Posted by: Hannah | 04/04/2011

the truth hurts

We’re trying to have another baby.

This won’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention but yes, we are actively trying, and while I’m sure there are those of you who’ll think I’m nuts for wanting to add Yet. More. Chaos. to my life, we’re excited and it feels like the right decision. So yay for that.

Trouble is, we’ve never actually had to *try* before.

Thing #1 was born nine months after our wedding. Thing #2 was born nine months after his brother’s second birthday. I’ve never had difficulty conceiving or trouble carrying. I’ve been so very lucky, and I know this. I have no right to complain or even be worried.

But.

We’ve been actively trying since Christmas, and so far, no dice. Every month the week before my period is due I get my hopes up even though I tell myself not to, and my boobs get sore and I feel queasy in the morning, and then it turns out it’s just PMS again.

Once again this weekend, on my road trip with Thing #1, my period arrived right on schedule and why didn’t I plan that better? Because when you find out that you’re not pregnant AGAIN and your chosen activity is cuddling your two month old nephew, WELL. That just sucks. And while I used to think I had a lot of empathy for people who have difficulty conceiving, I now think of those people I know who tried for years and years only to not ever have a successful pregnancy and I just want to call them all and tell them how truly sorry I am for anything assholish I might have ever said.

I was locked in the hotel bathroom yesterday morning talking in hushed tones to hubby on my cell phone, and he was trying to make me feel better. He was. He was explaining all the things that have changed since the last time we got pregnant – his diabetes and the weird cocktail of meds he’s on now; I’m older, he’s older; I’m heavier than I was; the last few months have been fairly stressful.

Hold the phone. I’m heavier than I was? What was that?

The whole four-hour drive home I thought about it, while an exhausted & Gravol-filled Thing #1 slept in the back seat and the baseball game unwound over the radio. I *am* heavier than I was when I got pregnant the second time. There is no getting around that. But I seem to have convinced myself that I’m not significantly heavier. And that’s a problem, because steadily over the last six years I have been gaining weight, and I keep setting my target weight at higher & higher numbers.

And I’ve been here before, ye gods, don’t I know it. I was actually doing really well this time a year ago. And then I lost my job and started the dayhome, and my grandad got sick, and I haven’t been eating so much as I’ve been opening my mouth and breathing in food.

I thought about what a meal means to me these days, and I had to admit I don’t even taste my food for days at a time anymore, because I’m always rush-rush-rushing to shovel it down as fast as I can. The first helping disappears down my throat and my poor brain can’t register that it happened. The second helping is the one I actually chew.

As I drove down the road in tears I thought to myself my god, do I really want a second helping of dinner more than I want another baby?

***

It stops now. Enough is enough. Starting at supper last night I decided not to change the content of anything I’m eating, but rather I made a conscious effort to put the fork down and take my hand off it between bites. I served myself smaller portions to see what would happen. It seems so small, but so far, it *is* making a difference. After supper, breakfast and lunch I felt full after only one moderately-sized helping (and at lunch there was actually food left on my plate). I kept my snacks small and of the raw-vegetable variety, and I’ve been drinking lots of water. It’s only been 24 hours and I’m alarmed actually at how badly I’ve been treating my body for the past several months, because other than the weather-related headache I’m nursing I feel physically better than I have in a long time. I’ve been poisoning myself with food again, when I thought I had that problem licked, when I was sure it was behind me this time.

Food addiction is a complicated one, because unlike an alcoholic, you can’t go cold turkey (mmm, turkey) and avoid that which makes you ill. I don’t want to diet, I know they don’t work for me. I don’t want to change the content of what I’m eating, because it’s actually not terrible for me as long as I eat sensible portions for my age & activity level. I just want food to be a genuine pleasure again, one that is savoured, in the hopes that I can be healthier both for the kids I have now and the one I hope I can have in the future.

***

In re-reading this it occurs to me that Hubby *may* be coming across as critical. He isn’t – he was telling me an unpleasant truth that I needed to hear. Also, by the time I got home he was realizing I may have been thrown a bit  by his laundry list of possible problems, and was both apologetic & supportive. We’re in this together, he and I.

Even if it is kind of aggravating that the ten pounds I’ve gained in the past three months apparently came from him, because he’s lost that same amount, and is now only ten pounds off what he weighed when I met him in university. Smug bastard. 😉

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Responses

  1. I’ve been doing what I’ve been calling “food reduction” (as opposed to dieting) since September, and I’m kind of amazed that it’s working. I’m doing exactly what you are: making no changes at all to WHAT I eat, and addressing only how much and how often. And I was amazed after the few weeks at how familiar it felt – like, oh, I remember when I used to wait until I felt pretty much empty before eating again – not starving or anything, but just a kind of familiar feeling of lunch having been a long time ago (as opposed to the constant “topping up” I had been doing for the past five years, munching on something whenever I had room). I remember how before I had kids, my cue to stop eating was that feeling of starting to slow down – not the feeling of being totally stuffed.

    I think it also helped that I waited a few months before I tried adding any exercise. I’ve read a few places that exercise doesn’t help people lose weight because they usually compensate for it by eating more. Since I had already adapted my eating habits and was fairly aware of my portion sizes, I could add exercise (walking for 30 min. 4 days/week) and it actually made a difference.

    Your post sounds really familiar to me, anyway – I think I had that point last September where I actually wanted to do this (rather than thinking I probably should and then not, which was the usual pattern).

    • I had kind of come to the same conclusion about exercise – too much, too soon – and I do have a tendency to go crazy with the exercising and then eating loads because, you know, I’m burning the calories off. I like the term “food reduction” and will use it henceforth.

  2. I came to a similar realization recently; the bigger pants that I bought because the old ones were too tight, are now too tight. My eating habits, combined with my nightly beer turning into 2 or 3 over the last few years, have taken their toll.

    Spring is here. We’re in this together, babe.

    • My pants *are* a size smaller than a year ago, which is great… except they are still a size bigger than the year before that. Good luck with the beer thing. That’s an easy habit to slide in to, for sure.

  3. I’m in this with you babe…always! Dieting is not an answer…but changing and mending our relationship with food…WILL work. xox Hope the swimmers find their way soon.

    • Hubby says the swimmers are having a hard time because they aren’t jacked up on sugar anymore. At least we’re still laughing about it, sometimes.

  4. I had unprotected sex for almost a year before we had Babby, although we weren’t really “trying” because of the depression thing. Also, we weren’t having super frequent sex. Because of the depression thing. Once I got on my meds it took three months.

    I know how disappointing the monthly period is, but it’s really too early to worry. On the bright side, if you diet, you’re more like to have a girl!
    http://www.ivf1.com/diet-gender-selection/

  5. i find the mindfulness you’re talking about here inspiring…i am trying to make similar changes with activity, so that i notice when i have, yes, actually spent the entire day on my keister. i feel better, if stiff, for getting up and out and pushing myself. but it is hard for me to sustain. and hard to stop eating whatever’s easiest to just plunk down on the couch beside me.

    so i’m with you too…and while not with you in your ultimate goal, definitely behind you. best of luck, lovely.

  6. One of the most inspiring, honest and practical accounts of losing weight come from my friend Megan. You can find it here http://www.snowcoveredhills.com/?p=6645

    Definitely worth the read.

  7. That *is* a fantastic and inspiring story, Francis. Makes me feel like I have hope. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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