Friday, March 30, 2012

My First 1st Trimester

Overall, Baby Chick and I seem to be getting along pretty well.  For the most part, being pregnant thus far hasn't been too much worse than not being pregnant, and in some ways a little better.  

Little Better:

  • My monthly acne flare-ups have gone away.  (Now experiencing clearer skin than I have in years.)  
  • I have a very good reason for "being lazy" and basically resting a lot.  
  • I'm allowed to be somewhat picky about what I eat.  
  • My emotions have basically evened out.  (Though I think that might have more to do with finally reaching a good point emotionally, rather than hormonal changes due to pregnancy.)  
  • People show a lot more interest in my well-being, as I am now, quite literally, living for two.  (Not that I ever felt neglected before.)

Not Too Much Worse (And Really Not All That Bad - I'm Just a Wimp When it Comes to Digestive Issues):
  • Wondering what the heck to eat today, because my hunger reflex seems to have disappeared, and nothing I can think of seems appetizing...  And forcing myself to eat every two hours lest bad things happen...  (I never was much of a snacker, so that is really tough.)
  • Offering libations to the porcelain god, and then having to start the hard-won eating process all over again...
  • Wondering exactly what it was that I ate which caused me to offer libations in the first place...  And then trying to avoid eating said thing to see if it really was the cause or not...
  • Feeling tired, and not getting everything done that needs done because I need a nap...  Then I start to feel like a failure.  (My peak hours of energy seem to be the afternoon, and as soon as 5/6pm hits, I crash again...  Just in time for my husband to come home from work.  Then I don't feel like making supper, don't want to eat anything I make, the dishes haven't been done, and I have little to no energy to spend on him.  Failure.)
  • Tearing up at anything which is even remotely sad, happy, cute, inspires pride, etc.  Definitely not something I'm used to.
  • People caring about my well being.  Yes, I know they mean well, and I know I am supposed eating for two, but #2 is causing adverse digestive issues.  And then I feel terribly horribly bad because I don't think I'm eating like I ought to be.
  • Feeling like I haven't had and enjoyed a full meal in about 2 months....then realizing that I actually haven't.  Not that I haven't been trying, but my stomach capacity seems to have shrunk to nothing compared to what it was.  
  • AND the Worst:  Feeling like I'm getting over it all, and the past three days were the best in eons (or so it seems), and then suddenly needing to offer libations and start all over again.   The point at which I am now.
But overall, I really do think I am beginning to feel better, and it really hasn't been that bad, or even every day.  Like I said, I'm a wimp.   The only things I think I should avoid eating are things fried in butter (eggs, grilled cheese, etc.), pizza :[ , and I decided in the beginning that hamburgers were no longer appetizing, so I won't eat them.  Not too bad of a list, considering what a lot of other women might have to give up.  
Everyone says it starts to get better in the 2nd trimester anyhow, and right now Baby Chick and I are on that threshold, so we shall see how the next few weeks fare for us.  
Yummy food, which I had no desire for, at all. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

An Announcement

          I know I haven't been posting much, even though I said I would as part of my Lenten resolution.  Well, here is the reason, and a fitting announcement on this celebration of the feast of the Annunciation:  WE ARE EXPECTING!!!!  
         Yes, I know that doesn't really seem like a very good reason for not writing at least something, but I have been battling the fatigue and nausea that is customary for many in the first trimester, not that it has been terrible - just enough to throw me off my game.  Furthermore, it is quite difficult to post of one subject, when such an amazing one as my pregnancy is always foremost in my mind!  All other subjects seem to pale in comparison.  
          Anyway, I have a lot of things to do today, and as I seem to be feeling pretty alright, I might as well get started on what I can do, for as long as I feel up to it.  More posts most assuredly to come in the future, for six more months at least.  After that, it'll depend on me and Baby Chick's schedule.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day - 03/08/2012

          So today is International Women's Day.  I suggest everyone, women included, think on the women we know in our lives and let them know how we feel about them.  Try and think of some particular aspect about their being that is particularly feminine, and let them know how much you respect and are grateful for that part of them.  
         It would be best if such reflections did not center around her physical nature, but rather focus on the mental, spiritual, or emotional things which show forth her unique womanliness.  Such reflections may be difficult, especially having grown up in such a world where we are constantly bombarded with arguments as to how there are no differences between women and men, save from the difference in genitalia, and even then many are trying to say that such differences are unimportant as well.  If one is stuck on the physical, think about a better way of saying it, that shows respect and remembers the dignity of the woman such as:  "I like watching you take care of someone; there is a softness and tenderness in the manner that you use that really makes you beautiful" rather than "Your body is so hot, I like how attracted to you I get".  Or something to that effect; it sounded better in my head.
          Thank her for the different point of view that she brings to the table.  Let her know how much you admire her ability to emotionally connect with others.  Commend her for facing whatever trials she has faced with whatever strengths and virtues she has.  Thank her for her life, and let her know how glad and blessed you are to be a part of it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

On Lack of Devotion: Stick It Out!

More from The Imitation of Christ, St. Thomas a Kempis:

"Christ: ... Do not depend too much on such feelings of devotion which can quickly change into the opposite. When you have this great gift, think how wretched and poor you are without it. Progress in the spiritual life does not consist in having this grace of devotion, but rather in bearing the withdrawal and the absence of it humbly and patiently, without ceasing to pray or leaving your accustomed good works undone.

Do the best you can according to your ability; attend to your soul and do not be negligent in your duties because of dryness or any mental anxiety you may feel.  (3.7.1.)
Some imprudent people, through an indiscreet desire to have the grace of devotion, have damaged themselves, for they wished to do more than they were able. Not taking into account the limit of their gift or their own weakness, they chose to follow their own inclinations rather than good judgment; and because they presumed to undertake more than was pleasing to God, they soon lost the grace they already had.  (3.7.2.)"

          Such wisdom is very important for us to remember, as we journey not only through this season of Lent, but also through the rest of our lives, as struggling followers of Christ.  We must not rely on the "feeling" of success that we may feel when we are following the Commandments of the Lord, and walking in His way; if all that spurs us on is this fleeting feeling, then we are not truly in a place where we love God for His sake, and desire to follow Him for Himself.  Rather, we may still be in the bondage to ourselves, slaves to our passions and needing to feel affirmation or else give up on the endeavor entirely simply because we depend so much on feeling good, such as little children often do.  The remedy is to plow on, in spite of our confusion, doubt, and trials.

         Oftentimes, we overestimate our abilities in our fervor, and this drive ourselves to spiritual ruin upon the rocks.  We do all have our purposes in life, but we must strive to find what they are, and not attempt to attain things which are beyond our power:  Some are called to be like Mother Theresa or Fulton Sheen; but most are called to live out the Gospel in much smaller ways.  To us the ordinary life may seem insignificant, and thus we desire to become more like such examples, but to strive for that to which we are not called is folly, and it is no wonder that we shall fail!

          For myself, though, the most convicting passage of today was:  "They are far from being virtuous, who, in time of trouble or adversity, give themselves up to despondency and do not place their confidence in Me as they ought. (3.7.3.)"  Most of the time, it is a blessing to live in the present as much as I do.  The past is over, and most people don't remember it anyway, and the future is basically unknown, so why bother trying to make plans?  The downside to living so much in the present is my inability, at times, to see that things will change; oftentimes I find myself in a rut, thinking that this perceived misery I'm in will never end - just go on and on, and I don't know how I will ever make it through.  

          So much work ahead of me, Lord, and my blind eyes can so no path to walk.  I wish to desire, I do desire to follow You and trust in You, but my will is weak, and I falter and despair of ever attaining the End.  Jesus, help me to trust in You, for everything else leads to failure without You.