Waiting

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I’ve started and restarted this post 3 times and still can’t find the right words. I know what I want to say, but it just doesn’t come out right. So I’m just going to say it. 


We have been trying to have another child for almost 10 months with no success. 

I’m worried that something is wrong and that I’ll never be able to have another child. 

I’m terrified that it will actually work and I’ll have to be pregnant.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am both scared that I can’t get pregnant and terrified that I will. 

For 10 months, I woke up afraid that it would be another day I would end up in the ER getting fluids. At night, I would lie awake in bed feeling whatever was left in my stomach creeping up my throat, ready to pour out if I so much as turned to the other side. 

Pregnancy did not agree with me and I’d be perfectly happy going on with my life never repeating it. But I have a little boy and I long for him to have a sibling. 

I have 2 sisters and they play such important roles in my life. The same goes for Nick and his 3 siblings. We both put such a high value on those relationships; I just want the same for my son. 

I want to try grocery shopping with 2 cranky kids. 

I want to referee their bickering. 

I want to feel suffocated as we all snuggle on the couch. 

I want to have children

I just don’t want to be pregnant. And I’m afraid God is listening to that fear more than anything else. 

And so I struggle between my desire for Milo to have a sibling and my yearnings to keep my body to myself. At the end of the day, Milo always wins. No reason can trump a sibling for him, so we keep trying. But every month I face the brutal truth that it’s just not working. 

And it’s hard. I wonder what’s wrong with me. I wonder why it was so easy the first time and seemingly impossible now. And every so often I sigh with relief, only because it softens the blow. 

Why was it so important to say all of this? Why invite you into this knowledge? Because I’m not alone. There are others out there struggling with the same fears, doubting if pregnancy is right for them, or unable to conceive. And while your story may be worse, countless miscarriages and years of trying, I think we can still grieve together. Because this is a vulnerable issue and it hurts at every level. 

But also because I’m selfish. I need support. Because one of these days I’ll get the news that it’s positive and the joy will soon give way to fear. And I don’t want to be scared. So maybe if we can be collectively happy when it happens, I’ll forget about the fears lurking in the shadows of my mind. 

It Took You 9 Months To Get That Way

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The first time I read it it made me so angry. Every time after that I got a little more angry. It was all over mommy/baby websites. Moms would ask about how quickly you can lose the baby fat and “get my body back” (spoiler alert: never. Your body is never yours again). The advice always given: take it easy. Remember it took you 9 months to get this way.

I felt like it was an excuse; a free pass for new moms to not worry about their bodies and just enjoy not being responsible for the shape they’re in. I pictured women saying, “I’m only 4 months postpartum; I don’t have to worry about exercising for another couple of months.”

I had no grace for other moms because by the time I returned to work I had lost all of the baby weight. Within months after that, I was under my postpartum weight. I was pulling clothes out of my closet that I hadn’t worn in years. Do you get that? I had clothes that I couldn’t fit in long before Milo and now they fit! It was glorious!

I worked hard for these results. It started before Milo was born; I ran all the way through my pregnancy with the exception of 7 weeks at the beginning of my second trimester when I was too sick. I would run and tell myself that it would make getting back to running easier. I would be stronger because of it. And I believe I was, but I also had no idea how long it would be before I was strong again.

I went for my first run 5 weeks after Milo was born. Those first few weeks were worse than running at 39 weeks pregnant. Within 2 months of Milo being born I started the tedious process of training for another marathon. At just 5 months postpartum, I ran my 11th and slowest marathon. It was grueling and frustrating. I may have lost plenty of weight, but I had also lost a lot of strength.

What I learned is that losing weight can be easy; it’s regaining your strength that is tough and those results don’t happen overnight. You can do a 3-day detox and shed several pounds, but after 3 days you’ll have no more muscle to show for it. And as great as it feels to be skinny again, I want speed. I want to be strong. I want to show up at a race and be a contender for the win. Forget the size 0; I want the trophy.

So here I am at 9 months postpartum. Running is completely different for me; before I was just logging miles and getting by. Now I’m doing tempo runs and repeats, and I can actually feel myself getting faster each week. And the clock says I’m getting faster too.

But my stomach is still a sensitive topic for me. It’s common for women to carry extra fat around their waste, it’s the exact location where your baby was nesting for 9 months, and it’s usually the last place to “tone” up. My stomach bothers me from an aesthetic perspective, but also physically. I can’t hold a plank as long as I used to, or do as many pikes as before my pregnancy. I’m working on it, but it’s no joke that delivering a baby wrecks your body.

I keep running harder and longer each week. I’m diligent about my diet, which means I also diligently splurge. And I try to keep offering myself grace. It’s ok if I’m not where I want to be; I need something to always be striving for. It was a long road forming Milo, but there’s still plenty of road after him.