When you have a preemie, your whole world changes. Everything you thought you knew is different. You used to think that if you did everything right, it will all be ok. But then Premature Birth shows you that you were wrong.
I had a hatred of my body after Jack was born. I separated myself from it for such a long time. It had failed to do the thing that women are physically created to do. It had developed pre-eclampsia and HELLP even though I was healthy as possible. It had failed my newborn baby and he suffered for months as a result. And it let him down again by not keeping up with his increasing demands for milk.
I couldn’t forgive it. I didn’t look at it in the mirror because it couldn’t possibly be mine. I hid my body from my husband, for how can I show him this disappointment?
But time helps youth slowly, very slowly, heal those emotional wounds. I watched my boy grow and accept everything in his stride with a smile and a determination to be proud of. I started to feel like I wanted to be healthy again. For him.
I turned to running. Pounding to pavement. Primarily because it is free, I don’t have to drive into town like I would for the gym, and the scenery is nice where I live. I joined a local group for the discipline and support. When I started at the beginning of January I struggled with 1 minute intervals. But I plodded on regardless, attending the sessions twice a week and going out on my own once a week. I chanted Jack’s name to propel myself forward. I told myself that if he can learn to breathe all by himself from scratch, then I can do this.
Running is how my body will earn my forgiveness. I get through each jog thinking of how weak I felt and comparing it to how I feel now. I chant Jack’s name and look at the tattoo on my wrist, which is just the letter J. He can conquer his struggles. So can I. I can be a runner. This Saturday just gone a jogged a while 5k – 3.1 miles! I have never in my life done that!
With every step of a run, my body proves to me that it is capable of more than I thought. It is not a failure during a run. In time, my body will earn my forgiveness. And each run means I am healthier and stronger and a better Mummy. Jack is my reason for everything.
I am doing the Stroke Association Resolution Run on 26th February and would love some donations! Click here!
2 thoughts on “Running to forgive my body”
My daughter was in the NICU for 9 days after being born at 39 weeks via planned c-section. I too thought my body failed me. I still blame myself for picking the wrong day to have the c-section. Maybe if I would have waited 4 more days she wouldn’t have gone to the NICU. I started walking sometime in January as well. For me it is a little different… it’s so I can walk where I want to and look at my beautiful surroundings and not be on my way to meet the demanding schedule of the NICU every 3rd hour.
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