yesterday my dear friend benny came with me to iv therapy, and while we sat and waited for the two bags of fluid to drip into my arm, we talked about how life is hard. how part of life is realizing there will be more and more hard things to deal with, just as soon as you've finished dealing with the current issue.
because of this, it's pretty important to recognize the victories.
and the good things that come from dealing with the hard parts of life.
the past few weeks have been a series of victories for me. for the first time since september, i finally feel like i'm not lying through my teeth for the sake of politeness when i tell someone i'm feeling much better. big things have happened, like moving back into my own house, being able to drive my car, being able to complete daily tasks such as showering and keeping the house clean, going to the gym (!), and enjoying the highlights of life, which for me include music and photography.
okay, and to be fair and honest, all of these victories are still only possible with the help of the three nausea meds and going in for infusion. last week, i tired to hold out on the fluids and see how i would do on my own. on the sixth day, i was extra sick, extra tired, and had a hysterical crying fit, which are the telltale signs of dehydration for me. but at least instead of every two or three days, now it's three to four. victories, people.
victory #1: starting to eat more normally
i'm not sure there are words to describe how wonderful it was the night i was able to eat the grilled chicken, rice, and broccoli my dad cooked for dinner. to sit at the table with the family, instead of hiding from the smells downstairs, trying to choke down something bland. and the rest of the family just as excited about it as you are, travis grinning, my dad exclaiming, "i had a feeling you might be able to eat this!", mom's glowing smile, because she understands how big a moment this is. you just never appreciate those normal things until they are taken from you for months and months.
since then, i haven't cried over food at all. no panicking when my stomach starts growling, wondering what on earth i'll be able to choke down and keep down. still avoiding spicy and rich foods, and most sweets, but that's pretty normal for pregnancy anyway, right?
good old week 27, letting me enjoy food!
being able to eat more normally meant that when travis and i were invited to go on a group date with some guys from the fire station, we were able to go! even though i was terrified to go into that restaurant, and we had to order three different dishes to make sure i could find something to eat. and then we even went to a movie! another terrifying moment, because i had been afraid of being trapped inside a theater with smells and nausea that would lead to public vomiting, not my favorite thing. the last time i had gone to a movie, i spent the whole time freaking out about how sick i felt and then puking afterwards. so sitting there, holding travis's hand, not feeling like i was going to die, was pretty nice. it was the first real date we had been on in six months.
plus we met enes kanter, a jazz player we both love. travis kept telling me to ask him for a picture and then he teased me about being star struck all night.
it was a big night for us, going out on a date like a normal couple and meeting a celebrity, who wore way too much cologne and was on a date with a very made up, giggly girl. and kanter was wearing sweats, while she wore white heels. love it.
victory #2: remembering what it's like to be a photographer and musician
you may remember my sweet nephew kohen, who was born at 29 weeks? he is home now and doing great, so of course newborn pictures were in order. i was honored to be asked to take them, and thrilled that i felt well enough to stand, hold a camera, and think creatively for a few hours. picture having the worst flu you have ever had. you don't have any desire or ability to do the things you love. it's all you can do to lay on the couch and retch. you know that feeling of relief when the flu is gone the next day or day after, and you can resume your daily life? okay, now picture the relief you would feel after months of being that sick. pretty incredible feeling.
|love those adoring faces.|
another powerful victory moment, the first time playing music again.
as i've said before, music is an integral part of my life. i've been blessed to have a natural ability to sing and this is something i have always taken for granted. so you can probably imagine how scary it was when, at the end of september, i noticed my voice didn't seem to work anymore. i hadn't had any desire or ability to sit down and play music that month, because i'd been in bed and throwing up, but i noticed when i was listening to music, i couldn't sing along very well anymore. all that vomiting had left me pretty hoarse. by the time i finally got some help in december, even my speaking voice was pretty shot.
so one night, when reed suggested we play some music, i was terrified to sit down at the piano. i didn't know what would happen. would i remember how to play? would i be able to sing? was there even a part of me that could feel that kind of joy anymore? reed sat at his cajon drum and requested that i play a song we used to do before he left, a song we had perfected and loved. "okay, but let me just run through the notes, cause it's been awhile." i told him.
i ran through the notes and was pleased to find it was still there, in my brain and fingers. he had a couple of friends over, a mission buddy and his girlfriend, and they were waiting politely. finally, i said i was ready and began playing the intro to the song. i sang the first line, and then tears filled my eyes and choked my throat. i stopped playing and sat at the piano bench, crying. no one said anything. i looked at my mom, who i believe, had tears in her eyes as well. as a fellow singer, she understood why i was so emotional.
then i realized i probably looked like the crazy pregnant woman, crying over nothing. "i'm sorry, it's just been so long since i have been able to do this." i called out as i ran to the bathroom to blow my nose. i heard my mom explaining to reed's friend's that i'm not a crazy person, that i had been sick for a long time.
we finally were able to play the song all the way through.
later that night, travis told me that watching me play and sing was the best part of his day.
victory #3: moving back home
at 28 weeks, i decided i felt ready to move from my parents' back to our house. poor zane probably wanted his bed back, and i was tired of feeling like i had no independence. still, i was pretty scared to face the house alone the two days travis is at the fire station, because the last time i had tried living on my own, i had been too sick to take care of myself.
faced the fear, moved back home. and surprise! i was able to feed myself, (although we still eat dinner at my parents' most nights because of the smells of cooking making me nauseous.) shower every day, keep the house clean, and even, bake cookies!
the last time i tried to bake cookies was in october. wanting desperately to feel well enough to participate in the upcoming holidays, i had bought a roll of pre made halloween cookies with plans to bake them for travis. after taking them out of the oven, i was overcome with the smell and feel of the heat, and had to run to the toilet to violently puke up breakfast.
glad to report that this time, although i still wasn't able to stomach any, i didn't throw up, and the smell was actually nice!
making it to the third trimester was a great milestone. when you are so sick that every day ending is an accomplishment, making it 28 weeks was a big deal to me, something i'd been counting up to. (even though for the past few weeks, i haven't been miserable enough to need to count each day!) so here's the morning i hit 28 weeks, feeling pretty proud!
also, another cool, trivial, thing, i finally got my hair cut. a much needed trim, but it's hard to schedule something as simple as a haircut when you don't know if you'll feel up to going to the salon, making small talk, and being out of bed for that long. victory!
victory #4: back to the gym!
week 29, the week i went back to the gym. for real this time.
so back during week 14, i tried to go back to the gym, thought i was on the upswing. and then the next day was back to throwing up. so that didn't last.
i've been nervous to do anything that would trigger or exacerbate the nausea, plus the fact that it was all i could do to take one lap around the grocery store without getting sick. i figured the gym would just have to wait until after remy is born. for christmas, travis bought me several water bottles to help with the hydration situation, one for around the house and one, as he said, for the gym. i sadly put that red gym water bottle up in the closet and told myself, in time, it would come. pretty great to feel well enough to get that red water bottle out, fill it up, and take it to the gym with me.
when i got to the gym, i popped in the headphones and started to walk laps around the suspended track. the last time i had been on the track was back in august and back then the goal had been to shave time off of my sprints. this time, i was overwhelmingly thankful to be walking and cried for several laps.
that pregnant woman, waddling slowly around the track, crying for no apparent reason, that was me.
had one of those moments of, when did this become my life? and had a good laugh.
|just being a tool, taking a picture of myself at the gym.|
victory #5: facing the idea of giving birth
as i have mentioned, pushing a baby through my vagina is a horrifying, scary, icky, painful, unimaginable idea for me.
a few months ago, i made the mistake of watching a video on my pregnancy app of a vaginal birth.
i'm ready for this. i can take it. i told myself, mistakenly.
yeah, the minute that woman's humongous, wide open, gaping monster vagina hit the screen, i was done. laying alone in my bed, i threw my phone, started screaming, and then started sobbing.
then called travis, cried to him about how i will not ever do that ever.
then i called my mom and told her the same thing.
then travis came home, layed in bed with me, while i cried to him about how i'm never doing this again, i hate vaginas, i hate birth, i hate everything.
and then i cried about how i needed to eat something, but was too nauseated.
so now that i'm not crazy sick every second of every day, (surprise!) i'm feeling a lot stronger. physically, emotionally, mentally.
i'm starting to remember that i wanted to get pregnant, that i'm excited to be a mom, and that once upon a time, i considered an unmedicated birth. still not sure, but we are signing up for hypnobirthing, so we know all our options.
also, sweet words of encouragement from my cousin christi and friend liana and of course, my mama, have helped.
and then i received a package in the mail from my friend meghan.
|in case you can't see, it says, "remington is cuter! (already!)|
how could this not make my day??
also included, this book.
which i finally feel ready to read and am starting tomorrow.
and seriously meghan, and all you other people who send mail, WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?? overwhelmed with how thoughtful you are. thank you from the bottom of my heart.
a lot of victories the past few weeks. so very thankful to be feeling better, for real.
oh, and here's a picture from a day that i actually felt pretty for the first time in a long time.
because, ya know, there aren't enough pictures of me and my belly in this post.
|the day before 29 weeks. it's important to document the good days, yes?|
thank you for all your love and support.