As a general rule, I am a positive person. Don't get me wrong--I have my fair share of pity parties, but no matter how tough my life situation, I usually have my initial cry/scream/pity party, but then I just put on my big girl panties and move on.
Since October, however, I have been having a difficult time even finding my big girl panties. It's like that pair of panties that fall behind the crevice of your wall and dresser. You don't find them until you decide to move the furniture and clean the dust bunnies from behind the furniture (which basically never happens at my house)...then you're like,
"A ha! My big girl panties! I was wondering where they were!"
My big girl panties were misplaced months ago. So, I've been (figuratively of course) walking around for the past 6-8 months without wearing any panties. And I have on a skirt. A skirt with no panties. I'm sure you're familiar with the uncomfortable 'I'm not wearing any panties with a skirt' feeling.
It's a little breezy (but not in a good way).
You're constantly on guard, waiting for your skirt to fly up (but not in a good way).
If you're even a fraction as clumsy as I am, you're living daily with the fear that at any given moment, you could end up on the floor/pavement/grass in a very compromising (panty-less) situation.
There is nothing good about losing your big girl panties. It's intimidating, daunting, and personally, it makes me feel like I've fallen down and landed with my skirt over my head.
The past 8 months for me have been filled with a slew of losses on many levels, uncertainty, and confusion. I've faced rejection, grief, physical pain, and a lot of self-doubt. Mostly, this has all been a result of the trials and tribulations surrounding Operation: Baby. I've been hesitant to really dig into it on the blog for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I don't know how much everyone cares to hear about my fertility.
What I've decided is that although you probably don't care about my fertility, it's really playing a huge role in my overall health and fitness (both mentally and physically). That is exactly what my whole blog is about, so why would I ignore it? In a way, it's just another obstacle--sort of like my IT band syndrome or bursitis. This obstacle just happens to originate in the parts that we don't usually speak of.
When I had my original pregnancy loss last October, it created an immediate sense of fear for me. I instantly felt like I had caused the loss--it was the TRX workout that I did on Saturday...or the Spin class I attended the evening before I started having complications...or that weird stretch I did because my hamstrings were tight. I immediately blamed myself for something that remains to be completely unexplained, and something which no medical study has ever tied back to exercise, spinning, stretching, flexing, or jumping. It wasn't my fault.
But I didn't believe it.
So I stopped working out. Instead, I watched TV and ate.
It's amazing how old coping mechanisms come on scene just when you need them the most! But really--I rationalized that working out had caused me the hurt, pain, and uncertainty of losing a pregnancy (and two more since then), so why would I continue doing it? Getting and staying pregnant is supposed to be easy, it was going to be easy for me, and the only factor that could have caused the problem was exercise. Of course!
Of course not!
It's taken me 8 months, but I've worked it out in my head. Fertility problems are so common these days, and they're not caused by exercise. I personally have many friends who have worked out throughout their pregnancies, and gone on to have very healthy, happy babies. Hell...I ran a 10K with my friend when she was 6 months pregnant. This is not the cause of my fertility problems. In order to reinforce this in my fearful brain, I bought the book Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp III. M.D., on a recommendation from my friend.
I am feeling so much more relieved after having read this book. Dr. Clapp (I'm sorry...but his name is just funny) conducted firsthand research on 250 women who exercised regularly before, during, and after pregnancy, as well as a group of 50 women who began a structured exercise program during pregnancy. As a result, he disproved all of the old myths about exercise reducing a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, that exercise causes early miscarriage or premature labor, and that weight-bearing exercises are not good for pregnant women. It's all a crock.
He found no proof that exercise causes miscarriage, ectopic pregnancies, congenital defects, or other placental problems.
I read the book.
I started my Boilermaker Training Plan.
I had another miscarriage.
I pulled my big girl panties out from behind my dresser.
I put them on.
I called my doctor.
I asked for help.
I made an appointment to come up with a game plan.
I took back control.
I won't allow fear to control my health.
Did you exercise throughout your pregnancy?
Have you recently had to search for your big girl panties too?