13w0d

Ultrasound #2!  

Baby was flipping and flailing around so much we could barely get a photo of it sitting still. So fun to watch this little life…be alive! And not some imaginary entity in my head that I convince myself is growing in my body!

Kept sucking it’s thumb too. Hashtag adorable. (Now that it doesn’t look like such an alien)

Hip hip hooray for my sweet, hyperactive, jalapeño-sized nugget!

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This Imperfect Christian’s Perspective

Today the Supreme Court of the United States of America held that the 14th amendment requires states to license same-sex marriage and recognize those marriages entered into in other states. It’s not a novel concept in our time, but it will be an historic day in American history. Time to print a new edition of textbooks.

While loose interpretation of the U.S. Constitution really grinds my gears, I have to applaud the SC for finally pushing this through. Nearly every day for my perceivable adult life thus far, I have been so irritated and frankly embarrassed that same sex marriage is still politically debated in 2015. The fact that it is a debate point for the 2016 election is beyond embarrassing though, it’s just sad. The American people have been so beyond this issue for so long already. It’s sad that our representatives in government have yet to catch up.

Let me preface – I am an Evangelical Christian. I am imperfect. I do not presume to say that I know all the answers or even that my opinions are correctly aligned with what my faith’s leadership would mandate. I form my opinions from my life experience, which includes my personal experiences with God and His word. 

That being said, I have always been supportive of legalizing same-sex marriage. I recognize that same-sex relations were not God’s intention, and this phenomenon is a result of a fallen world. Don’t cringe when I say it, but it’s a sin to act on homosexual desires. Now, it is EQUALLY sinful to act on feelings of envy, lust, and hate (no matter what your sexual orientation is). In essence, a sin is a sin is a sin. 

The bible does not tell me to hold others to a standard of God’s original intention for His creation. I am not called to judge. Even personally, God did not create me to politically withhold liberties from other sinners. Here’s where I reach a catch sometimes though – if I were to be a law-enforcer, with my beliefs of equal sin, should it not be equally righteous for me to prevent murderers from killing as it would be for me to prevent homosexuals from acting on their desires? That’s a rough argument for me, and I can’t say that I know how to get past it just yet.

But here is what I do know. I am called to love my neighbor. I am called to be accepting, and show grace to sinners, as I am one – equally guilty as anyone else. My sin and those of a homosexual are equal to God. But here’s the thing: the cross happened. Christ happened. Heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, he carried the sins of all mankind when he was crucified. I keep seeing the hashtag #LoveWon all over the place. But #LoveAlreadyWon. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice paid the fine of all our sins. Therefore we are free to love one another and enjoy a life of liberty, covered by the grace of his perfect love.

What does it say about me if I am to tell a homosexual couple that because their desire is sinful, they don’t deserve God’s grace, forgiveness, love, and blessing of a holy marriage? When I got married, was I not a sinner as well, as I still am today? Does that mean I didn’t deserve to enjoy the legal bond of marriage? I may offend my fellow Christian community by feeling this way, but I say No. I choose love. I choose acceptance. Even if only just for my absolute disgust and fatigue with the argument as a whole. 

We are beyond this. Christians should not fear this decision, nor should the Christian community choose now to victimize itself in light of being fundamentally refuted. The worst thing a Christian could do in this time is be a sore loser. Embrace this change. Personally, my prayer is that in these same-sex marriages, God would reveal himself and his design to these individuals, and His love would fill their legal covenants. 

I get the Christian “turmoil” as it were. As Christians, we know what’s coming. Times they are a-changing. The bible warns of a time when sin will consume us: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6). Along with that, it warns that these sinful acts will be idolized, celebrated, institutionalized. Herein lies the fear of the Christian community – that with the legalization of the institution of same-sex marriage, we are falling into dark times, and therefore should be mourning this decision.

… am I missing something? What about the cross? What about our hope for the future? What about our evangelical duty? Are you telling me that because the “world” is falling into this period of prophetized sin & turmoil, we are supposed to just sit back and bitch about it and lose faith that God will continue to save the sinner? 

Guys, I get it. What God mourns, we should also. But we have a job to do, and God isn’t in the business of giving-up. Me neither. My job is love. My mission is to accept changes as they happen, respect my leaders, trust God’s will ALWAYS, and love like there’s no tomorrow. 

Differences aside, we’re going to get through this. Idiot radicals aside, progressive change will come. And sin of the world aside, God loves abundantly. I’m talkin in ways no political faction, Christian leader or gay average Joe could possibly fathom. We don’t know the plan, we don’t know what’s to come. But as a very intelligent burly half-giant wizard once said, 

“What’s comin will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” 

-Rubeus Hagrid

12w5d

It baffles me to hear stories of women who didn’t know they were pregnant until they start getting huge later in the pregnancy. Either my body is a fragile ecosystem that senses the slightest change from its equilibrium and I’m just freakishly self aware or I’m just so swayed by the knowledge that I am indeed pregnant. Regardless, I feel, and have felt from the beginning (I’m talkin like 5 weeks), very pregnant. 

Thankfully the nausea era seems to have at long last subsided and I’m just going to declare in the name of Jesus that it is gone for good. I seem to be getting my appetite back, and with it some very unhealthy cravings. Yesterday I had Sonic for lunch and today it was McD’s. Yes I was craving a Big Mac and those evil little fries. So sue me. I’m so excited to want to eat anything that I’m willing to indulge myself here, at least for a time.

Feeling tons of crazy exhaustion though. The other day I slept in till 10am, and still needed a nap in the afternoon! Naps are now a daily necessity. And Hubs and I don’t stay up late – we’re generally in bed around 9pm like some seriously boring old people.

Household duties have taken a major hit over the last couple months, and it’s lookin like they’re still gonna be coasting on the back burner for a while, till I get some energy back. There is so. Much. Laundry.

Acne has been another ongoing struggle. I have fought hormonal cystic acne since I was a teenager. It flares up with any hormonal change in routine, from coming off birth control to switching to a new pill etc. Pregnancy has been a rough one for my skin. Pretty intense cystic acne all over my cheeks and chin, not much to keep it at bay but just keep washing and praying. Against my better judgment, I have reverted back to my ole faithful acne wash, which is a 10% benzoyl peroxide solution. While many out there would shudder to hear I’m using such an intense chemical on my skin while pregnant, enough doctors have told their patients there’s really nothing to worry about that I am comfortable with the choice. It’s the only wash that actively treats these kinds of breakouts. I can’t keep going to work taking photos of 1 day old newborns and expect to make good sales when I’m feeling hideous and like I look unclean. It’s honestly not a vanity thing. Believe me, when you have dealt with cystic acne your entire adult life, you learn to not let it get to you on that level. Kinda leads to depression and such.

Which leads me to moods – I have been surprised by how decently level my moods have been! The only times I feel any fluctuations are when I sometimes get little periods when I am irritated by absolutely everyone in my life, or other times when I start to panic about my impending responsibilities. I shove those feelings way down somewhere deep where I will probably have to confront them late in my 3rd trimester… But hey, that’s a future me problem! … I may eventually regret these choices …

Posted a photo of my “baby bump” the other day – it’s funny (and not funny) I look much further along than I am. My belly is the only place I never lost fat when I was having a hard time eating. It just stayed flab town. Add in the daily bloat factor and the occasional constipation and voila! A pretty preggo looking belly. Over the last week I am certain the uterus has been movin on up into my stomach from my pelvis because the whole area felt like a dang construction zone. So I should start seeing/feeling the baby bump grow in that direction now. My uterus is apparently the size of a large grapefruit now, with a small apricot sized baby inside. So fruit.

I have a genetic screening ultrasound this week, still pissed the base hospital doesn’t offer the blood gender test like everywhere else these days. Would love to have had a gender reveal when we visit home in a couple weeks. A friend of mine’s mom is an ultrasound tech though, and said she will try to have a machine at home the week we’re there to try to determine the gender. While at the very beginning I was nearly dead set on it being a boy, over the last few weeks my feelings have been leaning towards it being a girl. The majority of those old wive’s tale tests have indicated girl (like that means anything) but also from my first ultrasound, the yolk sac test suggested girl too. So happy with either of course. It would only be once I’ve had enough of one that I’d be desperate for the other. Please God no more than 2 girls…

Last couple days of my first trimester woohoo! Hubs thinks tomorrow night I’ll have a magical transformation and wake up on Friday (13w) with no symptoms and with tons of energy and a massive sex drive lol. Poor guy. He’s been so wonderful. The other day he just turns off the TV and goes, “what can I do for you right now? Back massage? Draw you a bath? Anything you need.” 

Sometimes ‘love’ isn’t a strong enough word.

10w3d

Weeks 6-8 of my pregnancy appeared to be my hardest weeks for the all-day nausea that some half-wit somewhere in the past deemed “morning sickness.” I had to lower my hours at work, took a couple couch days, and braved through the complete lack of appetite as best I could. After a couple days of peace I was in what I thought to be recovery. But at 10 weeks 3 days, I’m full on phase 2 morning sickness: the return of evil Dr. Tummy. 

Before I go any further, I really need to point out that no matter how it sounds, I’m truly not complaining. I can’t think of a better reason to feel so crappy. I embrace it, I take it in stride. Does it suck? Oh yeah. But I would rather feel sick and be pregnant than feel normal and not be.

So there have been a few tricks and products that help. First, I had to nix all swallow prenatal vitamins and opt for the gummy alternative. Yes I’m 23 years old and I take gummy vitamins. But you know what? I’ve never thrown up the gummies, and I can’t say the same for regular swallow pills – no matter what time of day I choose to take them.

As far as other things that actually help – I suggest that if you’re having issues eating, just give into all those cravings. If out of nowhere you’re craving Chinese and nothing else sounds good, order Chinese. Nearly no food has consistently sounded good to me for longer than half a day or so. But apples have been pretty consistent fill-ins for meals when I can’t think of food. Popsickles have also been a lifesaver – I am favoring sugar-free tropical flavored. I’ve eaten 4 just today. But eating anything is better than not at this point, baby needs nourishment somehow.

So that brings me to the sure-fire fixes people will advise you to try that straight up haven’t worked for me.

Sea Bands. Looked up the exact pressure point location on the wrist, wore them all day and no relief. Sad.

Peppermint tea. For some reason, warm drinks have actually made me feel more nauseated. And tea isn’t doing it for me at all. I have to have very cold drinks or I gag. It’s obnoxious.

Ginger candies. A friend got me a big box of ginger chews that helped her through the first trimester. I can’t force them down. The taste is a little out there for me, but thankfully Hubs loves them so they won’t go to waste.

Crackers. They dry out my mouth and make me too thirsty. I never want to eat them, and they’ve made one too many second appearances in my day so I just don’t even go there anymore.

Unisom + b6. My OB suggested this one, taken in combination before bedtime should relieve nausea. Nope. I’ve tried it multiple nights with no relief. I had high hopes for this one.

Licorice. … Yuck, no. Not even trying it. Ew.

I think it’s important for struggling mommas-to-be to see that sometimes all the quick fixes just don’t work, and that’s okay! I’m going to keep trying and hopefully find my magic ingredient. If not, I’m in the final stretch of the first trimester so I should feel better soon, fingers crossed.

What suggestions have people made for you that have or have not worked for your morning sickness as a preggo lady or just regular ole nausea?