Sunday, March 23, 2014

And we're back!

Total steps yesterday:  9,642

Guess who's kicking herself for not taking an additional 358 steps yesterday?  This girl. 

But, more importantly, 5.5 weeks after Lil W arrived, I finally got to run again.  And it hurt.  I did a familiar 2.75 mile loop near my house, and successfully ran the first 9:42 of it before doing a run/walk combo for the remaining 20 minutes. 

It's funny, though.  Historically speaking, getting started on a workout regime has always felt emotionally terrible.  I've felt frustrated with myself for getting out of shape, annoyed that I can't go as far or as fast as I once did, and really body conscious.  This time around, it just feels like part of the slog that I have to go to in order to get back to where I want to be.  And this time around, I'm even more driven than before.  In the past, beginning a workout plan has always happened with the sole focus of losing weight, and only once I'm a few months in to it do I remember that fitness is the best part.  This time around, fitness is the goal from the beginning.

And yes, I am still aware of the weight.  I know the extra 20 pregnancy pounds that haven't come off yet are slowing me down.  I admit that as much as I'd love to say it was all worth it, the extra stomach I have irks me.  I acknowledge that I'll probably wear a one piece bathing suit from here on out because my new stretch marks bug me.  All of this body image stuff is on my list of things to grapple with, and things to keep out of view of my ever more aware daughter, because I don't want her to struggle with these same things.

Also, I can tell you that I spent about 16 minutes of my run/walk yesterday running, and the other 14 minutes walking and crying.  Turns out post-pregnancy hormones combined with exercise make me a weepy mess.  But it's hard to breathe, run, and cry at the same time, so I figure the solution is more running to keep the tears at a minimum while hormones equal out.

I'm pretty sore today, so plan to take it relatively easy other than maybe a long walk.  As this week goes on, I'll implement some weight-training and continue some easy runs.  Mostly, it just feels good to be back. 

Lil W was worth the fitness hiccup, though.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

10,000 Baby Photos

Lil W finally and happily arrived on 02/13/14 at 1:32 a.m.  Labor was not nearly as terrible as I'd expected, and while I might right up a whole "birth experience" post at some point, the main takeaway for me is that it didn't suck.  And it ended with an awesome new little addition to the household, and that's cool.  We spent the first couple of days in the hospital learning important life skills like how to nurse, and now we're home and just hanging out.  James went back to work yesterday and we're now in countdown mode to next month's relocation to the Elko area.

Lil W is a dream baby so far.  She's easy to calm when she's fussy, nurses like a champion (after some growing pains the first few days), and has gained back 6 of the 14 ounces that she lost between being born and her first pediatrician appointment.  She has long legs and a strong neck and is already working on correct form for when she starts doing push-ups.  She and Zoe get along (see video proof below) and she's definitely part of Zoe's pack.  All in all, things are very good in our little household at the moment. 

And now a selection of baby photos from the first week.  There are a million more but I'll try not to inundate with too many.

Cuddling for the first time.

Greeting the day, her first day.
Already learning how to give skeptical side-eye
Napping anywhere and any time she can, like her mother taught her.
Meeting her Aunt Emily.
I'm human again!  Showered and wearing contacts = somewhat back to normal.
Heading home from the hospital.  It snowed 14 inches between when she was born and when we returned home.  Bundling up was necessary

Hanging with Grandma

World's best yawner
Baby's first selfie.
And as promised, Zoe and Lil W shortly after they met.  For the record, both James and I had close hands on Zoe during her first few interactions with Lil W, just in case she got nervous or scared or reacted too strongly to the baby.  But from their first moments, they've been a dream together.  Zoe is careful around the baby, but takes every opportunity to rest her head near Lil W and/or try to lick her feet.  I think they'll be best friends in no time, once Lil W realizes what dogs are.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This body isn't big enough for the two of us

Just a quick update to say that Lil W has fully dropped and is in ready position for birth.  Which is awesome, except that her little legs still try to kick up in to my rib cage.  I can push back against this a bit and it calms down, but then her arms flail and she hits me in my ovaries.  I'm officially out of space, and something has to give soon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things I'm grateful for (that I wasn't expecting to be grateful for)

This last month of pregnancy is hard.  Everyone told me it would be, but I either didn't listen or took "hard" to mean awkward.  And don't get me wrong.  It's totally awkward too, particularly when any sort of rolling over in bed happens.  One of my arduous attempts to roll from side to side last night work up James, who laughed and referred to it as a 20 point turn.  That's pretty accurate, all things considered. 

The day to day challenges aren't particularly fun, either.  For one, suffering through the days without good sleep is just no fun - it makes me understand why some women quit work before they actually go in to labor.  It's getting harder and harder each morning to wake up with the alarm, and I'm definitely counting down until my last day or Lil W's arrival, whichever comes first.

Also, contractions are no fun.  Mine are still few and far between, probably about three a day that I notice.  The pain of them doesn't bug me too much, though I'm sure that will change.  But they do sort of immobilize me for a few minutes, and that's not enjoyable.

Despite all of these things, there are a few things that I'm very grateful for at this time - family and friend support, weekly reassuring doctors appointments, a healthy immune system that didn't get the flu last week when James had it.  And there are a few things that I'm very grateful for that I wouldn't have expected.  In no particular order:

  • NPR.  There's a line in an old episode of Buffy where she's just defeated a horrible monster, and comments that her brain is operating at a processing level where her most complex thought is "Fire bad.  Tree pretty."  That's kind of what my brain has been like lately.  For that reason, I'm so grateful for the 30-45 minutes of NPR that  I get to listen to on my commute.  It's the only reason I'm evenly remotely up to date on what's going on in the news.  I realize that it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't know about the latest political scandal or supreme court case, but I like knowing these things.  I used to read about these things, but that's too hard for my brain.  Having at least a small source of actual news each day is really wonderful.
  • Past IT Band injuries.  In my younger running days, before I knew about proper form and good footware and appropriate training, I frequently had issues with my IT band.  And even once I knew more about healthy running, I still had to go out of my way to take good care of my IT band to make sure I didn't have any more issues.  As I get deeper in to pregnancy and my ligaments slacken, and especially now as my entire lower body prepares for labor, pain in my outer hips has again reared its ugly head.  If it weren't for the years of experience with IT band stretches, foam rolling, icing, etc. I think this whole thing would be a lot more painful.  As is, it still sucks, but I have ways to make it suck slightly less, and I appreciate that.
  • A husband that knows when to  put up with my whining, and when not to.  At the end of the day yesterday, burnt out from a long day of errands and chores, out of breath from the terribly difficult 5 minutes walk I'd just taken Zoe on, I was whining in general about every little thing, and James gave me a hug and said, "Don't worry - this part will be over soon, and then we'll have all new things to whine about".  It was perfect and comforting and exactly what I needed to hear.  This came from the same man who, a few days before, responded to a text in which I complained about not feeling like myself and only being a vessel for baby creation by saying, "But you're a marvelous vessel!".  It made me laugh and realize I was being overly dramatic.  Sometimes we need people to listen to our whining and sympathize - sometimes we need them to tell us to snap out of it.  James has an uncanny knack for knowing which is needed, and that's wonderful to have around.
The doctors are telling me I'm probably about two weeks out from delivering, give or take.  It's the home stretch, and I'm ready for what comes next.  Or as ready as I'm going to be.  Pregnancy has been an adventure, but it's time to stop being a vessel and work on being a mom.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Things I miss (that I wasn't expecting to miss)

So  I think that we're pretty much ready to go on the baby front.  I need to pick up a few nursing bras sometime soon and start making/freezing some meals for next month, but otherwise we have everything we need.  Which is a good feeling.  James and I are totally in a holding pattern now - we're tentatively making plans and discussing the next few months, but really, until Lil W arrives, there's not much we can do.

I have started to shift to thinking about life after her arrival, though.  I don't really know how she'll change my life yet, though, so I'm mostly thinking about the things I've missed that I can't wait to do again once she arrives.  There were things I knew I'd miss going in to pregnancy - coffee, sushi, sub sandwiches, coffee, running when I could no longer do it, wine, coffee.  But as I enter the homestretch, there are things that I keenly miss that I never expected to.  In no particular order:

  • Wearing jeans.  I was able to wear my regular pre-pregnancy jeans until I was about 6.5 months pregnant.  And at that point, I decided it wasn't worth it to buy maternity jeans for just three months of my life.  Past Kathryn, you should have bought maternity jeans.  
  • Race training.  I am incredibly grateful that I could, and did, run for the majority of my pregnancy.  And while it was good to maintain a 3 mile base, I was surprised to find that I really missed race training.  I love running in general, but running toward a goal, and focused on increasing mileage and speed, is like a really fun game to me.  I don't even really love actual races, but preparing for races is so fun and I can't wait to get back to it.
  • Sleeping without having to think about it.  This one hasn't been bad till the last few weeks.  And I obviously know that my sleep once the baby arrives won't be ideal either.  But every night now is a struggle to find a position that allows me to breath, supports me in all the places that need support, and still be comfortable enough to actually sleep.  I miss the days when I'd lay down in bed, flat on my back, and fall easily to sleep.  This is further aggravated by having to repeat this process 2-3 times a night when I get up to pee.
  • Having space in the apartment.  Unfortunately, I don't think this one will change after baby.  When my friends threw my baby shower back in early December, the gifts ended up in one corner of our bedroom for storage.  Then, we ordered a few more things from Amazon.  Then, we ordered a few large things in large boxes from Amazon.  Once these boxes were unpacked, we decided they were worth keeping for our upcoming move, so now we have both giant boxes and the giant things that came in them hanging around the apartment.  Long story short, it was already awkward enough moving around with my bump, and now there's no more space to do it in.
And finally, just in general, having to think all the time about everything.  It's reached the point where 85% of my waking hours are spent thinking about how to accommodate my pregnancy in my life.  Whether it's gauging whether or not something is too hard at work, worrying about Zoe jumping on my stomach in the middle of the night, figuring out how to do dishes when my bump keeps me arm-length away from the sink...everything involves a calculation.  No wonder that by the end of the day I just want to curl up and watch mindless shows.  Even that requires calculations of how to arrange pillows so I'm comfortable sitting on the couch.

Long story short, I totally see now why pregnancy lasts nine months.  The first 7.5 months or so, James and I fretted about whether or not we're ready.  Now, though, we both feel like anything will be easier than the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Future Kathryn is going to laugh at this, obviously, since I imagine she'll view this time as incredibly easy and carefree compared to taking care of a newborn.  And it is, obviously, but that doesn't necessarily make it fun.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Proof that Lil W is growing fast (and that I need more variety in gym shirts)

Total steps yesterday:  13,624
Exercise for today: 2 mile walk

This is me in mid August, or about 3.5 months pregnant:
The funny thing is that I felt like I was  huge
This is me in mid November, or about 6 months pregnant:

And this is me today, just shy of 8 months, when I officially decided that Lil W can come out any day now and I'm 100% over this whole pregnancy thing:

I feel puffy, and my arms look fat, and I'm getting pregnant lady face.  I get it - this is all part of the process and it's a positive side that Lil W is growing and healthy.  But I am huge and uncomfortable and even a two mile walk was exhausting today.  And looking at the pictures, I can see why - I feel like there wasn't a huge change between 3.5 and 6 months, but a giant change between 6 and 8 months. 

I'm happy you're almost here, Lil W, and happy that you've continued to grow and will hopefully be strong and healthy.  And you shouldn't come out for at least 2.5 more weeks.  But I'm probably going to curse the last month of pregnancy quite a bit.  Don't take it personally, okay?  I hear you're going to be worth it.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Updates from pregnancy-land

Total steps yesterday:  9,666
Exercise for today: 2 mile walk

I haven't updated in a while because, in my mind, this is more a blog about fitness than babies, and life has been short on fitness and long on babies lately.  Exercise for the past three weeks has been just walking - 2.5 miles at 3.5 mph for most of it, but today I slowed it down to 2 miles at 3 mph.  It's like I'm 8 months pregnant or something.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated by going out to brunch and then going to Target to pick out a lot of baby essentials that I still need - nothing too exciting, mostly just a bunch of newborn clothes so I don't have to do laundry for at least a day.  I then spent a few hours hanging on the couch with two of my best friends:

There is nothing warmer or more likely to induce a nap than being curled up under a blanket with a dog and a cat and a baby bump on top of you.

Anyway, I'm definitely feeling really pregnant now.  I've finally gotten the pregnant lady waddle.  It's uncomfortable to sleep and I toss and turn.  Or, I toss and attempt to turn and it usually takes 30 seconds to roll from one side to the other.  I'm super tired all the time, and by the end of the day it feels like I'm carrying around an extra 100 pounds, rather than the extra 35 I'm actually carrying.  Long story short, I've finally reached the point where I say, "Yep, I'm ready for this baby to come out now".

Which is good, since there are only a few weeks left.  While physically I'm ready, emotionally and mentally I feel very unprepared.  But I think I've decided that I can't really be any more prepared and I just need to roll with it.  I've also read a fair amount of advice for the first month and the only piece that resonates with me is someone who said, "You're going to be tired.  You can decide whether to be tired and angry, or just tired.  Choose just tired."  I'm going to try my hardest to remember that.  I don't do well on low levels of sleep, but I also don't want to spend the first month of the baby's life snapping at James, snapping at Zoe, snapping at everyone, so I'm going to attempt to stay positive.

On the note of staying positive:  things could definitely be worse right now.  I'm 99% prepared for Lil W to arrive, at least in regards to items needed for her.  Despite feeling pregnant, I'm not horribly uncomfortable most of the time.  My back doesn't hurt, I'm not on bed rest, and while I'm tired I'm not completely exhausted.  All in all, it could definitely be worse.  And in just a few weeks I'll have my body back to myself and it will be wonderful!

Although I do have this one little fear.  Since about 5 a.m. this morning, Lil W was bouncing around and kicking and bulging and otherwise constantly in motion.  She only quieted down after my lunchtime walk.  This has me worried that something about the motion of running / walking soothes her, which on the one hand is awesome, but on the other hand I have visions of her screaming at 2 a.m. and me strapping her to me with a Moby wrap and walking on the treadmill till she sleeps.  At least I'll keep my step count up?