The Pregnancy Fog

Dear Readers:

How patient you’ve been with me! It’s been about a month since I wrote my last article, and maybe you’ve been wondering what happened to me. Well, in addition to having moved into a new home, we will be welcoming a new baby! (still in the womb at this point) For the past month, I have been in the “pregnancy fog.” “What is that?” you might ask (though if you’ve been pregnant before, you probably know exactly what I mean).

Well, the “pregnancy fog” is, for me, that period during the first trimester, after finding out that I’m pregnant, that I feel so NOT MYSELF. And even though this BEGINS during the first trimester, it continues throughout the rest of the pregnancy, though not as intense. I feel extremely tired, as if I were anemic. Believe me, this isn’t like feeling burned out after a workout. It’s way worse. For example, after my last birth (the baby who is now one and a half) I lost a lot of blood (though still within normal limits). This caused me to feel VERY weak. I could barely lift my hand to feed myself, I was so exhausted. This continued for about a week, while I gradually regained my strength day by day. Well, I feel that way most of the time now. I do take a multivitamin, and I try to get protein and iron in my diet, but the nausea makes it hard. It’s hard to eat well when I feel like throwing up. (By the way, if you have any pointers, please feel free to share them with me!)

Which brings me to the next point: feeling nauseous every day, almost all day, is hard. Almost as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I began to experience an intense awareness of ALL SMELLS. I used to actually LIKE that Airwick air freshener that automatically squirts fragrance every ten minutes. Now, I CAN’T STAND IT. My husband thought he was doing me a favor when he bought me lavendar-scented trash bags. They make me CRINGE. Perfumes make me feel like I’m about to SUFFOCATE. Don’t let me even look at raw meat, much less inhale the odor of it while it is cooking. I hold my breath while opening the fridge. I look away when tossing items in the trash can. I could go on and on. In order to SURVIVE this, I need to cushion myself from all these smells (not to mention loud noises and bright lights, which bother me, too). Therefore, the feeling that I am constantly in a fog. Also, as I mentioned before, feeling very tired and not being able to respond well to what’s going on around me greatly contributes to that sensation.

Now, more than ever, I understand what this verse means:

To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;

In pain you shall bring forth children…”

Genesis 3:16a

When God told Eve (and by extension, all women who would follow after her) “I will greatly multiply your sorrow” I believe He was referring to the fact that pregnancy involves hardship and sacrifice. Now, hardship and sacrifice are not necessarily BAD things. God also told Adam that,

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;

In toil you shall eat of it

All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,

And you shall eat the herb of the field.

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground…

Genesis 3:17b-19a

Well, farming certainly IS hard. But, after all that hard work is done, doesn’t the farmer feel a sense of accomplishment and joy to see all his efforts result in food to feed the hungry? Hard, yes. Harder than when God first created the world to be a perfect place, before sin entered and marred everything. BUT, though it definitely involves a lot of “toil,” it is well worth the effort. So, what about child-bearing? Is THAT well worth the effort? Even though it involves “sorrow” and “pain”? Well, let me put it this way: What is a human life worth? What is it worth to bring into existence an ETERNAL person with a soul that will never die? A soul that will continue living on, and on, and on, and on into forever… Ladies, we are populating ETERNITY! We are striving to fill the KINGDOM OF GOD with human souls who will adore Him FOREVER in immortality! This is no small work!

The world and its worldly wisdom shun childbearing. They say: “Children get in the way. Only have as many (or as FEW) as will not get in the way of your educational goals, your career, your responsibilities, your other children (who will feel so ‘neglected’ if you give them another brother or sister), your church duties, your ministry… Do you see how we Christians have swallowed these worldly philosophies? Wisdom with God is foolishness to the world. Foolishness to God is wisdom to the world. It’s all backwards.

Recently, my children and I finished reading about Joy Ridderhof, founder of Gospel Recordings, which has taken recordings of the gospel in many different languages to people all over the world. Joy found out early on that she could trust God to provide for all her needs. She was a woman of prayer and faith. And you know what? God ALWAYS came through for her! What a testimony! She reminds me of George Mueller. When we pray, God answers. He will NOT leave us alone.

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:31-34

God will provide! He will provide for every child that He sends into our lives! Does that mean that there will never be hardship? No. God may allow us to go through times of scarcity as a form of testing, so that we may learn to trust in Him. But, ultimately, He will take care of us, and we need not worry. Joy Ridderhof knew this. If she needed money, God provided. If she needed new equipment, God came through. If she needed a guide through unknown territory, one would conveniently meet with her “as if” it was all planned! (it WAS planned though, by God). Look at George Mueller: He took care of thousands of orphans, and he prayed for everything that he ever received! Whenever he had a need, he would pray, and God would take care of it. Other people would call this “coincidence,” but Mr. Mueller knew it was MUCH MORE than that! It was our loving heavenly Father “adding these things unto [him].” If God provides for missionaries and orphans (when prayer is lifted up to Him in sincere faith), surely He will take care of us as we allow Him the freedom to decide our family size!

So, does having children count as “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”? Absolutely! I don’t keep getting pregnant because I LIKE being pregnant! Now, I DO love feeling the baby move inside my womb later on during the pregnancy. I do love seeing and holding that baby for the very first time after the intensity of labor. I love feeling like a WOMAN: I love feeling that I am fulfilling God’s DESIGN for me (after all, what are a womb and breasts FOR?) But, do I love nausea? You’re kidding, right? Do I love feeling tired and out of breath? No way! This is my burden that I bear for Christ. This is my “cross.” I have children MAINLY out of obedience to my Lord. I AM SURE that I will receive a HUGE REWARD (in heaven) for all the hardships that I go through momentarily during pregnancy, childbirth, child rearing, etc. It’s ALL worth it! How do I know that this is God’s will for me? Because the Bible says so!

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth…”

Genesis 1:28

Look carefully at how God designed things “in the beginning” (you’ll need to read the first few chapters of Genesis):

  • Being officially joined in marriage (God Himself officially presented the woman TO the man–the Bible does not allow “living together”)
  • Marriage of MAN and WOMAN (NOT man and man; NOT woman and woman).
  • ONE man and ONE woman (no, the Bible NEVER condones polygamy, contrary to what some people think).
  • Marriage is supposed to be FOR LIFE (What God joins together, let no man separate; God hates divorce).
  • The man is head, the woman is helper.
  • AND…one of the main purposes of their union is to “be fruitful and multiply”!

Do you see how we’ve become inconsistent? We can accept the first five concepts (at least those who hold to a literal, transcultural interpretation of the Bible), yet we just want to cross off the last item as if it doesn’t apply to us today. Well, wait, doesn’t the rest of it apply to us today? Is cohabitation okay? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning. Is homosexuality okay? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning. Is polygamy okay? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning. Is divorce okay? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning. Is it okay for the woman to be the authority over her husband? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning. Is it okay to limit conception through the use birth control (even “natural” family planning)? Not according to how God designed things from the beginning!

Jesus made this important point about children:

Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them…And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 10:13-14a, 16

Did Jesus think that having little children around would disrupt his ministry? No way! “Let the little children come to Me” He said! How many pastors use birth control (or have a vasectomy) because they think having “too many” children would get in the way of their ministry? But they are misguided. Jesus, according to the story related above, would be DISPLEASED with them. Because Jesus LOVES children! EVERY baby that our Creator sends into our lives is BY DESIGN, and greatly LOVED by Him! How DARE we reject these precious little ones into our lives out of fear that God somehow won’t be able to provide. On the one hand, our pastors preach to us that “we must trust God to provide,” that “we must trust God’s perfect timing,” that “God is perfectly reliable and can be trusted with every detail of our lives,” while AT THE SAME TIME, they and their wives REJECT these precious gifts of God through their use of birth control! Why? Because THEY don’t “trust God to provide” for the children He would send into their lives if they got off birth control! Because THEY don’t “trust God’s perfect timing” when it comes to conceiving new children! Because THEY don’t REALLY believe that “God is perfectly reliable and can be trusted with every detail of our lives” when it comes to having more babies! We live in a world of RIDICULOUS INCONSISTENCIES. But, we aren’t living according to the word of God, when we live contrary to His design, live in fear that He won’t provide, don’t trust His perfect timing, treat children not yet conceived as if they were burdens, and basically spit in the face of our God.

You know, pregnancy IS hard. For a little while, I’ve had to live a different lifestyle, which involves resting a lot, having my older children help out with chores more, making very simple (non-smelly) meals for my family or having them make something easy when I’m too sick, and not getting out very much. It can be discouraging, at times. But my husband has amazed me with his sacrificial love for me. Do you know that he has brought me a pre-breakfast snack and milk EVERY MORNING since we found out that I was pregnant? He didn’t used to do this for me, but now, he does. He is THE BEST HUSBAND EVER! He makes meals for me, does the dishes, puts the children to bed, etc. I know, I know, this all makes me sound like a lazy bum. But, it won’t last forever. It’s just temporary, while I get past the most intense time of tiredness and nausea during early pregnancy (I’m trying VERY HARD to not throw up, since I HATE vomiting, and getting up and doing stuff jiggles my stomach around and makes me feel extra bad). God has used these pregnancies to transform our marriage, I believe. And you know what? I just had an ultrasound yesterday, and after I saw those tiny arms and legs moving around, and that little body turning from side to side, and that mini profile of forehead, nose, and chin, I knew more than ever that this is ALL WORTH IT (yes, all of that is clearly visible at 11 WEEKS gestation!) This isn’t a glob of tissue. This isn’t a disease. This is a BABY! Our baby! An expression of our passion and love for each other. A unique and new thought from the mind of our Creator. A little person with an immortal soul. Amazing. Going through the “pregnancy fog” is definitely worth it!

And one last thought: God DOES provide! As soon as we found out we were expecting, my husband started to receive calls every day for him to do work! We have been able to pay our first payment to the midwife in cash, and we already have the next payment all saved up, with more money to come, as my husband completes the jobs that he already has lined up… God has done this miracle for us (not to mention the past three pregnancies that we paid the midwife in cash, as well); He can do the same for you, too!

 

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14 thoughts on “The Pregnancy Fog

  1. Dear Jessica,
    I gazed and re-gazed at the picture above. What a beautiful society, bound with love and affection! And you are the queen of this holy, sweet society, Jessica!

    Family is so good.

    I wanted to say thanks to you for sharing your personal and family story with us. While reading this post, I felt like I was in the world of “Anne of Green Gables”. Her best friend Diana has been sending letters from the village and explaining her life details cheerfully. Then I said to myself, *Oh, how nice it must have had a friend like this!”

    Now God graciously answered my dreamy wish and I am delighted to be in your life journey. I feel like I am the baby’s antie.

    May He protect you and your baby every single moment.

    p.s. I had been waiting for your new post eagerly and was so happy to read yours today.

    Kinuko

    Like

    • Thank you, Kinuko!
      Well, I’m certainly a fan of all of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s books, too! I’ve read the “Anne of Green Gables” series twice. One of my favorite books is “Rainbow Valley,” which relates the story of Anne’s five children and their little adventures! Additionally, I’ve also always admired the close friendship that Diana and Anne had! It IS wonderful to have a friend like you, as well as all the other friends that I’ve come to know online, to share my life journey with! When I read that you feel like the baby’s auntie, I felt that you are so sweet and tenderhearted! All of my other children already know about you, and they think it is so neat that I have a friend from Japan, but who lives in Greece! They ask me, “do you think you two will ever meet?” Well, that would be wonderful, one day…
      Thank you for your prayer of protection for me and the baby. And I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my new post.
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Jessica, good morning! Thank you for your kind reply. Oh, yes, I love “Rainbow Valley”, too. Do you remember the story of “rooster”? A girl called Faith (pastor’s daughter) had a rooster which she cherished so much, but then one day, she found in despair that her dear rooster was killed and served as a dinner for her father’s friend pastor. I also remembered how Anne and her family had suffered because of the presence of Gilbert’s gloomy aunt in their house.

        Your life journey with your family is like “Rainbow Valley in Arizona”! There might be many joys, happiness and,,,sometimes tears,,just like Anne’s family and all of these are so worthy.

        p.s. I must add one more thing,,I love the episode that poor Anne was selected for the first prize in an essay contest, sponsored by the “baking powder company”. That was so funny.

        with love, affection plus, big smile,
        Kinuko

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      • Oh, wow, Kinuko, what a good memory you have! I faintly remember those scenes. I guess I’ll have to read the book again! I think I like the books MUCH MORE than the movies. Well, maybe except for the first one, which is pretty close to the book. But the second movie gets farther and farther away from the books (besides combining several books into one movie). The last movie that was attempted wasn’t even like the books AT ALL. I couldn’t stand it! Most recently, one lady attempted a novel about Anne’s early life. Well, I thought that book was horrible! It didn’t seem to fit with Mrs. Montgomery’s style at all. It was too dreary and depressing, and not dreamy, hopeful and funny. Mrs. Montgomery always showed an optimistic twist to every negative experience, which usually ended up in laughs. I think that is the beautiful thing about her books: they help us to see that life, even thought it has its negative side, also has something beautiful on the “flip side of the coin.” There’s always something beautiful and funny and hopeful about everything, if you have eyes to see it. It reminds me of Gene Stratton Porter’s books, the most popular of which is “Girl of the Limberlost.” I also love her books, much for the same reason. If I recall correctly, she was criticized for not being “real” enough, for being too “idealistic.” Some people thought she should be more “down-to-earth” and focus more on people’s hardships and sorrows. Well, she said that she wanted to inspire people by helping them see the good things in life, the things that COULD BE, since they already had enough to worry about in “real life.” I agree. I love novels that inspire and encourage me. Novels that leave me feeling sad make me want to throw them in the trash!
        Thanks for your wonderful comments,
        Jessica

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Mrs. Montgomery always showed an optimistic twist to every negative experience, which usually ended up in laughs. I think that is the beautiful thing about her books: they help us to see that life, even thought it has its negative side, also has something beautiful on the “flip side of the coin.” There’s always something beautiful and funny and hopeful about everything, if you have eyes to see it.”

        Jessica, the above description was the very best one which I’ve ever read or heard regarding Mrs.Montgomery’s books.

        After hearing of the book “Girl of the Limberlost” from you, I started to search it immediately and found in joy that it is now in public domain and we can read this book online. So, I downloaded it today! Thank you for telling me of this book, Jessica.

        If you have any other recommendations, please tell me anytime. Thank you. Kinuko

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  2. Many congratulations, Jessica! I’m so excited to hear about your new little one! I will be praying for both of you!

    And yes, I am ALL about pregnancy nausea. It stinks. As you probably know, the original title of my blog was “The Whining Puker” because it was exclusively dedicated to pregnancy nausea. While God has blessed me to go from out of control hyperemesis to a much milder form of NVP, I still felt awful from beginning to end. I am with you on that front.

    Feel free to check out the links on the left side of my blog just in case there might be something that might help you.

    And good for you for staying steadfast in your beliefs during the yuckiness of NVP. I usually have some time when I go about thinking, “Humph, birth control doesn’t sound so bad right now.” You are a strong woman.

    Thank you for checking in. Congratulations again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thanks, Diana!
      I definitely will check out those links from your website. Any information that might help is very welcome! It’s so encouraging to hear from other women who have gone through the yuckiness of nausea, etc. during pregnancy. We really need each other’s support, I think. I wonder, what are your plans for dealing with the nausea the next time, or is it still too early to ask? 🙂
      Thanks for your encouragement and your prayers!
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi,Jessica! How nice the photo of you with kids and baby.From comment of Holly horse lover, I knew you are pregnant.Please take time for yourself and baby.

    I have a friend who raised in Cathoric family in Phillipine.She married Japanese,lives in Japan now.
    She has 7 siblings.Sometimes I heard about her family stories and her childhood.Sharing and spending time with family.She said that she always could have somebody to talk,share,play with in her family. And there were so many things to do(studying,helping her mother,playing with younger siblings,going to church etc),she never feel bored in her family.I was so moved.

    I feel that your children have also many many blessing.They have knowing-God parents and siblings to share many things! And I admire you that you are always trying to share your faith with your children through many means.
    Please take care of yourself and God bless your whole family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Sanae, thank you for sharing that story with me! It is true, that children from large families always have someone to play with, etc. Even despite the age differences, my children are always playing with eachother. Sure, they fight sometimes, too, but it doesn’t last forever!
      Thank you for your kind and caring words! I pray that God would bless your family, as well!
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica, I am so excited for you!! Children are a true blessing from God. You know I was worried a bit since you haven’t posted for over a month. I was afraid that something might have gone wrong with you or your loved ones.
    I am in the situation where most of my friends are either married. Some are even having children now. I feel like bin left out. I hope that someday I’ll get married and have children. I must confess that being single has been a burden.
    Sorry to unload my worries. I keep you all in my prayers!
    Irina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Irina, for your reply!
      I appreciate your saying that you were concerned about me! You’re so sweet!
      I’ve known some women who were single for years, but then finally met wonderful men, also involved in the same ministry as they were, and got happily married later in life. I bet they never thought things would work out that way; I bet they had always thought they would be married and with a family sooner than that. But, the wait was worth it, and they ended up with beautiful families. I think that, just like Kinuko mentioned about her own life story, these women were seen to be mature, godly women by the men they ultimately married, and their goodness and faithfulness is what drew those men to them. Because noble-minded, mature, godly men will be attracted to a woman for what’s INSIDE her more than what is OUTSIDE her. Then, they will think that that woman is the most beautiful woman in the world, because they see her TRUE worth!
      Another thing maybe worth mentioning: the lady I briefly talked about in my article, Joy Ridderhof (founder of Gospel Recordings), was single FOR LIFE. She never married. She probably wanted to, but her life was dedicated to God. As of now, the company she formed has brought recordings of the gospel to people in over 6,000 languages, mainly focusing on people groups who are remote and illiterate. It reminds me of what the Bible says about single folks being able to dedicate themselves totally to God, while married folks have to live to please their spouses. (However, sometimes married folks want to LIVE LIKE single folks, by using birth control and causing themselves to be ARTIFICIALLY barren, which IS NOT God’s will.) So, being single can be a beautiful GIFT, if you use it to serve God. Because, it’s true, once you’re married, you live to please your husband, and later on, to care for your children, too. Then, you don’t have the TIME to serve in other ministries. Being a wife and a mother is a WONDERFUL, NOBLE, WORTHY life calling. However, that phase of singleness before marriage, if used for God’s glory, can be a beautiful time, too! All your friends who are married and have children–those ladies are (hopefully) keeping house, changing diapers, taking children to doctor’s appointments, sweeping up cereal the baby spilled on the floor, preparing meals for the family, folding endless piles of clothes, etc… All good things, done in service of the family. But you have such a gift right now, while you are free to follow God’s leading for your life, and only have HIM to answer to.
      Anyways, don’t worry about “unloading your worries on me.” I care about you, and will pray for you. Thank you for keeping ME in your prayers!
      Your friend,
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Irina, you are a beautiful young woman. I say this from my heart. And if I was a man, I must have felt you were a soft-hearted, sweet and attractive lady.

    I was not a popular girl in my childhood and afterwards. When I was in high school, my best friend was very popular among boys and I could not help feeling myself unattractive.

    But then, finally, one brother appreared, and (he said) he was attracted to my faith. And he asked me to marry. I’ve got married when I was 36.

    You are very young, Irina. And the brother who will fall in love with you is the true man of God. Because a true man of God is attracted to a true woman of God.

    Jessica, Sanae, me and other sisters are all supporters of you. And we will lift up this particular prayer upon His altar and keep on knocking.

    with love,
    Kinuko

    Like

  6. Dear Jessica,
    CONGRATULATIONS! I showed my family your family picture, and they are all very happy for you and yours 🙂 Another little blessing. God is certainly filling your husband’s quiver.
    Your post took me right back to my nausea and morning sickness of pregnancy days. I still can’t tolerate any kind of strong perfumes or colognes, but I don’t mind. Like you said, “It’s all worth it.” I will be praying that the Lord will give you strength over the next few months. It’s truly exciting.
    I enjoyed your conversation with Kinuko about good books. My daughter is an avid reader, and she has gone through the children’s section at our local library. We then started trying a few books from the youth section, and my gracious, were they ever trashy! She had read the Anne of Green Gables series but not “Girl of the Limberlost”, so we were able to reserve that one.
    I also wanted to let the headcovering sisters know that I offered you all up for prayer in our split prayer group (just ladies). The ladies at my church do all cover except for just a few, so they were really impressed with the fact that you all believe this teaching to such an extent that you will go it alone. I know you don’t need or desire our praise, but I thought it might be a comfort that others are praying when you might feel alone or discouraged. 🙂 You don’t know how much it encourages me to see the Holy Spirit working in the lives of so many husbands, wives, single women and daughters. God bless you all!
    Your friend,
    Ruthie

    Like

    • Thanks, Ruthie!
      I really enjoyed reading your comment, and hearing a little about your family. I also feel a little cautious (okay–a lot!) about letting my children just pick out books from the library without me looking at them first. I remember when I was a little girl, there was one time when I was looking for books in the juniors section of the library, and I discovered (by accident) a book about masturbation! At least I was mature enough to know that that book wasn’t based on what the Bible teaches, and I left it alone, but boy, was I surprised. So, yeah, there’s a lot of different stuff out there, and some of it’s trashy, like you said. There’s good stuff out there, too, but I feel like my kids need my supervision when picking out library books, just to make sure.
      I appreciate that your prayer group prayed for us–how encouraging! You have been a blessing in my life, Ruthie. Every time you comment, or send an email, its always very uplifting to me.
      God bless you all, too!
      Jessica

      Like

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