I've always been a hypochondriac. It's ridiculous the amount of stuff I convinced myself would happen to me. I remember seeing a documentary about scoliosis when I was about 10, and I was convinced I would develop that, too. I checked my spine every day for weeks to be sure it was still straight. Every time I had a stomach ache, I pressed on my stomach to be sure I didn't have a ruptured appendix. The fact that I made it through my life thus far without having daily panic attacks is a miracle. I was so weird growing up - I feared everything.

But now, I think my fears are even bigger. And that sucks, because I thought I was past this.

I fear that I won't be able to get pregnant again. My cycles are so jacked up right now - and I've always been regular - that I just don't know if they'll ever straighten out and if I'll ever be able to have more children. While I always say that having JJ is good enough for me, after losing Devon, the desire to have more kids increased even more. I was obsessed with it while J was visiting in December, and I think my body's still trying to balance out from all of the stress I put myself under during that time. But I always have those "What if" questions - what if we can't? What if something happened while having Devon and I just can't have any more kids? I'm almost 27, so the biological clock is starting to scream at me...I don't think it would be if Devon was our Earth baby and not our angel baby. No, I KNOW it wouldn't be screaming at me.

I fear that JJ will be taken from me, too. Car accident, fall at daycare, some sort of medical condition that will take him from us suddenly - I have literally thought of every scenario that results in me losing him. When we got in our fender bender a few weeks ago, my heart literally stopped until I knew he was OK [he was sitting in the middle of the back seat, and the damage was minor, but still]. I've spent so many nights awake until 2am, just watching him sleep, hearing him breathe. It's almost like he's a newborn again, when I used to get up multiple times a night to be sure he was still breathing.

I fear that I will have some sort of ridiculous breakdown and just fall into oblivion. I've had so many breakdowns since losing Devon that it's not even funny; the fact that I still produce tears is, in my mind, a miracle. But I fear that something will set me off, that I will freak out and just fall into a mental hole for a few days. I've been careful about watching myself mentally and turning to therapy or my doctor if I ever need it, but I just fear that I'll fall too deep and not realize it. I know it's stupid, but it's true.

I have other fears, but those are my three biggest right now. I hate that these fears are a part of my life now, because I wouldn't have these if I hadn't lost Devon. I try so hard to not live in the past anymore, to not dwell and let the negative affect me, but I really can't fight it off some days. I've had a little bit of a setback since we hit the five-month mark, spent more time crying and spending time alone with my Molly Bear, trying to figure out my life and what I want from it. It's probably because of the whole "this time last year, I was pregnant," but I also think it's because so much is going to happen soon. JJ will be in school, my sister's getting married, J is working towards another promotion, my dad will be home [hopefully for good] soon from Afghanistan...and I'll do all of this without both of my boys. It's still a struggle to live in reality when things were supposed to be so different.

While I'm trying to fight it off, fear is still a very big part of my life. I hope, one day, the fears won't be as bad, or that they'll disappear all together. That would be awesome.


Small steps.

As I've moved forward after losing Devon, I've made myself take small steps towards recovery instead of trying to do too much at once. I can always tell when I'm doing too much and moving too fast, because my anxiety shoots through the roof. Then I get headaches and get all paranoid...it's easy to tell when my body isn't ready to do things, because I just start to shut down. Because of that, I've been very aware of myself and have taken small steps back into the real world.

The step I took yesterday was a small step to the outside world, but it was a very big step for me. My best friend had a baby back in December, and I haven't seen her since her son was born. Before that, I hadn't seen her since Devon's memorial. I finally felt ready to meet her son - who also happens to be my godson - and went over there yesterday to see her.

I thought I would have an anxiety attack as I was driving over there, but I felt strangely calm. It's almost like I felt Devon with me, telling me that it was OK, that I could do it. I have been very anti-baby and anti-pregnancy since losing him, and I've shut myself away from all of that [as i've mentioned before in previous posts]. But meeting my best friend's son was something I wanted to do, something I needed to do. So I drove over there with a box of pizza, sanitized before I went inside, and got my first glimpse of that adorable little baby.

He is just too cute - and has so much hair! He wasn't exactly a happy camper while I was there, but it was still good to see my best friend and to meet him for the first time. I didn't cry or feel overwhelmed - two things I was totally convinced would happen. I did have my pangs of hurt while he was crying or squabbling for his pacifier, but the all-consuming sadness I was bracing for just wasn't there. I was relieved.

I did have a good cry after I left her house and drove back home, but it was a cleansing cry. One of those "God, I miss you so much that it hurts, but I'll be OK" kind of cries. I wasn't sure if I would ever get to the point to where I would want to be around babies [even my own best friend's baby], but it did feel good to be around her and be around him. It still hurts to know that I won't have those moments with Devon, that I will never hear him cry or give him a pacifier or hold him again...but in the meantime, I have my own big kiddo to spoil and love and cherish, and I have a new godchild to spoil as well.

Everything in my life right now is about small steps. It was a small step to show my face in the world again, small step to go back to work, small step to get through each major holiday and milestone. While, in my heart, the step to meet my adorable godson was huge, it was just another one of those small steps towards moving forward. I'm so glad I took that step.


Five months.

Five months. Has it really been five months?

It's hard to put in to words how each milestone feels. On one hand, I'm in such a better place mentally and physically that the milestones get easier. On the other hand, each month that passes is another month without Devon, another month closer to hitting that one-year mark that I'm dreading so much.

I've spent the entire day reliving that fateful weekend. Maybe one day, I'll be able to put his birth story into words. I mean, I have already - it's in my personal journal. But I haven't put it out there for the world to read because that weekend is still way too emotional for me, even if it doesn't seem so on the outside anymore. I make myself relive that weekend often because I don't ever want to forget. I have this weird thing where I'm afraid I'll forget the time I had with Devon, forget the few minutes I had to hold my angel and talk to him. I know it might be cruel to make myself remember so often, but that's all I have of him [besides his memory box]. That's all I've got.

I am constantly amazed at how much progress I've made. When I found out he was gone, I thought I would never be the same again. I thought my world would just end, that I would just be here as a shadow of a person. But it feels good to say that I'm not. I'm back on the exercise bandwagon [down 7 pounds, but running is kicking my butt pretty good right now], back to enjoying life again, back to being the mother that JJ deserves. But I do still have my moments of utter sorrow - the moments when I shut myself in a room, hold Devon's pictures and just sob until I can't sob anymore. While those moments don't happen on a regular basis anymore, they do still happen often - and that's OK. I'm OK with that. The pain of losing a child will never go away, but at least it's not all-consuming anymore.

I try not to think about the "what was I doing at this time last year" stuff, because it hurts. This time last year, I'd just found out I was pregnant with Devon and hadn't told anyone [well, but J, my sister and my best friend] yet. This time last year, my world was amazing. As I continue to go through this year, I know it will be a struggle to not think about what I was doing during this time last year, because things are so different now. I know that if I let myself drown in what 2012 was all about [both the utter joy and sheer pain], it will set me back. So I just keep living. Just keep going. Just keep getting stronger by focusing on now and holding the memory of my sweet boy in my heart.

God. This entry makes no sense. I'm just rambling now, so I'll wrap it up. I will, once again, say that I am so grateful for the friends and family that have been so supportive over the last five months. Your love and kind words have made my healing process easier, have made it OK for me to keep moving forward when I just want to hide for the rest of my life. I still very much appreciate those who check in on me, those who still pray for me, and those who have been a shoulder to lean/cry on when I've had the tough days. Without you all, the last five months would have been way more difficult.


Keeping it up. [and an update]

We are now 10 days into the new year [seriously? this year is already starting to fly], and the fitness progress has been positive. I'm not sure I've stuck with an exercise goal for this long...well...ever. Even when I played volleyball in high school, I only did what I had to in order to stick to the team [which means I could've been so much better if I'd put in more effort...ah well]. But I am bound and determined to make this year the best year I can, which means focusing on me and my health. So far, so good.

I have been taking my multivitamin just about every day - I think I've only missed one or two days, maybe. I've also been diligent about the 14-day ab challenge, and today is day 9 of 14. I felt awful last night [perks of being a woman...cramps and PMS], so I skipped and did day 8 this morning. That just about knocked me on my ass - I struggled through those. But I just did day 9's set, and that actually was the easiest set I've done this entire time. That makes me a little nervous; when a workout doesn't feel exhausting enough, I'm afraid I did it wrong.


I also made it through the first week of Couch to 5K. Surprisingly enough, it didn't knock me down like I thought. The only time I can really commit to running is during lunch, so that's what I've been doing. During this time, I have discovered four things:

1. I've run three out of the last six days [I'll run tomorrow], and it's already gotten easier. Amazing how pacing yourself makes it easier.

2. I have GOT to stretch better. I would be able to run longer if my legs quit cramping up.

3. I much prefer to run outside. Running in a gym sucks because you get hot way too fast. I ran inside last Friday and didn't like it, so I took to the pavement this past Monday and Wednesday. It was in the 40s, but I just needed a warm pair of gloves and some warm workout clothes, and I was gold. It's supposed to be near 70 tomorrow, so running should be glorious.

4. I have to focus on my breathing and pacing while I'm running, so I absolutely can't listen to music. I thought I would be able to, but it throws me off too much.

When I ran outside this past Monday, I had no clue what I was doing or where I would run. I didn't want to run across campus and run into people, so I started to run around the outside of Boone Pickens Stadium/Gallagher-Iba Arena. I do my warm-up by walking from my office to BPS, then I run/walk two circles around the place and use my cooldown to walk back to my office. It's kinda perfect, and I kinda love it. I just hope I feel OK enough tomorrow to run...even if I don't run, I will at least attempt to run.

I haven't stepped on a scale yet, but I might sometime this weekend, just to see where I'm at. I'm not expecting to see much change yet, and it's hard to tell where I stand with my weight when I'm retaining water like a cactus, so maybe I'll wait until next week sometime. But I don't need a scale to tell me that I am starting to feel better about myself. I feel more aware, more awake, have more energy. I feel good while I run and after I run, and it's already gotten easier after just a week. I might actually be able to do this. Wow.

As for how I'm doing personally...I'm OK. I always say that I'm OK, but it's true. I can't say that I'm great or fantastic, because I'm still hurting. But I'm in a much better headspace than I was over the holidays, and I'm slowly feeling alive again. Like I have purpose, like I want to get out there and live my life again. I've had a couple of setbacks, but the setbacks aren't as bad as they used to be. Sunday makes a year since I got my BFP with Devon though, so I'm not quite sure how that will be. I'm trying not to think about it, because my life has changed so much in the last year that I just don't want to dwell. I can't dwell. That's when I start to fall again.

I don't know what 2013 will bring. Maybe it will bring a new baby. Maybe it will bring me peace, or a move, or a better body. Maybe it will just bring me the ability to maintain my life and start to live again. No matter what it brings though, I'm doing what I can to focus on myself and balance myself. Besides working out, I've been writing in my journal more often and will start reading again [i've got emily giffin's latest that's been collecting dust and needs to be read]. I feel like I'm in the best spot - mentally and physically - that I've been in since losing Devon, and I want to continue this trend. This doesn't mean that I'm over what happened, because that will never happen. Every new BFP, new baby that I see or hear about will always be a punch to the gut. Every little milestone will affect me. I'm sure I'll suffer a pretty big setback as we get to August and close to his first Angelversary. But for now, I'm OK, and I'm getting better. Hoping that continues.

I'm determined to make 2013 one of the best years ever. So far, it's going good.


Work it out.

For ages, I've complained about how I look and how I feel. I wouldn't say I'm overweight [even though my BMI is probably on the border, especially since I've still got a few pounds from Devon's pregnancy still hanging around], but I know I can be more fit. When I was in college, I maintained my weight because I was so busy, not because I hit the gym regularly. I was at my smallest right before I got pregnant with JJ, and I've fluctuated since. I'm now comfortably in a 10 and able to get in an 8 at some places [like Ann Taylor and Gap], but I do have about 10 pounds hanging around that I'd like to get rid of.

I didn't make resolutions this year, but I made goals - and one of my goals is to finally get fit and take care of myself. I'm going to be my sister's matron of honor at her June 2014 wedding, and I want to look GOOD. It is possible that we'll have another baby before then, but working out now will help me lose the weight easier when the time does come. So I finally bit the bullet this year and got down to business.

I started taking this multivitamin pack from Vitamin World, and I split the pills up over the day [take part in the morning and part at night]. I've been taking them for about a week and already feel the difference - I have more energy, my moods are balancing out, and I just feel better. I might switch to a multivitamin that's just one pill or more focused on sports recovery because I'm running now, but we'll see. The vitamins aren't cheap, but if they'll keep me healthy and feeling good, I'll take it.

I also started FINALLY doing Couch to 5K - my first day was yesterday. I've been saying, "Oh, I'll do it, I'll do it," but I finally went to the on-campus gym yesterday and ran. It'll be a tight squeeze to get in running and lunch during my 1-hour break, but I think I can manage it if I plan ahead and change at work before I head to the gym. And I'll only run twice a week during the week and will try to get one run in during the weekend, so it's manageable. Once it's warmer, I'm considering running to the Colvin, showering and walking back, but we'll see. I plan on bringing lunch to work more often anyway, so I can just have a meal replacement shake or a sandwich and chips during my workout days - something quick and easy. I wasn't sure how running would go since my knees aren't the best in the world, but it wasn't that bad. It was a struggle to run the last couple of rotations because I was already tired, but I pushed through. Woot! But today, my legs are hella sore. Ha.

On the days that I don't run, I'll supplement with some sort of workout. I have 30 Day Shred that I can do at home, and there's a couple of exercise plans I found in a magazine that I can do at home. My issues is that since it's just me and JJ, I don't have the time to go to the gym before or after work...and I don't want to spend EVERY lunch hour at the gym, so I gotta find other ways to get in a workout between the running. I'll probably try 30 Day Shred tonight and see how that goes. Last time I did it, I didn't make it through the first day - but I think I can do it.

AND, I'm doing a 14-day ab challenge with a group of friends. One of them said she was doing it, then we all jumped on. This workout is intense:

- 25 normal crunches
- 25 crunches [lay on your left side]
- 25 left knee touches
- 25 crunches [legs only half bent]
- 25 crunches [lay on your right side]
- 25 right knee touches
- 25 crunches [legs flat on ground]
- 25-second plank hold
- 25 leg lift butt raise crunches

Today is day 4, and my abs have been protesting since the first day. I skipped yesterday because I fell asleep really early, so I did a set this morning when I got up and will do another set tonight. I can already see a difference, which is awesome; depending on how great the results are after 2 weeks, I might keep doing them every night.

I had to go to the doctor yesterday, and my weight is around 168 - which isn't bad considering I thought I'd tipped the scale at above 170 [especially with all the bad eating I did during the holidays]. But I still have about 5 pounds of pregnancy weight sticking around, then another 5-7 pounds sticking around that I want to get rid of. If I can be down 10 pounds by summer, that would be a miracle [and I might actually be OK with getting into a bathing suit again]. I do want to get in shape for my sister's wedding, but more importantly, I want to get in shape for me. I'm tired of looking in the mirror and not really liking what I look like without clothes on. I'm tired of saying that I'll get in shape and then don't do it. I'm determined to make 2013 a better, more fit year for me; so far, I'm off to a good start.

Proof that I actually went to the gym and ran. :)