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

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Thursday, 21 August 2008

6 Months

6 months since The Lorax was born. Since I saw his little gray round face and dark understanding eyes.

I used to figure that having kids would mean my own life would come to a halt. I'd be too consumed by motherhood to find time for myself. My thighs would get fat from all of the chocolate I'd secretly eat in my depression. And would cry when I saw my mom jeans in the mirror. And suddenly I'd realize that I was the one with the screaming kid in the grocery store.

Other than the fact that the Lorax was screaming in the grocery store today, my worries were in vain.

I'm not trying to say that I didn't want to have The Lorax. And anyone who was reading SR's blog from the beginning knows how desperately we wanted to have a child together. And perhaps there is nothing better in life than having a child with someone you love, adopted or home grown.

And becoming a mother doesn't have to make you a mom.

I feel the happiest, most well-rounded and most physically fit that I have felt in my life. Since The Lorax was born, I've run my first ultramarathon and my second (took 3rd woman!), competed in my first triathlon, won my first race (albeit a relay with SR) and set mile and 5k PR's.

I'm summarizing all of this because I would have loved to know this was possible before I got pregnant. And maybe some mothers-to-be out there will be reassured by it. I would be remiss, though, if I didn't mention that it is SR who has made me see that I can be both the mother and the woman I want to be.

And leaving my residency program to moonlight part time also turned out to be the right choice. My mom says repeatedly now "I would have gone into medicine if I knew I could do what you're doing."

My biggest piece of advice is to do what you know is right for you. And live with a clear conscience (Olga has been writing this in her comments on my blog all along, of course). There are plenty of people out there who think they know what is right for pregnant mothers and new mothers. Don't ignore them, but follow your intuition.

As most of you know, I had many people on this very blog and on forums all over the web writing nasty things about how much I ran during pregnancy. There was more than one person who accused me of trying to kill my baby by exercising so much. But here it is, six months later, and I have a healthy, beautiful, happy son. We just had his six month check up and he's 25th percentile in all growth parameters (so less short than before!) and ahead in language and motor. And that little boy's mother is right where she wants to be in life.


Running Song of The Day: Rastløs by Jokeren

8 comments:

Abbie said...

I couldn't agree more. Having gained 30lbs during my pregnancy (what they say is recommended) was too much for me and I am now still struggling to lose 10lbs. Perhaps had I continued with my exercise regime and chosen more healthy things to eat I wouldn't be in this boat... though i am almost where I want to be.

Danni said...

I think it's sad that you had/have such a negative view of "moms" and motherhood. Moms are the same people they were before children except they have children. Like, don't you think women who wear mom jeans always wore those types of jeans? I'm happy for you that you've made it work for you and that you're so happy. I agree with much of what you said (except the part about moms being fat and despressed -- I don't know any new moms like that!)

Kate said...

glad you are at a great place in your life! and you are right, everyone has to make the choices that are right for them as individuals. but I couldn't agree more with Danni - I am a mother and a "mom" to boot, and I'm fine with that! It's not my entire identity, but I'm happy and proud to be somebody's mama. I'm not fat or depressed, but I do count my blessing because serious post partum depression can strike anyone and can be very hard to deal with. The 'support crew' a person has, and the nature of the baby (colicky or not, etc.) can also make a big difference in how the average mom might be feeling at the 6 month mark.
p.s. can I add my 2 cents on the weight gain subject? I'm a pretty firm believer that (within reason), you're body is going to put on as much weight as it needs for the pregnancy. I continued exercising throughout (um, not like you, but exercising at least), and ate *pretty* well, and gained a whopping 47 pounds. (WHOA!) By the 6 month mark, I had lost it all, plus some, so I think that's just what my body was gonna do, plus or minus a few. So to abbie who gained 30, don't beat yourself up about it!

jacksonextra said...

I'm confused about why you feel being a "mom" and being the "woman you want to be" are somehow mutually exclusive. Like Danni, I find this rather sad.

Perhaps you should expand your circle of girlfriends -- many of the moms I train/hang out with are amazing athletes AND amazing mothers. It's never been an either/or, although it's ALWAYS been a balancing act timewise. And most of us look pretty good in our "mom jeans."

I've lurked on this blog (and runango) forever so I'm well aware how much flack you sometimes get. I'm honestly not trying to be one of the naysayers ...

olga said...

You know, the only reason I even consider to have another baby is because of knowing you - so I can have an experience like you did:) I always knew it's possible, but never tried it to this extent. SLG, I am almost ready to fly to that lil' town to meet you guys before you leave. Influence is always both-sided (is it English?). I have learned a lot form you - about life, and about myself too. Thanks.

Meghan said...

Amen, Sista!

I think the most important thing to take from this post is that you are a happy mama. I'm thrilled for you!

Meghan

sea legs girl said...

I guess the point was that, for me, being a happy woman and being a mom are not mutually exclusive. The road to happiness for me is probably very different than many other women. I know a lot of happy moms. And it's not that I know a lot of unhappy moms, it's simply that I see a lot of mothers' lives and I think "that would not make me happy."

Interesting how a post that doesn't even mention pregnancy weight gain spurred that discussion once again!

Lisa said...

"Interesting how a post that doesn't even mention pregnancy weight gain spurred that discussion once again!" In a roundabout way, your comment about the mom jeans implies that you are pleased you remained fit and slim, while other women are wearing mom jeans...which we all know are the ugly, elastic waisted pants that dumpy women wear. LOL!

Don't forget, a lot of women work full-time and cannot perhaps afford to work part time or stay at home full time. If I remember, your hourly rate was quite impressive. Personal time is at a premium these days....I'd take personal time over money any day. Don't get me wrong, I am glad you are so content!

I have to point out that you probably were always an overachiever and if you set a goal, you meet it. No question about it. You are disciplined and diligent. Most are not this way. ;) A lot of us struggle with what you find easy.

That child looks more and more like his Dad....