Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lighting a Candle

*Note: I intended to post this on October 15 for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day. Better late than never, right?

Last night I heard a friend is pregnant. My first thought was to wish her a long and boring pregnancy, but I wasn't sure she'd get what I meant. Another friend is in her 41st week. She might consider my blessing more of a curse at this point. :) But anyone who has known the heartbreak of a non-boring pregnancy that ended too soon can relate. Being 41+3 weeks pregnant and miserable sounds pretty good to me!

Speaking in general terms, it seems our society doesn't handle death very well. We expect the bereaved to keep a stiff upper lip, put on a brave face, and get on with their lives. We definitely don't want to be reminded of our own mortality or be made uncomfortable in any way. This is bad enough when someone has lost an adult friend or family member, but it's even worse when a child dies. Children aren't supposed to die.

As for losing a child before birth, well, for too long that just wasn't talked about. Things have started to change, but pregnancy loss is still taboo for a lot of people.

I want to tread carefully here. Some women (like me) choose to be very open about their pregnancy losses and grief. Others choose to grieve privately. Still others don't feel much grief at all, especially if the loss was very early. All of these responses are okay. There is no one right way to grieve, and I would never presume to tell a woman how to feel. I expect the same consideration. I fear there are many women who suffer in silence not because that's how they prefer to grieve but because it's what is expected of them.

On October 15, I lit two candles for my angels, Grace and Ian. I wish peace to all mothers (and fathers, too) who are missing babies.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Running in the Rain

Today was a perfect running day. All of my best runs, training or race day, have come in rainy weather with just a bit of wind and temperatures in the 40s and 50s. As I headed out this morning, it had been sprinkling off an on. It started raining around mile 2 and kept getting heavier and heavier until around mile 6 it was a torrential downpour! I loved it, couldn't stop smiling and laughing. Yeah, I know I'm goofy. I have to be, right, to be training for the Goofy Challenge?

This weekend was my second of back to back long runs. Last week, I did 3 miles on Friday and 6 on Saturday. Yesterday I did 4 with another 8 today. Next week I plan to do 5 on Friday and 10 on Saturday, followed by a "cut back" rest week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nine Years

Nine years ago today, the course of my life changed forever. I went to the OB's office that afternoon to follow up on what we thought was an allergy attack. Instead I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. He wouldn't even let me drive myself to the hospital, asking a nurse to take me instead. Once there, we found I had cerebral edema (brain swelling) and was at very high risk for seizure or stroke. I was also in heart failure and struggling to get oxygen even with a mask on. My liver was heading toward failure, my kidneys were struggling, and my blood cell counts were dropping quickly. Long story short, I would die unless my baby was born in the next 48 hours.

My baby and I both survived, for which I praise God. She will be nine on Friday, and has grown into such a lovely young lady. As for me, I have become active with the Preeclampsia Foundation, raising awareness so others can get the care they need and raising money for research into better detection, treatment, and maybe even prevention/cure. If you had told me 10 years ago that pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding would be my passion I'd have thought you were crazy. But here I am, all thanks to that moment nine years ago.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Been a While

A lot has happened in the 7 weeks since my marathon, and blogging has temporarily fallen by the wayside. The biggest thing is that I had surgery 2 weeks ago. This happened rather suddenly (went from no symptoms to debilitating pain in 5 weeks) and has set me back in a lot of ways, but I'm heading in the right direction again. The surgery was unrelated to my foot injury, by the way, but a silver lining is that I've been mostly off my foot for a while and has improved a lot. I still get a twinge or two when I run, but no outright pain.

I started back with light training this week, walking 2 miles on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. I'm planning another 3 tomorrow and, if all goes well, 5 or 6 Saturday. I think I can keep ahead of the Disney Goofy cutoff time (16min/mile pace) even if I just walk, or with just a little running built in. I've already paid the money, so I'll do whatever I need to do to get those medals!

I hope to be more active again on the ol' blog. I've got a couple posts mostly written, just need to touch them up a bit. To look for this month: another bra review, thoughts on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Month, and issues of informed consent.