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Triathlete Blog

Living Large

By April 20, 2010July 20th, 2015No Comments


Hopefully this is the first, last and only time in my life that I will shout that in celebration.

As much as you convince yourself this is temporary, this is necessary, it is still unnerving. I eat well. I exercise every day. I have gained 22 pounds. I am not nose deep in a bucket of ice cream or chips. I can count on one hand the number of times I have overly indulged in that crap while pregnant! (but will admit to a few incidents with bacon) What I have learned, though, is that your body will do what it wants or needs to do. Some women gain 14 pounds (can I slap them?), some women gain 50 pounds (will I be one of them)?

So here I am at what feels like this supersized version of myself. Can I go back to being me now – please? Can I press the panic button and stop all of this expansion? I know it has a purpose but that is not making me feel any more comfortable. Plus I’ve still got 13 weeks to go, the three biggest months to go. If I feel this way now – what then?

We’re going to need one of those large people cranes.

Somewhere around month 6 in What To Expect To When You’re Expecting you see a new symptom under the list of things you may be experiencing:

A sense of boredom with pregnancy (“is that all everyone can talk about?”)

Bored would be a good way to put it – it’s a sense of hanging in between wow this is exciting and oh shit this is going to end and life will be really hard. When you think about it, the 40 weeks leading up to pregnancy is your vacation. The final hurrah of what life is like with just you and your spouse, the come and go as you please schedule, waking up in the morning and standing under a hot shower for as long as you want just because you can.

Those days are numbered, my friend.

Sensing that there are only 13 weeks left (in both ways – there are still 13 freakin’ weeks left of this? and ohmygod there is only one more trimester left!), I found myself in a little bit of a foul mood yesterday. The foul mood in pregnancy is like nothing else. Do not approach this woman. Nothing you do or say will make her feel better unless you suck out the 10 pounds of fluid she is retaining and turn her bladder off. She is large, uncomfortable and in general getting increasingly miserable with activities of daily living. She had to take a deep breath to bend over to tie her shoes. She realized that she might be revealing her private parts to the world because SHE CANNOT SEE WHAT IS GOING ON DOWN THERE. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she is convinced that a double chin is starting to take up residence on her face.

I said my uterus was for rent – but my face is not accepting tenants!

On top of all that, I didn’t sleep well – yet again. I got some decaf and it didn’t taste good. I went to the dog park and got man-trapped by a man who wanted to talk to me all about pregnancy (is that all everyone can talk about?). The list could go on. But in situations like this, rather than listing things out it is better to just go run them out and relax.

But there’s just one thing….

I can’t run. I am finally putting the running shoes to rest. Two weeks ago I was still covering 7 miles in a little over an hour. Two weeks ago I was running 3 to 4 times a week. But then something changed. These past two weeks, every time I went for a run my lower legs would experience increasing pain. I switched to walking – and the same thing happened. I visited my A.R.T. guy who explained it might be due to too much fluid, too much swelling, poor circulation and…too much pregnancy.

So what you’re telling me is that I’m not injured, I’m just pregnant?



He suggested that I wear compression socks. So I gave that a try yesterday on the indoor track. The only problem is that the compression socks I have are hideously pink and accompanied by my light blue running shorts that are about ½ inch away from showing major crack and my white running top which covers me for all of about 10 steps before it yanks halfway up my belly – well, I looked like a human easter egg running away from all the kings horses and men. At a not so fast pace. I ran for 5 minutes before the pain started again. And so, it was off to the elliptical.

R.I.P. running shoes 🙁

For the record, the elliptical is not the same as running. It’s traveling but you’re not moving. And when you’re moving but not going anywhere while pregnant you become a giant hot pot of sweat and belly. The elliptical is also the only place you can find yourself checking emails, plugged into your iPod, watching television with a magazine also nearby and still thinking to yourself – I’m really bored.

How is that possible?

Thank goodness after 30 minutes, Chris showed up at the gym and saved me with a swim. Somewhere between my locker and the pool door I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It’s not the belly. It’s not the chest. It’s … no, those cannot be, those are not … oh my god those are my LEGS!

Warning to pregnant women – DO NOT TURN AROUND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR NO MATTER WHAT! You will not like what you see. You will then spend the next 10 minutes telling your husband that you do not like what you see and the only thing he can think to say is “you’re pregnant and you don’t look as bad as some normal women.”

Uh…have you SEEN the other women at the pool? There is one who has to be 300+ lbs, wearing a see-through bathing suit and yes she really does have hideous cankles so what you’re saying is that I look better than THAT?

Why is that not making me feel any better?

Out in the pool, I joined Chris in a lane. Correction – we shared the same lane where he lapped me every 200 yards. For crying out loud, I used to swim with him! When the swim was all done I found myself in the shower, still foul. Still uncomfortable. See, you can run this stuff away but unfortunately, you cannot ellipticize (it is a word) or swim it away.

Standing there, under the hot water of the shower JUST BECAUSE I STILL CAN I found a million thoughts going through my head – from I can’t believe I have to pee again – to screw it I’m just going right now here in the shower – to at this point would it really matter if I ate peanut butter cups and bacon for breakfast every day – and then I finally got a hold of myself.

Elizabeth. Dear. You have 13 weeks left. The work is mostly done. There is the finish line – it is straight ahead. Focus and take it one step at a time. You will get there. This race will not go on forever. There will be an end.

It’s easy to feel like I’ll be trapped in this forever because it’s been over 6 months. But no one has ever stayed pregnant forever. Except that woman on tv with the 20 kids or something. The rest, go back to being themselves. It’s only temporary. You’ll get there. Until then I will stay away from gym mirrors – maybe it’s the lighting? – ellipticize my stress away and keep believing the people who tell me that I look great.

Even though we’ve already covered how much bullshit that really is.

There is one more week until I enter the third trimester. It will be the beginning of the end. I’m almost done – which is both scary and exciting. I just need to look at bright side to see that there is a lot for me to be celebrating about pregnancy. I am pregnant (which is half the battle). I don’t have hemorrhoids (yet). I also don’t have that creepy “mask of pregnancy”. I’m not on bed rest. I’m only having one child.

Did you see that psychocrazy octomom with the 14 kids on Oprah today?

And, there is this little champ in my belly who is kicking to get out in less than 13 weeks. I’m living large for you, kid. I can’t think of any better reason go through all of this than for that.