Tag Archives: pregnancy

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.

When the week starts out Rough it can only get better, 11/16/12

On Monday and Tuesday I was in so much pain from my back that it made me really crabby and overly emotional.  By Wednesday though, I was having a much easier time walking and it didn’t hurt constantly throughout the day.

 I thought that I was going to have a really hard time with not running but I actually stayed pretty positive about it.  Each day when I’ve woken up I’ve felt such a marked improvement in my back from the day before and I think that that really helped.  With my IT band injury last spring, each day it did not feel better and I think that really made it hard to see the end in sight and I wasn’t sure how long I would have to stay off of running.  With this injury and the way I’ve been feeling better every day, I’ve felt very encouraged that running is just around the corner.  And since I haven’t missed that many days I don’t have to worry about starting up all over again.

 Yesterday my back felt real good, almost 100%.  I entertained thoughts about running, however, I decided to do something I rarely do and give it a little extra time.  So I went for a 2 mile walk on my lunch break yesterday followed by a 1.25 mile walk with my dog last night.  I could feel my back tighten slightly when I walked so I was glad I didn’t run on it yet.  I wanted to see if walking yesterday would make me more sore this morning and I’m happy to report that it didn’t!  So, once again, I thought about running a few miles today, but since today was the first day that my back feels right about 100% better, I decided to walk again with a goal of running 3 miles tomorrow.  Sunday will be a rest day and then Monday I’ll try for 5.  Hopefully by then everything will be back to normal.  Then when I get back to it, I realized I really have to modify and I’m surprisingly ok with that. 

 So what is driving my positive mental outlook?  I think it’s a few things.  First, I realized that its most important to me that I’m able to run through the entire pregnancy if possible and if that means cutting back, I’d rather do that than have to stop completely again.  Second, the pain I was in earlier this week was pretty horrible and I don’t want to have to go through that again.  Thirdly, I’ve realized this week that I have so many wonderful things to be thankful for and its really hard to feel sorry for myself. 

 Tim has been wonderful.  He has been my rock, this week and of course, before.  I’ve been so impressed with the way he’s been so dedicated to working hard every single day to finish our remodeling project.  By the time we’re done, we will have basically remolded our entire 2nd floor.  In addition, he’s also been there for me and listened when I’ve cried and had “moments” and has made sure to call me daily to see how I’m doing.  At this stage in pregnancy, its so wonderful to have that.

 Besides Tim, I’ve also been sentimental this week about many other wonderful little things that are easily overlooked.  Its been getting cold outside, below freezing and we have heat when so many people in New York have been without it.  Every morning on my drive into work there’s been a beautiful sunrise that’s looked even more amazing against the frost covered fields.  My friends and family are amazing.  Tim and I are both fortunate to work for great companies that are doing well in a poor economy and we don’t have to worry about how to pay our bills every month.  I’m growing a very active little girl in my belly and with each passing day, we get one day closer to finally meeting her.  So with all this, I just don’t know how I can feel sorry for myself for having to miss a week of running.  The holidays are fast approaching and I’m looking forward to them. 

 

 

Bridge Run Recap 9/14/12

Its been an interesting few days. 

 I actually took both Friday and Saturday off of running to get ready for the Bridge run on Sunday.  It’s the first time that I’ve had 2 days off of running in a row in a long time.  Since Saturday was free we decided to go watch my friend Val’s cross-country meet in Sparta.  It was a great meet and we had a great time, we rode over there with Val’s husband, Derek and her 9 month old daughter, Brooklyn. 

 On the way back we got into a “minor” car accident.  I say “minor” in quotes because there was a lot of damage done to Val and Derek’s vehicle, but everyone was ok.  I was in the back with Brooklyn and she didn’t so much as flinch.  I felt fine.  I was a little worried about the lap belt impacting my baby…but I talked to the EMS guys and they said I was probably fine and just to follow up with my provider this week.  Well, we have an appointment today anyway.

 So, fast forward to Sunday.  The Grand Rapids Bridge run was fun.  My plan was to go out very conservatively.  Since Tim and I had averaged 7:30 pace on our 10 mile run the week before I figured averaging 7:15’s for the whole 10 mile run (I had to stop myself from calling it a “race” since I’m not “racing” for another 6 months).  I wanted to start at 7:30 pace and then work down into the 7:15’s and hopefully finish the last few miles at 6:45 as long as it felt ok. 

 Well, I didn’t start at 7:30, I started closer to 7:15.  I tried to slow it down over the next few miles, but it really felt super easy so I decided to just “go with it” and not pick it up until at least after 5 miles.  

 I passed a lot of people between miles 2 and 4 that got caught up in the adrenaline and went out way too fast.  There was one guy, maybe in his 50’s that I passed and then he decided to “race” me.  It was actually kind of nice for me because I had something to focus on.  He’d pass me and get a little ways ahead and then he’d ease back into his pace and I’d catch him again (I was running the same pace) and I’d pass him and then he’d pass me again.  This went on for a couple miles and around mile 5, another 50 something guy joined him.  I knew they were “racing” me and was laughing inside because I wondered what they’d think if I told them I was almost 4 months pregnant…

 Oh well, it was fun.  I was accepting of the challenge.  Sometime though after mile 5, the second middle ager started to really pick up the pace, and to keep up with him I was running low 7’s.  I didn’t want to go any faster until at least mile 7, so I backed off and let him get further ahead.  Once he did though, he didn’t pick it up anymore and settled into a low 7 min pace along with me.  Sometime around mile 6 my first middle aged challenger dropped off completely.  When I got  to mile 7 I started to pick it up to sub 7 pace.  There were some people to pass and I started counting them, wanting to see how many people I could pass in the last few miles.  I noticed the other middle ager had picked it up too. 

 I started to feel tired around the 7.5 mile mark.  I was hoping to run 6:45 pace, but I was holding steady at about 6:51 and decided I better not try to push it beyond that.  Lucky for me, a lot of people had gone out too fast and were tired and I started passing a lot of people.  I forgot to keep count, but mentally it kept me going.  

 I felt like the effort was comfortably hard.  My breathing was still very much controlled and I was able to say a few sentences to people as we ran.  I even smiled when I saw the camera.  I was ready for the run to be done, don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t a walk in the park and I didn’t want to run a step further then 10 miles.  During the last mile, I was counting down the quarter miles as they passed to keep myself going.  Then with .25 to go I saw the finish line and realized the course was short.  Quite short.  I had 9.88 on my watch.  It was long when I did it the year before.  My friend Val (who finished as the 3rd female overall by the way, 9 months after giving birth) had it on her watch as 9.95 so it was much closer for her.  Either way, I was glad it was over and not concerned about “getting my round 10 in” for the day.

 At the finish, I was disappointed to find they only had water available.  A ten mile run with a baby on board and a $45 race fee, I thought there would be some bananas, bagels, chocolate milk or yogurt or something.  Just water.  I drank the water and then we waited around forever to get awards.  I didn’t win an award, but Tim did.  I was so happy for him.  He ran the 5K (which was LONG) so he didn’t get a PR, but had the course been accurate, it would have been one. 

 We finally got home and I ate an hour and a half later at that point.  I was tired.  We’d had a very busy weekend.  So I took a hot shower and layed down for a couple hours.  When I woke up, I had a headache that lasted into the night.  I ate dinner, and went to bed as normal.  Then, just before 1 am I woke up with a horrible headache that wrapped around my whole head and prevented me from sleeping.  I thought that maybe I had somehow dehydrated after the run so I went downstairs and guzzled as much water as I could stand and took an acetometaphen (only drug I can take) and layed down again to try to get some sleep.  By the time my alarm went off in the morning and I didn’t feel any better I made the decision I couldn’t go into work.  I’ve never in my time at this company had a sick day!  I just felt awful.  My head hurt and I just felt tired and weak and all I wanted to do was just lay down. 

 I had planned on going on a short run and even that day kept thinking that if I drank enough water, maybe I’d feel better.  In the afternoon I still didn’t feel well.  I had spent the whole day, basically lying around and still felt like that.  I didn’t know what was wrong, but worried about the baby.  I worried something was wrong.  I checked my temperature several times to make sure I didn’t have a fever and I never did. 

 So I ate dinner, walked the dog and went to bed.  I woke up this morning feeling like a million bucks!  Isn’t it funny, when you feel so crummy that when you feel just “normal” you feel SOOO great?!  So I got up early and ran 8 miles.  Still not sure what the heck was wrong with me.  We have our appointment this afternoon and I’m just so nervous.  I really want to hear that heart beat and be reassured that everything is ok. 

 Looking back, I’m glad I took it easy yesterday and didn’t run.  I probably shouldn’t have even walked the dog—but I admit I felt guilty for laying around all day.  I wonder if my body just really needs more time to recover than it ever has before?  I didn’t feel like I pushed the run too hard, but now I wonder if I did.  Either way, it’s given me time to think about what’s really important right now.  Averaging 7:04 pace at the bridge run shouldn’t have been important.  I just have to run easier than I feel like I should.  Its hard when you can’t trust your perceived level of exertion and need to just “take it down a notch”.

 

Me and Baby running the Bridge Run at 4 months

Me and Baby running the Bridge Run at 4 months

 

9/14/12

What a long week its been.  With traveling this week for work, I’ve just been tired mentally and physically. 

 I did my two days of treadmill (dreadmill) running, which was a total accomplishment in and of itself.  Then yesterday morning I got up at 5:30 am and ran 5 miles with Tim.  We actually ended up averaging a 7:23 pace!  It was surprising because when the alarm went off I did not want to get up, let alone run.  But I did, and once I was out there, as usual, felt good. 

 My headaches have seemed to clear up this week, which has been really nice.  I’ve been super tired this week but I think its more from lack of sleep than anything else.  So, otherwise, I don’t really “feel” pregnant.  Its funny because I should probably be thankful, but it kind of makes me nervous too.  We get to listen to the heartbeat next Tuesday and I’m just looking so foreward to that. 

 I gained 2 pounds this week!  Yikes!  Everything I’m reading says “a pound a week” and I gained 2!  I’m trying not to fret about it, especially because it may just be a fluke, but its definitely hard to see the numbers jump up that much!  Then you read things like “you’re probably up about 5 pounds by now” and I’m going…yeah…or almost 8!  Its hard not to feel “fat” right now because that’s how I look.  I don’t have that distinctive “baby bump” yet…I just have a stomach that looks flabbier by the day (and a chest that looks bustier). 

 I go back to my running though and am surprised that so far that’s been staying consistent and I wonder for how much longer.  I’m going to run the Bridge Run 10 miler on Sunday and I feel pretty good going into it.  I’m hoping to maybe average around 7:15 pace, but don’t want to be “set on that” in case it just doesn’t feel right.  It should be fun and enjoyable and really that’s what’s important.

 

12 week checkup success, 8/24/12

Quick update today.  Yesterday’s appointment went well and we got to hear the heart beat with the Doppler!  YAY!  Heart rate of 148-151.  I thought we were having another ultrasound but we didn’t.  It was still amazing and reassured us that everything is going fine. 

 To celebrate,Tim and I had the Never Ending Pasta Bowl at the Olive Garden last night.  We never go there because even during the week there’s usually over an hour wait. But since we got there at 4:45 we got right in!  I ate two bowls of pasta—YIKES!  Could be part of the reason my weight this week was up a WHOLE POUND since last week brining my total (12 weeks in) to 4.5 pounds.  I think they recommend in the first trimester about 1-5, so with two weeks to go I should probably be holding steady! 

 Also, my run on Thursday was fast—which figures after I had just talked about my pace slowing!  Again, I wasn’t watching my watch, but averaged a 7:20 mile pace so who knows what that was all about.  I was SORE in my quads yesterday and today after doing my core strength on Wednesday.  I had skipped my leg work after my race last Saturday since my legs were a little sore and then I decided this would be the week I’d add on more reps.  Those few extra reps sure did a number!  I’m still having a hard time walking down stairs today.  Crazy. 

 Well, this is my last day at work for a whole week.  Not sure if I’ll write at all while on vacation.

Mitchell’s Run for Russ 8/20/12

 Saturday was the Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford.  Its an event that Tim and I do every year.  The 5K run is a fundraiser for Muscular Distrophy and over the years has grown and grown.  Part of the reason its so special to us is because our friend Russell has MD.  So even when I’m pregnant and shouldn’t be signing up for races, this is one I just couldn’t miss out on.

 I met Tim because of Russell.  Way back in 2007 my sister, who was a waitress at a little restaurant bar in Kentwood figured out that Tim would be my perfect match.  Russell lives in Kentwood and was a frequent customer at the restaurant.  Anyone who has ever met him will understand how my sister got to know him really well by working there.  Russell is a very social guy, and I’d wager that anyone that meets him pretty much loves him off the bat.  Anyway, Tim was living in Kentwood too and would frequently meet Russell at the restaurant.  Well, since Tim and I are now married, you can figure that we finally did meet, and life has never been the same.  We have Lindsay and Russell to thank for that.

 To know Russell is to love him.  He and Tim have known each other since their Kentwood grade school days.  Russell was diagnosed with MD when he was 20 or 21.  Sometimes I try to imagine what he went through at that time.  I can’t imagine finding out at that age that you have a life long deteriorating disease where you eventually will not be able to walk, among other things.  I can only imagine what that would have been like for me, and know that it would have been an incredibly dark time.  I didn’t meet Russell until he was nearly 30, but I can tell you that when I met him, he was the most genuinely kind and positive person that I’ve ever met.  I don’t know his own internal struggles and battles, but I do know that if he does have dark moments, you would never know it on the outside. 

 I’m a better person for knowing Russ.  He teaches me to appreciate all the goodness that I have around me, no matter how bad things may seem.  His family is the same way.  They are just good people.  Sometimes I wonder how something like this could have happened to such a wonderful person.  I wonder if Russ ever thinks that way too.  Last year, Russ gave us quite a scare.  He stopped breathing.  That’s the ugliness of the disease.  It gets progressively worse.  When I met Russ back in 2007 he was still walking, albeit with a walker and very slowly, but he was still walking.  Now he’s in a wheelchair.  So back to last year, his mom found him not breathing and his step dad (who used to be a paramedic) helped until he was able to get to the hospital.  Russ was kept under for several days and had bad pneumonia, developed pink eye while in the hospital and some bed sores that you just knew were horrible.  I remember seeing him sleeping in that hospital bed, thanking God for powerful pain medication and that he didn’t have to be awake for all of this.  We came to the hospital and wrote messages to him, all the time feeling like we wished there was more we could do. 

 Even after Russ woke up and was improving, he still was in the hospital for a couple months.  He just wanted to go home and when he finally did he was so happy to be there.  Yet to talk to him about this horrible event, you don’t ever hear that he feels sorry for himself.  Instead, he’s just always thinking about the positives.  Just thinking about him and that time gets me teary-eyed.  I just think about how strong of a person he is and how he makes the best of everything.  Always full of love, always full of jokes. 

 Sometimes I feel sorry for myself for this or that.  When I couldn’t run due to my injury sometimes it felt like life was so unfair and then I’d think about Russ and how he deals with everything and it was hard to feel sorry for myself for very long. 

 So that run we did on Saturday is for Russ.  And I can’t imagine not doing it.  This year was different for me.  Last year I won the women’s race and was disappointed running a 17:30 something.  This year I wasn’t sure how fast I’d go or what I’d feel like so I had no race plan whatsoever.  I ended up running completely even splits, 6:21, 6:21, and 6:21.  There were times I was worried that I was going too fast and I’d force myself to slow and think about my baby.  It was a nice cool morning though and I was less worried about overheating.  It was surprisingly hard for me to not want to pass everyone around me.  The whole race I just passed people and never got passed until the final 400 meters when people started their kick and I just coasted in.  I ran 19:53 and was surprised after standing around and talking that I started to feel a little dizzy.  I made sure to grab some water and did a slow cool down.  I talked to Val about my concerns that I’d run too hard and she made me feel much better, telling me that she had done something similar when she was pregnant and everything was fine.  

 Its really hard sometimes to know your limit.  As an athlete, you’re trying all the time to push yourself to your limit.  You’re used to the pain, used to feelings of coming so close and not being physically able to go further.  They say when you’re pregnant that you need to manage that level yourself.  Talking is a good guide, but I can usually get out a few words, even when I’m running fairly hard.  I mean, all out 5K pace feels much different than what I ran on Saturday.  I didn’t go all out, yet the dizziness I felt afterwards made me question if I had come too close to that line.  So for the time being, I don’t think I’m going to sign up for too many other 5K’s.  Its just too hard to properly gauge how hard you’re working until you’re done.

 I was a little sore even on Sunday.  Nothing like after a big race sore or anything, but just slightly in my legs.  I haven’t really run 3 miles that fast in so many months that it wasn’t really a huge surprise.  So I took it easy today.  Nice 7 mile run in the cool morning air.  The sky was black except for the many shining stars (no visible moon) and I even saw a shooting star when I first set out.  It felt good, not too hard, yet long enough to make me feel really accomplished after I’d finished.  

 This is a big week for us.  Tomorrow marks 12 weeks of pregnancy, a big step.  This is usually when your risk for miscarriage goes down considerably and many people start spreading the news publically.  We have our ultrasound on Thursday afternoon.  This will be the second time we get to have a look at our little one and since the first one was so incredible, I’m looking even more forward to this one.  As long as everything looks normal, I plan on sharing the news at work the next day.  Then Tim and I leave for vacation (Babymoon) on Saturday for a week.  I’m hoping to take a creative picture so that when we come back we can announce on facebook.  Here we go…isn’t life amazing!

Pre-Pregnancy True Love Post 6/4/12

On Friday evening Tim and I watched the movie The Vow.  It was of course an emotional love story and I guess got us both choked up and realizing how lucky we are to have each other.

 The next morning I woke up sometime around 6 am with a migraine.  My head was pounding since I hadn’t had the chance to take my medicine before it really came on.  My stomach felt slight nausea too.  It was not a great start to the morning.  However, when I went downstairs and started getting out food (since that seems to help) I started finding all these little notes that Tim had left me around the house.  They were cute little love notes and he put them in and around all the things he knows I do first thing in the morning.  Even though I felt awful, I smiled and thought about how lucky I was to be with my true love. 

 Things aren’t always perfect.  We fight and we get on each other’s nerves like any couple, but we have a deep bond that has its base rooted in a strong friendship.  He doesn’t do things like that every morning, but when he does it really makes me happy.  I decided to return the favor that morning too.  I had my second chiropractic appointment on Saturday morning.  Afterwards, before heading home I walked over the Biggby and got myself a latte and ordered Tim a bagel with turkey and havarti.  He appreciated it. 

 My chiropractic appointment went really well!  He showed me my X-rays and before he even came in I could see that my pelvis was very tilted.  He explained how its putting some pressure on my sacrum and I also have some back issues that are throwing everything off.  I told him I had a migraine and he did adjustments on my back, legs and pelvis and then my neck.  The adjustments on my neck actually released some (not all) of the pressure from the migraine.  Then the massage therapist gave me a 30 minute massage and that helped ease the tension even more.  I was talking to the massage therapist and she told me that the chiropractor and his wife are both speed skaters!  They’re world class athletes and I just happened to pick him because of the location! 

 I ran later that day and everything felt ok, just a tightness that radiates from my left side.  After some stretching though I got it to calm down.  Later though throughout the day I had a lot of pain.  It felt like nerve pain.  We had a cookout with some friends and when I got home I took a couple naproxen and woke up feeling a lot better.  I went on 20 mile bike ride on Sunday and afterwards everything did seem to feel better.  I’m going to try running another 1.5 miles tonight and then go back to the chiropractor tomorrow. 

 I’m also preparing my body this week to try to get pregnant.  I’m trying to get lots of sleep, eat a little more food, especially protein and fat and tone down the intensity of my workouts.  If I gain a little weight, so be it.  I’ve also cut back on caffeine to 65 mg a day and will not drink alcohol this week or at least only keep it to 2 drinks on Saturday when we go out for Terri’s birthday.  Bring on the hope and the crazy planning!