It’s September 1st, and it feels like it’s time for a fresh start. My summer has been crazy busy—as usual—and blogging fell to the bottom of my priority list for a while. There have been lots of times over the past few months when I have felt guilty about that, but I also think it is what I needed to do. Blogging during my first trimester of pregnancy was just not working for me. For some reason, just the thought of sitting down at my computer and writing for an hour made me feel nauseous (as did most other things)!
But I finally feel ready for it. And something about today feels right. Maybe it’s because today is September 1st—the start of a new month. For me it really represents the start of a new season. August is over, summer is gone, and it’s time to move on with regular life. It’s time to re-establish a routine and get things back on track.
So with that in mind, I’ve decided to update all of my lovely readers—who have been ever-so patiently awaiting my return to the blogosphere—on the past few months of my life, and on where things are headed from here!
Pregnancy – First Trimester (April – June)
In some ways I wish that I had diligently journaled or blogged through my first trimester—because, let’s face it, that probably would have been beneficial for me in terms of my mental health—but as I mentioned before, I just couldn’t stomach it. For some reason, the very thought of it messed with my insides and made me feel physically sick a lot of the time. Perhaps that was just my mind and body’s way of telling me that I needed a break.
Early pregnancy was not easy for me. I didn’t really go into pregnancy with a whole lot of expectations, but I will admit that I was completely taken aback by how incredibly difficult it could be. Ryan and I traveled to Africa during my 6th week, and from the moment we got in the car to drive to the airport for our departure from Edmonton, I was sick. I never felt normal once after that point, and basically felt like trash through the duration of our entire trip.
In fact, it got so bad—I was basically bed ridden a lot of the time, couldn’t keep anything down, and becoming completely dehydrated—that we decided to head back to Canada a week earlier than we had originally intended. We still absolutely loved and appreciated our time with our good friends in Rwanda, and I would not have traded the experience for anything—not even for the convenience of skipping the morning sickness. Nonetheless, even though it was a disappointment to have to cut things short, it really seemed like the right decision.
After returning to a more familiar life, it still took me a month or two to start feeling somewhat normal again. I took Diclectin religiously four times a day for the next month or two, just to allow me to be able to work and function. This was a very difficult time for me, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t love being pregnant, and I felt extremely unproductive—which, for me, is probably the worst feeling of all. But somehow I managed to get through. So many people encouraged me that it would get better after the first three months, and thankfully, they were right.
As June moved along, the imminent camp season drew nearer and nearer. Ryan and I have worked at Pleasantview Bible Camp for the past eight summers, but with being pregnant for the first time, I knew that this year would present some interesting new challenges. Not only that, but I also had some unresolved feelings of fear and anxiety going into camp, lingering from an experience last summer that caused a lot of trauma in our lives.
So it was hard to know how to really prepare. And yet somehow, we did. And even more than that, God provided. A generous member of our church offered us a beautiful camper that we could live in for the entire summer, which was a huge upgrade for us and gave me a sense of stability, home, and comfort to combat the feelings of anxiety I had going in.
The summer itself played out so much better than I could ever have expected—and I am certain this was largely due to the many prayers that went into it ahead of time. In fact, looking back on it now, I feel like it was perhaps one of my most emotionally successful summers out of the past eight years! To me, that is a shocker, considering how emotionally difficult and draining the past year has been. But it also speaks to me about the growth I have undergone throughout this year, and that is something I am very thankful for! And being able to successfully navigate camp this summer was perhaps one of the most healing things I have experienced in a long time.
Back to Work and Rounding out Trimester Two
We wrapped up the camp season on Saturday, August 19th, after seven amazing weeks of seeing lives being transformed and connecting with lots of wonderful kids and families. We went back to work at the church for a few days, and then took off for a quick week of much-needed holidays.
We’ve been officially back at work since this past Tuesday, and our preparations for the fall season already have us moving in hyperspeed. At any given time in life I could most likely tell you, “this is the busiest time of the year for me”. But this statement would probably be the most true in the last week of August and first week or two of September! But regardless of how quickly the days are flying by this week, I feel encouraged. I feel excited! I feel like I am in a completely different mental space than I was at this time last year, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
I have definitely been enjoying the past month or two of pregnancy (including all the extra naps it has gotten me) much more than the first few! And I am getting more and more excited to welcome this sweet little baby girl in a few months’ time. We haven’t purchased much of anything, or even thought about “nesting” a whole lot yet, but I am sure that will come. People have started giving us lots of baby clothes and other useful items, and we are thankful for that!
Braver Than Before
As for Braver Than Before, I am excited to get back into somewhat of a routine with writing. I think blogging daily was very helpful for me at the start of this year, but for now I am going to try to set a bit more of a moderate pace. I want to try writing three times a week for now, and see how that goes. My goal is to blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays… but I am also a little nervous to make any promises, particularly with how the past few months have gone! But then, I do have a lot of fear and anxiety to work through over the next few months with labour and delivery looming on the horizon… so I really should have no shortage of material!
All the same, thank you for reading my update, and for continuing to be a part of my journey! I am excited to see where it takes me next, and am so thankful for all the support I have received along the way. I love you all!