Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Pregnancy the Longest Race (ever..).

For the last week, every night when I do finally sleep for a bit of time I dream of running. I have had a few dreams of running on trails, combinations of trails that I've been on and those I have only read about. One dream was somewhat a nightmare, where I was doing a track work-out at my current state. From the tight running shorts to trying to waddle my way around the track, I woke up somewhat disturbed. Last night, I was simply running down the sidewalk of where I grew up.

Obviously I miss running. I miss the freedom, and adventure. I miss the time with friends to talk (vent), and just get away for awhile. Oh, to get away from life for a few minutes, that sounds like bliss. I think I really miss believing in my body and myself too. Knowing that I can do it, that my body and inner self is strong enough to at least do what I want it to for an hour or so.

Not to even mention all those great chemicals that are released during the run and post run. Oh, and eating of goodies that don't feel so guilty to indulge in after the run. Instead I have traded those in for hormones (lots of them), and injections of more hormones, little to no activity and thus little to no feel good chemicals and very strict diet that makes me feel sick most of the time. And of a course, unfortunately too I have developed a nice sense lack of trust or respect and appreciate of myself.

There are some similarities to this pregnancy and running though. Not your average going for a quick jog, no my pregnancy could only be compared to a marathon. And for that matter it might even be an ultra-marathon. I have done four marathons, and each time I finish one I am proud, sick, hurting and asking why did I do that? I have not mastered this race by any means, in fact I still feel pretty defeated by them. I would say I feel pretty defeated by pregnancy too.

In the marathon, the first half is hard but, well not that hard. You are pretty excited, anything seems possible, and your are enjoying the view(s). You might even think, geez I don't know what everybody was talking about this is easy. And then you start on the second half, and your legs aren't feeling so fresh anymore and the thoughts are turning to how many more miles do I have to go. There aren't as many water stations around and you feel like you haven't seen friends and family for awhile.

But, you keep going. Cerclage, pain, and bedrest. I'll keep going no problem. I can do this I know I can. 17 more weeks no problem, its just a short period of time really. More pain, more infections, more hospital time. No problem. This isn't going at all how I thought it would but I am still going. I am still going.

Every marathon I have hit what is called the 'WALL'. This is dark time in the race. Defined in running circles describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Some say it can be avoided with proper training, and nutrition during the race. I think this is a bit of bull. I have trained, I have eaten the gu and drank my water. I still hit the wall. For me this is a dark place, I am usually a bit angry (at everything) and I really want to give up. Sometimes I had to walk and cry for a bit, drink my water and eat a gummy bear before I finally start to do it again.

Post wall, the race does not get easy. It continues but, at a typically a slower pace. I start having strange negotiations with myself. If I run to the that lamp post, I can take it easy for a block. I just try to get from one mile to the next, so usually for five more miles. I will remind myself that that is the same distance as some run I do every week. Somehow I waddle on and slowly get to the last mile.

The 'WALL' period of this pregnancy seems to be here. Long and hard. Dark and bleak. The wall was brought on my getting the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. I really had to say you've got to be _______kidding me! Really?!? I have had one bad result, after another, one review of this and review of that. Appointments here and appointments there. No running, no working out, no lifting. No lifting up your daughter. No taking care of your daughter or family. Sitting, sitting, and sitting. No going to work. No seeing friends and family. Disrupted sleep to minimal sleep. Panic in the night. Desperate calls to friends and family to cover child care so you can go to the doctors, hospital or appointment that just came up because of something that happened in the night. Pills, shots, injections. Week after week after week. And now you have something else. Something that requires you to draw blood four to five times a day. A diet that takes away all the holiday goodies, all the last things you held onto to bring a smile to your face (hot chocolate, a cookie). But, really it could be worse.

I know it could be worse. Believe me, I know with every panic attack and nightmare that brings me rushing back on a medical helicopter and standing in a NICU. I know that just still being in the race is a success, and something to be proud of. I don't need anyone to remind me of that, I still look at the scars of IV lines on my daughters hands to remind me of where and what we still could face.

Eventually the miles do end. I have never quit a marathon, though I thought about it in each one. The ending is always a bitter sweet finish of tears, and food and family. A pain in your body that is unique to the race.

I know that this pregnancy will come to an end as well. Unfortunately it is not an ending that I know when is going to happen, though I know it won't be longer than 8 weeks away. For now, I need to just keep working through this wall so that I can keep working my way to the end.


  1. I love that analogy. I am only in the beginning of my second trimester with this high risk pregnancy but I do feel like the end is a long way in site. It helps me to see women like yourself who have been through the challenges and are in the home stretch though. And you are right, even in the worst of it it could always be worse and when you've experienced a traumatic event like your daughter's premature birth or my daughter's death it makes it just a little easier to bear these hard times knowing that THIS isn't the worst.

  2. Keep it up momma. You are doing a great job, and the light at the end f the tunnel is visible. (((hugs)))