Sunday, March 25, 2012

Put Me In, Coach

This is pretty much what I've lived in the entire pregnancy. Old sports bras. Running pants. A decent pair of New Balance.

Over the last several months I've logged hundreds of miles and spent countless hours in the gym. Running. Lifting. Visualizing. Stretching. Pushing. I've considered myself in training. For the baby's delivery.

It hasn't been easy considering how sick I've been. I'm still incredibly nauseous on a daily basis, and I've been having contractions for over a month. I'm anemic. I blacked out several times in the second trimester. I'm in constant severe pain.

(I know I sound like an asshole for complaining, and in a way I am, considering that we've escaped a lot of complications. But I don't want to pretend like this pregnancy has been a cakewalk.)

I stay this active because it makes me feel relatively better and reminds me of myself, of my own strength. And I think it will be important to be physically strong for before and after the birth.

Andrew and I refer to what's coming as The Baby Olympics or The Big Show. Even though I've intentionally avoided birthing classes and prenatal yoga and reading the labor parts of my baby books (which probably explains why I didn't fully understand the risks of carrying a breech or why we had to rush to the hospital the other night which, by the way, totally interrupted our March Madness plans), I've been actively mentally and physically preparing myself for the day. Sort of in the same way I did when I ran track in college.

(Before you say anything, yes, I realize that pushing a refrigerator out of my jayjay is drastically different than racing a 5k, for example, I'm fairly certain you don't wear Lycra and spikes in the delivery room. But I'd probably know for sure if I was actually down with the baby lit.)

The longer that Aston remains parked with his brain in my ribs, the more I wonder how likely it is that I'll even get the chance to try a vaginal delivery. Which is very discouraging. It's not that I'm some granola muncher who needs to experience natural childbirth, it's more that I've been preparing myself and working towards something that might not have the finish line that I was looking forward to. The thought of a caesarean recovery intimidates me, but it pales in comparison to the risks that Aston would face if I had a spontaneous breech birth.

So. I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes and choosing to have an open mind. No matter how the end of this pregnancy happens, I have to believe that it's really only the beginning.


Mellodee said...

The only thing that is guaranteed about pregnancy is that (believe it or not) it doesn't last forever. You will at some point no longer be pregnant, but how the baby opts to come out isn't really up to much of anyone but him (sort of). As long as you are both healthy (and that is the MOST important thing), how he arrives will matter very little in the long run. Once you have your new little son in your arms instead of your tummy, every ache, pain, and sensation of pregnancy will go away and you do indeed, begin the best journey of your life. It will be worth it, I promise.

autumn said...

i am so looking forward to you experiencing "the big show". it really is such a unique and interesting experience that you will remember for the rest of your existence. good for you for staying active and kicking butt. you look absolutely beautiful. what a lucky, lucky baby.

Life in Rehab said...

You know those stories they tell about how you forget the pain of childbirth the minute it's all over? They're all true. The minute that little pudgy perfection is in your arms, all of this will over. You've done an amazing job, and you look fantastic.

Deb said...

A healthy and happy baby - that's the reward of all this crappy stuff you've had to deal with. And - as fit as you are - recovery from a C-section will be much easier than it is for those who are not in great physical shape. You've totally got this. ;)

craftosaurus said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you guys!

Katy said...

Kelly all of your training will be worth it, if for no other reason then you will bounce back SO FAST after the birth -- much faster than if you had sat on the couch puking for 9 months.

It doesn't take much longer to recover from a C section.

It's all gonna be ok.

Stacie@hometownperch said...

Getting mentally prepared to accept that this might not go how you expected it would is a great idea!

It's okay to be sad or disappointed about that. Don't feel like you can't wallow for just a little bit.

Trust me, I wallowed for a long time after my first birth went haywire at the very last minute and I ended up being a train wreck, physically and emotionally.
Letting myself wallow in my pity helped me process what had happened and move on--it was part of my healing.

And yes, of course the baby comes and it's all worth it. That part is true. It's also true that pregnancy and childbirth isn't fantastic for everyone on earth and that's ok to admit.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great you are working out. I did too, although I just did it because I want to be healthy.

I just want to caution you about the posts saying you will bounce back because you are in great shape. I was tiny before and worked out until the week before I gave birth, but unless you are one of those miraculous supermodels, it takes a while to feel like yourself. I'm not saying this to be a downer, but just because I was shocked after all the "you'll bounce back immediately" comments I heard. Being pregnant is a very taxing thing, and the rule of thumb is that it will take you 9 months to feel "normal" again. Maybe you'll be faster, but don't beat yourself up if you are not.

Lynett said...

As I read this (and all your other posts), you remind me so much of myself. Although Im not pregnant, I can totally understand where your coming from. Wishing u the best!

Leslie said...

Whatever happens, it seems like you've been doing everything you can to prepare for it as best as you can. And really, that's all you can do. My thoughts will be with you and your family as the day approaches.

Melissa at HOUSEography said...

you are doing awesome Kelly. just hang in there. I had an unexpected c-section the first time because of my daughter's positioning (and her umbilical cord was caught). It was not bad at all and my recovery was better than most of my friends who had vaginal deliveries (and everything was where I left it which was nice!). So, even if he wasn't breach, a vaginal birth isn't a given. And being in shape will certainly help because your muscles will be ready - but don't expect to feel awesome in a month!!

Alex said...

In Canada anyways they've changed the recommendation for breech babies to be systematically delivered by c-section. They now say in most cases it's better for both mom and babe to be vaginal. Problem is there's a whole generation of ob that never learnt how to do breech deliveries.

If you find an older dr a vsginal delivery might not be out of the question. Good luck.

NotesFromAbroad said...

In my mind, what it all boils down to is .. no matter how he gets here, the whole point is to have Aston there with you, out in the world.. your boy in your arms.
Whether he gets there with the help of the doctors or on your own, the end result is what is important.
I had 2 babies, almost immediately after having them, I forgot almost everything.
But I had the babies :)
Wishing you three much good luck in the days ahead ... and forever~

Tasha said...

You look beautiful! Best wishes.

Bliss said...

Maybe this statement is over used and over rated, but as far as childbirth is concerned it's applicable. Relax. No really. Your muscles. For just one day let them turn to mush, don't be a runner be a soft squishy out of shape pregnant lady. I'm not joking...


Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I'm happy to hear you complain about your pregnancy annoyances. I'm surrounded my women who feel freakin' great when they are pregnant, and I wonder if I'm the only one. I blacked out nearly every other day during my first pregnancy, and had morning sickness (all day) until the end. Amongst other things. Anyways, I just want you to know you are not alone. And if you are considering another little one at some point in the future, just remember that not every pregnancy is the same. = ) Not that that's what you want to be worrying about right now!!!

I view childbirth like training for a marathon. It sounds like you have done all in your power to get ready,and that's awesome. And thank god you aren't prancing about it heels your whole pregnancy. You look amazing, btw!

= )

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

However or whichever way little Aston comes out, it is all worth it. My Chloe was posterior (face up) and came out with the most massive cone head I've ever seen - a result of me being adamant that I was going to push her out vaginally, dang it! In the end, I needed a little forceps help but I barely even remember the hours of labour now. Childbirth is a brief blip on this motherhood journey. Enjoy it in whatever form it arrives. You're going to do great.

LindsaySK said...

I think we're due about the same time, Kelly and I hope things go swimmingly for the both of us. I'm envious of your training and physical fitness. Between working full-time, teaching a university course, and trying to finish my Ph.D., there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day for exercise...or enough energy for me to expend exercising. I'm nervous about childbirth but keep trying to convince myself that I'm tough and will be able to get through it - no matter what is thrown at me. Best of luck in the weeks ahead.