Pregnancy: Messy and Unfiltered

First of all, a heartfelt THANK YOU to the hundreds of you who've read our blog, texted me, called me, posted on Facebook, emailed/messaged me, and hugged me over the past week. It has been quite humbling and overwhelming to receive your joy and congratulations. It has literally enCOURAGEd me and boltered my capacity to celebrate this pregnancy more freely. Thank you.

Also, thank you for carefully guarding your tongue as you've jubilantly celebrated this pregnancy. While we have been recipients of "stupid comments", it pales in comparison to the sensitive, thoughtful, and loving words we've received. For that I am most profoundly grateful.

So, on to some of your questions - stated and sensed - as to "how are you feeling?" in this pregnancy.

PHYSICALLY :: Not bad considering I'm growing a human inside of me [so weird, right?!?]. My first trimester wasn't wonderful but it was so much better than many of my friends' pregnancies. I never puked and only felt nauseous for about a month off and on. My biggest nemesis was exhaustion. Pure, utter, uncontrollable exhaustion. For a while I couldn't decipher whether it was because I was pregnant or just tired from working full time and being a mom to two toddlers. Eventually, I gave in to the reality that it was all of it combined. Brian said I've been at 60-70% of my normal capacity, but since my coworkers couldn't tell most of the time I consider that pretty darn good.

I've felt pregnant since before we officially found out in mid-October because of the wacky symptoms I was experiencing. But since we aren't conversing over a cup of decaf coffee, I'll spare you the unappetizing specifics. Suffice it to say that what makes you impregnate-able beforehand makes you not-so-attractive after getting knocked up. Follow me?

EMOTIONALLY :: This is a loaded one question. Like I alluded in my previous post, I will unpack this further in the days to come. Yet I will elaborate a bit more here. We wanted to adopt again. I didn't want to get pregnant after experiencing the miracle of adoption. I had FULLY died to the dream of carrying a child and was totally accepting of that. The thought of having 3 kids under the age of 4 join our family in the span of 18 months is quite intimidating. The fact that we drive 2 Honda Civics and live in a cozy 2 bedroom, 1100 square foot condo without a washer/dryer cramps my style. The shocking reality that our baby will not be black like his/her sibling still confounds me. The fears of others' comments about Judah and Addise and Baby #3 could be paralyzing if I thought about it too long. Accepting that my body is hosting then sustaining another's life for nearly 18 months doesn't fit my ideal. It's also been a bit guilt inducing that I'm not altogether joyful about this miracle. After all we've been through, why wouldn't my wholehearted, exclusive response be worship to Creator God?

These are not insurmountable feelings, but they are requiring me to name them all and take them to the Cross where Jesus can deal with them and me together. My feelings are nothing God is surprised by nor overwhelmed with. He's been patient with me as I've taken them to him one by one and let him transform them.

Emotionally, it's also a HUGE relief that people now know. I felt like a fraud and liar for 6+ weeks walking around. When people asked, "how are you?" I wanted to blurt out, "PREGNANT! What the $&@%?!?" But instead I eeked out some lame response. I also feel more authentic in my clothes, not trying so desperately to hide a belly demanding attention. Daily I felt betrayed by my tightening jeans and unforgiving shirts. Finally, I can say, "I'm pregnant. I'm not just getting fat." What a load off.

RELATIONALLY :: Brian and I are doing really well. Honestly, he's been way more excited [albeit still very overwhelmed] than I have since day one. But he's been careful and sensitive to allowing me to journey through my emotions. He's really the most amazing, wise man. He has said that I've been more irritable and grumpy with him, but he gets that I've been growing body parts inside of my body. As a sci-fi guy, he gets this and sympathizes. Our time together seems to be more defined by exhaustion these days [me growing a baby; him pulling extra weight in our family], but after 10+ years of marriage there's a deep connection and "I got your back" determination.

Our kiddos are also doing great with this news they don't fully understand. When I ask Addise where mommy's baby is, she gets a very puzzled and determined look over her face, then repeats "baby" on turbo speed until she finds one of her baby dolls and brings it to me. Pure simplicity! When I ask Judah where the baby is, he replies verbatim every time, "there's a baby in mommy's belly." The other morning I asked him while he was playing and he said the above statement, then ran over to me, pointed to my bulging belly and cleverly exclaimed, "I found it!" Pure joy!

SPIRITUALLY :: This is the most wonderfully messy and complex part. Again, I promise to unpack my soul over the coming posts, but I will say I'm in a familiar a place of surrender and dependency like I was throughout our adoption journey. As a friend told me today, "God reminded me for you that he's way more interested in the journey than the outcome. God said 'Journey'." Very little of this pregnancy makes sense to me other than God proving that he's a God of miracles and humor. In fact, laughter is my favorite response from people when they find out we are pregnant. It shows they've entered into the craziness with us. Wonder and awe are my next favorite responses because those seem to make sense with who God is to us, too. [Although a shock-filled response is most like our response.]

Prayers are greatly appreciated. Any words from the Lord? We'll take them. Just be sure he wants us to hear "that" word now. :) There's a lot to figure out in the next 27 weeks. Ai ai ai. And because I'm feeling bold this evening, my first pregnancy picture...

12 weeks pregnant...cannot believe the size of this baby bump!