Sunday, September 25, 2011

In which I whine about exercise

 From the front

And from the side.  In the future, I'll wear a shirt that is not the same color as the wall!

Week: 19
Baby Size: 5.25-6 inches. It's about the size of a large mango and weighs in at about 7 ounces. You know the baby book is running out of things to say when they tell you "your baby will increase its weight more than 15 times between now and delivery".  You mean I won't have a 10 oz baby?  Thanks, baby book!

Gender: This Friday!  Baby and I have had some serious talks about being cooperative so I don't go crazy.  Mostly that relates to making sure all the parts are in the right place and functioning normally, but it also applies to the money shot.

Maternity Clothes?: How much do I love maternity pants?  They are the greatest invention ever.  Not only are they stretchy, they have no buttons or zippers!  Just pull on and go.  Amazing.  I still have some of my pre-pregnancy shirts that I can wear, but I'm mostly in full maternity gear nowadays.

Sleep: I'm having trouble getting to sleep at night, but that was the case pre-pregnancy too.  With the field trip on my mind (see below) and all the things I needed to do to prepare, I'm actually not too surprised I'm having trouble.  I'm hoping things get back to normal now that the trip is done.

Diet and Exercise:  I managed 3 days on the treadmill this week.  Brian and I also had a fight about my heart rate when I run being too high.  The OB told me in the beginning to stay between 140-150 and everything should be fine.  I never actually worried about monitoring it, since a lot of other people on the message boards I read said their OBs just told them to do what they've been doing.  I made the mistake of e-mailing one of my very in-shape friends and asking her what she did during pregnancy and she told me that she stopped running at the very beginning because of her heart rate climbing too much.  I compounded my mistake by mentioning this to Brian.  He completely freaked out that I was starving the baby of O2 when I ran, and I needed to stop right away (I should say this was exacerbated by the fact that I had used some toluene that night in lab without gloves--toluene is a known carcinogen, and in large doses can cause birth defects.  I used 1 mL).  He went to REI and bought me a heart rate monitor the next night.  Turns out that I get to about 166 when I run at my usual pace.  If I slow down a bit, I'm only at 150, but that only holds for 1 lap--it rises to around 160 the longer I run.  We've compromised and agreed that I will run one lap (at the slower pace) and then walk a lap (on an incline, so it's not as wussy as it sounds).  I'm not thrilled with this--I ran the entire first trimester so any damage that running would do has already been done--but I'm humoring him.  As I mentioned in my last post, my running days are numbered anyway, so I may as well start phasing it out now.  With the alternations, I'm still managing at least a mile on each day running, so it's really not too much less than I was doing.  I'm still using the heart rate monitor (I actually really like it, as it gives a good workout report) and keeping an eye on things.  Poor Brian--I've made him sound like a jerk, but he's just concerned.

Movement: Brian's felt it too!  Baby was kicking my left side and I put his hand on there and a couple of seconds later he looked at me with big eyes and said "Oh!"  It was very funny.  I feel movement pretty much every day now--usually just taps on my lower left, but sometimes I feel it roll over or stretch out.  One night the taps started on the lower right and then tracked across the middle to my lower left where they stayed.  Seems like baby has a favorite side.  I really only feel the taps when I'm sitting still, but the rolls and stretches I've felt while standing.  I get the taps especially in the car where the seat belt presses in, and about a half hour after I've eaten.  It's really cool, but a little freaky at the same time--things in there aren't supposed to move on their own generally :)

What I Miss: Being able to work out with no monitoring.  I'll get over it, but it is kind of annoying that I can't just take care of myself. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Still finding out the sex--it's coming (I hope)!   

Best Moment this Week: Brian feeling the movement.

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe: 
My hips are definitely letting me know about it when I first wake up in the morning.  I think I need a pillow for between my legs--that's supposed to help a lot.  My belly button is continuing its sojourn to the outside world too--I won't be an inny for too much longer.

On Wednesday, I looked down after my shower and thought "where the heck did that come from?"  Suddenly, seemingly overnight, I had developed a belly.  I had noticed the expansion before, but this week it really seems like things are popping out more than they were.  I know to everyone else it still doesn't look like much, but for me, it's hard to ignore. 

Baby Milestones: According to the baby book, all the major systems have finished developing by now, and all that's left for the next few months is to gain some weight and let everything mature.  That makes sense--otherwise they wouldn't schedule an ultrasound to look at overall anatomy.  It's cool to think the baby looks like a freakishly skinny version of what it will be when it comes out! 

Food Cravings: Still berries and chocolate.  I had my usual Friday night ice cream, and then last night we went to Vick's (an awesome ice cream shop here in Sac), and I got some chocolate mousse ice cream.  Oh my gosh, it was so good! 

How's Dad?: Besides being super overprotective, very well!  Home Depot has apparently decided we're not cool enough to get the bathroom flooring when they told us we would, so the bathroom remodel drags on.  He got the cabinets sanded and stained and the walls sanded to paint instead.  He's really making great progress, and it's going to look amazing when he's done.  We're both half expecting the tempranillo grapes we're waiting on to be ready to go next weekend, so that'll push things off further.  He's anxious to be done, as this is taking a ton of time!   

Tid Bits: We had our field trip with my Intro Bio class yesterday, and it was a ton of fun!  We went to a park not too far from the campus, and the students were responsible for catching and documenting several species of wildlife in the lake and the woodlands near the lake.  I supervised the woodlands kids (since it had the most shade), and they all really seemed to think it was pretty cool.  They had to measure the size of trees and tag them, and then look count and measure all of the plants in a meter squared parcel of ground around the trees.  I did this with my summer students as well, and loved how it gave them a chance to work like "real" biologists and see what biology is like in the field.  They have to write me a report, give a presentation on what they found, and upload their photos and notes to a common website to give to the park personnel.  Baby did just fine--I only felt some pains if I bent over a lot, so I started making my students bend over for me :)  I also made them carry everything for me.  I don't usually use pregnancy as an excuse, but was happy to that day!  

My Chem for Nurses class is going well too.  Despite my use of carcinogens without gloves, the labs are really fun and easy, and I think they are really helping the students learn the concepts I teach them in the lecture.  I'm going to miss teaching in person this spring!  University of Phoenix is also going well.  I'm having trouble keeping up the positive reinforcement that they insist on for their instructors (sometimes you're just wrong, and I think you have to deal with that!), but overall it's going fine.  It will certainly get easier the more times I teach it! 

The last thing is Beau's allergies.  My cat has had allergies the entire 9 years I've had him, and they've always been worst in the fall.  This year, he's taken things to a whole new level.  He wheezes with each breaths, sneezes constantly, and sleeps all the time (even for a cat, that's excessive).  In the past, I've tried giving him allergy pills, but if I do manage to get one down his throat, he will immediately vomit it back up.  If I put it in a treat, he will eat the treat and leave the pill behind.  This week he was so bad that I bought some of the liquid children's medicine and tried giving that to him.  He only swallowed some, but then he immediately vomited and started actually foaming at the mouth to get rid of it!  I've never seen a cat so hard to give medicine to in my life!  Brian tried to mix some of the medicine with wet food (which worked with Snowball), and he wouldn't even touch the wet food.  I'm pretty much done trying to help him out, but I feel so badly for him!  Do any cat people have suggestions of anything else I can try?  Is there some injectable allergy medicine that I don't know about?  I hate to watch him suffer, but I've literally tried everything to get him to take this medicine! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's alive!

Week: 18, and as of Friday, officially 4 months along (if you go by the due date).  This means I got to flip to month 5 in What to Expect When You're Expecting.  Progress!
Baby Size: 5-5.5 inches. It's about the size of a baked potato (or a chicken cutlet) and weighs in at about 5.25 ounces.  That's actually quite a jump from last week.

Gender: Really, come on and end already, September! I did have a friend tell me she had a dream that I had a boy (via C-section, and I was up and walking around right afterwards like nothing had happened--I wish they worked that way!).  Combine that with mine and Brian's dreams (on the same night) in the beginning that we had a boy, and maybe we're on to something here.  Or maybe it's just a huge coincidence and we'll see a little girl in 2 weeks!

Maternity Clothes?: I still have my one pair of shorts, but yeah, forget the pants.  I have definitely grown out of those!  I've never been more thankful for the influx of maternity gear from my friend.  The B-Band works really well, but it gets awfully hot under there, and it's so much more comfortable to just wear pants that fit!

Sleep: No complaints this week, even though my allergies have been bad.  At least they let me sleep through the night.

Diet and Exercise:  I managed 4 days on the treadmill this week--go me!  I varied my run/walking on each day to keep things interesting, but managed at least a mile run everyday.  Not too bad on the diet, I guess.  We went out for my birthday on Saturday night and I ate a ton of sushi.  It tasted so good, and made me so happy!  Then we had a pumpkin cheesecake from Freeport Bakery for dessert.  Heaven!  I was very full afterwards, but I loved every minute of both the eating and the hanging out with my friends.

Movement: Yep, I'm definitely feeling it!  Some flutters and taps all week, and then on Friday morning I was lying on my back in bed, and all of a sudden felt a lump on the left side that definitely wasn't mirrored on the right.  I pushed on it a bit, and it moved away.  Then on Sunday morning, I felt a lump on the other side that again moved away when I pressed on it.  Brian was asleep, and I didn't want to wake him up so he didn't get to feel it.  When he woke up, I pressed around again trying to see if the baby was bunched up somewhere (it wasn't), and when I stopped pressing I felt a very distinct thump!  I still had my hand on my abdomen, and definitely felt it from the outside (my whole abdomen actually moved).  I'm just sorry Brian didn't get to feel it!  I'm sure later on I'll wish the kid would just be still already, but right now, it feels so neat!

What I Miss: I got my sushi craving satisfied, I had Chipotle, I had chocolate ice cream...I'm good! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Definitely finding out the sex.  I really want to start decorating the nursery, but am making myself wait until we know for sure what it is.  It's going to be a long 2 weeks!   

Best Moment this Week: All the movement, and the sushi last night!

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe: 
I had my first Braxton-Hicks contractions this weekend.  Basically, my entire uterus went really hard for a few seconds and then relaxed.  They can be felt early in pregnancy, but definitely get more frequent later on (and more intense, since the uterus is much larger).  It wasn't painful at all, but a little uncomfortable.  I've also noticed that my hips are sore now, which is to be expected, since they have some spreading to do to make way for baby.  My back has been OK, except when I'm on my feet teaching for a while.  Then it really starts to hurt.  I've tried to be more aware of how long I'm up, and sit down when I feel like it's been a while.  I plan on getting a prenatal yoga DVD, which will hopefully help to stretch things out a bit and make me more comfortable. 

Baby Milestones: Baby is continuing to grow very rapidly, as you can see by the differences in measurement from last week to this week.  It's starting to look more human, and less generic primate.  The heart is fully developed and under the control of the brain.  It can now yawn and hiccup and has individual fingerprints on its fingers and toes. 

Food Cravings: Bring on the berries this week!  Brian bought me some raspberries from Costco, and they were awesome.  I've already mentioned how amazing the sushi was, and chocolate ice cream has become a must-have on Friday nights. 

How's Dad?: Still doing really well.  The bathroom remodel is coming along very nicely.  He got the subfloor in last weekend, and is leveling it out, as well as sanding and staining the cabinets this weekend.  We're still waiting on the vinyl we ordered to come in, which will hopefully be this week.  He planned my birthday dinner, made the reservations, and bought me a cake, which was awesome.  We were talking about how Christmas next year will be at my parents' house in IL, and how we'll have a 10 month old baby with us then, which I think made him realize how quickly the time with baby being a baby is going to go.  I can't wait for him to be able to feel the baby move!   

Tid Bits: The doctor's appointment went really well.  My abdomen is measuring at 19cm (right on target, and the first time they've measured it), I've gained 5.5 pounds since getting pregnant (and 1.5 since my last appointment), the baby's heart rate was around 150, and the little bugger kept squirming around as the doctor was trying to hear the heartbeat with the Doppler.  I'm pretty sure it just didn't like all that noise happening right on top of it!  The doctor said all is well, and I should keep up what I've been doing.

I talked to the doctor about how much longer I can realistically jog for exercise.  She told me that around 24-25 weeks, the fetus will undergo a growth spurt and the size of the baby plus the uterus makes running at that point pretty much impossible--it just puts too much strain on the round ligaments that hold the uterus in place.  She said I can try a support band, but that really, my jogging days are very much numbered.  I've been jogging for exercise since college, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do without it!  It's to the point where I really don't feel like I've had a good workout unless running was involved at some point.  I certainly don't want to do any damage in there, so I'll stop when everything tells me to, but I am really going to miss it!

On a happier note, teaching at the University of Phoenix has been way easier than I thought.  They put you through this very intense training program that is supposed to simulate what you will be doing in class, but I've found so far that the training was harder than the teaching!  I have a very diverse group of students, and I think it's going to be a fun 5 weeks with them.  My other classes are going really well, too.  I love my students this semester, and have none that really annoy me, or act like idiots.  Both community college classes have their first tests this week, so I guess we'll see how effective I've been at teaching them so far!

Overall, things are going really well, and I hope they continue to do so for the next 5 months! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 17

First of all, I want to say my heart goes out to all of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, and in the subsequent wars.  And a big thank you to our police, firefighters, EMTs and servicemen and women who put their lives on the line everyday for us to have freedom.  Never forget!

That being said, here how things are going this week.

Week: 17
Baby Size: 4.5-4.75 inches. It's about the size of an onion (or the palm of my hand) and weighs in at about 3.5 ounces.

Gender: Still waiting.  I had 2 students guess this week--one said boy and one said girl.  As Brian said, we really hope one of them is correct! 

Maternity Clothes?: No more pants that button on their own.  I do have 1 pair of shorts left that will, and all those wonderful skirts.  I also had to go out and buy flat dressier shoes that I can wear in lab.  The (very small) heels are making my legs hurt too much!

Sleep: Still good, but had another allergy attack last night.

Diet and Exercise:  I managed 3 days on the treadmill this week, due to Monday being a holiday.  I ran 2 miles and walked another mile on an incline.  On Friday I ate a bowl of chocolate ice cream (my new Friday ritual, since I can't have a beer), and on Saturday I had very greasy pizza, but other than that, I was very good this week with my diet.  I do have some comments below about how well I'm able to run now.

Movement: I'm upgrading to 80% sure I'm feeling movement.  After feeling pretty much nothing all week, on Friday, I was sitting on the couch after having finished my weekly ice cream and I felt like something was rolling over in my abdomen.  Since my intestines haven't taken on a life of their own (yet--they will any day now), I'm pretty sure it was the baby.  On Saturday, Snowball was on my lap and I felt a series of little thumps while she was sitting there.  She didn't notice a thing.  It's going to be pretty funny when baby gets big enough to feel from the outside.  I'm pretty sure the kitties will not be amused.

What I Miss: Nothing because of the pregnancy!  I miss hanging out with Brian in the evenings.  It was nice having Monday off, since we could see each other all day on a non-weekend day. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: I have another meeting with my ARC mentor on Tuesday to get the information I'll need to complete the semester.  I also have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and I'm really looking forward to hearing the heartbeat again.   

Best Moment this Week: The somersault.  It just felt so cool!

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe: 
Last week I mentioned that I was starting to notice restricted movement a bit.  This week I noticed that it's getting uncomfortable to run.  Uteruses (Uterii?) are not really attached to the abdominal wall--they have ligaments that hold them roughly in place, but the are essentially free swinging.  Well, when I run now, I can definitely feel it moving up and down in time to my stride.  It's a very weird feeling, and slightly unpleasant.  I'm going to stick with running as long as I feel like I can, but I certainly understand why women don't run all the way through their pregnancies! 

Baby Milestones: Baby is continuing to grow very rapidly.  It is still covered in fine hair (lanugo), but is now starting to pack on some fat (adipose tissue) that will make all that hair useless. 

Food Cravings: I finally got some Chipotle this week, so I'm good for now :)  I am really looking forward to sushi on my birthday, though!

How's Dad?: He's still super excited!  He has wanted to redo his bathroom upstairs basically since we moved in, and finally started to do so last weekend.  He was just going to stain the vanity in there, but it turned out he couldn't reach all the way around while the toilet was in there.  After he had the toilet out, he figured he's pull up the vinyl and replace it with nicer.  Once he had the vinyl out, he realized there was a lot of mold damage on the subfloor.  So now we have no subfloor, no toilet and an unstained vanity!  He's getting the new subfloor in today, and we should get the vinyl we ordered sometime this week.  Then all he has to to is install everything and stain the vanity!  It should be done by the end of the month (I hope!).   

Tid Bits: I start my online course at the University of Phoenix on Tuesday.  It should be interesting, since even after 2 weeks of training, I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do.  I'm sure it will be fine, but it's going to be a pretty steep learning curve for me.  The other classes are still going well--we have our first tests next week, so I guess I'll see how effective my teaching is then! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 16

Week: 16
Baby Size: 4.3-4.6 inches. It's about the size of an avocado and weighing in at about 2.75 ounces.

Gender: This is going to be the slowest month on record. 

Maternity Clothes?: Maternity clothes or a B-Band are a necessity for anything that is not a skirt.  I have 1 pair of dress pants that are cut a bit higher and they just barely fit me this week.  I think I'll be down to 0 B-Band-less pants next week.  I love these skirts though, and will probably wear them as long as the weather holds out.  I also noticed this week a need for longer shirts.  For some reason, I didn't translate my increasing girth with my shirts also appearing shorter.  I understand maternity shirts now, and will have to purchase more!

Sleep: No complaints about quantity or quality, although I could do without the nightmares.  Really--strangest things ever.  And so random.

Diet and Exercise:  I managed 3 days on the treadmill this week, and would have done 4, but I had a really bad allergy attack one morning and ended up sleeping in instead of getting up and working out.  2 of those days I ran 2.5 miles and walked another mile, and the third I walked 2.5 miles on a really steep incline.  We also did a lot of walking yesterday (Ethan Allen, the mall) so I feel pretty good, despite eating my body weight on Saturday night.  Other than Saturday, I did pretty well eating healthy this week.

Movement: I'm 75% sure I'm feeling movement.  It's only when I'm sitting or lying in bed quietly, and it's only been 3 times over the past week, but I'm fairly certain it wasn't gas.  The first time was a very distinct thump in the uterine region of my abdomen in the car on the way to dinner.  The second time, I was in bed and my stomach let off a really loud gurgle.  In response, I felt 2 thumps in the vicinity of my uterus (kind of like a  "what the hell was that noise?!" response).  The third time was last night while watching TV and it felt like little crackles or popcorn in my abdomen.  Like I said, it could still be gas, but it's happened often enough now (and feels different enough from what gas normally feels like for me--even pregnancy gas) that I'm getting more confident that it's the baby.  I know it's a bit early (the first time was 15 weeks, 3 days), but I have read that skinny people feel movement before larger ones.  I guess we'll see.

What I Miss: We were over at our friends' house last night with a large group of people, and everyone was drinking lots of wine and having a great time.  I had lemonade.  It was really good lemonade (it had club soda in it), but I really missed being able to just enjoy tastes of every wine open on the table without watching exactly how much I was drinking.  I did have 1 glass, and it was fantastic :)  Tonight another group of friends are going to a really good beer place, and Brian and I are just skipping it.  I'm a little sad, since I love a good beer!

What I'm Looking Forward to: September 30!!!  And actually seeing Brian for 3 days this weekend.  I love holidays. 

Best Moment this Week: Definitely the movement (if that is what it was--really, jury's still out).  Second is my in-laws actually renting a condo.

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe: 
Not only the nightmares, but also some really bad allergies.  As I mentioned above, I had an allergy attack early Friday morning that kept me up for about an hour blowing my nose.  I've noticed they're much worse, much earlier than they were last season.  I am taking Zyrtec, and I'd hate to know how I'd feel without it!

Today I was mentioning to Brian that this is the first week I've really felt like something different is going on in my abdomen.  Before, the uterus was still small enough that it was all contained in there behind my pelvis; now it's starting to pop out a bit.  I noticed on Monday that I'm no longer able to comfortably lean across to the passenger side of the car.  I also definitely know my belly is there when I bend over or twist around to grab something.  I've just become very much more aware that things are changing.  I get pains in my abdomen more often, and it really feels like my intestines are shifting around.  And they really don't like it!  All of this is completely normal, I just didn't really expect to feel it for another couple of weeks.

On the plus side, my skin is really clearing up.  Second trimester is when the placenta starts doing the lion's share of the pregnancy maintenance, so the hormones that I've been producing in my hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, and ovaries are winding down some.  That clears up the raging acne I've had! 

Baby Milestones: Baby is continuing to grow very rapidly.  It is still covered in fine hair (lanugo), but is now growing itself some fingernails.  The umbilical cord has moved down the abdomen some, and is now attached roughly where the belly button will eventually be.  The legs are finally longer than the arms and are moving like crazy.  Which I guess is what I'm (maybe) feeling.  That and the little one flopping around.

Food Cravings: I've been thinking about Chipotle since I wrote the last blog post.  I'm going to have to get some this week.

How's Dad?: Amazing.  We were shopping for one of his coworkers (who is due this month) in the baby section at Macy's, and he found the cutest little dinosaur outfit.  He's also currently sanding and painting all of the drawers in his bathroom because he wants to get that bathroom done before the baby gets here and knows if he doesn't do it now, it won't get done.  He won't let me anywhere near anything that he's doing for fear of me inhaling dangerous chemicals.  I'm really glad he doesn't come to work with me now, since he really doesn't want to know what I handle there! 

Tid Bits: Classes are starting to work themselves out a little better.  The good and bad students are really starting to separate themselves out, and it's always interesting to see if my hunches from the first days of class are correct.  I did start the University of Phoenix training, and it's taking less time than I thought.  The actual class starts on the 13th, and I'm sure it's going to be a bear fitting in all of the prep work for 3 courses.  It'll be fun, though, and fill up my days nicely.