It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, May 2, 2013

H & H Assignment: The Highs and Lows of Pregnancy

Second part of our Homesteaders and Homeschoolers Pregnancy "Assignment". You can find part Pat 1 Here.

First Pregnancy, Birth, & Recovery


  • Morning sickness (while working in a preschool) - Have you ever had to throw up in a teeny tiny preschool toilet...where preschool boys use the bathroom?
  • Grouchiness - I had zero tolerance for anyone who wasn't doing exactly what I expected them to be doing
  • Swelling - I went up 3 1/2 shoe sizes. I remember going to the doctor and him saying, "Laura, everyone swells some during pregnancy." I put my leg up for him to see and he responds, "Oh my...." So he cut my work hours and we more carefully monitored my diet. (Thankfully, just swelling and not a sign of  preeclampsia.)
  •  Flatulence - thank goodness it was just the terribly loud and embarrassing kind not the terribly stinky kind. 
  • Diarrhea -  after arriving at the hospital in labor, I immediately started having diarrhea and continued for a few hours this way. I had to share a bathroom with another room so sometimes, I had to walk down to the lobby and use the restroom my hospital gown...with contractions...and hooked to an IV.
  • Tearing and swelling - let's just leave it at that. 
  • Sharing a room - the last day in the hospital, I had to share a room with a lady who didn't speak English and said she had a religious belief that would not allow MY husband to be in the room. Now, her husband could be in the room. Ummmm, NO! It was finally worked out that if we kept the curtain drawn it would be okay as long as we let them know if we were going out the door. (Her bed was near closest to the door.).
  • Bell's palsy - A week or so after I was home, I woke up one morning and attempted to brush my teeth. I couldn't close my mouth! Upon closer inspection, I couldn't move one side of my face including blinking or closing my eye. I freaked! I called my husband to come home, my dad (who was a mile down the road) to hurry and come over, and my doctor's office. We all had it in the back of my head that I could be having a stroke. Thank God it wasn't! For the next few weeks, I had to manually blink my eye, tape my eye shut to sleep, shove a straw practically down my throat to drink, and barely ate. When you are already waking up every few hours to breastfeed, this just made me more exhausted. Within two months most of my symptoms were gone. Apparently, this can happen after child birth. (Another thing no one told me!)


  • New clothes - I loved getting new maternity clothes
  • Prego Tomato Basil and Garlic sauce and spaghetti with a tall glass of skim milk (in a glass glass) - the food I craved and ate pretty much every day
  • An attentive husband - Michael helped out more around the house, came to every single prenatal appointment,  and rubbed lotion on ginormous, purply, swollen feet before bed
  • Annoying people - we didn't find out what gender or didn't tell what names we were considering
  • Kind Nurse - Our nurse was a high school classmate of Michael's. Michael was currently or had coached her brothers. She went above and beyond to make labor better for me.
  • Epidural - that worked well (possibly too well)
  • No soda - I only drank 1 caffeinated soda my entire pregnancy. (and I can tell you exactly where it was). I wasn't able to drink any soda, lemonade, or the like while nursing because it broke out Nan's bottom. I lost a ton of weight and I am pretty sure this was a big part of it.
  • Meeting our baby and finding out her gender. "What is it? What is it?" I can remember asking the minute she was completely out. 
  • Doctor - our family doctor delivered Nan. I had every prenatal visit with him, he delivered her, and then he was officially her doctor. We really knew each other and he was comfortable saying to me, "Laura, you know how you are so....."

Second Pregnancy & Miscarriage


  • Knowing and not telling anyone - just having a fun secret between Michael and I. Being able to dream about this child's gender, name, and future
  • Feeling the support of others - having others give us the hugs and alternately the space we needed to heal
  • Having a renewed appreciation for the children we already had 


  • Physical Pain - the miscarriage began with the worst physical pain I have ever had. Way worse than regular labor
  • Mental Anguish -  The first few hours when I was knew what was happening but kept thinking that there had to be something that could be done but really just not 'getting it'
  • Grief - it took a toll on Michael and my marriage as we didn't understand how we were each grieving differently
  • Having to pretend everything was okay because Nan was too young to really understand.

Third Pregnancy, Birth, and Recovery


  • Illness and morning sickness - I was already down 20 pounds from the world's worst diet: a parasite I had picked up on a mission trip to rural Mexico. There wasn't a break between the two so I lost even more weight and went laid in bed when I wasn't in the bathroom or barely functioning as a human being.
  • Emotions - once again, I was a grouch. Jessica had just moved out and I was a mess over that too. I was terrified this pregnancy was end like the last one. Pretty much I cried and complained the entire time I wasn't throwing up or sleeping.
  • Keeping a secret - once again we decided not to tell anyone until after the first trimester. Much trickier when you share a car with one of your daughters and have to find child care or take the other daughter with you every place you go! 
  • Vacationing while pregnant to Disney - I love the rides and hated being the person who had to walk around holding the bags. By the time we went, I was feeling better so I ate my way through the trip. We had the deluxe dining plan which means I had more 3 meals and 2 snacks available to me and nothing else to do (remember no real rides!). I literally gained 8 lbs that trip.
  • Being 500 degrees all of the time - I felt like I was the baby was a tiny furnace I couldn't escape.
  • Heartburn - I swear it was worse because I had been throwing up for months at this point and there had to be layers of my esophagus missing
  • Carrying my own bags into the hospital because my husband was on crutches.
  • Crummy Nurse - our nurse only worked at the hospital as needed. Although she worked in another hospital helping deliver babies, she had no idea where things were or how they worked at this hospital. She was annoying and made everything more difficult. In addition, she didn't like our new baby's name and once referred to her as "Grossie Josie."


  • Annoying people - once again we chose not to find out the gender or tell what names we were thinking about
  • Being pregnant the same time as a close friend - Unplanned our babies were born the same week
  • Being more comfortable - having experienced  the best case (birth) and what the worst case (miscarriage) outcomes of pregnancy, I knew I could handle whatever happened. 
  • Fountain Pepsi - remember how I had only 1 caffeinated beverage during my first pregnancy? Yeah, total opposite here. I thought about fountain Pepsi... A Lot and indulged every time I could.
  • Telling others - getting to tell Nan was so special! She wrote a story about a princess becoming a big sister, we bound it nicely, and used it to tell my family we were expecting again.
  • Thankfulness - we really doubted we would be able to conceive again. Being pregnant after pretty much thinking it would never happen again was such an answer to prayer. It was easy to pass the praise onto where is belongs: God!
  • Easy labor and delivery - after nearly hyperventilating when I found I wasn't getting my epidural, Michael used all that breathing stuff to help me get it back under control, A few pushes and there she was!
  • Bright-eyed and alert baby who was ready to nurse immediately. 
  • NO EPIDURAL - yes it is on both lists. It wasn't what I had planned but I am glad I have had the experience of a 'natural' childbirth. I fully believe it is why Jo was so alert and I was up and ready to go home so much earlier. 
  • Getting to tell my Father and Mother-in-law that we named our new daughter in honor of them.
  • Being ready physically, mentally, and emotionally to go home at exactly 24 hours.
  • Gyro - my dad bringing me one of my absolute favorite foods as my first meal after Jo was born.

Read the other H & H posts on the Highs and Lows of Pregnancy

Carla at Our Happy Chaos
Jen at Cheshire Farm
Melissa at Teach Academy

What were your highs and lows of pregnancy, birth, and recovery?


  1. Great post - liked the way you separated the highs and lows for each pregnancy.

  2. I'm going to summarize because after 4 babies and a total of 6 pregnancies, it would take too long to get specific about each one:-)

    #1 Best thing about being pregnant is feeling closer to God, the Creator. Sometimes it felt like I got the blessing of my own spirit connecting with God as well as baby's spirit connecting. Worship and time in fellowship with other believers was sweeter. I sometimes became almost literally physically ill when faced with the evil in this world.

    #2 Best thing about being pregnant was feeling the baby move, especially when my husband could feel it too:-)

    #3 Best thing about being pregnant was how attentive people (husband, friends, and relatives) were to me. They always offer their seat, offer to carry things or do things that are "too difficult for someone in your condition". They go out of your way to fulfill your cravings (You are coming over and craving root beer? We'll buy a case!) [This was also very annoying...I'm pregnant not disabled or dieing!]

    #1 Worst thing: 2 Miscarriages, back to back. Something must be wrong with me, some hidden health problem, bad attitude or sin that I'm not aware of.

    #2 Worst thing: Getting scolded because our pregnancies are "too close together/too soon" (Our care providers never did but everyone else in the free world seemed to!)

    #3 Worst thing: 3 Days of pitocin, the first two I couldn't even feel the contractions, then being so exhausted on day 3 that I couldn't mentally deal with the pain so I had to have an epidural (best sleep I ever had!) I felt trapped in the hospital, I was told I was too far post date for them to release me even though the pitocin wasn't really kicking in. Then the pitocin ran out while I was pushing and the nurse didn't refill it so my contractions stopped after baby had crowned! Good thing I had that epidural:-)

  3. This brought back memories of some of the things my wife said about pregnancy and I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm glad I'm a man!

  4. I loved reading these, Laura! I always enjoy talking pregnancy/childbirth with other mommas...everyone's experience is so unique, yet so connected with other women.

  5. Fun Post!

    Pregnancy #1 Highs: The excitement! The first pregnancy was so exciting! My first time feeling the baby kick. My first ultrasound. Great nurses and Doctors. Lows: Getting fat! Not feeling well in the beginning and pelvic pain in the end. Having a very sick baby. Sending my baby back for open heart surgery at 3 days old.

    #2 Highs: Pretty much the same. Getting to bring the baby home! Breastfeeding. I was not able to actually nurse baby #1. Lows: I was so very tired during this pregnancy.

    #3 Highs the same.... Lows....going in for my sono at 17 weeks and finding out there was no heartbeat or movement.

    #4 Highs....I embraced this pregnancy knowing it would be my last. Being older and more in touch with what a miracle child birth really is, I cherished every kick. Lows: knowing it was my last time to experience it all.

  6. I love your honesty and openness when you blog! Thank you for allowing us into your journey. So many people can relate to you and you are so brave to share such difficult things. I admire you and know it will greatly touch other women who have had to deal with such heartache.
    On a funny note, as a fellow prego puker, I have NEVER in all my times having thrown up had to use one of those tiny potties! And preschool boys using it first! AHHHH! I was cracking up and cringing all at once! That is awful! Lol!