To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Friday, September 25, 2009

And Here We Are

It was August 26th, almost one month to the day that had been so hard for me in July. Brent woke me up so we could go to the gym and work out. I told him I was too bloated, and too PMS-y to go work out, and just wanted to sleep. He was okay with that. When I finally couldn't sleep any longer and had to get ready for work, I went downstairs to shower. For whatever reason - and I really don't know why - I grabbed a pregnancy test on my way in to the bathroom.

Upon taking the test, up came the line I had become all too familiar with - not pregnant. I set the test on the counter and went about getting showered. After my shower was done, I pulled back the curtain and saw the test there on the counter. As Brent's cousin, Travis, is living with us as he attends college, I thought I had better throw the test away before he could get a look at what it was. I picked it up and started to dangle it over the trash when something caught my eye. There it was, although faint, a second line. Two lines. Pregnant.

"OH MY GOSH!" I didn't know how to react or what to think as I headed upstairs to rouse Brent from bed. "Brent? I need you to take a look at this." Brent fumbled around for his glasses and put them on to see what was needing his attention. He took the stick. "Huh...."

I started laughing. Then crying. Then laughing again. Brent needed more proof than a faint line and suggested I wait a few more days before taking another test. I couldn't tell anyone....yet.

Saturday morning I got up and grabbed a second test. Immediately two lines appeared, and neither of them faint. This was real. This was for sure. Even Brent was convinced this time - pregnant. We started to refer to the little bean in my belly as "Ziggy" (nicknamed from the word Zygote), and both of us couldn't wait to see what the road ahead had in store for us.

The very next Wednesday I flew to Portland for my nephew's first birthday. I had the opportunity to break the news to my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandfather - in person. My sister already knew since I broke the news to her on the same day I took test #2. I sat on my sister's sofa knitting a hat. My Aunt D and Uncle G came in and asked what I was knitting. "A hat for Ziggy." "Who's Ziggy?" I smiled - "Ziggy is in my belly."

I felt like a rockstar. I had no physical ailments other than the sore, tender "girls". That, and I was hungry all the time. Eating every two hours, and then some. If this is all being pregnant was about - why on earth did I wait so long to do it? Piece of cake!

I came home from my trip and two days later, I had my first experience with "morning sickness." What a misleading title. It lasted ALL DAY! Scratch that, it lasted for a solid 12 days! Constant nausea, the throw-up-in-your-mouth episodes, the thought of food disgusted me, but I was still so hungry. All the time. I would feel good for five minutes, and lousy for the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day. I had three good days where I felt like my rockstar self again, and then I developed new issues. Being pregnant is not for wimps.

Here we are, approaching week 9, and the cat is finally out of the bag as public knowledge. I'm nearing the end of the first trimester and am appreciating every little detail - even the not so pleasant parts. I can't even leave my house to go to work today, as I'm afraid to venture more than 20 feet from my bathroom. As uncomfortable as it all is, I'm still appreciating every moment.

Brent has been an absolute super-husband. He has taken care of me during times when even I'm annoyed by my ailments and whining. He made a 2:00 a.m. store run for some Pepto. He's rubbed my feet. He's cooked. He's cleaned. He's perfect. :o) I have always known he would make an outstanding father, and have always appreciated how he is an outstanding husband. I don't know how I would make it some days, without him there to help me through.

I still felt like I needed to share July's story, since it was such an integral part of August's story. Had those events not taken place, I would not have been emotionally, mentally, or spiritually prepared for August 26th. Isn't it funny how God teaches? And that he cares enough to prepare me in that way?

The approximate due date is May 3rd. It seems like a long time off, but I know it will go by so quickly. In the meantime I'm glorifying God, and being extra thankful for sugar-free fruit popsicles (they have saved my life!). Time for me to get cracking on more baby knitting!

Here are some specific things you can pray for:
~ That Brent would find a job with a sense of fulfillment, and enough income to sustain us so I can stay home.
~ That we would be able to raise this child to know and experience the truth and love of God
~ For a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.

Friday, September 11, 2009

July's Journey

DISCLAIMER: This post contains anatomical/bodily references and specific comments. You may blush, squirm, or become extremely uncomfortable while reading. But now you can't say I didn't warn you.

It was July 9th. I woke up and my boobs hurt in a way they had never hurt before. They throbbed, burned, and itched. I was so uncomfortable and in quite a bit of pain. Usually my "girls" get tender and achy every month - but never like this, and never this far out before starting my period. I had another two weeks to go before my period was supposed to start. This was new, and very different.

I joked about being pregnant, but really the pain was sometimes so debilitating I wondered if there wasn't something seriously wrong with me. This had just never been so bad before.

I made the mistake of complaining about my boob soreness one morning at work in the copier room. I asked a coworker if she would grab a roll of packing tape and hold it steady as I turned in circles so I could mash down the pain-causers. We got a good laugh out of it, but then the rumor mill took off with a start. Everyone at work was convinced I was pregnant. One woman told me she was bringing me a test the next day, so I could pee on a stick at work. That's right. I work with some really sick people.:o)

I wasn't about to let my coworkers find out whether or not I was pregnant before my own husband! After work that night I headed to the grocery store to get my own test. I put my phone in my purse with my car keys and headed to "the case". You know, the one that houses the condoms and the pregnancy tests. The case. My phone is broken and the vibrate feature no longer works. Sometimes my phone shuts itself off. As a result, I have to physically check it to see if I've received any texts or phone calls. I went through the check-out line with my pregnancy test, and as I reached in my purse to get my car keys, I pulled out my phone. I had received a text message while I was scanning my goods. It was from my best friend in Wyoming - 700 miles away. It read, "U pregnant yet?"

I stopped. I looked around me. Was she watching me? Was this real? I read it again. "U pregnant yet?" Oh my word. I immediately called her. She answered, "Hi!"
"Where are you?" I asked.
"I'm in the car....."
"No, but, where are you?"
"I'm on my way home. Where are you?"
"Tiffani - at the moment you sent your text message, do you know what I was doing?"
"I was buying an at-home pregnancy test."
(Laughs)"Are you serious?"

I was serious. And pretty freaked out! I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh, I'm pregnant. This is the real deal." I went home and peed on the stick. Negative. Okay....that's okay, that meant the one at work would be too, and I wouldn't have to deal with talking about it. But as the day's events started to sink in, I knew I was. I knew I was pregnant.

I went to work the next day and took the test the woman brought. It took forever to show up (it was a digital one - she was serious about finding out!), and when it did I secretly sighed a sigh of relief - Not Pregnant. At least my coworkers would believe I wasn't and stop nagging on me about my sore, painful boobs.

A few days later, Brent showed me his finger. He had mangled it while working in the basement. He tore the bandaid off and shoved it toward my face. Normally I don't mind seeing things like that - blood and guts don't bother me. When I saw his finger, though, I almost passed out. Brent even made the comment, "You're usually okay with seeing stuff like this...."

Oh dear gracious. I'm pregnant.

I took another test when I was four days late for my period. Negative. Seriously? I know I'm pregnant. I wrote in my prayer journal, "God, I know I'm pregnant. When are you going to let the test be positive so I can convince my husband?"

Three days later - I was seven days past the supposed-to-start-your-period-date - I started my period. I sat in the bathroom and said, "" over and over again. I cried. I wept. I tried to pull myself together. I had been such a fool!! I let myself get sucked in to the drama of something that wasn't real. I had convinced myself I was pregnant. FOOL! I walked upstairs - slowly - and when I got to the bed where Brent was still sleeping, I choked out, "Brent, can I have a hug?" He rolled over, took one look at my face, and said, "Oh started. Come here." He held me and let me cry. I saw a compassionate side of my husband I needed to so badly. My respect for him increased exponentially in those next moments. My next prayer journal entry read, "Dear God......ouch."

It was several days before I could bring myself to call Tiffani again. I told her what had happened. I choked back tears as I told her I was embarrassed and told her how I felt like a fool and got caught up in the hype. "Tiffani....I was seven days late. I just KNEW I was pregnant. Seven days later I wasn't."

She stopped me. "I don't know why, but when you said 'seven days' God literally just spoke to me. Do you know the significance of seven days, Val? Completion. It's complete. He's ready to work in you now."

I heard what she said. I responded, "I don't know what that means, and it scares me a little bit, but thank you for sharing...."

Here's what I learned in July. God has ways of getting your attention. And what you think he's doing could be way off base from the reality of what he's doing. I learned to lean on him and trust in him with a grounded faith I haven't felt before. My faith and prayers changed dramatically. "Less of self, and more of thee." I rekindled more trust and respect for my husband - seeing a side of him he dosen't show very often. Our relationship benefitted for sure. I was able to go to my best friend about something I had never talked about before. The possibility of being pregnant...having children....I always told Tiffani she would be the last to know if ever I were pregnant, because she always had something to advise me about. Like she knows anything - she only has three kids. :o) Yet here I was, talking to her first, and watching our friendship grow as a result. And I learned to never complain out loud about boobs hurting.

Why is it September and I'm just now posting about July? I still had a lot to come to terms with. What I experienced was hard, sobering, and convicting. I couldn't really put all the emotions or tasks in to words. Until now.

In His time, all things work for His glory. And good things come to those who wait. I will wait on Him.