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

Pregnancy log: weeks 21 & 22

Sep 15th 2014 01:09:23 pm

shower

showeronsieSunday, August 31st – My sweet mom and her super-kind and generous neighbor (and friend!), Sarah, hosted a surprise baby shower for me today. It was a lot of fun with all of Travis’ family in attendance. I wasn’t expecting a shower, so it really made me feel loved. Sarah decorated in cute baby boy style and made all sorts of awesome food and treats. She had chocolate dipped pretzels and Oreos, and fruit kabobs in a watermelon carved into a baby carriage! Very impressive! We even played a baby shower game and guessed the prices of baby essentials. I did not win. I think I was guessing NYC prices! I received so many adorable outfits (like this very accurate “Made in Italy” onesie from Dad) and goodies for BabyJ! I think he is now basically set for the first few months clothes-wise. What a lucky baby! I am not sure how we are going to fit all of his gear in the apartment… we need to start clearing out some space!

showerladies

Friday, September 5th – This week went by quickly! I spent most of it in Kansas City spending time with family. There is never enough time to visit with everyone sufficiently and I feel really weird about maybe not seeing everyone again until after the baby arrives. I’m afraid they won’t ever know me as an individual again! Or, everyone will only focus on the baby from here on out and forget about me. Sniff. Oh well, I am pretty focused on the baby, too. 20.5weeksI am really having fun being pregnant. That being said, I had a bout of body image panic when my mom and I were shopping for maternity clothes on Wednesday. It is just scary to be getting so large. But my mama bought me some comfy clothes from Gap Maternity and I am feeling better. I know that gaining the correct amount of weight is optimal and I don’t want to skimp on any nutrients, but it still seems daunting to have to lose it all later… when I’ll have a lot less free time. Oof. The good news is that the travel to and from KC was no problem. I felt fine and had no trouble with the flights. I just made sure I had my water bottle with me, and stopped in the bathroom any chance I got. The other REALLY good news is that I can really feel BabyJ moving around now! Travis can even feel some movements from the outside. So fun!

Saturday, September 6th – Today I am officially 21 weeks pregnant! More than half way done. Wow. I attempted to run a 4-mile race in Central Park today, but it turned into a walk. And then I experienced a really fast heartbeat and got really light headed. I had to stop and sit down. It was scary. I finished the race (I need it for my NYC Marathon 9+1), but it was very slow going. I’ve been getting light headed easily these days, like when I stand up too quickly. They say it is a sign of low blood pressure. I also think I was dumb and did not eat this morning before the race. I was just feeling so full when I woke up. I didn’t think I could fit anything else in my stomach… not smart. I think I am still having a bit of trouble getting enough calories in general. (Still so weird.) I get full so easily and then have really bad heartburn most days. I will try harder to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.

21weeks

Tuesday, September 9th – Today was our anatomy ultrasound. It was about an hour long and we got to see all of BabyJ’s parts and systems. He is looking really good, wiggling around a lot. He weighs approximately 1 pound 2 ounces and the technician said he is going to be very tall. He is still in the 96% percentile for size. The tech was also really impressed with his bicep and calf definition. It is always so fun to get to see BabyJ, but the sonogram photos are about the same as last time… but this time we got a print-out of the bottom-up photo of the proof that he is a male fetus! One for the scrapbook – ha! Tomorrow is my official doctor’s appointment, so I might find out more about his measurements and what not then. I am feeling really fine, but more tired than I was expecting/hoping. Everyone says the second trimester is supposed to come with renewed energy levels, but I still feel unproductive and totally brain dead some days. I think I have low blood pressure because I get light headed really easily, like when I stand up or over-exert myself. I’m going to ask the doctor about it tomorrow. I want to do some running this weekend, but need to make sure it is safe…

anatomysonogram

Tuesday, September 10th – I had another pre-natal doctor appointment today. My doctor had a really busy night in the delivery ward, so I saw her assistant again and met with one of the other doctors on the team. They were both really nice. It was a good appointment this time. My cervix looks excellent and there is no evidence of the previously minimal placenta previa. My blood pressure did not measure too low, and the doctor actually ran the same 4-mile race as me on Saturday and said the heat was probably what caused my over-exertion. She says I can keep running as long as I feel good, which is great because I am running a relay race this weekend which might be tough. She said it was ok to do as long as it was something I am used to. I’ll just really watch my heart rate and walk as much as I need to. In other good news, the Quad Screen test came back with excellent results, all within the minimal risk ranges for any chromosomal abnormalities. So, the doctors don’t recommend an amniocentesis. I am glad. AND, I have been offered a seat on the subway three times lately! All by women. I usually accept. I mean, I might as well enjoy this whole pregnancy thing!

22weeks

rtbbabyMonday, September 15th, 2014 – Officially, week 22 of this pregnancy ended on Saturday, but I was in a van completing the Reach the Beach relay with Travis and 28 of our fun running friends. I wasn’t sure if I would do the relay this year. It is not something that you would necessarily recommend to a pregnant woman — running many miles, some at night, sitting in a van for 30+ hours, getting little sleep and using lots of porta potties — but it is something I have done for the past two years and the doctors didn’t have any concerns about it. My difficult 4-mile race last weekend scared me, but with much less mileage than previous years and a very slow run/walk pace, I had a GREAT time at RTB! I am glad I did it. My team was really supportive and I had no problem with the running or any other aspect of the event. My lower abs and bladder got tired from all of the high impact, hilly terrain, but otherwise I felt good. In fact, I feel like this was the easiest year of RTB for me! (Probably because of my low mileage.) I even got a few hours of sleep! I loved spending time with my friends and traveling through the pretty New Hampshire terrain. BabyJ loved the music in the van and I think he fell asleep when I was running. He seems to have had a good time! So, it was a successful weekend. Now that we are back home, BabyJ seems to be moving ALL THE TIME! I think he is doing flips. I am feeling really used to being pregnant at this point and I love feeling him moving around… so now I am having a bit of anxiety about him living outside of me in a few months. I like the set up we have now! ha!

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pregnancy log: weeks 19 & 20

Aug 31st 2014 06:46:12 am

prenatalyoga

babygiftMonday, August 18th – I kicked off week 19 with my first official prenatal yoga class. Yoga is sometimes hard for me to get through, but I really enjoyed tonight’s class. It was awesome to see women of all shapes and all stages of pregnancy working to stay healthy and continue using their bodies. It was really beautiful and inspiring, actually. The class was a bit easier than normal yoga classes, but it was very supportive and nurturing. We worked a lot on hip flexibility and body awareness. My goal is to start going twice a week. In other news, I think I’ve been eating a bit more… but I still get heartburn most days. BabyJ got his first gift in the mail today from his Uncle Adam and Aunt Nina. The baby clothes are so darn cute! They make me even more excited for BabyJ’s arrival!

Tuesday, August 19th – Egads, guys! I think my appetite is picking up! Even after oatmeal, fruit, and milk for breakfast, I was starving for lunch at 11 am. That is pretty normal, but I am not getting full as quickly as usual! And sweets are more appealing now! Oh no.

Saturday, August 23rd – Today marks the end of week 19. We are getting so close to the half way point! I am feeling good this week. It has been hinted that I am too concerned with exercise, but I feel good staying active, so I am going to try to keep it up. I’ve definitely pulled back my intensity recently, but this week I did a great mix of prenatal yoga, walking, swimming, and a little running. This morning Travis and I ran a 5k in Harlem. It was fun and I felt strong running (run/walk) but my belly was definitely a bit uncomfortable and bouncing on my bladder. I think the belly issue will eventually be the factor that makes me cut out running completely… but not yet! Travis and I also attempted a trip to Target and Babies R Us to try to start some gift registries… it is too hard! I really don’t feel like we need a ton of stuff, and the stuff we do need (stroller, car seat, crib) I feel I haven’t researched enough. It is overwhelming!

week19.5Monday, August 25th – A runny nose, heartburn, and the continuous need to pee are my constant companions. Also, thirst. I am always thirsty. But I think water gives me heartburn! Also, I am craving “everything” bagels and cream cheese. So weird. And my weight is definitely inching upwards. I know it is healthy, normal, and necessary, but it is still scary to edge into previously unseen weight categories… Despite all the symptoms, I really am enjoying being pregnant. I love the thought of carrying my little babe everywhere, but oh man, I can’t believe I have 20+ more weeks of it!

Tuesday, August 26th – My belly (seen to the left) feels pretty out of control. I don’t think I can disguise it anymore. I feel huge, but I know I’m only going to get bigger.

Thursday, August 28th – I have been thinking a lot about how amazing it is to be pregnant and how cool it is to be creating a new, little human. It is an incredible experience and I am so glad that I get to do it. BUT… then I woke up super-sluggish and overwhelmed today. And all I want to eat are Doughnut Plant donuts. But I had a healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast instead. Ick. And I have so much work to do before our trip to KC tomorrow, but all I want to do is rest…

UPDATE: Travis saved the day by bringing me Doughnut Plant donuts after work. Yum. I ate two donut seeds in about 3 minutes.

Saturday, August 30th – Today marks the official half way point of this pregnancy! It feels like an accomplishment to have made it to 20 weeks. My belly is bigger than ever (naturally) and I am really feeling good. I haven’t napped in days and I even went out for a nice run/walk this morning. I’ve been feeling really small baby movements, I think… like little gas bubbles, but in the front of my belly. I am looking forward to feeling more distinct movements. Hopefully soon!

I ate too many sweets today since it was a party day — we celebrated Isabella’s 90th birthday with Travis’ family in KC. It was a lovely day with lots of family and friends. Isabella had four children and now has 15 (with 1 on the way!) great-grandchildren. Amazing.

20 weeks

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first trimester pregnancy favorites

Aug 26th 2014 02:23:43 pm

firsttrimester

I really can’t believe I have already made it through nearly half of this pregnancy. I think it feels most unreal because we waited so long to tell everyone the good news. But now that we’ve made the announcement, I have a lot to say!!

Overall, I think I am taking to pregnancy really well, but I did feel frustrated and sick during the first trimester. Weeks 5 through 11 were the worst for me. I was fatigued and nauseous most of the time. I didn’t actually throw up ever, so I guess it could have been a lot worse. Exercise was nearly impossible during those first weeks and I’d get a fast heart beat doing nearly any type of physical activity. I spent a lot of time resting.

Now that I am in the second trimester, I am feeling much better — and more hungry!! I am glad that I kept this list of my favorite first trimester items because I may have forgotten what the first few weeks were like. Perhaps these ideas will help your early pregnancy go smoothly…

My First Trimester Favorites:

  1. Prenatal Vitamins – I’ve been taking New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin for years now (always hoping to get pregnant!) and I added Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA once I found out that I finally was pregnant. Both were ok’d by my doctor and neither make me sick (some women have a hard time with vitamins making them nauseous). I spread out taking them over the course of the day with food.
  2. Ovia Pregnancy App – I downloaded a bunch of pregnancy apps to track the little babe’s progress, but the Ovia Pregnancy app has been my favorite. It tells you about your baby each week (with cute little illustrations) and allows you to input and track a lot of info, like your activity level and weight. It also gives you daily tips and articles. Some of the articles are a little vague (they are not doctors!) but I like that this app seems to have WAY less ads than the other apps I’ve tried.
  3. Claussen Dill Pickle Spears – My doctor said I should avoid salty foods and that the cravings were basically in my head… but I just can’t believe that. Some days, a pickle was the only thing I wanted and the only thing that made me feel better. Claussen Dill Pickle Spears were the very best.
  4. Lime Seltzer Water – I’ve always loved seltzer water, but I went through nearly a 2-liter of Schweppes Lemon Lime Seltzer Water every day during the first trimester! I tried doing real lemon and lime wedges for a while, but they really exacerbated my heartburn.
  5. Chimes Ginger Chews – I wasn’t craving any sweets or candy during the first trimester, but these Ginger Chimes Chews (in the Orange flavor) were occasionally a big help with my nausea. They have a very fresh and strong ginger flavor and they are all natural.
  6. Star Trek Voyager – Ok, so you may not share my love for sci-fi, but I definitely recommend having a go-to tv series to watch at those times when you are too tired to move or you decide to stay on the couch on Friday night instead of going out. Bonus points if it contains strong female characters! (I guess a book could work, too. ha!)
  7. Flowy Maxi Dress – I wasn’t showing at all in the first trimester and could mostly wear my normal pants, but I did have some abdominal discomfort and definitely didn’t feel comfortable sucking in my stomach. Sometimes you don’t want to wear restrictive pants, or a clingy, form-fitting maxi dress (like so many pregnancy sites recommend), but this silk dress from J. Crew is perfect. The waist band is elastic and can be worn above the belly. It is loose, comfy, and flattering.
  8. New bras – My boobs grew a cup size pretty fast. I splurged on two new bras from Cosabella. They aren’t cheap, but they are very high quality and comfortable. I also bought this soft bra for lounging and sleeping. This is a lot of info, but my nipples have been so sensitive that it is uncomfortable to go braless basically ever.

So, that is my list… what do you think? What were your favorite things that helped you through your first trimester?

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Antiques Roadshow

Aug 25th 2014 01:10:15 pm

articket

On August 9th, Travis and I were lucky enough to get to attend the taping of Antiques Roadshow in NYC! We had both entered the ticket lottery for the event, but didn’t win. BUT then our friend Lawrence came through for us and somehow magically got us tickets! (I still don’t know how he did it, but I owe him lots of thanks.)

Antiques Roadshow might just be my favorite television show. Travis and I watch every new episode. Sure, it can be a little bit repetitive (lots of Tiffany lamps!) but I love seeing any of the art and jewelry appraisals. Plus, it is fascinating to see what people collect!

arscene

If you don’t watch Antiques Roadshow, here is the basic idea: the producers and appraisers go to different cities and locals bring in their antiques to see if they are worth anything. The good stuff gets taped for the show. It has been running (originally on the BBC) since 1979, and it has gotten so popular in the US that they have to limit tickets to each taping event. The taping in NYC was held at the giant Javits Convention Center. Our tickets indicated the latest arrival time of 5 pm, so by the time we had arrived, the lines were apparently much shorter than what they had been earlier. But we still spent more than two hours in line for our first appraisal!!

arantique

Each visitor to the taping MUST bring at least one antique, and can bring up to two. Travis and I brought: my great-grandmother’s diamond ring, my other great-grandmother’s locket, Travis’ great-grandfather’s retirement watch, and our original first generation iPod.

We went in knowing that our antiques were not spectacular, and they ended up appraising for about what we expected… not much. The “collectibles” appraiser thought the iPod was funny, but didn’t have any idea of what it was worth. He said to check eBay. Ha. The one surprise was that they said the diamond ring could not have been from the 20s… it was made no earlier than 1938, they said. Hmmmmmm. So maybe it was not my great-grandmother’s original engagement ring?

arkenobros

The thrill of the day was when I got to meet the twin furniture appraisers known as the Keno Brothers (seen above) and the show host, Mark Walberg (seen below).

armemark

They were all really friendly. I was impressed that they were as chatty and accommodating as they were since it was the end of a very long day for them. I suppressed my embarrassment and asked for each of their autographs! Travis and I had a plan to show off my autographed ticket in the “feedback booth” and say we were bringing it back for Antiques Roadshow 2050… but we chickened out when we saw the line for the booth… too much line standing for one day!

arsignedticket

arautographs

Overall, it was a really fun experience. Lots of standing in line, but it was fascinating to get a peek at what other attendees had brought for appraisal. There were a lot of watches, jewelry, and prints.

I am really excited to see the final episode when it airs in the fall! Travis and I most likely will NOT be on tv, but we *might* be in the background of a painting appraisal… watch for us!!

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pregnancy log: weeks 17 & 18

Aug 18th 2014 08:51:34 pm

ultrasound3

Friday, August 8th – What an exciting time! We closed out my 16th week of pregnancy with Chelsea and Myles’ wedding, and then by spilling our big baby news. The trip to KC was a lot of fun and we are feeling very happy and fortunate. Now I am already almost done with week 17 of this pregnancy. Wow. Yesterday we went in for our third ultrasound. BabyJ is looking awesome and BIG — measuring at 18 week size instead of 16.5! We found out that BabyJ is a BOY, which is what I have been sure he was all along. I’m glad I am not crazy. I am also very happy. I think a mini Travis will be so wonderful. His heart was beating at 139 beats per minute, and we saw a lot of his anatomy: heart, stomach, brain, spine, hands, feet, leg and arm bones, lips, etc. The technician said everything looks good, but I’ll see the doctor again on Wednesday. After the scan, Travis and I went to the giggle baby store in Soho just to check things out. I want to try to be as minimal as possible with the baby gear, but I know that is easier said than done. There is so much to decide on between the stroller, crib, bassinet, car seat, etc… we haven’t bought anything yet… just some belly cream for me.

Overall, Travis and I are just feeling extremely happy and excited. I still have a low appetite and have *maybe* gained one pound, but I think that is ok. BabyJ is definitely growing plenty! I still have a little heartburn and abdominal itching and discomfort, but it really isn’t bad. And I am used to the nightly pee breaks now, so there isn’t much to complain about. I got a little sick this week and am still getting over a sore throat and runny nose, so I am trying to take it easy. We are going to do some running this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes…

ikea

Sunday, August 10th – I am feeling a little over-the-top happy lately. It is just a magical time! That being said, I also have a head cold which is a real drag. I am pretty sick and I feel like it is taking me longer to recover than normal. Yesterday we went to Ikea to look at cribs. I found one online that I really like, but it is super cheap. I don’t know if we’ll go with it or not… Today we ran a 5-mile race in Central Park. I actually did a run/walk with my friend, Jeanette. It was a lot of fun and I felt better than I expected. The head cold was my biggest complaint. An older Asian man on the subway ride home asked if I was pregnant. When I said yes, he told me to eat a lot of lobster. Ok!

Week 17 seems to have been the week that my belly really popped out. I think I am definitely looking pregnant and I even broke out my maternity running tights, which worked great! Plus, it is most comfortable to let my belly hang out as far as possible. I think I’m pregnant! ha! I am still having heartburn and definite stretching in my lower abs, but otherwise I’m really enjoying the experience. I feel almost weirdly calm.

17weeks

17.5weeksWednesday, August 13th – I had another prenatal doctor’s appointment today. I saw the physician’s assistant instead of my doctor. She was fine, about the same as my doctor actually. I know that it is a sign that everything is going really well (and I am so thankful!) but every question or concern I bring up is completely dismissed. I had blood taken for the Quad Screen today and I got to hear BabyJ’s heartbeat, but otherwise I feel like the doctor’s appointments are a waste of time. Of course, I know that prenatal care is very important and I would never want to discourage anyone from seeing their doctor, but it is hard to trek to the city for less than five minutes with a dismissive doctor (or assistant). But, oh well. It is just once a month. Officially, I still haven’t really gained any weight, but BabyJ is in the 97 percentile for size (a lifelong trend, I’m sure), so I don’t think there is anything to worry about. My blood pressure and his heart beat were both very good, so it seems everything is progressing smoothly. I know I am fortunate. Travis and I are trying to be as mindful as possible and enjoy this incredible time. We are happy.

Friday, August 15th – I just published my first trimester pregnancy log and I’ve gotten a lot of response to it! So many friends are reaching out on Facebook expressing support and congrats, which is so nice. But now I’m thinking maybe I complained too much or made it seem like the first trimester was really difficult… It definitely wasn’t easy, but I know I had it much better than others in many regards, so I hope no one worries too much over my logs. It is fun to look back and see what I was honestly feeling at different points along the way. It is so easy to forget or sort of look back too fondly. Anyhoo, week 18 ends tomorrow and Travis and I are going camping with some friends! I think it will be fun, but we’ll see how I do sleeping on the ground!

campingbaby

Sunday, August 17th – We finished off week 18 yesterday by taking BabyJ on his first camping trip with our friends Amanda and Joel! The trip was very relaxing and fun, and I slept better on the floor than I expected. I still had to get up to pee each night, but that was expected. I didn’t do any running as I had planned to — someone had to watch Crusher! — but I think I am finally feeling ok about cutting back on my running. It is a little scary to give up that type of fitness, but I am still being very active and feeling really good and calm, so I think it will all turn out ok. We ate some excellent food (grilled veggies!) and some junk food (don’t worry, the hot dogs were nitrate free!) and basically just hung out around the fire. Good times. In other news, my belly is definitely more prominent now. I think everyone can tell I am pregnant at this point. I am still having some lower ab pain/discomfort from everything stretching out and my belly button is getting a little stretched. It will be crazy when it pops out! Another side note: I am NOT having any type of extra body hair issues. All of the pregnancy apps say to expect more facial hair, body hair, etc, but I haven’t noticed anything. I also don’t have the linea nigra yet. I HAVE noticed sensitive skin. I need to be more careful about not getting burned. But all in all, things are good!

campingbelly

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first trimester pregnancy log

Aug 15th 2014 06:36:02 am

Travis and I kept this pregnancy secret for a long time — 16 weeks! But in the mean time, I was keeping this private journal of my feelings and symptoms. I thought it would be interesting to have for future reference. It is a lot of text and I am sure not many will be interested in it… but if you are newly pregnant, it might be nice to read through someone else’s experience… Enjoy!

pregnancytest

It is May 9th and I just took a pregnancy test… after more than a year of unsuccessful trying, taking a pregnancy test takes a lot of courage. But I FINALLY got to see two lines. Relief! Happiness! Nervousness! I’m still in a bit of disbelief that the European trip actually worked. Ha! Travis and I are thrilled. Maybe this was just in my head, but I felt a sense of peace during the last week of the trip… I felt calm and like everything was going to be ok, which made me think I might be pregnant. Just a coincidence or my first symptom?

May 10th – The day after I discovered I am pregnant and I wake up and run a 10k. Ha! I actually did a run/walk for the race and took it quite easy, but it is difficult to resist the pressure to be faster and to race hard. I want to stay as fit and active as possible, but it is also hard not to worry about disturbing the pregnancy. I already love that little poppy seed-sized baby and don’t want to do anything to hurt it!

May 11th – Mother’s Day… I guess next year I will be a mom. woah.

May 17th – Today I am five weeks pregnant and I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I wasn’t sure if I would do it, but I felt good in the morning and decided to just take it easy for the race and see how I felt. Every resource I’ve read says that exercise is much more beneficial than not, and that you can continue your usual routine but at a lower intensity. Half Marathons are definitely my usual routine, but I did make sure to take it really easy. I could breathe deeply the entire race and paid close attention to eating and drinking consistently. I ate potatoes during the race and drank a water/gatorade mix. I am working hard to avoid any unnecessary sugar, so I didn’t use any Gus or gummies. I found myself talking to the little babe and asking it how it was doing. I think he/she had fun! I felt great during the race, but was pretty tired for the rest of the weekend.

May 19th – Nausea, fatigue, headaches, and a decrease in appetite have definitely all set in now. It is bearable, but definitely distracts me from my work and makes me want to lay around all day. I guess I imagined that my thrill and excitement over being pregnant would offset any symptoms… but I definitely underestimated how sick I’d feel. I’ve also given up coffee. I was drinking very little, less than a cup a day for the last few months, but I decided to cut it out entirely over the weekend. So, that probably isn’t helping my symptoms either…

May 20th – The three flights of stairs up to our apartment are killing me! SO out of breath every time! Also, I’m craving red meat. All the time.

May 21st – I think Crusher knows!! He has been very cuddly lately and is sitting on my lap way more than usual. Also, I can’t exercise. I am just so worn out. I am sleeping a TON. I am worried about losing my fitness.

week6May 24thSix weeks pregnant! Nausea and loss of appetite are hitting hard. I didn’t expect to truly not want to eat. That is quite odd for me. I seem to have all the classic pregnancy symptoms at this point, strong sense of smell, fatigue, sore breasts, stuffy nose, and lots of digestion issues. I’ll survive, but I guess I didn’t expect it ALL! Travis is taking good care of me. It is fun to think about BabyJ (now the size of a blueberry!) but I guess I feel like I can’t get too attached until I go to the doctor in two weeks and find out if everything is going well. (I am using a pregnancy app and it gives you these cute little drawings of your babe each week.)

May 28th – I’m getting frustrated. I am tired of being tired all of the time and not being able to exercise or really accomplish anything. I should embrace the rest, but I hate feeling unproductive and sluggish.

week7

May 30th – I’ll be seven weeks pregnant tomorrow and I thought I should try out a “before” belly photo. Supposedly, my uterus is twice its size, but nothing is showing yet. (Except for the fact that my boobs are huge.) Should I try doing the belly shots more professionally? Like set up the tripod? Take one every week? Every day? Ugh. Do I care about that sort of thing? I mean, my abs are not very impressive, so it isn’t like I can use the photos to brag about my pre-baby form… but I do like how you can see the fear in my eyes in this first photo. This is happening!! Ahhhhhh!

June 2nd – Still feeling sluggish and tired. I actually skipped two parties over the weekend just so I could rest on the couch. I hope my friends will forgive me. Exercise feels impossible, but I am going to try to force myself this week.

June 4th – Yesterday I was feeling great and was sure the sluggishness of the first trimester was fading. Today I am back to nausea and fatigue. I am constantly craving salty food and I can’t stop thinking about Kentucky Fried Chicken. Which is weird because I’ve probably eaten at KFC less than a dozen times in my entire life. And I do NOT want any sweets. So weird. I really wanted to make exercise a priority during this pregnancy, but day-to-day living is kicking my butt. I can’t bring myself to go to yoga or for a run. Sad face.

June 9th – More than 8 weeks pregnant! The fatigue and nausea comes and goes from day to day. One day I’ll be feeling like myself, then the next I’m sick again. Maybe I’m just getting used to it all. Exercise is still very tough. A three mile walk to the park really wore me out on Sunday. I had an emotional break down on Saturday, but otherwise I’m feeling fairly positive. I’m looking forward to getting my first doctor’s appointment over with on Thursday. Travis is coming with me to the ultrasound. I hope it is all good news.

babyhandJune 10th – I am feeling inspired to write more in this log, since my first trimester is going by quickly! My app gives me an image of how big BabyJ’s hand is now compared to when it is born. That pink spec is its tiny hand! I’m either starting to feel a little better, or I am getting more used to the nausea and fatigue. It has sort of settled into a pattern: hungry-nausea in the morning when Travis makes me oatmeal and fruit, then at 11 am (exactly) I get really hungry for savory food, then I am basically full-nauseous for the rest of the day and it feels like my digestion has ground to a halt, but I usually snack a bit and have a light dinner. I am drinking a ton of sparkly water with lime. And eating lots of pickles. I’ve always liked pickles, but now they are a daily thing. I’ve even sipped on the juice. All of the official doctor websites seem to say that cravings mean nothing and suggest “hey, try eating a healthy alternative, like some fresh veggies or quinoa,” but I can’t imagine that all of these women are craving pickles for no reason! We ARE making more blood and are at an increase need for electrolytes, so maybe it is just a simple need for more sodium… All I know is that I am still thinking about KFC, but I haven’t broken down and had any yet. Travis and I have actually been eating super healthy (eating tons of organic CSA veggies and fruits, avoiding sugar and processed foods, cooking at home, etc) and I have actually lost a few pounds since getting back from Europe. I’m glad because I really hope to start this pregnancy at a healthy weight in the doctor’s eyes. I don’t want to be put in a high risk category! Some good news: I managed to swim yesterday and do an hour-long pilates workout today. That is pretty huge! The stairs up to our apartment are still killer, but I am glad to be fitting in some exercise. I also got a lot of Swap-bot work done today and I did NOT nap. Wow! Maybe I AM starting to feel better…

ultrasound

June 13th – My first ultrasound and pre-natal appointment were yesterday. Exciting! But let me just preface this by saying, NYC is difficult. Finding a doctor here feels nearly impossible. I had a great OB/GYN office that I loved, but they no longer take my insurance. Every other OB/GYN recommended by friends or online is either not taking new patients, requires a referral, doesn’t take my insurance, or doesn’t accept any insurance at all. I wanted to stay in Brooklyn, but I could not for the life of me find an OB/GYN in my neighborhood. All of the women here apparently go to Manhattan. So… I finally decided to go with the Maternal & Fetal Health team at NYU Langone. That is where I had my surgery in January, and even though it is a huge hassle to get to on the east side of midtown Manhattan, it is a highly ranked hospital and I felt like it would be a comfortable and familiar place.

So… the ultrasound was wonderful. Travis came with me and the technician was so friendly and sweet. She kept telling us how cute and perfect BabyJ is! And he/she is! We got to see a perfect little nine-week-old fetus – head, brain, arms, legs, even the beginnings of fingers and toes. Everything looks perfect! The heart beat registered at 160 beats per minute and we even saw the tiny baby moving around! That was amazing. The technician gave us lots of printouts and I left feeling so happy and relieved that everything seems to be progressing well.

babyj

It is all very complicated, but the ultrasounds are not performed at the same location as the doctor’s appointments. And I had to wait three hours in between the two appointments. Travis and I killed time by getting lunch, then he went to work and I walked around the city for a while. Definitely not ideal, but what choice do I have? Even with the wait, I was still very happy by the time I got to the doctor’s. I probably had too high of hopes that it would be a good experience.

What can I say other than that I did not have a good experience at the doctor’s? I know that doctors are extremely busy. I know they have to deal with lots of annoying patients. I know that small talk is not necessarily part of their job description. It still upset me that my new doctor spent maybe five total minutes with me. That included my pelvic exam, breast exam, and intake interview. Other than strict medical history, she asked NOT ONE personal question. She didn’t even ask if I was taking prenatal vitamins. She never said “congrats” or “welcome” or “nice to meet you.” I asked two (very normal) questions which she basically dismissed and barely answered. I got in trouble for not giving a urine sample before I saw her even though no one had told me to. It really felt like she was angry at me for being there. As soon as she left the room, I started crying. BUT I am going to try to keep a level head. Maybe I am an emotional pregnant lady. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe I wasn’t very friendly back. I didn’t ask her any personal questions either… The nurses were all nice and excellent at their jobs. And maybe the doctor was having a stressful day. I freaked out and cried the whole way home (on the hot, crowded subway) then complained incessantly to Travis, my friend Suzy, and my brother. I couldn’t sleep and worried about being in pain in front of a not nice lady… but today I am feeling better. I really don’t have any other doctor choices. I’ll get to see the rest of the doctor team at NYU eventually and maybe I can win over my doctor. Any suggestions on endearing yourself to an all-business, stern and fancy, professional, NYC lady?

nineweeksJune 14th – Today I am nine weeks pregnant and I am feeling good. With a little space from the doctor’s appointment, I am trying to just focus on the happiness and thrill of being pregnant with a healthy, little, one-inch babe. I keep gazing at the ultrasound pics and showing them to Crusher. I am still feeling fatigued and today I seem to get a fast heart beat with even moderate movement, like walking, but I am definitely less nauseous. I think. I guess it could come back at any time! I am just really thankful to be feeling confident that I CAN DO THIS.

June 17th – Not too much new to report. I ran a five-mile race on Sunday with Travis that didn’t go very well. We did a run/walk, actually. I am trying to get my 9+1 qualifying races this year which will give me entry into the 2015 NYC Marathon. I can’t decided if doing the races and aiming for the marathon is a good way to keep myself engaged in the running scene and motivated to get back to it OR if it is a lot of unnecessary pressure to put on myself. Running still feels nearly impossible. Yesterday, I was so tired I felt like I couldn’t even think straight. And my sleep is already suffering. (And I know, I know, once BabyJ gets here, I’ll NEVER sleep again. Thanks for the tip.) I wake up to go pee at least once a night and I have really intense dreams that wake me up. Crusher and I don’t nap EVERY DAY… just most. Anyway, I actually feel like I am adapting well and my body is taking to pregnancy really naturally. I just want to write down all of my symptoms for the record. It is already interesting to go back to my previous entries and read how I was feeling! My current craving? Salsa!!

nap

June 20th – I am feeling very grateful that my pregnancy is going well so far. It took a lot of work to get here and I know that not everyone gets to have a happy outcome, so I want to appreciate this experience as much as possible. I got my test results back from the doctor (blood & urine) and everything about my health looks basically perfect, all within the healthy ranges. Not that I expected any problems, but it is just such a relief to get any good news. My next appointment will include lots of screenings looking for any problems with the baby. Even though I know that everything has been going really well, it is still scary to face all of the screening and testing. But I will be brave. In other news, I went to a yoga class yesterday and it was HARD! I haven’t been in a while, but man, my abs are sore today! Obviously, things must be shifting around because I have never had abs this sore after yoga before. Also, I just ate half a jar of salsa. At 10 am.

10weeks

June 21st – Well, I am ten weeks pregnant today and it is starting to feel real. The baby is supposedly the size of a kumquat, but i really haven’t noticed much belly changes. It is hard to get an accurate belly photo. (Photo booth on my computer probably isn’t the best choice. I feel like the perspective is wonky.) Some days I sort of feel bloated, but otherwise I think my waistline is only slightly bulkier. I’m wearing all of my regular pants so far. The nausea has definitely lessened, but my appetite is still low. I can’t eat huge meals. But I guess that is a good thing. I’m about to attempt to go for a short, easy run… I’ll let you know how it goes.

running2

Tuesday, June 24th – Happy news! I can run! I went for a run/walk on Saturday, rested Sunday, swam on Monday, and went out running again today! Consistent exercise! I am feeling so much more like myself. The runs are short and incredibly slow, but being able to run at all without my heart beating so hard it scares me is a real triumph! Overall, I think I am definitely starting to settle into this pregnancy. The nausea is gone and my appetite is increasing a bit… which is also a little scary! I really don’t want to go overboard with eating. I want to pace my weight gain as healthily as possible. Stairs are still hard and I still took a little nap today, but I feel less brain dead and more productive. Heartburn and bathroom trips still make sleeping tough at night, but I can deal. Overall, I feel good!

Monday, June 20th – Ups and downs. As of Saturday, I am eleven weeks pregnant. Saturday was a great day. I was feeling good and ran the 5 mile Pride Run in Central Park. My pace was still incredibly slow, but I felt more like I could actually run normally and only had to walk the two biggest hills. Travis and I went to brunch after, and then we even went out to dinner with a friend. A fun day! But Sunday I was sluggish and brain dead. I over-did it by walking all over the city (to buy bigger bras) and I just felt fat and down on myself. My weight is up today and I still feel down. I am so fortunate that the pregnancy is going well, and I guess that frees up my brain to worry about other things… and right now I am obsessing over body image issues. I am exercising every day and eating extremely healthy, just like all the doctors and guides say to… but it just doesn’t seem to be doing anything beneficial. Blah. I am in a bad mood.

11.5weeksThursday, July 3rd – I’m still battling my body image demons, but also working hard to keep a level head. Travis doesn’t like me calling myself fat, but it is how I feel. I haven’t actually gained any weight, but my boobs are huge (up at least a cup size) and although my belly isn’t really showing anything, I just feel bloated all the time. Wah, wah. Complain, complain. Despite my whining, I am actually feeling really fine. I’m worried that I’m having some vein issues because I have some bruising on my legs, but otherwise, I am just looking forward to getting the first trimester over with so that we can start telling people our good news!!

Monday, July 7th – I’m more than twelve weeks pregnant and Travis and I went to Los Angeles to celebrate! Not really. We actually went for our friends’ wedding, but it was a fun, little “babymoon” vacation all the same. I was worried that the plane trips would really upset my stomach, but it wasn’t any different than usual. We ate good food, ran at Griffith Park, had a lovely time at the wedding with friends, and even spent a day at DisneyLand! (We bought BabyJ a cute souvenir.) We went to the beach on Saturday and I wore my bikini. You’d think with all the body image complaining I’ve been doing, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a swimsuit, but I guess I wanted to face the reality of the situation. (And reality isn’t SO bad!) This is what I look like now. No wishing or complaining is going to change that, and I guess I want to set myself up for realistic expectations for after the baby is born. I don’t have a perfect body now, so expecting myself to have one later is unrealistic. (Remind me of that in a year!) Anyhoo, I still don’t have a baby bump, but no one would say I have a trim waistline either. I am definitely feeling bloated and a little tight in pants. But now I am starting to get more excited for BabyJ to start growing! I am looking forward to feeling him/her move. Tomorrow is my second ultrasound appointment and I am really looking forward to seeing the little babe!

12weeks

Tuesday, July 8th – Today was my second ultrasound. It went really well! Travis came with me again, and although the technician wasn’t quite as friendly, it was awesome to see BabyJ again. The technician did both a belly ultrasound and an internal in order to get a good look at the baby’s face and neck (this was the nuchal translucency screening). The technician said that the baby’s size indicates that it is actually a week ahead in its development, measuring at 13 weeks, 4 days. The last ultrasound technician said something similar, but the doctor did not think it would change my January 17th due date. (I do think I ovulated and conceived earlier than an average pregnancy, but I guess a week here or there doesn’t matter much.) BabyJ is about 7.5 centimeters long and was moving all around. We saw the skinny legs and arms, the spine and brain, plus a tiny beating heart. We saw him/her swallowing, twisting, and kicking. Everything (to my untrained eye) looked perfect, but we’ll get the official report in a few days. It seems so strange that there is a 3-inch human wiggling all around inside my abdomen and I can’t even feel it. I wish I could have an ultrasound recording the baby all the time!

babyjweek12

12.5weeksI was so excited when I got home that I tried to take another belly photo… This is me at 12.5 weeks pregnant. I’m wearing a J.Crew maxi dress that was sort of my first “maternity” purchase, even though it isn’t technically maternity. I think it will work well all through pregnancy. I might wear it every day. I tried to stick out my belly more for this shot. Ha! I can sort of imagine that I have a baby bump if I really stick it out or after a big meal, but mostly I feel pretty normal. I was actually concerned before going to the ultrasound appointment that something might be wrong, only because I have been feeling so good. Other than some tiredness and sleeplessness, I feel like myself. My cravings have mostly subsided, but I do go through bouts of extreme hunger. Plus, some heartburn, and sore breasts, and falling asleep at 9 pm… but otherwise, normal! ha!

Sunday, July 13th – Well, I am officially 13 weeks pregnant which means that the first trimester is almost over! (Or might already be over depending on what app you are looking at…) From my current perspective it feels like it went fast and that is wasn’t so bad, but I know that there were quite a few weeks when I was feeling quite sick, tired, and frustrated. Right now, I feel pretty good. Exercise is much easier, but not exactly EASY. I ran yesterday and today. I felt more comfortable doing so, but it is still difficult and very slow, especially going uphill. Yesterday I had some abdominal discomfort. I don’t think I can feel the baby yet, but I could definitely feel SOMETHING while running. Maybe just the ab muscles stretching or my uterus bouncing around as I ran. I’ve also been having some joint discomfort (which I know can be a pregnancy symptom) so I think I should keep my mileage low. I am worried that I’ll never be able to run fast again, but I know I should be thankful and relieved that I am finally able to make exercise a more consistent part of my day-to-day life. I went to lap swim for the first time this summer at the public pool on Thursday and it went really well. I think swimming will become even more and more helpful as my pregnancy progresses. It is a great full-body workout and it is fun!

Even though the first trimester is nearly over, I am going to keep this log going for a bit longer. We aren’t going to tell our families about my pregnancy until we see them in person in three weeks… after that, I can start publishing things more openly on my blog.

Tuesday, July 15th – I had my second doctor’s appointment today. The doctor was much nicer (she had a med student shadowing her) but I was still in and out of the hospital in less than 15 minutes! Literally. That is after a 45 minute, $30 taxi ride there, and then a sweaty, one-hour, three-train subway trip home. ugh. The good news is that the Nuchal Translucency Screen came back totally normal. I haven’t gained any weight (yay!) and she says I look great. I got to see the baby’s heart beating again… and then that was a about it. I asked her about running and she said to keep it up. She said there is no limit to how much I can do as long as I feel good, and that exercise is the best thing I can do for a smooth and healthy pregnancy. SO, I feel like we are on the same page. Nice! I am extremely thankful that everything is going so well. I feel almost guilty that I got so upset when we were having fertility problems… and now it is all working out. But I guess I still have quite a ways to go…

almost14weeks2Friday, July 18th – Just a quick update… I am craving dairy! Yesterday I ate milk (whole milk!), cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream dip, yogurt, and frozen yogurt. That is a LOT of dairy. I am going to look into additional calcium supplements just in case this is a sign that I’m not getting enough. I have sore abs. I went swimming on Wednesday, which was a great workout and fun, but it made my lower abs really sore. I am having some general lower abdominal discomfort probably just due to stuff stretching out… because everything IS stretching out! I was thinking I might never start showing, and I still don’t know if it really counts, but I feel like my little baby bump popped out overnight! This photo to the left was after a fairly large lunch, but I definitely DO have a little tummy starting! I have still been wearing my normal pants, but using a rubber band technique to give myself a little room. It is hard to tell in the photo below, but you basically just use a hair band looped over the button, through the button hole, and back around the button. It works surprisingly well! I’m also getting painful cramps in my lower abs if I stand up too fast or shift position abruptly. Not good. I wonder if the cramps will last the whole pregnancy… Overall, I am still feeling really good and more energized, but I still nap and there are still sluggish days. I am excited to start getting more of a belly, but also nervous. I guess that is about normal… six more months to go!

belly

Saturday, July 19th – Ooof. Today I am 14 weeks pregnant, which by all calculations indicates that I have completed the first trimester! Maybe I should be feeling accomplished, but I am feeling DOWN today. I tried to go for a “long” run this morning and it didn’t go well. I made it six miles in the city, slower than ever. It made me feel old, fat, and sluggish. I tried to take a belly selfie on the Manhattan Bridge, but it was so unflattering that I almost cried. I know that I should be very happy that my legs can carry me for 6+ miles of exercise, but I feel down on myself. No coffee, no sweets (I think I am basically having an aversion to them), and exercise only makes me feel like a fat slug. Sad face. Even though I am proud of myself for doing a good job with this pregnancy, I just don’t feel like healthy food and naps are always enough to make me feel ok about myself. Boo.

14weeks

Sunday, July 20th – In an attempt to get more enthusiastic about my baby-growing body, I made Travis take some 14-week “bump” photos of me down by the Brooklyn Bridge. I was hoping for more flattering results, but this is the best we could do. I may be the world’s worst model. I cannot act natural or pose in a way that hides my overflow boob/armpit fat. Next time I’ll go with long sleeves. And maybe not sweaty workout clothes. And a more flattering bra. But this is what I look like now, in real life. Not too bump-y, but I guess it depends on the angle and how much I am trying to stick it out. These baby bump photos may not be my thing… maybe I should just save the photo shoots for when the baby arrives…

more14weeks

Wednesday, July 23rd – Not much new to report, but I wanted to record my crazy lack of appetite. Other than at 11 am each day when I crave savory food, I basically am never really hungry. I take that back. Hunger actually hits me differently now. I almost always feel bloated, puffy, and full, but if I haven’t eaten in a while I start to get a headache. I have had a headache for the last two days! I never thought I’d ever hear myself say this, but I am a little bit worried that I may not be getting ENOUGH calories. For someone who is usually always eating too much, that is a really strange concept. Between all the food restrictions (no alcohol, no coffee, no deli meat, no sushi, no soft cheeses, etc), and all of the things I am trying to avoid (processed food, refined sugar, too much salt), plus my lack of desire to really eat anything sweet, eating has become a bit of a chore. I don’t even feel like eating ice cream! So weird. But don’t fret, I am not actually THAT worried. I AM eating. And I am really thankful that I am not eating too much. It is just such a strange state to be in to not be interested in food!

Sidenote: These “Dressing the Bump” videos from Oh Joy! are really cute.

4am, Friday, July 25th – So… I’ve been tossing and turning since 2am and finally decided to just get up and do something else. My digestion is the main issue. I feel like nothing I ate yesterday is digesting and my stomach/entire digestion system is upset. I haven’t been eating anything after dinner mostly because I don’t want to, but maybe I’ll have to eat dinner earlier, too. And eat less. But even though I feel totally full and bloated and gross about what I ate yesterday, adding up the calories still doesn’t indicate that I am eating too much. I DID have a donut yesterday, which I haven’t had in quite a while, so maybe that is the culprit! Oh well, I guess I need to try out this whole “sleepless nights” thing before the baby arrives. I am just so thankful that my Swap-bot work is flexible enough to allow for daytime naps!

15.5weeksTuesday, July 29th – My 15 week milestone passed by on Saturday without much notice. I guess I’ve gotten used to it all. Heartburn and not sleeping through the night are both still the major challenges. Exercise is definitely easier and I have been doing a LOT of it. Mostly walking, but also some running and swimming. For some reason I just can’t force myself back to yoga. It just doesn’t seem appealing. In big news: I finally broke out my new maternity shorts. I had mostly been wearing two pairs of shorts that I had bought in previous years a size too big, and they are still working fine… but they are in the wash. And the maternity shorts are so comfy! The have elastic panels instead of front pockets which make them very easy to wear.

What else? Well, I am really nervous about going home to Kansas City tomorrow. Chelsea’s wedding is on Saturday and I am very worried about just looking fat. There will be a lot of photos. We are going to wait to tell everyone the news until Sunday at dinner. I’m nervous. I also feel anxiety over the fact that we haven’t planned some cutesy way of revealing the news. Travis isn’t into cutesy… and neither am I, really. Plus, I don’t want to spend the time decorating t-shirts/mugs/picture frames or making elaborate cookies. Am I lazy? We are taking everyone out to dinner… that is fun, right?

wedding

Wednesday, August 6th – I was so nervous about going home to KC and trying to hide my pregnancy until after Myles & Chelsea’s wedding, but the trip went perfectly! The wedding was fabulous and fun, and even though I still felt like my dress was too small (I look WAY pregnant in the photo above), I don’t think anyone really noticed anything. Or, everyone was focused on the wedding and too distracted to check out what my belly was doing. We helped with prep and clean up, took a lot of nice photos, and basically had a really great time. I was NERVOUS on Sunday before taking the Lambles, Johnsons, and new McCormicks out to dinner, but Travis spilled the news pretty quickly and then everyone was excited and happy. It was great to have everyone there and I think it really was a big surprise. Mom said she had no idea! June already sent us home with a baby gift and Mom gave me my old baby book. It was a wonderful trip. The funny thing is that as soon as we told everyone that I was pregnant, I feel like my baby bump grew! It is sticking out a lot more now! I even broke out my new black maternity dress and leggings… I guess we are on our way!!

babynews

bradjunebaby

mombaby

So… I think this is the end of this first trimester log. I am currently a few weeks into my second trimester and plan to do more frequent, weekly updates if I can. I feel like this pregnancy is already zooming by and I want to keep track of my thoughts and feelings. Stay tuned!

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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.

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