I can’t lie to you, I’ve had a rough couple of months. Actually, I’ve had a rough 11 months.
Unlike many women (who I try not to envy), pregnancy is very hard on me, and my third pregnancy was the most difficult to date. Perhaps it was because I am just that much older (I just turned the big 30!), or because it was the third time my body had undergone such a strenuous challenge. I don’t know for certain, but whatever the reason, I spent almost my entire pregnancy either sick, sore, exhausted, depressed, or hobbling (or some fun combination of all five). I was so miserable, that when I went into pre-term labor at 35 weeks, I was secretly relieved. Is that terrible, or what? Of course I was very glad they were able to stop labor and keep my baby safe, but I spent the next four weeks hoping the baby would end up coming early like my other two. Instead, she decided to stay in there right up to 39 weeks, nice and cozy.
I’ve never had an issue with weight gain during pregnancy, and this one was no different. I spent the entire nine months assuring the doctor I am eating enough, and trying not to get exasperated when they tell me I need to gain more weight. My body just doesn’t naturally gain a lot of weight. With my first two children, I lost the “baby” weight very quickly after giving birth, retaining only five pounds or so while I was nursing. Not so much this time around. I have actually gained weight. None of my clothes fit. I’ve spent the past two months wearing my husbands clothing and feeling like a complete frump. After you have a baby, you feel so strange and exhausted (physically and mentally); feeling like you at least look nice can really be a boon to your mental health. I’m not overeating or eating unhealthy foods, and I’m trying to drink lots of water. I am breastfeeding. Even so, this weight ain’t budging. Whenever I mention my frustration to others, I’m met with, “Oh, you just had a baby! Don’t worry about it!” While these sentiments are kindly meant, I am worried about it. What if this is the beginning of a downward spiral? I’m getting older now. What if my body is changing, and I won’t be able to maintain my weight easily like I always have? I don’t want to have to think about it! I don’t want weight to become an idol in my life, or eating a focus. I just want to live my life–and be able to fit into my clothes.
We’ve been staying in a very small rental house for the past 8 months, which is a bit longer than we were hoping to be here. It’s looking like it will be longer still, as we have had some hiccups and delays with getting our home in the mountains built. The house has some mold issues, which cause me to be constantly mildly sick and stuffy. On top of that, it’s kind-of (extremely) out-dated. I’ve tried my best to make it cozy, but there’s only so much you can do in a rental house that you’re not planning to be in very long.
Lately it is always a mess. Again, when I mention this as a stressor for me, I’m met with “Oh, you just had a baby! Don’t worry about the house.” While I know that these comments are coming from people who genuinely wish me well and want to help me feel better about things, the state of my home does bother me. Sitting on the couch, nursing a baby, surrounded by a huge disaster is stressful and discouraging.
This little house has become my world over the past several months. It’s dark, a bit stuffy, and can sometimes be depressing. I’m trying to get outside more, but it’s just difficult with two little ones to chase around plus a two-month-old to hold. Sometimes I just have to put the kids in the car and leave to give us all a breath of fresh air.
I didn’t mean for this post to become so depressing! My plan was to post some photos of my house in its current state, and talk light-heartedly about making-do when you’re in a transitional phase (with three kids, in a small, ugly rental house). Instead, it has become a bit more real. Maybe that is a good thing. Lord knows we all need a little more realness in our lives.
In life we have to take the good with the inevitable bad. We really can’t have one without the other. As much as I’d like to wish away the bad right now, I can’t and I won’t. I’ll remind myself to find joy in the many, many good things in my life right now, and rely on God to give me the strength of mind (and body) to get through each day with a shred of my sanity left intact. I forget sometimes that He is the only one who I can rely on for that strength.