Monthly Archives: February 2013

2/24, no baby yet

Its been a full week since my last post. There hasn’t really been a whole lot happening.

I was able to do a new exercise in this past week that made me really happy. I had been scared to try the eliptical because its so similar to running and I figured it would hurt my hip. I decided to give it a try though after I did try to run on the treadmill for a quarter mile and my hip pain came back. The eliptical felt great! I was getting so tired of the bike, so it was really nice to do something different, especially something that lets me really get my heart rate up and break a good sweat.

I honestly thought I’d have the baby by this point. Everyone warned me that first time moms often go past their due date but because my mom and grandma both delivered so early, I just really wished myself into thinking I’d be the same. It helped me to get through weeks 34-37 when I had to stop running, but now that I’m still very pregnant at almost 39 weeks its made for a very LONG last couple weeks.

At my appointment on Monday I was terribly disapointed when my doctor told me I was still at 1cm dilation. Almost to the point of tears but not quite. Then the next couple days things started to feel like they were happening again and I got real excited. But every day I’d wake up and go to work and go home and go to bed and do it all again the next day.

Thankfully, my co-workers through me a fun surprise shower at work on Thursday and it was really nice and brought a little joy to my week.

I don’t want to just complain, but the last few weeks of labor can be incredibly hard. I’m uncomfortable, as I suspect all mothers to be are at this stage. Everything becomes a challenge. Showering, trying to shave your legs, putting on your underwear, pants and socks! Getting out of bed, out of a chair, out of the car…that bump just gets in the way!

Not to mention that your physical appearance alone is a conversation piece for everyone! Some people really enjoy this part, but I often get uncomforable when a lot of attention is on me so often I just want to turn the conversation to anything else. Luckily, no stranger has ever tried to touch my belly, but it seems ok for everyone to comment on it.

When just about EVERY stranger you come into contact with asks if you’re due soon you feel like you must look like a blimp…until you tell them you’re due date and then they start telling you how “small” you look? And its just hard to know how to take it.

Tim’s having a hard time too. He’s really anxious for me to have the baby and I sometimes feel like I’m disapointing him because I have nothing new to tell him. I know I’m not, obviously I can’t control when I go into labor, but I can’t help but want to see the joy on his face when I tell him its happening, and I can’t miss the disapointment when he asks me how I’m doing and I have nothing exciting to share.

Then there’s the sleep…or lack of it. I feel like I barely sleep at all anymore and I wake up so tired, even on the weekends that I kind of just hurt. My eyes look terrible every day, they hurt and I try to nap when I get the opportunity and I mostly just lay there wishing sleep to come.

But the worst part for me is all these “false hopes” I keep getting. Yesterday for example we had a really nice dinner at my in laws. After dinner I had some pretty bad cramping and backache and started to have my first painful contractions. I got excited and when Tim and I got home we actually started to time them. The second one was 14 minutes apart, then 10 minutes, then 20 minutes…then 40 and then they stopped altogether. I hoped that maybe if I went to sleep I’d wake up in the middle of the night with regular contractions but I just woke up in the night without any contractions.

I know, I know…I’m SO close! Patience has never been something I’m good at, though I do try. I’m thankful that I have carried a healthy baby to term and have had an uncomplicated pregnancy. I’m so thankful for that and remind myself of this fact every time I start to get real down about still being pregnant.

To me its similar to the last part of a marathon. In the early miles you don’t waste a lot of energy. You kind of just go along at an easy pace so as to save all your mental and physical energy for the end when you need it. You reach the halfway point and it feels like a huge milestone and it sort of gives you a mental boost knowing that you’re halfway there. The fatigue is starting to set in but you’re still going strong. You hit mile 16 and its getting harder but you’ve already made it so far and there is now only 10 miles to go. You have to start drawing on those energy reserves at this point but its still managable. You make it to mile 20 and things are really starting to hurt. You’re really drawing on those energy reserves now and have to break down the race into much smaller and more manageable bits…focus on the next mile marker…then the next one. With a 5K to go you’re so close so you start really expending that mental energy and maybe even get a little adrenaline boost. You’re excited, it will all be over very soon.

One mile to go! You’re literally ALMOST there, but you’re not yet either. Everything in your body hurts. All you can think about is how great its going to feel crossing that finish line. You just passed mile marker 25 and you look at your watch again and you’re only at 25.1…time seems to slow down substantially. You’re using up all your remaining reserves and when you think you’re getting so close you realize you’re not even to the half mile marker yet. Where is the fricken finish line? You start to get frustrated. You just ran over 25 miles and your body is struggling so much with less than a mile to go! The last mile of the marathon is always the hardest for me. That’s how I’m feeling right now. I know that I’m so close I can almost hear her crying yet I still feel like it just can’t get here soon enough. And the fact that other people that are due around the same time have gone early and delivered healthy babies…well…that makes it even harder. “No fair! How come they get to have their little one already and I’m still over here uncomfortably waiting?!”

So this is my mental state right now. I will get there and when I do it will all be so worth it. Until then, I will continue to exercise as often as possible because it does seem to be one of the only things that really makes me incredibly happy for the duration and then for a few hours later. And I will remind myself to be thankful for all of my blessings.

Sunday Funday & Still Counting…2/17/13

For the most part it was a pretty uneventful week. I continued with the biking and my hip continued to feel better to the point that I entertained thoughts of trying to run. However, after walking my dog over a mile and feeling how sore my hip was after that I decided it wasn’t worth the risk, plus I’ve got to be close to the end, right?!

Friday something very scary happened. I’ve suffered from migraine headaches since age 12 and they usually follow the same predictable pattern. About 15 to 20 minutes before the headache comes on I get fuzzy spots or zig zag lines in either one or both eyes. Usually it starts small, hardly noticeable like a letter on a page that you can’t quite see by looking at directly. Then it grows until you can barely see anything out of one or both of your eyes. If you take your medicine at that point, usually the severity of the headache can be greatly reduced, but never cures it completely. You kind of still need to just let it run its course.

Anyway, I was afraid that once I was pregnant I may have a lot of them because they can be triggered by hormones. Much to my pleasant surprise I hadn’t had a single one since becoming pregnant! Until Friday.

I was in a meeting at work and suddenly things got really strange. People were talking and I couldn’t understand what they were saying. I was hearing the words but it was like my brain was refusing to interpret them. Feeling foolish, I pretended to nod in agreement when I had no idea what was said. And then when it was my turn to speak, different words seemed to be coming out of my mouth. I tried covering it up but I was getting so scared. I tried thinking of the names of the people in the room with me and couldn’t remember them. I had my laptop with me and got an email from Tim and tried reading it and I kept jumbling his words and making out sentances that didn’t make sense. I wondered if I was having a stroke.

After a few minutes the confusion seemed to pass and I could again make out words and remember people’s names but it scared me. Then suddenly I got the too familiar zig zag lines in front of my right eye and thought “Could that have all been part of the migraine?” I sat through the rest of the meeting in a fog and went into my next feeling the same way. I knew a horrible headache was on its way too. In my next meeting, after my visual disturbance had gone away, my right hand went completely numb. What was going on?? Then my eye disturbance came back!! Nothing about this was typical so I told my co-worker I didn’t feel well and called my doctor’s office on the way home.

They had me come in that afternoon and checked my blood pressure to make sure I wasn’t developing pre-eclampsia. Blood pressure was normal, baby’s heart rate was good and I felt relieved. The doctor said that sometimes migraines can have stroke like symptoms but it was good that I called since this was unusual for me and it could have been something serious. She gave me a prescription that was safe to take during pregnancy and I picked it up on my way home. Yikes! What a scary day!

Saturday I was feeling back to normal with only a slight headache whenever I coughed or sneezed. I did my 45 minute bike ride and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom! We hadn’t made any plans for this weekend because we weren’t sure if and when Alexandra was going to arrive. It was snowy and nasty out anyway, and it felt good to get so much done.

Today will be a similar day for me and Tim. We’ll run lots of errands and try to keep busy. Its getting harder and harder to think about anything else but her arrival. I haven’t felt any more significant contractions or crampiness so I have no idea how things are progressing. I did have a lot of rib pain yesterday. I’m not sure if its her feet pushing out my rib cage or what, but it hurts and it doesn’t let up much when I can get her to change positions. I feel like she’s HUGE in there! I can feel what seems to be her back all the way up by my sternum and when she squirms I think I feel her little knees untuck somewhat and I just think “how does she have ANY room!”

I’ll post my 36 week (9 month)belly shot. My torso is so short I really do feel like I’m just ALL BABY and its getting pretty uncomfortable.
DSC_1223

37 weeks and counting 2/12/13

Yesterday was a big milestone! I made it to full term!

Things have actually been going pretty well lately. It was so nice having my sister come in over the weekend! I was able to bike in our basement for 45 minutes on Saturday before she arrived and then I picked her up and we got ready and headed over to my friend Val’s for my 3rd and final baby shower! It was a co-ed shower so Tim was there too and we had a great time! We have such great friends and family and it was just so nice to relax and have fun and not be so anxious. πŸ™‚

Sunday was a little odd…despite not getting to bed until shortly after midnight, I couldn’t sleep past 5 am (that was when I finally looked at the clock, who knows how long I had been lying there trying to fall back asleep). I finally got up and started going through coupons and organizing and creating spreadsheets of all our registry items we needed still and where the best deal was. I was kind of obsessed.

After my sister got up, we went to breakfast, and I won’t get into everything that went wrong but we got a free meal out of it (sort of) and it ended up taking way more time than we anticipated so there wasn’t much to do before Lindsay had to get ready to leave. 😦

After dropping off Lindsay at the airport Tim and I went to all three places we were registered and bought the rest of the items we felt we needed before Alexandra arrives. It was kind of hectic but we were a great team and he always dropped me off and picked me up at the door and pushed the cart around. I still got a lot of walking in but surprisingly my hip seemed to feel better than its been feeling. It still hurt, but it was much easier for me to walk around than it even was the day before.

I was having some pretty irregular contractions at various points throughout the day. They seemed a little stronger than the other BH contractions but still weren’t anything I was really concerned about. I also had a slight lower backache and some menstrual like cramping but overall felt pretty good.

I was exhausted by the end of the night though and fell asleep some time after 9 pm. Woke up sometime before 4 am though on Monday morning feeling like I drank a 5 hour energy drink! I got up and started doing baby laundry and finished writing all my thank you cards and hopped on the bike and rode for half an hour before I showered, ate breakfast and got ready for my appointment.

At the appointment we did the strep B test and she checked me for dilated and effacement. I was 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was happy that I had started making some progress towards delivery but know that it doesn’t mean much since women can stay dilated for several weeks.

I tried driving into work after the appointment, but the roads were getting really bad and I saw an 8 car accident and a semi truck start to jack knife trying to slow down. So I turned around and drove back home and worked there the rest of the day.

I would say that yesterday I didn’t really notice too many contractions, but still had that menstrual cramping sensation every now and again.

Tim stayed late and did a workout on the treadmills at work and I put together our stroller and cooked dinner while waiting for him. After dinner, we went and checked out all the features on the stroller, practiced folding and unfolding and put the baby car seat in it. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was already 9 pm by the time we got done and I was exhausted. He looked like he wanted to try installing the car seat and I said “No way!” and got ready for bed.

Today I’m back at work and rode the bike during my lunch for 30 minutes again. I’m really excited because my hip has continued to feel a little better every single day. I even got off the bike and walked for a quarter mile on the treadmill just to see how it felt and it didn’t really hurt at all. It made me think that maybe I can try running again soon. I don’t want to set myself back and not be able to walk, so I may still wait a few days and see if I can walk some more before I even think of running.

As for everything with Alexandra…all the contractions I was feeling and crampiness seem to have gone away today and I just feel normal again. My energy spurt is completely gone and I slept until my alarm went off at 6 am this morning and woke up exhausted.

When I’m walking around I can feel her head real low in my pelvis, even to the point it kind of hurts my bladder. I guess there really is no way to tell when you’re going to go into labor and the more I try to find signs the more I’ll probably be disapointed when nothing happens.

All the Little Things in Life 2/7/13

3 weeks and 1/2 weeks to go…

I know it seems like I’m almost there and I should be elated. I think that myself sometimes and wonder why I’m so impatient. The last couple weeks have been harder than I was prepared for. Mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it. I’m very grateful that I’ve made it this far along in the pregnancy without major complications. I’m so grateful for that. As a selfish human being (which I am, and which I truly think at some level we all are) I’m very tired of being pregnant. I could go on a whole vent about how I’m not sleeping very well, how I struggle to get my pants and socks on, how it hurts to walk, or bend or do just about anything besides sit, how I get strange pains in my abdomen and pelvis at random moments throughout the day, how occasionally I feel nausea, indigestion, itchyness and just a general feeling of being uncomfortable most of the time, but I won’t because this blog is supposed to be positive and encouraging.

A lot of things have been going well. I’m able to bike and Tim set up my bike on the trainer in the basement so I’m at least getting some exercise, which has helped my mood tremendously. Today I rode the bike in the fitness center on my lunch break and the 30 minutes seemed to fly by for the first time since I’ve started biking. I think its because I was thinking the whole time about racing again and imagining myself chasing down other runners and it felt so good to be in that mind set again.

Outside of running and outside of the pregnancy there have been some family things going on that have made me really realize how much I do have to be thankful for and never want to take any type of exercise or fitness for granted. My father in law, who has diabetes lost part of one of his legs this week. They first amputated his toe, but later decided they had to remove the whole foot and leg about 6 inches below his knee. He’s doing well considering the circumstances but I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a limb like that. This stuff happens and its happening to more and more Americans. I read an article the other day stating that despite all the advances in technology and science, the Baby Boomer generation is more unhealthy and unhappy than their parent’s were, but they’re living longer.

I wonder when I read something like that what the point is of living longer when your quality of life is so much less. I want to live a long life, and I know that advances in medicine and technology have made that even more possible, but its also on me to do my part to make my quality of life as high as it can be. Sometimes when I get frustrated with setbacks I ask myself what the point of all this “pushing” myself is…well, this is the point. Its hard to think of today doing something that’s going to help you 20, 40, 50+ years from now, but that’s what we do. When we exercise, and eat right its not just the immediate benefits we’re achieving. Sure, most people that exercise regularly get a mental boost, have a lower body weight, get sick less often, and in general enjoy a higher quality of life than those that are sedentary and eat junk. They are also investing in their future though, whether that be a part of the motivation or not.

So sometimes I don’t enjoy exercise…especially now when I’m just biking on a stationary bike for 30 minutes and most of the time counting down the minutes until I’m done. I’m doing it though for the benefits I get later…and later…and later. I hope that once my father in law is done with the immediate recovery, he’s given a good prosthetic leg and learns how to use it. I hope that he’s able to deal with the mental challenges he’s sure to face and ends up with a new lease on life and can out of this a stronger, healthier person than he went in with. Your health is such a gift, and I hope that eventually my generation can buck the trend of being less healthy than the generation before us…current data would suggest we’re going in the other direction.

So enough of my tangent. I also wanted to talk about how I get through some of the tough times when I really don’t feel like it! Today for example, I knew I wanted to bike for 30 minutes…I knew I wouldn’t enjoy the whole thing so I brought a frozen “Smart Ones” pepparoni pizza for lunch to bribe myself to get that workout in. Luckily, I did get through the 30 minutes pretty quickly today, but it was a nice little reminder in the back of my head that I had something to look forward to. And that’s how I am with this pregnancy too. Just a few more hours until lunch…just a few more hours until you get to go home…then its Friday! Friday is coffee date day with Tim and I always look forward to my weekly Starbucks treat…then its the weekend, then when the weekend is ending on Monday I start another week of pregnancy and I’m that much closer to D-day!

This weekend, I have my last shower and my sister is coming into town from Colorado! I’m looking so forward to that, so I just need to get through this half of today, tomorrow and then she’s here! Then on Monday I’ll officially be considered full term and if I have the baby after that chances are she’ll be just fine with little or no extra care needed.

How do you get through the tough times? Do you give yourself little things to look forward to along the way when you’re feeling impatient? Anyone have any tips for surviving the last few weeks of pregnancy? πŸ™‚

One whole week of not running 1/31/13

Its the last day of January! This is very exciting because tomorrow will be February, which is one month closer to March, when Alexandra is due!

I haven’t run in a whole week, and I haven’t even done anything physical during that time either. I have seen almost no improvement in my hip. It was really starting to get to me, and I was thinking about swimming to try to get some exercise, but the truth is that I am also afraid to swim because I’m afraid it will make it worse. Swimming is about as low impact as you can get, but when you swim, there’s not a whole lot of stability for your back/hip area. If this pain is caused by an instable SI joint, I worried that it may just delay my healing even further, and lets face it…at this point, I really just want to be able to walk and move normally now, I can let the running thing go until after delivery. Every time I get up from a chair, roll over in bed, walk up stairs its a truly wincing pain that just won’t seem to go away.

So yesterday I thought about biking. Since the only time when my hip doesn’t hurt is when I’m sitting down, I figured maybe this would be one exercise I could do that wouldn’t irritate it further. So today I tried riding the recumbant bike at the gym. My back was kept stable the whole time and my hip didn’t hurt. Since I was only moving my legs it took a while for me to get breathing hard and start to sweat, but it was still a workout and I totally loved it. I didn’t sweat or get my heart rate up nearly as much as running would have for the same amount of time, but I was able to get 30 minutes of exercise in and that did my mood a whole lot of good. I needed that!

As far as the pregnancy goes, I’m officially getting really impatient. I don’t want to go into labor prematurely, but having her come just at full term would be great. πŸ™‚ Besides the hip thing my body just really seems to be changing. Some of it may be due to my inactivity over the last week but I’m finding I’m just uncomfortable and tired most of the time now. At night I can’t seem to find a comfortable position, but I do feel like I go into periods of hard sleep and usually have strange dreams and then wake up sometime in the middle of the night with an aching back, a full feeling bladder and lay there tossing and turning trying to fall asleep again before the alarm goes off. So I spend a lot of the day feeling like I’m in a fog.

My hips really continue to pop and crack quite frequently. Yesterday I spent a good portion of the afternoon feeling sort of nauseous, like I did during the first trimester. I’m hoping that these are signs that labor is only a few weeks away. I read that frequently in the days before you go into labor you get a huge spurt of energy and go on a crazy cleaning binge. This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m waiting for it.

Baby moves a lot still and has been getting the hiccups quite a bit. I just can’t wait to hold her and look in her eyes. Until then, I’m just counting down the days…one…at…a…time!