What does thin feel like?

Lately, I have been feeling very bad about myself. Bad enough to cry about it. Bad enough to cycle into the never ending catch-22 of being depressed and eating to feel better, and then getting depressed about eating, then eating to feel better, then getting depressed about eating, then eating to feel better, then getting depressed about eating… You get the idea. My entire adult life I have been overweight except for one two year long period where I was abusing my body with drugs, and even though I was thin then, I wasn’t healthy and I certainly wasn’t sober enough to pay any attention to my body at all.

You know that saying “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”? I recently heard that phrase again, for the first time in a long time, in fact. I don’t remember where, or why, but for some reason reason it banged around in my noggin for a while and got the brain hamster running at warp speed. Now this may seem like an obvious point to some people, and of course saying it out loud now is a “duh” moment, but… I have no idea what “thin” feels like. By thin, I don’t mean skinny at the expense of all else. I am not talking about dress size and number on the scale above all else. What I am specifically thinking of is being fit, healthy, and just generally feeling good about myself. So, for the sake of this blog post, to illustrate my personal train of thought when repeating “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels” over and over again in my head, thin means healthy. Thin means self confident. Thin means everything that I do not feel about myself right now.

Phrases like that are meant to be motivational to someone when they are having cravings for food that is unhealthy and they need a reason to fight the urge and walk away. The problem with phrases like that (besides the obvious problem of defining thin to mean skinny rather than healthy) is that if you don’t know what thin feels like, they tend to lose power. If I had some frame of reference for thin, some time in my life where I felt powerful, beautiful, desirable, or self confident then I could draw from that memory and use it to gather up my willpower. I can honestly say I have never felt any of those things, at least not when it comes to my body or my vitality. The more I think about it, the more I want so badly to have that experience, to know what it feels like.

So, since I can’t draw from past experience, I will create an image of what I think it feels like by describing what being overweight, sluggish, unhealthy, and depressed feels like for me now. I will list what I want to change, and what I want to change it to. I am a classic avoider. I know when something is wrong, and in an attempt to prevent myself from focusing on all of the bad so that I don’t forget all of the good in my life (and I really do have SO much good) I avoid it. Unless I am, at that moment, dealing with whatever feeling a particular action brings up, I refuse to acknowledge that it exists. I don’t ever think about how I get out of breath going up stairs, unless I am climbing a flight of stairs… and I avoid stairs as much as possible so that I don’t have to face the fact that I get winded going up them which makes me feel like crap. See, there is that nasty catch-22 again. Time to catch that catch-22 and beat it until it runs away screaming, preferably up a flight of stairs.

So here it goes… My list of what thin feels like, or maybe more accurately, what I imagine thin feels like based on how much fat sucks. (Big thank you to the girls of MSOS and Chas for helping me to compile this list, and for talking to me about this topic to get my motivation started.) Some of these may be harsh, but they are all true.

  • Getting into the bathtub with my babies for bath time without my legs falling asleep almost instantly because of the weight of my belly cutting off circulation in my legs.
  • Going into my closet and grabbing a shirt to wear without having to cycle through half of my closet before I find a shirt that doesn’t feel like it is suffocating me or showing the world my belly bulge, and feeling worse and worse about myself with each one I try on.
  • Being able to get comfortable in bed without tossing and turning because I am cutting off circulation in one extremity or another.
  • Being able to fit on the kiddie rides at amusement parks with my girls once they are old enough to go on them.
  • Being able to go into a store and actually buy off the rack.
  • Being able to fit into my oversized bathtub with my husband, at the same time, and have some relaxing time together.
  • Being able to touch my toes.
  • My husband’s clothes being big on me, not the other way around.
  • Being able to go in public without constantly wondering if someone is looking at me with disgust because of my size.
  • Running with my girls.
  • Fitting down the slide at the park.
  • Being able to get in and out of the back seat of my car without having to plan how I am going to twist to get out without embarrassing myself.
  • Being able to enjoy marital happy fun time with my husband without limiting it to a very small selection of positions and places because of my physical comfort level and ability.
  • Having some slack when I put on a seat belt on an airplane, and being able to sit in the seat without having to force the arm rest down with my elbow so that no one can see that my belly fat is pushing it up.
  • Being able to cross my legs above the knee without pushing my stomach so far up into my diaphragm that I can’t breathe.
  • Getting to have a cute, obvious pregnant belly instead of being forced to wear a shirt announcing that I am in fact pregnant in public to avoid people staring at me wondering if I am pregnant or just have a lot of belly fat in front.
  • Being able to scoot past people in the movie theater without bumping them.
  • Going in for my next c-section without there needing to be extra people to move me from the operating table to the bed after the surgery, and without the fear that they will drop me because I am too big.
  • Having my babies cut out of me without the aid of a ton of adhesive tape attached my my belly to lift up my fat so that my doctor can cut underneath it to make the incision in the proper place.
  • Being able to recover from surgery without needing to stuff a wash cloth under my belly to prevent my extra fat from rubbing my incision site and opening it back up again.
  • Having thighs that are the same color as the rest of my legs instead of a few shades darker because of them rubbing together causing skin issues.
  • Being able to wear a dress without bike shorts or legging underneath to prevent excess sweating and chafing.
  • Bracelets and rings that fit.
  • Eating what everyone else is eating at a restaurant without feeling like you are the one being stared at with looks of “that explains why she is so big” on their faces.
  • Having a healthy, natural glow instead of a ruddy, splotchy complexion.
  • Loving to shop instead of dreading the mere thought of stepping foot into a clothing store, grocery store, or restaurant.
  • Looking forward to doing active outdoorsy activities instead of worrying if you will be able to keep up or if people will be staring at you the whole time you do them.
  • Being able to pick out a cute bra from Victoria’s Secret.
  • Having energy without shoveling caffeine down my gullet to get it.
  • Feeling light on my feet.
  • Having an actual waist line, not just two fat rolls meeting in the middle of my abdomen.
  • Planning a tattoo without thinking about which body part to put it on that won’t expose a fat roll to the tattoo artist.
  • Feeling in control instead of spiraling out of it.
  • Walking, running, even sitting without feeling my stomach touching the top of my legs.
  • Laying down on my back on a flat (not inclined) surface without my boobs touching my neck.
  • Never having to hear my daughters describe me as fat.
  • Being the funny sister, or the smart sister, or the pretty sister, or the older sister instead of the fat sister.
  • Wearing the brands I love instead of admiring it on other people because they don’t carry my size.
  • Dressing up for Halloween for the first time in over a decade because I can find a costume that both fits me and doesn’t make me feel exposed and embarrassed.
  • Feeling good about myself without the exorbitant amount of effort it take to merely TRY To feel good about myself now, and sustaining that feeling without it crashing down because of the simple glance of a stranger.
  • Knowing that people are looking at me because I look good instead of because I look bad.
  • My outsides matching my insides.
  • Going through life without the thought of dying early from a preventable obesity related disease and missing out on watching my amazing girls, who deserve their mother to be around for all of their big life achievements, grow up.
  • Looking at myself in the mirror. I can’t tell you the last time I actually stopped and looked at myself.
  • Seeing more than just a double chin in every picture of myself.
  • Sitting in folding and plastic chairs without wondering if I exceed the weight limit or if the chair legs will buckle under me and send me crashing to the floor in front of everyone.
  • Wearing a pair of jeans all day without getting a raw red line around my belly from them rubbing every time I move.
  • Dressing without contraptions under my clothes to avoid mushroom top or back fat exposure.
  • Going an entire day without my knees, hips, ankles, or back hurting.
  • Going an entire day without feeling like I am being controlled by food.
  • Getting up from the couch without groaning like an 80 year old.
  • Being able to have a photo take of me with my girls. I have a small handful of photos of me with them, and those all make me cringe. The way things are going, they will have no photos of themselves with their own mom to look at when they are older, and I won’t have any to look back on of me with them when they were babies. This, especially, makes me so sad.

The more that I add to this list, the more that I think of. I have always executed all of my lofty life changing goals in secret because I was too ashamed to admit that I felt like all of that ^. Obviously, that hasn’t worked for me, and my family deserves more out of my life than for me to shame spiral in secret any longer. So, I am putting this all out there. I am tired of feeling like this. I am tired of living in this skin that I have treated so carelessly, and under the shadow of the hole I have dug for myself. My hope is that if I put it all out there, I will not only be forced to face it with nowhere to hide, but that maybe someone somewhere will be able to relate and we can lift each other up and help each other through.

So, here it is. I want to see what “thin” feels like.

My, how things change.

It’s amazing how much things can change in such a short period of time.

In the last few months…

Adam has started a new job. He is now working for a marketing agency that works with digital media. He is a PHP developer and I have never seen him love a job as much as he loves this one. The company is fantastic, the people he works for are just as nerdy as he is, and they tell him how much they appreciate him which is something he has never really gotten in the past. He finally sees his job as a career and not just a paycheck, and the change in him is incredible. I am so proud of him, and things couldn’t be going better for him work wise.

I have taken a demotion at work which has enabled me to spend a lot less time working and more time with my girls. You don’t realize how much you work sometimes until all of a sudden you aren’t working as much anymore. There were days at first that I didn’t know what to do with myself when my time wasn’t filled with answering constant IMs and 12 hour work days chained to the computer. I have still been really busy at work, but the ability to turn it off for a few hours in the evenings and just focus on my family has been amazing.

Kalista is growing like a weed, and is such a different baby than when she was born! At 14 weeks she learned to sit up on her own, which is very early. At 6 months she still refuses to roll over, which is teetering on the edge of  late. It’s so funny how babies will decide, no matter what anyone else thinks, that they are going to do what THEY want to do. Damn the guidelines, forget the expectations, they will only do what they are good and interested in doing. I thought I was immune to the whole worrying about her not doing what other babies are doing thing since I am an experienced second time mom now, but apparently that doesn’t magically go away just because you get pregnant again. Whoda thunk it? Mompetitions with competimoms don’t interest me so I am choosing to focus on what is important to me. My amazing, chubby, animated, gorgeous little baby girl and all of the hilarious and entertaining things she does.

Nikaia has turned from my careful, cautious, contemplative toddler n00b into a daring, adventurous, bold toddler pro. She climbs EVERYTHING EVER. If she can get a leg, knee, or foot on it, she is on top of it before I can say no. We are working on learning new words with her (the newest being cookie) and focusing on letters and numbers. She won’t say any numbers yet, but when I say one she will put out one finger, two she will put out two fingers, etc. I am constantly amazed at the things that she picks up on, and what influences her. Her newest trick is to rub her head on people. After watching her do it a few times, we realized she learned it from the cats! It has got to be one of the cutest things I have ever seen. She is so sweet when she does it, turning her head to look at you and cooing the whole time. ❤

Once I get some pictures of the new house taken I will be sure to upload them to the blog. In the meantime here are the most recent pictures of the girls. =D

Kalista’s Birth Story! <3

On the morning of January 19, 2012, we got up nice and early to get ready to head to the hospital for my 7:30am c-section (we had to check in at 5:30am). After kissing Nikaia goodbye and handing her off to my sister, we left the house at 4:30am to head to the hospital which is about 40 minutes away.

Once we got there I got stripped down to nothing and put on the most ridiculous hospital gown I have ever seen, much different from the one I had just a year before, and plopped my pregnant butt into bed. After getting hooked up to the monitor, which Kalista HATED, and answering eleventy billion questions, they finally tried to get my IV in. First attempt was a huge fail, and hurt really bad, which is saying a lot because usually I am not bothered by IVs at all. Second attempt wasn’t much better, but at least it didn’t make me feel like I was being stabbed in the hand with a steak knife. After another failed attempt they brought their super poker in and after a thorough inspection with some weird Star Trek-esque device that I can only assume sees through skin and locates veins, she decided the best place for the IV was my left hand. Another poke and some digging around later and I was finally properly hooked up and we were almost ready to go.

At about 7:15am they took me and Adam down the hall towards the operation theater, left him outside the doors to dress up in a giant blue clown suit, and wheeled me into the hallway right in front of my own operating room. I got up, walked in and sat down on the operating table while nurses untied my gown, put socks on my feet, and handed me a pillow to lean over so they could put in my spinal. I was calm at this point, having just done it a year before, but still very anxious to get this part of the experience over with so I could lay down and enjoy the feeling of not having a needle in my back. The anesthesiologist for my first c-section was a pro and got it right the very first time, despite my scoliosis. This time I was not so lucky. I should have seen the hunt for a good vein during my IV stick as a sign of things to come.

First time she stuck the needle in I felt it pretty strongly. Very uncomfortable and it took my breath away. She moved it around trying to find the right spot to inject the spinal, and couldn’t quite get it right. So, she took it out and tried again, this time hitting a nerve and causing a sharp pain to travel all the way from my lower back down to my right toes. My leg jumped all by itself when she hit it. I felt her move it around some more, and then finally give up. The third attempt produced the same reaction as the second one… sharp pain down my right leg, leg jumping on it’s own, this time more than once. At that point I was ready to cry from the pain, which is something that I just don’t do. I am too tough for tears!

I found my inner peace, breathed through it, and tried to calm myself. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, so I just tried to tell myself “not much longer, not much longer”. At that point the big anesthesiologist god came in and told the woman wielding the needle to vacate my lower lumbar region, then he took his turn at torturing me from behind. He was kind enough to inject some more numbing agent before he tried again, which was much appreciated, and then he inserted that needle back there again. I could feel the blood dripping down my lower back, and my OB and two nurses were standing over me trying to talk me through it, but at that point I had my breathing down and was in a state of calm denial. When he was finally finished I was so deep in my self induced trance of ignorance that they had to ask me if I was conscious. They laid me back on the table and I felt the spinal beginning to kick in. After all that work, I was terrified that it wouldn’t make everything numb so I kept wiggling my toes non-stop to try and determine if was working properly or if I was going to be one of those women who only feels it on one side and has to go through even more poking and prodding than I already had.

Adam was finally allowed in the OR with me, and came to sit down next to me. I was still intently focusing on my toe wiggling when I noticed him sitting there and I gave him a big half spinal drunk smile, glad to see him. My doctor asked me to try and wiggle my toes, so I told him I was and he said “She is numb, let’s test it out”. I could feel my toes wiggling so I was a little confused at first, and then I realized that it was all in my imagination. I immediately felt calmer and turned my focus to watching what was happening in the reflection on the lights above me and the mirror on the ceiling behind me. I watched them use clamps to pinch and twist my skin all along my lower abdomen, and then after they were satisfied that I was completely numb, the surgery began.

I won’t go into too many gorey details about the actual surgery. I will say that watching someone cut into your body, watching then break your water, and watching them pull a baby out of your body is surreal and incredible. The amount of blood is baffling, the amount of pulling is disconcerting, and how quickly they can get from the first incision to pulling another human out of your body is absolutely incredible. After my spinal experience, and the fact that I had a sum total of 2 hours of sleep over the previous 48 hours, I found it hard to keep my eyes open during parts of the procedure. I did, however, pay very close attention to everything they were saying and was able to at least stay awake enough to open my eyes when I heard them get to the pivotal points of the surgery… When they first cut into me, when they broke my water, when they got through my uterus and first saw baby…

There was a point when they started pulling her out that I had a good scare, and that woke me right up. When they reached in to actually pull her out of my uterus, I heard my doctor say, “we may have to get the vacuum to get this baby out”. My heart dropped. They would have to vacuum out my baby during a C-SECTION? Does that even happen? WHY is that necessary? My heart started to beat faster, I could hear the beeps on the monitor speed up as well as feeling it trying to pound out of my chest, and I felt an instant rush of adrenaline. After what felt like 5 minutes, but was probably closer to 30 seconds, I heard him say, “Oh look at that, another breech baby! We need to increase the incision because this baby is coming out butt first!” A little more cutting, a little more pulling, and my beautiful baby was born, butt first, after being breech just like Nikaia!

As you know, Adam and I decided not to find out the sex before the birth. After Nikaia, I knew what to expect with a c-section. I knew that we would know exactly what day we would be having a baby, I knew what to expect as far as the operation itself, I knew what to expect with the recovery… As grateful as I am for c-sections after Nikaia decided to get herself stuck in a ballerina position in my belly, it’s not the most exciting experience once you have been through it before. It’s very planned, sterile, and quiet. I wanted some excitement since I wasn’t going to get to experience going into labor, or my water breaking, or pushing… What better way to make your completely planned c-section exciting than adding a gender reveal?! All of the nurses were so excited to find out the sex of our baby. It was pretty obvious that most people don’t wait anymore to find out, so they took our team green status and let it get them all hyped up for the big reveal right along with us. When my doctor pulled my amazing daughter out and announced “It’s a girl!” I could hear everyone in the operating room laugh and cheer. It was amazing!

As for my reaction… The only way I can describe it is that it was so much more incredible than I ever thought it would be. I laughed and cried at the same time. It felt like I knew all along, I just didn’t KNOW that I knew. It felt so right, and so amazing, and I will never find out the sex of any future babies I have after my experience with Kalista’s birth. I don’t regret finding out with Nikaia. I did get to bond with her in a way I didn’t with Kalista because I could imagine her as a she, I called her by name, and I got to shop for tons of adorable girl things before she got here. The experience with Kalista was amazing in it’s own way, though. I bonded with Nikaia as my daughter before she got here, but I looked at Kalista with this profound sense of wonder and amazement when she was put into my arms and I was seeing her for the first time not just as Kalista, but as my baby GIRL. I can’t rave enough about how amazing the experience was for me.

After I was all stitched up, I was taken to recovery and Kalista was brought right to me. We started breast feeding right away, she was nice and alert after her eventful birth, and Adam and I were on cloud nine. It only took about 45 minutes after delivery to get me and Kalista into our own room. All of Kalista’s grandparents along her great uncle and great grandma Alice all came in to meet her. My cousin brought Nikaia down later that afternoon and she got to meet her new little sister. She was enthralled with her new little sister then, and she is still enthralled with her now, over three weeks later.

My recovery was harder than my first c-section at first, but I also felt better a lot quicker than I did the first time. By the time the end of day 2 rolled around the most annoying thing was that stupid IV in my left hand. It was constantly being kinked up and making alarms go off. Mentally, the biggest difference was that after I had Nikaia, even while I was hunched over walking down the hall for the first time after surgery, I KNEW I wanted another baby. This time, I felt like I could wait for a while before I did this again… if I ever decided to do it again. Maybe this time I will wait a little longer to get pregnant again. 😛

2 years, 2 pregnancies, 2 kids, 2 weeks

You know those moms who go on and on about how amazing their kids are…  how much they love being a parent…  how becoming a mom changed their lives…  describing all of the normal things their kids do like they are somehow new or unbelievable?  Those moms always drove me crazy.  I would find myself thinking, ‘No one cares that your son blew raspberries and spit all over himself, lady.‘ or ‘Kids are supposed to laugh, what makes your kids giggling fit so noteworthy?’  I wondered why they found these seemingly simple, mundane, completely expected things so earth shattering-ly awesome.

Today, I caught myself thinking the same thoughts I have been inwardly mocking them for saying out loud for years.  Sitting on the bed with my daughter, watching her rock back and forth making excited toddler noises, seeing her flash me a huge smile and say “hi” while she tried to wave at me but had her hand turned so she was really waving at herself…  I thought she was just the cutest, most fascinating, most unbelievable little being on the planet.  I was even crafting clever status updates in my head to post on FB describing her adorable acts of toddlerdom.  I looked at her and actually caught myself thinking, ‘She is the most beautiful thing on the planet. I can’t imagine a more gorgeous face.’   I actually thought those words!  Just typing that out is making me feel like the worst of the sappy moms to ever inhabit the planet, and the worst part…  I am PROUD of it.  Even as I sit here typing this right now I am realizing that I talk about how I have turned into one of these moms, a LOT, because I am so excited to be feeling what the sappy moms of the past feel instead of wondering what it feels like.  Parenting turns you into the mushiest love sick ball of goo, and apparently, into a hypocrite, too.  In this case, being a hypocrite is basically bad ass because in order to become one you get to experience having this little creature invade your life and take over, filling it with all of those sappy things that makes you cry from being so happy and junk.  Not a bad trade off.

That’s not all that  hit me, though…  In exactly two weeks from today (or less, depending on if Skeletor has the courage to attempt a jail break) I will have another child.  ANOTHER one.  I think back two years to when I never thought I would have ANY child and I mocked these proud parents who were just reveling in the day-to-day ooey gooey cuteness of their own kids and I am still in complete shock that two years later I have been through two pregnancies, and I am about to give birth to my second child only two weeks from today.

Today, two is my lucky number.

Having a Baby is a Competitive Sport

After I had Nikaia I let myself get sucked into that mom competition that goes on sometimes between mothers who have babies within a short period of time of each other. I would compare her to other babies around the same age, which is not only unhealthy, but completely unnecessary. I admit it though, I let myself get sucked in to the wanting my baby to do something first. I am convinced every mother does this at some point, if you say you never once thought that even for a second in your head, then I don’t believe you.

Now that Nikaia is getting older, and I am about to have baby #2, it is dawning on me the degree of stupidity that it takes to really go full on baby olympics with it. There are the moms who compare because they want to make sure there is nothing wrong with their baby. That is the category I fell into. I worried when Nikaia started crawling after kids who were younger than her, which I think is a natural thing to do. Of course, every mom wants their baby to be special so they look for something amazing and entertaining and just plain adorable that they can do (maybe even before another baby can do it, too), and while that feeling is normal, obsessing over it and constantly talking about it is not. When I started getting jealous of moms whose babies started popping teeth before Nikaia I realized that I was getting a little cuckooo bananas and needed to adjust my focus, so I did and I got the hell over myself.  It seems to me that there are moms who don’t catch themselves falling into this dangerous pattern and throw themselves fully into the baby comparisons and turn it into an organized sport. I am not just talking about comparing milestones, I am talking creating them from thin air to achieve that bloated sense of self worth that apparently comes from their tiny newborn writhing on the floor like an uncoordinated turtle on it’s back right in step with a song on the radio for 5 seconds straight. I am not exactly sure how to feel about this sort of thing when I watch it. Should I feel bad for them because they are obviously either 1) driving themselves crazy worrying about who else’s baby rolled over first, or 2) they are so delusional that they think their baby actually consciously made the decision to roll over at only 6 days old? Should I be worried because of the unrealistic expectations they could very well end up putting on those babies as they get older? Or, should I just sit back and laugh at the level of complete lunacy that the baby olympics rise to?

I will admit, it does make me just a little sad that these kids REAL milestones, their real intentional accomplishments, will most likely be overlooked in some kind of quest for the holy baby grail waiting for their kid to accidentally sign the word “alabaster” to them while they are trying to figure out how to get the Cheerio on their high chair tray successfully into their mouth.

P.S. Moms, if your child walks into a job interview in 18 years and proclaims that they are so advanced for their age that they were walking at 9 months old, or they poo-pooed in the potty before they turned 2, their interviewer is not going to be impressed and offer them a 6 figure salary and an expense account. They MIGHT, however, think they are super creepy and pretend that the position has already been filled.

A few things I have learned about pregnancy this time around…

1. It doesn’t always matter what happened the last time you were pregnant, that doesn’t mean the next one will be anything like what you have already experienced. The more pregnancy and birth stories I hear, the more it rings true. Just like no two people are the same, no two pregnancies are the same. There is always something different, and sometimes those differences are HUGE.

2. Guessing right while pregnant isn’t a super power.  The idea that pregnancy gives a woman a magical ability that grants some kind of sixth sense sounds great, and it probably makes pregnancy seem more magical and miraculous than it feels when you have what has to be a little jackhammer in there pounding on your innards, but highly emotional doesn’t equal highly insightful. Guessing the gender of your baby before you find out what it is doesn’t count as super pregnant spidey sense. There are only two possible options. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to guess right when you have a 50% chance.

3. Peeing will become an olympic sport. There are times you will have to bend, twist, distort, and balance your body in ways you never thought you could with a bowling ball attached to your abdomen. THIS is a real pregnancy super power, and it becomes necessary at some point in almost every pregnancy just to get the pee to come out. Even if you have to pee REALLY REALLY BAD.

4. Never fool yourself into thinking you are in charge and making the decisions. Until that kid is old enough to understand exactly what you are saying to it, all control belongs exclusively to them. Any decision that you make regarding your birth plan, labor and delivery, and the first few months of that babies life that actually DO go according to your plan only go that way because the BABY decided that it was a suitable plan. If you accept that now, you will feel like less of a failure when things crumble, and at some point they WILL crumble.

5. Any parent that tells you that they had zero trouble getting pregnant, a perfect pregnancy, and the exact pain-free perfect delivery that they always imagined is a liar. There is no need to call them a liar, however. Just know that this fantasy of perfection they have created in their head is most likely a facade to mask the disappointment they feel over the loss of control that their precious bundles of joy cause them to feel when they ruin all of their meticulous plans.

6. Pregnancy HURTS. As magical as making a new life is, and it is indeed a profoundly incredible experience, it fucking hurts. It is not supposed to be a day at the spa. It is SUPPOSED to hurt. Especially at the end. It is also important to note that it is normal to feel an increase in the aches, pains, pressure, and overall ickiness the further along you get. The life inside of you is doing unspeakable things to your insides. If you didn’t feel all of that you wouldn’t be a human being. This does not mean that your baby is done cooking, ready to come out, or needs to evacuate early. It means they are growing like they should which is a GOOD thing. This leads me to the most important thing I have learned…

7. Never take any precious day of gestation for granted. No matter how easily you got pregnant, how symptom free or symptom laden pregnancy is, how early you or someone else in your family was born/gave birth, how uncomfortable you are, how anxious you are to see your baby, or how well someone else’s baby did even though they were born early… Every day closer to your due date that you get with that baby still in your belly is a BLESSING. Through all of the morning sickness, aches, pains, breathing problems, heartburn, pressure, back problems, shooting vag pain, sleepless nights, joint spreading issues, contractions, or any other uncomfortable or downright painful symptom you have, if you can make it to 40 weeks then you are one of the lucky ones. Setting your sights on a 37 week delivery date for your baby when your due date is 40 weeks will not only set yourself up for disappointment if it doesn’t happen, but if you actively TRY to evict that baby before you reach your due date and they aren’t ready, it could rob your child of those last few important weeks when a lot of the essential organ development happens. Even if the baby has a 99% chance of survival outside the womb at 37 weeks gestation, even a 1% chance that your baby could die is worth keeping them in a little longer. I guarantee, it isn’t suddenly easier to deal with a baby when they can’t control their body temperature, have issues eating, or have digestive issues that cause them extremely painful reflux (things that a few more weeks in the womb could have greatly effected) than it is to deal with a few more weeks of pregnancy.

So far this pregnancy I have known three women who have given birth to their babies prematurely. Two of them died shortly after birth. The third is in the NICU and struggles with issues daily that would break any mother’s heart to watch their child go through. That mother will not be able to bring her baby home with her for MONTHS. All three of these women would have endured every single bit of pain that other women complain about just to have a few more days of gestation and give their babies a better chance than they had. The pain of 40 weeks of pregnancy is NOTHING compared to the pain of losing your child, and because of that, anyone who is lucky enough to make it to the end should never take that for granted.

Did you know…

…that it is National Blog Posting Month? Neither did I! Guess I better get on the ball!!

 

Today I had my 28w appointment. Hard to believe I am in the third trimester now. The appointment was awesome… Passed my glucose tolerance test with flying colors (101, the cut off is 140 so I didn’t even come close to the danger zone). My BP is down at a comfortable 109/68. I am up 4 lbs, which isn’t too bad considering that only puts me at +9 lbs total. I went later in the day this time, and I ALWAYS weigh more later in the day, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that 4 was gone at my next appointment when I go back in the morning. Babies heart rate was 125. Uterus is up a little above the bottom of my rib cage now, which explains the mild heart burn I have been getting laying down. All in all, an excellent appointment.

 

Biggest news is that I am now on the 2 week appointment rotation! This is the beginning of the end, my friends. I have four more appointments until I go weekly, and then only 2 or 3 more until we get to meet this baby!! We have not scheduled the c-section yet, and we waffle back and forth on the exact date. We have however, picked names but we are keeping those close to the vest right now. Since we decided not to find out the gender, we thought it would be fun to add a little more surprise to the whole experience. =D

 

I am going to try to blog every day this month, which more realistically means a few times a week, and hopefully I don’t end up writing about nothing just to write. I do have some topics I have been feeling very strongly about lately, but I never really let loose because I don’t want to offend anyone. Maybe now is the time to just let all of it out here? We’ll see where this little personal challenge takes me

 

In the meantime, it’s bedtime for this mama. Nikaia went to sleep without even a single whimper tonight, and so I am hoping that is a big fat sign that we will have a restful night with no middle of the night wake-ups. Fingers crossed! I will leave you with a picture of me+baby belly with my baby girl in her mermaid costume. Nikaia’s first Halloween was a great success!