Pregnancy is responsible for this too?

by Rebecca on April 3, 2014

This morning, I felt sympathy for fire-breathing dragons. As little chalky Tum after little chalky Tum made its way down my throat with no relief for my pregnancy-induced heartburn, I decided fire-breathing dragons need to be given a little credit. I’d snatch up some flighty, singing princess if she wandered near my dragon lair too. And I’d even give her a taste to see if her fair skin and golden hair was the right recipe for quelling the burning that surely must always be present in a fire-breathing dragon’s chest and throat. And then, when the handsome prince arrived on the scene, I’d mos’ def’ breathe all that fire right onto him. Because gosh darn it — it hurts. So get your sword out of my face, you puny prince.

During my first pregnancy, I looked up every symptom so science could tell me how it possibly relates to pregnancy. I remember there’s a scientific reason for heartburn, just as there is a scientific reason for the bloody nose I get every morning. The acne (As Tina Fey says, “Not to brag, but I have the chin of a teenager”), the swelling ankles, the mood swings, even the cravings — there is a scientific explanation for it all.

But then there are even stranger things that happen, and the only explanation given from the doctor is, “Well, you’re pregnant.” Itchy ankles, with the itch stopping exactly at the middle of your calves? Well, you’re pregnant. Lips that are wind-burnt ALL THE TIME, even when you haven’t been out in wind for weeks? Well, you’re pregnant. Sudden blurry vision? Well, you’re pregnant. Leg hair that stops growing? Well, you’re pregnant. And that’s actually nothing to complain about.

I’ve given up asking my doctor about any new weird symptom that pops up because the blank stare and the vacant “there-there” smile I receive in return is maddening.

I also don’t ask any more because even when there’s a scientific explanation for whatever crazy thing is happening to my body, I don’t believe it when it doesn’t seem to directly correlate to pregnancy.

Sure, it’s possible that the placenta is producing more hormones which are relaxing the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, opening the door for gastric acids to stake their claim (I just looked that up). But really, I think somebody’s just making this stuff up.

Pregnancy symptoms are the same as breaking a nail while you have a cold, and then saying those two are somehow related. “Well, you see, the cold created a weakened immune system, which… uh… led to weakened fingernails that were ripe for breaking. Yeah, yeah. That’s it.”

Thankfully, I only have 12 more weeks for crazy symptoms to pop up. And if this goes like my last deliveries, the stuffy nose, heartburn and every other crazy symptom will stop almost as immediately as the baby makes its exit from my body.

But then there’s the weird breast-feeding symptoms to contend with. Just make sure to stay away from me if you’re a sword-wielding prince. I’m not accountable for my fire-breathing habits when under the influence of pregnancy and breast-feeding. Science says so. Or it doesn’t. But it should. I’d believe that.

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I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto Teresa Hirst’s blog six or so years ago, but she has proven to be a blessing to me time and time again. She is insightful and deliberate in her thoughts — no wishy-washy business coming from her. As I have followed her blog over the years, it seems like her challenges and insights into those challenges have paralleled my own life and challenges. There have been several times when something she would say in a post would be just what I needed to understand. Every now and then, we email back and forth. She’s a virtual mentor to me, and so very wise.

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At one point several years ago, she encouraged readers to express more gratitude in their prayers. It was exactly what I needed in a cloudy time of my life, so I decided with my husband that all our prayers for a week would be prayers of gratitude. We weren’t allowed to ask for a single thing in our prayers during that week. It was a challenge, but it opened our eyes in ways we didn’t anticipate. We even found something to be grateful for in a speeding ticket.

Teresa wrote a book, and I truly can’t be happier for her. I finally got to meet her last month when she traveled from her home in Minnesota to Utah for book launching activities. She’s fabulous in person — so real and honest. And now I want you to get to know her through her book!

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She and her family went through incredibly difficult financial struggles during the recession. Some people wallow. Others — like Teresa — write books.

Her book, Twelve Stones to Remember Him, is the result of several interviews with Mormon women and men who also experienced deep setbacks and financial ruin during the recession — and how they used gospel principles to deal with those problems. I loved the stories Teresa shared — her own and the stories of those she interviewed. The stories are real and relatable, and Teresa knew just the right amount of commentary to include and how to let the stories speak for themselves.

We all love stories — probably because they allow us to relate to concepts in the ways that are most applicable to our own lives. And in that way, this book is for anyone going through any struggle.

I read about a woman who experienced deep financial problems but was obedient to the prophet’s counsel to plant a garden. None of her squash grew. But then one day she received bunches of squash from someone else! That isn’t coincidence. She was directly and obviously blessed for her obedience. I found so much insight in that story that helped me see my current challenges in a new light. I often feel like I have more to do than I can possibly handle. I don’t know how to balance what I know God wants me to do outside my home with what I need to do for my family inside my home. Even though this story was about squash and a garden, I learned that as I follow what I know God wants me to do outside my home, He will directly bless me so that I’ll be able to provide what my family needs inside my home.

There were several stories that spoke to me in ways they weren’t intended, but because they were testimonies of others, I was able to hear what I needed to hear.

If you’re experiencing financial struggles, or struggles of any kind really, Twelve Stones to Remember Him is worth a read. Plus, my story of the speeding ticket is in the book!

Want to know more? Why did Teresa write this book, and how did it come to be? Scroll down or click here for a Q&A with Teresa.

You can purchase her book on Amazon.

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Q&A with Teresa Hirst, author of Twelve Stones to Remember Him

March 26, 2014

Q&A with Teresa Hirst, author of Twelve Stones to Remember Him, available here. To read a bit more about the book, and to read my impressions of the book, scroll up or click here. What inspired you to begin this project? In studying the Old Testament of the Bible, the story of the twelve stones memorial […]

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Happy anniversary

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  I hear lots of unsolicited downer ”facts” about the future. Don’t you? “You’ll never sleep again,” said to every expectant parent. “You may be the homeowner, but the house will own you,” said to every first-time homebuyer. And “The butterflies go away after a few years,” said to every giddy engaged couple. Why do people […]

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Rose

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Rose passed away two weeks ago. The only reason I knew her was because I was her visiting teacher. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a visiting teacher is a woman assigned to watch over and help specific women in her congregation. Typically, a visiting teacher will have a partner, and they […]

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Every-Day-Dress-Up by Selina Alko

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Every now and then, when things are really bad, things go really right — right where I need them to. When I’m pregnant, I get something my doctor shrugged off as migraines. I feel bad claiming entrance into the migraine club, though, because what I experience isn’t nearly as bad as what I hear described by those I […]

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I love the tooth fairy

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Whoever came up with the tooth fairy is a genius. Have you ever thought about it? If there was no tooth fairy, losing a tooth would be a horribly traumatic experience. But thanks to that trusty tooth fairy and her propensity for creepily buying parts of our children’s bodies, losing a tooth is something almost every kid […]

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Chicago in February

February 10, 2014

If you’re ever thinking of taking a pleasure trip to Chicago in February, you probably are in need of some professional help — on many levels. However, with no professional help whatsoever, my husband and I found ourselves making that decision — and then actually following through with it. The teens and 20s aren’t cold […]

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Girl or boy?

February 4, 2014

With our first pregnancy, we could hardly wait to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. The grumpy technician knew our excitement, but took her time getting to that part of the ultrasound. While we watched the baby’s legs dance around, she avoided that area of the baby and lectured us […]

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Nighttime is a gift for mothers to start fresh

January 30, 2014

 I love my children during the day, but the day is so full of… day stuff that I can forget to show them, forget to tell them, forget to even remember how very much I love those little rug rats. It’s at night when they’re in bed that I get to missing them so much. […]

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