This past Christmas, Ryan and I decided we and our kids really had enough stuff.
What we wanted was experiences, and time together.
And so instead of getting each other or the kids gifts … We set $ aside for a vacation of some kind.
Ideas came, and with each idea, a setback. Things either were too expensive or took too much time or were just too far away.
So … A staycation it was.
Although … We didn’t plan for it to happen so late in the summer.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (an extreme version of morning sickness), kept me mostly in bed from April through June. Sure, I got out some, and my kids got to do an occasional fun thing.
But this summer I was NOT the mom I used to be.
Summer is my season. I come alive in the evenings, when it’s still warm enough to wear your shorts outside, but cool enough to want a cardigan.
I love the bright sun perked high above an azure, cloudless sky. The way the sunlight is bright upon me when I first open my eyes, and then stays with me all day long, until its reluctant descent behind the mountains nearby far past my girls’ bedtime.
I love swimming and water and wearing dresses and sandals. I love climbing mountains, and discovering waterfalls, and breathing in deeply of the woods. I love kayaking when we have the chance, and surrounding myself with the beauty of the Northwest.
I love play dates to the park. Scouring Macaroni Kids for whatever fun, almost-free things are around Kitsap. Hitting up all the playgrounds near and far.
I love summer. I love being a mom in summer.
But I didn’t love this summer.
By the time I had made some progress toward conquering the nausea beast, summer was already half way over. Several remaining weeks were left to cram my internship responsibilities in, and then head off on a conference.
My kids spent most of the time entertaining themselves. We had very few outings, saw very few friends, and had way too much screen time. (Albeit … They did read a lot.)
July felt over before it even began.
August came to me with a mad rush.
Finishing the conference. Camping trip with my sister and nephews. Cramming as much time in with them as I could. Helping a new business partner.
In 2 weeks, I attempted to cram in a 2 months of summer. I needed it. They needed it.
And then, yesterday, Ryan’s vacation time started, and we were ready for our special family time.
Except …. We weren’t.
Tuesday was a not-so-good, very-bad day.
It started with me eating breakfast, only to realize it was not going to stay down. It didn’t. I felt nauseous most of the rest of the day. Then had blood pressure scare that terrified me. (The super high numbers may have been part user error, but even if it were off a lot, my numbers were still scary high.)
My OB appointment later that day that left me in tears. I finished the night at my parents … Getting an IV in, and eating and ice cream bar. (Thank you mom and dad for spoiling me.)
The next day, we were supposed to go to the Pacific Science museum, but I needed to have a cardiology appointment first. And then we decided we needed to keep our day more relaxed than heading to Seattle. I was disappointed, but we did the best we could to still make it fun for the girls. So we went to the lake, and then had a popcorn and pajama movie night at home.
And then my nausea acted up. I took medicine, only to throw that up immediately.
Ryan convinced me to peel myself off the kitchen floor, and go back to bed, where I attempted medicine again. This time it stayed down.
After an hour or so, I felt good enough to get back up.
Determined to make this day work … For my children to be able to do what I had promised … We packed up and headed to the ferry.
It took us an hour to walk from the terminal to Westlake Center. Then we took the monorail to the Pacific Science Center. It wasn’t the girls … It was all me. Lots of breaks, and slow progress, but we made it.
But my perfectionism wanted to ruin everything.
It told me “you shouldn’t have come so late today. You shouldn’t have attempted this when you don’t feel well. You should have planned better.”
And last, but not least, “You shouldn’t have worn shorts. Your legs are white, they have lost all definition from not working out for months … And you have cellulite. People will see your cellulite. Don’t you have any shame?”
As soon as my opponent (aka negative self-talk) brought up the cellulite … I was just done.
“Look my friend,” I silently countered. “I don’t have time to care about cellulite. I have two precious girls who deserve this day. I have a body who is taking care of our next little baby, and yeah, it sucks that I can’t exercise, but boo hoo. I’m not going to cover my legs so my outfit and body look more acceptable to others.
“I’m doing the best I know to keep this body going for her and my other babies. My body might not do pregnancy well, but I’m fighting every day to keep our baby as healthy as I can. And right now, part of that includes all sorts of things I don’t like: medicine, throwing up on the floor till I pee my pants, eating whatever I can that sounds like it won’t get me sick, seeing lots of doctors, doing lots of tests, not exercising, and taking everything really slowly. I don’t care if I have cellulite all over this white body … I’m going out with my girls today, and I’m going to have a good time … Because we all deserve it.”
And we did. We had a great time.
The last part of our day did not go so well … Telling both Ryan and I that we have to slow down for whatever adventure we have today.
But whatever we do … I’m determined to enjoy it. My body is breathing, heart is beating, my baby is still growing, it’s still summer. … And the smiles on my girls’ faces make it worth it all.
So screw you cellulite, and the shame you tried so hard to make me feel.
I just don’t have time for you.