Baby is roughly the size of a lemon or a navel orange. (We are nearing 15 weeks!) There was a lot of bloating in the first trimester, but eventually the big belly look just decided to stay, and I’m ok with that. Midwife is happy with the 5-7 pounds I gained, and we are just embracing the waddling. 🙂

photo 5

(The black spot on my shirt is a scratch on my husband’s iPhone camera lense. Eh)

Probably the most exciting moment of the second trimester so far was hearing Baby’s heartbeat for the first time this week. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, and my husband could hardly contain himself until we got to the car.

Those 152 beats per minute made everything so real. Not that morning sickness hadn’t already made pregnancy real, but hearing that little kick through the fetal monitor made all the sacrifice and pain worth it.

photo 1

How am I feeling?

The sudden relief of morning sickness at 13 weeks was exhilarating. I had one glorious week of increased energy and appetite, but the second trimester brought a new set of adjustments.

Hello, aches and pains! 🙂

My midwife warned me that she suspects pain management will be the biggest challenge of my pregnancy because of my unique skeletal system, and I understand why she said it.

I’ve had scoliosis for as long as I can remember. If you don’t know, scoliosis is an abnormal spine curve. A normal spine is straight from the back view, but spines with scoliosis curve to the side in a C or S shape. Mine is one curve to the right, resulting in a larger muscle mass on the right and a strain on other back and neck muscles. As my body grew, the abnormal curve also caused my ribs to develop abnormally- basically they aren’t symmetrical on both sides. Scoliosis generally is not life threatening; it’s just a matter of pain management and upkeep.

I’ve learned to control the pain with my lifestyle. I regularly lift weights to strengthen the weak side of my back, I know better than to sit for long periods of time or on soft seats with no support, etc. (I think that’s why traveling long distance usually ends with a migraine.) I try to stay active, but I can tell when a headache is coming from something pinched in my back. Regular chiropractic adjustments have been a part of my life for years.

Back pain and headaches are common pregnancy symptoms as the body adjusts to make room for growing baby. Scoliosis makes it even more challenging, I discovered. I am extremely aware of the effects of extra weight, stretching muscles, and loosening/shifting bones. I’ve never weighed this much before, particularly not out the front, and it’s amazing how that extra little 7 pounds effects me. Obviously, this is just the beginning. Next, it will be watermelon sized weight. Lord, have mercy. 😀

“Normal” back pain for me is generally sooth-able by hot water, a long sleep in a dark room, a massage, or an adjustment, but all the normal things don’t help very much so far. After my break with nausea, this week I’ve had constant lower back pain on the left side. (the weak side) I must have been putting more weight on my left leg without realizing it because my foot became painful to walk on last night. I think I must have bruised the tendon on the bottom of my foot.

Last night, I had another “God, help me!” moment. I don’t want to be a person that complains, but sometimes you just have let the tears flow when you feel like you can’t do it anymore. But I can, and I will!

Inside, I’m incredibly grateful for a healthy pregnancy so far and especially for the little goober that’s making me uncomfortable. I just need grace when I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep, when I wake up with headaches, and when nothing seems to relieve the pain.

I’ve been pretty active since the nausea calmed down- reorganizing, doing laundry, cleaning, and making meals, but today, I’m taking it easy. Of course, God sends a lovely rain on the day I need to take a break. Rain has such a calming effect, unlike invigorating balmy days. It’s like a natural signal to slow down. I need an excuse to sit or lie down to write anyways.

Being still is good for the soul. I love the sound of quiet. Occasionally, the fan of our small, gas heater  comes on, but other than that, the only sound in the house is the soft water bubbles from the air humidifier and the dripping water outside.

So I’ll just be sprawled in the guest bedroom where the cloudy window light and pattering rain sound is most comforting and where the blue walls and white quilt and big pillows are most relaxing. I’ll be here with my H2O and strawberry greek yogurt and my fuzzy blanket and my laptop keyboard.

When my husband came home for lunch, he had to search the rooms of our dark, quiet house before he found me. That scruffy face smile makes my world a warm place. He heated up some leftovers for me and himself, and we ate in the blue guestroom, contentedly listening to the rain. I’ll look back and smile at these simple, everyday memories someday. I am so blessed.

This week I’m keeping my spirits up with this new album. Bethel Music’s We Will Not Be Shaken. It’s not available for download for a few days yet, but thanks to Itunes radio first play, I can listen to the whole album before it’s released.

My absolute favorite songs so far are Ever Be and No Longer Slaves. The best line in No Longer Slaves:

You split the sea, so I could walk right through it

All my fears were drowned in perfect love

You rescued me, so I could stand and sing

I am a child of God.

Also, sometimes when I feel a little downtrodden, I pull up a few Tim Hawkins clips on YouTube to laugh and get red in the face over. I feel better every time. Proverbs is seriously on to something; laughter is like medicine because it releases endorphins in the body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that work as natural pain relief and de-stressers. Amazing!

Exercise also relieves endorphins, but laughing is a lot more fun right now. No excuse to skip that weight session or vigorous walk, of course. Eh. 🙂

To end the day, I got a break from cooking at a birthday party for our neighbor’s little boy. Homemade Japanese food with white sauce combined with good friends to laugh and talk with equals a good evening.

Happy Friday!



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