One of the many perks of blogging is being able to sit around in stretchy pants looking like a swamp donkey. I can sip my coffee and eat some pizza and have intelligent (well, that’s a stretch that puts my pants to shame) and thoughtful conversations, and nobody would ever know that I look any different than my filtered, posed selfies from my other social media posts.
Another perk is that we get to write about things we may or may not be qualified to write about. I want to talk to you guys about pregnant running, but I don’t have any journal articles to site or research to document. What I do have however, is my own personal experience:
- I’ve been a marathoner since 1998 running anything from the 5K to a 50 mile ultra
- I’ve had 5 live pregnancies in the span of 17 years
- A BA with a major in Kinesiology
- Coaching/Running clinic leadership experience
- I’m a high mileage (60-100 miles per week) runner
Sometimes personal experience helps others more than books and research articles. The problem? I have a LOT of experience with pregnancy, running, and pregnant running and there is just no way I’d ever be able to fit it all in one post. I sat here trying to figure out how to sort it all and I decided to just divide it up into pregnancies! I’ll start with Jake.
Jake was conceived in December, 1999 when I was 21 years old. I had done my first marathon in 1998 and so I was still in pretty killer condition from playing varsity soccer and marathon training.
I ran right through and up to week 30 of my pregnancy with Jake. Back then though? I’d say I averaged about 30 miles per week. I never had a single issue until one particular warm day, when I had crammed in a quick trail run, jumped into my Firefly and drove straight over to a nearby pitch to watch Jason’s soccer game. My mom and my mother-in-law were there and as we sat together in the bleachers they noticed that I was having a hard time getting comfortable. I kept complaining of gas pains, and I’d wriggle around a bit every 5 minutes or so. Long story short, they DRAGGED me to the hospital, hauled me straight up to the maternity ward, and made me tell the nurses there what I was feeling. I was mortified because to me, all it felt like were gas bubbles! But sure enough, when they hooked me up to the monitor and checked my cervix, they saw that I was 50% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated (early labour, and not a good sign for a first baby). So I was ambulanced over to a bigger hospital with more NICU support, and given a bunch of medication to stop labour, and injections for Jake’s lungs should he be born at 30 weeks.
Ha. Check out how old everything is!
I stayed there for a week, was on bed rest until 34 weeks, and then my little Jakey was born a week late!!! He’s been giving us all the middle finger ever since. <3
Running itself didn’t put me into labour with Jake. I was dehydrated, and a dry uterus will get irritable and contract (I was legit diagnosed with an irritable uterus!!!) and most of the time all those contractions are doing are practicing for the real deal, but in this particular circumstance, I was so clueless about hydration and what real contractions felt like that I didn’t take the necessary precautions before I suited up and went out for my run.
Lesson #1: Drink shit tonnes of water. Drink so much water that you can’t even imagine leaving your house for a run because there will be nowhere for you to take a leak. If you do end up running, stuff some toilet paper into one of your pockets (foreshadowing to my third pregnancy) in case you need to make an emergency stop. Wear black bottoms in case you pee a little. Underdress. Don’t wear too many layers. Don’t sweat buckets unless you have the resources in your hand to replenish fluid as you go. Keep that uterus happy. If your uterus is happy, everyone is happy. Don’t hold your pee, even if you have to go all the time because a full bladder will also piss off an irritable uterus. Drink lots, pee lots, and if you find the time to run between all that drinking and peeing, you’re a frigging champion.
I have belly pictures from 2 months to 9 months with Jake but I’m in my bra and underwear for all of them! Otherwise I’d show you guys. Maybe I’ll get brave later.
Anyone sick of me writing about pregnancy? Do you miss the poo? Dammit.
Thong or bikini? Anyone out there wear the boy shorts style undies? DO NOT CALL THEM PANTIES OR I WILL DIE.