Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pregnancy Musings

 Pregnancy is fascinating.

It's one of those things that I've wondered "what it felt like" my whole life.  I mean seriously--a HUMAN BEING growing inside of you?  Creepy.

I wondered what it felt like when the baby kicked.  I wondered what it felt like to actually give birth.  I wondered--let's be honest here--what it felt like to be fat.  So many unknowns that felt so far away from where I was in life.

Then suddenly, here I am.  I am pregnant.

Even as my husband and I started trying to get pregnant I thought it would never actually happen.  I'm not really sure why--maybe it was because my mom had trouble getting pregnant, or maybe it was because I had so many friends that struggled with infertility.  I'm not sure.  It took us 3 tries to get pregnant (whoop-de-doo), which I know is nothing, but it was interesting how each time we found out I wasn't, my mind went immediately to "of course I'm not."  Of course this is happening to me.  Of course I can't have kids.  Of course I'm going to get this trial in my life.  It's funny how quick I was to assume that I wouldn't get to have the great gift of procreation in my life.  Maybe some part of me thought I didn't deserve it or something, like why should I get to experience this when so many women cannot?  I honestly felt guilty. 

But as this pregnancy has continued I've concentrated on what an amazing blessing it is to be able to create life.  I fully recognize how lucky I am.  Through every difficult part of pregnancy I've tried to focus on how many women would kill to be feeling what I'm feeling--both the good and the bad.  This was not easy at times, and sure I've still done my fair share of complaining (I mean seriously, 14 weeks of being REALLY sick...come on), but I still try to thank my Heavenly Father every night for the opportunity to be a mother.

Now that being said, pregnancy is weird.  There is just a LOT of stuff that I didn't realize before I got pregnant.  Here are some RANDOM things I've noticed:

1. People look at you.

I don't specifically recall staring at pregnant women before I got pregnant, but holy cow.  The minute I started obviously "showing," it's like people just want to stop and stare.  And occasionally touch...awkward.  There's something about a pregnant woman that just draws the eye.  I often wonder what people are thinking.  Sometimes I imagine them thinking, "OH MY GOSH THAT WOMAN HAD SEX!"  Well, duh.  Can't avoid the obvious implications there.  Other times I wonder if they're judging me for who knows what or if they just can't help but notice that I am with child.  I mean, I guess you can't help that.  Regardless, it's something I've had to get used to.

2.  People congratulate you on being pregnant without looking/acting pregnant.

This is an interesting one.  I've found that I get constant praise for not having many of the typical late pregnancy symptoms.  I've received praise for not waddling, not being swollen, and most certainly for not gaining any noticeable weight anywhere but my stomach.  Now I've been incredibly lucky in the second half of my pregnancy.  I feel like I've got to skip some of the horrible pregnancy woes only because of how terrible the first half of my pregnancy was (again, REALLY sick).  It was the only way the universe could right itself in my opinion.  I am also very tall and naturally thin.  I cannot help this fact.  It does make me wonder if all pregnant women feel the pressure to look like this:

or this...

We've seen in the media lately what people think of you when you look like this:

or this...

People can be brutal!  Again, I've been grateful that I've pretty much maintained my figure (minus the belly), but I do wonder if everyone will be so kind if on my second or third pregnancy I DO waddle or I DO gain a little somethin somethin somewhere OTHER than my middle.  I feel the pressure to stay thin while pregnant and I'm sure a lot of other women do too.  I just find it funny to be complimented constantly on something that I really have no control over.  

3. People are very sensitive and opinionated about birth.

This is the same phenomenon I discovered when I became a vegetarian.  I had no clue how strongly people felt about meat until I stopped eating it.  It was like I had joined some evil religion or something.  I had NO IDEA.  Birth is quite similar.  After literally years of research ( I became interested in birth options when I was in college) I decided that giving birth naturally with a midwife at a birth center was the right path for me.  Knowing what I know there was no other option in my mind.  I think that giving birth--no matter how or where you do it--is amazing.  All women are heroes for going through so much to bring life into the world.  This just happens to be the way I have chosen to do it.  I don't talk about it with a lot of people because many of them immediately freak out.  It's like I just told them I'm doing an unassisted birth in the middle of the desert just for fun or something.  I'm not...by the way.  I've just had to get used to the fact that birth is a sensitive topic for a lot of people.  

Again I think it goes back to what I experienced as a vegetarian.  A lot of people think you are judging THEM for eating meat so they react strongly.  I think it's the same with birth choices.  Because I have chosen to give birth without drugs or other interventions people think I am judging them for having gotten an epidural or whatever.  Let's be clear that I'm not.  Like...at all.  I feel that as long as a woman is educated about her options and about all of the interventions/drugs/choices she is offered wherever she is giving birth then she is empowered.  The only time I get upset is when I see women not taking responsibility for how their birth went, when they let other people make decisions for them because they think others are "more educated" or whatever.  It's up to the mom and dad to be educated and to take responsibility for their birth.

4. Your husband still thinks you're hott.

I will admit I was a bit scared about getting pregnant because I assumed Daniel would find me less attractive.  He's never seen me with a giant belly, so would it be gross to him?  Turns out, it's not.  I still have to remind myself of this at times because it's easy for ME to not always love my new shape.  He still wants to kiss me, touch me, hold me, and....all of that.  I don't know why this came as such a shock to me, but it did!  I still got it!  Of course, being a lot larger up top doesn't exactly hurt the situation, but I'll still keep assuming he loves ALL of pregnant me! ;)

5.  You will be asked the same few questions.

Sometimes I want to make a t-shirt that says: 

Yes, I'm pregnant.
I'm ___ weeks along.
It's a boy.
No, we don't have any names picked out.

I think having this t-shirt would save me a lot of time.  It's not that I really mind answering these questions (and I've found myself asking the exact same ones), I just think it's funny that we haven't come up with more creative quetions!  Just get used to providing these same stock answers and you'll be good!

Anyway, as my pregnancy continues (for about 5 more weeks!) I'm sure I'll remember and notice other funny things about pregnancy, but I think this post is long enough!  Overall I have loved being pregnant but I am VERY excited to actually meet this boy who is rolling around in my stomach like he is doing the harlem shake or something.  Seriously dude, what is going ON in there?!  

Your thoughts on pregnancy?

Me at 34 weeks (I'm on the left) and my friend Keeley at 38 weeks

The two expecting couples!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm Back!

Well, it's been a while friends...as usual.

BUT I'M BACK!  Hopefully for good this time with a lot of updates.  School is out, my shows at the Desert Star are over and now I have NO EXCUSE not to blog.  At all. 

A lot of things have been happening around here since my 20th week of pregnancy!  We're now in week 33 and here is a video update on how things have been going the past, ahem, 13 weeks:


It's easier to just have you watch that outrageously long video than to retype all of the same info here.  It all boils down to the fact that I am in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and overall things have been going great.  Here is a really crappy photo of me this week at 33 weeks pregnant:

I seriously don't know why I'm always wearing horizontal stripes while pregnant.  I'm pretty sure this is a common knowledge no-no.  Still, I just don't care.  Maybe if I was fat EVERYWHERE and not just in my stomach area this would be a different story.  At least this is what I tell myself to make me feel better.

In regards to other aspects of Faulk Family life, here are a few other updates of things that have been going on:

1. I have been performing in Less Miserables (yes, I spelled that correctly), a spoof on Les Miserables, at the Desert Star Playhouse

I played Madame Thenardier and here a few incredibly attractive photos of that gig:

It was a blast to be able to do this show, even while pregnant.  When we started rehearsing you couldn't even tell I was pregnant, and the costumes were made to "expand," shall we say, WITH me as the weeks went on.  We performed from the end of March through June 8--quite a long run.  I finished at 33 weeks pregnant and I've got to say that was just the right time to be done.  Doing a kick line on top of everything else multiple nights a week was getting a little tough at the end there.  Still, it made the time go by faster and was great exercise.  I will NOT, however, miss the judgmental comments by old ladies after every show. "You sure do a lot of bouncing up there, hope he's OK!" "Is that belly real?"  "How far along are you?....oh my!"  They mean well.  I just always tell them that all that dancing around will make him resilient.  Anyway, I probably won't be able to do a show for a while, so this was my last hurrah.

2. I finished school!

As many of you know, I teach drama at Kearns High School and we are OUT for the summer!  We finished off our season with You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown which is a really fun musical.  Here is a pic I put up on Instagram of some of our production elements:

 We took some awesome production photos, but I don't have those loaded onto this computer yet.  The show turned out super cute.  And finally...graduation!!  Happiest day ever:

For fourth quarter I taught credit recovery class which boils down to me shoving tests at students who need to take them in order to make up all the credits they failed during high school in a last-ditch effort to make them graduate.  I don't necessarily agree with the entire philosophy behind it, but it did feel good to see many of my students up there, especially knowing that without me they would NOT be graduating.  Now that school is out my days are filled with reading, Netflix, and laying by the pool.  Not too bad, I'd say.

3. My sister Kristy got married!

Umm...hello handsome!
The wedding was beautiful and it was such a happy day to see my sister get married to such an awesome guy.  Nick is a handsome, musical theatre-loving, piano-playing, singing, pediatric oncologist.  Need I say more?  We are so happy to have him join the family. 
The only sad part was that our other sister Kimberly (Kristy's twin) wasn't there to join us.  She is serving a mission for the LDS church in Arizona:

Isn't she cute?

4. Daniel got his Masters Degree!

My hubby is now a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (or so says Denver University).  I am SO PROUD OF HIM!  It has been a long 3 years.  We decided at the beginning that we'd rather grad school take longer but then have little or no student loan debt than to go full time and have to pay it all off later.  So, Daniel has faithfully taken just one class at a time, slowly but surely, so that we would have time during each class to save up for the next one.  It was really hard to watch our savings build up and then suddenly be taken away 4 times a year.  So, we don't have much saved right now, but we are DEBT FREE (minus one vehicle).  To us the sacrifice was worth it.  Now we can start saving for a house!  I got Daniel a University of Denver Alumni t-shirt and I'll upload a picture of him wearing it soon!  And just as an update, Daniel is still working for Williams Gas!

I think that is about it for the Faulks right now.  I'm seriously going to be better about blogging (honestly, somebody please hold me to this!).  It's like exercising.  I always feel better after I do it, but MAN is it hard to get me there in the first place!