Tag Archives: pregnancy

Postpartum Take 2

I had another baby.

A year after our first baby, we welcomed another baby girl. It’s been a whirlwind journey. I had visions of continuing this blog after the first baby, but took an unplanned hiatus. I didn’t have anything to say some days. Other days I had so much to say, I was too overwhelmed to know where to start. Every time I tried I couldn’t find the words.

I wanted to express what it was like to be pregnant, to give birth, to become a Mum, to breastfeed and raise a baby while trying to beat ED into submission.

I hope to tell those stories from not one, but two pregnancies now. I made it through both of them without restricting or bingeing or purging. They were both so different and I can’t pretend that I was ED free entirely because the running dialogue in my head throughout reminded me that in the shadows it was lurking there, in the bright moments, the extreme joyousness, the overwhelming and the trying times, I was never far from it. Even now it dogs me.

I will begin again to speak of it. I will tell the story, the dark parts that I wish my daughters will never know.

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Back Again!

I never meant to not write for seven months. Seven months…it sounds so much longer than it has been. I had so much to say, too much really, and in the end I couldn’t find the words so I stayed silent. It is hard to chronicle a pregnancy with an eating disorder. I wanted to, but I will have to write about it in hindsight instead.

My daughter is here. We are both well. That is all I wanted to say for now.

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Hello From Both Of Us

245491-fetus-ultrasoundAfter a little hiatus, I have decided to write again. I am pregnant again and have made it to the second trimester, so we are sharing our news with everyone. After the miscarriage, this pregnancy seemed tenuous and frought with anxiety. There was nothing anyone could say to put my mind at ease that this baby would stay with me on earth.

In November we discovered some medical complications that resulted in a surgery. The last 2 months have been a whirl of hospital visits: surgeons, radiologists, obstetricians, enodcirnologists, nurses, doctors and of course myriad tests: ultrasounds, x-rays, MRIs, blood tests, weight, blood pressure, heart rate…

The list goes on, but nothing measured the anguish and suffering in the mother’s heart.

Today I am recovering from surgery which went well. Baby is thriving from what we can see on ultrasounds. Through all of this, I have continued in the ED recovery program where I see a case manager, medical doctor, nutritionist, psychologist and occupational therapist. As much as I want this child more than anything in this life, I cannot describe the distress of gaining weight as someone with an eating disorder.

Since we confirmed the pregnancy, I have not once binged, purged, restricted or over exercised. The desire is there constantly, but I felt that I could not do that to my unborn child and live with the consequences. It is strange that not taking care of myself has never concerned me, but I cannot hurt my unborn child by continuing with my ED.

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Miscarriage – Why Don’t We Talk About It?

The statistics are sad: 1 out of every 4 women will have a miscarriage. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was someone, or several people, that you know.

No one talks about it.

We all suffer alone.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant except my boyfriend, my mum and a couple of close friends. I planned to wait out the 12 weeks and then share the news. Miscarriages often happen in the first trimester so no one knows you are pregnant therefore no one knows you miscarried. You suffer the physical and mental anguish alone. I did.

Now a couple of months on from the miscarriage, I have got around to telling friends. There is just never a good time to say the words: “I had a miscarriage”. When do you bring it up? At a dinner party? A birthday? A weekend trip away?

One of my girlfriends I told at my birthday because we never have alone time. I figured it was my part so if it was a downer then it was only on me. We were standing on the verandah watching her son play outside. I had a few too many drinks. She asked me where I got my necklace – the one with the angel wing and birthstone from the month my baby was due. I told her.

She was pregnant at the time and couldn’t bring herself to share that news as I told her about my miscarriage. A week later she text me from hospital as she was losing her baby. She asked for details. I relived my miscarriage for her. When we met for coffee a few days later, she was grey and miserable. We cried together and laughed and hugged each other and cried some more. If I hadn’t told her, she wouldn’t have reached out to me; she would have suffered in silence.

I finally told 2 colleagues at work. They were shocked and saddened. I told them that when it happened, I could barely function. I didn’t have the strength to talk about it 2 months ago without having a breakdown. In hindsight, a few strategic people at work knowing might have saved me a lot of angst. I was emotional and distressed and anxious. I was dealing with pregnancy hormones, lactating and feeling physically weak after the miscarriage. I kept my mouth shut and suffered alone at work. I closed my office door and sobbed in between ballet classes. I was dizzy from blood loss, in pain from contractions and on edge the whole time. I struggled to balance work stress without losing my mind. I couldn’t find a way to balance work and my mum’s visit at the same time. Had I told someone, there might have been some support or understanding. I wish now that I had done that.

I wish more women talked about it. When I finally decided to talk about it instead of treating it like a shameful secret, I heard the same refrain over and over: “me too” or “my sister had one” or “my friend just miscarried”. Then I found there was no judgement  – only tears and strength found in solidarity.

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Undone.

I never want to eat again.

If this is the last breath that I draw, it is too much; it is enough.

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Wedding Weekend

We went away for the weekend to a wedding for my boyfriend’s cousin. We had the children with us and all his family had traveled there. After a lot of drama involving the mother of his daughter (she thought that she should attend the wedding and I didn’t), we managed to go too.

Road trips are hard for people with eating disorders. There is no routine, there are few ‘safe’ foods and lots of triggers. I was already high on anxiety from the drama by the time we left. I anticipated someone in my boyfriend’s family would make a comment about the little girl’s mother or make one of their stupid pregnancy jokes in our direction. Before we even left, I was on guard and expecting it.

Nothing happened. Nobody said anything dumb. We had a great weekend. We stayed with friends and drank wine and took the kids swimming.

At the wedding I had my heart set on a slow dance with my boyfriend. It was all I wanted. The night went on and on with no chance of it happening as we chased the children around and spent time with his family. His daughter takes up all his time and attention. It is just the way it is. When she is around, his son and I barely get noticed. I had a feeling that I was setting myself up for disappointment by fixating on the one moment I really wanted: a slow dance in his arms.

I do it all the time by setting my heart on something: a romantic date, a weekend away together, him coming home with me to meet my family and of course, an engagement ring. I leave in a week. There is no chance now that I am going home with a ring on my finger.

As the night wore on, I ate more (pasta, potatoes, bread, lasagne – all good for anxiety relief) and drank more and eventually went to purge it all. When I came out of the washroom by boyfriend was standing there looking for me. He had been looking for me for some time.

“Where else would you expect to find me?” I replied in tipsy honesty.

“I should have guessed,” was his response.

Normal people would have been on the dance floor.

By the time he came to get me for the last dance of the evening, his daughter was half asleep on my lap. Her needs trump my needs. I wasn’t going to move a sleeping child so I could go dance. I went back to the hotel and cried in the bathtub instead.

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Massage and Probing Questions

I saw a massage therapist yesterday to deal with 2 ribs that are out of place.

“If you are uncomfortable at any point, just say so and I will stop,” he instructs.

I don’t know how to tell him that people with ED are always uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable in my skin, lying naked underneath a blanket, wondering how awful my cellulite is as he squeezes and rubs. I am uncomfortable that someone is touching my fat; that the bones I long for are buried under layers of flesh. I am uncomfortable as his hands find thighs that are too big. I suffer repulsion on his behalf that he has to touch me.

He keeps up an incessant chatter. The conversation turns to me: where am I from, what do I do. The usual. Thankfully he doesn’t comment that I am too fat to be a ballerina.

“Do you have kids?” he asks. I don’t know if this is just conversational or not.

“No,” I don’t bother explaining that I live with someone who has two because that opens a huge can of worms. It is so complicated that I don’t want to rehash the story of my boyfriend and his children. (Although I “mommy” them, I am not officially their step mother. Apparently you can’t be acknowledged as any kind of mother until there is a ring on your finger and a piece of paper to prove it.)

“Have you ever been pregnant,” is his next question.

“No,” I respond wondering how strange it is of him to ask that of me. It would mean that I had suffered a miscarriage given that I just told him I don’t have kids. It seems an unlikely conversation to have a with a complete stranger, despite how intimately his hands were touching my body.

This came 48 hours after my colleague asked me on the weekend if I was expecting a baby. Why is everyone asking me if I am pregnant, if I have ever been pregnant or in the case of my girlfriend straight up telling me “it is your turn to have a baby. You are going to miss your window and regret it.”

My boyfriend already had 2 accidental kids. I don’t want to be the person he has a third accident with. I am having enough trouble wrapping my head around being #3 as it is. It isn’t special. It isn’t something that I feel excited about. There are a lot of comments and jibes about pregnancy and kids made in our direction. I don’t enjoy being the butt of the joke because he already had two kids with two different women. No one seems to stop and think how it makes me feel. No one acknowledges how hard it must be for me to be in such a situation and want my own children. He makes jokes about it too and it destroys me just a little bit more.

The only conclusion I can draw from any of this is that I am fat.

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Girl Code (And More Dumb S**t People Say To Me)

Everyone knows that you never ask a woman if she is pregnant. Girls especially know that this is a code you don’t break no matter how obvious it is.

Today a colleague at ballet asked me if I was pregnant while patting my stomach. She actually thought it was acceptable to pat my belly and ask if I was expecting a baby. I looked at her in horror. I told her that was a terrible thing to ask someone.

“Why?” she seemed surprised that I was upset.

“Do I look pregnant?” I responded.

***This is the worst part. Brace yourselves***

“I don’t know,” she answered.

I. Don’t. Know.

Well I am obviously fat enough that she thinks I’m pregnant. The sad thing about that is I have actually lost weight lately. That there was all the encouragement I need to keep purging, exercising and restricting.

The tragedy of the whole day was when I relayed the incident to a friend and they said to me, “well if she knew your situation, she wouldn’t ask.” Meaning that my boyfriend has already had 2 accidental children with 2 different woman and our lives are negatively impacted by it every, single day. Said friend then said this: “It’s not like you want to be the third woman to have his child.”

No, I do not.

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Data This Week

Meals deliberately missed: 2

Meals purged: 0 (for a total of 3 months purge free) UPDATE: purged tonight…offically ended my 3 month streak just hours after I wrote this.

Days of premediated caloric restriction: 3

Accidental binges: 1

Planned binges: 1

Gym workouts: 4 so far…

Total meltdowns: 1 (crying naked in the bathroom in the middle of the night)

Partial meltdowns: 2.5

Number of migraines: 6

Longest lasting migraine: 3 days without any respite

Days since last hospital visit: 17

Weeks left til trip home: 13

Anxiety level: please send Valium

Glasses Bottles of wine: too many

Months since I moved in with my boyfriend: 2

Number of days period is late: 1*

*(I did just have my IUD removed a couple of weeks ago and am waiting for things to “normalize” whilst trying to avoid any unplanned babies.)

Triggering comments from this week: “Why don’t you go have a nap and then you won’t eat anymore?” “She loves food…she is a woman after your own heart.” “You had 3 carrots and a banana for lunch? Watch out you don’t get fat.”

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I Got So Fat I Took A Pregnancy Test

I Got So Fat  I Took A Pregnancy Test

True story.

Now, I am not the psycho that wishes I was pregnant (especially as I am beginning to doubt the validity of this relationship), but I have been so shocked at how much weight I have gained recently that I thought there must honestly be another reason. I looked at myself in the mirror and had a sinking feeling that something else was going on other than “recovery”.

Apparently, not. I am really, sadly, just this fat.

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