We’re having a baby!
I’m sure by now you’ve seen our little (carefully crafted) “We’re Pregnant!” photo announcement. The concept was my idea, but props to photographer Gary for the amazing photo. Both Gary and I are super excited, kinda nervous, but feeling an immense amount of gratitude to God, to the universe, to Life, for granting us this unimaginably amazing gift.
Yes, we were planning on starting a family soon. I was prepared to put all Ironman racing on hold after the World Champs in South Africa. So I have not signed up for anything major after September, even though our friends have already lined up their 2019 race calendars. Trust me, the FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. I just had to tell myself that I’m going after a different kind of prize, one that’s no less daunting, no less challenging, but, I’m pretty sure, a million times more rewarding.
In the weeks leading up to our great big South African trip, I was feeling the nerves. I got injured, had to stop running for a while, trained hard to get my fitness back on track, only to feel myself caving in to the pressure and stress that I put onto myself in the final couple of weeks. I did not get my period in August, and I was so sure it was stress related, as I was failing to meet my performance targets in swimming, cycling and even running in the last few days before we flew off.
Come 1st September, Race Day, I knew there was nothing else I could do except to put my best foot forward, and race as hard as my heart, lungs and legs would let me. It was a tough race, one that had me in tears, but I finished it with my head held high, and I was more than ready to get on with my vacation, finally!
After Port Elizabeth, we rented a car and drove to Knysna, our first stop. Gary was still training for IM Malaysia this November, so I tried my best to support his training program. He had a 14 km run scheduled, so he dragged my exhausted body out of bed the next morning, and ran around the quaint little town. It was cold, but really beautiful. I was pretty exhausted though, so I wasn’t a very good training partner, but having just completed a 70.3 IM, I think I was doing pretty okay.
The next stop was Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, a luxury one night safari package. If you ever make a trip to South Africa, you HAVE to go to one of these things. It’s not cheap, but it’s out of this world. We saw so many different types of wild animals, free roaming, and pretty up close. We even had the opportunity to sample of these exotic game meats, which I must say, once is enough. I think I’ll stick to ayam percik, thanks.
After that, we drove to Hermanus, a slightly bigger town, close to Cape Town. A destination for whale watching, it was a beautiful town, with the most laid back feel, ever. It didn’t take long for us to notice that it was a place for retirees and their holiday homes. We had 2 nights here. Gary had us signed up for a spin class at a local gym at 6.30 am the next morning, which again, I dragged my sorry, very tired butt to. Happy husband, happy Ironman, happy holiday. Later that day, though, a random crossed my mind…my period never came, and sure it was probably stress related, but that usually just delays it. And I am feeling a little more tired than usual, even though I did just finish a 6 hour race. I usually bounce back quite fast though. Could it be….? I had nothing to lose. So we hopped into a pharmacy and from a very helpful and enthusiastic pharmacist named Yolanda, we purchased a pregnancy test kit.
The next morning, I woke up bright and early, and did the test. I didn’t have any expectations, I wasn’t really feeling anything at all. I just did the test for fun. But then, the lines appeared. And from that moment on, I felt very….different. It was as if I suddenly acquired hypersensitivity to everything that was happening to me, to my body. Like some weird Spidey senses, I paid extra attention to how I felt, what taste was in my mouth, what mood I was in, what tingling feeling was that in my abdomen, in my lower back, in my feet….everything felt weird, I was cautious.
Gary took the news very calmly, like he didn’t quite believe it. We went back to the same pharmacy later that day, and Yolanda was there with the biggest smile on her face. She pulled me close and eagerly asked me “Please please tell me, what was it?” and I laughed and asked her in return “How accurate are these tests?”. “VERY”, she said. To which I nodded with a big smile on my face. And she was so happy for us! She said to Gary, “you’re a very very lucky man, she’s so beautiful! You HAVE to come back to Hermanus with your child next time!”.
So Yolanda was the first person to know about it. The rest of our trip, my enthusiasm slowly dwindled as the sickness and loss of appetite slowly set in. Not to mention, the both of us catching the cold and feeling absolutely lousy on our flight home. No alcohol was a bummer too. But deep down, I was trying to hold my excitement, and could not wait to go for a proper test to confirm these results.
We talked about it at lengths, and we both agreed that we are truly blessed. The timing could not be any better, I was still able to race at World Championships (which meant my baby did too, at 4 weeks old), and we didn’t have to play the waiting game. We know how hard it is for many couples who had to endure month after month of waiting.
I’m now 12 weeks along, and the journey has been very good. I had my share of nausea and fatigue and loss of appetite, but I think my baby and the hormones have been kind to me. I have not thrown up, and now I’m almost sickness free. I have been good with my daily exercise to keep myself fit and healthy, but nothing too crazy.I am so overwhelmed by the love and well wishes that everyone has sent our way since our photo went up yesterday. Once again, I feel really blessed and grateful to be able to share this journey with so many family and friends. I have wanted to start blogging about so many different things before, I finally have something worth blogging about. :)