I’m not getting out of this without gaining weight…

First, before I start blogging about my feelings here for the internet to see, I want to share a bit about my life. I have struggled with anorexia since the age of 17, had years of freedom, a few relapses here and there, and have found lots of victory and grace and love by running after God and learning to hear Him instead of ED (my eating disorder, or Satan, whatever you want to call him).

I knew being pregnant would be difficult for me, but I also thought it would be ok because I had to eat for the good of someone else, not just me, but it’s been difficult. I am getting enough calories each day, eating healthy, drinking my milk, taking my vitamins, resting, so there’s no need to worry about that stuff. I have had the thoughts of restricting, and not eating, but I have been able to stop those thoughts and see them for what they are. Utter bullsh*t. And, honestly, I can’t imagine harming my child to get the coveted “thigh gap” I used to have. So, I eat, and I’m gaining weight, and I eat when I don’t want to and when I do want to, and I avoid over-exercising, and I snack and snack and snack. Because I would like my child to be healthy, and I can’t control that, of course, but I can play my part well. I’m hosting another person, and I want to feed them well.

But the thing I struggle with is the same thing I’ve always struggled with, comparison. I mean, now, of course, it’s comparing myself with pregnant mommas and how much they are running and working out and what they look like. And it’s so hard. There’s this new phenomenon of “Fit Mommy” instagrams and blogs running around out there, full of pictures of this lady power lifting at 38 weeks and this mom who is ripped at 35 weeks, and this lady who ran a marathon at 25 weeks (which, I’m going say this, and get pissed if you want, but that’s not ok. As a marathon runner, I am aware of the toll that running a marathon takes on the body, and pregnancy is no time to do that to your body, and that’s my two cents about it). I find myself wanting to google images of women who are 17 weeks pregnant, just to see how I compare, how I measure up, if I’m ok. It’s the same battle I’ve fought for years, on and off, but I am finding victory.

It’s just hard to see my body change. It’s the thing I’ve been able to control for all these years. I can’t fix you, but I can starve myself and fix these legs. I can’t control how lonely I feel, but I can workout until you see my ribs. It’s what I’ve run to. Control. And now, I have none.

My friend, who is also pregnant,  said to me on Sunday that she realized she’s not getting out of this without gaining weight. And neither am I. And it’s a hard, embarrassing thing to talk about because it feels so superficial. There are women I love and know well who cannot have children, there are women I know who would gain 80 pounds to have a baby, and here I am complaining because I’m almost halfway there, and I am just now not able to button my pants comfortably.

But the struggle isn’t really weight gain. It’s not feeling good enough. And I think all women struggle with that. They feel too tall, too fat, too skinny, not rich enough, not crafty enough, ect. They feel not good enough because their kid didn’t breast feed or because they let their kid watch TV. They feel not good enough because they didn’t read their bible, take an instagram of their coffee, sew something, make homemade hummus for lunch, and have a perfect home, all before hubby came home and they went on a super fun #datenight.

We all, regardless of stage of life, at some point or another, don’t feel good enough. And my prayer is that I will start to feel good enough. Because of the fact that I am smart, I am capable, I am loved, I am a daughter of the King. I want that for my child. I want them to come out of that womb into a home that tells them they are delighted in, they are enough, they have what it takes, and they are noticed. I want them to know that God loves them in a way no one else can, and He says “You are good enough, no more striving, I love you. I’ve known you since before your parents even knew their parents. I know the hairs on your head, and I put that sparkle in your eye. You are enough because I don’t make junk.”

Because, ladies and gentlemen, when we have Christ in us, we have what it takes. We are good enough. I don’t have to prove that by running 26.2 miles while holding a barbell and being pregnant. You don’t have to prove that by working yourself to the bone at your job, or worrying about your body/looks/hair/clothes, ect. We have nothing to prove. I don’t have to prove that I have brown hair. I just do. And in the same way, I don’t have to prove I’m good enough, I just am. And I pray that I can stop trying to prove it to myself and rest in what I know to be true. I am loved, God has a plan for this, and regardless of cellulite and saddle-bags, I’m still good enough. And so are you.

imagesI put this in here because it is so weird. I can’t stop looking at this and trying to figure out what’s happening…And the guy, he kind of looks like Asian Collin. hehe.

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It’s about time I journal about this kid…

Well, I decided that I might just want to start writing down what’s going on with this baby, because, let’s be honest, I’ll forget and I’m still exiting the “What the heck” stage of finding out I’m pregnant.

We are at week 16, I count that as four months, but Collin, being the precise one that he is, insist that months have on average more than four weeks so I’m less. So, for the sake of peace, let’s just stick with 16 weeks.

Here we go:

Month 1-2: Sick, Sick, Sick. I’m still working out, at least an hour a day, and have added weights to the rotation. I like to eat salty food, soup, and ginger beer. Ginger beer was the only thing that would help my stomach for a few weeks there, so we went through quite a bit. I’m eating lots of rice, dry cereal, and cheese (weird), and the idea of vegetables, fruit, or anything I usually like is disgusting. I am really digging chicken tenders and rolls. Very weird.

Month 3: Things are still pretty off. We survived the holidays, I tried to eat, but found myself just surviving on a sleeve of saltine crackers most of the time. I’m also really tired and cannot handle the smell of sweaty people, chocolate, and fish. Ew-tastic. We went for our first official midwife appointment at 14 weeks, and heard the baby’s heartbeat. I got my blood drawn, they missed the vein and I ended up with this huge welt on my arm. Toward the end of this month, I start to feel better, and am feeling almost normal, except I can’t always button my pants and my rear-end has a mind of it’s own.

Month 4: Feeling so much better. School is back in session for the spring, and my little bump is starting to show. I’ll try to remember to take a picture tomorrow, but it may not happen. I am back to liking my regular foods of salad, fruit, and cheese. I have taken quite a liking to ice tea, probably because I force myself to chug down water (which I do not like) and then after I drink my allotted amount, I am done with it and want something new. I have also developed a weird enjoyment of chicken salad and will usually have that for lunch. I am liking salty foods, hummus, pickles, and fruit loops. I’ve have been exercising regularly, and even went for a run and felt semi-normal last week. It is such a relief to feel better. We have chosen a name for baby Davis, and are working on middle names now. I have felt the baby move once or twice, it is odd and feels like someone lightly tickling my stomach with their fingers. I am also liking sour candy (weird for me) and will often get a sour apple laffy taffy or two to eat each day. I am still in regular clothes, but will probably have to move to a maternity belt in the next few weeks. It’s becoming more fun and I am enjoying talking about baby with Collin and watching him talk to my stomach (or hum because baby doesn’t hear yet, but can feel vibrations-according to Collin).

So yeah, that’s baby up until now. I should probably be feeling all sorts of feelings about this and stuff, but honestly, I’m only feeling a little bit of fear about my butt getting big (yep, thanks eating disorder). Prayers appreciated in that arena for sure.

That time I thought I was dying and found out I was pregnant…

I will never forget the days leading up to the discovery that I was pregnant. I remember suddenly being able to smell everything that happened in my classroom, from the flatulence to the body odor to the lack of teeth brushing skills (and I teach a class full of middle school boys, so, um, odor can be an issue).  I thought everyone was just really lacking in the hygiene area, that I needed to up the time we spent working on those skills, but I was wrong. My nose was becoming quite sensitive. And then the cramps started, but no cycle, just cramps, changing potty habits, pain in my gut, and I was convinced I was sick. I thought I had cancer or that my thyroid problem had returned.

Collin said “You should take a test, just to see”. I put it off for a few days, hoping it was just a thyroid thing, not a child. I made a doctor’s appointment, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I bought a test on my way to an afternoon training and took it at a gas station. The line appeared about twenty seconds into the waiting time. I took a photo, sent it to my friend Mallery, and asked “Are these things ever wrong?”, she texted back “Not in that direction”.

Oh my gosh. I’m pregnant. On one hand, I’m glad it’s not cancer, but on the other hand, we’ve been married for four months. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, GOD????? This was not the plan. Not at all. When I told Collin, there were lots of tears, and not all of them were from joy. I think the shock and surprise of it took over, and I was really scared. There are student loans to pay off and cars to pay down, plus we wanted to save for this, and plan for it, and this was not the plan! NOT THE PLAN!!!!!!!!

I went to the doctor to confirm it the following Monday, I was six weeks pregnant. It was surreal. He tested my thyroid, and the nurse did another test, which she gave me in a plastic bag with the date and a smiley face written on it, saying “Some people put these in a scrapbooks…”

I am currently 12 weeks along, due July 6th, and sick as a freaking dog. Holy cow. There have been so many naps and so many days where the only things I could stomach were saltines and soup. There have been days where I still run and can eat relatively normally, only to completely zonk out the next day and sleep until 4 in the afternoon. There seems no rhyme or reason to it, and if one more person gives me advice on what to try, I may scream. I, literally, have tried it all, with the exception of prescription meds and pot. ( I won’t be smoking pot, ever, so please do not freak out and email me. Some people say it helps, though).

I have spent lots of time in prayer begging for deliverance from sickness and a healthy baby. It’s forcing me to stop and ask for help. I cannot do my job the same as I did, which requires me to relinquish control. I cannot run and work out like I did. It is frustrating. I have no control over what is happening in my body and it is hard for me. I am snappy, I cry, and I cannot handle certain smells, and am completely exhausted.

But, despite how much this all goes against what I thought was “the plan”, I know that God is doing something. I mean, obviously, He is growing a child in me, but He is also working on my heart. I am forced to eat well, rest, and take care of myself, because someone else’s life depends on it.

2014…quite a year

Well, it’s New Year’s Day. I’m sitting on our bed, Collin is riding the trainer in the living room, and I am filling out paperwork for our midwife. This year brought lots of change, to say the least.

January: We spent New Years with Collin’s parent in Hideaway, it was my first time to visit their house. I really enjoyed it. I also started riding my bike, learned how to clip in and not fall over, and began riding.

February: This month was hard. My brother came home from Taiwan and was sick. We were all confused and struggling with what to do, which caused lots of sleepless nights and anxiety. We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together, where we went on a picnic at the lake, and had our traditional V-day dinner at my mom’s house.

March: March was a big month. It started with a trip to Mineral Wells to canoe and hang out for Spring Break. We then came home and took a trip to Arboretum, where Collin proposed to me! My sister, Kyle, also gave birth to Livi Jane, our first niece. The month was capped off with my 30th birthday, complete with a karaoke birthday party!

April: April was spent planning the wedding, celebrating my brother’s birthday, and having Collin’s parents and my parents meet for the first time on Easter. I also bought my wedding dress. Good Times. And I spent most of the month doing state required testing on my students, which is a complete waste and total nonsense, but that’s another blog post all together.

May: May was exhausting. There was our first wedding shower at my school, wedding planning, and the regular busyness that comes with the last month of school. I also moved into the apartment we now share, took my bridal portraits and we took our engagement pictures.

June: What a month! It started out with five of my student’s graduating the 8th grade and having a party for them, then school was out. I spent the next few weeks planning and finalizing details for the wedding. We had two wedding showers, one lingerie shower, one bachelor “float the river” weekend, and a rehearsal dinner. Then, on the 21st, we got married. It was fabulous. We spent the next week in Mississippi, Florida, and Arkansas riding bikes, fishing, and going to the beach.

July: In July, we got home from our honeymoon, tried to get adjusted to married life, rode bikes a lot, and I taught swimming lessons. We also went to Hideaway to celebrate Collin and his mom’s birthdays. Collin turned 32.

August: Back to school time. Unfortunately. We both entered this school year tired from the exhausting summer and were met with some very difficult students. It took us a few weeks to get back into the groove of school, and many tears (mine) were shed in the process. Trying to balance school, marriage, and taking care of the home was pretty exhausting.

September: More school, more ARDS, more stress. Besides school, we went to Copperas Cove with two of Collin’s teammates so they could compete in the State Road Race. The first day wasn’t fabulous for anyone, but Collin came in second in his age group on Sunday. It was my first time in the “feed zone”, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

October: In October, I took a day off to watch the niece and nephews. We went to Collin’s school to teach a social skills lesson on decorating cookies. It was a fun day, but really made me tired. Three kids. That is a lot. October was busy for me at school. We had lots of Special Olympics trips to the bowling alley to practice, and those are exhausting. Collin also continued racing. We didn’t do anything for Halloween, but we did end the month celebrating his sister and his dad’s birthdays.

November: I spent the first two weeks of November being very aware of how everything smelled. I had no idea I was pregnant until the 13th, and we told our families at the Thanksgiving holiday. I spent a lot of this month asleep, throwing up, or wanting to die. Morning sickness is no joke, people. It’s freaking terrible. We spent Thanksgiving with Collin’s parents, sister, and sister’s beau. It was a good day.

December: Lots more vomiting and naps and trying not to kill people this month. I told my boss and co-workers about the baby, and we began to tell friends. We decorated the house for Christmas, got a tree, wrapped presents, and celebrated at work. My sister’s house also flooded so a day was spent watching the kids so they could get everything situated. We celebrated Christmas morning with my mom and stepdad, then saw my dad and stepmom, and on the 26th we went to Hideaway to see Collin’s parents. We spent New Year’s Eve with his sister and Reynolds, and were asleep by 12 (At least I was). December was a long month, but as it came to a close, my nausea lessened and things seemed to be getting better. We also had our first midwife appointment and heard the baby’s heartbeat. It was a long, exciting, tiring month.

I am excited for the next year, and also a bit hesitant as we will welcome in a new member to the family, and change always stretches you. However, God is faithful and it will all be fine. I know it.

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