Dear Abby… er, Abbie.

Everyone’s heard of the Dear Abby column, right?

Some soul feels like s/he is experiencing a conundrum and sends the dilemma to Abby.  Abby replies back with a solution wrapped in kindness and common sense.

Well, I’ve got my own Abbie.

Abbie and I were fortunate enough to wind up on a mission trip together in 2003.  She and I (and a handful of other adults) were responsible for 27 teenagers as we traveled all over the east coast, volunteering at various music festivals and participating in a variety of ministries.

Square Piece friends, here are a few things we love about Abbie:

  • She’s humble to a fault.  It’s the kind of humble that you can’t help but love, the kind where a stunning woman doesn’t realize that she’s beautiful.
  • She’s caring and sensitive towards others.
  • She’s a rockin’ musician.  If I recall correctly, during that summer trip, Abbie would pick up her guitar and could play any random song we requested off the top of our heads.
  • She loves the Lord.

Do you know what her comment to me was when I announced my pregnancy in “Trust Your Gut!  Vote For Suzy.” ?

She replied: Welcome to the club, Suzy! I’m so glad you made me subscribe to your blog while I’m off facebook. I would be livid about missing this. I’m sooooo excited you’ll be sharing this experience with me, I’ve been waiting for this day and when I got pregnant I was hoping even more it would come soon. Do me a favor and think of at least one question to ask me about being pregnant so I can help you out with something for once.

See?  And that’s just like her, to think she’s never been of any help to me.  Not so, but regardless, that comment sparked something in me.  It wasn’t long before I was mulling over the possibility of having my own “Dear Abbie” posts.

I hope you’re paying attention, Abbie, ’cause I’m taking you up on your offer!  (This should not, however, discourage any Square Piece readers to chime in!)

Dear Abbie,

Never am I in a more comfortable sleeping position than when I’m on my belly.  It worries me to think that I’m going to have to try sleeping on any other side in the near future.  You know how massage therapists have tables with a hole for your face?  Does anyone make a bed with a  hole for your belly?  Or would that still be bad for the baby?  What am I going to do?!

Secondly, and probably more importantly, I’m concerned about my identity.  What’s most important to me is that I live a life in which I am dead to myself and alive in Christ, to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel, to bear His good news in my daily witness.  It’s less important that people know me, especially if they don’t know Him.  I want to decrease that He may increase.  

The thing is, being pregnant makes me think, “Me, me, me…” all the time.  It’s difficult to think less of myself when hunger turns to despair in 2.5 seconds, when I have a bad taste in my mouth and when I have to pee all the time as a result of being thirsty all the time.  I guess I used to know myself well enough that it was easy not to think of myself because nothing about myself really grabbed my attention.  But with all this new stuff going on, I find myself thinking about myself a lot.  And I hate that.

I know that beginning around October 30th, it’s going to be easier to not think of myself as – Lord willing – there will be a new little one to think about.  In the meantime, I don’t want my identity to be in my pregnancy; I want my identity to continue to be in Christ, or even more abundantly so.

This isn’t to say that I want to take my pregnancy lightly or to neglect myself, but there has to be a balance, right?

I’m struggling to find that balance, Abbie, and would love any advice you have on the matter, be it from personal experience or otherwise.

Holy XOXO’s,


PS – Can I steal that picture of you off Facebook – the one where your hair is down and wavy and you’re looking straight into the camera, wearing a white T-shirt with a pretty, grassy background – and put it on here?


  1. April 4, 2012
    Skyla Pearson

    I never can get comfortable when I sleep except for on my side with a long pillow between my legs. 🙂 I also am a belly sleeper.

  2. I’m not your Dear Abby, but I’d say it’s not really “Me, Me, Me” at all but it’s actually “Baby, Baby, Baby.” You take care of yourself during your pregnancy because you must care for the Baby within you.

    And don’t worry about “Me.” Enjoy this Me time! I never knew what sacrifice and self-denial really was until after the Baby was born, and I was getting up at all hours of the night, changing diapers, and never able to go to the bathroom alone….It’s all worth it, though, when Baby looks at you and says, “I wuv you, Mommy!”

  3. April 4, 2012

    love your transparency

    looking forward to hearing what Miss Abbie has to say


  4. For the sleeping, I have 2 extra pillows that I put on the side of me (like a body pilow, but easier to move since they are separate). Then I sleep with one leg and my belly on them–sort of on my side, but my hips are a little more straight down . You may think you can only be comfortable on your belly, but believe me, eventually your belly will get hard and it will NOT be comfortable whatsoever, and you’ll figure something else out! (And then eventually you won’t really be comfortable no matter what position you’re in–sorry!)

    As far as your identity goes, one way to think is that this is really your only opportunity to just revel in the gift of pregnancy and new life that the Lord has given you. It’s a time of discovery. If you ever get pregnant again, you will not be focused on your pregnancy because you’ll be already taking care of a little one (and my experience is the more times you are pregnant, the less anyone else treats it and you as special too, LOL). So enjoy it now. Be thankful–work on not complaining (always my challenge, LOL). That gets really difficult at the end, giving that “sacrifice of praise” when you are feeling so uncomfortable. As someone else commented, you wil learn so much about sacrifice and unconditional love through pregnancy and parenting. The Lord’s unconditional love will become so much more real–
    I look forward to reading your insights! Parenting is truly a refining process!

  5. April 4, 2012

    Ditto to what Claire said…
    (love you, sister!)

  6. April 4, 2012
    Abbie Lycans

    Dear Suzy,
    First of all, an official letter to Dear Abbie needs an anonymous name that uses alliteration (ie Sleepless in Seattle, or something like that—I can’t remember the name of your town otherwise I would try to help.)
    Now down to business:

    Skyla and Claire are right about use of a pillow between the legs. I’ve heard from other pregnant tummy sleepers this is the next best thing. Use a pregnancy body pillow, but be prepared for some complaints from your spouse. My husband has not only told me how much he hates it in between us, but has thrown it across the room, tried to beat it up and attempted to stand in himself as the pregnancy pillow. Also, sleeping on your left side is preferable (though not essential) because the baby somehow gets more nutrients than sleeping on your right side.

    It’s not possible to take your pregnancy lightly; you won’t veer too much on that extreme. And it’s impossible to not take care of your body’s new needs for itself and your little baby—the symptoms are just too demanding. I am 27 weeks pregnant now and I’m not exaggerating when I say that every week, I discover a NEW symptom that requires some type of care for myself. There are too many to list here, most I had never heard of. This week’s symptom was unusually frizzy hair, last week’s symptom would not be appropriate to describe on a public blog, but it was equally inconvenient. Some symptoms drop off along the way, but hunger and peeing a lot have been faithful, loyal symptoms for me. I think you should hate a little bit less this sort of thinking about yourself. For example, to ignore your need for food and urination would not just hurt yourself now, it will hurt your little one too (echoing what TJ said). So, while it may feel selfish now, I think it’s God’s way of making sure babies get extra care in the womb—He knew we’d be selfish and fulfill our needs to sleep and eat a lot which is good for baby so He made us really hungry and tired during pregnancy. So, to sum up, try to be a little more self-centered these days for your baby, he or she will like it.

    On the other hand, you stated, you still want to decrease so He increases. How would someone impregnated do something like that with all the physical and emotional side effects of pregnancy (By the way, I have increased 25 pounds and counting so far…so while I give you permission to post that picture, your readers may not recognize me if they saw me today, I am no longer skinny with wavy hair…)? First, continue to let it sink in, your entire world is changing and the way your decreasing/Christ increasing will often be manifested differently. It will be difficult…those surrounding you will start thinking about you as pregnant, and pregnant might come to their mind first, before things like: pretty, Christian, hair-cutter, Brian’s wife, hard-working, quirky or other words someone might think of when someone says Suzy Spears. And you won’t be able to control that. But Jesus can still be seen through you and your cute little baby bump, when that starts to make its appearance. I don’t know what ways that will happen for you. First, ask Jesus, He’d probably know the best anyway. He might have some really amazing ideas that neither of us can think about. For me, being a new mother really doesn’t fit well into my preferred way of showing Jesus to people. Pregnancy is often unattractive; non-parents don’t always “get it” and feel like you’re on a different planet, you’re not as spontaneous anymore because you’re tired, you’re physically just incapable of doing a lot of things, even things for God. I suspect it gets worse when the baby actually arrives…That’s just part of the re-adjustment in your thinking about everything, but especially about your ID in Christ and making Him known over your pregnant self. But it can be done. For example, now that you’re knocked up, other moms look at you differently and listen a bit more closely to anything you have to say. You will have a visible connection with strangers who will want to touch you and ask you how far along you are and what gender your baby is. Someone selfless enough to have a baby, is someone that is often more approachable and trustworthy. I think pregnancy and motherhood is the most humbling thing that can happen to us, it makes us trust God with how He wants us to glorify Him in less glorious ways, whether or not anyone sees it. Acts of service are harder because while you’re serving, you realize you have to PEE AGAIN! And you have heartburn because of the spaghetti sauce you ate, and you’re cranky because you forget everything now: your car keys to your clients names, and you’re really tired even though you already took a nap. And you’re still asked to serve. And really, most people around you will not want to hear about everything you’re feeling all the time: they will care, but maybe not as much as we’d like, and they certainly won’t want to be updated every single time you’re dealing with a pregnancy symptom. So, mostly, it’ll just be you and God who will know how much it costs you to make dinner for your husband or stay late at work to help a co-worker. But that is still a way He increases, right? Maybe not the way we prefer it, because it is so humbling…but it’s all whatever He wants to do anyway, right?

    If there’s ever one second I’m not experiencing the effects of pregnancy, I actually remind myself I am pregnant. And I am still shocked and trying to take it in and trying to let the paradigm shift again, and look at the world through pregnant eyes and get used to what will soon change my life forever. I am getting scared and chills and amazed and teary and irritable and excited all at once right now just thinking about it. The thing is, I still want to gloriously save the world and do great things and am scared God will ask me to spend more time changing the world by way of changing my little boy’s poopy diaper. It’s just not going to be easy… But yes, Suzy, God can and will use your pregnancy and mine to allow your identity to continue to be in Christ and even more so than the size 2 Suzy and Abbie. (By the way, I had JUST fit into my first size 2 pants a mere few days after my baby was conceived (unbeknownst to me). I packed them away a month later…) There are some prayers requests God always says yes to and “Lord, grant me the wisdom to use my pregnancy to increase You all the more in my life” is one of them. So, if you’re praying that, you need not worry about whether or not it will happen– your concern might more appropriately be about HOW God will make it happen. 🙂 Because He will, get ready.

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Dear Abbie

  7. April 4, 2012
    Nicole K.

    Perhaps you were given the chance to raise this little one so that he/she can help to change the world. While being pregnant is a wonderful and humbling experience; acutally giving birth, gazing into your baby’s eyes and raising him/her to be a good person will truly be the greatest experience. Each day is new; each day brings a new and wonderful gift. I have become less selfish, more patient, and my faith has only increased since having my son. I see the world through different eyes, and have experienced a love like no other (perhaps like the love He has for us). This time should be all about you, because you have been given the most important job! You are creating and nurturing life. You have been blessed with this child because He trusts that there is something wonderful that you can offer this child. YOU will have the greatest influence on this little person; that little person will go on to influence others. If that isn’t doing His work, I am not sure what is!! 🙂

  8. April 4, 2012
    adele bernard

    I love your honesty!

  9. April 4, 2012

    I am so thankful for all of your posts, Suzy. But most definitely your recent posts on your pregnancy. I can’t even tell how many times I’ve been encouraged that I am not the “only one.” Also, to echo the above, just being pregnant will teach you to be selfless in ways you have not had to learn before…..

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