Sunday, August 30, 2009

24 hours in the life of a pregnant woman

Little dude's room...
the first thing we bought was art to hang on the walls.
That was 3 years ago.

Most days I wake up to the sensation of kitty cat Cassie walking up body, she pauses to rest on my pregnant tummy and purrs until I wake up. It's so sweet, but it doesn't take away the exhaustion I feel most mornings when I wake up. I can still get out the door and to work quickly, I don't mess around too much with hair and make-up although I do make an effort with clothes. I think a well dressed pregnant woman can still be attractive and people appreciate the effort.

Everything here is hand-me-down from my sisters-in-law except the rocker which was probably the 2nd thing we purchased.

One of the most important parts of my workday is noon, when I can go swim. A woman dropped in on our class and swam in my lane. She asked me,"When are you due?" to which I said, "Oct 14th". She stopped and said, "That's still a long time from now." Mustering grace I say, "Not really, it's 7 weeks away." Wasted grace, she says "Those will be the longest 7 weeks of your life." Nice! Thanks a lot lady.

Not a ton of space in the room but we're fitting most of what we need in here.

Our summer swim coach turned a 400 IM into a relay and I had to join a team or someone would have to swim twice. So I swam the anchor, probably around 1:50 for 100 free. I didn't push the pace (obviously) so I lost by more than a length which gave everyone extra time to cheer for me.

We're keeping a queen size bed in the baby's room for now.
The baby is not sleeping in our room so we'll take turns sleeping
in the baby's room until he sleeps through most of the night.
That's the plan anyway.

After work I met Sunny for dinner and a dog walk. Bill has been out of town on business and is training with his buddy Fri-Sat in Denver for Ironman Cozumel. It was all I could do to stay awake until 9pm. Saturday started off nicely, coffee (decaf) at Starbucks with Sunny then I returned home for a nap while she took the dog for a run.

How many PJs does a baby need?
Seriously, I'm not sure how many...

I spent the rest of the day shopping by myself at the local baby stores for the first time. One of the shop girls offered to fit me for a maternity bra which I knew I needed. She measured around my chest and declared,"You are measuring as a double D." HA HA HA HAHA! She must have been trying to sell me a bra! Precious woman. I left with 2 B-Cs. No double Ds. Great sales tactic though.

I was so tired from being on my feet all day (back pain and pelvic pressure that wouldn't go away). It was all I could do to cook dinner so I made fish sticks (ewww). I'm not able to eat as much as the baby grows to fill every crevice in my mid section. Don't worry! I'm making up the calories in ice cream each night. I decided to drag myself over to our community pool for some floating. Thankfully, no one was there so I propped myself up on two floaty noodles and floated by myself, watching the clouds roll by as the sun set. It was about 8 pm by then and Bill was due home from the airport soon so I did my best to stay awake to greet him.

7 more weeks and life will change for us. I'm curious about what type of child birth experience we will have and how we will navigate the first few months. I smile whenever I think of it. It's going to be amazing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Ironman experience

Anytime I head toward the door at home, I have an audience watching my every move. Either the cats, or the dog, or both, rush to the door and apparently it is crucial to be the first one in or the first one out. They stick their noses as close as they can to the crack in the door and shove their way through as soon as the crack widens. This is done with a high level of anxiety and energy, even though the results are often predictable. The dog either stays or goes and the cats do whatever cats do, which appears to be lounging on the front porch watching the day pass.

This amuses me to no end. The life of a domesticated animal. Silly and monotonous but they live life with gusto even though it doesn't always make sense.

Some friends are doing Ironman Canada this weekend and even though most of them have done the event before, every Ironman experience is different. It's a long, hard day, that tests you in many unexpected ways. It's silly to attempt the distances, and monotonus to keep your legs pumping and your mind focused over the hours. It reminds me of the animals queing up at the door, hoping that something exciting and wonderful is about to happen.

Now that we have a baby on the way soon, I have a new perspective on the Ironman experience. As I look back on my life, and the important days and moments, my first Ironman experience still stands as one of the memorable days of my life. I recall almost everything about the day, how I felt when I woke up, when I had a bowel movement, how I had to find a place to pee once I got to the race (I hid behind a wall and went au natural because the lines for the bathroom were epic) and who was standing next to me as we waited for the starting gun. I remember how I felt throughout the entire day, how my mom looked exhausted from spectating, and the amazing energy and excitment I felt as I crossed the finish line. I remember Bill had to help me out of bed the next day, I've never been so sore and tired in my life.

I hope those memories stay with me for the rest of my life. Good wishes to my friends for a memorable day this Sunday. As you nudge your way through the door, I hope you are greeted with a glorious and wonderful experience unlike any other.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Constipation and anemia resolved

We're surrounded by blueberry farms in Corvallis

For the 3 people reading this blog, I don't think any of you are pregnant like I am so I won't dispense a bunch of pregnancy advice but... I do have some advice if you ever suffer from constipation and/or anemia. For constipation I have found taking a stool softener once daily has helped tremendously. You don't have to get anything fancy, I asked the pharmacist at the grocery store to recommend one and they had a bottle of 60 pills for ~$4. It's called docusate sodium and I haven't noticed any side effects from taking it over the past several months and it works!

The tomatoes are finally ripening

Anemia was tougher. The best thing I've found so far is "Ferro Sequels" which is a slow release iron supplement that contains docusate sodium. The pharmacy had to order it for me but it doesn't require a prescription. It's $9.64 for 30 tablets and I've been taking one daily and I've been feeling less lethargic recently despite being hugely pregnant.

I planted baby's breath and of course it's going wild.
Anyone want to do some flower arranging?

The nurse midwife also recommended I take a calcium and magnesium supplement since I was having leg twitches at night and I think I will continue to take this after pregnancy since I'll be getting back into heavy exercise again. Bill calls all of this stuff my "geriatric meds" and laughs about all the supplements I take now. It used to be I wouldn't even take a multivitamin. Aging! And pregnancy. 7 more weeks...!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Training for an Ironman while your wife is pregnant

Ironman races sell out a year in advance so it is possible to sign up for an event like Ironman Cozumel thinking it will be a great race and fun vacation for your wife and then suprise! A few months later the wife is pregnant so she gets to stay home with a 1 month old baby while the husband and new father gets to fly off to sunny Cozumel for an amazing race and fun time with friends. Meanwhile, the wife and baby are home, in Oregon, where is rains everyday for 4 months straight.

Now you might think that if that happened to me, I might be bitter and try to talk my husband out of going to the race. You would be right about one thing! Bill is planning to go to Cozumel without me, on my persuasion, to have a great time, without me. And I am bitter, but not about that exactly. I'm bitter because it sucks to be pregnant and not get to do fun stuff like ride bikes on a Saturday morning with friends, or go train with your buddies in Denver while you are there on business, or drive up to Seattle to see a kid you used to coach in soccer play in the MLS while your wife stays home and prepares for the baby shower.

It's not one thing that makes a pregnant woman depressed, it's many things that build up into one bad feeling: this sucks! Have I said that before? I think I have!

This weekend my empathetic husband cleaned the house and went shopping for baby clothes with me and then rented chick flicks for me to watch. That is what fun is for me now. Seriously, I am on the verge of putting a string bikini in my purse and heading down to Las Vegas for a weekend of partying. I guess that probably won't work for one big reason...

The highlight of my Saturday evening was actually kind of amazing, I was reclined in a chair enjoying the baby's kicking when I felt a bunch of pressure on the right side of my tummy. I looked down and saw the shape of the baby's head protruding through the place that used to be my abdominal muscles. How many people can say they've seen a baby's head pushing through their abdominals? Bill even got to put his hand on the baby's head.

Honestly, it's fine with me that Bill does this race, and trains for it while I'm bored out of my mind for 9 months, and it's even fine with me that he will be on the beach with girls in bikinis while I sit at home like a deflated balloon nursing a baby while it pours rain outside. My time will come... oh yes, my time will come.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A skill you don't want

I had one too many invitations for activities yesterday and Bill said to me, "There you go, getting involved with things you shouldn't be getting involved with. That is a skill that you have that you don't want." I admit that I do get involved in situations I shouldn't get involved with. People I shouldn't be involved with. And it seems I can't help myself.

I invest myself in things and it doesn't always pan out for me and that is the risk you take when you let people into your life. Then there's the situation where I've barely invested anything at all, and I get something wonderful back.

This morning I went to my regular coffee place and one of the women who works there rushed to the door to open it for me and said, "Good morning Miss America! You always look so good, it's like you never wear the same outfit twice." I told her it just seemed that way since my belly is growing so much, it makes the clothes look different. Then the staff started singing "There she is, Miss America..."

What a great start to the day, you can see why I get coffee there regularly. Actually, these ladies have known me since before I was married so they have watched my life unfold from afar and they are excited for me. They want to give me advice and hear all about how I'm doing.

I love this part of my day. How wonderful to have casual acquaintances care about you and your well being. Which is why it isn't so bad to have the skill of getting involved with people and situations you maybe shouldn't be involved with. Sometimes the universe pays you back in unexpected ways.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yes, even when you don't want to

Remember the 18 strawberry plants I accidentally purchased?

Recently a co-worker commented, "You are so good! You workout even when you don't want to!" You know what, she's right. I do workout, even when I don't want to. Like in early pregnancy, I just wanted to nap on my lunch break, but most days I went to the pool instead even though swimming made me even more nauseated.

I did that not because I'm some exercise crazed addict (ok, maybe there's some truth to that) but because I don't see exercise differently than all the other things I have to do but don't want to do in my daily life. Like go to work 5 days a week. I need the pay check and benefits and actually enjoy the experience of a job well done. Exercise is no different to me. I exercise today, so I can exercise again tomorrow, so that in the future, I will have a body that can exercise and hopefully look pretty decent.

There are many days when I force myself to work out. I've learned many tricks to get myself to workout:
  • Just go to the pool and swim 1,000 yards then you can get out if you hate it
  • Just put on your running shorts and shoes and if you still don't feel like it than you can take them off and watch TV
  • Just ride the bike for 1 hour and then you can make brownies or eat a burrito
There is this misconception about people who exercise regularly, that they are super disciplined and love every minute of exercise. This is not true. It's work, it's just like work! You go to work today, so you can hopefully keep your job tomorrow, and eventually advance in your career. Most people do this, they just need to apply the same theory to exercise.

So yes, even when I don't want to, I go to work and the same goes for exercise. Most days, I enjoy exercise very much and some days I enjoy work. Sometimes, I skip exercise to work, but not that often. Priorities! I wish more people could experience life this way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spokane WA

We're back from our extended weekend it Spokane, my original hometown and the location of two great all women's triathlons: Valley Girl and Wunderwoman. Wunderwoman was my last triathlon of the season and I was happy to be there but also happy to be done slogging our gear around and forcing my pregnant body through these experiences. As you can see, the Jeep was loaded to the roof with gear and a baby gifts.

Before we left town, Bill and Marshall dog swam in Medical Lake, a non-motorized lake outside of Spokane where you can swim across the lake and not worry about being mowed down by a jet ski or boats. I used to ride my bike from EWU to this lake, ditch the bike in the bushes and then swim across the lake and back before biking back to the school. The good old days, back when I wasn't a pregnant beach ball.

Spokane is surrounded by lakes and the culture there is very outdoorsy and fun seeking. I grew up swimming in lakes and remember seeing my uncle's friend swim across a lake once and thinking that was a super cool thing to do and only hard core people did stuff like that. I can't wait to be hard core again!

We took Marshall for walks on (and off as you can see from the photo) the Centennial Trail, a bike path that roams next to the Spokane River and goes from Spokane WA to Coeur d'Alene ID. Everyone on the trail was friendly and looked to be enjoying the NW lifestyle. I miss the lakes and the 4 seasons I enjoyed growing up there.

Bill and I stayed with my parents which was great, I hardly ever get to spend time with them even though we visit there frequently. We're always so busy with events or training when we are there. Unfortunately, all is not well with my mom's side of the family. Her father is having heart and lung trouble and two of her brothers are showing the strains of living with muscular dystrophy. Bill and I stopped by to visit with them on Saturday, grandpa gets so worked up about having company that we decided not to stay long and strain him. It was hard to see him in a wheelchair and on oxygen and we were seeing him in good spirits so I know my mom is dealing with a lot to take care of him.

Family is so important to help keep your perspective on the right track. My grandpa taught me so much about life, even though we weren't close, I saw how he took care of my grandma who suffered with MD and it helped me understand what I needed to find in a man for my life. Thinking that this may be one of the final times I see him was sad. And I'm worried about my mom trying to take care of him and everything else going on in her life. So it was a bittersweet visit, as it always is when you live far from the ones you love.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's better than a shirtless lifeguard?

I went swimming today and noticed the lifeguard was sitting at the head of the pool rather than on the side in the lifeguard chair. We seem to get a different lifeguard on most days, apparently they have a huge staff of college kids on hand at the university pool.

Anyway, I ease into the pool and start my slow swimming when about 600 yards later I stop at the side of the pool and look up at the lifeguard to realize what is different about him: he doesn't have a shirt on. Which isn't a big deal except we're at an indoor pool and every other lifeguard I've seen wears a shirt (indoors). So he was posing! Which was cute! A little tan shirtless college boy to entertain the pregnant lady.

Life is not so bad. I busted Bill for flirting with a lifeguard once (young college female) so this is a little bit of sweet revenge. I should have flirted with the guy. I'm sure he would have enjoyed that. Pregnant woman wearing a droopy, on the verge of see-through swimsuit giving him the eye. I bet he wears his shirt next time!

Just a warning: I've been talking all this smack about my husband lately but really he has been better than I ever imagined he could be throughout this pregnancy and I am mentally composing a blog post about how awesome he is. You have been warned!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The weekend that went nowhere

So I didn't go anywhere this weekend. Bill ditched me to go on the "Covered Bridge Century Ride" with a bunch of roadies. I think it was a good workout for him and there is no reason for both of us to sit around being pregnant when only one of us really is pregnant. I like seeing Bill's fitness come back for multiple reasons: great looking legs, it wears him out and keeps him focused, and I get to live vicariously through him while I sit at home and fold baby socks.
I am soooo going to lose these half of these socks.

We are getting ready for one last triathlon of the season this weekend for tribabe.com. All future events will be for Bill to race only. I'm relieved. Sales have been slow and I'm too tired and distracted to really throw myself into it. I hate just getting by but that's exactly what I've been doing lately and that's just the way it is for the next 2 months.

On to baby news, where my head always is anyway: we met our first midwife on Monday and of course she was incredibly pleasant and wonderful to us. I told her I couldn't believe how big I'm getting and she looked at my chart and said, "But you've only gained 23 pounds which is in the normal range." Bill said, "Oh she's gained more than 23 pounds!" Which of course caused my head to swivel and I gave him the "Shut up" look but that didn't stop him at all. "She's gained at least 30 pounds." Uh, not according to my chart buddy! Truthfully, before we started down the fertility path, my typical weight was around 130 pounds. I now weigh over 170 pounds. Can you believe that? That's what 2 1/2 years of fertility drugs and 7 1/2 months of pregnancy can do to a body.

I met Bill today to aqua jog since he has a running injury and I love aqua jogging, especially now that I'm pregnant. At the end of our workout I indicated I had to use the ladder to get out of the pool and he said, "Why don't we get that crane over there to get you out!" The dude thinks he's funny. Just wait buddy, next time I'm wearing a bikini to workout with you and that is NOT a joke.

I hope our kid has a sense of humor, otherwise, he will be horribly confused by his strange parents.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Fires and mosquitoes

We were supposed to camp in the Crater Lake area this weekend so Bill and Sunny could ride around the lake while I sat around being pregnant at the campsite. I was actually OK with this plan because I've ridden around Crater Lake before and they have not and when I did it, I bonked and ended up sitting on the side of the road wondering what happened to me. The road around the lake is quite hilly so you ride for 15 minutes up, coast down for 2 minutes and start riding uphill again for another 15 minutes. At least that's how I remember it. I had done a race the day before so I was fatigued before I started the first downhill.

Great ride though! It doesn't matter either way because we're not going. There are forest fires in the area where we would camp and hwy 138 has been closed. Major bummer, apparently the fires are burning right up to the hwy. We stayed in this area earlier this year and it's one of my favorite places, I hope the fires aren't too bad.

We also heard that mosquitoes have infested most of our favorite camping areas. Snow melt and warm temps in the evening makes for miserable camping. Trust me, you don't want to be out when the mosquitoes are out. We went back country camping one year and ended up spending our weekend in a tiny tent fighting over Nutter Butter cookies while the mosquitoes tried to eat us alive. It was brutal. The back up plan is to camp at Mt Hood this weekend with a group of cyclists.

Oregonians are so disgusting with all their beautiful places to go hike, camp, and ride bikes. Braggarts! But we're not going there either. We have to drive to Spokane again next weekend for the last race of the season so we'll just stay home this weekend, possible drive over to the coast on Sunday. It will likely be nice and chilly on the coast so no mosquitoes or forest fires. Sold!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ask and you shall not receive

Heeeyyyy... How you doing?
I know! I'm bigger and perhaps even whiter!


Here come closer and get a better look.
Do you like the "Will Run for Beer" visor?


Yes! There is the money shot. The lines on my tummy are new by the way,
I have one going down and one going up.

If you get any closer you'll meet Little Dude personally.


So yes, I continue to expand at the waist. I can't believe I am THIS BIG and I have 10 more weeks to go. I don't go around without clothes on, just so you know, we were at dog beach and no one else was there so I took my top off for a photo shoot.

Marshall watching Bill swim away

Bill missed swim class so we went to the river and he swam in the endless pool that is the river. I encouraged him to do two six minute intervals and he dipped his toe in the water and complained "It's cold!"

Our weather has gone back to normal, it was probably 78 degrees at the time, but who knows how cold the river was. I said, "The water temperature is the same as when it was hot here last week. The sooner you start swimming the warmer you'll be!" He slowly waded in and said, "But..." and I yelled "No one said Ironman training was easy. Start swimming!"

MAN-DUL-BALM! MAN-DUL-BALM!
(Seinfield reference)

I'm not much of a hand holder, in many areas of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm a loving person, but I learned from watching my mom always say yes that sometimes you need to say NO.

See, he lived. And he didn't need his hand held.

Today, someone tried to get me to move their telephone. It's actually against policy to move a phone, a telecommunications person has to do it. I told the person this and then I contacted Telcomm and asked for an estimated move date. They said 2 weeks and the person complained and told me it would take less than 15 minutes to do it and asked me AGAIN to move their phone for them, this time via email. I might move their phone to the roof for them, it's supposed to rain tomorrow.

Smart people. I tell you. I work on a college campus and it happens all the time that smart people think that all they need to do is ask the right person and they will get what they want. Sometimes that approach works, but is it the right way to handle things? No. Just because you are smart enough to ask for something, doesn't it make it right to do so. So there.

(Do you think motherhood will change me?)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

How can I complain when everyone is SO NICE?

My sisters-in-law have been so good to us, I can't even begin to thank them for all the support and gifts they've given me. Bill is the youngest of 4 boys so I have 3 sisters to help me with this coming baby. We've gotten so many hand-me-downs and gifts, I don't know if I have space for everything!

One of the best perks of pregnancy is everyone is so nice to pregnant women. Cars stop to let me cross the road, complete strangers ask about me and tell me about their kids and grand kids (I love connecting with people like this) and basically everywhere I go I am warmly greeted and doted upon. Who would complain under these circumstances...?

ME! That's who! First, let me say that I am SO grateful to be pregnant. I woke up crying on Sunday, thinking about how lucky we are to have this baby on the way. We started birthing class last night (we were the oldest people there btw BUT I did not have the biggest tummy--yes!) and it felt so good to be taking that step, we're 11 weeks away now from meeting our "Little Dude" and I start to cry just thinking about holding this baby for the first time. I'm already completely overwhelmed with emotion and love and can't wait for our lives to change with the arrival of this baby.

But friends, pregnancy is not for me. People ask me, "What do I miss?" Beer? Coffee? Sleep? Nope. What I miss is being myself. I miss walking a brisk pace to my swimming class, jumping into the pool and then being able to complete a flip turn when I get to the end of the lane. I miss eating food without wondering if I will get nauseated just by looking at it. I miss being emotionally stable (ok, more emotionally stable than this state I'm in now). I miss not feeling like a bloated swine all the time. I miss not feeling constant acid reflux in my throat. I miss having my dog jump on my lap and give me hugs and kisses. I miss not straining round ligaments every time I roll over in bed. I miss sleeping on my back. I miss bending over. I miss seeing what's below my belly. I miss bike rides on a hot day. I miss running. I miss holding my husband at night when we go to bed. I miss a hundred little things that bring joy to my life every day but I can't do now that I'm pregnant.

So when this baby gets here, I will be celebrating for so many reasons! I CAN'T WAIT! Bring on the contractions!!! :)