Sunday, February 26, 2012

Living Caffeine-Free

A year ago today, I drank my last caffeinated beverage. I can honestly say that were it not for the Lord's kindness, I wouldn't have been able to give them up - I was quite addicted.

Now, I've had caffeine in food, particularly my beloved chocolate; but no coffee, tea, or coke products have passed these lips in a year. Here's some details on my caffeine-free life:

Why? Mainly for health reasons.
  • This time last year I was trying to lose the weight that I'd gained since getting married and decided I'd rather eat my calories than drink them.
  • Given my propensity for UTIs I knew that kidney health was important. Kidneys generally don't like caffeine or carbonation.
  • Deep down, I knew I was addicted. I could easily drink 2-3 cans of coke a day and not even blink (or lose sleep). The Lord frequently convicted me of this.

How? The Lord healed me.

  • I say this in all seriousness. I had tried to give up caffeine before, but always failed due to terrible headaches, temptation, and just craving the stuff. I had no headaches or other adverse side-effects after giving them up. I can now say that I have no desire to drink a coke at all - this is the Lord's work - not my will power (I'm way too weak).

Now? How is my life different not drinking caffeine?

  • My heartbeats a lot slower. Seriously, it's noticeable.
  • It helped me lose about 30 pounds last year which I credit with helping get my body back on track, allowing me to get pregnant with my sweet Hudson.
  • I spend a lot less money eating out - water is free y'all.

So, my encouragement to you is that if there's something in your life that you know is a hindrance to your health, attitude, whatever - give it up. Ask the Lord to help you. Giving up caffeine may be somewhat silly, I know it's not like I was an alcoholic or drug-addict, but for me it was a serious issue and I am so very thankful to God for helping me and look forward to many more years of living caffeine-free.

For the Lord will help me.
Isaiah 50:7

Friday, February 24, 2012

25 Weeks

25 Weeks down - 15 weeks to go. That's only 103 days, folks!

Fun (and not-so-fun) pregnancy related events this week:
  • Tuesday evening, I felt horrible. My right hip is starting to hurt, thank you sciatic nerve. I came home from work and a trip to CostCo and literally did.not.move. Hudson, however, did move. His hyperactivity bordered between being a sweet distraction to the pain I felt (reminding me that it is worth it) and adding to my pain as for some reason he seems to prefer the right side of my abdomen for his daily stretching exercises. Thank the Lord, I woke up Wednesday morning and felt much better.
  • I wonder just when I'll be too fat and pregnant to work. Thursday, I was standing at the end of a table while my students were filing past and they were literally having to turn side-ways to get past me. Hahaha.
  • We have our 3D ultrasound next Friday - yahoo! Then next Tuesday, we have the glucose testing - sigh. I really like carbs and am hoping I don't have to give them up, though I will happily do so for my boy.
  • The backroom, is ready for us to move the guest room bed in there so we can finally get the guest room ready to become Hudson's room. It stinks being pregnant, because I can't move anything and my energy level poops out pretty quickly after working on organizing things, especially on a school night. Good thing our landlord graciously lets us borrow her son for slave labor quite frequently. He is awesomely strong and has a great attitude about helping. I keep poking my belly and telling Hudson to be like Joseph G. when he grows up.
  • The Lord continues to provide for our sweet baby. He now has TWO laundry baskets full of new and hand-me-down clothes and/or blankets that need to be washed sometime in the future; a super cool hand-me-down infant car seat, and other cool stuff. We are definitely blessed. Expect a "Lord's provision" post soon - I need to brag on God and his people.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

24 Weeks - Viability

This week, Hudson finally made it to viability. God forbid, but if Hudson decided to arrive early he'd have at least a chance at survival from this point on. It's such a comfort from the Lord that he's made it this far.

Other fun pregnancy related activities from this week:
  • I feel like a redneck. My shirts (even some of the maternity ones) are starting to get a wee-bit short. So yesterday when dressing for work, I put a shirt on and there was a rather large gap between where the shirt ended and where my pants' band began. Oops! I guess it's time to get a larger/longer shirt.
  • I scolded my son for the first time this week. He kicked me so hard that it actually hurt and I said (a loud) "Ouch, Hudson!" Then laughed hysterically.
  • He's kicking more and more during the day. Up until now, he usually only moved if I was sitting, but that changed this week. A couple of my students have been able to feel him kick, but usually by the time they get to me Hudson decides to stop. I don't think he likes unrecognizable hands on my belly.
  • At this point, Hudson should weigh a little over a pound and be right at a foot long from head to foot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

My son, who is yet to be born, received no less than FOUR Valentine's Day cards/gifts from students at my school today (not all of whom are even in my class). Little dude - you are definitely loved.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.
John 13:35

Sunday, February 12, 2012


... and a quarter to be exact.
Five months ago, my waist was 25 inches. Now, what waist? :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

23 Weeks

Hudson has now reached 23 weeks in utero. Only 17 weeks left, which is just over 4 months. Crazy.

I had two doctor appointments this week. At times I feel like this must be preparation for my golden years as I am getting used to consistently either being at a doctor, on the phone with a doctor, or scheduling an appointment to see a doctor. But overall, I am so very thankful to the Lord living and being pregnant at a time in history where I have access to good medical care (even with no insurance). Doctors, while sometimes inconvenient, are definitely a blessing.

Tuesday, I saw the OB for my 5 month appointment. Here are the stats:

Hudson's Heartrate - 146 bpm
My weight - 124. That's up four pounds from last month. FOUR POUNDS. Woah. Total weight gain for pregnancy so far is 11 pounds.
I got the priviledge of having a surprise (to me) cervical exam. Fun Times (note the sarcasm)

I learned the results from last month's blood tests:
Good News! All my levels were completely normal - yahoo!
My blood type (which I didn't know before now) is A+. James is O+ so apparently that's a good thing that we are both +.

This appointment would have been short and sweet, had my Blood Pressure cooperated. When they first took it, it was 140/65. The nurse and doctor were horrified. Yikes. I do not think it was "White Coat Syndrome." Rather, I blame "Lackey Lateness." I was running late to the appointment due to an impromptu fire drill at school so I literally ran to my car, rushed down the interstate, quickly parked, ran down the forever long hallway to my doctor's office, signed in, went to the business office and paid them money, sat down for maybe 2 minutes, then I was called back for my appointment. Because my BP was so high, they made me lay on my side for 30 minutes after the exam and then retook my BP. It was then 124/60 - much better.

Lesson learned from this: leave early so my heart has time to sit and rest before the appointment!

Today was my 6-week follow-up with my thyroid doc, Dr. V. My thyroid LOVES me being pregnant so it was all good news there - yay!

See this beauty?

When I came home, this was at the door. My sweet friends from high school - Mandy & Daniel graciously gifted Hudson (and us) with this wonderful bassinet. It was a complete surprise and I cried (what else is new?). I am so thankful to the Lord for their friendship and generosity. Thank you Mandy & Daniel!!!

Praises this week:

The Lord continues to provide,

* The Lord's provision of a bassinet through Mandy & Daniel!
* The Lord's provision of some awesome hand-me-down clothes from one of my former student's mom. Awesome cool stuff - especially these little 3 mo. puppy dog slippers -
* Hudson's movements are becoming stronger and more consistent. Love it!
* Our FREE 3D Ultrasound is less than a month away! Can't wait to see if Hudson inherited my crooked nose or James' crooked nose - haha, poor kid doesn't have a chance.


* I still have an UTI. Bummer. Thankfully, still asymptomatic.
* My next OB appointment is the glucose/diabetes test. I do NOT do well drinking things that I don't like ((gag)), so I'm praying it's not too bad to get down and of course, that my pancreas responds appropriately. Definitely wouldn't desire gestational diabetes.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Random Pregnant Mama Thoughts - III

  • We must get the guest bedroom cleaned out to become Hudson's room. We've given ourselves a deadline of the first weekend in March in an attempt to motivate. Has it worked? Not yet. Really, this involves first organizing and unpacking boxes in the office area so we can move the guest bed in there. Sigh. When will the "nesting" kick in? I need some energy to get stuff done!
  • Hudson moves a lot, which I adore. Kick on, baby, kick on.
  • I've now had 5 unsolicited belly rubs. I seriously don't mind at all. I think it's fun and sweet.
  • James and I went to Target Saturday evening to register for baby stuff. It was much, much less stressful than Babies R Us. Granted, Babies R Us is an entire store of baby goods, while Target literally has about 6 aisles. I'm indecisive; so fewer choices = a happier pregnant mama.
  • I have an OB appointment Thursday. It should be an uneventful doppler reading of his heartbeat and follow-up from all the blood they drew for tests last time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Being a Nerdy Mama

I am a nerd, I'll admit. I love to read.

Before James and I were married, I read several marriage books in preparation. Gary Thomas' Sacred Marriage was by far my favorite. It's thesis is that marriage isn't meant to make you happy, but to make you holy. Thinking of marriage as an instrument God uses to sanctify you brings a new perspective to life, particularly when James totally angers or annoys me.

So, obviously when we found out we were pregnant, I began reading (and re-reading) books.

First, I'm reading Ezzo and Bucknam's Baby Wise. You would think that as a teacher I would feel comfortable and confident about becoming a Mom - no way Jose! I jokingly say that I don't know what to do with a kid before they become school-age. Baby Wise has been awesome in helping me gain knowledge about how to set up feeding and sleeping schedules. It is has two authors, one a pediatrician and one a minister so it provides not only advice and techniques from a physical/medical sense, but also from a spiritual sense. I highly recommend it.

A few weeks after we announced our pregnancy, our Sunday School teacher commented that he feels this baby will open a door of ministry for James and I. I know he is right, but it may not be the "church" job that we're looking for. You see, as parents James and I will be totally responsible for this little life. Not just for providing for his/her physical needs but also for bringing them up in a way that they would learn to love Jesus. That's a HUGE responsibility and one we don't take lightly. Come May/June 2012 - we will be involved in 24/7 ministry for the rest of our lives with this little child.

So being the nerd that I am, I turned to books.

First, I re-read Tedd Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart. I first read this book back in 2008 when I began teaching again after my haitus from teaching while in seminary. It has definitely made a difference in how I interact with my students and I pray it helps me shepherd my child appropriately. Tripp covers everything from spanking, time-out, and sharing the gospel with your child. He's super practical and orders most of his book in developmental stages. I'm sure this will become a resource as our child grows.

Second, I am reading Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson's Give them Grace. This book is a lot along the same lines as Tripp's book. If you're an adherent to "self esteem" you probably won't enjoy this book as they promote "Christ esteem" over "self esteem." The basic thesis is that when you encourage, praise, or discipline your child you should always point them towards the gospel.

Will I be a perfect Mom? Heck no. Will I make mistakes? Most definitely. But I am doing my best to be as prepared as possible. Do you have any books you'd recommend?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

22 Weeks

I think this shirt really makes me look big. Funny thing is, it isn't even a maternity shirt. It's one of those trendy shirts from Target that I rarely wore because I felt that it made me look pregnant - lol.
Here's a better view, with the shirt pulled back.
This afternoon was my follow-up with Dr. B about my kidney ultrasound and bladder.

Good News:

- My BP was good, 122/65

- My kidneys are still their normal abnormal selves (nothing has changed)

Bad News:
- Apparently my bladder is full of debris. Dr. B thinks that may be what is causing the UTIs - all that junk floating around and irritating my bladder. Where'd it come from? God knows. Dr. B would like to do a bladder lavage which is basically a bladder bath where they'd clean out my bladder. However, he's never performed one on a pregnant mama so he isn't sure it's the best idea right now. There is a chance it could cause me to be septic, which I definitely do not want. I'm supposed to call back Friday after he's had a chance to talk to Dr. P, my OB. I'm thinking if there's 33 years of junk in there, what's four more months? Let's wait until Hudson is born.

- I'm still asymptomatic.

- Dr. B is a good doctor. My old urologist wasn't so I really appreciate Dr. B. At one point I was just randomly talking (like I do) and saying that as long as Hudson's safe and healthy - that's my first priority. He looks at me and said, "Yes but it's my job to see that he has a healthy mama." I cried a little.

Only 18 weeks left!