I returned to the gym today for the first time since I was 30 weeks pregnant. I exercised (well, walked and practiced yoga) until about 30 weeks, at which point I hit a wall and working out became too tiring and uncomfortable so I just stopped.
I ran today for the first time since April. During my first trimester I tried to run, but it only seemed to exacerbate the nausea so I stopped. When I finally started to feel less nauseous I felt it was not a good idea to start running as too much time had passed and so I stuck to walking.
It felt good to run. I thought back New Year’s Day of this year – January 1st I set out for a run. I picked up some new Under Armour gear for Christmas, and I remember getting suited up in that due to the cold weather and going for my first run of the year. I remember the route I took. I remember wondering if I would ever have a child. If I would get our genetic test results back soon and if so, I wondered of the results. Would they lead us to adoption or surrogacy or donor material? What would we do in the situation that it was too risky to try on our own without intervention? All these heavy thoughts that seemed best teased out in the crisp, cold air with my headphones on and some motivating music in the background.
And today, 365 days later, I set out for a run at the gym, albeit a bit slower. It felt strange to run again after so many months, and with the extra pregnancy weight that I have yet to lose. And with new thoughts in my head, of my miracle baby who was at home with this father.
New Year’s Eve two years ago we stayed in (I can’t recall what we did but it wasn’t celebratory.) Last New Year’s Eve we stayed in and watched Star Wars (RIP CF.) This New Year’s Eve we are in again, but not because we don’t feel like celebrating or are wishing the time away. We have much to be grateful for this year and stayed in for that reason – stayed in to be with our biggest, best present of the year. We were invited to two house parties, but with McLovin being so young we didn’t want to take him out, and being with him is more important to us.
It is a cliché, but tonight I keep thinking – “What a difference a year makes.” I don’t know why we had to suffer so in 2014 and 2015, or why 2016 was different. I don’t know why this is the year we were graced with our healthy child. But I know that at this time last year I was losing hope and wasn’t sure if we would ever have a living child. Wasn’t sure when or if I would ever get to hold my child in my arms. Wasn’t sure why pregnancy loss was following us around (and we still aren’t sure, because our test results still aren’t back yet.) We ran the gamut of emotions – frustration due to delays in receiving our genetic test results to sadness and hopelessness that we may never have an answer or grow our family to hope that maybe one last try would be successful to cautious optimism when we got pregnant to fear and anxiety over the health of the pregnancy and before each ultrasound to surprise when we were told I had to be induced early and the pure adrenaline and elation the night he was born to fatigue due to sleepless nights and awe when I look down at him and realize he is my baby and he is perfect. And so many others. It has been an emotionally fulfilling year, the highs and the lows. A “whole” year. This has been a full year with a range of emotions.. And somehow, for some reason, what I was beginning to think was impossible actually happened this year and the holiday today is totally different. I didn’t think so at the beginning of the year, but now I think I will always be fond of 2016. To me it will be the “Year of McLovin” – his pregnancy and birth.
I hope that anyone who is reading this has a happy, healthy and safe holiday. And if 2016 was rough to you, I hope that 2017 is a bit kinder.