Today we enter week 17 of pregnancy – and I am happy to announce that week 16 has marked a turning point. I feel like eating. I have energy (some). I still have to go to the bathroom all the time. In general, though, week 16 has been a very nice change from the weeks that preceded it.
This week I’m thankful…
Perhaps the most distressing part of the first trimester (and the first few weeks of the second) for me was not morning sickness (although I did experience nausea and a bit of vomiting) but an overall apathy about and distaste for food. I love food. I make my living talking about food. I love to cook. I love to eat. Just not during the first trimester. Despite my strong desire to look at every baby craft imaginable, I considered giving up Pinterest entirely because of the horror of constant pictures of food. I struggled to hold back bile rising as I listed foods for other pregnant women to try to raise their iron or increase or decrease their rate of weight gain. If I had enough energy to start something for dinner over lunch, it was profoundly uninteresting once the time for dinner rolled around. The only things that ever sounded good were popsicles and fried potatoes.
This week, I finally have the energy to cook – and the stomach to eat. I’ve cooked almost every night and enjoyed the varied flavors of Spicy Clam Penne, Chicken Paprikash, Fresh Pickles, Watermelon, and Zucchini from the garden. It’s been wonderful. I feel like myself again.
…for showing and people knowing
It’s easier to dress when you don’t have to worry about people thinking you’re just thickening around the middle. Easier to stand if you don’t have to worry about people wondering and trying to figure out what to tell them if they guess. Easier to talk to the clients I already spilled the beans to without my coworkers getting confused. Because yes, the foundations lady at Dillards and a handful of clients learned I was pregnant before all but my closest family.
I saw one of the first clients I told just the other day – she was ecstatic that I was now showing and eager to remind me again what a blessing children are.
…for an excuse to cry
I had a very difficult client this week. After she was gone, I cried in my office. I cried in my boss’s office. I cried again in my office while writing my notes. A coworker gave me a hug. I cried again at lunch and had potato chips and a book to soothe my emotions. After work, I cried again and got hugs and French fries from my husband. (Am I an emotional eater? Why yes. Yes, I am.) My reaction was most decidedly an overreaction. It was far from professional. But I had an excuse. I’m pregnant.
I am not one of those girls who needs to have music on (or noise going in general) to be happy. I am perfectly content to drive, do dishes, cook, and read in perfect silence. When I do feel the need for background music, I often turn to Pandora, where I have a praise and worship station set up playing mostly Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman.
But now that I have some energy, it’s time for me to do what I advise my pregnant clients to do: train for delivery. Delivery is like a marathon, I tell them. The better prepared your body is, the easier it can be. With Kansas weather currently either raining or sweltering, my usual favorite form of physical activity (walking) is out, so I’m taking my own advice and turning on some music to dance around the house (or, in my basement with the fan on – alternating dancing with resistance exercise and doing some stretching at the end.)
To make sure that I’m exerting the right amount of energy, it’s valuable to choose my dancing music carefully. Pandora has workout stations that fit my preferred 120-140 bpm range (perfect for low impact aerobic dance), but until I’ve curated them carefully, they’re mostly, uh, music I don’t like to listen to. Enter Spotify. Spotify lets me create playlists that I can then have on “random” from my phone during my workout. I choose songs that I don’t mind dancing to within my preferred range (actually 133-148 bpm) and I don’t have to worry about getting some random awful song thrown into the mix. It’s perfect.
While I’m at it, I made a few more playlists: the Hosanna! praise music of my childhood and my favorite Christian oldies. After all, baby might be starting to hear this week, and what better thing than to hear his mama singing the Psalms or some Larry Norman, right?
Many times through the early weeks of pregnancy, I had to remind myself to be thankful – not because I was particularly unhappy or unthankful but because I was so exhausted I had little energy to think about or do anything. Now, it’s much easier to be thankful, as I start to have energy for more and more. Oh, that I would get in the habit, though, of thanking God every moment – such that it isn’t an extra but a movement as natural as breathing.
Breathing in grace.
Breathing out thanks.
Even as I’m training my body for delivery, I’m training my soul for life. Breathing in grace, breathing out thanks.
Now that’s breath support.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”
~Psalm 150:6 (ESV)