Monday, March 19, 2007

Another Reason to Run

I ran with Audrey for two hours this morning. She asked about Bruce and how hard it was to come back after having a baby. Hmm, this brought back all kinds of memories - some that I don't care to revisit and others that I'm fond of.

For those who don't know or remember what happened, here's a recap. A few weeks before Bruce was born I went to my doctor for a routine visit and had ridiculously high blood pressure. They thought maybe it was a fluke; maybe I was stressing from watching a birthing video the day before? They put me on bedrest and told me to come back in a few days. I sat on my duff for a weekend, then went back in. Sure enough, wicked high blood pressure again. So they did an ultrasound and figured out Bruce wasn't really growing much.

They put me in the hopsital and I layed on my duff for a week. Every day I got poked a few times and got all these tests and ultrasounds to monitor Bruce's slow growth. Turns out something was wrong with the placenta and it wasn't feeding Bruce properly, and my body tried to compensate for the poor placental blood flow by shooting my blood pressure up. And up. And up.

After a week in the hospital, Bruce's growth had nearly stopped, his heart rate was dropping, my kidneys started shutting down (tired of that darn high blood pressure or something), and I got this wicked bad headache and started seeing about six Scotts (I rarely get headaches, so this was odd). All that happened within about two hours, so I was induced and when labor was slow-going and Bruce was getting more unhappy by the minute the doctor shot me in the back with some awesome drugs and slit my belly open.

Scott got to witness the whole thing, although they made him sit down. "Too many guys pass out," they told him. Although the camera was in his hands, he took about 2 pictures of Bruce. He was totally in awe. He said it was pretty crazy to see my intestines, spleen, stomach, bladder, and whatever else pulled out and sitting on my ribs. My response: "And you didn't get a picture of this?!"

Bruce was 3 lb 3 oz and 16.5 inches long: he was 6 weeks early but a month behind in growth. Bruce is almost 2 now and is doing just fine. He talks ("I want my blocks!" was this morning's phrase), runs (in circles, I think he has a career in track), and has even grown a bit.

Laura and Sloan came to visit me in the hopsital a few days after Bruce was born. My stomach really hurt (that's an understatement but I don't quite know how to put it), but I was "trying to be a hero" (nurse's words) so I walked them down to the NICU to see my little man. They must have thought I was nuts. "I'm going to run the Boston Marathon next year," I told them and all the nurses. They must have thought it was the morphine pain meds getting to me.

I spent six weeks on my tush, then a few months walking a few miles with 2-minute jogs mixed in. I remembered why normal people don't like to run. Because it's hard to start. The spandex you're wearing looks really awful and feels even worse. Two sports bras in the summer is too hot. Short shorts feel good, but reveal too much of the flab. The hunched over running form can't look good at all.

I survived past the ugly stage and got back into running. I lost the 40 lbs I'd gained during pregnancy - another good reason to run. So how is it coming back post-baby? Hard. Slow. But definitely worth it; it's very rewarding to be a mom and still sneak out the door in the mornings for a few miles.

* One photo shows me in all my hospital gown glory with incredibly swollen legs.
* The other photo is of little Bruce. That's a wet wipe by his head in that square package, and the diaper is a tiny newborn size but looks absolutely enormous on him.



Boston Run Gals said...

What a wonderful post. I am so happy that both of you are happy and healthy now. And not only are you healthy, but you're wicked fast :-)


Liz :-) said...

Thats an amazing story. Who knew that the delicate preme in your picture would one day be leaning over the railing cheering "go go!!" each lap of your indoor 17:02 5k?!?! I hope someday I'm an awesome mom and can still sneak out the door for my morning miles!!