With Christmas right around the corner, we are getting even more excited for the arrival of our little man. The past couple weeks have been rather eye-opening for us. When we first found out we were expecting, we were certainly excited, but there was still that hesitation and uneasiness about it all. We had no idea how our lives would change so much. With each week of the pregnancy we became more sure of the situation and looked forward to the next week with much anticipation. Our fears turned into joy and our bitterness into thankfulness. God has used this baby to completely change our attitude towards life and help us step back to "attempt" to see the bigger picture. Last week I woke up with some strange stomach pains that I hadn't ever felt before. I thought maybe it was some bug going around and I attempted to ignore it and get ready for the day. There were multiple times where it almost took my breath away and I had to sit down immediately. It happened to also be the last day of my classes, meaning I still had one presentation to give that morning, and there was no way of making it up. For some reason, unknown to me, the pain seemed to get better through the morning and I was able to do the presentation without much distraction. They had pretty much disappeared by the time I got home that afternoon and I finished my day without giving it much thought. Right before supper they started up again, worse than they were in the morning. The pain seemed to come and go. I'd have a couple really bad minutes and then a few to recover. I could hardly describe the feeling. It was a combination of the soreness you get when you do a bunch of sit ups and pressure you feel when you get cramps. I had no idea what was going on. Suddenly it hit me, you get cramps when you're having a miscarriage. Although it's uncommon to miscarry after 20 weeks, it's not impossible. I then talked to the baby's grandmas, (my mom and James' mom) and told them what was happening. They gave me a little assurance. I hadn't been bleeding, so that was definitely a positive, but that didn't guarantee that everything was okay. James came home quickly after and we debated whether or not to call our doctor. In simple terms, we were scared. But at the same time, we didn't want to overreact and make something of nothing. But we didn't want to wait until it was too late. The pain seemed to ease the longer I laid down, so we decided to wait until morning to call to doctor, just to let them know what's going on and see if they had any answers for us. It was so hard to fall asleep that night. We prayed that we would be able to feel the baby move, so we could be comforted. At this point, I was only feeling the baby move every 3-4 days...so it wasn't unusual that I hadn't been feeling him. I remember crying and hoping that this wasn't really happening. The next morning we called the doctor and described the pain. The nurse said that it sounds like the stretching of my ligaments. Since my stomach is obviously growing quickly, my ligaments were very tight and sore. This made complete sense because I'd never felt it in those muscles before and therefore wasn't able to identify the pain. James and I were so grateful. In those few hours that night I got a taste of how a miscarriage can effect a family. Never again can I hear about a miscarriage and brush it off. I don't claim to know what it feels like, but now I can sincerely have empathy for those who have experienced it. I was able to look at our situation with entirely new eyes after that night. This young boy will never be a regret and never be a mistake. He is already a huge part of our lives and we thank God for allowing us to care for him.
The "kicks" that I had felt a few weeks ago were pretty weak. James was never able to feel them from the outside. Three days after the stomach pains, (Sunday night) James and I were watching some tv. I felt a kick, a real kick! It happened again so I grabbed James' hand and placed it on my stomach. Thirty seconds later James was able to feel his son for the first time. He only kicked for about 10 minutes but we were so excited! Not only was this the first movement we'd felt since the pains, but it was the first time that James could feel them. The next night, about the same time, he started kicking again. He kicked for about an hour! Words cannot express the joy that we felt. I'm sure these kicks are still pretty dull compared to what they'll feel like in few months. Even as I'm writing this, he's starting to kick. :) I guess I need to be prepared for all sorts of hands to be laid on my belly.
Our next doctor's appointment is January 4th. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
Very thankful, growing on the farm...