Monday, July 6, 2015

The gift this pregnancy has given me

I've been learning something through this pregnancy that I didn't learn through my first three.

I can choose joy despite how I feel.

In my past pregnancies, when I was so sick, I let the misery of what my body was feeling invade all of me. I just couldn't separate the sickness inside from how I expressed myself. It felt dishonest to smile when I wanted to cry. I was always excited when I found out I was pregnant, I prayed and contended for each baby that I've carried, but when I was in the throes of first trimester sickness I basically curled up into a ball on the sofa, focused on the way I felt, and probably didn't smile much for those first few months. I just tried to get through it, thinking I would express my excitement over the pregnancy when I was feeling better.

This time has been different. It doesn't matter if people understand how awful I feel just by looking at my facial expressions. Sometimes I truly can't hide it, but if I can focus on something other than the nausea it helps so much. If I can worship, if I can smile anyway, if I can say something loving to my husband, hug my babies, rest my hand on my abdomen and thank the Lord for the wondrous miracle taking place inside me. The joy that comes from those simple expressions is more real than my sickness. The joy that comes from taking my focus off the sickness and placing it on all that is good then begins to invade and overtake the misery. And I find that the honesty of the fact that the joy of the Lord is my strength is a truth that trumps whatever else I feel.

Granted, the sickness has been slightly different this time, a little less extreme, and comes in waves that are really bad and then less bad rather than a constant state of badness. But choosing joy in the face of it has been such an amazing thing.

I still lay down when I need to. I still eat when I need to. I'm not afraid to say "I need water with lemon NOW" when I need to. ;) But I am just consciously trying not to act miserable. Everything about the fact that I get to carry a baby is a gift, and I want to treat it as such.

In church yesterday the message was about making a trade with God. Asking Him for something good, and giving Him the not-good things we've been hanging onto in exchange. For me, that meant not asking him for joy but hanging onto misery and sickness with the other hand. It means asking for joy, and gladly releasing any rights to feel miserable or sick. "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame.. I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord." Yes and amen.

I had the most lovely fourth of July. I threw up many times, in between fireworks, before playing card games, again before bed.... and if that is what I focused on then maybe it wouldn't have been such fun. But instead of thinking about those fleeting moments of sickness, I choose to think of the coziness of the porch in the rain, being surrounded by people I love, watching my boys hold sparklers in amazement for the first time, the laughter and fun during the card game.... it was wonderful. It's still a struggle, when people ask me how I'm feeling I want to be honest, but I then after answering the question, I want to smile, and I really just don't want to dwell on it.

So here's last week, 10 weeks pregnant, feeling so nauseous, but choosing to wear a dress and smile anyway. Because why not?
I will express my joy in this pregnancy through the pleasant and the painful parts.
Because in choosing joy, it becomes the most overwhelming emotion. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Outfit round up

Back to our regularly scheduled programming today.... I do want to say thank you to all of you who left so many kind comments on my post, regardless of what side of the issue you see. 

As I was going through photos for this post I realized it has been a long time since I've shared anything fashion related, because most of these photos are all from May, pre-highlights of tan, and some of them were even before I knew I was expecting. 
I haven't been taking nearly as many outfit photos lately, because, honestly, I haven't been wearing much worth showing while I've been feeling sick. Mostly the same t-shirt three days in a row and a pair of comfy shorts... not even putting in my contacts lots of days. So here are a bunch of "spring" outfits, hopefully when I'm feeling better I can do some a more summery post. 

These first two photos are the same outfit worn two different days. In the second photo you can see what sandals I wore with it, but I had also just spilled chic-fil-a sauce on my pants. You win some you lose some. 

Tank: H&M 
Olive skinnies: H&M
black sandals: Old Navy
Key necklace: Chain- Stella&Dot, key, stolen from one of my boys toy metal key rings sets.... 

These two are more representative of what I wear around the house normally... except more fancy than what I'm in at the moment. 
t-shirt: H&M
shorts: H&M
t-shirt: Cotton On
Shorts: Target 

Love the black t-shirt dress below so much for it's comfort. Hopefully will be wearing it as a tunic in the beginning stages of this pregnancy. 
Dress: Victoria's Secret 
Sandals: Urban Outfitters
Belt: J. Crew
Hat: Forever 21 

The outfit below feels completely representative of me. 
Floral top: Forever 21
Jeans: AE
Sandals: AE
not seen: coral/orange janice studs from Stella & Dot

This sweater appears in another outfit later, and I absolutely loved it's light weight feel and distressed look for spring. 
Sweater: Lookbook
White cutoffs: A Pea in the Pod
Sandals: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: H&M 

White tank: H&M
Maxi skirt: Old Navy
Havana Necklace & Earrings: Stella & Dot

 This photo was the next morning, the day I found out I was pregnant. 
Pink tank: Old Navy
Floral shorts: H&M (they have these shorts in so many colors and patterns for $12, I absolutely love them) 
Sandals: Urban Outfitters
Havana Earrings: Stella & dot

I wish you could see the polka dots on this dress better in the photo below, it is super cute 
Dress: H&M 
Jean Jacket: H&M 
Flats: Express

I was 7 weeks prego here. 
Polka dot top (it's actually a tunic tucked in): Forever 21
Skirt: AE, ages and ages ago for $4
Brown & cork wedges: I've had them so long I can't remember where they came from

here's that sweater again. I rolled the sleeves up here. 
Sweater: Lookbook
Olive skinnies (minus chick fil a sauce): H&M 
Sandals: AE

Top: anthro
Skirt: Francesca's 
Sandals: Old Navy

 These are out of order, this was what I wore on mother's day. 
 Pink tank: Old Navy (same as seen with floral h&m shorts)
White pants: Target
Black sandals: Old Navy
Key necklace: same as seen above

I wore this on a triple date to philly with my siblings and their spouses to a comedy club. 
Dress: Target
Jean Jacket: H&M
Sandals: AE
Havana Necklace: Stella & Dot

Top to shoes: all from Old Navy over the years

So you saw a lot of repeats just worn different ways throughout this post. That's the way I like to do it. Making what I have go further. Hopefully I'll be able to put my highlights and tan to good use and take some more outfit photos before they both fade.... lol. We will see.