Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Love > Fear

I've wanted to have a kid for as long as I remember, multiple actually. On the days that I struggled to get out of bed beause I was so depressed or lacking energy from not eating, I always thought about this desire. The dream of being a mother was by far the most helpful factor in my recovery. Knowing that I couldn't physically make it happen if I continued to be sick and even more so the fact that I would not even attempt to bring a child into the world when I was so mentally unstable.

Now that I am pregnant, I have made this dream a reality. Each day that passes and my little peanut grows, I am one day closer to the thing I have wanted most. It's a miracle really and every day I thank God for blessing me with such an amazing gift.Every time we have an ultrasound, hear/see the heartbeat or even when I feel our little peanut move I am overcome with a joy and love that is immeasurable. It's a feeling that I can't put into words or even describe. Along with all of the happiness comes the thing that I have been struggling with the most, "the fear of messing up". This doesn't have to do with failure or even really with doing things how I think I am "supposed" to, it is much deeper. The fear of some how harming this child, this tiny miracle that is completly dependent on me If I am truly honest with myself I am doing the best that I can. Yet this doesn't always feel like enough. This doesn't make this fear go away.

This post has nothing to do with my recovery or self care. My eating disorder is not an issue anymore. I believe in the importance of self care and I practice it every day. Getting pregnant has tested my strength as well as the all of the hard mental and emtional work I have done in the past two years and I believe that I have passed with flying colors. This fear isn't about perfectionism or even being the best, it comes from my love for my baby.

I've never been this sick in my life. From morning sickness (which really is all day sickness), to the worst post nasal drip I have ever had and now some bad cold or possibly the flu, I've been miserable. Although i have been assured that the baby is growing and doing great, all of this makes this fear even stronger. Am I eating enough? What if I am not keeping enough down? Am I giving me body the right nutriments?  Am I drinking enough liquids? Did I mess up by not getting the flu shot? What about medication, do I take the things deemed safe? What about my weight? Why can't I seem to gain weight? And the list could go on.

I've constantly been reassured that this fear is natrual. People have jokingly said "welcome to parenthood". And have even gone as far to tell me that this is exactly why I am going to be a good mother. While I appreciate the compliment and reassurance the fear remains.

I was just reminded of something I used to say to myself at the end of everyday. I used to always come home from work wishing that I could have done more. On days where we could not find matches for our patients, even after doing as much as we could, I always felt defeated, like somehow I should have been able to do something more. This haunted me for a while. Until a friend told me how at the end of every day she tells herself "I did the best that I could and that was more than enough." I told myself this every night until I finally believed it.

I am doing the best that I can every day. Making educated choices based on all of the information that I have in order to ensure that my baby continues to grow healthy and strong. If nothing else my love is stronger than anything else and that is more than enough.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lessons from pregnancy

I have been meaning to write a post for a while now. I have played with ideas in my head and come up with many things relevant to my life yet I have lacked the follow through. It seems right now like I am no longer learning the lesssons of recovery but living them every day.

For those of you who don't know me in person or on facebook, I am pregnant. When I first found out this amazing blessing, I had tons of ideas of what pregnancy was going to look like for me. I went out and bought a  journal and decided I was going to document everything along the way. I researched my options and decided that I wanted to do everything as naturally as possible. I planned nightly walks with my husband, along with prenatal yoga. I borrowed books from friends and planned to soak up as most knowledge as possible. I planned to continue living life exactly how I was.

I am here to say I haven't once opened my pregnancy journal. I have taken prescription medicine on a few occasions and have had an ER visit due to dehydration. Other than to get to and from work, I haven't even seen the outside and I haven't shaved in a month, much less had time for yoga. I have called in to work sick more days than I feel comfortable with and am late almost every day. Most of my "free time" is spent sleeping, as is my non-free time. I have also thrown up more than I thought was humanly possible.

Pregnancy, so far for me has been a lesson in completely giving up control, as well as what I thought it was supposed to be like for how it actually is. It's been a lesson in prioritzing and putting myself first (and the baby of course), even when it feels uncomfortable. It hasn't just taught me to slow down but has forced me to every single day. It's taught me to let go of unrealsitic expectations and well some times just expectations all together. It's taught me to be less judgemental, because really everyone is going through something. It's taught me kindness and compassion, not just for others, but for my myself. It's taught me the price of overcommitment and that doing your best sometimes means doing whatever it takes to just make it through the day. More than anything, it's taught me what is truly important in life.

Each day I fall deeper in love with the little baby growing inside of me, as well as with my husband. Every morning I sepnt a few minutes lovingly admiring my stomach with the biggest smile across my face. Every Wednesday John and I proudly read babycenter.com's update to see the new stages of growth happening inside me. I spend a lot of time gently rubbing my belly and truly admiring my body's ability to create something so amazing.

Pregnancy hasn't been anything like I imagined it would be. The only glow I have is a red face after time in the bathroom throwing up. Most days I don't even feel like myself or human. And most of my pregnancy ideas of gone completely out the window.

With all that said, I couldn't be happier and wouldn't want this any other way. Every day I become more grateful for this journey and know that all of my hard work in recovery has led me to this amazing time in my life.