I Didn’t See This Coming: The “M” Word

February 4, 2016

This was supposed to be a very exciting week. After three positive pregnancy tests during mid-January, I was going to my first official doctor’s visit on Wednesday. My husband had cleared his calendar. We were whispering words of excitement. Although it was very early and we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we couldn’t help but start thinking {dreaming} about all the fun and happy things that were ahead. Like the room in our new house we close on this month that has been waiting for a new little person to fill it. Or what the fall would be like with a baby. Or how the timing was just perfect.

It was over as quickly as it started. One minute I was pregnant – thinking about when I’d start showing and how long I could keep running. And then I wasn’t. The “M” word: I had a miscarriage at six weeks. My trip to the doctor didn’t turn out to be the appointment I originally scheduled.

runladylike.com is a blog about running. It will never be a Website about fertility or pregnancy or parenting (you’re welcome). But this experience is part of my life journey … and even my running journey. I debated whether I should write about it or keep this experience tucked far away from the pages of the World Wide Web. But this is real life. And so, here we are.

At first, I didn’t have a lot of time to process it. It happened while I was in New York City last week during one of the biggest weeks of my career. I woke up in the middle of the night the day before an event I had been working on for 18 months when I knew something didn’t feel right. And it wasn’t. I kept smiling and working for two more days. All I wanted to do was curl up in my hotel bed, but it was probably a good distraction. After I finally got home and had some time to really think about it, the tears came. Then, I couldn’t really talk about it without getting misty-eyed. I told Mr. rUnladylike “I want our little baby back.”

I’m ok. I know it happens to nearly one in five women. My doctor said there wasn’t anything that could have been done differently to change this outcome. No amount of stress, no running I was doing was the cause. She said everything looked good and she believes a positive outcome is ahead for us. And hey, I got pregnant, so there’s that. I’ve completely sidelined my running goals to try to start a family. I haven’t trained for a marathon in a year and a half. I’ve turned down running my first Boston Marathon. I haven’t felt what it’s like to run a tempo run or really fast speed workout in as long as I can remember. Too long. It’s a choice I’ve made. Thankfully, running is always here for us at whatever speed or for whatever time we can give it. And for that, I’m grateful.

I know that so many of my friends – and you – have gone through similar experiences. One day soon, I’ll get to tell you that I’m running for two. I look forward to that day, and we can together look back at this and say that it was all part of the process. Continued forward motion.

Today, I’m headed to Arizona to spend the weekend in Sedona with my best pal Elizabeth who is running a half marathon in every state. We are running the Sedona Half Marathon on Saturday, and I’m excited to be part of her journey to race across the country. It’s sort of fitting that we’ll be together. It was on our runs in Atlanta twice a week for so many weeks that we would talk about everything and nothing. My extended journey of starting a family was discussed on run after run after run. Did you get your period yet? What did the doctor say? How is it going? Because that’s what running does. It deepens your life with people and friendships that are stronger than anything you could ever expect.

I was looking forward to telling her the good news when we landed in Arizona and then getting to run/walk the race easy with her as the “three” of us got to run in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Now, I won’t have a good excuse for not being able to keep up with her. Damn.

And … amidst what has felt to me like a very overwhelming past few weeks with non-stop travel, intense work commitments, getting ready to move into my new house that requires daily, hands-on design and having a miscarriage, I was reminded once again how life is all about perspective. Yesterday, a former colleague and influential person in my life had a surgery that is beyond my comprehension. She beat cancer in 1993, only to have to face it again this year. This time: oral cancer. Her jaw was completely removed today and the doctors replaced it with a prosthetic jaw she will have to wear the rest of her life. She has two young daughters. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her and the hardships life dishes out to so many people we know and love.

Life never gives us more than we can handle. Like my friend who will battle her cancer until it crumbles, I’m not going to just handle life’s curve balls, I’m going to knock them out of the park. Onward and upward. xo

Buffalo Cauliflower for the Busy Runner

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