Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feeling A Bit Weary.

The last few weeks I've been feeling really down. Sheer tiredness has played a big part of it, but on top of that everything feels like such an effort lately. Funnily enough, it's not the physical aspect of having put on 18 lbs that's making me feel this way. Don't get me wrong, that is obviously increasing the difficulty of everything, my recovery included. It's more of a mental thing that I've got going on though; and it didn't hit me what it was until two nights ago while I was out on my walk.

I'm so fucking tired of working my arse off, literally, to get into good physical and mental shape and then through no fault of my own suffering a huge setback. I'd be angry at myself if I'd fallen off the wagon each time, and rightly so, but how the fuck do you get angry at life?

Case in point:
Several years ago I was going great guns, then strained my groin and had to recover from that. Yes, at that point I did dangle from the wagon a little, but I got back on with a firmer seat than before.
Then, I had the antibiotic poisoning episode. So, along with the physical recovery, I took the opportunity to work on my mental health issues. And it took me two years plus also continuing to work on improving my physical fitness as much as I could. I was working hard to get as fit as I could before getting pregnant, and I was once again doing really well, had worked my way back to attempting land and water aerobics again as well as walking and swimming nearly every day.
Once I got pregnant, I continued exercising very regularly and eating excellently...
When as you all know--BAM!--along came HELLP and the cesarean delivery.

And here I sit, after literally YEARS of working so very hard, fatter and more unfit than I've EVER been in my life. On Monday night the unjustness of it all hit me right in the solar plexus. While I struggled to push on through the wall I'd hit at the half mile mark, I realized how very tired I am of it all. Which of course made my walk all the more difficult. Have you ever tried to walk in a public place while trying not to sob your heart out? You end up very out of breath and with a throat that feels like you've got an ice block/cube lodged in there.

It's SO unfair. I've worked so hard to ensure that I could be the kind of mother that has energy to play with her kids. Yet here I am, the mother I didn't want to be, struggling just to get through the day.

I'm so tired.

Tired of starting over, again and again and again. Tired of working so hard, and ending up even farther behind than when I first started. I am an advocate of health at any size, but it's hard to continue believing in myself when my health and fitness slip through my fingers no matter how hard I work to keep them. When my fat becomes not an accepted part of me but a hindrance to my life and my good health instead.

The funny thing is, despite all of this I can still look in the mirror and love myself. I dislike the numb parts and the incontinence. I dislike that my body doesn't feel like my own any more. I dislike yearning to have MY body back. But I still love myself. It's a weird head space to be in. Feeling both despair at starting over again, yet also pride at how far I have recovered once more. Fatigue at the thought of how far I still have to go, yet not willing to give up and remain this way. Afraid that I'll get fitter once more just to have another setback if I (ever) get pregnant again. Relief at how lucky I was to survive all that I have in the past few years, especially with much worse things could have been in every single case, yet also angry that those awful things happened at all.

I'm still working through the emotions of what happened with the birth and early postpartum period, that's why I haven't been able to write any more of my birth story yet. I'm not quite up to going there mentally or emotionally. Nor am I up to it physically. I know I'm already drained at the end of each day, I don't want to add the strain of that particular sobfest just yet to the other physical stresses.

Although, I did feel better after blubbing all over Alaskaboy in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. It made me feel so much better having the time to talk to him about all of it. (Only because he refused to go and do his usual morning yoga because he knew I needed to talk.) With how busy we've been lately taking care of Kiddlywink we haven't had any time for adult conversation. I miss being able to trail him from room to room as he gets ready for bed of an evening, catching up on what we've done during the day or discussing any issues that have come up. It's kinda hard to discuss things when we're each involved in doing separate chores that NEED to be done. Some nights we do get to talk, but obviously not in depth enough.

I know all of this will change. I know things will improve. . .no, are improving. It's just that Monday night I hit the end of my current tether and like a dog that goes tearing off after a lovely scent while forgetting she's on a leash, I came crashing down HARD.

Funnily enough, after tonight's walk I actually felt relaxed and revitalised. What a difference having a good cry, and several long naps, makes to my outlook.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Answering A Request.

Someone asked about where to find the brushes I talked about in my Pregnancy Coat post.

For them, and anyone else who is interested, I was able to buy them at my local grocery store in their health/shampoo/haircare/shower/brushes section. But you can find many types of scalp brushes at Amazon.com if you can't get them locally.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silliniess in the Morning.

I know I had enough sleep last night because I woke up in the mood to sing. (even though I don't sing or whistle in tune very well, I still enjoy doing both. and MUST do so when I'm happy and rested.)

This is what I sang as I was changing Kiddlywink's diaper/nappy this morning.
(to the tune of ten green bottles)

One wet nappy sitting on your bum,
One wet nappy sitting on your bum
And if one wet nappy should accidentally fall,
There will be no wet nappies sitting on your bum

So let's put one dry nappy up against your bum,
One dry nappy up against your bum
With one dry nappy up against your bum
We can go and get you some breakfast yummy-yums!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shocked.

I went in for my yearly pap smear today. Having noticed several places I've slimmed down between last month's swimsuit shot and this month's photo, I was eager to get on the scales to see how those missing inches related to pounds lost.

I hadn't lost a thing.

In fact I've pretty much done the far opposite of losing weight.

I've gained 18lbs in 3 months. I'm now only 1 lb lighter than I was when I was 34 weeks pregnant!

Thus Denise's Comment on my Control Issues post is rather timely.

After having my son, I felt like I had to do everything right away- baby announcements, thank yous, laundry, and so on. I killed myself. I didn't allow myself to enjoy my baby and to enjoy my time at home with my baby. At the same time though, I still didn't do what my body needed. Now that you have a baby, it is a matter of finding that time for yourself---that includes time for managing a diet---and I don't mean diet as in counting calories. It takes time to meal plan and just think about eating better. I found it very difficult to just put Aiden in a stroller and go for a walk. You will get there---that's my point. A lot has changed in your life, and you can only take one day at a time and learn how to incorporate your needs back into it while still making the day work with all the schedules you know have!


The only way I can think of for me to have gained these 18lbs, while getting slimmer, is for the amount of water I retained earlier in the post-partum period to have been very great as opposed to my fat percent. But due to the amount of inactivity and lack of sleep I've been getting, the fat has been piling on even though the edema is going away.

And if I'm to admit to the soul searching I did on the way home, while eating the hamburger combo I'd driven thru to buy, is that my eating hasn't been as intuitive as I thought it had been. Yes, WHAT I was eating was intuitive, but the amounts certainly haven't been. Also due to the lack of sleep and lack of time etc, my intuition has been asking for far too many quick, easy meals of late. Sure, we've been eating the meals out of the freezer, but to be completely truthful, I've been eating take away food at least twice a week also. It's not all junk food, but it still is restaurant quality food, and as we all know that equals excess amounts of everything in the meals. The meals in the freezer, whilst nutritious, really don't contain enough veggies in them either. Instead of eating side veggies with them, I've merely eaten my fill of those dishes at each sitting. I also haven't been eating much fruit any more. Funny, the first few weeks postpartum I ate fruit every single day. I s'pose it was easier to with my slaves present to handle other things, or to slice up a bowl of something and hand it to me while I was pumping milk.

As Denise said though, everything is SO MUCH MORE of an effort. I might be taking the time to enjoy being a parent to Kiddlywink, but I'm not taking the time to make wiser meal choices. I also haven't been exercising as much as I'd like. Again, because it's such an effort. Walking is great to help heal from a c-section. However, with how stinking hot it's been during the day, and how exhausted I am by the relative cool of the evening, my planned daily, or even every other day, walk hasn't been happening. Some days it's hard enough to get dressed or to find time for a five minute shower, let alone cook a bloody meal. And cooking equals more dishes. {sigh}


LOL Shit! I just remembered I used to think it was too much of a bother to go swimming or exercise every day. I wanna reach back in time and slap myself. All I was responsible for was getting me to and from the pool, or out the door to walk/whatever. Now I have to take all my stuff plus everything for Kiddlywink as well. Most often I end up feeding her in the change rooms before we come back home again. Talk about an excursion!

I'm starting to sound like I'm complaining. Ugh. I'm not really, it's just a bit of a shock to realise that even though I've been kind to my body by resting as I can, that I've also been fooling myself about how bad I've been treating myself otherwise. And fooling myself about how much I've been using Kiddlywink and my tiredness as an excuse. I'm only going to get tireder the fatter I get!

It' hard to realise that now, I HAVE to start taking the time to exercise and cook. That even though all I can do is put a few groceries in the bottom of the stroller for each trip, then that's what I have to do. So what if I have to go twice this week just to get a nice amount of veggies/fruit, so be it. We're out, we didn't get time to go this weekend, so I have to suck it up and do it. Am figuring I'll probably get a fair few frozen veg, but hey, at least they're better than nothing! And they stand more chance of me finding time to cook them and eat them.

Anyone else, especially you Mums/Dads and those of you that work full time or have very busy schedules, got tips for how to ease on back into this exercising and cooking healthy stuff?

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Control Issues.

For weeks now I've been feeling like absolute shite. I'm recovering from the birth, but I've felt like I'd hit a wall and was going no farther. A couple weeks ago, Alaskaboy noticed that despite my use of Breathe Right strips, (which I'd discovered thanks to my dad) I was still having disturbed sleep.

Yes, yes, I know I'm the mother of a young baby plus also needing to go to the bathroom a lot thanks to the surgery, but this was something different. The slight sleep apnea that I started having during the latter stages of my pregnancy has not gone away like I'd assumed. In fact, Alaskaboy and I figured out it's the main reason I've been so exhausted. I mean, months later still falling asleep on the toilet and couch? Without even realising I've fallen asleep? Total body exhaustion.

It's taken me a few trial and errors, but I've figured out a way to get better quality sleep, without hopefully having to get a CPAP machine: Different, higher pillows for my head, one under my arm like a teddy bear to take some of the weight off my chest and throat, and of course the nasal strips. It's amazing the difference it makes having fewer episodes per sleep session.

After reading up on helpful hints etc, I got stuck on one particular point all of the data agreed upon: Losing weight. I've been debating with myself ever since about going to buy some scales. Some days I'm resolute that I'll be getting them, other days the thought of bringing them into the house nauseates me. Finally, last weekend I decided that I would purchase them.

Funnily enough, I've come up with a new excuse every day since as to why I don't get to the shops before they close. It's too hot to go out; I'm too tired; I was tending Kiddlywink all day, etc etc etc. Today, after watching Disfigured over the course of a few baby feedings, it hit me that I'd actually related more to the anorexic character in the film than the overweight ones. During a big sob session, it also shed light on why I hadn't gone out and bought those scales.

Why?

Control.

Now that I'm getting a little more quality sleep, I have the energy to feel what I'm feeling, rather than losing it all in the sleep-deprived haze. And what I'm feeling is; that I feel like I've lost control of my life. Well, I've lost my illusion of control anyway.

The birth wasn't as I wanted it, neither was the immediate aftermath. So many things I thought would happen a certain way, almost seemed to go out of their way to happen the opposite. I feel robbed and cheated and let down. But I haven't had the energy, due to the sleep deprivation, to actually feel them. If that makes sense?

I have no problem with my appearance, it's pretty much the same as it's always been, with the addition of a few more stretch marks and slightly floppier and looser bits. They'll tone up in time eventually. But will the numbness go away? Will the incontinence? Will the sleep apnea? It's my body and yet it's not.

With my body clock having to follow Kiddlywink's waking patterns, on top of all those other issues I just mentioned, I'm feeling like I have lost control of myself and my life. And the “lose 10% body weight to beat the apnea” instruction from those websites began to sing its seductive song.

Deep down I knew all along exactly who'd be in control though. The scales. Before long they'd be dictating my moods and giving me the bragging rights of just how many kilos I'd lost. And thus I was flirting with dieting thinking again and it's shocked the shit outta me. Why do I need the scales to tell me when I've lost the magic 10%? What if the apnea doesn't go away after losing 10%? What if it goes away before that?

Instead of bewailing my weight and the state of my house...I have to take the sure fire clue my messy house has been giving me and declutter the state of my mind instead. Focus on what's really the problem, instead of what's merely one of the symptoms. By this I mean, my house is acceptably messy for the situation I'm in. The actual symptom is my focus on getting my house “perfectly” clean and because it's not I can beat myself up about what a bad housewife I am. Thus taking away the heat from my real problems. Hey, I'm managing to get most of the dishes done every night, as well as cleaning and sterilising baby girl's stuff.

Let me say that again. I wash most of the dishes, sometimes all of them, every single night! Something I couldn't even manage while getting excellent sleep without a baby! So it's definitely not the housework that's the real issue, now is it?

I don't need scales to tell me I'm getting healthier...when my sleep apnea disappears, it'll have disappeared. No number on the scale will make it disappear. So why bother getting a scale to measure those totally useless numbers?

What will make it disappear is giving my body time to recover completely from the pregnancy and surgery. Giving myself time to recover my fitness and muscle tone. I'll know when I start regaining more health than I already have, because not only will I sleep better, but my energy levels plus my clothes will tell me so.

I don't need scales to regain control. What I do need is to allow myself to work through the disappointments, hurts, fears and grief that has come over the past few months. Work through them instead of hanging on to them like I have been. The control I do need to have won't be found by weighing myself. What I need to do is what I've done in the past: Allow the outflow of emotions in a safe and constructive way rather than trying to control them by corralling them behind an impenetrable wall of numbers.

That, and getting more good quality sleep. Speaking of... ZzzZZzz

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