second trimester observations

As I've mentioned before, I do some pregnant runner blog stalking. (Investigating is a word I prefer.) So if I know anything about this whole business, it's that everyone's business is different. And comparing pregnancies is impossible. There's a lot I've been surprised by. And some I've been fairly warned about by bloggers and friends.  Adding my experience to the mix, here's my jumbled 'second trimester observations' so far.

My pregnant running life
  • Running pregnant is harder than I thought it would be. I'm eating a lot of humble pie (and real pie) and doing a lot less running than I'd envisioned. 
  • Round ligament pains aren't really painful... more surprising. Like a little electric shock when you touch a lightswitch. I'll be breathing normal, then one big inhale and step at the same time will send off this ZING at the top of my belly. 
  • Belly bras aren't comfortable. Okay that one is not *that* surprising. 

  • Finding a mental focus has been challenging. My running is not really training, it's more for sanity and fresh air. And that message only makes it securely to my brain once in awhile. As the weeks go by though, I'm appreciating it for what it is.
  • I've slowed down a lot. A lot more than a minute per mile. More like 3 minutes per mile. I feel heavy and awkward and out of sync with my body. 
  • I don't enjoy being passed. But now that I'm much more noticeably pregnant, I don't feel the urge to yell out my PRs when some dude shuffles past me. 
  • I miss running with my buddies. I get dropped and left behind. I get stressed out and it's hard to find a talking rhythm with how out of breath I am. Then I get nervous I'm pushing it too hard. So... I'm a lone wolf, on the prowl for a 10 -11 minute mile buddy. 
  • Every day is different. One day I might not make it 2 miles, the next I'm cruising for 8. 

  • I still love it. In the midst of all this change, even just 3 minutes of smooth running (within a 30 minute plod) makes me feel like myself. And once in awhile I still do warm up after a couple miles and settle into some good meditation time, or baby talking/thinking time.

My pregnant life, in general:
  • I'm out of breath all the time. Even just talking, suddenly I'll find myself gasping for air.
  • Headaches are a constant part of my life. 
  • I miss caffeine more than any of the other no-nos. I still have a Nespresso shot every AM or a half caff short at Starbucks. But I miss getting my 2-3 Grandes every morning. 
  • Parts of my body touch other parts. I'll just leave it at that.  
  • I had to buy actual bras, yes, they are A. But they aren't AA training bras. So ... win!(?)
  • Public crying is more of a threat. I hate crying publicly. It's humiliating. And yes, I count 'crying in front of my husband' as public crying. And I don't mean sniff, sniff, tilt my head back and pat the eyes... no I'm talking choking on my own snot, ugly crying. 
  • I'm not 'all belly'. There is a good chance I'm showing more in my butt than my belly. This was especially apparent last week when I left for a run in my Lesley Knickers and Owen couldn't hold back a WOAH! in reference to my booty. Umm.. thanks?
  • Every day is different. For three days I'll be sleeping 11 hours and functioning at a low level followed by a few days where I barely feel pregnant.
  • I have serious acne, and I can't use any of the good chemicals to fight it. 
  • Feeling a baby kicking around... easily the craziest feeling I've ever had. I was unprepared for how completely amazing, bizarre, unnerving, indescribable it is. And it's barely started.

We have our big ultrasound appointment on Wednesday. Where they measure everything and we find out 'she' or 'him'. I'm eager to have that appointment behind us, and hoping to hear good things about our bean's development.

Would love any spoilers from moms ahead of me. What's up next? What were your surprises?


  1. What's up next? Feeling more tired out, wanting to eat everything in site but then really not wanting anything at all (my first pregnancy 3rd trimester went back to 1st trimester symptoms), excitement and anticipation of your little ones arrival, everyone asking if you've had the baby yet

  2. The kicking is real fun....until you cry because all you want to do is go to sleep, but can't thanks to the kick boxing going on in your insides. Then it can get a little old. :)

    The thing I wish someone woulda warned my about can be summed up in two words: cracked nipples. If you plan on breast feeding, get yourself some lotion, STAT. I wish I would have known with my first, I was ready when #2 came around!

    1. Noted! And definitely not something I would have known!

    2. I can attest to this one!!! I got organic nipple balm from The Honest Company and it's worked wonders. Organic and made from food-grade products - makes you feel better, seeing as it's basically ending up in baby's mouth :-)

  3. Watch out for the terrible "eat everything in site days". When pregnant with my 3rd (last) child, it was unfortunately pre-Halloween season. I ate so many of those mini chocolate bars when I was 8 months pregnant. No wonder she weighed almost 9 lbs!! Luckily, she turned out not to be diabetic, and is normal weight now (age 5).

    1. Yesterday I ate so much sugar, I was seriously a little scared for the bug. This makes me feel much better.

  4. You are so inspiring! I often worry about how hard it will be to run through pregnancy. You are powering through, but--perhaps more importantly--adapting mentally & adjusting your image of yourself as a runner (temporarily). I'm equally impressed by both.

  5. It's a girl. I'm callin' it ;) I had horrible acne with my pregnancies. Just the worst. It really was a blow at myself esteem at that time. It was also the only time I had a big ol' booty. I still look at old pictures and wonder how it's possible for it to be there one day and then gone the next. In no time you will be back to your insanely fast pace and leaving the rest of us in the dust :)

    1. That was my initial gut feeling! Now I think it's a boy, because of how strongly I can picture a girl. My body will pull the ol bait and switch. Either way as long as the bug is growing and has all its bits and parts, I'll be on cloud 9.

  6. I was pregnant about the same time as you last year, and I remember that from about 20-30 weeks running actually felt better. The worst part for me was the constant urge to pee while running (but I never had round ligament pains). I did have numbness a few times, so I would have to stop and walk. I could not run at all in July. It was way too hot here (plus extreme humidity), so I did pool running for the month and then started running again in August when it cooled down a bit. Being pregnant in the summer is no joke. July and August were rough for me, and I had several public crying episodes (I think all were in the car), because I was just so HOT. You might fare better in Seattle with the lower humidity, but I'm sure it still gets hot. Someone clued me in to using baby powder in various crevices and that helped (did you know about boob sweat? I didn't!)...
    Good luck with your 20 week ultrasound! It's so exciting when you get the boy/girl news and no one knows yet (except you and your husband). It's fun to share it too, but for a short time it's really exciting to be the only ones who know.

    1. I've heard rumors it gets better! That's so encouraging. Yes, I'm thankful for our cool summers for once!

      Yeah, boob sweat isn't something I have experience in. Maybe I can invent a really cute swoob powder! I'll be rich!

  7. I had some rough round lig pain with my son, I stopped running at 30 weeks because running 3 miles every other day then being sore for days wasnt worth it when not running made the pain go away. Walking it was! it didnt hurt while I was running, it just messed up my whole pelvis after, super sore. Anyways other than that running was a new experience for sure. But it was also so great, that fresh air and heart pumping, what could be better! I really felt the loss of running with a group though. That was maybe the worst part. I missed my running buddies wicked, some of them I only saw when we ran together so all of a sudden I wasnt seeing them at all. But it came back after, it all came back. I gained a lovely 40 lbs and lost it pretty quickly once I started running again 5 weeks post. And I remember waiting so long for that little belly to pop! Oh its such a crazy rollercoaster but so worth it in the end, can you believe you are MAKING A HUMAN?? so nuts! You look great!! Keep it up :) Oh and get in the water once you get big, it feels so good.

    1. Making a tiny human still feel impossible. I was just thinking how at like 30 weeks I'll be laughing at how hard I wanted a bump 10 weeks ago. Trying to enjoy the stages. I'm well on my way to a 40 pound gain... glad to hear it comes off ;)

    2. Oh and I just wanted to say Im really excited I found your blog. I was speedy in HS and college and a few years after and have really lost my running in the past few years (yes a baby, but not the main excuse) I'm pregnant with #2 just a few weeks behind you and I think this will be a great place for motivation after this one is here. I think...ummm.... its a BOY just because everyone else is saying girl. Ha! Have a great ultrasound, seeing all those fingers and toes and spine and head is just the coolest thing ever.

    3. Thanks! Ahh just clicked your bio. I've been following you since you sent Lauren Fleshman her secret santa gift via another team member. I'm going to look you up next time I'm back in VT.

  8. heartburn was the bain of my pregnancy. i was fine with the constant peeing, the round ligament quirks, the heavy breathing induced simply by trying to eat and talk at the same time, but the heartburn suuuuuuuuucked. i hope you don't have heartburn but in case you do, my go-to remedy for getting through the night was: a large bottle of water right at my bedside (yes, you will pee even more) and an entourage of pillows that propped me up, which i'm sure was a creppy sight for my husband who would wake up at night to see me with my mouth gaping, snoring, and sitting upright. creepy mccreeperson.

  9. You are doing awesome, Mac!! You just have to take pregnancy running day by day and you are rocking that!

    Ah! I hope the belly bra gives you some relief! Round ligament pain does end eventually! It seems like just when you think it will never end and you might as well quit running for good, it is over! (Labor is very much the same, but of course you can't "quit" that!)

    I had HORRIBLE acne with Currie. Like, "I don't want to leave the house today" acne. It went away around 25 weeks, replaced with a beautiful rosy glow and I had great skin for the remainder of the pregnancy! (acne came back about 9 months postpartum, yay for adult acne!) So your acne just might go away and leave you with a beautiful glow as well! Fingers crossed!!

    Urgency to pee and sleep gets worse... sorry...

    I think the 2 things I REALLY wish I knew before I gave birth (and you have a ways to go but maybe now is a good time to start thinking about it?!) are: You will (most likely) reach a point where you really freak out about labor and how the baby is going to come out. Like you decide you just don't want to give birth afterall. It seems really overwhelming and scary!! This could happen weeks before you are due or most likely will happen at some point in the hospital when you are in labor. That will pass. It's just a short phase. Seems so silly, but many moms I've talked to dealt with that same "oh my gosh I don't want to give birth afterall!!!!!!" freakout moment. Second... just like you said every pregnancy is different, every labor is different. You can take birth classes all day and talk to everyone, but your labor will be nothing like the ones you hear about. So have a plan, but be ready for anything and willing to do whatever to get that baby out! I thought I knew how labor would go with my first and when each step went differently than the ideas in my mind, it was hard to deal with (similar advice for racing!)

    My vote is girl! :)

  10. I ran/waddled throughout my pregnancy, until 2 weeks before my son was born. At that point, my feet were so swollen I couldn't get running shoes on :) Hopefully Mini Mac will position him or herself in a way that allows for successful blood flow throughout the legs and feet!

    One of my biggest surprises, and I'm sure you've heard it from others, is a complete inability to control your bladder. Starting at about 12 weeks, I couldn't run more than 2 miles without a pee break. Regardless of how many times I went before heading out the door. Time heals many things....not your bladder.
    Another surprise was...boobs. As an A cup, I embraced being a card carrying member of the IBTC. Then I had to "double bag" to run when before it almost felt like a sports bra was optional! It was a happy day when I was able to wear just one sports bra once again!

  11. Oh my goodness yes with the 'parts of my body touch other parts.' While I'm not someone with the every controversial "thigh gap", my thighs didn't normally rub together when I walked or ran...until now (ok, until several months ago) strange.

    I also anticipated running a lot more than I ended up doing through pregnancy. The biggest reason I had to stop? My hips! They would be fine when I ran but the pain later in the day would keep me up at night - and when you're already not sleeping so well? Not cool.

    One thing that surprised me: actually watching the baby move through my belly...very strange.

  12. I love love love this post. I know of so many women that just had the best time ever running while they were pregnant. Their pace barely decreased and they were able to run up until the very end. I think that being honest with yourself and your body is so important at this stage. I know exactly what you mean when you feel left behind. I helped deal with some of my sadness in realizing that more women could identify with me needing to take it a little slower than originally expected.

    And I'm cracking up about the booty comment. I was the same way! I went from pancake butt to actually having a little booty. Now that the baby weight is (mostly) gone, I went back to having a pancake butt. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

    I have a feeling you're having a girl. I don't know why, but I'm calling it. I can't wait to hear the results! Three cheers for brewing wee birds! :)

  13. Haha I definitely can relate to most of the things on this list. Especially the public crying thing. I broke down at my husband's cousin's dance competition this past weekend and I'm pretty sure people thought I was crying because of the outcome of the competition or something. SO embarrassing.

  14. Pregnant running is such a crap shoot! A fabulous ten miler feeling like you're floating followed up by 2mi that feel like death and your body telling you "forget this!" is so much fun. Obviously that happens in normal running too, but it seems to swing so much further with baby on board. But the great days totally make up for the not great ones!
    I have been able to make it to the end of my running pregnancies with a compression tank and the Amon maternity band, definitely more comfortable than the big strap up your belly belt things. Might be worth a shot if that one isn't very comfortable.

    Baby movement is the most incredible thing in the world...I've had a few more kids than average (um...kinda pregnant with #10), and it never loses it's magic! Wait until a few weeks from now when you can lay there and watch your belly jumping all over the place-it's so amazing!

    And if no one has warned you, in another month or two you will look at your body and wonder how it can possible stretch another centimeter, especially in the belly. You will continue to wonder that every single day till baby pops out! lol My butt and thighs are where I do the most growing every time, it's incredibly annoying. But thank heaven I found Rogas last year-they are much more butt spread friendly than what I used to run in! :)

  15. Christine (Mac) McabeMarch 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    1st, congrats on your new journey into mammahood!! You look great and seem to be enjoying (most of) it! I stopped running around 6 months because of how SOB I was and how awkward and lumbering I felt, every step jolty and forced. I had to swallow my pride and "just" walk. I did hike too which felt a little more strenuous and worthwhile. Ok, things to expect....where do I begin? :) Lots of getting up in the night to pee, which I always thought of as practice for when I would be getting up with baby. I was acutely aware however that during the pregnancy I was free to quickly return to bed and not stay up nursing, calming, changing baby. But those middle-of-the-night bondings with my babies are also some of what I now miss the most. Something I wasn't warned about/prepared for was the overwhelming hard-hitting love I felt the INSTANT they were delivered and placed in my arms. Then over the next few days the body gets ALL hormonal and I cried HARD -- but it was happy-in-love crying, and it overtook me and surprised me. Then combine that with your body healing from this huge ordeal of delivery, milk coming in (which is its own topic), sleep deprivation, and you can see why your emotions can run amuck. This is not said to freak you out, but just a "heads up" that I wish I was warned about. It was much better with #2 because I expected it and knew it was temporary and normal. Use your supports like your great family and husband and friends, prayer, music, etc. Very excited for you, Sarah!

  16. Oh man...even now, in this out-of-shape, slow and slightly awkward postpartum running state, I do not miss pregnant running. I mean, I liked it at the time for what it was. It made me feel like myself in some small way and felt (to me) like a unique type of bonding with the baby I was carrying (especially once I knew what we were having...made it easier to picture/talk to her on the run). But it wasn't the same running that I know and love (if that makes sense). You do learn to take the bad days in stride, and the good days are so much better because of it. The tiniest of victories (whether it's making it X miles or negative splitting or running a "fast finish") are something to celebrate.

    In terms of RLP - I had some pretty bad pain around the same time and then it went away for a bit. So it could get better!! I had a belly band but it was really uncomfortable until I was bigger (i.e. 3rd trimester). When I wore it earlier it caused cramps and too much discomfort...wasn't worth the ease in RLP. So maybe you will find the same thing? Once your belly gets bigger the band might be more helpful than it is now.

  17. Love that picture of you running, you look fantastic! I can totally relate to the horrific acne - I, too, miss the good chemicals to tame the breakouts. It looks like you are a few weeks ahead of me, so I look forward to keeping up with this blog!

  18. New to your blog. Grateful to have found it.
    I dig your honesty. Truly.

  19. I nodded and laughed through this whole post. So relatable, and so glad I stumbled across your blog.


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