I Can’t Drive 55? Try 40…

Look, anyone who knows me, knows I am a LOUSY driver.  I don’t take offense.  I often offer condolences to anyone who has to enter into a vehicle with me when I am behind the wheel.  I can’t think of one person who hasn’t gripped the “oh shit” handle for dear life when a passenger in my car.

To add insult to injury, a friend of mine recently informed me that while backing out of a parking lot, I almost hit his car.  I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was serious.  Apparently I am the only one who didn’t see his blinding white car driving slowly behind mine.
I really do try my best to pay attention.  And when my son is in the car, I would say I go from being a LOUSY driver, to a MEDIOCRE one. But I digress…. considering my poor driving history, you may feel the rant I am about to unleash is uncalled for.  But, as the days progress, as I get older… I get less patient.  And I never started with much to begin with.
The speed limits on the roadways are set up for a reason.  They are clearly marked.  You can’t miss them.  If you don’t see the speed limit signs posted in black and white, then you should be wearing glasses.  And if you still can’t see them, then you shouldn’t be driving. Why is it that a sign clearly marked “55 MPH” or “60 MPH” let’s say, is ignored?  As though those signs don’t exist?  The past several months, countless vehicles have been in front of me, going 35-40 MPH in a 60 MPH zone.  And I try so hard to just relax, and accept the fact that the person in front of me doesn’t want to go the speed limit, or anywhere close to it.  I try to ignore the honks from other impatient drivers as they are all slowly driving behind me- but usually I get the slow driver when I am in a hurry.  Of course. Does this come as any surprise?  And then I get annoyed.  And irritated.  I turn into those maniacal drivers, the ones who zip and zoom around a slow driver, which in driver language is flipping the bird at the slow driver.  Let’s admit it.
I recently posted a question on Facebook: “Is it illegal to go too slow when you drive?”  I had a few friends respond, “yes”.  I’ve done some research online, and I’ve found that it’s dangerous to go too slow.  Going too slow can cause road rage (hence flipping the proverbial driving middle finger) and drivers will act recklessly, which can cause accidents.  Blame it on the slow driver; blame it on the asshole driving crazily through traffic.  However you want to slice it, it’s still a bad situation.  Due to these dangerous situations, if you are a slow driver caught in the fast lane, you can be cited for failing to stay right except to pass and receive a pricey ticket. Each state has their own way of handling the situation.  If you are a slow driver in the right lane, however, you most likely will not get a ticket.
You may get some dirty, evil glares, though.

Subchorionic Hematoma

First, let me start this off by issuing a much needed apology.  To the friends who I chastised during their own  pregnancies with phrases such as:
“You’re feeling nauseated?  Eat something!”
“Well, if you would only move around a little more, your back wouldn’t be hurting as bad as it is.”
“It’s not as bad as you are making it out to be.  If you had a better attitude, then you would feel better!”

I must tell you something… there is a reason for the expression, “KARMA IS A BITCH.”

I said these idiotic things because I had an incredible pregnancy with my first son, Benjamin.  I can only remember one day I ever felt sick.  My first trimester, if my stomach felt a little strange, I’d pop some salty pretzels, and call it a day.  I was working as a leasing agent for an apartment community, and I showed apartments (on the 3rd floor, mind you) all day and had no issues, whatsoever.  This is where I could easily regale you with my own tales that are similar to “and I walked five miles in the snow, BAREFOOT, to school, both ways mind you, while there was a raging blizzard swooping around me, and not once did I complain about it!”  Don’t worry though, I won’t.  I think you get the idea.  Good pregnancy.  CHECK.  And, as we can all imagine, the delivery of Benjamin was just as incredible.  DOUBLE CHECK.

So here I am, years later, pregnant with my second son, Nolan.  At six weeks, the nausea started.  It would begin every morning.  So, I would do what I assumed was the correct way to handle the situation: I’d eat something.  Which, would further worsen the condition.  I’d eat pretzels, foolishly assuming that what worked with Benjamin would work for Nolan.  Of course, it didn’t.  Morning sickness is the biggest misnomer known to man.  I had ALL DAY sickness.  Which would then lead to heartburn.  Which would then lead to pressure in my abdomen caused by gassiness.  And gassiness never led to poopiness, because that would mean I could poop, which of course, I couldn’t.  Constipation, gotta love it!

This lasted for a few weeks, and then started to subside.  Only to be replaced by a little friend of mine that has plagued me for years: BRONCHITIS.  I was hacking up a lung every night.  Maybe I should issue more apologies to my family, who had to endure the month long cough fest.  And because I was barely pregnant, my doctor didn’t want to put me on an antibiotic, which is understandable.  Robitussin-DM and I became fast friends, often spending some alone time together in the wee hours of the night.  And, because of all the coughing I did, the entire left side of my ribs developed inflammation in the cartilage and so every time I did cough, I felt a searing, burning pain, so painful that I assumed I’d cracked a rib from all the coughing, and had x-rays taken.  (Don’t worry, the hospital wrapped me up around the abdomen THREE TIMES to ensure the safety of Nolan).

I was MISERABLE.  But sometimes in order for you to better appreciate what you have, something worse needs to happen.  I was closing in on 12 weeks pregnant, when I had gone to the bathroom late one night (as pregnant women often do) and discovered bright pink spotting.  The first words out of my mouth were, “OH NO.”  In my head?  “Oh shit.  Oh fuck.  What the hell is going on?!?”  And in my heart, I was very sad and troubled.  I immediately assumed the worst.  My husband Kevin and I had tried for five months, which I know isn’t a long time in terms of babymaking.  But, this was it for us.  I went to bed that night putting on a brave face.  Kevin asked me, “Should I be freaking out right now?”  I assured him that there was no need to, women do this all the time.  But inside, I was FREAKING OUT.  And I said so to my doctor the next morning.  He acted as though he didn’t hear me say “I’m bleeding.”  He must have heard, “It’s a nice day outside.”  He was very nonchalant about the situation, and we scheduled an ultrasound.  He assured me that many women bleed in their first trimesters.  The hell you say!  THIS woman didn’t!

But I did.  For four weeks, off and on, I bled.  First pink spotting, then brown/dark brown/wine colored spots.  Sometimes, a few clots would make their way out.  The ultrasound confirmed that the reason for the bleeding was a condition known as Subchorionic Hematoma.  Have you ever heard of this?  I hadn’t.  Anyone who knows me, knows I immediately went on the computer and looked up every possible link I could find on the condition.  Bottom line (and the simplest way to explain it) is this type of Hematoma is a blood clot that forms in the folds of the uterus.  There’s no known cause.  The placenta decided to tear a bit away from the uterus, and where the tear had been, a clot had formed.  This is a GOOD thing.  My body was clotting a boo-boo that didn’t belong.  But as with any sore, it needs to heal.  The blood caused by the tear was passing from my body, and it took a long time for it to pass.  I was put on modified bed rest, which means I could still go about my day, but I couldn’t work out, couldn’t do much walking, no lifting, and frequent rests.  Some women aren’t as lucky, due to the size of the clot.  Mine was very small, but others are at high risk for miscarriage, placenta abruption and pre-term delivery, so they are put on strict bed rest.

I was given the green light to resume my normal activities at my 16 week check up.  Due to this experience however, I am very careful with my body, and with my growing child.  I don’t take this pregnancy for granted.

Some websites that I sought out for advice and information:
www.justmommies.com/articles/subchorionic-hematoma.shtml
/>This one in particular has a fantastic chat board for women with SCH:
community.babycenter.com/groups/a2138065/subchorionic_hemorrhage_support_group
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I was briefly part of this chat board to obtain information from other women going through this condition, but I became what they call a “graduate”, because my condition healed up.

Why Momma Rock?

My whole life, I had been thin.  (Okay, how many people have decided to stop reading my blog, after that statement)  But it’s true.  I was the girl who could have three helpings of spaghetti and meatballs, WITH garlic bread, and then nonchalantly rub my flat, taut stomach and ask, “What’s for dessert?”  It seemed no food phased me.  Now, I did have some good eating habits under my belt.  I’ve never been a fan of butter.  I wasn’t really into chocolate either, which really freaked out my fellow girlfriends.  “Sara, what is WRONG with you?!?”  I was the odd child who at the age of two, was caught eating a big bowl of leafy green salad, with all the veggie fixings.  There’s a picture to prove it… somewhere…. and fruit and I have had a love affair for years.  Combine that with good genes and a good metabolism, and you have yourself a skinny person.

Hate me yet?

When I was 21, I got married.  Looking back, I realize that was way too young to even be thinking about marriage, let alone doing it, but I did.  And guess what?  A little over a year into our marriage, it all fell apart.  My ex had discovered an extra curricular activity of the female persuasion, which persuaded me to leave him.  Which then prompted me to let loose, have a little fun… you know, party with my friends, have all night beer fests, lots of chicken wings (can you say Hooters) and just downright not give a shit about me, or my health.  It was really a downward spiral into a depression from what had happened, but I chalked it up to “living life” after having to be part of the ball and chain equation.  “Living life” was starting to add a new element in my life: weight gain.  It started slowly.  A few pounds here.  ::Guzzle, guzzle::  A few pounds there.  My clothes started to fit differently, as in, they didn’t want to fit at all.  The number on my jean size started to creep up.  Soon I was in the double digits, and I decided it was fine.  Maybe I was meant to be known as “the girl with the big ass” in my group of friends.  Men didn’t seem to mind it, not one bit.  So, what was the problem?

The problem was, my double digit jeans stopped fitting.  One day, I couldn’t even button them up.  I was living alone, paying bills and rent.  How could I even afford this lifestyle?  I mean, was the solution just to buy new clothes every time I went up in size?  By that time, I was about 24 years of age.  There was no way I could continue on this way.  So, the solution was simple: working out.

BLECH.

I had a friend who was very into fitness.  Her fiancee was a personal trainer, so he kept her in tip-top shape.  He was kind enough to create a work out plan for me to follow.  And it involved the evil of all evils, RUNNING.  I hated running.  Loathed it.  There was no way I was going to get my “big ass” onto a treadmill.  But, it was either that, or shell out more money on clothes that most likely wouldn’t fit a few months later.  So, I hopped on.  I tried to run for five minutes, and I had to stop the treadmill.  I wanted to die, I truly did.  I was sweating profusely.  My life was flashing before my eyes.  Ok, it wasn’t that severe, but it was rough.  I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel with this crazy torture.  How could people enjoy doing this, how could people even manage to do more than five minutes without wanting to keel over?

I stuck with it, and gradually, five minutes turned into seven.  Ten.  Fifteen.  You get the drift.  Soon I was like Forrest Gump.  And something happened to me.  I became hooked.  Addicted.  Intertwined with running.  I felt this passion for running, like I’d never felt for anything else in my life.  I’d heard of people with passions.  I just never understood.  I mean, I love writing, but I’ve never been impassioned by it.  But running, was like this breath of life within me.  I’d wake up in the morning, early, and go run with a marathon running friend of mine, five in the morning.  There we were, the only souls awake and running before light even touched the sky, and I was enthralled.

The funny thing is, running became my gateway drug so to speak, to other things.  Running opened my world to weight training, toning work outs, yoga and pilates.  I started to do all of it, and again, I was in my element.  I’d found my passion in life.  And even after my son Benjamin was born (who is now five) I still ran.  I still did it all, often incorporating him into my workouts (squat 30 pounds of kid, and tell me how your legs feel).  I recently trained for the Omaha half marathon, all with having my child.  He wasn’t a hinderance; he was an awesome addition.

Which brings me to this blog.  Momma Rock is a nickname my sweet, kind husband Kevin has given me.  He thinks I am so tough (little does he know, HA) and that I can do anything.  One thing he supports me on, is someday obtaining my personal training license, so I can teach classes to other moms out there, moms who are at home right now, wanting to get into fitness, but not knowing where to start.  Moms who have babies and strollers, but want others to walk with, to stay motivated.  It’s not about the size you wear, or if you have a perfect body.  It’s about staying healthy, as healthy as YOU can, and I want to help other moms realize that. This won’t happen for a while of course (did I forget to mention I am currently six months pregnant with my 2nd son)?  But, someday, it will.

I don’t want to just focus on fitness.  If I did, that would get utterly boring.  I have so much more to say, trust me.  This serves as an outlet for me and I welcome other comments, suggestions, conversations… but know that I might slip in a quip here and there about some work out I just did, or some new move I learned.  You can do what everyone else does; either smile and nod like you are paying attention, or sigh and roll your eyes.  That’s what my friends do.  You might just learn something though….

you never know.

GCC Creative Writing

Creative Writing at Glendale AZ Community College

Africanist, artist & woman

Let's talk about it.