Saturday, November 9, 2019

How Are You Feeling? Is It a Boy or a Girl?

People who know I'm pregnant ask me the same two questions:
  • How are you feeling?
  • Is it a boy or a girl?
These are polite and appropriate questions, the same questions I've asked other pregnant women, and I'm touched that people want to know more about my experience.

However, one reason I've waited a while to tell people I'm pregnant  and it's still not something I go around announcing  is because I still want to have conversations about athletic goals, and when some people know I'm pregnant, they assume I've stopped participating in athletic activities or think I'm being unsafe by continuing athletic pursuits.

I love it when people still ask me what I'm training for or what I'll train for after the marathon. Part of me wants to say, "I'm training for childbirth." And that's true. We're taking Bradley Method for Natural Childbirth classes, and I don't know too much about it yet, but it works on the premise that you need to train your body and mind with the help of a birthing coach if you want to have a healthy and relatively comfortable natural childbirth experience. There are lessons on nutrition, exercise, relaxation, meditation, and other areas of focus that are similar for athletes. So preparing for childbirth is like preparing for a sporting event! But different.

When asked what I'm training for, I'll usually say I don't have anything picked out yet. In reality, though, I aspire to compete in 1-2 swimming competitions in August 2020. I'll be about 4.5 months postpartum. I have no idea how I'll feel then or if I'll even have time to train. But August 2020, you're in my sights.

For those of you who want to know how I'm feeling or if I'm having a boy or a girl, here are my answers.

How Are You Feeling?

I feel fine.

First trimester had some ups and downs: easily winded; fatigued; experienced brief bouts of nausea that I could quell with well-timed meals and snacks; had round ligament pain, which isn't supposed to happen until the second trimester, but I felt it more in the first. Emotionally I was eerily well-balanced.

Now in my second trimester there are some mornings I wake up and feel totally normal in my body and don't think about being pregnant until something happens like I bend down to put on my socks and I can't quite reach my feet without straining. Some days after a long day at work I feel like crying (do cry) but it's mostly from being tired from driving 3+ hours to and from work. Oh, and I moved to a new home again this week, which is stressful no matter how well-prepared I was and how smoothly to move went.

I'm still swimming, running, spinning, using the elliptical, going to TRX classes. I can't power through these workouts like I used to, but I'm still doing them at my own pace and ability. Some days my abdomen cramps up when doing flip turns or push ups. Some days it doesn't.

Is It a Boy or a Girl?

It's a…I don't know yet!
Swimming fins or running feet?
I didn't want to find out until birth, but Jon wanted to know as soon as possible, so we agreed that at our anatomy scan (which was Tuesday this week) we'd ask the ultrasound tech to write down the sex, seal it, and give it to Jon. Now it's his to do what he wants with it. I figured that as soon as he found out, I would be able to read it all over his face, but he's been good about keeping it a secret so far: sometimes referring to the baby as a boy and sometimes as a girl. (I'd like to go on the record as saying I don't have a preference but I have the feeling it's a boy.)

He will reveal it to me and our parents when I finish the Harrisburg Marathon tomorrow (November 10). He has something planned, but I don't know what! The big reveal is definitely motivation to get me across the finish line.

Shameless Self-Promotion

TOMORROW (November 10), at 21-week pregnant, I will participate in the Harrisburg Marathon. It'll be a much different kind of adventure than the one I anticipated when I signed up for the marathon. To keep me motivated, I'm doing this as a fundraiser. Find out more about my new journey and fundraiser and please consider contributing to help children and youths in central PA.

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