Pregnancy Knot: Jess Archer

How far along are you in your pregnancy?   

I’m 29 weeks!

How are you feeling physically?

For the most part, I feel good.  But I am still working a full-time job outside my home, and by the end of the day, my lower back aches, and I can tell it’s time to put my feet up.  I’m also entering the phase of pregnancy where my appetite is larger than my capacity.  I can feel this baby pushing on my stomach, giving me that “post Thanksgiving meal” fullness nearly all the time.

How are you feeling emotionally?

It is incredibly humbling and honoring to grow life inside my body; however, I am only human, and on more than one occasion recently I have been overwhelmed over with stress, anxiety about the future with another baby, and all the hormonal ups and downs.    In order to get good, quality insurance for this baby, I’ve needed to work full-time this year.  That’s taken its toll on me emotionally.  In order to keep my emotional health in check while pregnant, I really have to be vigilant: I walk; I pray; I breathe deeply and write.

How have you been preparing for childbirth? 

This is my second baby, and I prepared last time in a few ways that seemed to suit me, so I’ve taken on the same practices this time around too.   First, I bought a baby book. I like to write in it from time to time about my emotions, about my hopes for this child, and I also like to record my “pregnancy verse” in the baby book.   I asked God to give me a verse for both my pregnancies.  One that I could cling to when I felt low, felt tossed about with worry and wonderings about our future.  For this pregnancy God provided Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the woman who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  She will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in the year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Outside stressors in life have made this pregnancy difficult.  If I keep my roots down deep near my source of strength, I will make it through to joy.

What do you love most about being pregnant?

I love the daily reminder of waiting for this beautiful, growing baby to blossom into completeness.. I love that my patience is required in this 9 month process.  Henry Nouwen said the following about waiting, and I find his words a perfect mantra for pregnancy: “If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted, it changes the way we wait.  Waiting is not a movement from nothing to something, but of something to something more.”

Any cravings?

Would you believe I have craved tuna fish this whole pregnancy?! How odd.

What makes you feel best right now?

It’s hard to get physical relief from the discomforts. I have a list of four ways that work for me right now:

Yoga, walking, hot bath, massage.  All four I can do on a tight budget too: I follow along to YouTube prenatal yoga videos.  I take 20 minute walks in the evening to get rid of stress from the day.  And as for massage, I let my husband know in advance that I’m going to need a massage while we watch our favorite shows.  I’ve also bought some pregnancy safe bath salts for relaxing baths in the evening.  

Anything else you’d like to share with pregnant mamas?

Pregnancy is difficult.  Give yourself grace if you don’t ALWAYS feel thrilled to be pregnant.  Give yourself grace when you daydream about having your old body back…when you miss looking thin and sexy.  Give yourself grace if you’d rather be on your third glass of wine than cup of tea.  Give yourself grace.  The grace you extend to yourself will be the real “glow” of pregnancy.