Two Days Until The Happy Day

Eilis has been reminding us for days that “The Happy Day” is almost here!  Of course, to Eilis, that means her 10th birthday, which falls just 2 hours and 36 minutes after Valentine’s Day.

She has no real idea how much it hits me when she says “The Happy Day”.  I don’t believe a woman with an epidural headache, recovering from 36 hours of labor and a c-section, could have been more deliriously happy than I was on February 15th, 2001.

There had been tremendous heartache in my road to being a mom.  Brighid was a surprise pregnancy, after we had been told conceiving would be terribly difficult for me due to an issue known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  As overjoyed as we were to be having Brighid, the pregnancy was difficult, and ended at 31 weeks, when we were faced with the real possibility of a premature infant that would fail to thrive.  Not an easy baptism into the sisterhood.

For 9 years after Brighid, we struggled with infertility.  It was during this time that we lost three of the five babies I would eventually miscarry, and it seemed that there would be no more children for us.

So after a month long trek across the country, from Florida to New Jersey, and then on to Washington state, when it seemed I wasn’t going to ever be un-tired again, I took a pregnancy test.

Positive.  Not yet a happy day.

After the losses we suffered, a positive sign on a pregnancy test meant nothing more than another $10 down the drain on a home test.  But in working with the doctor who I credit with saving not only Eilis’s life, but my dreams to be a mother – Dr. Mark Denker from the Palm Beach Fertility Center – this time, we’d have our happy day.

The minute Eilis was born, 2:36 AM on Thursday, February 15th, 2001, U2 was playing on the CD player in the operating room.  “It’s a Beautiful Day”.  Forget that they lyrics sing about doom and gloom in some places.  The chorus could not have rung more true.  Not only was it a beautiful day, it was a happy day.

And Eilis, you have given me 10 years of happy days to celebrate.  So when you ask, “How many more days until the Happy Day?”, I’m already there.

To My New Good Friend and Gentle Reader, Carrie!

My new friend Carrie took the time to post a comment on one of my Blog Posts (find the original post https://www.beautygirlsmom.com/2010/06/14/i-took-the-easy-way-out-gastric-bypass-surgery-bitching/ ).  I’m taking the time to answer her!

Dear Carrie:

Unless you’ve had the opportunity to know me and my reasons for having Gastric Bypass Surgery, I wish to politely invite you to shut the hell up (whew, I avoided the “f” word this time – quite a feat considering I have absolutely NO self control, as evidenced by my need for gastric bypass surgery).  I don’t believe I was bitching about my surgery at all – I was bitching about the ignorant woman at the airport who sat in a seat eating doughnuts and drinking soda, all the while talking about her phenomenal weight loss through diet and exercise.  Because I recognize that gastric bypass surgery was my choice, I don’t bitch about the procedure.  I may have complained now and again about the things I experience as a result of this choice, but I never bitch about the choice itself.

And Dear Carrie, if you bothered to get to know me, you’ll know that I have had gym memberships.  I’ve been at least partially responsible for our local gym owner having the ability to send his daughter to private preparatory schools.  While that may make me a martyr of some kind, I don’t proclaim to be a martyr, neither for being such a generous contributor to a child’s education, nor for my gastric bypass surgery.

I’ve had the common sense to put my fork down; and I’ve had the common sense not to put my fork through ignorant people who think that we all have the ability to make a few lifestyle changes and be on the road to skinny.  Jaysus, I’m showing an awful lot of self control for someone who couldn’t stop eating!

You suggest a lifestyle change for people who have weight loss difficulty.  I made one.  It certainly wasn’t a lazy route.  Jenny and I are on a first name basis.  The Fresh Diet failed me until I was fresh out of money to pay for the pricey service.  Weight Watchers watched my ass get bigger every time I went to the meetings, after a week of eating their recommended amount of food.  So you see, Dear Carrie, I’ve exhausted every carefully constructed weight loss method before making the lifestyle change that led to my surgery.  Please note the use of the word “exhausted” – because that’s not something lazy people get very often.

We don’t all have the ability to follow the food pyramid, the USDA recommended dietary intake, and expect to be average sized people.  If you had bothered to get to know me before accusing me of being lazy, you’d know that I suffer from PCOS, a disorder of the endocrine system, making it difficult for me to lose weight.  Not that I’m using that as a crutch to stuff my face full of Twinkies, but it is a fact of my biology that weight loss is not as easy as giving up cookies and cake.  And I would guess that there are other people out there who have turned to Gastric Bypass Surgery who have similar metabolic disorders or thyroid conditions that make losing weight The Dear Carrie Way less than ideal.

And let’s give credit where credit is due.  Lots of us got fat because we ate too damn much.  But whether it’s stress; depression; a coping mechanism – for some of us, food means comfort.  It’s an addiction, like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine.  There is a euphoric high after you eat a slice of cheesecake, and a terrible guilt as a fat person when you do.  To regain the feeling, you eat another; and another; and another, until, ultimately, you’ve eaten the whole damn cake, you feel badly about yourself, and you fear judgement from people like Dear Carrie.  That sets up the whole cycle all over again – you eat to feel good, you feel badly when you do, so you eat more to feel good.

So tell me, Dear Carrie, if my therapist and yours went head to head in a psychological Top Chef of sorts, which one of us ends up with the more normal patient?  Mine at least knows my issues.  Does yours know how angry you are at fat people?  You might want to bring it up at your next session.