I am so excited to ring in 2018. January/February means a new baby to hold and to love on the outside of my body. The completion of my little family. It will be a moment that has been dreamed of and yearned for my whole life. We’ve been through so much to get to that place. It will be the realisation of so many hopes and the fruition of so many challenging situations we’ve been through. It will mean the end of this pregnancy. A pregnancy that I have been so grateful for, but have struggled with.
I hope my baby will be happy and healthy. I hope my family will adjust well to this big change in our dynamic. I hope that the conditions that have plagued me (PUPPP rash and gestational diabetes) will disappear when we meet our little girl. I hope that I have less anxiety the next time around.
I don’t want to jinx it, but assuming all of these things happen and that my family is blessed enough for everything to turn out OK in its own way, I have some things I’d like to enjoy/achieve next year.
This one probably seems obvious, but I want to have a big focus on quality time with my family – finally a party of 4. I want to take in all the special moments in those early days with our Little Miss. There will probably be less focus on larger scale travel (never say never but for now we’ll assume we’re hanging about) with more on little family outings and getaways. I want to give myself time to adjust to having 2 little buddies as well as I can! Eep! I also want to take all of the photos and do all of the clucky stuff. I don’t feel like I’ve quite achieved that during pregnancy.
I am embarrassed at how high this is on my list haha. Having gestational diabetes has really made me feel quite obsessed with food! If I’m truly honest with myself and stop whining about it for half a minute, I actually don’t mind a lot of the options I have with my newly enforced low sugar, low carb diet. Before I was pregnant, I used to enjoy eating this way by choice. It helped me to shed unwanted weight that made me feel sluggish and slow. I felt good. BUT…I was able to have cheat days without any fall out affecting anybody but myself. I could have a cheat meal for a special occasion. It was my choice.
I look forward to living healthily after the baby is born, but I have to tell you – there is a growing list of stuff I want to wrap my mouth around!
I am forming a list that I plan on working through, should my diabetes dissipate. It doesn’t have to be some all out epic binge. Just bit by bit, cheat meal by cheat meal. I feel like as much as my diabetes educator and dietitian would frown hard at me, I am not going to be sorry for my occasional indulgences if/when there’s nothing wrong with me! I mean, you already have restrictions in a ‘normal’ pregnancy, so this list will be extensive by the time the baby is born haha. The festive season food porn all over Pinterest and Instagram does not help!!!
- A big platter full of soft cheeses, carb filled crackers and cured meats
- Cake/cookies/brownies etc – I want to bake all the things I couldn’t eat at Christmas time again, but this time actually enjoy them.
- Anything that involves whipped cream and real custard (I love my low fat/low sugar custard desserts right now but it’s not quite the real thing when you have to time when to eat it and measure the exact amount)
- Fish and chips
- A soft serve ice-cream cone with sprinkles!
Generally, I just look forward to eating whenever I feel like it. Even if it’s something healthy. Not having to wait and see, or test my blood sugar levels first or count the exact right carb servings. I want to enjoy spontaneity. I also would like a little bit of wine and a few mojitos haha.
I am definitely not going to be one of those “I MUST BOUNCE BACK IMMEDIATELY” people. God no. But I hope that when I feel ready, I will enjoy having freedom of movement again. Walking the baby around my neighbourhood. Getting back on the treadmill if/when I can detach from her. Enjoying silly dance cardio work outs (hello Fitness Marshall). Building my strength a little so holding the baby will not seem so much of a struggle as she grows! It will be good for my mental health and also my physical health. I look forward to reclaiming my body. It’s been a lot of years of feeling like I’ve been at the mercy of my fertility (or lack thereof). While I know I may be breastfeeding and have a clingy child for a while, anything I can do to care for myself too will be a great improvement on the situations I’ve dealt with already. I’ve learned not to take anything for granted.
Oh you have no idea. I look forward to enjoying dressing myself. Even in the most basic outfits. Normal people outfits. Jeans. T-shirts. Things made of all kinds of fabrics. With waistlines, even. I want to have less hang ups about my body. I wasted SO MUCH TIME worrying about what people would think of my ever fluctuating mid section before I got pregnant. I worried about so many things. Now I just want to dress for myself. I can’t wait. This isn’t just about feeling restricted by maternity wear options. This is also about my PUPPP rash. I hope it disappears when my baby is born and I hope this will mean that I can wear whatever I want, without fearing a flare up of my sensitive skin. Again, I have learned not to take things for granted. Like having a healthy body that can grow a beautiful baby. Fuck everything else.
Now I know this is a long shot and I may not realise it in 2018 to the point of feeling like a ‘totally got my shit together’ person, but I look forward to working on it. Having 3 years of infertility, followed by IVF, followed by a pregnancy, has meant that committing to things has been difficult at times. Hormones have messed with my mind and body. My social life has been inconsistent. Appointments have been so time consuming. Even my bloody monthly visitor was so debilitating that I would have to cancel things at times. It’s been quite the ride!
After the baby arrives (hopefully as safely and devoid of everlasting trauma as possible), I look forward to making plans I can feel as confident about as any reasonable person can predict. Sure, life can mess up the best laid plans at times, but I look forward to a little less drama and uncertainty about it all!
I want to feel like it’s entirely possible to work on all of the above with some sort of regularity. It’s been quite a long time. I don’t think 2018 is going to be about just a new year. It will mark a whole new era of my life. I am so excited.
Of course, after all I’ve been through, a part of me is worried that my hopes and expectations for 2018 are too high. That maybe shit will happen between now and then, making things hard yet again, but I am trying to ignore that feeling of anxiety about it all. It’s been hard to shake the feeling that I can’t possibly be that lucky – it’s an emotional scar I carry after the infertility (even despite the fact that I have clearly been so lucky as to fall pregnant – I seem to have this irrational belief that because of this luck I can’t possibly have any more). But I will just hope that should things go a bit pear shaped, that I will be able to handle things with the strength I have been given throughout the last few years.
While I have had what feels like a lifetime of ‘blessings in disguise’ and I would really like them to come dressed as themselves more often from now on, I just hope that life continues to prove this newly minted pessimist wrong. So maybe that does make me an incurable optimist after all.
What do you look forward to in 2018?