Thursday, April 26, 2012


A few weeks ago I was in the shower when I looked down at my white bar of Dove soap and had the weirdest feeling that I wanted to eat it.  I imagined sinking my teeth deep into the bar and then biting off a piece to chew slowly in between my teeth.  I could almost feel the soap in my mouth and I wanted so badly to feel its texture on my tongue, and especially between my teeth.  

After daydreaming about soap for a few minutes, I realized that what I was thinking was totally weird and I told my brain to move on to something else.

But, it kept happening.  And not just with soap.  I wanted to eat detergent, rocks, and cleaning solutions of every kind.  Every day the thoughts would come even more regularly.  I finally told Matt about it.  His reply was hilarious: “Oh, sweetie... we should call the doctor about that”.  My "condition" became the subject of family jokes at our Lewis get together last week while my parents were in town.  A few of my cousins and my aunts mentioned that what I was experiencing was called Pica. Just this morning, as I was craving detergent again, I looked up a definition:

Pica is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (such as clay or chalk).  For these actions to be considered pica, they must persist for more than one month at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. There are different variations of pica, as it can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency or chemical imbalance. Stressors such as maternal deprivation, family issues, parental neglect, pregnancy, poverty, and a disorganized family structure are strongly linked to pica. Pica is more commonly seen in women and children.  Particularly it is seen in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities such as autism.

Thanks Wikipedia.  Anyway, I’m thinking I’ll finally call the doctor today or maybe sometime this week to see what the situation is.  In the meantime, it’s pretty funny stuff.  While I’m doing laundry, and wanting so badly to just pour a handful of detergent down my throat, I have to remind myself that:

-people don’t eat detergent
-eating detergent will make you sick
-you’ll probably regret it when you do

Course, my Grandma Lewis did mention that I could go outside, grab a rock, wash it off, and just suck on it for a while.  She ate dirt when she had Pica growing up, and she’s doing fine.  We’ll see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

College degree: Check.

Last Friday I graduated. It felt good. Before graduation week, I was super iffy about attending Convocation and Commencement, mostly because it sounded incredibly boring. Well, it was. Incredibly boring, that is. And I could've done without all the standing and walking because of my seven month preg-ality, but having family there to support me was worth all the drawn-out, boring graduation talks and horrid graduation apparel. Totally worth it.

 I was really proud of myself that day. And I was proud of Matt and I. I really felt like we were officially grown-ups that were responsible and prepared for the future. I felt proud that I could make my parents and grandparents proud. That’s something that is really important to the inner-me. I thrive on being accepted and understood by those around me, especially family-- one of my many “blue” traits (sometimes a blessing, other times a curse:) But it meant a great deal to know they were proud of something I had achieved. And I was glad that something I had done could bring them joy.

When I walked in to the graduation ceremony, I looked up in the stands and saw my Matty just waving at me like a little cutie. I got emotional thinking back over these past two semesters specifically and all that he did to help me get to this point. He made my lunch almost everyday for school. He helped me get out of bed and get me showered and ready for the day (especially during that first trimester when I didn’t even have strength to brush my own hair. He did it all.). He was patient with my crabby days, which came fairly regularly. He gave me pep-talk after pep-talk about how I needed to take things “one day at a time”, and how “everything would work out”. Some of the most meaningful moments were those when he’d give me a Priesthood blessing to help me handle it all, or feel better, or sleep well, etc. I honestly felt like he should have been up there with me to walk across the stage and accept my diploma.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The bump.

Matt took this photo about a month and a half ago. That tells you something about my “size” now:) I don’t know why, but I’m not really one of those “take a picture of me week by week to show my growing womb” kind of pregnant ladies. The first two trimesters slipped by like a fox and now, here I am, in my third trimester, just wondering how I got here so quick. And I have one picture to show for it. Maybe we’ll take a second one. Maybe.

Matt’s been such a peach about all of my shenanigans during pregnancy. I really don’t know how he does it, I’d of bailed out months ago living with someone like me:) I’ve felt pretty guilty about how little weight I’ve been able to carry for our family these last several months. Even now, being out of school, I had all these plans (listed on this gargantuan to do list that made me oh so proud), but since I’ve hit my third trimester I am feeling sick again. Nausea, major back pain, heartburn, and other ailments that can’t really be written about:) So my daily to do list doesn’t get near as much attention as I feel like it should. I just can’t really do much. And I need to be okay with that, but as of right now I just feel bummish. My inner self thrives on being productive and letting go of that for the time being is much harder than I ever would have imagined. But Matt reminds me that we’re a team. We work together to move our family forward and it doesn’t matter who ends up doing “more” because we’re teammates. We work together and both share in the reward.

When I sit back and think about all the blessings the Lord has poured out upon me lately, all the other little frustrations seems to slip away, and I’m left with just GRATITUDE. Gratitude for a healthy baby, gratitude for an understanding husband, gratitude for a supportive family, gratitude for my upcoming graduation,... just a lot of gratitude.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Don't be a fool, finish school.

first student teaching assignment: Geneva Elementary, Kindergarten

second student teaching assignment: Bonneville Elementary, first grade

Throughout my pregnancy, I have thought over and over and over again about just dropping out. Just not showing up. Not doing the work. Not getting the grade. Just, dropping out completely. Some days it actually seemed to make sense for my health to be “done” with school. But, as Matt and I would talk, and as we would recall Heavenly Father pushing us to start a family NOW, while I was finishing up school, we just knew that somehow it would all work out. We knew He would help us.

And He did. I’ve never felt the Lord closer than I did during this school semester. I’ve never felt more reliant on Him to help me get through a typical school day. Now, at the close of this semester, I look back and I can honestly say that Heavenly Father brought me here. He carried me. I would pray, and He would step in immediately. Every time. He never missed a beat. I would be seconds away from needing to run out the door, feeling sick as a dog, and somehow still make it to school, fulfill my responsibilities, and everything was fine. It’s been incredible to see His hand.

I know that He is invested in our lives-- He wants us to succeed, to accomplish much, to be proud, to find joy in achievement. He wants the world for us because He thinks the world of us. He’s such a great DAD.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trimester Number Two.

After a few months of the sickies, Matt and I discovered a wonder drug for nausea: Zofran. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. This medication allowed me to have an enjoyable Christmas break with my sweet family, as well as make it through my student teaching Winter semester. I love modern medicine.

The second trimester brought on its own set of interesting happenings within me. Heartburn, constipation, and lower back pain-- all of which I would take any day over feeling nauseous. As my stomach grew, I started to realize that I really was pregnant, not just sickly. I had a little person growing inside me, counting on me to provide the best possible living space.

Early on in my pregnancy, Matt and I both “had a feeling” our little one was a girl. I started to believe this was mother’s intuition. Matt and I both became so convinced, the only names we thought of were girl names. We both about died laughing when our ultrasound lady pointed to our son’s perfectly formed wee-wee and said, “Do you guys know what this is?” Hilarious. It took a while to change our thinking from pink to blue, but now that it’s been months since the news, it feels only natural that our baby is a boy, and that it was always supposed to be that way.

The ultrasound lady told me that I should be feeling the baby kick any day now. In the days following, I thought I would feel something here and there but I wasn’t sure. After about a week, I started to recognize what was indubitably the movement of our baby boy. He is super active, changing positions what feels like every hour. He likes to pretend mom’s bladder is a trampoline, something that I especially appreciate when I am in no way near a bathroom. He also loves to hear Matt’s voice. Matt puts his face up to my tummy and talks to our little guy often. When he does so, baby boy taps against his nose like he’s sending morse code through the uterine wall. Matt tells him to be nice to me that day, to “have fun in there”, to grow big and strong, and that we miss him.

I’m getting to that point. Both Matt and I are. We feel like this baby is really ours, and always was. Because of that, we just want him here already. We miss him.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trimester Number One.

My first trimester is a blur to me now. But while I was in it, I truly felt that it was the most difficult thing I had ever experienced up to that point in my life. The sickness hit me pretty early and pretty hard. You hear growing up that when you’re pregnant, you feel “nauseous”. Before becoming pregnant I related this to times in my life when I felt nauseous, and then occasionally vomited. I thought to myself, “Yeah, it’s no fun, but it’s definitely bearable”. What I hadn’t really prepared for was how constant and relentless the nausea was. I was nauseous from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed (I was sure to take some hefty sleeping pills to ensure I could sleep through the nausea and get a good night’s rest regardless). Vomiting a few times a day came as an incredible relief.

Being flat in bed, there were few positions that helped tame the nausea. Even the slightest movement sometimes would aggravate my stomach. Eating was such a chore. I knew I needed to eat (yano, to live), but finding something that didn’t make me gag just thinking about it was difficult and sometimes impossible. Mealtime went a little like this:

1. Matt would suggest a number of options to me.
2. I would go through each option, imagining what that food item would taste like sliding down my throat (that process usually narrowed my options quite a bit).
3. After deciding what to eat, Matt would either prepare it, buy it, or get it through the drive through.
4. Finally, the true test came: Would the smell of it all be too much for me?

I was in school during this period. I was in a classroom setting from Monday-Wednesday all day, then Thursday & Friday I had classes. I would get up in the mornings and take a shower. Most mornings I didn’t have the strength to stand so I would sit in the tub. Matt would help me shower on really, really rough days. I didn’t wear makeup, and I couldn’t even tell you what I wore during those few months. I looked like death, which worked out because I felt like death as well.

Everyday, when I came home and went straight to bed, I just lay there in bed thinking, “What am I doing wrong?”... “Isn’t this supposed to be the happiest period of my married life?”... “I know so many wonderful people who would die to be pregnant, why can’t I be more happy about all of this?” I would complain in my mind or out loud and then feel horribly guilty afterward. I didn’t feel like a strong, capable woman at all. I felt so weak and useless. I felt ungrateful and unworthy of this wonderful blessing. And I was scared to death of feeling sick for nine months straight. I didn’t feel that I would be able to handle it all if that were to be the case.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Positive as can be.

I decided to listen this time around. I had my answer, and whether or not it made complete sense to me was irrelevant. I’ve seen over and over and over again how turning my life over to my Father in Heaven is really the smartest way to go. He can make more of my life than I can.

Matt and I were blessed beyond blessed to get pregnant right away. As I’ve become more aware of all those around me, I now more fully realize what a miracle this really is. There are countless women everywhere, more deserving and desirous, that are unable to experience this blessing.

I had taken a few pregnancy tests throughout the week because I “had a feeling”. All of them came out negative. I decided to give it one more go later on in the week-- after all, there was one test left. I took the test. When I saw the positive sign, I was in complete shock. Matt and I were thrilled. We shared a special moment together as we contemplated briefly what this meant for our lives. Of course, we had absolutely no idea what was ahead of us, but we felt an over surging joy that we will never forget.

I called my parents immediately. I’m the worst at keeping secrets. They were asleep (it was close to midnight their time). My dad answered the phone about 7 rings in. He was completely out of it, but I blurted the news to him anyway. He handed the phone to my mom (also very out of it), and I shared with her the exciting news.

I kind of floated around for the next few days. I couldn’t sleep. I woke up constantly, feeling my stomach, and trying to remember whether or not this was reality or just a dream. It’s funny to think of both Matt and I then. We were and still are so very clueless. In so many ways, I feel like I’m still a kid and that having a baby is only what grown-ups do. Then I remember I’m there. I’m a grown-up. I’m at that point. And I’m having a baby.