Last year, around this time, I started trying to take Emily out on long walks. I'd put her in my sling or snuggle her down into the stroller and head out around the neighborhood. Before moving to Ewa Beach I took a lot of walks. I love walking. Doing it with a baby just seemed the next step.
Except I never got far. Ewa is hot. Even in winter Ewa is hot. Really hot. And there is a lack of trees. I'd go about 20 minutes and then have to sit and cool off before heading back home. It wasn't fun. And I got sunburned, even with sunscreen. (Thankfully, Emily did not.)
So I tried West Loch Shoreline Park. It was a drive down the road, but it's a pretty park and right on the water looking across to Pearl Harbor. It's cool, green, has trees, and there are tons of mongoose running around. I would drive in, park, and then...I'd sit.
Part of the reason why I'd sit was because Emily would fall asleep in the car and it was nice not to have to hold her while she rested. The other reason was because I was just too tired and, honestly, in too much pain. It was left over pregnancy exhausting me. And recovery from surgery. And nursing. And nursing. And nursing. Three months after having Emily I was still overly tired and overly hurt. It didn't seem fair, more because I didn't realize it was all this pregnancy and baby stuff exhausting me. I thought it was me. Just me being lazy, or dumb, or just a plain, 'ole failure. I stopped going to West Loch Park, it was just too hard.
The other week Emily was in the mood to run so I did a quick turn to that same park. We climbed out and she took off up the hill. I, surprisingly, took off after her. We ran around that entire park and halfway through Emily finally wore herself out. Walking back I carried my 35 lbs. baby up and down the hills and was shocked at how easy it all was. I felt good. Well exercised, strong, and full of energy.
Of course now that I'm building a new person I'm finding myself exhausted again. But it is still amazing how much better I feel after a year. How much better it is to realize that I am still the person I was before baby, just with better defined biceps and darker eye circles. I hope this pregnancy I can remember that it's not me, just my body.