As of right now, we are weeks from welcoming our fourth child into this world. It has been a relatively easy pregnancy up until this point. My first three pregnancies were all a little different. With my first, Abigail, everything was new and exciting. I was working as a teller for a local bank, had little stress, and was eating very well. Although I was nauseous off and on during my first trimester, I only threw up my breakfast once. And, as long as I was eating small protein snacks every hour or two, I was fine. Toward the end of my pregnancy, we moved to TN from our home in WI. We felt that God was leading us there in order for Jesse to pursue a Christian music career. We were very much at peace about everything, so stress was still minimal throughout most of my pregnancy. However, in the end, she came about a week past my due date. At the time, Jesse had no job and we were running low on rent money. So, needless to say, I was a little stressed. My labor progressed after drinking castor oil, which was the most vile thing I’ve ever tasted. Even after mixing it with strawberry sherbet, it was still very gross. But, I would still recommend it if your labor is not progressing. Once the contractions started coming consistently, it was only a few hours before Abigail was born.
With our second child, Eliza, we were back in WI living above Jesse’s parents in a duplex. Again, I was working as a teller at the same bank. And, again, I remember throwing up only once. I experienced quite a bit of nausea, however. One of the things that actually curbed my nausea was sucking on sour patch kids. I know, this wasn’t very healthy, but it helped me get through work each day. Eliza was our surprise baby, since she came a week early. With each of our children, we’ve chosen to have a midwife deliver. Unfortunately, the mid-wife did not make it to the birth of Eliza. My husband, Jesse, was forced to take on the responsibility of handing her to me after she was born. It was an amazing experience for both of us and we could feel the Lord’s presence throughout the entire process. Our midwife did arrive shortly after she was born, and Eliza was just fine. She was a healthy baby girl that immediately slept through the night.
My third pregnancy was different in almost every way. My first trimester was agonizing. I was nauseous almost continuously and it was more difficult to find time to sit, relax, and have a snack. At the time, I was working second shift as a loss mitigation expert for a large bank. It was a stressful job and I wouldn’t get home until 11:30pm most nights. I was sick with the flu and had bad colds throughout the pregnancy. About 5 weeks before my due date, Ethan dropped really low and it was difficult to continue going to work. I had to take it easy. Everyone, including my midwife, thought he was going to arrive early for sure. After 5 weeks, he still hadn’t arrived. Thankfully, he did decide to come two days later and we had a healthy baby boy.
I’ve learned after going through these three pregnancies, that each time is a bit different and the baby comes when he/she is ready. I can also see after reflecting on my experiences, that stress can cause unwanted physical reactions whether you’re pregnant or not. My fourth pregnancy, which isn’t over yet, has been similar to the third. At the beginning, I was just starting childcare for two couples and we had just gotten a dog. It was a stressful time yet again. The nausea was actually worse, although I was eating almost constantly. Oddly enough, I never threw up. I was just really nauseous all the time. My second trimester was much easier and I felt that I had more energy. Now, 4 weeks until my due date, Timmy has dropped low and I’m having difficulty moving around, bending over, and sleeping some nights. Since he is so low, any small movement can stop me dead in my tracks. I’m praying that Timmy comes a little early, unlike Ethan.