Posted in fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

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One thing I’ve noticed since starting to blog some 4.5 years ago (and this is probably because I read a fair amount of blogs written by mothers) is that there seems to be this desire to lose the baby weight and try to regain as much as one’s pre-baby body as possible.  That’s great, really (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!

In my case, I’m super happy with my post-baby body.  Ah, but now I hear you thinking: “But why is she talking about losing weight, then?”

Let me explain.

I am well aware that three pregnancies and deliveries have wreaked havoc on my body.  Let’s talk, for instance about:

  • my droopy breasts (nope, cannot even think of going out of the house without a bra anymore – as for strapless bras…useless!);
  • the road map of stretch marks on my belly;
  • my plumbing problems (oh hello unexpected flow of urine accompanying laughter!);
  • the scar(s?) along my perineum.

Need I say more?

Anyways, like I said, I’m totally cool with those.  I’m happy with all of the changes that have occurred in my body in the last 5 years.  They are the reason I have three beautiful children.  I would go through it again.  Heck, I want to go through it again!  But I digress.

The simple fact is that I don’t want to go back to my pre-baby body because, for me, that would mean regressing.  To be honest, even though my pregnancies took a toll on my body, it’s is my years of sedentarism before pregnancy that have caused the most damage.

For years, I convinced myself:

  • that I didn’t need physical activity to lead a balanced life;
  • that I just didn’t have time to work out;
  • that I was more of a bookworm and gamer;
  • that it was absolutely fine to spend so many hours sitting each day, every day.

If I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself, I would.  Of course, if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself.  I’m, hum – how can I describe it…pridefully independent?  I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice.  I don’t like asking for advice.  I suppose I take it as a challenge to my self-reliance (“what, you think I can’t figure that out on my own?!”).  I like to be in control.

The good news is that I’ve taken control now.  I’m already fitter than I was five years ago.  And though it’s tough sometimes, I’m determined to get my body in decent shape.  In the past, after an injury (as has happened to me recently because of running), I would have just stopped.  Now, I found an alternate activity while I wait to get back on my feet.  In the past, I never would have even considered working out in the evening.  Now, I’ll take the time I have to exercise, even if it is in the evenings.

It’s no secret that to make any change three things are needed: a catalyst, a plan and a great deal of perseverance (at least, in the beginning).  I’ve always been super organized, so making a plan isn’t super difficult for me.  I’m also very stubborn, so perseverance works pretty well for me.  What I was lacking, was a catalyst.

As it turns out, my kids are that kick-in-the butt I needed.  I realized one day that I want to be able to run alongside them with ease as they learned to ride a bike.  I want to be able to play and run around with them without becoming out of breath within 30 seconds.  I want them to know that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  Most of all, I want to do everything in my power to be here, in this world, with them for as many years as possible.  That requires a healthy body.

I’m still a gamer.  I still read.  I find time to crochet and play the flute.  But it’s not all I do now.  Now, I don’t only try to eat a balanced diet (which is something I’ve been pretty good with overall), but I am also working to have a healthy body.

Have you made any major changes to you life recently?  What has been your catalyst?

Posted in Parenting

How My Miscarriages Have Changed Me (for the Better) – Valerie’s Guest Post (Write for me Wednesday)

I’m so thrilled to kick off my first Write for me Wednesday with a guest post from Valerie from Atlantamomofthree.  For those of you who don’t already know, let me start by telling you that I absolutely adore Valerie.  Her posts are always very honest, informative and are never judgmental.  She takes the time to comment on other posts and respond to comments and she regularly brings bloggers together by hosting blog parties and inviting guest bloggers to write some posts for her to put up on her own blog.  Today, she has chosen to share a post on her miscarriages and how they have changed her for the better.

Wow, that’s quite the title, I know. And it’s a phrase I certainly never thought I’d be saying, but it’s true. There are reasons I am thankful for the three miscarriages I’ve had. But let me back up a bit…

When our daughter was two years old, I became pregnant again; I didn’t know it at first because the home pregnancy tests were coming back negative even though I was a week late (which I never was, back then). I went to the doctor when I was finally two weeks late. It was there that I found out about the new baby. The nurse said it was a “faint” positive, but it was positive! Two days later (and I won’t go into more detail here), I miscarried. The lines had been faint because I was already losing the baby.

I was devastated. Truly heartbroken. I knew what it was like to have a beautiful, healthy child and the idea that this one had died was just too much for me to take. But take it, I did. It took a long time for me to heal.

A year later, I had a healthy, uneventful pregnancy with our son, aside from the fact I was scared of miscarriage in the first trimester. Boy, I didn’t know how blissful it had been while pregnant with our daughter, because it had never crossed my mind that a miscarriage was possible for me!

When he was two, I had another miscarriage. It was early and I had, again, just found out before losing it. This is why, for a long time now, I have only tested once I am at least two weeks late.

Two years later, I had my third miscarriage, at 8/9 weeks. This was a rough time for me. I felt like my body was failing. That there was something really wrong with me. It also caused me to have a lot of problems in my relationship with the Lord (but I’ll save that for another post).

We stopped trying for another baby for a long time. It was too painful and I was so scared of it happening again. But then, in January of 2011, we found out that (even though we’d been “preventing”), I had conceived and was six and a half weeks along.

I was overjoyed and terrified at the same time. I could not, and would not, let myself become attached to this baby. Not for a long time. When the doctor felt my uterus at the first appointment some weeks later, and said it was the perfect size, I cried. I wanted this baby so badly. At the first ultrasound, the following week, my husband and I watched as our baby rolled and flipped. The technician said she guessed it was a boy. “He” was perfect and active and looked healthy. I was happy but I still couldn’t allow myself to relax. I felt on alert all the time. I was constantly in the bathroom checking for blood.

There was a change in my thinking when I started to really show. By the time I was twenty weeks, and I had already been feeling kicks for a few weeks, I began thinking that we might actually get to meet this little one. It was a boy after all, and his name would be Samuel, which means “asked of God.”
He was born a few days shy of his due date, as healthy and beautiful as our older children. His birth helped me to heal from the miscarriages in a profound way. He didn’t replace them, but his presence is such a blessing in our lives that it’s easy to feel nothing bad ever happened before.

So, why am I thankful for the miscarriages?
* I have so much more empathy. I understand loss now and am able to be a help, comfort, and encouragement to others. This is a gift!
* I am enjoying motherhood in a whole new way this time. I take nothing for granted and I don’t feel hurried for him to grow up at all. I imagine the same would be true had we gone through fertility treatments or the adoption process.
* I see all of our children as a true blessing from God. It is quite obvious that my body needs a helping hand in producing healthy kiddos, and we have three. Praise the Lord!
* I’ve gotten to see the love and support from my husband in a way that I might not ever have seen if we’d not gone through so much loss together.
* Our family rocks!! lol What I mean is that the age differences between our children may seem uncommon and possibly difficult, but I’m telling you – our big kids adore their little brother and he is getting to be raised in a family of four people much older than him who love him to pieces! Lucky kid, eh?

Would I ever want to experience another miscarriage? No, it would surely break my heart again, but I am certain that there are blessings to be found even in heartbreak.

M and J with Sam small

Thanks again for sharing this, Valerie!

If you are interested in writing a guest post for me, feel free to check out my post on Write for me Wednesday and shoot me an email.

Cheers!