Posts Tagged by confessions

Confessions & Observations: 7 months

I have been doing this mom thing for 7 months now. That’s more than half a year, which basically makes me an expert on all things running-working-mom related. At least according to the internet.

Amelia 7 months_1

So today I’d love to impart that wisdom useless information onto you.

It took 7 months of “recovery” time for me to finally run my first 30 mile week. All my talk about wanting to get right back out there, being anxious to train, and wanting to run miles upon miles again was just that – talk. When it came down to it, I took my sweet time getting back into running regularly, a fact that I do not regret in the least. And while I feel a little silly to be so excited about running 30 miles after 7 full months of not being pregnant, it’s progress!

It took me almost that long to feel like myself while running. I’d say the big shift happened between 5 and 6 months. I suddenly realized that running no longer felt awkward and the stride that felt like it belonged to someone else for so long finally came naturally again. Things were actually starting to flow, and I didn’t have to focus on keeping my pelvis tucked under me when I ran. At least most of the time (downhill continued to be a problem for awhile).

That doesn’t mean my body is back to “normal.” It probably never will be. My stomach is still soft, I still don’t have any feeling around my incision and I seem to have developed a lovely little c-section shelf. Apparently those are all the rage these days (obviously sarcastic here).

And while we’re on the subject, I still have a canyon between my abs. Because, as it turns out, when you have a significant separation between your abs, that gap does not miraculously go away on its own. Sure, I avoided stressing my rectus abdominis for a very long time (still don’t do core work – hence the soft stomach) and for a few weeks I focused on a few exercises to help mediate the problem. But if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t really give the problem the attention it deserves. So it’s either time to accept that I’m going to have a gap forever, or get serious about fixing the problem.

I am terrible (terrible!!) about cross training. Worse than ever before, really. Remember that Barre3 membership I signed up for months ago?? Well I stopped using it and forgot to cancel my membership until last weekend. Smart use of money, right?

And while we’re confessing things, it’s time to put this out there… I’m a (new) mom. I also happen to be a runner. However, that does not, in fact, make me a #motherrunner.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about in the last sentence, you’re probably better off. Look, I’m not really against the hashtag itself. I can understand the usefulness of it (to a degree) and could maybe even get on board with using it once in a while…if I didn’t see it after almost every single post in my feed on a daily basis. I mean, I get it — finding time and energy to run when this little helpless being is depending on you for survival is no easy feat. The fact that you are a mom who runs is significant and commendable.

But, really, the fact that you’re a person who runs is pretty awesome too. So could we just tone it down a little bit? Don’t know what I mean? Here’s an example:

Just ran my fastest BOB 5K ever! Baby was cheering me on #motherrunner = relevant use of the hashtag

I love my new Sauconys! Best running shoes EVER! #motherrunner = not relevant. Unless Saucony starts making shoes specifically for mother runners. In which case I will take back everything I said.

Being a #motherrunner is a cakewalk compared to being a #pregnantrunner. That’s something I’ve actually suspected for a long time. Now that I’ve experienced both, I can finally let you all in on that little secret. Yeah, logistically speaking, it’s a lot more complicated to figure out how you’re going to fit in a run or travel to a race once the baby is no longer permanently attached. But you want to know something amazing? Your body is yours again! You can push as hard as you want to! And you might even have (a little) more energy to do it.

#pregnantrunner — now that’s a hashtag I can get behind.

…and now that I’ve offended at least half of my remaining readers….

I don’t know if I can commit to a fall marathon, and I’m having a bit of an identity crisis about it. At this point, training season has started. Many popular races have already filled up, and my window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller.

Why the internal battle? What’s the point of signing up for one if you don’t have the desire to train, you ask? Because I think that in some ways the regimented training could do me good. And honestly — when it comes to running marathons, I’m a little rusty. It’s hard to think about another year going by without a marathon in it.

But on the other hand, I just don’t think I have another non-PR marathon in me. Not that you’re ever guaranteed to PR in a race of any distance, but I’m just not sure I can commit to the level of training required to PR at this point. Call it prideful or whatever, but it’s a lot harder for me to muster the motivation to stand on yet another starting line knowing I’m not in shape to give my best effort. Getting my speed and strength back is humbling enough. I don’t need to spend over $100 to find out just how much more work I need to do to get there.

I am, however, craving speed. I raced my first 10K a couple of weeks ago (this one doesn’t count) and as painful as it was, I’m sort of hooked. I can see glimpses of that speed coming back and I want more. There have been so many times in the past where I’ve told myself I was going to take a break from marathons and focus on shorter distances instead, and I’ve just never done it. So maybe this fall is finally the time?

Sunrise runs are actually kind of peaceful. Even though it’s always too foggy around here in the early morning to actually see it.

 I don’t think I’ll ever truly love being a morning runner, and I certainly don’t love how slow I am at the crack of dawn, but there’s something so calming about hitting the pavement before most of the world is awake. What I can’t figure out, though, is how people do speed work before 6:00AM? One foot in front of the other in a shuffling motion is about all I can muster.

With the exception of running while pregnant, I’d say running first thing in the morning before nursing/pumping has got to top the charts for most uncomfortable running experiences. Why yes, I could wake up earlier to pump (I refuse to wake up the baby to nurse before I run just for my own personal comfort), but I’m just not that dedicated. I tell myself the discomfort will make me mentally tougher. Either that, or it’s a sure recipe for mastitis. I’ll keep you updated.

Running with the stroller? Also difficult. Especially in the summer heat. I do love running with Amelia though, and I just keep telling myelf pushing a stroller up hills is only going to make me stronger.

stroller runI swear there is a stroller in this photo…

I tweeted this the other day but it’s worth repeating. It’s my third summer running in Vermont. And even on the hottest, most humid of days, I can still say that I would much rather run up a mountain than through the middle of the city…even if the route was perfectly flat. There’s just something about that fresh mountain air.

It took nearly 7 months, but I finally ran without a shirt. I know women are on both ends of the spectrum here — some do it all the time and others refuse. The important point is that I have done it many times before, and even had a few very hot, shirtless runs during pregnancy. But, you know, things are a lot larger and softer in that area now, and I’ve been way too self-consious to bare my tummy since.

Except on Sunday it was hot and humid and the shirt I was wearing felt so stifling. So after 3 miles of ridiculous internal debate, I finally whipped that thing off. And you know what? Not only did I instantly feel so much better, but the world didn’t come crashing down at the sight of my soft belly. Imagine that.

Koli_river pupNot really a relevant photo. Except to show that on this particular day, it was also hot. 

Being a working mom is an absolute roller coaster. Some weeks I actually love being at work. Love the stimulation, the creativity, the adult interaction and responsibility. And then other weeks I absolutely dread it. I have a hard time focusing and find myself in a rut of self-pity and guilt that I can’t be there with Amelia all day (and am giving her over to strangers to “raise”). I’m 99.9% sure stay at home moms feel the same way about their own situation from time to time. So I guess I can just say that being a parent (and all the decisions that go along with it) is hard. This is groundbreaking information, obviously.

Being a parent is also the best. I know I talk about Amelia all the time, and spam Instagram and Twitter with her pictures, but I really can’t help it. I have never been more exhausted, anxious, worried, humbled, or felt more out of my league than I have every day for the past 7 months. But I’ve really never been happier. I know that probably sounds crazy to you…it barely makes sense to me. The truth is that I’ve never felt joy like this; never known love like this. Never truly thought it was possible that this little person who can’t even talk yet could have such a grip on my heart.

Amelia 7 months

Another thing I didn’t know was possible? How a baby who can’t even crawl yet can get into so much! Her reach is incredible. And she never sits still. I used to joke that my baby would come out running…now I’m starting to fear that’s coming true.

Amelia_office move

The State of Things: 4 Months Out

…or 4 months in. I suppose it’s all how you look at it.

Remember when I said I wanted to write a 3-month postpartum update, because it seemed like that was a pretty significant amount of time (the end of the 4th trimester and all)? Well I guess I missed that window. So I started typing up a 4-month post the other day, got maybe a quarter of the way through and realized I was boring even myself. Which is a pretty sure sign I shouldn’t publish it. So instead, here is a somewhat random collection of 4-month updates, thoughts, and confessions. I can’t promise it won’t bore you, but at least it’s easy to skim in this format.

The most common thing people want to know (I think) is if I’ve lost all the baby weight yet. I’m finding the answer to be a lot more complicated than it seems. I lost a good chunk of weight pretty quickly and then it sort of stalled out a couple of months ago (I’m sure the almost nightly treats I consume have nothing to do with it!). Technically, I have maybe 5-6 pounds to go before I reach my starting weight (i.e. my weight at my initial 6 week OB appointment a year ago). And honestly – I’m expecting those extra pounds to hang around until Amelia is weaned.

DSC 0831Totally unflattering shot to demonstrate the belly at 11 weeks pp. At least Amelia looks cute!

But – extra pounds or not, my body is shaped very differently. Although my hips aren’t quite as curvy as they were a couple of months ago and I no longer look pregnant when I remember to stand up straight and suck in my belly, I’m just soft.  So yes, my clothes fit again (yay!) but they don’t all look as good on me as I remember.

The only parts of my body that are somewhat toned are my biceps — from lugging around a car seat, 500 bags, and a baby on a regular basis – and my calves – from carrying around so much extra weight over this past year. As for the rest? Well…let’s just say I now have quite the collection of cellulite.

I swore many times during pregnancy that I would not miss a single thing about it. Turns out that wasn’t quite true. Over the past few months, I’ve realized that I miss two things: 1. Not having to suck in my stomach. It was so freeing to just let it all hang out! and 2. The thick luscious locks that never shed. I am in the middle of some massive postpartum hair loss. My drains are so full that it’s a wonder I have anything left on my head.

Maybe that’s because at this point, pregnancy sort of seems like it was one long dream. It’s funny to me that you spend the better part of a year pregnant and then once it’s done (and you’ve recovered physically), it’s almost like you never were. I mean, sure, I have lasting physical reminders – my cavernous belly button, the canyon down the middle of my abs (more on that in a second), and oh yeah, that lovely scar. But for the most part I just feel like myself. And I ALMOST forget what it was like to be pregnant. Almost.

IMG 4863Last weekend before baby. Coat not even close to zipping

Labor and delivery though? Nope. No way. I am not sure I will ever be able to forget that.

As I mentioned above, I still have a lovely gap between my abdominal muscles. I wish I had known more about diastasis recti before and during pregnancy. My midwives never talked to me about it, and I just assumed a large separation between your ab muscles was normal. I’m sure I did things during pregnancy that didn’t help the issue…things I would have avoided had I known. Fortunately in the almost 19 weeks since I’ve given birth the gap has decreased — from about 3+ fingers 6 weeks pp to about one finger width at its widest point (around my belly button). So it’s not healed, but at least it’s slowly moving in the right direction. After months of doing nothing for fear that any core exercise would make it worse, I finally talked to my friend Kathleen at Oh baby! fitness. She gave me some really helpful suggestions and I’ve been working hard to engage my transverse abdominals ever since. Still haven’t given in and bought a splint yet. (FYI: some really helpful information about diastasis recti here.)

Except – your transverse abdominals are hard to find! Or at least, they are after they’ve been dormant for almost a year. I’ve been working on scooping or “hollowing” my belly – basically pulling my belly button into my spine — periodically throughout the day. Since I spend so much time sitting in the car, I practice during my commute (about the only productive thing I do during those 2.5 hours). But I really have to focus. The second I stop thinking about my posture, I’m slumped down with my “beer belly” hanging out once again.

Partly based on a recommendation from K and partially out of desperation from not being able to run, I signed up for Barre3 online classes. I will admit that I expected to be underwhelmed, and really didn’t see myself lasting beyond the 15-day free trial (I’m just against paying for online exercise classes). 10 minutes in to my first workout and my legs were toast!! Granted, there’s a lot more cellulite in there than muscle these days (see above) but still. I take back any negative thoughts I had about it…and will even admit that I’m sort of loving it. It’s a workout that I can easily do any time and since I’m still not running, it feels good to do something else active that doesn’t seem to bother my bum (I just modify/omit any core exercises that focus on the obliques for now). Plus, anything that works on toning said bum and those pesky transverse abdominals is good in my book.

I have become sort of obsessed with cloth diapers.

cloth diapers

Look, I know that the concept of using cloth to catch my baby’s poo, washing it in the same machine that cleans my clothes, and then reusing it is probably disgusting to many of you. Or at least probably doesn’t sound like your definition of fun. But I’m telling you…there’s something about those cute diapers that’s addicting. I can see now why people build up ridiculously large stashes. I’m one of those people who ordered a bunch of different kinds initially to try them out, and now I want more of my favorites (plus there’s so many more to try!). And yes, we are using them at daycare. This is more of a testament to the amazing teachers in the infant room than anything else, but it did take a little negotiating (side note: I’d be happy to write a post about using cloth diapers, particularly if you are working…if anyone is interested. But my main advice is if you want to use them in daycare: know your state’s regulations! They may be more helpful than you think).

I’ve bared my chest in more public places during the past 4 months than ever before in my entire life. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not walking around uncovered with the baby on my hip nursing at will, but you know, the baby gets hungry and she doesn’t really care where we are when that happens. I mean, in what other situation would I feel comfortable going partially topless at the office? (Answer: none). Luckily this whole nursing thing is becoming easier and feeling more natural all the time.

Really this whole being a mom thing is like that. Sometimes it is still strange to call myself a mom; to say that I have a daughter. But I’m amazed by how natural it feels. It’s not that I always know what to do, because I certainly don’t have most of the answers. But having a child of my own — it’s this huge life adjustment but also like nothing has changed, all at the same time.

Family photo_Easter

Related: I’m amazed by how much I have absolutely loved this baby stage. When Evan and I used to talk about the future, it was always about having kids…little people to do fun things with. I knew they’d be babies first, but the pictures in my head of our future family were always when they were older. And although I knew I liked babies, I was mostly excited about the kid stage. Except now that I have one I can’t even believe how much I love her at this age. It’s a lot of work, sure, but it’s way more fun than I ever imagined. I literally get to watch someone learn and grow right before my eyes. What’s more incredible than that?

Amelia_Gram_Easter bookLittle girl loves her books! Reading with Gram on Easter.

Speaking of babies, I’m sure you will all believe me when I say that Amelia is the most perfect, most wonderful baby ever (ha!). No but really, she’s pretty laid-back for the most part and I know we lucked out in that department. Which is why I sort of (kind of) hoped we’d breeze through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. After all, she has always been a pretty good sleeper, and slept through the night at a fairly early age (don’t hate me). Shows how naive we are. I think (hope!) we are finally at the tail end of it, but I will tell you that it was worse than all those middle of the night, round the clock newborn feedings. At least then you expect to be up all night! I have never been closer to napping at my desk every afternoon than I was this past week.

Amelia 4 months

Good thing she’s so cute! It’s hard to stay grumpy when I see that little face.

And finally — it took me an entire week to write this post. But at least I got it done before the 5-month mark. Little victories.

Pregnancy Confessions II

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Pregnancy Confessions (and other senseless rambles)

 

I am officially in Pregnant-Running retirement.

I thought about writing an entire post about this, but there’s really no need to make it more dramatic than it was. Nothing happened. There was no “This is My Last Run of Pregnancy!” moment. I just…stopped running. And I’ve simply lost all desire to start again. I guess you could say my last “official” run was during the 36th week of this pregnancy. But it was only a mile, so it feels a little silly to count it.

The funny thing is that I miss it, but I don’t. Even walks are becoming uncomfortable these days. And really, as the weather gets colder, I find myself missing skiing way more than I miss running.

Okemo_december 2013

I do, however, miss feeling strong.

I feel like I’m in the worst shape of my life. I get winded walking up stairs (or hills) and my legs are exhausted. I feel every single one of those 29 pounds I’ve gained since March, but I’ve forgotten what it’s like to move around without them.

That being said, I’m surprised by how little I miss my abs.

Before getting pregnant, I thought that might be one of the harder things to see go. But now I find that I really don’t care. Sure, I’d love to have a nice strong core again, but I have to admit it’s kind of nice to just let it all hang out.

…now we’ll see how that changes once this hard ball of baby turns into flab…

cheese baby_37 weeks full…and the shirt no longer fits…

I’m working from home until the baby is born. And while I originally had grand plans to wake up every morning and make myself presentable so that I’d be more productive, I’ve been spending the week in old running pants and Evan’s sweatshirts.

My commute to the office is 75 minutes each way (on a good day). I’m incredibly thankful for a doctor’s note and a flexible enough work environment that has allowed me to work from home for these next couple of weeks. But I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how quickly it’s turned me into a slob.

I don’t really think my belly is all that big…until I catch a glimpse of my reflection or see a photo.

And then I remember.

Christmas tree 2013_37 weeksMy only requirement for our tree was that we find one fatter than my belly. Done and done.

I don’t think I’ll miss being pregnant, but I can see how I might miss feeling her move.

I am so excited to meet my daughter and get to know who she is. But I can’t deny the fact that there’s this incredible connection between the two of us right now that will soon be gone. It’s weird to think about.

I lose track of how many times I wake up at night.

Nights all blur together at this point anyway. As long as I fall back to sleep after each wake up (doesn’t always happen), I consider it a successful night. I’m just hoping all of this will be good practice for the first few months of life with a newborn.

I’m terrified of what life is going to be like with a newborn, but not for reasons you might think.

I know that first month (/months!) can be incredibly tough. The sleep deprivation, the hormones, the recovery, the crying, etc etc etc. But I’m not really stressed about it. I’m not claiming to know everything there is to know about raising a child, I’m just confident in Evan and I as a team. As tough as it may be sometimes, I know we’re going to figure things out as we go.

No, I’m more nervous about my ability to commit to all of the things I want to do: breastfeed, cloth diaper (it’s always a good sign when you tell your husband’s grandmother you’re using cloth and she responds with “God bless ya!“), work full-time, and oh yeah, somehow find time to actually train again. Not to mention spending time with my husband and making sure the poor pup doesn’t feel neglected. I know deep down that if things are a priority, we’ll make time for them. But it’s hard to even wrap my head around the level of crazy that is about to become my life.

cloth diapersCloth might be extra work, but it’s hard to deny the cuteness

Because everyone wants to know — yes, I’d love to have an all-natural, smooth labor but I’m absolutely not against medication if needed.

In fact, I’m going in expecting to at least need pitocin, due to a family history of bodies that just don’t seem to want to progress through active labor on their own. I don’t want it, and I certainly don’t plan on asking for it (unless of course, baby decides to be nice and late. Then I’m all about helping encourage her to come out). I’d rather not use drugs because I want to rely on the strength of my own body to get me through labor. But ultimately I accept that I am not the one in control here (a very difficult thing for me to come to terms with, believe me). And at the end of the day, as cliché as it sounds, our number one goal is “healthy baby, healthy mom.”

I’ve never understood when women say they are looking forward to the pain of labor.

If that’s you, well…to use the words of Evan’s grandmother: “God bless ya!” To each his own, I guess. I’m not dreading the pain, and I accept that childbirth is going to hurt. But that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to feeling it. It’s like running a marathon (yeah, I know, completely different things but it’s the closest comparison I have so go with me here!). I know that pain is going to be a part of the experience. And when that pain comes, I accept it, embrace it as much as I can, and try to work through it, knowing that it’ll ultimately make me stronger. But I certainly don’t look forward to it. I am excited about the reward that comes after the marathon, not the pain I have to endure during it.

Even though everyone insists otherwise, there’s a part of me that wonders if I’ll even know I’m in labor when the time comes.

In movies it’s always so dramatic. The woman is going about her day when suddenly BAM! – she’s hit with the most intense contraction ever. Or her water breaks in public and there’s a mad rush to get to the hospital. In reality, the percentage of women whose water breaks before labor begins is pretty low. And I’ve been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions on a regular basis since 33 weeks. What was once just a few tightenings in the evening has now become an all-day occurrence. There’s not pattern to them yet, but feeling contractions has become as normal a part of my day as feeling the baby move. So what if I’ve just become immune to it?*

*Okay so rationally I realize that real contractions are way more intense than BH (and have even felt a few real ones to prove it) and that women aren’t able to just go about their day, oblivious to the fact that they’re experiencing pain. But…doesn’t mean the fear isn’t still there.

cheese baby_37 weeks side full

At close to 38 weeks, I’m less anxious for the end than I thought I would be.

There was a long period of time during this pregnancy when I thought the end would NEVER come. December seemed like a lifetime away. Even as I hit the third trimester, I just kept telling myself: make it to 37 weeks, that’s all you have to do. Just like when I’m doing a long run, thinking about the very end was overwhelming. So I tell myself that if I can make it to mile 17/18, I can certainly make it to mile 20. I thought maybe these last few weeks would drag on forever, but they’re not. Instead, I’m increasingly aware of how little time I have left. Although I’ve had 9+ months to prepare, it seems like there is so much to do in these last few weeks. So much to take in before my life is forever changed. And sometimes I wonder — am I ready??

And then I picture still being pregnant on Christmas and all I can say is “COME OUT NOW BABY! (please and thank you)”

 

Pregnancy Confessions

I have always prided myself on my memory and attention to detail, but lately I’ve become incredibly spacey.

And we’re not just talking about forgetting to respond to an email or other innocuous things. In the span of the past week, I have shipped 2 packages to addresses where I never actually lived, forgotten to put up the gate that keeps the dog out of the trash when we aren’t home (which led to a trash-all-over-the-house disaster), and let the dog outside and left him there (omg! Am I going to forget about the baby in the future!?)…along with countless other things that I’m pretty sure I’ve already forgotten that I’ve forgotten. What is happening to my brain? At this rate, I’m afraid I will soon forget my way home. Someone will find me wandering aimlessly through the woods miles outside of town.

IMG 4070The poor, forgotten child

I am no longer a fully rational human being. Instead I cry over the dumbest things.

Like War Horse. And commercials. The other day I had a breakdown about some of the things I mentioned above. Totally blubbered away over nothing, really. And poor Evan had to sit there and tell me what a “good job” I’m doing with all this….as if I’m a little kid who is frustrated that she can’t master a new skill. I honestly don’t know how he doesn’t spend all his time laughing at me these days. I know I would…if I wasn’t convinced that my problems were SO LARGE and my emotions SO HEAVY. And I thought those emo teenage years were bad…

I no longer have any shame.

Okay, so I care about being presentable for work, but most of the other time?? Not so much.

The positive side of this is that for the first time ever, I truly have no qualms about my body. I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my life, but I don’t change outfits because “I look fat in that” or feel self-conscious about those extra pounds. Most of the time, I’m flaunting the belly. Pregnancy has given me a weird sort of confidence that I can’t really explain.

The flip side is that I no longer have shame about things like, oh I don’t know…going to the store with food stains on my belly. Or wearing ridiculous outfits. My husband has never found me more attractive.

IMG 4074Who needs masks when you have running headbands?? Please note that we were using paint with 0 VOCs…and see point above re: lack of rationality

 I’m craving a good, hard, fast workout.

I don’t know if it’s the hormones, or the fact that this week has been pretty crappy in terms of running, but I feel like a drug addict in need of a fix. You know, because I have so much experience in that area (moving on…). I think I’ve been doing pretty well so far with adjusting to my new speed and getting excited during times when I am able to push a bit. But lately my cravings are getting worse. It’s just been so long since I’ve felt that feeling of flying, you know? And 2014 is still so far away. I’m telling myself that this is a phase…it will pass and the craving will fade. In the meantime, I need to find a way to a way bottle up all these feelings and use them as motivation for next year.

See also: please remind me of all this in 6 months when I’m inevitably complaining about training! 

(Related): I have serious, certifiable, full-blown race envy.

The 100 on 100 Relay came through my town last week, Hood to Coast is going on this week, peak marathon season is right around the corner, and everywhere I look people seem to be gearing up for (or running) another big race.

Yes, I know my “condition” is of my own choosing. And yes, I know I could have timed it so that I would’ve at least gotten in one good spring race instead of facing an entire calendar year(!!) without one, and yes, I also realize that life is about a heck of a lot more than racing. However, race envy does not always respond to logic.

I thought I would appreciate the downtime. That I’d use it as a way to recharge and escape the burnout from constant training. Although I’m sure that’s true to some extent, it still doesn’t change the facts. I miss racing. I miss it even more than I thought I would. I miss the fatigue of training, the dread of a long run or hard workout, the pre-race I-need-to-puke-right-this-second nerves, the sheer utter exhaustion and dark mental battles in the later miles, and of course, the elation of a finish line that makes it all worth it.

Yep…I seriously sound like an addict. Please send help.

Meanwhile, I have become addicted to Googling all things baby — nurseries, cloth diaper reviews and patterns, furniture, accessories, gear reviews, outfits…you name it.

I did not expect to lose myself in the vortex of baby-crazies. I thought I was way too rational and well-rounded for that (but again, see above). I tell myself it’s filling the void left by the race planning and training plan obsessing. But to be perfectly honest, I’m totally into it. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

cheesebaby onesieThe best onesie ever made. Cheese Baby will wear this every single day of her life.

I am not enjoying the “sit down, put your feet up…no! don’t you worry about that!” part of pregnancy. At all.

Well, unless we’re talking about cleaning the litter box. Or doing the dishes at night. I’m perfectly happy to pull the pregnancy card to get out of those chores (not having to go near the litter for 9 months has got to be the best perk of pregnancy). But the rest of it drives me sort of crazy. I know people only say these things out of consideration. And sure, some days I love putting my feet up and doing absolutely nothing…or wish a swarm of fairies would come in and magically clean my house for me. But I’m not fragile. And I really sort of hate being treated that way. Plus, does anyone really want to spend their entire pregnancy thinking about/doing nothing but being pregnant?

(Speaking of which…) I do not love everything about being pregnant.

This is the hardest thing for me to confess. And the hardest thing to write about without sounding like an entitled, whiny brat. But let me try to explain…

I don’t hate being pregnant. From a physical standpoint, I’m very happy that my pregnancy hasn’t been all that bad. I’m thankful that the baby is healthy. I am in awe of the changes my body is making to support life. Think it’s cool to track my growth every week. I get a kick out of listening to her heartbeat and feeling her move. I love sitting really still when she’s dancing around in my stomach and imagining what she’s going to be like.

But there’s this perception that women are supposed to love being pregnant. We’re supposed to be in a state of bliss over the miracle of life, flaunting our womanly bodies that are working hard to grow a future generation. And we must be grateful for every minute, especially because there are so many who would give anything to experience this time of life.

We’re not supposed to talk about how hard it can be sometimes. The guilt that is associated with these feelings of inadequacy — about not being “good” at being pregnant, and (even scarier) at potentially not being a good/worthy parent. The emotional and mental side of pregnancy that can sometimes be harder than the physical aspect. And the dichotomy between these intense feelings of love for your future child and acknowledgement that you really are lucky to be growing a healthy human…and the fact that all this human growing isn’t really the most fun thing ever.

I hope this doesn’t make me sound ungrateful or like I’m miserable all the time. In fact, most days I don’t dwell on the fact that I’m pregnant and I’m able to accept the good with the bad like a normal adult. But sometimes I might just have a teeny-tiny pity party (I don’t know if we can really blame the hormones for that, but I’m going to try), and some days (weeks) are admittedly harder than others.

However, even in the midst of my occasional pity parties, I can still see the light. I read something written by a new mom or think about all the worries I’m going to have once she’s outside the womb and realize — this is only the beginning. And in some ways, human-growing might be a cake-walk compared to all this human-raising stuff.

Puts things into perspective just a little bit…

 

Runfessions

I have a running ego. Which is not really news to anyone who knows me, I guess. While I have no delusions about the level of my ability, I do take pride in being able to run certain paces, conquer certain distances…and pass lots of people. I’d like to say that said ego has disappeared since finding out I’m pregnant but…no such luck.

I may not be out there speeding up when I pass people I know or glancing at my watch near the end of a mile and picking up the pace so my split clocks in at 7:59 instead of 8:01, but I still do silly little things to make myself feel better about my current abilities. Like standing up straight and lengthening my stride to make it appear that I’m moving faster when I pass fellow runners. Or pushing the pace for the last mile just to see if I can get my overall average down just a bit.

And I hate catching my reflection in store windows…though I always look (I can’t help it!). I find myself excited for the days when I’m toting around a noticeable bump instead of just a protruding gut.

I’m also a running hypocrite. I would tell anyone else in my situation that she was being absolutely ridiculous and no one even notices (worry about yourself, you idiot!). But accepting the ridiculousness of my behavior has done nothing to change it.

Another way that I’m a hypocrite: I never really liked those “running for two shirts” (sorry, but I don’t!). Except now that I am pregnant I find myself wanting to purchase one so I can wear it on every single run. Again, no one cares about this stuff but me. Nor do they want it rubbed in their faces (#pregnantmotherrunner coming through!). But like I said, I have a running ego.

Speaking of which, how do we feel about the sports bra + pregnant belly combination? I can’t say I haven’t already been considering it…once I have a belly to show, that is. Hey – it’s summer and it’s hot…and in my mind I’m going to look just as amazing as Paula Radcliffe or Lauren Fleshman.

Pregnant lauren fleshman(Source)

Please don’t burst my bubble now…I’m sure that’ll happen naturally.

No matter how many times I go to the bathroom before leaving on a run, I always have to pee within the first mile. I don’t know where all that liquid comes from, but that urge seems to be getting harder to control. At this point I’m able to wait it out, but I’m starting to think that won’t last forever. So I’ve recently been trying to scope out some good “pit stop” locations along my favorite routes. The only problem is, I run mostly through neighborhoods and along well-traveled roads…neither of which provide for much privacy. My solution? I’ve been contemplating just “letting it flow” when the time comes. .

…or maybe I just need to find some more adventurous running routes.

Remember when I posted this story about my dad, which featured a photo of him racing in some sweet star-spangled short-shorts? Well, my mom had a matching pair (yes, they wore them during the same race. I love my parents) and has graciously passed them along to me. I cannot wait to rock them during the 4th of July 4-miler we’re doing next week. In fact, it’s pretty much the sole reason I signed up for the race.

star spangled running shortsI hope these still fit by next week. Though who am I kidding? I’ll squeeze into them regardless.

Now if only my dad had given his pair to Evan so we could match…

I have never been a morning runner. But you know this already. Pretty much every summer, I make a bold proclamation about how I’m going to start running first thing in the morning. But then after a few weeks I’m back to my old ways. It’s not that I can’t run in the morning…I just hate doing it before I’m well fed and caffeinated.

But now here I am once again attempting to climb back on the AM-run bandwagon (I fear I’m starting to sound like a broken record). This time because I have another person to worry about. Last week’s high temperatures made me realize that if I want to keep running through this pregnancy, I need to suck it up and start making morning runs a habit. The humidity in the morning sucks, but it’s better than running in 80+ degree heat. So this week I’ve started “LB becomes a morning runner attempt #5.” We’ll see if this one sticks.

I need new running shoes. Actually – I’ve needed them since April. But I’ve been holding off because I’m secretly afraid that I’m going to need something more supportive as I get bigger. I have to admit that I only just accepted the stupidity of this logic. First of all, the shoes work for me now, so continuing to run in my old ones will do nothing except increase the likelihood that I’ll get injured. And secondly, if the day comes when I do have to make the switch, I can put my Mirages on the shelf until post-pregnancy. Either way, it’s not a waste of money.

I still haven’t ordered them. Just like I’ve been holding off on buying new sports bras (well, besides one…but there’s only so many times you can wear these things before they need to be washed). I’m sure I’ll look back and wonder why I spent so much time making myself uncomfortable. But I’m stubborn.

I spend a lot more time than I should looking down at my feet when I run these days. Because I’m finally starting to see a little bump. And I have to admit that I kind of like the view.

pregnant running bump_14 weeks.jpg

 

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