Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Taking the embryo for a bike ride

Today I went a good 35 miles by bike, probably more, in the region north of Madrid. A good chunk of this was uphill, including a switchback mountain road that I walked up in the intense late morning heat, huffing and puffing. I realized I haven’t panted so much in a day for quite some time. I also wondered how this was affecting my embryo. Was it positive in that it’s improving my fitness and perhaps giving the embryo exposure to an elevated heart rate? Or was this going beyond the recommended moderate exercise and potentially causing harm?

I thought back to the bike ride I took when I was four months pregnant with River. Then I biked in the Ecuadorian Andes and I really stressed out about the one-day trip because it began at an altitude of 4,000 meters. It turned out the altitude wasn’t a problem and the ride was a breeze because it was all downhill. I had to do nothing but apply my brake constantly and barely broke a sweat.

This one I didn’t stress out about in advance. I’m only two months along. I’m gloriously not sick. I can use the exercise. And this is the last opportunity I may have to do something like this for a while. But now that I’ve started, I start to worry a little.

While on the quiet country roads today, I thought about how nice it is to not have to think or worry about the state of my belly and who notices or doesn’t notice. No one here cares. And I don’t care what anyone here thinks. My belly can do what it needs to do and I can focus on other things.

Then, while showering at the end of the ride, my belly did seem noticeably expanded to me. Is it going to be obvious upon reappearance at work, the change that has taken place in a week and a half? Can I get the Down’s Syndrome tests done before people start to notice?

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