Health. An Update. (A Big One.)



Not too long ago, I shared this post about my intentions to get healthy again. I was gonna go vegetarian again and spend the year training to complete a half-marathon this fall. I talked about how we vowed to get gazelle intense this year and really knock out some debt. We were set for quarterly no-spend months, me picking up over time, and closing our credit cards once and for all.

Yes. I had big plans.

Then came an unexpected plot twist.

Shock gripped me when that second line appeared. I'd had no symptoms, I'd only been a few days late. But I'd been late many times before and had taken loads of tests in our two and a half years of marriage. Seriously, I'd been through this so many times, I had a plentiful stash of tests I'd ordered in bulk from Amazon, just so I could be sure. And every time, they were always negative.

Until now.

I was in such disbelief, I took a total of six of these at-home pregnancy tests, then I made my husband take one in case they were all somehow faulty and giving positives to any and everyone (I'm not crazy; they had expired a couple of months previously, so I had reason to doubt their validity). Anyway. After my husband's pregnancy test was negative, I contacted the primary care physician I'd seen just a few days ago for a physical to see if I could add a pregnancy test to my pending labwork.

I drove to their office that afternoon, urinated, and drove back home, waiting for my phone to ring. When I say that it was the longest, most uneasy drive ever, trust me. I tried to distract myself by singing along with fun 80's songs on the radio, but it didn't work. Not even Tears for Fears could calm my nerves. About three blocks from my house, I finally received a call from one of the nurses.

"Mrs. Oliver? We have the results from your pregnancy test."

Insert the longest, most dramatic pause imaginable.

"It was positive."

I'm not sure what I said in response to the poor nurse. My throat closed up and tears started coming so quickly, I suppose I just mumbled an unintelligible 'okaythankyou' and hung up.

It was positive. I was...pregnant. 

I cried the rest of the way home, as I walked in the door, and as I plopped down on our couch to process the news.

Is this really happening?! We can't afford a baby right now. A baby! This is the moment I've dreamed of my whole life! Wait, I don't have maternity leave. We can't afford daycare. I could never send my baby to daycare. Wow, MY baby. What about our debt snowball? Doesn't Dave say to pause it and save every penny? What if I have to quit work and go on bedrest? Ahhh, the test was positive! It was FINALLY positive! I'm having a baby! I can finally have a legit excuse for spending hours making baby name lists. Oh gosh, I've got to settle on a name. OH MY GOSH, I WAS SUPPOSED TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY FIRST! What if I get gestational diabetes? I'm gonna be huuuuuuuge and hideous! Oh my goodness, I'm going to be a mom!!! 

I literally couldn't stop crying, which greatly upset and confused our two dogs, who were the only ones around I could talk to about this at the time. My husband was at work, so I had to wait forever for him to come home so I could break the news.

So, I just cuddled with the pups, told them they were gonna be big sisters, and cried some more. I think I'd only just stopped crying when Matt got home. And of course, when when I saw him, the floodgates opened once more. He looked at me and I just nodded, shakily and wet-faced, and he pulled me into a hug, a bit teary-eyed himself.

That same day, I called a natural-birth-focused OBGYN I'd researched in the past and scheduled my first prenatal appointment, which was an unbearable six weeks away. I spent those six weeks in rising anxiety mingled with denial, though the rapid onset of pregnancy symptoms began making things quite real.

The aversions hit me first. Food was suddenly disgusting, but nothing turned my stomach more than a steaming mug of coffee. Oh my goodness, coffee was (and still is, btw) the worst. I couldn't smell it, I couldn't look at it, I couldn't be in the same room with someone drinking what used to be my favorite, most comforting beverage. It was the strangest thing I'd ever experienced. The only upside was that I was no longer spending $5 on fancy lattes.

And so much for that plant-based diet to which I'd planned to return. Vegetables, sadly, were second to coffee. I couldn't handle anything green.

For several weeks, I had persistent, nagging nausea. I felt queasy all the time and had to force myself to eat. And by nine weeks, the "morning" sickness (which lasted from the moment I woke up in the morning until I got into bed at night) was in full force. I vomited when I got out of bed, vomited after breakfast, vomited again before lunch, vomited again in late afternoon. My twelve hour work days grew torturous. I couldn't keep food down, I vomited so often that blood began coming up with the vomit, and I still had to push around a heavy med cart and be on my feet for twelve hours. I was dizzy, light-headed, and miserable. I lost 11 pounds in the first trimester, and it got to the point I thought I might need an IV. But somehow, I made it through on frozen fruit bars, ginger ale, and sparkling water. I never called in to work, and I even picked up a few extra shifts.

These difficult symptoms had provided confirmation enough, but seeing my first ultrasound at nine weeks also helped. I wasn't dying; there was a tiny baby in there causing all this.

I learned my due date was September 10, 2018, which was soooo ironic because the half-marathon I'd chosen (but thankfully not yet registered for!) was September 8. Yep.

This experience is definitely teaching me that you can't always be a Type-A, get-it-perfect, planner person, as much as I hate to admit it. Sometimes, there are surprises, and you have no choice but to go with the flow.

And speaking of things not going to plan, the last few months have consisted of spending excess money on whatever food I feel like I would not vomit each day. And I am ashamed to share that my number one go-to has been.....cheeseburgers. When I can't keep anything else down, a nasty fast-food cheeseburger sits well in my stomach and renews my depleted energy (why couldn't it be an organic tofu lettuce wrap or something?) I don't get it, but it's all that works.

Anyway, health issues aside, dining out is expensive, even when it's garbage fast food. So instead of saving money when we desperately need to, we've been spending it on food.


I've come to terms with this fact and am now trying to be more conscious of our spending. I'm back to menu planning and meal prepping and shopping at Aldi now, but we've had to put the debt snowball on hold again. The financial situation is looking pretty grim, but I'm determined to not get all mopey about it. We're doing what we have to do, and as long as we're not swiping credit cards and taking out loans and adding to our debt, at least that's better than we were a few months ago.

As I write this, I'm at nineteen weeks and three days, and I'm scheduled to go for the anatomy scan ultrasound next week. Though the morning sickness hasn't let up much at all, I'm now gaining weight and looking as pregnant as I feel.

A lot of that belly bulge is cheeseburgers, no doubt, but there's also a rapidly growing baby in there!

So yes, 2018 is going a lot differently than I'd planned, and yes, there's a bit of anxiety and uncertainty about the future. However, becoming a mom has always been my number one dream. Though the timing isn't "perfect", I'm more excited and hopeful and thankful than I can express! 

(OH! I should add that when my labwork came back from my primary care physician, everything was excellent. My Hgb A1C was inexplicably better than it was in Missouri when I was told I was prediabetic. It was 5.7 (prediabetic) in Missouri when I was still exercising and eating well. This January, it was 5.1- normal! It makes zero sense, but I'll take it!)


AMPS said...

I know things are crazy and tough but you'll always be glad this baby came along! You look beautiful!

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