18 months ago our Ukrainian princess landed on U.S. soil and became part of our family. What an incredible 18 months it has been! She is truly a new creation through Christ alone.
18 months ago our Ukrainian princess landed on U.S. soil and became part of our family. What an incredible 18 months it has been! She is truly a new creation through Christ alone.
I am happy to report that I was able to run throughout my entire pregnancy and thoroughly enjoyed it! My mileage during the 3rd trimester was 287 miles and my total mileage during pregnancy was 1208 miles!
My last run was 10 days before Davis was born. I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I ran a slow 6 mile run on the treadmill and decided later that day that would be my last run for the pregnancy and I would walk or do the elliptical instead. At that point in my pregnancy it was getting too uncomfortable to run and my body ached the entire day after the run.
I walked 2 miles with my mom the night before Davis was born and then another mile with Justin the day of his birth.
There was a definite difference running during the 3rd trimester as I got larger, as my weight increased, and as my running form shifted. I had to slow down my pace significantly or my heart rate would skyrocket. During the 2nd trimester I was able to comfortably run most of my runs at 8:30/mile, whereas my 3rd trimester runs were around 10-11:00/mile, and towards the end I did a combo of running/walking (7 minutes running/3 minutes walking). I also did hillwork at 0-5% incline on the treadmill 1-2 times a week up until the 3rd trimester, in which I left the incline at zero.
I noticed a huge turning point in my running around 29 weeks pregnant. My mileage went from around 35 miles a week to 20-27 miles a week. My goal during the 3rd trimester was time rather than distance. I aimed for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4-5 days a week with a longer run of 60-90 minutes on the weekends.
At 35 weeks I ran my last long Saturday run (a 10 mile treadmill run). After that my longest runs were around 6 miles.
I did a lot more stretching during the 3rd trimester. I noticed that my runs left me more sore and achy, so I often ran for a shorter time period to ensure I had enough time to stretch. The most noticeable areas that hurt after a run were the arches of my feet and the inside of my thighs. As a runner I probably don’t spend enough time stretching as it is anyway, so it was a nice change.
With the amount of running I did during my pregnancy there is a curiosity as to how much weight I gained or if I had a healthy sized baby. I gained a total of 35 pounds during my pregnancy and Davis was born weighing a healthy 8 lbs. 6 oz. and almost 21 inches long.
I ran 2 more races during the 3rd trimester, bringing my total to 5 races for this pregnancy–3 half marathons (including a personal record!), a 25K, and a 10K.
At 28 weeks I ran a 25K (15.5 miles) midnight run with my mom and dad. It was literally a last minute decision after some spots opened up, but I’m so glad I did. I got some strange stares that night. I mean, what crazy person willingly runs 15 miles at midnight while pregnant. It was so much fun and I look forward to running it again someday.
I would have to say my greatest accomplishment this pregnancy was when I ran a 48:59 10K (7:54/mile) at 32 weeks pregnant and won 1st place in my Age Group and 4th female overall. The best part of the race was getting so many high fives and encouragement by runners on the way back to the finish line.
Running throughout my pregnancy was beneficial in so many ways. Gone are the days when doctors tell you to decrease activity level while pregnant, but rather continue wisely and listen to your body.
At 4.5 weeks postpartum I am noticing a huge difference in recovery time versus my other 2 pregnancies. I’ve already started running again and feel great. My first pregnancy I exercised and had a great recovery period, my 2nd pregnancy I was virtually inactive and had a longer and tougher physical recovery and hard time losing my baby weight. This time around it’s like my body has almost bounced right back to pre-pregnancy and the physical recovery has been amazing. I would highly recommend continuing a running or exercise regime throughout pregnancy if at all possible, as there were so many benefits that I experienced throughout my pregnancy and now post-partum.
I’ve enjoyed posting about my running during pregnancy, and I hope it was an encouragement to get active and be active while pregnant. If you have any questions, let me know!
Davis Walter was born at 4:13 p.m. on Friday, October 11th. This is a re-telling of his birth story.
I had been having false contractions for two weeks. They weren’t extremely painful but enough to keep me up at night and visit the doctor on one occasion. They would last for 12 or so hours and then disappear. It had never happened with my other labors, so it was a bit frustrating.
My mom and dad, who live 6 hours away, were on standby to leave whenever I was for sure in labor. A church friend was on standby to take the kids if needed. I had been stressing about labor and how things would work out my entire pregnancy because my labor with Granger was so fast. What if I go into labor in the middle of the night? What if I don’t make it to the hospital? What if we can’t get a hold of someone to watch our kids?
On Wednesday October 9th, after 2 weeks of false labor and 5 days before my due date, my mom decided to go ahead and come stay with us until Davis was born. Knowing that it could be any day, it made me extremely calm, yet knowing that I could still go 2 weeks made me nervous. Deep down though, we know it was her mother’s intuition and the Holy Spirit that prompted her to be here.
The day she arrived she made it known that she and I were going to ‘walk that baby out’. So after dinner on Wednesday we worked out together and then went for a walk around the block. We walked somewhere around 3 miles. We ran errands all day on Thursday and then Thursday night we walked a very brisk 2 miles around the neighborhood. I was huffing and puffing and told her at one point, “I can’t go any faster mom.”
That night (Friday morning) at 2 a.m. I woke up and knew for sure I was in labor. The pains were different (although not painful) and consistent and there was no doubt in my mind I was going to have a baby sometime that day. I quietly got up and started packing the rest of my things for the hospital. Somewhere around 3:30 Justin woke up and noticed me awake and I told him I was in labor.
My mom was asleep downstairs and we decided to let her sleep as long as possible. At 4 a.m. I called my dad back home to let him know because I knew he’d be getting up to run before work. I told him he’d probably need to pack his bags and be ready to come up soon. He couldn’t contain himself and called my mom and said, “YOUR DAUGHTER IS IN LABOR UPSTAIRS!”. So funny. I love my dad. He got in the car and started the drive up here in hopes to make it before Davis was born.
Justin and I went for a 1 mile walk at 5:30 to see if the contractions intensified. I had to stop several times during our walk to breathe through a contraction.
I already had an OB appointment scheduled for that morning at 9 a.m. so I decided to just wait it out at home until then. The contractions were definitely uncomfortable and I had trouble talking through some of them, but they still weren’t terrible. When we arrived at the OB I told him I was in labor. Keep in mind that I had already come in the week prior thinking my labor may be starting. He checked me and said those dreaded words that made me cry: “Nothing has changed since last week. Maybe minimal change, but not much. I think you should just go home.” I had a contraction during the appointment and he felt my stomach and said, “Yeah, that’s a pretty minor contraction. We can send you to the hospital but they’re just going to send you home.”
When we left the hospital I cried. I told Justin I wasn’t going home and I called my mom and told her we were going to go walk around somewhere.
We went to Target first and grabbed Starbucks. I ran into a family friend that we haven’t seen in 15 years and then we walked around for a bit. I grabbed a buggy and had to lean on it several times in Target because the contractions were getting painful. We were tracking my contractions on a phone app and I was frustrated beyond belief because the contractions weren’t getting any closer together and they seemed really irregular. I started to doubt whether or not I really was in labor, but I wasn’t ready to go home.
Sometime around 11:00 we went to the mall to walk around. We shopped for kids clothes and for special treats for the kids for when they came to the hospital to see Davis. I remember having to sit down in Sears because of a painful contraction. Around 12:00 we went to the food court and grabbed some chick-fil-A for lunch. After lunch I went to the restroom and noticed that I really and truly was in labor (I’ll save the details, but you mamas know what I mean). Since this hadn’t happened in my other labors I called my mom to verify what I already knew-labor was approaching.
At this point my dad had made it into town and my mom was available to come to the hospital whenever we went.
After lunch we headed toward the exit of the mall and I was unsure as to whether or not to go to the hospital. After sitting down for 5 minutes I told Justin I needed to go to the bathroom again. We found a bathroom in Dillards and I could barely make it out of the bathroom because my contractions had started to pick up in intensity and length.
From this point on labor is sort of a blur. Justin said he was worried about me because I was in the bathroom for so long. Once I emerged I told him we needed to leave and head to the hospital to at least go and just sit in the parking lot. However, once we got to the hospital he knew we needed to get inside immediately.
I walked into the hospital at 1:30 and Justin told the nurses station, “She’s ready.” I was still able to talk and walk, but I was in pain. I got into a room shortly, changed my clothes and laid on the bed….but not for long.
At 1:50 my contractions went through the roof. I stood up to lay over the bed (the only way I felt comfortable) and my water broke. I told Justin to get a nurse quickly because I was in immense pain and I needed an epidural NOW. I was slightly panicking thinking back to Granger’s birth when I barely made the cutoff time for an epidural.
The nurse rushed in and checked me and I had already progressed fast in 20 minutes, and she and said, “Do you have fast labors?”. It was said in such a way that she knew I was progressing fast, which did not bring me any comfort.
The contractions were now one on top of another and I was very irritable and moaning and screaming and I started to throw up. When I start throwing up I know that the birth is approaching. I vaguely remember things, but I do remember screaming things like,
“I run marathons for crying out loud! Why can’t I do this?”
“I’m such a pansy!”
“God, I know I’m a sinner, but PLEEEEASE help me.”
And of course at one point the nurse walks in with 2 nursing students, first day on their OB rotation, and I start crying and saying things like:
“I’m a horrible patient”
“Go watch someone else”
“You’re going to be scarred for life and NEVER want children.”
Ahhh. I tend to be funny during labor. Although it’s not really funny at the time. I was dead serious.
The nurses were wonderful. They dropped everything they were doing to tend to me because I was progressing so quickly.
Finally, oh finally, the anesthesiologist arrived around 2:40 for the epidural. The only problem was that my contractions were right on top of the other and I literally could not move. The thought of sitting up in a bed and sitting still for an epidural seemed impossible. This kind doctor firmly told me “If you want the meds you need to get up here right now whether you’re in pain or not. Otherwise, you’re not getting an epidural.”
The nurse held me tightly, I squeezed her hands, and she calmly whispered affirmations to me as he put in the epidural. 20 minutes later, oh heavens, I felt like a new woman. My mom arrived sometime around 3:00 and I felt SO much better and was ready to enjoy being in labor. During this time I texted friends to let them know I was in labor and to pray and I listened to some hymns on my IPOD.
Around 3:45 I told Justin and my mom that something was feeling weird, sort of like pressure. I asked the nurse if she could check me but she said she was going to come back because she was busy with another mom in labor.
At 4:00 she came back to check me and said “WHOA! Baby’s head is crowning. You’re going to have a baby NOW!”
It was then kind of chaotic. The nurses were running in and out, getting the labor table set up, and calling the doctor in. They put my feet in stirrups and she said, “Uhhhhhh. DON’T MOVE!”
At this point Justin and my mom looked and said “WHOA! He’s coming out! He has lots of hair like Aubrey!”
The nurses were shouting for the doctor and shouting to get gloves on. My mom had a panicked look on her face. She later told me she was about to step in and catch the baby.
The doctor rushed in and was putting on his gloves and gown. I looked in the mirror in front of me and caught sight of all the hair Davis had. I layed my head back and laughed and apparently when I did his head popped out. Seriously. I laughed and his head popped out.
The doctor said push, but before I even had time to push he said “Look down!” and there was Davis! Not even a single push and less than 3 hours after arriving at the hospital he was here!
Davis Walter, named after family members we adore, was born at 4:13 p.m. weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 20.75 in long. Perfect in every way.
My dad brought the two older kids to the hospital an hour later (Hazel was sick so she stayed home).
Side note: my OB had received a text alert on his phone letting him know I was in labor and was 5 cm. He said he couldn’t believe it. He was already gone from his office that day, but by the time he arrived at the hospital I had already delivered!
We stayed in the hospital for 24 hours before leaving for home. Davis is such a great baby and we are blessed beyond belief. We love our newest little one and praise the Lord for the gift of his life.
Many have commented or messaged asking how we’re doing and for the birth story of Davis. I’m hoping to work on that sometime soon, but I’ve been a little occupied with our new family of 6.
Justin returned to work on Monday and we started back homeschooling and therapies after a 2 week break. Between that and nursing, diapers, never-ending laundry, and sleepless nights, there’s not much time left in the day–and the time that is left is spent napping (or possibly getting a quick shower) or taking advantage of the stillness and sitting down to read aloud with the kids.
It’s only a season and the Lord has been exceedingly good to our family during this transition. He’s reminded us our need and our dependency on Him. Friends and family that have provided meals or gift cards-we are SO very thankful for you! My family has been spoiled with delicious meals and desserts and are going to be very sad next week come dinner time when they are greeted with sandwiches!
I keep reminding myself that the days may be long, but the years are short. As hard as mothering is, I really am loving these little years and want to savor each stage and age instead of wishing for the next.
As we embark upon Thanksgiving this month, we have so many blessings to be thankful for.
We have written a lot about adoption since our journey began. We have written about the numbers, the costs, and what happens to older orphans. What we haven’t done much of though is advocate for specific families on a similar journey. However, in the midst of our busyness, we do want to share about some dear friends of ours.
David and Colleen Ishee are pursuing international adoption of a 10 year old girl in Ukraine. A little girl who has waited far too long to be adopted. Like many before them, they stepped out in faith and trusted God – not knowing how they would raise $35,000. Well, they chose to do so, in part, by fully embodying James 1:27. A few months ago they signed up with the Both Hands Foundation – an organization focused on bringing orphans home by serving a widow. Isn’t that neat? I LOVED this idea when I first heard about it.
In order to raise funds for their adoption they served a widow in need. THAT is James 1:27 in action!
On October 12 they led a team of 30 people to serve their neighbor, a widow they have ministered to in various ways, by knocking out quite a to do list around her house. We encourage you to view their Both Hands page, watch the video (below), or check out the pictures to see just what they accomplished.
The Ishees leave in less than 2 weeks and are still in need of funds.
We firmly believe every Christian has a part to play in adoption. The Ishee’s have found their role and plan to bring an orphan home soon. Your part may simply be a small donation, and if so, here is an opportunity for you to consider.
You can follow along as they adopt this precious one at their blog OneMoreArrow
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