Take a Load Off

There is a lot to celebrate this month.  Grady is a year old, and uttered his first words this week.  Cade’s vocabulary is exploding in amazing and hilarious ways.  Also, and just as exciting, I am back in my skinny jeans.  It took much, much longer to start feeling like my old self than I thought. I guess that’s what I get for being pregnant for two solid years.  I ran into a very pregnant acquaintance a few days ago. Watching her waddle away, I realized how much better I feel now that I’ve shaken off the last vestiges of enormousness.

My first pregnancy was easy.  No barfing, lots of energy, and limited mood swings (but don’t ask my husband about that last one).  Even my labor was simple and pretty quick.  I knew other women didn’t have pregnancies as easy as I did, but I didn’t really understand what that meant until…I got knocked up six weeks later with Grady.

My body was not pleased that I was pregnant again so quickly.  It let me know of its unhappiness often.  From 13 weeks onward, I got crippling gall bladder pain that put me in bed for four or five hours a stretch.  About the same time, I landed myself a heaping dose of gestational diabetes. (Sidebar:  Drinking gallons of sweet tea when pregnant is not a good idea, no matter how much you crave it). I also suffered from an inability to understand how big I was, which translated into bumping into door frames, my coworkers, tables, the dog:  basically anything that was less than two feet from the belly.  It got to the point where rolling over in bed was a three-step process–kind of like trying to parallel park a hippo between a zillion pillows and the headboard.  Beep…beep…beep.  I was the industrial-sized truck backing up.

Now that the organ damage has subsided,  I have a new appreciation of what it means to be healthy.  There is a true feeling of liberation now that the extra weight is gone.  I can fast walk with the jog stroller and not feel like I’m hefting Extra Me up the hill.  My knees and ankles have stopped aching.  There is an actual spring in my step.  All good stuff that I had been missing the last two years.

Having gestational diabetes made me know I never want real diabetes, and I’m much more aware of the sugar I consume every day.  Not that it always prevents me from having an extra cookie or two, but still — I’ve been scared a little straighter.  If I ever forget, I have the blood sugar meter in the bathroom closet to remind me.  My fingers have yet to forgive me for the six months of 3x/day needle sticks.  All tolled, I am down 50 pounds.

I wish I could say that I’ve had a life-changing epiphany, exchanging fries for lentils and cookies for Swiss chard.   In all honesty, a lot of it came from not having time to eat, or being so busy that I forgot to eat.  Something that the old me would never do.  I will, however, take credit for being outside more.  I can see the difference in the boys when they have fresh air, which is a big motivator for me to get my fanny moving.  Fifty lb stroller + 45 lbs of toddlers + hilly neighborhood = a leaner me.  (Bonus:  Dwight, who comes with us, is a little thinner, too).

I may still be sleep-deprived, and the house may still be a disaster, but I am in my skinny jeans.  And for that, I will go to sleep with a smile.

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