And 1, 2, 3, GROW! (15 weeks, 6 days)

Today marks the end of my 15th week of being knocked up, and all I can say is “Whoa, that’s new.” This past week has seen the beginning of a few pregnancy symptoms that are both new and exciting, and kinda unpleasant. To name a few, I’ll start with round ligament pain. WOW! What I was expecting was an occasional pinch. What I got was more like this rather distinct “stretching” feeling along either side of my lower abdomen. I’m occasionally even feeling a “cramping” sort of sensation, which my doctor says is where my uterus is growing rapidly along with my little one. This will continue somewhat through most of the pregnancy, slowing down a bit at the end – when, for what it’s worth, I hear plenty of other pains show up to take its place.

Another symptom I’m having no shortage of is lightheadedness. Even before I was pregnant, it wasn’t uncommon for me to have an “Ohhhhhh I stood up too fast” kind of moment. But in recent days and weeks, I’ve been having them almost HOURLY. You’d think I’d learn, but it’s the kind of thing I can’t even predict, at this point. Sometimes I stand right up and sit down just as quickly, knowing that I’m seeing stars. Other times I stand up slowly, think I’m in the clear, and only start blacking out a few seconds later when the blood starts pumping through my legs.

And one final thing that has shown up in the past few weeks? Well, though I wouldn’t call this a “symptom” of pregnancy, I have a new “bump” going on, and it’s one that a lot of people are starting to notice. In fact, as I was walking into the gym on Thursday evening, my friend Cory yelled out over a row of ellipticals “Look at you little mommy! You POPPED!” It was too funny! I am sure that by the time I hit 25, 30, 35, and maybe even 40 weeks, I’ll look at pictures of the current bump, roll my eyes, and laugh. But for now, it is so amazing and such a relief to finally be showing a bit. I feel like I can finally talk, walk, and act like a preggo without people who know me wondering what’s going on. The cat is officially out of the bag (not that I did a swell job of keeping it in…).

This weekend, so far, has been boatloads of fun as Jonathan and I registered for baby gear at Target and Babies R’ Us, and even selected our crib and dresser/changer at a local baby furniture store (Baby Furniture Plus Kids, check them out at http://www.bfpk.com/) AND managed to stay under our budget. After a delicious (and appropriately indulgent) lunch at Bojangles earlier today, we dropped in at BFPK to put down a deposit and have our furniture ordered. It will be ready for us to pick up in early June, and I’ll probably drop by the store every few weeks from now until then to pay a bit on the loot. Ya know…lessen the hurt from the final purchase.

Finally, Jonathan and I are going to church tomorrow morning to meet with the elders at Holland Park Church of Christ and have our placement of membership there announced to the congregation. It’s kind of a big deal, at least for me, because a few years ago I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be a “member” at a church again. I’d had a wonderful experience at an amazing church that I attended prior to getting married and moving away from home, but I still had some serious “wounds” and a huge amount of bitterness from some pretty craptastic religious experiences from earlier in my youth. I’ll be the first to admit…I have trouble letting go of some residual hurt, and it’s something I’ll spend the rest of my life working on. Perhaps that awareness of how deep even an unintentional hurt can slice is what made me carefully consider the church I’d one day attend with my husband and kids. Or if I’d even attend one.

We picked Holland Park because it’s a great balance for us. It’s pretty large for a Church of Christ, for one thing – several hundred people. And for those unfamiliar with the CofC, no, it’s not the Mormon “Latter Day Church of Christ,” it’s just a fancy way of saying “non-denominational,” honestly. There are plenty of people in the CofC who would sweat blood arguing that point with me, but frankly, I don’t argue about politics or religion these days. Life is too short, and I’m too smart to worry about what other people think of my views. But yeah, basically, Church of Christ is very non-denominational, there is no central governing body, and the majority of CofCs don’t have instrumental music. I personally don’t find a lot of the tenets that set the CofC apart (like the instrumental music thing) to be worth splitting hairs over, but with a good song leader, instruments also aren’t “necessary.” I can swing both ways on that issue and a myriad of others. At the end of the day, for me and Jon, that’s why Holland Park works (much like the church we attended back home, prior to moving to Greenville). The people just live their lives, do the best they can, and it’s never, ever, ever, ever, ever (can I say NEVER EVER some more?) about judging other people and touting your own “perfection.” The preacher there, Jeff, is always the first to throw himself under the bus, disclose his own faults (recent or past, deep or superficial). We love that. It’s the kind of place I dreamed of finding to help me in teaching my child about God, and about the elements of true, selfless, love-based Christianity.

So basically…things are awesome. I’m through the first trimester, only two weeks from hopefully finding out if this baby will be a Wren or a Russell (yes, those are the names, and no, I don’t care if you like them), our baby furniture is picked and ordered, my husband and I are closer than ever, and the spiritual nurturing of this child and any others we might have is being set into motion. Life is good, God is huge, and currently, I’m sort of on a cloud of happiness. Well, except for those occasional, inexplicable, hormone-induced crying jags. Did I mention that was the fourth new symptom? Ahhh, pregnancy…

Until next time, love & peace! šŸ™‚

~Becky~

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