Friday, December 13, 2013

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Last week I returned to work after a blissful, action packed, 10 weeks of maternity leave.  During my pregnancy, I had a few ideas of what my leave would entail, a few ideas of things I wanted to accomplish, and a few ideas of how I would do things.  Heh.  Looking back now, I see how silly I was.  Well, maybe not silly, but just naive.  After I had Cyprus, something inside me was... turned on.  I don't know how else to explain it.  It changed how I see things, how I do changed me.
I had many grand ideas about keeping on top of work from home, by logging in remotely.  I planned on keeping a clean house and making nice dinners for the hubby most nights.  I planned on sleeping when my baby slept, taking daily walks, and visiting with friends.  I saw myself updating my blog frequently, keeping in touch with friends via e-mail/text, and basically having non-stop weekends like I was used to before baby was born.  Moms, are you laughing yet?  It's even hard to type these "plans" I had in seriousness.
Reality struck pretty much 4 hours after baby was born, and I had at least 15 of my closest friends and family texting me and calling me for updates.  Right then and there I had to choose what was most important.  #1 me, #2 baby.  As soon as we got home from the birth center, I turned my phone off and went to sleep.  I needed rest.  I needed to learn how to take care of this new exciting thing that I was so enamoured with.  But most of all, I knew immediately that I was going to be no good for this baby if I didn't take care of myself first. 
To say I was selfish during my leave is an understatement.  I only did what I wanted to do, and the only thing I wanted to do, was whatever my baby wanted to do.  For the most part. Of course there were appointments (so many appointments!), grocery shopping trips, and general tasks that needed to get done, but 90% of the time, I was taking cues from baby.  Generally, that meant a lot of breastfeeding, cuddling, diaper changing, and resting.  I made a point not to try and put him on any sort of schedule that suited me.  I followed his lead everyday, and everyday was different.  It also meant dropping any ideas I had about checking work e-mails everyday, blogging, and even responding to family/friends.  For someone that likes (needs) routine, this was a change, but sort of nice too.  Just letting my baby be free to nap when he wanted, eat when he wanted, etc. and purposely let everything else go was incredibly freeing.
I'd say after about 3 weeks or so of this type of living, things settled down, and I was slowly able to take on more.  I began meeting up with other new moms, or making dinner, or running some errand (Target, Trader Joes, etc.).  I'd say I chose one "major" thing each day to do.  One thing was plenty!  If I was meeting up with a friend, I needed to make sure I was showered, and dressed, and I needed to make sure that baby was fed, changed, dressed, and diaper bag packed up.  Just adding in one outing a day made the time pass so quickly because of how much effort was involved!  I became a master at in-the-car breastfeedings and changings.  I learned that if I wanted to make a nice dinner, I needed to start it at 10am because I never knew what sort of sleep patterns baby would have throughout the day.  Basically, anything I wanted to do, I needed to get a start on it at least 2 hours earlier than I would if I were alone.  I planned an activity each day, and the weeks started flying by.
By week 8, I was getting a little restless with all my freedom.  I was starting to crave more of a routine again, and was getting a little frustrated that anytime I needed to do something, it took so much effort.  Especially since baby was not really sleeping anymore during the day, I felt I needed to spend more time entertaining him- walks, reading, music time, etc.  I missed having adult conversations and being able to just walk to the fridge and get water or something without having to worry about pissing off a baby.  I was ready to get back to work, get back to a routine, and ready for the next phase of life with baby.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved every second of time I got to spend with baby.  I took full advantage of my days off and got to see everyone I wanted to see, got to do things I always dreamed of doing as someone with endless free time...but alas, without structure I start to go nuts, and that is not healthy for me. If I'm not taking care of myself, I can't be the best mom to my baby, rule #1.
10 weeks was the perfect amount of leave time for me.  I got to just relax and let baby lead the way.  I got to visit with so many friends in town I normally have to struggle to make time for.  We had a lot of family visit.  We mastered baby wearing, stroller walks, trips to the grocery store, mall, and restaurants with baby.  I had a break from work, the gym, and other routine obligations.  I'm glad I was right in my sense that I am not a stay at home mom.  I think it would be very difficult to realize on maternity leave that being at home with baby is the most important thing in the world and dread going back to work. 
Now that I'm back at work getting into the swing of things, it was almost like I was never gone except for the near constant pumping :).  The hubby and I have arranged our schedules so that we are the only ones caring for baby.  I have slowly begun to get back to the gym.  I love my time to myself at work, and I love when I get reunited with my baby after work.  So far we all seem to be handling the new schedule well.  I hope it continues in this way. 
In the next coming weeks, I plan on getting back to tracking my daily food/wokouts here.  I want to track my progress as I feel I'm starting from ground zero back at Crossfit.  I can't lift nearly the weight I was prior (or even when I was) pregnant.  But, that is a post for the future.   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Aftermath Part II

I feel like I need to expand a little more on my previous post, as looking back weeks later it seems a little dark.  My intention was to give a real account, and not sugar coat anything that I was experiencing at the time.  I focused a lot on the difficult realities of recovery, but that is not all there is to the days following birth!
In the days immediately following the birth of Cyprus, my mind would travel through incredible states of euphoria.  It was like nothing I've ever experienced in my whole life.  The sunshine was sunnier.  Everything was clear and beautiful.  I felt so blessed, so happy, and serioulsy believed I was the luckiest person in the world.  I would look at my newborn son, or my husband, or my husband holding my newborn son, and it would bring tears of joy to my eyes. 
Now, if you know me, that's weird.  I'm not a tears of joy type of person.  I'm sure hormones had a lot (all?) to do with it.  The joy and excitement also made waking up in the middle of the night not a big deal.  Everytime he cried to be fed, I would wake up like it was Christmas morning, just to get to hold him and feed him again.  I literally would miss him after 2 hours of sleeping. 
Of course, along with the highest of highs came some pretty intense lows...not lows in the sense of blues or depression, but just frustration and being so incredibly tired.  Those were the times I needed to lean on my husband the most, to relieve me from baby duty.  Just having to change one less diaper, or have someone else to rock him while he was crying was amazing. 
Just as I continued to heal physically, these highs and lows eventually balanced themselves out, and I began to feel like myself again emotionally.  My baby and I reached many silent understandings and soon began to trust each other.  He learned I would give him everything he needs, and in return I learned that he makes my heart whole.  Everyday since he's come into this world, I am so incredibly happy we made the choice to have a child after years of thinking it wasn't for us.  It is SO for us, and by far one of the best things we've done.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Aftermath

During pregnancy, I was fascinated by birth stories.  Over the course of 10 months, I probably read hundreds of birth stories, and re-read ones that I liked the most.  I was mostly interested in tales of unmedicated births, but read plenty of epidural and c-section birth stories as well.  Labor and birth were the big looming unknowns.  It would be how my pregnancy ended, but it was the most mysterious part of the whole process.  I felt the more stories I read, the more scenarios I could come across, somehow, that would give me strength and knowledge to get through the unknown. 
Being on the other side of things now, I can say that I spent a lot of time focusing on an event that was going to play out however it needed to play out, regardless of anything I read.  I wish more people had spent time writing about the day after birth, in addition to their birth stories. 
The day after birth is something that no matter how your birth story went, every woman has to endure.  Whatever pain medication was administered for labor, or after labor for stitches, has worn off.  The oxytocin rush and hormone rush has worn off, and the gravity of what your body has just completed weighs in.  I got plenty of sleep that first night since baby was so tired, and I had been up all night.  I woke up the morning after baby was born and felt like I had been run over by a truck.
I stood up to make my way to the bathroom, and oh, wow.  I could barely walk.  I sat down on the toilet, and that brought back bad memories of laboring and pushing while on the toilet at the birth center.  Luckily, your body just does what it has to do when it needs to do it, so with the aide of a squirt bottle I was able to pee without too much pain.  It dawned on me that at some point, I was going to need to do more than pee, and that thought scared me to death. 
After what seemed like a lifetime in the bathroom adjusting to my new pain, and trying to keep everything clean, I made my way to the couch and realized sitting down was next to impossible.  I found a new use for the boppy pillow.  My husband was amazing during this time.  He did everything for me.  He made sure I was fed, waited on me hand and foot, drew baths for me...changed every single diaper.  I had no idea how hard it would be to try and heal myself and adjust to stranger in my home that needed me so much.  No one ever talks about the after part.  I would go through my labor and birth 100 times again if I never had to deal with the 3 days after.  By day 4, I was feeling immensely better, but I would say it wasn't until day 10 that I really felt like me again. 
Now, 13 days later, nature has pretty much erased all memories of any pain I had, but I wanted to continue to document my story.  One time is enough for me!  Also, for those reading birth stories now, enjoy them for what they are, but don't be afraid of any pain during birth. Birth is a flash in the pan compared to having a newborn in your arms, day after day.  Focus more on how you are going to heal yourself once you are home with a new baby that needs you as much as your body needs you to rest, recover, etc. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cyprus' Birth Story

This is a birth story. It's long, because my labor was long, and it's got some gross details. Consider yourself warned!

Driving home from my 39 week midwife appointment Friday, 9/20, I received an awesome text from a good college friend:
S: "This might be abrupt and to the point, but are you really going to eat the placenta?"
me: "More or less."
S: "Well, which is it? More or less?"
me: "Lol have you been talking to Dalton?"
me: "They put it in pills, so not like a steak."
S: "Like vitamins"
me: "Yes"
S: "So when are you going to pop? Soon?"
me: "Tonight?"

Thursday 9/19 was the big harvest full moon. I caught a glimpse of the moon rise the night before, and didn't want to miss it in its full glory on Thursday. I texted the hubby that morning "walk tonight? Full moon might kick me into labor." "Sure." He wrote back. I got home from work Thursday, and the hubby had made dinner. We ate and hung out watching tv for a bit. My mom called, and I spoke with her, she was calling frequently to see if I was in labor yet, and if she should book her plane ticket up for after the birth. She also liked to keep me updated on the family guesses for birthday. She asked Dave for his bet on the day, and him not being into that sort of thing at all, shrugged his shoulders. I relayed to her that he didn't care. She made him pick a day, so he said "the 22nd." When I hung up with my mom, it was a little after 7pm, and I knew we had to get out walking so we could see the rise from the eastern horizon. We gathered up the dog, and I waddled my way out the door to a beautiful fall evening. It was nearly all the way dark, and as we turned left down the block, we were struck with a huge moon rising. It was amazing. We walked (slowly) in the moonlight for a few blocks before returning home.

When I got home, I got ready for bed and fell asleep fast. I woke up in the middle of the night to go pee, and when I rolled over to get out of bed, I felt a trickle of fluid leaving me. Dismissing it, because, well, for the past 10 months my body has been doing things that I don't recognize, or that aren't usual, so I went pee and returned to bed noting the time (2 am), thinking simply, "if that was my water, I'd be having contractions." I wasn't having any contractions.

I woke up on Friday 9/20 and got ready for work as usual. I still had a "trickly" feeling going on, but again- in pregnancy I don't know what is "normal" and what isn't. I decided against paging my midwife to ask since I had an appointment at 5:00pm later that day anyway, and shot an email to my doula when I got to work. My doula had just sent me a PDF on "labor stages" so I wrote back to her what was going on, and that I had an appointment at 5:00pm, should I page sooner? She said it would be fine to wait as long as I didn't start having regular contractions. At that point, I still had no "signs" of early labor- no show, only a few braxton hicks here and there. I was however starting to believe that my water was broken. I worked a normal day, bounced on my yoga ball, we had catered BBQ at work (my favorite!!!) and on the inkling that I might not be returning on Monday, I made sure to finish up all the last little loose ends and bring home anything I might need.

I left work and drove to my midwife appointment. Traffic was miserable. Fridays are usually bad, but this was exceptional. I arrived a few minutes late to my appointment. I sat down on the couch in the exam room, and said "I think my water might be broken, but I'm not sure." This got the attention of both the midwives in the office, and before I knew it, I was being poked and prodded. The test for amniotic fluid is a little archaic, but pretty awesome too. Basically, they take a sample of the fluid (same way they do a pap smear) and put some of the fluid onto a glass slide. The slide has to dry completely, and then examined under a microscope for "ferning" so it takes about 10 minutes. I asked about the test strips they make, but my midwife said they were really inaccurate.

So, as we waited for the slide to dry, I got my blood pressure taken, pulse taken, and questions about any contractions. We also talked about various scenarios that could take place in the next few hours- days. First off, if it was aminiotic fluid, they give me 3 days to start labor on my own before they have to induce. Since it had already been over half a day since I noticed the fluid, I felt like I was running out of time. I did not want to be induced! Next thing is that my blood pressure was coming back on the high end. My entire pregnancy, things had been good, and now, higher numbers were making my midwife nervous. She sampled my pee for protein and told me warning signs for pre-eclempsia. At that time, the other midwife returned stating it was amniotic fluid, and we were now counting down. They decided to do a non-stress test to check on baby, so I was hooked up to monitors for 20 minutes while they did that. Test came back great. Another shot at taking my BP, and things had improved slightly. My midwife said that I needed to go home and rest, and come back tomorrow (Saturday 9/21) for another non-stress test and BP check, unless I went into labor over night.

I texted a few friends and the hubby about what was going on. I told the hubby to stay at work that night, because nothing was happening yet. I just kept thinking "is this it? Am I going to go into labor soon?" I went to bed at 8pm, somehow I was able to quiet my brain enough to get a restful sleep until I had to wake up to pee. Upon using the rest room, I wiped and was greeted with the notorious "show." I went back to sleep since I still wasn't having contractions, but I knew I was going to be in labor soon. I woke up wide awake at 5:30am, and feeling super rested and energized, I decided to get out of bed. I felt my first contraction at 6am, and began timing them. When I had determined that I was contracting about every 15 minutes, I texted my mom and told her that it was finally an acceptable time to book her flight up. "What's going on?" She wrote back. I responded simply "labor, duh." A little while later, the hubby woke up and I told him what was going on. He made the call into work, and thus began his one week off of work. I showered, got ready, and we headed to the midwife for my 10 am non-stress test and more BP readings.

The hubby and I arrived at the midwives office, and I told her all my good news- contractions had finally began and I was seeing "show". She was excited by this news, took my blood pressure which turned out to be great, and then hooked me up to the non-stress test. Baby's heart beat looked great, and a few of my contractions were showing up on the ticker tape. She watched me through my contractions and said "I'll be seeing you later today." We left her office to get some food in me and rest at home. Immediately upon leaving her office, it felt as though my contractions kicked into over drive. Being in the car on the way home, every bump in the road was cursed. We arrived home around 11:30am, and Dave made breakfast. Almost immediately after eating, my contractions became distracting to the point where I needed Dave to apply counter pressure to my lower back, or squeeze my hips. He was great. It was at that moment I began to get a glimpse of what I was in for, and these were only the 30 second ramp-up contractions. I still had a ways to go before I was allowed to go to the birth center, and even farther before the dreaded "transition."
Working as a team, we were managing the contractions as they came. In between contractions, Dave would be tidying up, or putting together last minute snacks for the birth center. He would drop whatever he was doing and come push on my back when I started to moan. Timing contractions with an iPhone app is a joke. I mean, really? You have to press a button when they start, and then again when they stop, and that's fine if your phone doesn't sleep in between, let alone having the presence of mind to remember to hit start or stop!  At one point I decided I wanted to try a contraction on all fours, leaning over my headboard to see if that was more manageable. I got into bed on my hands and knees, and as a contraction hit, I felt a crazy feeling, then a warm gush. I jumped up yelled "aaahhh" and ran to the bathroom. The contraction must have moved the baby to allow a gush of water and other stuff to come out. I felt like things were progressing, so I had the hubby page the midwife. It was around 1:30p at this time. When she called back, she listened to me go through a contraction, and I told her they were about 3 minutes apart, but only lasting 30 seconds. She suggested I call my Doula over, and labor with her until contractions reached a full minute, with similar spacing.

Hubby called our Doula, and she arrived at the house at 2:30p. It was a beautiful sunny fall day. We had our back doors open, and I was just sitting on the end of the couch, facing the outside with the fresh air and sunshine blowing in. Maria, our Doula is amazing. She brought a TENS unit with her, and immediately put it on my back to help me get through the contractions, and to give Dave a little break. The TENS unit immediately relaxed/distracted me perfectly through contractions. For the next 3 hours, I worked through contractions with the hubby, and guidance from Maria. She was timing contractions, and when they got to be about 45 seconds long, 3 minutes apart, we paged the midwife to see if we could head to the birth center. The only thing I wanted to do was jump into the giant tub and soak.

The three of us (Maria, hubby, and myself) arrived at the birth center before my midwife. Since the birth center is unstaffed, we had no way of getting inside.   I couldn't stand sitting in the car, contractions were sucking big time at this point- they were all consuming.   I was slowly slipping into my own world just to cope and keep a rhythym.   After about 20 minutes in the parking lot (seemed MUCH longer) I had to use the restroom so bad.   By some crazy miracle, an intern for the birth center showed up to get some stuff done, and was able to let us in. My only focus was on restroom. She asked me what birthing suite I wanted, and I somehow coherently (but probably not nicely) told her to ask the hubby to pick. Once I emerged from the bathroom, I was greeted to the site of my midwife and the hubby leading us to what would be our birth suite for the next 13 hours.

The room was the size of a large bedroom. It was decorated somewhat modern, with beige walls, a king size platform bed, low couches, and lots of great light. I saw the tub, and asked "can I get in?" "Let's get you checked out first, while we fill the tub" my midwife said. I laid on the bed and she was happy to find that I was 6cm and proclaimed that my cervix was amazing. I guess that meant it was doing whatever it was supposed to be doing. Once she was done, I practically ripped off the rest of my clothes (all modesty was gone at this point, and if you know me, that says A LOT) and dove head first into the tub. OMG- it was amazing. Exactly what I hoped it would be. I got comfortable, and let the contractions come as they pleased. I didn't fight anything and slipped into my head. I knew I was making crazy moaning noises, these served a few purposes for me- allowed me to announce when I was having a contraction, distracted me with the sounds, kept a rhythym going, and because I didn't know what else to do. Maria and the hubby sat by my side at the edge of the tub for hours while I went through transition. Transition was nothing at all what I thought it would be like. I expected to get sick like many women do. I expected to have vocalizations of not being able to do it. Instead, I was entirely inside myself. Unaware of time, or anything outside of my body. I do remember after about 3 hours of me being in the tub, my midwife wanting to check to see if I was fully dialated yet. She was able to check me in the tub, and found that I was 9.5cm. This surprised her because she hadn't seen me make any pushing moves/sounds. She said I was too relaxed, and that I would need to try a new position to dialate the rest of the way and start pushing. I believe it was around 10pm at this point. 

Here is where things got nuts. I got out of the tub and onto a birth stool. I did not like the birth stool like I thought I would. It was not relaxing for me, and I felt like it would hinder the baby from coming out. While on the birth stool, they did a baby heart rate check with the doppler and found that the heart rate was a little low for what they liked. They asked me to move to the bed and lay on my side. I got up and layed on the bed. The midwife checked me again and found that my cervix had vanished, it was time to push. Except, I wasn't feeling pushy.  At all.  She suggested on the next contraction, I direct my push towards where she was putting pressure inside me. I did that, and was met with a lot of praise. "Excellent, you just moved your baby down a bunch. We need to keep this up." The assisting midwife held my right leg and bent it at the hip as much as it would go, and my Doula had the left side. The hubby was laying on the bed next to me feeding me water between pushes, and keeping a wet wash cloth on my forehead. I was sweating like crazy. I hated the pushing. Once again, something that surprised me about this experience. I thought I would love pushing, as I could feel the progress and something different than contractions. This was not the case. Mostly because I was under the impression that at some point my body would just take over, and do its thing. Rather, I had to initiate every push, and even though they were incredibly effective, I was laying down and did not have the aid of gravity to secure my progress. Every baby heart rate check was good, so they really wanted me to stay on my side. My legs were restless, this was not how I wanted to be pushing! One of my main reasons for choosing midwife care is because I wanted to be mobile in labor. I wanted to stand, squat, be on all fours, whatever felt best. I finally worked up the energy to leave my head and ask if I could move positions. They suggested I get on all fours and hang onto the headboard. I had a few pushes in that position, and again, I was met with a dropping heart rate, and pushes that weren't as effective, defying gravity. I heard mumblings of "maybe short cord?" and "contractions are not long enough".  I caught a glimpse of the clock and realize Saturday had come and gone, it was now Sunday 9/22. 
I just focused on the sweating, and the annoyance from every 15 minute BP checks, and every 10 min baby heart rate checks. I was exhausted and just wanted my body to take over. This went on for 6 hours. The hubby was in and out of sleep while I was struggling in my head to remember why I thought this would be a good idea. It wasn't painful, it was just mentally exhausting. I kept hearing they could see the baby's head and that I was so close. There finally reached a time when the baby's head was very low and visible at all times, the midwife said to me "you've been pushing for 6 hours. You need to get this baby out, or we need to transfer to a hospital." I could feel a baby coming out of my vagina. There was no way I was moving anywhere. The midwife suggested we move back to the birth stool to use gravity to get the baby to crown, and ultimately, out. The midwife informed me that once the head was out, I might have problems with the shoulders, and if that was the case, they would move me to all fours again to get the shoulders out (Gaskin manuever). That nearly destroyed my spirit. Since the baby took/was taking so long to descend, I had plenty of time to stretch out and get used to each new phase of pain. The body is an amazing thing. My midwife commented that she would be very surprised if I tore at all. That made me feel good. I moved to the birth stool again, and Dave was behind me supporting me so I could lean back and hold onto his legs. Things moved very quickly once on the birth stool.

I kept feeling more and more burning/stretching to the point where I kept thinking "how is this baby not crowning yet?!" Finally I heard my midwife announce his crown, and then not very much later, his head was out. I thought there would be massive relief after the head, but it was only slightly better. The next thing I knew, the entire birth team was instructing me to push like mad, don't stop, keep with it...and then I felt the biggest relief/rush of my life. I knew exactly what had just happened, and I looked down to see a mix of blue baby, red blood, A LOT of blood, and big testicles hanging out. "Its a booooyyyy" I exclaimed. I felt the hubby relax and begin to cry with raw emotion over the whole experience. I'm sure some of the tears were pure joy for a baby boy. He really wanted a boy (what guy doesn't?). I was on cloud nine. I immediately stood up and made my way to the bed where I laid down and baby boy was handed to me. He had the biggest cone head I'd ever seen, but his eyes were wide open looking at me. He was warm and the softest thing I'd ever felt. He smelled incredible- better than puppy paws, and was seriously amazing, all encompassing, distracting, and I couldn't stop staring at him. I did it! I thought. I really did it. I can't believe I just did it. With the hubby laying next to me, we spent the next 20 minutes fawning over our new baby, trying to decide what to name him, counting his fingers and toes, and just in total bliss. The midwives commented on what a big baby he was.  I had no concept of that, I just knew I loved him.  They were guessing at least 9 lbs.  I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I was. How much I love my husband, and this new little thing that I just met. I mean, everyone says their babies are perfect immediately upon birth, but really, how can that be true?  It is. Some evolutionary shit or something, but it's true.

I still had some work to do, I needed to deliver the placenta, and get baby boy to latch on. I was a little nervous about the placenta, because I could already feel things swelling up, and all my pushing muscles were so exhausted.   I was also informed that I would need a few stitches because of the quickness he came out once I was on the birth stool.  My midwife instructed me that when I felt a cramp, to give just a slight push. She said "you'll love it, don't worry." I felt a twinge in my uterus and every so slightly pushed. Next came the second best feeling of relief I'd felt that day. Out came a giant slimy placenta and tons more fluid. It felt really similar to when I was home and had that random gush during a contraction. My midwife was right. Next, Maria worked with me to get baby boy to latch on. The hubby and I were still working on names.
With baby boy latched on and sucking away, we went over the list of names on the hubby's iPod.  Jacob?  The hubby said, "he looks like a Jacob?"  I liked the name, but wasn't totally sold on it.  Then he listed off Cyprus.  "Oh, I like that, can you look up the meaning real quick?"  The hubby did, but I already knew that was his name.  I had also told the hubby that if we had a boy, I wanted his middle name to be a tribute to my dad's brother, Theodore.  So there we had it.  Cyprus Theodore.  The hubby was busy making the text announcements to friends and family while the worst part of labor began for me- the stitch up.  Yowww.  Getting lidocaine shots in your hooha after just delivering a large baby is not the best thing.  Further more, getting stitched up for what seems like an eternity is not cool either.  Eventually the lidocaine kicked in and things were better, but man, that was enough for me to decide I'll only be doing this once!  The only thing I could think about next was getting cleaned up.  My midwife suggested I get back into the bath, and take Cyprus with me.  Yes!  Best idea ever. Taking our first bath together and getting cleaned up was yet another experience I will never forget.  Cyprus loved the bath, and I loved getting all the birth goo washed away.  I couldn't believe how great I felt.  Except starving.  I was sooooo hungry.  I just wanted to get home with my family, eat something, and go to sleep. 
Cyprus still needed to go through his newborn evaluation, get his vitamin K shot, get weighed, measured, etc.  He weighed in at 9lbs, 9oz (holy crap!  My first birth was a 9.5lb baby?!?!  Guess they were right all along) and measured an impressive 22 inches.  The hubby was beaming and so proud the whole time.  He got Cyprus dressed up in going home clothes, we finished everything up with the midwife, and set to head out.  We struggled a little getting him into the carseat, we should have brought the manual.  Ha, dad figured it out like a champ after a few minutes.  Away we went, 4 hours after Cyprus hit the floor we were on our way home.  I got everything I wanted out of my birth.  Every. Single. Thing. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Story of MY Birth

Throughout my life, my mom has frequently shared the story of my birth with me.  It's a story I never get tired of hearing, and each time she recounts it, I learn a new detail.  I think the reason why I like hearing it so much is because of the way my mom tells the story, so proud, so vivid, so clear, like the whole thing happened days ago instead of the 10, 15, 17, 21, 26, 28, 31, or 33 years later she was sharing the events of the night. 
My mom and dad lived in Mystic, CT with my 7.5 year old sister.  My mom was in the process of getting her MBA attending night classes, and my dad worked nights at a lab (pfizer maybe?).  It was a Wednesday night, and my mom was in class when she started paying attention to her contractions.  She timed them in her notebook, and after deciding they were real, left during the class break.  She went home and found things to distract her, like watering the garden until deciding it was the real deal.  Since my dad was at work, thinking she still had plenty of time, she called my grandpa to drive her to the hospital.  They drove to Westerly, RI, and showed up at the hospital around 10pm or so.  A nurse checked her out, and decided that I still had a lot of time before making my appearance, so they urged my mom to go back home and rest.  My mom declined, and stated that she was pretty sure I was on my way.  Soon.  In the time it took for the nurse to track down the doctor in the hospital, and get back to my mom, things had REALLY progressed.  When the nurse returned to my mom's room 30 or so minutes later, the nurse gasped and told her to "stop what she was doing."  (As if a woman in labor can stop things)  Anyway, the doctor came flying into the room minutes later and out I came, at 11:15pm
No time for pain killers my mom reminds me every time.  I'm fuzzy on the details about when my dad showed up, but I think it was pretty close to after I was born.  I'm not sure if my sister was brought to the hospital that night, or if she was with my grandma until the morning.  I do know that my sister gave me my name, and I found out years later that my name and Rhode Islands' state flower are the same.  I'm not sure if my sister knew that, or if it had any part in my name, but what a pretty cool coincidence anyway. 
When I hear this story, I hear strength in my mom's voice.  Strength for knowing her body enough to refuse to go home.  Strength for having a drug free birth.  Strength for being 9+ months pregnant and in school.  It has always been an inspiring story to me, and how could I not love a story in which I'm the star?! 
I look forward to sharing the story of my childs birthday repeatedly, however the story chooses to play out. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saying Good-bye

The other night we had our second meeting with our birth doula, and it was great.  I think hiring a doula was one of the best decisions we've made throughout this process.  I expressed to her my end of pregnancy thoughts, and she mentioned that it is natural to still feel a disconnect between growing a baby (being pregnant) and actually having a baby (labor/birth/afterbirth).  I decided in order to move forward, I need to make peace with my pregnancy and say goodbye.
As I've mentioned numerous times, I've enjoyed pregnancy immensely.  I had no idea what to expect, and this being my first time, I had nothing to compare this to.  Of course I had ideas of how I wanted certain things to go- like how I wanted to keep my eating Paleo, continue to crossfit until the end, work up until the end, wear cute maternity clothes, and pretty much lead a normal life while growing a life.  This experience surpassed any wishes I held. 
Looking back, on my 38 weeks I can state the following truths:
- My morning sickness was short-lived and very manageable despite that one time I puked in the streets of downtown Seattle...
- Exercising (specifically Crossfitting) made me feel great
- A body pillow is the most amazing thing
- No insomnia issues
- It is possible to look somewhat cute/professional, and be comfortable in your clothes
- There was no time when I felt restricted because of my pregnancy.  I traveled a lot in my 3rd trimester, and even flew on an airplane 35 weeks pregnant. 
- Being pregnant is mood lifting for me
- Ankle swelling is/has been minimal
- Pro-biotics are the key to heartburn minimization
- My nails are awesome
- clear skin
There were a few things that I was sort of hoping for in pregnancy, but I'm not losing any sleep over not experiencing:
- My belly button never popped out- it's not even close
- No linea nigra- I think they are so beautiful
- Gain no more than 20 lbs (last check I was at 28lbs gained)
I'm so happy to end this pregnancy on a high note.  I had a long laundry list of things (both pregnancy and non-pregnancy related) that I wanted to accomplish before the baby came, and the list has been completed.  Everything is falling into place to allow for the next phase- baby. 
Pregnant self- I bid you adieu.  Thank you for all the great memories and feelings these past 9 months.  Thank you for allowing me to rest, exercise, work, and lead a very normal life.  Thank you for allowing me to become closer to people, for all the new knowledge I've gained, and for proving to me that random acts of kindness do exist.  Thank you for showing me once again, that my body is amazing by allowing me to participate in part of one of the oldest female rituals and rites of passage.  It is an experience I hope to never take for granted, and to continue to use in the future to draw strength from when needed.  Pregnant self, you have been amazing, and in the coming weeks whenever you choose to leave, I support you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Pumpkin, Placenta Encapsulation, and Pedrodos

Seems fitting that fall is just around the corner, and at nearly 38 weeks pregnant, I have a pumpkin in my belly.  A very, very, large pumpkin.  I looked at myself in the mirror today and laughed.  My stomach is so ridiculous.  I'm still not feeling "laborish" yet.  Of course, I have no idea what that might feel like, but I imagine discomfort?  Nope, not really.  I have occasional pelvis aches once I stand up from sitting, but once I get moving and/or pee I feel fine.  Bad sleep?  Nope, been sleeping fairly well, usually only wake once to pee.  Frequent Braxton Hicks?  I don't think 1 or so contractions a day is frequent.  So, yeah, I feel like this baby is going to be in for the long haul. 
Meanwhile, I've made good progress towards getting mentally ready for baby by completing items on my "To Do Before Baby" list.  I still need to find a Pediatrician, we are shopping for a second car, and I should probably freeze more dinner stuff.  Oh, and I need to make sure I have my cabinet stocked with the snacks to munch on in labor- applesauce, popsicles, lara bars, apples and almond butter, maybe a sweet potato?  Trying to think of things that are easy, comforting, and not too big of a load to my digestive system.  I also want to bring along some sort of amazing post- birth meal to share with everyone- doula, midwife, etc.  I'm having a hard time thinking of what that could be.  Placenta and onions?  Ha ha. 
Speaking of placenta, I have made the decision to have my placenta encapsulated for my post-partum consumption.  Now, I know the evidence to support eating ones placenta is not solid.  However, the way I see it, if it can't hurt, then why not?  I mean, its sort of like believing in Heaven.  You do good things your whole life in the hopes you make it into Heaven, when the evidence of Heaven there any?  But, either way you win.  You either lead a good moral life with the notion of going to Heaven, or you actually get to go to Heaven!  Same with placenta eating.  Either it does nothing except give you a placebo effect, or it does amazing things like increase your milk supply, help with mood swings, and makes for a faster recovery.  So at worst I'll only think something is happening, and at best, something really will be happening.  Sounds like a fair risk to me. 
We still don't have names picked out yet.  I never thought naming a kid would be so hard, but it is!  I think we may have settled on a girl name, but so far I haven't heard any boy names that are "the one".  I suppose I'm too picky.  It can't be too plain, or too weird, or too popular.  It can't be one of those crazily spelled names, or the name of someone I know in my regular group of friends, and maybe even a few layers out from there- friends of friends.  So, I think effectively, I've ruled out every boy name on earth.  Naming our dog was so easy.  I just looked at him, and he was "Pedro" I've tried to sell the husband on "Pedrodos" but I'm meeting resistance. 
So, yes, I've entered the in-between time, or zwischen as the Germans have so aptly named it.  I'm waiting.  I'm preparing.  I'm enjoying my last few weeks to myself and with my husband.  I'm ready to say good-bye to this belly and welcome a newborn to the family.  My thoughts are comprised of "when" this thing is going to happen.  It is time for me to accept that I've done everything I can to prepare, and let what will be, be.  I'm still working, and plan to continue coming into the office until I go into labor.  It's a good way for me to keep distracted and busy.  Also, like I mentioned in my last post, I plan to spend my down time knitting.  The repetitive motion is relaxing, and I've always found it so nice to be able to sit on the couch watching tv and actually create something! 
And for those curious folk- here is me yesterday in all my gigantic baby glory:

Friday, August 30, 2013

9 Months....

Here we are, the last week of August, Labor Day holiday around the corner.  I expected to be rather uncomfortable at this point in my pregnancy, but really, I'm not.  I don't feel particularly achy or so ready to give birth as I feel so many people claim near the end.  Fatigue has returned for sure.  I'm slow moving, waddling, and my belly juts out in a ridiculous fashion in front of me.  It's a struggle to motivate to get to the gym.  I feel great when I'm there, but getting there is so hard.  Also, its been SO HUMID.  I can't stop sweating or being hot for the life of me.  It's so strange.  Normally I'm cold all the time. This week marks the start of weekly mid-wife appointments.  The count down has begun, that is for sure. 
We had our first official doula meeting last Thursday, and that was amazing.  How could it not be?  I got a foot massage, back massage, and in general the whole appointment was about finding ways to make me relax and then having my husband and doula practice those on me.  It was heavenly.  We discussed my wishes for birth, both in a birth center and in a hospital setting.  I also need to make sure my husband is well informed on what I want because I may not be in the best mindset to be making clear decisions. 
This week is all about getting the little things crossed off my list- finding a pediatrician, packing my birth suitcase, making sure we have labor friendly snacks in the house to take with us, getting a diaper bag, getting a nursing bra, installing the car seat, and finishing a few things in the baby room.  Really it's not that much to do!  Once I get all these little details out of the way, I plan on getting some yarn and spending the rest of the wait knitting cute hats.  Knitting is distracting, relaxing, and productive.  I feel like it would be a good thing for the last weeks of me time.   
I had a nice follow up discussion with my midwife regarding my giganto baby.  She was so blase this time!  It was great, and exactly how I needed her to be.  I think the last appointment was just more of a cover her a** sort of thing- probably required by the state. 
This past week also brought some major ups and downs with other areas of my life, and I think slowly everything is starting to fall into place for me to be relaxed and focused on having a baby and taking care of a baby.  I'm grateful to have wonderful family and friends to support me, and most of all, my husband.  He is such a big help and more often than not, my biggest fan.  Take for example last night.  It was 8pm, and I NEEDED to get the baby room finished.   As we were sprawled out on the tile floor in the baby room, it was 67 degrees and like 200% humidty, we assembled a twin bed that came in the mail from Amazon with 300 steps like a team.  There was no place I would have rather been, and it washed my week of disappointment away. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


About 4 weeks ago, at one of my routine midwife appointments, my midwife started hinting around about me having a large baby.  She said measuring fundal height on "larger" individuals isn't very accurate, and therefore they like to obtain other data.  She went on to say that she would like me to get an ultrasound at 31 weeks, and another at 36 weeks.  This annoyed me.  I didn't plan on any ultrasounds past 20 weeks, and its been shown numerous times that ultrasounds that late in pregnancy are not accurate for determining size.  So, why was I being ordered an ultrasound?!
I dutifully scheduled my 31 week u/s, and during the u/s found out that according to their measurements, baby was measuring 2 weeks ahead, and in the 95% percentile.  Ok.  So?  If, (and that's a big if) the measurement was accurate, there could still be several factors involved.  First, my husband is a 7 foot tall freak of genetic nature.  Second, maybe my due date is off.  But, most likely, the ultrasound is off. 
At my next midwife appointment last week where we discussed the results of the u/s, my midwife still seemed to think the size of my baby is a big deal.  She told me she was obligated to discuss C-section and offer me one if that's the route I wanted to take (really?  This discussion at 34 weeks?  Before I'd even tried?)  She felt around my stomach and thought at 34 weeks my baby was already 7lbs.  WHAT?!  I know she is a professional and all, and I've never been pregnant before, but I was like "there is no way my baby is 7lbs yet."  Sure, my belly has reached epic proportions.  I'm 34 (now 35) weeks pregnant!  I could give birth anywhere in the next 2-5 weeks.  Of course I'm huge.  So she had me schedule a 36 week u/s.  I left the appointment slightly irritated. 
Why, why, why, would anyone in the OB/midwife field tell a woman that they think she is having a huge baby.  I mean, even if that were true, and there was a way to know exactly for sure how big a baby is in-utero (there isn't by they way, but let's pretend) that is not something you should put into a mom to be's head.  Let her body do what it's going to do.  Just the idea that a woman is home to a "larger" baby might make the difference in labor between giving it a good try and having an unecessary C-section.  (disclaimer- there is nothing wrong with an individual choosing a c-section.  What I have a problem with is the high number of uneccesary c-sections that are performed in the U.S.  Personally, I'd like to use the opening I have, and not create any new ones with major surgery. That's just me, I definitely don't look down on people that have had them, just the doctors who are too quick to choose that route.  K?)
The whole reason why I was so set on getting care from a midwife is because I never wanted to be scared into things that had no basis.  I didn't want to get talked into induction if I went past 40 weeks.  I didn't want to get talked into excessive testing.  And I certainly didn't want to get talked into a C-section due to "suspected large baby."  So I peppered my midwife with questions: "will there be a time in labor when its obvious my baby is too big for my frame?"  Yes.  "if I'm eating too many calories for my needs, does that mean the baby packs on extra weight as well?"  No.  "aren't late ultrasounds notoriously inaccurate at predicting size?"  Yes.  "I could just deliver earlier, right?"  Yes.   
It was like an exercise in futility.  What was the big "worry?"  If there is no real way to tell exactly how big my baby is until it comes out and is placed on a scale, WHY ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THIS?  Just to give me something to stress about for the next 4 weeks?  Just to give my insurance something extra to bill?  True macrosomia (baby larger than 8lbs 13oz) isn't diagnosed until after a baby is born.  It also only affects about 9% of babies. 
My plan is to continue doing what I'm doing and let my body do what it is going to do.  I trust my body.  I HAVE to trust my body in order to ensure nothing happens to it that I don't want or don't need- this is true during pregnancy and during non-pregnancy.  I just have to wait and see what is in store for me (us). 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8 months...

Somehow I skipped my "7 months..." pregnant post.  Last month flew by faster than any month ever has in my life.  I did have a few entries last month, so those will have to suffice as my data for month seven.  Each week last month was filled with appointments, work travel, social obligations, emergency repairs to a condo that I may own for maybe one more month (yeah, my luck), and my regular life stuff- job, gym, house upkeep, etc.  I was hoping for a little reprieve this month, but seeing as it is already the 8th, and I haven't caught my breath yet, I don't see that happening. 
In some ways the non-stop activity is nice, it's bringing me closer and closer to my due date without me having time to think about that, or stress about it, but at the same time, it's bringing me closer to my due date without me having time to think!  There isn't too much left to do in terms of getting ready for baby.  I have a short list on my iPhone of things to do before baby.  Someone once told me to make sure I don't complete that list until I'm really ready, because its like your body knows once the last item is crossed off. 
For the most part I'm still feeling good.  I've graduated to sitting more hours at work, and on a yoga ball.  Luckily for me, my desk adjusts between sitting and standing positions, so I can have some variety in the day.  I get tired of sitting.  I get tired of standing.  I'm still sleeping ok, but rolling over in the night is a task!  For whatever reason, that is the most painful time for me, and dread rolling over to my other side, but when I'm on one side for too long, my hip gets achy.  I've severely cut back on the amount of food I eat at dinner, and sometimes if my lunch was big enough skip dinner altogether because this makes for a more comfortable night.  The baby seems to prefer me sleeping on my left side versus my right.  This baby is already trying to control me!
As far as dressing the bump goes, I think this sums it up well:
Sorry if it doesn't link, but its worth the copy and paste.  Whoever wrote that has clearly been following my pregnancy dressing to the T.  I'm still delusional thinking everything will return to somewhat normal asap post-baby...I fully know this is not the case- don't burst my bubble. 
Last night the hubby and I took a 'Newborn Care' class.  I believe about 20 minutes into the class when I looked over at the hubby craddling a plastic doll, sh*t got real.  Yes, I know I'm pregnant.  Yes, I know being pregnant eventually means I will have a baby.  But, ever since finding out, I've been really struggling with the reality that is a baby when this is all over.  Sure, we've got the crib, the stroller, the clothes, etc.  But somehow I haven't mentally connected that to "baby" yet.  I have no idea what it's going to be like to have to hold something all the time, think about something all the time, be careful with something all the time, and not get any sleep in the process.  I sort of got a glimpse of that in class last night, just having to hold a doll for an hour (I think at one point I was holding it upside down by one leg, and Dave gave me a look, so I returned to holding it like it was alive).  Then hearing about SIDS, infant bathing (watch out for cord stump? What?), swaddling, diapering, all became very real.  We are going to have a baby.   
Coming up on Saturday is 'Labor' class, I'm sure that will also bring about more realities.  It does feel good to be slowly checking these items off, even if I never end up using any labor techniques presented in the class, or suggestions from the newborn class.  They create the illusion of doing SOMETHING to prepare.  Feeling like I'm doing something to prepare for something that is unpreparble for gives me slight peace of mind?
It is so hard to believe that in just 4 short, activity filled weeks (more work travel, appointments, social stuff, etc.) I will be full term.  I'm a little cautious towards giving my due date any recognition, because 5% of women deliver on their due date.  Basically, now I have anywhere from 4-8 weeks until I could possibly give birth (at full term).  That's a helluva window.  Baby will come when baby is ready! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

All Good Things...

Recently it has dawned on, dawned is not the right word...recently it has been freaking me out that this pregnancy is going to come to an end soon.  I never thought I would like being pregnant.  I just assumed it would be months of sickness, followed by months of getting larger, and ending with me being really awkward and uncomfortable until 'show time.'  I never gave much thought to the whole 'after' part of being pregnant, the part where you are in charge of an entire human and its well being.  Now that I realize the 'after' part is coming very quickly, I also realize that means my pregnancy is coming to an end, and I don't want it to! 
My wardrobe is so comfortable, I wear nothing but maxi-dresses, leggings, and jeans that have no buttons or zippers.  Sweets currently have no pull on me.  Fruit is like the best thing in the world.  I wake up smiling everyday.  I am so entertained by the little kicks and bumps inside my stomach, and even more entertained now that I can see them on the outside too.  Food tastes so good.  I've been able to keep up my regular gym/activity schedule with few modifications.  Strangers smile at me.  People are nicer to me in general.  I don't feel weird going to bed at 8:30p everynight.  My dreams are amazing.  My nails are the longest and strongest they've ever been.  My skin is clear and glowy.  I haven't had a need for a femine product in 7 months.  People share more information with me, and it has brought me closer to many friends.
I suppose there are a few things I miss- I haven't set foot into Banana Republic in 7 months.  I saw a girl on the street yesterday in a super cute outfit, and missed regular shopping.  Instead of missing my collarbone, I miss being able to else.  I also miss striving for more in my workouts, currently I'm just trying to maintain my fitness.  I miss having goals, like getting a pull-up!  Fitness goals are hold for a little bit.   
All in all, that's a pretty short list of things to miss about non-pregnancy, however, my gym and my activities at the gym are so important to me, so I really am excited to get back to those in an uninhibited way.  I'm pretty confident that my desire to remain pregnant stems from fears I have about raising a little one.  Sure, I can joke about things that bother me as I did in yesterday's post, but in reality, a baby is so scary to me.
I've never changed a diaper.  I was never big on babysitting.  I'm the youngest.  Only recently (in the past 2 years) I've held a kid or two that can't hold its own head up.  What am I going to do when I have one of my own?!  I don't believe that it is all instinct.  There has to be some learning curve.  I'm sure I'll mess up, a lot.  So, yeah, you can say I'm freaking out.  However, I'm very lucky to have a few close friends that have taken this trip before me, and they have been an immense help.  They have been very open with their stories and lessons learned, and I know they will help me through any challenges I face. 
Enough of that for now.  I'm going to continue to rest stuff on my belly-shelf, feel like a goddess in my maxi dress, and smile at nothing.  Being pregnant is great. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heightened Awareness

Ever since becoming pregnant, I see babies and pregnant ladies everywhere.  Not sure if there were always this many floating around, or if all of a sudden they came out of the woodwork once I announced my pregnancy?  Yes.  That seems likely. 
I've also been noticing parents in public and parent friends of mine, as far as how they interact and react to their children.  I see a lot of what I DO NOT want to do.  For example:
- Being completely engrossed in my cell phone while my child plays/wants attention from me
- Giving my child my cell phone (or their own?!) to keep busy while adults finish dinner at a restaurant
- Try to reason with them when they are having a fit
- Allowing them to throw a fit in a public place for longer than it takes to remove them from said place (Target, grocery store, restaurant, etc.) 
- Constantly comparing my kid to other kids as if my kid was the first ever to poop, cry, smile, walk, whatever
- Say one thing, do another
- Become completely consumed with my child so that I am incapable of focusing on or doing anything else, and unaware of how stressful and suffocating that must be for the kid
Of course, I have also seen many things other parents do that I absolutely want to do:
- Take walks as a family
- Wear baby on either parent as often as needed
- Breastfeed whenever needed (including in public, with appropriate cover up)
- Say no to my kid
- Be relaxed about my childs wellbeing and allow others to hold him/her, feed him/her, etc. 
- Be thankful for any help I get with my childs care, and not critique it
- Take everything as it comes, and try to not get hung up on preconceived ideas of child rearing if they don't work for us
- Make time for ME
- Make time for me and husband
- Remember that not everyone feels the same way about my kid as I do (some people don't like kids)
- Laugh together as often as possible
- Remember that growth and struggle for baby is growth for mama
I know it's easy to type this stuff out now without a zillion hormones raging through my body, or the feelings of unending love for my child have kicked in.  My intent is to get this stuff out there, so I can come back in a few months an remind myself of my pre-child thoughts.  Of course I know many of my "do nots" I could end up doing, as I discover what exactly leads to doing those things. 
My biggest hope for us as parents is that we can be easy going and not stressed out over every little thing.  I know, easier said than done, especially for first time parents.  I also want to remind myself that babies are very resilient, moms are very resilient, and everything will work out.  It always does. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The GD test

Monday marked a big milestone in my pregnancy, 28 weeks, and coincidentally my 3-hour glucose tolerance test.  I had a lot of mixed feelings about this test, some of them stemming from my own fears and others from the word on the street of high rates of false positives, test inaccuracy, etc. 
Being overweight the majority of my life, these types of tests tend to freak me out.  I mean, if you look at me, I might seem like a likely candidate for someone with pre-diabetes.  Certainly now pregnant, I might look like a case of gestational diabetes (GD) waiting to happen.  I'm nearly positive that is why my midwife chose to skip the 1-hour screening test altogether and just send me in for the 3-hour test.  "That way, we will know.  You'll either have it, or you won't."  Talk about pressure! 
The test consists of arriving at the lab/blood draw clinic after being fasted for 8-10 hours. My blood was drawn to test my fasting glucose level, and then I was given a oh, so syrupy sweet giant bottle (12oz? 14oz?) of lemon-lime flavored "drink" to consume in 5 minutes.  I'm a slow drinker to begin with, and this stuff was like sludge going down my throat.  It might have been better over ice, or if I could sip water in between.  I got it down, and then I had to wait an hour before my next blood draw.  Immediately I sucked down water and soon enough my stomach was pretty acidy feeling with all the additional fluids.  My blood was drawn again, and then I had another hour to wait before my last blood draw.  During this hour I drank water and paced up and down the halls of the office because I was bored and the magazine selection sucked.  After my last blood draw I raced out of the office and immediately downed some toasted coconut before arriving at my office and eating some chicken sausages.  Next up, waiting for the results. 
So, the few issues I have with the test are that for me, its a pretty unreal situation.  As far as, I can't think of a time where I would just willing ingest 75g of straight glucose in 5 minutes.  I mentioned this to the lady taking my blood, and her response?  "Oh, its really not that hard to do, its like eating 2 candy bars, one after the other."  Me- blank stare.  Clearly this was not the right audience for a discussion about the flaws of the test.  Also, even if one was to ingest 2 candy bars in a row, there is other stuff in the bars that slows the absorption of sugar, and just being in food rather than liquid form, your body metabloizes it differently.  So, back to my original statement, its a pretty unreal situation.  I was also worried about possible artificial ingredients in the drink, as I had seen some were bright orange colored or red colored.  Luckily, I didn't get a choice, but my lemon-lime drink was clear. 
Once the test was over, I just quit thinking about it.  I sort of made peace inside my head by thinking of all the things I do right in my current lifestyle.  I lift weights.  Heavy weights.  A lot.  I walk a lot.  I don't eat a standard american diet filled with easy carbohydrates and processed crap.  I consume tons of healthy fats (fermented cod liver oil =gold!) and I can go relatively long periods of time between eating without wanting to rip someones head off.  Deep down, it was settled for me.  I was not going to have a positive result, despite always having carried around a few-many extra pounds. 
The day following the test I was traveling for work and received a voicemail from my midwives office when I returned to cell service.  "Just letting you know the results of your glucose test- your blood sugars look great, you don't have GD.  Also, your iron levels look great, see you in 2 weeks for your scheduled appointment."  As much as I knew deep down I wasn't going to have it, I was SO RELIEVED because there is always that "what if?" factor.  As my good friend told me, I essentially have a parasite living in me.  A parasite that is changing my body, my hormones, and taking whatever it wants from me.  My parasite could alter stuff enough to kick me into GD territory, but luckily that doesn't appear to be the case.  Bring on the candy bars!  (kidding)
Now I'm officially in my 3rd trimester.  I can't beleive in 2ish months our family of 2 will become 3.  My thoughts now settle around having a healthy baby, and not being crazy parents.  Separate post to follow regarding crazy parents- what is a crazy parent, what makes parents crazy, things I hope to avoid, etc.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

6 months...

I know everyone says it, but I can't believe how fast pregnancy goes by.  Ten months sounds so long, and it is long...but it still goes by lightning fast.  I've been pregnant since January.  Well, December technically, but I didn't know till January.  So yeah, I've put in the time.  I have roughly 3 months to go.  Maybe 3.5 if in true fashion of a first child, it shows up late. 
According to my handy iPhone app, my fetus is the size of a hot house cucumber- 14 inches?  And about 2 lbs.  So crazy to think something that size is inside of me now.  I regularly forget that I'm pregnant and have this big round belly in front of me.  Then I see myself in the mirror or in a store window, and remember.  Or I feel some little kick or punch and I remember.  All in all, I think it's a pretty good sign to have moments where I don't feel pregnant.  Like I've mentioned before, I feel really good.  Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling so good because I know that is not the experience of every woman.  I know I still have time for things to take a drastic turn, and I could be faced with a few months of discomfort, but for now, I am focused on enjoying myself!
I insist on making it to as many of my noon time CrossFit classes as possible.  I'm averaging 3 times a week instead of my usual 4 days, mostly due to increased work duties, not because of pregnancy.  The workouts I feel the best after are the ones where we lift heavy weights and work up a sweat versus what people might consider traditional cardio such as running or the elliptical.  I've noticed that if I lift heavy enough weights fast enough, it IS cardio!  Just last week, I even hit a PR that I was not meaning to...strict press.  I was able to get 95# up overhead without any help from my legs.  My previous PR was 85# I think.  I like to think I had 2 extra arms helping me out.  However, I severely decrease my working weight on things like deadlifts, cleans, snatches, OH squats, and thrusters.  On the weekends, I've been walking a lot.  I just feel so much better when I move.  I know what I'm doing probably isn't the most conventional, but I feel like I'm listening to my body, and not pushing too hard while still holding onto some of my pre-pregnancy abilities.  I think the fact that I had been crossfitting for quite awhile before becoming pregnant helps immensely with knowing what I'm capable of, and when to back off a little. 
Heartburn occasionally rears its ugly head at 2am, but usually after I stand up, use the rest room and prop my head up with another pillow, I can return to sleep with no issues.  My fabulous sister got me a body pillow for my birthday, and wow, that thing is a pregnant woman's dream.  It has helped so much with the hip/pelvic pain I was experiencing during sleeping and rolling over.  There are also like 1,000 ways to contort the pillow so I see it has a future in my life post-pregnancy too.  On the eating front,  I can't seem to get enough fruit.  As all my favorite things come into season- nectarines, cherries, strawberries, melons...all I want is fruit, fruit, fruit.  Chocolate is not appealing to me (very weird) but fruit...I think I had 3 bowls of melon today and easily could have had 3 more. 
Food- food is the most amazing thing, especially after a workout.  Food tastes so good.  Especially things like mexican spiced chicken breasts (cumin and chili powder) on a salad with guacamole.  Or hunks of meat and vegetables cooked in the crockpot.  Or a plain burger patty.  Even the simplest things taste like they have been sent from heaven. I notice that I get full a lot faster, probably due to this thing pushing up on all my organs and stuff, so I really have to be careful to slowly enjoy what I'm eating and wait for those first cues that I've had enough.  Digestion is slower, and I'm just more comfortable when I have less food in my stomach at a time.  Pro-biotics have been a must, and I've been taking one with every meal rather than just one a day. 
When I started telling people I was pregnant, I was most often told about the physical changes that take place.  Perhaps people talk about those most because they are the most obvious.  However, I have been so suprised at all the mental work that goes on as well.   First, when I  discovered I was carrying a life, I wanted to know everything immediately.  I read, googled, talked to moms, trying to get everything figured out so I could be the bestest mom ever.  Then, as time went on, I realized there are more questions than answers, and everyone has a different opinion on what is best.  I relaxed a bit and began to come to grips with the unknown.  Next the drive to protect something that Ive never seen kicked in (literally, once it started kicking) and I panic if there isn't any movement for what seems like a long time.  Usually movement is felt shortly thereafter, but this cycle repeats itself several times throughout the day and night.  I imagine that this protective instinct is getting fostered during pregnancy, and will only get more intense after the baby arrives.  Currently, I'm at peace.  I've had 6 months to realize that I can not predict what may or may not happen in pregnancy or child rearing.  I must just take everything as it comes, and react appropriately for each situation.  I immediately felt so relaxed once I took the pressure off myself to LEARN everything and KNOW everything.  I've completely accepted that I do not know what is ahead of me, but whatever it is, it will be exactly what I need at the right time.