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This is How We Do Pregnant Running: The Party’s Here on the Westside

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:

  1. I’ve been a marathoner since 1998 running anything from the 5K to a 50 mile ultra
  2. I’ve had 5 live pregnancies in the span of 17 years
  3. A BA with a major in Kinesiology
  4. Coaching/Running clinic leadership experience
  5. 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.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Jen March 22, 2017, 5:08 pm

    I love a good pair of boyshort panties πŸ˜‰

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 22, 2017, 5:12 pm

      I lobbed that one up for you, didn’t I? Dang.

  • Lisa @ Mile by Mile March 23, 2017, 2:01 am

    Wow, that’s crazy that you went through all that and then he was born late! That must have been kinds of scary, especially at just 21 years old! At least you learned your lesson about hydration so you could run through your other pregnancies.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 7:33 am

      Meh…ignorance can be bliss though, so because I was so young and clueless, I didn’t worry too much, also because 30 weeks isn’t that early anyway and the hospital I was at was fantastic for supporting preemies.

  • Allie Capo-Burdick March 23, 2017, 2:57 am

    OMG throughout the entirety of my twin pregnancy all I heard was DRINK WATER. Here’s a little secret: I’m a horrible hydrator and I loathe drinking water all day. Don’t ask me why but I do. However, I drank so much damn water while pregnant with those two it was insane!! The problem was, whatever issue I was having – round ligament pain, spotting, feeling like my stomach was going to explode, pounding headaches – I got the same instructions – – drink more water! UGH!!!! So glad you’re in hyper hydrating mode and not me πŸ™‚ LOVED all these pictures but especially you in that wheelchair. You look like a baby yourself but so, so happy!! xo

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 7:32 am

      I hate drinking water too. It’s gross, it makes me cold, it makes me feel bloated, and I spend every waking second in the bathroom.

      It’s crazy to me how young I look in all the old pictures! I look at the wedding album and I’m just like, my parents let me get married that young?!?!?! Ha ha it’s weird! I look 12!

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe March 23, 2017, 3:45 am

    Bikini or cheeky hipsters. Also, don’t call them undies. But yes, coverage. I have to wear a liner, so always coverage.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 7:30 am

      Oh yeah, good point.

  • steph March 23, 2017, 7:39 am

    Funny…my fiancΓ© and I JUST talked about this last night after I stuffed my 32-weeks-pregnant self into a blousy tank and boy shorts. He loves them…even more with a little extra cushion on the back side πŸ˜‰ And they are so comfy. Whoever thought up the idea of thongs anyway?

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 7:46 am

      Aww you’d be so cute. Andrew is enjoying my more cushiony self as well. It’s rather exciting! I wear thongs because I wear leggings all the time and I don’t want underwear lines. I have a gift card for La Senza from Christmas so maybe I’ll go stock up on some cute non-thong undies.

  • Ana March 23, 2017, 8:13 am

    I love the picture of you and Jake ! Your short hair!! You look beautiful!

    Loving the pregnancy post, but I’ll read anything you write, because I love the way you write.

    I hate drinking water too! It is easier for me to drink it with a straw and at room temperature… picky water drinker here!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 2:06 pm

      It’s one of my favourite pictures of us. <3 Love that kid.

      Thanks for your support, Ana! And I'm the same when it comes to drinking water--I will drink way more water if I have a straw.

  • nw March 23, 2017, 9:26 am

    Love the pregnancy posts – keep ’em coming!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 23, 2017, 2:05 pm

      Alrighty! πŸ™‚

  • Amy Lauren March 23, 2017, 7:13 pm

    I personally love the pregnancy posts because they are like all your posts and you put your own spin on them. I don’t anticipate you doing monthly updates on your child or weekly updates like I’ve seen some bloggers do.

    Love the pic of you in the hospital and how old everything is! You still look exactly the same though. And even if you’re not a doc, I trust a lot of what you have to say about pregnant running because you’ve been there and most docs haven’t (at least not at the level you were, even the 30 mpw with Jake is probably on the higher end for many pregnant ladies).

    Besides, we know the poo posts will return, especially with a baby around.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 24, 2017, 9:00 am

      Thanks Amy! The poo got jealous I guess because now I’m having poo issues that are taking over my life. SIGH

  • Una March 23, 2017, 11:13 pm

    Never panties. Undies, underwear, underpants (personal fave), underoos. Boyshorts all the way. I lived in the ones with elastic lace waistbands (Victoria’s Secret) when I was pregnant because I refused to wear the GIANT parachute sized maternity undies (also, I was too cheap to buy them).

    My husband has some fancy underwear that we call his “manties.” He started it. Ha!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 24, 2017, 8:57 am

      I really really really need to get some gonch today. Mine are all digging into my uterus. And just the fact that you and your husband have manties makes me want to live close to you even more.

  • meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) March 24, 2017, 6:34 am

    not tired at all of pregnant talk! I enjoy it, reminds me of when I was pregnant! I wear both thong and bikini, I never liked the boy shorts for some reason. I also have what they call cheeky or cheeksters I think.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com March 24, 2017, 8:55 am

      Your undies suit your cheeky personality!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets March 28, 2017, 11:57 am

    Pregnant or not, I think drinking a shitton of water should be high on everyone’s list. In fact, I’m willing to bet the bulk of people are dehydrated in general.

    Jake is so adorable. I just want to squish those cheeks. Ahhhhh!

    Book the ticket already. Blows kiss.

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