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01 November, 2011

Will you still call me Superman?

Last Fall I knew Eric and I were planning to get pregnant so I started eating better and exercising. I knew I would want to feel my best going in to the pregnancy.

Well, one day while doing aerobics, I twisted my ankle.  I took a few weeks off from working out; I was super busy with work anyway.  Then the holidays came. The pounds packed on and the work outs stopped completely.

Come January it was time to get serious about my Disney Princess Half-Marathon training, but every run left my ankle more and more swollen.  Off to the doctor.  It was sprained pretty bad.  I was forbidden to exercise, or walk more than a mile or so a day for 8-10 weeks.

That got me to the end of February.  I was cleared the Monday before our Sunday half-marathon.  I pushed through and finished the 13.1 by walked very slow and very carefully.

Little did I know I was already pregnant.  (I should have known by the crazy hormones I had while at Disney World!) And within days of returning from Disney extreme exhaustion set in.  Coupled with severe food aversions, my health quickly deteriorated.  I went from attempting a half-marathon to an ice cream eating couch potato in all of five days.

My food aversions left and my energy crept back, until I spent a week in 90+ degree weather chaperoning summer camp.  I left with a viral infection. When was I ever going to work out again?

I probably had a good two weeks of exercise before I had a pain in my back that pinched so badly I could barely walk, thus bringing my exercise routine to a screeching halt. Again.

I tried the pregnancy belt, but no luck.  No sooner did I find a chiropractor who fixed the pain did I slip on my kitchen rug and sprain my groin and butt.  Oy.  For real?

By the time I recovered from that, the end-of-the-third-trimester exhaustion set in, and the work stress piled and piled.

The mid-wife and chiropractor warned me to slow down, take naps, keep my feet up, take breaks.... but can I sit still when there is a nursery to prepare, a Confirmation program to run, a house to keep, parties to attend? No.

So I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed.  And on Friday I nearly collapsed from exhaustion.  But could I sleep?  Nope!  I was up for 4 hours in the middle of the night worried about the baby and the next bit of work I had to catch up on.

Sunday I finally slept a little but not enough to recover from the extremely stressful week at work and the dozen errands I ran over the weekend.

Monday morning I walked in to the midwife's office.  They ran the usual tests and walked me back to the exam room.  I could hear the midwife and the OB consulting in the hallway about a poor girl who had high blood pressure, looked terrible, and was going to have go on bed rest.  I laughed at who ever that person was, as I didn't have time for bed rest.

Ha! The midwife came in, poked around at my hands and feet and said, "Honey, you're not going back to, or until after this baby comes. I am writing you a note and demanding you go on medical leave.  You're at risk for a stroke."

I literally burst into tears in the office. Excuse me?  I don't have time for bed rest and stroke risks.  I have two Masses for 180 teens to be Confirmed to finish planning.  But the dizziness and pounding headache were enough to make me oblige.

The midwife took me to her office, laid me in the recliner and fed me cookies until I stopped crying. Seriously.  And then she called Eric and gave him all the instructions I needed for the week.  She made me pinky promise I wouldn't step foot in my office again until 6-8 weeks post partum.

Yikes!  I called a co-worker and dictated six pages of notes and delegations for her and the staff to work on to get the Confirmation program wrapped up.  And with that I could almost feel the headaches going away.  The rest of the day was spent, as directed, laying down on my side to help drain the fluids from my body.

Today I had to return a 24 hour urine test (it's as gross as it sounds!) and have more blood work done.  Eric came with me.  My face and ankles are less puffy already, but my pressure was up.  We did an ultrasound to check on the baby.  Her heart rate is up just a little, but the fluid and measurements are good.  Even though this combination wasn't great, it was enough that the midwife decided to let me go a few more days on bedrest and not induce me right then and there.

We get the test results back tomorrow at lunch.  If all goes well then I go back on Friday for another round.  The better the test results, the longer we can wait to have the baby.  Every day means a better developed baby.  She still has three weeks to cook, yo.

So here I sit, reflecting on how badly I wanted to be in "good shape" to help this pregnancy run as smoothly as possible... yet a series of unfortunate events got in the way.

It's been a huge lesson in humility.  There is a lot I wanted to control in this pregnancy, but sometimes we have to stop and listen to our body.  I think God was sending me warning messages with the sprained ankle, the flu, the back ache, the sprained SLOW DOWN.  But did I?  NOPE.  

I was trying to be Superman and fight through instead of listen to the warnings.

Look where it landed me!  Lesson learned.


  1. I'd say that growing a baby human inside of your body deems you worthy of Superman status any day!  When you're holding her in your arms for the first time, you won't remember why you were so stressed about all the "other" stuff before :)

  2. What a journey! It's been a tough year for my workout routine as well. The good news is that the Archbishop will indeed confirm all those teens, and the people that you work with have your back. Your little one will one day (probably faaar into the future) realize what everyone else already knows about you. That you are indeed a superwoman. Praying for your family...

  3. Oh my goodness!! Take care of yourself, woman!! I had really bad health with Gavin (though not compared to what you've had!) and I had an old friend call and want to come and stay with us for a week.  Oh and she'll be bringing her 3 kids.  And her mom and 2 brothers want to come say "hi" for a day and have dinner with us.  I was going crazy trying to figure out how to host all of that and deal with the extreme lightheadedness that I had in the first trimester with G.  My mom gave me the best advice ever.  "The most important thing you are doing is growing a baby.  Just  because he can't cry for your attention yet doesn't mean you shouldn't give it to him.  Everything else comes second.  He can't do it without you!"  It was something I didn't forget as the pregnancy got harder and the recovery from delivery was bad and I suffered through the newborn stage.  Your little girl is the most important thing now!! Take care of yourself and keep her cookin as long as you can! Good luck!!! (Besides your days of getting people to do stuff for you because you're pregnant are rapidly coming to an end.  Live it up!!! Make them wait on you hand and foot!!)


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