Post by: Sarah Brown – Wife/Mother/Athlete
Hello world, my name is Sarah Brown and I’m pregnant. Wait…what? Pregnant? Did I just say that? The answer is yes, yes I did. If you know me, I am sure your mind is filling with endless questions. One of which is undoubtedly, ‘Why would one of America’s top 1500m runners decide to have a baby leading into arguably the biggest year in a track athlete’s career, an Olympic year?’ Well, the answer is actually quite simple. I didn’t.
I had a copper IUD. For those of you that have never heard of an IUD, it’s an intra-uterine device used for birth control. It is over 99% effective. It is the most effective form of birth control behind abstinence. I think you know where this is leading. I am the less then 1%. I am pregnant.
I would like to take this minute to point out that I used the words “had an IUD” purposely. Getting pregnant on an IUD comes with many complications. First, you have the fear that the pregnancy is ectopic, meaning outside the uterus. This is very dangerous and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Second, if the pregnancy is viable, then you must decide whether to remove the IUD or leave it in. Both carry risks of miscarriage. My husband Darren and I decided to take the risk early on and have the IUD removed once we learned that my pregnancy was viable. We felt this gave us the best chance of having a successful pregnancy from that point forward.
As it is probably becoming quite obvious, I have overcome remarkable odds with this pregnancy. I am one of less then 1% to get pregnant on an IUD, I was in the middle of a tough training block, the pregnancy was not ectopic and therefore viable, and the IUD was successfully removed without harm to the baby. This brings me back to the beginning. I didn’t decide to have a baby going into the Olympic year. Instead, I was blessed with this incredible opportunity.
As athletes we often like to believe we are in control and the one calling all the shots. However, sometimes life has bigger challenges and blessings in store for us. God humbly reminded me that He has plans for my life … and they are good plans. I have been blessed to be called a friend, daughter, sister, wife, athlete and now I will have the privilege of being called mom.
And as for the Olympic trials? You better believe I will still be training. I mean if the odds can be so stacked against me getting pregnant and yet I still manage to find a way, then who’s to say that I can’t beat the odds again? I already have the Olympic standard and am qualified for the trials in 2016. This alone is enough motivation to get to the line ready to compete for a spot on the toughest team in the world to make. Only this time, I will have one more fan cheering me on.
So this year, as many athletes write about their Road to Rio, my story will be a little different…and I hope you tune in to to follow my journey.