06 January 2010

14 weeks.



There is a human being growing inside my body.  At 14 weeks, I am still surprised everyday by the wonder of the miracle and the importance of the job we've been given.  What started as two microscopic cells will emerge in 6 more months as a living, breathing human being with thoughts, a personality, and a future - our daughter or son!  Will he or she have Steven's Asian eyes?   My bent towards creativity?  One thing I know...right around Independence Day, we will welcome our first child into the world, and our lives will never, ever be the same.

The understatement of the year: pregnancy is an emotional experience.  It started on a morning in early November when I woke up, peed on a stick, and before I could even put the stick down on the counter, not-one-but-two pink lines appeared.  "Oh my God..." I said as my heart started beating rapidly.  "It worked!  It really worked!"  No matter how many times you imagine yourself pregnant, you are never really prepared for the moment when it is happening to you.  I vividly remember the next thing I said aloud as I stood inside the tiny, locked bathroom with one hand on my belly: "Lord, I receive this baby.  I receive this baby into my body and into our lives."  

Then, I ran into the bedroom and shoved the stick in Steven's face with the instructions so he could verify.  "Look at this!  Look at this!"   For the next several minutes, we just lied there in bed together speechless. What else is there to say at that moment?  We had been given one of the greatest gifts. It was really happening.

For the next nine days, we had our own little secret that left us giggling all day long.  After we awoke in the mornings, Steven would greet me with a glint in his eyes, “Hey, Baby Mama...”  We were bursting for everyone else to know but had no idea how far along I was. So on November 19th, the day before we left for our annual fall vacation to New Jersey, we had an early ultrasound.  The ultrasound tech rubbed the gel around for a few seconds as I shifted nervously.  Then she said, "Yup!  There it is!"  And I saw it - a cute little being with stumpy arms and legs, and a tiny blinking light on the screen - the heartbeat.  Then, tears in my eyes, and a flood of relief.  Because no matter what the pee stick says, you really don't know what's going on in there until you see it with your own eyes.  I was already 7 weeks and 4 days along! 

The next two months of my life were dedicated to vomiting, gagging, and sleeping.  I barely made it on the plane to New Jersey for our annual trip at the end of November.  Nestled nervously in the aisle seat next to Steven {in case I needed to run to the bathroom, of course}, I clutched my bag of snacks - trail mix, pretzels, crackers, and bottled water - as if they were my flotation devices.  I concentrated on crossword puzzles and those Mensa games in the on-flight magazine to pass the time.  When we finally arrived in New Jersey, we excitedly shared the news with my parents over lunch at On A Roll.  For the rest of the 10-day trip, all the strength I could muster was to arise in the morning, hug the toilet, force down breakfast, and then stumble back into bed at about 9am for a 3 hour nap. Afternoon: same thing on repeat. Remember how much I was looking forward to Thanksgiving?  Let’s just say I might never be able to touch green bean casserole again. 

But I am thankful, so very thankful, that this, my first pregnancy, has knocked me down with sickness. Because the midwife tells me my hormones are “strong” and that means the baby is in there securely. I’ve never been so happy to be nauseous in my entire life.   What I realized during that trip to New Jersey when I had hours and hours to myself in bed: my body is not my own right now.  I am hosting another human being.  It just seems right that you have to suffer a bit in the process of bringing new life into the world.

"Had any weird food cravings?" people ask.  Thankfully, even my cravings have been pretty healthy, like fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, for example.  I never could stand grapefruit juice before. Now I absolutely must have it.  Everyday.  I go through an 18-pound bag of Texas Star's in about three days and have kept Whole Foods' condiment aisle in business with the amount of crispy dill pickles I've consumed. 

Then there was a three-day stint when the only thing that sounded appetizing was an Italian sub sandwich on a hard roll with oil and vinegar.  Thank goodness I was in NJ at that point, where there's a sub place on every corner {I love you, Main Street Subs}.  After the sub stage, however, for days and days I insisted to Steven that our car smelled like a sub sandwich.  Bizarre.

And the aversions, oh the aversions.  I can barely even type the words oni_n or gar_ic.   So many things I loved to eat are now Repulsive with a capital R, and vice-versa.  Poor Steven.   He has endured my neuroses with such grace and fortitude {or perhaps just resignation}.  About a month ago, I woke him up in the middle of the night announcing that he would have to move to the guest room. "You smell like oni_ns!"  I exclaimed.  I had been lying there, frustrated, wondering what to do.  I couldn't sleep.  All I could do was smell them.  That horrid pungent smell.  Even though there were no oni_ons to be found.  But my sweet husband didn't even hesitate.   He just quietly grabbed his pillow and wearily shuffled off to the next room without a comment.   Now that is love.

So here I am, finally able to start experiencing the beautiful, fun part of pregnancy, and ever so thankful to be healthy, to have the opportunity to be a mother, to raise children with the love of my life. For awhile there, I was wondering if it would ever happen for us.  But at the risk of sounding cliché, His timing is always best.  It just takes patience and a surrendering of my own desires - two qualities I have a feeling I'm going to need quite a bit in the coming months and years, anyway.

30 comments:

Erin Fletcher said...

I absolutely LOVED this post. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it. I have so much joy in sharing not only your excitement for your sweet baby, but also for the one kicking inside of me. I feel those tiny feet, hands, knees and elbows all day long now. Being on the flip side of this journey called "pregnancy" -- nearing 38 weeks -- I can say that it has been one of the most enjoyable, strange, miraculous experiences of my entire life. I could not be happier for you and Steven and look forward to entering this next stage of life with the two of you. It's going to be quite a ride, I'm sure! I love you guys -

Jessica said...

Wow Christine, that is Amazing! I am very happy for you both!

Erin said...

I am overwhelmed with joy for you both and the precious baby that will arrive this summer. CONGRATULATIONS!

Keely Scott said...

Stine!!! Congrats Congrats Congrats! Love this post and that super super cute pic! xoxo

vdkn said...

HIP-HIP-HOORAY for the Baileys!!!

Alyson said...

I feel like my heart is being torn in so many different directions! I can't decide whether to cry, to yell, to jump up and down, to hug someone on the street, or maybe all three.

I am so happy for you and Steven. I love that there is a little piece of your family just growing and craving grapefruit juice.

kristian and katy said...

YAY!!!! I've been waiting for this post. Not that I had a clue it might be coming... :)

I am SO excited for you two. What amazing parents you will be. I can't wait to hear more as you progress.

Much love from NYC!

Heather + Steve said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so very, very excited for you. And I love that in the photo your ever so slightly protruding your little barely-there belly. Pretty soon you won't need to do that anymore, but by then it won't matter a bit because you'll feel the little butterflies. Then you'll wonder how the heck someone so little, who can barely move in the outside world, can kick you so very hard from the inside :). Looking forward to some future baby blogs.

allison said...

Christine,
I am SO happy for you!!! What exciting news! I can't wait to read about your journey of pregnancy and parenting in the beautiful, "Christine" way that you will share it. Praying for many, many blessigs on your little family. :)

Tirsah Smith said...

christine Congratulations. We are so excited for you guys. I loved reading this post and laughed because my first trimester was very similar.. right down to the grapefruits and pickles!!! I also had to have green olives. I look forward to following this journey with you.

Tirsah
(Westons Wife :))

Andrea said...

Oh wow! Many, many congratulations! You are and will be a beautiful mother!

david, kelly & sam said...

yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are super excited for you! i just had luci 5 weeks ago so the nausea and braxton hicks are just so fresh. God bless you! xxo kdr

Mandy said...

AHHHH!!! We have never even met, and I just had a burst of excitement and threw my hands up and smiled when I saw this! So so exciting! Congratulations!!!

Stephanie said...

I am so thrilled for y'all! Congrats!

the bowlin family said...

congrats!! couldn't be happier for y'all. can't wait to meet baby bailey!! enjoy and cherish every moment, sounds like you are.

Kristina said...

So, so happy for you guys!

jenni said...

CONGRATULATIONS, my friend! I cannot wait to meet this little Bailey! You know I'll be driving up to Dallas. Y'all have my prayers. xoxo. :)

Al said...

congratulations!! SO happy for y'all and this amazing time! such an incredible miracle and gift <3

Lauren said...

yay!!! the announcement! i've been waiting for this post <3 you are gonna rock mommy-hood! love you!

Christiana said...

Oh congratulations!!!

What a blessed little peanut to be born into such a family.

You will be an incredible mother.

[You're also a particularly radiant pregnant woman, by the way.]

Congrats again!

Ange said...

Whew, the words out. Hooray! You two are going to be amazing parents. Everything is perfect in His timing and this is no exception.

I love you all so much!

linda said...

Woohoo!! And what a mother you will be. I am so very happy for you Christine. It is an incredible and mysterious gift that God gives us to have these little people knit together inside of us. I feel for you about the constant sickness and pray that it subsides soon. I remember it all to well but I also remember that it went away and I prayed over my growing belly and that first kick, well... no words. Love to you and the itty bitty one.

WrightStuff said...

What a beautiful post - it brought back so many memories of my pregnancy. I couldn't go anywhere without a ginger biscuit close at hand for the first four months, stopped drinking tea and coffee because suddenly it tasted repulsive and couldn't even look at salad! My sister is expecting twins now which is wonderfully exciting though she is the size of a house already at 24 weeks, so it is something of a trial for her!

marisa said...

yay for the 1st pregnant pic!
you = cutest pregnant person ever.
love u & so excited!!

Lilies of the Field said...

OH my goodness! I gasped in HAPPINESS for you.. when i scrolled down _ saw the picture and read the post.. SOOO very exciting!!!

lisa said...

congrats stine! what exciting news! you look beautiful :)

Madi said...

I just got your email and realized I haven't stalked your blog in so long to check for the announcement! LOVE IT!! So glad it's out =) And that your belly is a bit too.

maryh said...

i'm just so happy for you and bailey. i love reading your post -you'll have to keep it up with more updates about this journey!

Traci said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! Congratulations! I just told Lee too and we are soooo excited for you guys :)

Kimberly said...

I am so, so, so excited for you! You're right. Your life will never be the same. Never. Ever.

It's wonderful.

I'm going to tell Benjie right now!

All my prayers to you as you begin the most wonderful journey.