Education, Family

Chasing Dreams

For years, I have had this dream of opening up my own daycare center to which, once established, I would add grades until it became an elementary school. I had always thought of this dream as being something far off – something that I couldn’t do until I had accomplished other things in life – but I am beginning to wonder if the time to get the ball rolling on this thing is now.

When we first moved to our new state, I was in the first trimester and too tired even to do the dishes – let alone look for a job. I was content to stay home and rest until my online summer courses began. Once I began school, I didn’t think it would be wise for me to work through school and severe pregnancy fatigue, especially since I had been bleeding for weeks and was diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage.

By the time school ended, I was feeling (and doing) much better – so I decided to start looking for work. That search has proven futile. What seems to be happening over and over again is that I am getting offers for interviews or being told all these wonderful things about myself – and then being dropped like hot metal as soon as they find out that I am pregnant.

At first, I saw this rejection as a sign to enjoy the time that I have to rest. These last few months pre-baby are, Godwilling, the very last months in which my time is completely my own for a very long time. But, I am not good at long-term resting and we aren’t exactly “rolling in the dough.” It would be great to be able to find a job that allows me to enjoy working in a field that I am passionate about while also making a little extra money to set aside for upcoming needs and financial obligations.

It would be even greater to have a job that would allow me to do the aforementioned, while staying with my son during his first years of life.

So, I started doing some research (with all this extra time on my hands), and it turns out that I don’t need half as much as I thought I did in order to get started. We have extra space in our home and my immediate neighborhood is swarming with children. I figure I can spend these next few months prepping our home for registration and licensure, and by the time baby gets here I may be ready to open for official business. I located contact information for someone in my state who is in charge of making sure that child care providers are compliant with state laws, and I am planning to contact her first thing in the morning. And, after chatting with an educator friend who gave some great advice – I feel pretty optimistic about getting this process started.

Here’s to hoping!

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Christianity, Family, Infertility

The Second Trimester – An Overview

*Trigger Warning: As indicated in the title, this is an entry about my pregnancy and there are pictures included. For my friends/followers still in the throes of infertility, be kind to yourself! Guard your heart and please don’t read if you aren’t able. You have my love and prayers, always!*

From the time that I began telling people about this pregnancy, everyone told me how much fun the second trimester would be. And they were right! The second trimester has been full of excitement. I cannot believe that I am two weeks away from its end, and I hope to recap some of the fun of this trimester in this overview.

Weeks 13-16: The Beginning of the Middle

The second trimester started off with extreme, insatiable hunger and an ongoing craving for anything cold, fruity, or juicy (and best if all three). I couldn’t (still can’t) eat anything without following it up with freezing cold fruits, juices, or fruity sorbets/smoothies. If you read my first trimester overview, you’ll remember that I began bleeding in week 11 – and this continued on until the end of week 15! It made me nervous and honestly a little depressed every time I saw any blood, but my doctor’s office was nice enough to let me come in (unscheduled) just to hear our baby’s heartbeat for reassurance. Every time I went in, I was told that some spotting can be normal and that our baby was doing perfectly. I was so happy when the bleeding finally stopped. Another thing that made me happy was starting our registry. I hate shopping, but I actually had a good time going around picking out baby things. My mother in law was sweet enough to purchase our baby furniture for us, and when it arrived I just absolutely could not believe that these types of items were in my home. As an infant/toddler/pre-school teacher, I am used to seeing items that belong to babies and children all of the time, but I am only used to seeing those things at work or in the homes of families that I have worked for. Having these things in my own house still feels completely surreal.

Gideonsroom

Weeks 17-20: Movement, Furniture, and Glucose Testing

I started to feel our baby move at 2:30am on a weekday during the 17th week! It probably wasn’t the first time that I felt Chocobo moving, but it was definitely the first time that I felt confident that what I was feeling was the baby. Feeling our baby move was probably the highlight of this trimester, for me, because the movement is a great way for me to know that baby is doing okay in there. During the first trimester, especially with all the bleeding, I had no way to really know that everything was going as it should unless I was at the doctor’s office. The movements became stronger and more definitive as the weeks passed, and they are definitely a reassurance for me that our baby is – at the very least – still alive in there! My husband and I embarked on our first DIY furniture project by repainting an old dresser to match the color scheme of baby’s room (grey, teal, and white). It didn’t turn out perfectly but for first timers – I’d say we did a great job! We went in for the anatomy scan during the 20th week, and discovered that Chocobo was bigger than an average baby at the same stage of pregnancy. I was instructed to take the glucose test earlier than it is normally taken in order to screen for gestational diabetes. I passed the test, but they want me to take it again in September. At the anatomy scan, our sonographer slipped up and accidentally revealed our baby’s gender before our gender reveal party, which was scheduled for later on in the week! So, although we weren’t sure about whether or not Chocobo would be a girl or a boy, we had a hunch. Still, we tried not to over-analyze it and waited patiently to find out for sure at the gender reveal party.

Weeks 21-24: We’re having a … !!

The gender reveal party was so much fun! We enjoyed seeing friends and family that we hadn’t seen in a long time, and of course we enjoyed finding out that our baby is a boy! My husband was so excited to find out that he is having a son! I don’t think either of us would have been disappointed either way, to be honest, but pre-infertility I always wanted to have a boy as a first-born as well! After going through infertility, I did not care what gender my baby was – I just wanted a baby. But it’s nice that my pre-infertility wish came true. Boys are a lot of fun, and I look forward to rough-housing and fart jokes and lots of dirt. I hope he’s into that sort of thing. I also hope he will love the beach. My husband and I are beach people. In the twenty-second week, I really started needing new clothes! I realized that nothing was fitting me anymore, and I really underestimated how big my mid-section would become! We also started looking at daycares in the area, in case I end up returning to work after he is born. As an early childhood educator, I found myself being really picky about the places we were looking into. I guess that was to be expected. We haven’t found anything yet, but we’ll keep looking! Finally, we signed up for some classes at the hospital and registered for our hospital tour.

Final Thoughts…

I woke up a few weeks ago with a scripture in my head. I kept hearing the words of the scripture over and over and over again in the background of my thoughts, but I was not really paying attention to it until I had cleared my “to-do” list and sat down to relax and watch Netflix. When I finally did pay attention, I kind of giggled to myself – and I guess to God as well. It felt like He had put that scripture on my mind as a playful nudge, but it reminded me of how grateful I am to be carrying this child.

“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.” – Luke 1:36, NASB

I’m not really in my “old age” yet, but everything else is sort of true. My middle name is Elizabeth. I have conceived a son. I was once called “barren,” and at the time that I woke up with this scripture on my mind, it was the beginning of my sixth month.

No matter what happens, I will never take this pregnancy – or this sweet baby boy – for granted. Ever.