Saturday, 29 September 2007
If you ever need to restore your faith in humanity, you should wear a "5 months pregnant" t-shirt to a half marathon. Men and women alike were so supportive. And despite was SR had predicted, the women seemed proud of me and not jealous or judgemental. And there were many fun comments directed at me...
Did they charge you twice?
Bet that kid's going to be a runner!
The rule is they take 1/3 off your finishing time.
Man, if you beat me, I'm going to feel like shit; you're carrying a whole other person. To which I responded "Glad it's inspiring you just like it is me."
I saw SR after the half-way turnaround and he was in third, looking very strong and fast. He managed to stay in third the whole race. We were quite happy at the end and embraced for a long time, partly because we were so cold. And then I ate 6 large sugar cookies and half a bagel.
I couldn't believe how good I felt the whole race! Somehow I didn't overdo it, but still managed to go fast enough to feel good about my time.
I certainly put my foot in my mouth when we were talking to my future boss in the urgent care... He had told me he was a "serious runner" during the job interview but he didn't pick up on the fact that I was a runner, too. Anyway, after the race I asked him how he did and when he told me his time, I said "Wow, I'm 5 months pregnant (showed the shirt) and I beat you!" He looked pretty disgruntled after that. But SR and two other residents were laughing heartily. Oh, well.
One of our best friends, Justine (pet name), took second overall despite the fact that he had started out with a good lead. I guess the pacing bikes led him down a wrong street for about a minute and then he couldn't catch up to the first place guy. He seemed pretty calm about it, though. And happy overall because his first child was just born on Thursday.
Yes, it was a great day.
Pictures of the race will follow shortly.
Friday, 28 September 2007
In other news, I went in to sign a contract for my job that begins next week. I am quite excited to start, I must admit. But the pay was different than I had been told. The contract said $80/hour, but I had been told $103/hour. When I told the gal who was having me sign the papers that the pay was too low, I suddenly realized how crazy I must sound: a 28 year old girl saying $80/hour is not enough. The pay discrepancy between jobs in the US is incredible. I will never make even close to that amount of money in Europe and that is okay. Anyway, my persistence paid off as the contract is being changed.
SR and I both had the morning off after that. This involved putting on some music and him having his way with me. We got to lay in bed for like an hour afterwards. He was laying there touching my face while I had my eyes closed and when I opened my eyes, there were tears in his eyes and on his cheeks, but he was smiling. Gosh, I am in love, as you all must know by now.
Tonight we are going to some local fest and I get to meet many of the former medical residents, who have apparently all heard the tale about SR "getting this _____ surgery chick pregnant." How scandalous.
So it's the 20 week point in the pregnancy today (1/2 way there!) and still only 6 lbs gained. I am quite happy. And it's gorgeous outside, so I'm going to get on my bike.
Running song of the day: Red Umbrella by Faith Hill (lyrics are cliche, but man does she sing melodic songs)
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
It is well-described that being pregnant slows women down when running, but the reason for this is elusive to me. A big component of it, at least for me, is the constant urge to urinate and the pain of gas in the bowels. I'm sure there's more to it than this, though.
Last night I got home and SR had framed and hung up tons of wonderful photos of us together and us with the kids. We joke about what a good man-servant he is, but I must say he took it to a whole new level, considering one was even a photo collage. We went upstairs to look at the photos in the bedroom, one of which we are along lake camping with the sun setting behind us. We were playing around and laughing and before I knew it my running shorts were at my ankles and, you know. Yes, life is good. And he is a good man-servant. :)
Running song of the day: Time is Running Out by Muse
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
One day I hope to find someone to be happy with. Right now I keep asking same question: I broke my husband's heart by telling him we need to split, and I have no regrets. The thing is, we never were friends. We were lovers, parents to our kids, co-workers...but never friends, never much to agree upon, to share an opinion about. Now seems like the whole "home-country" world is blaming - it is always a woman's fault for not been able to "bend" and keep the marriage. It is ok for a guy to see other women, yell, give commands, make decisions. It is not ok for a woman to step away from it, especially if the kids are involved. Looking back at SR's blog when his wife just left him - it feels miserable for him then. But it lead him to you. I have one of my best friends who left her ex-husband, and her new husband was left by his wife. Both men (ex and new) were basically dumped. Both had gone through pain of adjusting. Both happy now. How can I show the way to my husband that he will be happy one day, if he just lets go right now?
This is a difficult, complex question and I love it. I can tell we are going through similar things with our ex-husbands, despite having different types of relationships with them.
I 'm thinking back to the book Anna Karenina. In the book Anna left her husband to be with someone she had fallen madly in love with. I remember being so happy for her in the book and I so badly wanted to feel love as strongly as she did. But in the end, everything goes wrong for Anna. Her life falls apart and eventually she is hit by a train and killed. What a terrible ending. Tolstoy is a great author and a deep thinker. But in the end, the point of the book was that women will eventually regret leaving their husbands. I was so angry at the end of the book and was amazed at how strongly I disagreed with Tolstoy. My ex-husband had also read the book and how poignant it was that he agreed with Tolstoy and not me.
The reason I bring this up is, Olga, we live in a a society of guilt. And then add to this the all-too-prevalent belief that women should be subordinate to men. I spent much of my young adulthood living in France, and the belief that women are intellectually and emotionally inferior to men is still evident even today. One of the most influential thinkers in France was Jean Jacques Rousseau (a sexy name I'll admit), who did not believe the French government should waste money educating women. And I think this goes a long way to prevent healthy relationships between men and women.
So we have two big issues to deal with in terms of other people judging our lives from the outside. And then there is the even bigger issue of hurting someone we cared about.
But I'm telling you Olga that we are lucky. We are educated, self-assured women and we have been encouraged to value our own ideas. I do believe that only women who have this can find truly mutual love. And, of course, you need to find the right man. But if you keep your eyes and heart open, Olga, I truly believe you will find him. And it will be so worth the wait!
The other thing I will add is that guilt is an unhealthy emotion. It is as unhealthy as any disease. And probably as unhealthy as jealously. I can tell you realize this, though, since you don't have regrets. We have to realize when we have the power to make someone's life better and when we don't. And when we don't, we need to focus on what we can do. So you ask how you can show your husband the way to be happy again, and I honestly don't think you can (or should feel like you need to). Our exes need to find happiness again on their own, and when they do, they will be much better off for it.
Monday, 24 September 2007
Here's me going to bed, ear plugs in place, after we learned the exciting news.
My dad cried a little the next morning when he learned he would have a grandson.
That night my 10 year high school reunion was quite enjoyable. It was fun to introduce SR to everyone. And to show the ultrasound pictures. The girls from my class looked really good. I was proud to hear about their jobs and the fun many of them seemed to be having. The most interesting conversation was about 20 HETE protein and its role in cerebral ischemia.
Here's us going to the reunion:
When we returned from our weekend away, we spent time with SR's kids. We had a Napoleon night where his daughter and I looked up everything we could learn about Napoleon. Life without TV is good. We made lox, vegetables & peanuts with grits and soy sauce for dinner. Yum! The vegetarian lifestyle seems to be going over well with SR and his kids. We even joked about a new Religion of Low Impact (ROLI), where a omniscient man named Roli would tell us what was best for the environment. But we have become serious about buying the ingredients for everything and avoiding processed, pre-packed foods. It's really a lot of fun.
Running Song of the Day: Alting Kan Gå Itu by Anne Linnet
Thursday, 20 September 2007
But then I thought about what an emotional day yesterday was and I couldn't believe it had nearly slipped my mind already. I sometimes joke that I have the disorder of being constitutionally happy. I guess I doubt you can appreciate life to the fullest as a happy puppet. Yesterday I went back to my hometown to get a divorce with ex-husband, who I hadn't seen since March. In truth it was so good to see him and know he was okay. He was my best friend for ten years. And we broke up on the grounds that we had really never been more than great friends and at first it seemed mutual. But then in April he refused to talk to me. It was all to clear yesterday that though he was the same person he had always been, I had broken his heart and his life had not yet changed for the better. I would have to be heartless to not care about this. In the past, his happiness so much depended on me and there were few things that I cared about more, but now there is nothing I can do to make things better for him.
And I ask myself if I am a horrible person to have no regrets. But I met the love of my life. And have lived a fairy tale romance since SR and I started dating in March. And we are having a baby and I don't think either of us have ever been so happy. What more does one need in life? So I hope that ex-husband will find the same happiness. And regretting won't help anyone.
I hear SR's sleeping breath behind me and I know life is good. We're going to be running some fun trails this weekend. Hopefully I'll have a 20 miler on Saturday. I'll be excited to post pictures and tell the tales.
Running Song of the Day: Falling by Ben Kweller
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Running Song of the Day: No Ceiling by Eddie Vedder (nice short song that was just released today)
New favorite post-run drink: 1/2 Lakewood Organic Lemonade
1/2 Diet Twist Up
Monday, 17 September 2007
I have consulted ob-gyn doctors and midwives about running a marathon 5 months pregnant, but they all say there is not enough information to advise me either way. As I have stated before, there are so many benefits of exercise during pregnancy. As long as I don't push myself too much or get overheated or dehydrated, I think it should be a great experience.
In other news, we finally obtained some forms for our emigration to Scandinavia. It's much more straight-forward than we had thought. Probably the most challenging part will be for me to learn the language well enough to get a permanent position as a doctor there. But that will be great fun, since I love languages almost as much as I love running.
I'm off to bike and swim now. Yes, the joys of vacation from work continue.
Monday, 10 September 2007
We had an incredible weekend. We went to this horribly commercialized town much like Las Vegas but smaller for a medical conference. Had I been with anyone else, I doubt I would have had much fun. But SR and I got there and we joked about our "wilderness" hotel. I feel like a kid with him. He always brings two candles on plates with us when we go out of town. He says that way he's "got game." So he lit the cheep candles. The truth is I love looking at him in the candlelight. It is a strange feeling to know that we need nothing more than each other to be happy. We talked about childhood. It turns out we both were extremely saddened as children by how fleeting time is and how no one seems to appreciate how quickly things fade around them. Of course, much has been written about living in the moment. And right now that moment is so important to us. I can't imagine being happier than I am now, with SR.
We had wonderful sex and went to bed late. We didn't wake up for breakfast and skipped the morning part of the conference. We had breakfast on the balcony and then morning sex. Then we went running for two and a half hours at a nearby state park. There was a nice lake and winding running trails.
Then we came back to the conference. SR and two other residents from his group of residents won a state-wide medical jeopardy competition. So we are getting a free trip to Washington DC for the national competition!
Later we went to the hotel waterpark with the other residents. It was fun going down the slides and trying to look un-pregnant so I wouldn't get kicked off. The other residents at our program are quite conservative in the sense that most are from India and they had arranged marriages. They look at SR and me with fascination. I'm sure they see us like people in a movie or soap opera, even though we are all friends. We left our respective spouses and I got pregnant two months after SR and I started dating. Certainly this is much different than their marriages.
That night SR and I went to eat Mexican food. We talked a lot about the Beatles, who we had had similar obsessions with at about the age of 13. It never ceases to amaze me how similar we were are and yet we were brought up half way across the world from each other.
Looks like the rain is letting up so I better get running. Here are some pictures of us from the weekend.
The first one is SR with another resident who won medical jeopardy. I'm standing to the right.
The next one is me and it's pretty self-explanatory.
Friday, 7 September 2007
Here are three things I recommend (with long explanations underneath) for a happy and healthy pregnancy and delivery:
1. Love how wonderful and different your body is.
- You are going to get a big belly. SR looks at this as a beach ball, which does make it more fun for me.
- You're going to get big boobs, too. For someone such as myself who used to be called "skim milk" in junior high, this is quite thrilling.
- Your body is going to take over your normal activities in many ways. I find I can no longer run for long distances when it's hot, because my body just won't allow me to heat up, so I walk and run and walk and run. This is a downer, but an amazing defense for the baby. A good thing that has happened with my running is I seem incapable of falling. I used to trip and fall all of the time while running in the woods, but now I trip and somehow I am always able to catch myself. I do marvel again at our bodies' ability to protect the baby
- Finally, you will probably notice swelling in the perineum and clitoris. This can certainly be used to your advantage in bed or in a bathroom on a plane or wherever else you chose to have sex. You will be much more sensitive, so you have to be a bit more careful, but I have now found myself capable of having multiple orgasms in a row. Not bad, huh?
2. Discipline yourself
Okay, so it's not all fun. But disciplining yourself certainly does feel good in the long run.
- Weight gain: Many books I have read give guidelines for certain amounts of weight you should gain in pregnancy. I firmly believe that you do not need to gain much weight, if any during pregnancy (especially if you start out overweight). Although you do need to eat a healthy, varied diet. And don't forget to take folic acid and get your essential fatty acids (fish oil is a great source associated with good neurologic function in babies).
Women with hyperemesis gravidarum usually lose weight in the first half of pregnancy and they have completely normal babies. Also, a friend of my family lost 35 pounds during pregnancy and gave birth to a perfectly normal child (she was significantly overweight, though). I do believe that unless you start out underweight or malnourished (and these women can rarely conceive anyway), your baby will get what it needs from you whether or not you gain weight (again if you eat a good diet and include important supplements). But, if you want to maintain your weight, you will gain weight which is distributed as follows:
Baby = 7-8 pounds
Placenta = 1-2 pounds
Amniotic fluid = 2 pounds
Uterus = 2 pounds
Maternal breast tissue = 2 pounds
Maternal blood = 4 pounds
Fluids in maternal tissue = 4 pounds
= 22-24 pounds.
If you gain more than this (22-24 lbs), it will go to your fat stores, and this will be weight you need to lose after you deliver. If you gain less, I firmly believe your baby will be fine, you will just be thinner after.
Eating: One thing you will notice is that you will probably feel like eating all of the time. But resist the temptation! It is just as easy to gain extra weight when you are pregnant as when you are not. In fact, it's probably easier. Weigh yourself every morning to avoid gaining too much weight.
- on a personal note, I gained 5 pounds right away when I found out I was pregnant. I just wasn't used to feeling so hungry and I thought I should just obey my body. But in reality, the weight just went to my thighs and other areas I didn't want it. Since that time I have gained 1 pound (for a total of 6 lbs at 17 weeks along) and I feel great and we had an ultrasound which showed a baby that seemed happy.
I will also add that excess weight gain is associated with poor outcomes. The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to develop gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these can harm your baby. Plus, it is important to continue to take pride in how you look.
Exercise: Do cardiovascular workouts as much as possible. Do not use pregnancy as an excuse. You can exercise for hours (as women used to do when they were hunters and gatherers) and you will be in better shape for the delivery. But if it gets too strenuous, you will find yourself unable to continue, and that's okay. When your pregnant body says "no", there's really nothing you can do.
Also maintain or improve your core strength. Working on strengthening your abs has got to be beneficial when you are trying to flatten your belly after delivery. And don't forget to strengthen your pelvic muscles. This will help prevent incontinence and help you maintain the muscle tone in your vagina afterwards so sex feels as good for you and your partner (at least I'm hoping kegels will help with this!). Plus you will find delivery easier if you have well toned abdominal and pelvic muscles.
Another personal aside is that a lot of people tell me I exercise too much. They say "how can you take that risk?" But no one has shown a risk of exercising too much during pregnancy (at least not that I'm aware of) and there are plenty of risks to you and your baby if you get out of shape and overweight. And so I now ask the people who don't exercise "how can you take that risk?"
3. Be happy
Happiness in my mind is the key to good health. Everything else aside, if you can be happy, you will most likely be healthy (of course there are some exceptions to this).
- Think about the beautiful baby inside of you and what a miracle it is.
- Enjoy spending time with your partner and the (most likely) wonderful sex you can have. And talk to each other about the baby and the things you are both looking forward to you.
- Embrace this change in your life. It is a truly wonderful thing that many women are so fortunate to experience. Take pride in yourself and know you can continue to be you and be happy and have a successful pregnancy. Put on your sea legs and enjoy!
******And here are some songs to make you happy
Good song about pregnancy: Emporer's New Clothes by Sinead O'Connor
Good song for love making: Snow on the Sahara by Anggun
Good song about a happy couple: For the Actor by Mates of State
City Syndrome - AM
Snow on the Sahara - Anggun
Irreplaceable - Beyonce
Wisemen - James Blunt
Trimmed and Burning – Built to Spill
Butterfly – Crazy Town
Fuck Dig – Anna David
Title and Registration – Death Cab For Cutie
Beautiful Mess – Diamond Rio
Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
I Get Around – Dragonette
You Please Me - Dragonette
Hear Me Out - Frou Frou
Goodnight and Go – Imogen Heap
Oh Yoko – John Lennon
Soft Rock Star - Metric
Missed the Boat – Modest Mouse
Sink the Seine – Of Montreal
Catastrophe – Rainer Maria
Close Call – Rilo Kiley
Turn it Up – Robots in Disguise
Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave
Sunday - Sia
I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
I Summon You - Spoon
She’s So High – Tal Bachman
Play Tough – The Apples in Stereo
Same Old Drag – The Apples in Stereo
Stream Running Over – The Apples in Stereo
Valse d’Amelie – Yann Tiersen
Battleships - Travis
Jezebel – Two Hours Traffic
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
I suppose I should give the Reader a bit more background. Last year I was happily married and headed for the surgical residency of my choice in a state far away. I had three different months where I worked with, we'll call him, SR. The second month was somewhat unreal and it was as if neither of us wanted to admit what was happening. We talked about everything and had fun at work. I realized how happy I was. We spent every moment together we could, all the while wondering how close of friends we could become. He is so smart and funny. He graduated first in his medical school class in a European Country and came to the US with his wife, who is from here. And he speaks perfect English and German and Swedish and Norwegian as well as his native language of course, but I digress. But one additional point I need to make is he is the best looking guy a know, like a blonde Ewan McGreggor, but better looking. And beautiful green eyes. So we ran together, played tennis together, went skiing together. We actually entered a 5k race, which he won and I took second for the women. Nothing in the world made us happier than spending time together. And yet it was forbidden. But on March 13th, he asked me in to his house to fold laundry and I told him I was in love with him and never should have gotten married. He stared at me for a long time. He told me I was perfect and that "the flood gates would open," so I better be sure. We kissed. So unreal. We told our respective spouses. (His had already told him she was a lesbian.)
So we fell more and more in love, all the while knowing that I only had 3.5 months before I needed to leave for the far away state. They were the best months of my life. We went camping and running and had sex at least once a day, hoping I would get pregnant. We even had sex on a beach while back country camping. People in the outside world either thought we were crazy or just plain didn't care.
The day before I was to leave for the surgical residency in a far away state, we found out I was pregnant. We were so happy we cried. He drove me to the far away state after I said my goodbyes to his two wonderful children. I spent a week there, not knowing what I would do alone and pregnant and then alone with a baby and having to work 80 hour weeks and take overnight call. After a week there, SR drove all night to convince me to leave the program and move back in with him. We were miserable without each other. I explained the dilemma to my program director. I left the program on good terms.
I am back home living with SR. We just visited his family in the European Country and we are planning to move there so we can both continue residency. In the meantime I will work in the Urgent Care of a local hospital.
I am waiting to start working right now. I am spending my days running 12 miles then biking then swimming. I am now 17 weeks along in the pregnancy and I feel great!
My advice to the Reader is this: follow your heart and you might just wake up every morning realizing you're even more in love.