Saturday, May 26, 2012

Running while Pregnant

I finished a 5 mile run this morning with my favorite running partner. It was wonderful.

My average pace of 11:53 min/mile is a far cry from my pre-pregnancy pace of around 9:30 min/mile.  But, I am totally ok with that. I just want to run.

My running partner.
My running addiction started sometime in high school. While my frequency, intensity, and dedication has waxed and waned over the years, my love for this hobby has not.  I am honestly addicted.  Perhaps it is the release of endorphins or the sense of accomplishment that makes it impossible to imagine a life without running.

I am blessed that my husband, midwife, and obstetrician are supportive of me running during pregnancy. In fact, the doctor and midwife encouraged me to continue, despite my history of miscarriage. I did mostly brisk walking up until about 9 weeks, the point in which I had passed my previous miscarriage risks. After that, I was told, "Go for it, but just listen to your body."

Right now, those I see on my route can't tell I am pregnant by looking at me. But, I am anticipating the stares I will get as my belly begins to grow.

Of course, many well-intentioned individuals have advised me that I should "just walk." They don't bother me; I know they mean well. And, I realize I seem a bit crazy to be so adamant about continuing running, especially with my history. But, I knew exercise was not causing my miscarriages; I did not run during those pregnancies. I also knew that I wanted to enjoy as normal of a pregnancy as possible instead of one filled with worry and anxiety.

Research regarding running while pregnant shows interesting benefits:

  • Mom is healthier
  • Reduces preterm delivery
  • Reduces pregnancy symptoms like nausea, back pain and swelling
  • Shorter labor and fewer delivery complications, including C-sections
  • Increased placental efficiency
  • Increase newborn ability to self-soothe 
  • Greater fetal activity, which is linked to quicker development of oral language skills.

Don't worry, I have no performance goals for running while pregnant. I am not trying to improve my time or distance.  I am not training for a  race (though, I wouldn't be opposed to one, for fun, of course). I will walk if I feel winded.

My only goal is to keep lacing up my running shoes for as long as I am able. I believe my body, health, sanity, and baby will benefit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Boy or Girl?

It only takes about 5 seconds after finding out that I am pregnant for the next question to be asked.

"Do you know what you are having yet?" 

I respond, "No, we are not finding out."

It is amazing the emotion this stirs up in the other person. Some people are super excited, but some seem almost defensive about our decision. 

The most common response is, "Oh, I could NEVER do that; I am too much of a planner." 

Yeah, me too, sister. Believe me, me too.

So, why is this planner with perfectionistic tendencies not finding out the sex of their child? Before I share the reasons, let me be clear,  I am NOT saying finding out or not finding out is a right/wrong decision. I believe it is perfectly wonderful for parents to find out!  These are just mine and Stephen's personal thoughts, and reasons for our decision..... 

1. Our journey to this pregnancy was one in which God has taught us to fully rely on His sovereignty. We have learned to be content were we are instead of fretting about our plans and our timing. It just seems that not finding out will help me embrace this lesson to an even greater level. I believe it will help me fight my temptation to stress over having everything "perfectly planned."

2. I think that not knowing our baby's sex will help me fight of the materialistic temptation to buy more than what we need. The cute boy or girl outfits don't call my name when I go to the store. I  am thinking more about buying the things we need rather than the cutesy stuff. I am not saying it is wrong to buy cutesy things; I am sure I will at some point. However, we have decided to become more frugal over the next few months and that means needs trump wants.

3. Lord willing, we would love to have a BIG family. Unisex equipment and clothes will be much easier to hand down from one child to the next.

4. We have opted for a natural water birth. (Did your eyes just bulge?) In the midst of labor, I think it would be a motivation to anticipate wether I will meet my son or my daughter. 

5. It appeals to me to have either Stephen or myself announce the sex. I think it would be much more exciting for us to be the first to say, "It's a __________, "  than to hear the ultrasound tech say it.

6. If we were to find out, I would want to have a reveal party. However, with our family living so far away it is highly unlikely that all of them could be here for it.

I will admit, it is hard. Really hard. I really want to know.  I want to say "he" or "she" instead of "the baby." I want to call baby Powell by name.  But, I really think it will be exciting and rewarding if we stick to our plan. Hopefully, our resolve will remain strong!

By the way,  feel free to offer your guesses! I honestly have no clue.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Mini-Vaca

A little over a week ago, we had the wonderful pleasure of spending a 4 day weekend in Destin, Fl. We enjoyed this mini-vacation immensely. The best part was that we got to share this time with some very special people.  One of the most difficult parts of ministry is living far away from family and close friends, so we relished the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones.

Joining us in Destin was my sister, Dayle, her husband, John, and my precious nephew Calvin. We also invited our best friends from college Mike and Angie and their three kids Jon, Wesley, and Renee.

It was fantastic to spend time with my sister and to see my precious nephew. It was also a blessing to meet Mike and Angie's kids for the first time. Mike and Angie adopted their three kids in December. Their story is amazing and may make you cry, but is a must read!  You can read their story here.

Here are a few pictures from our trip. You can see more of Angie's pictures here.

Kite flyin'

John, Dayle and Calvin


Stephen and Me ready for church.

Jon and Wesley


Stephen, Me and Renee