1st Trimester Report: FOG

Boy, this 1st trimester is bad.
It's so bad that I can't recommend anyone TRY MESSIN' with it.

But, seriously, folks: this pregnancy has not been romantic. I can write pretty stories about it all, true stories, even, but it has not been pretty. By now, you've read of my nausea in other posts. I've never experienced anything like it. Still, everyone has had stomach virus, and many have had much worse. I could never be glad that Brendan suffered from CVS during highschool and college, but it definitely has made him empathetic. Actually, knowing that my episodes were causing him flashbacks helped me to be a little braver about the whole thing! He's full of helpful, normalizing information like: "Oh, yeah, coughing up a little blood for a while after is the worst." And, "Believe me: throwing up something is better than throwing up nothing." My poor baby. I wish he didn't know these things. (I say that, but I have had to repent of all the times that I wish he DID know how POTS feels.)

I'm not glad that I finally got a rough 1st trimester on what will likely be my last pregnancy, but I am glad to know a bit more fully why so many women hate pregnancy. I have to admit: I realize now that I felt pretty judgy in the past about women who would complain about pregnancy. I think beginning my child-bearing career with a miscarriage set me on a path of never wanting to utter a negative word about pregnancy because "at least my baby is alive." That's a tough standard. I was truly thankful and willing to put up with a lot, but I see now that it's not a very generous position to take. Of course, with each subsequent pregnancy and the increasing discomforts that accompanied them, I became a little more empathetic. I suppose the trend continues.

Because I believe so strongly that children are blessings worth bending over backwards for, it's difficult to admit that I have frequently asked myself over the last weeks "What is wrong with me???? Why did I just have to have another one of these people?! Where do I get these ideas!?" It's a good thing I wrote down my pretty story about wanting this baby because I definitely have had to go back and read it a few times. I've not wished the pregnancy away; I've just needed a lot of reminders of the Why. This rough trimester reminds me of being in Seattle summer morning fog. You go to bed with all these hopes for the predicted sunny day. Then, when the day actually begins, you look out and WAH-wah: gray clouds. You can't see from your place down in the city that it IS a beautiful day; there's just a marine layer. It's easy to get discouraged and wonder why you ever were dumb enough to make sunbathing plans when you KNOW you live in SEATTLE! You have to keep hope and remember that, as any seasoned Seattleite will undoubtedly say, "this will burn off." So, yes, I decided to take the risk of getting pregnant with POTS and the OB's words that the first trimester would be bad. We decided to try to do it anyway because with a long-term perspective it's easy to sign-up for 3 (or even 9, or even 30) rough months because ANOTHER PERSON!! A wonderful blessing! The three we have are incredible, so why not do it again? But then... you wake up on that cloudy morning, and it's inevitable to wonder for at least a moment, "What were we thinking exactly?"

After the fog does indeed burn off, the summer days in Seattle are incredible. There's nothing like a perfect Seattle day, and I think they are a little bit better because of all the suspense of that dang morning fog. Am I trying to pump myself up? You betcha. I need all the encouragement I can get- even if I do just write it myself. Being a pregnant POTSie is really hard so far. My blood pressure has been very uncomfortably low and has seriously exacerbated my POTS symptoms- particularly the racing heart and dizziness in upright positions, digestive troubles, fatigue, and weakness. BUT, I do take some solace from the fact that I was told this would happen. I'm hoping and praying that this fog will burn off as I get into my second trimester in a couple of weeks. The increased blood volume of the latter stages of pregnancy has, for some, even given the feeling of curing their POTS for a few months. I look forward to reporting on the subject.

There is one thing of which I'm sure: God will love me whether I feel better or not, and I will be looking for that love to shine through no matter how long the fog lasts. I'm so grateful to my family for being the number-one source of God's love to me. My children have empathetic abilities beyond their years, and it's no wonder to me that my husband bears the name of a saint. I don't know how this story will end. It could go badly; and though I do not dwell on that, I know enough to prepare myself to accept it as a possibility. I can only survive this if I keep my eyes fixed on things above because down here I feel like I'm gonna barf or maybe pass out.

But it is fun to think of baby names.

I think this one is really just for me

What It's Like Today