I will blog when…

I get all my photos uploaded from my phone.
I make enough space on my computer for all the photos from my phone.
I find the right blogging app.
I become a computer genius.
I overcome my fear of man.

I have everyone’s health under control.
I get the meal plan figured out.
I clean out the refrigerator.
The laundry is put away.

The garden is in.
The harvest is put up.
The fences are mended.
The animals are fed.
I know what the hell I’m doing.

I get the school schedule figured out.
Everyone adjusts to the time change.
We get through this developmental stage.
I learn the next parenting skill.
I finish reading this stack of books.
My spiritual discipline is rock solid.

I’m working out consistently.
I’m doing anything consistently.
My back feels better.
I’m taking my vitamins.
My hair is clean.
I’m not so tired all the time.

I have only nice things to say.
I’m not a hypocrite.

I’m dead.

Side effects and cream cheese frosting.

Between all of my wildly inappropriate responses to completely appropriate behaviors, questions, lighting, flavors, sensations, looks, tones, and temperatures, I am trying to be nice.  More than nice.  I am trying to love.

Loving while disembodied by all the pills I’ve swallowed, while shaking and forgetting every third word, is hard.  But I am trying.  I am thanking my husband for ordinary tasks.  I am hugging my children any moment the thought doesn’t undo me.  I am using excessive emojis when texting my mother.  I am accepting forgiveness as it is offered.  I am accepting gluten free carrot cupcakes as they are served.

And while I do not think the pills are working, the cupcakes seem to be doing the trick.

Lights are on, but no one’s home.

So, I keep waiting for something beautiful and interesting to come out of this commitment to show up on the internet every day, but perhaps my expectations are a little unrealistic for 38 weeks pregnant?  While I’m extremely appreciative of all the hard work my brain is doing right now, what with it’s regulating the survival of not one but two human beings all inside the same skin, I can’t help but feel a little…understaffed.  My brain just can’t get shit done anymore:

  • I call my kids by the wrong name now (there are only two!).
  • I put dirty dishes in the refrigerator instead of the dishwasher.
  • I go to the grocery store and stand in every aisle for what has to be ten minutes just trying to remember what the heck I’m looking for and there’s a list in my hand.
  • I had to draw a picture for my daughter the other day because I couldn’t remember the word spatula or think of any way to describe it.

And it’s not just my brain.  The rest of my body is having a rough go, too:

  • I can no longer get into or out of pants by myself.
  • I seriously considered just going to bed with my three year old last night because she asked me for a hug and I obliged only to realize that I could not extract myself from the bottom bunk.
  • I had a dream recently that I was a dresser (as in chest of drawers) with a head.  I had to meet my husband in an enchanted garden (naturally), but when I moved, my side to side dresser-like lumber dug up all the plants.  THIS IS HOW I WALK IN REAL LIFE.

 

From the journal.

The following was transcribed directly from my paper journal, July 3, 2013.  I was still brand new pregnant and starting to panic a bit.  I thought I’d share it with you because it’s a damn fine pep talk.

If you’re new here, brief history — I grew up morbidly obese, but have maintained a 100+lb loss for over a decade.  I gained (and lost) 60-70 pounds with each of my previous two pregnancies.  Before diving into this third pregnancy, I was a competitive powerlifter with a thriving health coaching and personal training practice.  Though I was never “underweight”, I carried significantly less body fat than I had in puberty which meant I was no longer ovulating, but I looked damn good.  Choosing our family over my body was not the easiest choice I’ve ever made.  But I made it.

***

When you focus so intensely on one thing, and that one thing does not change, not even one bit, then it feels like everything is stuck.

Maybe I am more than my body?  Maybe the sway in the scales in not because I’m not treating my body right, but because the rest of my self has needs and wants.

Progress I’ve made in life in the last three months not related to weight:

  • Successfully taken my daughters swimming almost every day since June 1.
  • Realized my husband’s true love for me and let go of the lie of not enough.
  • Re-established an authentic, loving relationship with my oldest friend.
  • Successfully increased all my lifts, including accessories.
  • Began piano lessons and practice 5 out of 7 days a week.  Progressing well.
  • Started Beatrice in piano lessons.  Progressing at lightning speed.
  • Made a summer schedule and sticking to it.

And I’m sure there’s more.  My life is moving forward.  I am growing.  And my goal is not just to be beyond reproach physically.  My goal is to be beautiful.

Am I beautiful?

The thoughts I’ve had lately most certainly are not. I’ve though more about the sacrifice than the worship.  I’ve mourned and moaned and even begun to desperately claw at my body and all the hopes and expectations of it slipping away. I’ve grieved more the loss of my body than I have celebrated the creation of a new one.

A new body.

My body for this body.

I am not the only one who changes.  My daughters change right before my eyes, transform from one being to the next.  Should they moan and shriek as their bodies change shape, as they put on fat and then height, as their hair changes, skin changes? They will grow into women who keep growing into mothers, then grandmothers, then great grandmothers.

Our bodies are never static.  A year ago my body was at it’s most beautiful, in my estimation.  It was lean, muscular, impressive.  And I wanted to lock it in.  Even if that meant no more babies, even if it meant I was barren.

But if my God is who I think he is, that is not a value we share.  God does not value my “leanness” over my family, his people.  God does not value my weight over the people he longs to make.

This body, this sesame seed sized body in my belly at this moment, houses a person God loves and is determined to reveal himself through.  This tiny person has been planned purposefully, thoroughly, perfectly.

I have prayed to have my body spared the ravages of fertility and pregnancy — but my actions, my willful participation in the creation of this person reveals my heart’s true desire.

My actions reveal my heart.

I chose to restore my fertility.  I put on 20 pounds just so I could ovulate again.  I fastidiously tracked every sign, fed myself the perfect foods, quit my job, and then intentionally, prayerfully, expectantly made love to my husband with the full intention of becoming pregnant.  I ripped apart the trophy so hard won.

Yes, I have desperately wanted to look better in my spandex.  Yes, I have been anxious about what building another baby would do to my body.  But despite that fear, I have done it anyway.

Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is action in the presence of fear.

Dear baby of mine — if someday you read these pages I hope that’s what you see.  I hope you see that your mama was terrified mess who trusted God so she kept going.

 

How to do it anyway.

Today I am supposed to write something substantial. That’s what I scribbled in my Filofax, anyway. And by scribble I mean meticulously printed, underlined, and highlighted.

The day started strong, with about a hundred happy little ideas growing in my head. I dressed and fed the girls, chugged a pot of coffee, and cheerfully taxied my crew to school.

I “brain blogged” all the way home and laughed out loud at my deeply funny jokes. I congratulated myself on being such a talented writer. By the time I pulled into the driveway, I was drunk on my own pre-productivity. Impressed by all I’d accomplished in my head, I swaggered into the garden to water and weed. Then I walked the dog, unloaded the dishwasher, made a pot of tea, checked in with all my clients, my traveling husband, the workers gutting the house across the street, and the weather.

I did everything but write.

The tea should’ve been a red flag. When I drink tea I am usually pretending. I have a whole cabinet full, like a trunk of dress up clothes, for when I want to be someone else or put on a show. In real life I drink black coffee. So when I went to put the kettle on, and the novelty of the pyrex tea pot caught my eye enough to make me stop and take pictures of it, I should’ve known I was headed down the wrong path.

 

By the time I sat down with my strange tea and smug grin, all of my bright shining ideas had been replaced by angsty hand-wringing and self-conscious whining.

Hours have passed since the sting of that moment, and I am still pouting. I tried to throw myself into other work, but the heat of embarrassment keeps creeping up my cheeks, distracting me. I feel like I’ve been disciplined publicly, like my hand was slapped away from a plate of cookies at a ladies’ luncheon.

This post is just me eating the cookies anyway.