Getting Back to “Goal”

I gained fifty pounds with my pregnancy. Thirty the old fashioned way – ice cream and whatever I happened to be craving that week. My midwives said this was good. The last twenty I gained in a little less than two weeks, and it’s those twenty pounds of swelling and water weight that caused my blood pressure to skyrocket to the 160/90 range at times. My midwives said this was not good. Those last twenty pounds also gave me new stretch marks and caused them to threaten induction if I didn’t go into labor “by tomorrow.” Tomorrow was the 12th of December, so I had the little man just in time to avoid a medicated labor and delivery.

I lost thirty pounds while in the hospital during my 36 hour stay. And then the weight loss stopped there. Two months out and I am finally starting to see the weight drop off again. A combination of breastfeeding, calorie tracking and not being able to eat dairy, tomato products or citrus products in any form (thanks to breastfeeding).

I looked in the mirror last night and saw a bigger version of me; a version I have not seen in years. The last time I was around this size I was graduating from high school, back in 2007. Seeing my belly grow through pregnancy, I saw the extra weight as a positive thing. It meant the baby was growing, and I was giving him the nutrition he needed. I think that positive association with the scale is a vital part of why I can look at myself now, a lot softer than I usually am, a lot more fluffy around the middle, and be kind to myself. I think it’s the mom in me that sees who I am now, and remembers who I was six years ago and is empathetic for her.

Because I remember how this extra weight felt then. It was crushing to my self esteem and made feeling normal impossible.

Pregnancy radically changed my internal voice. It went from always telling me I wasn’t good enough, to acknowledging that I am doing the best I can. This 200, some pounds looks a lot different now than it did when I was eighteen. And this time, while I’m on the way down back to my “skinny” jeans, I won’t be hating on myself and wishing I had never gotten fat. It is what it is, and I’ve got an adorable baby to show for it while I work on getting back to my goal size.

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It Comes with a Price

Nothing seems to be coming easy to me lately, and it’s all a frustrating and pointless struggle to stay emotionally afloat during this deployment. There’s this song that goes, “am I supposed to be happy, when all I ever wanted, it comes with a price?” May be a bit of an immature point to conclude, but it fits. I feel like every good thing in my life is shrouded under some little black cloud of darkness. It leads me to feeling blessed but very, very unlucky.

It’s been two months to the day that they left, almost nine calendar weeks. It feels like months longer than that. And it will be months longer until they get to come home again. I don’t know why this deployment feels so different than previous underways or separations that we’ve had, and we’ve had more than our fair share. Before we got engaged we spent eight months apart. After we got engaged, we spent the six months before our wedding apart. After we were married, we spent six weeks apart while I finished up my college degree. We were together roughly three months this year, of which only two were mostly consecutive in terms of weeks spent at home. And we fought all the time.

This year has been rough on our marriage, but it’s been worse on our friendship. And now that he’s gone and getting into the “swing” of life away, I just feel like *our life* has been put on pause from his end… but I’m still here living it alone. I’m still having our baby in a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with our house and our bills and pretending that the bed doesn’t feel so empty when I go to sleep at night.

It’s so hard having to remind myself that this isn’t a permanent situation, that I’m doing this alone but I am not exactly a single mother, that I do still have a husband, somewhere, on the other side of the world. When emails are few and far in between and even those that get through don’t say what I need to hear.. When my midwife rambles on about how new dads get involved at the hospital and I have to stop her because he won’t be there. When I have to wonder how old our son will be when he meets his daddy for the first time. When I let myself think how epically unfair this whole situation is, and how no one who hasn’t been exactly where I am right now could possibly know.

I don’t know how to find resolution. I’ve tried prayer. I’ve tried distracting myself with crafts, friends, plain ignorance but none of those things last very long.

Belly Rant

Stretch marks are the topic of the day on my mommy boards. Everyone is posting their “solution” to avoid stretch marks and it is truly amazing what some of these women literally buy into… creams, lotions, butters, oil, soaking in the tub with drops of lavender oil twice weekly, avoiding carbs, avoiding fatty foods, just about everything you could think of, and some things you might not have!

I do not buy into the hype. Stretch marks are more genetic than anything else. My mom has them, my grandmothers both have them… It is no surprise to me that I already have the faded silver lines on my hips and thighs from being significantly overweight as a teenager. It won’t surprise me one bit when I wake up one morning a few weeks from now with new, angry, red lines on my belly.

There is scientific evidence that shows creams cannot fix or replace or supplement your skins natural collagen and elastin make-up. My skin is prone to tearing when stretched, and that is that. These other mommies can believe what they will. If soaking their bellies in body butter or bio oil makes them feel like they are doing something good, then I say go for it.

What I’m not loving, is how only those with picture “perfect” bellies are daring to post pictures this late in the game. I’m talking, the petite women who already have stretched to the max basketball bellies, posting naked belly shots and making everyone else feel awful. In a group of 171 women, three have posted pictures, making dozens feel guilty and “less than” because their belly isn’t as round, or has hair on it, or *gasp* has stretch marks already.

It makes me angry!! I know the women with perfect bellies probably aren’t posting pictures to make other women jealous or feel bad about themselves, but that seems to be all they are accomplishing.  I really, really hate that women feel less of themselves for having stretch marks though, especially when they are due to pregnancy. It’s not our fault. We did and are doing everything right to grow a healthy baby.

I encourage every momma or momma-to-be to check out : http://theshapeofamother.com/ I’m not paid to say that, by the way. That site just has honest to God pictures of what real mothers look like, thin and fat, tiger stripes or not. Not just the magazine perfect pictures being posted on Facebook before those same mommas burst with stretch marks some time in the next three months. You can’t tell me with bellies so tight quarters bounce off them now, that with eleven plus weeks to go, they’ll all escape mark free. And I bet you so much that they won’t be posting naked belly pictures then.

Over Thought

I’m in a talking mood today, and unfortunately for you, I currently live alone and my baby boy is asleep, so I figure writing would be a fine substitution…. Some nights I don’t sleep well because there are too many thoughts swirling around in my mind. It’s almost as if the processing that’s supposed to be done by your subconscious when you sleep, begins too soon, and I am well aware of it’s work. Last night was one of those nights. I can’t remember exactly what my mind chatter was all about. It was too much like standing in one spot on the platform of a busy train station. Too  many thoughts coming and going; hitching rides together and disappearing before I had a chance to grasp what they were all about. I was just aware of the constant motion, the disorderly organization of it all.

I think I over think things. I have always been this way though, for as long as I can remember, and as far as I know, it’s not intentional. I wrote a post a while ago about being stuck in the past, or looking back too often… I believe that is because I spend too much time in my head. I’m not the cerebral type at all. Don’t confuse me with someone who doesn’t have or choose to respond to their feelings. I think this blog alone paints a pretty accurate picture of that.

I just like to mull things over. To take a thought or idea and write it down on binder paper, old school style. To tear it apart into it’s smallest components and wonder why it is the way it is. I wonder why people are the way they are – and it must be the things they think but don’t dare say, much of who I am is what is written on these pages… the thoughts I could never just say aloud. I could sit here and wonder how I got here for hours. Especially because this isn’t where I thought I would be a year ago.. no where near who I thought I would be at the beginning of college.

It makes me wonder how much God is involved on a daily basis. I was saved when I was thirteen, but spent much of my teen years off doing my own thing. Now that I am back to praying daily, what affect does He have exactly? What would my life be like if I couldn’t believe, if there weren’t that calling in my heart? Why did I need to believe when the rest of my family doesn’t?

Why me.. I spend my free time meditating and reflecting and I think it makes me a better person, but that’s not to say someone who never takes a second to analyze their life is wrong. I wonder what it would be like to live that way for a week. I wonder if I would be any different.

I have friends that think my life is over because I’m this old, married and with a baby on the way. What they don’t know, is that I want to tell them that they are too afraid to start living. The social, party scene was never my thing.  It’s like a rut I see them get caught in. Work or school all week, Friday hits (TGIF by the way) and it’s once again time to pre-game for a weekend spent drinking and hanging out with other people who are stuck in the same way you are. People who are on the same “train” as you.

I feel like in many ways the decision to get married wasn’t mine to make. It was the path I inherently knew was mine to take. And I do take ownership for standing there, repeating vows that I didn’t remember but a second later. I was in the moment but out of it. It was life changing. It was one of those decisions that forces you to move away from who you were. Having a baby will be the same. It’s no wonder my friends think I’ve reached the end of all the good times in my life.. they can’t see the grass is still green on the other side from where they are standing. They can’t possibly know.

And so there you have it. A peak into what my mind is like the morning after a night of little rest. Tonight I hope to fall asleep and just sleep, but with a baby boy bouncing around all night, it’s highly unlikely that will happen. I almost don’t want to post this publicly.. because who really wants to read this? But it is my blog for saying the things I can’t say out loud; for writing the things I don’t think anyone would care to read. Let’s be honest, most days my page gets two hits, and one is probably me, signing in. I’m ok with that.

Before.

I have a lot of baby things on my mind.. shouldn’t come as a big shock to anyone considering that I’m 27.5 weeks pregnant.. This may be a very random post. I’m sure I could make everything flow coherently, but that would be a very, very long post.

First and foremost, I passed my gestational diabetes test with a 109! Anything lower than 135 is passing, so I was quite pleased to hear my score! When the nurse called me, she definitely sounded as if the results were going to go the other way.. I do have to say, the drink itself was not awful. I had the orange flavor. However, the nausea, racing heart and faintness I felt for almost an hour and half after drinking the “glucola” was awful. I still don’t understand why we can’t eat a big piece of chocolate cake. Now that’s something worth 300 calories of sugar! Baby boy didn’t care for the drink at all though. Slept through the entire appointment except when the doppler probe poked him and he punched or kicked back.

He actually seems to be a fairly calm baby.. at least for now. I first felt him move at sixteen weeks, on the dot. It’s hard to believe that was before I knew that he was a he.. (and was fairly sure he was a she) Was barely a flicker of motion after eating some chocolate, but he was there! Most days now, he moves around just enough for me not to worry. I usually just feel that he’s moved into a new sleeping position because the pressure points change – his favorite of which involves him laying sideways, usually with his head on the left.  He’s too stubborn to be head down.. just chilling out on his back most days or curled up into a ball in a diagonal position, butt down..

He’s had a pretty busy day today. There have been about three times when I’ve had to stop knitting or typing or washing dishes and look down because he’s just going crazy. Some women say it’s always like that for them; that they have very active babies already.. I don’t know how they get anything done! It amazes me how someone so small can literally bounce my whole torso around! I just sit or stand there and wonder what he’s doing, which way he’s sitting and where he’s trying to go. It makes me smile when I think about what it’s like for him to just be stuck with me all day. It’s all just so amazing, so awe-inspiring.

In other baby news, the glider for the nursery came in today!! I’m still deciding how I feel about it though, because the fabric is much more cream based than white.. and in a white, grey and yellow nursery I need to do some work to make it fit. Pictures will be up soon! I just need to finish the crib skirt.. (still..haha)

I guess this post is more for me. Because some day I won’t be pregnant anymore, and I know I’ll wonder what was going through my mind Before I was someone’s mommy.

Yarn Fail

It turns out the pattern I found for the diagonal pom pom blanket was written for circular knitting needles. I really should have paid more attention to that.

Try as I did, for almost two hours last night, I could not make it work using a crochet hook. I first went wrong trying to work at night, with just the solitary lamp in the corner lighting the room. Then there was the problem of having the entirely wrong kind of needle and pattern. I’m not giving up though! Just have to go out and buy a pair of knitting needles and figure it out. I am determined to make it work! At least I have a 50% off one item coupon to use at Joanns.

And that’s basically what my day will consist of today. That and some house work. Sounds exciting, huh? haha… If my sciatic nerve wasn’t making it difficult to walk I would go to the gym but have been advised to avoid exercise until it is no longer inflammed. Another random “joy” of pregnancy! It was fine one day, and then the next felt like I was being stabbed in the lower back with an ice pick. There are worse things though.

The glider for the nursery should (FINALLY) be delivered between one and five tomorrow afternoon. Can’t wait to post pictures! It better be as comfy as it looks.

Thirteen Weeks!!!

Three days and then I am “officially” in second trimester! Woo!!! Still sick, day eight. Hoping to feel better by the weekend so I can get some yard work done with the hubby!!
How far along? 13 Weeks!
Total weight gain: Haven’t checked since before vacation.. haha.
Maternity clothes? Same as week 12.
Stretch marks? Still no new ones, thankfully.
Sleep: Cannot sleep at all!! Coughing fits keep me up ALL night. It’s awful. I’m so tired of being sick!
Best moment this week: DH brought me flowers and card after running errands for me. :)
Miss Anything? Real cold medicine. Mt. Dew..
Movement: I can hear it on doppler! But can’t feel it yet.
Food cravings: French fries! But no more fast food for me.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Coughing so hard I feel like I might throw up.. yeah..
Gender: I still think it’s a girl.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Symptoms: Bloated. Breakouts. Headaches randomly w/no cure but time.
Belly Button in or out? Definitely in.
Wedding rings on or off? Both on.
Happy or Moody most of the time: So dang tired!!!!!!!