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Faith. Food. (In)Fertility.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eat. Pray. Eat.

Sometimes, I default to food for comfort. It's a sick habit I've had my whole life, I'm pretty sure.  I have a lot of memories of eating for eating's sake as a little girl.  I remember being about nine or ten and getting home from school and making myself one microwave frozen burrito after another, just eating. I also have memories of eating several of those little snack-sized chip bags, one at a time, trying not to get caught. I felt shame about eating, even as a child. But, ate I did. And often hated myself for it.

I never got into vomiting or starvation. I wasn't vain like that. I just over-ate.  I believe it was my rebellion against some people in my life that were so weight- and appearance- concious that it consumed them. I was bitter, and hated those people for being thin and beautiful, but in opposition I went to the other end of the spectrum and ate, as if to say "Screw you. I'll be fat, and people will like me for ME, so take THAT." As if it mattered to their lives that I ate!! Turns out, people don't always like you because of that chip on your shoulder, not necessarily because you are overweight.

And PMS? FORGET ABOUT IT. I could eat the house down for a week every month.

There were times when I dieted and was in shape, sort of, but it never lasted.  Not that it mattered, I still hated myself and thought I was a fat blob. Now when I look back at pictures of myself in highschool or in my early 20's I think "I was hot! What a waste!"  It didn't matter how much grandma told me I was beautiful and wasn't fat because my head was warped, convinced of the opposite.  Size mattered, and I was always bigger than anyone else in class, at clubs, wherever.  I remember being "thin" (for me) and still being the biggest girl at the bars when I used to go out.

I was already almost 5'9 in 6th grade, with a large frame and a shoe size so big I used to order oars with them.  I went to a new school in 6th grade, and early on two female classmates told me that "Karli" in Spanish meant "cow."  I learned years later, of course, that it was a cut. At the time, just a bit embarrassing that my name meant "cow."   In 8th grade, one of the mean girls that we'd now call a "bully" commented about a new outfit I was wearing, that I was quite proud of.  "People with fat **** like yours shouldn't wear pants like that!"  What, you mean my black acid washed and pegged stretch jeans didn't flatter me? The probably didn't, but I was pretty proud of that outfit, complete with over-sized sweater and tennis shoes, likely a Payless version of L.A. Gear's.  I bet she doesn't even remember me.  As a freshman in high school, we had to write epitaphs about our classmates. One labled me "Karli Rocks the Temple." Upon asking her for an explanation, she said "You know, it's because you're so big, when you walk you rock the temple!" as if it was obvious. 

Sure, we all have moments in our past that create how we feel about ourselves.  The meaningful people in our lives have likely long forgotted those few words they said to us that ingrained themselves like a  brand in out psyche, and hurt just as bad.  See, it doesn't matter that I had food, clothing, shelter, love, and a good head on my shoulders.  Even as an adult, I made a life and had relationships and friends and worked sometimes 4 jobs and was independent, and I still hated myself.  Comfort in the "worldly" things came and went, fleeting.  Nothing lasted, nothing made me "happy."  I was never good enough.

Until I met Jesus.  I still don’t understand why it is he found ME, chose ME, but he did and I can’t ignore that.  Understanding God’s love for me despite my size or how I feel about myself has been so life-changing.  I still have self-esteem issues, pick at my body and shape even at a healthy weight and BMI after dropping over 80 lbs this year.  The weight loss has improved how I feel when I wear clothes and how I feel physically, sure. And of course, it’s healthier to be a normal weight and it makes this life easier, but having the peace of knowing that I am unconditionally loved by the Lord surpasses anything else I could ever do for myself, earn for myself.  I don’t understand it, because I’m a complete screw up, but I BELIEVE it.  I believe it. I am unconditionally loved and accepted by the one who made me and sent His son to die for me so I could be in His presence.  For Him, I should treat my body right by eating right (not that I always do) and being healthy (not that I always am.) He loved me enough to die for me, and He doesn’t care if I’m fat, thin, ugly, pretty, have pimples in my 30s or use high-end skin care products. He loves me, just as I am, and that is more than enough for me. Keeping that foremost in my mind is a daily struggle, given the pressures of this world and the deep-rooted thoughts about what “matters.” 

Sweet little song

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Death and Taxes?

Does anyone else LOATH MTV's "Teen Mom" show???

I've often joked about passing out business cards at Sam's Club...

... to single teenaged pregnant women.  When I hear about anyone being pregnant, I offer to take the baby off their hands. "You can give it to me, if you want to?"  I'm not shy.  I've done this to friends, family, people I barely know. It sounds desperate, I realize. Part of me is joking, but the other part, serious as a heart attack. Can you believe some people actually get offended?

Update on the baby scenario: The bio-dad is refusing to comply to sign his rights away. This is somewhat expected. Apparently, he is 38, with no job, no income, no home, no nothing. It seems he's trying to wear the baby mama down into keeping the baby, but she's hanging tough.  Here's the deal: we will NOT fight the bio-dad for her, because we wouldn't dream of taking a wanted baby from her parents. We are just not that desperate.

I guess I didn't mention that we are not yet adoption certified, we were not persuing adoption, and were pretty content with letting God do a miracle for us if He wanted to when this came up. I had to get to a place where I could accept that a baby was not God's plan for me, incase it indeed wasn't.  I was going a bit mad there for a while, depressed when other people got pregnant, not able to hold friends' babies. You understand.  A friend actually told me a few weeks ago that her friend's daughter wanted to meet us and let us adopt her unborn infant. Who does that? This is real life, not Juno!  Who just gives you their baby? It was my "perfect scenraio:"  all the benefit, none of the heartache and pain and years and thousands of dollars that going through an agency creates.

Or so I thought.  Enter bio-dad's resistance.  And we have a thousand things to do, and thousands to spend anyway now to comply with state and federal adoption policy, which we will gladly do (still much less hassle and expense than the above scenario.) The bummer is, we don't know if this will come to fruition.  My friend Nichole thinks it could be God kicking us in our pants to get certified anyway, just in case  something like this happens again, and should this opportunity fall out.  Because, you know, people give away their babies all the time.

What to do, what to do? Pray, and give it to God. It's His to sort out. That's the only real guarantee I have in all of this.

What I am certain of is that I will make myself a delicious low-carb minute muffin for breakfast this morning. My version of "delicious" is very likely different than yours. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

That pain in my neck? It has a name.

It has several names, in fact.  It would be disrespectful of me to share them all. Some things should be kept private.  Sometimes, it shares a name with my husband's ex-wife.  Sometimes, its name is "Holy Hairloss, Batman!"  Sometimes, it's "That dish isn't going to put itself in the sink!"  It's a little ball at the base of my skull, to the right of my spine that comes and goes depending on who or what I let get to me on any given day.  Some days, it goes from my right shoulder, up through my neck and into my right eye.  Today, I call it "Too much coffee."  This is a good thing, because apart from the pain in my neck, I'm having a great day. I just need to drink more water!

Yesterday, I called it "Baby Mama."   some inappropriate definitions here

Baby Mama, for all intents and purposes on this blog, shall hereby refer to the woman carrying a baby that my husband and I may adopt.  The noise in my head today is about food, as I may be having some hormonal fluctuations.  Food is good.  That'll be another day of spewing, however. Yesterday, though. Yesterday, and the past 2 weeks and 2 days, the noise in my head  was all about the baby mama. 

How do I convey my story without boring you to tears?  I'm no different than any other woman struggling with fertility whether or not God's plan for me includes children.  Should I begin with the years of failed attempts at pregnancy? The horrendous female problems and multiple surgeries I've had to keep my endometriosis pain at bay while preserving the 0 to 4% chance I have of pregnancy?  The fertility testing that revealed that my eggs are pathetic, old and few? The decision to not persue fertility treatments after learning about the $40,000 "Maybe" that would involve a donor egg that would still only give me a 15% chance?  The tremendous gratitude and love and respect I have for my husband, who has a 15 year-old and an 18 year-old, but has been willing to start again with ME, for ME? Or that God Almighty has a plan for me that happens to include struggles, and I praise him anyway?

I like that last one. That's a good start.I don't know why I distance myself from God when all is well, and why I draw so near to Him when I face hard times, but I do.  So I am learning to keep in mind that He has a plan, and is doing what is best for me, and the outcome may suck. But. His. Will. Be. Done.


Of course, I pray that His will is that this baby, this precious little life, will be loaned to my husband and me to love and raise and teach. I'm human! Of course I want the baby mama to realize that we will give the baby what she couldn't possibly give her!  But is that true, or is that just me thinking I deserve something just because I want it?  One thing I've been smacked upside the head with is that... wait for it... 
"deserve" is a 4-letter word. 

So, besides praying for this life inside this woman to be placed in the best home, and for God's will to be done (even though I hope His choice is US!)  I also pray for the birth mother. I pray for her other children and for her peace if she chooses adoption, and strength to make a life for herself different than what she's chosen in the past. I pray that she stays off of drugs.  I pray that she goes to college and becomes the woman she professes to want to become. I pray that she nurtures the budding relationships that are beginning with her 5 other children, only started in the past few months that she's been clean. I pray that she can take control of raising her children for good, and that her parents get to be grandparents instead of parents in their older years. They are in their 60's. 

I pray that if my husband and I are chosen, that we will be the best possible stewards with this little loan from the Lord, because she is His.

I can't help but think of little girl names, though. Sigh.