Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Status and Such...

Now that I am out in the open about this pregnancy, I feel like I can talk a little more openly about how I'm feeling and what is going on! I still view this blog very much as a record for our little family- one that I started for Paprika when she was in utero, and one that I am continuing for her and for all of our children. I want our children to be able to look back at their childhoods and see the fun things we did, and to know a bit of what was going through our heads whe we did those things. As an added bonus, it has become a wonderful way to keep in touch with our family and friends!

I've gotten a lot of questions about how I'm feeling- and how I'm doing emotionally. So, here goes:

This pregnancy feels so different than any of my other pregnancies. I am craving vegetables and fruit this time. With Paprika, I only craved chocolate. With Vivian and Annemarie, I craved steak and baked potatoes.

In some ways, this pregnancy seems a bit easy- simply because I recently gave birth to twins, and I know exactly how hard it is to carry two babies instead of just one. Not to mention that with Vivian and Annemarie, we were at the doctor all the time because our pregnancy was so high risk, and now that I am carrying one baby, we are back to the normal routine of office visits.

Emotionally, of course, it's a different story. Before we got pregnant with Vivian and Annemarie, I was pregnant with another child- one who we lost during the first trimester. So, for us, this is our fifth baby. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (or pregnant and breastfeeding) since November 2005, which is a long time! Physically, I feel like I'm on a marathon course that keeps stretching out longer and longer, with no end in sight. Our goal is a healthy baby, and it seems like every time we think we're about to reach our goal, something goes amiss.

Things that seem to bother other pregnant women have never bothered me in the past. The morning sickness (and I seem to have it for months), the weight gain, the pain- all the stuff that goes with pregnancy, I have always cherished it because I love being pregnant. With Paprika, I happily threw up in between my law school classes (morning sickness), gained a whopping 80 pounds, developed pre-eclampsia and never peeped a word of complaint. With Vivian and Annemarie, I downed disgusting protein shakes to help our girls get big and strong, went through horrible sickness, gained 40 pounds, and shuttled back and forth between numerous doctors and specialists, all the while being so ecstatic for the lives inside of me.

Now, I am still so happy and feel so blessed to be pregnant- but my word, I am ready to meet my living child! This pregnancy has been full of all the usual stuff- months of morning sickness, large amounts of weight gain, insomnia, headaches, and I am really trying to stay positive! Really! But I am really tired of being pregnant. I have been pregnant now for well over a year (including our first miscarriage and then our twins), and I still have over 5 more months to go!

After our first miscarriage, I truly thought that we had become pregnant with identical twins because our second baby's soul had returned to us- and we were being blessed with that baby plus another baby. I do not feel that way anymore. For one, I am not having quadruplets this time! I am having one baby, and I truly belive that this baby is a new soul, and we will meet our other babies in Heaven.

Losing Vivian and Annemarie has been a very spiritual experience for me. It has expanded my faith, and made me cherish life more than I thought possible. It has made me a stronger believer in God, and has made me truly long for Heaven. I never used to understand why anyone wouldn't want to be immortal, but now I understand. It would be the greatest hurt to watch your loved ones die and know you will never see them again. At least if we believe in Heaven, we have the hope of an afterlife, and the promise of seeing our loved ones again. That is a topic for another day, but just suffice to say that losing our girls has in many ways had a profound impact on me. I realize what is important in life to an even greater extent, and although my hands are hard at work here on earth, my eyes are often focused on the Heavens, on God, and what the real purpose of my life is.

So, for the next five months or so, I sit here gestating...well, not sitting exactly- more like taking care of Paprika and our household. We are praying that Baby #5 sticks with us for a long time- and that our marathon to a healthy baby has a wonderful ending! We never thought that adding to our family would turn out the way that it has, but we are grateful for what we have been given and for the lessons that life keeps teaching us if we are observant.

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