Monday, December 29, 2008

2 1/2 weeks already??

Wow. That was a fast and busy Christmas. My parents and aunt were here from Michigan, and my brother, sister-in-law and 15-month old niece from Paris/NYC (they're moving back to the states this month). It was a very full house. I tried to take advantage of the plethora of babysitters to get out to the gym (Tuesday night, Saturday morning boot camp (yay! I missed that class so much), and a run outside (2.5 miles or so) yesterday. I definitely had moments when I wanted everyone to go so I could hold my daughter, take a nap with her, just hang out. I was basically just a feeding and diaper changing machine. But I have her back now, and as a reward she slept (after a marathon feeding session where she literally sucked me dry (eww) and we gave her formula) 8 hours last night. I woke up a few times thinking I should get her up to change her diaper at least (we're using cloth and they do feel a lot wetter than disposables) but resisted.

So boot camp Saturday was great. None of my usual "competition" was there (lots of new people who hopefully won't last) so maybe I didn't push as hard, but I was able to do everything and did NOT feel out of shape. The abs were a little tougher, but I still did just about all of them! And of course I'm sore, but not horribly so. I felt good enough to run outside yesterday (60 degrees, although dreary). Just a 3 mile loop (maybe a bit under). I felt a little awkward, like my gait was off, but except for tight Achilles (normal, I have weird heel bones and the tendon rubs) the run was great. I ran 20 minutes (probably about 2.25 miles) and walked the last half mile.

The challenge this week will be to get in workouts without all the babysitters. And without being able to use the Bob...I don't have the infant car seat adapter, and if I did, it's probably too cold anyway.

Can't believe Andra is already 2 1/2 weeks old. Looking back, the first few days were scary! She was so tiny. She's back up above her birth weight now, much more alert, and we've kind of figured each other out now. It's pretty fun...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Blog to Read

Alison Setton's blog will probably interest some of you who read this one...especially you triathletes.

Andra meets Santa


I really think I am the luckiest mom EVER. Easy pregnancy, fast delivery, cutest little baby who just sleeps and eats and occasionally charms us with her open eyes (did I mention she's sleepy?). She slept through the night two nights ago, the other nights she's only up once to be fed and changed. She was fussier in the beginning, but I think we're figuring each other out, and now she usually goes right back to sleep.

We went to meet Santa yesterday, and then to Ann Taylor Loft where I got 4 pairs of nice pants (nicer than my usual uniform of jeans and khakis) for $9.88 each! Santa was awesome...so good with the scared little boys ahead of us, and when he saw Andra he said, "This is why I do this job." She snoozed through it all. I love showing her off. So many people asked if there was really a baby in my sling (she's 7 pounds, she's not THAT tiny!) and then oohed and aahed when I let them peek.

Thursday we had to go back to the pediatrician to check her weight (up from Tuesday so we're all good now), then I went to Trader Joe's and there ran into one of our assistant principals. He reminded me that the high school faculty party was just down the road, so we went! The principal accused me of having "rented" the baby, as he never believed I was 9 months pregnant and was surprised to see us up and about so soon. Yeah, it feeds my ego...but we ARE pretty laid back and just having fun. (Except I do still get up in the middle of the night to make sure Andra's still breathing...does that go away??)

I went to the gym yesterday, just to walk a mile (14 minutes) and lift, upper body and some abs. I'm sore today and it feels SO GOOD! No running yet, but soon. I don't want to push it, since I'm already back at me pre-pregnancy weight and would rather start out strong than go out too fast and need to re-stop. But just being at the gym, even walking, I was having a blast and couldn't stop smiling. This is the best Christmas ever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The first few days...

The first few days home have been fun. A little tiring of course. But Monday morning I put Andra in my hotsling and emptied the dishwasher and did a load of laundry while she snoozed. I won't lie, even just that tired me out!

We're figuring out the sleeping thing. Andra is a champion sleeper right now, which I really hope doesn't change! I might be lucky, as my mom said I slept so much as a baby she was convinced something was wrong with me (I followed a brother who never slept) and called the doctor a couple times. The first two nights (and the two in the hospital) were rough, because I had her in her Moses basket right next to me (first in bed, then on the couch) and every noise woke me up (if I was ever asleep, which I question). I ended up the first night having her sleep on her back on my chest, the second night was about half that and half in her basket. I get to go to bed a littler earlier (10 maybe) for some real sleep while Fred hangs out with her until she needs to eat again, or until after she eats (we're supplementing with formula at night, at the pediatrician yesterday she was still losing weight and my milk might just be coming in now, so the ped said to do it, which made me feel good...I was never against it, but breastfeeding isn't so bad after all and I started to question everything!). Last night she was super fussy even after the formula, so I got up around 12:30 to switch with him so he could sleep. Eventually, after a few cycles of putting her in her basket and letting her cry for 5 minutes (to the dot, I tried not to pick her up too early, the doctor said 5 minutes and I took her literally!), I had the brilliant idea of putting her basket in the bathroom with the fan on. Worked perfectly the second time! So I found a room fan, put it in her room, turned it on near her crib, and then put her in the basket in the crib. And I slept in my own bed 2 doors down. The fan (and distance) drowned out the little coos and stuff, but had she cried I would've heard it all. As it was, she didn't wake up once til I got her up around 7! I hope this is the new routine...because I actually slept (minus 2 trips to check on her when I woke up). An added bonus was that my cat got to sleep with me again (always our routine) and spent the rest of the night on my pillow purring. So we're all happy today!

Ok, I'm also going to post pictures of my post-baby belly. I gotta say, I'm amazed it went away so quickly. Don't get me wrong, it's doughy, my belly button is still really stretched out, and I'm not sure I have ab muscles any more, but we'll work on that in a week or so.

Oh, and one more thing...we took Andra to a holiday party last night. I stuck her in the sling where she was well-protected (but I could open it up to give people a peek) and slept for the whole 2 and a half hours (we stayed longer than we should have, I was tired by the end!). And second best to showing her off was hearing people say how good I looked for having given birth 4 days prior! It fed my ego just a bit, which is nice after a few months of looking pregnant! (And it REALLY helped that I read on Michelle's blog a few hours before we left that Moana had also been out to some parties, made me feel like I wasn't too crazy for bringing Andra out so early...although, no one even tried to touch her, I LOVE the sling!).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few pictures







7 lbs 4 oz, 18.5 inches. I keep forgetting to tell people that!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Details...

First, let me just say that Andra has been asleep on my chest for 2 hours and I just love it. She's wiggly and makes some funny noises (so far in lieu of real crying) and has tons of dark hair.

So at school Friday I decided that whatever happened, it was going to be my last day. In retrospect I felt differently, but can't pinpoint anything specific. I left school around 2:30, stopped at the post office and the grocery store...my cat Pokey needed food, and I needed a donut and ice cream (the fact that I bought and then ate both was a clue to me at that point!). Got home and relaxed for a bit, then got up to play with Pokey around 4:30. I was on my knees, and when I got up I felt a small gush. Now, I never understood how someone could mistake pee for water breaking. But I do now! I couldn't decide...I went and peed, stood up, kept dripping...no big gush or anything. So I walked around the house a little, and when I bent over I felt it again. Called Fred...he was on his way for a post-work drink with a colleague, I said think you better nix that idea! Called my mom, who reminded me that I really DO know if I'm peeing or not, and if I wasn't peeing then my water broke. So I called the doctor, who said to come in. I questioned the "right now?" part because I wasn't having contractions, except for a little one right before my water broke. Right now, he said. OK. So I drove myself to the hospital after getting a few more things in my bag (chapstick, water bottle, laptop). Very calm, still no contractions. Leave my stuff in the car when I go in, figuring no hurry, it's about 5:20. My doctor was there, checked and my cervix was still about 3cm. He said he was going to go home and be back. I did wonder what happened to his idea that I'd have a quick labor, but I didn't ask until the next day, when he said he thought he was safe for a little bit since I wasn't even in labor at that point. At any rate, he was back within an hour!

By 6 I was having contractions 7 minutes apart, then 6, then 5...it sped up very quickly. I felt nauseous, though never puked. Was shaking. Could not have believed the pain. I did try to consciously relax the rest of my body...face, arms, legs. And took really deep breaths. And pictured a particular hill I once rode up while trying in vain to keep up with 3 people infinitely faster than I was, feeling like I was going to die but forcing myself over the hill. (Strangely enough, that time I climbed that hill I KNEW that was going to be a focal point for me during labor.) I sort of wanted to get up, move, sit on the big ball...for some reason it was discouraged and I guess I didn't really care too much. In reptrospect, I guess I was already in transition (the horribly painful part...I think I just skipped right over early labor to that), which explains the nausea. I doubt I would even have been able to get up at that point, so no big deal. I do remember my doctor asking my husband, "Have you ever seen her like this? I think this is the first time I've seen her NOT smiling." Men.

At some point I did ask for the epidural. Maybe 10 minutes later the anaesthesioloist came in, my doctor was back, and I was ready to push. So, no epidural. They all said the worst was over. I'm not sure I would agree, pushing hurt! I pushed for maybe 15 minutes. 3 pushes in a row, probably 5 times. For the 2 contractions before actively pushing, it was the weirdest thing...you know how when you're gong to puke, your body involuntarily convulses as you heave? It was exactly like that, except going the other direction! I guess actually I didn't feel like pushing...I was weirded out by that convulsion sensation. But then the doctors and nurse told me to push, so I did. I know I was whimpering at the end of every push, and a few whispered "FUCK!"s came out. I had some tearing, 2nd degree I think but not so bad 24 hours later. I am dreading the first poo...but peeing has been painless. Surprisingly, nothing is sore (not abs, legs, no muscles at all) except...where you'd expect. But since I was shaking uncontrollably throughout most of the labor and pushing, and for a good few hours afterwards, I know my body was working HARD. I will say, I would NEVER want to do that without being in good shape.

This morning I noticed I have a lot of little spots around my eyes, from the pushing, broken blood vessels I assume. They put her on me when she came out, and it was very surreal! She looks like my husband (has his nose!) but has my hair and toes. Haven't really done the full body inspection yet, she's been sleeping pretty much nonstop. Nursed a little bit, but she had and still has a lot of fluids in her stomach so they told me she won't be hungry for a while. She spit up a bunch of liquid/mucous around 2am, so I called the nurse and then they took her for the rest of the night (til about 6) so they could keep suctioning her. I still didn't manage to sleep though.

She's about 24 hours old now, and MUCH more active...and loud! The first 24 hours were a blissful tease...we napped together a lot and just hung out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Andra Kate

Details later, explicit gory details...but my water broke at 4:30 (took a while to actually believe it, it really does seem like you pee your pants!), got to hospital by 5:15, contractions started around 5:45, by 6:10 they were 7 minutes apart and by about 7 (when they came to give me the epidural I realized I REALLY wanted!) I was 10cm and ready to push. So we did it natural. OH. MY. GOD. Thank god it was quick. She's 7 lbs 4 oz, cute as a button. Pictures tomorrow!

yay for webcams and wireless! saturday am.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Doctor Upped the Ante

He did strip my membranes (at my request), said I was now 3cm dilated, and said baby by Sunday. Of course, he's been wrong before...

But they have a sub for me at school (someone I suggested way back in September), and she has a science background, knows the school culture, and will get the job done, even if the kids find her to be a bit more of a hard-ass than I am. Hey, it's good for them.

Took what I hope to be the last pregnancy pictures this morning. I am psyched to have a flat stomach again, BUT I also thought I looked pretty cute, and surprisingly I will miss the belly a little...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Almost counts??

OK, so this morning I read the comment Michelle left on my last post about ALMOST going to the gym. "Almost counts," she said. I immediately took that (jokingly) as, "Well, almost going ALMOST counts, but DOESN'T, sucker!" Later today I reread it after another comment by X-Country 2 , and I thought maybe Michelle meant instead that yes, almost DID count! (It's funnier the first way though.)

Regardless, my point is that I'm GOING TO THE GYM NOW! I will likely just walk. Maybe do the elliptical, but that sounds...well, like a workout. I'm not sure what has happened to me. I have plenty of energy, I don't feel badly, I'm not even in a bad mood anymore (so much for that being a sign of labor). I am just plain lazy and impatient. Which doesn't even really bother me.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, 38 weeks 4 days...a while ago he said, "If you make it to 38 weeks we'll talk about stripping your membranes." I know it's no guarantee, but it beats doing nothing (I think...maybe it'll just make me crazy again, waiting!!).

(UPDATE) I went, I ran a mile, walked a little, stretched, and as usual, remembered that I LOVE the gym. I think my pelvis is protesting a little now, but alas my uterus is NOT.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I almost...

...went to the gym today.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Argh.

Any chance extreme irritability is a sign of impending labor? Probably not, but it's the only sign I have. (Doesn't help that my husband keeps saying, "Wow, you really ARE in a bad mood..." and is completely unsympathetic. Yeah, that helps the situation. And yeah, he reads this blog.) I've not experienced any mood swings, emotional stuff, anything the whole pregnancy. Yesterday and today, a different story.

In good news, we got our Christmas tree and started decorating. And my parents brought up the fact that if I'm just getting home from the hospital when they arrive December 23, they plan to stay in a hotel so I can have at least some of the time alone to figure things out that I really think I want. Now, that makes me cry...because it's so nice. Not that I know that I'd want them to. But it's nice that they'd offer.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pretty much no change...

Went to the doctor today. Up to 2cm dilated, still 100% effaced and the kid's at +3 station (I finally asked, he said she's been there a while). Found this cool video animation that kind of explains what that means. I asked, "So what if she doesn't come early?" Because my family comes from Michigan on the 23rd, and I do NOT want to be a) in the hospital or b) coming home from the hospital when they are here. I want a few days ALONE to figure things out! The doctor still insists she will be early. Sigh...he hasn't been right about too much so far.

The ultrasound showed she was around 6lbs 13oz, and that's without including a head measurement in the equation (can't see it since she's so low). I was a 9 pounder, my husband 6 something, so if she ends up in between that sounds perfect. I'm really hoping for this weekend.

Of course, today at school I find out there's still NO SUB lined up for me. I bitched at both my department head and the assistant principal about that. Both came back with the same line, basically, "It's not MY job, and anyway, don't worry about it." Are they joking? No one will take responsibility (though apparently later the AP gave the human resources guy (my favorite person) a hard time about it. I let everyone know in June, then again "officially" in September, then again in late October when no one had even started looking and the doctor was worried about bed rest/early labor. It wasn't until the day before Thanksgiving that they actually offered the position to one of 2 people who had applied, and eventually both turned it down because they'd accepted other jobs since it seemed this one was going nowhere. Now, it's true that once the kid is born I proabably won't care what happens at school (though it's REALLY tough to believe that, I love my job and 95% of the kids I teach and they're about to get SCREWED for the next 6-8 weeks with an unqualified sub...or worse, many unqualified subs), but right now I DO CARE and I've been busting my ass trying to keep teaching AND get things together so that when I do go out (and not knowing makes this really hard) it's not just wasted class time for a few weeks. Some of the kids would love that of course, but some of them are serious and would really feel cheated. Sigh...so part of me hopes she won't come until NEXT weekend so that what I have lined up to teach next week will actually get taught...

Anyway, there has been no working out since Saturday when I ran a mile, walked a mile, did some squats and some stuff for my hamstrings and was exhausted by that little effort! This Saturday I'll go to the gym again...once a week is better than nothing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I thought I was not into shoes...

Cleaning up around the house today I realized that I have 5 pairs of the same Brooks running shoes (plus 1 Saucony I currently wear due to their excess cushioning). One pair is brand new in the box waiting for the first post-baby run, one pair was in the basement long past useable, and 3 were in the front entryway...one still useable for running/working out, the other 2 probably way past their prime. I managed to scrounge up an additional 2 pairs of sneakers and all are currently awaiting recycling when our local shoe store collects them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Post Turkey Trot Waddling



I did the 5mile Turkey Trot this morning! I had one friend who didn't bail, and she picked me up at 7 and off we went. The weather was good, probably 40ish, so perfect for tights and a fleece for those of us planning a slow jog. We somehow missed the bagpipe parade down to the start (which was so awesome last year!), but once the race started we passed the pipe band and it was a good beginning. About 5000 runners do this race, so even at the back I had plenty of company. My only goal, which was completely negotiable, was to go under an hour, or a 12-minute pace. The first mile was 11:40 (crowded start) and it got better every mile after that! I think my watch said 53:30ish at the end (update: chip time was 53:24, which was a 10:41 pace), which is under an 11-minute pace! I didn't walk at all except for a quick water stop. Of course, I barely broke a sweat and wasn't breathing hard at all, but my legs did start to feel it after only 2 miles. Getting out of the car at home half an hour later was a different story though, and I think I'll be waddling all day. My hip flexors and all kinds of things around there are...not sore really, but tired and maybe loose? I suppose I should stretch. At any rate, I am proud to have done it, but I wish I had the motivation to do this stuff on my own right now. But it won't be long...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Frustrated and whiny

I thought the kid was supposed to move less as she grew bigger. The last 24+ hours, I don't think she has stopped. Whether I'm standing, sitting, walking, lying down, or sleeping (she woke me up last night) there is constant rolling and kicking and punching and 80's style head-spinning break-dancing on my cervix. I'm trying not to complain, but - well, I'm complaining. When it's just for a little while, it's cool. When it's nonstop, it's uncomfortable, creepy, and makes me kind of nauseous.

Went to the doctor today, no change to my cervix since last week. Although he did say that if it's even possible, he thinks she's lower than she has been. I was measuring 31 cm, which is small for 36+ weeks, but given her location that seemed normal. He'll do another ultrasound next Thursday to check her growth, unless she makes it easy on us and we can just plop her on the scale. Although I'm thinking that she's dong everything she can to get out, and that it's me and my body that isn't in any rush (which is fine, probably best, for a few more days).

Sunday is 37 weeks. Even though the doctor keeps saying he'd bet me money she'll be out early, the longer this goes on the less inclined I am to believe him. I hate not knowing. I'm still hoping for 38 weeks, no more, no less. (Well, a little less is ok.) I'm not that uncomfortable by any means, and I even came around to liking my pregnant belly (it's kind of cute with the right outfit). But I've never, ever been good at waiting around for transitions...enough already, let's just get on with it.

I have temporarily abandoned working out (minus a possible turkey waddle tomorrow morning) and I'm trying to figure out why. Much of it is because I can't do what, or as much, as I want to do, and that's frustrating. I know rationally that whatever I can do is so much better than doing nothing, yet when push comes to shove, I end up on the couch, bored out of my mind, with an aching back. Not good choices, so what's my problem?? And I think enough of that has lead me to just tell myself I'll change (or change back) once she's out and I can do my own workouts again. And I think that not going to the boot camp and core classes, and to a lesser extent spinning, I've gotten kind of lonely in my workouts. I like the camaraderie, wanting to show off, being shown up by others (all in good fun)...I miss the people in those classes who push me. I feel like an outsider right now, which sucks.

And I've been eating like crap. Breakfast and lunch are fine, but by the time dinner rolls around, there is no dinner. There's been cheesecake (last night's dinner, which lead me to feel pretty nauseous the rest of the night), and peanut butter M&Ms (tonight's, a result of a trip to Target to stock up on cat litter). Tomorrow won't be much better, as the big holiday meal will throw off any semblance of a normal eating schedule. I think I just want my control back. And it doesn't help that I could have it now, if I just wasn't so whiny.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just a laugh

Today my sister in law had a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving for friends, and among those in attendance were a woman 5 months pregnant with twins, and her 5 year old son. We'd been saying earlier how kids just have no filters, they say what they see. So at the end of the night as they were leaving, I stood up, and the kid took one look at my belly and said, "Wow, you ate a lot!"

Thankfully I'm over my "I don't look pregnant, just fat" stage, because it was one of the funniest things ever. When his mom told him no, I was pregnant just like her, he seemed to buy it...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Ran 2 Miles!

I had sort of given up on working out, but this morning decided to go to the gym. I planned to walk on the treadmill, but listening to the songs on my iPod that I used to run to, I couldn't help it. I kept it slow (11 min miles) and barely broke a sweat, but I did it and it felt good! Some more pressure on my bladder and cervix than before (no surprise, as the kid is estimated about 6.5 pounds at this point, 36 weeks tomorrow), and I think even with the support belt, I have and will have some sore ligaments tomorrow. I expect my shin muscles to hurt (they always do when I take some time off and start back up again), and maybe some other leg muscles just from underuse, but in general it felt good and I'm game to try again tomorrow or Monday! The 5 mile Turkey Trot is still a possibility...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Why I Don't Look 8 1/2 Months Pregnant...

Went to the doctor today, I'm 1.5 cm dilated and "if she was any lower, she'd be talking to us." So I think that means 100% effaced (and have been for a while). The doctor asked me, randomly, "So do people ask you why you don't look very pregnant this late in the game?" Me: "Uh, yeah, some do." Him: "Do you tell them that half the baby is in your vagina?" Me: "Uh, I'm usually not that blunt, but..."

It was actually very funny, though I think it loses something in translation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

School

I met after school today with a kid and his mom, about the kid's grade. Mom was making the rounds to all the teachers. The kid was helping her keep us straight, and she joked that he told her, "Ok, the English teacher is the who looks pregnant but isn't, and the science teacher is the one who is pregnant but doesn't look it." Well, turns out the English teacher IS pregnant (4 months) and just told the students, but still...funny. Is it wrong to take pleasure in that, even though it's a lot of dumb luck that my kid is low and the belly small? At the same time, 3 teachers I never see commented today on my looking pregnant (but they were surprised to hear I'm due in a month).

I'm scrambling trying to get a big project done with the kids that no sub will be able to finish for me (it involves computers and our unreliable wireless network and server and it a big pain in the ass) before Thanksgiving. I figure I'm good til at LEAST then. But I've left day-by-day plans accessible just in case. After that, I don't care so much...the other Earth science teachers (whom I helped to learn our curriculum when they were new) are going to have to help the sub along. I just want to make it til December...a week in would be nice, 38 weeks...eager to find out Thursday if I've dilated any more, I'd say it's likely as I've felt a little different, but certainly nothing like regular or painful contractions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Better pics















These are slightly more flattering than my self-taken webcam shots.

Thanks, Melissa!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

35 weeks and lots of contractions

Went to the gym today, first time since Tuesday (when I did a 3 mile walk with a little tiny bit of running). Did 2 miles on the elliptical, and lifted just enough to remember how to do it! Nothing major, but better than the previous 4 days of nothing. Guess my motivation is waning. This morning before the gym I was on the couch reading, and noticed I was having BH contractions all the time...like, all the time. Still not painful or anything, just frequent. Fred and I went shoe shopping (no, not something my husband would normally be caught dead doing, but he needed some) after the gym, and honestly I just didn't want to be walking around. So I've been back on the couch since. Which isn't so good for my back. Geez, I sound pregnant. I FEEL pregnant. I even LOOK pregnant! But at 35 weeks, I guess it's about time.


Tomorrow is November 17th...a while back I posted about having a dream that the kid was born (speedily and painlessly!) on "the 17th." So tomorrow I might be a little nervous. I'm starting to count on having her here within 3 weeks...I hope that doesn't jinx me to be a 42 weeker...

I just ate a salad for dinner ONLY because I know we have Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia (frozen yogurt, though) in the freezer. I wanted to skip dinner altogether and just have the fro yo, but...I still have some self control.

Oh, and Friday night I had a baby shower. It was weird...my mom's friends threw it, but they are all in Michigan, and I'm here. So there were about 10 people at her house, and 4 at mine, and we used Skype to hang out and they watched me open presents. Strange, but nice. We got some cute things (admittedly, most I had opened before Friday, as they'd been coming in the mail for 2 weeks), and some $$ and gift cards so we can go out and buy the expensive car seat. But the best gift? This:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She wants out...

So I appear to have a very active and eager kid. I had my weekly appointment today. I asked if it was really necessary to hook me up for a non-stress test AGAIN since I'm almost 35 weeks AND my insurance company apparently makes me pay co-pays for them (all previous OB visits have been free). I said, "I can tell you that the contractions are the same as they're been for the past month you've been monitoring them, and the kid is more active and strong every day." The doctor (whom I like) said OK, and at this point since I'm past when they'd give steroids for the lungs or really even try to stop labor, and I just got the usual cervix check. I've started to dilate slightly, and he said usually when babies are as low as mine is, the cervix is already 8-9cm! He told me to have my bag packed and not to go more than half an hour away from the hospital. He said he would absolutely put money on her coming well before her due date. That will change Thanksgiving plans...of course, she might be here by then which would change them anyway! But again he said my labor should go very fast, and "there probably won't be time for an epidural." Which is fine (as long as it really is quick!). Although I don't want to get my hopes up!

He did say again not to run until after 36 weeks, but at that point I could "go crazy." The Turkey Trot 5 miler is on Thanksgiving (I'll be 36 weeks, 4 days) and I still entertain thoughts of doing it. I went for a 3 mile walk Sunday and again on Tuesday, and Tuesday I did do a couple 2 minute jogs just to see. Felt great (although my shin muscles were sore the next day). So we'll see. Although I think I finally have to admit it: I feel pregnant. Back in June I posted about how I felt lucky that the first 3 months were easy, and that if I got 4 or 5 months in without really feeling pregnant, I'd be happy. Turns out I got more like 7-8 months.

So for those of you who've had babies...how weird is it the first day or 2 when they're not INSIDE you any more? As weird as it is, I kind of like all the hiccups and kung-fu going on,and it seems like I'll feel like my insides are so EMPTY after she comes out!

Pregnancy and RA

So I thought I'd do a quick post about RA and pregnancy, as this blog originally started out to be more about RA. I know there are a couple readers who have RA too, and the more positive info one can find out there the better!

I've been on Enbrel and Plaquenil for a few years. Enbrel is like magic. Although I have some residual wrist damage from pre-Enbrel days (I probably have a 40-degree range of motion or so, they just don't bend beyond that!), except for an occasional (every 6 months or more) flare, I feel great. The Plaquenil (strangely, an anti-malarial) was added a year ago after a flare that involved one ankle. My rheumatologist cleared me to stay on both the medications. He had me go off the small dose of prednisone (which I had though was the safest of all the meds) due to a minor, possible connection between higher doses of that and cleft lips/palates in the fetus. I also registered with a group in California that is studying the effects of lots of drugs on pregnancy, OTIS, in my case joining the one that studies Enbrel's effects: www.raandpregnancy.org. Basically they call me up every couple months and I answer some questions, then within a year of the kid's birth, they send a pediatrician out to take non-invasive measurements of the head, abdomen, etc. They're always very willing to answer questions about what they've found, which so far has been positive...as in, there's no found risk to the fetus. RA will often improve in pregnancy, but since I was pretty "improved" going in, had I gone off the medications I surely would have had a decline. And with flares common 1-3 months after giving birth, I really didn't want to be stuck in a situation where I couldn't walk, couldn't pick the kid up, change a diaper, etc. So it made sense to me to stay on the meds, and from the looks of things the kid is completely unaffected. I'm sure it's always a tough decision to weigh the pros and cons of being on medication during pregnancy, but in my case the risk was minimal to non-existent, and the benefits literally life-changing.

Anyone with RA reading this, feel free to ask questions!!

I'm going to do a kid update in a new post...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All clear

At school this week some girls I had in class 2 and 3 years ago saw me in the hall and in the way only teenage girls can, squealed "Oh my god, you're pregnant!" It's actually been kind of funny, often kids I've had in the past (I teach all freshmen) will see me in the hall, and although some still say hi, most pretend not to know who I am (even the ones who genuinely liked me when I was their teacher!). Lately, a lot more are "remembering" me and even starting conversations, usually about my being pregnant. Nice as that is, now the trouble is I have to try to remember their names...

Went to the doctor today, everything is still the same, had an ultrasound and the kid is estimated to be int he 67th % at weighing around 5.5 pounds. That's a little weird...I mean, that's like...baby sized or something. I also got a read on her position, so when I sit here watching my entire belly move, I can with more certainly distinguish the butt from the feet, from the hands (which are the things that are tickling my right hip bone...weird!).

And the doctor seems satisfied that we're out of the woods. "I'm not an alarmist," he said. And, "You can relax now...just don't go crazy." I was thinking, "No, YOU can relax, I've been relaxed!" So, since I had my stuff in the car just in case, I went right to the gym. I'd done 3 miles on the elliptical Tuesday and lifted a little. Today I did 2 miles on the elliptical (under a 9:30 pace, though I don't know if that's really at all comparable to the treadmill...felt way easier) and then 1 mile on the treadmill. I ran .25 miles, twice. Running still feels normal and good. Still, I didn't want to push it. But I did want to know that I could still do it. I suspect that I will start re-incorporating a little bit, in short increments (oooh, maybe I'll run a whole mile again before giving birth!), as long as it still feels fine. I guess I am/was a little worried, but...well, a couple more weeks and there'll be no reason not to do as much as I want. Except the closer it gets (6 weeks and 2 days til due date!), the more I'm thinking I'm in no hurry...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

33 Week Belly, and Musings About the Belly Button











A 14-week picture, for comparison.

As I'm typing, the kid is doing a jig inside my uterus. I think I can tell the difference between her butt and her legs but that's about it. When I put my hand on my belly I can sometimes tell for SURE that it's limbs moving around...they just feel long, narrow, and strong!! But usually I feel kind of disoriented, and I wish I knew what she was up to in there.

So I have this aversion to belly buttons. They gross me out. I dread having mine turn into an outie. So far so good, though it's definitely become flatter and more stretched out. I hope I can deal with the whole umbilical-cord-falling-off thing.

Did 2 miles (24 minutes) on the elliptical today, and then some squats and other things for my legs. All in all, an hour or so of working out. So I think I'm back to a routine I'm comfortable with, that even makes me sweat a little, and I should be sore tomorrow as an added bonus!

And I'm back to just expecting her to come around her due date, because if I get my hopes up that she's a little early (like Thanksgiving...which is in 4 weeks!), I'm bound to still be pregnant in January. (And if the kid is like me, she'll want to stick it to the doctor and prove that he was wrong and we knew what was going on the whole time. Uh-oh, I could be in for trouble with this one...)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Graduated...

...to once a week appointments! Nothing's changed (meaning cervix is the same, about 65-70% effaced but not dilated, and the contractions continue as before) so the doctor is less worried. I think my own lack of worry helped him realize that this is just how my body does pregnancy! I'll get an ultrasound next Thursday to check her size. I asked if her head was "engaged," and he said yup. I keep hearing all these terms but don't really know what they mean! Effaced, engaged...well, there are more, I guess I'm learning on a need-to-know basis.

I got to the gym 3 times so far this week. Monday I went for a yoga class. Turned out the regular teacher was not there. I walked in (the class had started a few minutes early), saw who the sub was, and walked right back out. This woman subbed once for a spinning class (she also happens to be a teacher at my school) and it was miserable. She's not exactly athletic, and she basically spent the whole class telling us that we were on a beach and we should relax, blah blah blah. Not exactly what you want to think about when spinning! Anyway, I realized I did not have normal gym shoes, so my options were to take the class or go home. So I went back in. She was annoying, but I got some good stretching in and was even sore the next day. Tuesday I went and lifted, a little of everything, and more or less my normal weights. Felt great. Today I went to the pool and ran for 35 minutes. Just trying to maintain at this point, routine as well as fitness! Very important, as Fred came home with some Halloween candy last night (kind of at my urging!). I felt bad that I hadn't given him the true pregnant-husband experience...no midnight trips to the store for ice cream, no hormonal crying fits (well, just one!)...basically, we've both had it pretty easy! At any rate, I've eaten more mini-Reese's peanut butter cups today than I can count. But hey, the doctor did tell me to "just eat more peanut butter or ice cream!" THOSE orders I'll follow...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda...

Today Fred and Jen ran the Pumpkin Chase 5k that I ran last year. I had fun getting around the (short!) course trying to get pictures. It was fun! At the end when the results were posted and they awarded prizes, I realized that my time last year (which put me 3rd in my age group...yeah, small race) would've been good enough for 1st in the age group this year. Sigh...But, Jen grabbed 2nd in the same age group, so go Jen! Fred finished well also, faster than his previous 5k in February. I am SO READY to start my comeback...the 3 mile Bunny Boogie on April 11 (I think). I want to beat last year's pace (7:34, for a 3 mile course) by 45 seconds. I am going to actually TRAIN for this distance. I've never trained for a short race before, just run them kind of as an aside to training for longer distances. So I'll get to the track and do repeats, real speed work. I did some of that on the treadmill last year, but I think I need to get outside this time.

I stopped worrying about not really being able to work out for the next few weeks. I mean, I've taken 2 weeks off before when we've gone on vacation, and never really noticed a change when I got back (other than mental!). Obviously I expect to be starting from scratch anyway in some ways (although Heather didn't seem to miss a step after having her baby!), so what's the difference? I've done NOTHING since Tuesday. I plan to go to yoga tomorrow to stretch things out, especially my back. Just waiting for one more exam Monday to be normal with no changes, and I'll feel better. I hit 32 weeks today, so probably 2 more and then I'll feel comfortable stepping it up again (meaning, walking or elliptical or maybe the core class again) assuming nothing has changed by then.

Oh yeah, and by the way, the reason I don't look so pregnant is just because I wear baggy clothes now. Although we did go to a birthday party last night for a friend who's 16 weeks with twins (she does look more pregnant than I do), and I decided just to go for it an look pregnant. Although strangely, I did that without wearing maternity clothes, just jeans (with the bella band) and a sheer flowy top I love that's kind of tight in the boob area but then just goes out.

Anyone have a 5k training plan they really like?? I know there are a million online, but...

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Baby needs a donut?"

I've mentioned my liking for blueberry donuts (not a pregnancy craving...just something I'm being much more liberal with lately). So on the way home today, I stopped at the donut shop. I ordered 2, but one was honestly for my husband who was home early. Anyway, the lady (who I think must recognize me by this point) asked, "Baby needs a donut?" This was funny, but also significant since it's the first time a stranger has commented on the belly. So that makes me officially pregnant. She asked if it was a boy or a girl, and how many months I was. And when I said seven, her eyes got wide and she said, "Baby REALLY needs a donut!" It was funny. Here's the picture I took as soon as I got home to document (and also to send to my mom, who lives in Michigan, who requested that today).

In other news, I was deciding whether or not to go to the gym, and if I WAS going I was NOT getting the donut. If I was NOT going, I WOULD get it. How backwards it that? Another runner friend who has 2 kids told me today she was put on modified bed rest with her first. She'd given up running by then just because it was uncomfortable, but she interpreted modified bed rest to mean swimming and yoga were just fine. She was induced (with both) a week after the due date. So, I do believe I'm in no danger, but I am also being cautious just in case, for another 2 weeks probably. Which won't mean doing nothing, but it will mean not doing something every day. Which is OK, as I'm finding tons of things to do around the house, as it turns out.

31 weeks, 5 days:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting the finger

There's no other way to put it, sorry. Back the the doctor (yes, he's doing internal checks every time...sigh...), everything is the same. Which means cervix is closed, but I'm still having contractions. So he did another FFN test (the pre-term labor one), results tomorrow. He told me to keep taking it easy. I told him I still feel normal. He said come back on Monday. So it goes...meantime I love watching my belly move. The kid moves nonstop! He estimated her at 3.5 pounds based on the 28 weeks ultrasound when she was in the 80th percentile. I thought it would be higher, but then he said she could go up to 5 in the next 2 weeks. He'll do an ultrasound Monday. My weight has been strangley consistent. I've gained about 14 pounds, only a pound in the last 4 weeks. I still expect to hit 20-25, and what with being "benched" for a few weeks (plus my affinity for blueberry donuts) that shouldn't be too tough.

I keep going back and forth about when I want the kid to show up (not that I have a say in it). Obviously 37 weeks (Thanksgiving weekend) would be the ideal minimum, and it would be nice to not be pregnant all the way to 40 weeks. But keeping her in for the extra 2-3 weeks has benefits too...free day care, it won't mess up my plan for maternity leave and for my mom to come out to be the other free day care for a month or two, I won't feel like I'm abandoning my students (not that they care, but it would mess up my lesson plans), and I won't have to start and end maternity leave early (somehow going back before March 1, even if I start earlier, just seems like a raw deal to me for no logical reason).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to normal

Yesterday I went to the gym. I hadn't had contractions most of the day. I had gone to the doctor's in the morning to be monitored, there was very little activity there (but the kid is still a bruiser), my cervix was still closed, no changes. So that even made the doctor a little more relaxed. I think just that made me feel normal again...maybe I had been more worried than I thought. At any rate, I'm back to feeling NORMAL and often even forgetting I'm pregnant. So I went to the gym. I just did a little lifting for my arms and shoulders, then decided to do 10 minutes on the elliptical. I normally hate the elliptical. But, given that it was just an easy workout, it wasn't so bad. Then I stretched, hoping to ease some of the mid-back discomfort I'm having (not pregnancy related I don't think, something I get occasionally). I'm going today for some swimming/water jogging. It just feels good to move, and I think normalcy is HUGE. I hope the kid comes a little early, like right after Thanksgiving (37 weeks), but I honestly don't think she's going to come TOO early.

Although, just to put it out there, 2 weeks ago I did have a dream that she was born on "the 17th" (not sure what month!) and was small but the labor was super easy. Luckily October 17 has passed, but come November 17 I may be a little nervous. She'll be 35 weeks at that point...too early, but not TOO early if it happened.

At any rate, we spent the weekend getting the upstairs ready after having had it all painted. Fred set up his office, I moved out of "my" room and turned it into the kid's room, complete with crib and dresser (full of hand-me-down clothes from little cousin Iris). Not quite done, but pretty close!

Friday, October 17, 2008

All good.

Thanks to everyone who commented, and so quickly! It was nice to have some affirmation that I probably can trust my intuition. It was also nice to get to the hospital and out in under an hour, be told the test came back negative (as in pre-term labor won't happen in the next 2 weeks), and kind of stand up to the resident OB and say look, 3 internal exams in 3 days just isn't necessary. All I got was an IV of fluids and some monitoring. Yes, I'm having contractions every 3-5 minutes, but they're not that bad, and since I've been having them for a while now they agreed not to give me any drugs (or steroid shots for the kid). That part was nice, I did feel I was listened to...and I'm sure men can make good OB's, but honestly, even I didn't really know what a cervix was until it got kicked regularly, how can they REALLY know what is normal or not?

Anyway, I go back to the regular doctor Monday morning (which is a real pain in the ass with teaching...I can probably get coverage for the period or 2 I will miss without having to officially call in sick, but if this is going to become regular he just will have to wait until 2:30pm to see me). I think I will have at least weekly, maybe twice weekly monitoring...which I really hope doesn't involve internal checks every time. Quite frankly, if you want the thing to stay closed, QUIT POKING AT IT! Geez.

I think I'm going to try some gentle swimming (I don't know any other way to swim without drowning anyway) and maybe yoga or at least some stretching on my own so that I don't go crazy. Not moving doesn't feel right. No running or anything, but maybe some water running.

To the hospital...but not sure WHY.

So I went to the doctor this morning. Cervix is short but closed, and the doctor said after 28 weeks (I'm almost 31) the length is not so important. Kid is head down, which probably explains the shortening. I am having contractions every 3-4 minutes though, which he didn't like. I tried to explain that this has been going on for 2 months, and really it's normal and we're fine, but he still said to go to the hospital (after school at least, so I came back for my lab period which would have been a pain to try to get a sub for). They will put me on an IV with fluids to hydrate me (like peeing 20 times a day isn't enough...still, I'm drinking as much as possible between now and then) as that may calm down the uterus. They will have the results of the pre-term labor test (fetal fibronectin?), which I just assume will come back negative. They may or may not give me a shot of terbutaline (I may or may not put up a fight). They may or may not give me a steroid shot to help with the baby's lungs (depends on test result I assume). I've been doing some research now on terbutaline (and re-reading Mama Simmons' posts from her terb experience) and one thing I read is that it shouldn't be given at the same time as the steroid shots. SO...there are some questions that need to be answered before anyone is putting anything else in me!

I get that she may come early. But I also trust my own intuition and instinct that we're not in any danger here, nothing is happening yet, all this is normal, and there's no need to worry (which truth be told, I am NOT worrying about anything except what they might give me to "help").

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good News, Bad News

Although it's all just news, really. Went to the doctor today. He said my cervix has shortened, and to be safe (i.e. if I want to avoid him later telling me to go on real bed rest) I need to stop running. (Of course, in reality that's more or less happened...I was down to 2-3 miles twice a week or so, just to say I was still running, but I wasn't, really) and just generally take it easy. I go back Friday morning for a test and some monitoring...if things haven't changed, still no running, but nothing else. If things have changed, I may go to the hospital for a steroid shot to help her lungs develop just in case. He didn't seem worried, really, and neither am I...she's big and healthy at 30 weeks 3 days, just super duper low and sitting (or head-standing, we'll see Friday) right on my cervix. I guess the added pressure from gravity and running just potentially speed things up. I can verify that she's low...I pee every 48 minutes (after every class), sometimes more often if I have a free period at school. I meant to count today...but I'd guess it's close to 20 times in 24 hours. Ridiculous.

He did say I probably wouldn't make it anywhere near my due date...fine if I get past Thanksgiving to 37 weeks, not so fine if she comes much earlier. Still, I find myself not worried...I feel NORMAL, the kid is a bruiser and moving all around, she's strong, and I just don't FEEL like anything is imminent. Still, I will gladly forego the running, and the jumping (bye-bye boot camp)...I think swimming and arm-lifting are still kosher, assuming Friday goes well...

The good news in all of this, aside from probably not going the full 40 weeks (I'm hoping for between 38-39, say December 10th-ish), is that he also said given how low she is, he'd expect my labor to be super short. Like, an hour or so from 3cm to OUT. I asked about epidurals and walking...he said not likely, so my current plan would be to go without, for the freedom of movement and the likelihood that it won't be so long.

Here are some pictures I just took...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My aching feet...

I think I have my first pregnancy symptom...seriously tired arches. I guess I mentioned this in a previous post, but I blamed it on the shoes. Maybe it's more than that...I think I need to see what kind of cheap arch supports I can find at the drugstore, and soon! The last couple days it's been non-stop! Stretching my calves, foot massages, and doing nothing help somewhat, but it's really annoying!!

I should take a belly pic now, as we're going out to Cape Cod for the weekend and I'll miss the weekly shot. I think I've turned a corner this week and definitely have the classic shape of a pregnant belly. I don't really mind it. But, taking a picture would require standing up...not so appealing right now.

I went for an hour-long walk yesterday (feet=agony) and today went to a core-type class Bea taught. Cardio-wise I feel fine...but doing lunges, squats, things like that, I am really starting to cheat. Another thing that doesn't make sense...I've gained 15 or so pounds, but 3 years ago (and for a long time before that) I weighed about what I do now. So it seems like my body should've been able to adapt to the old weight, especially as it came on slowly, but not so much the case. Oh well...at almost 30 weeks I think I'm pretty convinced that I haven't really lost too much fitness, and in the homestretch I don't even stress about maybe slowing down. In fact, I am seriously looking forward to a few days of doing pretty much nothing. I'll bring my running stuff, but we'll see if I actually run.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sub-10 minute miles!

Ok, it was only 2 of them, on the treadmill. But considering I almost talked myself out of it altogether I am happy! I started out doing my usual 10 m/m pace, but after half a mile or so I wanted to go faster. I kept upping the pace a little, and by the last 2 minutes I was up to an 8 minute pace. Even just little bouts of running fast (or normal) makes me feel...normal. I actually felt less pregnant while running today than at any other time.

After the run I went to the core class. I've decided I can still do most of the ab work, but I go slower and aim for about 75% of the reps. Going slower puts less stress on the abs, but I still feel like I'm giving them a bit of a workout.

As the kid gets bigger and stronger, I have to say it just feels weird feeling her squirm around. Mostly cool, but sometimes...creepy.

I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions since about 20 weeks, and they don't concern me (especially as my cervix was closed and normal at the last appointment), but I did feel them today during class (not during the run). They happen at any time though, lying down, standing up, morning, afternoon, night...but I just assume they're normal.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

29 Week Belly Picture

It's just a habit to take a belly pic before I go to the gym Saturday mornings. Here's today's.

At boot camp, I had to revert back to my former role as fitness model. Sometimes Bea uses me when she's injured and can't do a certain move, to demonstrate. Today she wanted us doing partner drills, and I groaned when she said "You're the only one who knows this!" It was some weird move where you sit back to back, spin to one side and stand up, then jump and high five each other. It wasn't my finest moment, but I did it.

Ab work is getting harder...I can do everything still, but not all the reps. The "heavy" weights I use in class have dropped from 10lbs (the heaviest there are in the studio) to 8lbs, to 6lbs today. But, considering I'm carrying 2 more 6lbs dumbbells in my uterus, I could say I'm actually up to 12 lbs...

Group run tomorrow...we're going to do a whole 3 miles! Oh well...anything at this point is good!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The (Short) Good Things List

So for a while I've been planning to post about the GOOD things that I've noticed about pregnancy. Some of them may be a stretch, or just a way to make myself feel better, but still...this is my list (so far):

1. Walking has become an acceptable form of exercise. A true, honest-to-goodness workout. Before, I'd rather take a day off completely than JUST go out and walk. Now, on some days when I might otherwise talk myself out of anything besides a nice sit on the couch, I say, "Hey, a walk is PLEASANT and relaxing AND burns more calories than loafing AND keeps my leg muscles engaged a bit." I don't dread beginning a walk...sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) I would dread beginning a run because it had an expectation associated with it...go faster, farther, even if you don't feel like it. Walking, there's no goal except just go. I like that. (Plus, the one time I wore my heartrate monitor on a hour, hilly walk, I burned as many calories as I did in spin the day before...now what that says about my spinning intensity I might not like, but...)

2. A day off isn't as guilt-ridden. Today, for instance. I've worked out 12 days straight (not all intense, but all an hour or so of something). Yesterday my legs were shot from Tuesday's core class, but I did my hour walk (see above!) to get the blood moving. Today, hamstrings are still yelling. So instead of forcing anything (and ignoring the fact that Thursdays are supposed to be my only pool running day now), I went to a children's consignment store in town that's moving and having a big sale. I spent $15 and bought 8 outfits (including a red first Christmas outfit for a newborn), a baby sleep positioner (not exactly sure what that is or if i need it, but it was $3), and a fleece thing that goes in the car seat to keep the kid warm. The only guilt I feel is that I have to grade 3 classes worth of lab reports tonight, and I'm blogging instead. Nice.

3. Ummm...I know I had a longer list. I think of things when I'm walking and then promptly forget them. So this will be updated as I remember and discover more things!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Trampoline

Went to the doctor today, he did an ultrasound to check things out, all looks good. I, of course, couldn't make out a thing - it was much more fun when she was small and fit on the screen! Still, it was cool to see and feel her move at the same time. Her face is right below my belly button, her butt wedged into my pelvis. The doctor said I'm carrying super low (though the placenta is super high), and it looked as though I should be feeling a lot of pressure, but I'm not really. I do think this explains the increasing need to pee, and weird bladder twinges I get sometimes (today multiple times as I was teaching...it was weird). I imagine her bouncing up and down on her butt, using my bladder as a trampoline. Nice, kid, real nice. At any rate, I think I'm on a 2-week schedule with him now, which seems unnecessary yet but will make the time go faster!

Our entire upstairs is being painted this week...so we're living downstairs. It won't be fun sleeping on a double futon given the strange positions I find myself most comfortable in now...I told Fred one of us may be moving to the couch. I picked out a pale, soft orange for the kid's room. I didn't want pink, or blue, or green...I was thinking yellow, but I wanted bolder (I'm usually one to play it safe and just wanted DIFFERENT this time). So orange just kind of popped into my mind and stayed. I put 2 shades on the wall and really like one...we'll see if that holds in large doses.

Went to spin tonight. I need a new battery for my heartrate monitor (which I only wear to make sure I'm working hard enough during spin!). I felt like I had to have the handlebars up near my chin to be comfy (it wasn't really that bad, but a far cry from my normal settings on the bike). Still, a decent workout, I think. I'm just a bad judge of spin, I think I'm working hard but my heartrate often says otherwise. Whereas running is the total opposite, feels like a breeze (ok, not NOW, but you know what I mean) but the heart is pumping away! Tomorrow (day off...no school!) I want to run a little before core class. I need to get back up to running 3-4 days a week, even if it's just a couple miles.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Goal!

Ok, so after the last post I went online and found the perfect next race! It's a 4 miler, in 3 weeks. Looks like a big race (i.e. more slow people). Clara and I got out and ran this morning, just 3 miles or so, but enough to remind me that running still feels pretty good and I can't give it up out of just plain laziness. It's really good to have people to run with, especially now. We have our little "team" now, and we'll keep up our Sunday runs together at least a little longer. Here's us after last weekend's race:Here are some 28 week belly pictures too...right before going to the gym. I decided not to go all baggy but to start to embrace the bump! With only 12 weeks (or hopefully 11) to go, I'm starting not to mind it. Almost entirely because when people ask how far along I am and I answer 6 1/2 months, I get pretty positive feedback! So for a pregnant lady I feel I look good...it's all about comparing apples to apples!

Friday, September 26, 2008

No goal

Well, I haven't run since Sunday. I knew not having a looming goal would do that to me. Either I need to find a 5k in a month or so (one where I won't be dead last...so, a big 5k), or figure out some other way to motivate. There's no good reason I haven't run...the 10k was good, I felt good, I still feel good...I just don't have a goal. I did go to the pool and run in the water yesterday. In fact I've worked out to some extent every day this week, but I feel like the intensity is waning. For instance, I haven't lifted at all in over a week. Today is supposed to be 2 miles on the treadmill and arms...I'll get to the gym soon.

I'm posting this link to a cool pregnant-running story one of my also pregnant blog readers is in...for the few of you who read this who don't also follow her blog, it's fun and inspiring!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Fun PW...(not even a PPR)

The 10k was this afternoon. I knew it would be a personal worst, because I did a 10k in May around 14 weeks that I wouldn't beat today. Beautiful weather (a little hot actually). The kid was doing warm-ups all morning, really stretching out her legs. Fred, Luz, Clara and I were all there, but Jen was stuck on 95 with her boyfriend coming back from New Hampshire...not sure she'd make it before the start, because they were closing the road to the beach. But I picked up her number and got the pins in it, and left it on our windshield just in case! About 200 runners I think, I started where I belonged at the back with others whose only goal was to finish! I ran the first (of 4) hills because it was right at the start, too early to walk. Then the course went to the end of a road where there was a turn-around, and as I was heading back up the road, there was Jen! She caught me before the first mile (9:40) and told me the whole story...they got to the closed road, she asked a cop if the race had started, he said no and that he'd give her a ride in his cop car to the start! He even used his siren to move some people out of the way for her! The race started before she got out of the car, but she found her number and, obviously, managed to catch me. Actually she managed to catch a LOT of people, even Fred, (since I couldn't beat him, someone had to...she took her mission seriously!) and finished around 57:00, despite starting a few minutes behind everyone! My second mile was around 9:50, and the rest were right around 10:10 probably, plus I walked less than a minute on the other 3 hills. Most of the time I was running with the closest people 20 feet ahead or behind me, so no crowds to deal with! I passed one lady (who looked pretty fit, I don't know why she was slow) who then passed me when I walked a hill. She said something encouraging about keep running, and I had to say, "I'm 6 months pregnant, I'm allowed to walk the hills!" I did end up beating her (not that I'm being competitive or anything!). Then an older cop on the course nicely said, "You can go faster than that!" And I replied, "I'm 6 months pregnant, this is as fast as it gets!" His response: "Oh, then you shouldn't be out here at all!" It was funny. But annoying because I still don't look pregnant, let alone 6 months, and I want people to know that I'm slow for a reason! Pride. I debated what to wear, but ended up with a baggy shirt and a number pinned over the bump. A tighter shirt, which I considered, really just looked like a bulge of fat, especially with the support band. Oh well...I'm not complaining! I managed to not have to pee (hitting the port-a-potty 3 times pre-race helped) and not feel too dehydrated (there were 3 water stops, which was nice) at the end. Jen did pass Fred to win (well, not the race, but our group of 5), Fred was close behind around 57:45, Luz around 58:30, me around 1:02:30, and Clara around 1:05. Results not up yet. Overall fun, but I think that might have been my last race. I'll still run for fun, shorter distances, but...I don't know if I'm into races right now. And that's ok.

Oh, and the kid? She seemed to nap during the race, but a half hour later she was back at it...and hasn't stopped ALL DAY. I think she's going to be that baby that you have to put on the washing machine to get to sleep, she's so used to motion. At least we're planning to use cloth diapers...the waching machine will have plenty to do.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shoes or relaxin?

I'm just finishing a day where I taught all but 1 period. My knees hurt. Almost feel like I hyperextended them, but as I only walked on Wednesday and did nothing yesterday, that seems impossible. Possible causes: Being on my feet all day in shoes with little arch support that I don't normally wear; or the pregnancy thing. Being RA related seems unlikely, there's no swelling or heat.

I'm at least going to the gym to do some upper body weights today. Hopefully it's the shoes. If not, I guess I just learn to run (or run/walk) with this like I am learning to run with a belly. And hopefully it doesn't progress.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I will never be that kind of parent...

Tonight was open house at school, where all the parents come to meet the teachers. Most parents in my (rich, white, snooty) district are fabulous and nice. A few aren't. One didn't let me down...when at the very end of my presentation for one class I mentioned that I would be on maternity leave in January and February, she had a snide remark. I wasn't caught off guard, but I did start to reply something about the timing not being great, but then followed with "Actually, it IS great for me, it's my first kid." But her aside, everyone who introduced themselves at the end was super nice and many said I looked great or they couldn't even tell I was pregnant. Again, not something I can control, but nice nonetheless! I'd rather be comfortable as long as possible.

Today was a day off from working out. I spent 2 hours at the hospital lab getting a glucose test and Rhogam shot since my blood type is O-. I haven't lifted at all this week. The core class Tuesday was actually ok, but more cardio than core. I think I'll lift tomorrow, do upper body. Then boot camp Saturday and the 10k Sunday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spin, take 2

Last night I went to the spin class I bailed on last week and was rewarded by it only being 45 minutes instead of the usual hour. I hate hour spin classes...mental, but I do. Tonight is the core class, but it's going to be easy because Bea (the teacher and my former trainer, who whipped my ass into shape 2 1/2 years ago...I'd like to see a showdown between her and Jillian of the Biggest Loser) just texted me that she hurt her Achilles on a run and someone else was subbing. I asked if the sub was good. Her reply? "You should go...she tries..." I like not only being able to keep up with my usual classes while pregnant (so far), but more importantly with HER classes. People have a love/hate relationship with her style. Fit people love it. People who only think they are hate it, because she makes them realize they're not. And I can only imagine the next day or two after when they try to get out of bed. The first class I took with her, the next day I felt almost as bad as when I ran my first marathon...can't sit down because your quads give out on you bad.

Maybe I should go early and get in a short run first.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

10k...check

It was just a training run with the girls, but we did the entire course for next week's race. Today was hot and humid...my time was just over a 10 minute pace, and so if next Sunday's forecast of sunny, dry, and 74 holds, I think I can go under 1:02. Of course I'd really like to go under an hour, but I don't want to push much beyond comfortable. I'm pretty thrilled that I can still go out and run for an hour as I enter the 3rd trimester (26 weeks today, so I guess by next weekend it'll be official). Today I did walk the 4 short steep hills, as I plan to in the race, but each is only about a minute long, so I'm glad I felt as good running as long as I did. I wore the belt, and like last time, the first mile or two were a little uncomfortable but after that I had no ligament pain and felt good. Plus I didn't have to pee! Good thing as my usual stop is the beach which is actually the official race start, where we started from today-usually we start from a different place on the course and hit the bathrooms around 1.5 miles in. I think I just sweated out the extra fluids...did I mention HOT AND HUMID?

Yesterday I visited my friend in the hospital who just had her baby. She was 11 days overdue, and Caroline had to push for 2 hours before the baby twisted and got stuck and had to come out via emergency c-section. How much does that stink...having to go through labor AND a c-section...totally not fair! Anyway, Clara is beautiful, has a full head of light brown hair, complete with blond highlights! Pretty amazing, we joked she'd spent the extra 11 days getting her hair done for the big day. It was fun to hold such a brand new baby. She was all swaddled up, and when she wriggled all the squirming and somersaulting I've been feeling kind of made sense!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Maternity shirts

I stopped by the mall after school today to see if I could find a few more cheap maternity t-shirts to get me through the next 3 months. I used to like more form-fitted clothes...now, the looser the better. I'm not into showing off the bump, something about it just seems weird to me. I don't want anything clingy, tight, bright, striped, polka-dotted...you get the idea.

After a couple quiet weeks, the kid is back squirming in full force, kicking the computer as I write. I have the beginnings of a true basketball under my shirt. While I can still wear a few looser pre-preg pants with the bella band (oh, and an aside here...I did break down and wear a pair of maternity jeans to school one day this week, because I actually think I like them...they're fairly tight but stretchy everywhere but the tummy, so my ass doesn't look baggy and frumpy), none of my t-shirts works (hence the mall trip). With a properly worn cardigan or unbuttoned shirt over a t-shirt, I can still manage to not look really pregnant. Why is this such a goal? I don't know...and it's not a goal per se, it's just that all things being equal, I'd rather not draw attention to my belly. Then people start to say stupid stuff and I have to smile and try not to be rude (too often not something I'm terribly successful at).

My friend Caroline had her baby girl Thursday, 11 days after her 8/30 due date. Very exciting...we are going to see them Saturday. She insists she wants visitors while still in the hopsital...I'm pretty sure I will want people to stay away!

I should probably go run today. It's raining. I think I'll take the day off. One day off a week is OK, and I rarely even do that. Plus I just ate way too many chocolate covered pretzels (OK, dipped in peanut butter) and I can't run after that. Yesterday I was lifting (legs) and I know at the gym I'm starting to look more pregnant (lack of clothing options), but I kind of don't care there. It's different, maybe because there I want to stand out a little, to be noticed for not sitting on my ass and getting fat while pregnant. (Yeah, I realize the chocolate covered pretzels dipped in peanut butter don't help my case here...but I'm only up 11-12 pounds at 26 weeks, and I'm starting to think I have this in the bag...14 more weeks, 14 more pounds max, right? And 25 pounds is pretty ideal, though I wouldn't mind 20.) And the gym makes me feel GOOD. Aside from my gut/basketball, everything else has really stayed the same...legs, arms, butt, face, boobs (I guess they will change still, but I can hope!)...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First run with support belt

I tried out the Gabrialla band today on my run. At first, it didn't help. Even walking the first half mile or so to warm up, I had ligament pain no matter how I adjusted it...high, low, middle. So I sucked it up and started running, and got a side stitch pretty quickly (I haven't had one of those in a LONG time, and never while running so slowly). I walked for another minute or two (during which I was passed by a male runner, and I was a little disheartened to realize I didn't even care), then just sucked it up and ran. A few minutes in I felt fine, no more ligament pain, and actually had a good, if slow, 4.5 miles. (Didn't help that my legs are cooked from a core class last night, apparently I've been neglecting training my hamstrings.) So not sure if the band helped, but it didn't hurt, and as much as things are probably going to change in the next few weeks, I bet I will end up liking it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dilemma

OK, never thought this would happen. There's a spin class in half an hour. The pool is also open for lap swimming (unusual for this time of day). I actually want to go to the pool. Why? Well, the spin class is an hour instead of what I think is the normal 45 minutes. I don't want to work hard for an hour. I don't actually want to swim either...I want to water jog. I did not expect this. I figured I'd have to give something up because it hurt or felt weird. But I just don't WANT to spin. I'm trying to analyze, has this happened before but I usually just don't give in? Or is this new?

I also gave in and wore a maternity shirt today, just a long sleeved t-shirt. Regular pants, with the bella band. I actually felt cute, maybe the thing about maternity clothes now is that the choice between looking pregnant and looking fat (and stuffed into too-small clothes) is a real one, and, well, pregnant is a better option. 25 weeks, 1 day.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Is she or isn't she??

Maybe it's having to get up 2 hours earlier than "summer normal," but I've been wiped out the past 2 days. Didn't work out yesterday. Today I peeled myself off the couch after a 2 hour nap to walk for 50 minutes. It didn't wake me up...still tired.

Yesterday I told my classes of 9th graders that I'll be out in January and February because I'm going to have a baby in December. The kids from last year know, and I didn't want any whispering or rumors (a few years ago another science teacher told her kids she was pregnant, and one girl said, "Oh good, we thought you were just getting fat." Nice, huh?) It was funny...what I was wearing did not make me look pregnant, and watching them turn their heads to see my belly better was hilarious. One girl actually said, "But wait, that's in, like, 4 months. You don't look pregnant..." Well, actually 3, but, yeah...Then later one of the secretaries, whom I told back in June that I was pregnant (but she seemed to have forgotten) commented on how "fit and toned" I looked (yeah, I liked that). I patted my belly and said yeah, I'm just starting to show. She HAD totally forgotten that I was pregnant! That was cool.

Not that I always look so un-pregnant...but I do find myself dressing to hide it. Once I can't, fine...I'll wear the maternity clothes and maybe even like it. But at 25 weeks I STILL feel like I'm in the in-between stages and just look fat. I think slowly my uterus is moving up above my belly button, which will help me look more pregnant. When it's all low, it just looks like a gut. For whatever reason, I want to wait another 2 weeks to break out the official maternity clothes, just to not have to wear them til the third trimester. Whatever.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Running was SO FUN TODAY!!!

This morning Fred and I met my 2 friends for a 5.5 mile run. They showed up with a 3rd friend (who usually doesn't like to run as early as we do). I think this was the best run I've had in months. And it has nothing to do with pregnancy. 2 of the girls are a little slower and ran behind, but Fred, Luz and I were basically the exact same pace, and we ran a comfortably hard sub-10 pace (even though I walked 3 of the short, steep hills). Occasionally we talked, but mostly we just ran. I really haven't run with someone where I've had to push (and had FUN doing so) since...well, I guess since March or so when I ran an 18 miler with Kathy. I have missed that...

I am wondering how I'll feel tomorrow. My hamstrings and glutes are a little sore from some kettlebell stuff I did yesterday, and after a workout I can feel the ligaments around my uterus...not pain, just that I feel them. Standing up, walking...it's the same as I felt back around 14 weeks, which is weird considering things are much bigger now. I was watching my stomach last night before going to sleep, and it was funny...I can see rolls and kicks now, they look like more than just twitches. Cool. In June I saw a friend who was 25 weeks pregnant at the time, and she was much bigger than I am now, and saying she could feel the head, feet, etc. I definitely can't tell what's what! But sometimes I feel simultaneous movements on both sides of my belly, so I can sort of tell if the kid is stretched out. And sometimes she moves completely over to one side, and I have a very assymetrical bump! Weird.

Anyway, running at 24 weeks feels great (at least today), much better than earlier in the pregnancy. OH...and, my dad sent me an email yesterday saying he ordered me the BoB Revolution (in chocolate and blue!) and it should arrive within 2 weeks! He knew how much I wanted it, and it was on sale at REI. I said I would wrap it up and open it at Christmas, but I don't have that much self control!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Belly Picture

I went to the gym tonight to run and lift. There have been no classes this week or last due to routine maintenance, so I've been lifting more on my own which has been good. I saw a super nice guy there that I chat with now and then, as we seem to be on the same random schedule and see each other a lot. He asked how I was handling the no class situation, and I figured that was my opportunity to see if he had noticed how fat/pregnant I'd become. "Actually," I said, "it came at a good time. I'm almost 6 months pregnant, and I'm starting to slow down a little." His reaction was funny. "Who's pregnant? What? You're 6 months pregnant?" So even though to people who know I do in fact look pregnant now, I guess I don't look too different in baggy gym clothes to people who don't know. Even though, in those baggy clothes, I feel and look so different from how I used to, and how I still perceive myself. Tuesday when I was lifting, was one of the only times I remember that lifting did NOT make me feel really good about my body. I ignored it mostly, because what can I do?

After I showered I put on some yoga pants and a shirt...that now is way too short:


So this is 23 weeks, 4 days, but at the END of the day. Not that there's much difference at this point. I do feel more pregnant now though. Kind of like there's a water balloon inside me, which probably isn't entirely inaccurate. Ab work is getting a little harder. It will be interesting to see next Tuesday at the core class how I do with that. I may be starting to make some modifications soon! And Boot Camp...well, I want to keep doing that at least 2 more times, at which point I'll be 26 weeks and in the third trimester, and probably will be OK if I have to give that up. I also finally ordered the Gabrialla band figuring it won't be too long before I'll need it, as I already feel a little...different...while running. Not sure how to explain, except to go back to the water balloon analogy. Everything else still feels good though! And I've started to really gain weight...I tend to go up about 2 pounds one week, then stay about the same, then go up another 2, etc. Still hoping for 20-25, I'm up about 11 so far (9 last week, this is a 2-pound week already!) at almost 24 weeks. I figure there's no way much of that is fat though. Some must be, because when I was working my biceps Tuesday I noticed that the vein I used to be able to see (which thrilled me, I admit) isn't there anymore. Oh well...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This would never happen with regular pants...

Last week I had to find footed PJs for my almost one-year-old niece, Iris. I found some cute ones at Baby Gap, and as they were the ONLY ones I found, I bought them. I also found two pairs of maternity pants I actually liked (as much as one can), on sale, for $6.97. I had previously bought a pair of Gap maternity pants for $12.97, I thought in a lighter khaki color. No brainer - I bought the darker ones, didn't even to bother trying them on (there's another story there, about when I DID try on the initial pair...). Today I go to do laundry, and decide it's time to wash some of the maternity stuff because I went back to school today and, well, I am showing now. (Picture soon.) Turns out, I have two pairs of the EXACT SAME pants. Excuse me, but FUCK!!!! Maternity pants suck. I would never pay $50.00 for ugly pants. The fact that I found some I liked that cost less than $7.00 but then BOUGHT THE SAME ONES TWICE...it is incredibly disappointing.

Anyone a pregnant size 6? They're yours if you want them...

Monday, August 25, 2008

23 Weeks

Last night the kid was SUPER squirmy, and she's getting strong! At some point around 2am I woke up and felt kicks near my belly button. Up to this point she's been really low, so it's weird to feel stuff that high. I got up to pee, and maybe gravity pulled her back down because she went right back (I can feel and see this hard bump where she is when she's low).

This past week I ran 19.5 miles in 4 days, rode twice and lifted three times. I can still keep just under a 10 min/mile pace without feeling like I'm working too hard, so I'm hopeful that the 10k in a few weeks will still be under an hour. But it is a month away I guess. At any rate, I can't complain about where I am and how I feel, it's been different and easier and a lot less scary than I anticipated pregnancy to be. I'm pretty confident that I'll be back in shape fairly quickly come spring. My goal (better to admit it, maybe I'll feel held more accountable) is to eventually (maybe by September when I want a new half marathon PR) end up about 10 pounds lighter than where I started this pregnancy (about 6-7 pounds lighter than my all-time low 2 years ago). And I want to improve my biceps...I had serious bicep envy a the diner yesterday with Fred when I saw a woman in her 40s with a school-aged kid with killer biceps. It's a product of the area I live in (rich, white, shamelessly superficial) that there are a lot of really fit women, and now especially when I see one with a kid, I gain a little confidence that I can do that too. (The rich part, not so much.)

One of my runs this week was without my ankle brace, because I had a scab on my Achilles' from wearing it with low socks a few days before. It was ok...I noticed that it wasn't there, but the ankle didn't hurt. Felt a little weak maybe. I'd have to say the RA has not given me anything to complain about (or even notice) beyond the usual sore wrists (due to past bone damage rather than active disease) after lifting.

Teachers go back to school tomorrow...I always go into this with mixed feelings, as by this point in the summer I am bored and feeling like I don't accomplish anything during the day, yet - well, I have to go back to work.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Runner's Legs??


Clarification for those who can't see the leg in this picture: In the middle is the knee (with a big blob on top??), below that is the femur (attached to a skinny butt), and the 2 white bones to the right are the tibia and fibula. Attached to a foot pointing up. This is from last Thursday, 21 weeks 4 days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Still...

Did a little over 6 miles today. Started out well, first 3 miles under a 10:00 pace, then my legs started feeling heavy again, a little sore. OK, so I walked more, it was still 6 miles and it was beautiful out so that's good. I've been running much more than the new "usual" lately so it makes sense. Had a really good stretch and roll on the foam roller after...heaven.

The kid's kicks are strong enough now that when the laptop is on my lap, the whole thing moves if she hits it right. Very amusing.

I'm not worried about having the kid here...she's going to be awesome. I'm not worried about my lifestyle changing when I have the kid...it will, but still. What I'm worried about is that I will change after the kid. I won't want to run...I won't care about working out...it'll be too easy to find something more important to do. Clearly the fear of loss of identity is a common theme in the other pregnant runners' blogs I read...which is a comfort. But it's a worthy fear...who am I if I don't WANT to run anymore? It probably won't happen. Still...