Eleven weeks (+/-) to go before this baby claims its very own three-dimensional space on Earth. To provide some context, this is what I look like right now with very little clothing:
If my pregnant life were an ice cream sunday recipe, it would be three scoops of exhilaration and one scoop of terrified, drizzled with foggy confusion, and topped off with spontaneous sprinklings of f#@*ing exhausted. “FOUR SCOOPS?!” you say? I may have misjudged. Add another scoop of “what the hell is happening to my body” in there.
Muscles + Convex stomach expansion =
Those abs that everyone teases me about from the cover of Runners’ World don’t do “pregnant” very well. The individual abs that once formed a neatly rowed six-pack dispersed into separate lumps resembling fig newtons strewn atop a bosu ball. It wasn’t until I hit seven months that the newtons finally atrophied completely, allowing me to trade in my tent shirts for more fitted options befitting a smoother dome.
One cool thing about pregnancy that happens immediately is a super-human sense of smell. It’s like you’re a character in X Men, experiencing the world in an enhanced way. At first I thought I could use my skill to better mankind, or at the very least, finally detect some of those “subtle notes” that winos are always going on about. But then I remembered wine is not part of the pregnancy diet. Furthermore, one week of super-nose showed me that the world is full of WAY more disgusting scents than pleasant ones. An “inferior” nose is what allows you to focus on the words coming out of your friends’ mouths, rather than their death breath. A normal nose allows you to appreciate the historic districts of cities without being distracted by their urination history. Unless you are a crime scene investigator or work for the DEA, this super-power is no bueno.
Always use Google first
Weird shit happens when you are pregnant. Normal experiences are amplified to the point where you are convinced there is a problem. A tendency to get a tight neck in your normal life comes on like a fractured spine when pregnant. If I had used google, I could have saved myself a trip to the orthopedist. When I started sneezing LITERALLY 150 times a day and my nose turned into a faucet in what appeared to be EXTREME allergies, I spent four hours cleaning my house. When that didn’t work, I hired professional house cleaners. When that didn’t work, I hired professional carpet cleaners. And when that didn’t work, after writhing on the carpet in a tantrum of frustration, I decided to google “pregnancy and allergies” only to discover that 20-30% of women suffer from what is called pregnancy rhinitis, which described my symptoms to the tee. Lesson learned.
My husband has a secret protective side
Jesse and I have an extremely relaxed relationship when it comes to restricting one another’s activities. If he wants to ride his bike on an icy road at midnight, that’s his prerogative. I don’t let my mind worry. And Jesse has always treated me the same way…until I got pregnant. I want to go for a run at dusk? Mr. Thomas suddenly has a very strong opinion on the subject. I’m not talking about one of those suggestive comments like “are you sure that is safe?” Picture instead Jesse in overalls waving his pitchfork saying “WOMAN!! You think you goin runnin out thar with my baby?! Have you gone lost yur mind?!” I’m surprised by this, and sometimes I wave my iron skillet back at him, but mostly I’m relieved to see that even though he isn’t physically effected by pregnancy, something very real is happening in that head of his that is prepping him for parenthood, and I like it.
Running isn’t that bad
I thought that running with a 20 pound weight vest would be awful, and that my stomach would be jiggling around like an un-bound enormous third boob, but the baby is cradled in the pelvis nice and snug, and my legs have grown stronger to accommodate the weight gradually.
Sure I have to pee every ten minutes, my back seizes up now and then forcing me to take a day off, and my running pace has decreased by over a minute per mile, but running is still something I really look forward to. Since I decided to opt out of any kind of heroic pregnancy training plan, it doesn’t bother me to only run 4-5 days a week, and take walk breaks now and then. Except for those times when it really bothers me.
The key has been listening to my body, running with friends that make me focus on having fun, and wearing running gear that expands well and doesn’t make you feel like a fat cow. My next blog I’ll do a gear rundown on my favorite pregnancy pieces for anyone who is curious. Until then, go power up a hill for me, or run 6 miles without stopping. Fleshman signing off!