This has not been a rough pregnancy. I have heard stories about vomit in the shower, not being able to eat your favorite foods, aching lower backs, and more. But overall, it’s been a fairly easy pregnancy; I’m just a whiner. 🙂
Along the way, there have been some people who have really made a difference and made my life more enjoyable.
These are the wonderful people I want to thank before “everything changes”.
1. My husband, Cameron
I’ve complained since September about all the aches and pains and body image issues. But he has been there, supporting, loving, and praising me. Even though I don’t always believe him, he never fails to tell me I’m beautiful every day and that he loves me every day. I can be pretty grumpy and needy, but he hasn’t let it get to him.
We’ve grown SO much closer since I got pregnant. He’s going to be a fantastic dad, and it’s pretty cool to see him get so excited about it.
2. My mom and dad
I talk to my mom every few days, and my dad and I keep in touch via text more than anything. My mom has been really happy and excited this whole time, and when I’m feeling down about something, she’s always been a support. My dad plays the role of silly father, and it cracks me up. If anyone else said I was getting “plump” since I’m pregnant, I’d be offended. But for some reason, coming from him, it’s just hilarious and instead, brightens my mood.
There are other family members who’ve been really great!
I’m thankful to my Aunt Deena and Grammy (both on my mom’s side) who bought our crib.
I’m thankful for my brothers.
I’m thankful for my cousin Amy who has been really excited for me this whole time.
I’m thankful for my cousins Gwen, Kim, and Fran (on my dad’s side) who popped up on Facebook and have been showering me with love!
I’m thankful for Cameron’s mom Laura, who has been so sweet online and also sent a delightful care package for the baby!
Cameron’s extended family, Grandma Kay, Nanny Sue, Aunt Kay, cousin Roxie, and Sandra, who’ve been really supportive, either with care packages or just kind words!
3. My personal trainer (and friend), Chris S
I hope he doesn’t mind that I posted THIS particular picture of him. I only have two pictures to choose from!
Chris has been really supportive from the beginning. I was doing Crossfit with Cameron for about 4 months, with Chris and some other coaches. When I got pregnant, I told Chris about it, and immediately, he wanted to work with me. He’d worked with pregnant women before, so I knew he was someone I could trust. I took a brief hiatus because I was exhausted and nauseous a lot. When I came back, we started working out together on a regular basis. He always pushes me to go a little further and lift a little more (without raising my heart rate or getting overheated, of course!). He also recognizes if I’ve had a bad day and either (a) tries to cheer me up or (b) knows to just let me be. He has been the main reason I’ve stayed one of those “only pregnant in the belly” women.
4. Crosswalk Kids (aka Jen G)
That’s a picture of our pastor and his wife, Jen. She is the coordinator of the kids’ ministry at our church. (Technically, our church has 7 locations, so she’s the coordinator at our particular location.) I serve as the “greeter”, which means I welcome all of the kids and parents every Sunday morning, get everyone checked in, pass out name tags, and that sort of thing. Jen does a little bit of everything. On top of that, she’s a great mom to 3 awesome little boys. And she’s become a really good friend of mine over the past year.
Right when I became pregnant, she was one of the first people I told (before I even got it confirmed by the doctor). She has been so helpful and supportive throughout this journey. From a few hand-me-downs from her own children to helping with the baby shower, she has been an invaluable part of my life the past 8 months.
There are some other folks involved with CWK that I’d like to mention.
Bethany (aka B3), who has helped me take my mind off being pregnant every Sunday with her silly stories.
All the teachers who have been so sweet with their words: Hannah, Becca, Catherine, Chenoa, Carissa, Kathryn, Rachel, Ian, Kara, and I just know I’m leaving someone out.
All the moms! I don’t even know everyone’s name (I know all the kids’ names because those are on the name tags!). Lori, Diedre, Eun, Karen, and all the other moms (and a few dads 🙂 ) who ask how I’m feeling and tell me I look great every week. I don’t usually believe those comments, but it is nice to hear them on a regular basis!
5. My coworkers
Here’s our Math department (on Pi Day this year)! That’s Yufanyi, Kim, Susan, me, and Shanna (the chair). These ladies have been supportive in a very practical way this year. There’ve been days when I just couldn’t make it. I either needed to stay home or leave early, and they were all there to help out. Someone would make my copies, cover my classes, or just make sure I was okay at home. Either way, I knew that I was covered. It also helps to get rides home when I’m just too tired to walk and don’t feel like waiting for the bus!
It was refreshing to know that my classroom wasn’t going to go haywire because I wasn’t there: I have a great team of support to help out and back me up as needed. That’s great any time but especially when you’re pregnant! It doesn’t hurt that Susan has 5 children of her own, and Shanna has 3, so they are also great resources in that respect!
There are some coworkers that aren’t pictured who have been amazing.
Katy, who always tells me stories about her kids and asks how I’m doing every day.
Mr Bennett, who says “How Y’ALL doing?” every day.
Tina, who I think may be more excited than I am about having this baby. She also helped out tremendously with the baby shower (with Jen, above).
Barb, who was one of the first to empathize with my more mellow reaction to being pregnant.
Grace, who came back late this year after having her first child. She’s given me loads of insight and also some sweet pillows. 🙂
To all you guys and everyone else, THANK YOU for your support! It really has meant so much.
6. New mom, Sophia/Best friend
This is Sophia and her husband Ty. She just had her baby in March. She was in my wedding, and before that, we were in grad school together in NYC (and we were roommates there). She’s hilarious, and I was so surprised back around September when she told me she was expecting! I was thrilled because Cameron and I were just about to find out we, too, were expecting. Since she was 3 months ahead of me, it was so great talking to her on the phone from time to time. I had questions, she had answers. It was fun to dish about pregnancy with a close friend. And now that she has a little one (and we’re almost there), I know she’ll be honest with me about the realities of having a newborn.
7. Expecting mom, Mary/Best friend
Another best friend of mine who was also in my wedding, Mary was my college roommate back in Louisiana. For a while, she was living in Georgia with her husband Payton. Then, around October, she told me that she, too, was pregnant! And then, better news, they moved up here to Washington DC in January. While we don’t see each other ALL that often, we’ve hung out several times. And it’s fun to chat about pregnancy stuff, honestly. It’s not always a treat to discuss it with friends who aren’t pregnant (or even married). But when I know that Mary is going through the same sorts of things, it’s kind of fun. And now, I can be her Sophia since I’m a month ahead!
Mary has a calming presence, so whenever we’re together, I feel like everything’s going to be okay.
8. My circles of friends
PART A: Church
Thanks to my smaller small group: Claire, Emma, Rachel, and Brooke. These ladies have been really supportive in the short time I’ve known them. Brooke is also expecting (about 3 months behind me!).
Thanks to Heidi, the leader of the big small group. She is a constant smiling face and is a really great mentor to all the girls in our humongous group.
Helen (and Jesse) helped tremendously with putting together the crib and organizing baby clothes!
The hospitality girls are perfect for brightening my Sundays: Katy, Paige, Jessica, Hope, Jinna, Gia…
PART B: Crossfit
There are other coaches at the gym besides Chris. For example, here’s Stephanie (Chris’ better half) and Sara. These two, along with Tom and Julia, have been great at keeping me motivated and helping me to stay strong.
Additionally, I’ve really come to appreciate Erica, Adrian, Devon, Kelly, Katie, and Lizzie (who’s also expecting). Adrian always smiles and tells me how cute my bump is. Erica is the most encouraging, uplifting person EVER. And everyone else has just been great. I was self-conscious at first about showing up and taking up so much time from Chris, but I’ve really felt supported there.
PART C: Craigslist
My Craigslist friend is Elena. We found each other on Craigslist about two years ago! I posted something about looking for friends in the area, and she had posted something similar. So we started hanging out from time to time. Then she found out she was pregnant, and last February (2012), she had her son Ian. We have kept in touch for a while now, and she’s been another support in my life if I have pregnancy or baby questions.
9. My students
I can’t post any pictures of my students since they’re minors, and I’d probably need written permission from all 130 of their parents!
But I’ll say that my students have been really great. Of course, they don’t always have a lot of tact (“Ooo, she gettin’ big!” or “You look REAL pregnant today!”), but mostly, they ask lots of questions. How much longer? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have a name (generally followed by, “If it’s a boy/girl, you should name him insert student’s name)? They are often brutally honest, so when someone says “You’re big up front, but you still look gooood”, I believe it. And don’t think I’ve forgotten that having 130 teenagers every year for the past 4 years here in DC has given me a nice collection of about 500 potential babysitters!
10. The rest of ’em
There are a few folks who I’ll just group together 🙂
Shea, my former eye doctor and current neighbor, is also a new mom. Her baby was born in May (just last week!) of this year. We would bump (hehe) into each other from time to time, and it was fun to see each other grow. We talked about the weird things happening to us and what sort of stroller to get. It was fun knowing that she’s just a few floors down. It’s also great to know that she and her husband are probably going to move out of their larger apartment some time in the next year or two, so Cameron and I can check that out when the time comes!
Facebook friends! I have lots of FB friends, folks from high school and elementary school, some former students, Cameron’s family, and a lot in between. I have been trying NOT to post too much baby stuff on Facebook (I’m not sure what the percentage is, but I think that my posts are about 20% baby or pregnancy-related). The feedback is so kind! There are way too many nice comments and likes for me to really thank everyone individually. I hope that I did a good enough job of thanking you along the way.
The next phase of life is near! And I’m afraid that if I hadn’t written this post beforehand, it never would have happened. It has been a wild ride, but I do hope that I look back with fond memories. There were good times and bad, just like with anything. And soon enough, it’ll all be worth it.