Monday, November 24, 2014

Second Trimester Summary

I'm now 27 weeks pregnant and at the tail end of my second trimester. Yikes. Also, hooray! The little bundle of flailing limbs in side of me is about 2.25 lbs and over 15 inches long. That's pretty hefty. The second trimester is supposedly the sweet spot of pregnancy, and that has definitely been true for me. We went on our epic trip to Italy this trimester, I ran a 5K and am doing a 5 mile race later this week. We went on many hikes and shopping trips to indulge my sudden need to nest and have my house look like Ikea. Those Swedes know how to organize.

Belly progression, a.k.a. That time I grew out a pixie cut for the whole internet to see:
8 weeks (first "belly" picture- this is just IVF bloat/OHSS. Only shirtless picture. You're welcome)

14 weeks 

21 weeks (the boobs really came into their own around this point, and people started telling me I'd "popped")

 27 weeks
27 weeks. A little more protruding happened in the last 6 weeks, right?

Front view 8 weeks and now. Not too much wider in the belly, but I'm pretty sure my face has gained 10 lbs. Also, I miss my short hair so much. 

Hair and nails- Still going strong, literally, despite my actual haircut being terrible.

Energy levels- For the most part, I feel wonderful! I can move around most of the day without pain or discomfort. Running is still going fine (slower, but fine).

Skin- Still "glowy" and pleasant overall.

Baby kicks/punches- Having this little person moving around inside me is THE COOLEST THING. I love weird little squirms. I wear a badge at work that rests on my belly and the movements have recently started moving my badge around. I love it.

Special treatment- my coworkers have started offering me chairs all the time. The other day, my excuse for being late to a meeting was "sorry, had to pee!" (this elicited knowing smiles and chuckles. Also, it was a lie. I'm just bad at time management). On one hand, being pregnant isn't a disability and I feel great. On the other hand, sitting down is awesome.

Gradually slowing down- Despite my decent energy levels, I am starting to drag a bit. I have the strong desire to get stuff done around the house, which has always been the case, but now I am most definitely ok with not doing stuff. I can veg out on the couch, no problem. I wish my energy matched my motivation all the time, but I know I need rest, too. I'll take the energy bursts when I can get them.

"How are you feeling?"- I like to answer this one with "I'm fine! Work is busy!" and watch people try and figure out how to ask me directly about how pregnancy is going. I truly understand that people are worried about my well-being, and I appreciate it, but good lord, I am more than just a baby vessel.

Awful labor or pregnancy stories- this usually comes up when I mention that we're planning a homebirth, but sometimes people just tell me anyway. I know my belly is about to get huge, and I'll be uncomfortable. Please don't share how your ankles swelled so badly you couldn't put on your normal jeans. And please, please, keep your labor horror stories and how you "would have died" if you hadn't had your baby in the hospital. I'm sorry it was so scary, I'm glad you and your child are ok. I understand the risks.

Heartburn- Still there, most of the time. Nothing helps. The midwives are holding out the "big guns" of Zantac for third tri when it supposedly gets worse.

Poor sleep quality- I hear it'll only get worse from here. Between needing to pee, having crazy dreams, and needing to wake up to heave my body from one side to the other, I don't sleep in good solid stretches anymore. It causes a feeling of general bleh-ness until the end of the week when I can finally sleep in!

Lower back ache- As I have been told by many coworkers and strangers, I am indeed carrying low (hooray for being tall-ish!). The little one definitely settled into my pelvis. The plus side is that my breathing is unimpeded and my ribs are avoiding kicks so far. The minus side is having the weight hanging so low on my body has given me a mild back ache every day for weeks, and a monster backache on days when I spend too much time on my feet. I'm trying to alleviate this with pelvic rocks and trying to have good posture.

I know I have more dislikes than likes listed, but that's just because I'm a complainer by nature. I adore being pregnant- I have been so, so lucky to have had an easy time with pregnancy. I love feeling the baby move and knowing that I'm nurturing a little life that'll someday learn to read, ride a bike, do a science fair project, vote (!!!!) and maybe be a parent him/herself. That blows my mind. With 90ish days left in this pregnancy, the end result is starting to hit me and I'm a little overwhelmed and incredibly excited. I can't wait to be a parent with Nick!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My brain is still broken

In a recent post that surprised no one, I expressed dismay at my body and how it seems to change daily. I mean, I get that growing a human requires my belly to expand, but my upper arms? That part is lame. I'm not 100% recovered from the restrictive/obsessive/destructive thoughts that led me to have hypothalamic amenorrhea (over a year of typing that word and still can't spell it correctly on the first try...). This was reinforced the other day when I mentioned to Nick that I'm thinking about marathons next year, as in, the year I'll be birthing our child and (hopefully) being the sole source of nutrition for him or her. I have been reading lots of blogs lately about fall marathons and thinking to myself, "I could do that! I could totally run a fall marathon next year! That'll be 7-8 months after giving birth! That's like 32 weeks! That's 8 weeks of birth recovery, 8 weeks of base building, and 16 weeks of training! Totally doable!" (there are lots of exclamation points during my internal conversations) When I shared my marathon fantasies with Nick, he said, um, maybe don't get too excited, you'll be feeding our baby an awful lot so you don't want to do anything to adversely affect your supply.

On one hand, duh, of course I don't want to sacrifice feeding the baby/affecting my supply to pursue my own goals. On the other hand, my brain sucks and got really excited to go back to my old ways once pregnancy is over. I daydream about taking long walks with the dog and the baby in a carrier or stroller. Then I'll start running on the treadmill during naps. Then running outside when Nick's home from work. Weekends will have long runs.... I'll be back in some sort of marathon shape mere months after giving birth! Of course, "marathon shape" implies major weight loss. Knowing me, that wouldn't be from slowly, steadily, naturally losing weight, it would be from reverting to my old ways.

I know that my screwed up thought processes are still there because I struggle with them every day. The difference now is, during pregnancy, I easily recognize the destructiveness of the thoughts and I can  realign to my #1 priority, which is maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This doesn't mean I easily dismiss them- just last night I was freaking out over going out to dinner. I looked at the restaurant website and planned out what I'd eat and how many calories it would be, which is not necessarily a disordered thing in and of itself, but I took the extra step of figuring out how I'd make up for those "extra" calories and how it would effect my weight gain. Wtf, brain? You're pregnant, stop being stupid. Luckily, I was able to realize I was being crazy and just ordered what sounded good and I enjoyed it. There was still guilt, but I didn't let it overpower me.

However, the tiny sane part of my brain that's active right now is only active until February 22. After that, all bets are off. Admitting that I am having these thoughts right now, and knowing they are likely to only get worse is half the battle, right? After reflecting on that conversation with Nick, I have decided that I need to make a couple rules for myself or else I'll justify doing crazy things.
Rule #1: NO MARATHONS IN 2015. Not even "for fun." The first year of this little person's life is precious to me, and I will not sacrifice it for my selfish desires (TOTALLY not saying people who run a marathon soon after giving birth are selfish. But I would be doing it for selfish reasons). Rule #2: Run ideas by Nick. He knows me and my tendencies and will be able to tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

I have no idea what I'm going to feel like in 3, 4, 5, or 6 months. I do know that my life will be light years different than it is now and I will need to adjust. Setting goals is good. Setting them blindly, for silly reasons, is destructive and will end up with me back in a bad spot. I know this, and I will be on the lookout for those behaviors popping up again. Hopefully I'll be so madly in love with my infant, running and/or weight loss won't even be on my mind. And now I'm crying. Pregnancy hormones are fun.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I lied.

Subtitle: If there's a woman in front of me, I will try to catch her. Disregard Friday's post about being reasonable.

For the 5K on Saturday morning, the weather was drizzly and grey. It was a little chilly, a nice temperature for running. The rain worried me, because my bras have been chafing me like crazy lately (curses, pregnancy boobs!) and I knew rain would just make that worse. My attitude was "I paid for this race, damn it, I'm going to run it and then eat some snacks." Fueled by a chocolate cake donut (perfection) and coffee, we prepared for the race by warming up thoroughly...KIDDING! My dad did that. I sulked in the warmth until the last minute.

This is Nick's "I haven't run in months but I'm about to go kick your asses" face

We gathered for the start and I scoped out the "competition." This was sign #1 that maybe I drank too much coffee and was letting myself get too psyched. I noticed there weren't a lot of women, and there really weren't a lot of women around my age. Still, the plan was to keep the pace comfortable, stay with my dad, and just enjoy it, rain and all. Nick took off with the front guys and had a great race (there were a lot of men... he was 7th overall and 3rd in his age group!), especially considering he hasn't been training, and has hardly run at all lately. He's my hero.

I did the first mile a little faster than I'd anticipated, around 9 minutes. My dad was sticking with me, but told me I could take off if I wanted to. He was keeping my pace, no problem, and I didn't want to run on my own, so we stayed together. When we got to the turnaround, I noticed there were a couple of women just in front of me. My pregnancy-addled brain thought that had to be fixed, so I focused on passing them. My second mile was also 9 minutes. Go me, I thought, nice and even. Probably the first time I've ever done that in a 5K. 

The second half of the race tends to be more uphill overall, so I figured I'd slow down a bit. I saw one more "woman" in front of me. Woman is in quotation marks because she was a little girl. I didn't have a lot of juice left in me, so I sort of tried to pass her too. It was too late to really put any heat on, plus I felt bad passing a child so I gained on her a little bit, but definitely didn't kick. 3rd mile was 8:31, overall time of 27:15. As I was rounding the final corner, someone said "1st place, pregnant division! 3rd woman overall!" Umm, what? You mean I could have passed more people and been first woman?! Why didn't anyone tell me this sooner? The first place woman was about 45 seconds ahead of me, which doesn't sound like much, but I was already going at a pretty fast pace for my current fitness. I'm really proud of how well I ran, and placing in my age group is an added bonus! The fetus and I celebrated by eating eggs. 

...after reading all this, I realize that I didn't emphasize that this was a SUPER tiny 5K. So small! That totally makes the whole situation different.