My problems began in early March.
I decided to try my hand at running. An athlete I am not, but I am a reasonably active person who needed to lose my last ten pounds of baby weight. And have you ever seen a flabby runner? Me neither. Several nights a week, before bed, I would lay out my running clothes and shoes and set my alarm. I would wake up every morning before dawn, stretch, and hit the pavement.
It was the most miserable experience of my life.
No, really. Childbirth has nothing on my attempts at running. I just couldn't breathe. Day after day I would pick a fixed point as my target ("I'm going to run to the next stop sign," "I know I can make it to that car down the street") and invariably, I would make it less than a hundred yards before I would be forced to slow to a walk, gasping for the next quarter mile before repeating the whole wretched cycle.
Three weeks I did this. And after three weeks - hand to God - I still could not go farther than a hundred yards. Truthfully, a hundred yards is a generous estimation. It was incredibly frustrating.
Then, I began having hot flashes. Also? I was getting a little pudgy around the middle. I wasn't eating any differently, I was killing myself trying to run, and I don't typically gain weight in my gut anyway. What the heck was going on with my body?
I couldn't possibly be pregnant. In fact, my body confirmed (twice!) that I wasn't pregnant. So I decided my hormones must be off. Or maybe I had a vitamin deficiency? I made an appointment with my OB, expecting blood work and a recommendation for a supplement of some kind.
In the meantime, I did what any self-respecting mother of many small children would do: I bought some spanx.
My appointment was a few weeks away, of course, and my problems were not getting any better. In fact, by the day of my appointment, I could barely button my pants, and I couldn't exercise at all anymore without feeling exhausted and weak. Needless to say, I'd had it with my body.
I walked into the OB's office frustrated with my body. An hour later I saw a little foot kick on an ultrasound screen.
It was astounding.
The technician and I both laughed out loud. "Are you SERIOUS?" I squawked. "You really didn't know?" she said. "This is your fourth baby, and you really didn't have any idea?" Not a clue. I wasn't just pregnant, I was 10 WEEKS pregnant. Almost through the first trimester. The ultrasound showed a baby - an actual baby. All of this time that I'd been complaining and sucking in, a little life had begun. Completely under the radar.
When I came home I peeled off the spanx and looked at my profile in the bathroom mirror. How had I missed this? I took this picture the next day.
It's not just a river in Egypt, friends.