Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"It's better to feel pain than nothing at all. The opposite of love's indifference." - The Lumineers

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hi. I'm back.

Okay, I'm back writing again. I had to make the blog private over the weekend because I didn't want to spend my weekend dealing with accusations of being a bad mother. And it's just the people on the runango forum who seem to have it out for me. It's a mob mentality of sorts. Why else would people be mad about my healthy, low blood pressure? Or accuse me of being a bad mother because The Bois got a sunburn once ("the lobster" story)?... the exact same thing happened to my best friend when she was a new mother.
I would post a link, but the comments are so far from the truth (for the most part) that it's not worth reading. You can google it if you like.

I'm just a normal young woman who wants to be the best wife and mother I can be. I've found true love and happiness in my life and I want to write about it; that's why I have this blog. Plus I enjoy having this link to the running community.

I was touched by SJRunner's following comment (when the easy thing to do would have been to join in and gang up on me):

...we've all made diet/workout/life choices that might be controversial to others. Why do we single her out this much, just because she is willing to be open about it? I just don't feel I can say she's crazy, and at the same time be mad when people tell me running and training for marathons is obsessive and unhealthy. Also I honestly support our preggo runners with various mileages, then I don't feel right criticizing her about her preggo mileages. Of course there's a line with everything, however, I don't feel I have the right to name that line when it comes to pregnancy and child rearing.

Yeah, I do write honestly. Maybe that is why the blog is so controversial. I don't know. And as long as I'm being honest, I do want to clarify my background a bit (also in response to the runango forum).

I had a normal childhood with wonderful parents. I went to a great college and was a French and English major. I also studied at the Sorbonne. I then moved to Toulouse, France to teach handicapped children. I really got into spiritual biking and running at this time. I almost went to medical school in France, but got into a really good one in the United States. I enjoyed med school. And it brought me to doing work in a great little hospital in rural Guatemala.

I matched at great residencies, one transitional (internship) and then one in a competitive surgical subspecialty which would follow internship. It was during internship that I met SR. After the year of internship, I moved away to start the surgical residency and was torn apart by not being with SR. He was unable to transfer to do residency there. I learned I was pregnant and didn't know how I would raise a baby living alone during residency. One night, SR drove all night to convince me to move back and live with him. There was really no other option; I missed him so much that I could hardly function and I didn't want to raise our child alone or with a nanny. I left the program in good standing. I have been taking the year off, moonlighting in Urgent Care and Inpatient Alcohol Detox. We're moving to Denmark next year for a number of reasons. I am planning to restart residency there (and the work week there for residents is only 37 hours a week!).

I hope that brings everyone up to speed. So, yes, I am a physician. I love the work and I take it very seriously.

Sorry to my regular readers who know pretty much all of that already.

Anyway, we did have a great weekend. Found a nice sushi restaurant in our town, enjoyed some eel. And we did some speed work on our run today.

The Bois has been more animated than ever. Maybe I'll find time to upload a video soon.

17 comments:

Michelle said...

Welcome back!

I was worried I would be shut out of your blog forever! ;-)

Lucy said...

Hi Sea Legs Girl,

I have read your blog off and on for the last few months and have really enjoyed reading about your pregnancy and running adventures. I was very impressed with the quality and quantity of research that you did on pregnant runners. As a fellow doctor, I know that medicine is an art and that there are many things we have yet to learn, so I applaud you for looking outside the box. As a runner, I am amazed at your determintation and will power and I hope you keep getting your PRs. I have not read the latest running forums but I think that people become antagonistic and defensive when they see someone else doing great things that they can't or won't do themselves. Most of the time this stems from jealousy. So don't worry about the naysayers. Keep your great positive attitude. Congrats on your beautiful family!

Abbie said...

SLG,

I was sad to see the negative comments posted. Everyone does things differently and it's unfortunate when others forcefully and rudely place their opinions on others. Having just had a baby (and boy is she fussy) I am constantly bombarded with people telling me what I should do to help her. Though their advice is almost always with the kindest of intents (unlike many who have commented on your blog) I too feel like you mentioned... a fragile mom who is just trying to do the best for my baby.

That said, I was curious to know if you are able to exclusively breastfeed. I have been trying but feel that my milk supply is so low. Our little girl wasn't gaining weight like she should have been and so now we give her formula every now and then. I was curious if you had noticed whether your running and eating had any effect on feeding the Bois breastmilk.

I guess I just feel sorry that so many people have anonymously (read cowardly) forced their opinion on you. I can tell that you love the Bois and that you are looking out for the well being of both of you. I'm sure you know the importance of taking care of the Mom too... :) Sorry for the novel.

Bec said...

Sea Legs Girl,

I am so glad that you went public again. I went to check both your blog and your husband's blog and was sad to see they were both private. I was also worried I would be shut out!

I think that people (and women especially) are often critical of other women. The internet provides you an anonymity which allows you to be so frank and honest about your trials and tribulations; your quirks and joys; your successes and disappointments as a wife, mother, and woman. Unfortunately, that same anonymity gives other people the freedom to be judgmental and cruel. I am not yet a mother, but I am under no assumption that everything I will do will be right or perfect according to what ‘others’ think. This would be especially true if I were under a microscope for others to see. Make yourself, your husband, and your child and stepchildren happy and forget about what other people think.

Your honesty and candor with which you have described your life has been fascinating to read. I have been reading for a long while and know that both you and your husband have experienced rude, judgmental, and negative comments in the past. Although I have never commented before, I felt the need to tell you this time that there are people out here reading, enjoying, and NOT judging. Take care!

RSL

p.s. Please pass along my good wishes to the RunningDoc and let him know I miss reading his blog!

sea legs girl said...

Wow. I guess I feel pretty good in my skin now. SR and I have been enjoying these comments. You all have made me so happy I didn't just scrap the whole blog thing, as I was considering.
Abbie, I wanted to answer your question about breastfeeding. I have had a good milk supply. I did something unusual when I began breastfeeding: I just fed out of one breast and pumped out of the other for the first week, partly because I had a sore on one side, partly because I wanted to make my body think I had twins. Anyway, it seems to have at least given me ENOUGH milk as The Bois went from about 10th percentile to 50th percentile in weight in his first 9weeks (6lbs 1oz to just under 12lbs).
Unfortunately I don't know much about increasing milk supply after that initial stage. If I learn anything helpful, I'll let you know.

Michelle said...

I'm glad you didn't scrap the blog, too.

I know how much it sucks to have someone leave a mean comment on a blog. Some jerk left one on mine several months back. Something to the effect of "Your blog is so god damn boring!" Um, well why are you reading it, jerk?! It wasn't even a personal attack, but it really bothered me, and I made my blog private for a couple days, too. Come to find out this guy hates a lot of people and has his own blog where he basically rips this one guy in particular to shreds just about every day. Sad that he's so unhappy with his life, isn't it?

Anyway, keep on keepin' on and try not to let people get you down.

(Oh, and I'm the same Michelle who posted a comment earlier, but I have a new pic now.) :-)

Heather said...

Try not to let it get to you. I have made choices others disagree with and some take the relative anonymity of the internet to be quite mean and vocal. People need to learn to back off and not judge others. It drives me crazy when some do... What's that quote... "Just because someone is not on your road to fulfillment and happiness does not mean they've gotten lost." Everyone judges sometimes, but personally I try to minimize that and keep it to myself unless I'm asked specifically about it at that time. I'm not sure why some have such a hard time with that. I have not run into it so much in the blog community as in internet forums, for whatever reason.

I was worried when I thought I'd been blocked off your blog! I really enjoy reading it, and was glad I found it. I think you are helping people out there by being honest and having it up there. So thank you for bringing it back!

People will try to tell you all aspects of your life are wrong if you don't follow the beaten path or the prevalent mindset. Try to ignore it and focus on your happiness, and the happiness of those you love. I think it shines through that you love your family. I grew up with an abusive/selfish mother and, sister, you ain't it! It makes some people uncomfortable when others don't follow the same thing that is right for them, because they can't accept differences and see it as an affront to their choices. A strange pathology, and not worth your time!

Traci said...

I am from runango. I can say that "yes" I have a negative image of you. BUT- I can say that jealousy is not the reason for the megative comments from most ladies on the forum. A lot of the women from forum are faster and thinner than you- and ran as many miles as you pregnant. So nothing to be jealous of from that stand point. Most of the "rude" comments came from the fact that you posted about an unsafe biking incident that turned out ok, but could have been deadly. You never once made the comment that you were wrong for using the bike trailer and in fact continued using it after the accident. If you are still using it, then yes you are "acting irresponsible" and need to stop using it until he is older. That is like driving in a car without a carseat--how are you going to feel if something bad happens when you knwingly acted against the safety laws. You just took that part out of the blog so that no one would call you on the mistake. No one is perfect in childcare. BUT- you have to admit when you make a mistake....not assume everyone is jealous because you can keep up that level of exercise even with kids. Yes- I have 2 kids and have always exercised. BUT- I followed the safety rules on the jogger stroller and bike trailer. I paid a babysitter for all other exercise until kids were older. Since you have read runango-- you'll see that many new mom's ask for exercise equipment advice BEFORE they do something. If someone on runago would have posted the bike trailer story WITHOUT admitting how wrong it was, then she too would have been told the same things you were told. I AM using my name and have never posted before....

Heather said...

Okay, more comments--- I googled the forum and I read. Some of the people seem to be honestly concerned, most just into drama.

Complete honesty: I was worried reading your blog to begin with because of your low weight gain. My doctor told me to gain 25-35 lb, and there does seem to be a consensus in the research I reviewed indicating inadequate weight gain is not in the best interest of the baby. However, you had a healthy child and I'm not sure why they'd still be attacking you now-- apparently your midwife and yourself knew better what was right for you than general research.
As long as you aren't insulting others who feel that doing less/gaining more is right for them (me, for instance. :) ) I'm not sure why you should be attacked for your choices.
I have wondered if you might have some body image/eating issues -- but that is not for me to decide. Your health and your baby's health is most important and the internet is not the one to be judging that-- it is you, your family, and your doctors.

I hope the best happiness and health to you and your child-- and that you continue your blog for all those of us who enjoy reading it.

(Oh, and some of those people are grossly misinformed! Can't run while pregnant? Can't ride a bike outside? They need to do a little bit of research on their own about the current recommendations for a healthy, low-risk pregnancy in someone who was participating in those activities before becoming pregnant! My OBGYN warned me himself that people feel it's their right to comment on what's best, and to ignore them-- and I'm glad he did. I only listen to myself, my husband, him, and my midwives as to what's right for my pregnancy. Those are the people who will know... not internet folks.)

Lisa said...

I agree with Traci. I do not think the Runango crowd is jealous, as lucy stated. I thought it was clear that they did not agree with a few of your actions.

I'll say this, there are times I do not agree with your choices SLG, but I'm not going to judge you or admonish you, you could come over to my blog and do the same.

It may not seem like it, but they really were *more* concerned about the safety of you and your son and *less* hunting for a reason to berate you.

I hope your training is going well and I am glad you kept your blog up.

Barbara said...

So glad to see you back! It's a shame you had to temporarily close your blog. I guess people were just concerned about the bois hanging upside down in the bicycle trailer, held in by a bungee cord. I am sure you have learned a hard lesson from the experience, and it won't be repeated. Much of parenting involves learning lessons the hard way. Not all of us are perfect!

Nancy said...

I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now, and felt compelled to comment for the first time as a result of the "bike trailer incident." Fist off, I was shocked that you didn't research the safety issues of this thoroughly prior to attempting it; you posted so much research about exercise in pregnancy, you seemed to research labor options well (water birth, etc), you're obviously a smart woman, so I assumed you would be type A about all baby safety issues. Maybe you did know that bike trailers are for 1-yr olds and older, but decided since your baby was born healthy while breaking the conventional "rules" about pregnancy, you could make your own rules for anything. I don't want to speculate too much into your motives for strapping an infant car seat into a bike trailer not designed for such an adaptation (forcing age inappropriate activities for the sake of proving family togetherness? impatience and a feeling of invincibility? perhaps just excitement of spring emerging and actual ignorance??), so I instead I wanted to comment about your reaction to the accident. Whatever your motivation for doing it was, it is done, so let's move on. You have since deleted the original post and added a disclaimer about being a new parent and making mistakes, which of course is very valid. New parents make mistakes all the time, it is forgivable, no one is perfect, I wouldn't judge you for a first-time parenting blunder. My concern is that you did not include anything resembling a lesson learned. You don't say that you won't do it again. In fact, in the original post, you did do it again, but just used an extra bungee cord the next time. That is not acceptable, and I am judging your parenting on that choice. You knew that your baby almost fell out once, and could have been seriously hurt, but you went ahead and did it again. Using a second bungee cord will not keep your bike trailer from flipping over. It will not protect that fragile neck and brain and delicate fontanelle with incomplete skull fusion . It will not act as a helmet if you did crash or get hit by a car (lots of states have helmet laws for minors which include kids riding in trailers for a very good reasone, and just because your state doesn't have that law, doesn't mean you don't need a helmet for him when he is old enough to be in the trailer). It will not keep the trailer from jostling and bouncing and shaking your baby's brain like jello. Please assure your readers that you have learned your lesson, and will NOT take Christian out in the trailer until he meets the age/size requirements recommended by the manufacturer. I enjoy your blog a great deal, I was glad you removed the private settings, and I hope that you will continue to blog in the future. I believe you when you say you would be destroyed if something happened to your baby, but it just didn't seem like you really learned your lesson here. Stick to the baby jogger, assuming you have the kind with the actual adapter for the car seat, and aren't just tying/bungee cording/duct-taping him on there or something.

The Chapples said...

I am the one who said on Runango that I am not riding my bike outside whole pregnant, Heather. I said that PERSONALLY I was making the decision not to, not that pregnant women COULDN'T. Seems like an unnecessary risk to ME. I just don't want to do anything that might put my baby in harm's way, even if my doctor told me it was ok. It just doesn't seem worth it to me when I can ride my bike all I want to when I am not pregnant.

olga said...

Welcome back, girl:) Wow, I feel like I don't need to comment anymore - you've got so much going on...but know mine would mainly stay where they did for the last year. I like you, dear. Go on, live life...

Jeff said...

Hi, I've been lurking for a while and actually created a profile just to comment. I have enjoyed your blog for a few months now.

This type of blog will attract attention. Of course these runango ladies are going to be jealous of you. You could gain 20 pounds and decrease your training to 5 miles a week and these ladies would still hate you!

I missed the bike trailer indident but I have done the car seat-in-the-baby-jogger trick. Kids get way more vibrations from sitting in a car than in a baby jogger if you are on flat pavement. Lot's of poeple do that. You gotta use common sense here. It sounded like you made a stupid mistake, though. That doesn't mean you have an eating disorder or that you are selfish for exercising so much (or whatever they are saying about you over there right now).

Thanks for blogging!

Barbara said...

Jeff, she was going down the side of a mountain, not on flat pavement. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, just pointing that out. And I think the people who are getting most upset are probably mothers themselves; it's the maternal instinct kicking in. (although I am not from runango, so I can't speak for them) But as already pointed out, every new parent makes mistakes! It's a learning experience.

Meghan said...

Oh Sea Legs Girl!

When will these human beings simply put their heads down and do their own life? What makes them so anxious to sniff around in the business of others so seemingly judgmentally? I have not read the Runango madness, nor do I need to it seems. Same crap, different month.

When I read the bike trailer incident story, it read to me like you were horrified of what had happened, and what the consequences could have been. It seemed like a post about learning how to parent, feeling bad about what had happened. We've all made mistakes. I'm not a parent, but when I first got my dog, I did some stupid things with her. I've learned my lesson and I don't do those things anymore. I'm not trying to compare the importance of a dog and an infant, merely pointing out the human capacity for mistake-making even when the stakes are living, breathing creatures and acquiring new knowledge from such mistakes. Do these Runago people perhaps think they are perfect, unable to err in their ways?

And, I think you are completely normal in size for a runner. I have met you and seen you in person and you seem a healthy young woman. You and I are probably about the same age and size, what do you think? And, the Bois looks like your average, healthy baby, too. (This is all quite obvious to you, Sea Legs, mostly I write this for the benefit of your commenters.)

Anyway, my best and unsolicited advice is to do your best in turning your head away from these people. Obviously if they are judgmental and write with viciousness and all of this on an online forum, methinks that the best interest of your family is not really in their minds.

Sigh, humanity sometimes. Keep your head up Sea Legs, and know there are a lot of people on your side. Including me!

Meghan