04 February 2008

Looking back

Two years ago or so today, I was at the OB's office finding out I was 1cm dialated and only a little effaced. Sure, she said, you can finish your last week at the office, just listen to your body and take it easy. What fateful words as my water broke AT WORK only 4 days later. With fictional child #2, when I have a similar visit, I'm just going to up and shut down, locking myself in the house with nesting activities and chocolate ice cream, only leaving to go to the movies (lots) and get a manicure and pedicure and a leg and bikini wax in preparation for the labor and delivery room.

Thinking back has made me sad in two ways. First, sad that my baby is growing up. Two seems like such a huge milestone, more so than my 30th. No longer will we count her age in months. She's two. And can tell you and almost show you with her little fingers (we've been practicing). Over the next year she's going to become even more verbal, she'll start school, start sunday school, we'll be able to do more arts and crafts and make christmas cookies won't be quite the kitchen disaster that it was this year. It's exciting, really, to watch her blossom into a little person, but it's sad because she's not a baby. If I've ever wanted a second child in the past two years, I want it most now. I miss that snuggly little sweet smelling creature. I miss the bald head that was so soft and the toothless grin. But I also love the ponytails and big cheesey smile I get everytime the camera comes out.

Natalie's birthday also makes me sad as I don't feel like I have personally gotten anywhere. Two years in and I still can't fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes and I'm 20lbs heavier than I was last year at this time. Sure, a lot has happened - I was diagnosed with depression, started meds, started better meds, found a thyroid nodule and am no on a better combination of thyroid mes, so yea, on one level, that's a lot of good things going on; I'd hate to still be back where I was a year and a half ago, so blue, so unable to get my shit together. But I'm still drained by the effort it has taken to get to now. The doctors visits, the wacky periods, the crying, exhaustion, insomnia, more crying, blood tests, sonograms, more blood tests, more exhaustion. It still makes it hard to get on the bandwagon with exercise and eating right. Sure, I don't *have* to nap everyday anymore, but it doesn't necessarily mean I suddenly want to spend that time nibbling celery while doing yoga. I'd rather curl up with a good book and ice cream. Maybe that's just the way I am. But I know if I keep it up, I'll be 400lbs in no time. I look at my closet at all the clothes that don't fit and get so depressed. I avoid looking in the mirror. I gag at the family pictures we just got back from Christmas - my double chin and bulky figure is horrid next to my stick figure sister in law and my slender sister in law (yes, there is a difference). This isn't how I pictured myself as the mother of a two year old. I sometimes feel like I just don't know what to do anymore.

1 comment:

Jen said...

First of all, I love that picture of you and Natalie just after she was born. Those sweet, cuddly newborns.

Second, I know what you mean. I've been feeling a bit crisis-y lately, don't know why, but I wonder how the hell I ended up a pudgy mom of a 3-year-old (who isn't pudgy), driving my sedan with the car seat in the back, all of my adult interactions with parents of other children. I saw a baby that looked exactly like my son when he was a baby and got this intense pang of sadness, missing horribly that sweet, cute little baby who used to push himself around backwards on his belly on the hardwood floor before he could crawl. The first time he said "luuu!" and my heart melted and I thought that had to be the most beautiful sound in the world.

But I have a child whose bilingualism is becoming evident, who is starting to pre-read without any help (which is scary), who is absolutely lovable and adorable and a TOTAL LITTLE STINKER at the same time, and I look at him and think, "wow, I made that. Damn, I'm good."

And I hope you can think that for yourself, too.

As for celery and yoga, yuck, girl, I don't think I'd want to be friends with someone who wanted to eat celery while doing yoga. not even if there were peanut butter on the celery. I mean, look at your priorities. Your priority isn't yourself - it's your child. We all deserve balance - time for ourselves, and, for me, the time to try to figure out what my personal style is in this new phase of life, and I am stumped, really - who am I? What do I want what I wear and how I look to say about me? -

Be gentle to yourself, Katie, and try to remember how amazingly important you are to your daughter, 20 pounds or no. Spring will come, you can go out and play and move. You have overcome a lot this year and have a lot to be proud of... not least that adorable little girl of yours. :)

PS did you read the 48-month newsletter @ dooce? BRILLIANT! Absolutely f*ing brilliant. If you haven't read it, go read it! (But I'm sure you read it already ;) )