Pregnancy, parasites, elephants, walking and ice cream.

It’s been a tricky past year. Lots of changes, good decisions and bad. The immediate future isn’t looking as neatly planned out as I would love to cling to, but as the weather has warmed I’ve had to laugh at the ridiculousness of what my life has become and how much has happened and changed in the last twelve months or even twelve weeks. When I look back further, it’s amazing how far we’ve come.

Sometimes through the darkness it’s difficult to see any light at the end of the treacherous ride. I usually try to hold on tight, knuckles white, holding my breath ever deep, and fight the inner critic by placing one foot forward at a time. “Just keep swimming… just keep swimming” as I say often to Miles while he laughs at me. I made it through once again, and I know with support I’ll keep pushing forward every time I’m hit with the unbelievable dark shade that clouds my days, weeks, or months through life’s ups and downs.

I had my mom laughing so hard she was crying when I related pregnancy to having an intestinal parasite. I’ll let this post explain the details (warning: some explicit language). To me, the comparison is obvious. (This is a joke obviously! I don’t truly believe a baby is a parasite; well not medically since it’s the same species, but we’ll leave science out of this).

To others, when they ask how I feel and I respond “as good as someone with an intestinal parasite” they laugh and make weird faces. I forget I’m supposed to say, “great, I love it,” but I’m a little more honest about it than most I guess?

Pregnancy and I don’t get along. We’re not BFFs. I do not glow (though people have said I do – am I radioactive?).

To me, pregnancy is burdensome to my body and mind, but the end result is obviously worth it after the grueling experience they call childbirth – I mean, Miles is the MAN. Thank goodness while I feel like an elephant, I’m not one who gestates for 21 months! Can you even imagine giving birth to a toddler? That could save on diapers and formula (but I love cloth diapering…)

As the spring has finally (somewhat) arrived, I’ve made the decision to go forward and start a walking plan. I’m completely lost without following a plan in some loose manner, which leads to less and less motivation and movement and the cycle downwards. See: my blog post a couple weeks ago after laying on a couch feeling terminally ill for three months.

I’ve picked two 5k run/walks to do in May and June to stay on the wellness journey while I am in limbo with regular running and all manners of intense exercise. I could probably run the races, but since I haven’t been running regularly throughout pregnancy like I did with Miles (up until 6 months), I’m not pushing to start now. I’m OK with walking… really, I am. No, really, I will just walk… fast?

This week I’m walking 3 days and lifting weights 3 days. I’m lifting more than my midwives say is the ‘standard’ 25lbs, but I know what has worked best for my body. I have been riding my bike much to the shocked stares of strangers, and lifting in the gym was funny when the burly men were like – say huh girlfriend’s pregnant and using a barbell… I think that’s a norm in Crossfit though, right? I mean, I’ve only seen pictures from inside those boxes.

I’ve also been listening more to outside stories of people around me than just existing inside my head. This has helped me realize we’re all going through insane difficult times at one point or another, and while it might seem like my world is ending; someone else is suffering far more and needs my support.

It feels good to get back into the gym and on the roads; out in the sunshine. Some of my motivation to workout might include desperate requests for a run to the ice cream store by my loving husband… but that’s what pregnancy is all about – right? At least I’ve never requested pickles AND ice cream. I’ll just stick with one or the other at a time. And he’s brutal saving me from myself, he limits me to once or twice a week…

So far, this baby LOVES chocolate chip mint ice cream with hot fudge, random vanilla malted milkshakes, tons of meat, and the ever wonderful batch of cheese fries (which I only ever seem to order when I’m pregnant). Maybe I can convince Chris to go out for some tonight… Miles personally loved chocolate peanut butter with hot fudge, the random vanilla malted milkshake, those ever loving cheese fries, and… absolutely no meat.

While you can see my spirits have lifted quite a bit, many have expressed their concern over my post a few weeks ago, and I absolutely appreciate it. Only one person reached out within the first few days of the post which made me feel super lonesome, but as I’ve come out of my fog more have said they wanted to write or call. Definitely, if I write crazy stuff, call me, text me, email me and say – you’re crazy, my friend. Sometimes I need a wake-up that the world isn’t half as bad as my mind has made it up to be. And in desperate times, we all just want to know someone cares (who doesn’t have to, I mean, Chris doesn’t have a choice – I kid).

I’m learning to “let go” as what seems to be my yearly lesson, ride the waves and listen to the whispers on the ocean breeze. This year is going to be a ride (which year hasn’t??), but man, I’m going to walk my way through it and come back stronger – maybe even a runner again by year’s end. 2015, you haven’t beaten me yet.

Will you join me?

– kate –