The day before I found out I was pregnant I made Xavier call into my work to tell them I was physically incapable of coming in. I thought I had the worst urinary tract infection know to man (because I had taken two pre nursing courses, there for I knew exactly what was wrong with my body at all times......haha) . We had just moved to Orlando. I was pretty emotional in general (ok Im always pretty emotional in general) but leaving all of our friends in Chicago was difficult, even though I was excited to start our life as a married couple on our own in a place that was new to me. That being said, this particular day I was being even more emotional that usual and literally sobbing. For no apparent reason. Like, I couldn't speak sobbing. Xavier said I would occasionally mutter words like "Uganda" and "wheres the yarn" and "Mama". I slept all day and felt sorry for myself, called the doctor who told me to drink some cranberry juice and get some rest. I called my friend Jon and cried some more about nothing. A couple weeks later I told Xavier I had missed my period, but I always missed my period so he told me it was nothing. I threw a hissy fit and he marched himself up the the drug store and brought me a test. I peed on it, it said nothing. I took it upside down or something. Of course. So I had to go back to the store and get another one. The test was positive. It was an odd feeling, and at the time I was more happy about being right (I told you I was pregnant!) than I was about being pregnant. It just hadn't hit me yet.
This was the photo I sent our friends as our announcement:
There are a lot of details in between but I wont go into those, we moved back to the city where I felt the most community, that was so important to me. Neither one of us had jobs, we had pretty much no money, and were staying with four smelly boys in a Humbolt Park three story with no air conditioning in the middle of summer. It was tough, but God provided, we got jobs that paid just enough for us to get our own place. I qualified for medical aid. The pregnancy itself was pretty easy in the beginning. I hadn't gotten sick once, no morning sickness, just more than usual tears, acne and a general feeling of ravenous hunger.
20 Weeks. My 21st birthday.
At this point I swore there had to be two in there. I was getting really big, really fast. I was never satisfied, always always hungry. Thankfully I did eat very healthy things, the biggest change was that I started eating meat again. I craved it. It was so odd, I had been a vegetarian for almost two years before that and never had a hankering for a steak. My favorite thing was potato soup with kale and any kind of red meat. It was so weird.
We found out baby was a boy and that he was alone in there.
At this point I stopped taking photos. Im not sure why, I was probably just very overwhelmed. People would ask me if I was due any day and I still had over a month left to go. Moving around in general was difficult at this point, I couldn't sleep, I had terrible heart burn, head aches, back aches, you name it. At one point I lost all feelings in my left leg, I had sciatica from Julian laying on specific spots, ending up in pinched nerves. I was also working full time, on my feet, selling vegan soaps....wich didn't help the whole body ache/ sciatica situation. I really don't remember much else, it was just an uncomfortable time. We were so excited that Julian was on the way, it was just still a bit of a shock to us that a tiny (not so tiny) human was growing inside of me.
This picture is scary and thrilling at the same time for me. I half can't believe Im going to post this, but I should post it because it's the truth for a lot of other women too, and I had no idea this could happen. My skin was literally shredding, all of the ligaments that held it together were giving way with every day that Julian continued to grow. I religiously applied everything and anything (coconut oil, palmers oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, lotion, shea butter, the list could go on) to help my skin to stretch and nothing helped. I had gained 70 pounds. A part of me grieved for my body, for the conventional view of beauty that was engrained in my mind and heart. A part of me was sad for my husband, that he would loose that part of me. He constantly reassured me that he wasn't disappointed about it at all, I struggled to believe him. I felt ashamed of my own vanity, that I was sad about it. I felt ashamed because I knew that it was a blessing, and that there are so many women that want so desperately to be pregnant, have babies, and here I was complaining about it what it was doing to my body, which would become dust anyway. At the same time, my heart was as full as my belly. I loved Julian to pieces before he was even born. He would fall asleep in my belly everyday when I had to take the train to work. He loved the song "Dear God" by Monsters of Folk and "House of Cards" by Radio Head, and preferred for me to lay on my right side. I cherished his little hick ups that would literally shake my entire body. I knew him already. I loved him already. I was willing to give up my body to know him and give him life, even though I struggled with having peace with letting go of my control on a daily basis. This obviously turned and entire page in my faith walk with God. The last few days of my pregnancy were a total blur. A few days past my due date and talks of induction were in the air. I was terrified and excited, energized and exhausted all at the same time. He was coming, weather we were ready for it or not.