Monday, December 28, 2009

12 days of Christmas? I'm ok with 3, thanks.

I love my family, really do, so all I'll say regarding the topics "Family" and "Holidays" is thank God I got out for a couple of runs last week.

My running is still in maintenance mode but I'll take whatever I can get just to get out the door. What was great this past month is that I was able to resume my pseudo-annual tradition* of getting out for a jaunt on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The traffic's lighter, the air is crisp and cool, and it seems there is a heightened sense of camaraderie with the other runners out on the sidewalks and trails. Each time you pass a fellow runner, there's an exchange of knowing nods, as if to say, "we could be stuffing our faces with gravy-slathered proteins and multiple varieties of pies right now, but we are running instead (or so that we can commence with the face-stuffing later.)"

*when not experiencing first-trimester funsies like gagging at everything or needing to sleep 14 hours a day.

This year, getting out for my Christmas run was especially appreciated. It was a chance to step away from the awkwardness of my blunt, inappropriate family conversing with my husband's reserved, overly-polite family. The baby - the universal buffer for uncomfortable family situations - was sleeping, and I was in no mood to deal with the carnage of wrapping paper and ribbon barfed up all over my living room floor. The men would watch their Celtics game, the women would discuss safe topics such as cooking or after-Christmas sales, and I would get my run. Even if it was only 5 miles, run a bit too hard for the hills and the fact that my feet hadn't seen actual pavement for several days, it was a much-needed reprieve.

Of course, my mother thinks I'm nuts and that I'm addicted to exercise. But I think, by nature, she has to be worried about someone. That, or she just enjoyed me more when I was large and raiding her cabinet for cookies.

Well for the holidays, I did eat those cookies, but I ran them off, too. With the calories, I burned stress, anxiety, frustration, and every other negative emotion that manifests from too much vomit-enducing tinsel and Barry Manilow.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Hope you enjoyed it and got some good runs in, too.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

if there were a REAL "Real Housewives" show and I were on it, my self-naration would sound much like this:

Husband dearest works out of town 3-5 days a week so that we can have lovely things like a house, heat, cars, internet, cell phones, and cable. I work 2-3 shifts a week so we can have extras, like the occassional shopping trip at Whole Foods instead of the "regular" super market, nice bottles of Ripasso or Bordeaux, and meals not horribly botched by me trying to play "Top Chef" on my electric range.

I am eternally grateful for these amenities and know how incredibly lucky we are - especially this time of year - to have what much of young America, I'm sure, takes for granted. Our generations' hardships may only include having to watch Sesame Street on a dinky little 10" black and white TV and being forced to wear clothes from Caldor when the family budget was tight, but that's still a far cry from the things kids today wouldn't know how to live without: Hulu, PS2's, and 3G networks. God, I even find myself bitching when a certain channel doesn't come in in HD, because it's all blurry on our giant TV. So I'm really not much better than those spoiled brats, am I?

So considering the things we're now accustomed to having as part of our daily lives, it's no wonder that when my laptop is busted, the cable goes out during a storm and the baby's asleep, I'm so painfully bored I start picking away at still relatively in-tact nailpolish just to have an excuse to paint my nails again. Or I start scribbling what I think are witty thoughts and observations on one of the million of cards you mail in for a subscription that fall out of the magazine you've already subscribed to -- but I'm using this scrap of paper as a bookmark in a crappy book that I'm forcing myself to finish because I borrowed it from the library and damn it I'm going to become more literate and intellectual if it kills me, but once I'm done with the book I forget about the ramblings I've written down and throw the card away. Or I start watching so many recorded episodes of "The Office" I start dreaming about being in a screaming match with Dwight and Michael.

This is where someone interjects, saying, "Yes, but, if you're bored, then you're boring." Well, that's okay, because I actually feel pretty damn boring.

I mean, all I have to talk about is being a mom, running, and... uh, that's about it. There's only so much to discuss (or write) about the variety of poo consistencies and colors, how many planned runs you didn't do and why you couldn't do them, how thick to make your rice cereal and what to mix it with, and the ungodly amount of calories you're consuming while breastfeeding and - again - how many times you've failed to get out to burn them off...

... Hm? Sorry. I just put myself to sleep.

I just hope, as I go on and on and on about how sorry I am for myself (someone please play me out on the violin) someone is out there reading this thinking, "Thank God, I'm not alone!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This one is (almost) in real-time, I swear.

Okay, it's 2:02 PM, the child is napping peacefully, and I am inspired to finally update this thing and try to keep it going. I figured of all the places I post my run-on ramblings, this is probably the one I should maintain should I get ambitious again and decide to actually save all of these entries to a thumbdrive and not Google's / Blogger's database.

Speaking of Google, has anyone tried Wave? I got an invite, took one look at it, and said, "Uh, no." The truth of the matter is: I'm unpopular. And I don't mean that in a "Guess I'll go eat worms..." kind of way, it's just that, I'm a stay-at-home mom (on the baby boards, we call ourselves SAHM's, because we're so busy between feedings, changings, and burpings, that we have created an accronym for everything.) for part of the week, and I work part-time for the rest. My friends are my coworkers, and besides our shifts together we don't see much of each other because they, too, have pressing obligations outside of work. Maybe I'll give Google Wave a little more time though before deciding whether it's worthwhile. Although I have a feeling it will have the same fate as my Twitter account: Floating off somewhere in cyberspace, user name and password long-forgotten.

Now that I've openned with that light-hearted but boring detail about my life, on to more depressing issues.

We lost another kitty this week.

We knew he was sick from the beginning, infected probably at birth with the feline leukemia virus. For the most part, these kittens, when found by or brought in to a shelter, are put down. We kept this kitten, and immunized the other two. He started showing signs of being ill not long after our Mia (who passed away early October) came down with pancreatitis. At first we were told it was allergies, and given an antihistamine that rendered him a useless lump of a cat. So we took him off of it and brought him back to the vet because his symptoms - coughing and wheezing - didn't subside. "Might be asthma," said the more optomistic of the two Dr's at the clinic. So we put him on a mild steroid and witnessed noticable improvement. But then he took a sudden downturn, losing weight, becoming listless once again, and developing an abscess on his rear. It turns out he had a blood parasite which, due to the virus, he couldn't fight off. We were going to take him this past Monday morning to be euthanized but he didn't even make it to crate.

I try not to be that downer who only looks at the negative events in her life, not only further depressing herself but everyone around her, but I'm not going to lie, it's tough. Having a child certainly helps me focus on the positive, but my heart aches for my kitties. Lord knows what a mess I'll be when my dogs reach that age. Ugh, see, that's what I mean. I hate when I start thinking like that.

Well the holidays are soon upon us and it will be time to take stock in the many blessings we still have. Holy crap, that sounded cheesier than a Hallmark card. Apologies.

But seriously, I'm determined to have a good Christmas. For starters, having this be my first Christmas with a kid is pretty exciting. I've never been one to ooh and aah over cute kiddy outfits but it's different if it's your own cute kid that you're outfitting. Second, having a child imediately absolves me of any cooking or hosting responsibilities, in my mind. I may string some lights and throw some Pillsbury biscuits in the oven. No one should count on me for much more than that. Third, my husband and I are actually in a position to hook our closest family and friends up with decent gifts this year. It will feel really good to give back, especially considering all the help we've received rennovating our home and babysitting our child.

So long as no more animals die and no one decides to tell me I need to make the Christmas ham, we'll be all good here.

the last of the missing blogs


I had this big plan to get started on a big, ambitious, training plan that would have me shattering my PR's in no time...

... it's so not happenin'.

Now that's not to say I haven't been running or working out semi-regularly. I have. I'm running, going to spin classes that whoop my butt, and doing intense cardiovascular efforts on the elliptical. I can whip out a 7-minute mile if I have to, although probably only one. But I'm sure I'm not the only first-time mom to discover that getting on a training schedule and actually finding time to stick to it are two completely different games.

Ah.. parenthood.

So I'm implementing a new plan. A very non-planish plan. It involves running whenever I can, breaking out the Baby Trend Expedition jogger that I found for a steal on Craigslist (Yesssss), and making the most of every effort, every time. My easy miles will surely be the ones with the child in tow. I'll do fartleks on the treadmill when crappy weather forces me indoors. And if the gym's nursery is closed AND there's a monsoon outside, I'll go old-school with some Burpees in my living room (after burping my daughter, so that she can sit in the swing and watch mommy get her Jane Fonda on).

Something about this new free-style approach to running appeals to me. I no longer feel any sense of anxiety when I head out the door without my ipod or my watch. I'm content to just run and I don't need a second hand or 90's alternative to distract me from the task at hand. I love my child and nothing in this world can replace the heady, blissful feeling of being a mom, but, I could sometimes do without the constant schlepping of diaper bags and cumbersome strollers. Running is my chance to do that.

So no more logging miles for me. Each day I run (when I can), I'll just try to do a little more than the time before. That's goal enough for me.

another lost entry


I had meant to write a couple weeks ago about my first run postpartum - an overly ambitious but exhilarating 4-miler that I felt for the next 3 days - but then life happened. Yet another lesson of motherhood.

First, after a glance at a checking account balance with a big fat negative sign in front of it, I headed back to work. Nothing like serving to use up the rest of the energy you don't having after taking care of a newborn and trying to squeeze in a few workouts a week. It's not all bad, however. The time outside of the house interacting with other adults is somewhat refreshing. It reminds me that I'm more than my daughter's milkmaid.

Next, came a surprise visit from friends. They had driven 14 hours to see me, when I had thought they wouldn't be able to visit until the spring. I certainly enjoyed the company, and they did their best to lend a hand with meals and watching my daughter so I could put my feet up (or down, as it were, for the occasional walk or jog). But when you're running off to your bedroom every 2 hours to feed an always-hungry child, the novelty of having company can wear out real quick! My friends stayed for just the right amount of time - 3 1/2 days - after which I was not only grateful to return to work after caring for an overstimulated baby, but happy just to have the house to myself (I enjoy peeing without worrying if the bathroom door is latched).

The most recent interruption to my blogging and running efforts was the saddest; the passing of one of our beloved furry family members, a cat named Mia. She was our "Sweet Kitty" (the other two are Dominc aka "Fatass" and Nico aka "A--hole"). She had struggled with what we thought was pancreatitis, only to suffer a sudden decline in health despite giving her antibiotics and changing her diet. It turns out she may have actually had pancreatic cancer. Not being able to afford kitty-chemo (and not having an guarantee that it would have helped), we sadly said goodbye to her yesterday.

All of this leaves me wishing I had spent more time cherishing the days I could just step out the door and go run. I'm perfectly fine with running taking a back seat until my child is in preschool, but I still wish I had enjoyed it more when I didn't have to think twice about hitting the pavement for a 7-miler. But now there are so many things to think about; is my daughter well-fed? Do I have enough milk thawed for the sitter? Have I given all the animals their meds (Mia was not our only health-challenged animal)? Should I put my daughter in a clean outfit? Is there enough clean laundry - somewhere - if she needs to be changed again?

I have to cherish the simple moments as they come now, and not let them slip by in my impatience to get out for a run. I just keep hoping that one or two jaunts a week will be enough for my legs to remember what to do when I am ready to go out a little bit more, a little bit faster, and with fewer worries on my mind.

too lazy to back-date my entries


While running is still out of the question this soon after my cesarean, I decided that once I hit the one-month mark I would have to go to the gym. For my body. For my sanity. So what do I do the morning of my much-anticipated return to regular workouts? Jam my pinky toe, causing it to do a split in a direction that toes just don't bend.

This, I considered, might be lesson #48 in learning to cope with the unexpected. You can keep yourself as fit and healthy as possible, but it won't guarantee an easy labor. You can psyche yourself up for your first hard workout in months, but get sidelined on your way there. You just have to deal with the hand you're dealt, no matter how frustrated you feel.

I couldn't do the workout I'd planned for the elliptical so I got on a spin bike instead. I couldn't so much as walk my dogs without causing my poor lil' toe more pain so I supplemented with squats and deadlifts. And as far as running is concerned- it's still possible for me at some point in the future, but exactly when is still uncertain. I'm not really okay with that, but I have to be.

While I'm waiting to transform my body back to it's pre-pregnancy level of fitness, I am undergoing a transition of another kind. This time last year, I was closing in on the final weeks before my second marathon. My goal was to run 8-minute splits for most of the race, and training to do so was the only thing that was important to me. If my running schedule got messed up due to work or family commitments, I'd go nuts. That doesn't - and can't - happen anymore. I will definitely run more marathons, but I'll have to be more flexible with my scheduling. It will be a balancing act; one that will require as much training as the race itself. All of my lofty running ambitions will be set aside as I attempt to reach just one goal: to be runner and a mom.

Scratch that, to be a mom and a runner.

3 months of missing blogs

Holy crap this thing is still here. Whoops. Here are some missing blogs (from my Loop blog on


Running and I used to have quite a thing for each other. More than a fling, but not quite a marriage, it was a reliable if not always consistent relationship. At times it developed into a full-blown infatuation; I allowed running to completely dictate my every move. Other times it was nothing more than a fleeting thought, on the back burner of someone else's stove.
This is one of those other times.

The rhythmic sound of perfectly worn soles on concrete sidewalks is replaced by the "click, swoosh," of a baby swing. The pace that could stir up a breeze on the most humid of days has slowed to an overly cautious stroll. Training guides and inspirational running novels collect dust on the bookshelf while breastfeeding manuals and "Parents" magazines pile up all over our living room. I knew this is how my priorities would shift during my pregnancy and recently, the arrival of our daughter, but I didn't not expect to feel this sense of hopelessness toward running. It feels as though we've broken up.

I had a relatively easy pregnancy so I was able to run through about 6 months or so, after which the way I was carrying made running unbearably uncomfortable. I maintained my fitness with the elliptical and spinning until the end of my 7th month, after which my job as a server provided me with more than enough physical activity. I went on long, hilly walks and hikes the days I didn't work to maintain some strength in my legs and to prevent those dreaded "cankles." Somewhere in my naive mind, I suspected it would only be a matter of a few weeks after giving birth that I'd not only be running again, but I'd almost certainly be doing a tempo run or speedwork. What did I get for all of that optimism? A Cesarean delivery that, 3 weeks later, leaves me aching if I so much as get up wrong, let alone attempt to move faster than 2.5 miles per hour.

So where does this leave me and running? I haven't the slightest idea. Asking other women in online forums when they resumed their workout routines after a c-section hasn't been helpful, because there's always at least 4 or 5 women who chime in about their gruesome mishaps. "I sneezed when I was 15 days postpartum and ripped myself apart!!! Don't do ANYTHING!!!" Any other advice sounds like a broken record; "Take it easy... listen to your body... you're a mom so running isn't important..." I don't even know why I bothered asking other women when really, I just want to fast-forward a few months and get a glimpse of my future self. Will I be sane? Will I be fit? Will running and I have found our way back together?

Right now, I know it's just not going to happen. Nothing would be worse than to be too hasty returning to any type of training and as a result, injuring myself beyond repair. If I want running to be something more than a memory, I have to spend a little more time accepting that it's only a memory for now. Perhaps this isn't a breakup, but only a break. No need to burn photographs or pawn any jewelry yet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

almost there and not quite

9 weeks.

For me, 9 weeks means 6, because after 6 weeks, I have to be ready for anything to happen at any moment.

Even if I go late, I know at this point that I can't be lulled into a false sense of security, like we often do with other projects and deadlines. Nine weeks feels like plenty of time, but this isn't like preparing for a paper that I can write in 24 hours, or cramming for a final exam. Every step I take towards preparing for Alexis' arrival reveals at least 3 more things that need to get done. This leads me to believe that no amount of work accomplished will actually help me feel like I've completed anything, because also unlike preparing for a project, everything we do is a means to a beginning, not an end.

And then there's the physical aspect of the whole thing. She's in there, right now, bouncing around on my bladder and kicking my ribs. From time to time she'll stretch, making my belly bulge and contort. Pretty soon, she'll be wiggling and kicking and stretching but she'll be in my arms, for me to see; a real human being. No longer tucked away as a passenger, she'll be vulnerable and exposed. We're going to be the only things between her and the rest of the world, responsible for introducing her to it, but protecting her from it at the same time.

I know we'll be ready. There isn't much choice in that matter anymore, is there? But I do still feel some conflicting emotions, mostly centered around the dichotomy between the rolls I've possessed and the roll I will soon fulfill. I know, in reality, that being a mom does not mean I will stop being anything else - especially not when it comes to my marriage or my running - but for a little while, at least, doing the best I can at this new roll will be my one and only focus. I don't exactly feel like a mom just yet, but I figure that will come soon enough....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

the time-honored art of pregnancy and paranoia

What did women do before we had doctors to scare us into doing nothing more than lay on the sofa, watching our bellies expand?

Now, granted, the infant survival rate has increased exponentially with the technological advances in the neonatal medical community, but some of the stuff doctors tell us to do (or, I should say not to do) during our 40-week gestation has me wondering how the human species even survived before some of these rules were in place.

About once a week, a woman shares her concerns on the women's forum at that she would not be able to work out - at all - during her pregnancy because she has a doctor who thinks no pregnant woman should run. Forget the fact that she's been running for 14 years. Forget the fact that she's had no pain, no spotting, or any other indication that something is "not right," and therefor shouldn't run. Forget the fact that in 2002, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology released new guidelines for exercise during pregnancy stating that all pregnant women, provided the absence of any complications, should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.

I mean, anyone who can type "g-o-o-g-l-e" can find a wealth of information that will tell her that exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, it's recommended. At my last appointment, I was instructed not to drink any coffee or our little girl would be moving around to much to be able to tell that she was, well, a girl. Without my morning buzz, my blood pressure was 90/60. Gestational diabetes and hypertension are still too common during pregnancy, especially with women who start out overweight to begin with. Why on earth would a doctor discourage any sort of activity? Maybe she shouldn't run if she's never run a step in her life, but those same doctors that think running is a no-no also think exceeding 140 beats per minute is also dangerous.

FYI, if you are already in decent shape, 140 bpm is a jog. It's a brisk walk up a very steep hill. You might break a sweat, but you're breathing just fine. And if you're in decent shape but pregnant, you experience spikes in heart rate that get you up to that 140 bpm much faster than normal, although the perceived effort is no more or less. It's just your heart working harder to deliver more blood to the creature in your uterus.

I know I've been on this soapbox before (possibly even in this blog but I'm pregnant, I forget things easily), but it just amazes me the lack of legitimate information some doctors continue to practice on. I understand not taking aspirin or sharing a beverage with my husband... but don't take my exercise away.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

my april fools

Since you had to leave I haven't been in the spirit of trying to trick anyone. It was anything but a trick that you had to go so soon, two days before April Fools, but I was left feeling a fool for not seeing it coming faster than anyone could anticipate.

The first year was the hardest. There were so many changes that you would not be able to be a part of, yet so many more that may not have taken place had you still been here. Relationships crumbled and were either rebuilt or left behind as tainted memory. We each faltered in different ways, with no other option than to blame your not being here for it. The wear of your absence was evident on all of our faces, yet we knew that the toll of your persistent condition would have been greater had you survived.

The second year brought the initial signs of relief. We worked towards defining ourselves outside of the loss. Questions would still crop up from time to time that could not be answered, reminding us of your invaluable wealth of knowledge, making us miss you harder, but appreciate you more. While the first year was about the pain, the second year was about the forgiveness - seeing you as a person, versus the wandering ghost of a man we had become accustomed to long before you actually left. We learned to accept and embrace your faults as we're forced to with our own, and finally face the world as "grown ups," or something like that.

The third year brought a return to normalcy. Some of us went on with our lives as we had been, others moved to pursue new directions. Some of us learned to live with others, while others learned how to live alone. You still show up in my dreams, but my mind's image of you has changed from the slow-moving, lost man I remember to a more youthful playful spirit that I recall knowing in my youth. Each dream is the same; I ask you why you are there, and you say, "Eh. Don't worry about. I'm supposed to be here," and you smile. Last time I saw you, I was setting up a pic-nic lunch on a patio for the family, and you were sitting up on some perch, looking like a photo I've seen of you just past your college years, swinging your legs, eager to watch everyone gather. We both know you weren't really supposed to be there, but I was the only one who saw you, and you winked at me, like it was going to be our secret.

Now we enter the fourth year, and I know you'll be there as I bring your granddaughter into the world. I hope to see you as I fall asleep with her in my arms, and I will think that maybe, behind her closed eyes, she'll see you too.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yeah, so about this blogging thing

It has been pointed out to me that I haven't really been keeping up with my end of the bargain, that is, that I would post something for you to read. Of course, to have continued to post through the craziness that is my life (I mean really, there were episodes of "Leverage" and "Burn Notice" that HAD to be watched, can you blame me?) would mean I had to have assumed I even had this reader. Obviously, I was unaware until recently.

So if you've been curious (lord knows why you would be), here's a synapses of all the changes you've been missing:

  • I used to hit "snooze" 3 times, exactly. Now, it's more like 7.

  • If you looked in my kitchen, you'd think I was already raising a preschooler. We're talking Golden Grahams, Corn Pops, Pop-tarts, Jello pudding, graham crackers...

  • Running is... well, something I think upon fondly and miss dearly. Truth is, the elliptical and bike are my friends until I buy something to support my expanding belly.

  • When I used to have extreme difficulty completing a task, I'd get really mad and curse and possibly throw something (not breakable, and not at anything that would break). Now, I get really really mad, curse a lot, and probably should not be in the vicinity of a hammer.

  • I cannot, for the life of me, decide between a bassinet or a pack n' play, let alone discern the functional difference between either, yet my Babies' R Us registry helper-thingy insists I register both. Which means I better start inviting my ridiculously rich and famous friends to the shower.

  • I used to cry for painfully sappy chick flicks. I now cry for action films, comedies, fantasy, daytime TLC shows, and ASPCA commercials (for the love of god WHY do they have to play Sarah McGlachlin??)

I will try to be better updating this thing in the future, dear reader. Notice how that wasn't plural. I'm all about the humble.

Oh, and one more change:

Yeah, she's gonna be a bigg'un.

Friday, March 20, 2009

never ceases to amaze me...

Found in response to a woman's blog about managing injuries while training for a marathon..."Child, STOP Running on the road! I think there are better ways a woman can abuse her body than running... I got shin splints when I ran on pavement... duh... that's what you got too sweetie.If you insist on running, warm up, but I think it's best if a woman does not do long distance running. Your body is saying: "STOP" when you have pain. (Just like the first person who commented.) I garden and direct a choir and do alot of housework watching my 3 or 4 grandchildren. I just turned 50! I do NOT have pain when I do those things, but if I were to start running today, I would get shin splints by tomorrow. It's not that I don't run, actually I do when my gkids & I play soccer in my living room or when I'm out on the lawn building a snowman with them. Or we're playing catch. You see, you need your body for life, not just to impress someone... I am not impressed with people who abuse their bodies in any way- and going to fitness extremes can abuse your body, so if you insist on doing that, then, be sensible and DON"T RUN ON PAVEMENT- it's also really very bad for your female organ parts and replacement of those is way too common.... I still have all my parts and I had 4 children."

Really? 'Replacement' is too common? I've never heard of having anything replaced down there.

I love that this woman thinks that female runners only run to impress other people, and that it's self-destructive. You know what's self-destructive? Playing it safe all the time for fear of getting so much as a splinter. Forgoing higher education if it interferes with procreating. Listening to old wives' tales when deciding what you can or cannot do instead of medical advice backed by decades of research.

Gardening and building snowmen are fun, but they are not enough physical activity to ward off the loss of muscle mass, bone mass, or cardiovascular fitnes. You have to MOVE. And not just in your living room (soccor, in your living room?) Running is not an "extreme" sport. Running 50 marathons in 50 days a-la Dean Karnazes is extreme, but training for A marathon is not.Sorry, stupidity is really getting to me today. End rant.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Which Team?

Today's the day we find out: Team Pink, or Team Blue!

Over the past few days I've finally started to feel a connection with the little one. I have yet to experience any consistent movements, but there are little bumps and flutters that seem to occur at the perfect moment to tell me, "yup, I'm still here!" Not long from now, I'm sure I'll feel it kicking away as I'm trying to sleep, poking me in the ribs, and kicking me in the diaphragm. Then, not long after that, it'll be kicking around as I try to change it's diaper, or as it throws a tantrum because the child doesn't want to do his or her chores.

Yikes, too fast.

As I've shared with some of you, we're also looking at moving this year. Zac's job is moving him to Atlanta so we're looking at houses in the 'burbs [far] outside the perimeter. We want to be close enough to enjoy nights out on the town, but far enough away to circumvent rush hour.

There are so many things that need to take place between now and then, and my head is still spinning about where to start. We've secured a person to help us *finally* finish our kitchen and help clean up / landscape our back yard, but the trick is coordinating schedules to actually get that stuff done. And then, before I know it, we'll be dealing with baby registries, putting together a nursery, switching OB's, and figuring out just where the heck I'm gonna deliver. How do people do it? I have a hard enough time remembering to buy dog food and cat litter, let alone figuring out all the things I'll need to take care of a child! (Fortunately, my mother, much as one might suspect if they knew anything about her, has already purchased 6 months worth of diapers.)

Despite the craziness that will soon ensue, I have to remember to take time to enjoy these significantly more comfortable months of pregnancy. I've got my energy, still have my strength and coordination, and I'm still small enough that getting overheated isn't an issue. I suspect the tone in the blog I post a couple months from now won't be nearly as positive, as I'm sweating and cursing while trying to pack boxes, dealing with the possible return of naussea and food aversions, and, for all I know, coping with hemorroids. Too much info? Wait until you (or your significant other) become pregnant. No topic is off-limits.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Proof of Baby, for Baby

It was in reading Lisa Jhung's "Baby Steps" blog that I decided a few things:

1) I wanted to have a baby.
2) I wanted to be pregnant runner.
3) I, too, could blog about the experience.

Let's note here, however, that I certainly do not plan on writing to as large an audience as Lisa does. Still as the days and weeks progress I know it will be nice to have all of my thoughts and experiences consolidated in one, easy-to-access space, for me to save to a file and pull up some day for our child to read. Not so much as to say, "Look, THIS is what you put me through," (although I could use that when the kid needs to be guilted into doing something) as it will be to show our child that his or her life and presence was evident far before he or she would develop any sense of awareness or memory.

This weekend I complained to several people of the sleep I found myself suddenly losing. As my extreme fatigue and odd food aversions went away (except for greenbeans. I'll eat the fancy herot coverts, but not the thick-cut greenbeans.) I thought I'd be in the clear from the worst of the pregnancy symptoms, momentarily forgetting that I have six more months of this to go. Nope, there's still heartburn, my daily 4:00 AM bathroom trip, and most recently, recurring bouts of Restless Leg Syndrome. Of the three, the latter is definitely the worst. My doctor suspected I had it a while ago and prescribed me ambien (RLS was the least of my worries at the time, however, as I was nannying for crazypsychobitch), which I conveniently can no longer take.

So on Saturday at five in the morning I started researching my options to get my sleep schedule back on track - oddly enough my favorite blogger was having sleep issues as well - and discovered that the answer was so simple that of course I never would have thought of it.
I have to suck it up and deal!

Surprise surprise, it's all part of the package. Much like the frequent urination, exhaustion, the headaches, the weeks of wanting to eat only cold cereal with milk and nothing else, and now the heartburn and RLS... guess what? There's no quick fix. No magic pill or potion. No amount of begging or pleading. But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not even for a speed workout or 14-mile run. Not for sleep, comfort, or any amount of feeling "normal" again. This IS normal now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

let's be honest here

There used to be this thing called running. I used to do it. I also used to have lots of energy, or at least not get nearly as tired. It was not uncommon for a day to include 4 hours of classes, a quick cleaning of the house, a 6-7 mile tempo run, and then dinner shift at work. Falling asleep at the end of the day wasn't difficult at all, but if invited out for a little while after work, I'd muster up the energy for that too.

That was then, and this is now.

I'm starting to understand why when you share with other women, particularly those who are already mothers, that you're pregnant, all you hear are the horror storries. We all know there is a precious, miraculous, happy ending to the whole journey, we get that part. But now they want to make sure that future moms-to-be understand it's not all baby dolls and tonka trucks, either. I feel like I could easily become one of those women.

For starters, there's the running. Or the opposite of. I am getting out for 3 mile stints a few times a week, but mustering up the motivation to go out there alone, uncomfortably bloated (belly picks to come very soon) and boobs bouncing painfully about, is difficult to say the least. When the first few steps sound like, "Ow. Ow. Fuck. Ow," it's hard to drag myself out the door day after day for the same joyful experience. Sometimes I can drag the dogs or the husband along for company. Without company, I don't think I'd be doing anything.

The days I don't make it out go somethings like this:

Wake up at 4:30 to pee. Try to go back to sleep but am unable to for at least 2 hours. Spend those 2 hours watching the early early news, then roll back into bed around 6:30 or 7. Sleep like a rock until 11. Eat a breakfast* way too large and far too late to digest it in time to run before work. Take the dogs for a 20-minute walk instead. Watch reruns of Anthony Bourdain and What Not to Wear, eat a substantial lunch**, then go to work. Get through 4 hours of the shift then start begging to be cut. Already starving (again), developing a headache, and my jeans are starting to carve their stitches into my hips. Wind up getting a table that camps out until 9:50 anyway. I'm finally dragging my feet to my car by 10:30. So starving now I might puke just to reingest my own stomach. Get home, devour some food my husband has hopefully prepared or brought home, followed with a bowl of ice cream, and finally collapse in bed by 11:15.

For my friend who doesn't believe I actually eat:
*Breakfast: 1 Panera cinnamon crunch bagel w/ hazelnut cream cheese, 1 cheese danish, and 1/2 a cinnamon roll. (NOT almonds and lemon rind)
**Lunch: A sandwich usually consisting of some meat, cheese, maybe something healthy like a slice of tomato or leaf of lettuce. And chips. Or Cheez-its. Sometimes both. (NOT tree bark and alfalfa sprouts)

Anyway, there was a point to all my bitching. Maybe not. I just hope to get some energy back soon to return to some sense of normalcy.