To understand the whole story one has to start at the beginning. Ughh. I hate the beginning. And it just gets worse from there…for a while, anyway. And this blog is oh so public. But in my heart I really want to help someone and there are those who came before me who “put it all out there” and it brought me some relief. I’ll try to mix in a little humor with the tears. So…here goes…
The very beginning…
In the beginning, I was born to two young parents who later turned into farmers and took over the family farm. They are still farming. I love that place!
I was an overweight kid, but perhaps I saw myself a little fatter than I actually was. Some kids these days are downright obese! And “bullying” existed in my day just like it did in Cain and Abel’s day, we just didn’t call it “bullying” we called it getting made fun of. Always nice when your classmate “oinks” at you. Or not.
Anyway, 8th grade saw a change in me. I started losing weight and watching what I ate. It was the “low fat” craze and I believe it made me sicker. I had my first period at age 14, but never ever regular. Ever. I mean, ever in my entire life (until this year, but we’ll get to that). EVER. 3 months, six months, 45 days, NEVER regular. About six months after my start of menses I was in the barn scooping poop (seriously, my favorite thing to do!) and I doubled over in pain. I remember this was the day of my cousin’s grandpa’s funeral. They took me to the primary care doctor and he called it “mittleschmerz” which is a technical term (German word) for one sided pain during ovulation. My dad teased me that I was “laying an egg”. I was just plain embarrassed. I thought it was appendicitis.
I don’t remember if a period followed, but let it suffice to say that things were NEVER regular. My acne was unbelievable, but I was thin. Dang near anorexia. I’d eat and then I’d run and run and run. Jump on the scale three times a day and then take another run. I would never do that now. The number on the scale was very important to me because the feminists writing YM magazine told me so. The models weighed 125, so I should too. Or less, that would be even better.
So at my sophomore year of high school (at the start) I was just that 5′ 9″, size 7 and 126 pounds. I never could lose that extra pound, or better yet six. I looked like death and if I could find a picture I’d show it to you. My face was dull, my hair was dull, I was uncoordinated at sports…but I was thin! My mother shouldn’t have ever given me a subscription to YM magazine or TEEN to my sister.
By my junior year I had relaxed the eating a bit and would eat butter on my (gasp) white wheat roll at school lunch. Looking at the school picture kinda freaked me out. I didn’t look “pretty” at all! I put on about 10 pounds and in my opinion, I looked a lot better. I weighed around 138. Can you believe I still remember that? Numbers were very important. I got interested in boys and started dating the one whom I am now married to.
Senior year found me pretty much in the highs and lows of life. Crying one minute, maniac the other. Mt. Dew and Snickers before a Volleyball game and then a sugar crash that I knew nothing of. I didn’t go out for Basketball because my knees hurt and I hated running (this from a few years ago when I was obsessed with running…perhaps that number on the scale trumps joint pain…or at least that point in my life). College was right around the corner and I had no idea what I wanted to do. Well, I knew what I wanted to do, but when you live in a feministic world, you don’t put that on your “goals” for life when you just earned yourself a half-ride scholarship. So, I said I was going to major Pre-Med. That’s impressive, right? Periods were regular, face was clear, but only because I was now hormonally controlled.
Boyfriend went to the Navy, I went to College. I lived on campus and ate at the cafeteria. I thought I was eating healthy but man. Now I know everything I ate contributed to the state I am in now. Biscuits made with white flour, gravy made with white flour, Captain Crunch on those really great days. Blueberry dessert, skim milk. Oh yes, I had veggies too, but I now see how carb addicted I was. Bowels were unpredictable, ovaries hurt. Still hormonally controlled, so normal periods and no acne, but joints, skin and muscles hurt. If someone grabbed my arm it hurt. I thought it was normal! Life went on as it does for everyone and I didn’t know this wasn’t normal. I got engaged to my husband at Christmas.
Finished my sophomore year of college (I had changed to Pre-Nursing almost right away once I got there). Good grades were happening. Even better when Mom and Dad bribed with a plane ticket to see boyfriend/fiance…Dean’s List. Planning a wedding we were going to wait 4 years for.
1998, August. Wedding. Moved to Washington with hubby. Enrolled in college in a prestigous private university. Had it covered mostly by financial aid package, but dropped out (30K per year) and enrolled in local community college (best choice, should have done it originally). Finished most of my nursing degree and disenrolled (fancy way for saying I quit). Long story on that…maybe another time. Finished my AAS in Early Childhood Ed and taught preschool. Oh, how I love those little ones! It will turn out to be a blessing my path changed rather than going into OB Nursing.
Still hormonally controlled. Sick a lot…like all the time with colds and stuff. Blamed it on little kids (germs) and the cold rainy weather of the northwest. I was really trying to talk my husband into trying for children during this time but he wasn’t “ready”. We were only 22 at this time, but my clock was a tickin’. I just wanted to be a mother! That’s it. No fancy doctor, no career nurse, no teacher…just a mom and a wife (and a farmer given the opportunity). But he said no and I said ok. We have time.
In 2001, we moved home to Nebraska. He had completed his five year enlistment in the Navy and in May we moved home and 3 weeks later we settled about an hour from our original towns. He started working crazy hours and I picked up a job at the Farmer’s Coop. I went off the pill in July (2001) to try to get pregnant and here’s where the story starts…