of Amazon since I can't find anything "in person" I like.  Have I shown it to you?

I like the color and the solid back.  I don't like that I can't find it anywhere to determine if the wood scratches easily. 

Feel free to share suggestions for baby gear.  I'm always open to new ideas and thoughts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Not to be a Christian DoucheRocket per PastorJosh

Every time I visit my blog, for the brief number of minutes I have between swearing I'm going to shave my legs and reading another chapter in The Scarlet Letter, I promise myself that there's more to me than Little Navajo and it's really time I got back to talking about what I'm learning, failing to learn or spectacularly failing to learn because most things in my life can be sorted by one of those three categories.

Take, for example, the reason I'm mostly absent from the interwebs these days:  PastorJosh's statements regarding my EPIC FAIL approach to God and life in general.

(Ha.  If he reads this he's totally going to be all insulted.  And then my dad will spend the next three weeks asking him if he's mad.  And he'll say no, but he'll really mean yes because I basically just told you he's a judgmental fool.)

I guess a diplomatic person would just say he started sermon series on Christian living and seeking God.  (I prefer interpretive meanings, though.  They make conversation so much more exciting.)  And, like any good church goer, I diligently highlighted and made notes on my Nook so I could review the concepts at some later date.  (Like five years from now.)

Somewhere in the middle of all that business, though, was this nagging push to "redeem the time."

Unlike John Wesley, my push toward redeeming the time had little to do with taking my life back from the yawning jaws of sleep.  (Frankly, Little Navajo is ensuring that fewer and fewer hours are dedicated to my formerly favorite activity so there's not much to "take back" at the moment.)  Instead, I think God is trying to claim me from the grip of "Once Upon a Time" and Pinterest.

(I seriously don't understand it.  I'm disgusted with the introduction of Mulan and the Dread Pirate Roberts, but I'm enthralled with all of my fairy tale characters.  Why was Sleeping Beauty left behind?  Why is Rumpelstiltskin the only one still capable of manipulating magic?  And Mulan?  Really?)

It's more than that, though.  To some degree, I had been forgoing responsibilities for the sake of fellowship, fun or mindless entertainment.  Necessity took a backseat to my celebratory attitude, because, frankly?  This part of my life has been an overwhelming miracle and I want to acknowledge that fact with as many people as possible as often as possible.  Restaurants!  Laughter!  Movies!  That's real celebration.  No one puts exclamation points behind staying home, doing laundry or lesson planning.

And yet there's something about not wearing dirty underwear that's appealing to me.

It's so easy to recognize priorities verbally and so difficult to follow through with that prioritization, isn't it?  In fact, here's what my priorities sound like:


Clearly, I have things in working order.

But if you pay attention, here's what my priorities look like:


I mean, it's not like my verbal priorities are completely ignored.  There's just no discernible pattern that dictates how I order my time to value those priorities.  And honestly?  I want Favorite to feel like a priority just like I want to be a priority in his life.

So I'm learning to set goals for work each day instead of trying to clear my desk completely, getting overwhelmed and then giving up.  To pray and study scripture regularly.  To spend the occasional Saturday at home to catch up on laundry and relax.  To say no to things that sound awesome and repeatedly ignore what really needs my attention.

And it also means allowing myself less time each day to share my lack of learning.

I'm still looking for a happy medium in blogdom.  For now, two to three times a week seems sufficient.

But sometimes words need to be shared.  And I have a lot of them...

How do you navigate priorities?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Little Navajo--17 Weeks




How Far Along: 17 Weeks

Size: Little Navajo is the size of a baked potato.

Gender: My official appointment is Nov. 13th.  I'm anxious to start calling Navajo by the appropriate pronoun.

Movement: Yep.  Some days more than others.  Today at church, I think she started turning flips.  Favorite is mesmerized by this fact and continues to try to feel Navajo--to no avail.  Finally, he declares that this is "so unfair" and stares at my belly for the next twenty minutes.  I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish, but I have an odd feeling it's something along the lines of Daddy/baby telepathy.

Sleep: It's difficult to get comfortable these days.  I'm looking for a body pillow, but I haven't fully committed to one yet. 

Maternity Clothes:  Pants:  Yes.  Tops:  Sometimes.

I'm still on the hunt for smaller panel work pants in my size that aren't sold out.  I found a couple pair at JCPenney, but they are sold out in all colors.  Apparently I'm not the only fat, pregnant girl who doesn't like the full panel pants.

Symptoms: Migraines are a regular occurrence--once or twice a week.  I'm thirsty all.the.time, and if my bathroom visits are any indication, my body is actually doubling the amount of liquid I ingest in a day.  (And that number is significant.  I drink a minimum of 96 oz. of water besides milk or the occasional glass of iced tea.)

Aversions: Meat in general--chicken especially. In fact, I now seem to gag any time chicken is in a dish I eat. I have to push it over to the side. I was never a huge fan, but I always managed to eat it. Not anymore, I guess. Also, Hazelnut coffee, Cigarette smoke, Pickles, and Eggs.

Oh, and I had a not-so-positive reaction to Chinese food.  Guess I'll need to keep an eye on that.

Cravings: Milk!  At one time, I quit buying it because we would have to throw it out due to expiration dates.  Now, I go through about a gallon a week.  It's a huge change for grocery store visits.

And ice cold water.  In large quantities.

What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Feeling toward pregnancy:  Lately, I've gotten a lot of comments on the size of my belly.  On one hand, that's awesome.  Look how far we've come!  This baby is growing!  I've got a belly for reasons other than the number of carbs I'm ingesting!

On the other hand, I get a little worried.  Likely, every woman who has ever been pregnant comes to a moment in time when she starts to evaluate the way her body is changing and she has a mild freak out as a result.  I didn't really "freak out," but I did put some serious thought into why my belly has grown so much in such a short period of time.  The only answer I have is this:  Navajo is pushing all my fat into the upper part of my belly and occupying the lower part.

I knew I wasn't small before I got pregnant; however, I've gained less than two lbs in the last 17 weeks--and most days?  The scale indicates that I haven't gained a single pound.  So my belly size isn't due to the large amount of weight I've accumulated in the last four months.

And since the baby is growing and my body is accumulating weight in other areas (increased blood, placenta, etc.), doesn't lack of weight gain actually indicate my body is losing while the baby is gaining?

Regardless, I teeter back and forth between carefully watching what I eat and exercising and praying to be a Gisele type of pregnant and realizing that, partly, my body will do what it will do.  My responsibilities are just to be thoughtful about movement and nutrition.  After that, it's kinda out of my hands, you know?

Best Moment this week: Passing my gestational diabetes test!  I have to take it again in four weeks (and every four weeks until I'm 28 weeks...*sigh*), but I passed it this time.  It was just enough encouragement to make me feel like I can pass it every time if I keep eating the way I'm eating now.  Plus, I intend to get back to walking a minimum of two miles a day at least three days a week.  And that?  Starts this week.

I was pretty positive I would fail since the PCOS automatically means my body doesn't process sugar well; however, the doctor said she wanted to see the level between 130-140 (anything over 140 is considered failing) and mine was 132.  She said it was on the high end of normal, but who cares?  It wasn't the 200 I imagined it would be.

What I'm looking forward to: The Gender Reveal! I can't wait to know if Little Navajo is a girl (like Favorite believes) or a boy (like my father insists).

Favorite and I have started planning our party.  The basement is completely clean (thanks to Favorite), and now we're finalizing the guest list and the details. 

Do you know how hard it is to determine a guest list when about a thousand people have prayed and waited for Navajo?


Source
We have decided to do something like this for our announcement at the party.  Favorite and I will find out with our guests when we cut the cake.  Thankfully, my friend Courtney agreed to make a cake and she's a pretty talented baker.

Frankly, though, the pink/blue pallette really isn't our style.  I'd like to do something with fall colors--maybe red for a boy and purple for a girl?  But the inside of the cake should probably stay blue or pink, right?


This family did an orange and yellow gender reveal and I thought it was fabulous.  They kept the inside of the cupcakes pink or blue, but the rest of the shower maintained the orange and yellow theme. 

Feel free to weigh in.  No theme yet, but I'm working on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16 Weeks--Little Navajo

(I know I have a weird look on my face.  It happens.)


Yesterday, BigBro and SILSheena celebrated their first anniversary.  If you have a chance, go tell them congratulations :)  What better reason to celebrate than two people staying married an entire year?

And now...on with the show.

How Far Along: 16 Weeks

Size: Little Navajo is the size of an avocado.

Gender: About four weeks before we know. Favorite is convinced it's a girl, but my father is now convinced Navajo is a boy.  People seem to be vehemently split so we'll see.  I had to move my appt. back a bit so I'll know the week before Thanksgiving and we'll schedule a gender reveal sometime after that.

Movement: The doctor confirmed that I had likely been feeling her/him.  Mostly, I feel her at night when I lay down, but if I bend over, she pokes at me as if to say, "HEY!  Running out of room in here.  Wanna straighten up and give me some space?!"

Sleep: It's been off and on.  Sometimes I sleep really soundly.  Other nights, I toss and turn and get up a hundred times.

Maternity Clothes: It's hit and miss.  I did notice that some of my t-shirts are too short to deal with my WHOA MOMMA! belly so I bought some longer ones.  I have noticed that bigger sizes are often cheaper than buying maternity clothes, and I like to layer...so I've been doing a lot of that.  I definitely appreciate Target even more than I did before (and that's saying something!).

I have one of those belly bands, but I'm not really a fan.  I mostly use it because work pants with the smaller panel are next to impossible to find if you're not interested in wearing anything with "skinny" in the title.

Hint:  I'm not.

Symptoms: This week?  Headaches.  I've had some monster migraines I just haven't been able to shake.  At my appt. this week, the doctor said it's likely because the baby is starting to move my spine and causing some muscle tension in there.  She suggested massages--so now I have an excuse :)  Now if I had the time?

Also?  Frequent urination, crazy thirst, a lingering sense of tired (better some days than others), etc.

Aversions: Meat in general--chicken especially.  In fact, I now seem to gag any time chicken is in a dish I eat.  I have to push it over to the side.  I was never a huge fan, but I always managed to eat it.  Not anymore, I guess.  Also, Hazelnut coffee, Cigarette smoke, Pickles, and Eggs.

Oh, and that junk they give you to drink to test for gestational diabetes?  I won't be seeking another serving of that any time soon.

Cravings: Milk, Cold water, graham crackers

What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Feeling toward pregnancy:  All of a sudden I have a timeline on all the habits I've been wanting to develop.  The things I worked so hard for this summer are cycling through my head again along with a call to purposeful living.

This experience is just a reminder that I need to calculate how I spend my time.  Time currency definitely dictates the important things in my life, and I want my kid to know s/he is the most important person in my life behind Jesus and Favorite.  But if s/he never sees me give time to those two things?  How will she know?

How will she know that healthy eating is important?  Or exercise is a good idea?  Or that television isn't nearly as time worthy as socializing with friends and family or taking care of responsibilities? 

The only answer I have is this:  it starts with me.  I have an opportunity to show her an example of purposeful living.  And I have the next five months to make sure I understand it myself.

Best Moment this week: As soon as the doctor put the doppler on my belly, I could hear Navajo's heart beating.  She didn't have to search for it at all, and that sound was just amazing.  Strong and steady are now some of my favorite words in the English language.

Also, Favorite told me I looked like "a dog that had been fed bacon grease."  I think it was a compliment? And there was a class of students who informed me I looked pregnant-er this week than last.  They spent the next few minutes deconstructing my wardrobe to determine my exact growth pattern.

What I'm looking forward to: The Gender Reveal! I can't wait to know if Little Navajo is a girl (like Favorite believes) or a boy (like my father insists).

Starting on the nursery.

Finalizing our names.

And just shopping in general.  I love to go to the baby section at any store, and right now I'm looking at a few diaper bags.  Here's number 1:

This is the Thirty-One utility tote in Poppy.  I own a utility tote and I luuuurrrrrvvvvveee it.  It holds so much stuff and keeps everything nice and compartmentalized.  I like this bag because the pockets would keep some things accessible while still offering plenty of space for other must-haves.  Oh, and the colors are perfect.  We intend to do the nursery in red and teal (boy or girl--I've never been a fan of pastels) so this bag would match perfectly.

But SILSheena introduced me to skiphop.com, and I've had time to check out fun options like this one:


And this one:


I like that the bottom two close while the Thirty-One bag stays open on the top, but I haven't made any decisions yet.  Right now, I'm just enjoying the process of looking.

One thing at a time, right?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.  It's difficult to articulate how a loss changes life and even more difficult to state how keenly aware I am of that loss in light of our current miracle.  On one hand, the joy of this child doesn't cancel the possibility of the first; however, my grief is tempered with a strong sense of hope and joy--things that were absent in the two years since we said goodbye.

The knowledge of both experiences makes me unabashedly grateful for where Favorite and I are, but breaks my heart for those still waiting, hoping and grieving. 

For more information on October 15th or how to comfort a grieving family, click here.

But above all things, remember.  It's the best gift anyone can give to someone who has lost.

"Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5, NIV).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blog Day of Silence

For the Turner Family and anyone else who is facing a season with a broken heart.


But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!

--Isaiah 43:1-3 (The Message)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Fogless Weekend

There was fog hanging just above the farm as far as I could see this morning.  It's a weird image.  Almost like we lived on the moors referenced in Wuthering Heights or some other equally mysterious book.  For me, though, that fog clarified how hazy things have been in the last few months.  Since July, I felt like I've been living on fast forward and things have only just slowed to normal speed this month.

Fall does that.  Or maybe October requires a slower pace--one that requires four day weekends, deeper breaths, an appreciation for color and time with family.

For a few days, I left my immense pile of grading and didn't feel badly to take a couple of days hanging out with my family near LilBro's current residence.

And since all vacations begin with Favorite in a hat...

Here he is in all his gansta glory.  And if you can't read it, his shirt says, "I keep it real."  What other caption could a big man in a teal shirt need?

Favorite and I stayed overnight so we could visit Babies 'R' Us to finalize a few decisions regarding bigger items that don't necessarily require a positive gender identification.  The coolest thing about our visit?

The only problem is now Favorite believes all places of business should have a few parking spaces dedicated to expectant mothers.  I tried to explain that even if they did?  I would probably park farther away and walk.  His argument was undeterred.

We also decided we will likely purchase one of these (or something similar):

The Jeep stroller comes fully outfitted with an iPod hookup and speakers.  It's a sweet ride, yo.  Frankly, though, after walking/running with friends and pushing three different types of strollers, Favorite and I have agreed that a jogging stroller may be a good choice for us. 

While I am walking some now (and maybe running occasionally...depending on who is reading this), I do intend to return to my running schedule after Little Navajo is born, and I do intend to work toward competing in at least one 5K and working my way up.  I doubt I'll ever be marathon material, but I do enjoy this whole I-never-thought-I-could-run-except-now-I-do high.

The family arrived the next morning and we spent the day shopping and hanging out.  We exhausted ourselves early enough to eat dinner with anyone over the age of 65 (around 5 o'clock) and LilBro chose a restaurant with the intention of developing "The Meat Sweats."

"The Meat Sweats" come as the result of eating a large portion of meat in one sitting.  And even though that was his goal, I'm not sure LilBro was altogether successful.

He ordered the build your own burger platter and might have exceeded his expectations by a bit.

Not that he wasn't up for the challenge...

He even got a little support from JaketheSnake who had been his running buddy earlier in the day.

Eventually, though, he succombed to the glory that was the build-your-own-burger.

When dinner ended we went our separate ways because a few of us had a two hour drive back to the ole homestead. 

Frankly, I was glad to be heading back to my king-sized bed.  You don't know how small a queen is until you've been sleeping in a king for a while and you try to fit your slightly overgrown butt into the same bed with a man who approximately the size of an adolescent buffalo.

My long weekend ended with some time with prezi.com--a successful encounter, I might add.  Since my first experience, I feel like I've become at least a capable user.  And it was cool to seamlessly include pictures and videos without constantly googling instructions about embedding.

Oh, and I saw a movie with my mom:

I don't know what this says about my personality, but I couldn't resist a movie where a group of girls remixes Blackstreet's "No Diggety."  Don't judge me.  The movie itself was a bit blah, but I love remixes and acapella groups so the music was a lot of fun. 

Then my mom convinced me that the shellac manicure was worth it, so even though I never wear nail polish, I sat for forty-seven layers to end up with this:

(There should be a picture here, but my computer just stopped reading my car for some reason.  I'll try to fix if I have some time tonight.)

Verdict?  A good weekend.  And a reminder to appreciate what's in front of your face instead of moving on fast forward all the time.

A lesson that bears repeating, no?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

15 Weeks--Little Navajo

I know you can tell by this picture that Favorite and I are professional photographers.  Try not to be jealous.  And my hair was the size of Texas today--it was competing with my belly, because, WHOA NELLY, what is going on there? 

How Far Along: 15 weeks

Size: Little Navajo is the size of an apple.  (Last week s/he was the size of a lemon.  Is there that much difference between the two pieces of fruit?  And what's with all the food analogies?)

Gender: About four weeks before we know. Favorite is convinced it's a girl, and I get in trouble if I call "her" a "him."

Movement: People are going to think I'm crazy, but it's possible I've felt her/him.  People have described it as bubbles or popping corn, but it felt more like poking or waves to me.  I've felt it several days in a row, but it's really impossible to tell if that's what I'm feeling right now.

Sleep: This week?  Not so great.  I have a small problem with my left leg going numb and that requires me to readjust every so many minutes and that does not lend itself to great sleep patterns.  We actually skipped our small group this week so I could go to bed at 7:30 pm.

Maternity Clothes: I bought some this week.

Then, I walked out of Target and cried.

How did I get so blessed?

But honestly, my belly is so big...maybe a little too big for 15 weeks?  I feel like all of my fat is redistributing itself to my middle, because I'm still losing inches elsewhere.  My thighs (while still large) are smaller.  My butt, according to Favorite, is actually becoming more toned.  (I'm not sure I believe him.)  I haven't gained any weight, but certain items of clothing have gotten extremely loose--except in the belly area.

I feel like my body is finally starting to function a little closer to normal?  And I'm confused, but mesmerized by that discovery.

Oh, and someone is going to have to pry maternity pants out of my cold, dead hands.  Why did I ever try to wear real pants?

Symptoms: Every time the second hand ticks 15 seconds, I have to pee.  Heartburn.  Problems with smells.  And a lingering sense of tired I can't seem to shake.

Aversions: Meat in general--chicken especially, Hazelnut coffee, Cigarette smoke, Pickles, Eggs

Cravings: Milk, Cold water

What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Feeling toward pregnancy:  Amazement?

I know people are going to think I'm weird, but every time I look down at my belly, I just stare in complete disbelief.  Favorite and I have several conversations a week that revolve around one thought:  "Is this really happening?" 

But it is.  It's really happening.  Now I just cry at every new revelation.  I don't have words to explain what it looks like when grateful and humble collide, but I'm living that reality.

Best Moment this week: Walking out of Target with a bag full of maternity clothes, looking at my husband and realizing we were both crying.  We got in the car and he said, "Best money we've ever spent.  This is really happening."

What I'm looking forward to: The Gender Reveal!  I can't wait to know if Little Navajo is a girl (like Favorite believes) or a boy.

Starting on the nursery.

Finalizing our names.

Pretty much everything.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Ok Thursday 10/4/2012

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...to plan to stay home from small group just to go to bed at 7:30 pm.

...to wear jeans a little more often than normal because they are the pants that "fit."

...to constantly re-zip those jeans because a rubber band doesn't exactly encourage the zipper to stay put.

...to have no idea where the Advanced class will progress next week...and love it.

...to skip around to other small groups just to get to participate in anticipated Bible studies (Yay for Undaunted!)

...that I stalked the FedEx man last night in hopes my new camera would arrive.  Alas.  It did not.

...to refer to my Nook as my best friend.  Don't judge me.

...to be more excited about a semester off from grad school than I ever was about finishing a master's degree.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Personal FAQ

A few people in real life and in blog world have asked a couple of questions related to my pregnancy.  In general, I'm not opposed to answering questions; however, I will use discretion where I feel it's necessary.

While we were waiting, I sometimes found inspiration in other people's stories.  More often than not, though, I felt like other people's stories weren't necessarily something I could claim for myself.  No matter what side of the fence you are on, I hope you find even the smallest amount of encouragement here.

1.  How long have you been trying to have a baby?

Total, it was 7 1/2 years before this pregnancy.  My PCO went undiagnosed until I was 29, and then we suffered a miscarriage about two years ago.

2.  Did you take medication to get pregnant this time?

Nope.  This was, in the truest sense of the word, a miracle.  The only medication I have taken in the last two years has been metformin--mostly to control or alleviate some of the symptoms of PCO.  But we didn't take any fertility medication to conceive Little Navajo at all.  In fact, it was the shock of my life when the doctor told me, and I even argued with him when he tried to convince me.

(And I thought most of the symptoms before that positive test were the result of PCO and my gall bladder.)

3.  Did you ever consider pursuing IVF?

I didn't.  I'm not opposed to IVF, but it was never going to be a good fit for us for several reasons.  I never felt "at ease" with pursuing that particular treatment, mostly.  (And over 7 1/2 years, I did a lot of praying.  Believe me.)

I'm glad it works for so many people, and I know several people who have personally been given a chance at parenthood because of it.  It just wasn't for us.

4.  How does PCOS affect pregnancy?

There's really no short answer to this question, so I'll be as brief as possible.

PCO makes it really difficult to get pregnant.  Most sufferers do not ovulate with any regularity.  There are medications to fix the lack of ovulation; however, that is no guarantee.

Unfortunately, miscarriage is much higher for someone with PCO.  Some research indicates women with PCO may have poorer egg quality than the general population.  Some research states that the hormonal irregularities cause a higher incidence of miscarriage, but the jury is still out on why miscarriage rates are higher.  I've done a ton of reading, and the arguments on all sides are fairly convincing.  It could also be an "all the above" sort of situation or a "depends on the patient" situation.  Who knows.  It seems medical professionals are a bit puzzled about PCO in general so answering these questions becomes even more difficult.

Because insulin levels (due to insulin resistance) in someone with PCO tend to be higher, many practitioners will recommend that patients continue to take metformin through the first trimester to reduce the chances of a miscarriage.  My doctor was one of those practitioners; however, it's rare they will recommend patients to continue taking the pills throughout pregnancy because it is a medication that crosses the placenta and can be passed through breast milk.

Right now, my biggest concern is passing the gestational diabetes test.  Instead of testing once at 24 or 28 weeks, I start testing at 16 weeks and continue to test every four weeks until 28 weeks.  (Well, I continue to test unless I fail the one hour and the three hour.)  Again, because insulin levels in women with PCO tend to be higher, this is precautionary.  I'm mostly concerned because I know my body doesn't handle sugar well--that's why I limit sugars and refined carbs.  In fact, the only time I really didn't "watch" was during the first trimester when the only thing I could stomach at night was a baked potato.  So chugging any amount of sugary drink sounds counter-intuitive to me.  I've read comments from other women with PCO, and many of them stated they failed the one hour and passed the three hour with flying colors.  Here's hoping.

5.  What factors do you think contributed to this pregnancy?

Honestly?  Prayer.  I don't know how many people were praying for us, but I know they were praying often.  I definitely want people to know that God should be glorified for what we've been given.  I believe everything comes by His hand, but when He does it without any sort of assistance?  It still blows my mind.

Recently, I've wondered if His consistent call to obedience in diet and exercise were contributing factors.  I don't think that gives Him any less glory in our situation.  If anything, it's probably a testament to His persistence with me because I wasn't really a willing participant.  And also, I lost very few lbs prior to discovering our little stowaway.  Most of my weight loss came after we discovered Navajo.  How many women get better weight loss results while pregnant than before?  I'd say not many.

6.  Has this experience changed the way you deal with infertility?

Yes and no.

I remember getting so frustrated with women who would try to commiserate with me when they were pregnant or had children because our situations just weren't the same.  Sure, they may have dealt with infertility, but clearly that was no longer their reality.  Basically, they weren't in the trenches anymore.

That's been my hardest reality because my heart is still there.  I do remember excusing myself from situations because I just couldn't handle them, though.  So I don't take it personally when these women don't talk to me much or avoid me in public places.  I won't be offended if they can't attend a baby shower or even if they don't coo over Little Navajo when s/he's born.  Frankly, those decisions aren't about me.  And that's OK.  I know how possible it is to be happy for someone else and still struggle with the situation.

But...

I've realized how crucial it is to pray for those in the waiting.  It's not that I didn't realize it before, but it's much more urgent to me these days.  I've been praying for three couples and my heart breaks to think any of them would sit in this season for an extended period of time.

For myself...

I pray that pregnancy will put PCO on the back burner.  It isn't a curable disease, but there are several women who have testified to fewer symptoms and fewer problems losing weight after a pregnancy.  Does it level out hormones?  Does it kick start the system into understanding how to process insulin?  Did the chicken come before the egg?  No idea.  All I know is I pray for it to happen.

So there they are...the FAQ of late.  Feel free to email other questions if you have them.  I will answer (within reason).  I'm also eagerly anticipating the arrival of my new camera and hope that will significantly impact the blog in a positive way!