Saturday, October 24, 2015

Somewhere Between... a Bust & a Blessing

Greetings Blueprint followers!  It has been a very quiet year on this blog.  If you've followed me diligently since 2009, I apologize that the typical "here's what she's up to now" fitspiration has been missing this year.  I have changed, I have grown, I have digressed, and I have learned.  I am not the person I was when I began this journey at 285 pounds in 2009.  I am also not the girl who successfully made it to 185 pounds and celebrated keeping 100 pounds off for awhile.

I am somewhere between 2015 being a complete bust and a blessing.  Allow me to explain.

If you followed me this year you know there hasn't been much to watch, except for my heart to have been broken in a zillion little pieces, and the effort it has taken to gather the pieces back up and learn my new normal.  Check in here first, then here to catch yourself up on my year.  Seriously, you could just scroll to the right and see this is only my 5th blog in this entire year. It's the quietest year I've had since I began blogging in 2009.  Partly, because I haven't had much to say that would be inspiring to many of you.  Instead, I've struggled, cried, grieved, spent time on the carpet, and learned what the bottom really feels like.

Today, my weight is NOT where I want it to be.  But my focus has completely changed.  When we decided, earlier this year, to ask the Lord to increase our family (and of course do our part to make that happen), my focus shifted.  During my pregnancy in January/February/March, I was still running, lifting heavy weights, traveling like a crazy person and basically keeping up with my normal routine of life.  And then our baby died.  And my world stopped spinning while my heart broke solidly in half.  You see, everything seemed fine with our angel at first.  The baby had a strong heartbeat.  We saw it more than once and felt comfortable revealing to our beautiful 11 year old daughter that she would be a big sister.  She sobbed with excitement for this long awaited answered prayer.  And then less than a week later, we had to shatter her with the news that her sibling had gone to be with Jesus.

Since then I have come across many many women who have experienced something like this or much, much worse.  Though a loss is truly a loss, I have grown to learn that the pain can be just as unbearable with a first trimester as it can be to deliver a stillborn.  Ours stung especially due to the fact that we waited so long for it, and were so ignorant to what could happen.  One in four pregnancies ends unexpectedly in a loss.  No one expects to be the one in four, and many women suffer in silence.  If you know me at all, you know silence isn't exactly one of my gifts.  But I believe firmly and wholeheartedly that this new pain I've experienced is one that will someday help another. There are women hurting today who don't have anyone who fully understands their pain.  I get it and it's awful.

As you can imagine, after losing the pregnancy and my surgery in late March, my weight wasn't in a happy place. I was solidly back in the 200s, and hovering around 220 for awhile.  It took time for my body to realize it was no longer pregnant and I'll never forget the day I woke up deflated again.

Add that to the intense grief and depression, feeling like my chance and opportunity was completely missed because I waited so long, add in the feeling of despair and disappointment each month when I wasn't becoming pregnant, and I spiraled out of control in so many ways.

August rolled around and we headed to San Francisco to celebrate my brother's wedding to my beautiful new sister in love.  The trip was long and I was emotional and exhausted.  I chalked it up to my typical monthly hormone trip, in addition to late nights joking with my brothers and the time difference.  I was also faced with a confusing combination of amazing joy and sadness as I faced my other beautiful sister in love, who was due to have a baby just a few short weeks before I was.  I love her so deeply, but it still stung to see her beautiful round pregnant belly when mine was soft and empty.  The family time was amazing and I'm so thankful we had it.
At my brother's wedding with my handsome date!  16 years together, 15.5 married. He is my rock.

Yes, this is taken in the summer!  Muir Woods in northern CA.  Beautiful!
 We headed home and in the few days that it took to recover I realized I had missed my period.  I bought a test with zero expectation and you can imagine my shock when it immediately came up as positive as can be.  I was stunned, and unfortunately around 228 pounds.  Immediately I felt excitement and was upset with myself at the same time.

I took the first test (left) at 2pm.  The second test (right) at 9pm.
Now I am 14 weeks pregnant, which is 5 weeks further than we made it the last time.  Our almost 12 year old is cautiously optimistic, as are we.  I'm learning what it means to experience a pregnancy without the bliss of my previous ignorance.  Every twinge, ache, or funny feeling is analyzed, googled, questioned, wondered about.  While I have immense outward joy about this pregnancy, which is absolutely sincere, I have simultaneously inwardly struggled to feel true joy.  Almost like when you know something has failed you before, unexpectedly, you're constantly expecting to wake up to the bad news, and seeing the glass as half full, when it comes to this, is virtually impossible.  We've seen a strong, perfectly healthy little baby measuring a few days ahead of schedule, and we've heard a beautiful heartbeat more than once.  I'm not sure I will feel actual joy until I am holding this little blessing in my arms and I know he or she is safe from anything my body may or may not be able to do to protect it.

I've experienced absolutely terrible nausea this time around.  I actually was on a whole 30 for about 18 days between weeks 5 and 8, and then it came to the point where I could not look at a vegetable without wanting to hurl. My worst nightmare coming true!  I stopped the Whole 30 and just began to eat for survival.  Not only have I had the terrible nausea, but the fatigue has been almost debilitating.  I'm 36 years old and I am feeling the effects of having a later in life pregnancy.  I've honestly felt like a zombie for much of the last 6 weeks, but am hopefully rounding the corner.

At my last doctor's appointment at 12 weeks, I had already gained 11 pounds.  My entire weight gain for this pregnancy is supposed to be between 11-20 pounds.  Oops.  My midwife was so sweet and told me I have a "hall pass" until the nausea passes, then as an athlete she fully expects me to do what I know to do to get healthy.  I could have hugged her.
12 weeks - not super flattering, but there it is. Sorry for the mess. Dixie says hi.
While this doesn't mean I have gone fully off the rails (I actually haven't gained anything in the last two weeks) it does mean I am taking my nutrition one meal at a time.  One bite at a time some days.  This child loves greek yogurt and marshmallows (I'm limiting those).  Far cry from the way of eating that makes me feel best (paleo) but I also know that since 75% of what I used to eat before sounds absolutely disgusting right now (including sweet potatoes!) I just have to do the best I can.

I went for a walk once this week.  Once.  But it was better than nothing.  Maybe next week I'll get out a few more times. I did one kettlebell workout a few weeks ago.  But right now, if my body needs a nap I'm picking that over activity.  Growing a human is quite hard work at this point in my life.  And while I know I'll find my way back to more activity as I begin to feel a bit better (yay second trimester!) for now I'm prioritizing the best way I know how.  And the blessing gets priority.

So on this blog you may not find fitspiration for awhile, but I will try to blog updates about how things are progressing with my priority, the pregnancy, as well as how I'm doing in the health department.  My "blueprint" has always been drawn in pencil, and if you've been with me for awhile you know I've seen the ups and downs, successes and failures, but I've always grown as a person.  I look forward to finding pieces of my former fit self as I begin to feel better because I also realize the better I eat the more nutrition I'm providing this new little blessing growing inside of me.

Our pregnancy announcement.  One excited big sister!

2015 may not end with goals reached, pounds lost, but inches and a life gained.  Best part?  I know what to do, and when I am able, I'll do it. Been there, done that.  Got the blog history to prove it, right here.

And I'll thank God every day for the miracle of life and whatever part He allows me to experience this time around.

With love,
Clara

5 comments:

Amanda Towne said...

Clara, I'm so happy for you! Congratulations! I hope your nausea passes quickly so that you can eat healthier foods AND feel good.

Many, many hugs to you. A pregnancy following a loss can be SO hard. This week we will mark 20 years since we lost our daughter, Abigail, two hours after she was born. My son just turned 19. It was SO terrifying to be pregnant with him--I truly do understand.

Praying for your new blessing & for healing for your heart.

Karissa Green said...

If you could see the tears rolling down my face. I am sooooo happy for you my friend!! So happy. I love when God answers a question with baby. :) Will be praying...a lot. Love you.

Kathy D said...

I am thrilled for you and your family. What a blessing.

ClaraB said...

Thank you so much! it's so great to know I'm not alone.

ClaraB said...

Love you dear friend! Thank you for rejoicing with us.