Saturday, September 27, 2014

How coffee stole my pregnancy symptoms

The first 12-15ish weeks of my pregnancy, I really didn’t have many symptoms. According to every book, website, blog, human being, and brochure out there, thousands of pregnancy symptoms that one could or should be experiencing were sailing right past me. Heightened sense of smell, sore boobs, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, food cravings, food aversions, bloating, constipation, etc. I would tell people I feel great! I feel just like myself except for the part where everyone is constantly asking me how I am feeling and trying to keep me from overexerting myself. (I was not good at changing my lifestyle to accommodate baby brewing, but that’s another story.)
I believe that coffee is to blame (and to thank) for me being pretty comfortable during my first trimester. To coin a new word, I’m a coffeeophile. I love my coffee. I had read and been told that caffeine has to be limited when you’re pregnant so as soon as I found out, I dropped from a full 8-cup pot in the morning and 2 cups in the afternoon after work, to none at all. Maybe you can infer that my body was in a minor state of shock from the sudden reduction in caffeine. One of the main things I’ve heard women discuss about pregnancy is how tired it makes them. The lady who does my nails told me she didn’t want to get pregnant again because she doesn’t ever want to feel that tired again. Well, all I noticed was that suddenly I wasn’t quite as chipper at 5:30 a.m. as I used to be, but by the time I was ready for work, it didn’t bother me all that much. I would really begin to drag around 3:00 when my second round was due, but once again, it didn’t occur to me that it could be pregnancy making me tired. I still don’t know if I had a magical first trimester or if the cold turkey drop of coffee overshadowed baby-growing fatigue.
The second way coffee stole my pregnancy symptoms is the constipation. Ready for some TMI? I’m a person of routine and rituals…when I feel like it, but my morning routine is one that I treasure. This is why coffee was such a hard loss at first. I would get up and my husband would already have the coffee pot automatically set to brew from me. I pour a cup, walk out with my dogs on the back porch, take a couple sips and start maniacally calling the dogs back in as fast as possible because it’s my turn for the morning potty break. Like clockwork I was so regular, sip coffee, go to the bathroom… So, maybe you didn’t want to know that, but you can see that when I eliminated coffee from the routine, I also eliminated the ability to, well, eliminate. Or did I? I know that constipation is an issue throughout most pregnancy due to the growing uterus and from all the hormones we are producing as a small person-factory. For the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, I was also taking an extra dose of progesterone each morning and night as a precaution to help keep my baby stuck in their tightly since I had miscarried the first time. So for all I know, coffee has nothing to do with my regularity…or does it?

When I hit 12 weeks and no more progesterone suppositories (messy buggers, those!) we celebrated. Well, we didn’t celebrate the end of the suppositories so much as we celebrated my birthday. It happened to coincide the same weekend so we took a quick trip to the beach. Oh, the beach. I don’t have to go to the water to be the happiest clam on the shore. I love to sit on the balcony and drink. Coffee!  My fast was over. We made a pot of coffee, went out on the balcony to survey our weekend kingdom, took a long-missed sip and BAM. I was in the bathroom for the next 20 minutes and for much of the rest of the weekend, but let me tell you… I have never had a better trip! Coffee was immediately reinstated, is a much lower quantity than previously consumed as a regular part of my morning routine and I’ve felt great ever since ☺

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beautifully out of control

I was just thinking about pregnancy. How can anyone experiencing their first pregnancy not?! It seems to have totally consumed my life. That’s what I was most scared of, I think, when it all began. However, now my thoughts which are all consumed are not of fear of the loss of control. I had a realization earlier about it all. The beautiful thing about pregnancy is that we are so blissfully out of control. How amazing is it that from the common occurrence of the union of a man and a woman, a brand new person is what emerges later into the world. Thousands of people have sex every day without conceiving a child. Some for their whole lifetimes are never given the blessing.  My husband and I probably had sex a thousand times or more without ever conceiving a child, but just one egg and one sperm, totally microscopic, and totally random join. Once they meet, motherhood is a spectator sport until that child is born. We just sit back and watch our bodies perform a miracle. It is not a comfortable miracle by any means, but what doesn’t come with some sort of price?

However, it’s not random. It only seems that way. They join without us telling them when or which ones. We have no control at all past the love that we share together. All that we have to do is love- each other, and then later the child we are given. The control is that somewhere in God’s plan he has chosen the child for us to raise and nurture.

I love that God takes the reins on this one. I love knowing that stepping back and trusting in him will produce me the greatest blessing of my life. I am so thankful that I am part of the larger plan. When I first found out we were having a girl, I was disappointed. I really was wanting a boy because they just seemed so much easier and more fun. (I’m not a ‘girly’ girl by any means!)  I’m terrified of girls. I know exactly what they’re like and OH MY GOSH! What a lot of work. But God believed that my husband and I need to raise a girl as our oldest and first. How incredibly special?! The idea that I thought I couldn’t handle and wouldn't be good at is what God actually chose for me. How out of control is that?

I love watching my body grow, knowing that all I have to do is stay healthy and God provides the rest. Thank You for that. My love just overflows all the time here recently. I am so thankful that I have been able to live my groovelove life through faith in him. Trusting that everything will be all right is the way to get through the fear and the pressure I felt at the beginning. This is a huge task, but I’m not alone. I’m not in control, but I don’t need to be.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Is love not the strangest thing? It’s not a thing. It’s an emotion, and action, a thought. I think its a  state of being. Pregnancy has made me realize that love stronger than ever. I really lived a lot of my early life trying to keep people at a distance. I did that at first with my Bryson whom I love so much it hurts and she’s not even born yet. The fear of losing love is a hard ache to take just as much as the heart ache itself. When I watch movies where spouses die, my chest just aches with their imaginary pain. I love my husband so much. I truly don’t know where I’d be without him. My livegroovelove life has come from being with him. We complete each other and make each other the good people we are. individually there are many things that are negative about us, but together we have it all. I know that he helped and helps me daily to live my life without worry and to trust that though I can’t see the plan, everything will be all right.  Just my thoughts right now. I am excited to feel love for this baby once she’s born. If it feels so good now, it must be incredible once she’s in my arms.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A different type of pregnancy brain

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve struggled with pregnancy brain. Not just being forgetful, but getting my brain around the whole concept. I’ve never been a baby person before. I can count on one hand how many babies I’ve held, or even been around personally. I’m not the person to stop a lady in the store and coo over her pink or blue bundle in the stroller. I don’t really notice them and, truth be told, the crying and fussing would annoy me that they took them in public like that.  In fact, before a couple years ago, babies weren’t in my mind whatsoever as a possibility. I am the oldest in my family and I don’t remember my mom being pregnant with my sister. I have not even had cousins having babies. After marriage, a cousin-in-law had a couple kids, but we’re not that close and I didn’t see them often enough for the image of bouncing baby, round-momma joy to stick with me and seem like a fun idea. Actually, she’s not a good example of momma-joy so we’ll skip that example altogether.  Last year, my best friend from college was pregnant and turned out with a super cute baby boy, but she did all of this in San Diego … roughly 3000 miles from my house. He is 15 months old now and I think I’ve held him for a total of 45 minutes. My brother-in-law and his wife had a baby in June…in England. I’ll meet that baby next year. I spent two days with that pregnant lady when she was only 12 weeks. We didn’t have much to say on the topic at that point.
The bottom line is:  I’m the first pregnant person I’ve really known.
It’s rough. I think of the phrase, “it takes a village”. What do you do when you’re a recluse and have no village? Don’t get me wrong, I have my mother and my mother-in-law and the countless acquaintances who love offering unsolicited advice, but the problem is, I have had no one close enough to the experience with a similar mindset to really talk to. My friend in California had 3 older sisters and grew up watching them become pregnant and pop out nieces and nephews for her, also she worked as a nanny to a 1 year old before becoming pregnant. How am I supposed to express my unease about it all to someone so comfortable? A lady I work with who I’m pretty close to just had a baby, but we’re not close enough that I can bare my soul about the messy bits of this experience. Plus, she has a twin sister with kids so she’s used to it also.
Basically, I just had children in my mind as an abstract idea. I knew I wanted to have a family, but neglected to think about the slightly involved process about getting there.
Now that I’m 23 weeks pregnant (finally), I am really feeling the joy of being a mom-to-be. The day I saw that positive on the stick I was FILLED with joy. So much that I thought I was having divine inspiration to name my child Joy if it was a girl (she is, but changed my mind). I had about a week of being ecstatic to be pregnant (weeks 4-5) and then we told our parents. That shit suddenly got REAL.
The fear and the uncertainty that I experienced during my first pregnancy came flooding back. Suddenly I was the center of attention, but it wasn’t actually me; it was this kid I didn’t know who had suddenly taken over my body and everyone’s brain. I’m not ready for this. I’m not sure if this was smart… The  negativity took over. I didn’t want these feelings. I wanted my joy back.  I had to work through the first couple of months of my pregnancy slowly with one thought at a time. I had to take it day by day. I just couldn’t imagine myself as a mom. It’s not something that had been tangible until it was taken away. Now I was terrified that any negative thoughts were going to take this one away too. I was too scared to get close to this baby and really let go and love it.
This went against all my principles. I couldn't believe how negative I felt. Fear is a bitch. It is usually irrational in my case and once a seed of thought is planted, it sprouts into an angry weed that takes over. I wouldn’t tell anyone I was pregnant and told my mother and parents- in- law to keep it quiet also. I told my co-workers during my moment of elation, but luckily we were out for summer so I just mulled the information quietly. When we went to the beach for my birthday weekend, I had a bit of a revelation. I was 12 weeks pregnant and I hadn’t lost the baby. It was time to stop letting myself get deeper and deeper into fear of something I can’t control. It seemed to happen instantly. I cried with my husband and confessed the fear that had been making it seems like I wasn’t happy to be pregnant. He had actually been a little angry with how I had been acting and I couldn’t adequately explain it. How do you explain the depth of love for a baby growing inside you, and the chest-crushing weight of the responsibility of growing it?
I got back in my groove and now I’m over the moon with ever gurgle. The fear is still there, but I believe now it is more of an apprehension of the unknown and my desire for this little girl to be healthy and full term. But I just wonder what other people feel in the very beginning. I see so many people bubbling with pregnancy joy that they are excited to be vomiting multiple times per day. Why is my reaction such a negative one when I’m such a positive and easy-going person. Has anyone else ever felt the fear I’m talking about?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dear Bryson

Dear Bryson,
You aren’t born yet, but you’re already the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know every mom probably says that to their babies, but every mom isn’t me. You, little girl, are my catalyst. You are the reason that my life is beginning all over again. I’m a blessed person whether or not I always recognize my blessings. My husband is HOT…and he loves me. He’s a good provider, and I know that he will provide for you, too.  My mother is so supportive and has worked herself tirelessly to raise me and to make sure that I have had everything that I’ve ever needed and wanted. My husband’s parents have helped us to get our life together started as well. I’ve been so successful in my schooling and my career that I’ve made sure I provide for myself also. This all changed with you, Bryson. I’ve been so concerned with myself and how to take care of me, but suddenly, I’m not the one who needs taking care of. It’s you. You, little baby, not even born. You are the center of my universe, and you are the reason for the biggest changes and blessings that I have ever received.
I am such a dreamer. Your daddy is, too. We talk so big about our dreams and plans and everything that we will do…someday.  There is so much we want for ourselves, and since you entered the scenario, it’s you that we want it for, and we will get it by default.  The thing is, before you, we didn’t do anything to get to those dreams and plans. We’re not lazy, but we’re comfortable. We make plenty of money; we have a nice house, wonderful parents, 2 awesome dogs, and each other. We don’t HAVE to move forward. We can comfortably spend the rest of our lives at the level we are at if we want to. But we DON’T want to stay here forever. The dreams and plans nag at us and we keep saying someday. If we just keep working, it will happen…someday.
What we haven’t done is take a leap towards someday. Correction- You, Bryson, were our first leap. We talked about children…someday. It’s hard to believe that two Christmases ago, in 2012, your daddy and I stood in front of our Christmas tree and our hearts were suddenly opened. We realized that our comfortable existence full of our fun things was still not complete. We didn’t have you yet. We didn’t have anyone to share our life with.  The first change to make was family.
We took our time with letting you show up. It always seems like we make a decision and then step back and wait for it to happen. We have to stage it right. In September 2013, yes, 9 months later, I conceived after only 2 months of actually being without any type of birth control. I lost our first baby 7 weeks later. I have never in my life had a more insane month than the month of our first baby. A baby wasn’t a reality for me, it was a dream that somehow I hadn’t expected would actually come true. I hadn’t grasped the enormity of the potential situation. When I learned I was pregnant, I couldn’t believe the emotions I was having. It wasn’t happiness or elation. I was terrified. I took this terror, and it turned to anger. I was so scared that we had made a mistake in disturbing our comfortable, satisfied life. I was angry that suddenly, everything was totally out of my control. I really thought we had made a mistake.  
What I have learned now, though, is that change HURTS. Change is rough. Change is not, and will not be, an easy thing. The day I started bleeding I fell to the floor and begged God not to take that baby from me. I sobbed and prayed like I’ve never done before which at that moment was insane since I hadn’t even tried to become attached to that baby because I was so scared that we had made a mistake in trying to change what we had. It was in that moment when change hit me again, that I saw how good and perfect change could be.  
That change hurt emotionally and physically. I have never felt that kind of pain before, and I hope to never feel it again. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  I am thankful in a strange way that it happened.  I learned the value of life. I learned what it means to be a mother. If a mother is not scared when she finds out she’s pregnant, I can’t understand how. The responsibility of growing a new life is almost suffocating.  Pregnancy is a change that no matter how much you think or pray or research, you can’t really be ready until it happens to you.  It took another 9 months before I conceived again.
April 2014. I had begun to think that I had disturbed something in the cosmos with my first pregnancy reaction. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t conceiving. I know that it takes a while, but I was so eager to try again and to not fail. I felt like I was so ready and that readiness was making me impatient. I wanted to prove that I can do this whole ‘mommy’ thing and do it well. I started my period and was just devastated.  We took our annual trip to Bryson City, NC and I found peace in those mountains the way I do every time I visit. I talked with God that whole trip and let go of my stress and worry about pregnancy. As we kayaked down the Nantahala River in what might have been the most dangerous and potentially stupid situation I’ve ever been in (I’ll have to tell you about that someday! ☺),  I laid it all out on the table with Him that it was in His hands. I would not longer worry and I would just let it be and let it happen when He felt we were ready. I conceived you, Bryson, later that month. I found out I was pregnant on May 2, 2014.

Here we are in September again, one year almost to the day since the first baby and my life has changed so much. I love this change. My body, my soul, my mind and my marriage, but I truly can’t think of a better change that could happen. I am so thankful every time I feel your tiny arms and legs moving inside me. I am amazed daily that you are there, growing, and developing and each day getting so close to being here with us in our comfortable, satisfied life. I love you so much, little girl. So much that I don’t recognize myself sometimes when I think about where I am today and where I was a year ago. Change is terrifying, but such a good, good thing. I am so thankful, Bryson, that you have come into our lives to help us start changing in other ways, working towards our someday plans. I can’t think of a better way to start our someday than with you.

Live Groove Love

This blog is hereby established to chronicle the latest and greatest chapter in my life. It is moving and grooving quickly and slowly, and now, almost, completely. I'm married, I have a great job, wonderful family members, two insane dogs, and a baby in my belly due to rock this world in January 2015. I'm going to record my pregnancy, thoughts on life, daily battles and victories, and anything else that strikes me as blog-worthy as we live, groove, and love our way into being a complete family.

The title, Live Groove Love, is a tribute to how I've tried to manage my adult life so far and my theme for the rest of it.

Live: each day, just live it. Take it as it comes and try not to control the outcome; it's out of our hands anyway. This is my biggest struggle.

Groove: because I'm a hippie at heart and I truly believe that in all we do we should just enjoy the moment and the experience. I struggle to groove when obstacles appear, but remind myself to groove on past and enjoy the music.

Love: let this explain itself. All you need is love. I've got love, and I'm so excited to share it.

I have had my fair share of moments when I didn't manage to groove on through which you'll read about in my next post, but I believe that the love part is essential to life. Love will get us through the times when we lose our groove and get us back to where we need to be.