February 10, 2013

Baby bump in the road

So, it's been a few weeks since I've written anything. They were an incredibly busy two weeks, though, and I'm entirely unapologetic. Besides the babymoon, we also signed a lease for a new apartment right before we left, and we're currently in the thick of moving. As always, the process makes me anxious; even though this is my third move in 18 months, it's not any easier or any less overwhelming to be faced with the task of relocating. Combined with my still broken computer (using Matt's for the time being), I've just been enjoying the time off of blogging/social media. It is always nice to unplug a bit.

As for the babymoon ... it was excellent. It was a fantastic chance to spend time with my family and show Matt where I grew up. We explored Connecticut, went to the State House in Providence (Rhode Island) and Newport and saw the mansions and beaches, went to New York City (New York) and Boston (Massachusetts) and saw absolutely everything. We went to a Judaica store in Brooklyn (New York) and got some things for Matt, the baby, and our new home. We took trains to Hoboken (New Jersey) and Staten Island (New York) just for the views of Manhattan. And in Boston, we walked along much of the Freedom Trail, and we visited the John F. Kennedy Library.

It was wonderful.

And I've never been more tired in my life.

Well, that's an exaggeration. The only time my feet have ached as much as they did after NYC was three summers ago, when I was in Paris and my weight was well into the 300 pound range.

That was an entirely different time, with entirely different circumstances. Yet as I walked increasingly slowly down the streets of New York and Boston, apologizing profusely to Matt for holding him back from seeing as much as he'd probably like to see and do, I felt oddly similar to the way I felt then: limited. Then, as it is now, I wanted to see and do so much more than my body physically allowed. It was heartbreaking to know that I was restricted in what I could experience, all because of my body.

I'm very proud, though, that other than a few exhausted tears in Central Park, I kept my composure, and didn't let my current limitations affect me on anything other than a surface level. I suppose the difference between then in Paris and now on the East Coast is the most obvious one: that even though my weight in both situations was a temporary state, this time, I am aware and certain of it.

At 345 pounds, I didn't think I'd ever see a day in onederland. Now, back in the 200s and two months or so away from having a baby, I have not only been there, but I know exactly what it takes to return. Maybe it's the break from work and from the life stresses that I think about daily while not on vacation, but I'm feeling very optimistic right now, and very certain that the way my body looks right now is not a failure, just a temporary detour on a very, very long road from super obesity to healthy weight maintenance.

Perhaps another contributing factor to my certainty that the weight will come off again: while we were in Connecticut, my father was admitted to the hospital for an infection in a wound. He'd burned his hand, and because of his diabetes-related neuropathy, he hadn't even realized he'd done it. He tried caring for the wound himself, but it ended up being so severe that he needed several fingers amputated.

My dad is sick, and he doesn't take care of himself.

My dad is extra sick because he doesn't take care of himself.

Matt was big once too, and one of the hundreds of reasons why I love him so much is because of his empathy: he understands on a personal level that weight loss is hard but necessary. We both have diabetes/weight-related health issues in our families, and we're both committed to trying as hard as we can to avoid our own unnecessary illnesses or deaths. Seeing my dad in the hospital was just the latest in a series of reminders that we absolutely want - no, need - to take the best care of ourselves and make sure we are in good health - for ourselves, and for our son.

My dad doesn't understand balance, and never has. And now, he can't feel most of his hands. He couldn't feel a cup of soup burning his hand, so one can only imagine the difficulties of holding his first grandchild. My dad's restrictions and limitations aren't temporary. They're permanent, and a lifetime of improper diet/lack of exercise/unhealthy choices has made them so.

While we indulged in nearly all of the back-home-specific treats I'd craved, Matt and I also walked all over every city, even when it hurt, and we stayed active. We found balance there, and as soon as we returned to Chicago, we got right back into our healthy routines and the vacation weight melted right off; at my midwife appointment today, I should be weighing in at the same weight as I did a month ago, or possibly up one pound - which is acceptable, since Baby should have gained about that much in the past few weeks.

I'm still very mindful of my weight and very aware of what I eat and how it affects both me and the baby. But I'm certainly less critical of myself overall. I'm growing (pun somewhat intended) to love this little baby-bump-in-the-road to my goal weight. This is not a slip-up. This is not a nine month long depressed binge eating rampage. This is me, sharing my body with my little boy, and letting it do what it needs to right now. There is absolutely zero question in my mind that this is a temporary state, that I'll see onederland again, that Matt and I will be healthy role models for our son.


Matt said...

Correction: we took a train to hoboken and the FERRY to staten island. This is important.

A said...

This is absolutely beautiful. So happy for you and Matt!!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I'm so happy to hear what a great time you had. I just LOVE NYC and can never get enough of it. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he recovers quickly and that seeing you and your bump helps him see he needs to take care of himself to enjoy the new generation about to be brought into this world!

Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation and you seem to be in a great head space right now :)

Unknown said...

I'm glad you're getting good support during this time, Mary. And you're right, your weight gain is a speed bump with a purpose, to make sure your little boy arrives healthy. You'll get back on track after he's born. Only a couple months to go!

Amy said...

What a wonderful post.

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. It's never easy to see our parents make unhealthy choices and to think about how it impacts not only them, but you, your future and now your son.

I am glad you've found a new optimism about the changes in your body because of pregnancy and how you will transition when your son is born and continue your healthy lifestyle!

It's great that you have Matt that completely gets it and can support you how you need.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear that you had a great time on your trip, and that you (seem to be) feeling so much better. I loved the third trimester more than any other, despite the difficulty in maneuvering around.

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, I know that it's a hard thing to bear witness to. My dad has COPD that though is in part due to working around asbestos for many many years, has been made horrible by his smoking habit. Just like when your dad was younger and making poor food choices, he might have been just my dad, who was smoking and didn't even realize that it was bad for him at the time. Make no mistake that I will never smoke any substance after watching what he has gone through, and the hardships it puts on our family.

The best gift you are giving new family also honors your dad. Learning from his mistakes.

Many digital hugs!

Unknown said...

Aw i love how you feel in this post Mary! I am so glad the trip went well! At the same time, I'm so sorry for what your father is going through and I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

I can't believe you're due in two months! Amazing! Do enjoy this computer-less time and relax all you can; you certainly deserve it! <3 Natalie S. (I think I might be signed into my hub's Google account).

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! I love your honesty and transparency and I'm glad that you have such an understanding partner, not that I'd wish health issues or obesity on anyone.
Looking forward to hearing about baby - sounds like you're due the same time as our son and DIL!

Unknown said...

Stay healthy for your children. I know it is such a difficult struggle but I wish you tremendous luck and persistence.