I’m not usually one to strike up conversation with complete strangers, but walking around with a big pregnant belly seems to be an immediate invitation for conversation. Strangers, friends, family, men, women, kids… it doesn’t matter. Everyone has questions, and everyone has a story about their own pregnancy, or the pregnancy of someone they know. A lot of the questions are the same ones I tend to ask other pregnant women as well. For anyone curious, here are the ten most common questions I get asked, and how I generally respond.
How are you feeling?
I would like to say that pregnancy has been a joyride, but unfortunately that is not the case for me. While I haven’t had a “difficult” pregnancy like a lot of women out there, I also haven’t been as mentally and emotionally strong as I thought I would/could be. I have had a really hard time being pregnant and have relied on distractions to get me through. That being said, I am beyond excited about the life growing inside me, and what my body is doing to create this little miracle.
Honestly, it feels as though I am renting out my body for 9 months and have no control over anything. It’s a weird feeling. But, it’s also pretty empowering knowing that I am doing something for Justin and I that he would never be able to do.
Absolutely! After my successes in 2014 and the momentum I had going into the off season, giving up my entire 2015 race season was really hard. I can’t begin to express my excitement about racing again next year, and am looking forward to starting over from scratch and seeing how my body bounces back after pregnancy and childbirth. I’ve heard a lot of positive stories about women coming back stronger than ever after having kids, so it will be exciting to see how my body adapts and changes. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I have now banked months and months of energy that I can’t wait to release!
My plan is to put in for the Boston Marathon, register for a late spring/early summer 70.3 distance triathlon, and hopefully train for a full Ironman – either Canada or Coeur D’Alene (now that they have changed the date to August). We’ll see how my schedule pans out once the baby is here.Are you going to continue working or take maternity leave?
A lot of people look at me like I am crazy when I tell I am not going to take any time off work (aside from the time around delivery). Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t plan on taking maternity leave and will continue working full time once the baby is here.
Taking maternity leave was something I actually never considered doing. Because I work full time from home and have a flexible schedule, I am intent on teaching my classes and maintaining my role as coordinator for Oregon State’s e-campus psychology program. I believe this is totally manageable, as I will have a lot of help from Justin, the baby’s grandparents, and Justin’s sister Jill. I would probably reconsider if I were doing it alone.
Have you picked out a name?
This has been one of the toughest decisions Justin and I have had to make. We actually narrowed it down to three names and are now pretty set on one of them. I thought it would be fun to reveal our top three picks and do a little survey. Don’t worry, the response to the survey will not influence our decision in any way. 🙂
What are your biggest fears?
My fears associated with pregnancy surprisingly change from week to week, but the three fears that remain constant are:
1) Getting an epidural. Just the thought of a needle going into my spine makes me lightheaded and sick to my stomach. C-sections also scare me.
2) That something will go wrong during delivery. I want nothing more than to deliver a happy and healthy baby, and want him to be safe in my arms from day one. Knowing that I have to be prepared for anything and everything is a bit scary.
3) Getting home and being 100% clueless about what to do next. I haven’t spent a lot of time around kids (maybe 24 hours total in my entire life), particularly infants, so this is completely new territory. I don’t even know where to start….
Weirdest cravings and aversions you have had during pregnancy?
The weirdest craving would have to be donuts. While I love donuts, I have never craved them before pregnancy. I have eaten more donuts in the last 7 months than I’ve eaten in my entire life. I probably eat one donut a week, on average!
I haven’t had any majorly weird aversions, but just my interest in food in general has changed. Being a runner and triathlete, I have never struggled with appetite or eating. Pregnancy has been a rollercoaster with food and I actually struggle to find my appetite. So unlike me.
What do you miss the most?
Are you going to have more kids?
This is a tough question because at this point I would say no. Ideally, if I were to get pregnant again I would want to wait 3-4 years. Unfortunately, Justin and I are not getting any younger so there is a lot of pressure to do it now, not later, if we are going to have another. I also don’t like being pregnant, so if we only have this one I would be fine with that.
Being an only child myself, the thought of raising an only child does not bother me. Yes, it would be nice to have another so our little guy will grow up with a sibling, but I’m just not sure I can do it again. Who knows!? Right now I just want to focus my attention on our little boy and adjusting to this new life we are about to embark upon.
What is one pregnancy item that you cannot live without?
Without a doubt, the snoogle. At first I didn’t quite understand what all the hoopla was about and never had the need to use it. But, at about 20 weeks when I started sleeping more on my side, the snoogle was a lifesaver. I haven’t slept a night without it since week 20 (aside from when we were in Mexico – and even then I almost considered packing it in it’s own suitcase) and always take it with me when I travel via road trips. I honestly do not think I would have slept well throughout pregnancy without it. I’m sure at this point, Justin is looking forward to getting rid of “the Great Wall of China” between us, but for now it stays. ☺
Do you have a birth plan?
Not really. Which is really crazy because I am a Type A planner and like having control over big life events. Given that the pregnancy was not planned, and I’ve had little control over anything since January, what I have learned in 2015 is to let go of some of my controlling ways and just handle things as they come.
We had dinner on Sunday with some friends from San Francisco who were in town to mountain bike for a few days, and two of them are anesthesiologists. They suggested that our birth plan, if we have one, should be very fluid and open to changes such as an epidural or even a c-section if needed.
Honestly, I am deathly afraid of the epidural – more so than the actual birth – so my hope is to deliver naturally. That being said, I am keeping an open mind throughout the entire process and will likely do whatever is best for both the baby and me when the time comes. I have never had surgery or any kind of medical procedure (a small fracture in my arm is the worst thing that has ever happened to me physically) so medical environments are somewhat foreign and frightening. Hopefully the childbirth classes will help!
What are or were your biggest fears about pregnancy?
How did or would you go about choosing a name for your baby?
Moms out there, did you have a birth plan? Did things go as planned?