Running, Pregnancy, and the Frustrations of Trying to Conceive

On October 17th, 2015, I discovered that my husband and I were pregnant after trying for a mere three months. About eight weeks later, we found out we had miscarried.

Miscarriage sucks, in so many ways. It’s really one of those indescribable events in someone’s life that no one thinks they’ll ever have to experience until it happens, but when it does, it is absolutely gut-wrenching.

Last year ended up being one where we had to keep the faith, waiting and hoping for better news ahead of us. But that can be so, so hard, especially when everyone around you seems to be achieving all the things you want now. And for runners, this limbo of an extended period of trying to conceive is also, often, limbo for our running goals, which adds to the feelings of loss and frustration.

I’m at that time in my life, at 29 years old, when everyone my age is experiencing those really cool events in their lives. Getting that dream job. Getting engaged! Getting married. Moving somewhere sweeter, warmer, more fun. Traveling. Or, having babies.

Why does it seem like every time we want something so badly, it seems to happen to everyone around you, except not to you? I am telling you guys, every single time I logged onto Facebook, someone else was pregnant or having a baby. Every. Single. Time.

My husband actually stayed off of Facebook for a while. We both slipped into this lull in our lives that we lived in for most of 2016. I wouldn’t call it a depression, but it was more like we were just “surviving.” Month after month, getting that negative pregnancy test or my period was totally draining. We prayed so hard. We had support from family and friends. But getting that random, “Hey, you’re not pregnant, are you?” text was just another knife in the back.

I have friends who have had multiple miscarriages. One of my friends had six miscarriages, and she still hasn’t had a baby yet. And I’m complaining about one? After some time, we realized it was all about perspective. We made a deal, and said that for every month we got a negative pregnancy test, we would put $100 in a jar, and save up for a trip to Europe. My husband began working out more again, and I started picking out races to run seriously again. He got a new job that he loves, with wonderful co-workers and great benefits. We bought a new-to-us car, something neither of us had ever done. We got our floors re-finished in our house, visited friends in different states, drank lots of beer, and found a stronger love in one another than we had ever known.

Exactly one year and four days after I saw those two lines on a pregnancy test, I discovered I was pregnant again.

Finally!

I am now well into my second trimester (four weeks behind Barley!) and am grateful for every moment of nausea, every dry heave, every sleepy notion, every time I put my pants on and they are a little tighter, and for every. Single. Day. We are so very blessed and excited for what the future holds! Keeping the faith is so hard sometimes. But, sometimes, it is so freaking worth it.

I am still working full-time nights while pregnant, and I am still running, but not nearly as much or as hard. I learned from being pregnant last year that pregnancy literally kicks you down and throws you for a loop. Pre-pregnancy, I was running 40-60 mile weeks with two speed workouts a week. Now? More like 20-25 miles per week, with maybe one harder effort run, if I’m lucky.

I am excited to share my journey with running and this pregnancy. I hope to continue running and staying fit throughout. I set a goal for myself to get in four to five days per week of at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. So far, I’ve been able to do it. Some days, I feel pretty awesome! While others, like Barley has posted about, I feel like sitting in front of the tv and not moving an inch. These days usually happen after working night shift a couple nights in a row… something I used to be able to handle really well, but being pregnant, I find that it is a little more tasking on the body.

I want to give a shout out to those who have experienced miscarriage, or those who are trying to conceive. I hope you can embrace your life, at whatever stage you are at, and realize you have a purpose in this life. Set new goals for yourself, indulge and spoil yourself, be good to your spouse or partner, love one another even harder than the day before! Here’s to an exciting 2017 ahead!

Did you struggle with frustration about running and the process while trying to conceive? 

 

I am a full-time critical care nurse, who, in my spare time, loves to pound the pavement around the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. I am originally from Wisconsin, and ran for the University of Minnesota where I learned how to run smart, healthy, and happy. I enjoy writing about my adventures in running and what I have learned from racing. I hope to be an inspiration to other women to reach high!

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17 comments

  1. I don’t think there is anything that makes me happier for a stranger than learning they are pregnant after dealing with infertility or miscarriage *(if you haven’t heard the term Rainbow Baby, look it up). Congratulations! Having struggled with both myself, I can really related to a lot of what you wrote and it sounds like you and your husband had good perspective on things and developed some good coping strategies – as best you could under the circumstances. That teamwork will serve you well as you enter parenthood!

  2. First I want to say that anytime I see you in person, or read your writing about being pregnant, I get just all kinds of excited, happy, and joy filled. My heart is just bursting for you and your hubby!!! As you know, I have dealt with both the struggles of trying to conceive and miscarriages. I have had two miscarriages, one before my first born and one before I had my twins. Both times I was utterly devastated. Even after having two kids, when I had my second miscarriage I was even more troubled by it because it was in to my 2nd trimester, we were given false hope, and I had to have a D & C, which I didn’t have to go through with my first miscarriage. I know that when I was pregnant for the second time with my first born, I as so nervous to do anything that resembled any type of exercise or physical activity out of fear. Hindsight is this mysterious thing. When I look at myself now, an almost 42 year old mother of five kids, to when I was 30 and my husband and I were struggling to conceive, I wish I would have had more faith and more patience. It is hard as you said – because you want those things NOW. And it IS happening to what seems like everyone else around you. Just not you. Our fifth child was 100% a surprise and shock. After being repeatedly told by my Reproductive Endocrinologist that we would NEVER get pregnant on our own, I most certainly did. Au natural. There is something to be said (at least in my situation, as everyone’s is very unique and different), that when the pressure and stress is off, your body does things naturally some times. I had to take fertility medication with my other four children (3 & 4 are the twins) and even a few rounds of that did not work. My first four kids were also spaced so close together because we were told each time that we didn’t have high chances of conceiving. I do have to add that my best racing times were after I had kids. Even after I had my 5th child, I pr’d in three distances.

  3. I relate so much to this and your journey. I also ran at the U and had my first miscarriage around the same time you did going in for my 12 week appointment. After continuing to try I finally got another positive test almost a year after my first miscarriage, but then shortly after I found out that I had a chemical pregnancy. The whole process has been hard and devastating, but like you and your husband, we are trying to stay positive and just live life to the fullest until God blesses us with a baby. Really hoping 2017 is the year! So happy for you and your husband! These types of things aren’t talked about enough and it’s so nice to be able to relate and talk to other people going through the same thing you are.

    1. I love our similarities! (Go Gophers!) Thank you for sharing your story. I hope 2017 brings you a pregnancy. It’s so hard to be positive, but remember that you are not alone. I will be praying for you and your husband!

    2. Like Turmeric said, you are NOT alone. I think that was the hardest part when we went through everything as well- feeling like it was something that wasn’t talked about and that we were supposed to just wade through on our own. Hearing others experiences, and having close people to talk to made such a difference- especially on the days where staying positive seemed impossible. prayers, fingers crossed, and big hugs to you and your husband.

  4. I miscarried my second pregnancy two days before I hit the 12-week mark; I just had a feeling something was off and went in for an ultrasound to see our little Peanut small and still, with no heartbeat. Telling our 6-year-old son that the baby had died was so hard, and then the empty sadness for the months following was so heavy. People need to talk about miscarriage more, it is so common and yet hidden at the same time. I am so happy for you & your husband & impressed with your attitudes & perspective! Congratulations and thank you for opening up about such a tough and personal subject <3

    1. I felt so alone after my first miscarriage, so now – 14 years later – I still openly talk about it. It helps me and I hope it helps others. I know it makes some people uncomfortable but I’m old enough now to not give a fuck, lol.

    2. Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t imagine having to tell a 6 year old what happened to your other baby. You’re right, no one wants to talk about it. I don’t find it hard to talk about, really, but I’ve noticed bringing it up really makes people uncomfortable sometimes. I think it’s so important to talk about it, because it is reality! And I feel blessed, even to have that little baby for such a short period of time, because there are women out there who never will experience even that.

  5. Running taught me that I could control my body to achieve amazing things. Pregnancy and miscarriage taught me that, in some ways, I absolutely did not have any control. Both good lessons. Try to enjoy the remainder of your pregnancy – I remain bitter about the wonder that was stolen from me after my miscarriages. Pregnancy became a long and risky and stressful process that I never fully enjoyed – but the babies are blessings!!

  6. Well you know how I feel about so much of this, I’m just so happy that we are in a better place now…and have so much to look forward to this year!