Paleo, and why I was fine with gaining 5lbs and a belly.

So it’s been a few months since I’ve posted. A little over seven months, actually. 

At this point, for most, it’s no secret what’s goin’ on up in here. 

Image

 

That’s my daughter.

In fact, I’m due to meet her in about 3 weeks.

The last time I blogged, I knew I was pregnant. I had just accepted a brand new job that was an hour and a half away from home, and was scared out of my mind that the grueling schedule and the stress of the drive would mean I’d lose the baby. I would never have accepted the job had I known that there was *any* chance I was pregnant. But, there I was, four weeks pregnant, freaking out, and desperate to keep the little bud that was growing in my belly. I took the freaky scary plunge, and quit the new job to stay home and tend to my health, my bod, and the little bean inside it.

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This was probably one of the best decisions my husband and I could’ve made. I didn’t have severe morning sickness, just nausea. I took up yoga, which has accompanied me throughout my pregnancy. I couldn’t eat Paleo anymore, because my nausea made meat of any kind seem gross, and anything greasy gave me the WORST heartburn in the world at first. It seemed like my diet mainly consisted of some form of cracker and ginger ale for about 4 weeks.

I was SO scared. Scared that something I did would cause something catastrophic to happen to the baby. I was scared to tell anyone that I was pregnant, because I didn’t want to have to explain later that there was no baby anymore. 

But amazingly, weeks passed, and eventually we passed that coveted 13-week mark. We were in the second trimester, and the baby was still there. We heard a heartbeat. We saw her little body squirming around. And things started to become more and more real.

After that point, I was eating more and more meat and veggies. I found myself craving more proteins than sugars, which was no surprise, as that’s what I was eating when I conceived, and that pattern really stuck until the beginning of the third trimester, with the exception of whole wheat toast with breakfast, and the love of whole wheat bread when eating turkey sandwiches! 

That stopped when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in week 28.

Honestly, with PCOS, this wasn’t much of a surprise. That, and anyone in the Paleo world knows how silly those tests are on pregnant women. If you’re not used to eating sugar in any high amount, and take a slurry of sugar water, your body is going to freak out. If I’d known better, I would’ve carb-loaded in preparation for the test, but I didn’t, and so naturally, I failed. Since insulin resistance has been an issue for me before I was pregnant, it was no real shock, even though it was upsetting.

So I’ve been eating partially Paleo, you could say, since week 28. I can tell you that my visit with a dietitian was an absolute joke. Her suggestion for my pregnancy diet included mainly whole grains, aspartame, margarine, and very little food with any legitimate substance to it. Honestly, what did I expect? But working out how to keep your sugars at a very specific level when you’ve never done it before while trying to stay full enough for your baby and not *too* full as to throw off your numbers to the point where your doctor is freaked out can be one of the most frustrating things in the world! So I ignored all of the ridiculous suggestions that the dietitian made, and ate a lot of meat. Meat and fat. Amazingly, the baby seemed to thrive on it, and continues to. Imagine that! 🙂

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This post was really written for two purposes. One, to prove that blogging still matters to me, but primarily to follow up on my “Cure for PCOS” posts. 

I believe that Paleo played a significant part in ending my infertility woes. 

After three years of trying to get pregnant, I was at the end of my rope. I was tired of the asinine suggestions to “take a vacation! That’s how you get pregnant!”, or of some doctors to try Weight Watchers. Obviously, just losing weight wasn’t working, and neither was taking luxurious vacations! It had to be something more, and it *was*. When I cut out the majority of the grains, ate more grass-fed and free-range meat, and included more vitamins and minerals via fresh produce, my body started responding. I started ovulating, which I hadn’t been in years. My skin started looking more beautiful, I had more energy, and apparently, I became fertile. 

It took approximately five months for my diet to change my life.

I had tried everything else out there. I’d tried exercise, losing weight, eating the eleventy billion whole wheat products out there that were supposed to make me healthy. I’d taken supplements and vitamins, drank more water, and prayed. 

None of those things made a difference. But Paleo did.

I will struggle with PCOS for the rest of my life, because as much as I love Paleo, I still love to bake. I love to have something sweet that’s not fruit sometimes. And even though Gestational Diabetes is a diagnosis that shouldn’t affect me after little lady pops, I will continue to monitor my diet and sugars, because I want to be around to take care of my daughter for a LONG time, and I want her to learn the best dietary habits as early as possible, in the hopes that she’ll never have to deal with PCOS herself.

 If you’re out there, looking for something that will change your life, and you’re a PCOS-sufferer, please give Paleo a try. And give it some time. It won’t happen overnight…. it certainly didn’t for me. But I struggled without success against infertility for years, and had just come to terms with the idea that I may never have children, when I decided to give Paleo a try as a last-ditch effort. 

I am SO glad I did.

Additionally, I will be 37 weeks pregnant on Monday, and my overall weight gain is five pounds. Since I was overweight to begin with, this is really a good number for *me*. But I am guessing that my overall personal health during my pregnancy has had to do with my moderate sugar/carb intake, and my love affair with prenatal yoga. I’m obviously not saying that anyone who gets pregnant and eats Paleo will only gain 5lbs, but I will say that it’s been a real blessing for me for the last 7 months. Oh, and my daughter is estimated to be 6.5 lbs, so she’s not missing anything nutritionally. Growing like a weed!

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This post has been like breaking the seal, I guess. I’ve wanted to write for so long, but I remember the hurt I felt every time I read an entry from a newly pregnant infertile, and wondering when it was going to be my turn, and I wanted to avoid putting that on anyone else. But eventually, I realized that we can’t protect ourselves from that hurt. There will always be an infertile hurting out there, whether the women around them are pregnant or not. My hurt did increase a bit when I saw a pregnancy announcement, but it was always there… a constant dull ache in my heart, and a desire to create life. I thank the universe every day for putting this crazy kid in my belly…. even when it can be hard, at 3am, when she’s kicking uncontrollably, and I’m exhausted. Ultimately, that beautiful life inside me is something for which I hoped, prayed, and wished ever since I was a child myself. 

There is nothing in this world like feeling that life inside. And I love her so much already.

So here goes. This blog will most likely be recycled from this point on to one that details my misadventures in parenting (yikes!). Things like baby-led weaning, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, poop, exhaustion, and attempts to eat somewhat healthy and exercise will be the topics most likely covered here now. 

Thanks for following along with my infertility war. The war was won, and Paleo was my weapon of choice.

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Change: the frustrating side.

So I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties of late.

When I worked at my last position, I would just find a nice time to take a break from work, and write how I felt that day. The things that were pervading my mind would just seem to flow.

I don’t really get the time for that at my new job.

I was really excited about the money. It’s GREAT money. I never thought I’d ever be able to make this kind of cash without a Master’s Degree, which feels almost unfair, in this economy, to people with Master’s Degrees. But the schedule they’d given me gave me pause.

And I now understand why it did.

My schedule differs each week. They call it the “Mad Dog” shift, because only crazy people would work it.

Week One:

Work Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday and Thursday, work Friday thru Sunday.

Week Two:

Off Monday and Tuesday, work Wednesday and Thursday, off Friday thru Sunday.

 

Sure, week two looks baller, and it is. But each shift is 12 hours, and I commute about an hour and a half each way to the big city to work now.

So I end up with 15 hour shifts.

For someone trying to maintain fertility, sleeping *maybe* 5 or 6 hours a night is probbles not the best. Don’t get me wrong, I’m giving this all I’ve got. How could I turn something like this down? It was what was best for my family when I heard about it, and the company is one of the best that I’ve ever worked for!

Cool things about the new job:

-They have pellet ice in the Ice Machines.
-They have fruit and nut mixture packs in the vending machines.
-To find your way around the cubicles, they have “street names” assigned by movie title. My cubicle is on “Witches of Eastwick Way”. Nice.
– They care about their employees. Your lunch period is paid for, even though you’re hourly, as an example. They’re not penny pinchers.
-There’s a gym in the basement.

All of these things are awesome, but I think the thing that’s affected me the most is driving during rush hour to get to work during the week. I’m on my way to work to Nashville at 5pm. Nashville drivers are notorious jerks. The stress of that drive, one way, is enough to make me want to invent a car-side bomb that can be deployed towards unruly cars.

Oh, that, and I drive a vehicle that gets 19 miles to the gallon. Car fill-ups cost about $60-65, and is gone every two days, usually.

This may have no been the best decision I’ve ever made, but I’m making the best of it. I love my coworkers, I’m learning the systems very quickly, and I have my own *nice* laptop and docking station. The gig is pretty easy, but the details are getting me down.

How do you deal with the nitty gritty parts of change? Help a sista out!

 

 

Sunrise, Sunset: How life takes it’s course, and we’re just along for the ride.

I’ve been dormant. On the blog, that is.

In real life, a lot has happened, actually.

For those of you who don’t know me in the real world, I took a new job. It’s still working in the same field, but the company I’ll be working for will be paying me *much* more appropriately, and the folks that I know who went from working with me at the old job to this new employer absolutely love working for them, which gives me hope.

I start this Thursday, and I really look forward to seeing what this new group can throw at me.

This is wonderful news for my infertility battle, obviously. Expenses don’t run cheap, as any of you fighting the good baby fight would know. It’s also great news for my credit card bills,  myriad of student loan payments, and several medical bills that need to be paid off.

In fact, I feel like I’ve almost been offered a fresh start! If I’d been offered this much money to teach piano and voice lessons out of my house, I’d have been happy and set for the rest of my life.

Oh, if only.

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I also welcomed a new niece yesterday. She’s beautiful….. a vision of perfection. 10 fingers, 10 toes, a butt chin, and a tiny little button nose. She took to nursing right away, and seems to only cry when she’s getting her diaper changed.

I’m babysitting the new niece’s sister right now, who is 21-months old. When we brought her to visit her new sister for the first time, she seemed most distraught when watching her sister cry. I grabbed her up into my arms so she could see that her daddy was, in fact, not hurting her sister, but just changing her diaper, just like he’d done with her many times.

When we got back to my sister’s place, I went to change my niece’s diaper, and she started making a “baby crying” sound…… not real crying, mind you, but more of an intentional “wah! wah!” sound.

It cracked me up.

She already can identify her ABC’s by picking them out of a lineup. She can count from 1-10 (when prompted with each, of course), and she’s in the stage where she repeats everything the people around her say. (Forever to my detriment, I’m afraid, as I cuss like a sailor.) She looks just dandy in her pigtails, and if I get up and move away from her for some reason, she looks up at me and says, “Aubbie! Aubbie!”

If you can’t tell, I love my niece very much.

Sometimes, I wonder if there will be room in my heart for my own children after loving my sister’s children so much. I wonder if I should even bother having children of my own, since hers are such wonderful proxy children, and I do ever SO much love to sleep in and stay out late and travel.

But then I read my niece her two stories (which she’s so brilliantly parlayed into three stories, since I’m a sucker), I tuck her in with her pacifier, and sing her several lullabies, and I’m hooked. I hold my freshly-popped niece in my arms, who smells of everything good in this world and has suck marks on her skin from sucking her arms in-utero, and is desperate to get her own hands in her mouth, and it’s as if nothing else exists. There is nothing else but these sweet children.

I can’t imagine anything that could possibly compete with that.

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Summation time?

In life, there are things that are thrown at us that we cannot control.

My sister was on some form of birth control when she got pregnant with this second beauty, and I’m sure was wondering how she’d manage when the baby came with two kids under two. And yet, she’s handling everything with ease and grace. She also had planned for a VBAC, but baby wasn’t hearing it. Her due date came and went, and six days later, we’ve welcomed a new baby via Cesarean Section to the family.

I would love nothing more than to have a brood of children. I’ve struggled with infertility for almost 5 years. But I’m the luckiest Aunt in the world.

Point being? All is well. Nothing is as we’d originally thought.

For the last few months, I’ve been peeing on sticks more than I care to admit, but have had some heartening results. I’m getting an LH surge on Day 21, typically, which is very good. I’ve had multiple ultrasounds, and each has showed a better result. My follicles, from what I can remember, are growing to 12 and 14 millimeters, which isn’t *great*, but it’s certainly a start.

There’s so much about this that I still don’t understand. So much that I’m unsure of, and I learn something new almost everyday. I still get a little down in the dumps about it some days, sure. I’m not, at this moment, pregnant. It will probably be awhile until I am.

In the meantime? I just watched the sun rise. I hear the faint cries of my niece, who has just arisen to this beautiful new day, and we’re going to make the best of it. I’d recommend that you do the same.

 

Reservation: Living a middle of the road life.

I’ve noticed some things of late.

It seems that I no longer have the capacity to “dive in head first”.

Most times when I want to cry, I simply suck it up. Whether those times are those lovely “neg preg” test results, frustrations at work, or even something as simple as touching or sad moments in a movie, I rarely really get in a good cry.

At least I don’t look like this very often…..

This applies to other emotions as well. I find it hard to get truly excited about many things. It seems that many things in the recent past have been offered to me, only to be taken away soon after.

World: “Aren’t you excited?! You’ve just won tickets for a cruise!”

Me: “Um, no. When I’m on the cruise boat, I’ll *think* about getting excited.”

This, of course, reeks of ugly cynicism. But that seems to be my preferred defense mechanism of late. When you’re cynical, you can at least mask your disappointment with sarcasm and a deep sigh! You can’t emotionally grasp the loss of something once you thought you’ve had it in your possession, but if you never had it in the first place, it’s not a loss, right?

—–

I went swimming the other day with some friends and my husband in their pool. It was a beautiful, warm summer evening, and the pool temps were perfect. Not only that, but I have always loved being in the water.

(I grew up on Lake Huron, for those who didn’t know, and Sister Bestie and I used to frequently pretend we were mermaids at my grandparents’ cabin. Those memories remain some of the best of my life.)

But for some reason, I wouldn’t go under water. It was as if my dry hair was the last bit of control I could wield in that moment, and I couldn’t let go.

When my friends, who are an adorably sweet couple, started splashing and playing around in the water together, I looked at my husband and said, “I don’t want to have wet hair. Don’t even think about it.”

Seriously? Who doesn’t want to play in the water with their sweetheart?! Anyone that knows me should know that this isn’t me.

I used to be a risk-taker.

I used to up and move once a year to a new college out of boredom.

I used to dive straight in the water when I visited the beautiful beaches in Central Florida when I went to school there. There was no trepidatious testing of the temperature, just the freedom of diving straight into those waves, and touching the sandy bottom with my fingertips.

The pool incident, as well as some others lately, have made me realize something else.

I’m so afraid.

I’m afraid to sing. This means more than the others, I think, because it is my favorite thing to do in the whole wide world. I went to school for vocal performance. I sang in choirs, sang solos, was in musicals, and sang for my jazz band in college, and I can’t even stand up to sing karaoke in a bar. The idea makes my knees shake and my head buzz. I haven’t auditioned for a play or a choral group in over six years, and I haven’t sang in any public capacity in two years.

I’m afraid to venture into any other career path. I stumbled upon the one I’m in because, as broke newlyweds, my husband and I needed something to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this concept, obviously; we do need to eat, wear clothes, and have a roof over our heads. But I’m so afraid of relative poverty that I’m unwilling to consider moving toward a more rewarding career that will pay me less.

I’m afraid to move away from our current location. This sort of goes hand-in-hand with my job fears….. we’re barely making it as it is. Could we get lucky, and stumble upon similar jobs that pay enough for us to live on, only in a place we’d rather live?

I’m afraid to let loose. To have fun. To give into something bigger than myself. I must maintain control at all times, because if I don’t, who will? How can you enjoy a roller coaster if you can’t really let loose and let out a primal scream to match it?

Why would a person choose to put a stopper on their joy? It’s like it’s sealed up in one of my tupperware containers somewhere.

More than anything else, I think I’ve strapped myself into a persona that doesn’t really fit who I know myself to be…. or at least, who I always have been. I’m responsible, thoughtful, and careful. I have lists and calendars for my bills. I have multiple, separate calendars on my iPhone to control fertility, paychecks and bills, and birthdays. I am not prone to wild, emotional outbursts.

I maintain.

I persevere.

And when I feel those tears well up in my throat, I shake my head, swallow, and move on.

I think that it comes down to the whole disappointment thing. I’m so tired of being disappointed that I’d rather settle for the mediocre than risk anything. So I trudge on with my lists, my dishes, my laundry, my bills, and my mediocre job, doing mediocre things for a company that doesn’t see me as having any kind of potential.

I was going to apologize for the drudgery that is this blog post. Most times, I try to keep it pretty upbeat, hopeful, and happy. But today, I needed to work out just why I’ve changed.

The closer I get to answers, the closer I get to resolution. Thank you for indulging me.

I’m afraid that, one of these days, I’m just going to skip out of work, spend my rent money on a rental car, and take off. Drive indefinitely until I reach the water, and when I do, I’ll dive right in.

Oh, and then I’ll find my closest karaoke bar, and sing “Turtle Blues” by Janis Joplin.

Hiatus: Vacation, Paleo and Prayer.

Hey all!

I went on blog vacation for awhile…. because I was on real-life vacation.

Vacay was for my husband’s 30th birthday. We went and visited his family in Alabama, my family in Indiana, and then went to King’s Island in Cincinnati, and finally drove all the way up to Sandusky, Ohio to go to Cedar Point.

It was a whirlwind, but it was FUN. Although I told Sweet Husband that for our next vacay, we’re going to a single location with a beach, drinks, and relaxation being the primary order of business. He agreed.

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Paleo has been treating me extremely well. I haven’t been perfect, by a long shot. There have been some days where I’ve abandoned Paleo altogether, eating gluten-filled, sugary foods that cause blood sugar spikes and nasty tummy aches, and afterwards, I *always* regret it.

While I was on vacation, I ate mostly low-carb, even if I couldn’t be perfectly Paleo. The second week of vacay, we were running low on money, and started eating food that was cheap, and usually on the dollar menu. Boy, was this a MISTAKE. My stomach is still buggin’ from bad decisions that I’ve made this past week.

What I’ve taken from this is a realization that Paleo is truly the best thing for my body. When I’m off it, my body finds a way to tell me that I should go back. Pimples pop up, my stomach grumbles, and my heart flutters from sugar spikes. And when I go back, I feel like I’m at homeostasis. I feel good. I’m energized, I sleep well, my face is clear of breakouts, and most of all, I lose weight. And if that is how Paleo makes me feel, I’m okay making it my lifestyle choice, and having bouts of “cheats”, or things outside that plan, from time to time. No person on this earth could completely give up everything that falls outside the realm of Paleo/Primal.

And hey! We’re back to the infertility conversation.

I’ve been purposefully ignoring this topic for awhile, as there didn’t seem to be much movement in one direction either way. I didn’t see any changes in fertility, and I didn’t see a point in broaching the subject if I didn’t have to. Oftentimes, I don’t want to think about it.

Did I mention that my beautiful sister is 35 weeks pregnant?

Obviously, every time I see her or talk to her, I feel my ovaries metaphorically twinging.

She has one daughter, C, who is the light of my life. She laughs, calls me “Aubbie”, and my heart melts. She has the goofiest little personality, and is just lovely to be around. She’s 19 months old, and whenever I can, I race up to my hometown to visit her.

She’s got another girl on the way, who should be here at the end of July. The difference in age between her daughters will be the same amount of time between us, so they’ll inevitably be close, which I love so very much.

My sister has had a perfect pregnancy. She’s eaten extremely well, done CrossFit for the majority of it, and now is what most women like to call “all baby”. Her body is in excellent shape, and she’s totally prepped for birth. When she has new baby, she will most likely spring right back, since she’s taken such good care of herself.

What does this have to do with my infertility? Very little, besides the fact that whenever I’m up to visit her, I’m constantly hoping for my own child, and that she’s an inspiration to me. I can only hope to treat my body with the respect and reverence it deserves if/when I get pregnant, and she teaches me that I should be doing that now, even before it happens.

My sister has been so very delicate with me. She considers my feelings, hears my fears and sadness when another month passes without a result, and cheers me on when I hear some good news. She’s my cheerleader. She’s my person I call when things go wrong, things go right, or I just need someone to hear me out, because she represents something I want and hope for so much in my own life….. Motherhood.

After Sweet Husband, she was the first person I called last night.

I’ve been doing ovulation tests of some kind for the last two years. I started doing the Progesterone blood tests on CD 21 about a year and a half ago, and started doing the pee stick tests about 4 months ago.

I’ve never had a positive ovulation test before.

I had my first one yesterday.

This is where I’m telling you, PCOS sufferer, that you NEED to try Paleo. Please. Try it. I’ve been eating somewhat Paleo for the last two months, imperfectly, and already, I’ve had my first ovulation since I began trying two years ago. I’ve tried every medication under the sun, barring injectibles, and none of them worked. I tried eating the Standard American Diet (Food Pyramid), and counting calories. I tried working out everyday. I did everything my OB/GYN told me to do, and nothing worked. NOTHING.

And now? Two months into eating a Paleolithic/Primal Diet without counting calories or working out heavily, I’ve had my first ovulation.

Will I get pregnant this month? Who knows. At this point, truly, I am not overly concerned with that, and am not going to sweat it, because I’m ovulating. My body has never been able to do this before, and suddenly, it’s simply doing what it should be doing.

I read so many stories of frustrated women who can’t seem to ovulate, and I’ve always been one of them. To those women who might be reading this…. Seriously. Paleo can help you, if you let it! Give it a try, just for a couple months. What can it hurt?!

One of the most difficult struggles I’ve had during my battle with PCOS and infertility is my relationship with “God”. I became angry with him long ago for pain that I felt when Old Boyfriend and I broke up. I’d begged him to release me from the pain in my heart, even if OB and I couldn’t get back together. I begged for some sort of release from my fears, sadness, and the dull ache I always felt in my chest.

Maybe he found a way to release me from those feelings when I met Sweet Husband.

Or maybe, I should be thanking my Sweet Husband for that instead.

Either way, when I hit my infertility wall, it was like the last straw. I was angry. I don’t think that word could even come close to encapsulating the rage I felt towards the “almighty”. In just a couple years, I’d experienced more loss than I could imagine, and found out that I may never be able to have children.

Wasn’t there something in the Bible that said God would never give you more than you could handle?

From that point on, I questioned the validity of the Bible itself. I questioned the existence of a God who could let terrible things happen. I questioned the church I’d went to for years, and grew tired of the recycled answers most of the people in the church had for me regarding certain things, most of them being more dogmatic than Biblical.

It was easier for me to see the world as chaotic neutral. Crazy things happened. There wasn’t a rhyme or reason to it…. those crazy things didn’t happen to benefit or hinder humanity. They just happened.

I haven’t prayed in years. I told my husband for the first time while on vacation that prayer had become a bit of a joke to me. Like, whatever I prayed for, the opposite seemed to happen, so I just stopped praying.

It was like I was the object of a cruel prank, and God was the prankster.

But yesterday, I took a risk, and prayed.

I thanked God for giving me some hope. I thanked him for giving me a husband like Colin. I thanked him for the roof over my head, for the ability to pay our bills, for excellent insurance, for my family, for food, for my doctor, and for many other things that I’d neglected to think him for over the last several years.

And then, I did a daring thing, considering my superstition regarding prayers in the past.

I prayed for help.

Conception itself is a bit of a medical mystery. While a lab can put together a sperm and an egg, they can’t make it implant in the uterus. There are things that we can’t force, and seem almost magical and mysterious…. just out of reach of human science.

I prayed for help in this area. I prayed that it’d attach, implant, and that I’d safely carry the baby.

Then? I prayed that if this didn’t happen, I could peacefully move on without too much sadness to disrupt our lives in a negative way.

(See what I did there? I gave God an out. If he can’t make one happen, he *could* make the other happen.)

I want God to be real. I want him to be benevolent and kind. And fair.

And I want a baby.

What I’m taking from all of this is that I should find a happy medium. I can’t look at God and say, “This is all YOUR fault!”, when I’ve clearly not been taking proper care of my body for years. So I’ll take a page from my sister’s page, and do right by my body, but also hope that someone out there can intervene where I cannot.

I can work, but I can also hope.

And hope is a powerful thing.

 

Her Story: The one I thought I lost, what I gained, and how I met “the REAL one”.

Aren’t we all suckers for a good romance? Enjoy mine.

——

I thought I knew what love was, once. When I was young, I saw Nicholas Sparks movies, cried over rom-coms, and was entranced by Jane Austen. And I was in love with my high school sweetheart, who we’ll call Old Boyfriend.

“This is totally going to last FOREVER!”

With this boy, I thought I knew what love was. We loved and hated each other with equal passions. We fought so angrily, sometimes, that I thought I wanted to kill him, but the thought of having him taken away was devastating.

Inevitably, that kind of crazed fire just burns out. And it did.

Afterwards, I felt empty, and exhausted from years of fighting to hold on to something that didn’t really work from the start. I was trying to be someone that I never really was, and he was always trying to make concessions for my “bad” behavior.

I wept. I was sad, and scared for what the unknown future. I didn’t really know what to do with myself.

It took me awhile to rescue myself from my own sadness. I was in pretty deep. He had taken all of our mutual friends with him in the breakup, and it felt almost like a divorce. I can’t imagine if we’d gotten married, and had to duke it out for years, only for it to end like this, and I’m SO glad I didn’t. He wasn’t a bad person, and neither was I, but things just didn’t work out. We weren’t right for each other.

——

The turning point in this crappy relationship was about 6 months before it ended. I was going to college in Kentucky, and had several lovely roommates (all of whom I still miss dearly), and one of them, we’ll call her Kaylie, was always having friends over. This one boy kept coming over, and just had the NERVE to insert himself into our social situations. We’ll call him Interrupting Boy. He watched movies with us, and he would always pop into my bedroom when I was watching a movie with Old Boyfriend, providing a funny quip, or interrupting without any care for what was going on.

Old Boyfriend said he had a crush on me, and of course, I dismissed it.

This Kaylie girl had a choir concert, and being a good friend, I decided to go. Old Boyfriend had to work that night, so Interrupting Boy decided to drive me to the concert with his friend, Daryl.

I had more fun that night than I’d had in years. We bopped around our college town, laughed a lot, and when we got to the concert, he sat next to me.

He put his arm around me. And I got these INSANE butterflies.

The conversation that immediately began in my head went something like this:

“BRAIN. I HAVE A BOYFRIEND. Plenty of guys put their arms around me at church, at home, etc. I never get butterflies from those boys. Why is this one special, and why, if I’m so in love with my boyfriend, is this the most fun I’ve had since before we’d even met?”

This lead to a real problem. I began re-evaluating my relationship with Old Boyfriend. We started having life-altering conversations about things, like whether or not we wanted to have children, what line of work we’ll both go into, and where we’d want to live. And at this point, I think both of us realized things were going from bad to worse.

Interrupting Boy wasn’t in the picture at all during this time. He’d faded into the background, just a figure, but his very presence reminded me of something I didn’t have with Old Boyfriend; a sense of warm security, ease, and comfort. In the five minute song that Interrupting Boy had his arm around me, I felt more safe and content than I’d ever felt with Old Boyfriend, and that was a real source of frustration for me. Would I ever find someone where I could feel that way all the time?

So we’re back to me, trying to recoup from the five-year-long loss of friends, OB’s family that had become like my own family, and the life that I’d known since I was sixteen years old. It was less the loss of OB, and more the plan I had for my life, and all of those people I’d held dear for years that were now his.

I’d moved back home to try to figure things out. My Mother, wonderful woman that she is, tried to get me up and moving. She tried to get me out of the house, into a job, into a new school, into ANYTHING. She walked in on me one day, crying over my wedding dress (yeah, we were engaged before we broke up), and she sort of flipped out.

“Aubrey, THAT IS ENOUGH. I can’t see you DO this to yourself anymore.”

She had tried everything in her Pushy Mom Handbook to get me movin’. And it was all I could do to get drunk, cry, sleep, and repeat.

Lucky for me, I have this friend. This beautiful friend. This woman is almost solely responsible for my recovery. She let me talk. She let me cry. She stroked my hair, made me grilled cheese (made me eat in general…. I was’t really eating before she came along), gave me her teddy bear, and dragged me out of bed for a makeover at her salon. Her soul is one of the most warm, caring, and comforting souls I’ve ever met. She brought me back into the light.

We’d always called each other “BB”, which we’ve defined differently over the years…. “Bosom Buddy” from Anne of Green Gables may have been the original reason, or “Best Bud”…. Or who knows. She was a perfect friend.

(I love you, friend. I’m crying as I write this, because we both know that you are the reason I’m standing here.)

Soon, I was feeling better. I was starting to see more of myself. I was taking drives out in the country to get out of the house with my little sister. I was going to the park to play at midnight in single digit temps with another friend. I was seeing a counselor. I still held this sadness and fear inside me, but they weren’t for Old Boyfriend…. they were for my future.

BB was married to this fellow who was also incredibly supportive. I love him a lot, too. We’ll call him King. BB let me know that King’s birthday was coming up, and that she wanted to surprise him by having his brother and his two college besties up to surprise him.

One of these friends was Interrupting Boy.

The idea of seeing him again gave me what I like to call ‘the vapors’, to be pronounced ‘vaypahs’, like good southern ladies used to say.

“Oh no! I think… I think I’m gettin’ the vaypahs!”

He showed up, and it was butterfly city. There were sparks in the air. There was something palpable between us, and we’d barely spoken since the choir concert incident almost a year beforehand.

And yet, I was nervous. He wasn’t really giving me all that much to go on, even though when he said he was leaving town in two days, I flat out asked if he HAD to go, and he said, “You just want me to stay longer!”, to which I retorted, “Yeah, I do”. I was giving him all the queues he needed.

But all of that changed when BB came to tell me that she and IB had talked late into the night about me the night beforehand.

The butterflies. The vaypahs. The excited, 13-year-old girl screams that were coming from me. I couldn’t believe I was getting this wrapped up in this boy I barely knew.

That changed, too. The next evening we spent at BB and King’s apartment, and IB and I talked all night. And when I say all night, the sun was coming up, and we still couldn’t get enough of each other’s company. I wanted to know EVERYTHING about IB, to figure out why he was giving me the vaypahs, and why I felt so comfortable around him.

I don’t even feel bad saying this, even though most people would say that falling in love in a day is ridiculous… But I fell in love with him that night. I loved his teddy bear hugs, his warmth when he talked about his family, the pain he felt when he talked about hardships he went through, and his HONESTY. He didn’t hold anything back from me. He was an open book.

Oh, and I didn’t even know what a kiss WAS until I met him. I’d been kissing the same guy for 4 or so years before, and I thought that was the end-all, be-all of kisses. I kissed Interrupting Boy, and I swear…. it was like our lips were MADE for each other.

Immediately after our first kiss, in unison, we said “WHOA”. We’d both kissed people before, but we’d never felt THAT. All I knew was that I wanted that feeling I felt in that pew at Kaylie’s choir concert a year ago to last forever, and I wanted to see if it was a fluke, or would actually last.

The most important thing, though, is what people around me noticed. All of the sudden, they said it was like “The Old Me” was back. The person they knew in high school, before Old Boyfriend came along, had reappeared in full force. I was full of life, excited, happy, and joyful. I was joking around, and I wasn’t having to carefully evaluate how every statement that came out of my mouth affected Interrupting Boy; he loved me for who I was, and wasn’t trying to turn me into something else.

What commenced is what we fondly called “The Summer of Love”.

We traveled to Alabama, where his family lived, and met them. (I loved them very much, and still do.) We traveled to Bowling Green, where both of us initially met. We went to Florida to Disney World over the Fourth of July with BB and King, and had the time of our lives. And we fell deeper in love everyday.

King, BB, Interrupting Boy, and Me at Disney.

“It’s GUYYYY LOVE betweeen twooo guyyyys!”

We couldn’t stop talking. We had a need to know each other more, to talk honestly, and to attack the world’s problems together. We’d regularly stay up all night talking, just like the first night.

Oh, and those kisses. They didn’t get any less potent over time; each one still felt like the first one, with fireworks.

Interrupting Boy decided to take me on this fabulous date about four months later. Up in the mountains in Alabama, we took a bit of a picnic, fed the ducks, and I’d kicked off my shoes to play in the water. It was bliss. I was in nature, among the ducks and wildlife, and the love of my life was there to share it with me. He knew me better than anyone had ever known me, and we’d only been together for four months. I didn’t want the moment to end.

He came over to the edge of the water, and called me to him. I splashed over to him, laughed, and kissed him…. and he got down on one knee.

He asked me to be his wife.

The vaypahs. The butterflies. The tears of joy. That warm, comfortable, safe, and at ease feeling were still there, and they still are, to this day.

For the record, five years later, I’m still the luckiest woman I know. I have the best husband, the best marriage, and best life I could possibly have asked for, and while I don’t have babies (which I’d love), the love and happiness we share is sufficient for me. If I spend my life with Sweet Husband, I will always have someone to talk to, someone to give me the vaypahs (he still does), someone to kiss, and someone who makes me warm, comfortable, and at ease.

Oh, and probably more important now than ever before? Someone who makes me laugh.

It’s too bad we never have any fun.

Ever.

Paleo Update: Results!

Hey all!

Just a quick mid-week Paleo update here.

Today begins week 3 of Paleo. My anxiety is gone, I’m able to sleep through the night, and I have very little sugar cravings, besides a craving for a sweet potato every 3 days or so. I also haven’t experienced any of the side-effects from when I was almost hypoglycemic… I feel like a real human again!

Nothing yet on the disappearance of the hirituism, but some of the dark patches on my skin are already starting to clear up.

Oh, and I lost 12 pounds. 🙂

Feeling amazing. I would recommend this route to anyone suffering from PCOS.

As I said on FB, here’s a little ditty to kick off my third week on Paleo.