Thursday, April 25, 2013

The bump...and other various pregnancy updates.

Not a whole lot to report this week, just a few odds and ends.

Ok, by popular demand, here is an official picture of "the bump."  Please forgive the post-run sweatiness and overall tired look.

26 weeks

My recent ob appointment went great.  I got a "perfect" on my weight gain, which is a far cry from last visit's weight "pep talk."  Haha.  My gestational diabetes screen will be in 2 weeks, so here's hoping I can ignore the pregnancy carb loading call of the wild for the next couple of weeks.

Also, for your reading pleasure, a fun little anecdotal story from Henry.  At my appointment, the nurse pulls out her little Doppler to check Henry's fetal heart tones.  (147 by the way).  Perfectly normal procedure, Henry should be used to this by now; however, Henry decides he does not like the wand poking him, so he proceeds to kick the Doppler.  Then again.  And again.  Apparently, he was not in a cooperative mood that morning.  Or just being ornery.  Or being playful.  I, of course, was laughing the whole time, because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  I have a feeling JP and I are going to be those parents who have a hard time disciplining our kid at first, because we will find everything so darn funny.  We'll see.

2 new things that 26 weeks have introduced into my life:

1.  Braxton Hicks (In our house I learned not to call these contractions, unless I want to shock JP into super-concerned turbo mode).

2.  Half of an outie.  Of all of the pregnancy related body changes, this is the one I'm the most depressed about.  I fully expect to have a full-on outie by the time I deliver.  Here's hoping that it goes back to normal because I, for one, do not find them cute.  At all.

On my current reading list: Baby Wise.

On Becoming Babywise

Although only half-way through the book, I have found that the principles discussed in this book seem to fit our family's approach to life: the perfect combination of structure meets flexibility.  Although time intensive and VERY detailed, I think the general guidelines will really help us.  I'm hopeful that Henry will cooperate and that he will fall in the 87% of kiddos that are sleeping 8 hours a night by 7-10 weeks.  If only.

I guess that's it for now.  I'm working on a few nursery projects, so stay tuned for those updates.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What kind of mommy am I?

So this week's post is more self-reflective than it is a pregnancy update, but I have a lot on my mind this week.  In pregnancy world, we are starting to furnish and decorate the nursery (more pictures to come later) and Henry and I are continuing to grow (more pictures to come later.)

So I'm writing this in the hopes that my honesty will not be too controversial, but with the knowledge that I may make some frenemies here.  With my due date coming closer and closer, I have had to devote more time to thinking about things like: maternity leave, work, nannies, daycare, and how much time I want to spend at home with little Henry.  Prior to pregnancy, JP and I had a divide-and-conquer approach.  He did the standard "man-jobs" like taking out the trash, cleaning the toilets, general handy-man tasks, and I did pretty much the rest of the house.  I cooked, he did the dishes.  We have a very high-functioning PARTNERSHIP.  But since I've been pregnant, the prospect of being completely responsible for another tiny, innocent human being has made me question this approach.  The more I think about these things, the more my heart gets weighed down with overwhelming feelings of GUILT.

Let me be clear: I love my job, and find my job to be incredibly fulfilling.  From talking with others (both male and female) I know how rare it is to get paid to do something you love; but I do, I absolutely love my job.  I think working as a professional has given me self confidence and fulfillment in a way that no other person can.

Which brings me to the decision every new mom has to make: be a stay-at-home-mom, or (gasp!) a working mom.  So many people have so many opinions on this, and I am just trying to tease out where I sit in the spectrum of mommies.  I know the conclusion I'm "supposed" to come to: that staying at home with my child all the time will be the most fulfilling job I could ever have, and this is the best case scenario for our family.  But here's the thing: I'm not sure it is BEST for our family.  I am constantly reading and being told that God's desire for a woman is to be a wife and mother.  But let's journey to a parallel universe where I am the same person, but sans husband and child.  If I were single, with my same gifts and talents, would it still be "selfish" to pursue a career and work full time?  Let's jump to yet another universe and propose that perhaps God had called me to be a full time missionary and live overseas?  What would my life as a wife and mother look like then?

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is this: God created us as individuals, and I have a hard time believing that God calls ALL women to stay at home.  After all, God created my gifts and talents, and planted these passions in my heart.  I am absolutely certain that he called me to work in medicine.  I am NOT absolutely certain that he wants me to abandon that to stay at home and raise my child and care for my husband.

Now before you start imaging my husband going to work in dirty un-ironed clothes, and my child completely neglected and troubled, let me also make the point that I do love the two boys in my life and find a different kind of fulfillment in serving them.  But I'm going to say the one thing that you're not supposed to say: I don't think it would be enough.  I think I can best serve my family with some kind of happy medium between staying at home with Henry, and also working as a PA.

I have recently been reading a book called "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master"" by Rachel Held Evans.  I heart this book.

I seriously recommend it to anyone who ponders what it means to be a "biblical woman," but questions the cookie-cutter, Sunday-school answers we who were raised in the church have been taught.  In a completely non-heretical, genuine manner, the author attempts to practice what the Bible LITERALLY says about being a woman, wife and mother.  I'm not finished with the book yet, but it has opened my mind and made me search deeper in the Word to find out what is God saying to me, individually?  What does the Bible truly say about women, collectively?  Which commandments are statements that apply today, and which were suggestions that applied to a specific group of people, at a specific time?  All of this searching has helped me embrace my gender for its strengths, instead of resenting it for its "curses."

So here are my life conclusions I've come to thus far:
1.  I love my husband.
2.  I love Henry.
3.  I love my job.
4.  I don't think I have to choose.
5.  No decision is set in stone.

That's it for now.  I promise at some point I will return to light-hearted, non-controversial, non-depressing, baby-fever mode :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Confessions of a pregnant PA.

Not much to report on the pregnancy front this week.  Henry is continuing to grow and man is he MOVING!

In other news, I must confess that I lost it at work several nights ago.  I have been contemplating how to put my feelings into words on this post, and it's taken me several days to process, but here goes.

As you may know, I started a new job in January working in an emergency room.  I do absolutely love my job, but there are some aspects that are not so fun.  During my shift the other night, it unfortunately fell to me to tell a young mom that she had suffered a miscarriage.  Insert raging pregnancy hormones and Megan crying in the bathroom.  I felt so awkward and honestly, embarrassed.  I felt like my body was betraying the emotional distance I am supposed to keep from my patients.  I seriously felt like my belly was screaming, "Haha, I'm pregnant and you're not!"

It took me several minutes to compose myself enough to have a professional conversation with my patient.  She took it well, managed to stay calm and not cry, but my eyes were watering, as my mind entered a constant replay of "No fair, no fair!"  The injustice of it all seemed to settle heavily on my shoulders.  JP and I are so incredibly grateful and have been so blessed with a healthy pregnancy, which has truly been a gift from God, but I went through a few minutes of dialogue with God that night, praying for this mom, and asking God what in the world we have done to deserve such an incredible blessing from Him.  As a medical professional, I can tell you about the minutiae of how babies grow and develop in the womb, and let me tell you, the fact that any child is born healthy is an absolute miracle.  There is so much that can go wrong, from conception to implantation to the develop of an entire person from two small cells.  As I lay in bed that night, picturing the scientific aspect of embryology, I suddenly imagined God sitting up in heaven, laughing at our feeble attempts to understand His complexity.  Seriously, as scientists, all we can do is DESCRIBE what we see around us, and attempt to duplicate it, but we lack the ability to CREATE.  With all of our scientific breakthroughs, we can create a test tube baby, we can implant it into a womb, we can even map the human genome, but as humans, we can't create SOMETHING from NOTHING.  Who am I then, to question the "fairness" of a God who is big enough to create the entire universe, yet small enough to know every hair on our heads?  The only solution I can come up with is to throw my hands up in humility and add this to my list of questions for God when I get to heaven.  I would be lying if I said that I've come to a peace about this, but of two things I am certain: God is sovereign and I am not.

Sorry to be such a Debbie-downer this week, but this is where my heart is.