Sunday, April 29, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday, Friday...

I woke up (for the second time, yes, but for "real") this morning feeling as if I'd slept in ridiculously late, only to find that it was a measly 8:05.  Perhaps this is my body preparing me for years of children who will inevitably wake up at the crack of dawn.  Or perhaps it's merely a result of waking up for shifts starting no later than 7:30 more days than not. 

Either way, I had bizarre dreams of my boy guppy repeatedly attempting to escape, and of my child being born (and of being thoroughly baffled by the fact that she [in the dream, don't know the gender] was healthy despite being 22 weeks premature!).  24 weeks (six weeks from now) is generally considered the earliest date of viability, and it's definitely not a given then.  Seriously though - it's crazy to think that I'm carrying a child who might be able to survive outside the womb in a mere month and a half!  I'm hoping he or she decides to stay in for at least a few months longer. 

It's not that I'm particularly enjoying being pregnant - if anything, I'm rather impatient to have my body back.  The idea of meeting a child's physical needs by, y'know, doing something appeals to me much more than merely giving things up as one must do during pregnancy.  I have been finding it helpful to view pregnancy as the start of parenting though.  My mother, as someone who thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant, finds this incredibly baffling.  I find it encouraging to think of giving up this or that as a means to a healthy baby.  Viewed in this light, pregnancy becomes quite possibly the easiest (albeit, least fulfilling) chapter of parenting - my body is, for all intents and purposes, a live-in nanny with no need for days off or a salary. 

And really, this pregnancy is going by much more quickly than I expected.  Our bebe is nearly halfway ripe, and while I may bitch about my body not behaving like it did before, I'm really having an easy pregnancy.  The weight gain has slowed, I'm still able to work (and to do everything at work), and running three miles is still easier than it was pre-preg.  If the rest of pregnancy goes this smoothly, going back for round two in a few years isn't totally off the table.  And given how miserable so many women are while expecting, I really have no room to complain even if it's not this easy.  This is the Goofy's Barnstormer of the roller coaster world as far as pregnancy goes...smooth enough that it's ok you finished your lunch while waiting in line to ride it. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Things I have appreciated this week...

TOMS shoes.  I bought this red pair on Monday, and now have a second pair to keep it company (found a grey pair new at a resale shop!).  They're comfy, and will be perfect for a summer of not being able to see, much less reach, my feet. 

"asian superbreakfast"  - fried eggs with soy sauce over rice.  It's cheap, high in protein, and delicious.  Oh, and did I mention that it's super easy to make?  I'm not even going to post a recipe - that's how easy it is.  Figure it out yourself. 

This graphic.  It's a good reminder that only I can change the things that bother or upset me about myself.  This applies, as the picture implies, to my physical shape - it's equally relevant for my emotional and mental state.  I get that choosing to exercise is helpful for keeping my body fit (and for keeping it one I can stand to inhabit) during pregnancy.  I sometimes struggle to remember that choosing to be positive when I'm feeling negative (or confident when I'm anxious, encouraging when I'm frustrated, etc) works equally well.  My kid won't care if I can run three miles a day, but he or she certainly will care whether or not I can push through negative emotions to find positivity on the other side.  Running three miles is easier.  Doing the work to be a good person is more meaningful.

Also, I want a beach.  I want salt water and sun and a bikini.  The Epsom salt baths simply aren't cutting it these days, even if it is technically skinny - dipping in salt water...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Parenting : it's serious shit.

It's been sinking in over the past few days just how significant <<most>> decisions I make from this point in my life onward might be.  As in, CHRIS AND I ARE GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR TEACHING A BABY HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING starting on or around the first of October.

While I've thus far been comfortable taking moderate risks (caffeine, the occasional glass of wine, using the stepladders at work, deciding to stay on Cymbalta for as long as possible), I'm starting to worry more than I did before.  The baby's life isn't on the line in the same way it was before (miscarriages after 13 weeks, and stillbirths, are uncommon), but the risk of birthing a child who isn't normal terrifies me.  I mean, none of us are truly normal, but I'll be relieved if/when I find out that this baby is well within the parameters of "functional human being."  I would love a baby with special needs as much as I would a healthy baby, but the thought of special needs parenting terrifies me.

And I need to get off the Cymbalta sometime before third trimester.  Unfortunately, the start of the last leg of this journey falls on a very significant wedding week.  Do I start tapering off it before Alison's wedding and risk being a crazy[-ier] person than usual, or do I postpone it til afterwards and worry about the effects on the baby til the second week of July? 

I'm leaning towards staying on it til after the wedding solely because the risk is no greater now than it has been for the past sixteen weeks.  I haven't found any medical or anecdotal evidence suggesting that Duloxetine produces any birth defects whatsoever - the only problems I've heard about are minor respiratory issues at birth for babies born to mothers who opted to stay on the medication for their third trimester.  That wouldn't be ideal, but it would also be preventable so long as I taper off the Cymbalta by August or September.  I guess it's an issue I still need to talk over with my doctor.

In other news, I'm still running, though it's been happening more like four days a week instead of five because my right hip has been bothering me.  Damn you, relaxin, giving me marshmallow joints!  I did discover last night that running on the grass next to the sidewalk is easier on my hip and knees - I appear to be less sore today as a result.  Anyone know of any nice non-paved running trails in the Detroit area?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sixteen weeks, a prenatal visit, and other things...

Today marks the "it's four weeks til I'm halfway done with pregnancy" - dearly wish I loved being pregnant, but I really don't.  I'm not questioning whether or not it's worth it and don't feel sick or under the weather, but all the stuff that comes with being pregnant is already old.  Clothing not fitting like it used to?  Getting old (though it's not so much that it doesn't fit as that it doesn't button/is too short/etc).  Trips to the doctor every four weeks?  Already old.  Being referred to as "mama" or "mama bear?"  Well...I don't mind that one so much. 

I had one of of the aforementioned monthly trips to the doctor today.  It was uneventful, and definitely the least stressful appointment thus far.  Jenna came with me (Jen, if you're reading this - you're welcome to come to any and all of my appointments from now on!), and I was very glad for the company.  The critter's heartbeat was 152 BPM, and according to Jenna, "the most beautiful sound [she's] ever heard." 

This morning, I bought a pair of Toms, mostly for the fact that they have no laces and are therefore easy to stuff my feet into without having to lean over.  I may only have gained ten pounds thus far, but I'm already struggling to reach my feet comfortably (yeah I'm only sixteen weeks pregnant...only gained a pound since twelve weeks though!).  Leaning over squishes the baby bump, which feels a lot like getting my purse off the floor after I finished my first Chipotle burrito.  Food bebe grande. 

Life is good overall.  Yes.

Friday, April 13, 2012


The last post (and my approach to pregnancy thus far) can be summed up in one word : 'moderation.'  Society and that which is socially accepted seems to focus on 'avoidance' rather than common sense.

I'm choosing to err on the side of moderation.  It's worked for sixteen weeks, and for umpteen generations before me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's been awhile - a week and a half or so since I last wrote, I believe.

Monday was 15 weeks, and I'm still feeling great.  I've run 2-3 miles at least five days a week for the past few weeks and can honestly say it's no more difficult than pre-pregnant running.  If anything, it's easier because I'm taking better care of myself and also running more consistently.  I'm sure the weight I've gained thus far doesn't help (nor does the ever-growing belly), but it's not really a hindrance.

I'm growing increasingly frustrated with...the rest of the world (besides Chris, that is).  And while a lot of it is most likely due to mood swings, a statistically - significant percentage of this frustration stems from the pregnancy feedback I get from almost every post-menarchal female I encounter.  I sometimes want to scream "I'm pregnant, not sick!  There is nothing wrong with my body.  Can't you just ignore the belly, shut up, and let me get on with my life?"

Because I am, apparently, not supposed to lift anything over a few pounds, engage in activity more strenuous than walking, or even use a three-step stepladder.  I'm supposed to be eating red meat 'for the health of the baby,' avoiding caffeine altogether, and most certainly not watching my caloric intake.  (according to feedback from an assortment of people over the past few weeks, none of whom are the physician I've chosen to oversee my prenatal care) 

Here's the thing.  Women have been told an outrageous number of ridiculous things about pregnancy over the past century (and most likely before that as well, though no one from those generations is around to pass on the old wives' tales of that era).  Most of these things have little basis in fact.  For example, there's no medical reason to keep one's heart rate under 140 while working out, though women were told for 20+ years that this was necessary for the safety of the baby (this has since been removed from the recommendations of all national health organizations).  Small amounts of alcohol (for example, the occasional glass of wine) have been shown by numerous studies recently to be not only safe, but possibly beneficial for pregnant women, though we've been told for the past quarter - century that no drinking while pregnant is ok.  And really - are we living in the 1950's, or has it been shown by numerous studies since the 50's that a vegetarian diet is entirely safe and suitable for pregnancy?

Oh - and running?  Totally safe for the entire pregnancy, barring any (rare) complications (placenta previa, extreme hypertension, symptoms of preterm labor, etc).

I have yet to be given any semblance of activity restriction by my doctor, for lifting at work or for working out.  I've had a handful of small glasses of wine and a cup of coffee a day since becoming pregnant.  And the idea of eating a steak is still as far from a reality as it was six months or six years ago. So to all the people with the weird ideas about pregnancy (and I don't care if you have ten kids, or zero), none of whom are ever going to read this : kindly keep your unsolicited advice to yourself.  You're just making this preggo grumpy.