The title is misleading. I don't look at my pregnancy as a sort of competition with other women. But the idea of doing everything right is so attractive. Just as it is in any sort of race, of course. But if my last pregnancy was like a marathon, I basically had to drop out at mile 18 due to pelvic injury. But the analogy of course doesn't quite work because, despite that, I certainly didn't end up a loser and, instead, gave birth to the wonderful Lorax.
Today, I had my 30 week appointment with my midwife and I couldn't help feeling - "I am not only still running this marathon, but I am in the lead." (personality disorder? perhaps) I am, of course aware, it is uncharming to compare oneself to other pregnant women. And, truth be told, I wish everyone felt as good as I do. But I can't pretend for a second I believe that the fact that I feel a lot better than most women at 30 weeks is due to luck. But is the fact that nearly all of my measurements and vitals are on the verge of normal or abnormal possibly dangerous for the baby?
First in the exercise dept:
- in no part of my body do I feel injured or have pain
- still able to do a back bend, can hold myself in a plank for about 2 minutes
- have recently gotten close to cycling times comparable to prepregnancy times on the same routes
- feeling ready for the marathon on Sunday
- blood pressure was 99/48? (I always forget the diastolic), but the systolic has continuously dropped throughout pregnancy
- Pulse 68
- Baby's pulse around 110. (This had me worried for a second when we listened to the doppler and I thought the baby was me) But this is just barely within "normal" (nl. 110-160 bpm) and actually makes me think the baby has a very strong and healthy heart that it's pulse can dip so slow when he's sleeping. A very reliable sign of a healthy heart at any age is pulse variability. Plus the baby's heart rate should be just a little under double the mother's.
-Weight gain 13 lbs (just below current recommendations for normal weight women)
- Fundus measurement 24 cm (just below normal, but my midwife fudged on the sheet and called me 25 cm at 29 weeks to make it fit into the pretty "normal" gray bow)
So my weight gain, fundus measurement and baby's pulse are outside of the range of 95% of pregnant women. But despite this, neither I nor the midwife in any way got the impression that anything was wrong. But should we be worried? There is a lot that is unknown. But, then again... does it need to be known? Can the fact that I am otherwise healthy be the only reassuring factor needed? Well, threre is almost always a point at which things become dangerous. For example, one recent study from 2011 (a small study of 95 patients by William To in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) showed low weight gain in pregnancy to be associated with not returning to prepregnancy bone mass two years later (regardless of whether or not one breastfeeds). That can definitely be a concern, for athletes in particular, and is one reason I am NOT complaining or worried about being a bit ahead of my weight gain this pregnancy compared to last.
At the end of my visit, my midwife, however, asked the very poignant question: "Will you be able to get yourself to calm down enough for the birth?" Ha. "Calming down" has never been my forté and it didn't take her long to figure that one out. I guess the plan is to try giving birth in water (I tried it last time, but it didn't work out) and she's trained in acupuncture for pain control, so that will probably also come in handy. But yeah, getting an epidural and falling asleep seemed to be what it took last time, but it sure would be nice to experience labor naturally.
In other news, I have mastered the art of peeing with shorts on and not getting wet. Now that I pee approximately every 9 minutes during my first hour of running, this will be extremely practical at the Copenhagen Marathon (where there is a sad paucity of bushes and trees!).
Running song of the day: Naked Kids by Group Love (a nice summer song)
But an even better sound is Natali reading to The Lorax right next to me. These are happy days...
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin