I have one of those bodies that packs on 10 lbs as soon as it sees 2 lines on a pregnancy test. It’s just the way I roll. No pun intended. Ha.
My first pregnancy I packed on 57 lbs. It was very noticeable. That’s just my body, and what it wanted to do over 9 months and I’m cool with that. I lost all the baby weight by the time Vee was about 10 months. It wasn’t entirely effortless - there may have been a lot of Jillian Michael’s involved - but that’s another story.
This last pregnancy (my second loss this year) was different. I was put on progesterone suppositories at about 6 weeks to help make my uterus into some nice, cushy real estate; to give me a better chance of holding on to the baby. I knew there were some lovely side effects but I didn’t think it would be like hitting puberty all over again. Hmm.
Let’s put it this way. The morning after my first suppository, I felt like Growing up Skipper. Remember that? Twist Barbie’s little sister’s arm, and she sprouts a B cup? Ok, it wasn’t exactly overnight, but a few days later I had puffed up like a blowfish and some crazy boobage had definitely sprouted. The scale kept going up too. I’d shot up 5 lbs in less then a week. Gah! Almost a 15 lb gain and I wasn’t even at 8 weeks yet? Scoff!
Now bear in mind, this isn’t about aesthetics. It’s not about ‘thin’ or ‘fat’ or anything in between.
Generally I would celebrate any ounce of baby-making fat on my butt. But in this particular situation I didn’t know how to process the surface changes I was going through. I just felt gross. I wasn’t in the dreamy mind frame of ‘Oooh I’m making a baby!’ because I didn’t know if I actually was. I wouldn’t know until I had my next ultrasound, and then I had an exceptionally high chance of learning that the baby’s heart had stopped beating. My best case was that I’d have to wait some more to see if things had improved - another 7 days of ticking clocks and anxious lip-biting. For some reason it just seemed easier to be frustrated with the size of my thighs.
When I eventually lost the baby, all I wanted was that weight to magically disappear. I wanted no reminders that this had ever happened, let alone twice in a year. I just wanted ‘everything to go back to the way it was’. But all we have to do is look to any movie sequel to confirm that just doesn’t happen.
“Be gentle with yourself, Kat. You’ve just gone through surgery, infection…your hormones are raging, your thyroid is nuts.. and you’re still carrying the baby weight..” I tried to reassure myself.
But it wasn’t ‘baby weight’. It was ‘dead baby weight’. And it’s still keeping me from being able to button up my jeans.
Every time I put on my Spanx, and then my pantyhose (and then my other pair of Spanx) so I can fit into a pair of my dress-pants, I think of the miscarriage.
Every time I look at my chipmunk cheeks in the mirror I feel betrayed.
Every time I try to throw on an outfit that hypothetically would make me feel good and it doesn’t work on my new physique, my anger and intolerance of my ‘failure’ grows.
“I just want to feel normal again. I just want to pretend this never happened. I just want to lose this 10 lbs..”
But I’m done waiting.
I’m not going to wait for the weight to come off. I’m not going to wait until I’m pregnant and can rejoice in each little ripple of fertility.
I’m going to lose something right now: my guilt, my waves of shame, and my saddened self-image.
Going forward, I pledge to love the story that my body tells, whatever it may look like.
I will celebrate my stretch-marks and embrace every tiny scar of growth.
I will focus on expanding my mind and spirit, and not care so much about my expanding physical self.
I will stop running away from myself, breathe deep into my core, and find beauty in the sheer act of being.
I will honour my body’s needs and wishes whatever the scale says.
Like the sound of one hand clapping, we all have to solve the ‘Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybeline’ paradox on our own.
We all have to learn to love the wisdom that each moment holds, and cherish the boundless beauty of life regardless of what we see in the mirror or what a BMI chart tells us.
If we focus on losing all the time, we live in a world of loss.
And in this amazing life, don’t we all have so much more to gain?
Wishing you a New Year filled with love, abundance, health, wealth, and happiness.