Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New respect for my body

With all the things I’ve put my body through over the past 29 years, I should have a lot of respect for it. After all, it carried around 80 extra pounds for awhile, and managed to participate in some high impact activities while that heavy – without knee problems (coincidentally, the knee problems reared their ugly heads when I was much lighter!) It’s also managed to run a half marathon on little training – not the smartest idea, but being young and dumb, it never really occurred to me that my body couldn’t handle it. At times, I’ve probably pushed myself harder while running during this pregnancy than I should have (I’m thinking of my 10k PR at 19 weeks) and my body’s just kind of been like, “well alright, do what you need to do.” Which is also probably why I naively thought I could run 13.1 miles at 30 weeks pregnant because I wasn’t that big at 19 weeks when the idea popped into my head. Feel free to laugh at that one… I know I have.

I think all stages of pregnancy tend to bring out negative stories with people. You know people who have had a hard time getting pregnant. You know people who have had a hard time staying pregnant. You know people who have horrible, terrible, miserable pregnancies and equally horrible, terrible and miserable labors and deliveries. The emergency C-sections or the unbearable pain of childbirth being too great to handle (but somehow, we always do). So it is always a surprise to me when things have gone right with my own pregnancy because of all the horror stories you hear leading up to pregnancy and childbirth. Now, I haven’t given birth to this little future runner yet, but pregnancy as a whole has pleasantly surprised me, and it’s given me a newfound respect for what women’s bodies are actually capable of. Someone told me, early on, that I would have this enormous respect for my body after giving birth, and it made me roll my eyes. First, because I never really expected pregnancy to go smoothly and secondly, women have babies every day. It’s not exactly a new feat for humanity.

The first time I was surprised at how well things were going was after our 20 week ultrasound. I wasn’t at any risk for pre-term labor, and the bambino looked perfectly healthy and was measuring right on track. I guess, because people who knew I was pregnant had started commenting on how small I was, I figured that she would measure behind or something was wrong and she wasn’t growing correctly. Nope, she is perfect as can be. My doctor even commented that I couldn’t ask for a better pregnancy. A nice compliment for sure.

The second (and subsequently, all the times since then) I was surprised was when my body started to noticeably prepare for labor. Suddenly, around 30 weeks, things were starting to get a little painful. I could run despite the IT band pain in my knee, but this lower back ache is for the birds. I’m compensating for a protruding belly by arching my back while running – despite using a maternity support belt. And what is this pelvic pressure? And this ligament pain? Excuse me, I want the second trimester back, thank you very much… it was much more comfortable than this!

Then, around 32-33 weeks, my hips started to widen (and the IT band pain went away – more proof that it’s pregnancy-related? I think so!) and my boobs started leaking. Oh, this is new. Oh, it’s my body making sure that everything’s in working order for breastfeeding? Well that’s nice to know that my milk jugs are functioning. And the Braxton-Hicks contractions were starting to make an appearance as well. It was a little scary how on target everything was going. Like, my body read all of the medical textbooks about preparing for labor scary. I was also told that as long as I could make it to 36 weeks, they didn’t care what happened in terms of labor after that.. game on!

And then came 34 weeks on the dot, and I decided that it’d be a good day to go for a run, some “nighttime entertainment” with the Mister if you know what I mean, and oh yeah, a snowstorm is moving in. Tempting fate? Apparently so. I ended up getting monitored in labor and delivery for a few hours due to contractions and vomiting. Who knew that you can do those things, just maybe not all on the same night? But still, respect for my body continues. I think at a certain point, you believe that SOMETHING will go wrong because that’s what you hear most about. A part of me has never let myself  believe that I would go into labor on my own, or early for that matter. But at 34 weeks and 1 day, I’m 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced already, much to my and my doctor’s surprise. Miss Kate is sitting pretty low with her head in the right direction. Now, does that mean anything? Maybe, maybe not. Babies are so unpredictable and tend to be on their own timeline. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, because this little kiddo needs to bake at least 1.5 more weeks.

But so far, everything’s still right on track, and my body continues to amaze me. And yeah, I totally attribute a lot of this to running. :)


Karen@WaistingTime said...

Just last night my husband and I were watching a show with a woman who was very uncomfortably pregnant. I turned to my husband and told him that I hardly remember what it was like to be pregnant. He, in typical male naivete, suggested we are "supposed to" forget. As uncomfortable as it can be, I'm glad that I got to experience it instead of just watching him do it:)

beerab said...

Knock on wood girl!! *knock knock knock*

I'm hoping you have nothing but a smooth pregnancy for the remainder of it :)

That's great your bambino (I love that) has turned, I know so many women stressing their brains out over that! :)

laura705 said...

I hope things continue to go smoothly for a minimum of 1.5 more weeks!

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