Category Archives: Running

(Not) Feeling Groovy

All my blog posts right now are about the emotional side of things. I thought I should jot down some bullet points on where I’m at physically (although the emotional stuff will creep in again. It always does.):

  • 17 days after the D&C, and I’m STILL spotting. My clinic told me to call them if I was still bleeding after 12. I haven’t called yet, but am starting to think maybe I should. The spotting has stopped at least three times for a day or so, and then it starts up again. The longest gap was actually right after the D&C where I had a fair amount of bleeding the day after, then spotting, then nothing for three days, and then, just when I thought I was in the clear, it started up. It’s not heavy, but there are days where I probably should have gone for a pad rather than just a panty liner. Sometimes I get cramps or a deep ache. Mainly it is just depressing to be constantly seeing blood on the toilet paper, in the ‘loo, on the panty liner.
  • My clinic told me not to have sex until the bleeding had stopped. I just want to be able to feel close with my husband again. The last time I thought it had stopped for good, I told Q. that this meant we’d be cleared for resuming marital relations. “Do you think we’ll remember how?” asked Q., only half joking. My f/s only gave us the all clear for sex at the eight week appointment. The last time before that week had been before the retrieval in mid-December. I’m so tired of our intimacy being controlled by my clinic.
  • My face is breaking out again. In retrospect it started to get bad around the nine week mark, which now makes me wonder if that was a sign that things were no longer going well. Clearly pregnancy hormones were helping to fix my face, and now I can’t rely on them anymore. It’s bad enough that I had to get my youngest sister to teach me how to use foundation so I won’t feel like a leper when I leave the house. I know in the grand scheme of things this is meaningless, but I am struggling with it. I used to have such beautiful skin. Seriously- I got to 34 and a 1/2 before I had to learn about foundation. I hate wearing makeup every day, but I hate how my skin looks if I go out without it even more.
  • I am sleeping ok. It is the one blessing- I have retained my ability to fall back asleep. I started (while pregnant) following my mother’s own rule, which was she simply won’t get out of bed before 6 a.m. She won’t read either- she just lies there. Eventually she managed to retrain her body to fall back asleep. I think I’m making progress on this count. I’ve only been up in the very early morning once since it happened. I still wake up at 4, or 4:30, or 5, nearly every morning, but I’m fighting through it and refusing to get out of bed and eventually my body just gives up and goes back to sleep. And then I have really weird, frightening dreams.
  • I feel disgusting. I am ten pounds heavier than I would like to be (despite ceasing my burrito and poutine diet I appear to have gained more weight in the last two weeks than I did while pregnant). I want, I NEED to start running again, to start (again, sigh) the Couch to 5K program, but I have enough sense to recognize that this simply isn’t going to happen while this ridiculous winter continues. I never used to run when it was below -15 when I was running half-marathons. I’m hardly going to start running in those conditions now. Maybe we’ll catch a break in a couple of weeks. I’d like to get the Couch to 5K over and done with in enough time before we go to Oz to actually feel like I have some momentum to continue while we’re away. But in the meantime I feel fat and ugly and soft and gross and I need to stop eating my feelings, especially when nothing tastes as good as I need it to.
  • Yesterday we went out to lunch with friends and I realized that I don’t want to spend time with other people who don’t know, and whom we’re not planning to tell. They are all childless academic couples, and I don’t want to talk about my dissertation right now because if you ask me about it I freak out and cry (which has been the state of things since July of last year). I felt like I had nothing to say to them if I couldn’t talk about my work. I couldn’t sit there and make small talk and natter on about random things or current events when the whole time all I wanted to say was “My baby DIED and my heart is shattered.” But they weren’t good enough friends for that. So most of the time I said nothing, and the rest of the time I talked to E.
  • I am SO angry. I am angry pretty much all the time. I don’t know if I am angry at myself, or at the universe, or at the baby for not being a good baby after all. But I am just filled with cold, quiet, rage. It occasionally boils over, especially when E. is pushing my buttons. It is exhausting, being this angry, but at least it means I don’t have any energy to feel anything else.
  • I have reread every single Guy Gavriel Kay book I own, and when I finished the last one I went online and used up a gift certificate from my birthday buying the three books he’s written that I don’t already own (technically I do own one of them, but it’s the first book in a two-part series, and I hate having books in a series with covers that don’t match, so I felt it was worth spending another $12 for symmetry). When they arrive, I’ll read them. Then I’ll have to think of something else. I’m not yet capable of working in the evenings, so I do one of three things: I read, I obsess over E.’s room, and I write here. Or I cry, of course. It turns out playing “Into the West” from the LOTR: Return of the King soundtrack over and over and over again just tends to lead to more tears. Given the song used to make me cry on a good day, I probably should have anticipated that.
  • In the moments where I am not angry, I am so very sad. The sadness, the grief, catches me off guard, like a deep, cold wave from the ocean that rears up and slaps salt water hard into my face. Then I push it away again, and the surface reverts to stillness, and I can be grey again. I feel transitory, ephemeral, like I am only gliding through the world, like I am not of it. It feels like an out-of-body experience, except I am always very much present in my body, even when I would most like not to be. But it is as if this reality is so alien, so unexpected, that I can’t quite center myself in it, as if I keep finding myself tucked around sharp corners, blinking through mirrors at my reflection, only to raise an eyebrow in surprise each time at the sight of who is looking back. Is this really me?

4 Comments

Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Blogging, Grief, Loss, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), My addled brain, PhD, Running, Sleep

Resolutions

Next time, I will not entertain even the slightest suggestion that anything I am feeling is potentially indicative of pregnancy. I’ve thought about it, and the nausea was probably on days where I took the estrace on too much of an empty stomach. The head nurse told me it would make me sick if I didn’t take it with food. The dizziness was probably a result of being on two different blood thinners. The cramps? Whatever. That’s two out of three cycles now where cramps proved to be meaningless.

Next time, I think I will change my long-held habit, and will test before the beta. I’m normally too cheap to buy pregnancy tests, and I hate seeing that single line, but if it gives me a day or two to start to come to terms with a likely negative result rather than being hit with it out of the blue on the phone, it will be money well spent. I never want to experience that again.

I think we’re probably going to hold off until December for the next FET. We can manage them during semester, but there’s not really any rush, because we don’t have enough time now to get a FET done AND do a full IVF cycle in December. So that means we’re not going to attempt a fresh IVF cycle until April 2014 at the earliest (yes, I am in self-protection mode and am looking ahead), and it’s more likely that we won’t attempt one (if we decide to attempt one) until July, after we come back from visiting Q.’s family. No point then in rushing right into another FET- might as well wait until the semester is over and we can both relax a bit more. It will make juggling E. on mornings I have to go in easier as well.

There are some good things to waiting. I can really concentrate on getting this full draft of my dissertation finished. I haven’t been working hard enough over the last month- I prioritized staying relaxed and did everything I could to minimize my stress. But now it’s crunch time.

I’m going to start running again. Two months is enough time to get back into a groove. I hate how I look right now, and I can’t silence the little voice inside of me that keeps commenting that the time I got pregnant was the time when I was in the best shape of my life.

December would be a September baby. That would be ok. I know I should be past this, that I should think that any baby, at any time, would be ok, but I don’t. I am too wary of how close I came to PPD with E., too aware of my own annual melancholy in the winter months, too tied in my moods to the interplay between light and dark, sunset and sunrise. I don’t think I would choose to birth a baby in the depths of winter, even if that decision means delaying an IVF cycle by another few months, means that the age gap between E. and any possible sibling grows ever larger.

Or maybe I would. I don’t know right now.

Maybe we won’t even do another IVF cycle. Maybe this next FET will be the end of our road, one way or the other.

I can’t know that yet, even though I wish I could.

What I do know is I am mourning the loss of this cycle.

A June baby.

A three year age gap.

A happy ending.

I took E. to the park in the afternoon after the phone call came. It wasn’t the best idea- we were there after school had let out and it seemed absolutely every mother in the park was chasing around two or more children. Several had three. I worked hard to keep my attention on E. and tried not to let my tears be too obvious.

I put the lasagna I was meant to be defrosting back in the freezer and ordered takeaway instead. I wanted Indian, but our local was closed due to a problem with their water main, so I went with Mediterranean mezze instead. E. and I went to pick it up after we’d been at the park. We arrived home at the same time as Q. He saw the bags. “Is it celebratory takeaway?” he asked. He didn’t know yet. He had wanted to be told in person. “No,” I told him. “It’s the other kind.” I saw his shoulders slump. I left him to pick up E. and the stroller and went inside to cry.

In the evening we decided to watch a film rather than do any work. We streamed Looper. We probably shouldn’t have as a couple of moments in the film hit me quite hard. Then we went upstairs and went to bed. Q. curled himself around me like an embrace. I buried my head in the pillow so my tears wouldn’t wake him up.

At the park in the afternoon, E. was playing with the big yellow dump truck, and he wanted to put some sand in it. The excavator was all the way over on the other side, so I asked him if he’d like me to go and get it. He said yes, so I walked over, picked it up and brought it back to him.

“Thank you, Mummy,” said E. “That was really nice.”

Thank all the gods for E.

4 Comments

Filed under 2.0 FET#1, E.- the third year, Emotions, PhD, Running, Second Thoughts

ICLW

Hello ICLW readers!

*looks suddenly bashful*

This is my first ICLW.

I’ve been blogging here for five and a half years.

I don’t really have a good excuse for not joining in earlier. When I first started blogging I very quickly found a bunch of other bloggers in similar situations, so I guess I never sought out more people. And then when I did get pregnant, and when I did safely bring our son into the world, I didn’t really feel comfortable signing up to subject new readers, people who didn’t already know me, to all of my musings and moanings about pregnancy and the transition to parenthood. And then I just got flat-out busy being a mum and the idea of committing to something every day for a week seemed to be all too much.

So what changed?

Well, partly it’s because I’ve realized over this past summer just how important blogging is to my mental health and I’ve vowed to make a bit more time for it.

Partly it’s because many of the women who were my first blogger friends are now no longer blogging, or only posting once in a blue moon. They’ve completed their families, or they’ve moved on from their blog, or they’ve just drifted away. When I had to switch from G.oogle Reader, I realized just how empty my blogroll was getting. So I’m hoping to meet some new friends this time around.

But mostly it’s because we’ve just started the process of trying to add to our family again. I’m just about through my package of birth control pills and should be heading in to the clinic at the end of this month to see our f/s and to get the ball rolling. And so, for the first time in a long time, I feel like the infertile part of me is rising to the surface. I was able to keep her pushed down and hidden for much of the last three years, but the realization that we weren’t going to be one of the lucky couples who get to have a second baby that is conceived in love and not with the finest medical help money can buy brought it all back. And feeling more infertile made me feel more like a part of this community again. I know I’ll always be a part of this community, and I know that my feelings about pregnancy and parenthood are a product of my infertility, but for a while I just wasn’t in an infertile head space, and I didn’t think it was fair to start posting on other people’s blogs, people for whom their infertility was still right front and centre. But time passed, we started thinking about expanding our family, and my infertile self came right back.

So here I am.

I’m Turia. On here my husband goes by Q. Our son is E.- he’s twenty-seven months. I’m Canadian, Q.’s Australian, and E. holds passports for both countries.

E. is an IVF/ICSI baby, the product of a three year struggle to get pregnant.

I’ve got PCOS, hypothyroidism and endometriosis.

Q. is fine.

Infertility wreaked havoc on my life the first time around. It destroyed my self-confidence, my mental and emotional stability, my physical strength, my sense of myself.

I’m a little bit gun-shy of going back to the clinic and opening up old wounds.

But right now my longing for a second child is stronger than my fear.

We’ve got two snowbabies, blastocysts from the same cycle that brought us E.

We’re planning to thaw one out in September and hope it proves to like my uterus as much as its cycle-sibling did.

When I’m not obsessing over the future size of my family I’m a PhD student, probably a year or a bit less away from defending, and currently finding the whole process a giant, soul-destroying slog. Expect rants.

I love to read. That’s an understatement. I’m a love it like the fire of a thousand suns, stay up too late to finish the book you can’t put down, join the public library anywhere you ever live because you can’t go a moment without having access to all those books kind of girl. Even in the depths of preparation for my comprehensive field exams, when I had to read five or six books per week, I still managed to squeeze in the occasional book for fun. It’s a sanity check. Another big sanity check for me is running. I’ve just started again after a three year hiatus. Once I ran half-marathons. Now I’m struggling to manage twenty minutes. But I’ll get there. Expect rants.

Q., E., and I are just back home in Canada from four months in the U.K. where I was working with a renowned professor and trying not to hate my dissertation, and Q. and E. were mainly visiting every playground in the county. I mean we’re literally just back home- we flew in today. Full disclosure- I’m probably on my way to the airport at the moment. I wrote this post early and scheduled it to make sure I wouldn’t miss the start of ICLW. I didn’t schedule any other posts, so as long as I post tomorrow we’ll all know my plane didn’t go down in a fiery ball of doom like I’m probably currently worried it will (I’m not a good flyer). In the next couple of weeks we have to get over our jet lag, get settled back in to our house, reassure our cats that their world hasn’t ended by having us reappear with the toddler, and start getting ready for the new academic year. Q.’s teaching on overload, I’m a course director for a fourth-year course, and E. will be going to nursery school three days a week. This will be the first time in his life he’s been cared for by someone other than his parents. Expect panic from me. And probably rants as well.

And we’re going back to the clinic.

Well, at least things will be interesting, right?

6 Comments

Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, Blogging, ICLW, Running, What were we thinking? (aka travelling with small children)

Starting again (again)

I’ve started running again.

I know I keep saying on here that I need to get back to running, but I feel like finally, FINALLY, I might actually be doing it.

I swallowed my pride and started the ‘Couch to 5K‘ program. I didn’t want to. It felt ridiculous to go back to square one, especially when I’ve been cycling all summer so I already have a cardiovascular baseline of fitness.

My good friend brought me up short when I was complaining to her about having to start over from scratch by reminding me that although I might have a baseline of fitness, what I don’t have is running fitness. Cycling may be good exercise, but it doesn’t come close to putting the pressure on my joints that running would.

I couldn’t argue with that. One of my hallmarks of starting running after a long break before I had E. was having to spend the first few weeks icing my knees after every run to keep them from swelling. My knees have never quite been the same since I ran my first half-marathon in 2008 when I wasn’t properly prepared for it. It’s never been a big problem since once I build up a bit of running fitness my knees adjust and I can stop icing them.

But right now I don’t have time to sit around icing my knees every morning. So I decided that if my amazing friend could swallow her pride and start from scratch, so could I.

Except I cheated a little by starting at the second week rather than the first so I wouldn’t go completely insane.

Anyway. I’m into my second week of running now. And yes, it is ridiculous, and I drive myself crazy as I run along for 90 seconds and then walk, and I remember that I used to go out and run for HOURS with no ill effects.

And then I remind myself that I haven’t run in three years. I remind myself that I’m taking the long view on this one, that I’m building my running fitness back up for years, decades of running to come. And I swallow my pride again, and look down at my phone, and walk when I’m supposed to, and turn around when I’m supposed to, and stop when I’m supposed to.

I’ve been meaning to start this program for over a month now. But I can only rationalize running if I squeeze it in before my work day starts. I won’t cut my work day short to run, because then I’m running while Q. is looking after E. and can’t do his own work. I won’t run after work because that’s my time with E. And I won’t run after dinner because that just doesn’t work for my body. I learned that years ago.

So that left getting up early to go running. And right when I decided to do this, we had Q.’s Mum come to stay for two weeks, so E. was sleeping in our room, and while I really really wanted to run, I didn’t want to start if it meant I would wake up E., because then everyone suffered.

That’s only a partial excuse. Q.’s Mum, after all, flew back down under close to a month ago now.

I don’t really have a good excuse for why I didn’t start running in July except that I was miserable in July for a whole host of reasons, mainly doctorate related, and I got myself into a very unhealthy head space and I was struggling to get out of it. And the idea of doing something more was just too much.

So what changed?

Two weekends ago we went on a lengthy cycle trip to a little town that has a big cathedral. It’s something I’d wanted to do ever since I’d first realized there was now a route that would let us stay on national cycle networks (off-road or on very very very quiet roads, practically farm tracks) for the entire way. The Saturday before last we finally had a day with nice weather where we had no other obligations, and we went for it. Q. had E. in his bike seat (holding tight to Outside Bunny the entire way), and I had my panniers stuffed full of everything we might need (including rain jackets, but the threatened forecast never eventuated. I’m positive if I hadn’t packed our jackets it would have poured down).

We cycled 55 km. 45 km there, and then another 10 km home from the train station (we took the train back- E. loved being on the bike on the train). We had a perfect day, just what I had been hoping for.

And the next day I wasn’t sore. Not one little bit.

I realized that all the cycling I’d been doing over the spring and summer, 15 km daily at least five days a week if not more often, was having an impact. I realized I did have a baseline of fitness. I realized that my body, which I’d spent much of July loathing (because I always, always cope with stress in other parts of my life by targeting my physical appearance), was strong and capable.

And I realized that I desperately missed running.

I’ve come to two conclusions in the last month that helped me finally, FINALLY, get my shoes on and get out the door again.

The first is that my life is never going to get any less full. I’m never going to suddenly have magical free time where I can just slot running in. If I’m going to run, it’s going to have to come through sacrificing something else, and that something else is probably going to end up being sleep, both because I run best in the mornings, and because if Q. and E. are still sleeping, I’m not taking away from anyone else by running. The problem back home has always been if I wake up early our terrible floorboards wake E. up too. But he’s becoming a much better sleeper, and I’m willing to get up at 5 a.m. if that’s what it takes to get downstairs without disturbing him. I’ve said over and over again on here that I seem to need less sleep now that I’ve had E. Time to take advantage of that.

The second was that I NEED to run to control my anxiety. Cycling has been good, but it hasn’t been enough. Myfitnesspal helped for a while but then started to actually cause more problems. I don’t think it’s coincidence that my disordered eating patterns were at their least intrusive years ago when I was seriously running. I know how my body and my mind work and how they interact. I know that when I get stressed and worried and anxious about anything else in my life I turn my attention inwards and attack how I feel about my physical self. I know that I try to control how I feel about the things I can’t control by controlling my physical shape.

I know that it’s a very unhealthy pattern.

And I also know that when I’m running seriously I don’t obsess (much) over what I am or am not eating, I don’t re-enter binge/purge/shame/guilt spirals, I don’t spend all my time and energy thinking about food, because I’m running. I trust that I need to eat because I’m running. And I don’t displace all of my anxiety onto my eating habits because running works my anxieties out and gives me a different set of coping mechanisms.

As an added bonus, I really really love running. I love how fresh the world is when you’re out the door first thing in the morning. I love when a run is easy and you’re flying along in the zone. I love the rhythm of my footfalls and my breath.

I’ve tried to find substitutes. Boot camp didn’t work for me. Cycling’s been a good method of commuting, but it hasn’t given me the headspace to work through everything that’s on my mind.

Running is my sanity check.

I’ve finally realized that.

And I know, now, that I can’t afford NOT to make the time for it.

So here I am, putting my shoes on and getting out the door three days a week. And I’ll keep doing it once we’re home again, even if that means I have to wake up at 5 a.m. to be able to creep downstairs without waking E. up.

It’s too important not to make it a priority. My whole body, my whole health depends on it.

4 Comments

Filed under Anxiety Overload, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), Running

Weighty matters

I’m really unhappy with how I look right now. The long and the short of it is that I put on four pounds overnight when I started taking domp.eridone back in March, and I put another four pounds on overnight when I stopped taking it at the start of June (which just seems rather unfair), and then a month’s holiday added another three. So I’m eleven pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, which I’d reached by October of last year, and maintained without any real difficulty until I started the domp.eridone.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not all that much. I am manifestly not overweight, even though I feel enormous. What I don’t like is how I feel- sluggish and unsure of how much space my body takes up. I don’t like that my ‘skinny’ pre-pregnancy clothes are nowhere near fitting, even though I basically fit into them in late May. I don’t like that when I was out walking with E. the other day I heard a noise and it took me ages to realize that it was my jeans rubbing together because my thighs are back to touching again. I don’t like that I feel so weak, so unfit, even after two months of bootcamp in the spring.

I’m not actually sure my pre-pregnancy weight is a realistic goal. It’s the lightest I’ve ever been in my life, barring the couple of months around December 2009 when anxiety and sadness and a whole lot of infertility meds burned me down to four pounds below that mark. I’m pretty sure I would have still thought I was fat at that point, given my horrific body image, but photos from that Christmas stop me dead in my tracks when I see just how damn skinny I was. I was so sad. So empty.

I’d settle for getting back to my wedding weight, which is four pounds above my pre-preggo weight. It’s a good weight for me- my clothes fit well, and I feel comfortable in my skin, but it’s also a weight I can maintain. I feel like my pre-pregnancy weight is one I would struggle to stay at, unless I was training for another half marathon, or breastfeeding. But I know I won’t be happy to stay where I currently am. It’s not just the number on the scale, although I haven’t weighed this much (other than being pregnant with E., of course) in four years. It’s the lack of fitness, the absence of tone, the total loss of muscle definition. I’m resolutely pear-shaped, but when I am running fit I tone up pretty well. Right now it’s not pretty. And my poisonous inner voice, which still insists that I’m fat even though I haven’t been fat for years and makes think I am fat whenever I look in the mirror, is having a field day.

Thinking about all of this over the last few days has brought me to a realization.

I don’t actually know how much food my body needs to fuel itself.

In the last four years, I have spent the entire time either training for half-marathons, pregnant, or breastfeeding. So how much food I need when I’m not any of those things has turned out to be a total mystery. I find myself making oatmeal for breakfast, making less than half the amount I used to eat when nursing, and still finding myself absolutely stuffed before the bowl is empty.

I’m trying to be a bit smarter about things. Trying to listen to my body, to eat when I’m hungry, to eat slowly enough that I can recognize when I’m full, even though I know that means I won’t have finished before E. is desperate to get out of his chair and start playing again. It hasn’t been easy. I was brought up in a household where I was expected to finish the food on my plate, which means it is incredibly difficult for me to stop eating even if I’m already full. It pains me to see food left over on E’s plate that I have to throw out, even as I can’t believe my son is fifteen months old and I am STILL trying to train myself not to eat the food he leaves behind.  Add to that the fact that Q. is still trying to serve me running/pregnant/breastfeeding portions of food, and the fact that I absolutely LOVE food and have relished the ability to eat what I want while I was pregnant/nursing, and some days I can’t see how I’m ever going to make progress.

But. Yesterday morning Q. had E., and when E. woke up (earlier than normal), I forced myself out of bed, into my running gear and out the door. I ran four kilometres. I refused to wear a heart rate monitor, but just walked when I felt I was having to make too much of an effort. I refused to look at the clocks in the kitchen as I came back inside until after I had showered, so I wouldn’t know how long it had taken me. It wasn’t pretty. But I did it.

I was fast once. 52 minutes 10K and 2:02 half marathon fast.

I can be that fast again.

There are two mornings every week where Q. has E. There is no reason why I can’t turn my legs over as soon as E. wakes up. I can’t go earlier, because our ridiculous floorboards will wake him up, and I don’t think anyone would support my running in this house if it meant I was getting E. up at 5:30 as well. But E. is always up by 7, and I can steal thirty minutes for myself before I start my workday.

I can use the jogging stroller I was so excited to find on kijiji one other morning a week to go running with E. in tow. E. only takes one nap now. The whole morning stretches out in front of us.

Once I have some residual fitness built and I’m using a heart rate monitor again I can ask Q. if he will take E. on Sundays so I can get in a longer run.

I can do this. I have to do this. I can’t continue the way I’ve been going.

Yesterday, I put on my running shoes and I ran four kilometres.

It’s not much.

But it’s a start.

3 Comments

Filed under Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Food, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), Running

Butter scraped over too much bread

The other day I read Mel’s amazing post about the weight of having it all. It really resonated with me. Even though our vacation was stressful in a lot of ways, and not very relaxing in a lot of ways (Q. and I don’t do well with long vacations surrounded by family), it was nice to just be able to concentrate on spending time with E., without always having a million other things to do.

We’ve only been home for a bit over a week and already I feel the pressure and the anxiety creeping up on me.

I want to do so many things.

I need to do so many other things.

I feel like I can’t ever find the time to do anything properly.

There is this wonderful line in the Felllowship of the Ring where Bilbo says of his life that he feels “thin, sort of stretched. Like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Bilbo, of course, has the one Ring, and its unnatural lengthening of his lifespan, to blame for his predicament.

Me?

I’ve just got your run-of-the-mill modern woman juggling act. Wife. Mother. Sister. Daughter. PhD Student. Teaching Assistant. Once-Was Runner. Would-Be Writer.

What scares me is when I confided to a friend of mine back in December that Q. and I felt we didn’t have enough time to do anything properly, she looked at me with sympathy and said, “You will feel like this for the rest of your life”. Admittedly, her boys are 4 and 2, so she’s still in the thick of things, but in a lot of ways, I think she’s right. The whats and the whys might change in the years to come, but I can’t see the endless tugging on me from all directions easing off, even as E. gets older.

So I’m going to have to learn to manage them better.

I have to find a way to make it all work.

Right now Q. and I are basically working three full-time jobs between us. There’s his job, a tenured academic position, which makes him the primary wage earner. There’s my PhD, supported by a scholarship that means that my income is not to be discounted, especially when you take into account that my scholarship isn’t taxable, and I don’t pay tuition fees by virtue of attending the same university where my husband is an associate professor. And there’s caring for E., who is in some ways easier and other ways harder to look after than he was when he was younger (although when push comes to shove he is SO.MUCH.EASIER than he was in those first six months. I look back and think we all must have been insane. I can’t figure out how we survived otherwise.).

Plus there are the cats who, I am convinced, were actually disappointed to see us come home from our trip because a) we brought E. with us, and b) the house sitter had lavished attention on them of a sort that I just can’t find the time to do these days.

Plus there are all the mundane requirements that come with being adults and owning a house: cleaning, groceries, house repairs and maintenance, financial stuff, etc. etc.

Plus skyping and emailing with family (and every single member of both of our families is out-of-town, if not out-of-country).

Plus trying to maintain some vestige of a social life.

Plus trying to find some time in the day to put ourselves first and exercise, like we know we should do.

Plus, plus, plus.

It makes my head explode if I think about it too much.

Q. and I have taken some steps to help our lives run more smoothly. We have a calendar next to the phone so we always know when our appointments are. We have clipboards on the door to our broom cupboard- one for jotting down food items as we run out (as we never, ever, remember what said items were by the time it’s Saturday and we’re making our list), and one for our ongoing to-do list (which currently sports items such as “find fee-only financial planner”, “wills”, “cost tree removal and shed replacement”.

We don’t operate in chaos. We have routines, and most of the time we get through the week unscathed.

But I feel for the most part we never get ahead. We are running at top speed just to stay where we are, just to keep our heads above water.

What blows my mind is that we only have ONE child, and both Q. and I have jobs that are flexible enough that we can adjust our working hours to share looking after E., or to be home when tradespeople come by. We have to have some waterproofing done in the basement (ah yes, that Canadian rite of passage) and Q. said the other day he simply doesn’t know how families where both partners are working 60 hour weeks manage to fit those sorts of things in. You can’t ask your nanny to make a decision on which company to employ to stop water seeping into your drywall.

If I try to step back and take a good, cold, hard look at our lives, I can see that it’s not true that we’re not making progress:
– E is happy and healthy and thriving. He is getting everything he needs, even if I feel too often I’m having to juggle cooking or cleaning or something else with my time with him.
– Q., who is the most efficient person I know, is continuing to pump out articles at a rate that will keep his university administration very happy. There will be no suggestions that he didn’t do enough work on his sabbatical. (He probably would have written a second book if he hadn’t spent so much of his sabbatical looking after E. The man is a machine.)
– I finished a chapter of my dissertation before E’s birthday, a chapter that my supervisor is very pleased with, and I should be able to get another written before my committee meeting in mid-September if I really go for it.

With the big three, the three full-time jobs, we’re doing ok, even if I regularly feel like I am a total fraud in my field and that I will be exposed as a failure anytime now (I am starting to realize that this is just what it feels like to be in academia, especially as a graduate student. EVERYONE thinks they are a fraud.)

Sometimes Q. and I scrabble together a little bit more time to spend with each other (mainly watching Downton Abbey on my laptop in the evenings, but that is something).

I usually manage to squeeze in a bit of reading for fun, which is absolutely essential for my sanity.

But I don’t feel like this is enough.

I have this to-do list of wants that never gets any smaller. It looks a lot like this:

  • Organize photos (I realized the other day I haven’t put photos in an album since 2004, and I haven’t printed any, barring the occasional shot of E. for our fridge or for family, since 2007.)
  • Start running again (I have been saying this repeatedly for months now and thus far I still have not once managed to get out and run.)
  • Do something with the full draft of a novel that sits under my desk (and has sat there since 2008!)
  • Write something else other than the dissertation to get some of the stories out of my head and on the page
  • Get my French up again (it is beyond rusty)
  • See if there is any possible way to get horses back into my life even though we don’t own a car and live in a big city
  • Get my clarinet out

Every time I start to think about these items, which all represent huge pieces of my life-that-was, I feel panicked. Because I know there is no way that I can fit all of them in. Not while also being the mother I want to be to E., and while getting my dissertation done in time (i.e. before my funding runs out and before we want to have another baby).

I can only do so much.

So I stick this unwritten to-do list of wants back into a dusty filing cabinet in my brain and I muddle on like I have for months, just doing the best I can. And always I feel like I ought to be able to do that little bit more.

If I’m honest with myself, I can see that if I did manage to eke out a bit of time to go running, or to write something that didn’t involve my dissertation topic, I’d feel guilty that I wasn’t either spending that time with E., or working on the dissertation (just like I feel guilty now for blogging about how I feel while E. is napping when I could be reading something dissertation-related).

Because we’re trying to fit three full-time jobs in to the lives of two people, I feel like I can’t possibly have time for anything else, because that would mean I wasn’t working on the dissertation. And I feel that if I’m not with E., I should be working on the dissertation because I need to get it done, and I’m trying to get it done in the same timeframe as I would have if I hadn’t been pregnant, hadn’t had E., wasn’t raising a child.

Which is probably a bit insane when you think about it, but that’s how I roll, and I know it’s possible. I built some slack into my timetable. I am very good at what I do. My proposal was passed unanimously by my committee with no changes (which, as one of them made a point of telling me, never happens). I write chapters that are deemed passable by my supervisor upon first reading- I don’t have to endlessly redraft and start over.

I’m good at being a PhD student. I just miss the rest of my life, and I’m very aware that if I get an academic job the demands on my time will be greater, not less. And while yes, E. will eventually go off to some sort of preschool (probably in September 2013), and eventually kindergarten and elementary school, I can’t help but think that if I can’t find a way to make time for the things I used to really really love now, I won’t be able to when the PhD is finished.

I just wish I knew how to allow myself thirty minutes a day- to run, or to write, or to play music, or whatever- without feeling guilty because if I have that time, that means Q. has E., and if Q. has E., that means he’s not able to be doing his job, so therefore I should at least be working on my job. It’s a vicious circle, and right now I don’t really see a way out.

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Filed under Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Running, Writing

Making progress (on all counts)

— For the last week, E. has started nursing again before he goes to bed. Some of the feeds have been very short and distracted, but some have been good, solid drinks with lots of cuddling. I don’t know what changed- I’ve been offering every night, and for three weeks he would just turn his head away or lunge at the breast and yank off immediately. But then he started to latch and suckle for a few seconds, and then a few more, and then last Wednesday he just kept popping on and off and latching (but not biting), so I just gritted my teeth and waited, and eventually he latched properly, and drank.

It’s made absolutely no difference with his night feeds, but I am so very happy nonetheless to have one day feed back again. I haven’t been offering during the day otherwise- the two pumping sessions have worked well, and I was just sick of being bitten. But I might try again now that he’s showing more interest. I am still dead set on cutting at least the second night feed once we see his paediatrician at the year mark, so I’m hoping at that stage he might pick up the first feed in the morning again. And even if we just get those two, I’ll be happy.

— I found a jogging stroller! I put a wanted ad on kijiji and didn’t think anything would come of it, given how busy the stroller sub-category is, but about a week later a woman emailed me. I think she must have searched for the brand name in preparation for selling her stroller and then came across my ad. Anyway, she had an old Baby Jogger II-20, which is (I think) the Performance, just with a different name,  in good condition, that had been sitting in her garage for the last four years not being used much (she bought it from a coworker intending to go running with her grandson). It has 20 inch wheels with a fixed front wheel, a lightweight frame, working brakes, tires in good condition, a safety harness that works, etc. Everything I wanted. And she only wanted $60 for it! Even with the 20-odd dollars I spent on the Zipcar rental this was a total bargain. I picked it up on Saturday and that afternoon Q. assembled it (took about two minutes) and we strapped E. in and went for a test jog. It’s very easy to push and steer. E. seemed happy enough in it. I’m hoping to get a lot of use out of it this summer.

— I did sign up for a second round of bootcamp, so hopefully that plus a couple runs a week with the stroller will keep things ticking along. I am getting fitter and stronger but it still drives me crazy that Q. can sit on his butt for months and then just head out the door and be immediately much fitter and faster than I am. This is always the case. I think it is a guy thing, and it is completely unfair.

— I have a thesis chapter that sits at 16,000 words. It’s written now, but it still needs revising and polishing. Still, I’m pretty happy to be on track. The plan is to give it to Q. next Thursday and then get it back from him on Sunday, and then take the rest of the week to do whatever corrections he suggests, and send it to my supervisor on the 4th, so I’m free and clear in time for E’s birthday. (Q. always reads all my stuff, just as I always read his. It’s one of the benefits of being in the same field- we’re actually very helpful readers.)

— We’re having E’s first birthday party on the 6th. It’s going to be small and strictly for family as we have a lot of friends with kids and I just felt it was going to get out of hand otherwise. We’re not big on making a huge fuss for birthdays here, and the first birthday is really more for us than for E. I still need to get a bit more organized. I do spend a lot of time making wish lists for Christmas and birthdays (to try to control his relatives and to limit the amount of electronic plastic that comes through the door), and I very carefully came up with some clothing ideas, and then a friend of mine came by on the weekend and dropped off a seriously embarrassingly large box of hand-me-downs, so now E. has more clothes than I know what to do with (I’m actually trying to convince my Mummy friends to take some). Plus another friend just emailed to say when we see her for brunch at the end of the month she has a big box of clothes for us as well. E. is so lucky. But hopefully his relatives didn’t buy him very many clothes!

— I think E. is considering moving to one nap as we’ve had quite a few days in the last week where either the morning or afternoon nap has been skipped. I am SO happy that he puts himself to sleep for naps these days, as when he skips a nap it means he spends an hour or so babbling to himself in his crib while I sit downstairs and work. If we were trying to put him to sleep through jiggling or shushing or even just standing in there with a hand on him like we used to, I can’t imagine how frustrated and pissed off we’d be after an hour of him resolutely failing to fall asleep. Now it makes for a rough late morning or late afternoon as he ends up overtired and becomes pretty fragile, but otherwise it’s not really a problem.

That’s about it from here. I’ve got my nose to the grindstone with this chapter, so I’m behind with reading and commenting on blogs. It may take me a bit to get caught up.

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Filed under Nursing, PhD, Running, Sleep

Random thoughts in snatches of time

A few bits and bobs in the spare moments I have while E. naps

  • I’m dairy-free again, and will remain so until E. is closer to the year mark. He is clearly getting better, but just as clearly still has tolerance issues, so I’d rather give his system time to outgrow it than continually tax it with small doses through me. It also makes things easier, as we can’t feed E. what we eat if we’re putting dairy in it all the time. Q. and I had a ‘conversation’ about it last night where I said I really thought it made sense to remove dairy again, and Q. said nothing and changed the subject, and when I pressed him on it said, “Fine, if that’s what you want to do.” This is Q-speak for, “I think this is dumb but you’re obviously not going to change your mind and I don’t want to fight about it.” Obviously I would have rather had an actual conversation, but provided he’s not fighting me on this, I don’t care if he thinks it’s a stupid plan.
  • The other interesting thing was at bedtime on the day he had the yoghurt E. couldn’t put himself to sleep. I think it’s been more than two weeks since I started just putting him in the crib and walking out the door, and it’s been working so well. He’s often asleep within three minutes, and at the most he chats to himself and then does a bit of mantra crying and then conks out within fifteen minutes of my leaving the room. It is amazing- our bedtime routine is now maybe ten minutes from the time he’s dressed in his pjs and sleep sack, given how short his nursing sessions are. So I do wonder if his tummy was already hurting and that was why he couldn’t settle himself and eventually needed one round of pick up/put down.
  • I started my bootcamp on Monday. I felt good yesterday but sore today, so I shudder to think how I will feel after tonight’s session. It was nice in that it showed me I do have some residual level of fitness left, even if I feel shockingly out of shape. It was also nice because one of my mummy friends was chatting with another woman there when I first arrived and introduced us and then said, “And Turia runs marathons!” To which I replied, “Half-marathons and that was pre-baby! I haven’t done anything in months.” and the other mum looked at me and said, “No, you look sporty.” And the instructor asked at the end of the session whether I’ve done a bootcamp before, and when I said no, she asked if I go to the gym a lot. So I clearly did better than she was expecting a first-timer to do. This is all a huge ego-boost for me, because I used to be significantly overweight, and was for a LONG time. I only really dropped the weight during my master’s degree when I took up rowing, and then I put most of it back on again in my first few years teaching and living with Q. Then I dropped it for our wedding, and I’ve pretty much kept it all off, give or take five pounds, over the past four and a bit years (obviously leaving aside the pregnancy weight gain). But the thing is, I STILL think of myself as fat. My mental image is that skewed. And even though I rowed at quite a high level while in the UK, and now have run two half-marathons, I still think of myself as a couch potato blob. So it means a LOT when strangers and/or friends who didn’t know me before we moved to this city (where I have always been trim, and sometimes downright skinny) make comments that assume that I’m sporty and fit. I just need to get better about believing it myself.
  • So that was the good part. The bad part was at the end she took my measurements so I can track my progress over the course of the bootcamp, and the number on the scale was not good. And granted, it was the end of the day, and I’d eaten dinner, and I was wearing running shoes, and it was a different scale, but even so. I’ve been avoiding our scale because I tend to get obsessed with numbers, but I decided I better double check, so I hopped on this morning and was given definitive proof that what I’d been suspecting was true: I cannot keep eating like a trucker if E. is going to nurse as little as he does. It’s not terrible- I’m only four pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, but that’s enough that I need to be a bit more serious about my diet again. I’ve already been cutting back portion sizes to get closer to what was ‘normal’ for me pre-pregnancy and breast feeding, but I also have to stop eating E’s leftovers. I can be smarter about heating things up in smaller batches and just doing more if he’s still hungry, but I also need to recognize that sometimes there will be food left over that can’t be saved for another meal and it is OK to throw it out. (I was raised in a house where it was not ok to waste food and we always had to clean our plates. I am NEVER telling E. that he has to finish what’s on his plate before he can leave the table. My food issues are ridiculous.)
  • Something amazing happened this morning. I was reading books to E. and we were reading Doggies, by Sandra Boynton, which is a counting and barking book. On the last page there are ten dogs and one cat and I asked E., “Where is the cat?” He turned his head to look straight at one of our cats, who was in her usual place in the window. I figured it could have been a coincidence, so I asked him again a couple of other times over the next twenty minutes as we were playing, and each time he turned his head right to look at her. HE UNDERSTANDS WORDS. Where did the tiny baby who used to just lie there and flail, bug-eyed, go?

And E. is awake. Gotta run!

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Filed under Baby, Food, MSPI, Running

Get off the couch!

So there is no getting around it. I am OUT OF SHAPE. Even though breastfeeding got rid of the baby weight, a little bit of it has snuck back on again in the last couple of months (a result of my continuing to eat like a trucker even as E. cut back on his feedings). And regardless of what the scales say, the same weight can come in very different packages (namely, a half-marathon running fit- me in July 2010, and a super unfit sleep deprived flabby mum- me currently).

For months, I have been using the same excuse (to myself- no one has ever made any comments to me, except to say that I look great, which is super nice of them, but I don’t feel great): I just had a baby.

Ok, yes, in the grand scheme of my life, I did just have a baby.

But that baby? He has now been outside in the world as our E. for longer than I ever carried him in my womb. He is crawling, pulling up on everything, thinking about standing unassisted. His face is starting to look like a little boy’s.

I did not just have a baby.

So it is time to find a way to prioritize my own health. I must say this seems laughable, given there are still many many days where I somehow reach the evening and realize I have once again not managed to shower.

I’m fed up. Ifeelugly and fat, even though I know I’m not. I hate that I can tell that my knees are starting to play up again because my leg muscles aren’t strong enough to give them the support they want. I hate that my jeans that were too big for me before I got pregnant aren’t really all that big at the moment. I hate that the jeans that fit me before I was pregnant (and which did briefly almost fit me in October) produce a muffin top. I hate that I don’t feel strong and vibrant, like I do when I’m in the middle of training for a race. I hate that I feel guilty about eating all the food that I’m eating, but then feel even more guilty about not eating it, since I’m still breastfeeding.

I find myself staring longingly at the runners I see out on the streets.

Enough is enough. I made two promises to myself. The first is that I’m going to scour online for a used jogging stroller- one of the really specialized ones, with the fixed front wheel. Because it has become clear to me that I’m not going to have time to run four times a week this summer AND take care of E. 50% of the time AND work on my dissertation 50% of the time AND do my half of the household stuff AND sleep AND still read books for fun AND keep in touch with friends AND blog, etc. etc. I think E. needs to come running with me at least a couple of times a week, and maybe I can trade off with Q. so I can do the long runs on a Sunday early morning.

The second came when I saw one of the ads for the female-only boot camps that seem to run all the time in this city. There was a session in a school that is twenty minutes (walking) from my house. It runs at 8 pm, when every other session I’ve seen seems to be at 5:30, or 6, or 6:45, or 7- exactly when I cannot leave the house because I put E. to bed every night. But 8 pm? That I could do. I could eat dinner with E. at 5:30, and then head out the door once he was down for the night.

So I talked it over with Q., who was supportive as always, and then I did it. I signed up for a four week bootcamp. And then I convinced two of my mummy friends to sign up with me.

It starts in March. And if I enjoy it, I’m going to do another four weeks afterwards, which will take me through to May, when I hope to start running again in a serious way.

I need someone to light a serious fire under my ass to get myself moving. I’m hoping this will do it.

The jury is still out on the whole milk thing. There was nothing definitive with either the cheese or the yoghurt- no screaming in the wee hours, no blood in the stools. E. took his naps as usual. He was fussier than normal- but tooth #7 was about to come through. He was gassier than normal- but he had also been eating a lot of curry and meat (which would make anyone gassy). The only thing I didn’t like was he had two incidents in the early evening of waking up and really really crying and taking a long time to settle, and both incidents were the second night after I’d eaten dairy. This would be much later than a normal reaction, but it is something to watch for.

So on Thursday, we’re having lasagna for dinner, with mozzarella and ricotta. And I’m going to down a huge glass of milk (for the first time since September!) as well. And then we’ll see. I did joke with Q. that if I’m still uncertain about whether E. really is reacting, or if I’m just projecting it onto him because I’m looking for it, that we should do double-blind tests where Q. sneaks dairy into my food to see if I can identify which days he did this. But honestly, if E. survives the lasagna with nothing definitive, I think the next step is to give dairy to him directly.

I am trying so hard not to get excited about this. But still, I think it has to be progress, even if he’s not yet completely over the issue.

This week? E. is all about the cats. Non-stop crawling action whenever they are around. But, and this is so cute it makes my head explode, if he pulls up next to one of the couches, and one or both cats is sitting on the back, E. will try to engage them in conversation. He babbles, coos, squeals, squeaks, shrieks, and bobs up and down, trying desperately to get their attention (they basically ignore him). They get the biggest smiles these days, and forget trying to nurse if one of them is visible.

I must say that life is quite nice around the Turia household these days, even with the night wakings. WE HAVE A ROUTINE! I realized this just the other day. The key has been E. dropping the third nap, as before we were always juggling things around depending on how long the first nap was- did he need a second before lunch? Was there time for a third? Would it mess up bedtime? It was messy.

Now, since we know he will not, under any circumstances, take a third nap, we can enforce set naptimes. For the last little while he’s been waking up for the day around 7:15 (which is wonderful). So he goes down for the first nap around 9:45 or 10:00. And then it doesn’t matter whether he sleeps for thirty minutes or for two hours, he goes down for his second nap around 1:45 or 2:00 (1:30 if he is really exhausted from taking a super short morning nap). Breakfast is around 8 am. Lunch is at 1 pm. Dinner at 5:30 pm. Bath at 6:00 or 6:15 pm. He’s asleep by 7 pm every single night, and it’s usually earlier.

Because he can crawl and pull up and just generally amuse himself by beetling around the house, and there’s always dinner to look forward to, he can cope much much better with the late afternoons if he’s overtired. And he’s back to putting himself to sleep at night. He’s done it without any real fuss for the last six nights, and in a couple of nights I’m planning to take the next step of leaving his room after putting him in the crib to see if he can do it without me in the room. (And then, once that’s established, we’re tackling naps again. Baby steps.)

Of course I’ve got no idea where milk feeds will fit in, (yesterday, brief snacks every time I offered, but no real feed until 5 pm, today a good feed at noon), but I find it so much easier to cope knowing that our days have some structure. The naps are wildly variable in length from day to day, but that doesn’t matter, because I know when I can expect him to want to take them. Even if he hasn’t yawned by 1:30, I can take him upstairs and get him into the sleep sack and start the routine, and he’ll start yawning and rubbing his eyes.

I figure we have about two weeks of enjoying this before E. starts to think about transitioning to one nap and the whole thing falls apart.

But I’m going to take it while it’s here. It’s been nine months of a moveable feast. It is really really nice to have some predictability.

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Filed under Food, MSPI, Nursing, Running

A different sort of marathon

We had another appointment at the clinic on the weekend. All was well- bub is now less blob-like and more peanut-shaped, measured 12.3 mm crown and rump and had a heart rate of 146 bpm. All of which added up to an estimated gestational age of 7w3d, which is exactly on target. My f/s said that it all looks “perfect” and then told me to wean myself off the prednisone (which is going to take a couple of weeks given he’d forgotten I was currently taking them three times a day). I figure he wouldn’t be starting to cut back on the meds if he wasn’t very confident with how things looked.

It looks like he wants to see us pretty much every week for the rest of the first trimester. I’m of two minds about this- I’m pretty certain that weekly ultrasounds aren’t medically necessary, but they are reassuring- AFTER the tech turns the monitor around to show us and prints us a picture. I actually find I’m most nervous the morning of an ultrasound and those first few moments where the tech is silently clicking and moving and squinting at the screen and you’ve got no idea whether everything is ok. And boy do we waste a lot of time at the clinic- weekends are awful there, but it means Q. can come and see the bub. But we were there for over two and a half hours on Saturday, mostly because some couple decided they wanted to go over their IVF failure in detail during cycle monitoring, so they kept our f/s in one room for FORTY minutes. People- book a follow up appointment if you have that much to say. Don’t come in when he’s trying to see heaps of patients.

Anyway, I don’t think we really need that many ultrasounds, but Q. says we’re just going to do whatever our f/s says. And it is nice to have so many pics on our fridge.

We’re in a strange place at the moment where we’re starting to think that things could work out, but we still don’t want to tell anyone other than the people we’ve already told, so we’re making plans that no one knows about. Q. says it feels a bit dishonest. The wait now until twelve weeks seems agonizing. I’m still vacillating wildly. I have moments where I’m confident and I can actually think ahead past the next few weeks to the spring and think about what we would need to do to be ready to bring our baby home. Then I freak out that I’m going to jinx myself and I start hedging again. Logically I know that the odds of things going wrong decrease every time we have an ultrasound that shows that things are progressing exactly as they should, but I’m still having trouble with the thought that we might not need a “trial run” at pregnancy before things actually work out. I think I’m driving Q. nuts, but he at least recognizes that this is probably very normal given how much trouble we had getting to this stage. (We had a hilarious evening on Friday where I freaked out about the amount of pain and cramping I was having before the penny finally dropped that it was gas, and not uterus issues. Yep. Well done, Turia. So Q. ate dinner while I roamed around the living room trying to get comfortable and then finally remembered to drink some peppermint tea (and then felt fine by the end of the night).)

My sister said that I might not be feeling any symptoms because of the triple dose of prednisone, which makes sense given that it is suppressing my immune system. Sure enough- this weekend I cut the dose down, and by Sunday afternoon I had a total case of the queasies. It got so bad by the evening that we actually rigged up a barf bucket by the side of the bed. Of course, I fell asleep without any trouble, but I said to Q. that if we had a barf bucket we’d probably never need to use it. This morning the queasies are still in evidence, so I’ve stacked my pockets with melba toast just so I can keep my stomach working on something.

I would love to say that I’ve eagerly embraced the queasies as tangible evidence that I am pregnant, but really, who can be excited about feeling queasy all day long? At the moment I can still pretty much eat anything (although some things take more effort than others) and I’m not vomiting, so I am thankful for this and hopeful that I can stay like this. I think I’ve just had a big hormone boost as the bbs have changed shape and colour again, so maybe things will settle down once my body gets used to the new levels.

It was a weird weekend for me- I should have been running a half marathon, as I have done for the last two years. I know that course. The rhythms of my life in the summer have centred around the preparation for that race. Instead, I haven’t run in close to two months. But I tell myself that I am engaged in another sort of training now, for another type of marathon. And reaching that finish line will make all the sacrifices along the way worthwhile.

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Filed under Pregnancy, Running, Symptoms, Ultrasounds