I’ve entered that awkward stage. You know, that stage where I don’t quite fit into maternity clothes but I certainly don’t fit into my own clothes anymore. It’s that stage where people who are familiar with you look at you quizzically like, ‘Is she pregnant, or…did she just eat too many cheeseburgers over the summer?’ But they’re too afraid to ask because of the sensitive nature of a woman’s weight. I’ll admit, for me, it’s a little bit of both…
Earlier this past week, as the result of a particular event, I found myself sitting in my car sobbing. And when I say sobbing I mean sobbing! Not teary-eyed or crying, but sobbing. You know, those deep heart-wrenching convulsive gasps where you can’t catch your breath.
Sitting there, hunched over, weeping so deeply my chest hurt, I had a most remarkable experience. All I could think in that moment, through my sobs was, ‘Chocolate ice cream! I need chocolate ice cream! Chocolate ice cream will make everything better! So I did what any rational pregnant woman would do in that moment. I drove myself, through tears of blurry eyes all the way to Byrne Dairy. Mascara smudged and puffy-eyed I got out of my car, sniffles and all, walked into the store and up to the counter where I ordered a small chocolate ice cream. I sat in my car and ate it, stopping every other bite to wipe the tears from eyes as I continued to cry a little. Just as I thought I might be starting to feel better, a new assault of fresh tears rolled down my cheeks as my spoon hit the bottom of an empty cup. At that moment, a tear rolled down my cheek and I literally cried out loud, ‘I should have ordered a large!’
Too embarrassed to go back inside and order a second chocolate ice cream from the same dopey eyed, acne faced, teenage boy behind the counter who doesn’t know how to count simple change backwards and has as much personality as this plastic keyboard in front of me (as if I’m the one who should be embarrassed), I instead decided it would be much more sensible, practical and of course rational for me to drive myself to a different Byrne Dairy and repeat my order all over again as if it were my first time. So, that’s exactly what I did.
Surprisingly, as I sat in my car for the second time, at a second Byrne Dairy, eating my second chocolate ice cream in 30 minutes, all I can say is, the tears stopped and I felt a hell of a lot better.
As I write this I have to admit that I’ve been struggling this week with the changes in my body. I bought my first pair of maternity jeans, which for some women is a joyous day for their growing baby bump. For me, it was just a reminder that physically things are changing and just going to get harder. It makes you think all of those things that as a woman you hate to think and even get made at yourself for thinking in the first place…‘Will my body ever be the same again? Will my husband still find me attractive? Am I getting too big too fast? Why is that woman 20 weeks along and is just as big as me at 14 weeks? Will I ever lose the weight I put on, especially at the age of 40?’ The thoughts can be endless.
It’s been a real challenge coming to grips with my lack of energy, which impacts my motivation for almost everything, but especially going to the gym. When I do manage to get myself there my work outs suck because running has become much more difficult and I’ve had to back down on weights. Accepting the fact that I need to (and will continue to need to) make modifications to my workouts, and accept the slowing down of my energetic rhythm in life has been really hard for me this week. It’s that constant tidal wave of guilt for not having the energy to do anything active (and eating a whole sleeve of Oreos!), and complete awe that life is growing inside of you and that is hard work! And that is what I have to remember in those moments when I have to change my run to a walk, or say goodbye to my favorite pair of jeans, or down a whole bag of potato chips in the car on the way home from work INSTEAD of going to the gym (which I am embarrassed to say was another happening this week) …there is a life that is growing inside of me, so throw off the guilt and revel instead in that privileged and gift.