Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Addicted to the Doppler

Well, look at me! This is not what I expect to look like the week before I run a half marathon- but I've never run one while I was pregnant, until now. So yes- my belly is "a little fuller" than it's been during my previous races and I even had to buy some maternity running pants, but, come rain or come shine, my baby and I will be running 13.1 miles on Saturday morning. We've trained for it! And I'm excited to be able to wear a "Baby on Board" sing on the back of my shirt.

This week is a weird week, it's a week of unfulfilled expectations. I've been signed up for this particular race since October of 2011. I had to postpone my entry from the 2012 race because of injury and then in the end I had surgery a week and a half before the race. Then last October when I found out I was pregnant I realized that I was due on June 10th 2013. Since the race was on June 8th I was 100% sure that I would either have to pay to defer my entry again or just give in and admit that I would never run the Utah Valley Half Marathon. Well, if you've been following our blog you know that we lost our baby in November, but what you may not know is that in December when I set my 2013 goals I wrote down this one "I WILL run the Utah Valley Half on June 8th" and I set my training schedule and got to work.

I was about half way through my training when, in March, I discovered once again that I was pregnant. I immediately stopped cutting my calories and immediately started gaining weight (it's amazing how much weight you can gain even when you are running 20+ miles per week) I've discovered an immense NEED for something other than just plain water on my long runs (turns out Gatorade or Powerade and prunes ((yes, prunes-they treat pregnant ladies a little different from other people, it's a nice thing)) are perfect running companions for the pregnant woman on a long run) AND I discovered that I needed a little bit more than my doctors reassurance that my exercise wasn't hurting my baby.

SO, I contacted this fabulous group of -and got a Doppler. And as you can see by the title of this post, I'm addicted. It was kind of world shattering last November when my doctor couldn't find a heartbeat during my 3rd prenatal visit. He had found one the last time I was in his office, why not now. He talked to the ultrasound tech and she fit me in for a quick ultrasound and sure enough- there was a sweet little baby on the screen but it was completely still. When had it's little heart stopped beating. I don't know, I'll never know and that kind of sat in the back of my mind. If I hadn't had an early miscarriage earlier that year I wouldn't have been going to the doctor as frequently as I was and how long would it have been before I found out that I had lost my baby. I don't like those kinds of thoughts. But I think they are probably thoughts that many women have about lost pregnancies AND I don't think I'm the only woman out there who finds herself somewhat uncontrollably anxious when she discovers that she is pregnant again after having experienced the loss of a pregnancy. If I was the only one, then there wouldn't be groups like the Tiny Heartbeats organization.

So now, I've got a Doppler, and each morning I get to find (which Ken can attest, is sometimes frustrating to me) and hear the heartbeat of that sweet little baby growing inside me. After I run I do my best to rest while laying on my side for 20 or 30 minutes and then I find the heartbeat again and guess what- EVERY TIME- it's there, beating ever so happily. It's enough to keep me thinking positive thoughts. I don't know what I would do without the ability to hear those tiny little heartbeats.

So as I said a little earlier- this is a week of unfulfilled expectations, because I had expected to be holding my brand new baby if not already- then any day now. But that expectation won't be fulfilled. On the other hand, I am going to fulfill one of my goals for this year- I am going to run the Utah Valley Half on June 8th! AND even better- I'm going to run it with a sweet baby who, in my opinion, LOVES TO GO FAST! I'm of that opinion because of some thoughts that pop into my head sometimes- one of which I remember quite clearly- it was while I was running my 8 mile training run and this is what popped into my head. "This baby HAD to wait, so that you could run this race and so that they could run it with you" SO- call me crazy, but some day, I fully expect for this child of mine to show a love of speed, whether they run, or ride, or get way too many speeding tickets, this child likes to go fast (even though I don't run very fast these days- I've added 2 1/2 minutes to my mile pace- adding to your pace isn't exactly most peoples goal while they are training).

SO- those are my thoughts this week. I'm grieving a little, because I so very much want to hold my baby in my arms, but I'm also so very grateful that I get to run this race with my sweet baby. I believe that each of us has a different "race" to run as we go through our lives. I am grateful that I am able, each day, to run my own race and to find the joy in my own journey.

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