Let me first start by saying that I know I’m not really fat. But at the same time, I currently feel as though I have a post-baby body, with no baby to show for it. My already not-so-ample chest has become deflated. My belly thick, my thighs wobbly and my hips wide. Proof that this last MC f*cked with my body almost as much as it did my mind. Thankfully, at a day short of 17 weeks, I didn’t get my milk in. I seriously don’t know how those of you who have had to go through that, did. Major props. Major.
The thing is, I’m not obsessed by weight or my body. But I AM obsessed with feeling good. There’s a difference. And “feeling” fat and thick doesn’t feel good. I’ve always been an athletic person. I love working out, particularly running, not only as a way to stay healthy, but as a stress reliever to clear my head (or at least trick it into submission). So after the second MC, when I started going through tests and trying again with the gonadotropins and IUIs, I was limited on my workout abilities to low impact. Good-bye running. And I was fine with that. Cause I was going to get pregnant and have a baby.
Not so fast. Three IUIs, and nothing. Each month when there was a BFN (that’s big fat negative pregnancy test for those of you not in the know), I would have about a one week window where I could workout hard before starting another cycle. I love those hard workouts where you come out of it a pile of sweat and feeling great. Where you truly feel like you’ve kicked ass. Where it helped you forget that you’re still not closer to what you want. And then I’d go back to trying something low impact, or even not doing anything at the off chance (or grasping at straws) that even walking would lessen my chances of getting pregnant. All the while my body doing a little shift, and my mind not getting the clearing it needed.
A little laproscopic surgery and a 4th IUI later and I was pregnant. And 6-1/2 weeks later I wasn’t. Back to the low-impact, back to the gonadotropins and IUI. And then I was pregnant again. So as I was progressing along and feeling bloaty, I embraced it. I loved my little pooch belly and the hope that it held. I can’t tell you how excited I was the day I had to go out and buy belly bands when my pants would no longer close. There wasn’t much of a bump, but I could tell and that was all that mattered. Double A and I spent an afternoon at the G.ap where I picked out clothes that I could wear before I needed to get the real big girl maternity clothes. And then we peeked at those maternity outfits anyway, looking forward to the day I could make the jump.
I can’t remember now if it was at 3 months or 4 months that I finally allowed him to take the belly shot. No, not bare belly, just me in a fitted tank with my hands on either side of the mini bump, and a smile that stretched from New York to LA. We had finally made it to the belly shot phase! This, in itself, felt like a huge feat. Unfortunately, this picture no longer exists. I deleted it in the anger, sadness and haze that followed the loss, and that’s something I regret doing now. Outside of some ultrasound shots, we have so little “proof” of our baby, that it would be nice to have a photo, where at that moment in time, Double A and I were both truly happy, excited and believed.
For some time after the loss, I had a hard time touching my body, or even looking at it. If I was in bed, I could no longer rest my hands on my belly as I had during those 17 weeks, for it was just another reminder of what wasn’t there. When getting in or out of the shower, I couldn’t look in the mirror at my once full, now depleted, chest. At night, one of our cats would curl up in between my legs, and I would freak out because it brought back the painful memories and the warmth of the feeling from when the baby was born before the doctor or nurses could make it in to deliver her. That’s messed up.
And now here I sit, 8 months later, no baby, not pregnant and ever thicker. Under the same low-impact instructions. Every morning I get dressed and put on pants that don’t fit like they used to, or just don’t look right. And then my day is shot. I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, and on some days, don’t know who I’m looking at. Poor Double A tells me that I look great, that what I’m wearing looks really good. And he means it (he’s not one to say something for the sake of saying it). Yet it goes back to not feeling great, and he’s left to deal with my crabbiness.
So we bought a spin bike, or Sir Spins-a-Lot, as I like to call it. And that helps. I get up each morning (read: reluctantly drag myself out of bed) and head downstairs for at least a half hour of spinning. We’re not talking at the health club class, spinning. We’re talking about getting on the bike and pedaling within the limits of low-impact while still breaking a sweat, spinning. Unless it is after a stupid BFN, then I go balls out. This seems to help, at least my state of mind. As for my body, I think it is going to take a lot to get me to a place where I feel good. But then again, most of that has nothing to do with what’s below my shoulders.