It was a steamy August morning. The air was thick and the sun was scorching. But I was ready to run the 5K around the adorable little vineyard north of Baltimore.
Did I mention I was 8 1/2 months pregnant?
I was 27, fitter than I had ever been, and I was determined to remain active through the entire pregnancy (my first of course). I worked full time until the day I gave birth, got up at 5 a.m. every morning to run 4 miles, swim and lift weights. And I filled the weekends with fun activities with friends and family.
But, the 5K that humid August morning changed my perspective a bit. Scott, who had never before ran a race, insisted on running along with me because he was so worried. Three miles was nothing to me, but the heat was unbearable. People were passing out and getting sick along the route, and a couple runners were taken away on stretchers because of heat exhaustion. About halfway through that race, I got scared. I had started walking. Sweat was pouring down my protruding belly. And I felt the exhaustion.
I made it to the finish line, but I definitely learned a lesson that day---I wasn't invincible and I didn't need to prove it.
Fast-forward almost 9 years. I'm 36 now and pregnant with my third baby.
I pretty much popped out by week 10. I'm tired, emotional and I don't feel a bit bad about eating ice cream every night.
And, I'm taking it easy. I was kind of forced to. A couple weeks ago, during the "big" ultrasound, the doctors determined I have placenta previa. If you Google it, you'll probably find some terrifying stories, like the one about Tori Spelling almost bleeding to death, or about women who go on bed rest or deliver months early because of this condition where the placenta is covering the cervix. The risk of bleeding is pretty high, and a C-section is almost certain.
I've never had issues with my pregnancies, so this came as a shock. I'm not going to lie. I'm scared, but I'm also not trying to over-react. I may be 6 years older than when I delivered Johnny, but I'm still healthy and I take care of myself. I'm just going to follow advice and not push it.
Of course, it's not always easy to stay off your feet, when you have two kids and a very energetic dog who needs exercise. I think the key is to just listen to my body and to learn to relax (something that doesn't come easily for me.)
Delivering a healthy baby is much more important than checking off a to-do list or trying in vain to stay fit and trim.
It's my last baby so I'll prop up my feet, read a few good books and enjoy my ice cream.