Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hey Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!

I’ve been a little restless. I want desperately to put Liam in his stroller and take a nice long walk around our apartment complex but it's about one hundred million degrees outside. OK, not really. According to weather.com it's 101 and feels like 103. For a Mainer like me, that may as well be one hundred million degrees because where I used to live, it's 74 outside right now. That's some nice strolling weather.

I haven't gotten much exercise since I gave birth. OK, it's been longer than that. I haven't gotten much exercise since I started getting morning sickness. I'm lying again! It's been since my wedding, OK? We came back from our honeymoon and my second semester of school started a week later. I was working full time too so I wasn't exercising, and I don't count walking around campus because that's not optional like exercise is. I was driving to work, working, driving home from work, going to class, doing homework or sleeping. That's pretty much all I was doing. (Well that and the act which got me pregnant. Whatever, I was a newlywed.) In the time between my wedding and my first doctor's appointment after my positive home pregnancy test, I had gained three pounds. Now, I know that three pounds is nothing. Sometimes it's just a matter of taking a dump. But this was three consistent pounds that were there every morning, when your weight is most accurate. I hadn't been eating well because of a lack of time and energy. I knew those three pounds were there but my favorite jeans still fit and I didn't have to worry about a form-fitting wedding dress anymore. I was 128 pounds and I'm 5'7" so that's within the healthy range.

When I found out I was pregnant I stopped going to school because I was worn so thin already and I wanted to save my energy for work and my baby. I had these wonderful plans of having a healthy pregnancy complete with belly-friendly exercise and baby-friendly foods.

Then morning sickness happened less than a week after those two pink lines showed up. And let me tell you what a gross understatement the term “morning sickness” is- I had All Day Sickness. I’m not kidding. I was weak, dizzy and nauseous during nearly every waking minute for the first trimester and a half. Good thing my workplace is generous with sick time and that I had a good little bundle of it stored up. With All Day Sickness there was no exercising going on and as far as eating well, that went out the window too. A salad is the last thing you want to eat, even though I am usually wild for vegetables. While greasy foods are on the list of things not to eat in order to avoid morning sickness, tater tots from Sonic were sometimes all I could stomach. Oh and saltines. I ate so many saltines. Tater tots, saltines, toast, rice and pasta. Food smells would trigger All Day Sickness if I didn’t already have it, so the blander, the better.

Even though my diet wasn’t the healthiest, I also wasn’t eating a lot during the day so at first my weight gain was very slow. Up until I was put on bed rest for seven days when I was twenty-eight weeks along, I was only up to about 140 or 145 pounds, if I remember correctly. There was no exercise up to that point but I was on my feet at work and drinking tons of water. After bed rest, I was put on restricted duty at work so I was sitting all day (including most of my time at home) and eating more. All Day Sickness had mostly calmed by this point, replaced by body aches and intense fatigue. This is when I started gaining weight like a pregnant lady. It never got out of control but it was definitely happening at a faster rate than in the beginning. My appetite was pretty normal and I wasn’t able to do much in the way of activity so on the day I gave birth to Liam I weighed 168- a total gain of forty pounds. I’d used an online calculator when I first became pregnant to determine how much weight I “should” gain for my starting height and weight. They (I don’t know who “they” are- some phantom internet obstetricians?) recommended I gain twenty-five to forty pounds. I’d been hoping to keep it down in the range of thirty, but that’s what bed rest and restricted duty will do to you. And tater tots.

Within a few weeks of delivery I lost thirty pounds. I know there was a ton of water weight, as my legs and feet had fallen victim to the sausage effect of water retention. (I am pleased to say that my legs look normal and you can see daylight between my toes again.) I am also breastfeeding and that is said to help women lose the pregnancy weight.

Right now I am at 134 or 135, so these last ten pounds on the road back to 128 have been stubborn. They would probably be long-gone if I would have exercised. But you get home from the hospital, you’re exhausted, you’re not allowed to exercise right away, you just want to cuddle your baby or sleep. Now I’m healed up (fourth-degree tearing, yowza!) and allowed to resume normal activity but our tiny apartment is newly furnished with baby stuff, like a changing table/ bassinet/ play yard combo in the dining room (um yeah, the table that used to be in there is in storage closet on our porch) and the cradle swing and bouncy seat in the living room and it leaves little room for me to resume what I used to do as indoor exercise- something adult and sophisticated like yoga, and something I’ve done in private my whole life, wholly unsophisticated- dancing and flailing around like a madwoman, pulling moves that should never be pulled in public or in cramped areas.

And walking or running outside? When it feels like 104? No, thank you. There’s a swimming pool here at our apartment but with those last extra pounds clinging to my thighs, hips and belly I no longer deem myself bathing suit worthy. And I’m not buying a suit that fits because it won’t by next summer (one would hope).

So I’ll wait until September or October, whenever Texas catches up with the actual seasons, and I’ll walk a lot. I want to start running as well but one time Gabe laughed at me when I broke into a jog when we were taking a walk and now I’m very self conscious of how I look when I run. Do I run like a girl? A chicken? An elephant? Did he laugh because my butt jiggles? But he says he likes my butt! Just let a girl jog in peace!