Nothing in It for Me

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I’m a feely person. I am 100% an external processor, it is difficult for me to “let things go” (how does one even just “let something go?”), and hormones are sooooo not my friend. SO this whole raising a baby-turned-toddler/adoption/growing another baby/adoption again thing has really taken a toll on my emotional state.

People say a lot of things about me. Lately, most of those things have been positive. “You guys are just so awesome.” “I’m so thankful for your calling.” “I don’t know how you do it, but God is really blessing you guys.” “She is a super-mom.” This is all very flattering, but do you want to know how I feel? I feel like a piece of crap. I feel like a selfish, whiny, brat of a person and I wish I could feel a lot stronger. 

The truth is that I am not a strong person, and for the first time in my life I can say that I can’t do this alone. That’s not to say that I could before, but I think God has been stringing me along for my entire life letting me think that I had it so hard and that I was handling everything so nicely, only to teach me a lesson that I apparently badly needed to learn, and with nothing short of grandeur. This lesson has come in loud and clear from the Big Guy. Are you ready?

“This isn’t about you, Alex.”

Ugh. Ouch.

You see, I didn’t even know it, but all of this excitement and pushing forward and all of the things that kept me (and both of us) going through this process was all about how it made me feel. It made me feel like a baller who was just doing the Lord’s work with grace and ease. Then reality hit me like a ton of bricks and it hurt. Badly. Having a teenager is hard. Teenage boys are gross and bonding with one in a maternal way isn’t as natural as I thought it would be. It often feels like all I am getting out of this is more laundry and less food. This is real-talk, you guys. THIS CRAP IS HARD. I don’t really know how to eloquently put it. Throw in a new baby with his own set of health problems and who cries all of the time, and my eyes have only one setting now: crazy.

This reality set in on day one. I sat in my closet alone on move-in day and realized that this didn’t feel as good as I thought it would. I asked God what was wrong. How could something I was so excited about not feel all that exciting after all? Every time I have asked Him that question, which is all the time, His answer has come in loud and clear (which for me is a rare occasion. As you may remember, I am not a sweet whispers from God kind of person. I am a kick-in-the-pants kind of person for dang sure.):

“This is still My plan, even if there’s nothing in it for you.”

So this is not necessarily a sweet blog post in which the lesson or message can be wrapped up neatly with a bow. This crap is still hard. I am not nearly refined enough to take that message from God and allow peace to fall upon me or something. I am getting by a day at a time with the help of those closest to me (including God), and lots of crying and chocolate. I am a firm believer in the power of a good cry. My husband, on the other hand, wishes I would learn another coping mechanism that doesn’t stress him out quite as much. FAT CHANCE DUDE.

PS: Please don’t think I have gone off of the rails and am against foster-care and adoption now. That is the opposite of the truth. I am still 100% in and think that (most of) you should be too. Please still ask me questions about all of that, you can just trust that my answers will be raw and real and honest, which is really better, right?

Love, Alex

Things That Stop Being a Thing in Pregnancy

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A lot has happened since my last pregnancy blog post.

I’m officially in my third trimester. So that happened. I’m not sure when, exactly. Because hasn’t it only been like 5 days? When I give birth tomorrow or something maybe I’ll figure out where the summer has gone.

I digress.

Also, my body has changed a lot. I knew it would. Like, logically in my mind I was all “I’m going to get fat and my boobs are going to get big and I’m going to get stretch marks. Now that all of this has happened, I still stand in the mirror like “Sigh. This is what I look like now I guess.”

What else? Oh! A lot of things have stopped being a thing. Seriously, as “duh” (you have to say it like Cher) as it seems, there are still times when I surprise myself with all the things I can’t do because pregnancy. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Agility. This doesn’t exist anymore. Bending over normally? Nope. Standing up without making noises and/or whining for help from whoever is nearest? Gone. Rolling over in bed without waking up your husband? HAHAHA. I’ve reached the point where I don’t even care that people are taking pity on me. There is no more “I’ve totally got this!” When I drop something on the floor, I just look down and wait. Like a diva. ASK ME HOW MUCH I CARE.

2. Normal and predictable hormones. A thing of the past. There’s so much crap going on in there that there is no telling when or how it will force its way out. Sometimes, it’s crying at a dogfood commercial. Sometimes, it’s getting irrationally angry at your spouse/whoever. This can be a bonus if you say, while yelling, that you know this is irrational and you just can’t help it. It doesn’t make it better, but somehow makes you feel justified. Sometimes, it’s that in-between thing where it’s like you’re crying but not really crying…just, tears are falling out of your face. This never happens conveniently. It’s always when you are about to have dinner with people or walk into church.

3. Holding your pee in. Whether it’s sneezing or coughing or because your little bundle of joy felt the need to suddenly kick you in the bladder, you have 5 seconds to get. to. the. bathroom. This is the only exception to the agility clause. Somehow, our lack of bladder control gives us the super-power to suddenly jump up lest we pee on ourselves. Which, let’s all admit it, has already happened, even if only a little bit. My favorite thing is when my body is all “YOU HAVE TO PEE RIGHT. NOW.” and then by some miracle you leap to your feet and make i to the bathroom and maybe produce a tablespoon of urine. Thanks for that baby.

4. Sex. It’s not that it’s not a thing anymore. It’s just a whole new thing. And we can just leave it at that. Feel me ladies?

5. Being unaware of your internal organs. Remember when the best you could do when pointing out where your organs were was to just do a swooping wave over an area and be like “uhhh, somewhere in here.”? Well now we can tell you exactly where stuff is. Because it gets kicked all the time. ALL THE TIME. I’d like to know what goes through random people’s heads when pregnant women suddenly jump or flinch around them. You guys: It’s because the human we’re about to squeeze out of ourselves has decided to prime our reflexes and pain tolerance by claiming our personal insides as their own punching bags. Who knew we even had that many things in us?!

6. Your entire body not looking like it was mauled by a tiger. Y’all. Try as I might, I have failed. Scratch that. Coconut oil has failed ME. Coconut oil, I thought we were friends. I rubbed you on me EVERY DAY and still you lost your battle against the stretch marks. How can I ever trust you again? Tell you what, when I look sexy in a bikini again, that’s when you will earn my trust back.

7. Peaceful Sleep. Whether it’s getting up to pee every 5 seconds, or attempting to roll over because your left side just can’t anymore, or because the miracle inside me has decided that this is the perfect time to practice gymnastics, sleeping through the night is like a unicorn or fairy or some other mystical creature these days. The other night, I woke up at 3:30 (to pee of course), tried to go back to sleep, then gave up after a few minutes. I got up to see if there was anything I could do around the house, quickly laughed at myself, got something to eat and drink, spilled my drink, scared the crap out of Bryan, cleaned it up, got back in bed, and watched 30 Rock until 6:30 when I finally fell back asleep. This is the new normal people.

8. Looking cute for more than an hour. Listen, I just can’t be bothered with things like jeans and jewelry anymore. Even if I will only be home for 30 minutes before leaving the house again, my uniform of sweatpants and Bryan’s t-shirt comes on. The grunting and effort of changing are totally worth it. Plus, it’s like a mini work out and that counts right? Of course it does. I have also mastered the art of how much “getting ready” I can do to just barely pass for not a psych ward escapee.

9. Remembering what it was like to not be pregnant. I know it wasn’t all that long ago, but I have forgotten what it was like to feel hungry in the normal area of my stomach, flex my abs without it looking suuuuper weird, and to bump into things without immediately thinking that a little person inside me also felt it. Maybe that’s just the forgetful preggo brain for ya.

10. All of the extra random stuff. Having a wedding ring that fits, walking like a human instead of a duck, sitting in one position for more than 1 minute. You know, all the things.

I’m told this will all be worth it in the end. After my epidural legs wear off and I’ve cried out the last of my pregnancy hormones, I’m praying that my body will EVENTUALLY return to normal. Only time will tell.

Dear Pregnancy Books and Websites…

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In my brief experience with pregnancy thus far, I have noticed some things. These are not pretty things, nor “glowy” things. These are real things. These are the things I wish I could have known. While realistically I know that it would be nearly impossible to pass along every single “what to expect” situation of pregnancy, but c’mon. I need some sassy girlfriend to lay some truth bombs on me for what is quickly becoming “the period in life we shall not speak of.”

I thought I’d compile a list of my findings so far. Not to worry, I’ll give an equally TMI updated version later on, as I am just now almost to the halfway point.

1. The age-old lesson of “Morning sickness isn’t actually just for mornings…” is old news. How about telling me what morning sickness is really like. In my head, morning sickness was this thing where you’d feel nauseous, throw up, and move on with your life until later when you’d do it again. I had no idea the crap-fest that is “morning” sickness. I was clueless to the fact that I would find myself praying to the heavens that I could throw up because then I’d feel better from the misery that is constant nausea. But that answered prayer is never as sweet as you’d think, huh? You lose a little piece of your self-esteem every time you have to throw up in a public space. Side of the road, at work, during a class you’re taking at your church…you haven’t quite experienced pregnancy until your knees become acquainted with the cold, hard floor of a public restroom…that’s my new motto any way. My favorite time was when we (grown adults) thought it was a good idea to hit up Denny’s at 11 pm when everyone had been consuming various amounts of alcohol throughout the evening. There is sick irony in an experience where you are the only one in the group who has not drank a drop…and are also the only one in the group who throws up in the Denny’s parking lot.

2. I grew up in a very open household. Everyone knew when anyone else in the family had any kind of bodily function. And then there was me. While it doesn’t weird or gross me out when others do, I’ve never been the “oversharing type.” It would have been nice if someone had told me that in pregnancy, that adorable privacy evacuates the premises. My dignity is hanging on by a thread at this point. I have lost the give-a-crap for when my husband and many other members of my tribe know the happenings of “the miracle inside me.”

3. I had to learn pretty quickly that eating is a whole new ball game. The books and websites clued me in to the whole backwards “eat when you’re nauseous and you’ll feel better” phenomenon, but no one told me about how aversions weren’t just for when you suddenly don’t like the taste of foods you previously loved or could stand the smell of. I wish I had known that this sweet, sweet baby of mine would be quick fickle about what I am allowed and not allowed to eat while it is sidling my resources and nourishments for 9 months. “Oh, you thought you could eat that delicious potato salad? Think again. Oooh soup, yum. HAHA. How about I make you bloated for 24 hours?”

4. For some women who I hate, the “starting to show” process is cute and dreamy. For me, this whole chubby-looking phase is lasting much longer than I’d like. The websites talk about the precious bump. No one tells you that it doesn’t look like that until MULTIPLE MONTHS of just looking like you have a slight beer belly.

5. I was unprepared for the fact that things I previously loved to do would be come a source of self-loathing. For example, I feel like I’ve made my love for cooking pretty clear in this blog, social media, and general conversation. I have cooked approximately 3 complete meals since I’ve been pregnant. The smell alone is enough to get me, and that’s not even mentioning the effort. I’ve found myself telling Bryan very sweetly that we can have whatever he feels like making or we can go out, whatever floats his boat. We’ve gone out mostly, in case you were wondering. Our monthly grocery budget is like $50 these days.

6. Whining about how you feel is much more rewarding than one might think. I told Bryan the other day that I really wish I could be one of those cool wives where when this was all over and done with he could look at me fondly and think to himself (and tell all the people) that I never even complained at all and took this process like a champ. “HAHAHAHAHAHA” We said in unison. I’ve complained every 5 minutes on average, as pregnancy sucks much more than everyone else lets on. Maybe next time (if there is one), I will suck it up and be that awesome non-complaining wife, although I imagine that version of Alex is like a unicorn or leprechaun… in likelihood that is.

7. Out of all the things I’ve feared in life, permanent body damage takes the crown. I am still unaware of all the changes to my body that I can look forward to. The other day I found out more body parts that I can plan on…ahem…*tearing* in my near future. I am also currently warding off stretch-marks like it’s my job. I hear coconut oil is the secret, so coconut oil-rubbing is my new daily ritual. I wish these cutesy websites could have a page where they lay it all on the line. I know that some moms-to-be would rather it be an unpleasant surprise, but I’d much prefer that sassy girlfriend be like “Look girl, this is the crap that will happen to you.”

8. Pregnancy Hormones are not as bad as the movies make them out to be. I figured with my PMS record that I would be a friggin’ mess while pregnant. This is one of the few pleasant surprises to come of this. I have not cried because there is no more juice, Bryan left the toilet seat up, or because man, Luke and Lorelei really are the perfect couple, and I’m a crier. I have only been irrationally angry like once. I am also aware that I am jynxing myself by posting about this awesomeness, so Bryan, prepare yourself.

9. Pregnancy guilt is much easier to shrug off than I thought it would be. I have always had a bad case of the “Wanting People to Like Me”s. I’ve learned much more in later years about ridding myself of this awful disease, but I still worried about caring what people think once I was pregnant. Much to my delight, my mom’s long-standing advice of “Know what you believe and why you believe it” has come in handy. “You’re drinking caffeine while you’re pregnant? There’s really no safe amount you know.” YEP. “You’re not even going to try to have a natural childbirth before getting an epidural?” NOPE. To each her own people, to each her own.

10. Because we all know how precious I am, I’ve saved the sweet one for last. The mom support group is so much more important than could have ever imagined. I’m sorry for taking advantage of you before I knew the effect you had. Please don’t abandon me for my ignorance in my time of need. Even though, yes, some of the advice and comments can get annoying (as in any situation), for the most part every seasoned veteran has been helpful and understanding. I like to think that pregnancy is as ridiculous for others as it is for me, and I’ve found so much support for this theory in those who love me. So thank you, other moms, I promise to never disregard your knowledge again… for the most part.

So You’re Probably Wondering…

Remember that one time when I posted about how my emotions and feelings were going haywire and I wasn’t sure why? And how I took a pregnancy test and it was negative and I was all “THEN WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME?!?”

Well… It turns out my body was like “Psych! You actually are PREGNANT!”

Two for good measure :).

Two for good measure :).

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I kind of fell off the face of the earth when it comes to blogging. A better person than I could have handled it much more professionally, but as we stayed tight-lipped and quiet about the pregnancy, I felt like it was hard to find things to say about anything else. This is kind of a big deal, you know? I mean…just a tad… in my world anyway. I have always intended the purpose of this blog to be to share things I learn about God and life in general as I journey through my own, and this is what was going on in my life, so I didn’t know how to talk about stuff without discussing IT.

But now that we posted this pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) announcement yesterday, I can spew all of the things and all of the thoughts from all of the days I haven’t been blogging! Woo hoo!

Shout out to our good friends Arden and Matt Baltzell for the use of their adorable nursery for who is sure to be their adorable daughter Cambrie coming in July!

 

As of yesterday, I am 11 weeks along. Why did we post a little early, you ask? Well, because we had a bit of a scare last week. I genuinely feel like God was teaching me trust in and thankfulness to Him through all of this. I had been dealing with a lot of fear of miscarriage and other things that go wrong in pregnancies, so I was praying through some of that and asking that God would give me a peace about the life of our baby either way. RIGHT FREAKING AFTER THAT, I went to the bathroom to..you know..take a pee, and I found some blood which scared me to death. I handled things calmly, and by that I mean called Bryan, my mom, and the doctor’s office whilst freaking the eff out with tears pouring down my face.

Somewhere between calling the doctor, waiting for a nurse to call me back, and rushing to the clinic to make sure everything was ok, I did calm down a bit. And if you know me at all, you’d know that this is in no way shape or form because of me. I don’t do “calm” very well. I do “panic and get crap donevery, very well.

I prayed A TON for this baby on that day. I prayed that God would help me put my money where my mouth was and actually trust Him with the life of my child. I prayed that He would leave the baby with us, here on earth, but that I could be ok with it if not. And mostly I prayed that s/he was ok and healthy and wonderful and ALIVE.

Mad props to Parkhill clinic for being on the ball. The nurse told me at first that the earliest appointment they had available was later that afternoon, then for some reason…could be because she could tell that this mama-to-be would not do well that day unless I could get in sooner…who knows… she told me to just come and they would fit me in wherever they could.

I am among the women who are terrified to have male doctors all up in my junk, and guess who my doctor was? A dude. But y’all? I loved him. He was wonderful and reassuring and I wouldn’t have had it another way. He made sure we knew quickly that our baby was perfectly fine and healthy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Wait, what was that? Behind us? OH RIGHT it’s the first photo of our precious child! (#LilFitt for the hashtag savvy crew.)

Hand and foot in there, y'all. HAND AND FOOT.

Hand and foot in there, y’all. HAND AND FOOT.

 

Alright so… Some FAQs:

1. Were we trying? No. We had planned on trying in a few months though, so it’s not as giant of a surprise as some other couples.

2. How am I feeling? Like a pile of crap. I was thrilled and glowy for like a week and then I was over being pregnant because “MORNING” SICKNESS (12 pm-bedtime in my case).

3. Will I become a mommy blogger? Again, the purpose of this blog is to share the life lessons I come across through my journey, and that usually means talking about what’s going on in my life. Just expect more of the same, probably. Same self-deprecation humor, same expressions, same terrible-quality photos, same endless pop-culture references.

4. Does this mean you guys will fall off the face of the earth and stop hanging out and doing stuff, even last-minute? Heck. No. Please don’t stop inviting us to do things. We have zero problem with non-family babysitters or leaving our child in the capable hands of others while we go to the movies or out to dinner. Plus, even if we were, we have like 700 family members in our close proximity and plan on using and abusing them for date nights, weekends away, and the like as much as they will let us.

5. Uhhh yeah? What about that #IWillBeThere campain? Well, much like all the songs Mark McGrath’s girlfriend used to sing and their favorite TV shows, that sucker is gone out the window for now. Pre-pregnancy Alex was all “When I get pregnant I’m totally going to work out and stay super-fit!” and then Present-day Alex is all like “Bleghhhegh!” (<– That’s the sound of throw-up, lovely right?) I really do hope I can work out some later on in pregnancy, but for now an occational walk feels like when Rocky ran to the top of the steps and pumped his fist like a true champion. Ask me about it early next year, but for now I’m thinking I will not meet my goal of Size 6 by July.

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

 

How cute is he? BABY DADDY!

Expect to hear from me more in the future, dear readers, now that my exciting news-cat is out of the bag!