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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Being Wet

One of the girls I lived with in Los Angeles once said, after clammering out of the shower with a towel wrapped around her bust, "I hate being wet."

What she meant was that she didn't like all the effort it took to get dry, primped, and puffed after being wet. I feel her pain.

Since being put on bedrest, the only scheduled activity in my day is my shower. And while a part of me likes having the one slice of routine in my endless blurr of unscheduled days, I've officially hit the point where "I hate being wet."

Before getting pregnant, I prided myself on low-maintanance. I could get in and out of the shower and be ready in about 20 minutes. No problem! What a synch!

But since getting pregnant, my shower routine has extended into an hour long event. Let me walk you through it.

First - I've developed acne thanks to the high level of hormones circulating through my system. This has tripled my face cleansing routine from one step to three. Now it's cleanser, toner, and lotion, but the acne has cleared up!

Second - The high levels of hormones have also turned the texture of my hair. I used to be able to air dry, now I have to blow dry, or else my hair looks like a thistle patch.

Third - Right before getting pregnant I developed red spots along my torso due to a bought with strep throat. After each shower I have to use a mild dosage of cortisone.

Fourth - LOTIONS! In addition to the cortisone, I use Vitamin E skin care cream on my stomach to ward off stretch marks AND Cocoa Butter on my legs and arms and back because this baby is sucking every ounce of moisture from my body.

Fifth - Eyedrops. Every part of me is drier since getting pregnant. Even my poor eyes.

After all this powdering, lotioning, and drying it's time to stand infront of my closet and decide which pair of pants is going to fit me today. Perhaps the jeans that worked yesterday will be too tight and uncomfortable today, so that leaves me a big pair of corderoys or my new maternity jeans which still aren't quite the right size yet.

Do you see the dizzying amount of work my showers have turned into? Is it any wonder that when it's all over, I lay down for a quick nap?!

I'm once reminded of a moment in highschool when I walked into the bathroom to find my sister standing at the sink counting outloud.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Making sure I didn't forget anything," she said.

Annie then revealed that she had six steps to her bedtime routine and that she would often times count them to make sure she wasn't forgetting one.

This made me laugh so hard! It shows perhaps the biggest different between our personalities, but I can't laugh anymore. I've decided I need to number my own morning steps, because inevitably there is one thing that I always forget. All the cleansing, lotioing, and blowdrying has muscelled out one key part of my routine that I never used to miss.

In fact, now a days I can go through the entire day before I realize that in the hustle and bustle I've completely forgotten to brush my teeth!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Belly or Bust

The belly must be growing.

Yesterday, I had my first bought with round ligament pain, and the ligaments won. I spent most of the day with my feet up, or slinking around the apartment like the Hunchback of Notredame.

Round ligament pain is a normal part of pregnancy. It's when the ligaments attached to the outside of the uterus begin to stretch. It feels similar to the kind of cramp you get in your side from running, only this cramp is lower.

I got a strange kind of satisfaction from the pain, as if my body was working and doing what it's supposed to. It was the pain of growth, of life. Just as quickly as it hit me in the morning, it disappeared by night, right before bedtime.

I'm also convinced that the baby is going through a growth spurt because I have been so sleepy these last three days. Doesn't matter how much sleep I get, the slightest chores ware me out. I made pancakes this morning and then took a nap.

Then I got up and took a shower, got dressed, blow dried my hair, sat down to have my devotions and snoozed some more. I feel like a cat.

I wish I had a picture to show you of my growing stomach, but our digital camera has konked out. To give you an idea - I look as if I swallowed a volleyball. Extra padding around the middle, but not quite big enough to be obviously pregnant yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Two Sparrows for a Penny

I'm 20 weeks along today. I had my fifth check-up with the doctor yesterday, and my fifth ultrasound. The tot had it's fist to its forehead as if it had a headache. Very cute. I'm already getting gushy, and the baby is barely seven inches long!

We still don't know the gender, but the heartbeat is strong, and the baby is very active. I feel it moving everyday, and almost every hour.

The big shocker was that my placenta previa hasn't gotten better. In fact, it's gotten worse. The placenta has settled along the bottom of my uterus, neatly sealing the baby into the womb.

If the placenta doesn't move any number of things could happen. The bottom line is that the end of my pregnancy might not be a smooth as the middle.

Despite all this information, I went to bed feeling peaceful and serene last night. I thought, "As long as my baby's okay, I don't mind!"

I woke up this morning feeling helpless and scared.

The best I can do is to be totally honest with my heavenly Father, and commit myself into his hands. I was reminded this morning that He is in control. I recognize that this fact doesn't garauntee anything, but it must, must, must console me right now.

I read this verse, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father...So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."

Feeling like a sparrow right about now, and trusting that my baby and I are worth more than a penny.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tiny Kicks

Yesterday, a lady from our small group told me that if I laid flat and ran my fingers down my abdomen, I'd be able to feel my uterus growing firmer and larger.

So I tried it this moring, and I didn't get it. Everything was firm from my belly button down and I have a hard time believing that my uterus is that big already. On the other hand, I started thinking about the baby and about the delivery, and then before I knew it, I was praying that the right nurses and doctors would be in the delivery room for us.

This is all very premature, since I haven't even signed up for the birthing classes, but there's no accounting for my neurotic thought patterns!

Just as I was lying there, my hands on my belly, praying, I suddenly felt a little pop from the outside. One side of my brain knew immediately that I had just felt the baby kick, but the other side of my brain was catching up. And while I was running down the list of things that the little pop could have been - like gas, or a stray piece of popcorn somehow exploding in my gut - it happened again. I felt a second thump, against my hand.

In some ways feeling these tiny kicks is so natural, so common, and in other ways, so miraculous.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

At the Beach

From an e-mail to a friend:

I went to the beach today. It was very sunny, but also very windy. Still, it was beautiful and so nice to get out of the apartment. I crave the beach now. I want to go everyday, and I think it's because I get cabin fever. I plan on going to the beach all summer.

As I was laying out, a scrap of a verse came to me, "[Your thoughts] out number the grains of sand," and suddenly I felt very secure, very hopeful about this pregnancy and my baby. I looked down at the sand and thought, "My baby is one of these thoughts," and I felt the overwhelming proficiency of God.