- Regular back aches. Depending on what I'm doing, can start as early as midday, or maybe even late afternoon. Every day my back is sore. All day is it uncomfortable. Lying down or standing up prevents it for a long time. When I sit down I make sure my back is properly supported with cushions.
- Lower rib pain. As my uterus grows and pushes things out of place, all my internal organs move up. This means more things are squished up just under my lungs, stretching my lower ribs. This is uncomfortable all day but painful by sunset.
- Shortness of breath. See previous point about internal organs up under my lungs.
- Sprout's growth makes me feel all stretched out.
- Things could be a lot worse. I haven't (yet) experienced swelling in my hands and feet. I don't feel sick all the time. I haven't gained loads of weight (just normal weight gain). I don't suffer from gestational diabetes. Or high blood pressure. Sprout is growing.
- I'm not currently working. This is such a blessing! I don't have to deal with naughty students AND back pain. One of my colleagues quit at the end of the term and our classes have been combined. They average about 17 each day and the teacher in charge is having a bit of trouble with them. I am SO THANKFUL that they're not MY trouble to deal with. Don't get me wrong. I love my students heaps! I made lots of positive gains with them and I love teaching. I would love the challenge of continuing to work with them and others. But with the back pain, discomfort, shortness of breath, etc, I just wouldn't be able to cope with it.
- Sprout moves around several times a day. This is both comforting (still alive!) and exciting (s/he exists! And is a person! And we'll get to meet her/him soon!). James can see and feel Sprout kick. Sometimes when we snuggle before going to sleep, we'll lay there with his hand on my belly just feeling Sprout wiggle. This is the most important good thing because it makes all the bad things worthwhile. I am super excited about meeting Sprout and holding him/her.
- 9 weeks to go. Hopefully sooner. Given Mum delivered all her children early, I'm hoping that'll be the case for me too. Though not *too* early. I want James to be there and for Sprout to not be in NICU or anything. Apparently from 37-38 weeks, a baby is considered full term, so that'd be totes fine with me! :D
- I am super scared about going into labour. Painful! Unpredictable! Tearing! Stretching! Moar pain! D: I want Sprout out! But I don't want Sprout to go *that* way. Nor do I want a Caesarean. Maybe Star Trek technology could localise a "beam me out, Scotty" event...? There is NO way this is going to not-painful. Scared :(
- I'm going to Perth in less than a month! YAY!!! I'm so excited to see my friends! And go shopping! And see my friends! FRIENDS!!!! YAY!! So. Excited. *squeeeeeee*
- OMG, I'm going to Perth in less than a month and I might need a pram. Can I take a pram on the plane? What if Sprout comes early and needs a cot thing to sleep in. I have one in HC, but not in Perth. And I'll need nappies and ... other baby stuff that I don't have *freaks out*. So yeah, I try not to think about it too much. There is SO MUCH I cannot control that I'm just trying to rest in God's timing and providence. I'll be staying with family and we know plenty of people who've had children who could temporarily loan us things... it's gonna be fine *breath* God's timing *breaths more*
- Generally, lists of things that babies need and what I'll need for hospital and NEEDS are freaking me out a bit. But so is not currently being prepared for Sprout right this moment. There's next to nothing we can do about it up here. We already have a bunch of stuff from very generous friends, which is a load off my mind. But I'm sure there's still more stuff to get! Eeeep!
- We've made some really awesome friends up here who won't be here next year and I only have less than a month left until I leave and then they leave forever and that's sad. We're praying that things work out so that we can remain in contact next year. But that's all up to God too. I try not to think about that too. God's providence.
But God is there. God is in control. If I walk through the Valley of Death, God's rod and staff will comfort me. God will use these circumstances to make me more like Jesus. To bring glory to himself. God gave us Sprout, God can take him away, God's name be praised! I really cannot stress how comforting all this is to me. It might sound trite, naive, ignorant, weak, brain-washed, whatever. But these words and promises from Scripture assure me that even if the worst (whatever that is) should happen, my Joy and Delight is before me. That one day I will gaze on the beautiful face of the Lord in his holy temple forever. I cannot comprehend what pain and suffering I would go through if Sprout were to die. But I do know that I have experienced some pain and suffering in my life (not much, but it's not a competition) and God was faithful then. He was with me then. He is comforting my worries and anxieties now. He has been with other faithful Christians through pain and sorrow. He will be with me always. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is our in Christ Jesus.