As I might have mentioned once or twice (or possibly ten thousand times), autism takes its toll on the mind and body. The lack of sleep alone can kill any desire to do anything fun and leaves us feeling as if we have nothing left to give. As parents, we just want to get through another day, so that we can lie on the couch and watch a TV show that will take our minds off our troubles – even if it is only for an hour.
When Lizzie was almost 3-years old, life was really hard. We were in the middle of a 30 hour-a-week behavioral home program. I had a very active and challenging 4 1/2 year old who was bored at home, and we were trying to sell our house so that we could move to a better school district for Lizzie. Oh yeah…did I mention I was 8 months pregnant?
I literally ate my way through that pregnancy. If there were a contest in stress eating, I would definitely have won! Anxious from decisions with Lizzie and the stress of having a child with so many problems weighed heavy on my mind all day long. I went to bed with the same knot in my stomach that I woke up with, and my sleep was restless at best. Chocolate was my medication, but unfortunately, I had a bit of a tendency to over-medicate! Fudge and brownies were a normal breakfast for me during that time, and so as you can imagine, 8 months into the pregnancy, right around the time my 31st birthday was a approaching, I had already gained 50 pounds (all baby, of course!).