Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Graduated... 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 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 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 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 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!