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?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fighting for breath

Total steps yesterday:  13,682
Exercise for today:  2.5 mile walk

I'm used to being out of breath.  When you run as much as I do, it goes with the territory, and you learn to work through the pain and marvel as your lungs increase in capacity until you can run for 2 hours without thinking about it.  I've adjusted to being out of breath more frequently now that I'm sharing my body with a little parasite - since about 4 months in, even the shortest flights of stairs and gentlest inclines leave me huffing and puffing. I figured it was all just part of the deal when it comes to pregnancy.

Well, now the thing most likely to lead to me losing my breath is sitting.  Lil W and all of her accompanying growth are infringing on my lung space and it is not fun.  I'm tempted to jerry-rig a stand up desk at work just so I don't have to deal with fighting to breathe for the next two months.  It's not a huge deal, though I do complain to James about it a lot.  And that last sentence pretty much summarizes this whole pregnancy experience.

In other pregnancy news, I've been thinking lately about how much fun it will be to watch Lil W experience things for the first time.  She doesn't know what colors are, and I can't imagine how cool it would be to, say, see blue for the first time.  She doesn't know what a dog is (and Zoe doesn't know what a baby is), but introducing those two is going to be amazing.  She has no idea that there are amazing things like pizza and cupcakes to enjoy, let alone that running and swimming and biking exist so we have an excuse to carb load.

I read an article today that included this quote:  "One of the great things about children is that they have no other concern than to be simply interested in things."  What a wonderful thing that is.  I don't plan to relive my own youth through Lil W, but I can't wait to see what interests her.  It's going to be fun.

Sleep depriving, but fun.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just to be the (mom) who walks 1000 miles...

Total steps yesterday:  12,535
Exercise for today:  40 minutes elliptical

I'm just going to leave this right here.

That's right - 7 months, 2.25 millions steps later, Lil W has officially traveled her first 1,000 miles.  Here's to many, many more miles ahead of her, with the sincere hope that many of them will be good.

By my rough estimates, probably around 300 of those miles were running, and 700 were walking, which means we've spent roughly  283 hours being active together.  That sounds like a lot, but when it's added up in 10 minutes walks here and there, the occasional runs, and lots of little incidental trips to places like the grocery store and frozen yogurt shop, it adds up.  It also goes to show how, with relatively minimal effort, you can travel a lot of miles in your life.

I first got my Fitbit right around a year ago, which I only remember because it was just before James and I went to New Orleans for a honeymoon.  In that time, I've walked or ran almost 2,000 miles.  I'm sure I would have done significantly fewer if it weren't for the Fitbit acting as an extra source of motivation.

Moral of the story:  get a Fitbit for Christmas.  And also, I should probably get new running shoes soon.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think the next step is falling down at someone's door.

Friday, December 13, 2013

State of the Union (between me and Lil W)

Total steps yesterday:  14,637
Exercise for today:  hour long Zoe walk

Welcome to 32 weeks pregnant, people.

I'm slowly whittling down my list of remaining things to do before the baby arrives.  This list once includes such lofty goals as "learn to knit blankets" and "buy a cd of baby noises to get Zoe used to them", and now includes "just make sure you have a car seat so you can get her home from the hospital, and you can figure everything else out later".  Priorities.

I've had the weirdest schedule at work this week, which always makes the week feel long, but has the added bonus of Zoe and I getting daylight time outside to take walks in the woods, a privilege that we've missed the last little bit.

It was a beautiful day for a long walk, and I think Zoe liked it too.  I was out of breath for a lot of the time, but that's apparently pretty normal this week.  Basically, things are growing and moving and this stomach is getting to the point where it's not big enough for the two of us.  I've never been more grateful to have my Snoogle pregnancy pillow - it's always been helpful, but right now when I need back support, bump support, and leg support, it's the best thing ever.

Also, I could spend hours (and okay, maybe do) staring at my stomach watching Lil W move around.  James thinks it's freaky, and I do too, but now any time I feel her start moving I can't help but stare.  As I type this, she's getting in to her active stage of the day, and it's always a fun, if slightly off-putting, time of day.

Remember ages ago when I started feeling uncomfortable bending at the waist, and it's laughable now because I was only about 17 weeks pregnant then?  Well, now I legitimately have a hard time moving.  On today's walk, I had to get around two trees that had fallen over the path.  The first was about knee high and I could step over it.  The second was waist high, so I couldn't climb over it, but when I tried to bend over to go under it my body just laughed at me.  That was fun.  I had to scramble a bit up the hill to get around the tree, and Zoe just sat there impatiently watching.  And you should see me try to get out of bed.  Thank god for strong triceps, because those get used in ways you never imagine.  In P90x, you have to do these push-ups at the end of one of the workouts, and they're the worst, but that's pretty much what I have to do to get out of bed these days.

And I haven't run since Sunday, since I can't find my running belt (aka have been too lazy to look) but I kind of think I might be done.  I'm still active and moving, but walking might be more my pace right now.  I'm at peace with that.  Sunday's 5k was a great, great run, and I'd rather end on a high note than feel forced to stop because of a bad run.

Though I reserve the right to change my mind.

Also, just fyi, tomorrow is going to be a really big, important day on the blog.  Stay tuned for an exciting announcement!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fitness challenges

Total steps yesterday:  12,098
Exercise for today:  3 miles elliptical

I've taken a few days off running, and I think it's the right choice.  My body is happier, which is what I figure I should be aiming for right now.  I still think I'll run 1-2 times a week while I can, but this weekend's 5k run made me feel really accomplished and at peace with starting to slow down.

Also, I've misplaced my running belt and until it turns up I'm resigned to walk and elliptical my way through workouts.

Have you ever taken part in a holiday fitness challenge?  I have the last two years with my fitness friends, and it's the best for keeping me on track.  My older sister actually first introduced me to the idea of starting New Years Resolutions a month early, which helps a lot to keep you focused through December.  Adding in other people just makes it fun.  And this month it's been good because it's forced me to work out when I don't want me.  My goals this month are modest - hit at least 70,000 steps weekly, exercise 5 days a week, and no snacking after 8 p.m. (snacking does not include dessert in my opinion).  So far I've been very successful and definitely forced myself to exercise when I wanted to be lazy.  I always feel better once I'm done.

Also, I'd just like to point out that I have less than 20 miles to go before I hit 1,000 miles with Lil W.  It's going to happen and it's going to be big.  Much like I am right now.

Monday, December 9, 2013

3.1 miles for 31 weeks

Total steps yesterday:  12,169
Exercise for today:  rest

Ah, this weekend was amazing.  I went to New Jersey to run a 5k with some friends, and ended up having an awesome baby shower as part of the festivities as well.  Now I feel at least somewhat better prepared for Lil W's arrival - if nothing else, she's going to have a ton of cute outfits to wear!

And then we ran our 5k.  Running is so weird for me lately, since sometimes I feel great and powerful and other times I feel terrible and demoralized.  I went in to Sunday's run with the mindset of just rolling with it and enjoying the experience, regardless of whether or not I could actually run it.  In the end, I had zero issues. I ran it in probably around 35 minutes (I was timing but forgot to stop the time when I finished) and felt good and strong the whole time.  It helps that I had an awesome group of ladies to run with.  Here we all are after successfully completing the race in very chilly temperatures.

One thing I love about this picture is that I don't feel gigantic in it.  I've felt really huge lately, so it's nice to see myself next to six other super fit women and not feel like a cow in comparison to them.  I might be 30 pounds heavier and 2 minutes per mile slower than I used to be, but I can still hold my own, and that feels good.

As I talked about last week, I'd tentatively planned to make yesterday's run my last pregnancy run.  But it felt so good that I'm not sure if I can give it up just yet.  So I'll continue my love / hate relationship with running for a while yet.  I might slow down just a bit to see if I can eke out a few more weeks of jogs.  I might even make it to 8 months!

The drive home from NJ through a snow / ice storm was pretty slow going yesterday, but wasn't the end of the world.  I spent a long time thinking about Lil W as I drove.  She tends to be more active in the late afternoon / early evening, so her little bumps and jabs kept me company for the last few hours of the drive.  I don't know what it is, but she's so real to me lately.  I feel like this whole pregnancy she's been more of an idea than a reality, but now it's starting to register that there's a real little person in there, one with her own personality, patterns, and idiosyncrasies.  I can't believe that there are only two months left before I get to / have to share her with the world.  I'm getting very excited to actually meet this little girl.

In the meantime, though, I'm going to enjoy these last few months of just James and me.  It was so good finally getting home to him and Zoe last night.  I'm of course excited for the new addition to my little family, but I'm pretty lucky with the family I already have.  I want to enjoy that while I can.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My birth plan, or lack thereof

Total steps yesterday:  12,847
Exercise plans for today:  attempt at a run

So this is going to be a lengthy and very pregnancy related post - feel free to skip out on it if you're not interested.

I've worried about a lot of things during the course of this pregnancy.  Some are legitimate.  Some are not.  I've stressed about safe strength training and whether or not my body is ready to quit running.  I've stressed about how James and I will provide for our baby.  We've collectively stressed over whether it's more important to teach Lil W Latin or Spanish.  And I've stressed again about whether or not my body is ready to quit running.

One thing I've kept waiting to stress about is my delivery.  I've pretty meticulously researched every step in this pregnant journey, and have formed opinions and blogged about my feelings in regards to a lot of the life changes I've gone through in the last few months.  And I've tried really hard to do the same thing in regards to forming a birth plan.  In the end, though, is it such a bad thing if I just don't have one?

In my research, I've read a few stories of real labors.  I've read a few articles on what to expect.  I've talked to friends who have had terrible labor experiences, friends who have had amazing labor experiences, and friends who call their labor both terrible and amazing.  I've had friends who have had C sections and felt like failures because of it.  I've had friends who have had C sections and couldn't be any happier about the outcome.  I've stopped short of watching videos of real labors, despite having that recommended to me, because that's frankly not really something I feel I need to see.

I have a few general guidelines / expectations, but even those are fairly limited.

1.  Assuming the general health of me and the baby, I want to be lucid and have all decisions made / procedures started explained to me before they happen.  I feel very blessed to have doctors who I trust, but I'm also a 29 year old about to be mother, and I feel like the least they can do is communicate to me what's going on.  I'm not inclined to fight their recommendations, but I want to know about them as they happen.

2.  I plan to labor at home for as long as comfortable, largely because I want the freedom to move around.  I'm a big believer in walking out the pain, and I don't like the idea of not having the option because I'm strapped in to a bed and attached to an IV.  That said, unless the pain is significantly less than I anticipate, I do plan to get an epidural.  I've read stories from moms who were uncomfortable but the pain wasn't unbearable, and if that's me I'll skip out on the epidural.  But most likely, I'll have them sticking that thing in me as soon as it gets too bad or the contractions become too frequent.

3.  Oddly, this one is the most controversial birth decisions that I hear negative feedback on:  James doesn't plan to be in the room for the labor and delivery, and I support him in that decision.  If he changes his mind and wants to be there, I'll support that too.  At this point, he wants nothing to do with it, and  I'd rather he be home, taking care of our dog, doing any last minute cooking / cleaning, and otherwise keeping himself occupied until Lil W arrives.  This decision has spurred some bizarre comments, mostly revolving around me needing to force him to be there.  Honestly, I believe that if it comes down to it and I desperately want him there, James would do it in a heartbeat.  But for now, I'm at peace with his desire to not be there, and I don't think either of us would benefit by me forcing him to be somewhere he doesn't want to be.  It's a very short period of my life, and is basically just a transition from pregnancy to parenthood - James and I can live without each other for the hopefully not more than day it takes for Lil W to arrive.

4.  Hopefully, though, my mom will be there, and one of my good local friends has also expressed a desire to be there if she can.  Not sure how it will work out with my mom coming out - we've talked tentatively about her coming out around the due date, so as long as Lil W isn't super early, she should be there.  And said good local friend will always be around, except for a trip from January 18-22.  So as long as Lil W doesn't arrive in that 5 day span, I'll have at least one person to keep me company and sane during whatever the delivery holds.  That's more than enough to get me through.

5.  I really, really, really don't want a c-section, but that's exclusively related to me knowing that it will take me longer to recover from that / longer to return to running.  If my health or the health of the baby is ever in question, I obviously wouldn't hesitate to go the c-section route, but I'll avoid it if it all possible.

Beyond those general thoughts about what labor will look like, I have zero preferences.  I'm content to wait and see what happens.  If we have a second child in the future, I might have stronger opinions based on my experience this time around.  As is, I'm going in knowing that I'm pretty unprepared, and that there's not much else I'm going to do to more accurately prepare, and that it will all work out in the end.  One way or another, and barring something extreme, I'll be coming home in 6-11 weeks with a newborn baby.

Now, thinking about what life will be like after that point is a whole different story / research project.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The end is nigh. Maybe.

Total steps yesterday:  12,095
Exercise for today:  1 mile run, 2 miles elliptical

Well, it's been a long, long road toward 31 weeks of pregnancy, and running has been a big part of that road.  But, alas, I think the end might be here.  Or almost here.  I have a 5k race on Sunday and  I'm determined to push through that, but once that's over, I might call it.

I'm going to try a few things first, though, especially since my last run on Thanksgiving felt really good.  But today I was dealing with some major foot and calf pain on my run.  The last few runs I've been on I've felt a bit numb for the first mile, but have been able to push through.  Today I just couldn't.  I made it to a mile hoping the pain would go away, but it didn't, so I quit and switched to the elliptical.

There are a few possible culprits.  First, I probably need new running shoes.  But with only two months left in pregnancy, I don't want to spend the money on shoes that fit my pregnant feet / support my pregnant body if those shoes won't be right after Lil W arrives.  Especially since good running shoes that fit my needs cost a lot.  I'd rather switch to walking and the elliptical for the next two months and save that money for baby items. 

I've also been getting a ton of leg cramps at night lately, no matter what I do to avoid them.  This is apparently pretty normal in pregnancy, with no totally clear cause.  But it makes me wonder if having my muscles cramp throughout the night isn't exactly conducive to them feeling strong and supple during daytime runs.

It's also possible that basic math is working against me.  30 extra pounds + stomach throwing me off balance + loosening ligaments = painful running.  And if that's the case, there's nothing I can do about it and I will accept my lot in life.

Or I could just be having an off day.

So, my tentative plan is to try another run on Thursday with the treadmill set to 0% incline - normally I have it on a slight incline and I figure that's probably not helping sore legs, so I'll dial it back even further.  I'll see how I feel.  If I still hurt, I'll probably do a run/walk combo to get through my Sunday race and will count that as a glorious capstone on an awesome 31 weeks of running. 

But then I'll have nothing to blog about.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bad blogger / exerciser / all around human being

Total steps yesterday:  6,094
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

It's funny to me that when I'm busy / at work / have a tight schedule, I'm a much better blogger than when I have four days of nothing to do.  I'd planned to blog on Thanksgiving, at least briefly, but then got caught up in cooking and didn't have time.  I at least had an excuse that day.  The rest of my weekend looked like this:

Friday:  Get up, make coffee and breakfast, sit on the couch all day watching a Chopped marathon until about 3:00 when I took a nap.  My total steps for the day were just shy of 3,000, and I only had that many because I have a dog who occasionally needs to go outside.  Even she spent most of the day napping on the couch with me.

Saturday:  Get up, run a few small errands, go see Hunger Games with a friend, then sit on the couch watching a Chopped Marathon.  No nap, though, so I consider that a success.  And I got something like 7,000 steps that day walking to the theater, so it was a small improvement.

Sunday:  Grocery shop, clean the apartment, do some laundry, otherwise be productive until 4:30 or so when I (wait for it) sat on the couch and watched a Chopped marathon.  You would have thought that I could have taken at least 30 minutes of each of those weekend days to go to the gym - I could just as easily watch a Chopped episode on the treadmill as I could at home, but that was apparently too hard.

I also apparently couldn't fathom the idea of both blogging and watching television at the same time, and thus didn't blog at all.  Or we can all acknowledge that my blog would have consisted of me talking about foods that I don't recognize and sharing pictures of a sleeping dog and accept that it's probably better I didn't write anything over the weekend.

But.  I did officially hit the 30 week mark of pregnancy, which means I'm 75% done.  Lil W is a kicking machine, weighing in at about 3 pounds, and I've decided that she's about ready to make her arrival.  I mean, not literally - we're still two months or so away from that joyous event.  But she seems a lot more real the last few days, even if her reality is mostly expressed through kicks to my bladder.  Such a good girl.

Anyway, I'm getting back in gear today with a treadmill run at lunch, food being relatively on track, and slightly fewer hours in my day to watch television.  I don't really have any regrets about the lazy weekend.  In theory I might have felt better if I were more active, but in actuality I sort of loved the laziness.  And I recognize that it's good to enjoy this downtime while I have it.  Though I think Lil W will happily watch cooking shows with me once she arrives.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If I just lay here...

Total steps yesterday:  13,528
Exercise for today:  3 miles on elliptical

I was crazy high energy during my workout today.  Last week, I struggled to get to three miles on the elliptical at a rate of around 5 mph - today, I sailed through three miles at 7 mph and barely felt it.  It's a weird thing about pregnancy - some days I have the best workouts and some days I have the worst, and until I'm a few minutes in I always think it's going to be terrible. 

In other news, Lil W is moving a lot today, and it's fun.  She seems to have settled in to a vertical position for the moment that mostly involved kicking my ribs.  I've heard from other moms that this can get really annoying and painful once I get to the 8th month or so, so I'm trying to enjoy the feeling now while it still mostly just tickles.

Sleep has been weird lately, too.  I'll fall asleep quickly and deeply, which is awesome for naptimes.  But when I'm trying to sleep at night, I almost inevitably wake up around 3 a.m. and then fail to fall fully back to sleep the rest of the night.  It leads to me convincing myself that there's still value in just laying still, and I drift in and out of a doze, having weird dreams and abstract thoughts.  I actually don't hate it, even though it makes me tired when I have to get up.  I'm tired, but it's almost nice to have that time in which I don't have to do anything but lay there.

I've been thinking lately that pregnancy is really nothing like I'd expected it to be from the movies and television.  I haven't had any particularly insane cravings.  My hunger levels have been higher than normal, but not significantly different than they would be if I were training for a race.  There's some slight physical discomfort here and there, but nothing that's unmanageable.  I don't feel fat and I'm not super self-conscious about how I look.  I don't know.  Right now pregnancy just feels like not a big deal.  I know there's a long way to go and hopefully about six more pounds of baby growth before the end of it, so all of this might change, but right now it all feels pretty good.  I'm hoping this same thing will translate to labor.  I'm so used to the popular culture image in which the woman grits her teeth in pain while she pushes, usually uttering some version of "I can't do this".  But my experiences so far make me think that's probably an exaggeration. 

Regardless, it's getting close and I'm now starting to think a bit more about labor, birth plans, and other nitty gritty details.  I may share some thoughts once I've solidified mine a little more.  Or I may not come up with any plan and just roll with it when it comes.  We'll see.

And now we've reached the end of the least substantial blog post ever.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nap versus blogging

The beginning of the third trimester, so far, is very similar to the beginning of the first trimester.  There's no morning sickness (thank god) but I pretty much just want to sleep all the time.  Confession: sometimes if traffic is  light, I get to work super early after dropping James off at the train.  When that happens, I'll sometimes take the opportunity to grab a 30 minute morning nap before work starts.  Yep, that's how I roll - up at 5:30, napping at 7:30.

And then the weekend hits, and it's like a sleep free for all.  I opted to skip yoga this week so I could sleep in.  I've slept 9-10 hours a night this weekend, with a 2.5 hour nap on Saturday and a one hour nap today.  So, long story short, napping has won out over both exercise and blogging the last few days.  I'm hoping that my prodigious napping will be passed on to Lil W and she'll become a master sleeper very quickly.

I have the feeling already that next weekend will be even more sleep driven.  I'm so looking forward to the four day Thanksgiving weekend.  Initially, James and I had talked about going to visit his family for the holiday, but decided that the logistics of getting to Georgia with a dog and a 6.5 month pregnant Kathryn were too much.  Then we decided we'd just do something simple at home, maybe just make Indian food or something similar.  Somehow that evolved in to the following menu:

Roast duck with cherry-rosemary sauce
Fennel and cabbage slaw (we'll probably add some apple and jicama)
Garlic mashed potatoes
Roasted Brussels sprouts

So, that happened, and is going to be more complicated than we'd initially discussed.  But I also figure it might be one of the last really involved meals that I have the energy to make for a while, so I'm going to embrace it.  Now I'm toying with what to do for a dessert.  I make an apple green chili pie that tends to be my go-to holiday dessert, but am not sure how well it would go with the duck.  We'll have to see how I feel as Thursday gets closer.

Exercise has been lazy the past few days (see earlier paragraph about napping), but I'm hoping to get back in to it in the next few days.  I'm continuing to slow down and it can feel very exhausting to even get started, but I'm still getting out there more days than not.  This next Friday marks 30 weeks - I'm just happy to still be doing as good as I am.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Back in action!

Total steps yesterday:  6,775
Exercise for today:  40 minutes on the elliptical

It's probably a bad sign that I walked almost three miles yesterday even when I was actively trying to rest my foot one more day.  It makes me realize how much I'm on my feet most days, even if it's not an exercise day. 

Luckily, I'm happy to note that my ankle is 99% better.  I spent most of the day Sunday unable to do more than hobble along, and pretty much just rested, iced, compressed, and elevated my way to the foot feeling much better yesterday, and almost perfect today.  I'd planned a bike ride to ease back in to working out, but didn't realize that my gym only has reclining bikes.  I have never liked those because I get no sense of core engagement like I do with the upright bikes.  So I jumped on the elliptical instead and, other than a few minor twinges here and there, made it the 40 minutes without any major foot issues.  So yay!  RICE, people.  It works. 

I'm still probably going to try really hard to not run until Thursday.  I want to get back to it, but don't want to risk making the injury worse again.  It's so, so hard to say no to running when injured, and it tends to be very easy for most runners to overestimate how quickly they heal.  Especially at this point in my life, I really need to be smart about it and hold back.  So tomorrow might just be a walking day.

Other than that, my mom pointed out on Facebook today that Christmas is only five weeks away.  I don't even understand how time is passing this quickly.  I feel so unprepared for the arrival of Lil W, and so stressed about everything I still need to get, including these rainbow leg warmers that clearly need to be a part of her coming home outfit.  On top of that, I somehow have to figure out Christmas gifts, birthday plans, weekend getaway with friends in NJ, and about a thousand other things.

It's really all too much.  I think I'll take a nap instead.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Total steps yesterday:  4,489
Exercise for today:  failed attempt at 3 mile run

Zoe and I have spent approximately 90% of the weekend like this:

James took a creeper photo during yesterday's naptime

Apparently we've entered the nesting stage of pregnancy.

And now it appears that I'll spend even more time like this since I managed to twist my ankle about a quarter of a mile in to my running attempt this morning.  I made it most of the way back to the apartment on my own, but eventually had to call on James to comes help me the last little bit.  And that's why you should always have a cell phone on you when running outside. So, if nothing else, I'll probably be giving up trail running for the rest of the pregnancy.  Hopefully there won't be any other long term effects.

Here's a challenge, though.  One of the ways to treat a twisted ankle is to keep it elevated above your heart, which isn't a big deal.  But you're also not supposed to lay flat on your back because you're pregnant, so I'm currently sitting in a weird V position with a pile of pillows both behind my back and under my foot.  Pregnant life is so hard.

Also, Ibuprofen is a pregnancy no-no and could apparently kill the baby.  While it's unlikely to do so from one dose, this is one of those pregnancy risks I won't be taking, so I'm just living with the pain for right now.

I guess this means James will just have to take on extra housework today since I should probably rest.  Pregnant life is so hard for him too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

3rd Trimester = 3 mile run

Total steps yesterday:  6,376
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Well, as of today, I'm officially in the home stretch.  Pregnancy is 2/3s of the way done, and I celebrated by taking a great 3 mile run.  I'm slow and awkward and sometimes my feet hurt, but overall, for 6 months pregnant, I'm feeling pretty good.

And as a prize for following along this long, you get a non-gym clothes bump selfie!

Lil W is plugging along and is now about the size of an eggplant, which is cool.  I like eggplants, and also the color purple, so it's a good week as far as pregnancy vegetables go.  Yesterday was a rest day which largely was rest - other than a few errands, I spent the day on the couch.  I'm hoping to make up for it with a more active weekend, but we'll see how that goes and how I'm feeling.  Is it bad that I'm tempted to actually schedule nap time in to my weekend?  Because I'm thinking 2 p.m. on Saturday sounds like a great time for a nap.

For those playing along at home, Lil W and I have taken 1,953,133 steps together, or just over 860 miles.  That means that sometime within the next week we'll hit the 2 million step mark, and shortly after that we'll get to 1000 miles.  I think it's a doable goal by the end of December, and then anything after that is just icing on the cake.  Hopefully I'll still be able to run by then - if not, I'll keep moving along on the elliptical and walking on the treadmill as we tick ever closer to arrival date.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm beginning to look a lot like pregnant

Total steps yesterday:  14,643
Exercise for today:  3.25 elliptical miles

Well, team, I think it's official - I'm pregnant:

And this is the week that everyone in the entire world seems to feel comfortable noticing it and commenting on it.  Which is cool and all, but seriously, I still have three months of this - give me a break.

You may remember me talking about well-intentioned coworkers being super annoying and overprotective a while back.  It's getting worse and now the madness has spread from the men to the women.  Male coworkers now don't say anything to me and frequently have work conversations while awkwardly trying to look anywhere but at my stomach.  Women coworkers, on the other hand, have schooled me on how I shouldn't do the following things in the last few days:

1.  Reaching over my head to change the time on a wall clock.
2.  Taping labels on to boxes.
3.  Walk up one flight of stairs.

I had a brief mental battle with myself yesterday on how to handle this new treatment.  Specifically, I found myself wondering if at some point I should stop doing things because it makes other people uncomfortable.  I questioned whether or not it was fair to subject my coworkers to watching me do things they deem dangerous, and if I had any responsibility to helping them feel more comfortable in their work environment.  My entire job is focused on making sure people are comfortable in their work environment, so it feels weird to blatantly disregard their feelings.

And then I decided that was bullshit.  I know myself and my body.  I am comfortable asking for help when I need it.  It is not my responsibility to make my coworkers comfortable with how I look, just as it is not their responsibility to care for my unborn child.  If they are concerned, that is their issue to address, not mine.  I will make sure that they have the tools they need to do their jobs, and make sure that I do mine for as long as I'm comfortable.

The flip side, though, of being noticeably pregnant is that I have much more awesome discussions at the gym and in the locker room.  So many people who are in there at the same time as me have words of encouragement, many of them from the personal experience of working out throughout their pregnancy.  I'm definitely getting bigger, slower, and more waddly as the days go by, but it feels good to be moving and happy for at least another day.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NV Weekend

Total steps over the weekend:  28,332
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

There is nothing better than returning to your own bed after a trip, and when you add in being 27 weeks pregnant, this feeling just gets exponentially better.  I had a great weekend in Nevada seeing friends and family, but my sleep was just terrible.  Part of it was the time change, and the lack of my snoogle, and a few short nights of sleep due to early or late flights.  Either way, I got home yesterday, did the bare minimum number of chores to get ready for the week, and then spent the next 11 hours in bed.  About 50% of that time was spent with Zoe curled up right next to me.  It's like she missed us or something.

Despite the lack of sleep / formal workouts / puppy kisses this weekend, I had a really good time at home hanging with the family and getting to meet two new babies.  It's a different experience holding a newborn when you know you're three months away from holding your own.  Before there was a feeling of "look what my friend made!  Oh, but now she's crying and how quickly can I hand her back to mom without hurting her."  This time around, I felt both incompetent wondering how I'll handle this when it's my own kid, and comfortable with the knowledge that I'll figure it out.  That's a good way to feel.  For his part, I think James was comforted by getting to talk to the other young dads and figuring out some of the ways his life will change and the many ways in which it won't.

It also made us more comfortable with the idea of moving back to Elko.  Not that we were uncomfortable before, but we at least caught a glimpse of how our day to day life would be different and decided we were okay with those differences.  Now we just need to figure out when / how we're going to move our family of 6 living creatures across country.

In Lil W news, we are now at 27 weeks and she weighs almost two pounds, or about the size of a head of cauliflower.  So there's that.  We only have 4 more days in the 2nd trimester.  This pregnancy has very much flown by.  I'm glad that the weather is getting colder as we settle in to the last three months before baby - I think I'll be very much in a nesting / hibernation mode and am glad that that's very acceptable in wintertime. 

Overall, though, it's been a relatively painless pregnancy so far (though Kathryn at 8 weeks in the midst of morning sickness would probably disagree).  I still feel good most days, though I'm always ready to lay down by the end of the day.  I can still run and lift things and catch and throw firewood with the best of them (aren't all pregnant women made to restack firewood with their dads at 27 weeks?  I think that's a standard pregnancy checklist item). 

I'm excited to go for a run in a few hours.  Every run feels like an experiment in whether or not my good running luck will last.  At this point, I'm really just hoping I can at least run/walk during the 5k I'm doing in early December.  I want to hit that goal, and then I'll reevaluate to see how I'm feeling and whether or not I can push through the two months of running after that.  I'm sure I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Total steps yesterday:  13,981
Exercise for today:  3.5 miles on elliptical

The absolute worst thing happened during my workout today.  I was 7 minutes in to ellipticaling when I realized I'd forgotten to put on my Fitbit.  And I didn't want to throw off my groove by going to grab it.  I know the exercise still counts, but it feels less real, and when my numbers tomorrow don't show those extra ~6000 steps, I'm going to be sad.

But that okay, because then I'll get happy when I get to leave work at 2 in order to fly to NV!  This has felt like the longest week and I definitely need a break from things.  James was bugging me a while back to make a doctor appointment for him, and I told him he could do it, to which he responded, "Yeah, but we both know you're the adult in this relationship".  It's totally true.  I think James and I have a pretty equal partnership, but in our division of duties, I definitely ended up with the ones like "making appointments" and "paying bills" and "making last minute travel arrangements to fly cross country, rent a car, and find someone to take care of our pets".  Long story short, it's been a very stressful week of being an adult and I need a break. 

When I have a child, does that mean I always have to be an adult?  That doesn't sound like fun at all.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

James and I had our first serious parenting disagreement

Total steps yesterday:  13,016 
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Yay!  I was actually able to run today!  Not sure what the story was compared to yesterday, but I felt great and pushed through.  Well, not great exactly.  I was very aware today that, pregnancy aside, I weigh 24 pounds more than I did a few months back and that's going to make running harder regardless of the circumstances. The last half mile was a little rough, but not impossible, so I'm feeling good.

Had a check-up at the doctor's today and all is looking / sounding good.  My stomach is measuring exactly where it should be (apparently it should be ~ 1 cm for every week when measuring a certain way and I'm right on schedule) and the baby's heartbeat still sounds good.  I'll hear in a few days whether or not I have gestational diabetes, but I'm not concerned about that.  The glucose test drink was really disgusting, especially on an empty stomach, so I'm glad to have that over.

James and I had our first major parenting disagreement last night and, being as we are ourselves, it was of course about language.  He asked me if we should try to teach Lil W a second language when she was young.  Seems like a harmless idea to me, and I agreed.  But then our paths diverged.  He thinks we should teach her Latin because it's the base for so many of the other languages and she can learn more from there.  I think we should teach her Spanish because she'll need that in her day to day existence more than Latin.  We got a bit heated standing up for our sides, and probably would have divided the apartment in half with tape and each lived on our own side for the next three months if we hadn't realized we could probably teach her both.  Compromise, people.  It's what makes a marriage work.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Conversations with my body

Total steps yesterday:  9,210
Exercise for today:  1 mile run, 1.5 mile elliptical

So this morning I decided to register for a 5k race in early December.  I can de-register later if I'm not up for it, but I figured I was still feeling good and running well, so I felt comfortable signing up.

And then I headed to the gym for my planned 3 mile run, and my body said: 

Obviously I'm a huge believer in listening to said body, so I pushed through a mile just to make sure I wasn't being a baby, and then quit and switched to the elliptical.  It was the right choice, even if it wasn't the planned workout.

Most runners / racers seem to be pretty attuned to their bods, but I wanted to share a few things about how I've learned to differentiate wanting to stop from needing to stop while pregnant.  When not pregnant, I don't worry about this - if I have a run on my schedule, I run it regardless of how I'm feeling, unless an injury or illness keeps me from even starting.  But once I've started, I push through.  And for the first bit of my pregnancy, I still felt comfortable doing this.  Now there are certain things that set off warning bells and let me know it's time to stop. 

  • About three minutes in to my run I got really warm and my face flushed.  This has been fairly common in my runs the last few weeks, so I wasn't too worried.  I took a sip of water, which normally calms it, and kept running.  About a minute later I still felt warm, but wasn't as aware of it because I was more focused on:
  • A side stitch.  For as common as side stitches are in running, I don't get them that often.  When I do, it's typically deep in to a long run, and a few minutes of really concentrated breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth) resolves the issue.  Today, the stitch didn't go away and seemed to be spreading a bit deeper in to my abdomen.  I think the culprit was actually my running belt - I think it was positioned too high and too tightly, because I loosened it after I:
  • Slowed down.  When I was about three quarters of a mile in, still feeling warm and dealing with a stitch, I decided to slow down my pace to see if that helped.  I dropped from 5.5 mph to 5.3 mph, and then down to 5 mph to finish off the mile.  I figured the slower speed might help, and it did for about 20 seconds, but then I started feeling rough again.  I finished off the mile just out of pigheadedness, then slowed to a walk for a few minutes.
In the end, I think the determining factor for me comes down to whether or not my attempts to ease a pain do any good.  If my standard methods of pushing through aren't working, then it's probably a sign that something isn't right.  When on longer training runs, it's not uncommon for me to want to walk.  When I do, I'll do a mental inventory of the different parts of me to figure out what wants to quit.  Legs feeling strong?  Heartbeat at a good rate?  Breath not too fast?  If those things all feel okay, then it's usually just a discouraging voice telling me to walk.  I do the same thing now, but I add in pregnancy specific questions:  abdomen feeling okay?  Core temperature seem normal?  Does water help me feel better?  When I take the time to ask myself those questions, it's easier to make the decisions that are right for me, and hopefully right for Lil W.
And for the record, now I feel totally fine, and Lil W is moving a normal amount, so I'm not concerned about doing any permanent damage.  It was just an off running day - tomorrow is another chance.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nothing to report

Total steps yesterday:  8,191
Exercise for today:  Rest

It's my second rest day in a row, but it's been a busy day of getting other things done, so I'll take it.  I woke up at about 3 a.m. this morning and couldn't fall back asleep - my mind was too busy spinning with all the things that needed to get done.  I think pregnancy has made these late night sessions much more worrisome - once I actually woke up and started doing things, my mind calmed down, but 3 a.m. wasn't fun.

But I checked a lot of things off the to do list, and feel more on top of everything.  I'm 95% sure I've found someone to take care of Zoe next weekend, and am hoping to finalize those details tomorrow or Monday so I can stop worrying about it.

Not much else to report, so I'll just leave you with this.  Zoe got a bath today, and is looking very noble:

James is also looking very noble, even if neither he nor Zoe appreciate me taking pictures of them:

Friday, November 1, 2013

26 things for 26 weeks!

Total steps yesterday:  17,205
Exercise for today:  Rest

1.  Today is going to be a list post since there's a lot going on, and since I'm 26 weeks along now I figured I can make a list of 26 things that are on my mind.
2.  Lil W is the size of a scallion, though that's presumably a length measurement and not a weight measurement.
3.  Mama Spaghetti responded to a Facebook post I put up at what would have been about 4 a.m. her time.  I wondered why she was up so early and then realized it's probably due to this and that I'll be the one Facebooking at 4 a.m. soon.
4.  I was reading ahead in pregnancy symptoms for the next few weeks and have decided that I'm actually 28 weeks pregnant, since the symptoms that supposedly get worse then (back pain, nighttime leg cramps, headaches when standing up) have kicked in for me this week.  I'm sure the interwebs knows more about where I'm at in pregnancy than ultrasound measurements.
5.  Today I am wearing this maternity shirt, and Macy's thinks that this is a maternity dress.  Macy's, shirts are not dresses.
Go home, Macy's, you're drunk.
6.  Zoe woke up in the middle of the night last night and needed to go out, which always feels like baby practice.  She used to let me know of her needs by sitting on my head while I slept, but lately has started worming her way in to little spoon position and licking my face.  She's adorable.
7.  But then I couldn'y fall back to sleep and spent from about 2:30-4 in a half asleep daze with, for some reason, songs from Anastasia in my head.  It was amazing to me how many of those lyrics I remembered.  James, of course, slept soundly through both Zoe waking me up and me tossing and turning for 1.5 hours.

8.  Really big news!  James and I are making a last minute trip to Elko next weekend.  He has a job thingy he's pursuing and I have a "hang out with my family and eat Basque food" thingy that I'm pursuing.
9.  But wow, last minute trips are stressful.  We're having to throw together plans very quickly and right now it kind of feels like more trouble than it's worth.
10.  But it's actually totally worth it, because not only do I get to hang out with my fam, but I get to meet the new bundle of joy who's keeping her mama up in point #3 of this list.  And that is worth all the trouble in the world.
11.  Plus, Mama Spaghetti is the best friend and has promised that I can use her newborn to teach James how to both hold newborns and change diapers, two things that will come in very handy in a few months.
12.  And I get to say hi to Little Spaghetti, aka my former ring bearer / all around awesome big brother, and that's always fun.
13.  AND I hopefully will get to meet another friend's 4 or so month old baby, which will also be nice because James will get to see both how newborns are, and how they get a bit more interactive as they get older.
14.  First I need to find Zoe a dog sitter, though.  Dog sitters are three times more expensive in VA than they were in CO, and they're oddly picky with the dogs they take in, so I'm worried my nervous scaredy-dog won't pass the standards of my top choice place.  Keep your fingers crossed.
15.  I'm also really glad I bought plane tickets yesterday instead of today, because the cost tripled overnight.  I can't even.  If I'd waited, I would have been sending James on his own and staying home.  It's not worth the price.
16.  Other things I want to do in Elko:  go for a run/walk with my dad, get breakfast burritos with my sister, drink coffee in front of the fireplace.
17.  Can we talk for a hot second about how it's already November?  I don't know how this happened.  I had all these intentions to send my little sister a birthday package and now I'm too late, so I'm just going to bring myself to her as a gift instead.  Sound cool, E?
18.  Also, we fly home on my T-minus three months due-iversary.  Or, you know, three months before my due date if you talk like a normal person.  This pregnancy has felt like forever but is actually going super fast.
19.  I had a dream last night about newborn Lil W starting to talk at 2 weeks, and no one thinking it was a big deal.  Clearly I know more about babies than everyone.
20.  I wonder if I should look in to anything involving pregnancy and flying.  I think I'm totally safe up until third trimester, but should probably check on that in case I have to get a note from the doctor / fight with the airline.
21.  I just realized this post is getting really long and there is exactly zero chance of me going back to edit it.  So sorry for all the typos in the previous 20 points.
22.  So I just googled pregnancy and flying, and it sounds like it's no big deal, but apparently if you're a pilot / flight attendant / someone who fly commutes daily between cities then you should check with your doctor about radiation exposure.  Good thing I didn't follow through on my childhood dream of being a pilot.
23.  I never had childhood dreams of being a pilot.
24.  Good thing I double-checked my specific airline rules - I need a certificate stating that I'm healthy and awesome to fly on United.  I wonder what they'd do if I didn't have one?  Do you think they'd actually turn me away at the gate?  
25.  I'm going to miss Zoe so much when we're gone.
26.  I'll probably miss my Snoogle more than I'll miss Zoe.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chun Li(l W)

Total steps yesterday:  14,867
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Guys, we need to talk about how I'm eating all the Halloween candy.  I don't even really like candy all that much and would always prefer something more substantial, but this week I'm eating everything candy.  I've decided to just give in, embrace it, and then not look at candy again until sometime next year.  I think it's the best choice.

Lil W must love all the sugary goodness, though, because today she has been doing this all. day. long:

Chun-Li's Lightning Kick Cosplay

I texted H that I've decided to name her Chun Li, and he seemed totally cool with that, so I guess we've found our girl name.

Today's run wasn't very fun.  For 38 minutes, my thoughts went a little something like this:

0:00 - 6:30 -- "I hate everything in the entire universe."
6:31 - 8:27 -- "Why is it so hot in here?  Gyms should be arctic."
8:28 - 10:56 -- "Almost to a mile.  If I get to a mile I can quit."
10:57 - 13:30 -- "One mile.  I can push to a mile and a half.  It'll probably feel good soon."
13:31 - 13:35 -- "I feel amazing!  I can do this.  I can do anything!"
13:36 - 17:12 -- "Need to pee, need to pee, need to pee."
17:13 - 22:00 -- "Ah, there's my stride again.  Hello, long lost best friend."
22:01 - 25:17 --  "Feet hurt.  Need new shoes.  Need new shoes that don't cost anything but support 20 extra pounds.  Life is so hard."
25:18 - 27:30 -- "I hate everything in the entire universe."
27:31 - 32:43 -- "If this were a marathon, I'd barely be a tenth of the way done.  I'm never running a marathon.  Marathons are the worst."
32:44 - 33:00 --"Dun-dun-dun-dun-duuunnn-dun cha cha cha (aka the theme from Chariots of Fire)"
33:00 - 34:00 -- "Cool downs are the best.  I should always just do cool downs and never, ever run again."
34:00-38:00 -- "I love running.  Running is the best.  I should probably register right this second for next year's NYC marathon because if running is the best, marathons are the bestest best."

In this respect, I'm pretty sure running is probably pretty much like pregnancy and labor.  Mostly shitty, but there are times when it feels so good, and even the horrible moments have an end.  And by the time I'm done and Lil W is here, I'll probably forget all about all the troublesome times.

Or I'll remember every minute and still be glad I did it.  I wonder if it'll be like other races, where I always swear halfway through that I'm never doing this again, and then about a week later start planning for another one.

Basically, babies = running in my mind today, which is how it should be.  Babies are the best.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Number Obsessed and Fitness Jealousy

Total steps yesterday:  16,793
Exercise for today:  2 mile walk

Most runners I know, including myself, are very number focused people.  We're constantly chasing that next PR, adding miles to our long runs, taking minutes off our miles.  We think more than most of us would admit about 3.1, 13.1, or 26.2.  This obsession has stayed with me during pregnancy, even as the numbers I'm focused on have changed.  Now I'm focused on 25 weeks, total miles ran/walked in a week, how many minutes extra it takes me to run a mile. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what's to come, and during yesterday's awesome run my brain started ticking away with a post-pregnancy training plan.  Depending on how long I'm out of running before Lil W arrives, I figure I can start back with Couch to 5k and New Rules of Lifting, and then once I've built back up to a 3 mile base, I can start half marathon training, and then marathon train, and then succeed in a randomly created goal to run a marathon by the time Lil W turns 1.

I think part of this ambitious plan stems from some major fitness jealousy I'm currently feeling.  On a logical level, I know that I'm doing very well and I have no reason to be jealous of those who are more fit than I am at the moment.  I also am a firm believer that we all have our own fitness journeys and strengths and that for every time I'm jealous of someone for being "better", they're just as likely to be jealous of me for doing something they couldn't do.

I'm part of a fitness message board, which is awesome and inspirational and a great group of women.  They're constantly pushing me to try harder, even if "trying harder" is defined as taking a walk rather than a nap.  But right now they're all doing such amazing things and I'm SO jealous.  Samantha destroyed the Tough Mudder earlier this month and is now killing it on improving her 5k time.  Gia's in the process of tapering down before this weekend's New York City Marathon.  Courtney is gearing back up in to triathlon training for next year's season (and has an awesome promo code right now for fitness products from all3sports.com if you want or need anything).  All of these things are so inspirational but also feel like something I'll never be able to do again, and that's frustrating.

Which is why I was so, so glad to find this new blog yesterday.  The blogger is a runner who has completed 24 marathons over the last 10 years - I couldn't find her PR, but she ran last year's Marine Corps Marathon in 3:17, so it's at least that.  She also has three kids, and an extensive section on running while pregnant.  My favorite, favorite thing about it was that she posted her mile times during some of her pregnant runs.  She had miles ranging from 9 minutes to 15 minutes (though some of those also including pushing two kids in a running stroller).  She also had a very healthy attitude on pushing yourself during pregnancy, but focusing on things other than time.  It was so helpful for me to read that someone who was as slow as I am during pregnancy could turn around and average less than 7:30 miles on a marathon.  I don't think I'll ever be that fast, but it helps me feel better about how fast I am now.  I may or may not achieve my goal of marathoning within the next 15 months, but I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and at least get closer to that.

And until then, I'll just focus on living vicariously through my fitness friends, rather than being jealous of them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I don't have any toes!

Total steps yesterday: 5,062
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

Today's run felt good.  Really, really good.  And my back isn't remotely sore at the moment, though it was last night when I went to bed, which is both good and bad news.  The good news is that I don't think running is the culprit.  The bad news is that I think pregnancy is the culprit, which means I have 3 or so more months of this to look forward to.  Boo.

But at least I can keep running.

Other important moments in pregnancy this week:  I have officially made the transition to looking pregnant enough that the general public asks me about the pregnancy.  Which is good to know, if only because it means I'm safely out of the "fat or pregnant?" gray area.  No one wants to be there.

Along the same vein, an important thing happened the other morning when I looked down at my feet.  When standing straight up and looking down, I can no longer see my toes.  Luckily I know they're still there, or else running would be much harder, but I'll miss them.  And I need to buy more flat boots to get them through the cold winter ahead.

I feel like this blog has been really boring lately and like I should have more to say.  But I also think pregnancy is kind of at a boring point right now.  The rush of new baby excitement is wearing down, but there's still so long to go until the baby arrives that there's no real excitement for her arrival yet.  The weekly updates are pretty much "yep, your baby is growing".  Feeling her kick is awesome but is also pretty regular now so doesn't feel special.  There are some minor physical changes for me (have I mentioned my back pain?) but nothing that is unmanageable.  Next week I go to the doctor and have my glucose test and sometime in the next week or so I  have to go in for a rhogam shot, but neither of those are particularly sexy / blog worthy.  I'd rather have a boring, normal pregnancy than an exciting, abnormal one, but seriously, I'm ready for actual baby arrival right about now.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grrr back pain.

Total steps yesterday:  7,362
Exercise for today:  none

It's the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon.  I'm looking out the patio window at orange and yellow leaves falling from the trees.  James just brought me a cup of half coffee, half coconut milk.  Zoe is sleeping with her head on my feet, which both keeps my feet warm and looks super adorable.  Lil W is training hard for future marathons, a near constant tapping that gently announces her presence. I feel very surrounded by my little family, and very happy.

Except for my back.  Oh, this terrible terrible back. I'd planned to run today, but knew when I woke up this morning that I needed a full day of rest.  I'm not sure what exactly is causing the pain.  I was initially worried it was from running, but it seems to hurt whether or not I run.  So I think it's just a natural consequence of carrying 20 more pounds on the front of my body than I was a few months ago.

It does feel a million times better when there's pressure against it, which has made it super challenging to not sleep on my back the last few nights.  I've always been a back sleeper before pregnancy, and it's been a huge adjustment to switch to my side.  I gave myself mental permission before bed last night to sleep on my back if it felt comfortable, but Lil W has gotten too heavy to make that work.

Luckily, James is the best husband ever and kept shifting positions with me so I could always lean in to either his back or his chest.  That helped get me through the night, and hopefully a day of taking it super easy will help me feel better.  In the end, a little bit of back pain is a small price to pay for Lil W.  As long as both James and Zoe are willing to take turns bracing my back while I sleep, I hope I can make it through the next three months without major issues. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

T Minus 15 Weeks

Total steps yesterday:  12,775
Exercise for today:  3 mile run

It's crazy to me that I started blogging at about 15 weeks along, and now I'm down to only 15ish weeks to go. Both James and I have had moments this week of freaking out over how little time we have left.

Some fun Lil W facts for this week:  she now weighs in at about a pound and a half and is around 13.5 inches long, or about the weight of a rutabaga.  She's also starting to gain baby fat, so will look less like Skeletor and be getting less wrinkly.  And if I could see her, I'd be able to make out her hair color and texture.  I hope she ends up with her dad's thick, dark hair and not my super fine boring auburn hair. 

Notice:  both super fine boring hair and a bump picture not in gym clothes

Speaking of her dad's hair, I think I'm starting to notice more gray in it.  He's clearly dealing with some physical changes as well!

I'm continuing to slow down a little bit.  After last week's 21k step day, I realized that I just can't do that any more.  As much as I'm still trying to hit my 10k a day goal, I'm now trying to cut back and not go over about 13k on my most active days.  It just seems like that suits my body's needs better (and means Zoe is getting more time at the dog park instead of on walks, which she seems perfectly happy with).

My only other major physical symptom is that my mid to upper back hurts a lot.  I wasn't expecting this, since I'd been braced for lower back pain.  It's not a huge deal, but I do tend to get in to bed super early now - not because I'm tired, but because it's the only way I'm comfortable.  Zoe has been super cuddly lately (more on that in a moment) and one of my favorite things that she'll do is to plop down against my back when I'm laying on my side.  I can lean back in to her a bit and it helps brace me / feels awesome and cuddly.

I do think Zoe definitely knows what's up at this point, too.  I'm not always one of those people who is like, "My dog has psychic feelings and totally gets me", but her behavior changes recently have me thinking she knows that there's a baby on the way (or at least that something is going on in my stomach  and her new job is to protect it).  She spends a fair amount of her time in the evening trying to (and usually succeeding in) sitting on my lap.  At night, she cuddles up as close to my bump as I'll let her get.  And you should have seen my 40 pound dog take down the boxer at the dog park who dared to try to jump up to greet me. 

So basically, late fall and cold is settling in, and I feel like my entire little family is now playing a waiting game focused largely around my torso.  I'm glad that Lil W continues to grow and be strong, and am thankful that we are all in good health and good spirits as we inch ever closer to third trimester.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Look familiar?

Total steps yesterday: 12,887
Exercise for today:  3 miles on the elliptical

If you knew me in August 2011, I guarantee you probably saw some variation of this picture:

Like most every woman, I was pretty obsessed with my engagement ring for a while, even though James and I had the least romantic engagement story ever (I e-mailed him asking if he wanted to get married, and he responded affirmatively two hours later). And then we went out that weekend and bought a relatively inexpensive ring and haven't looked back since.

I didn't miss my engagement ring when I switched over to my wedding ring, which has a reassuring weight to it.  But this weight, combined with my sometimes swollen fingers, has made me give it up for now. It's not that I'm particularly worried about it getting stuck, or that I can't go most of the day without it. But I've found myself taking it off sporadically (when I workout, when I sleep, basically any time I get too hot) and I'm worried that I'll lose it.  So at least for now I'm returning to my engagement ring, and accepting this as a small price to pay for baby.

Though I'm also remembering how much I like my engagement ring now.  Maybe I'll never go back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Care packages and cupcakes

Total steps yesterday:  14,026
Exercise for today:  2 mile run

Just a few minor updates for today.

First, I have the best sister in law ever who sent me a wonderful care package.

You know she's amazing because she supports my nasty pumpkin spice latte habit.  I haven't tried these yet but have thought about grabbing them every time I'm in Starbucks lately.  I'm looking forward to some experimenting and will mostly likely devote a whole blog post (or two) to discussing their awesomeness.

Also, she must be a little bit psychic because I've just started noticing dryness and other stretching stomach issues and have been meaning to pick up some lotion for the last week.  Lo and behold, now I don't have to do that.  So thanks Maria!

I don't know if I've ever talked about how James is weird and doesn't like dessert.  But every once in a while we'll find a place he likes, and then I get to drag him along for my sweet tooth cravings, and it's the best.  The most recent discovery was a cupcake shop that makes perfect cupcakes.  I won't tell you how much we've spent on them in the last few days, because it's shameful.  I also won't tell you how many I've eaten, because it's even more shameful.

Anyway, on my last cupcake run on Monday, I'd picked up extra cupcakes for us so we could have dessert on Tuesday night without me having to make another cupcake run.  I ate mine right after dinner, but James saved his for later in the evening.  And then at around 9 p.m. he did the nicest, most wonderful thing anyone has ever done for me.

He gave me his cupcake.  And I was pretty much like this:

Cupcakes dog

I really do have the best husband ever.  He's clearly going to be a great father.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Registry blues (and pinks) and the worst pregnant exercise advice ever

Total steps yesterday:  6,566
Total cupcakes yesterday:  2
Exercise for today:  35 minutes on the elliptical

Yesterday's rest day was the exact thing that my brain/body/soul needed.  The sore back that has been plaguing me for the last few days is gone.   I feel a little bit less mentally foggy, and the fog that is there seems to be normal pregnancy fog, not "feeling depressed about life" fog, which is a marked improvement.  Overall, it was definitely the right choice to take a mental health day, and even though I'm back to the grind today, I'm feeling much better.

The downside of being back to the grind is that, today, there is nothing that actually needs grinding.  There were a few small things I had to deal with I first got back to the office, but overall it's a slow time at work.  Which is good, since it means I could spend approximately 3 hours of the morning fine tuning yesterday's baby registry attempt.

Phew.  Babies need a lot of stuff.  And I feel like many of the decisions come with more questions.  Like, I would love to do cloth diapers, or at least use cloth diapers when convenient and then have disposable ones when inconvenient.  However, we currently use the laundry room in our building, and pay for each use, which makes me think it wouldn't be convenient to do cloth diapers because we couldn't wash them daily.

Then there are the important questions that we all must ask ourselves, such as whether or not a snoogle is an adequate substitute for a boppy. And whether to purchase the pale pink or the pale blue bamboobies.  And why all baby items are given such ridiculous sounding names.

The sheer number of items that are needed, not to mention the sheer price, is a bit nerve-racking.  Out of morbid curiosity / wanting to hate my life, I added up how much all the items on my registry would cost.  The total came to $3787.55.  Now, not all of the items are necessities, and a lot of them were chosen with long term or versatile use in mind, so the high price now is justified down the road.  Or there are things like diapers that I registered for in bulk that I can buy piecemeal as needed instead.  In the end, it's not a huge deal.  But considering that we won't even have a real nursery for the first three months, and that Lil W will be roughly the size of a football during that time, there is just an astonishing amount of things that are needed or would just make life a whole lot simpler.

Someone suggested registering so you had a complete list of what was needed, and then doing a massive thrift store / Craigslist shopping effort to pick up as many items as possible.  Something like that might be in order sometime soon. 

Or maybe James and I will just move to Finland.

And finally, a pregnancy and exercise update related to the elliptical, which I rocked for the first time during pregnancy today.  I don't love the elliptical - for some reason it seems to bug my knees more than running, but I need a cross-training alternative, and I'd forgotten my running belt today, so it seems like a good chance to get back on the elliptical horse.  I've heard a few things about it leading to damage after pregnancy, though, so I did some quick internet research to find out if it's fact or fiction.  It seems to be mostly fiction - like any other exercise, listen to your body, but it's highly suggested as an alternative to running.

Except there was on additional suggestion, having to do with your body overheating, that I found so repulsive I had to share.  However, I'll insert this space buffer GIF here so that those of you not inclined toward pregnancy overshares can discreetly close the page and move on with your day.

What's The Best GIF On The Internet?
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
Apparently, in order to insure that your internal body temperature doesn't get too high while ellipticalling, you should purchase a rectal thermometer and check it every 20 minutes.  Um...no.  Never, ever happening.  This is just one more reason I don't like the elliptical.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Forget my wedding day. Today was the happiest day of my life.

Total steps yesterday:  10,662
Exercise for today:  petting alpacas

Let's talk about the ways that today was the best day ever.

1.  Marriage mind meld at 5:45 a.m. that led to both James and I deciding that the best plan for the day was to take personal days from work.
2.  Zoe being fully on board with the personal day plan and letting us sleep in until 7:40.
3.  Deciding that the best choice was to spend the morning at the zoo.  Turns out cold Mondays in October = only 5 other zoo guests there, aka pretty much a private zoo.
4.  This face.
5.  These faces.

6.  This face (when safely contained behind glass, and also while glad I'm not Harry Potter at the zoo).
7.  The most debonaire kangaroo ever.
8.  Getting to pet a highland cow.
9.  Touching the horns of a watusi.
 10.  This moment happened in my life:

11.  Finally getting our act together and registering for baby stuff.  Apparently our "nursery colors" will be purple and lime green, based on our bedding choices.
12.  James looking at the bedding set and asking, "What is a window valance and why would we ever need one?"
13.  Taking pretty much the best nap ever and having exactly zero guilt about sleeping away two hours of the afternoon.
14.   James using his game points in a random online game to purchase this:
14a.  The fact that this even exists as a prize in an online game.
15.  Feeling reconnected with my husband, reconnected with my dog, and reconnected with my long lost alpaca friends.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New anti-PR

Total steps yesterday: 7,863
Exercise for today: 3 mile run

Greetings from the floor of my apartment!  Apparently this week in pregnancy = lower back pain when when I sit in traditional places like couches and chairs.  So there's been a lot of floor sitting lately, which equals a lot of animal attention as a consequence - both Zoe and Zebra seem a bit weirded out when I invade their carpet space.

It's been a relatively boring weekend in the W household.  There's lots of housework to be done, so I'm slowly chipping away at that list, while also prioritizing things like sleeping and a Sunday morning run. 

Is it possible to have an anti-PR?  Like, the slowest you've ever run?  If so, today was my slowest 5k ever since I've actually been able to run a 5k.  It took me about 38 minutes to cover the distance.  Part of that was because I took a few small "catch my breath" breaks.  The first half of my 3 mile loop is all uphill, and hills and stairs continue to be the bane of my existence.  So I  had to take a few minutes along the way to let my heartbeat slow down and catch my breath a bit.  It wasn't a huge deal - it's beautiful outside and I enjoyed the day, and still covered the distance I wanted to.

I was thinking as I ran, though, that I am inching ever closer to the point where I can't run.  I was really hoping that I might be able to push through the entire pregnancy, or at least close, but based on my body the last few weeks, I just don't know if that will happen anymore.  I'm not giving up yet, but I think the point of no return is approaching.  I'd like to make it to at least my third trimester, which translates to 4 more weeks or 12 more runs.  I think I have at least that many left in me.

So far, Lil W and I have travelled around 734 (Fitbit verified) miles together.  That's quite a distance, but I'm still planning to chip away and reach 1,000 miles together before her 2014 arrival.  Baby steps, right?