Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just Sayin

The warm weather is absolutely contagious. If there is a time of the year that I am happiest, it's usually now. I can't say I'm happy exactly. Waking up every day is a difficult struggle for me, but there are wonderful windows of time when I can just embrace the sunshine, leave the nightmares of home behind, and tuck away the pain for a little peace.

I will have to be honest here, what to many is a healthy desire for some needed fresh air and activity, isn't such a healthy desire for me. It may seem that way, but deep down, my need to exercise goes beyond healthy. I'm a work in progress though and activity is a good thing regardless of my intentions. I would much rather be too active than not active enough.

With school and work and spring rains I am limited on the amount of days I get to get out and enjoy a long walk, jog, or otherwise, but to my delight I am loving every moment I get. This time last year, I had just started losing weight. I was still over 200 lbs. I was just starting to feel the effects of losing weight and the gradual increase in my ability to do things, but truth is, I still couldn't do a lot of things like I wanted.

Fast forward a year. I am at a normal weight now. I am still unhappy with my body and I still struggle with the idea that I am still heavy. I didn't think that I would struggle with that, but I do. My identity has been plus sized for so long, that it's hard to shake that and embrace the person I am now. I am just now starting to realize and appreciate some of the changes in my body's ability to move.

Today I rode a bicycle for the first time since I was a kid. I have had that bike for a year, but last year it was uncomfortable and physically I wasn't quite up to snuff yet. This year, I have been so fearful of trying again and failing. I finally took a chance today, got the bike in working order and pedaled off for about twenty minutes before I had to come back in to take care of dinner. It felt so great!

After dinner I went to church and took my kids outside. I chased them around for the better part of an hour, running, jumping, climbing. It took me by surprise. I love being able to keep up with the kids and interact with them on a different level. I love that I jog to my car now, or sprint up the stairs. I used to trudge up the stairs, winded at the top.

I am telling you all this, because I remember. I remember that conversation with my doctor. He looked at me very seriously after a couple of years of devastating attempts to have a child and said, "I think we need to talk about your weight." My doctor was wonderfully sensitive and kind. In fact he didn't even discuss weight with me until my health took a very precarious turn. I look back now and realize he probably should have talked to me sooner. The feelings I had were horrible. I was embarrassed and angry. I knew he was right, but I couldn't admit to myself that I was one of the primary reasons for my childlessness. When I started losing weight I was a bit spiteful even, saying frequently that I would prove everyone wrong. Then Espe came...

I know how hard it is. Hormones fight against any weight loss like a strong current against a spawning salmon. It's slow, frustrating, and uncomfortable. For every success, there seem to be a dozen failures. There are tears, pain, and fear. Still, I would do it all over again. I have some tendencies that made this journey more challenging than some. It doesn't matter. I would still do it again. I realize that you have to find a place within yourself to finally commit to it, but I just wanted to throw this out there. There are other's out there in my situation. I want you to know, if you ever grasp even a tiny corner of the things you need to motivate you, hold on tightly and take the chance.

I'm not sure that my body will ever work properly again. Espe could have just been a chance miracle. I will never see him as anything less than a miracle. Still, I find so much peace in my situation knowing that I have done everything possible. Even more than that, I love what I have given myself in the meantime. I have a new life. For so long all I could focus on was making it from one test to another. Rarely was anything I did about myself and my own health and happiness. I can say, this one thing is for me and it's something I don't have to feel guilty or selfish about.

**** I want to make it understood. I realize that weight loss isn't the answer for everyone. I know there are tons of overweight women out there having babies every day. This is about me and my journey. We are all different.

Friday, April 19, 2013

No Class

The semester is finally almost over for me. I have really struggled to keep up the motivation to finish out the semester. I only took two classes, but it has still proven difficult. I have a class on Monday night that has become my worst nightmare. The class is easy and would even be fun under normal circumstances. It's a tiny class. We have five people in the class, all girls. One of the girls just happens to be very pregnant.

I made the mistake of telling the girls in the class that I was pregnant. I was just so excited. I finally felt like a real person. The pregnant girl and another girl in class talked constantly about their kids. It was great to share my news with them, but it was so hard going back to class after I lost him. I felt ashamed. I know there isn't any reason for me to feel that way, but my heart seems to run on guilt and shame.

At first everyone was ok. No one said anything, which is what I needed. I work best when I can separate painful things from everyday life. The first day I went back, the pregnant girl was not there. She was sick. The second class, there she was. She was about 6 and a half months pregnant with number 3 and she was miserable.

She is like so many people that I have met over the years that take the mere act of getting pregnant for granted. I don't fault them for it. If I had been able to get pregnant easily and quickly, I may have been that way too. It doesn't make it any less painful.

We started a unit on classroom drama. We acted out a story over several weeks involving the Oregon Trail. One of the activities was a "campfire time". We would sit around and tell stories about how we came to be on the trail and about some of our treasures we brought with us. It was all made up, but there was a baby blanket from a lost child and stories of families and babies lost. I now leave that class every week crying.

Last week the pregnant girl came in hobbling, barely able to walk. She was 8 months pregnant and far beyond miserable. She complained the entire class about how awful she felt, how painful it was, how much the baby moved. I almost decided not to go back to class after that night. Her imminent labor was the only thing that helped me continue. This past Monday she wasn't back. I'm pretty sure she won't be back for the last two classes either.

I never said a word, but it really bothered me to hear everyone babble on about babies and such every week as if I wasn't in the room. I could understand maybe if it was a full class, but honestly, shouldn't the teacher elicit a bit of sensitivity?

I feel so horrible. I hate that I had such anger towards that girl from class. I really did though. I had to leave the room several times to avoid a confrontation. I just wanted to scream at her - at the whole lot of them. I wanted to tell her what I would give to feel my baby kick my ribs. I wanted her to understand to what lengths I would go to have Braxton hicks contractions or any of the other things she experienced. It hurt so much to see her so unhappy about something I would sacrifice everything to have.

I know it isn't her fault. We were taken down different paths in life. I don't know how I will feel in the 8th month of pregnancy if I ever get there, so I have no right to be angry with her. I simply miss my baby to the very deepest parts of my soul and I hate the unfairness of it all.

This isn't the only situation I've been in. I'm pretty sensitive to a lot of things still. It frustrates me how insensitive people can be. They aren't intentionally that way. They are wrapped up head to toe in their families and their lives. I hope I can be just as wrapped up in my child's life someday, but I pray that I will never ever forget that there may be people silently hurting around me. I hope I am forever cognizant of other people's situations.