Thoughts During Pregnancy – Fear

I’ll start with a few belly shots from this morning. Jeff took the first one, Currie took the second. I think Currie’s pic is more flattering, actually!

23 weeks pregnant

23 weeks, ready for a run! Photo by Jeff.

23 weeks pregnant

23 weeks, ready for a run! Photo by Currie, 3 years old.

Let’s get down to business. I can easily say the feeling I have most when pregnant is fear. Things that never bother me usually can really get me panicked during these 9 months.

I worry about running on my everyday routes:

  • “Is someone hiding in the bushes on the trails, ready to snatch me up?”
  • “Will a car come around the curve on a country road and hit me?”
  • “Am I going to find a place to pee where no one will see me?”

I worry about my daily choices:

  • “Did I get enough sleep last night to provide for my little guy?”
  • “Is that cup of coffee a day going to hurt him, give me a horrible sleeper, etc?”
  • “If I let Currie have the iPad for 45 minutes while I nap, am I ruining her?”

I worry about the baby’s development:

  • “Is he growing the right amount?”
  • “Is he healthy?”
  • “Will he make it full-term?”
  • “Is my diet providing enough nutrients for him?”

I worry about petty things:

  • “Can I escape stretch marks, varicose veins, and other pregnancy woes?”
  • “Will I have a quick labor?”
  • “Will I be able to deliver without drugs?” (I don’t care either way. Had an epidural with Currie and would gladly do that again, but would like to try without too.)

And of course, I worry about future running. I worry about my life after having the baby. With Jeff starting a new job, I wonder if I will have time to do all the training I want to do. Will I have the energy with a toddler and a newborn? Will I have the motivation? Will I have the speed?

Most of the time, I think I will come back faster and stronger than ever. But some of the time, I let doubt enter my mind. I just read a Runner’s World interview with Desi Davila and they asked if she ever lost faith about coming back while she was healing from her stress fracture. Her response was basically that yes, she lost a little faith when there was so much uncertainty. Now she’s getting ready to toe the line for her first race since the Olympic Marathon and she’s super excited. Pregnancy is definitely a blessing and not an injury, but my running life changes a lot, just like during a long, painful injury. Speed is a thing of the past, aches and pains are a daily occurrence, center of gravity is off and I just feel really clumsy. It’s easy to feel really far removed from my former running self.

I think it’s good and healthy to have doubts, have the tools to squash those doubts and put them in their place. I CAN say that my first real speed session after having Currie was the best run of my life. I still remember, 3 years later, so many details about the run. I felt so free, so fast, like I was truly flying. The pain of the run felt so real and so right. And I knew I was going to do something special with it. Every time I wonder if I can do it, I think of how far I’ve come, all I still want to do and all the improvements I know I can make.

How do you handle fear?

Do you experience fear during down time from running: injury, pregnancy, forced time off?


10 thoughts on “Thoughts During Pregnancy – Fear

  1. Well I haven’t experienced pregnancy (yet) but I know that during injury times or even during tapers I experience some fear. I don’t know that I handle it very well but usually just try to do what you said — just put those doubts into their place :)

  2. This post is truly inspiring and it reminds me of when I had my last injury (a cyst in my foot). I wondered, would I ever come back? Would I ever run again…all of it.

    I know this is such a pivitol point in your life right now with the move and being pregnant and just like when you moved to Rochester I know you’ll make the best of the situation. It truly inspires me how calm and relaxed you are about it all.

    My biggest fears right now are finding a real (?) big girl job, moving and the unknown. I don’t even think finding a real girl job is a stressor as much as will I be able to ever become a productive self sufficient member of society.

    • Thanks Hollie! We actually had someone over last night who said “I’m really surprised you aren’t more stressed out about your situation. You really should be worried about this stuff.” haha… great…

  3. Loved this post. Since this is my first pregnancy, I really had no idea if what I was thinking/feeling was normal, or overboard. I find myself also worrying about my exterior world MUCH more than usual (ie. “that car is following too closely, will they hit me? What if we wrecked with the baby? What if a car hits me crossing this intersection? Am I growing enough, is he getting enough food?). I am already a pretty cautious person, but even more so now!

    As to the fear from the downtime….I actually have been feeling like I am going to be 129011 times better of a runner post baby. For one, I feel like running with the extra weight, and lowered lung capacity will make running post-baby easier. For two, I think labor will make me feel like superwoman…and give me more confidence to run harder/faster.

    But hey, that is coming from me, a mere-mortal… are already a superwoman runner! =)

    • You sure will be a better runner after baby, Crystal!! It is really an amazing and exciting time. In my rational moments, I feel the same way about my own running! In my crazy fearful moments I really worry about how I will do it all. :)

  4. We are about the same amount of weeks along! That is so cool! I have always had those fears with my pregnancies (this is my 6th). Thankfully, I have been able to bounce back pretty quickly, and I really do credit it to maintaining my fitness during pregnancy.
    I sometimes feel selfish for thinking things like, “3 more months until a new pair of running shoes,” or “what is the soonest race I can run after the baby comes?” But then I think, this is something that I am not only doing for myself, but I am doing it for my baby, my other kids and my husband. I am happiest when I am able to run and train. And, a happy mom is a good mom :). Good luck with it all! I look forward to following your blog!

    • Yes Arianne! I noticed we are due right around the same time when I read your tips on running through pregnancy article (which was great by the way!) It’s amazing that you have been able to balance family and running with child #6 on the way! Very inspirational!

  5. Hi Jen!

    I have been dying to chat with you! I found out that I was pregnant a couple days after your announcement, but I finally went public with it today! I’d love to share stories and hear about what you did/are doing with your training. I can’t believe how slow I’m running this early in the game! Is that how it was for you?? Anyway, I’m so excited, and it’s great to have a friend (even if we’ve never met!) to talk to during this wonderful time! I hope you’re doing well, and I look forward to hearing from you!


  6. I’ve been meaning to send you a note since you announced your pregnancy! Congratulations! Its hard to believe my baby girl is going to be 4 months old this Friday since it seems like it was just a few weeks ago I was email you about my fears on running after my pregnancy! I was right there with you on ALL of them and remember that reading your blog and your email really helped me to feel a lot better about it all! I blogged through my entire pregnancy and have been continuing (as I have time) on running post pregnancy and balancing it all with having a new baby to take care of. You can find it here: , hopefully it can help you the way your blog helped me! Email me any time too if you want. I think I experienced it all after Alexandra was born and there is no subject too personal for me to discuss anymore. :) Good Luck!!!

  7. The best way I handle fear is to accept the things I cannot control and prepare for the things that I can. I find that in taking that approach, you rarely have regrets. I actually kind of just reflected in the topic of childbirth + fear ion my blog if you’re interested…

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