Hello! I am most likely on a plane on my way to Michigan for a wedding this weekend, so I’ve left you in good hands for the next few days. First up please welcome Kelly from No Sugar Sweet Life today! She has an incredibly inspirational story to share with you that brought me a few tears while reading. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
First of all, I’d like to say HELLO to all you Food N Fitness Diaries’ readers! I am fairly new to this whole “blogosphere”, but somehow stumbled upon Ashley’s site a few months ago and have been hooked ever since! A little bit about me before I dive in… My name is Kelly, and I blog over at No Sugar Sweet Life. Struggling with my weight for my entire adult life, I finally decided life is too short to live perpetually unhappy. I recently lost 50 pounds after celebrating my daughter’s first birthday, and am currently working on the last 30. I am a busy full-time mom of a 21 month old toddler, who also has a full-time job as an accountant, who is a wife and helper to an amazing man, and who thought it would be fun to start a blog!
Here’s a quick before and after so you can see where I’ve come from:
When the opportunity came up to do a guest post for Ashley, I felt it was the perfect time to share my story – one that hasn’t been told – of my struggles to become a mom. As Ashley said in her recent “Making Some Changes” post, it is one of her biggest dreams in life… to become a mother.
It was a dream of mine too.
My hubby and I got married young; I was only 23. We learned how “adult life” worked – together. We didn’t think about kids at the beginning… we knew we always wanted to have some, but weren’t in a hurry. We had a lot of life to live! We went about our daily lives, growing in our careers, building a house, getting a dog… you know, normal stuff. Until we were 27. Then BAM – all of a sudden – we were ready. Ready to start a family. (If only it were that easy!)
Here’s a pic of me and Dear Hubby at that time:
I think most of all, I was naive. Naive to think that if we waited until we were emotionally, financially, and perfectly “ready” that it would just happen, soon thereafter. (This isn’t a recommendation to rush into motherhood, just a gentle reminder that our timing isn’t always God’s timing and as much as we “plan” things in our head, they don’t always turn out that way!)
We tried for 3 years to get pregnant. My hubby might say that we could have tried harder (you know he just wanted more good reasons to…you know…). But I tracked my ovulation; I knew when our chances were. I even sought medical help. I was on fertility meds (Clomid) for a number of months, to no avail. After regular ultrasounds, I even had a fairly invasive “test” to see if there were blockages or issues with my uterus. The good news from that particular test was that I was “perfectly normal” and “shouldn’t” have any issues getting pregnant. Ha! The bad news was that I was allergic to the Iodine dye used in the test and ended up in the hospital for the next 36 hours puking my guts out. It was not fun!! No good explanation as to why I couldn’t get pregnant and non-stop puking and IVs as a “reward.” UGH!!
We wrapped our head around next steps. It was pretty clear that we were going to need more help. We talked with our doctor and decided we would wait 6 months to a year to try anything else. My hubby was morally against in-vitro fertilization (I wasn’t pumped about the idea, but didn’t want to rule it out right away in case it was our ONLY way to have a baby)… so if we were going to have to take that route, it would take some serious convincing. I went ahead and set aside FSA money (you know, the pre-tax dollars you can set aside at work for medical expenses), for the following year, knowing these “next steps” were going to be expensive.
All the while, I realized my job was too stressful. I was working 50 – 60 hours a week, no joke. During the summer, I even worked most Saturdays – the very days I wanted to be spending with Dear Hubby and relaxing. And beyond the stress of having no time b/c I was always working, the work itself was stressful, as I was in a managerial role dealing with a lot of “people drama.” I didn’t realize until later that the stress, the hours, and the drama were having a REAL effect on my body. It didn’t want to create life in such a stressful environment.
After 3 years, I found a new job and started Sept 1. It was a bit of a “demotion” title-wise, but I was ready for less stress. Danny and I would plan to pursue those “next steps” mentioned above the following Spring.
But… surprise, surprise!
Within 2 months of working at my new lower-stress job, I was pregnant! We couldn’t believe it. We really thought we couldn’t get pregnant on our own. But just changing my work environment had THAT much effect on my body. It ended up being such a blessing getting pregnant with the new company, as my medical benefits were sooooooooo much better. Also, they were super flexible with me to take an extended maternity leave. And God even orchestrated it to bring back the lady who had had my position before me (she had just retired before I got hired), so there was ZERO training to do (zero work stress) right before Babycakes was born. Thinking back on it, I am still amazed at how it all worked out!
I had a maternity photoshoot done at about 38 weeks pregnant because I wanted to document this miracle, that I might never experience a second time. As I share some of my favorites, I will leave you with a few last thoughts:
1) Listen to your body!
A lot of times it’s trying to tell us something, but we don’t listen. Or we’re not quiet enough. If you need to slow down, unplug. If you need a less stressful job, get one. If you need to eat more calories, do it. Listen.
2) Be courageous.
When your body tells you something, be courageous enough to do something about it. It might be scary, but it will be worth it.
3) Don’t lose your playfulness or spunk.
Dealing with body issues can be all-consuming and super emotional. But don’t lose yourself in the process. Remember what makes you YOU (outside of any body issues you might be dealing with).
4) Surround yourself with people that love you.
I can’t say enougha about having a strong support system. When things get hard, you’re going to need to lean on others. God intended for us to “do life together” and not be isolationists. Others can be strong when you’re not, and then later you can be that strength for someone else.
5) Know that you are beautiful and strong.
Whew, this was an emotional (and long) post! Thank you for sticking with me through it. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have a beautiful little girl, who I lovingly refer to as “Babycakes” in the blogosphere. She has changed me in so many ways and made me really understand what life and true love and deep joy are all about. She is the reason I became healthy, which you can read more about here.
Motherhood changed me. I still have about 30 pounds left to go, but I am well on my way towards living the happy healthy life… no sugar added.
- Is your body trying to tell you something? Are you listening?
- If you’re a mom, was it easy for you to get pregnant? Or did you struggle like me?