My very first 5k was in October of 2012. I barely prepped for it, but ran with a friend who kindly ran at my pace. The following year, I tried really hard to become a runner, participating in ten different races and training in between. One year later, in October of 2013, I ran the same race as my first, this time pushing a jogging stroller, and impressed with myself that I finished with a decent time and the added challenge. A testament to my hard work.
I continued to run, a little less consistently, through 2014. In spring of 2015, I was pregnant. I had never run while pregnant. I walked, a lot, while pregnant with Theo. Notsomuch of anything while pregnant with Quentin. But I was determined to do the Rock n’ Roll 5k in July of 2015, supporting the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society. Running while pregnant was mostly awkward and I was ill-prepared, even at only around 15 weeks, so I toned it down to a brisk walk.
That was my first run while pregnant. Today was my first run since losing my babies.
I thought little about it at the time. I was exhilarated to be a part of Proud to Run Chicago, with my son in tow. But as I ran, I thought back to that first time I ran with a jogging stroller, which brought me back to running last year while pregnant. And now, not pregnant.
I try to take immaculate care of myself while pregnant. I eat even healthier than normal. I take all of the vitamins and follow all of the rules. But in the end, it didn’t matter. I had this vain hope that perhaps all of the effort I have put into yoga and self-care over the past few months might result in “better luck next time” – but I cannot hinge myself on that. It would just be another source of blame if another attempt did not end well: that I still haven’t done enough to take care of myself.
“I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.” -Rilke