A letter to recovery, and the big little life it gave me
He was born 8 pounds, 9 ounces. They couldn’t believe he was that big, born with delicious rolls on his arms and bright open eyes. You delivered him. He arrived at 2:13 am, with your husband by your side — one arm holding your leg, one hand in yours. Then this babe is on your chest. A little human. Your son.
Would you believe me if I told you that you’ll have this baby at age 31 (2018)? You’ll be so far out from the recovery that you’re working on now; you’ll take your time.
When you do decide it’s time for kids, your body decides it’s time for an injury. It’s a weird foot thing that you never quite figure out. You will have toyed with the idea of training for a half-marathon that spring, but your foot has other plans. Your body knows it’s not the right time for training. It’s time for something else.
When you do start running again, it’s a matter of weeks before you see double blue lines on a plastic stick. You will go buy a few more of those sticks; you’ll stare at them in disbelief. You’ll think of the nights, weeks, months, and years you spent wondering if these sticks would ever be in your hands. You’ll think of the angst that made up much of these early twenties, wondering if you would ever recover from amenorrhea, and experience this sweet moment. But those thoughts will be fleeting. You’ll push them aside and bring yourself back to 2017. It’s May. Spring. Your baby’s first hello.
Would you believe me if I told you that your recovery will take years, but you come out okay? Don’t worry so much. Don’t question so much. Don’t assume you’re not worth the effort. You will learn more about yourself in this process than you think there is to learn. It scratches the surface. (Oh, you just wait until you meet this little human!) You learn about your needs, how to exist in your profession of nutrition and stay healthy, and how to exist as a human that doesn’t constantly have a calculator running in her head. You’ll forget what that talking calculator even sounds like. It’s possible. Trust me.
You will find a book written by two (rebel) dietitians (your kind of people), and you will think, FINALLY. It’s a good one.
Would you believe me if I told you that before you birth this baby boy, your feet will run across the finish line of nine marathons? I know; you say “Never!” Jokes on you, girl. Don’t hold yourself back. You know running is helping you recover; you don’t stop there. You let it carry you into a new city, introduce you to new friends, and continue to teach you that you can do hard things, and you can take care of yourself, and you can run and run and run. Your recovery gives this to you. You don’t waste it.
Would you believe me if I told you that your body changes during this pregnancy, but you still recognize it as your own? You won’t run far or fast, or for long, but you make it about halfway. You will keep trying to run until almost thirty weeks, because running is the one thing you know as well as you know yourself. You will look at your growing bump in the mirror and never fully grasp that you — YOU — are growing a human inside of you. Your recovery gives this to you. A stroke of luck mixed with just the right science keeps him healthy. You are in awe.
When your boy is two months old, you will have already forgotten how it felt to move around in the world with that expansive belly, swollen feet, and tingling hands. You will look at him in disbelief, and wonder, and struggle to find the words that do any justice to the feels you feel about him being there, in your arms, looking back at you. His smile as he recognizes you or hears your voice. His open-mouthed eager hunt for food when he knows he’s against your body. His thumb-sucking and big stretching and noise making will fascinate you for hours. Your baby. Your son. Your recovery gives him to you, and you won’t be able to imagine life without him.
You’re going to know a you-er you. You’re going to know these marathons, and meals without mental diet-chatter, and your loving partner, and a day (then weeks, months, and years) without stepping on a scale. You’re going to build a business that has nothing to do with dieting or calorie counting, and everything to do with helping others avoid, or walk along, this road to recovery.
You’re going to have a little human, and a big life. I hope you believe me.
Prompt: “Would you believe me if I told you…”, Oiselle’s #RunReadWrite challenge, March 2018