Tag Archives: hope

That one time I was pregnant for the second time

The dreaded pregnancy post. As usual, feel free to move along if food aversions and placenta placement aren’t your bag, baby.

This will be my only prego recap this time around—the second child neglect is already starting—so I will try to cover everything.

When I found out I was pregnant, it couldn’t have been better news. I know the old cliché of having a baby to improve a crappy situation usually ends up with a bigger mess than before, but for our little family unit, it’s exactly what we needed. We could be distracted from other people’s messes and had a teeny tiny acorn-sized reminder of hope and possibility. It was a good day.

Addison was the first person I told. After I picked her up from preschool on a Thursday, I asked her if she wanted to know my secret. She said no, but I spilled the beans anyway. She did a fabulous job of not telling anyone by accident for several months. When we were ready to start spreading the news to close friends and family, she was our accomplice. I would ask her, “Addison, what’s mommy’s secret?” And she would whisper, “There’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.”

And then we all died from the adorableness. Except me. I belched because I was disgustingly bloated.

Trimester Uno

The first trimester…well, it’s over. So that’s reason to celebrate. Much like last time, it wasn’t earth shattering but it was zero fun. I had to take progesterone, which comes with familiar side effects like nausea, bloating, headaches, hot flashes and aching boobs. Need I list the symptoms of first trimester pregnancy? I don’t know if my nausea and excessive bloating were from the itty bitty babe or the meds, but they raged until trimester two. I had Clayton bring me home hospital scrubs from work and lived in them for about two weeks when the idea of a waistband grazing my stomach was too much to handle.

boo and mik IG

Hence the oversized t-shirt as a Halloween costume.

I ate way too many Chick-fil-A fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles and Chick-fil-A sauce. Like, way too many. Almost nothing sounded appetizing, so I tried not to worry about the junk I was eating and told myself it was better to eat something than nothing for three months. As my doctor pointed out, “There’s protein in there somewhere.” Amen, sister.

Trimester Dos

Once the drugs and the first twelve weeks were behind me, I sailed into the sweet spot. I hadn’t really planned out the timing, but this pregnancy has been impeccable for the ol’ schedule. Most importantly, I will avoid being pregnant during the hottest months of the year. Holla! (Are we still saying holla? I don’t know. I’m old.) And as it turns out, the weeks I felt my best coincided with the chaos of the holidays. They were a normal level of exhausting rather than a send-me-into-a-month-long-hibernation level of exhausting.

In November and December we traveled for Thanksgiving, shook our groove thangs at Clayton’s work party until the wee hours, saw The Black Keys and hosted a Friendsmas dinner, all while smiling and not dry heaving.

After PDQ mistakenly gave me a grilled chicken sandwich instead of turkey, I haven’t been able to eat chicken. Something about biting into that thing expecting one taste and getting blindsided by different poultry was more than I could take.

This was also the trimester I realized no one cares that you are pregnant the second time around, especially your other offspring. People will ask you the obligatory questions, but since there’s an actual named little person running around, conversation and activities revolve around the kid that we can see. The bump better hang on tight because little changes in day to day life. Gone are the days of foot massages and back rubs. Toddlers still gotta eat, take baths, have their teeth brushed, get to preschool and not impale themselves on household objects.

Oh, and we found out the little peanut is a BOY. Much giggling and baby clothes swapping occurred.

baby boy ornament

Trimester OMG This is Really Happening

I am legitimately fuhreaking out that I will be full term in six weeks. I can’t even type that. We have, shall we say, slacked in the preparation for baby department. The nursery is still an office/guest bedroom, only now there are bins of unsorted clothes and baby toys stacked in the closet. My nesting translated more into maternity clothes shopping sprees and sorting through seven years of utility bills rather than more productive tasks like choosing paint colors and buying a crib. Oopsies.

closet before and after

Some progress is progress, right?

Luckily, I still feel pretty good—albeit very, very round–and can wrangle some energy when I need to. There was the tiniest of worries this week that had a very distant possibility of bed rest, and well, that just would have been laughable considering the state of our to-do list. I’m not too concerned because at least this time I know we have a few weeks after his arrival before the nugget will actually be sleeping in his own room. (I do, however, have concerns about a certain father attempting to operate power tools to finish some elaborate projects while sleep deprived.) Basically, I’m just trying to stay as zen as possible until I can drink wine again.

IMG_7163They give you 35 minutes to kill and a mirror on the door. You do the math.

Similar to my first rodeo, I haven’t had too many cravings and instead experience more food aversions. My cravings are more moment-specific. One day all I can focus on is downing a huge salad and the next day lettuce sounds like an abomination. Doughnuts are back, and much like before, I’ll cut you for a Boston cream.

socks and granola

What else, what else…my wedding rings still fit, I don’t have that dark line on my stomach (yet), I found the world’s most comfortable pajama pants that aren’t even technically maternity and I don’t have gestational diabetes. Holla! (Whatever, I’m rolling with it.)

This kid moves ALL THE TIME. With Addison, my placenta was in the front, so I couldn’t feel her very much. This little break dancer parties all day, every day. I never thought I’d be into it, but I sort of love it.

Ambivalence tends to be the name of the game. I am not the girl who loves being pregnant. It’s strange and achy and everything abnormal is normal; I have no idea whose body this is. On the other hand, I realize how very fortunate I am to have such smooth, healthy pregnancies and am thankful the most serious complication has been picking a name. Which we still have not done.

Nameless or not, I absolutely cannot wait to meet my baby boy.

To the runners

I first started running consistently in 2011. I’d completed a handful of 5k’s in college, but once we moved to Virginia I had a lot of time on my hands while Clayton worked 490 hours a week. I had the distant goal of running a half marathon, provided I could actually wheeze through the three miles on my initial training schedule.

Distance running is not always fun. It’s physically demanding, yes, but more than anything it’s a mental battle within yourself to simply keep moving. On every long run, whether 5 minutes or 45 minutes in, I’d face that voice that tried to justify stopping. Quitting. Giving in and going home.

Becoming a runner, to me, was the development of a basic but profound ability to shut that voice up and run anyway. 

With a lot of sports under my belt, I can say that runners channel a competitive drive in the healthiest way I’ve seen in athletics: to push yourself to do more than you thought possible. “Beating” someone is not the endgame; doing your best is the ultimate goal. Running longer than you thought you could, running farther than you thought you could, running at all when you didn’t think you could. Your opponents are your last run, the clock and your head.

During the six months I spent going from 3 mile runs to 10 mile mornings, I incorporated several races into my training, culminating with the lone half marathon I completed in September 2011. 

What did I learn? Runners run because they love it. They want everyone else to love it, too. They are warm, welcoming and supportive to anyone who shows up with a pair of Nike tempo shorts. They are not exclusive or judgmental if you are newer or slower, stick thin or pleasantly round, wearing the latest Brooks or the Reeboks you use for gardening. They give you a ride to the start line when you are walking from a mile away. They get giddy upon learning it’s your first half. That same person, who you just met, waves and encourages you when you pass along the course. And then that person, who you’ve known for mere minutes, is waiting to cheer you on at the finish line.

My stint into running is still new, anything but elite, and far from marathon-capable. But I’ve spent enough time around runners to know that they are a community of decent, dedicated individuals.

Runners just want to run. And they are immediately inspiring to those who show interest in their passion. 

When I saw what took place on Monday in Boston, during one the most iconic races that celebrates runners on an international stage, I was heartsick. For the lives lost, for the people injured, for the city. But mostly for runners. There and everywhere. In a group that’s run together for a decade or strangers waiting for the starting gun next to each other, it is a true community. People who are unthinkably tough inside and out, who also use their coveted breaths to motivate someone who has stopped to walk in the middle of a race.

This ugly, darkened shadow has been cast over one of the most wholesome groups of people. Runners who have been working tirelessly to push past the point where their mind said they must stop, for the first time or for the 40th time. Families and friends lit up with pride, the people who facilitated this momentous accomplishment by babysitting, succumbing to pasta four nights a week and hiding water bottles along an 18-mile training route. A city opening its arms and streets and cheers to thousands of strangers.

These are the faces that form my sadness. This was the celebration meant to be incinerated.

Of course—unquestionably–if you have met a runner you know that quote floating around couldn’t be more accurate:

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target.”

Runners are solid and strong. Marathoners most of all. They ran 26.2 miles (still inconceivable to me) and kept running to help.

Those are runners. Those are the people who will prove there are 27,000 more reasons to hope and rejoice in the good of others instead of the one reason that leads us to doubt it. Though for a moment, one act grew louder and threw the dust of evil on this one day, in the seconds, the days and the weeks following I have no doubt the steady rhythm of feet on pavement will deafen the roar of terror. The melodic miles underfoot on roads in Boston, pastures in England, sandy streets in Africa and the sidewalk in my own neighborhood will drown the blasts of hate.

We’ll run. Even when it’s hard. That’s what runners do.

run for boston