Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Living Large


Hopefully this is the first, last and only time in my life that I will shout that in celebration.

As much as you convince yourself this is temporary, this is necessary, it is still unnerving. I eat well. I exercise every day. I have gained 22 pounds. I am not nose deep in a bucket of ice cream or chips. I can count on one hand the number of times I have overly indulged in that crap while pregnant! (but will admit to a few incidents with bacon) What I have learned, though, is that your body will do what it wants or needs to do. Some women gain 14 pounds (can I slap them?), some women gain 50 pounds (will I be one of them)?

So here I am at what feels like this supersized version of myself. Can I go back to being me now – please? Can I press the panic button and stop all of this expansion? I know it has a purpose but that is not making me feel any more comfortable. Plus I’ve still got 13 weeks to go, the three biggest months to go. If I feel this way now – what then?

We’re going to need one of those large people cranes.

Somewhere around month 6 in What To Expect To When You’re Expecting you see a new symptom under the list of things you may be experiencing:

A sense of boredom with pregnancy (“is that all everyone can talk about?”)

Bored would be a good way to put it – it’s a sense of hanging in between wow this is exciting and oh shit this is going to end and life will be really hard. When you think about it, the 40 weeks leading up to pregnancy is your vacation. The final hurrah of what life is like with just you and your spouse, the come and go as you please schedule, waking up in the morning and standing under a hot shower for as long as you want just because you can.

Those days are numbered, my friend.

Sensing that there are only 13 weeks left (in both ways – there are still 13 freakin’ weeks left of this? and ohmygod there is only one more trimester left!), I found myself in a little bit of a foul mood yesterday. The foul mood in pregnancy is like nothing else. Do not approach this woman. Nothing you do or say will make her feel better unless you suck out the 10 pounds of fluid she is retaining and turn her bladder off. She is large, uncomfortable and in general getting increasingly miserable with activities of daily living. She had to take a deep breath to bend over to tie her shoes. She realized that she might be revealing her private parts to the world because SHE CANNOT SEE WHAT IS GOING ON DOWN THERE. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she is convinced that a double chin is starting to take up residence on her face.

I said my uterus was for rent – but my face is not accepting tenants!

On top of all that, I didn’t sleep well – yet again. I got some decaf and it didn’t taste good. I went to the dog park and got man-trapped by a man who wanted to talk to me all about pregnancy (is that all everyone can talk about?). The list could go on. But in situations like this, rather than listing things out it is better to just go run them out and relax.

But there’s just one thing….

I can’t run. I am finally putting the running shoes to rest. Two weeks ago I was still covering 7 miles in a little over an hour. Two weeks ago I was running 3 to 4 times a week. But then something changed. These past two weeks, every time I went for a run my lower legs would experience increasing pain. I switched to walking – and the same thing happened. I visited my A.R.T. guy who explained it might be due to too much fluid, too much swelling, poor circulation and…too much pregnancy.

So what you’re telling me is that I’m not injured, I’m just pregnant?



He suggested that I wear compression socks. So I gave that a try yesterday on the indoor track. The only problem is that the compression socks I have are hideously pink and accompanied by my light blue running shorts that are about ½ inch away from showing major crack and my white running top which covers me for all of about 10 steps before it yanks halfway up my belly – well, I looked like a human easter egg running away from all the kings horses and men. At a not so fast pace. I ran for 5 minutes before the pain started again. And so, it was off to the elliptical.

R.I.P. running shoes :(

For the record, the elliptical is not the same as running. It’s traveling but you’re not moving. And when you’re moving but not going anywhere while pregnant you become a giant hot pot of sweat and belly. The elliptical is also the only place you can find yourself checking emails, plugged into your iPod, watching television with a magazine also nearby and still thinking to yourself – I’m really bored.

How is that possible?

Thank goodness after 30 minutes, Chris showed up at the gym and saved me with a swim. Somewhere between my locker and the pool door I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It’s not the belly. It’s not the chest. It’s … no, those cannot be, those are not … oh my god those are my LEGS!

Warning to pregnant women – DO NOT TURN AROUND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR NO MATTER WHAT! You will not like what you see. You will then spend the next 10 minutes telling your husband that you do not like what you see and the only thing he can think to say is “you’re pregnant and you don’t look as bad as some normal women.”

Uh…have you SEEN the other women at the pool? There is one who has to be 300+ lbs, wearing a see-through bathing suit and yes she really does have hideous cankles so what you’re saying is that I look better than THAT?

Why is that not making me feel any better?

Out in the pool, I joined Chris in a lane. Correction – we shared the same lane where he lapped me every 200 yards. For crying out loud, I used to swim with him! When the swim was all done I found myself in the shower, still foul. Still uncomfortable. See, you can run this stuff away but unfortunately, you cannot ellipticize (it is a word) or swim it away.

Standing there, under the hot water of the shower JUST BECAUSE I STILL CAN I found a million thoughts going through my head – from I can’t believe I have to pee again - to screw it I’m just going right now here in the shower - to at this point would it really matter if I ate peanut butter cups and bacon for breakfast every day – and then I finally got a hold of myself.

Elizabeth. Dear. You have 13 weeks left. The work is mostly done. There is the finish line – it is straight ahead. Focus and take it one step at a time. You will get there. This race will not go on forever. There will be an end.

It’s easy to feel like I’ll be trapped in this forever because it’s been over 6 months. But no one has ever stayed pregnant forever. Except that woman on tv with the 20 kids or something. The rest, go back to being themselves. It’s only temporary. You’ll get there. Until then I will stay away from gym mirrors - maybe it’s the lighting? – ellipticize my stress away and keep believing the people who tell me that I look great.

Even though we’ve already covered how much bullshit that really is.

There is one more week until I enter the third trimester. It will be the beginning of the end. I’m almost done – which is both scary and exciting. I just need to look at bright side to see that there is a lot for me to be celebrating about pregnancy. I am pregnant (which is half the battle). I don’t have hemorrhoids (yet). I also don’t have that creepy “mask of pregnancy”. I’m not on bed rest. I'm only having one child.

Did you see that psychocrazy octomom with the 14 kids on Oprah today?

And, there is this little champ in my belly who is kicking to get out in less than 13 weeks. I'm living large for you, kid. I can’t think of any better reason go through all of this than for that.


Molly said...

130 pounds - as a fellow gnome, I am so totally impressed. I can't even imagine...

You're going to be so raring to get moving again, I bet it doesn't stick around long after the baby is born!

Courtney Staton said...

Sigh. I literally told someone today that I was bored with being pregnant. She laughed and said it's the greatest thing ever, how can it be boring? Uh, yeahhh. I'm really tired of people staring at me and blinky when they say "How are you feeling" and I say "fine"... then they expect me to continue. I mean, seriously, wtf do they want me to say? I have my back covered in zits, I am leaning forward from my spine, it's uncomfortable to swim, let alone RUN, I'm about to piss myself, I cant have sex because orgasims cause Braxton Hicks which are NOT FUN FEELING, and I have THREE FUCKING MONTHS LEFT?! But, I digress.


Whomever said pregnancy is 9 months long needs a kick in the nads (definitely a man) because, um, when you take 40, divide by 4 you get 10. 10 months.


Jennifer Harrison said...

#1: I still weight more than you. But you are getting awfully close.

#2: I stopped getting on the scale at the DRs office after I gained 40+++ Lbs with the twins.

#3: You are NOT on bedrest and every day that happens is a GOOD DAY!!

#4: Did you call the Recovery Pink compression socks hideous? You hurt my feelings.

#5: I get to shop for baby boy gifts very soon!


TriEVIElon said...

OK, I challenge you to come up with the total number of women in Chicago OVER the age of 13 who actually weigh 130 pounds or less WITHOUT being pregnant.

So your legs aren't the legs of a peaked up professional athlete but look at it this way, those are the legs of a person growing another PERSON. I've seen your legs and trust me, they look like the legs some folks have when they are peaked up for a race.

I know you don't look like "you" to yourself but you are an adorable pregnant person! AND you are right, the finish line is not that far away. It's like mile 18 in a marathon. You are grouchy, hurting and believe that if you eat one more gel you are going to vomit but somehow, you find yourself and dig deep.

So dig deep ;-)! You are going to be a great mother and my guess is that within weeks you'll be back to the you that you remember.

Michelle Simmons said...

Oh I remember thinking how FAT my legs got while pregnant. Like seriously, why did my legs have to get fat like that??? It was awful. The good news is (I know you know this) your old legs come back rather quickly after you pop that baby out. :)
I think the thought, "You will not be pregnant forever" became my mantra in the last trimester. Hang in there!

ADC said...

Ha ha I love JH's comments. And she is right - you still weigh less than me, damn it! ;))

meredith said...

hmm. i feel like this and i am at week 18. my legs are hideous...one is *fatter* than the other and therefore has more broken blood vessels than the other. zits on my chest are almost the size of my boobs. and hurt just as much as my boobs did at week 7. my arm has cellulite. but only my left arm. i weighed in at +20 today, but that was at 8:30 this morning. my sinuses make me wake up with headachs everymorning.

pluses so far: i can still curl up in fetal position on the couch to watch tv. people don't really know i am pregnant yet. my 1/2 marathon training is going well. i have no preg mask nor bleeding gums. i am really not that hungry.

*courtney, you crack me up!

Sarah Giacomarra Schrader said...

I laughed out loud imagining you running in pink compression sock, short shorts and a half shirt with your belly sticking out. (I hope my boss didn't hear me.)

So sorry I didn't warn you about mirrors. Stay away from them for the next 6-9 months. I'm not kidding, it's best not to know what you look like until everything is back where it belongs.

Alicia Parr said...

If it helps any (and I'm sure it doesn't), you are unlikely to ever reach my pre-pregnancy weight even at 9+ months. (I have a lot of muscle, OK?)

Anyway, some weeks you gain more and some weeks you gain nothing. In my case, those weeks did not coordinate with what the "you can expect this" websites said to expect. Whatever. You are definitely NOT on track to gain 50lbs. That is highly unlikely. I gained about 40 lbs and was definitely ahead of you in the weight gain department at all stages so far. Yes, when we correct for percent of starting weight, we're probably comparable. Still, you won't gain 50 lbs.

SSB said...

130 lbs is my race weight. I get excited when I hit that number too.