I have been composing this post in my head for a couple of weeks. But the story has changed so many times in those couple of weeks and as I sit down now to try to write it my words are failing me. Why is that what sounds so good in your head never seems to sound nearly as clear on paper (or on screen)?
November has been a month I will NEVER forget. It started with a crazy schedule...10K race, husband's birthday, nephew's football playoffs, niece's wedding, work events...the schedule in itself was overwhelming.
I started the Get Your Gobbler in Gear challenge. I was super excited and motivated. I had found a great group of ladies with similar goals and a no excuses mentality. Planks and pushups were the basis of the challenge and then personalized with each individual adding her own goals. For 5 days I was all about the challenge. Each day a little more excited about how close I was getting to being able to do an actual full push-up.
Then Day 6 it all came to a screeching halt. We discovered that I was pregnant. 45 years old and pregnant for the first time in my life. We were thrilled and a little terrified...completely overwhelmed.
I am a bit of a late bloomer. I met my husband when I was 40 years old. I was 42 years old when I walked down the aisle for the first and only time. We have now been married for three years. At the time we got married, we didn't think children were in our future. In addition to my age, I was 3 years into a Multiple Sclerosis medication and was not supposed to get pregnant. Turns out there was a miscommunication. Even though I wasn't safe to get pregnant while taking the medication there was an option to take a break from the medication and attempt to conceive. So there I was a couple months from my 45th birthday trying to decide if it was too late to try to make my lifelong dream a reality.
For the record, searching the internet does very little to boost a 45 year old woman's confidence in her ability to get pregnant. Seriously, most of what I read gave me about a 1 percent chance. We decided we would rather take that 1 percent chance and fail than not give ourselves any chance. My neurologist agreed to me taking 3 months off the medication to clear my system before we could try...then 3 months to try...then back on the medicine if no success.
Spend a little time thinking about it and you can see how absolutely absurd it is to think we could have success in 3 months at my age. Turns out we only needed two.
I was shocked. I had pretty much convinced myself that it was not going to happen so when it did I was completely unprepared. There is a boatload of questions that come to mind once you are pregnant that you just don't think about before.
One of the questions I pondered was how I was going to keep up a weight-loss journey and related blog in motion while pregnant. Obviously, diet and exercise would play a huge role in a healthy pregnancy (I am quite certain that our commitment to improving our health was a significant factor in my getting pregnant.) I had pretty much worked out in my head how I was going to approach the blog during my pregnancy. The problem was we were not ready to announce the pregnancy until we felt confident that it was a healthy one and we heard the baby's heartbeat. Everything I wrote seemed awkward and disingenuous as I tried to conceal the biggest news of my life. I have a few friends and family members who read the blog and that was not the way I wanted them to find out about the pregnancy.
While counting the days until we could see our baby's heartbeat on an ultrasound - a moment when we planned to take a breath and relax that this pregnancy could really be the fulfillment of a dream, the worst happened. Monday morning I started spotting. I had previously had a little cramping which the doctor had prepared us for in advance. Apparently, it is perfectly normal for some cramping. as the body prepares for a growing baby. Even though the doctor told us spotting was not uncommon...no one EVER says "Oh, you are spotting, that's good."
I tried to remain hopeful that we would come through this and be able to share a story of a scare that didn't materialize. The doctor scheduled an ultrasound for Wednesday and we waited. I parked myself on the couch with the coziest of blankets and tried to drown myself in a 90 Day Fiance marathon on TLC. It was the most mind-numbing, train wreck distraction I could find.
Early Tuesday morning, the bleeding increased. Without sharing all the horrible details, I knew in my heart the baby was lost. I felt so empty. How could something so tiny make a body feel so full one day and so physically empty the next?
Later that morning we went for an ultrasound and blood tests. Instead of the joy of seeing our baby's heartbeat we saw nothing. Nothing, because instead of a technician pointing out of a growing baby (like I've seen hundreds of times on tv/movies) to overjoyed parents-to-be, our technician kept the screen turned away from us the entire time she scanned. Later that afternoon the doctor's office called to confirm what we already knew. The pregnancy is over. Our baby is gone. We are completely crushed.
We may have only been a family of three for a few weeks, but it was as real as any family could be.
Did we make a zillion plans and share a zillion dreams in that span of time? Yes, we did. Did we playfully argue over whether to name our baby Obi-Wan or maybe Minerva Louise after a beloved and befuddled children's book chicken? Yes we did. Did my husband immediately hover over me with a fierce protection to keep our baby safe and warm inside me? Yes, he did. Did I look into my husband's eyes with complete amazement that I was looking into the eyes of both the man I loved and the father of my child? Yes, I did.
Where do we go from here?
This blog is meant to document my journey as I attempt (and hopefully succeed) to lose 75 pounds (the weight of our puppy). Where does heartbreak fit into that journey? How do I prevent this devastation from pushing me into a depression that robs me of our future? From a weight-loss perspective, I don't want to try to start over in a year or two having gained all that I have lost plus some. I am already about 8 pounds higher than my last weigh-in. Part of that was happy pounds as I indulged a bit celebrating the pregnancy and part of that is trying to eat away the current sadness.
Perhaps this is all too much to share, but again, I can only be who I am. If I am going to share my weight loss journey I want to be authentic as possible. I can not stress enough the one lesson I have learned "achieving weight-loss and fitness is NOT separate from your real life."
As I face picking up the blog where I left off, I have so many questions. Is anyone still reading after my absence? Maybe. Will I drive away those who remain with my current despair? Maybe. Will readers tire of my story if I can't bounce back as quickly as I (or they) want? Maybe. Will I succeed in getting back on a weight-loss/fitness track? Maybe. Will I gain more before I get there? Maybe.
Will my husband and I try again? Maybe. Will we succeed? Maybe.
Today, when all the maybes seem to dominate our future, there are two things I know for sure. Will we shed uncountable tears over our loss? Definitely. Will we love each other through this ordeal? Absolutely.