Tuesday, May 29, 2012

As of this morning, Chris and I officially have a tiny, uterus - dwelling human being whose movements are visible on the surface of my belly!

He or she was, apparently, feeling quite energetic when I woke up this morning, and remained so til after my morning coffee (go figure...maybe like mother, like child?  My AM cup of coffee puts me back to sleep half the time!).  We've passed the period of baby movement that feels like bubbles, and moved on to wriggling and kicking, as often as not in response to me doing something he or she didn't find agreeable.  Bending over too far?  I get kicked.  Lying on my belly anywhere but our cushy bed?  Also get kicked.  The best are the braxton - hicks contractions though.  My uterus is preparing itself for (eventual) labor, yet its inhabitant finds being squashed by the accommodations quite objectionable.  Poor kid, it's going to be a long, hard life of learning that things that are necessary to achieve a desired end are not always enjoyable! 

I had a gal (who is 18 weeks pregnant) tell me today that I'm huge for only being 22 weeks.  I felt like pointing out to her that only one of us was in maternity pants (that someone not being me...my pre-preg 'fat pants' still button!).  And one of us was wearing a tight t shirt (me).  UGH, though...no woman wants to hear that she's huge! 

I'm just glad I'm carrying high.  A lower bump would be much more inconvenient in terms of lifting, bending over, finding clothing, etc, and I'm really appreciative of the fact that I haven't (yet) had to modify my activity level for the most part. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pregnancy + running update

In looking back on my posts, I realized that it's been a few days shy of two months since I last wrote a post about running.  I'm now 21.5 weeks pregnant, and still running.

And honestly, it still feels great most days.  The exhaustion comes and goes, but it doesn't factor into my ability to run (if anything, exercise tends to energize me).  Overeating is the only thing which significantly interferes with running - as my baby and uterus have grown, they've begun crowding out other organs (like my stomach).  Some days I'm almost too stuffed to run right after an average - sized meal.  I suppose this might be the long - awaited push to master the art of eating only til I'm full - a lifelong struggle for me.

Besides that though, I'm still going strong!  My pre-pregnant eight - minute miles have gradually become nine - minute miles, and stretching before, during, and after runs (I stop every mile or so to stretch out my legs and to make sure I'm not overheating) is a must.  Walking til my heart rate drops post - run is also increasingly helpful - keeps my leg muscles moving while they cool down, and prevents the post - exercise tendency to overheat.  While I'd hoped to work my way up to five mile runs by this point, I'm still doing no more than three and change at a time.  I can't complain though - I'm still running, and while early pregnancy runs were between one and three miles, almost all of my runs are three - milers now.  Any more than that and my left hip starts complaining.

I need to buy a belly support band at some point - while I don't need it yet, I'd rather have it on hand for when I do than miss out on running while it ships.  And I'm likely to drag my feet on deciding I need it when I do, so yeah...going to try to get one ordered in the next few weeks, just in case. 

And while I have still managed to gain 14 pounds thus far, I can still fit into plenty of my regular pants.  I guess that's a plus, and an indication that not many of those pounds are fat!

 This morning, mid - run.  21.5 weeks, my belly has surpassed my boobs. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baby clothes!

The first (of many) article(s) of baby clothing has taken up residence in our apartment - I bought a long-sleeved onesie this afternoon.  It's starting to feel very real, this "we will have a newborn living here with us in four months" thing, and I'm terrified we're not going to be ready. 

This is the onesie I bought, except in beige/white stripe:
 New as of today is the fear that my lack of preparation for this baby thus far will a) make everything after now rushed, which will b) make things unwelcoming for the baby once he or she arrives.  I'm suddenly terrified that our lives are not going to be hospitable enough for a child, that my body thus far has not been a hospitable enough dwelling place for this baby, and that I'm not going to have enough love to be a mother to this tiny human.  I've spent so much of this pregnancy determined to not let this baby ruin my body...it's scary now, thinking that I haven't done enough to take good care of my tiny human, or that I've taken too many risks thus far. 

This is, most likely, a completely normal experience. 

My doctor stated that she's "quite pleased" with how my pregnancy is progressing at my prenatal checkup on Monday.  This is a good sign.  The fact that I both look and feel great?  Also reassuring.  And getting to see the ultrasound, and to hear that this baby is, as far as the tech and my doctor can tell, healthy and right on track as far as gestational age goes?  I don't have much reason to worry, at least about my ability to take good care of this utero dweller. 

I'm still terrified.  And I suppose this is a good thing. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yesterday was 20 weeks.  I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy, which seems like a lot further along than it actually is.  If this were a marathon - and it is, in a lot of ways - I'd be at mile 13 (with 13 left to go) and delighted if my toes weren't yet bleeding through my shoes. 

Speaking of running...  I ran 3 miles this morning, and while I had to walk a block due to the heat, I still averaged 8.2 mins/mile.  It's not the fastest I've ever been, but it's also not the slowest (I think my average for the presidential fitness tests in elementary school was 12 minutes...)  I've gained a bakers' dozen pounds since becoming pregnant and learned last night at my checkup that my abdominal muscles have separated, so I'm quite content with the fact that I don't appear to have lost much in terms of fitness.  My butt still fits in my pre-pregnancy pants; while I need two sports bras to contain my blossoming womanhood on runs, I have a healthy, kicking baby inside of me and that's all that really matters. 

Something seems to have clicked into place in terms of feeling connected to this baby in the past few weeks.  Perhaps it was the ultrasound, or the fact that I'm now feeling occasional kicks (bebe got in a few solid jabs after a particularly strong braxton - hicks contraction last week, which was the first time I was aware of movement.  It was hard to miss - guess he or she doesn't like being squeezed!)  Perhaps it's the fact that I've been encountering more babies than usual, which drives home the fact that I will be holding my own tiny squishy human in four months.  Or perhaps it's the fact that second trimester has flown by thus far, ushering in the realization that this baby will be here before I know it. 

When I was 21 or 22, I told someone that with how quickly the past four years had gone, I fully expected to blink and open my eyes at 35 with a husband and three kids.  And now, another four years later, I'm just glad that I got the husband (soon to be anyway!) and kid part without the whole 'missing out on my 20's' thing.  I know that parenting flies by even more quickly than does pregnancy, but I'm hoping to make the most of every minute of it. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

'Helpful' Article on iVillage

Dangerous Teen Fads You Should Know About

Please, please never let me be the parent who resorts to reading about what my child might (*might*) be doing. 

I can't quite place what about this article disgusts me so much...  The assumption that all teens do this?  The assumption that all teens are doing this now (as opposed to two, three, or five years ago, since the authors' kids had obviously been doing this for long enough for their parents to notice)?  The assumption that all of the "fads" listed are dangerous?  I'm having visions of parents reading this article and attempting to talk to their teenagers about the dangers of planking, only to be met with eye rolls and "Mom, no one does that anymore..."

More likely, it's the idea that a parent (and I will soon be one) could be so out of touch with their child that the few dangerous activities on the list would go unnoticed in the absence of a helpful article on the internet. 

Had I someone with whom to toast at this very moment, I'd raise my Vitamin Water high to working my ass off to stay engaged with the world as this child grows up. 

Mama Bee Belly Balm

This stuff is wonderful.  It has next to no scent (faintly beeswax-y), stays solid until you touch it, and then promptly melts into your skin.  Within a few minutes, the skin no longer feels oily/greasy, but it keeps the uncomfortable stretching/itching of pregnancy at bay for hours.  And - better yet - the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database rates it a 0 on a scale of 0-10 for potentially toxic ingredients.  Not bad for something I picked up on a whim because it was on sale at Wal-Mart! 

and yes, I did just admit to shopping at Wal-Mart...it's an occasional vice, and nothing more!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reasons why pregnancy isn't really that bad (might be TMI for the boys)

I was thinking yesterday, after hearing a coworker blame PMS/start of period for her rough day, that pregnancy really isn't all that bad.  It's certainly not glamorous or easy, but neither is being a human being (male, female, n/a...)

For starters : compared to the PMS I experienced every month without fail, and the gut - wrenching cramps that arrived 75% of the time, pregnancy is a walk in the park.  Yes, there are days I'm in terrible moods with no cause but hormones.  Yes, there are times I've felt not so great physically.  Honestly though?  Pregnancy's proven far easier than PMS and periods for me.  And I no longer have to worry about carrying tampons and/or worrying about whether or not my period is going to arrive at an inopportune time (too early, too late, at work, etc).

This one's ironic, but quite true.  Pregnancy removes the need for any sort of birth control.  Worry - free fun!

The 'glow' - it's a real thing.  My skin looks better than it ever has before, and it requires absolutely no effort from me.  Sometimes it gets washed, sometimes it doesn't; no one seems to be able to tell the difference.  Hell, I can't even tell the difference.  If my hair's not wet, chances are I haven't washed my face since yesterday.  If I have a scarf on my head, it might have been two days, or even three...

To borrow a phrase from my friend Sam's blog, "the upstairs real estate looks amazing" during pregnancy.  'nuff said. 

And with bikini season just now in sight, it's worth mentioning that I'm going to be able to wear a bikini without feeling self - conscious about my stomach for the first time in my life.  It certainly won't be flat, but no one is expecting it to be! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We're having a...


And he or she is healthy, active, and measured 17 weeks, 6 days at 18 weeks on the dot.