Running from Nothing

Open roads. Open minds.

Fear not… I will lace up again.

I have a million posts to make, brave ones, too (pictures and all).  But for now my dear runners, I have more important hills to climb and a baby girl who needs my snuggles more than the road needs my abuse- so I will rarely be posting here.

And so, I offer everyone to please follow the story of our new baby girl, Adelaide, who recently was diagnosed with Achondroplasia.

She’s happy and healthy and her story can be found at A is for Adelaide. I do hope to get back to writing about my running soon… and I know my bikini just wants me to get out from behind the computer and run!

Happy trails to all- and kick ass this running season- I want to read blogs, Tweets and status updates all about PRs!!

Lots of love,
Chelley

First Mother’s Day!

First Mother’s Day!  (please click to see just one of the amazing photos of Addie)

We had beautiful pictures taken at just 3 days old, and as a first Mother’s Day gift, I am hoping to purchase a disk of all of the beautiful images. There are a few posted on Facebook (please inquire about seeing the full album!), and I would be so blessed to be able to have a copy of the session so I don’t lose these memories of our baby girl’s first days.

Thank you so much.

Photo credits to Dimery Photography

The Biggest Marathon

PLEASE NOTE: THIS HAS NOT BEEN EDITED. THERE ARE TYPOS, GRAMMATICAL ERRORS AND THE LIKE. I WILL GET TO IT… BUT I WANTED TO GET THIS OUT OF ME WHILE I STILL HAD TIME TO WRITE.
THANK YOU, IN ADVANCE FOR READING, AND YOUR UNDERSTANDING.

A birthing story…

It was more of an adventure.
I never thought I would complete a marathon. The 13.1 miles of my halves always seems like it’s going to break me, and the mere thought of 26.2 has made me weak.  I’m sure I could do it… but would I give up?
No. After the birth of my baby girl, I don’t think that I would.

Adelaide Eileen makes me believe that as fact.

I woke up the morning of April 15th feeling off.  I dressed and asked my husband, Dave, for a ride a mile up the street to church.  After mass, I felt well, and decided to enjoy the nice weather and walk home.  We ate breakfast, and Dave loaded up my car with gifts for the three events I was attending that day, and he left for work.  About an hour later I left, as well, thinking I was going to go to a first birthday party, but ending up at Dave’s guitar shop, instead, resting and feeling so tired.
Finally, I got up and went to the second first birthday party for the day at Dave’s cousin’s house.  I was quiet and seemingly agitated while there.  I was truly excited for the party, but felt so something, and wanted to be home in bed- a feeling I did not have often.
I left the party after we cut the cake and headed to my final destination- a baby shower for a friend of mine due in just a few weeks with a baby boy!  I was so excited for this day, too… but as I was driving I wanted to call and bail. This is so not like me, I kept thinking to myself.  After all, I had worked on Friday, enjoyed a mile walk, each way, to the dog park and back on Saturday, plus a walk with Dave that night and now, come Sunday morning, I can’t function?  I reached the shower, stayed to eat, meet some new, great women, touch base, pee twice and head home.
Something is was not right, and for the first time during this pregnancy, I made a point to lie down and take a nap.
Around 9:15pm I woke up, thinking that I had finally lost control of my bladder.  At 38 weeks 4 days, this was going to be my fate. I had peed the bed.  I arose in a stupor, walked to the bathroom and wondered what I would tell my husband. Thank God I woke up in time to miss the sheets was all I could think, but as I stood, I realized I was leaking and no attempt at groggy Kegels could stop it. “DAVE! I think something is wrong!” I yelled to him.  He hopped up from his computer, came into the bathroom where he looked at my face, then at the towel I was standing on and declared, with tears in his eyes, “Your water broke!”  I explained to him that I thought I was peeing myself and didn’t know.  While an intimate detail, if you’re not laughing at me, you should be.
Fifteen minutes later my contractions started.
We were using a cell phone to time, but around 1am Dave was asleep and I was waking up every 15 minutes and trying to remember what the last timer said.  My big sister and new mom saved the day: “There’s an app for that,” she proudly stated.  In the middle of a mild contraction I Google searched contraction counter and downloaded the first free app that I saw.  Timing myself through the night, Dave woke up at 6am to me on my hands and knees playing with my phone.  I had wanted to post to Facebook that my water broke, but had somehow convinced myself that I was still just peeing myself (slow leak water break) and having Braxton Hicks.

We decided to call the doctor, whom I had called at 11pm and never called back- HA!  When he called me this time at 7am, I was told if my water broke I needed to come to the hospital. I said I wasn’t sure and hung up.  Go to the hospital to hang out and wait… no thanks.  I still had time before the 24-hours-you-must-deliver-after-water-breaking time sequence had expired. So we waited and we timed.
Our birth doulas, Kim and Erica, from Blessed Beginnings, had stayed in contact with me since I had called them at 10pm, and Kim was now planning her day around coming closer to us.  I felt confident that I would be ok at home with Dave, and am rather impressed with us for making it through 12 hours of contractions alone.
I called my OB at 9:30am with the hopes of coming in to be checked without having to go to the hospital, but was denied and told to go to the hospital.  We made our way around the house, letting out and feeding the dog, taking a shower, attempting to eat something- settling on Saltines, and collecting our bags.  I climbed into the hatch back portion of my Ford Escape, on my hands and knees, holding a water bottle and crackers at 11:45am. At the hospital, Dave helped me out after a contraction ended, and we walked into the triage unit.  I was immediately taken to an intake room, where a nurse looked at me sideways for staying home for so long after my water broke.
The doctor came in and told me I was 4cm along- not too bad! Dave and I were nervousexcitedscaredhappyjoyousready, as the nurse wheeled me into the elevator to LDR 3.  A small room with a private bathroom, I stayed here for a few hours- waiting for my mom to come, small talking and breathing. Always breathing.  We took a walk, where, in mid-contraction, I saw my mom walking into the hospital. “That’s my mommy,” I said.  Dave smiled, kissed my forehead, left me with Kim and went to get my mom.  I heard them talking as my mom came over to where I stood and kissed my head.  Anytime now, Addie was all I could think.  It was a little after 1pm on Monday.


Hours went by with slow, but steady, progress.  Kim and Erica pulled a magic bunny from a hat and got me moved to a bigger, WAY bigger delivery room with a shower!  Dave helped me undress and made the water the temperature I like.  Seeing that standing alone was not going to happen, he undressed to his shorts and held me under the water.  It felt amazing, although I was beginning to shake, and we were confident that our baby girl was coming!  Alas, I was only at 8cm and it was pushing 11pm.


As midnight approached and staying awake was taking its toll, the doctor told me she was worried I was losing strength.  Kim and Erica helped us stay strong and ask for more time before medication was introduced. The doctor agreed and we were left to work.  Massage, a popsicle and water proved to help move me to 9cm, but as I struggled to keep my eyes open and everyone else napped in small quantities, it was becoming clear: after 30 hours, the doctor was close to wheeling me into the OR- the one place I wanted to stay away from.  With my loving husband left to make the decision at 3am, as I had not slept or eaten in over a day, he made the call: Pitocin and an epi aka help and sleep.  I was hooked up and told to sleep at 4am, and sleep I did.
I woke up at 6:30am and after re-acclimating to my surroundings, was told to push!  I felt Addie’s hair around 10:15. I was rejuvenated. I was ready.  At 10:32am, all 7 pounds and 7 ounces of beautiful baby girl were placed onto my belly. I scooped her up and loved all over her little body.  I wanted to be close to her body so badly that I begged the nurse to cut my bra off, which was impossibly tangled, and she did.  Dave and I were in shock.  She was alert, squirmy and had the lungs of an opera singer!  I held her close, and as Dave began to speak to her she settled, hanging onto her Daddy’s every word.
There she was.  April 17, 2012. 7 pounds, 7 ounces.  18 inches long.
She was beautiful… not in the look-at-my-baby way.  Her head was coned up and her face was swollen and she was covered in vernix because I didn’t want anyone else to touch her. But she was beautiful in the way that two people, so in love decide on a camping trip in August that they’re going to make a baby.  And that this baby grew and grew. And now she is here. And she is both of them.  She was beautiful in that way.

Over 36 hours, 30 of which were unmedicated, Adelaide Eileen was here.
I ran my marathon.

Writing this, 4 days later, watching her chest rise and fall with each little breath, a breath that smells like Heaven, itself, on a face that only dreams are made of, I cannot imagine a more perfect experience.  An experience enhanced by the loving surroundings of my amazing husband, who has a love for me I did not know of before and a strength even he did not know he possessed, my mother who does her best and is the only person I know of whose best is always the best, our birth doulas Kim and Erica- without whom I might have given up my dream of an unmedicated, natural birth and been disappointed in myself, and, of course, Adelaide.

I know everyone has the perfect child, but we’re just blessed to have the perfect child for us.

Thank you to Blessed Beginnings, Rhode Island New Moms, Dimery Photography, Healthy Babies Happy Moms Inc and Women & Infants Hospital.

Let me spell it out for you

I (super) miss running, but more than that, I miss doling out some good ‘ole advice! I want to tell someone I found an awesome way to… remember to breathe after a day of suffocating work, embrace each crackle in the knees as a strength- not a weakness, or about a new training route discovered that allows for hills and a view (where the heck does this exist in RI, btw?).  But, alas, being sidelined, I can only dream of running stuffs WHILE I dream of baby!

And so, as an old friend of mine requested some advice and answers to questions as she embarks on her first pregnancy, I did what any friend could and picked out the things that I wish I had been told, versus the things that were told to me and still remain unhelpful, pitiful and disheartening.  Thus, my response:

How exciting?!?!?!

Don’t be anxious. It’s a waste of time.

As far as weight gain goes- I’m up 25 pounds right now, and I didn’t try to gain or not gain- I just listened to my body. As long as you’re healthy, your body and baby will gain what they have to to be healthy. Don’t attempt to not gain weight- it’s very dangerous.

Being tired is totally normal. It should get a little better in your 2nd trimester, but will return with vengeance in your 3rd. I wasn’t sick at all, but that should abate in a few weeks, too.

I was taking classes for nursing school last year- so I didn’t need any new vaccines, as I was prodded before school started- I did get tDap a few weeks ago- but you shouldn’t have it until after 20 weeks.

People will give you advice and it will suck, or make you sad, or be discouraging. BUT- tell them thank you and move on. I have LOVED being pregnant. I was told I could not run, which was a bummer, but there is a baby growing inside me!!!! I am tired, my pelvis hurts and I can’t sleep- but there is a baby growing inside me!!!! Come up with a mantra- mine has been “baby, I got this.”

Sometimes men aren’t sure what they need to do to help- don’t hint at what you need, spell it out.

You might swell a little- drink more water. You might see a few veins you didn’t see before, or get a line on your belly, or whatever- embrace it all. What happens to someone else, will NOT necessarily happen to you- just remember that.

Sentences that begin with: “Let me tell you” “Just wait” “You’ll see” should immediately be responded to with a polite “Fuck you”. My wedding band fits fine, I do not fart all the time, I have no hemorrhoids what-so-ever, I didn’t gain 80 pounds and blow up, I didn’t have any intense cravings, etc. But I was told to “just wait” a million times. Often, people who try to drag you down are so unhappy… just keep a smile and remember it’s only 40 weeks out of the next amazing years remaining in our lives to watch these babies grow up. Times will be hard and tears will be shed- but, seeing how our moms still look at us- I’d say it’s pretty much “Worth” (lol) it.

…and I think I wrote too much. Love you- so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You catch my drift?
Love it, ladies!!!!

I CANNOT wait to lace up and hit the road again, but watching my belly grow, listening to the wise words of my big sister, who is a new mommy herself, and being selective about what advice gets thrown my way- I think I’ll be just fine- and I know all of my pregnant girlies out there will be, too!  Good luck to everyone as D(elivery) Day arrives!

3 (more weeks) Bottles a Day

Drinking has never been a problem for me. Merlot, Pinot, Malbec… if it’s red, I’ll imbibe.

However, that is neither here nor there when it comes to being a runner. Or pregnant. Or both.

Drinking my three full water bottles a day has become extremely difficult, and although I know that I can count some juices, non-caffeinated coffee and tea, and I am steering clear of any and all soda, I have the punched in the kidneys feeling all the time. I want this water. 24 ounces, multiplied three times, every day. Let’s do this.

How?  Three water bottles.

…and so, this is my advice for those who are having water drinking issues (which I’ve suffered from, intermittently, before): Have more than one bottle, totaling what you want to drink for the day, fill them in the morning and make it happen!  Super basic, indeed, so perhaps this is more of a post to remind me to do it! I want to start good habits to pass on to my child… it’s a start.  No?

We all need a return to the fundamentals sometimes. At least, I know I do.

I want to run. Away.

I have heard a thousand opinions, horror stories and been touched a few too many times (by men at the grocery store- are you for real?).  I’ve been criticized for wanting to vaccinate my child on a traditional schedule, introduce solid food at 6 months and bottle feed at some point so my husband can take part in feedings before she’s too old to be fed (breast milk, not formula).

And yet, the most hurtful, seems to come with cloth diapering- as people think, perhaps, that this is so menial, they can argue the point and convert me.  The numerous loaded questions have me angered and made me less likely to ever consider it than ever before.  “Mother’s have been doing this since the dawn of time. Why do you think you need to waste the money?”  “Why would you waste money on disposable diapers?”  “Don’t you care if your child gets a rash?”  “Why ruin the Earth for your child and the future?”

To them, let me tell you- if I could flight, I would- and you would be safer for it. But, since I cannot run, as per the doctor’s orders, let me fight.

I did not ask your opinion at 7pm at Stop&Shop. Nor do I care for it.

I have a dog… isn’t that enough? A soaking tub, knocked over with diapers and dirty water is not something I ever want to be privy to.
I do not want to spend money on cloth diapers when I may only be able to have one child. They are expensive, too.
Using hot water to wash is not something I do in my home.  It’s wasteful of the oil I have pumping to heat the water.  So for me, it is not more green, it is just another form of waste.
A diapering service is expensive. If I wanted to forgo hot water and a soaking bin, I would spend a small fortune.
I want to spend time with my baby girl, not laundering and diapering and perplexing the minds of people who actually want to help me change the baby, or babysit for me.
And, rashes are not caused by cloth or disposable diapers, as a sole culprit.  Many things can lead to a rash- leave a child in a wet diaper made of any fabric or fiber and you’re bound to come up with some bumps and irritation.

Is this good enough for you, World?  I think people who can and do the cloth diapering thing are great! Congratulations to them on having the time, money and patience.  It’s just not for me. Since when was that not ok?

I want to run. I need to vent.
Strapping my Asics onto my tired feet after a long day and pounding out 5 miles before dinner seems like nothing short of Heaven.
I say my prayers in church every Sunday. I ask for the strength to forgive and forget.  But these seem to be tasks better served to family members and friends- strangers’ tongues seem more biting and hurtful.
I give pleading eyes to passerby who dare tell me one more damn thing I didn’t ask about. To just smile and say nothing if it’s at all short of a comment dripping with sweetness.  But, more often than not, I get a story of a dreary labor, a neighbor who has a child still suffering from colic at 9 months, or the daughter of a friend from high school who only gained 5 pounds, or 70 pounds.  Why am I not bigger?  Why am I not smaller?
Who the hell are these people?!
You do not know me.
Sometimes I wonder if I know me.

I want to run.  I want to feel the wind in my hair, cooling the sweat on my face and chilling my spine.
I miss running… especially the option of running away.

Valentine’s Day. Please don’t say “Valentimes”

Dave’s Mug…

You know you’re getting old when this is a gift to your husband, but- hey- it’s the truth.
No matter how long the aisle, I’ll always run down it- as long as you’re there.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

P.S. A customized pound of designer chocolate was included in this mushy-mug-gifting… it wasn’t all a loss for Dave!

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