Monthly Archives: December 2012

12/7/12

I got the good news last night, that I passed my 3 hour glucose screening and do not have gestational diabetes.  Of course, I was happy and relieved because I don’t think anyone wants to go on a restrictive diet through pregnancy and worry about how the disease might affect their baby.  That being said, I did some research and wanted to share because there is definitely a stigma that goes along with developing gestational diabetes that isn’t very fair. 

 When we think of people with type II diabetes, we often think of those that have the highest risk factors; overweight, not enough exercise.  Its common then to assume and associate the same stigma to those that develop this disease during pregnancy.  However, the research I found (from the diabetes.org website) says this is not the case.  They are not sure what causes gestational diabetes but know that during pregnancy, because of placental hormones, a woman’s body needs about 3 times the insulin she normally needs to prevent the level of glucose in the blood from getting too high.  Some women in their 24th week of pregnancy have insulin that cannot keep up with the demand.  It doesn’t mean the mother had diabetes before or that she will have diabetes after the pregnancy.  Its not something she did wrong.  So if you did have or had gestational diabetes its nothing to feel shameful about, like I did when my initial glucose test was outside the acceptable range.

 That being said, there are so many other pressures that pregnant women put upon themselves that can cause unnecessary stress or disappointment.  In the birthing class that Tim and I took last weekend everyone in the class pretty much unanimously said the thing they wanted most out of birth was a healthy baby.  Well then, no matter how you get there, if that’s the overall outcome there should be no disappointment.  I’ve heard women that have had c-sections say they felt as if it was some sort of failure on their part to deliver.  It makes me sad to hear that women feel this way after having a healthy baby.  Sure, I admit that a c-section is not ideal and I’m hoping I don’t need one, mainly because it’s a major surgery and has associated risks and also a much longer recovery time.  However, if it turns out that I need to have one to deliver my healthy baby, I’m not going to let myself feel like I did something wrong.

 The same is true for delivery methods.  I’ve talked to many women in the last few months about birth and delivery and found that a lot of women have strong opinions either way on how to go about delivery.  I’ve had plenty tell me to just get an epidural, that its worth it and even some that say it made delivery “easy”.  I’ve also had some women that didn’t have an epidural with their first birth, but did with subsequent deliveries say that they wish they had an epidural the first time.  I’ve also had women tell me that the epidural is unnecessary and it slows everything down and doesn’t allow for labor to progress naturally and that it isn’t really that bad.  So it seems that everyone that’s been through labor and delivery has a strong opinion about what’s best.  So what do I think?  I don’t know.  I’m purposely trying to stay as open and objective as possible so that when I have my own delivery experience, I don’t feel pressure to stick to any particular plan and feel disappointed if I don’t.  The thing about birth is that its unpredictable.  While I think I am pretty tough and have a high pain tolerance, I’ve never experienced this before and know that it can vary greatly from one woman to another and even from one pregnancy to the next.  So I have a hard time saying “well this is what I want” when I have no experience of my own to base it on. 

 I honestly thought I’d sail through pregnancy pretty easily, and look at how surprised I’ve been at some of the hardships I’ve encountered.  Even last night, I felt very uncomfortable most of the evening and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.  I had this sensation that I had to pee all night, no matter how many times I went.  It wasn’t painful, but I also just felt like my belly was really heavy and there was a lot of pressure in my pelvic area.  This morning I woke up and everything magically seems fine.

 I purchased The Bradley Method of childbirth and began reading one of the books yesterday.  The theory behind it is that childbirth is a natural process and the role of the doctor is to be the “lifeguard” to watch for any complications and assist should that be necessary, but otherwise, let women do what their bodies were made for.  I have to say that I agree with this and that births in the hospital is something relatively new to women since we’ve been having babies for thousands of years.  That being said, the rates of death for mothers and babies has also declined substantially due to improvements in modern medicines and interventions.  Where a breech baby was something that was pretty much a medical emergency some time ago, today its not necessarily anything to be too concerned over.  

  And there are many areas of childbirth where something can happen at any part along the way that could greatly be helped by medical intervention.  Another example is if your water breaks before contractions start.  Once your water breaks, the birth should happen within a certain timeframe due to risks posed from having the waters break.  So again…medical intervention that I wouldn’t say “no” to. 

 Birth is such a personal experience for every woman and every couple, as it should be.  I just wanted to express my feelings that it doesn’t have to come with this “high expectations” birth plan that may or may not work for you.  A healthy baby is a blessing that we should all be thankful for, no matter what the method.

Glucose Test 12/6/12

Yesterday evening’s run went really well!  I’d say it was the best in weeks, honestly.  My back didn’t bother me at all, my legs didn’t go too numb or at least didn’t feel weak for very long, and overall I just felt good.  I went slow, as usual, averaging 8:28 pace, so it was still even one of my faster runs in a while.  I did have the slight sensation that I had to pee, but when I returned, it went away.  I ran after work and it was dark and I tried focusing on the Christmas lights in my neighborhood and I didn’t even stop once!  I did several loops.  I’ve decided that from now on, no matter what my distance instead of going out and then coming back, I’m just going to do short little loops that are never very far from my house should something happen.  Not always exciting, and I’m sure it will get old quickly, but its safer. 

 Tim was out of town on business last night so immediately after my run I made dinner and ate it, then realizing I needed to fast for 12 hours prior to my glucose test!  Luckily, since I finished before 8, I was still ok.  I walked the dog and was then just so very tired.  I was hoping to get out some more Christmas decorations and go through some boxes of things I’ve had in storage (Tim and I are doing a major house detox to get ready for baby) but I just didn’t have the energy.  I watched tv for a bit and then took a hot shower since I was feeling cold and stiff before going to bed.

 No lower back issues during the night.  I slept in a little bit since my appointment was at 8:15 am and it was not more than a few minutes drive.  Especially since I’d showered the night before and couldn’t eat breakfast, I didn’t need much time to get ready.  So I drove to the hospital, got there 15 minutes early, checked in and setup my laptop in the waiting room and began to work.  They called my name a few minutes past 8:15 and took me into a room and explained to me they had no paperwork and had no idea what I was therefore.  Upon discussing further, we came to the realization that I was supposed to go to a different building.  Stressed out because now I was late and didn’t have a phone number to call, I quickly headed in the direction the lady told me and drove around all these buildings and could not find the one I was supposed to go to.  I called my OB’s office, dropped the call, called back and by the time I had explained to the woman on the phone what I needed, I saw the building!  Great way to start an already stressful test! 

 They were really nice at the glucose test and it really was not fun.  They drew blood from my arm first thing to get a fasting reading.  They actually took much more blood than I thought they would.  Then the nurse gave me a drink and told me to drink the whole thing within 5 minutes.  It tasted much worse than the one I had for the 1 hour test.  I looked at the bottle and realized it was twice as concentrated.  It was sort of like drinking syrup.  She told me if I threw up, we’d have to do the test all over again.  She gave me some water and then I went back to the waiting room for an hour.  She called me in one hour later and took more blood from my other arm, and then did the same thing one hour later and another hour after that.  The drink did not feel good in my stomach.  I was nauseous but kept it all down because I did not want to have to do this all over again.  This morning when I woke up I was hungry.  When I left, after several hours of not eating and just having that drink sitting in my belly for 3 hours I wasn’t really.  But I knew I needed to eat and that it might make my belly feel better so I ate a hearty lunch when I got home.  I even ate a gingerbread cookie and a peanut butter candy because if I do have GD, I’m sure those foods will be off limits until after the baby is born.  The nurse said they should call me about 24 hours to let me know the results.

 In the meantime, I decided to try running two days in a row.  Normally Thursday would be my swimming day but since I had this appointment this morning.  It wasn’t nearly as nice as yesterday’s run, but it wasn’t all that bad either.  I stopped once when the pressure in my bladder was intense and then started again when I didn’t feel it after stopping.  Again, my back felt fine.  My right lower leg felt a little weak and numb, but not bad. The worse part was that I kept burping up that awful drink!  A couple times I thought maybe I’d even throw up, but I didn’t.  I ran my 3 miles and was happy that it went fairly well.  I ran slightly different loops and my overall time was only 5 seconds slower than yesterdays run, so I guess I’m consistent in my comfortable pace at least!  Averaged 8:30 today, and both days noticed that my first mile is my slowest, my second mile is always my fastest and my last mile is somewhere in between the two.  Interesting.

I am in Good Company! 12/4/12

Apparently, the Duchess Kate is also pregnant, as is one of my favorite professional runners, Lauren Fleshman.  Not to be rude, but I really couldn’t care less about Kate being pregnant.  Nothing against her personally, but we just don’t have very much in common.  However, I am thrilled at the news of Lauren Fleshman and can’t wait to read her blogs about pregnancy.

 Bad news.  I didn’t pass my initial blood glucose screening yesterday.  I’ll be completely honest and admit I was quite upset about it.  My doc even said that I have low risk factors because I exercise and keep a healthy weight.  So naturally, I felt like my not passing, was a huge failure on my part.  Tim tried making me feel better.  At first, he didn’t know why I was upset and thought that he’d done something wrong!  I told him that I felt like I had let him and myself and Alexandra down.  So naturally, I obsessed about it like I always do and found out a few things.  I didn’t “fail” as I’d thought.  If I had scored 200 or higher, then I would have been considered to have gestational diabetes without further testing.  I scored a 158 and needed to be 139 or lower to have completely passed the initial screening.  Furthermore, many women that don’t pass this initial screening end up passing the longer, 3 hour test just fine.  I go to take that on Thursday.  Again, I’m not thrilled about it, but I’m hoping for the best.

 So after I had my pity party for myself, I went for another 3 mile run.  Besides feeling so slow and just a bit uncomfortable, I felt pretty good!  That made me happy.  My legs didn’t go numb like they’ve been doing lately.  Besides, it was nice out yesterday, in the low 60’s which you can’t beat in December.  My belly felt particularly “heavy” and puffy, but I think that is because I had to chug that sugar drink for my test.  I got done and walked the dog and then had a quick dinner, Tim and I had a great night putting some artwork on the nursery walls.  I know that sounds strange but we had a good time.  We got these peel and stick “decals” and we created a beautiful tree on one wall and a little forest with cute animals right above the crib.  Alexandra was moving like crazy yesterday!  She even moved for the doctor and we watched her heart rate go up.  Can’t wait to meet this feisty little one!

 Today I went swimming again and really felt like I got in a good workout.  My lower back did ache a bit but it really hasn’t been bothering me at night anymore so I’m so hoping those terrible pains are over. 

 The other fun project I’ve been working on is Tim’s training plan for Riverbank Run 2013.  Since I’m such a far cry from going after my own goals right now and have already set them for post baby, its fun for me to design a plan to help him meet his goals.

December is finally here! 12/3/12

Saturday, Tim and I had our birthing class from 9-3.  I set the alarm to get up early and go for a run.  I was surprised to see that Tim wanted to join me.  I warned him that I’m slower now and I sometimes have to stop, etc.  He said he didn’t mind and he was great.  In the first mile, my right leg kept going “numb”.  Its hard to explain but I’ve been having this feeling in my legs for a couple weeks now when I go running and when I walk up stairs quickly.  I figure it’s a circulation thing and my blood is just not getting there as quickly due to the increased pressure.  Anyway, the more we ran along the more painful it became.  So I stopped, stretched it and shook it out to try to get the blood going.  I wanted to run 2 miles out and 2 back for a total of 4 miles.  Well, given that I was already feeling like this before a mile, I decided to turn around. 

 I also had the strong urge that I had to pee, but that’s not necessarily unusual when you’re running pregnant, so I ignored it.  Tim and I slowly jogged back towards the house and I stopped a few more times when the pain in my leg got real intense and walked for a little while.  Then, when we were within 400 meters of being home I wanted to jog the rest of the way in so we started running again and somehow magically, my leg seemed to loosen up and feel better.  So we ran past our house and then did some small loops through the neighborhood and we got in 3 miles total and I didn’t have to stop again at all.  It was an 8:45 pace, so my slowest run yet, but I was happy to get 3 miles in when I thought at one point that I’d have to settle for just over a mile!

 Interesting though, when I stopped running, I still had the strong urge to pee.  Usually it goes away after I stop.  Without getting into too many details, when I finally did go, I panicked because my urine was bright red.  Bladder and kidney infections are more common in pregnancy because sometimes your bladder can be compressed depending on the uterus and the position of the baby, so it may not empty completely and then bacteria can multiply.  I hadn’t had any symptoms until then and I immediately checked my temperature (which was normal) and called my doctors office.  I worried that I had done something while running.  I was prepared to not run another step through the rest of the pregnancy, I was so worried about Alexandra.  Additionally, I didn’t feel her moving until we were in the car and driving to our class.  Once I did, I felt better, but I was still just so scared. 

 Once we got to the hospital for the class I went to the lab and had my urine tested.  I was able to get a prescription for antibiotics that I picked up later that day and felt much better knowing that that was all that it was.

 Tim and I had a good time in our class and both felt like it was worthwhile and beneficial.  We also got to see my co-workers baby that she delivered prematurely last week.  She was adorable!  I feel bad  that she’s still in the hospital, but she is doing great and hopefully going home very soon.

 Tim and I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and building our baby registry before going out to dinner.  I got a little overcome with emotion on the way to dinner.  Truth be told, its been a rough couple weeks.  Getting the flu, having my back pain, barely sleeping at night due to the pain and having to really reduce my running and then having even that be so unpredictable and then getting the bladder infection…well it was a lot.  I’m so used to knowing my body so well and its been scary and strange to have all these things happen and feel so helpless to it all. 

 I guess I had this idea that I’d love pregnancy and I’d sail through it so smoothly.  When people ask me how its going I just want to be able to say “Good, great, etc.”  What makes it harder is that I still have a long ways to go.  At least if I only had 4-6 weeks to go the end would be near and it would be easier to get through, but 13 weeks still is a long time and everyone keeps telling me that its only going to get worse. 

 When my back was bothering me, I was not sleeping very well or very long at all.  I went through the day tired and in pain.  I tried to keep a positive attitude and think of all the wonderful things but I guess on Saturday night it just all got to be too much and I had a little cry with Tim.  We bought another body pillow at Target on Saturday and my pregnancy cradle arrived on Friday. 

 I’m so happy to report this morning that something really helped.  Both Saturday and Sunday night I slept sooo much better.  My back would get stiff, so I’d wake up and change positions, but it wasn’t the intense pain I was feeling before. 

 Today I take my glucose tolerance test and am obviously hoping that I pass.  My doctor said it sometimes surprises her who passes and who doesn’t ,so I don’t know what to expect.  Later today, I’ll try going for another run, this time only aiming for 3 miles and I’ll probably do short loops or carry my phone in case I have to stop for any reason. 

 Alexandra has been moving a lot both Saturday night and Sunday so it makes me so happy and realize this is all so worth it.  I knew that pregnancy would be hard, but I guess I was anticipating it to be hard much later…I didn’t know it would be this hard for me so early on.  My weight gain has really seemed to taper off these last few weeks so I’m holding steady at 16 pounds.  I just FEEL like I’m getting so much bigger.  Honestly, on Friday I was dreading seeing the numbers on the scale because I felt like my weight had gone up 5 pounds.  I was surprised to see that it stayed the same as the week before.  My body looks so different too.  My belly obviously is sticking out, but last night while I was getting out of the shower I thought my thighs looked thicker too.  I just tell myself during those moments that this is all temporary and I’m going to be able to get my old body back after Alexandra is born.  I lost a lot of weight before, so I know I can do it again. 

 So there you have it.  This is my honest view of how this pregnancy is going.  Its so much different than I thought it would be, so I hope it helps someone else going through it to know that “you’re not alone!”.

11/28/12

My chiropractic appointment was very helpful yesterday.  I went home with my back feeling good and relaxed.  It made me nervous to lift things and strain it again.  Tim’s been moving our furniture back upstairs now that he’s done with so many of the updates and I felt guilty because I wanted to help, but that horrible pain I experienced the night before just scared me.  So I did things like make up the beds.  Its funny that you don’t really realize all the things you use your back for until its been hurt.  You use it for pretty much everything.  Walking up and down stairs, bending over, lifting anything, cooking and chopping…the list goes on and on. 

 Last night during the night, my back was definitely better than it was the night before, but it still bothered me.  I tried many different positions and switched often during the night, trying to find the most comfortable position.  I ended up settling for those that seemed to hurt my back the least and at least I was able to get to sleep that way.  I did take my Flexerol last night with dinner, so maybe that’s what made the difference.  I still wasn’t “pain free” though, so I know the drugs aren’t totally blocking the pain.

 Once I was up and out of bed and in the hot shower this morning I felt like it loosened up.  When I got to work though, I again had a hard time getting comfortable.  I know it sounds strange but the position at work that seems to feel the best is to sit with my left leg and left foot on my chair with my knee bent.  Probably not the best, but it sure feels the best.

 I went for a 3 mile run at lunch today and while my back didn’t hurt, thankfully, it wasn’t exactly a great run.  It started out that way, but on the way back I developed a severe side stitch on my abdomen that I just couldn’t shake.  I’d stop running, stretch, walk, take deep breaths and always when I’d start again, it was there.  I had a very slow run, averaged 8:23 pace for 3 miles with the last mile being the slowest due to the side stitch.  Of course after I finished and ate lunch I noticed that I hadn’t felt the baby move in a while so I started to get worried.  So I started poking around my belly and when I got to the spot where I had the side stitch I felt something hard, like maybe that’s where her head was!  It scared me, and then I of course worried that I hurt her by poking at her head, but then I felt some movement as she probably shifted positions to get away from the mean lady that was poking her head as she was trying to sleep.

 So maybe that’s why I had the side stitch?  I don’t know but it is all very strange and I wonder if other mothers have experienced anything similar or if I’m just a crazy person.  I’m going to take the Flexerol again tonight and see if anything improves.  I also ordered a pregnancy cradle belt online today.  Its this very interesting looking strappy thing that is supposed to redistribute your weight among your shoulders and abdomen and upper back to relieve the strain on the lower back.  Maybe if I wear it all day my back will be less stressed and less likely to hurt at night when I go to bed. 

 I’m also stopping by a health food store tonight on my way home from work and picking up some red raspberry leaf tea.  My chiropractor recommended I start drinking it every night from now until I deliver.  He said it works to strengthen the uterus so contractions are more productive and makes for a better labor.  I researched it on my own this morning since I had never heard of it and did find some great reviews.  Its supposed to be caffeine free so it may even be a nice relaxing hot drink for me to take at night before bed time.  I plan to swim tomorrow again during my lunch break.  My arms were actually a little sore today from swimming yesterday—it was kind of nice.

11/27/12 (2)

I had to write again to rave about my lunchtime activity: swimming!  I went to the high school pool during my lunch hour.  I changed into my one piece swimsuit and laughed when I caught a glimpse of my belly in the mirror…yep, you can definitely tell I’m pregnant!  Anyway, jumped into the cold water and after a few warm up laps got into a nice rhythm!  It felt so good.  It was hard too, in that I haven’t done it in so long that I had to figure out the whole breathing thing and actually felt like I got a good, heart pumping workout in.  And my back felt great. 

 Swimming while pregnant is so much different than running while pregnant.  The extra weight you’re carrying doesn’t seem to make very much of a difference in the way you feel.  Also, since your belly is below you, you don’t get that bouncing/pulling, pressure on your bladder sensation that I was getting with running.  It gave me a nice escape to feel like me again.  I took it nice and easy and felt my arms tiring.  I was passing the guy in the lane next to me and for those 30 minutes I just felt like me again…not pregnant me, which is how I always feel now when I’m running. 

 That may sound selfish, but as any woman who’s ever been pregnant can tell you, its not.  There comes a point in the pregnancy when you constantly are aware of your present condition of being with child and everyone around you is glaringly aware too.  It can make you feel sort of like your only role in this world is to provide a nice home for the life growing inside you.  Your body changes and while its beautiful and wonderful, its so easy to forget that there’s a woman inside there too with hopes and dreams and fears.  Even at work right now its hard to not think about the baby with every decision.  I want to grow in my career, but in the back of my mind, I know I’m going on maternity leave and how difficult it would be to start training on a new job only to take 12 weeks off and have to learn everything all over again.  So yes…there’s been some opportunities that have come up that I admit I haven’t fully gone after.  I don’t regret that.  I am happy in my current position, so its not like I’m itching to move on.  Yet, I know that I eventually want more for myself and my family and my boss knows that too.  So, in some ways pregnancy feels like everything else in your life is temporarily put on hold.  Running used to make me feel free of all that, but with the discomforts lately, its yet another thing I do where I can’t forget that I’m carrying another life.  Swimming gave me that feeling of freedom today and it was so very much needed.

 I get bored with swimming, so I’m sure my new passion will fizzle out once I’ve been doing it on a regular basis but in this moment I feel great so I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.

 

11/27/12

Last night I had a fantastic 3 mile run after work.  Its getting dark now just a little past 5 pm, so by 6 pm it was completely dark and the neighborhood was lit up with Christmas lights.  It was cold, low 30’s but I bundled up so I stayed plenty warm.  Its so funny, there was a time that I thought 3 mile runs weren’t worth the time to get all those layers on!  My how perspectives can change.  So I just went along at my leisurely pace, not watching my watch, enjoying the lights and enjoying the experience of running.  And my back never hurt!  The run gets hard for different reasons now.  I did have some tightness/pulling in my abdomen but it didn’t really bother me and since last week I’ve noticed that my legs seem to be a little bit behind my body on my runs.  It just feels like the blood doesn’t flow as fast or something…they feel kind of weak, or like how they feel after they “fall asleep” and you try to stand up on them.  That’s the best way I can think to describe it.  I didn’t care about any of this or the fact that I averaged 8:04 pace for my 3 miles.  I was just blistfully happy that my back didn’t hurt.

 I got home and felt great and thought that I could have even run a little further and that maybe my back issues had finally worked themselves out.

 Those happy thoughts were crushed sometime around 3 am when I woke up with horrible back pain.  Ugh.  I tried changing positions, I tried using my little pregnancy body pillow, tried stretching, pelvic tilts…and nothing worked.  I wanted to take my Flexerol but I knew that late in the night it would make me sleepy this morning at work.  So I layed there in pain and dozed in and out of sleep until morning with a host of strange dreams.  I had packed my bag last night to get up and go swimming this morning but since I was up so much of the night and my back hurt, I decided to sleep in and try to go during my lunch break today.

 The emotional disappointment is worse than the physical pain.  I felt so great running last night and was so happy.  Everything with my back felt fine when I went to bed last night.

 I go to the chiropractor again tonight and get a massage.  Hopefully that helps and then I’ll take the flexerol once I get home.  My back is feeling better this morning, it really seems to be night time sleeping is what aggravates it the most.  I actually thought seriously last night about going down to our basement and trying to sleep in an upright position.  Tim and I do have a reclining rocker in the nursery.  Maybe we move that into our room and I try sleeping in that.  Otherwise I’m just not sure what to do.