Friday, June 29, 2012


The second grouping of pregnancy test sticks.

Yes, you are all still waiting for LJ's sundry race reports but in the meantime I'll provide an update on my personal life. If you couldn't tell due to the lack of blogs on training and racing, I am taking the season off because I am pregnant and due mid October! Matt and I are super excited for Mini Matt to arrive and if his incessant kicking of my lower ribs is any indication, this kid is going to be a handful!

In the weeks and months leading up to the pregnancy test I took in February, I had thrown myself into a frenzy about whether I'd be able to get pregnant. Pataky finally forced me to take a test and I set it on the counter to wait for the requisite 5 minutes. After .01 seconds,  I saw nothing but the test line and immediately devolved into a rage of hormones. A few minutes later, however, he approached me with the errant stick. There, through the power of binoculars, we saw an EXTREEEEMELY faint plus sign. OF COURSE this test was lying so I quickly took 100 pictures from multiple angles, ISO settings, and lenses and sent them to my great and patient friend Jill, who CONVENIENTLY happens to be an OBGYN. She told us to be "cautiously optimistic" in her stern doctor language, so Matt and I sat around for the next 5 days being cautiously optimistic (terrified) before I took 500 additional tests which confirmed it.

Needless to say our lives have already changed tremendously, and mini Matt has not even arrived. The first trimester for me was not awesome. I went from training 17-20 hours a week to curling up in the fetal position after work (and during work), only to have Matt come home and ask me what was wrong.  In addition to barely being able to move, I could barely eat. Veggies and eggs were out. LJ came to visit for a few weeks and I even banned her from making her acclaimed egg bombs. I feel she is still bitter about that one. The only foods I could stomach were dairy products. I was a walking advertisement for organic dairy farms. Weekends consisted of attempting to get up for masters swims at Stanford. When I did make it to swim, I'd come home afterwards and immediately resume the fetal position on the couch for the rest of the day.

Thankfully I hit 16 weeks and felt awesome, or as awesome as one can feel while pregnant. I'm now back to "exercising" (not training) 1-2 times a day, depending upon how I feel and am just happy that I can actually eat normal foods again.

A few things I've noticed:

It is hard to get my competitive juices under control when pregnant: While I’ve had to physically slow down, that doesn’t mean my annoyingly competitive ego has melted away. I still hate being passed or “beaten”, yet this is really a foregone conclusion now. I am not going to be able to maintain the same pace as I did while not pregnant. How do I combat this?

  1. Run with a dog: Dogs poop and stop to smell things. When I hear the labored breathing of a weekend warrior sprinting to catch me as I lumber along at pregnancy pace, praying to God my bladder will remain intact, I simply command Ronin to stop and conveniently smell something. That way, I am not technically being overtaken and can blame Ronin for everything. 
  2. Ride a mountain bike on the road – I’m pretty much banished to the indoor trainer most of the time, but occasionally I bust out my mountain bike and ride it on the road or trails that do not include the threat of cliffs or mountain lions. I don't worry about being passed on the road because I can always blame the stubby tires of the mountain bike.
  3. Ban the power meter from my bike: As I watched my wattage on the bike drop precipitously, I realized there is no reason I should be tracking my watts. There are no “which pregnant woman can average the highest watts” contests. I finally pulled off my power meter and banished it to the post-birth box, along with my skinny jeans.
  4. Declare to all my lane mates at masters swimming that I am pregnant – this immediately enables me to swim last in the lane and trumps all other excuses, such as the ubiquitous “oh I haven’t been in the pool for 2 months and can’t possibly swim without floaties” line.
  5. The fake spin class “twist of the dial.” When the spin instructor tells everyone to turn up the resistance and I’m not feeling so hot, I just fake a turn and continue on at my negative 200 resistance. While everyone else is climbing Everest, I’m pretty much freewheeling – and some days lately that feels like climbing Everest to me.

- Why do people insist on pointing, poking me, or examining my abdomen? This has become my new pet peeve. Do I really need to hear for the zillionth time that my boobs have grown? NO SH*&! I am not the first woman in the world to be pregnant. Nothing new to see here. MOVE ALONG.

- There are far too many advice books out there on pregnancy.

- I will never take for granted riding outside in the sunshine again. EVER.

- I have become incredibly adept at finding make shift toilets. Perhaps this was a skill I had previously honed on race mornings with porta potty lines 2 hours long?

- Avoid the pregnant or wanting to be pregnant forums at all costs.

- Maternity jeans are a very good investment in one’s sanity and well-being.

- Body image issues do not miraculously go away when you become pregnant.  The purgatory of not looking pregnant but not looking normal is quite a character-builder.

- Do things you normally wouldn’t do when not pregnant:  Meditation is awesome! Cleaning my closet?  Not awesome. Trips to London with  my sister during May are normally inconceivable as I cannot be without my bike for more than 24 hours. 3 hour nature hikes into rattler and mountain-lion infested territory with fellow pregnant friends are good times.

Hiking with Nina, her Matt, Pataky, Ronin, rattlers, and Mtn lions.
- It pays to have a close friend who happens to be an OB. My previously mentioned good friend and college roommate Jill is an OBGYN in SF. She is the recipient of endless calls from the Patakys. These calls range from: "Does a smiley face on an ovulation kit truly mean I am ovulating and could it possibly lie?" to "Jill, can I do a 50 mile ride?" to “ Jill, can I do a 2 day hike at altitude while 7 months pregnant,” to "Jill what happens if I can't eat one vegetable during pregnancy. Will my child have scurvy?" She deserves a spa vacation after all of this. Pataky allows me to do any activity as long as I do it with her. This will include a trip to the Madonna concert a few days before I'm due!

-It also pays to have a friend going through pregnancy at the same time. There is nothing like being able to complain via text with someone else at 7am on why nothing in our respective closets fits, or what types of maternity clothes are the best, or “OMG I literally ripped a hole in my tight swimsuit in the middle of Stanford masters swim.” Empathy is awesome.

I'm sure I'll learn many more things along the way and am just trying to live in this moment of pregnancy, as I’ve learned in my meditation classes, and not keep thinking about what is next around the corner. Racing and training will come back soon enough, but most importantly, we'll have an awesome little boy to add to Team Pataky. HOW COOL IS THAT?! And yes, we shall add him to the local swim team at 6 months, so that he will not suffer from my "I learned to swim at age 27" malady.
A Ferrari F1 "onesie" - my first baby purchase -go figure.
A burberry mini jacket - Matt's first baby purchase - REALLY go figure.

Yes, it's a boy.
He has a head!

The first glamor shot of mini matt. Looks more like a piece of rice.
Salisbury Cathedral outside of London - awesome!