Hello I'am Meggan Welcome to my website.
A friend recently asked “what effects does pregnancy have on your body?” This required the putting down of the coffee. I didn’t really know how to reply. Sometimes a picture of a dog speaks a thousand words.
I could of gone my whole life without knowing how good Nutella is. DAMN. I didn’t even put up a fight. Nutella 1 – My Ass and Belly 0
In bathrooms across America I have no head. The mirrors in bathrooms everywhere seemed to be positioned for 7th graders, the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, every woman under 5′ 7″ tall, or Hayden Panettiere. I have always said, “I am 5′ 10″ in a 5′ 7″ world. The world fits perfectly if you are 5′7″ tall. You don’t have bruises permanently raked across your thighs from forever walking into tables. Door jams don’t pose immediate danger, you don’t have to yell “INCOMING” whenever attempting to enter a Porsche. If you fall during co-ed soccer people don’t yell “TIMBERRRRR” (thank you high school P.E.) and you don’t check your make-up in the bathroom mirror at a gas station by having to stoop over, as the photo above illustrates.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being tall. I am trying to wean myself off the self Hatorade so I am not going to sit around and stew in my height while I have two legs to walk around on. Sure they are covered in bruises from slamming into things and there hasn’t been a pair of jeans yet that seem to make it all the way to the floor. I have been trying to make high-water pants cool since 1981. It is a good thing I don’t have modest ankles, because those baby’s are never covered up. My ankles bare it all to the world.
When I was growing up I was a gymnast. Nadia Comaneci was my hero. While other girls were slobbering over Barbie, or if you were on the early developed side Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains, I spent my days in a white leotard and braids convinced I was a Romanian Olympic gymnast, or Cher’s child that was put of for adoption. I actually am adopted and I was convinced Cher was my biological Mother, but that story is for another post. Mostly I wanted to be Nadia, except that as other little girls stopped growing, I just kept right on heading North to 5′ 10″.
I didn’t mind being taller than say everyone, as a 7th grader. Sure there were some awkward school dances, and the unfortunate comparisons to a zipper when I stood sideways and stuck my tongue out, but I had bigger worries…like my perm….and the also unfortunate comparisons to a microphone.
All was not lost. I may of had to give up my dream of being a gymnast, or at least the first 5′ 10″ gymnast, but as one door closes another opens. I ran track, modeled a bit and eventually filled out in proportion to my up. In fact, when I was in my high school’s production of A Chorus Line my lovely and supportive gay friend Joel would assure me it was wonderful to be tall and my time would come…for instance his Dad saw A Chorus Line four times and Joel would tell me his Dad said I was the reason he sat in the front row every night. I can only imagine.
She stoops to conquer.
“East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’, we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done. We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, I’m east bound just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.”
- Singer Jerry Reed (lyrics from East Bound and Down from the movie Smokey and the Bandit)
Reminds me of Mommyhood. Too much to do, not enough to do it with, but that ol’ Mommy sure does get it done!
OK, so I have a belt buckle in the shape of an 18-wheeler. I have had it for years and I love it. I got it in the Central Valley when I used to live in Los Angeles and drive back and forth between L.A. and Sacramento ALL THE TIME. I would drive for hours late at night up and down I-5 and it felt like the only people on the road were myself and my roadway brethren, the long haul truckers. This belt reminds me of those truck drivers and that time in my life. The above photo is my actual belt buckle when I wore it Monday.
I was feeling particularly ferosh (and trucker tough) so I thought I would do the trucker meets NY fashion outfit. I had on my trucker belt buckle (see photo above), the latest skinny jeans with my not so skinny body (my first mistake), my Euro cool boots (see a few posts below) and my super hip white Michael Kors man’s watch that the sales girl said I needed because the man’s watch made my wrist look small…sigh. I thought I looked edgy and hot, but as it turns out it was less hot and more hot mess!
I went in my getty-up outfit to lunch with my toddler Lucas and the entire staff at the restaurant treated us like pariahs. I thought I had a case of toddler discrimination on my hands. I have been reading a lot of tongue in cheek blog posts recently about toddler discrimination. You know, when you go somewhere in public and anyone who has never had a baby or has children over the age of eighteen sees you coming with a toddler and rolls their eyes, runs madly in the other direction, huffs and puffs at the mere sight of you, or hands you some hand sanitizer and the phone number of a good nanny. I had read about toddler discrimination, but had never really experienced it first hand.
That was until today.
Something was up.
There were sideways glances from the staff, ineffective service, and almost no communication from the server, busser, or manager. I thought they must be pissed I had a toddler with me, even though this restaurant touts it qualifications as a FAMILY restaurant and Lucas was on his best behavior happily scarfing down croutons dipped in creamy pesto dressing. Everyone seemed to be doing the restaurant walk by and looking at our table, but not stopping. I know from YEARS of working in the restaurant industry a restaurant walk-by when I see one. That is where the staff ”casually” walks by to get a look at the crazy going on at a table.
“Go walk by and check out the _______ on table seven.”
Don’t kid a kidder, this ain’t my first rodeo sailor. I am proficient at the restaurant walk-bys and I know when one has been put into action.
I sat there pondering what could be going on. What was triggering off the crazy alarms to the staff? I felt really uncomfortable and asked for my check early so Lucas and I could leave. It was when I began to pack us up that I realized the true reason for the stares…the belly had gotten out!
Not only had the belly gotten out, but it had happened to of flopped over my 18-wheeler trucker belt buckle!
OH THE HUMANITY! The belly had completely buried the top half of the trucker belt like it was buried in snow on top of Donner Summit waiting for the roads to clear. You can’t even see out the windshield.
I HAD NO IDEA!!! My tummy turtle was peeking it’s head out from under it’s shell. The puppy was poking out from under the covers. The groundhog had left the burrow signifying that winter will end soon. I was horrified! It wasn’t toddler discrimination, it was tummy discrimination. The restaurant staff had been cruising by to see the belly flung over the trucker belt….white trash at it’s finest. No shame in my game, like any self respecting Mommy blogger, I whipped out my camera to take a picture. Add that to the long list of “crazy” already going on at my table. Can you imagine that conversation among the restaurant staff?
“That woman’s stomach was TOTALLY hanging out over her truck belt buckle AND THEN she got out her camera and took a picture of it!! OMG!”
I felt like those Hollywood starlets who get breast surgeries so intense that they loose all feeling and always seem to get photographed with their tops half way off in the freezing cold, having no idea their nipples are exposed…I am talking to you Tara Reid. Apparently my pregnancy and BIG 9 lb. 11 oz. baby blew out the tummy so much that I now have no sensation to all the skin left behind. Now my tummy can just flop around out in public and I have no idea.
I thought about explaining the situation or demanding the staff to call me in ten years after THEY HAVE BABIES and see what their belly looks like, or simply yelling out “ask your Mom about her stomach after YOU ruined her body you assholes,” but I didn’t. I folded all of me back behind the trucker belt, wiped a tear, had a laugh, scooped up my beautiful and amazing toddler and got ready to keep on truckin’ in Motherhood…belly, baby, boys, and all.
It has been a few days since I posted. I have decided to go off the Zoloft and fight the anxiety with less caffeine and more intense exercise. Cut to my husband taking me to something called Body Pump. Body Pump is code for a bunch of 60-year-old women (who are in way better shape than I will ever be) kicking my ass in a combined cardio/weight lifting class.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SORE!
I literally have not been able to move since Thursday. I was the youngest person in the class by a good twenty years and the only person who looked and sounded like a dolphin that had beached itself. The entire class, all I did was moan in agony and thrash about. The 60-year-old female instructor looked and moved like a dancer in her early 20′s. I looked and moved like Flipper caught in the shallow end.
The class began at 9:30 a.m.
By 9:31 a.m I knew I was in trouble. There was no way I could take twenty-nine more minutes of this. My eyes feverishly searched for the clock. How much longer did I have to endure cardio and weight lifting simultaneously? The instructor was practically twirling her barbell like a baton while I was missing my bottle of Zoloft and reconsidering my decision as my thighs scorched like fire and I bellowed from the pain.
Ah-ha! Found it. There was the clock! O.K. plain sight. Twenty-nine more minutes. All I could think was THANK YOU Mrs. Stanley, my kindergarten teacher, for teaching me how to tell time. Thank you, because of you I know exactly how much longer this evil Body Pump will last.
Big hand on the nine, small hand nearing the ten. Thank you Mrs. Stanley 9:45 a.m., only fifteen more minutes to go till I am free.
Big hand on the twelve, small hand on the ten. Thank you Mrs. Stanley it is 10:00 a.m. I survived. Praise Jesus, Mother Mary, Oprah, and Dr. Phil Dr. Oz. I made it.
With the exception of heavy breathing from lungs desperate for air, everyone had stopped moving. I didn’t waste any time. I painfully picked up my weight bar, my hand weights, the cardio steps and was making a bee line to put all my stuff away and get the hell out of there when I realized I WAS THE ONLY ONE MOVING.
This was just a break…the class was not over!!!!! I had to go tIll the big hand was on the six and the little hand was on the ten???!!! Damn you Mrs. Stanley. The big hand looked like it had to travel a mile before a half an hour passed.
Empty of Zoloft and filled with disbelief, rage, and pain I mouthed to my husband, “half and hour right?”
He mouthed back, “no one hour.”
I then mouthed off, “SON OF A BITCH!”
Which again reminded me of Mrs. Stanley and my one blemish on an otherwise stellar kindergarten career. Mrs. Stanley wrote on my report card…”Meggan sometimes uses inappropriate language.”
Well duh. Inappropriate language seemed completely appropriate when you quit your anti-depressents, your husband takes you to a torture chamber thinly disguised as an exercise class run by senior citizens who could bench press a minivan, and you are the jerk that thought the class was only a half an hour.
Shucks didn’t seem like it was the word I was looking for. I survived the class and four days later still cannot walk down a flight of stairs my legs are so sore and to sit on the toilet I have to leverage myself by holding on to the sink as I lower myself down. I was proud of myself though for finishing and only complaining to myself and the voices in my head.
Where is that bottle of Zoloft?
There is no other way to start this post except to jump right in and get to it. The other day, during a routine baby appointment, LUCAS’ PEDIATRICIAN, ”DR. S.” ASKED IF I WAS PREGNANT!!!!!!
Nobody has ever asked me that before. Even when I was pregnant, nobody asked if I was pregnant. It was obvious, but nobody asked. Even when I was four months pregnant and my belly and butt had registered for new zip codes, nobody asked if I was pregnant.
Here is the skinny, scoop. Truth be told, I have gained weight recently. Along with my beautiful baby boy, I had another arrival in the household.
Anxiety, and lots of it. To combat the anxiety I went on the anti-anxiety medication Zoloft, which caused me to gain weight in a short period of time. Fifteen pounds in six weeks. YIKES!
The anxiety was bad. Not just “oh, gosh I am a little nervous” anxiety. NO, it was crushing, frightening, debilitating, terrifying, choking, deep seeded fear and anxiety. I was one night terror away from losing it, getting a bunch of cats, never leaving the house, and ordering Christmas sweaters on QVC.
After Lucas was born I began to struggle with fear and anxiety. It is no secret that I see a therapist, referred to on my site as Therapist Richard. He is awesome (and can work a sweater…sassy). Richard explained to me that often emotions are heightened during and after pregnancy and that any unresolved emotional episodes or things from the past often bubble to the surface and trigger the anxiety.
He was not joking.
All my hidden dark secrets came pouring out. Things I NEVER told anyone. I was the peace keeper with the big smile and funny personality, which I was and still am, except until very recently I was hiding in agony. As a child I was repeatedly molested by a male neighbor. Also, my Mother’s second husband was sexually aggressive towards me. He never crossed the line to molest, but never let me forget he was watching me ALL the time and could cross the line if he wanted to. For YEARS I twisted into a pretzel to disappear and get away from him. My Father, who was an alcoholic and drug addict, adopted me as an infant despite never truly wanting me. He told me he just wanted to make my Mother happy. They divorced when I was three. My Father told me this point blank through out my life, both in words and in actions. All of this I NEVER NEVER NEVER said a word to anyone. I stuffed it, buried it, HID it, put on a smile and stayed out of everyone’s way. Nobody knew, about the molest, the abuse, the things my Father told me, nothing.
Needless to say, molest, parental abandonment, constant threats and inappropriate behavior from adults toward me left a BIG FAT MARK.
Richard was right, the pregnancy brought all that up at 35 years old. I cracked like an egg and all my secrets and more came pouring out. I told my Mother everything. I told everyone everything. I cried endlessly, held my pregnant stomach and emotionally freed myself and my baby. I COULD NOT continue the hidden secrets eating my soul with a baby inside me. I did not want Lucas to be born to secrets and lies. Together we freed me from my past. The day Lucas was born we both got a fresh start in life.
How does this all relate to Lucas’ pediatrician thinking I am pregnant 19 months after Lucas was born. When you hide such devastating things for so long (35 years) and suddenly release them to the world, it can be emotionally overwhelming. Couple that with a new baby and WHAM I was in full blown anxiety attack mode. Something I had never experienced before. After trying to work through the anxiety that was worsening as the months went by, Therapist Richard and I decided to start me on Zoloft, an anti-anxiety medication.
I was very hesitant and reluctant at first. I fought going on the medication for a good long time, but the anxiety was not getting better. I was crying all the time, thought the end was always around the corner, and I was googling about cat ownership late into the evening.
I started Zoloft just six weeks ago. My personal doctor was very supportive about the medication. As she rattled off the boring side affects…thoughts of suicide, nausea, insomnia I blanked out. Once I heard weight gain though, I shot to attention. Apparently weight gain is a fairly common side affect. Assuring myself that I was exempt from side affects and would have no problems, I filled my prescription.
Cut to six weeks later. Night terrors gone, fifteen pounds of weight gain in my belly arrived. I feel terrific about my brain, but I feel horrible about my stomach.
I have gained 15(!!!) mother fucking pounds of hard fought and lost baby weight in six weeks. I might be no longer anxious, but I am now depressed about the weight gain. This must be the tummy Lucas’ pediatrician, Dr. S. saw on our appointment.
THE ZOLOFT BELLY.
After Dr. S. asked if I was pregnant it was so uncomfortable. Before Zoloft Belly we had perfection, now we have a “thing” between us.
BEFORE “the question” Dr. S. was the kind Indian pediatrician with long flowing black hair, a gentle yet professional demeanor, who worked with me on my son’s vaccine schedule without a negative attitude, patiently walked me through Lucas’ first ear infection, and adored my son.
NOW she is the kind Indian doctor with long flowing black hair, a gentle yet professional demeanor, who worked with me on my son’s vaccine schedule without a negative attitude, patiently talked me through Lucas’ first ear infection, and adores my son…and asked if I was FUCKING PREGNANT! Come on, seriously.
Dr. S. could barely look me in the eye after “IT” happened. I knew, that she knew, that she committed the verbal cardinal sin against women. Never ever ever ask a woman if she is pregnant. If you are wondering…and you are on the fence…and you are not sure if she is or isn’t pregnant, even if the she is your wife…DON’T ASK. Just hit the woman with your car instead, it will be less painful for her.
The only person who should ever ask if you are pregnant is your Ob/Gyn, and even then the doctor better be DAMN sure you are. Like in the hospital birthing room with your legs in the air staring at your vagina while your baby is crowning sure. Like your Baby Daddy is standing there with a video camera, your Mother is standing there crying, and your vagina looks like Stretch Armstrong sure. Otherwise it might just all be gas.
Dr. S. apologized and I fought back tears. I will admit it, I got a little misty eyed. The worst was disappointing Dr. S., whom I love. She was so excited for me. Her face lit up when she saw me and excitedly asked if I was pregnant.
No not pregnant with a baby, just filled with humiliation, Zoloft, and chocolate chip cookies.
It is all good. The anxiety has lessened a lot, I am switching to a mediation that my doctor thinks will help with the weight, and it makes a funny story.
I’m laughing all the way to the gym.
I have a problem…I think my small car makes my Mom butt look big. I’ve had it. I’m giving up on diet and exercise to make my butt look smaller, tomorrow I am buying a Hummer.
I am not pregnant, but lately my appetite and cravings have BEEN OUT OF CONTROL. I want to EAT…and a lot. I thought I had this whole craving thing licked until the following actually happened this afternoon…sigh…
Nice Woman: “Excuse me ma’am, you have a pretzel stuck to your jacket.”
Me: (Mom no longer shocked by what is slathered, stuck, spilt, spit up, or smeared on my clothing): “Oh really? Thanks.”
At that point I plucked the pretzel from the side of my jacket and held it in my hand. As I stared at the pretzel I began to face an internal struggle of epic proportions. All I could think was yummy!
Lord help me I wanted to EAT THE PRETZEL.
I wanted to eat the pretzel, but I KNEW I should throw it away. I held the cute little snack food in my hand for what seemed like an eternity, throw away or eat…throw away or eat…throw away or eat, my mind raced like a runaway freight train in my head. Chooooo-chooooo…EAT EAT EAT…NO GROSS…THROW AWAY THROW AWAY THROW AWAY!!!
I gulped, smiled meekly at the Nice Woman and tossed the cute little snack food in the trash. Bye-bye little random pretzel with your crunchy goodness that I have no idea where you came from or how you got stuck to my jacket. I survived. I did the right thing. The craving had passed. I was so proud of myself I went and ate an entire pizza.
I got an email the other day from my good girlfriend Kristy. I met Kristy while attending theater classes in San Diego. She is now a fabulous and talented stylist living in Tennessee and we have been friends for many years. Basically she is my friend from “back in the day.” We all have friends like that, no matter how far you go in life they were there from the awkward beginning and you can’t hide a damn thing from them. They knew you when you drank too much and held you hair while you puked in the toilet. They knew you when you smoked and looked ridiculous, a far cry from glamorous. They loved you before you were a responsible Mom and spilled bleach on their carpets (twice) and had no way to pay for the damages. They kindly still went out with you through many a horrible outfit until you figured out how to dress yourself and what looked good on your body type. They sat by your side while you cried over loser guys who treated you like crap and didn’t judge you when you got back together for the 100th time. They knew you, as in my case, when you would eat a lot of pork….emotionally eat lots and lots of pork…bacon, ham sandwiches, ribs, and on one particularly bad break up a Hawaiian pork ball. Oprah recently revealed that her weight is her personal barometer as to how well she is taking care of herself. To put it simply if her weight goes up it is a red flag that she needs to slow down and make herself a priority. My barometer is pork. I hardly eat meat, so if I am falling in love with a ham sandwich three times a day and dreaming of being alone with some bacon it is time to go visit my therapist Richard, I am out of sorts. I haven’t gotten back to Kristy, I would have to tell her I am back on the pork and she would be worried. It got me thinking though, why am I off. It is then I realized that I am off because things are good. I feel bad because my life is finally good…call Richard stat, something is definitely backwards. In a nutshell I have struggled for a long time to heal. Without going into detail, a Temptation’s song symbolizes my Father, “Papa was a rollin’ stone.” I also had a Step-Dad and a male neighbor that liked me…ALOT. Those things can leave a mark. I tease, but it’s true, by my third date with Ettore (now my husband) he took me to a therapist, Richard. Basically saying I love her, but can you fix her. That was four years ago and I still see Richard and am working through the past. Back to the good. I don’t know about you all, but sometimes accepting the good is harder than dealing with the bad. I know how to deal with a crisis, sometimes it felt as if the world was crumbling around me and I had to strap on my super hero cape and save the day or my family. After a lot of hard therapy work, those days are gone and I am in a really good place, but sometimes the thought of it all crumbling and returning to the bad gives me so much anxiety that I can’t sleep for days. So I push through with my good friend Ham Sandwich. So just when I thought I had this happiness and life thing figured out, bam….bacon. Back to the drawing board…or Richard’s office. It is all good though, I am growing and learning to believe. I joined a church Mommy group with more nice people in one place than I have ever experienced. I was so happy to be in such a positive place with my son that I BAWLED my eyes out the whole time. I almost need CPR. I was embarrassing myself…really. My website is going well, it is my voice, my stories, my family. I just hired an amazing web designer who is going to build a FABULOUS www.meggansamom.comfrom the ground up and I just recorded my first video chef video segment for the site working with a wonderful production team. No wonder I have anxiety, things are rockin’. I don’t want it to be over. So I have decided down with the ham, deep breaths, a lot of faith and trust in the good. We can do it.
WARNING!! If you just gave birth and haven’t lost the baby weight, if you suffer from postpartum depression, if you ever ever ever want to feel slightly attractive ever again do NOT let a fancy hair stylist take “some of the weight” out of your bangs!!!! My bangs went from pleasantly plump to down right anorexic! There was nothing left.
This was my first hair cut after delivering my baby. I was SOOO excited to be pampered. I had a good friend watch Lucas, I put on my best and least stained post pregnancy track suit, and I waddled down to the salon. I was hoping to emerge with roots that weren’t eight different shades of brown and gray and be the proud owner of an actual haircut. I wanted my hair to be blown out, because after childbirth my vagina was the only thing that had been.
Unfortunately, by the time I left I hardly had any hair at all. I had been sheared like a lamb. I wanted to look pretty and feminine. I ended up looking like some angry hipster girl who still smoked cigarettes, lived in a studio downtown, and hated “the Man.” Except I wasn’t an angry hipster girl. I was an exhausted new Mother who wore a blue velour track suit in which the pants were too short from Motherhood Maternity. I was a new Mother who had 40 pounds of baby weight to lose. A new Mother who could pee herself at any moment for no reason and had a vagina that looked like it fell on the wrong end of a weed whacker. Instead of hating “the Man” I was “the Man” who had a family and three kids to raise. It was the wrong haircut for me. I looked like shit and I was PISSED! The stylist called the bangs fringe bangs. I called them “WAY TOO FUCKING SHORT.”
I tried to play nice and hide the tears. I didn’t have it in me to go “scorned woman” on him. He tried to fix it, but you can’t really fix hair when there is nothing left. I limped out of there deflated knowing the torturous months of grow out ahead. I tell this story my friends to spare you the same fate. Weight is not all bad. Weight can be a good thing, especially when we are talking bangs.
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