Second Trimester

I was fourteen weeks pregnant on Sunday! Made it through the first trimester. That means six months to go. I can't drink coffee because it doesn't taste good anymore. The frustrating part is I remember it tasting good just a couple of months ago and how much I loved getting up in the morning and fixing a pot of coffee. For now that is gone. I keep thinking about September when I have this baby and then I can go to McDonald's and get an iced coffee because (this is a secret) McDonald's makes the best iced coffee in town and it is much cheaper than a coffee stand too. Then I can't believe I am fantasizing about going to McDonald's six months from now. Is that normal? For all I know they put melted ice cream in their coffee. It's just really good.

I have hope that things will look up in the second trimester because last week I did some cooking again for the first time in a couple of months. On Sunday I made spaghetti carbonara, which is a nice easy after-church dinner. On Monday I made cheesy broccoli soup. Tuesday was homemade pizza. Wednesday I made teriyaki meatballs with ground turkey. Catz in the Kitchen has a great recipe for those but I've found it's better with a leaner meat than the 85% lean hamburger I usually buy. Thursday I didn't feel well and Christopher made spaghetti. Friday we did leftovers. Four dinners in a row was pretty good. The pregnancy nausea started at six weeks and hasn't let up yet.

On Saturday Christopher took my grocery list to Costco (A+ husband) and also picked up a rotisserie chicken. Those are great. We made three meals out of this one! I took all the meat off the bones and that night we had chicken on salad. I put the bones in the crock pot overnight with carrots, onion and celery to make bone broth and then for Sunday dinner we had chicken rice soup and French bread. There was still enough chicken to have chicken tacos for one more meal on Tuesday. I was really happy about that.

We would have had the chicken tacos on Monday night except after being cooped up in the apartment for 5 days with sick children I told Christopher I absolutely had to go out that night or I was going to lose my mind. So he very kindly took us all out to C&Js for burgers and fries. Not quite as cheap as a rotisserie chicken... but I guess cheaper than me going crazy. Haha. Although Christopher says yesterday I told him if we get any more toys our apartment will explode and then one day later I said we needed to order a toy charcoal grill for Julian's birthday. So maybe it's too late.

So far the main feature of this pregnancy has been nausea. At first I was just nauseated all the time, though it was much worse at night. A few weeks ago I started having a fair number of days where I felt okay in the morning but after noon I would feel terribly queasy until about midnight. We had to laugh about my "morning sickness" being night sickness.

After a few weeks where I couldn't do anything but lie on the couch, I called my doctor and asked her to prescribe something for the nausea. She prescribed odansetron. It came in the form of small, strawberry-flavored bitter pills that dissolve on the tongue. I can take one every six hours. I've been using it for about a month now. My experience was that for about 5 days it worked like magic. Then it seemed to lose some of its effectiveness. Since then I found I can use it to maybe take the edge off the nausea, but it does not relieve the nausea.

During the weeks I've been feeling sick I could wash laundry but folding and putting away was too much. I would start to fold it and then feel so sick I'd have to lie back down on the couch and give it up. Usually the laundry would end up scattered on the floor or just sitting on the coffee table for days and days. For weeks we dug through piles of clean laundry on a scavenger hunt for three clean outfits for each child morning and night. That's actually kind of stressful. The worst was when they needed socks. Very low probability of pulling a dozen children's socks out of the laundry basket and finding a match, let alone three matches. Why do kid's socks come in packs of 6 different pairs?

Thankfully, baby is doing well. I saw him/her on ultrasound at my appointment at the beginning of March and baby was very active, moving around a lot and measuring exactly on schedule.

To take my mind off the nausea, I read lots of books and blogs. One memorable book I read was Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan, a fictional story about a sick little boy who asks his sister to find out if Narnia is real. Two or three years ago I read Becoming Mrs. Lewis by the same author and for some reason the story stuck with me instead of fading into forgotten memories like most novels I read, so I was happy when I saw Once Upon a Wardrobe on Hoopla. I enjoyed all the details of C.S. Lewis's life that I learned from both the books. Reading Once Upon a Wardrobe led me into the fiction stacks at our library, where I picked up two George MacDonald books, Phantastes and The Flight of the Shadow, and Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. In Patti Callahan's book she says Phantastes was one of C.S. Lewis's favorite books. I was surprised and happy to find it in our library.

I loved George MacDonald, even though in the introduction of Phantastes C.S. Lewis says he doesn't actually think George MacDonald is a very good writer, but considers him a master of myth where the medium doesn't matter. Okay, so The Flight of the Shadow was a little bit saccharine toward the end but I thought some of the writing, especially in the beginning, was delightful. The Flight of the Shadow got me through an especially hard day of feeling sick. I wish our library had more of his books. In Once Upon a Wardrobe the library at Oxford had a whole section devoted to George MacDonald. I found 4 or 5 of his books in our stacks, and only 2 originals. The rest were revised "for today's reader".

Another book I enjoyed was The Winter Rose by Melanie Dobson. This book featured Psalm 27 strongly as the favorite of one character, Grace, and Psalm 27 is my favorite Psalm as well. "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I dread? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Sara Hagerty pointed out this is a great verse to pray and hold onto if you ever find that dread seeps into every part of your life. Dread of the distant future or dread of the day ahead when you wake up, dread of other people. Sometimes dread can be there as an undercurrent that you barely notice anymore. I have found that God can turn the dread into "I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."

A third book that stands out in the weeks of reading is Beloved by Toni Morrison. I did not think I would like this book. The idea of a mother killing her own child seemed too terrible to contemplate. But the book was actually very good. It did an excellent job of portraying the indignity and violence of slavery. Toni Morrison isn't very gentle with her readers here, but on the other hand, as she herself pointed out in the introduction, when was slavery ever gentle to its victims? How does a person go on after having their very humanity taken from them? I ended up feeling glad that the human spirit is resilient and they did, courageously, go on. A grim story but I think ultimately it was hopeful. (I feel a little sheepish giving my take on this book after one quick reading on the reading app on my phone because undoubtedly whole college classes have been taught on it, so pardon my uneducated opinion.)

On a more lighthearted note, somehow I found out that Roald Dahl wrote short stories for adults so I read a couple of those collections. They're the sort of shivery stories you might read at a sleepover to scare all your friends. Almost funny but... is he joking? Like Willy Wonka brazenly assuring everyone the unfortunate children on his factory tour will be fine! Just fine! If Veruca doesn't fall into the incinerator, that is. Classic Roald Dahl style.

I am very thankful that while I have been doing nothing but lying on the couch reading for the last 1 or 2 months, Christopher has been cooking dinner, making sure the kids take baths and keeping our apartment from getting buried in toys and dirty dishes. All this while getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning to get ready for work. At about 8 in the evening he looks like he is done and he still has to serve applesauce, goldfish and toast for bedtime snacks and usually rock the baby to sleep too. "Dad!" we hear a plaintive little voice from Julian's crib. "Daaaaad! Cheer!" (By "cheer" he means rocking chair.) Can't go to sleep without Dad rocking him. Then at 1 or 2 in the morning we might hear footsteps slap down the hallway and stop in our room. I'm usually too scared to open my eyes. For some reason the thought of opening my eyes and seeing a 4 year old standing by my bed staring at me is terrifying. It sounds like something from a horror movie. Plus, my stomach feels bad anyway so usually Christopher has been getting up to help said 4 year old use the bathroom and get tucked back in bed. So this blog post was sponsored by a heroic spouse.

P.S. My Gender SneakPeek test showed... a boy! I have to wait till my ultrasound in 6 more weeks to see if that was correct.

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