This little boy of ours is awaited with much anticipation. Emily is excited to hold him in her hands. She tells me every time we get in the car that when the baby is born, he will sit in the back seat with her. She loves putting her hands on my tummy to feel him move. I think they are going to be the best of friends. I love the reassurance of feeling him move and grow bigger. Last Monday I felt him drop and settle head down (confirmed by the doctor on Tuesday), so hopefully he stays that way the rest of the pregnancy. Andrew has no problem feeling this guy wiggling, which is still a wonderful surprise after him not being able to feel Emily move more than a few times. I’m making progress on preparations for his arrival, mostly with washing clothes, blankets, and burp cloths. I’m trying to get as many projects as I can out of the way so that I can just stop and enjoy life with a newborn and toddler once he arrives.
The last eleven weeks have been a little rough in the pregnancy department; I have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) – my pelvic bone separated in the front 20 weeks too early. It hurts to get dressed, hurts to walk up and down stairs, hurts to get Emily in and out of the car, hurts to lie day, hurts to stand up, hurts to sit, hurts to push a stroller, and sometimes it just hurts for no reason at all. This development has also made managing my sciatic nerve pain in both legs extra challenging. After six weeks of excruciating pain, I was sent to physical therapy and have been going every week since. It hasn’t removed the pain, but I feel better that at least I’m doing something and it has allowed me to stay mobile – a huge blessing when I spend my day with a toddler!
The physical woes of this pregnancy have led me to change a lot of things in my life, especially how I think and how I spend my time.
Early on in my morning morning sickness I read this blog post and clung to the words, “I have made thee this day an iron pillar” from Jeremiah 1:18. I printed out the free print immediately and hung it downstairs where I could see it from pretty much everywhere. It has gotten me through some pretty rough months and serves as a constant reminder that God made me strong enough to handle this.
I had to reframe how I think about the future; in the terms of the physical pains of the pregnancy, I don’t after reading Give us This Day Our Daily Bread. I ask for what I need that day and have faith that God will answer my prayers and get me through. I have been humbled and amazed at how I have been sustained from day to day, usually by the angels around me that I am blessed to call friends.
For the longest time I have always figured that God understands when I don’t read my scriptures and pray because I’m so exhausted/sick/pained/etc. I’m sure he does understand, but I have learned in the last few months that when I do read my scriptures and pray, he can actually help me. I have been waking up before Emily and Andrew to read each day and it has been a wonderful surprise for me at the help that pours into my heart and mind by spending time studying the Book of Mormon, Bible (the actual paper copy that I can hold in my hands and write on) and writing in my journal. Now I just pray that I will have His help in continuing this life anchoring practice when we have a newborn.
I’ve known for the majority of my life that I need to exercise for me to feel good and happy. Those endorphins are vital. Ever since Emily was born I figured that it was something I could do while she was awake, but I realized recently I become impatient on our walks because she wants to explore and I just want to keep moving. The real clincher is not being able to push a stroller, lift weights, or do any other type of exercise in my living room; if I want to exercise, I need to get up early and walk alone. After I finish reading my scriptures I turn on a general conference talk and walk, spending about half of the time pondering and praying in the beautiful Indiana landscape.
Taking one hour out of the day to spend reading scriptures, walking, pondering and praying sets the tone for the rest of the day in the most wonderful way. That one hour lifts my spirits, gives me strength and patience, and allows me to be a happier wife, mom, and Jessica no matter how I’m feeling physically. This is a great solution for now and I’m loving it, but I also know I’m going to have to figure something else out in two months when our world changes drastically; but I will find a way to meet these needs because I can handle life way better (not perfectly, but much better)!