I've reached Mile 22 of this pregnancy

Another post from the drafts folder!  I wrote this on May 3, the week that I went into labor. I'm slowly rejoining the outside world and will maybe, hopefully start posting more regularly again.

I'm 38 weeks pregnant, which, for me, feels about equivalent to mile 22 of the marathon. It's kind of a turning point -- I was feeling pretty good up until now, cruising along patiently, but now I'm scanning the horizon for that finish line. I'm so close, but still so far: Our baby could be born any day now, OR not for nearly a full month.

And also like mile 22 of the marathon, I'm daydreaming about all the things I'll do (and beers I'll drink!) when it's over.

How I know I'm nearly at the end:

Our midwifery practice doesn't do cervical checks or anything like that until 40 weeks or so, but the world is telling me it's almost time. I've reached the point where total strangers come up to me and say "Wow, soon, huh?" and colleagues ask, "Have you had that baby yet?"

I don't mind this at all. Yup! I say. Nope! This baby (as fetus) has come with me to three weddings and I've danced furiously at each one, including the one we went to just on Saturday, where there were many jokes about who would be responsible for delivering if I went into labor right there. We've traveled on planes and trains and subways, we've camped, hiked, and wherever I go I imagine what it would be like to bring my child with me some day, the things I want to show him about the world.

We've had three lovely showers -- one hosted by James's family in Pennsylvania for both of us, another by my work, and a blessingway.

The room that looked so terrible is in nice shape now -- nice enough to host my first born child!

I go see the midwives every week and they listen to his heartbeat and tell us everything looks good. I'm okay to wait a while longer -- I'd like to get quieter and more centered with myself before I do this hard thing I'm more than a little nervous about.

I am cautiously hoping/planning for a "natural" birth, but I am actually pretty agnostic about most interventions. I can envision several scenarios in which I'd gladly take an epidural; I'm hoping to stay open, positive, and flexible regardless of what happens.

Exercise during pregnancy

I ran until week 15 or so, then called it quits. It retrospect, I wish I had stuck it out a little longer because I'm aching to run again...but at the time it felt uncomfortable and awkward. I like to feel fast and strong when I run -- not out-of-balance and lumbering. Maybe I would have gotten used to it had I stuck with it, but I just wasn't having fun with it so I stopped. After that, I started taking a prenatal yoga class on Sundays and doing the occasional YouTube yoga at home, albeit irregularly. I also walk about a mile a day as part of my work commute, and try to get in at least one "long walk" weekly. Honestly, I haven't enjoyed pregnant exercise much. I'd much rather spend my evenings and weekends doing nearly anything else. Even though I'm grateful that I've been healthy and not as miserable as a lot of pregnant women I know, I miss my old body and I feel irritated by how difficult and uncomfortable even supposedly "easy" and "relaxing" forms of exercise feel. Also, the pain. I didn't know how painful pregnancy is, and how hard it is to get a good night of sleep. 

Bitten by the training bug

Around the six-month mark, the weather started to improve and I really, really wanted to register for a race. Specifically, I was looking at a half marathon in the fall. James and I do a lot of running/racing together, and we had a facepalm moment when we realized we had to think about who would watch the baby if both of us were running the same race.

That realization gave me whiplash -- I realized (again) how little I know about what the next few months of my life will be like. While I'm still hoping to get back to running relatively quickly and possibly do some racing in the fall, I don't want to commit to anything until after the baby is born (hopefully safe and healthy), because I really have no idea how labor, birth, recovery, breastfeeding, adjusting to life, returning to work, etc. will go, I think the safer thing to do is to wait and see. But man, I am super jealous of everyone I see running in the mornings before I go to work. It will be so freeing to move like again that after nine months of pregnancy.

 

Currently

I'm clearing out my drafts folder. This is from about a month ago. We've been very private about this news, waiting (and waiting and waiting) to tell our IRL friends. Anyway, this is what I've been up to for the past six months or so.

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I'm sitting around waiting for our car to be serviced, eating stale cookies and drinking a grainy decaf. If that's not the time to finally update this old blog after however many months of silence, then it'll probably never happen. So, hello!

I forget where I last left off. I think I was talking about beginning training for the Bull City Race Fest half marathon in October. Two days after returning from Europe I started a new, pretty demanding job in July (at a startup, with a long commute). I wasn't sure how much time I could/would really devote to training but it felt important to keep it up, if only on principle. July and August were all about figuring out my new routine and new job. No longer could I bike-commute to my own gloriously private office three miles from my house. Instead, I rode a bus for an hour to an "open office plan" space where I worked much more collaboratively, in a new & different industry (tech, rather than academia), with new people and new personalities to figure out. "Training" meant running about three days a week, which broke out to three miles twice a week, and a "long" run on the weekends of 6-7 miles. I eventually made it to ten about two weeks before the race.

Then, in September, we found out we are expecting a baby! I'm due in May, and feeling great so far. I kept up my"training" for the half marathon and ran it, mainly because I'd already paid for it.

I have a half-written race recap about that race. I finished in over 2:09, three minutes slower than my very first half marathon back in 2011. I loved the hilly course, the cool weather (30 degrees at the start) and I was thrilled with my time! But I knew it would be weird to say all of this without explaining why I was so happy with such a comparatively slow time. (I've had a long-standing beef with a sub-1:50 half marathon, and I've run every half marathon since 2013 with the intention to get a 1:4x!)

After the half marathon, I pretty much stopped running. This was because my favorite things about running I had to give up, because they would be a possible risk to the baby: long tempos, intervals, anything that makes me feel like I need to barf or die by the end got the thumbs-down from my midwife. I started practicing yoga and going for long walks instead, both of which were more in line with what made my body feel good. It's nice to focus on moving in a different way these days, but I can't wait to get back to hard workouts sometime in 2016.

Although I love hearing & reading about other people's pregnancies and especially reading very detailed birth stories, I don't see myself writing much, if anything, about pregnancy. I mean, I barely kept this thing up when I was training for something.

Who knows what I'll post in the coming months. If nothing else, I hope to be around next summer (or fall?) to share about returning to running after pregnancy.

Bye, for now!