Learning To Be Thankful For Morning Sickness

The porcelain bowl glistens clean and white, the scent of anti-bacterial wipes wafting from its open lid. This has been my on-and-off view for the past few weeks; the bathroom mat a frequent companion for this newly-pregnant mama.

Retreating back to my spot on the couch, cuddled up under a brown blanket, my nose twitches at the scent of whatever it is my husband is cooking in the kitchen. I gag and growl in frustration at my endlessly-rolling tummy. No one could ever say that this is a “fun” part of pregnancy, but nonetheless, I take a deep breath and direct a quick word of thanks upwards.

Despite the discomfort, I try to remember that I am enjoying this.

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Unbound by Jamie Sumner + GIVEAWAY

We all have expectations for motherhood. Most of us, at some point or another, have carefully crafted plans for what our motherhood will look like, how it will come about, or who our family will be. And then, inevitably, we encounter situations that test and challenge those ideas. We’re forced to re-evaluate or else flounder under unrealistic goals.

I was super excited to receive an early copy of Jamie Sumner’s book, “Unbound” as she addresses the reality of motherhood and the struggle it can take to get there. Dealing with issues like infertility, miscarriage, difficult pregnancies, and special needs parenting, this book details some of Jamie’s own difficult journey while weaving in stories and highlights from women of the Bible. This book is beautiful and challenging, written with hope, honesty, and truth — and I was so encouraged by Jamie’s story.

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Pregnancy After Loss: Grieving a Lost Due Date

The end of March brings with it the end of our first trimester with this little bean. This milestone makes my breath catch and my heart swim. When I saw those pink lines on the pregnancy test, I was so focused on just getting through the first eight weeks, I could scarcely dream of the end of the first trimester. But here we are with a healthy, growing baby and hearts overflowing with excitement and joy.

At the same time, this month carries memories of another child I once carried in my womb. Memories of a little girl we named Avonlea. A child whom we knew for a mere seven days, a daughter whom I knew from the start we wouldn’t get to keep.

March 25 would have been her due date.

This is part of pregnancy after loss: remembering the ones who aren’t in your womb, the ones who never made it this far, and whose hearts you never saw beat. Just because a new baby grows within, doesn’t mean that the ones we lost are any less loved, cherished, or missed.

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When You Can’t Find Your Happily-Ever-After

I like books with happily-ever-afters.

I want the novel in my hand to close with the satisfying feeling that all has been resolved. To turn to the last page and find the loose threads woven together, the dragons slain, and the broken hearts whole and healed.

For the past three years, we’ve walked through the pages of a story that have been written with tears: a stillbirth, four miscarriages, six months of negative pregnancy tests. The words are rougher and messier than what I would have penned for myself. Others see the book’s jagged edges and whisper well-intentioned platitudes like, “It will happen. Hang in there.”

And if this was a novel written by my own human hands it would certainly end with a baby born, whole and healthy with screaming lungs and flailing arms. Given the chance, who wouldn’t write out happy answers to our most heartfelt dreams? An acceptance letter into that longed-for university program, a perfect job that provide unending happiness, a spouse to snuggle up next to each night. With the rub of an eraser we would fix marriages that have been cracked or marred by human brokenness, and lives that have been devastated by sickness and poverty. With glittery rainbow-coloured markers, we would scribble out a lifetime of dreams fulfilled rather than crushed. Because if it were up to us, those things that we have been dreaming of, longing for, and praying for would always happen.

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