Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tuesdays at Eastern Market

Since I've worked every Saturday in recent memory, I haven't been able to make it down to Eastern Market like I was hoping to this summer.  Chris and I tried to go the one Sunday I wasn't scheduled, and found that it doesn't happen on Sunday as we'd assumed it would.  We did, however, discover that from the beginning of July to the end of October, there's 1+ shed's worth of vendors every Tuesday.

It's a much smaller crowd than on Saturdays, but there's still plenty of variety.  And the best part about Eastern Market Tuesdays?  The free yoga.  Since only shed two is used for the market itself, there's plenty of space for a good-sized class to practice yoga in the well - ventilated shade of shed three.  All that is required is a yoga mat (a bottle of water is also a good idea), and the classes are structured to be accessible for a variety of skill levels.  And unlike any yoga class I've ever taken before, the music is live (provided by one of the local Buddhist monasteries, I believe).  It's a thoroughly lovely experience despite the large class size that appears to be larger by the week.

And really - what could be better than an hour of semi - outdoor yoga followed by shopping at the farmer's market?  Last week, I bought yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh basil, and several ears of corn.  I sauteed the squash and zucchini with sliced onions, and cooked down diced tomatoes and basil over it (served over plain cooked quinoa) for lunch afterwards.  Simple, high in protein and fiber, and delicious.

Also worth mentioning - they have yet to open a shop, but make it to three or four markets a week.  Rightfully Raw makes delicious raw 'baked' goods and other assorted treats and snack-y things, all of which are dangerously good.  Two weeks ago, I got their raspberry crumble; this week it was the chocolate mousse with cookie crumble crust.  And yes, I ate the entire thing both times.  Good thing they're small portions!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pregnant Running Essentials

To preface this post :

I'm not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination.  I'm a 2-3 miles a day-er, and I haven't run competitively since high school.  However, running while pregnant (as I've been doing since first trimester) isn't about speed, mileage, or racing.  And it requires some degree of thought and planning that running wouldn't otherwise entail.  With that in mind, here are some things I've found helpful thus far (30 weeks tomorrow).


Pregnancy itself requires roughly 75 grams of protein daily according to the WHO.  Protein requirements for running increase with mileage, but are estimated to be comparable if not greater than that for pregnancy for those who are training consistently.  Runner's World recommends 75-120 grams per day.  While their recommendations may be a bit high for those of us running only a few miles at a time, the point remains : an increase in dietary protein intake is a non-negotiable component of running while pregnant.  I generally shoot for at least 80 grams per day, and haven't had any issues thus far.  If anything, I think I've gained muscle because my diet was lower in protein than it should have been pre-pregnancy.   

Excellent Sports Bras

Most women go up at least a cup size or two while pregnant, and let me tell you - that much growth in a short period of time is not comfortable.  Neither bouncing nor throbbing are conducive to an enjoyable run!  I went from an A to a C, and run in either a sports bra with an underwire, or two regular ones.  I'm a fan of this one (above) for doubling up because it's fairly supportive and not bulky and also not expensive.  

Maternity Workout Attire

Maternity workout - specific attire isn't necessary (tends to be expensive and a bit silly in my opinion), but a few seasonally - appropriate maternity shirts and a few pairs of shorts or pants in a larger size are a good idea.  Since the majority of my pregnancy has been during warm weather, I generally run in one of these tank tops and a pair of non-maternity running shorts a size up from what I wore pre- pregnancy. 

Good Running Shoes

For the average (non-pregnant) runner, the impact of each stride is roughly seven times his or her body weight.  A healthy pregnancy involves weight gain, which can increase strain on joints.  Further, a pregnant body produces a hormone called relaxin, which causes joints to be looser than normal (to allow for childbirth).  Thus, pregnant running is running with 'weaker' joints under more strain than usual.  This isn't necessarily a problem, but well - fitting shoes in good condition are a must to absorb some of the impact on the joints and to reduce the likelihood of injuries related to improper running form.  I'm all for running in shoes with minimal support and for perfecting one's form, but pregnancy is not the time to do it.  Go to a running-specific store, take an old pair of running shoes (so they can make recommendations based on your wear pattern), and be prepared to spend $70+.  Target makes great shoes for chasing the kids around the yard or for low-impact exercise, but they're not suitable for running under 'extenuating circumstances.'

Maternity Support Belt

It's not necessary for the entirety of pregnancy, but may be useful towards the end (heavier, larger bellies are harder on the lower back, and thus more likely to affect one's running form).  I bought the Gabrialla Belt around 28 weeks, and I haven't run without it since.  It's also proven quite useful for work, since I spend 8-9 hours on my feet a day (cuts down on the tendency towards 'swaybacked and waddling' towards the end of the shift!).  

Stretching (before and after)

It's probably a good thing to do regardless, but it definitely helps get the body warmed up for a run.  Choose stretches that target your back and legs, since both are under more stress than usual.  And hey - thanks to the aforementioned relaxin, stretching can be more fun than usual.  Don't push joints too far, but don't be surprised if they seem slightly more flexible than before.  Supposedly, flexibility gained during pregnancy can be retained postpartum if a stretching regimen continues after birth.  I plan to give this idea a test run once I have the chance (as in, once I have this baby!).  

Other Assorted Tips...

Overheating while pregnant can be dangerous, so I generally limit myself to running when it's below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  And I've made a point of stopping every mile or so to stretch and make sure I'm not getting too hot since early second trimester - this may or may not be necessary, but I'm sticking with it at this point.  Running when the sun is not out definitely helps avoid overheating as well.  Tangentially related to the issue of overheating, yes - I have run in only a sports bra while pregnant on warmer days.  It garners a lot of weird stares, but take comfort in knowing that a pregnant body is nothing to be ashamed of (alternately, seek comfort in the fact that there are far scarier and more scantily - clad bodies to be seen at any public beach or pool!)

For most runs, sunscreen is a great idea.  Pregnancy leaves the skin more susceptible than usual to hyper-pigmentation, which is exacerbated by sun exposure.  I hate sunscreen, so I generally opt for vampire runs (running before the sun rises or after it sets). 

A lot of websites recommend running with a water bottle while pregnant, though I've never done so.  I hate carrying anything, and drinking water immediately before or during a run tends to make me feel sloshy and heavy.  And then there's the issue of where to pee when you're dripping sweat and a mile and a half from home...  Drinking plenty of water in the few hours leading up to a run has proven adequate in my experience.  

On the issue of 'where to pee' though - plan your route with at least a few potty options, and don't be shy about asking to use a restroom if there isn't a public one.  Fast food restaurants are good options, and even smaller businesses are highly unlikely to turn away a pregnant woman in need of a toilet!  I've peed at the Mercedes-Benz dealership, at AutoZone, at mom&pop hardware stores, in the CVS employee restroom, etc... 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

29 - week checkup

It's funny - in the midst of the two and a half week glucose tolerance testing saga, I never had a 'bad' appointment.  All my freak-outs were over the phone, either at work or at home.  Office visits were remarkably positive the entire time, which I suppose speaks to the quality of care at a "patient - centered medical practice."  I'm quite lucky to have the doctor that I do, because pregnancy would have been considerably more stressful thus far with pretty much anyone else overseeing my prenatal care.

The critter's heart rate was a good solid 148, though (sadly) there was no kicking of the doppler this time.  It's getting easier and easier to find his or her heartbeat though (a stethoscope would actually work at this point) so less baby-bothering doppler pressure is required to hear it.   My weight gain and fundal height are on track at 20 pounds and 28 weeks/centimeters, respectively.  The only thing that wasn't as it should be was my blood pressure, which returned to its usual checkup 140/70 in the midst of worrying that Rothenberg might have lost patience with me over my response to the glucose tolerance screening and test.  Thankfully, she hasn't.  In fact, she went so far as to say that she wishes all her OB patients were as health - conscious and active as I am, which was nice to hear.  She's excited that I'm planning on delivering at the Alternative Birth Care Unit as it's her favorite place to attend births.  Hell, I'm excited to deliver there...pregnancy's all fine and good, but I'd happily tackle labor and delivery tomorrow if there were a way to time-warp to 38 weeks and somehow complete the required four - week childbirth course in the process! 

Really though, being 29.5 weeks pregnant isn't so bad.  Since beginning iron supplementation (in addition to my prenatals) and getting a maternity support belt, I haven't felt particularly inconvenienced by pregnancy.  My belly's currently put growing in a southerly direction on hold to focus on conquering new territory to the east and west, which means I haven't had to take any articles of clothing out of rotation for a few weeks now.  I ran a mile this morning (the plan was two, but it started pouring and I hate squishy wet shoes), and curled up on the couch right now, I feel pretty much like not-pregnant me, with a belly.  And huge boobs, but I tend to forget about them since they're smaller than my pregnant stomach and don't interfere with my ability to see my feet! 

Iron supplements or no, though, I need to go take a nap before Chris gets home.  We're going to the Secretary of State after he gets out of work, and I'm dozing off while attempting to type.  Yay, pregnancy! 

Chris and I at Alison's wedding on the 6th.  I'm short, unlike Chris. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's been a productive day. 

And for as much shuffling of papers as marriage/name - changing involves, it's proved to be a surprisingly speedy process.  In addition to laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and thinking about vacuuming, I also managed to procure (buy?  It was $15) a certified copy of our marriage license and get my last name changed at the Social Security Office.  I would have plenty of time to get my DL switched over today, but it takes 24 hours for a name change to register in the WWWDotGov system.  I suppose there's always tomorrow for that.  My new social security card should be here within two weeks. 

And in the meantime, I have a piece of paper that resembles mail addressed to Janna Beth Wells, to prove to the cranky ladies at the Secretary of State that I have, in fact, legally changed my name! 

And while digging out my old social security card, passport, and birth certificate to take to the SSO, I found the social security card Chris was sure was in the wallet he lost last weekend in Kansas City.  This is most excellent news, because being without a driver's license, SS card, health insurance card, passport, and debit card is something akin to waking up in a foreign country with no recollection of who you are or how you got there (at least in a legal sense).  A SS card is required to get a new driver's license, and a DL to get a new SS card.  A birth certificate, of which we lack a legal copy, is required to get a new SS card, but a DL and an SS card are required to get a certified copy of a birth certificate.  And a DL, SS card, and birth certificate are necessary for getting a new passport.  Losing more than one piece of identifying information at a time, it seems, is legally quite messy.  Thankfully, the situation became considerably less complicated as of two hours ago. 

The moral of the story?  That the ladies at the SSO are much nicer and more cheerful than those at the Secretary of State (and the wait much shorter).  Also, that I should probably [re-]hide Chris's social security card before he gets home from work, to stop him from rubber-banding it into his makeshift wallet out of habit (I got it from him when applying for a marriage license, and absentmindedly filed it away with the rest of our documents).  Yep. 

Our kiddo is either 29 weeks ripe, or 11 weeks premature today.  It's getting hard to be patient, because we're pretty impatient to meet our tiny new human. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

All is (once again/still) well in the world...

After 36 hours of worrying (actually, not even 36 hours...more like either 34, or two and a half weeks), I found out tonight that I passed the three - hour glucose tolerance test.  I should have known I would all along because my diet and activity level are as healthy as they are, but hey...I like to worry.  

So now, after a 2.5 week break[down], it's back to trying to relax and enjoy this last chapter of pregnancy.  There are childbirth classes for which we must enroll, changes to be made to the apartment layout, a trip to Chicago to be taken (to visit friends before traveling becomes somewhat more complicated), and so many other things...I'm guessing these last 80 days will fly by. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, then...'s been awhile. 

I'm now in my third trimester (I was last week too, most likely...).  Either way, yesterday marked 28 weeks and the start of the third and final leg of pregnancy. 

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Chris and I got married the 1st of July; for our 'honeymoon' we drove to Kansas City for my sister's wedding.  It was a beautiful outdoor wedding, and also 106 degrees.  I failed the one - hour glucose tolerance screening, not once but twice.  We bought a second car (a 2003 Saturn Vue).  And I gave in and bought the belly support band I've been postponing buying because my belly's now heavy enough that it makes my back and abs hurt if I run more than two miles.  Review of said Gabrialla Belt to come as soon as it does (Amazon says it should arrive tomorrow). 


I have my follow - up three hour glucose tolerance test tomorrow morning, so I'm stuck fasting from now til lunchtime tomorrow.  It's frustrating, knowing that there's such a strong correlation between gestational diabetes and excess weight (being overweight before, or gaining too much during pregnancy) since I will, in all likelihood, still have a 'healthy' BMI for someone who is not pregnant on the day I deliver.  And I hate needles/blood draws/doctors' offices/etc.  Here's to hoping I pass it, because the sheer number of trips to the doctor thus far in pregnancy have been difficult for me - management of gestational diabetes would involve four or more appointments a week for the last month if not longer.  That, and the fact that I might starve if my (gluten+dairy free vegetarian) diet were any more restricted than it already is.  I know it's worth it to know whether or not I have diabetes, and to manage it properly if I do - still, though.  It would certainly be more than I signed up for, and quite possibly enough to make this kiddo an only child. 

At least it's only 83 days til my due date.  In undergrad, I always said (when trying to decide if I could handle a particular courseload) "I can put up with anything for three months."  And fewer than three months of pregnancy remain.  I have a healthy, bouncy baby who hasn't slept for more than two and a half hours at a time in two and a half weeks, a pregnancy that has been absolutely uncomplicated thus far, and a husband with incomprehensible patience for both the physical and emotional symptoms of 'being with child.'  And one who kisses my belly goodnight on a regular basis.

I don't really have that much room to complain.

At Alison's wedding, seeking refuge from the heat in the shade of the pavilion.