things i love thursday: MY SON! (march 1, 2012)

For those of you who aren’t following me and the hubs on our pregnancy blog, we found out this week that our little baby is a BOY! His name is Dax Arthur and we love him so much already it hurts, so this week’s TILT is appropriately all about him.

Check out our little man, currently spending his days rolling around in my belly!

Are those cheeks not the cutest little cheeks you’ve ever seen? And that NOSE! How are you not swooning already? Ladies?

(Also, yes, in case you didn’t know, my real first name is Helen. I’ve gone by my middle name all my life. Anywayyyy.)

Despite the fact that 90% of my friends and family were positive I was carrying a girl, I knew better. I’ve always said that God has been preparing my heart to mother boys ever since I was born. The pets I’ve raised on my own (Romeo and Hamlet) are boys. I was the only girl in my family. As a matter of fact, I used to think I could actually be a boy if I tried hard enough. (Oh, did you miss that? You can read about that nonsense here.)

For me, mothering a boy is a huge blessing. I don’t know the first thing about girls. I mean, I obviously have the girl thing down to some extent, what with being pregnant and all, but I think that trying to live up to what a “real” girl is supposed to be (fashion-forward, gourmet cook, a “gentle and quiet spirit,” all the things I’ll regrettably never be) would be overwhelming if/when I have a girl. While everyone says girls are “easier” to raise and that boys are “a handful,” I say bring it on. The fact that my first go at motherhood isn’t going to be associated with perfect girliness but rather messy rambunctiousness is (believe it or not) a huge relief for me. If and when we do have a girl, I’ll already know what it’s like to be a “mom,” and I can focus on figuring out what it means to be “feminine.” (SIDE NOTE: I’m currently thinking of my poor mom on my 4th birthday, desperately running around town to try and find the sole My Little Pony in existence that wasn’t pink or purple but blue. Sorry about that, Mom.)

Bottom line? I’ll take fart jokes and little league over… what is it that girls do? Good Lord, I don’t even know. Playing with non-pink My Little Ponies?

Dax, your mommy and daddy love you so much! We can’t wait to meet you and play with you!

What do you love this week? Is it my kid? I wouldn’t blame you if it was. He’s pretty great!

big news!

As promised yesterday, I’ve got some big news to blog about!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed (you probably haven’t, and that’s okay) but my posts have tapered off in frequency as of late. No, I haven’t totally been a slacker. I’ve just been afraid to blog because I’m so bloody honest and have the worst time keeping secrets.

But I don’t have to keep it a secret any more!

We’re having a baby!

8 Weeks

I am 12 weeks pregnant! As much as I tried to use my hatred for laundry as effective birth control, I am happy to report that I have failed. Dan and I are elated to be expecting our first child this July!

A lot of people asked if I’d be blogging throughout the pregnancy and yes, yes I will. But don’t worry — this blog is not turning into a mommy blog. I know that I’d lose probably the majority of my readership if I did that. Dan and I have actually started a separate blog on which we both post, so if you’d like to check that out, you can do so here:

Thanks for supporting me on this crazy new journey! I imagine my body image blogging is going to become a lot more passionate as I become a lot more round.

Lindsay and Durrenbaby

the rexia series: mommyrexia.

the ‘rexia’ series:


When Dan and I were dating, everyone kept asking us, “When are you going to get engaged already?” When we were engaged it was, “When are you getting married already?” Now that we’ve been married two years it’s, “When are you having babies already?” (I’m honored that my life is so intriguing, by the way.)

When we first got married, I said we’d be married five years before we started trying for a baby. Dan said three. I said five. He said three to five years. I said okay. Dan also said we’d have five kids. I said two. He said four. I said two. He finally said two or four. I said okay.

But the reality is… I don’t really know when we’ll have a baby, let alone four of them. It could be three years, sure. It could be five years. Or, if I’m being 100% honest with you (which you know I always am) it could be never. I really want to have babies. I do. But I struggled with disordered eating for so long that the idea of losing control of my body to a fetus is terrifying for me. Would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to gain pregnancy weight for 9 months, have a baby, then have a body forever changed by carrying a child, and NOT end up in the same body-hating life I was in that forced me into years of eating disordered hell?

Is it even worth it to try?

About a year into our marriage, I decided that yes. It’s worth it. I was a full-blown self-love warrior by that point and I decided that because I’ve always felt as though God has created me to be a wife and a mother, my dysfunctional relationship with my body wasn’t going to get in the way of that calling. So, we elected to stop refilling my birth control. Mind you, we’re not actively trying to get pregnant. We’ve just eliminated unwanted chemicals and hormones from my body to keep me healthy enough, just in case. And besides, even if our society puts unreasonable beauty standards on women, they get a free pass when they’re pregnant, right?

Sigh. Wrong. Enter: mommyrexia.

Yes. This is a real word. Yes. This is a real thing.

Pregnant women are evidently so concerned with their weight that they are doing insane things to ensure they gain as little weight as possible while pregnant. Eating too little. Exercising too much. Wait, what?

Isn’t pregnancy the one time in a woman’s life she is allowed to eat whatever she wants and evade judgment? It looks like, in our society, those days are long gone. Magazines and websites in our celebrity-obsessed culture barf up cover after feature after spread of “post-baby bodies,” praising these starlets for getting down to pre-pregnancy weight in as little as one month. Naturally, women across the country are starting to think this is normal, despite the truth that every woman is different and not all pregnancies are created equal.

I reached out to some of my mom friends for advice about this. (The ones I contacted via text immediately assumed the reason I was inquiring was because I’m pregnant. I felt really bad having to tell them that I’m not.) Here is what a handful of them had to say about managing their weight during pregnancy:

  • Emily: I personally did not “manage my weight” but instead focused on eating healthy, whole foods, many smaller meals throughout the day, and saving sweets as a treat. Exercised as it felt good, but not to maintain a weight range. Childbirth is a marathon… and a person doesn’t prepare for a marathon by sitting on the couch and eating ice cream all day. She needs to condition her body with APPROPRIATE exercise and feed it with healthy foods so she is ready to “run” on race day.
  • Ashley C.: I did not worry about my weight and ate a ton of sweets — what I craved. I did jog in the beginning, then walked, then nothing. I gained the same amount of weight for each pregnancy…29 lbs.
  • Theresa: I ate when I was hungry, didn’t eat when I wasn’t. I was active, but didn’t work out or anything. If it isn’t good for you when you’re not pregnant, it’s not good for you when you are….it doesn’t have to be complicated!
  • Rebecca: I tried at the beginning, but my doctor convinced me it was about feeling good and the baby being healthy. I had preeclampsia and my blood disorder, so it was more about keeping baby and I safe than what foods to eat. You can always lose the weight, but you can’t always go back and make sure baby gets everything he/she needs.
  • Ashley P.: I didn’t give into “cravings.” I ate normally, just a little more of everything. I walked a lot, but never overdid it. And did light arm weights.
    Me: Cool. So nothing extreme?
    Ashley P.: Absolutely not! It’s so selfish!

Bam. Ashley P. nails it.

Look. I obviously understand the fear of weight gain. I absolutely get how scary that can be. But I also know that when I get pregnant, my body won’t belong to me anymore.

A little over two years ago, I was couple months out from my wedding, and I remember being so scared that my eating disorder would rear its ugly head when it came time for us to try for babies. The thought of going through that made me sick to think about, so I sought out some counsel. I sat down with one of my pastors (whose tiny wife is now, at the time of this writing, pregnant with their fourth child.) He showed me a bible verse (1 Timothy 2:15, for those of you who are following along in your bibles) that says women will be saved through child birth. I haven’t been pregnant, and I haven’t given birth, but I think this verse is true. Motherhood is arguably the most sacrificial act a woman can do. And offering up her body to the child during pregnancy is the first sacrifice of many the mother will make. But, not only does this sacrifice benefit the baby, but it also saves the mother. Oh, what a joyful and beautiful thing it is when a woman finally realizes that her body was built to do more magnificent things, sustaining and giving life, than looking “acceptable” in a bikini.

I just wish that society knew that about us. I wish they knew that about us and celebrated that about us, instead of making us feel ashamed of it.