You Big Baby!

The other night as I was giving my son a bottle I couldn’t help but notice how completely at peace he looked.  Eyes closed, toes stretched out and stopping every once in a while to smile at me…not a care in the word. 

I started to think about how adults (ESPECIALLY those with fibro) should follow the example of babies.  It’s those basic instincts, the innocent behavior that we push aside to “grow up.”

These are the things I hope my son can teach  me…my top five…

One…

Slowing down to enjoy what I’m eating!  This is a terrible habit for a lot of people.  Eating too fast can not only give you an upset stomach, but can hinder weight loss.  I’m one of those, eat at my desk while at work, eat in front of the TV in a mad rush at the end of the night, umm…writing this blog as I eat my lunch…using eating as an opportunity to multi task instead of actually enjoy what I’m eating!  I’m not sure what my husband is going to think when I decide next time I eat that I plan to close my eyes, stretch out my toes and smile at him every once in a while…but I want to feel as peaceful as baby A looks when he eats!

Two…

Exercising is fun!  Yes…you know I already know this, but there are times when I try a new work out and hate it, lose my motivation and feel like I’m starting from scratch all over again.  When baby A exercises, it’s not “exercise” it is play.  His favorite workout?  Laying on the ground and kicking his legs out over and over.  He’s working his muscles…not to look good in a bathing suit (which will bring me to my next topic shortly) but because it’s fun.  Plain and simple. And that’s what exercise should be!  Fun!  Sometimes I need to remind myself that not only does exercise manage my pain, but it’s also fun.  If you don’t think it is fun, you’re not doing the right exercise…I have to remind myself of that sometimes, maybe I’ll even give baby A’s exercise a try!  Again…I can’t wait to see my husband’s face.  I figure I better warn him a head of time so he doesn’t see me kicking on the floor and he calls an ambulance before I have a chance to stop him. 

Three…

Letting it all hang out!  Baby A loves stripping down!  Out of the diaper, big smile on his face.  No care in the world for his fat rolls, pale skin and dimples.  Ok…calm down…I’m not saying that I’m going to attempt to walk around naked and I’m fully aware my fat rolls aren’t nearly as cute has his, but the lesson I take from this is that I should learn to be comfortable in my own skin.  I’m currently going through a “lose the baby weight” phase and I feel uncomfortable.  When I was obese, I felt judged.  I felt isolated and I felt ugly.  Now being a little overweight post-baby, it’s hard to not go back into that mindset.  I need to remember to be comfortable in the skin I have now, be patient and know I’m working on it.  I can’t let the fact that I didn’t lose 10 pounds in a week affect who I am as a person.  I’m imperfect and that’s ok.  I’m also a person who has a chronic pain condition, and that’s ok too…it’s not an imperfection…it’s a challenging trait. 

Four…

Relying on others.  Yes.  Babies don’t really have a choice, but at the same time, they’re not afraid to ask…or cry… for something they need.  I think people, especially fibro sufferers, think they can no longer ask for help.  We either give up on something altogether, or try to play superhero and do it all.  I think people are more receptive to the condition when you ask for help with what you can’t do instead of complaining about how much it hurts, or how hard it is to do something.  People don’t know how to help fibro, and they’re never going to know if we don’t tell them where and when we need help to manage.  Now I don’t recommend crying like a baby (although I’m sure my husband would argue I’ve taken this approach) when we need help, but you get what I’m trying to say.

Five…

Baby A doesn’t care what people think about him!  Farting, goofy giggle, boogers, bed head, ugly cries, burping like a full grown man…you don’t like it?  Tough.  I’m not sure why, as we start to grow, we begin to worry so much about what people think of us.  I’m 100% guilty of worrying about this too much.  I’ve always admired the people who act as though they honestly don’t care what people think of them…but the pessimist in me wonders if they’re telling the truth.  This is one of the biggest lessons I hope to take away from baby A…in a toned down way of course…I could fart, have boogers, bed head, ugly cries and man burps and not care what people think of me, but I figure it may be more appropriate to not care…with some manners.   

 

 

“The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children. ” 
― 
Jim Henson

 

 

 

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Fibro + Baby =

A lot of trial and error…

 

I’m going to be very honest. About 1 month before baby A was conceived my husband and I had a very serious conversation about having kids and we decided that it would probably be best to move on from the idea of being parents.

We discussed the fact that it would be too hard to go through another miscarriage. We talked about how we should travel and take more vacations.  We talked about how hard we worked to get in shape.

But mostly…we talked about my fibro.

We had the discussion late at night during another insomnia phase. I was flaring, tired and overwhelmed by what fibro was doing to me at that time.  We talked about how much pregnancy could possibly hurt, with body parts stretching and moving.  We talked about how much labor could hurt, or how hard labor recovery could be.  I couldn’t see how I could get up in the middle of the night to take care of a baby.  I didn’t know how I could come home from a long day at work and still have energy left to give to a child.  What about memory loss?  Would I forget his first word?  First steps?  First…everything?

There were too many “I don’t knows” and we decided to try to adjust our lives for a different plan.

God, on the other hand, had a different plan.

BOOM…just like that pregnant. We had just come to terms with the idea of our new life plans and our heads were spinning.

Suddenly we were in a whirl wind of morning sickness, doctor’s appointments, maternity clothes, nursery painting, and all the other things that went along with preparing for the baby. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my fibro dissipated during this time.  So my first question was answered:

How much would pregnancy hurt my body? It didn’t.

Fibro was also not a factor in my labor. Yeah…the contractions hurt.  Bad.  Like “Holy Hell I’m gonna rip in two” bad.  But you know what?  No fibro.  Of course, there was this wonderful thing called an epidural involved so I’m sure that helped just a little…or a lot…or maybe I could have kissed the anesthesiologist…

But I digress…

A good friend of mine recently went through a hard labor and I realize as I look back at mine that I was very lucky. I think the fibro gods were looking out for me that day.  Recovery wasn’t pain free but I’m sure no woman’s is.

So…to answer the second question…How bad could labor be? It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but again, I know I was lucky.  It hurt, but no fibro!

This is where fibro began to be an issue once again. After pregnancy, after labor and after recovery is when I got my pain again and it became a trial and error process for me and my husband.

I tried to pretend I was superwoman.

I got up when he cried. I didn’t nap.  I had to keep the house immaculate.  I didn’t let the laundry get behind…stupid…stupid…stupid.

It has taken us almost the full two months baby A has been with us so far to adjust and I can say honestly I have to have the support of my husband to survive. If there are any fibro mommy’s out there who are single, or just lack support, YOU deserve the superwoman prize.  I don’t know how you do it!

My husband and I make sure that I get enough sleep. This is SO important for pain and fog it’s not something we could negotiate with.  I do the late night and early morning shift and he does the middle.  It has been a lifesaver to help me recover and have enough energy to give baby A.

We have a routine to rotate the nights we exercise. You all know I will ALWAYS be moving because I know that is the only way to truly maintain my pain.  I don’t just get my exercise nights.  I get exercise nights outside of the house.  It’s an hour for me to step away, get my head on straight, work through some pain and come home refreshed and ready for my son.  The first few weeks when I could not work out were not easy for me.  Not just for pain, but also for my sanity.

We take turns with everything…feeding him, eating dinner, taking showers, getting him ready for bed, taking care of the dogs, etc., etc.,etc.

So to answer how I would handle having enough energy to give to my child? Support and taking care of myself.

 

 

As far as the memory loss, well…I still don’t have the answer to this question. I take a lot of pictures and video and try my best to soak him in.  This is a sad topic for me and I’m just going to move on…

 

I genuinely thought fibro had taken away my ability to be a mother. Apparently God wanted to prove me wrong.  I know it’s going to be a challenge, and the trial and error will continue until he’s grown up and on his own (or possibly longer).  

I think the thing that has gotten me though with my fibro so far is baby A! I love him so much it hurts.  I miss him when he’s in the other room.  I kiss him so much he probably thinks I’m crazy.  His smile helps take the pain away….and gives me something to look forward to everyday.

He has given me a whole new reason to fight fibro head on. I never want to miss out on anything in his life because I am in too much pain!

You thought I fought hard before?

 

Just wait…

 

Why I Quit Teaching Zumba…

NO IT WASN’T BECAUSE I HAVE FIBRO.

Many times I have been told that my fibro would eventually become so bad that my activity, including Zumba, would have to stop.

I want to clarify THIS IS NOT THE CASE!

Giving up teaching Zumba was a very difficult decision for me, and it wasn’t one that came suddenly. I still highly respect, and highly recommend Zumba for anyone looking for a fun and effective way to get in shape. I owe the program SO much. Yes, it started my weight loss journey, but more importantly, it gave me a love for fitness. I fully believe Zumba has impacted where I am even today. My fertility issues where impacted by my poor health…then “Surprise! You’re pregnant!” I found a job that is full of fitness oriented people and LOVE that and am SO happy with my new job! I was diagnosed with fibro, but loved Zumba so much I wouldn’t let it impact my fitness or health goals. There are probably a thousand other examples of what it has done for me and I will always be grateful for that! When I sold some of my Zumba clothes I cried. It was a very special part of my life, but it was time to move on.

I reached burn out. I suddenly began to dread getting ready for a class. NOT because I was in too much pain and NOT because I was too tried, it just kind of happened.

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the class, or my students or how I felt after class…I just had a feeling in my gut like it was time to move on. I became an instructor as one of my “fibro isn’t going to stop me” goals and I feel I more than succeeded reaching that goal…but I needed a new one.

I wanted to do something more independent, not lead a class, or be told by an instructor what to do…I wanted to see if I could maintain my weight, my fitness goals AND my fibro on my own. I continue to be very blessed having great support in all of these areas, but at the end of the day, it’s up to me to maintain!

Shortly before finding out I was pregnant I found a love for running. Ok….honestly….it was (and still is) a love/hate relationship. It was a brand new challenge. It tested different muscles, tested my endurance, and I had to get my body (and fibro) adjusted to the change, but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. I could get lost in my own head, in my own music and take everything at my own pace. If I WAS hurting one day, I walked. Feeling great? Pushed myself to do a little extra distance.

I took my first run, post-baby, yesterday. It SUCKED! I loved it! It felt good to sweat and push myself again. Yes…I huffed and puffed and probably looked like a crazy person trying to find my stride again, but hey…I did it!

My new goal?

I WILL run a 5k by next summer.

I can’t wait to put another met goal under my “Fibro’s not going to stop me” list.

Did you miss me?

I’m BBBBAAACCKKK….

One year ago today I decided to take a break from writing this blog to do something different.  Little did I know HOW different my life would be in just one year!

Let’s see…what all has happened since April 2013….I don’t even know where to start…

June-Found out I was pregnant!

July-August-suffered through TERRIBLE morning sickness.  Every. Single. Day.

August-I quit my job at the gym.  My head wasn’t in the right place to be there at that time.  I still love them dearly, but needed to move on.

August-Started a temp job that was supposed to take me through my pregnancy. 

October-Change of plans.  Got laid off due to lack of work. 

October-December- Job interviews. Job Interviews. Job interviews.  Consistently denied, I’m guessing due to the pregnancy, although I’m sure not one company would admit it.  This was one of the toughest times I’ve been through in my life.  Pregnant, unemployed, hormonal, scared and lost.  I thank God every day for my husband, who rode the storm with me, tried to keep me calm and supported me the best he could.  I was in a dark place and I hope to NEVER be there again!

January-I accept no one will hire me pregnant and vow to enjoy the last month of my pregnancy.

-I then get a job offer at 37 weeks pregnant for a job that I REALLY wanted and was willing to hire me/let me go on maternity leave.  It was a very unexpected blessing and surprise.

February- We welcome our son to the world!

I went into labor the night before he was born.  It took me until almost 3:00 a.m. the next morning to actually admit it was happening.  I was in denial of the contractions…until they were about 5 minutes apart and then I was fully aware I was in labor!

Nothing about labor or giving birth was ANYTHING like I expected.  The pain was different, the feelings were different and my emotions were different than I anticipated.  I felt…calm…totally unlike me!

After going through almost 18 hours of contractions, I only pushed for about 10-15 minutes and he was here.  When he came out, the world went quiet….it was just me and him for a few minutes.  I will never be able to explain what those few minutes felt like to anyone…there are no words. 

My mother was able to see my son born and that meant the absolute world to me.  She is someone I know I can show weakness to if I need to, but someone I will stay strong for because she pushes me to fight through the weakness.  I knew this had been the case with my fibro, and I knew it would be the case in labor so I was glad she was there supporting me!

 

My son is now 8 weeks old and time has flown by.  He’s growing like crazy and puts a smile on me and my husband’s face every single day. 

 

So how has all of this been on my fibro?

Well for nine lovely months, my fibro was almost nonexistent.  The insomnia was there, and a few minor flares, but pregnancy definitely calmed it down.

Why???  Why have they not researched this further?  What extra hormone, or vitamin, or internal body changes happen to quiet the pain during pregnancy? 

Now that my symptoms are slowly creeping back in, I’m more frustrated than ever by this.  Lack of research seems to be rearing its ugly head once again.  I’ve had fibro for seven years now and no advancements have been made, no new research seems to be posted…Blah, blah, blah…same old fibro problems as always…however, my frustration has inspired me to write once again.

I look forward to sharing my NEW fibro story…New mom, new job, new life, new challenges my way!