Because I am impulsive and have no patience, I bought my own Christmas present last week. This is also because at 9 months pregnant I have lost the will to live. Okay, that's dramatic. Let me rephrase. At 9 months pregnant I feel like I have been pregnant forever and there is no end in sight. My brain knows that there really is an end - my doc won't let me stay pregnant forever, nor will this kiddo currently doing his best tippy-toe to finger-tip stretch from pelvic floor to rib cage. But I don't know WHEN EXACTLY this joyous time called pregnancy will end, and that makes it harder to endure.
Whine, whine, whine. I know. I'm healthy, the kid is healthy, what's the problem?
The problem is that with running & racing you probably have a good idea exactly when your run will end. How much farther you have to go. How much longer. There are mile markers. There are pace teams. But with pregnancy, in those final weeks you don't really know when the finish line will pop up.
Everyone has an opinion on it, too. There are the encouragers - "You're almost there! Just around the corner!" Everyone knows that in a race, unless the runner can actually see the finish line with their own two eyes you do NOT tell them they're almost there. Especially if you've already finished the race. You just shut up about it and say "Great job! Lookin' good! You've got this!" Because it is SUPER FRUSTRATING to be told "just around the corner!" only to turn the corner as realize that no, the finish line is most certainly not there and you can't even see it yet. The same applies to being 36+ weeks pregnant. Just tell me I look great. That's all.
Then there are the discouragers - but I can't imagine anyone actually saying this to a runner nearing the end of a race: "Don't get your hopes up! The finish line is actually really, really far away. You've got SO MUCH LONGER TO GO! And you look miserable. Whew! You've been running forever. Don't start hoping for the end to come soon!" Never at a race, but ALL THE TIME WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT. People are always telling me about how all first-time babies are past-due, how I'll definitely be pregnant until I'm 40-41 weeks along, how the kid hasn't dropped (to which I think, "F*** you, are you in my uterus? He most certainly has dropped. I can tell by the way his head is lodged in between my pelvic bones."). How about everyone agrees to just shut up about it?
Also, over 75% of babies (first babies, second babies... tenth babies) are born between 39-40 weeks. So, Ms. My-babies-were-all-past-40-weeks-so-yours-will-be-too, go stick your head in a hole until next summer.
I'm sorry. Where was I? Oh yes. Regaining my joy!
In an attempt to stop being a victim of pregnancy and to start being a normal person who is pregnant, I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present. The brilliant light at the end of this pregnancy tunnel, the thought that is getting me through tough moments, the daydream that will help me kick contractions in the patootie is running again. (The beautiful baby boy we'll be welcoming into our family helps... but mostly I'm just excited about getting back to running.) And this once self-proclaimed "run by feel, not a watch" idealist has decided that what will really, really, really help her stay positive and will remind her that brighter days are getting closer is A NEW GPS RUNNING WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hello, TomTom! My new love.
So far, TomTom and I have gone on a few very slow under-1-mile walks with each other. I don't care. It's exciting. My pace gets slower each time. My waddle impresses the neighbors. My dog has stopped looking at me like I'm a lazy slob who's given up on life.
It even works on the treadmill, and pretty accurately to boot. Oh TomTom, I love you already. Just seeing you on my kitchen counter makes me feel happy.
(I feel pretty happy when baby boy kicks and turns, too, even though it's uncomfortable beyond all get-out. Just so you don't think I'm a terrible mother.)
So even though I am at mile marker 36/37 weeks, and even though this is a race with a super fuzzy, noncommittal finish line, I press on. It could end today. It could end in four more miles/weeks. TomTom is helping me through it. I can already tell we're going to be great friends.