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. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

24 Weeks, 34, and New Perspectives

Happy Birthday to me.  Thirty-four years old, and 24 weeks pregnant.  I kinda wish those numbers were flip-flopped.  Except for the part about me having a baby at 24.  Yeesh.  I was in no condition to have a baby at 24, so maybe we better leave those numbers where they are. 
I can see now why this great universe of ours gives us 10 months of pregnancy.  Through the advice I've received (solicited and unsolicited), talks with my midwife, watching friends finish their pregnancies, and my own research in the past 24 weeks, so many of my perspectives on pregnancy, birth, and raising a child have changed. 
I spent the first few weeks of my pregnancy obsessed with birth.  Reading about birth, watching videos, asking people about their birth stories in an attempt to figure out the exact birth I wanted.  At some point I came across a piece of advice, and consequently, my intensity surrounding my birth ceased- "birth is one (maybe two) days.  The important thing is to focus on the 18+ years that follow that day."  Right?  I mean, I was spending a lot of time focusing on this event, and in reality, there are so many other things that came along with a newborn.  I began broadening my research to include sleep training techniques, breastfeeding, and general baby- raising things.
Recently 2 good friends of mine have had their pregnancies come to an end, and the next chapter of newborn alien invasion has begun.  I think I have learned so much from their experiences, and I'm so grateful to have such wonderful friends tell me things that only one pregnant person can tell another pregnant person.  I've enjoyed the days leading up to their births, their birth stories, and the days immediately after birth immensley.  Once again, I had a huge shift in my thinking regarding birth, and coincidentally came across a great piece of advice in the current book I'm reading.  "You may not have the birth you want, but you will have the birth that you need."  Isn't that true of everything in life though?  When I think back on my life, all the times I have thought I wanted something, or even pushed for something only to have it backfire or not workout, whatever took its place ended up being exactly what I needed. 
Today, I'm taking comfort in the fact that I feel amazing these days, and whatever needs to happen will happen.  I've been sleeping well.  My workouts have been great, and making me feel great (155# front squats the other day for dayz made my hips/back/core feel amazing!).  I've been eating such good food, and my general disposition/mood is sunny.  (that might make some people that know me irl laff a little).  But seriously, it is true what they say about the 2nd trimester- it is the golden phase of pregnancy.