9 Months

3-14

My Journey Through the Labyrinth

When the girl from my yoga class joined our circle today, wearing her 3 week old daughter, I burst into tears.  So did she.  It’s an emotional time for all of us, waiting to be moms with babies on the outside and new moms alike.
Today at noon I joined the third Thursday pregnant ladies labyrinth walk at Grace Cathedral led by my yoga teacher, Jane, and another midwife.  I’ve been hearing about this event for months and finally decided to show up and walk.  I felt like it was my time to do so and I wasn’t wrong.  My first impression was of a beautiful cathedral with an underwhelmingly small labyrinth plated into the marble floor, but as our group grew in number and each woman spoke, I sank into the experience.  We each cut ourself a piece of green ribbon.  Green is the color of the heart chakra.  “Hi, I’m Laura.  40 weeks and 5 days.  I can’t stop crying.”  We’re made of water and water is cleansing.  Water is part of the birthing experience.  We use the labyrinth as a metaphor for birthing.  Unlike in a maze, there are no dead ends and you always make it to the finish.  Time may warp and every phase may be different, but ultimately you arrive on the other side.
We followed Jane into the labyrinth, pausing as the midwife blessed each of us with an Angel mist.  I invite any Angels who’d like to keep me company to walk beside me.  Waterworks began again as I instantly felt the presence of my dad and grandmothers.  I didn’t stop sobbing for the first few minutes, as I looked down at the path my feet followed.  I felt sorrow when I wanted to feel joy.  I noticed the other women around me as we paused to let one another pass and brushed bellies.  I wore only socks and my feet quickly felt the hardness of the floor and weight of my body.  I put my hands on my belly then I moved one hand to my heart and walked the first part of the labyrinth this way.
In the middle we met to reflect on our journeys thus far.  I rested on my knees because the weight was too heavy on my feet and back.  One woman talked of taking her hands off her belly and placing them behind her back, surrendering to her baby, letting her baby lead the way.  I keep talking to my baby, asking for an arrival in the near future, but really I have no control over this.  Letting go of control.  Surrendering to my baby.  Yes, remember that.  “I’m wearing this flower in my hair from yesterday’s flower show at the de Young museum.  It represents springtime and opening to welcome my baby into my arms.”
We followed the midwife out of the middle and I walked after the girl with her baby.  I paused a few times to breathe as my body surged, preparing for birth.  I walked with my hands at my side, letting my baby lead the way.  I walked with my head up, light in my eyes.  I laughed as a man in a suit found himself walking the opposite direction through the pregnant ladies.  I was suddenly alone, nobody in the rows beside me.  I moved quicker, then slipped into a trance-like state dragging my toes gracefully around corners as I danced the final curves.  I paused before exiting and was welcomed to the other side.  I cried again.
I hold with me the calm and beauty I experienced during my hour in the labyrinth.  I placed the green ribbon in my purse, ready to be a reminder of this hour.  And I will continue wearing my flower until my baby is born.

3-6

Last week I accepted the fact that I’m about to have a baby- and I’m really, really excited!  Until then, I was having difficulty comprehending that I may at any point drop everything and cancel the rest of my plans for the week.  The problem with deciding that I’m ready is now I’m impatient.  I waver between earnestly trying to enjoy my last days of pregnancy (and freedom) to being disappointed that the baby’s still on the inside.  Plus, I’m overly emotional about everything!  There have been mornings that I’ve woken up really upset that I didn’t go into labor in the middle of the night.  For some reason, I have the idea that I’ll go into labor at night and that if I make it through the night, it means I have another day to wait.
I’ve been sleeping really well the past couple of weeks.  My doula suggested that I journal before I go to bed so that when I wake up in the middle of the night, all potential thoughts will have already been worked through.  It works surprisingly well and only once when an earthquake woke me at 5 am did I have trouble falling back to sleep.  Everyone advises to get plenty of sleep before having the baby and at this point I’m very well rested.
Baby is still really active and my husband suggested that maybe s/he is packing up in anticipation of the trip out.  If that’s the case, Baby takes after mom.  I generally start packing for a trip a week in advance, making piles so I don’t forget anything.  Two nights ago my husband’s arm was draped over my belly as he fell asleep when Baby decided to start the usual aerobics.  The second these massive movements began, my hubby was in shock.  I forget that he doesn’t feel it several times a day like I do.  Every time Baby would fall asleep, he’d give my belly a squeeze and Baby would play more- until I put an end to playtime because I wanted to sleep!  I told my midwife about this and she laughed, saying her husband was the same way and she’d given him a stern talking-to, explaining that once her baby was on the outside, disruption during sleep was forbidden.
I’ve added walking back into my daily routine.  I’m not taking long walks but they feel long compared to the nonexistent walks of late.  I’ve stopped paying attention if something is slightly uncomfortable.  Been there, done that, Baby’s fine.  I’m still filling up my days with prenatal classes and visits from friends.  I had my eyebrows waxed today and I’m getting a pedicure tomorrow (if I don’t go into labor tonight).  I saw my acupuncturist this afternoon and he worked on all the inducing labor spots.  He also took my pulses and says he’s still predicting a girl.  I’ve eaten spicy food.  I’m munching on pineapple right now.  A friend told me to try eggplant parmesan- it began labor for his sister twice.  I just so happen to have eggplants from the farmers market, so guess what’s for dinner tonight?  I’m dutifully drinking my pregnancy tea and taking evening primrose oil.  And I’ve added a new one to the mix- alfalfa powder.  My platelet levels are low, which could mean trouble with blood clotting.  The midwives told me there’s nothing I can do about this and that it probably won’t be a problem, but my doula suggested alfalfa and other vitamin K- rich foods.  This makes too much sense for me to ignore.  We give our babies vitamin K shots at birth to help blood begin clotting, so why wouldn’t vitamin K work the same way for me?  Worth a try anyway!  I also happen to have brussels sprouts and prunes in my kitchen and since these are on the top 10 vitamin K list, I ate both today.
When I arrive at the hospital in labor, they’ll check my platelet count again and if it has dropped any lower there is a chance I won’t be allowed an epidural.  I didn’t ask why but found this ironic because I would really like to skip the epidural anyway.  So, if the option is off the table, that’s that.  I know there are other drugs I could have but my goal is to rely on my hypnobirthing techniques and other natural methods suggested by doula and midwives.  We’ll see!
I think this might be my last post in the 9 Months chapter of my blog.  I’ve really enjoyed putting my thoughts down “on paper” and reading over my entire adventure.  I look at the pictures of when I first started showing to this week and am in awe of my body’s changes.  I’m sure I’ll be even more in awe when I meet the baby I grew!

2-19

I am 63 inches tall and 43 inches round.  My husband measured me last night for his entertainment.  I’ve gained 35  pounds and I can feel every ounce of it.  This is totally acceptable health-wise, yet completely unbelievable to me.

We came home instead of going out after the symphony concert last night because I was exhausted, but instead of going directly to bed, I ate.  Then I cleaned.  Then I read.  Just before midnight I finally closed my eyes and immediately fell asleep.   I’ve been awake since 4:30 and finally decided to get up and write until I’m tired enough to fall back to sleep.  I have one of the very cute Hebrew songs I’m learning going round and round in my head.  Only problem is, it quickly turned from cute to annoying when I couldn’t get it out of my head and I only know two lines.  Each time I woke up to pee last night I started singing it, then tried to sing something else, then went back to Parpar Nechmad (nice butterfly).  Finally, as Baby was rolling around inside of me, insisting it was playtime, not sleep time, I made up another cute little song to the tune of “I love my cello very much.”  It goes like this:  I love my belly very much, My baby lives inside, I love to feel her(him) kick and play, While I try to sleep.

My days are scheduled around afternoon naps because otherwise when I can’t sleep at night I stress out about not sleeping and how I’ll get through the day.  If I know I’ve got time to sleep, that’s one less thing for me to think about in the middle of the night.  What exactly am I thinking about in the middle of the night (or various other times when I’ve freaked out lately)?  I really don’t know.  What should we name the baby?  When is it coming out? Why can’t I sleep?  Why won’t it stop moving when I want to sleep?  I haven’t been allowed to sleep on my right side for several nights.  Baby’s feet are up near my right ribs so when I roll onto that side, the kicking begins and doesn’t subside until I roll back over.  I’m already doing the guilty parent thing.  Twice now when I missed an afternoon story time I’d promised to Baby, I felt bad about being a bad parent.  Then I caught myself, laughed, and decided it was way too early to feel like a bad parent.  Yet another thing to stay awake worrying about.  What good is all of this worrying doing me?  None whatsoever!  I don’t actually think I’m going to be a bad parent.  I know the baby is going to come out soon.  I know we’ll come up with a name.

Speaking of Baby coming out soon…  I will be holding my new baby in my arms in a month or so.  It’s all suddenly very real.  I went to see my midwife Friday and she proclaimed me to be at full term.  Of course we’re hoping Baby will stay inside and cook for another few weeks, but he/she is fine to come out any time.  Crazy!!!  I’m feeling braxton hicks (warm-up) contractions frequently.  They aren’t painful, just sometimes mildly uncomfortable as my belly hardens and becomes lopsided for several seconds.  It’s so weird to observe and until my doula told me otherwise, I thought this was just big baby parts really pushing out for longer periods of time than usual.  I guess if I’d done some reading, I would have known more about this.  A good friend of mine always says, ignorance is bliss, where racing is concerned.  She and I share the attitude that if we don’t know about the big hill at mile 23 of the marathon we won’t worry about it through the entire race, thus enjoying ourselves more throughout the day.  In my ten years of racing, I’ve used this theory successfully, so I see no reason why I need to know every little detail about childbirth before it happens.  I am practicing my breathing and doing my meditations, so this is my way of preparing for the big day.  Plus, I have been reading about after Baby comes out.  I picked up several breastfeeding books from the library (one of which I loved so much I promptly bought copies for friends) and we’ve got two sleep training books.  Each of us is reading one and comparing notes.

This week I took an oatmeal and peanut butter bath. Partially on purpose, partially because I was snacking in the tub and dropped my peanut butter stuffed pear. The oatmeal bath did the trick and helped soothe irritated skin. The peanut butter didn’t seem to have any effect either way but I think I’ll save it purely for eating next time.  I can’t seem to get enough peanut butter, but these days I’m combining it with fruit instead of chocolate for a healthier snack.  I’ve been going a little easier on the sugar intake and I, of course, feel better. Veggies are the most difficult for me to consume, purely out of laziness to prepare, so I’m making a point of adding them into cooked meals and ordering salads when I’m out.  I’ve also been stockpiling food in the freezer for after Baby joins us.  So far I’ve got two kinds of soup, turkey pot pie, lasagna and wild rice pancakes.  The cupboards are stocked with dry foods and fruits I canned myself.  I’ve been prolific in the kitchen these past few months but it’s getting harder to maneuver as my belly sticks out more and my back hurts from leaning over the counters!

As far as pregnancy side-effects go, I still think I’ve had it pretty easy.  Aside from a really itchy belly for a few days, occasional achiness in my low back, exhaustion, and shooting pains when Baby moves certain directions, I’m doing fine.  That sounds like a long list but compared to what it could be, I don’t think I should complain.  After all, I’ve got a wonderfully supportive husband who loves me even when I do complain!  I can still wear all of my cute shoes.  I don’t have indigestion unless I eat three pounds of citrus.  And I only look pregnant from butt to neck.  And I’ve been told I have the pregnancy glow.  And, if I do say so myself, my belly is quite pretty!

2-7

Yesterday I treated myself to one of my favorite pregnancy activities so far- a photo shoot!  I found Anastasiathrough a friend and realized I’d already seen and loved some of her photos, so I made an appointment for what we hoped would be a sunny morning.  She arrived and immediately began exploring the house, looking at lighting, colors and textures everywhere.  We then opened my closet and chose the first outfit, consisting of a blue wrap I thought would be perfect and a white skirt I hadn’t worn in years.  I felt glamorous and goofy over the next few hours as she arranged me in every room of the house, fully clothed down to nothing.  As I spent time shirt-off in a front window, I was grateful for the big tree I usually hate because it blocks the light.  The cute onesies my friends made during my baby shower were still hanging from corner to corner so they created a nice focal point for the window shots.  Anastasia quickly discovered I do “smiley” much better than “sexy” but she kept going for the sultry looks so we’ll see what comes out!  After we finished everything imaginable at home we walked to the park, random props in hand.  Magnolia tress are my favorite so I requested a shot between blooming branches (which she deemed cheesy at first but finally agreed that I’d “made it my own”).  She likes a three-dimensional quality in her photos and experimented with throwing flower petals in front of the camera as she snapped the shot, only her timing was never quite right so we enlisted two guys walking by to help.  They became my flower girls and we all had a good laugh but got the photo!  After spending nearly five hours feeling beautiful I had a renewed appreciation for my heavy, changing body.  Thanks, Anastasia!
I am visiting the midwives every two weeks now and continue to check-out healthy.  I did have to go for a repeat of a blood test because my platelets were low back in December, but I’m not sure if this has more to do with blood clotting or anemia, so that will be my first point of discussion in Thursday’s appointment.  The baby flipped a couple of weeks ago and is nestled head down, quite low.  Sometimes laying down is the only relief from the zinging sensation that occurs when Baby’s head moves and creates friction down there.  I rarely make it through a day now without feeling this but it’s more uncomfortable than it is painful.  Beside that, my body is still working well and I’m able to continue my yoga, swimming and stationary biking.  I’m not doing much core work these days because the baby squirms so much when I do.  I tune in to kicks and elbows and try to guess what message I might be receiving.  Who knows if I’m ever correct but it’s fun to pretend that I understand everything so that I can respond accordingly.
We completed our unnecessarily long Hypnobirthing class and I came out with a few bits of useful information and several techniques I hope to use during labor.  I felt that the instructor was alarmist in the opposite way of how I hear hospital birthing classes are.  We learned all of the terrible things that could happen in the case of using any particular drug or intervention.  I could have done without that and am choosing to ignore most of what I’ve heard about intervention in either direction.  I have a knowledgeable doula who will be there if I have questions so I’ll ask in the moment if I need to know something.
Speaking of doulas, we met with ours Saturday and I really enjoyed the appointment.  I feel totally comfortable with her and learned more in the hour and a half with her than I did in the four weeks of birthing class!  The decision to hire a doula already feels like a good one and I know I won’t regret it.
My husband and I took our final weekend away up to Pt. Reyes.  It was crab season and I wanted fresh crab.  He wanted to visit the Bovine Bakery for double chocolate cherry cookies (okay, I’ll admit I was in on that too).  I found us a lodge near the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, centrally located between our food destinations.  It was the first really cold weekend we’d had in quite a while and as we sat at the Marshall Store, cyclists came in to warm up.  I chatted with one and found out they were in the middle of a 200km ride up from the city.  The wind was crazy strong that day and it had poured in the morning.  For the first time since I quit biking, I wasn’t the least bit jealous of the folks on bikes.  I felt lucky to be getting back into a warm car, belly full of delicious food!  Our room at the Pt. Reyes Seashore Lodge was cozy, overlooking a rushing river (usually a small stream) and boasted a double jacuzzi tub.  Double jacuzzi tubs are great- if one of you isn’t pregnant and the other doesn’t love to roast in really hot water.  We made do but I’m looking forward to not being concerned about sitting in water over 100 degrees again!  The following morning brought another downpour but we were determined to visit the seashore.  I luckily had galoshes, raincoat and umbrella.  My husband got soaked but was good-natured about it.  Afterward, we stopped a second time at the Bovine Bakery stocking up for the drive home and next few days.  The weekend was a perfect final Babymoon, close to the city and only a night away from the comforts of home!
I have a new afternoon routine.  Every day we have story time and I pick out a book or two to read to the baby in my belly.  (If we’re lucky, Daddy participates in the evening and reads us something in Hebrew also.)  I am reacquainting myself with favorites from my childhood and learning new ones.  The baby seems to like it, reacting to my belly rubbing with gentle kicks and pokes.  After that I explain that it’s time for Mommy to rest, then turn onthe Rainbow Relaxation CD I received from the Hypnobirthing class.  There are a few deep relaxation practices for me to choose from but since I used to do chakra meditations I find comfort in this one despite the cheesy name.  Inevitably, listening to the track relaxes me so much I fall asleep by the end.  Nap time!  I try this same technique when I wake up at 4 in the morning and can’t get back to sleep.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work the same magic when I’m actually supposed to be sleeping.  I’ve now got a whole sleep station set up for myself on the night stand.  I keep a bowl of walnuts (softer to crunch than almonds in the middle of the night), a glass of water and headphones attached to my iphone, sound off and screen light dimmed.  I still wake my husband up in the shuffle of getting the meditation going or snacking but at least it’s not as bad as creaking through the house, turning on lights.
My pregnancy is nearing the end and soon I will have a beautiful baby to hold in my arms.  I am so excited to see if we’re having a girl or boy!  I appreciate the time I have right now to be on my own and prepare what little I know to prepare.  I treasure the nights out and in with my husband and the opportunity to see my friends for pedicures or tea, all the while knowing that when our baby arrives, I will be ready to welcome a new little being into my life!

1-17

I’ve been on belly button watch for the past two weeks as mine slowly disappeared and I waited for it to pop.  This weekend my innie became an outie.  While I can’t say it’s exactly cute looking in the center of my enormous belly, I am still excited about each new change.  They’re coming quicker and quicker as we move toward March!
A second big development is that Olive has acquired a second name.  Herbert.  This is because my husband said we should be prepared in case Olive is actually a boy and begin using a boy’s name also.  Hence, Olive-Herbert.  More than one person has looked concerned when I’ve called my belly by this name and asked if these are our real choices for girl and boy names.  Nope.  Big sigh of relief.
January seems to be the month of preparation.  We now have a crib and changing table set up in the sunroom and my yoga mat is unfortunately rolled in the corner.  It is still readily accessible but I can’t remember the last time I did yoga at home.  The crib is adorned with beautiful homemade and aloha swaddle blankets, courtesy of both moms and my sister (who’s new to knitting but produced a sensational, detailed blanket that I just might keep for myself instead of sharing with the baby).  The changing table is stuffed with clothing and compostable diapers (thanks to the diaper “cake” my other sister created for my baby shower).  I enjoy beginning every morning relaxing in my rocker in a sunny corner, telling Olive-Herbert about the nursery.  Aside from “baby stuff” prep, we bagan our Hypnobirthing course and attended an afternoon of prenatal yoga for couples.  I found the yoga class quite useful in that I have an idea which sorts of massage I might appreciate during labor and which to steer clear of unless my husband wants to get yelled at.  We also learned some laboring positions, using partners for support or as furniture.  My husband was a good sport but I’m guessing his favorite part of the afternoon was after yoga when we went to a bar and watched the end of the football game!  After only one Hypnobirthing class (out of four) I’m wishing we’d opted for something shorter.  I don’t feel like I came away from the first class with any new knowledge and my husband is continuing through the course only to please me.  From the reading I’ve done, I know I like the method and that I will find many of the breathing/meditation techniques useful, so I’ll take what I can from the class.  I’ve been practicing the guided chakra meditation almost daily, frequently falling asleep in the middle.  Even so, it will be in my toolbox during labor if I need it.
I’ve discovered that Olive-Herbert isn’t much of a conversationalist yet but I still have full conversations with my belly and have put together a play list of tunes I enjoy singing so that we can dance and he/she hears my voice.  I’m trying to interact with the baby in my belly as much as possible and feel like I already have a sense of his/her personality.  I also frequently request removal of baby body parts that are poking me and causing mild discomfort.  A little rubbing usually does the trick and Olive-Herbert moves to a different position.  I feel hiccups every couple of days, which are cute but somewhat annoying if I’m trying to sleep.  Usually swaying on my hands and knees relieves the baby and we both sleep peacefully.  It’s pretty funny when I take a step back and realize that as soon as my baby is on the outside, there will be less interaction of the type I believe we’re engaging in now.  Perhaps I’ll continue right on doing what I’m doing even when there’s a screaming baby in my arms.
I am recovering from a cold that struck this weekend and feeling sad to be all alone today.  I suppose that’s why I’m finally getting around to writing again!  After a three day weekend with my husband plus a full house of guests it’s awfully quiet around here.  This weekend Mom, friend and sister all flew in and threw me a spectacular baby shower.  The theme was buggies and books, so we’ve got a bright orange running stroller (can’t wait till Olive-Herbert is big enough!) and a collection of books in three languages, all meaningful favorites of the gifter.  The food was made to match specific books and still hanging across the living room are fifteen adorable and artistically decorated onesies.  I am a lucky lady to have had two different groups of friends throw me baby showers steeped in love and creativity!
As I sit here right now I am watching my belly bump around.  Olive-Herbert must be receiving the food I ate for lunch a while ago and reacting accordingly.  He/she is about 4 lbs according to my weekly e-mail update and I assume we’ll have a more accurate measurement of size after tomorrow’s ultrasound.  I mentioned to the midwife in my appointment last week that it will be difficult to have another ultrasound and still not find out the sex of the baby but she said it’s sometimes not possible to see at this stage anyway, depending on positioning and size of baby.  I’m pretty sure based on where I feel hiccups that if the baby is in one place, the head is down already.  Guess we’ll find that out tomorrow also.
My body is holding up although I’ve definitely got a full time waddle already.  I was trying to figure out exactly why I’m walking the way I do and it seems that my legs are just further apart than they used to be.  I tried walking with my feet closer together last night and I think it took care of the waddle but wasn’t comfortable to my right hip.  I need to be careful when I stand up these days because my hip sometimes tries to give out.  I had a great sports massage last week and she worked out some sciatica but I’m not sure exactly what’s going on now.  I suppose it’s just extra weight on my frame and hips widening.  It’s strange to think I still have two more months to grow but my belly continues to stretch and make room for my baby so I’ll continue to watch in awe of this amazing process!

12-16

A friend in yoga class commented how she could feel her “little dancer”moving around inside.  I think mine is more of a kick boxer!
Last week Olive and I enjoyed a wonderful 4 day babymoon in Hawaii while visiting my parents  (and Daddy even met us over the weekend).  I explained to Olive beforehand that she/he wouldn’t hear Daddy’s voice for a week but that we’d be meeting Grandma and Grandpa.  Our visit went very well and Olive even showed off by kicking on request.  Once my husband met us, we moved from my parent’s house to the Rocking Chair Hotel in Waikiki- a place I’ve always wanted to stay.  It has an official name but I know it this way because of the line of rocking chairs on the front veranda.  I was thrilled to relax in them with morning tea and a newspaper, and then again in the evening as it rained.  The only minor annoyance of the weekend was the hotel charging for beach chairs and umbrellas.  I solved that problem by borrowing them from Mom instead.  Laying on the beach isn’t so comfy these days but may have been appropriate since I’m feeling a bit like a beached whale.
Speaking of that, I’m getting blob-ier by the day.  Sometimes I still feel cute but most of the time my maternity clothes feel too small and I look forward to slipping back into my yoga pants.  I think I’ll spend most of my next three months in yoga pants except, of course, when we go out.  I’m over-committing us to evenings out because I want to make the most of our final time as just a couple!  I need to be careful during the days not to overdo it because I’m getting tired more easily.  The past couple of days were especially rough and by 5pm yesterday, all I could do was sit or lay down.  On my way between the dining room and kitchen after dinner, I plopped myself down on the wood floor and informed my husband that I needed a break.  He laughed and told me to get ready for a movie- that he’d take care of kitchen clean-up.  That perked me right up and I was pajama-clad, in bed by 9pm!
This morning I did my gestational diabetes test.  This consisted of arriving at the hospital after fasting all night, having my blood drawn then gulping down a bottle of bright red glucose solution, sitting for an hour, having my blood drawn again, sitting another hour, then having my blood drawn again.  Thank goodness for trashy magazines.  I did bring my Hebrew notebook and managed to write a few sentences before my brain lost its ability to think ( a problem I’ve been having more and more frequently).  I turned then to Cosmo and read it cover to cover, learning all about the styles I should have been sporting last summer and “new, amazing” sex tricks to please my man.  It baffles me that people can read these same articles, worded differently over and over every month.  Once a year is plenty for me.
I’ll call St. Luke’s for lab results Monday and keep my fingers crossed in the mean time.
I met another midwife for my tuesday appointment.  She listened to Olive’s heartbeat, although she had to keep chasing him/her around with the doppler to find it!  I asked a few questions and she measured my belly.  She said size looked good and I was surprised to see that, depending on where my weight actually was pre-pregnancy, I may have already gained up to 20 lbs!
Olive is supposedly the size of a head of cauliflower this week (well, actually tomorrow she/he changes to a different fruit or veggie when I reach 28 weeks).  Tomorrow also begins my third trimester.  How time flies!  I am still pretty content being pregnant, although there are a few things I could do without- calf cramps in the middle of the night, gums bleeding every day when I floss and super sore hips.  All of these are normal side affects, just annoying.  I’ve been really watching my calcium, magnesium and potassium intakes to try and minimize the calf cramps.  Drinking plenty of water and brewing from tea leaf the famous pregnancy tea seem to help also.  The hips are better or worse, depending on the day and mostly they just hurt right when I wake up.  If I switch sides and readjust my pillows frequently during the night I seem to be better off in the morning, except I wake up every time I shift, so that’s not a perfect solution either.  I continue to exercise every day when I’m not too tired and still feel the best in the water.  My maternity bike shorts finally arrived and I’m excited to test them out in tonight’s spin class.  Walking has become plain boring and I get too jealous of the runners, so unless I have a destination, I don’t do it much as exercise.
That about sums up life as I finish second trimester.  Still good, but getting heavier (and sometimes less comfortable) by the day.  My next mission is to try on every winter coat in the closet and hope to find one that still closes around me.  We are going up to Tahoe after Christmas and it’s going to be cold!

11-29

I decided last week in yoga class that the most wonderful thing about being a woman is having the ability to grow and nurture a tiny being inside my own body.  There is nothing more spectacular than feeling those tiny kicks when I’m sitting quietly.  I rub my belly and talk to it all the time and I love taking a moment every night to marvel at my profile in the mirror.  My husband is also enthralled with my growing belly, although he continues to compare me to funny creatures, like “something from Lord of the Rings” or a whale.  Whale sounds much more beautiful when he uses the Hebrew word-  לויתן (livyatan).  That one came from swimming beside me this past weekend when he supposedly noticed how graceful I looked in the water but “heard” my sonar and decided I was making waves.  I informed him that he still splashes way more than I do.
On Sunday the girls at work threw me a baby shower.  They decorated the women’s locker room with balloons and decorated me with a pink Mommy-to-be tiara. I know how much love and energy went into planning my party and I appreciate it so much.  We played games, ate delicious food and I unwrapped presents, including tiny hand-knit caps and socks!  Gradually men came in to visit from the musician’s lounge and our party morphed into the vodka party already happening next door.  I don’t suppose any other woman can claim a vodka party as part of her baby shower!
Everyone (from the male receptionist at the salon to my girlfriends) has a baby-gender prediction.  I’ve had strong feelings in both directions but still really have no idea who’s inside of me!  I saw my acupuncturist yesterday and asked if my pulses were strong enough to make a baby gender prediction.  Last time I was there a few weeks back, they weren’t.  He made a disclaimer that he has about an 80% accuracy rate then said he thinks it’s a girl.  I’m not painting the baby room pink yet, but I enjoyed hearing it because most predictions have been for a boy.  As for the baby room, several people have asked me if it’s all set up yet.  No way!  We’re not even positive which room it will be, but I’m leaning toward the sunroom since it’s my favorite room in the house and I would love to spend sunny mornings, tucked cozily into the rocking chair with my baby.  How idilic it all sounds.  (I’m not really so delusional!).  In the mean time, I’ll continue to appreciate the room as my yoga/practice studio and see what happens as we amass more baby stuff that needs a home.
I’ve been going to spinning classes again but finally after my Sunday morning class I decided I needed to find myself a pair of maternity biking shorts.  I was hoping my usual tri shorts would remain comfortable but the waist band already digs in a little too much and I’ve still got more than 3 months to go.  I was surprised to find that two companies actually make maternity bike shorts.  This was indeed a fortunate discovery because I was plotting in my mind that I’d purchase a sewing machine, learn to sew, create my own shorts, then sell them for all other pregnant ladies who want to enjoy spin classes in a more comfortable fashion.  I (and my husband) have been saved from yet another crazy idea.  I did sign up for my first post-baby triathlon yesterday.  It’s a freebie in Napa and such short distances I could do them easily right now.  I wanted a goal for April and I thought this might be appropriate.   Plus, I always like having something to train for!
I’m a little frightened by the prospect of so much free time once the opera season ends.  My “maternity leave” will be three months long and I’m already thinking of projects for myself that don’t involved baby-prep.  One of them will be cooking delicious meals for/with my husband as often as possible.  We love being in the kitchen together and are looking forward to trying some new recipes.  Speaking of food, Olive is a rutabaga this week.  I didn’t buy one in her/his honor because I don’t have any idea what I’d do with it, but maybe I’ll figure that out in the coming months!

11-10

I have a new best friend.  I talk to it everywhere I go.  I should be referring to it as he or she, but for right now, I’m really just talking to my belly, hoping Olive hears my voice.  The other night I was wandering around the house deep in conversation and my husband yelled, “What Honey?  I didn’t hear you!”.   That’s okay- wasn’t talk to you anyway.  This little person inside of me has taken on a distinct personality and makes his/her presence known all the time.  At first it was just when I was sitting still at work and playing Handel or Mozart, then it extended into bedtime and now it’s randomly throughout the day.  “Hey Mom, I’m hungry!”  “Yuck!  What did you just eat?”  “Don’t mind me, I’m just doing my daily aerobics.”  “You need to rest.  I’m tired!”
To be perfectly honest, I love feeling my baby kick, knowing there’s a live being inside my belly.  What a crazy, miraculous occurrence!
My body is changing in all the ways it’s supposed to (or at least, I think it is!).  Sometimes I feel like a blob and other times I feel like a sexy pregnant woman.  I am expanding from all sides and unfortunately a few of my cuter dresses I’d hoped would be presentable throughout my pregnancy simply are not.  I tried on a couple before we went out Saturday night and not only are the views from behind less than stunning, but one makes my belly button look like target practice and the other has strategically placed lines that turn the belly into a striped conehead.  Oh well!  Luckily I love shopping and have already expanded my wardrobe to include several very cute maternity options.  My husband is complimentary as ever and thinks me and my belly are incredibly cute, no matter how I feel.  Last week he said in a most endearing tone of voice, “Honey, I love your shape.  You look like a smurf, only you’re not blue.”  Thanks, I think?  Olive is growing like crazy also.  He/she is the size of a small spaghetti squash this week.  Yesterday I went to the market with a friend who’s due 5 days before me and bought a small spaghetti squash in honor of our babies 🙂
I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere in baby organization.  I was planning on waiting to do everything once opera season ends in December, but I’m too much of a plan- ahead kind of gal to wait.  Plus, if some of the big stuff is already done, I’ll have the chance to enjoy my last few months of pre-baby life instead of focusing every second on preparation.  Beside talking to mom friends about the things I’ll actually need/want in the beginning, I chose a pediatrician and switched hospitals.  The pediatrician’s office is walkable from the house (number one priority) and he has a 5 month old baby himself.  In our interview I learned about his practice and asked a few questions regarding alternative care and his philosophy.  His answers satisfied me so I left the office with his card and a present in the form of a 10 lb book on childcare (which I had to lug around the city with me on the bus for the next 6 hours).  On the same day I had my first appointment with one of the midwives at St. Luke’s. (Olive’s heartbeat is strong and steady!)  After a tour last week, we decided to switch hospitals in favor of care/delivery by a midwife and a much lower hospital intervention rate.  In the upcoming months I’ll have the chance to meet each of the nine midwives who might deliver my baby.  There are two doctors on the team and I was told that unless I become a “fascinating case” I wouldn’t be meeting either of them.  St. Luke’s is in the Mission across town from us and my husband’s contribution to the conversation on switching consisted of “now we’ll have a hipster baby”.
I’m taking advantage of the energy I have right now and working out almost every day.  I’ve started a weight training program coached by an 8 month pregnant Cirque du Soleil performer, returned to spinning classes at the gym and am enjoying prenatal water aerobics and yoga classes with other moms-to-be.  Of course, swimming is still my main staple since being in the water feels better than anything.
Life is ever-changing and exciting right now.  I’m trying to appreciate every moment of my pregnancy because it will be over so soon… but imagining holding my baby in my arms is enough to not mind the time flying by!

10-29

Olive and I had a chat yesterday.  I explained to her/him that my stomach had been hurting lately from being stretched so much and that although I was doing my best to accommodate growth, I would appreciate it if s/he could be patient with me.  Incidentally, my stomach hasn’t hurt in the same spot since!
We did our 20 week ultrasound this past Monday and I felt renewed awe at the tiny being growing inside of me.  Olive weighed in at 11 oz. and insisted on sleeping through the entire appointment, so we saw very little movement.  The tech explained to me that I might be not feel any movements until later than usual because of how the placenta is attached in the front.  This is perfectly normal but I’m waiting excitedly to feel that first kick!  I thought something was happened during Handel dress rehearsal last night but can’t be sure.
I went to a couple of prenatal classes this week, which I felt I had enough street-cred to do now that I’m actually showing.  The yoga class was spectacularly good and exactly what I needed at the time.  The group had a wonderful energy and I loved the teacher.  I also attended a semi-private water running class, which was fun because I got to know both women a bit.  The instructor has a 17 year old daughter who’s going to college for voice and music education, and the other girl taking the class is due 5 days before me, also with her first baby.  We’ve already made plans to meet on Monday.  Yay- my first Mommy friend!
The belly is stretching and stretching and my hips continue to be a problem when I sleep.  Most mornings I want to sleep longer but I’m too uncomfortable to do so.  My afternoon naps haven’t been regular either, with painting and construction going on in the back of our house.  Better to keep me up now than Olive from a nap later, I guess.
I’ve begun researching pediatricians, running strollers, birthing classes, etc.  There’s so much to do and now that I’m halfway through my pregnancy, it’s time to get moving!

10-16 

I woke up Friday feeling as if I’d been hit by a truck. I hadn’t slept well and woke up from one of those annoying dreams that are so difficult to end. Ironically, I’d been dreaming about shopping for bras at a maternity store but kept getting bothered by non-pregnant folks. Once I finally made it to the bra section my eyes were blurry and I couldn’t see the sizes. Ugh. As I pulled myself awake and wrestled out of the cocoon-like body pillow, my husband asked, “Honey, is it because you’re so huge that you can’t get enough sleep for all of you?”.  He was half kidding and half making fun of me for thinking that I look much more pregnant than everyone else thinks I look. In fact, my body has changed drastically in the past week and he finally decided that I look pregnant.  One of my friends has affectionately begun greeting me with “hey fatso”.  Glad I think it’s funny!

I’ve been enjoying my run/walks and have nicknamed them prego runs even though I generally dislike the word “prego”. I still haven’t ordered that running support belt but through a combo of spanx hitched up over my belly and a bella band folded underneath, I’m getting by.  Swimming and yoga continue to be what I really love and what are keeping me in working shape.  Along with my changing body, I’ve also acquired more aches and pains.  It’s especially difficult to sit through rehearsals without my back hurting and I’ve noticed twinges of what I think is sciatica.  I’m counteracting these with stretching and yoga, and swimming before a day of work seems to really help.  Sleeping has also become less comfortable again and I often wake with one or both hips hurting, despite using my body pillow.  I am finding that my belly wants support so I usually wedge a bit of pillow there also.  My husband continues to love the body pillow, often using the side I’m not.  I even found him inside the cocoon after returning from a bathroom trip early this morning.  I felt a little bad kicking him out because he looked so cute, but not bad enough to leave him there!

I’m 19 weeks pregnant and and am still loving every step of the way.  Our next doctor appointment is Tuesday and we’re fully committed to not finding out the sex of the baby.  My to-do list is long, full of research and preparation before Baby joins us, but I can never seem to fit one more into my day!  By the time I work, exercise, make food, study Hebrew and spend time with friends & husband, it’s always time to sleep again. I know I can’t save everything for off-season beginning in December, but there’s always tomorrow…

10-3

I really miss racing and training with intensity!  Yesterday morning as my husband and I were driving to my second birth and baby fair in two weeks, we saw the remains of an earlier running race at Crissy Field and I actually commented on how much I’d rather be running that than attending the fair.  After about 30 minutes in the expo center, we were done and decided that would be our last birth and baby fair.  Maybe I’ll be more interested as it gets closer to my due date??  I did meet two women I liked – one who teaches hypnobirthing and a prenatal yoga at the JCC and another who is pregnant with her second but usually heads a mom and baby running group.  The group meets at several locations near my house and the leader is due March 1 so I’m guessing we’ll both be getting back into running around the same time.
I satiated my craving for training this morning with a 45 minute run/walk.  Everything felt good and although I was using a bella band for added support under my belly, it wasn’t super helpful.  I don’t like feeling the bounce so I’m going to check out a recommended running maternity support belt.
I’m feeling really great these days and have even gone out “drinking” a couple times after work.  I don’t mind not drinking and if I do eat, I’m trying to chose healthy snacks, not just desserts.  I was very proud of myself when I stepped on the scale earlier this week and found that I’d gained 4 pounds.  I’m trying to keep careful track of my nutrition each day and my latest protein addition to everything is chickpeas.  Honestly, I think they make just about everything taste worse, but I keep trying!  Fall is my favorite time for fruits and veggies at the farmers market so I visit my two favorites on Wednesday and Sunday each week.  I got fresh pressed pomegranate juice yesterday and actually boiled it then chilled it since it’s unpasteurized.  It seems a little ridiculous but better to be safe than sorry I guess!  And speaking of produce, What to Expect tells me that my uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe (which have just been majorly recalled for listeria so I’m not eating them) and Baby is a sweet potato (one of my favorites!).
I did second trimester blood tests at the beginning of this past week so we’ll go in for our next meeting with the genetic counselor in a couple of weeks.  I’m at week 17 now and my belly is still rather small, but if this is any indication for the rest of my pregnancy, I could end up not being huge and staying more comfortable.  The picture posted is me at week 16 🙂

9-23

I’m my old energetic, enthusiastic self again!  As I look back through old entries, it seems as though I was exhausted only for a month and with no other pregnancy side affects so far, I’ve lucked out.  Of course there is that pregnancy-brain thing.  I’ve been doing the most ridiculous things and my wonderful husband just laughs, saying it’s because all of the blood is going to my belly not my brain.  I have managed not to forget my keys or wallet, leave perishables sitting on the counter or completely forget what I’m doing for over 24 hours now, so maybe it’s just a matter of slowing down and being thoughtful in my actions at all times.  I do “frazzled and rushing around” way better, but I’m working on it!

I’ve found a miracle cure for not sleeping and sore hips… a body pillow!  This thing isn’t just a full length pillow, it’s a horse-shoe shaped pillow that takes up a good half of the bed.  Luckily my husband doesn’t mind- and even shares the half nearest him sometimes.  I love being cocooned by it because I can flip over without making a commotion in the middle of the night and there are so many comfortable sleep positions.  I’ve used it consistently for over a week and haven’t woken up sore once.

Olive is about the size of an avocado now and growing like crazy.  According to online pictures around 16 weeks, my baby actually looks like a baby already!  I’m still getting shocked looks when I tell people I’m pregnant, even though to me the bump on my belly is very obviously a baby, not me getting fat.  I forget that everyone else doesn’t take as much pride in my normally-flat stomach as I do; hence why would they notice that it looks any different than usual or wonder about the extra bulge?  I can’t count the amount of times someone has said to me “You’re an athlete.  I’m sure that’s why” when I answer a “How are you feeling?” inquiry with “I’m feeling really good and haven’t had any problems so far.”  Someone else suggested that I didn’t have any morning sickness because I do only organic, hormone free dairy and meat products.  Whatever it is, my goal is simply to have the healthiest, most joyful pregnancy possible.  And I’ve only got 5 months left to enjoy it!

9-13

This weekend was utterly crazy.  Between two opening nights at the opera and a never-ending park concert, I helped my husband move us from our rented big flat to a smaller (but our very own!!) condo 9 blocks away.  He and our friends really did most of the work but I felt like I contributed a fair amount to packing/unpacking, carrying lighter stuff and cleaning.  I’m super exhausted from it, but that could have just as much to do with still not sleeping through nights!  I do love our new bedroom and this house has a wonderfully warm and comfortable vibe, even with our belongings piled high in every corner.  I can’t wait to get organized but I’ll probably take a day off tomorrow then get going Thursday.

I saw my doctor again today and heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.   It was strong and clear, and in between beats we heard other noises, which Doc said were baby movements!  I got a flu shot, my first ever, and I’m hoping my arm isn’t too sore by the show tonight.  I’m trying to keep it moving because I think that helps.

I tried a prenatal water aerobics class this morning at the JCC.  I’m about to blog about it at Laura’s Training on the Go so I won’t say much more here, other than it was a great workout and I’m looking forward to going back!  This will be the first time I’ve mentioned my pregnancy in my blog and anything goes online 🙂

9-5

Today I begin my second trimester! I can’t believe I’m already a third of the way through this pregnancy. I’m still feeling good, although tired but I can attribute the past few day’s tiredness to Friday night‘s red-eye flight. We flew to the east coast to share our news with my husband’s family in person and I couldn’t take much work off so it’s a quick trip, which is always semi-exhausting. I didn’t manage to sleep on the flight because I was so uncomfortable. I followed my doctor’s recommendations for preventing blood clots, which I guess are more likely during pregnancy, and took a baby aspirin & wore compression tights. I never take over the counter medicine, so I felt weird chewing an aspirin but luckily I already own stylish fluorescent green compression tights for running so that was no problem. Despite the compression and a couple standing/stretching breaks, my feet felt more swollen than they usually do flying. I’ll see how the flight hometonight feels then talk to my doctor and possibly re-think some late pregnancy travel I have planned.

Sharing the news with my in-laws was exciting, as they’ve been waiting for it practically since my husband and I met. Ours will be their third grandchild and my mom’s first. All of them are/will be spectacular grandparents and I think we’re pretty lucky to have two families who are so engaged.

Now we finally get to “go public”. Yay!

8-30

We hit quite a few milestones this past week!  I tried running again and we saw Baby on an ultrasound beginning to look human!  We picked out the shape of the head and body, saw arms with thumbs, and little legs.  Olive is measuring around 2 1/2 inches, depending on if she (no, we don’t know it’s a girl) is more curled up or stretched out.  We did see movement while we were looking around in there but of course I can’t feel anything yet.  All I felt during the appointment was the overwhelming need to pee.  I had to begin with a full bladder so it would push the uterus to a position we could see using a stomach ultrasound.  I was in emergency mode by the time we finished!  After the ultrasound, we met with a geneticist who gave us the information we were hoping to hear about the few genetic disorders they tested by measuring my blood protein.  There will be another set at week 20.

I may have reached the end of my exhausted coma of the past couple week.  I’m sleeping through nights again (except for 2-3 pee breaks, which I hope will diminish soon) and am waking up at a reasonable hour instead of absurdly early.  Funny thing is, now that I’m sleeping more, I often wake up groggy in the morning instead of ready to tackle the day.  But at least I feel more alive throughout the day instead of until just till noon!  Since I have more energy and started to miss running, I decided to get back on the treadmill yesterday.  I’m already looking forward to my first post-baby triathlon 🙂  My goal yesterday was an easy mile, alternating every 30 seconds between running and walking, but I felt fine the entire time.  It’s a new sensation to run with my belly bouncing!

I continue to love my every-other-day yoga and am going to begin exploring prenatal classes when we return from our labor day weekend trip.  Nutrition has been a little difficult for me but I’ve been trying to keep the kitchen stocked with easy grab and go foods and pack plenty of healthy snacks for long days at work.  I made a curry with broccoli and bok choy (both high in calcium) but disliked it so much that I blended it into a soup, which is delicious!  My stomach has been more comfortable since I cut back on dairy but I still love my string cheese and keep a stick or two with me at all times for a quick snack with a piece of fruit!

I’ve got a long work day ahead of me but plan on fitting a bike ride in this morning first.  Better get moving!

8-24

My low point as far as exhaustion goes occurred last Sunday.  Between a late Saturday night show, then an early trip to the farmers market and a bike ride to our park concert, fatigue set in early and didn’t leave all day.  I hadn’t before gotten to the point of crying because I was so tired that I didn’t know what else to do but our lunch break Sunday found me doing just that.  I called my husband and he tried to cheer me up, then I curled up in an empty spot of grass and rested for 20 minutes.  I couldn’t fall asleep, but laying down helped me get through the afternoon concert.  I’m sure that poor nutrition (all I wanted to eat was bread and more bread!) and extra energy expenditure to keep warm (it was in the 50’s all day) contributed to the exhaustion, but I’m guessing it was mostly general pregnancy tiredness.  My What to Expect app told me sometime this past week that the placenta is forming so I’ll probably be extra tired, but that early in my second trimester I might start regaining energy.  I hope so!  I fell asleep on the couch last night at 9pm while listening to my husband play piano- a rare occurrence because the piano is so loud- but that was my clue that I needed to skip our movie and go to bed early.  Of course I woke up this morning at 5:30 but managed to doze until 7, when I got up to do yoga.  I’ve found a couple of prenatal yoga videos and am loving beginning every other morning with a practice.  My favorite is Shiva Rea’s Prenatal DVD .  I feel like it touches on every sore muscle that needs stretching and challenges me to find more flexibility.  I’m already doing all of the second trimester modifications- not because my belly is big but because I’m not flexible enough for the un-modified poses!  I’ve been told that my joints might be looser during pregnancy and to avoid over-stretching, but I’m sure not finding that so far.

On Monday I went for an acupuncture appointment.  Near the end of the appointment, RH checked all of my pulses (different points in both wrists) and told me that my outer energy was way down but that inner energy is thriving.  I’ll bet that’s because I’ve become a baby-making factory!

Olive is over 2 inches at this point and we have our first ultra-sound scheduled after meeting with the genetic counselor Friday.  My belly seems to be a different size each day, not necessarily growing every day but inconsistent.  My challenge at work is wearing clothes that cover the bulge (bought some cute maternity items that fit well already!) but don’t look like something obvious is going on.  I’m nearing the end of my first trimester and it’s almost time to start spreading our exciting news!

8-16

I started work today and it’s the hardest thing for me to keep my mouth shut about being pregnant!  It is the most important thing going on for me, yet I have to pretend it’s not happening and that I’m focused on regular everyday life.  Only a couple more weeks!

Those maternity pants I ordered don’t fit at all.  Obviously.  Not sure what I was thinking.  I’m keeping one pair that I think I’ll grow into and just sent the other two back.  Today I managed to wear my regular skinny jeans, using a rubberband contraption to hold the button and buttonhole close together.  It bulges a little but not enough that anyone besides me would ever notice.  I can’t wait until I actually start showing more than just a doughnut ring around my belly and can wear fitted clothes that show off my new shape!

We had our second doctor’s appointment last Friday and couldn’t hear Olive’s heartbeat because my stomach was gurgling too much.  Must have been the very healthy soup I ate for lunch just before the appointment.  We saw the heartbeat again on the screen and came home with pictures looking very similar in blob-like structure to the first set, only she’s grown quite a bit.  Next Friday we’re meeting with the genetic counselor and having our first ultra-sound.

I’m feeling great, considering all of the changes going on inside of me.  I could use more sleep at night and am resting in the afternoons, and I’m doing a mostly dairy-free day to see if it helps my stomach feel less bloated.  It’s evening and I’m feeling better than usual, so maybe dairy has something to do with it.  I would hate to give up my yogurt!

Time for a nice warm bath 🙂

8-9

I’ve been floating on a cloud lately, enjoying the feeling of invincibility that settled over me during our Mexico vacation. The little things that would normally concern me, like strange plants on the hiking paths (are they poisonous?) and bugs everywhere (does that thing sting?) didn’t phase me. True, I’m coming home with souvenirs of bug bites and scraped ankles, but I found this great salve in Estes Park and true to “Mountain Mommy’s” claims, I don’t itch at all after using it!  And the heat, which was oppressive and so uncomfortable to me that weekend in Chicago when I’d just discovered I was pregnant, barely fazed me. I’m sure it was every bit as hot and probably more humid in Mexico but somehow the calm beauty of my situation took over and I was comfortable.  I found myself rubbing my belly often and smiling as I spoke to Olive. She’s actually prune-sized at this point but I like Olive better. She also took on a feminine personality sometime in the past week. Maybe it’s the name 🙂

8-5

We awoke at 4 am to my husband’s iPad alarm blasting the Mexican hat dance. I was about to be annoyed but he followed the startling alarm immediately with “We’re going to mexico!” and I couldn’t resist smiling. We made the 2 hour trek down the mountain (he drove & I snacked) then carried all of our luggage to security. Debacle with half of my toiletries being over 3.4 oz (I’m pretty sure most airports allow 4 oz), yelling at security how smaller bottle size is a scam to pay airlines more money to check bags (him), hiding bottles (me), got thru with just my Ayurvedic face cleanser & $10 bottle of all-natural bug repellant being confiscated. I turned on the tears, explaining that I’m pregnant and can’t use chemicals and am sure I won’t find all natural bug spray in Mexico. TSA  called it “medical reason”, tested it and handed it back to me. So my husband decided to push our luck- using the excuse that I had skin cancer and my dry, sensitive skin needs special care. TSA rolled her eyes but tested that too and I got thru security with all bottles. I looked in the mirror shortly after and my reflection was conviction enough that I have problem skin & need my special cleanser. Yikes!
Let’s see… aside from this morning’s adventure life is rolling along smoothly.  Baby is green olive sized this week. I immediately pictured my favorite kind of green olives- castelvestrano- I call them vanilla olives because of the smooth vanilla aftertaste. Olive seems to be female, so Baby is a girl this week. Other good news- after only about a week of needing to eat constantly or feel slightly icky, that passed. I’m still snacking frequently but aside from feeling tired and having an aversion to meat, I’m pretty much my usual self.
I swam almost every day this past week. Short distances but at 8,000 feet I could feel my body working.
Before we boarded today’s flight, I was busy saving 30% on Gap maternity jeans. I’m planning on doing most maternity clothes thru clothing exchanges & second hand stores but I already can’t comfortably button the looser pair of jeans I brought on this trip so I figured I’d have a few options waiting when I arrive home!
7-28

The Santa Fe altitude and heat are rougher than usual for me and I’ve been pretty tired since I arrived Tuesday afternoon.  I felt the best I’ve felt so far after this afternoon’s nap then swim.  It was the perfect combination after more food at lunch time.  I feel as though I’ve been eating constantly because if my blood sugar even begins to drop I start feeling a little queasy.  Not a horrible remedy for a touch of morning sickness (if that’s what this is) other than I actually miss being hungry and feeling like my stomach is empty!  I don’t seem to have any food aversions and the only smell that has bothered me so far was the compost a few nights back.  (Not that that’s unexpected!)  I constantly want more fruits and veggies, which is harder that usual when I’m on the road, but soon we’ll be at the cabin, grocery shopping and cooking all meals.  I miss the comfort of my kitchen and the healthy snacks it holds 🙂

After our first doctor appointment Monday, this pregnancy seems even more real.  We actually saw a tiny, beating heart, and have pictures of a little blob on the screen from two different angles.  I love my doctor- she’s the opposite of alarmist and has a reasonable answer to every (stupid) question I ask.

We are now affectionately referring to Baby as Blueberry.  I think my husband and I are both highly entertained by our code word.  Hope this kid ends up liking blueberries!

7-21

I am getting winded doing the weirdest things.  Strangely enough, swimming doesn’t seem to bother me, but carrying my clothes down the stairs on my way to the laundromat left me breathing heavily!  Today’s trip was supposed to include a mid-wash run, so I dumped the clothes in the washers and took off.  My short run turned into mostly walking because my back was hurting and running felt too difficult.  I’m just not sure how much or little to push myself at this point so I’m erring on the side of caution.  That said, still seeing no hint of morning sickness and exercise possibly contributing to this lack, I’m definitely committed to doing something each day.

Beside not being comfortable in my jeans after about noon each day and needing more support than usual on top, I don’t feel particularly pregnant.  I guess Baby is only the size of a blueberry at this point so I probably won’t notice much for a while.  Last weekend when I was reading over the changes that should be occurring this week and rattling off facts to my husband, he started giving me a hard time about being the most pregnant woman ever.  Later, I told him if he’d listened to me instead of making fun of me, he’d know how our baby was developing.  His response?  “I did listen.  You’re growing a blueberry.”   Very cute.

7-14

I found out Monday that I’m pregnant and it’s all I can do to not tell every person I see, including the woman I sat next to on the plane ride home from Hawaii and the pregnant woman who smiled at me in REI.  I would love to be able to include this in my blog, but since I’m not telling anyone for the first few months, this will suffice.

I’ve scheduled my first doctor’s appointment for a week from Monday and already started flipping through What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  I don’t want to read too much literature because I’m afraid it will put ideas into my head about what could possibly go wrong, and there’s no need for that.  I’m mostly interested in food and exercise for a healthy pregnancy.  I was fascinated to learn (how did I not know this?) that the 40 weeks of my pregnancy actually began on the first day of my last period.  I got two weeks for free and I’m already in the middle of week 5.  This means, if my calculations are correct, my due date is shortly after my own birthday in March.  Wow- that’s pretty soon!

My husband laughed when I first said I’m already getting fat and it must be from eating too much because Baby’s barely the size of an orange seed.  I always feel too full and it turns out, that’s probably from bloating.  Fun stuff already.

I am now eating for two- not in quantity but in nutritional value.  My already- healthy eating habits have improved and I’m being super conscious of omega 3, calcium and protein intake.  I haven’t quite transitioned to eating less, more often.  I still have a mental block against grazing after eating only three meals and not snacking during the cleanse and I was horrified when I read something about eating a snack before bed because I’ve been trying so hard not to eat late a night.  I’ll have to see what the doc says about all of this.  I assume that as long as I’m not feeling icky and can keep food down, I have a little more flexibility with quantity and timing of my meals.

As for exercise, I’m back into easy regular workout routines and I’ve started an upper body routine with very light weights.  Once Baby is born, I’ll be doing plenty of lifting and carrying and basically since I began triathlons 10 years ago, I haven’t had a consistent weight routine.

Must finish lunch and lay down for a few minutes.  Sleep hasn’t been consistent since I constantly need to pee and I’m training myself to sleep on my sides.  My hips get so sore!

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