Tag: Running

This girl can’t

It’s been a funny weekend.  A lot has happened and I have gone from a massive high on Saturday to a crushing low on Sunday.  I am now just lazing about in some sort of bleeeurghhhh mood being generally unproductive.

Thankfully my baby is still ok, which is the important thing and is what I am clinging to while I feel a bit down.

I wrote the other day about how this pregnancy has been totally different from the last one.  I have been a lot more ill generally and have had a few scares with cramping and bleeding, even ending up in hospital twice.

On Saturday morning a scan showed that my placenta is currently lying quite low and I had haemorrhaged just above my cervix, hence the bleeding.  The sonographer was not particularly worried, but said it would be something that would need to be monitored.  She also said if I had any further bleeding I needed to go straight to hospital to get checked out.

Following the excitement of the scan and knowing our baby was still ok, I spent the rest of Saturday preparing for the Great North Run the next day (it’s amazing how much you need to do: fill out all the forms and ICE information, get your running kit ready (clothes, gels, energy sweets etc), get bags ready for the end of the race (warm clothes and food!), make an iPod playlist, make sure you’ve got your parking permit and change for the bus etc etc).  With the hubby’s family coming up to support us at the race, and my family being on babysitting duty, we were both on quite a high that day!

I had been nervous about the race the week beforehand, as (in addition to the bleeding and cramping) I had been fighting a chest infection and had been sick at least once a day for the past few weeks.  On the afternoon before the race however, I was feeling much better and was still on a high from our scan.  I felt really excited for the next day and couldn’t wait to be part of such an amazing race and team (and, of course, get to the finish line!!!).  As a result of my bleeding and general ‘post pregnancy and c section’ state, I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to overly push myself and would only jog/walk the course, so in a way I felt less pressure than ever.

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The running vest I sadly never got to wear!

On Saturday night Baby Flat went to bed at a respectable time and I managed to get to sleep by 10:30pm.  Suddenly at midnight I woke up feeling horrendous and needing to vomit.  I proceeded to spend the next 5 hours in the bathroom being ill and getting more and more distressed as it became clear that I was not going to be well enough to do the race.  With every hour that passed, I would think “If I can just get 4 hours sleep/3 hours sleep/2 hours sleep I can still do it”.  Sadly, even when the vomiting stopped I simply felt drained and couldn’t get to sleep.

Instead of racing the Great North Run yesterday, I spent the day cuddled up on the sofa in floods of tears.  It turns out that, sadly, this girl can’t*.

It sounds melodramatic, and my dad kindly pointed out that I needed to “get over it and move on” ( true, but he could have waited another day or two to say that! He’s just so British…).  But the event had just meant so much to me.

None of my friends get it.  They have said that it’s “just a race” and that my “health comes first” and “there will be other races”.  Which is all completely true and is probably exactly what I would be saying if the roles were reversed.  But it’s what the race represented to me.  It was partly being able to run for an amazing charity and be able to honour of D & A (our friends who have just had a stillbirth) and all my friends and family who have had miscarriages.  But it was also partly to prove to myself that I can achieve something and do something to be proud of.  While the last 11 months with Baby Flat have been the happiest of my life, in other ways I have had a horrible 18 months (dealing with discrimination, losing my job and not even getting interviewed for other jobs (a post for another day), gaining so much weight and losing all my fitness).  I just wanted to feel like I was starting to get back to where I used to be.

So now I just feel very sad.  I know this will pass in a few days and I am acutely aware of how much I have to be grateful for.  I also know that this little disappointment doesn’t even compare to stuff many people across the world are dealing with right now!  But sometimes you just need to wallow a little.

I am trying to be positive and think about what I can do to mentally bounce back from this little blip.  As 2018 will hopefully be a no-go for competitive training (as I am expecting Baby Flat the Second in February), I am thinking that maybe in 2019 I need to go bigger and better than my current goal of the Great North Run and sign up for a few half marathons! (The obvious option is to sign up for a marathon, but my knees and hips would die at the mere thought!!!).

What have others done to make themselves feel better after a series of setbacks? Maybe I can take inspiration from you!

Today I still feel quite subdued about the race, but I am focussing much more on the good things.  As I have said time and time again (and I will stop in future posts as it really does come across as sanctimonious wishy washy cr*p), I will never stop being grateful to have Baby Flat and that I get to spend so much time with him while he’s little.

I am also thankful that Baby Flat the Second is doing well.  To end on some happy news, at our scan on Saturday we found out that we are expecting a little girl! We are both over the moon about this. We would genuinely have been happy either way (I could not love Baby Flat any more, so would happily welcome another little boy), but it is so exciting knowing and being able to picture things a little more and be able to refer to our baby is “she” rather that “it”.

To be honest, I already highly suspected it was a girl, as this pregnancy has been so different.  I wonder if there is any merit in these ‘old wives tales’?


*A reference for my fellow Brits.  I’m a big fan of the ‘This Girl Can’campaign, which encourages women of all ages, sizes and abilities to just get out and get active and have fun!

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Life at the 6 month point

I will start off by apologising for not being better at keeping up with everyone’s blogs.  I’ve been trying to keep track of where everyone is at and what’s going on, but I’m finding it harder to read every single post.  Pre-baby I would often read the blogs on my long commute home, but (thankfully) I’m not having to do that at the moment.

So as an update, things are going really well for me and Baby Flat, who just celebrated his 6 month birthday.  He is a cheeky little boy and we all absolutely adore him.  Unlike his grumpy mother, he’s a smily happy little boy who seems almost permanently chilled out.

I absolutely love motherhood and never stop feeling grateful that I’m getting to experience this. Even at its hardest (and yes, however grateful I am, I don’t have a grin on my face during the 2am feeds!), it’s still a million times easier than dealing with fertility problems and the fear that we would never become parents.  I often find it quite hard to relate to all the other NCT mums who never stop complaining about every minor problem.  I feel like I don’t really fit in, as I don’t particularly find motherhood hard (or more specifically, I don’t sweat the tiny inconveniences of parenthood) and so I have no desire to complain about any of it and equally I don’t want to be flaunting everything on social media under the #maternityleave and #mummylife hashtags, as if I always had some automatic right to those things.

I also find it hard that the NCT girls are all talking about their second children and what age gap they want.  It makes me want to scream.  With the exception of one girl (who is generally a lovely person and who had a miscarriage with her first pregnancy so gets that things aren’t always straightforward), they are all so confident that it will happen when they want it to.  They’re planning to time things to coincide with school holidays and pay rises and one has even said the only reason she’s not trying anytime soon is because she wants to drink next Christmas and so they’ve “decided to conceive” in January instead.

As it happens, BT and I have started trying for a second baby.  We thought long and hard about whether to leave it until Baby Flat was 12 months old, to allow me longer to recover from the horrific c section.  Our hearts were saying to try fairly quickly after Baby Flat was born while our heads were saying to wait a year.  In the end, after researching the potential risks of having a second baby quickly after Baby Flat, we decided to crack on because:

  1. the danger to mother and child doesn’t dramatically decrease after 12 months.  Although the risk is less when conception happens 12 months after the c section than 6 months after, there isn’t a huge difference (especially if you don’t attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean));
  2. we struggled first time around and it took several years before we successfully conceived.  Since then, we are (almost) two years older, I had a c section which considerably damaged my uterus, I have mostly been breastfeeding Baby Flat…in all honesty, what are the chances we’ll now suddenly have a quick conception?! (yes, I know I know…so many stories about the couple who thought they couldn’t have kids then went on to have 10…blah blah blah);
  3. even if we do successfully conceive, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will have a successful pregnancy and birth.  We were incredibly lucky with Baby Flat (apart from the horror of the delivery and what could have been), but so many people aren’t that lucky and I don’t think it’s right to assume that getting a BFP would be the only hurdle!; and
  4. if we are unable to have a second child, we would always wonder whether we could have conceived in the 6-12 months after Baby Flat was born.  At least this way we can’t have any regrets about “leaving things too late”.

It’s a funny old position TTC#2.  In a way there’s none of the magic and excitement of the first few months of TTC#1, because neither of us really believe it will happen quickly.  We also know exactly where I am in my cycle, when to time DTD, how often we should DTD, that I have poor eggs, that BT has poor sperm and that I have a short luteal phase…basically all the things we learned over several years of TTC#1!!

In a way if feels like we’re picking up where we left off just over a year ago.

But then it’s also so very different.  There’s no symptom spotting or rearranging schedules to make sure we can DTD around ovulation or disappointment when my period comes.  There just isn’t any of the anxiety and fear and heartbreak.  I imagine that in two or three years, if things haven’t happened, we will feel quite down.  But I can’t imagine it will ever come close to what we felt before.  Yes, we will always be a little bit sad if we can’t give Baby Flat a sibling.  But that’s all it will be: a little bit sad.  I just don’t see how it can compare to the fear we had before, or what so many of our friends who are struggling with primary infertility are going through.

First time around I got a lot of support from some friends I met on Mumsnet, who I am still friends with today.  This time there just isn’t really anywhere to go to chat.  As I found when TTC#1, most people want a baby and then it seems to just happen straight away.  Any threads about having a baby stop before they have even started, because everyone falls pregnant straight away.  Then there are also plenty of threads about secondary infertility, but these also aren’t appropriate.  Firstly, we’re not even at that stage yet.  Secondly, I just can’t stomach the chat about how “this is so hard for [us] because [we] conceived DC1/DC2 straight away, so this waiting is total hell”.  I mean, really? I am so sorry that you conceived your previous children so easily. (To have a total vent, I even saw one person who already has EIGHT children between her and her new partner and was complaining that they couldn’t have a baby together!).

So as well as looking after Baby Flat and TTC#2, I have also been job hunting and slowly getting back into exercise.  I’m completely undecided about what to do job-wise: if I leave now I have to pay back all my enhanced maternity pay, which isn’t a life-changing amount but would be a struggle to find.  Also I really don’t want to give them anything after the way they treated me (and will continue to treat me if I return).  That said, I can’t put a price on my health and to never have to see those idiots again and another job may also allow me to spend more time with Baby Flat.

As for exercise, I now feel mostly ok after the c section, although the bottom half of my tummy is still completely numb and I sometimes feel like I’m ‘ripping’ when I move.  I am trying to do a little bit of gentle exercise when I can.  It is a huge challenge and I am certainly not ‘bouncing back’ from pregnancy! The weight is still lingering (I’ve lost 2 and a half stone and have at least another 2 to go) and all my joints ache and my muscles don’t work.  It’s tough, but I am trying! Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that…

To try to motivate me and spur me on I have signed up to run the Great North Run this September.  This is the biggest half marathon in the world and is usually a load of fun.  I’m incredibly nervous this year though, so it really will be a huge challenge. I’ve decided to run for Tommy’s, which is a UK charity which (amongst other things) funds research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.  So many of my friends, both in real life and on blogs, have suffered miscarriage and stillbirth.  Close members of my family have also had repeated miscarriages and BT’s cousin had a stillbirth only a few months before Baby Flat arrived.  It’s just unbearable and I don’t understand why something that is so common, yet which causes so much heartache and distress, isn’t talked about and researched more.

So this is where I am at! Feeling very happy and content and lucky.  I probably won’t update an awful lot from now on, as there isn’t much to say that hasn’t been plastered over every single ‘mummy blog’ out there, but I will keep trying to read your blogs and comment when I can (apologies if this ends up being three months after you post!!).

x x x