pregnancy log: weeks 33 & 34

Dec 6th 2014 01:18:43 pm

travisbabycare

Wednesday, November 26th – Yesterday was our fourth Prepared Childbirth class at the hospital. We learned about postpartum care at home for both mom and baby. Travis practiced swaddling, holding, diapering, and bathing a baby doll. He was pretty good at it.

turkeytrot2014

Thursday, November 27thHappy Thanksgiving! This morning I walked a five mile Turkey Trot with my pregnant partner, Suzy. It was a long way! Now my pelvic floor is sore. My hips are so loose and wonky lately. My entire pelvic area is sore after walking too much, but also after standing up from sitting on my exercise ball and while sleeping on my side. I guess everything is loosening up for labor.

I was sad to not be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, but it was probably for the best. We went over to our friend, Joel’s, house to eat with friends and his family. It was absolutely lovely, but I was pretty exhausted and bloated by the end of the night. I am very thankful to have a healthy baby growing and moving inside and a great husband (and dog) to support me in this challenge.

33weeks

Sunday, November 30th – Yesterday marked week 33 of this pregnancy. We mostly rested for the whole long weekend, but today we went into the city to do some Christmas shopping. I held up ok, but I feel huge. And unfashionable. I feel some desire to buy new maternity fashions, but my more practical side wins out. I don’t want to spend money on stuff I’ll only wear for the next few weeks. Even though much of my maternity stuff already feels too small. I hate this unflattering belly pic of myself (trying to capture a Brooklyn scene), but it is all we’ve got for 33 weeks, so I’ll live with it. I could keep complaining about how huge I feel and how scared I am about my weight, but I’ll spare you. I’ve almost reached the point where I want to just give up and stop thinking about my body all together.

Wednesday, December 3rd – Getting some real work done today! Hooray! Suzy and I went to pre-natal yoga on Monday night, which was good, but then that night Travis came down with a bad case of food poisoning. We didn’t sleep much that night. (And we missed our final Prepared Childbirth class. Boo.) Tuesday was spent trying to get him feeling better and hoping that he didn’t actually have the flu or something else terrible which I could catch. He didn’t. He is feeling better today and I am feeling more productive and energetic thanks to better sleep last night. Whew.

34weeks

Saturday, December 6th – Today I am 34 weeks pregnant and I am feeling well, but also overwhelmed. Yesterday I had a pre-natal doctor appointment AND the “virtual tour” at the hospital.

The doctor appointment didn’t go so well. The doctor was an hour and a half late, which I was actually ok with. She was another new doctor for me to meet and she was really nice and cool, and I was thinking that I wished she was my primary doctor until I brought up my concern about my weight gain. I shouldn’t have done it, but my weight was REALLY high at the appointment. I think it had to have just been a strange fluctuation because it wasn’t registering high at home and had been really consistent for the last week… but anyway, it indicated that I had gained too much weight according to their charts in the last two weeks. Ugh. My doctor told me to basically cut out ALL CARBS. She recommended a low-carb, low-fat, high-protein diet for the rest of the pregnancy. She wants me to cut out all grains, fruit, and even carrots! Which sounds insane to me. Foods she actually suggested that I eat for lunch were a chicken breast, no-fat cottage cheese, and diet Snapple. Not only does that sound completely unappealing, but I also think it sounds unhealthy. And when I asked her about missing out on all the fiber from fruit and whole grain, she said to just take a stool softener! I am not SO concerned with my weight that I am willing to mess up my digestion with a crazy, unnatural diet and then fix the issues it causes with medication. There is just no way I am going to start eating weird processed diet foods and artificial sweetners (which I have avoided all pregnancy). BUT, I AM definitely doubling down on my efforts to moderate my weight gain by reducing processed carbs and sugar and increasing protein.

The entire interaction made me feel overwhelmed and confused. I guess, what do I expect the doctors to tell me about my diet? I mean, no one should be eating treats and sugars. But hearing a doctor tell you to do something completely against your idea of healthy, normal eating is confusing. I want to be the perfect pregnant patient, but it is hard when you don’t agree with the medical professionals. It stresses me out. AND I feel frustrated because I really have been watching what I eat and feel like I have been quite healthy. All I want is juice and donuts and I have tried hard not to give in to my cravings. I am so mad that my weight had to be so high at the appointment. Blergh.

The virtual hospital tour was ok. It was basically just a big meeting with power point slides. We had heard a lot of the info at our Prepared Childbirth class, but a new tidbit I learned is that NYU Langone Medical Center delivers more than 6,000 babies a year. Wow! There is still a lot of registration, insurance, and birth plan paper work to fill out, which makes me feel a little stressed… but I am sure we will get it all together somehow.

In other news, BabyJ is getting really big. His movements are much more Alien-like now, pushing my belly all around and almost painful at times. I am also having a lot more pelvic pressure. This whole pregnancy thing is definitely progressing!!

We ordered BabyJ’s car seat today. We did NOT get a combo stroller/car seat travel system. We’ll see if we regret it. Travis also ordered a baby monitor last week. We can view the video feed on our phones. Right now we have it set up in the living room (seen below) to spy on Crusher, which is pretty fun. We only have a few small things to order — a nice thermometer, baby clothing hangers, post-partum supplies — and then I think we will be pretty ready… in the “stuff” sense. It is kind of impossible to be ready in the mental sense. It is just impossible to know how the labor will go and what it will really be like to bring home a new human. It feels scary, but we are excited.

babymonitor

2 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

second trimester pregnancy favorites

Dec 3rd 2014 03:25:40 pm

secondtrifaves

Well, I am already more than a month into my third trimester, so these faves are a little bit delayed. The good news is that most of them are still working out for me in my current giant-belly phase. If you are entering the heart of your pregnancy, I can’t recommend these items highly enough!

Some notes on fit: When buying maternity clothes, I basically stuck to my normal size. Usually a medium. When buying regular person clothes for use during pregnancy, I usually sized up. Despite wishing I was a more sophisticated and fashionable lady, comfort has really won out during these last few months.

Second Trimester Pregnancy Favorites:

  • Ingrid & Isabel Active Pant – Comfortable pregnancy workout gear was a priority for me since I basically wear it all the time. I bought THREE pairs of these maternity active pants, the knee length, capri, and full length. I love these tights because they can be pulled up over the belly or be folded down for a yoga-style waist band. They are supportive and flattering. They are still accommodating my belly perfectly into the third trimester, and I think they will be fine to wear post-pregnancy with the waist turned down.
  • Storq bundle – Leggings + tank + dress + skirt. Love the comfy, above-the-belly leggings, and the simple dress. I wear them ALL THE TIME. I haven’t worn the skirt as much and the tank top is a little thin to be worn without some other coverage, but both are comfy and practical. The tank has become more of a staple now in the third trimester since I need REALLY long base layers to cover my huge belly.
  • Gap Body soft bras – Maybe I gave up too quickly, but by the second trimester, underwire bras just no longer felt worth it. I’ve been wearing these soft, pullover style bras ever since. I wear them all the time, to sleep, workout, live life, everything. I think I have six or seven of them at this point. They are supportive and comfortable, although perhaps not the MOST flattering. I am scared because I read somewhere that wearing an underwire bra ALL through pregnancy (like 24 hours a day) and after will help your breasts stay higher and perkier… but then I also read that tight underwire bras can irritate some of your milk ducts. So, I am trying to do something in the middle. I’m keeping the girls relatively supported all the time and hopefully I’ll be able to live with the final outcome…
  • J.Crew Maternity Jeans – Since I don’t have to dress up to go to an office, I’ve really gotten away with buying a minimal amount of maternity wear. I’ve only bought ONE pair of these maternity jeans. Instead of front pockets, these jeans have stretchy elastic panels along the waist band in the front. They are totally comfortable (and would probably be awesome comfy jeans any time, not just when pregnant!) but since they don’t go over the belly, they have a tendency to ride down. Even so, they have worked well for me throughout my whole pregnancy.
  • Athleta Techie Sweat Ankle Pant – I LOVE these pants! They are NOT maternity pants, but I saw a very pregnant girl at prenatal yoga (I think she was due that day) wearing them and had to ask where she got them. I have been wearing them nearly every day since then. It may be getting a little gross. They are basically casual lounge pants, but I feel like they are stylish enough to wear on the street while walking Crusher and running some errands. They sit below my belly. I ordered them in a medium and they are still fitting fine… but I did just order a second pair in a large just so I have some super-comfy lounge pants for the final weeks of this adventure.
  • Travis’ Hanes cotton tank tops – Starting at about week 23, his tanks tops were the only top I wanted to wear. They were long enough and covered the belly in a flattering way. The sad news is that they are starting to get a little too short for my third trimester belly.
  • Mama Mio body lotions – I had REALLY itchy skin during the second trimester. My belly, boobs, and even legs were dry and itchy constantly. The Boob Tube and Tummy Rub Butter were daily soothers. Travis even helped apply it sometimes! (Probably any good lotion would work to relieve itching, but I am a sucker and I like that these contain a lot of different natural oils and promise to be safe during pregnancy and nursing.)
  • Panty liners – What can I say, pregnancy is a little messy. There is so much extra liquid in your body and it leaks out at a higher rate than usual. I constantly have a runny/congested nose, and yes, more discharge down below, too. I suppose it is a good thing because it is helping to prevent any infections in the birth canal, but still, yuck! I’m not a panty liner type of girl in my regular life, but I feel like they are a necessity during pregnancy.
  • Calcium & Fiber supplement – I was craving dairy in a major way at the beginning of the second trimester. Research suggests than cravings don’t necessarily indicate nutritional deficiencies, but I didn’t want to take any chances. If you aren’t getting enough calcium during pregnancy, the baby will steal it from your bones… and I would prefer not to get osteoporosis in the future. So, I started taking these Vitafusion Fiber Plus Calcium Prenatal Support Gummy Vitamins. They have 500 mg of Calcium (half the daily recommended amount for pregnant women) and fiber to help keep you regular, which is also a plus!
  • Doughnut Plant donuts – My sweet tooth came back in a major way for the second trimester and Doughnut Plant donuts have been a major craving ever since. The Creme Brûlée and Tres Leches are my favorite flavors. I haven’t actually broken down and gotten them very often (only 3-4 times, I swear!) but that may change now that they just opened their new Brooklyn location!

Are you in your second trimester of pregnancy? Or recently survived it?? What were your favorite things that helped you stay comfy and happy?

Check out my First Trimester Pregnancy Favorites here.

No Comments » Categories: Clothes, Pregnancy

Rivers Edge International Film Festival

Nov 30th 2014 10:20:44 am

filmfestival4

About three weeks ago, I traveled with my mom to Paducah, Kentucky, to attend the River’s Edge Film Festival with my grandma and aunts. This was the 10th year of the event. My grandma and aunts who live in Paducah have attended every year! Wow! This was my first time.

paducah

My mom and I missed the opening night (Thursday) of the festival, but it turns out that the premier screening of the big horror feature was sold out! There was a line to get in and my family didn’t even get seats with their full access passes. We also missed most of the first day of films since we were on the road driving into town… but don’t worry, we still saw a LOT of films!!

filmfestival1

In total, I think we saw 27 different films over the course of Saturday and Sunday. Most of them were shorts, about 10-15 minutes in length, but many were features that ran over an hour. There were animated films, narrative fiction films, experimental films, a good amount of horror, and documentaries. Overall, the quality of the films exceeded my expectations. My favorites were the documentaries.

My top three film picks were:

  • Out of the Fire – A documentary about wood-firing potter, Kevin Crowe, working in rural Virginia. I love art documentaries, and this was particularly interesting to me because I got to do a tiny bit of wood-fired ceramics in high school. The film made the entire firing process seem like a party!
  • Wicker Kittens – A funny documentary all about competitive jigsaw puzzle teams competing at a winter festival in Minnesota. Who knew people were so into puzzles?!
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall – This was a documentary about a hospice program at the Iowa State Penitentiary. I am always intrigued by prison documentaries. Even though I know that the inmates are there for a reason, I can’t help but feel compassion toward them. Maybe I am a sucker. This film followed the final days of one inmate and the care he received from his fellow prisoners. This film won Best Documentary Short for the festival.

Check out all of the festival winners here.

filmfestival2

It was a great trip. I basically just relaxed and enjoyed the time with family. Paducah is a really nice small city. I definitely suggest a visit if you are in the area. I didn’t get to visit the National Quilt Museum like I did during my last trip there, but I highly recommend it. There seems to be some type of art or culture event happening at any given time in Paducah. And of course, if you are there in early November, you’ve got to check out the Film Festival! (Despite the big sell-out on the first night, they could use a few more attendees throughout the event.)

filmfestival3

2 Comments » Categories: Family, Movies, Travel

pregnancy log: weeks 31 & 32

Nov 24th 2014 02:23:11 pm

prenatalyoga

Saturday, November 15th – Well, I am 31 weeks pregnant today. The pregnancy is rolling along and my belly is growing and growing. I am fairly uncomfortable at this point and my back has been hurting for the last few days. But I made it to prenatal yoga yesterday and I’ve been trying hard to stay caught up with work and chores around the house. Climbing the stairs up to the apartment with groceries is ridiculously difficult, but I keep doing it. Today, Travis helped me hang a shelf and posters in BabyJ’s crib corner. It is looking good and the crib should be delivered this week! Exciting! Now we just have to decide on a car seat and a stroller and we will be mostly set.

Monday, November 17th – Wow. So, today marks exactly two months until BabyJ’s due date! I know the time will pass very quickly, but I also feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea that I have two more months to get bigger and more uncomfortable. Back pain, heart burn, and an even more increased need to pee have already kicked in. I feel the worst in the evening, all bloated and unable to move. I know I will survive. I just hope I can stay a little bit active and not gain too much weight between now and D-day.

crib1

Tuesday, November 18th – I am excited. The crib was delivered today! BabyJ’s nursery corner is coming together! But it still needs some color. I wish the walls weren’t beige, but I don’t think our landlord will agree to a different color. Oh well. I still want to get some more colorful bedding, a crib skirt, and a shelf for books. I think those things, plus all of his cute clothes hanging up will add some excitement.

crib2

31.5weeksWednesday, November 19th – Ugh. I am sick with a sore throat. Not good. Last night was our third Prepared Childbirth class. (It is cold here in NYC, so I tried to squeeze into my wool coat.) We learned more about c-sections and about what will happen at the hospital after the birth. I feel much more comfortable about the labor and delivery process at this point. My body, on the other hand, isn’t so comfortable. I know that comparing myself to other women is not helpful and that all women, babies, and pregnancies are different… but I feel huge! I think my belly is bigger than anyone else’s! I have definitely entered the BIG stage. Most of my clothes no longer fit. And today after Crusher’s walk, I had to sit down to rest halfway up the stairs to the apartment. I think it was a combo of being sick and the baby taking up my lung space, but my heart was beating harder than I can ever remember it beating before. I was seriously concerned. Pregnancy is no joke. I am so in love with BabyJ and really looking forward to meeting him, but this whole process is not easy.

Friday, November 21st – Yesterday was another prenatal doctor appointment. I met a new doctor who was young, skinny, fashionable, friendly and pressed for time. All of my stats (blood pressure, belly size, baby’s heart beat, etc) look great, and BabyJ is situated in a head down position. I told the doctor that I am concerned about my rapid weight gain. She told me to count my calories and NOT eat for two. Ugh. I am definitely watching what I eat and trying not to eat any extra, but I don’t think I am up to logging all of my food and calories… despite the fact that I am utterly preoccupied with my weight gain. Even when not pregnant, I have major issues with body image and weight, so I am trying extra hard to stay positive about my body now… but it isn’t working at the moment. I am bummed. My weight is increasing so quickly, and I am scared that I have eight more weeks to just gain and gain. Taking belly photos doesn’t feel very cute any longer. I just feel huge and embarrassed. When I previously imagined pregnancy, the size I am now was definitely the biggest I ever thought I would get. And I know that sounds crazy and naive, but let me tell you, I see PLENTY of tiny, petite, pregnant women at prenatal yoga with mini bellies at 36+ weeks. I also see some pretty large bellies, but don’t try to make me be rational!!

32weeksI write these blog entries quickly when I can find some time. They are really an unfiltered stream of consciousness that I hope no one takes too seriously. The truth is that my pregnancy is going extremely well. I am so grateful to be healthy and happy, and I can’t wait to have my baby in my arms. I think about him all the time. BUT that doesn’t really eliminate all the small discomforts. And it feels good to vent. So here it goes: I have been sick this week and sluggish. My back hurts all the time. I can barely climb stairs. And I got a horrible cramp in my calf last night that woke me (and Travis) up. It is still sore even after forcing myself to prenatal yoga today to try and stretch it out. I am entirely behind on work and freaking out about how in the world I will stay caught up once the baby gets here. I can no longer bend over. And I smell bad. Seriously. Things are not pretty. BUT I know I will survive and eight weeks will go very quickly. And then things will get difficult in a whole new way!

32weeksPhillyMonday, November 24th – Saturday marked my 32 week pregnancy milestone. BabyJ is probably about 4 lbs and 19 inches long at this point. He is definitely feeling larger and more cramped in my belly. His movements are much stronger and he likes to hit and lay on my bladder a lot.

Travis and I were in Philadelphia over the weekend so he could run the Philly Marathon on Sunday. It was a really fun, quick trip with lots of walking around the city. We hung out with sweet friends and ate good food. I was pretty impressed with how well I held up, for the most part. Sunday I even managed to get out early and cheer all morning with my friend Emily. I walked quite a few miles and tried to see Travis at four different places on the race route. (I only caught him at three.) BabyJ loved all the walking. It put him to sleep. It was beautiful, sunny weather and I had a good time. Travis didn’t have his best race, but we still enjoyed eating Philly cheesesteaks with our friends in the afternoon. I was happy to get to be a part of the fun despite being so pregnant. But then we had to get on the Amtrak train home… then we had to take three different subways back to Brooklyn… then we had to climb the hill and stairs to our place. I was wiped out on the trip home. Super uncomfortable, out of breath, swollen, exhausted, and needing to pee constantly. The weekend went well, but the trip home pushed me too far. I got very frustrated about the fact that I am not able do everything that I want to — no running, no marathons, no climbing stairs without huffing and puffing. I don’t want to feel weak and exhausted and uncomfortable all the time!

32weeksmarathon

I tried so hard to be active and healthy and strong for this pregnancy, but now I feel like it is all falling a part. The third trimester is tougher than I expected. Reading over this log definitely makes me even more aware that I am quite obsessed with my weight and the physical aspects of pregnancy. I know that I should be working to focus more on the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of this experience. Or at the very least, suppressing my body image craziness in this log. But being really honest is important to me, even if it is just for my own record. If I do this whole pregnancy thing again, I want to be able to look back and know how I was truly feeling. Plus, my ability to feel healthy and active is pretty integral to my emotional well being. And, maybe the mental and spiritual stuff is really feeling ok — I am SO ready to be a mom to this little baby, Travis and I are really happy and in love, I actually feel like we are responsible, fairly financially stable adults, I have come to terms with our living situation, my family and friends have been kind and supportive — so I guess I just have more space in my head to freak out about less important stuff. Like how much my back hurts. ALL THE TIME.

Pregnancy is a really cool experience (REALLY!) and I am so incredibly happy that I get to do it. I think I just had higher (read: impossible) expectations for how it was going to go and how I was going to feel. I’ll try my best to be a little easier on myself and embrace the last seven-ish weeks of this adventure.

4 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

pregnancy log: weeks 29 & 30

Nov 13th 2014 10:43:07 am

28weeksroof1

travisbabycarrierMonday, October 27th – Here we go into the third trimester! I can’t believe it is really here. I know the next twelve weeks will go very fast… so I have been pretty adamant about getting everything ready for baby asap. Yesterday, Travis and I went into the city and ordered the crib and all of its accessories. It will arrive in mid November. A little early, but I don’t want to take any chances. I’ll just feel more calm if the apartment is totally ready to go well before January gets here. (Travis also tested out a baby carrier. He looked good in it!)

Since I had on make-up and actual street clothes, we tried to do a little third trimester photo shoot on the roof. There was a nice sunset, but we sort of missed it. I always look so unnatural in these posed shots and I know they are decidedly self-centered and a bit obnoxious, but I like keeping this record of my pregnancy. I know some women hire pro photographers for maternity photos, but I think I am ok with these DIY shots. I’ll save the fancy, frame-able, masterpiece photos for after the baby arrives. I mean, it’s not like I am going to display a maternity photo of myself in my house when I have the option of a baby photo instead, right??

28weeksroof

28.5weeksTuesday, October 28th – I have been feeling emotional — in a good way — lately. I’m really in love with Travis and Crusher and I am enjoying spending a lot of time with them. I’ve also been thinking that this pregnancy thing is pretty fun. Amazing since I am also huge and a little uncomfortable. My appetite may finally be tapering off a bit. There just isn’t a lot of room for food. I have been craving juice, though! Lots of juice.

Saturday, November 1st – Today I am 29 weeks pregnant — already a week into the third trimester! I am sort of telling myself I only have two months left to go because I want to be ready for anything once January gets here. I guess I am also getting a little antsy and excited for BabyJ’s arrival. I better finish reading all of my baby & birthing books!

Today, I ran a 5k race in Manhattan. It was a fun run in conjunction with the NYC Marathon, which is tomorrow. We got to run through midtown and to the official marathon finish line. It was really fun to get to be a part of the atmosphere among all of the international runners. I can even say that I ran (shuffle jogged) almost the entire race! I was feeling pumped up and wanted to see if I had any running left in me after a fairly solid hiatus. It felt great on my legs… but pretty punishing on my bladder. And, oh man, my pelvic floor muscles are SORE now! Really tired and sore. I was not expecting it. Oof. I hope it will strengthen them. Despite the pounding on my bladder, I didn’t realize my pelvic floor was getting that much of a workout. I guess it is a tiny preview of my post-labor recovery…

29weeks

dashtofinishI must admit that I think I was more motivated to run a lot of the race today after reading this article in the NY Times about elite runners training through pregnancies. Lots of friends had pointed it out to me, and even though it is inspiring, it also made me feel like a lazy slacker. Those women are running 50+ miles a week while pregnant! I don’t run that much when NOT pregnant. And running now is quite uncomfortable and hard. BUT, this extra interview made me feel better. When it comes to pregnancy exercise, it really all depends on what your body is used to. Some people think I’ve been exercising too much, but I feel guilty because I feel like I have cut back immensely. For the elites, 50 miles per weeks is a big cut back in their training routine, too. All women have to cut back on some exercise intensity while pregnant, we just all start from different places. And elites are elites because their bodies are exceptionally good at exercise… each woman just has to do what feels good to them. And for me, I think it will mean very little running until 2015!

volunteeringnycmarathon

Monday, November 3rd – Yesterday, Travis and I volunteered at a water station for the NYC Marathon. It was a fun and exciting day, like always, but six hours on my feet pouring water in the wind and sun ended up being tougher than I expected. I was basically fine during our shift and pumped up to be helping the runners, but afterward I was entirely exhausted and sore. My back was in pain. All of the volunteers were tired, so I don’t feel too bad about myself. But I just can’t pull all-day work shifts in my current condition. It took a nap, an evening on the couch, and 10 hours of sleep to recover!

Today was another doctor’s appointment. Everything — weight, belly size, blood pressure, fetal heartbeat — is still looking really good. I got to meet with another doctor at the NYU Langone practice for a few minutes and she was very friendly. I also got my whooping cough vaccine. So, all good. I go in for appointments every two weeks from here on out. BabyJ’s birthday is getting close!!

Wednesday, November 5th – Travis and I attended our first “Prepared Childbirth” class at the hospital last night. It was really good. It helped reinforce the fact that I will be delivering at an excellent, baby-friendly hospital. And it reassured me that I am in agreement with the hospital policies. It is easy to start getting nervous as I read all of the hospital horror stories in the home birth books, but I believe NYU Langone Medical Center will be a perfect place for our birth.

Travis and I learned a lot about early and active labor in this first class. I am glad that he got to hear so much of the info that I have been reading lately. I try to tell him the important bits, but I feel like he takes it more seriously when coming from an instructor. We learned about pain coping and breathing techniques and we practiced working through a few contractions. I was pleased when the instructor said that sitting on an exercise/birth ball is one of the best ways to prepare for labor. I am glad I already have one! She also said the most important thing to do to prep is relax. I am really working on that! I do feel more calm about the labor and delivery. I have a good feeling that it will go smoothly…

roadtrip

Thursday, November 13th – I am a little late publishing this update for my 30 week milestone on Saturday… Over the long weekend I traveled home to Kansas City to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday and to visit my grandma and aunts in Paducah, Kentucky. I was a little worried about traveling while 7 months pregnant but the flights were really no problem. I wore compression fitness tights on the plane ride there (at the suggestion of my doctor), but didn’t notice any swelling or bloating. I wore my jeans on the flights back and was also fine. I didn’t even have to use the bathroom on the planes. Nice! I basically had zero offers from anyone to help carry or lift my bags, which seems a little odd, but I managed pretty easily on my own. The day after I arrived, Mom and I drove 9 hours to Kentucky, then we attended a film festival for two days. The sitting for days on end was the hardest part of the trip. I should have been more diligent about fitting in exercise. But it was wonderful to visit with my grandma and aunts and hear their advice and thoughts on pregnancy and birth. I am very glad I went!

I think BabyJ is a little less than 4 pounds now. My app says he is the size of a large cantaloupe and he could gain up to 5 more pounds before delivery. I hope to gain less than 10 pounds overall by then, but we’ll see… my belly is getting huge. Somedays it is comfortable enough, but then other days he is moving all around and pushing out on my abs. Those days are uncomfortable. Exercise seems to help him get into a more settled position. I am trying to commit to staying as active as possible for these last two months. It is really tough, but it is daunting to think about taking another six weeks off from strenuous activity after the birth, too. If I were to take off from now until then, it would be four months of inactivity!! I feel like I am turning into sludge… but I am also trying to be forgiving and relaxed about the situation. Fitness and muscle tone are not the most important things right now… right? I should embrace the time to take it easy. I will try.

2 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

pregnancy log: weeks 27 & 28

Oct 26th 2014 08:43:56 am

26.3weeks

Tuesday, October 14th – I got the results back from my blood and glucose tests… and good news: NO anemia and NO gestational diabetes! Hooray! I also got a flu shot last week, so I am feeling healthy & smart. ha! Yesterday I had some cramping and a really tight belly (and BabyJ was moving all over like crazy) but today I feel MUCH better. I’ve been productive. Plus, the apartment is really starting to come together. All in all, I am happy.

babyfruit

travisbdayWednesday, October 15th – Today is daddy Travis’ birthday! My friend Suzy and I did some pre-natal exercise (walking) while running errands for the evening’s festivities. Suzy is pregnant, too!! (She just announced it this week!) She is about twelve weeks behind me and we couldn’t resist posing with our baby/fruit equivalents at the grocery store. Such a cute lemon and butternut squash! I am so thankful to have a friend going through this experience with me. It helps a lot to have someone to talk to.

(Travis got a few BabyJ-themed gifts for his birthday… I don’t think he minded too much.)

Friday, October 17th – Today marks exactly three months until BabyJ’s January 17th due date! AND the new rocker got delivered today. Once the ottoman arrives, I think it will be the perfect cozy spot to feed and snuggle.

babybump

Saturday, October 18th – Today I am officially 27 weeks pregnant. All is well, but I am feeling exceptionally huge these days. It is daunting to think that I have three more months to get larger! Staying active has already become a challenge — my back hurts when I overdo it on time on my feet — and I know it is just going to get more intense. I know that the rapid weight gain is mostly baby… but it isn’t ALL baby. My butt and legs are definitely getting flabby and out of shape. It seems unfair since I am walking (and climbing the three flights of stairs to our apartment multiple times) every single day. I get overwhelmed when I think about the future challenge of getting back in shape and losing weight. So scary.

reggaerogue

Sunday, October 19th – Travis and I did a small four-mile race today with friends. I ran a tiny bit of it, but mostly walked. My bladder really gets battered and I have to pee too much when running, but I keep trying to do a little here and there. It was fabulous to see our friends, but I feel a little embarrassed. I am worried that “civilians” won’t understand why I am so huge. I mean, I know that everyone knows I am pregnant, but I still just feel GIANT. I am tempted to just hibernate for the next six months so I don’t have to face the world as a tired, flabby blob. Don’t worry, I won’t really hide. I know I need to come to terms with my size… I’m working on it… I know I am lucky to have a big, healthy baby growing happily inside.

27.5weeks

Wednesday, October 22nd – You guys, this pregnancy thing is getting REAL. I know that I felt like it was real before, but things are getting way more intense now. (I am sure I will be repeating this sentiment every week until BabyJ arrives.) I am huge. Someone at the grocery store asked me if I was due this month! Gah. Everything is getting tricky: stairs, sleeping, reaching my feet. And my weight is out of control. I am truly concerned about making it almost three more months…

Thursday, October 23rd – My abs have been super tight and painful for the last 18 hours. I can’t get them to relax. It doesn’t seem to be affecting BabyJ, though. He has been moving all over!

Friday, October 24th – I need to be honest. This week was tough. As I close out the second trimester, I feel like the aches and discomforts of the third are already starting to hit me. I was tired and in pain most of the week and very concerned about making it until January. BUT today I woke up feeling SO MUCH BETTER! My abs are no longer tight and I just feel more comfortable. Thank goodness. I got a few hours of really good sleep and I even made it to prenatal yoga today and enjoyed it. I hope to have an active (but not too active!) weekend to welcome in the third trimester…

28weeksThe things I am trying to focus on these days: 1.) BabyJ! I need to take my attention away from my body image issues and just start dreaming about my sweet, little baby. We are so fortunate that he is healthy and progressing smoothly. 2.) I need to chill out about trying to figure out and plan the birth. It will happen as it happens and I need to just be open to the process. 3.) Instead of worrying about my doctor’s personality, I need to focus on how fortunate I am to have access to excellent medical care. Trying to stay calm and positive…

Saturday, October 26th – Today I am 28 weeks pregnant! I have officially made it to the third trimester! I definitely feel huge and a little uncomfortable, but also confident. I am working hard to focus on my strength and ability to be a good mama throughout this entire adventure.

I went to a pelvic floor workshop today in an attempt to be proactive about my postnatal situation. It was informative, but not entirely specific about what work I can do to help labor go smoothly… It was more about fixing problems after the fact. I have been working on my kegels and pelvic floor strengthening A LOT because many resources say that they can help prep you for a smoother labor, but my doctor basically said they wouldn’t help and the workshop instructor seemed to think focusing on flexibility was more important… so I am feeling a little confused about whether I am wasting my time. Or maybe over-strengthening? Can that happen? Do I really need to start massaging my perineum??

Sometimes I sort of wish I was one of those women who “didn’t know they were pregnant.” (If that ever TRULY happens. I’m skeptical.) Then I could avoid all of this incessant research, reading, and prep work. I mean, the baby is coming out either way, right? I want to be as knowledgable as possible, but at this point I am starting to suspect that no one really knows what they are talking about… Is that harsh? There is just so much conflicting information out there. I know I should err on the side of the medical professionals, but they are not very forthcoming with any specific info. (Beyond “don’t drink alcohol and gain 25 lbs.”) I guess I just need to chill out and roll with the experience. Yay pregnancy!

3 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

pregnancy log: weeks 25 & 26

Oct 12th 2014 08:30:05 am

24weeks

Monday, September 29th – Feeling good today! Travis and I had a really relaxing weekend (although with less exercise than I had planned) and I am feeling very comfortable and ready to get some work done today. Yesterday, we started rearranging the bedroom to make room for BabyJ’s crib, and we have been researching our stroller and carseat options. I think I’m leaning toward the lightest and most minimal models of everything. I don’t want to carry a 35-pound stroller up our stairs! Last week I met with an awesome mom friend (Hi Rebecca!) who lives nearby who gave me a lot of baby gear suggestions. She also lives in a walk up apartment and has two totally awesome and adorable kids. She is a complete pro and I basically plan to copy everything she does.

We still have 3.5 months to go, but Travis and I are getting really excited to meet this new, little human. I just hope he likes me!

parkselfie

Thursday, October 2nd – I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. I have a bit more energy during the day, even if my sleep doesn’t seem to be excellent during the night. My biggest issues/challenges/things right now are: (1) my increased weight gain, and (2) my obsession over researching baby and nursery gear. My weight is increasing rapidly now. I know that it is what is supposed to be happening and it means that BabyJ is growing big and strong, but it is taking much of my mental power to stay positive about my bigger and bigger body. My body fat percentage is also definitely increasing and I am scared. I am just going to try my best to stay active — even though a 3 mile walk with Crusher (self timer pic from our excursion seen above) kicked my butt yesterday! — and eat as healthily as I can. It just feels so unfair that thinness is so highly valued in women, and yet we are the ones that MUST gain weight to ensure the continuance of our species. Anyhoo, I am totally obsessed with this rocking chair and feel like I NEED it to cuddle in with BabyJ… never mind that we have no room for it.

25weeks

Monday, October 6th – As of Saturday, I am 25 weeks pregnant! It was a fabulous weekend. I just felt really comfortable, content, and happy the whole time. My only complaint is really itchy skin.

On rainy Saturday we basically just had a lazy day and rested around the house, ate healthy snacks, and took Crusher for a good walk. Sunday we went into the city to look at baby gear. We went to Babesta in Tribecca and Giggle in Soho. Both places have really cool stuff, but they didn’t have everything that I had wanted to check out. I didn’t get to see the rocker or the bassinet I have been dreaming about… We did get to see our crib and stroller choices, though. And we couldn’t resist buying BabyJ a few outfits at Polarn O. Pyret, a Swedish children’s store. I had a lot of fun. I know we have three months to go, but I really want to start getting the apartment ready… I don’t want to leave all of the shopping and set up for right around the holiday season!

glucosetestFriday, October 10th – Yesterday was another pre-natal doctor appointment. Everything looks good. My blood pressure is low and BabyJ’s heartbeat is about 140 beats/minute. He probably weighs over 2 lbs now and is more than a foot long. Wow! I did the initial glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes. I had to drink some sugary liquid and then get my blood taken an hour later. I had read online that women hated the test and that the sugar drink tasted terrible… but I didn’t really mind it. It wasn’t a big deal at all. I need to keep that in mind. You can find so many anecdotal horror stories about all aspects of pregnancy online and they don’t necessarily represent the truth. I shouldn’t read them. I am also somewhat regretting reading the midwifery books I got recently. I asked my doctor some of the questions from the books (whether I can move, eat, or drink in labor, what some of her c-section policies are, etc.) and she was not amused. Now, my doctor is never amused, so I am trying to take it in stride. BUT I was a little more concerned that she called Ina May Gaskin an “extremist” and told me not to read her books. I understand where my doctor is coming from (I personally do not want to give birth at a commune in Tennessee with no electricity) but I wish there was some middle ground. I agree with a lot of the natural birth stuff AND a lot of the medical stuff, but I feel like both sides refuse to meet in the middle. It feels like you have to chose a side. Anyway, I am on board with my doctor and hospital and am fine with a lot of their procedures. I just hope everything goes as smoothly as possible… and I wish I could make my doctor be my friend. ha!

26weeksAs for BabyJ, he sort of has a routine and a favorite position now. He mostly snuggles down low in my belly facing the ground. Most of his kicks and punches are extremely low and directed downward. He seems to only move now when I am resting, like before bed or during a nap, and after I eat. I am still working on washing all of his little clothes and obsessing over organizing and cleaning the apartment. Overall, I have been feeling extremely good the last few weeks and I feel fortunate. I also feel huge… but as of right this minute, I am at peace with it.

Sunday, October 12th – As of yesterday, I am 26 weeks pregnant. BabyJ is either the size of a head of cauliflower or a butternut squash, depending on which app you are looking at. I wanted to take a fancier “belly pic,” but once again, you get a blurry photo from my computer’s Photobooth app. I am still feeling good. Travis and I exhausted ourselves by cleaning and rearranging the entire apartment yesterday. We still have some work to do — shelves to hang, crib to order — but it is looking pretty good. We are making room for the crib in our bedroom, which means the office has basically turned into a floor-to-ceiling storage room… but it is working out so far. (The exciting news is that I caved and ordered the rocker that I’ve been drooling over! We are making room for it in the living room.) Starting a family in an 800-square-foot, fourth floor walk-up apartment is not really my dream, but I am trying to roll with it. It will be difficult, but also cozy.

3 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

infertility

Oct 7th 2014 12:44:48 pm

(or, Making a Baby is Harder than I’d Hoped)

kiss

My background:

I guess I already had a feeling that I wasn’t the most fertile woman in the world. Travis and I have been having sex… for a long time. (We’ve been together for 16+ years.) We are smart and careful, so we doubled up on birth control (bc pill & condoms) for a long time. No reason why we should have gotten pregnant and we didn’t want to. We both went to grad school, moved across the country, bought a tiny house, had jobs, started a business. I went off the pill when I was 27. We kept using condoms most of the time and sort of decided to see what happened. Maybe I should have been more concerned that nothing happened. But then we moved to NY, lived (and ran a business) in a tiny apartment, trained for marathons, had fun. I don’t want to be the cliched “modern” woman, but even though I really want children, I thought I had more time. I probably should have been more concerned when my cycles shortened to 25 days, but the doctors said it was normal. I’ve never missed a period in my life. I’ve never been underweight. My body has never failed me. I thought I was as healthy as possible. But I guess I also knew I was pressing my luck. We all think we can wait forever.

In the end, my fertility struggles were very minimal compared to what many other women face, but I want to share my experience just in case it helps any other women to be proactive about their own fertility. Plus, it is so easy to forget things and I want to have my thoughts written down for my own personal record.

firstbabby

Starting the process:

So… 2012 was a huge running year for me… no time for pregnancy! But after completing the Goofy Challenge and Bermuda Triangle Challenge in January 2013, Travis and I decided to get down to the business of trying to make a baby. We weren’t entirely diligent at first, but by April I was tracking my cycles and focusing on fertile days. I started using ovulation kits in July to pinpoint my most fertile days. Still nothing was happening. I hated taking the pregnancy tests just to get a negative result and I also hated not knowing what I could plan for the future. Could I run a marathon in November? Or should I not sign up? Could I train for an IronMan? Or should I devote more of my energy to focusing on baby making? Should I apply for a new job? Should we plan that big trip to Europe? It felt like everything needed to be put on hold until we knew whether or not a baby would be coming in the near future…

Fertility check-up:

Since I wasn’t getting pregnant as quickly as I had assumed it would happen, I decided I should go get things checked out. On September 11th, 2013, I had my first appointment with a new Ob/Gyn, Dr. Flagg at Spring OB/Gyn. I really liked her (she graduated from KU Med just like my brother and sister-in-law!) and she suggested I start a “Fertility Check-list” of tests and screenings. It consisted of blood tests looking at my hormone levels at different times during my cycle (FSH, AMH, TSH, Prolactin, and Progesterone), a genetic screening, a pap smear looking for any STDs or other problems, and multiple ultrasounds at different parts of my cycle to observe ovulation. (Plus, a sperm check for Travis.) In all, I think it consisted of five or six separate doctor’s appointments over two months. Looking back now it doesn’t feel like it was so bad… BUT at the time I felt like it was a HUGE hassle and very invasive. Luckily, I have not experienced many health problems in my life, so any type of medical procedure seemed very tough at first. Blood draws and trans-vaginal ultrasounds are not exactly fun, especially when you are doing them nearly every week. Not to mention the time I had to take away from work to get to all of the appointments. My work and life schedule is very flexible, but I remember thinking that anyone with a high powered job would never be able to fit in all the tests!

Every one of the tests came back with great results… except the AMH (Anti-Müllerian Hormone) or “egg timer” test. It is supposed to help doctors determine the size of your egg supply. (It also could indicate a possibility for early menopause. Great.) My number (.72) came back so low for my age that Dr. Flagg suggested I make an appointment with a fertility specialist. Her high level of concern made me worried. But she also told me not to stress over it too much. Ha! She also suggested acupuncture. Yuck. I was not interested in acupuncture, but I took her advice anyway. There are some medical studies that show some correlations between acupuncture and increased fertility, so I felt I should give it a try. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything possible to increase my fertility chances. I didn’t want there to be any one thing that I could look back on and say “if I had just tried that maybe things would have worked.”

I took any and all fertility advice… some of the things I tried:
(FYI: I 100% believe in modern medicine and believe it is the #1 thing that ultimately allowed me to get pregnant… these other things were just supplements to my medical care.)

  • accupuncture – I went to multiple appointments at two well-reviewed (and expensive) places, here and here. I know many people find acupuncture helpful, but I did not enjoy it. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a scam when they were constantly trying to up-sell me herbs. I stopped going when the practitioner told me my surgery would probably not work and that I needed to increase my acupuncture visits to supplement it.
  • reduce running and strenuous exercise – My doctors told me that running was fine as long as I kept it under 45 minutes, 3 times a week. My medical chart was marked “excessive exerciser” since I had been doing much more than that. I cut back considerably, but had a hard time giving up such a huge hobby. I still ran the Brooklyn Marathon in November. (The acupuncturists told me to cut out all exercise except yoga and let my body focus its energies on reproduction.)
  • yoga – Everyone suggested yoga to help with stress. I made a point to start going, but it is not my favorite…
  • rich foods – Both the acupuncturists and the doctors suggested eating whole milk and full-fat dairy products, eggs, organ meats, bone broth, and dark green leafy vegetables — anything with lots of iron and/or nutrients. I think that the dietary recommendations didn’t hurt, but they would probably be more beneficial to someone who is malnourished or underweight. That being said, I am still drinking whole milk!
  • no more toxins, i.e. coffee & alcohol – it was hard to give these two up and it took a while for me to reduce them to zero…
  • vitamins & supplements – I started taking CoQ10, Royal Jelly, and a DHA/Omega3 vitamin in addition to my regular pre-natal.
  • voodoo fertility ring – Ok, so no one actually suggested this, but I bought a glass ring in New Orleans that claimed to enhance fertility. At best, it is a benign tourist trinket. At worst, I am co-opting a religion that I know little about… but still… I haven’t taken it off for over a year!
  • “baby make-cation” – So many fertility guides recommend reducing stress as a fertility tip, and taking a “baby making vacation” is the ultimate step! I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but this one actually worked for us!

Fertility specialist help:

I have already talked about the difficulties of finding a doctor in NYC here. This is a huge city where many women put off having children for a long time… which means that fertility doctors are in HIGH demand. In November, I called one of Dr. Flagg’s recommended fertility doctors, Dr. Noyes at the NYU Fertility Center. Her office told me she didn’t have ANY appointments until March of 2014!! That was almost another six months of waiting! Gah. But in a miracle of miracles, the office called me back and said they had had a cancelation in early December and could I take the appointment? YES!

In the mean time, I had a final appointment and ultrasound at Spring Ob/Gyn… and they found a “structure” in my uterus. I guess it was something that they had noticed before that they thought would go away within a normal cycle, but it didn’t. They couldn’t tell me what it might be, but they suggested I make an appointment for sonohysterogram after I met with the fertility specialist. So many appointments! I was feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and sad. Thank goodness I had a close friend going through similar struggles at the same time. We would meet weekly to discuss our updates.

surgerySurgery:

Thankfully, this is where the story starts getting good pretty fast… The fertility specialist, Dr. Noyes, immediately diagnosed me with a small uterine polyp at my first appointment. She said that even though it had mostly been too small to see in ultrasounds previously, it was probably preventing pregnancy for over a year. She booked me for surgery to remove it on January 14th, 2014.

I had never had surgery in a hospital before, so I was a little nervous about the general anesthesia… but it all went exceedingly well. I had almost no pain during or after. My period in January was a long and tough one, but otherwise I had no major side effects. At my check up appointment in February, Dr. Noyes said that my “fertility was enhanced” and that despite my low AMH number I should continue trying to get pregnant naturally until the summer. If it didn’t work she wanted me to start on a hormone protocol in May or June. I really didn’t want to do the hormones! Technically, I was diagnosed with infertility since I had been actively trying to get pregnant for a year without success. Boo.

Making a baby in Europe:

A lot of things lined up that allowed Travis and I to take our amazing month-long European vacation in April. It was an awesome experience. We had a wonderful, very romantic time… BabyJ was made the old-fashioned way somewhere in Italy. It almost feels too good to be true. I had decided not to track my cycles or use any type of ovulation kit while we were on the trip… we’d just have fun and see what happened! We had a lot of fun. I really can’t believe it worked. I feel very fortunate and thankful.

europelove

Thoughts:

Reciting the facts of my brief, but scary encounter with fertility problems makes it all seem quick and matter-of-fact… but when I was actually going through it, it was all very upsetting and difficult. Going in for medical tests and then waiting for the results (which for all you know could be really bad news!) is very stressful. I felt isolated, uncertain, scared, and sad for a lot of 2013. I talked (and cried) with Travis and a few of my close friends a lot, but otherwise, I guess I didn’t want anyone to know I was struggling. For my family, I didn’t want them to worry. And I kept thinking, “Hopefully, I’ll have good news next month. I’ll tell them the whole story then.” I guess I was also afraid of being judged for making what felt like the terrible decision of waiting too long to start a family.

Despite all the tears and fear, from my current perspective, I actually feel thankful to have gone through the experience. It greatly reinforced my desire to have children, and it has made me very mindful of and grateful for my current pregnancy experience. It also gave me some insight and compassion for the major struggles women can face when trying to start a family.

I wanted to share my experience for two reasons:

1- To prompt women who might be concerned about their fertility to be really proactive and go see their doctor asap. Medical stuff can be sucky, but it can also fix most problems! The sooner you start investigating the problems, the sooner they can be fixed! I was pregnant within seven months of first going to see my doctor.

2 - To show that people go through tough stuff, even if you don’t know it is happening at the time. During the last year I’ve known friends who have had major surgeries, lost loved ones, received a cancer diagnosis, had their children receive a cancer diagnosis, etc… so many things that are so much more difficult than what I experienced. And yet, many of them didn’t want to share their struggles with the world either. Don’t assume that anyone’s life is perfect. Everyone is facing tough stuff of some sort and could use some kindness.

ultrasound

I am so thankful and thrilled that my pregnancy is going well so far. BabyJ seems strong and healthy and I can’t wait to meet him! I don’t want to take anything for granted.

If you are going through fertility struggles, let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to discuss any details!

1 Comment » Categories: Family, Feeling Sad, Health, Pregnancy

pregnancy log: weeks 23 & 24

Sep 28th 2014 08:49:01 am

crusherandbabyj

week22.5Wednesday, September 17th – I am feeling down today. It has taken me longer than I’d like to recover from the fun of Reach the Beach weekend. I am behind on work and feeling tired. And even though everything is going very well — BabyJ is super active these days! — the smaller annoyances of pregnancy are getting to me today. I woke up three times in the night to pee. My boobs have gotten gigantic and just keep growing. I always feel full and bloated. I get completely out of breath every single time I have to climb the stairs to our apartment. And I am sick of not being able to have coffee or any type of easily obtained or prepared meat. Wah wah. I guess it is just hard to picture ever being able to feel normal again. In better news, Crusher loves laying by my baby belly whenever we rest. It is sweet.

Thursday, September 18th – I am feeling a little better today. I have been working on a blog post about my short, but scary struggle with infertility and it just reminds me that pregnancy at my age (or any time) is not guaranteed. I don’t have to enjoy all of the symptoms of pregnancy, but I do want to really embrace the experience. I hope to have more children, but who knows what will happen. This may be my only pregnancy. I want to take it all in and remember it. Lately I’ve been manifesting this intention by being a little easier on myself. I’ve been resting a bit more and trying not to beat myself up for being behind on work. I’ve also treated myself to a few pregnancy goodies, like this lotion, that I really probably don’t NEED but that make pregnancy feel special. I’m also getting into nesting… but that is somewhat stressful. I want everything to be clean and organized!

23weeks

23weeksSunday, September 21st – As of yesterday, I am 23 weeks pregnant! The weeks are flying by! This week I have been sleeping a lot and eating a lot. I need to get back to being more diligent about healthy food choices. I have been craving sweets and sugary drinks, which isn’t good. Travis is making me a fruit smoothie right now for breakfast… he is sweet to me and BabyJ. I have also been really itchy lately, on my belly and boobs (which feel totally stretched to the max!) but also on my legs. I bought basically all the pregnancy lotions from Mio Skincare. I think they do help, but I reapply multiple times a day. Overall, I am really loving BabyJ and he seems to be happy as can be swimming around in his uterus home.

Monday, September 22nd – I dreamed about eating candy and drinking milk last night. I think lil’ BabyJ wants calories.

Wednesday, September 24th – I feel like this log is getting a bit repetitive… I don’t have much new to report. I have been pretty happy and in love with BabyJ over the last few days. He likes food, music, and sunlight. They all make him move around a lot! My belly is getting a bit unwieldy and sleeping is getting a little more difficult. And a bad night’s sleeps means I take a daytime nap, and then the nap causes night time sleep to be harder… it is a self-perpetuating cycle. Good thing I really like naps! I am also starting to gain weight at a pretty quick pace. I am still within my “goal” range, but I am getting a little scared. I am hungry a lot of the time. It is still a little early to start REALLY prepping for BabyJ’s arrival, but I figure I can start washing some of his blankets and clothes… of course, I had to test them out on Crusher first!

swaddle

23.5weeksThursday, September 25th – Oh man, I am emotional today. I have so much work to catch up on, but I just keep looking at pregnancy stuff online and reading birth stories (like this one) and crying. I hate feeling so uncertain about how the birth will progress. SO many of my friends and acquaintances have had c-sections that I am starting to lose hope when it comes to trying for a natural birth. I broke down earlier in the week and bought a bunch of pregnancy books. I told myself I wasn’t going to — there is too much info and too many opinions out there!! — but I met with an awesome mama friend on Monday who suggested a couple… I’ll let you know which ones I end up liking best. I think I may need an intervention, though. I need to take a step back from researching all of the birth videos, baby registry suggestions, pregnancy exercises, and placenta services. I am falling too far down the rabbit hole…

Friday, September 26th – I am skipping pre-natal yoga today. An hour and a half is just such a long time to take out of my work day. BUT I got a big exercise ball to sit on at my desk. It will supposedly help stretch my pelvis and perineum in preparation for labor.

Saturday, September 27th – Today I am 24 weeks pregnant! It feels like a milestone because it is the age at which NY state officially considers your fetus to be viable outside the womb. Woohoo! BabyJ seems to have shifted position considerably recently. He seems to be laying horizontal now because I am feeling kicks and punches on both far sides of my belly. He also seems to be fitting in there better because my belly feels a little flatter. BUT I also had awful heartburn all last night… so maybe he has just moved up closer to my stomach. His kicks are feeling a little stronger these days and I still love them. My current craving: Sweets! So many sweets. All I want is donuts and I know that isn’t good. I am trying to resist. My exercise/activity level was lower this week than I would have liked, but otherwise, all seems to be going well.

7 Comments » Categories: Pregnancy

Reach the Beach 2014

Sep 25th 2014 06:25:24 pm

rtb2014_start

Travis and I completed our third Reach the Beach relay event earlier this month. My running role was much shorter and slower this year, but Travis and I still had a fantastic weekend Reaching the Beach with 28 of our fun and wacky Brooklyn running friends. How amazing is it to find a group of people who can spend 30+ hours in mini vans together without sleep or showers, run 600+ miles, eat mostly just pretzels and MnMs, and come out the other end smiling more than ever?!

rtb2014_lizziesjump

This year our Warriors group consisted of three teams of 10 people each. Our van of five was me, Travis, Amanda, Larry, and Nate. It was Nate’s first time at RTB and I hope we helped make it a fun experience for him. I had an awesome time with our van mates! It was really a no stress, smooth, and even EASY weekend. Amazing.

rtb2014_lizziesvan

Since we were van 2, we spent the first portion of the event cheering for our team mates who ran the first five legs. We started the race earlier in the day this year than in the past, so when it was our turn to run, it was still light out! Nice. We ran, drove, cheered, handed off the baton (slap bracelet) at the transitions, and basically just got it done.

rtb2014_lizziesvan2

I had originally been assigned to run 18 miles during the event, but since I had experienced a difficult four-mile race the week before, I was nervous about my ability to do it… at least to do it in any type of time that wouldn’t completely sink our team. Thankfully, Larry switched legs with me and I got to run 13 miles of much easier terrain. Whew. That was a big relief. I had been worried that Travis may need to run some of my legs for me… but sadly, he had an injured calf and actually couldn’t do his third leg. Joel ended up running it and totaled more than 30 miles for the weekend! Crazy.

rtb2014_transition

I was the last runner in our van to go. My first leg happened to be the same first leg course that I’ve run for the past two years. I am glad that I got to run it again because it was fun to see the terrain while it was still light out. It was VERY hilly and it ended on a grass hill heading up to a farm. I was slow, but still felt really good about running most of it (walking only the big hills). And the best part was that my ENTIRE TEAM was at the farm waiting for me to finish and cheering me on. Definitely an inspiring experience… even if I felt a little embarrassed. It felt like I was running HARD, but on video I’m sort of doing a pregnancy waddle. Oh well, everyone was super supportive.

rtb2014_travisrachel2

We rested a little, ate some dinner at a cute and welcoming church, and then ran our next set of legs. It is already hard to remember the details, but my second and third legs went pretty smoothly. I even ran the third one (just a 5k) a tiny bit faster! In between we grabbed some sleep at a transition area. I think I slept for a full two hours on the back seat of the van. I didn’t think it would really help much, but I woke up refreshed. Wow!

rtb2014_travisrachel

Overall, I think this may have been my smoothest and easiest year at RTB, which is totally crazy since I didn’t even know if I was going to do it. I thought that being pregnant would make me really uncomfortable, but I actually felt fine the entire time. BabyJ loved the music in the van and he seemed to sleep when I was running. Thankfully, my team was understanding of my slow speed and need for low mileage… I think that made all the difference. I wasn’t as stressed about being FAST this time around. I felt comfortable watching my breathing and heart rate during the runs and not over-exerting myself. I also worked hard on eating healthy snacks and staying hydrated in between the runs. And I used a LOT of porta potties!

rtb2014_lizzies

It was another really fun weekend of running south through the mountains of New Hampshire, riding in vans, listening to music, and getting to know our friends a little better. I know that I probably won’t get to do the event again for quite a while, so I am glad that I decided to participate this year despite being pregnant. It felt empowering to complete the event, but even more so, it felt really incredible to have a team that welcomed me, accepted, and encouraged me as a pregnant runner and team mate.

rtb2014_finish

————

Check out all of my photos from the event HERE.

Blast from the past:

Reach the Beach 2013 // Reach the Beach 2012

2 Comments » Categories: Friends, running, Travel

Next »

Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

Enjoy!





categories

archive

search


subscribe via email


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


subscribe via RSS

Overland Park v0.01 | Wordpress