May 27, 2009

The Trouble With Pictures Pt. 2

After looking at pictures over the weekend I realize I have been in denial for 3 1/2 years. You see, I have always believed I came through my pregnancy and my daughters' first year with flying colors. Then I looked at pictures from the week two of my girls came home from the hospital (they were approximately 60 days old) and I now know I have been fooling myself.
I cannot begin to tell you how scary it was to see myself in those pictures. I knew the pregnancy was rough. I knew the time spent traveling back and forth to the NICU was exhausting. I never knew just how much of a toll it took on me physically until just now. (What, you think I'm going to SHOW you those pictures? Yeah, right).
I spent 23 weeks on bed rest. During that time I lost 30 pounds because I could not keep anything done for several weeks. Nothing. Not even popsicles. By the time I delivered my daughters I gained back 28 pounds. I was exhausted. I had low muscle tone. I'm surprised I still knew how to walk once I was done with bed rest, although, truth be told, walking through the grocery store was quite an effort for several months.
Here's what I saw in those pictures: a gaunt face, dark circles under the eyes, clothes falling off of me. But here's what I realized from those pictures: my life will always be a sacrifice to do what I need to do to raise my children. That's not me being a martyr, that's me being realistic. Their needs come before mine... but I need to take care of myself to make sure I'm around to take care of them.


shydub said...

That was a rough time on you i can't imagine, I even complain a lot I only have 1 baby inside me. all this cramps and pain, i feel so miserable. No time for haircut or even combing our hair. Kids really worn us out but its a rewarding job.

Stephanie B said...

THAT is the truth. Children are an absolute priority and, for most of us that take on that responsibility, worth it. But we don't do the kids a service if we ignore our own needs, either. Not to mention, it sets a bad example.

LauraC said...

Having been on home bed rest for 14 weeks with only two babies, I think you are MY HERO for going through what you did to carry four babies. So very totally worth it, and hopefully one day they will understand what you have done for them.

Quadmama said...

It's amazing how quickly our priorities change once we have kids. (Shydub... I didn't have a hair cut the entire time I was on bed rest.. can you say "roots"??)
Stephanie's right, it sets a really bad example when we don't take care of ourselves... which is why I need to get back into the routine of "regular checkups" (dentist, eyes, etc) which I've started doing.
Laura... 14 weeks would be no walk in the park either!!! I was ready to be done with bed rest after about 2 days LOL!

MaryAnne said...

I have a picture taken a couple weeks after my son was born where I look like I'm from the land of the living dead. I felt like it, too, and that was only a single pregnancy with no bedrest... Definitely worth it, though!

Quadmama said...

Land of the living dead... that would definitely apply to the picture I saw of myself... I just had no idea until now!

Becky said...

First of all, AMEN to the fact that WE need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our kids. I'm not very good at that either.

Second, You are AWESOME!!!!! 23 weeks of bed rest!!! You did what you had to so those babies could keep growing!!!! How you looked during or after is irrelevant!!!

Third, We may think the pictures of ourselves are awful, but they will be priceless to our children. They are memories that they won't ever know about without the pictures and since you are there momma, you will ALWAYS be beautiful in to them. And to hubby!!!! ;)

Quadmama said...

Funny you should make your third point, Becky. When looking at the pictures Hubby said "yeah, you weren't exactly your healthiest right there." Since you know him I figure you can give him crap for me ; )

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