Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Health’

Baby Size or Diet Suggestion?

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was super excited to check out those baby size calculators online… Until I realized how BORING they are in the beginning!

Your baby is the size of:

  • a grain of rice
  • a peppercorn
  • a caper

Woo! Excitement!

So I stopped checking. Around Christmas, my absolutely adorable sister-in-law asked if I knew the size. And I didn’t and I felt a little bad for not knowing any of that type of stuff (I may have been a little detached in the beginning… or I was too busy planning puzzles to think about size)… so I started checking again. That first week I looked into it again, Booger was the size of a green pepper. Mmm… green pepper… The next week, Booger was the size of a mango… yummy… mango!

Seriously, all I wanted was a green pepper and a mango to eat! Which I vaguely feared made me a bad person (does it count as cannibalism?)… but mango is delicious! And then I started to notice a trend. These websites that talk about baby size never use any object besides food. Booger was never the size of a stapler, a golf ball, or a softball. However, Booger was the size of 3 limes one week and 4 oranges another. How am I supposed to configure them?! Oranges

Additionally, the food suggestions are always healthy! I was never carrying around a Twinkie, a cupcake, or a pie…

I’m on to you, baby websites! Clearly you are just trying to influence my eating!

(Um… it totally worked… but that’s besides the point!)

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I’m Not That Lady: Passionate About Birth Plans

Disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with being “that lady.” In fact, I think in all of the situations where I think about “that lady,” “she” is the standard and I’m the odd duck. And feeling like an odd duck, I thought I would take to the blogging world to hopefully find other odd ducks with me. I’m not trying to bash “that lady,” I think the world wants me to be “that lady” and I’m just not good at it. If you are that lady, rock out and go you! Read the first in this series: Counting in Weeks

I’m over 75% complete with baking this bun in my oven, and the more I start to waddle, the more I’m asked about “my birth plan” (which is really just a gateway for other mamas to tell me what they think I should do… but I go with it because most of the time, I like hearing other people’s experiences and stories). Honestly, I’m so lackluster about “my plan,” I think I’m a disappointment to most people.

If you’ve never had to write a birth plan, let me quickly explain it to you (as I didn’t quite understand it before I had to do it). A birth plan is basically a one or two page written list of what you want from your labor experience. My hospital gave me the plan as a form I had to fill out. Here are examples of the questions:

  • Are you planning on an epidural or natural childbirth?
  • What would you like for pain management techniques? (This was followed by an entire list: hypnobirthing, jacuzzi, massage, focal point, breathing, change in position, etc, etc, etc – I checked everything except hypnobirthing because that requires a fee-based class. Otherwise, I’m willing to try anything!)
  • Would the father/partner like to cut the umbilical cord?
  • Would you like to keep the placenta?
  • As this is a teaching hospital, would you allow students/residents at your delivery?
  • And this continues on for 2 pages…

Plunging baby

When people are questioning me about my birth plan, the typical questions I receive are:

  • Are you planning to deliver au natural or a planned c-section?
  • Do you want an epidural?
  • Are you going to breast-feed or bottle-feed?
  • Are you going to deliver in a hospital or at home? (while I appreciate the home birth choice – both T and I each have a younger brother who were born at home – I like the idea of a medical team ready for my first one. It’s the only one I really care about)

(Often-times these actually come as a statement: You should do [this].)

Here’s the thing, I’m not really passionate about any of these things and here’s why:

  • I had a friend who was super passionate about childbirth without an epidural and her son decided he wanted out 5 weeks early. He was still breech and was born by c-section.
  • Another friend was super passionate about breastfeeding. Three days after her daughter was born, she felt as though she was only producing blood and no breast milk. She felt like she was starving her daughter and switched to formula. Everyone was happier.
  • Another friend also had a c-section but felt like it was forced on her without a medical reason and she regrets not standing up for herself.

All of these friends went through some level of guilt for not following their plan. And I think that’s so sad! I wish they didn’t have the guilt, because they all have great kids!

So here is the birth plan that I am passionate about: give birth to a healthy baby! Period.

Baby birth plan

Everything else is gravy (and sooooo out of my control!). Would I like to avoid a c-section and an epidural? Absolutely. (Mainly because I’ve already had an epidural with a spinal surgery I had 14 years ago and I don’t really want any association with this experience to that one).

Would I like to avoid an episiotomy? Heck yes! But if I need one, so be it.

Will T be cutting the umbilical cord? No. We’ll be psyched if he manages not to pass out. 🙂

To everyone who is “that lady” and is passionate about a birth plan: I wish you luck! I genuinely hope you get everything you want!

As for me… well, I just feel like this is one event in life where I have zero control, so why bother pin hopes and dreams on it? As long as everyone is breathing and healthy at the end, I’ll be psyched!

I’d love to hear  your birth plan vs reality stories!

Fitness Idea

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise when you don’t feel comfortable about your body, especially when you have to exercise around other people. It’s so easy to worry if others will judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves.

Also, I was talking with some friends about a friend of ours who is struggling. This friend is extremely overweight (I’m guessing she weighs about 400 lbs) and struggles to take weight off because her knees hurt so much. It’s a vicious cycle: her knees hurt because she’s so overweight and she remains so overweight because her knees hurt. Which made me start thinking, isn’t it terribly sad that swimming, the activity that grants the greatest amount of buoyancy (and less joint strain) is also the activity that requires the least about of clothing and the most amount of skin showing?! So in order to exercise in that environment, one also has to overcome the greatest amount of self-esteem issues?

It really got me thinking. I wish that a chain gym would pop up to address that issue. I feel like Curves (and all of the other gyms in that vein) popped up to address the issue that lots of women feel uncomfortable working out in front of men. I wonder if a pool that encouraged people to wear shorts and t-shirts instead of speedos would be well received?

I know I would love that right now! Especially if I didn’t have to buy a swim cap and goggles. I’m not a serious swimmer but would enjoy having somewhere to comfortably swim right now… without any judgment.

Additionally, it would be great if I didn’t have to get over my issues to just BUY an outfit, let alone use it. Granted, I’m pregnant, so my issues of size may pale in comparison, but I least I can sympathize with the issue.

Good luck to anyone else feeling this way! And have you ever heard of a pool like this? (if so, I hope it’s in Massachusetts!)

Body Image – Part 3

Things are going really well here in my land of pregnancy. Well, at least I think so. I have another ultrasound this week and I’m being tested for gestational diabetes… so I guess I’ll let you know later in the week if the doctors think all is well. Here’s the update from my point of view though:

My latest physical obsession: My fingernails are growing so quickly! They are out of control! I trim them and then bam! what feels like only 2 days later, they look like massive talons. Neither of the cats have complained yet though…

How I feel physically: Great! Besides feeling round, I’m not in pain. No sciatica or anything like that so I’m counting my blessings! Although, I’ve just entered the 3rd trimester, so I have a feeling that things are going to change. I’m hoping I remain pain free and just feel more and more round.

One side effect of pregnancy is a stuffy nose because of increased mucus production, and I’m totally experiencing that. I don’t think it’s a big deal, it just means that I blow my nose about 3 times per day. However, I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely freaking out the two germaphobes that I sit between at work. They keep mistaking it as some sort of illness, but I’m pretty sure “pregnant” isn’t an airborne disease…

How I feel emotionally:  I still don’t feel like a crazy psycho person hormonally, which is great. There is just one exception. Even before getting pregnant, I was pretty easy to make cry. Not necessarily in my daily life, but songs and movies could totally get me going (if there is animal abuse in a movie – forget it, I’m a mess!) So that personal trait has just been heightened. My wonderful boyfriend will say something like “oh, I just heard this song the other day and I thought you would like it” and the next thing you know, I’m full-on sobbing in my kitchen (next to the iPod speaker). It’s ridiculous. At least once per weekend, you’ll find me in the kitchen bawling my eyes out, with T hugging me, swaying slightly, and apologizing for setting it all in motion. And I appreciate it, because he must be trying really hard not to laugh. I know it’s all absurd.  Luckily, as soon as the song is over, I’m fine. For examples of the things that make me cry, check out Same Love  by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney.

What others are saying: Last time I mentioned a very sweet compliment I had received about not looking pregnant… well I think that has gone out the window! One of the women I sit near (but I don’t actually work with) didn’t know I was pregnant “until she saw me waddle past her office.” 😦 Yep, that’s right, I waddle now. She’s a mother of 2, so I don’t think she meant to hurt my feelings. And I do waddle… so, you know… it was just the truth. (My feelings weren’t really hurt)

Moving: Booger is still wiggling up a storm in there and I’ve learned his awake times for the most part (they usually coincide with when I eat). But I’ve learned there is one sure-fire way to incite a dance party in my tummy regardless of the schedule: get a purring cat to lay across my tummy. Unfortunately, a belly dance party is also a sure-fire way to freak out a purring cat and get him to leave. Within 2 minutes of the purring cat leaving, the dance party stops. I think it’s the vibration and not the sound. Because if my sweet, male cat lays within inches of my tummy (next to me, on my lap, or on my chest), it won’t start a wiggle fest. It only works if he’s directly on top of the tummy.

Pictures:

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller... and it really isn't....

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Except for the blurry face part.  Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller… and it really isn’t….

Round Lady Running

I ran!

I ran, I ran, I ran! I am so stupidly excited about this!!!

If you’re not a regular reader, or you’ve forgotten the details, let me catch you up: I was a bit of a runner (not serious by ANY standards!) and then I got pregnant. I was sidelined for months thanks to morning sickness, major food aversions, and general exhaustion (I had no idea building such a tiny human was so tiring!). I saw my doctor last month and she gave me permission to run, but only for 5-10 minutes at a time, which I assumed would be my body’s max anyway. Afterall, I haven’t run since September.

Once getting cleared, I was really nervous about the belly jiggling and feeling awkward in the tiny gym at my office. But I worked up my confidence with yoga and the arc trainer at the gym (sort of a cross between a stair master and an elliptical). I went down for a late lunch-break on Friday and found the gym was empty! I was so pumped!

decision to try

My goal for the walk/run was a total of 2 – 2.5 miles, and I was hoping to run 1/4 mile, walk, run 1/2 mile, walk, run 1/4 mile. But I figured I would go with however I was feeling – good or bad.

I warmed up for 1/4 mile and then increased the speed to an easy, slow run. My legs were wanting to increase the speed, but the ligaments in my belly (which vaguely hurt all the time from the expanding tummy thing) were not loving it. They quieted down pretty quickly though and I continued on.

By the time I looked down to see how I was doing, I had almost run an entire mile! So I finished the mile and slowed back to a walk (my slow mile was a little over 10 minutes and I didn’t want to push my luck).

Honestly, the belly wiggled a little, but not nearly as much as I expected (I may have been worried that it would bounce frantically like my ponytail) . I feel like I want to look into some sort of weight belt or something though, just to hold it up a little (suggestions will be taken happily!).

My end distance totals were as follows:

  • .25 mile walking
  • 1 mile running
  • .5 walking
  • .5 running
  • .85 walking
  • Total: 3.1 miles (1.5 running!)

I basically did a 5k at lunch (which is what I liked to run on my lunch breaks before becoming preggers). I’m so excited because I didn’t think I could do it. I would love to run a real 5k super round (like 8 months pregnant, not just the 5 months that I am now) and this feels like the first step towards that. Honestly, my legs felt like I could have kept running, but I didn’t want to over do anything.

challenge yourself

And one of the benefits of the yoga was that I knew some stretches for my tummy after running (which I have NEVER focused on before).

I know this seems like a really small accomplishment, especially to runners (heck, even to the old me who happily ran a 10k), but it feels amazing to me in my new body that I’m still trying to figure out.

Yay! I can still call myself a runner!

You are a runner

Prenatal Yoga – The Sequel

I went back to prenatal yoga at Destination Maternity this week as planned (if you are pregnant and live near this chain retail store, I recommend checking them out for their free classes). Unfortunately, this time around, the class contained more of my fears than the first one.

When I went last week, it was a small class and we had a substitute instructor (one of the weekend instructors filled in). This week, the class had almost doubled in size, but was all different people, and the regular instructor was back (she was totally nice, but was different). Also, I got stuck next to a woman who was 8 months pregnant and crazy flexible. It’s so hard not to compare oneself to those around us, isn’t it?

I’m not flexible… at all! I was never flexible and on top of that, I’ve had back surgery – making my back extra tight. In fact, at one point, the instructor came over to pull on my hips because my back didn’t look right. So then I awkwardly had to mention that I’ve had back surgery. So then she immediately stopped touching me (as though I was on fire) so as not to injure me. Ugh… I’m a train wreck. I totally could have benefitted from her help, but I always want to warn people not to have high expectations because fused vertebrae don’t function the way you want them to. I wish I could have really talked to her, but it was just a big ball of awkward with lots of witnesses…

There was really only one downside to having a different instructor: the poses and sequences were different. It made everything feel new again and made me feel more insecure.

Experience

Something that I loved about being a beginning runner was that I could do it on my own. I would run along a trail with only a few other people around. I didn’t run on the street or at a gym (although I had tried both in the past), which felt in the open where other people could see me. I loved that I could change my pace as needed without any assumed judgement from others. (Let’s be real, no one actually cares, but it feels like they do when you’re red-faced and just starting out). I loved that I could repeat my trail over and over again, day after day to “get it right”. I was competing against myself until I got good at it. Every day, I would try to run at least 10 feet more than where I stopped to walk the time before (or to the next lamp-post or to the end of the next song). And when I ran that trail from start to finish without a break, I felt amazing and so proud of how far I had come in my own growth!

But with yoga, I don’t feel like I’m mastering things, everything still feels new and awkward and constantly changing. And I know it will get better. I know that when I’m über round at 8 1/2 months pregnant and actually know some of the poses, I will feel as though I’ve improved. It’s just so hard to get there.

i-may-not-be-there-yet

And all of this makes me think about the “January Joiners” at the gym (you know, those people who make a New Year’s resolution to get fit and suddenly join the gym). If you are one of those people: good luck! You can totally do it! Just give yourself a chance (and ignore everyone around you).

If you’re a regular at the gym and are feeling a little irritated by all the new people at your gym: take a minute and think about how it felt when you first joined, or if you didn’t struggle, imagine how hard it might be for them. Please, try to make them feel welcome. More fit and happy people can only be a positive thing for our communities (the exercise community as well as your local community).

Being new at the gym can be so intimidating as you’re pushing your own physical limitations as well as feeling uncomfortable in the new environment. Let’s all try to feel welcoming.

I know that when I attended this second class and it was ALL new faces, I was intimidated all over again. It’s so easy to think that everyone around you thinks you’re an idiot if you’re a novice, let’s try to keep that in mind. If you’re not a novice: be welcoming and smile at the new people. If you are a novice: smile a lot at strangers and try to remember that no one is judging you as harshly as you’re judging you.

Or at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself… (we’ll see how it all goes after I try a weekend class this weekend).

Fly

Saturday Morning Motivation – Are You Happy?

Do you ever have a moment where you realize you’re talking to someone who can only say something from on top of their high horse? I have to admit that someone like that gets under my skin. Of course, I know they might only be nasty because they are coming from a place of pain themselves. So to move past my own yucky feelings about lame situations, I try to think of how much I love my life and I think of all the wonderful things I have and do. Or I count my blessings as it were. And I move on because I am happy and I like to stay that way!

Have a great weekend! I wish you happiness!

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