Spring Break & the Triduum

The other morning as I was lying in bed, trying to get rid of the nausea so that I could eat breakfast with Peter before he went to work, he crawled back into bed and said, “Do you know how much I love you?” and he put his hand on my tummy and said, “This much.” I feel like that should happen in a movie or a book or something. I melted.

I woke up one morning to a surprise breakfast! Best husband ever
My weight is much more “stable,” at least as stable as it can be when it comes to growing a person. In the first trimester I lost 10 pounds from my hyperemesis. In the second trimester I gained… way too much. The doctor wasn’t concerned since I passed all my blood tests and at the time gaining too much weight was better than losing weight like I was before. I think I was so excited that I could actually eat again because my stomach wasn’t as sensitive anymore as long as I kept snacking all day, so I accidentally ate a LOT. But now I am doing a lot better with the rate I’m gaining. I’ve been (trying to) walk more, and I’m eating the normal three meals a day with snacks like a normal human being again, with the ice cream indulgences of course.

We’ve been going to Abria pregnancy resources for birthing classes, and I also receive counseling there to cope with my hyperemesis, and they have been so great. I love Abria. Note: it’s FREE. I didn’t think that I was the type of client they were looking for, but after much thought and consideration, I thought it was valid to go because I was a student. When I first came in we just sat down and talked about our situation and talked about different the different options we had for them to help us. They have a variety of classes (birth, parenting, etc.), counseling, free ultrasounds, help finding a job or a place to live, and there is so much more. After you pay a visit, you earn points, which can get you maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby toys, diapers, and even a Pack n Play! I love what they do.
Slowly but surely we have been nesting. We now have a bassinet in our living room, and in it are random things like a bottle, a pacifier, burp clothes, a blanket, diapers and wipes, and other miscellaneous stuff. We have on the way very generous gifts: a stroller, a car seat, and a Pack n Play. I can’t believe it’s all coming together! I love seeing all this cute little stuff. It makes me squirm.
This spring break I was planning on getting a lot of school work done before Baby Girl arrives. My body had other ideas. I’m officially back on my nausea medicine, which mostly helps. I’m only throwing up once or twice a week now, sometimes zero! It’s still a little inconsistent, but it’s obviously better than it was in the fall. What’s so strange is we can’t figure out my headaches. I can’t explain how discouraging it is, doctor appointment after doctor appointment, describing the headaches, how faint you are, how weak you feel, the dizziness you get when standing, and the vertigo, and you only get a shrug and are told that there’s nothing we can really do except wait until she is born. These issues have been preventing me from doing simple tasks like cooking, taking a shower (now I have to lay down after I shower to recover for about 15-30 minutes), or even sitting at a computer to write a blog post. (This is my first time sitting up at my computer in a couple weeks. Thank goodness for smart phones, but I can’t practically write a blog post or study on my phone.
This year I went to my very first Holy Thursday Mass. What makes it special is the washing of feet, and the stripping of the Church. They leave the tabernacle empty and open, bare. They remove all decorations, flowers, candles, and even holy water fonts. I hope to go every year and be more a part of the Triduum when we can. I know that’ll be hard with little ones, but since we’ll be bringing kids to Sunday Mass already, what’s a couple more? I obviously don’t know what I’m talking about yet, never having kids before, but that’s the approach I’m going with for now.
This Good Friday, I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to the service, but this day still hit me in a beautiful way. I think I’ve come to understand it better than ever before. Why do we call it Good Friday? It sounds like a pretty Bad Friday to me. Well, yes Jesus died this day, but he HAD to die in order to conquer Death. So this day is something good. It can be compared to the pulling a tooth. It really really REALLY sucks to go to the dentist and letting the terrifying procedure happen, but afterwards you sure feel a heck of a lot better. For there to be life, there needs to be death. Death can be terrible, but God has shown us that it is necessary and even good. I really connected this with my pregnancy. Though there is much suffering, it will bring life. This time of pain is also a time of joy.
Saturday evening we went to the vigil at St. Mark’s. It was AWESOME. I went to the vigil once in high school at St. Agnes, which is always huge. Everyone and their mom goes to it. But I really liked the vigil at St. Mark’s. I didn’t think anyone was going to catch on fire. I knew a lot of the people there because we are parishioners. It felt more like family. Because I can black out so easily from standing, I had to sit during the whole Mass, which is still strange 8 months in. Overall my favorite part about this Mass was during the Genesis reading. It started pitch black, our candles blown out, and they turned the lights on, one by one, throughout the reading, and afterwards the bells rang and people walked onto the sanctuary with flowers and everything got decorated right before my eyes. It was so beautiful to see the transformation.
Because we went to the vigil on Saturday, we got to sleep in on Sunday. After we were up and I was done being sick that morning, we headed on over to Peter’s parents to have dinner with them and some of his siblings and their families. I always love spending time with them. There’s lots of food, conversation, silliness, and games.
Peter’s been practicing his accordion almost every day now. I’ll admit, it’s growing on me. I wish there was a way to control the volume. It’s a very loud instrument, so even if he is playing something soft and sweet, my sensitive ears send me into a headache pretty quickly. I’m sad that I have to shut the door when he practices. They got second place at the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies Talent Show!
Over spring break I was feeling well enough to go on a date, which we never get to do anymore since I can’t sit up for very long. We went to one of my favorite places, Ikea! Sure that sounds like a random date location to you, but it was a blast. If you have never been there, I’m not sure exactly how to describe it. It’s kind of a Target from Sweden with furniture show room, on drugs. There is just so many cool things to see, and it’s all Swedish and super cheap and there is furniture everywhere that you can sit on and there are $1 ice cream cones and I love that place. We got some ideas of what we wanted in our new apartment this summer, like a rug and a rocking chair or recliner. We also got a couple kitchen utensils that we needed and I also got an aloe plant! The kids sections is one of my favorites, they have so many cool toys. I love the stuffed animals, the wooden toys (totes coming back for the train set one day), and there are so many colors. What they offer gives kids (and adults) the opportunity to imagine and have free play vs. always having what to do laid out in front of them. Sorry, a little child psychology rant. Ahem, anyway. What was nice about Ikea is that at any moment if I needed to I could take a break and sit down I could, and we could people watch and look at all of the amazing things that are Ikea.
Another great day over spring break that I wasn’t mostly in bed was when Cretin Court (our 10 friends who all happen to live in the same apartment building) decided to go to the como zoo. 

By the way, it’s tropical in Minnesota now.
The weather was perfect. The zoo is free. There are animals. There are children. I got to wear a dress. (Lately I’ve been doing dresses and skirts because pants are NOT comfortable in the third trimester of pregnancy, aaand none of my maternity jeans fit anymore.) It was so fun. BUT, all the walking we did there caused something super fun, my first contractions! Luckily, I was by a fence and had something to grab onto because I was just surprised and thought


“I can’t walk,” 

and “halp.”
This transitions to our most recent doctor’s appointment. I was super excited to tell Doc that I started having contractions! We actually did a cervix check and found out that I’m already dilated at 35 weeks. This isn’t super early, but it’s definitely early. I was actually super excited to hear Doc say, “You could deliver anywhere between TODAY and next week.”
I am so excited. The baby shower is this afternoon, but after that, I’m going to walk and walk and walk to get this baby out! I’m sick of being sick and I want to see this baby girl!
That’s all for now! I’m not sure what or when the next blog post will be. There might be a BABY soon!
Please keep us in your prayers as this pregnancy ends and a transition in life begins, (and for a safe delivery and healthy baby).

Love, Ryian
// If time is on your side today:
Related and from the Archives
In case you missed them, here are the 3 most popular posts on the blog this month:
The internet has had some lovely bright and shiny distractions this week. So I have some gems to share.
Jenna Hines wrote on Blessed is She a beautiful reflection on Holy Saturday that was really captivating to me. 
This is what led to my inspiration about Good Friday. This year Good Friday fell on March 25th, 9 months before Christmas, the birthday of Jesus. That’s right, the Annunciation, when an angel comes to Mary and she says “yes” and BOOM she’s preggers with GOD. Anyway, I thought this was a beautiful reflection since we had Good Friday on this day this year.
I loved this post about pregnant and postpartum body image. 
Here are some thoughts on labor and delivery that really stuck with me.
I have heard many great talks on the Sacrament of Confession, but I thought this one was unique and refreshing to me. Some other “Catholic veterans” may agree. 
I LOVED this post about a list of women to pray for. It really struck me.
I discovered that I love mini rubber spatulas. They are perfect for peanut butter jars, mayo jars, yogurt containers, and everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but they sure help you get the last bit of anything. I have one mini rubber spatula and I need at least 2 more.
Lately I’ve been reading the daily Mass readings on Blessed is She and I’m almost done with the Divine Mercy novena. I love the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It’s shorter than the Rosary, but you still feel like you did something. That’s totally pride thinking that I need to feel like I accomplished something, but hey we are human. I have the app on my phone simply called Chaplet if I don’t want to get out my beads. The people who own this app are also in charge of one of my other favorite app, Rosary.
This next week we are basically just playing the waiting game with baby, and trying not to throw up or faint. Until then, don’t be a stranger.
Ryian Louise Hilpisch
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5 thoughts on “Spring Break & the Triduum

  1. Ryian, I am sorry that you are still dealing with so much sickness/unwellness! But I am very excited for you that the end of pregnancy is very near 🙂
    Thanks for explaining the Ikea thing a bit! I know so many people who love Ikea, but I've never been there, so my response is usually, “Ummm, why is a furniture store such a great idea for an outing??” That does sound like a lot of fun, though! Especially since there are loads of places to sit 🙂 I'm excited that you got to attend the Holy Thursday liturgy! I love that Mass (I really love the whole Triduum), and I really love getting to pray at the Altar of Repose afterwards-it's all just really powerful.
    You are in my prayers as you adventure to the final days or weeks of pregnancy!


  2. Thank you! We are still hanging in there. 37 weeks tomorrow!
    Ikea is fantastic. It's full of adventures.
    I hope we can keep going to the Triduum. It's so beautiful.
    Thanks again!


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