I am working very hard on creating some serious butt callouses right now. I am in major surfing /gathering/planning mode for net year's homeschool. What ? Take the easy way out and go to a home school convention to drop big bucks on numerous curriculum that may or may not work with my son or buy one of those school in a box things ? No way.My son's needs are too specialized to expect to find the right fit through either of those choices, so it means doing a lot of researching , creating and then laying it all out in lesson plans for the next year. It gives me a new respet of teachers everytime I do this. Lesson plans make for very dull writing tasks !
In the meantime, when it feels like my brain will explode from contemplating one more math concept or potential Language Arts lesson, I flip to reading the blogs of those I find inspiring for the weight loss journey. One of my new blog friends wrote yesterday about her inner motivations behind her weight gain. It was an earthquake, and the aftershocks were with her for a long time in her psycological landscape, and I understood very well just how those things beyond your control can grab you and keep a control over your life that is very hard to shake. It made me think of my own motivations, and come face to face with the fact that I am only begining to deal with many of them.
Flashback to the past. I was a little kid, very overweight but active and happy. I had gotten a wrong message that strong people were good eaters, and I was working on becoming Hercules. My weight was never really an issue to me ( my doctors always had other ideas), for there were so many other things in my life that had nothing to do with weight. I had boyfriends, dated when I wanted to , hated gym class but loves informal sports like most kids and so on. My mom would try to get me to diet in different ways ( including Aydes candies- remeber those ?), but I had no real reason to lose weight ,so I did not. I got married, expected to be a mom soon, and it did not happen. After 8 years I learned that my weight was preventing me from getting pregnant, so I worked hard at losing weight. I dropped 110 pounds , and at long last was pregnant.
That was only a teaser it seems, because I lost my first baby to a stillbirth. He suffered Intrauterine Fetal Demise( he died inside of me and stayed there long enough to put my life at risk from infection), and I delivered my first son knowing he would never take a breath or cry. His birthday was also his official death day. The event was traumatic, but is seems that it was preperation for what was to come. It was as if the Universe was asking me if I was really, really serious about being a mom, because nothing about that role was going to be anything like what I had anticipated that role to be. I greived, I searched for answers, I lost the baby weight I gained, and had a major abdominal surgery to correct the last of the damage from my first pregnancy ( a tiny bit of the placenta had broken off and drifted into my falopian tube, causing some massive ovarian cysts). And 10 months after my first son's birth, I was pregnant again.
Here the fun began. At 8 weeks I started bleeding heavy, and it was the first indication that this pregnancy was not going to be exactly normal. I experienced just about every problem that one could develop. I was on total bedrest, locked into an endless schedual of Dotor visits, test, high level ultrasounds, meetings with perinatologists and more. I was scared, and afraid of my own body. First infertility, then stillbirth, and now this. I started to feel a level of self hatred that few people talk about, but because of my baby I did all I could to stay healthy and moderately sane. Then he was born via C Section, and that did not go as planned. I was so big I could not arch my spine enough for an epidural, so I was totally knocked out for his birth. All this work, and I had to take a vacation for the big event. He did not stableize for almost 13 hours, so I did not get to meet my son till he was almost a half day old. He instantly knew my voice and my scent though, so no bonding damage was done. As atypical as all this was, it still was not the whole story.
I choose to exclusively breastfeed him, and while breastfeeding is something you can learn in theory, the experience supplies a million things no book or consultant ever could. My three sisters breastfed their babies with no problem, and I anticipated the same experience. He would latch on feircely( picture your toes being pulled through your breasts), but need to be on the breast for HOURS. He hardly wet or had a BM, and after 4 days he was down to one wet diaper a day. The staff at the hospital felt this was normal and discharged us. The first day home his eyes had fallen into the sockets, ,his color was grey and he was crying nonstop. I called the doctors and they told me to bring him to the ER. He was dehydrated and reccived IV fluids. I was tested and found that my body does not have the hormone required to produce milk, so I was starving my son for the first 5 days of his life. This fact brought on a whole new form of body hatered. I felt like I had the word fail written on my forhead.
Things then fell into somewhat normal for a time, and I struggled with the challenge of building back my body strength after all that bedrest and c section birth, being a new mom to a very active, bright little boy and my husband in training for the Deaconate. It was a red letter day if I got to shower and eat lukewarm food ! At 7 months Nick developed a serious ear infection, and that began an edless parade of doctor visits for the ear infection that would not quit. Then came the normal baby immunizations, and suddenly the bright boy on project head start was gone. What was left was something that had numerous problems that just were not what the books list as the normal baby things. By the time he was 4, I was totally fed up with the medical community and decided to part company with them. Shortly afterwords I learned the word Autisim and my son had met and become one. This was the final straw in my self esteem. Not only couldn't I do what an insect could do( get pregnant and nurture it's own young), but anything I touched in that vein turned to shit.Then I had a series of very early miscarriages, and I felt like I was the reincarnation Lucretia Borja. At that time I got this weird idea that if I made enough food in really good flavors, it would make it all better. If I made enough bread, sweet rolls and homemade pasta, I could make all of this go away. If I could cook and can massive amounts of food to over nurture my family, it would not matter that my body could not do so in other ways.
It didn't. It only packed on pounds and problems.
Now, as we deal with diet and supplements and exercise, I keep bumping up against my thoughts from that experience, as if it is finally time to take them out and heal. And heal I shall. I have learned that smothering is not the same thing as feeding, and quantity does not replace quality. Quality can get buried in quantity very easily. And rather than see myself as a failure because of my maternal experiences, I am begining to see that I am pretty Damned good. God does not give you more than you can handle, and if He belives I am up to this challenge because I have the skills, who am I to argue with that ?