Sunday, April 24, 2011

I can do this

Stuart, the baby, and I completed a 5K race yesterday in Portland, the Earth Day Run. For those who don't know, a 5K is about 3.1 miles, and I'm proud to say that we actually ran for about 2.5 miles of that (and walked the rest). I think this is pretty good for being six months pregnant. :-)

What was interesting to me was several people's reactions when I told them I was doing the race. Several people assumed I was walking the whole thing, and one asked me if I was able to run while pregnant. Admittedly, it's harder to run at this point. I'm not breaking any speed records, that's for sure. But I'd been running prior to pregnancy, and as long as I listen to my body and don't push it when I feel bad, it's fine to keep running now.

I really appreciate that people around me are concerned about how my pregnancy is going and want to make sure they don't push me into doing things I might not be able to do. My body isn't the same as it used to be, and they understand that. So I don't feel any ill will when I get these type of reactions.

On a sociological level, I just find it fascinating to observe the differences in the way people treat me, based on assumptions that I'm compromised by my "condition." Instead of asking, "How's it going?" when I see them, they now ask, "How are you feeling?" They give me a wider berth when they're sick because they don't want to get me sick as well (this I do appreciate!). They're surprised that I'm still riding my bike to work. Strangers seem to act nicer toward me.

Again, I'm not irritated by these questions. It's just interesting to note them and the way they reflect larger societal beliefs about what pregnant women can or can't do.

I've tried to follow my personal belief that even though I am feeling certain negative effects (back pain, difficulty sleeping), I don't need to let this pregnancy prevent me from doing things I want to do. I don't have to act like I'm suddenly fragile -- especially when I reach the point of labor. Childbirth is hard, but deep down I'm a tough woman, someone who can ultimately handle this.

That doesn't mean I won't want Stuart to pamper and comfort me in the last few months and throughout labor. :-) But it does mean I want to remember my inner strength, which will help me get through it all.

1 comment:

  1. "Childbirth is hard, but deep down I'm a tough woman, someone who can ultimately handle this." LOVE IT!

    One young & thus-far-childless friend, who does yoga regularly, was surprised to find out I'm practicing prenatal yoga in my "delicate condition." She peppered me with questions about certain positions and continued to be surprised by my affirmative answers. Yoga and pregnancy make me feel stronger than ever before, actually. Delicate shmelicate.

    Congratulations on your run, Sarah! You are awesome.