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No News

21 Feb

You know that saying ‘no news is good news’? Well turns out it’s a dirty lie.

I know this because I had a doctor’s appointment today and found out that not much is going on in terms of progress for me. I’m somewhere between 1 and 2 centimeters dilated and about 60% effaced. Just to recap, I was a little under 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced at my last appointment a week ago. Sigh.

All last week I could feel the little guy using his head as a battering ram against my cervix (which, btw, feels about as awesome as it sounds), so I was pretty sure I would see a bit more progress, but no dice. And I was planning on having my membranes stripped today but I wasn’t dilated enough. Sad day.

He (my doctor) also told me that I have a “pretty decent sized” little person in me, which, he went on to explain, means that the little monster is probably “only” 8 or 9 lbs. Does that seem gigantic to anyone else? Because I’m thinking it sounds absolutely huge.

On the bright side, I still have a few more days to process.

I’ve been thinking seriously all week about this whole “labor” thing… and also the whole “baby” thing, and it’s a little overwhelming. I mean, I obviously knew what the end result of my adventures through pregnancy was, but I’m feeling seriously, seriously under-qualified to deal with the massive project of raising a human baby into a successful adult.

So even though I feel like I’ve been waiting for years to go into labor, I’m really appreciating the extra time at this very moment.

One thing for sure is that I’m definitely down to days (and not weeks… or months…) because I have an induction scheduled for next week. The plan is that I’m going to go into the hospital for a Fetal Non-Stress Test (remember the last time I had one of those?) and if everything looks good I’ll be induced on Wednesday morning. 6 DAYS! What? I know, crazy.

Having an induction makes me really nervous that I won’t be able to do a natural birth. When labor is induced, doctors use a drug called Pitocin, a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin which stimulates contractions. With Pitocin, however, contractions come a lot harder and stronger, making them waaay more painful than natural contractions… meaning that it’s much more difficult to deal with the pain. And. When labor is induced the chances of a cesarean increase as well.

I guess what this all boils down to is that I have had a bit of a stressful day trying to wrap my mind around everything. I’m trying to stay positive, but I’m also (kinda) panicking a little. Only 6 more days of pregnancy… going into labor… the possibility of not being able to follow anything in my plan… coming home with a baby… my life changing forever… Yikes. That’s a lot to deal with.

Um, yes. Now that you’re thinking about it, I wouldn’t mind some words of advice… The countdown is on, after all, and I’m feeling the deadline coming up quick…

Why I’m Doing This Thang Naturally

10 Feb
Yes please! {source}

Yes please!
{source}

I’m one of those people who likes to have a full supply of painkillers on hand when I get sick. Nyquil, Tylenol, Afrin, Theraflu (which, btw, is no longer made. Tragedy), pass them my way! Which is why it came as a bit of a shock to some people (Michael, are you reading this?) to find out that I am planning on having a natural birth. After all, if someone hates being in pain, it should naturally follow that this person would opt for an epidural during childbirth, right?

Well, not this girl, turns out.

In all honesty, I’ve wanted to write about this for a few weeks but have struggled with putting the right words to my feelings. I have felt very strongly about going the natural route for awhile now, but I couldn’t quite figure out exactly why it struck such a cord with me. But (yep, get excited for this) I think I figured out my internal struggle.

Here’s the thing: I believe that some pain has a purpose. Sounds nuts (and not just a little eccentric), right? Just wait til I get going…

If you know much about me, you know that I am absolutely in love with running. And not just any running, distance running in particular holds a special place in my heart. To the point of obsession at times, actually… I mean you can’t run marathons without being just a tad bit obsessive, after all.

Anyway, here’s my point: I would never take drugs before going on a run. Even though I know I’ll be in pretty significant pain in an hour (or two, depending on the workout), feeling pain is important because it tells me if I’m doing something wrong. If I’m pushing a little injury too far, if a previous injury flares up, or if a new injury starts to form, it’s important to be aware so I can make adjustments. See what I’m saying? Pain with a purpose. When I get home from said run, I’m all about the Tylenol though, because I don’t see any reason to continue subjecting myself to pain.

I think of childbirth in pretty much the same way.

The human body is pretty freaking awesome. And the female body was made for childbirth (minus the stretch marks… I feel like there’s a flaw somewhere in the plan on that one). If pregnancy has taught me anything, that’s it. Even though I’m fully aware that it will be painful, I think there’s a purpose to the pain. Feeling contractions will allow me to work with my body to deliver my little guy quickly and safely. I don’t like the idea that I’ll have to be told when my contractions are going on, and I really don’t like the thought that I won’t be able to feel how hard I am pushing or should be pushing. Plus, just like with running, I think it’s important to know if I need to make adjustments in order to avoid unnecessary pain once the epidural wears off.

Btw, I don’t think the pain that goes along with the flu or a cold is really that productive. I take more of a “thanks, I’m aware that I’m sick, now stop bothering me” approach to viruses.

Long story short, I really believe that natural childbirth is the best and safest option for me. I have a really hard time with moms/books/professionals who try to impose their beliefs and values on others because each person and circumstance is so different, so don’t think I’m writing this to try and convince you one way or the other. I just wanted to explain to some of you out there (ahem… you know who you are :)) why I’m choosing this route.

Anyway, happy Sunday! Look forward to a bumpdate tomorrow 🙂 For now, I’m off to bed!

And Then I Freaked Out and Went to the Hospital…

8 Feb
Hospital Party

Spending some quality time with the labor and delivery nurses…

Yesterday around 4:00 I realized that I hadn’t felt my little guy move around much throughout the day. It’s weird because it usually feels like he is having a dance party in my tummy at least a few times during the day, but yesterday was a little different.

I tried to poke him a little and wiggle him around, but I still didn’t really feel anything going on. Usually the rule of thumb is that moms should feel their babies moving at least 10 times per 2 hours, but I realized that the last time I could remember feeling him move was the night before.

I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but I mentioned it to my dad while on the phone with him, and he told me I should probably call the hospital just to make sure everything was okay.

After explaining the situation, they told me to come in to get things checked out. Cue minor freakout.

I had to wait about an hour for Michael to get home before we could go, and in the meantime every plausible (and a lot of implausible) scenarios went through my mind. By the time Michael got home I had his entire little funeral planned out in my mind.

When we got to the hospital they performed a Fetal Non-Stress Test (hence the itchy baby-monitoring bands strapped around my exceptionally large belly).

Well wouldn’t you know that about 5 minutes into the test the little guy decides it’s party time and starts wiggling around like a maniac. Like, “Ha, aren’t I so funny? Scared you, mom!” Yep, thanks a lot, kid. Awesome joke.

Even though he started moving right after the test started, I’m glad I went in, because I would have spent the entire night worrying that he had been oxygen-deprived for several hours during the day and had brain damage. Oh yeah, I can come up with all kinds of terrifying scenarios if I really put my mind to it.

It’s funny because I feel like I have spent my entire pregnancy being worried. First I was worried that I would miscarry. Then I worried that he might not be healthy. Then I worried that he wasn’t growing normally. Yesterday I was worried that he had died. I usually have one or two worries floating around in my mind…

My current concerns are that he will either be born with ambiguous genitalia (I saw a documentary about it one time and have been terrified ever since…) or that he’ll be born with the aforementioned brain damage. Or both. It’s really exhausting to sit and worry about these things all day long. I mentioned this to my mom and said that I can’t wait until he’s born because then I can stop worrying about him all the time and she just looked at me with this expression that clearly said, “Oh sweetie, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

It was in that moment that I realized that I will go to my grave worrying about my child(ren).

Am I going crazy, or is this what having a mom’s brain feels like? All of this concern is making me feel not just a little nuts… Help!!

A Very Happy Groundhog’s Day to You!

2 Feb

Lest we all forget, today is Groundhog’s Day, a revered American holiday.

Phil

Thanks, National Geographic, for letting me borrow your pic. I’ll try to make it to the show next year to take my own.

Luckily for all of us out there who love summer (everyone minus my crazy, snow-hungry husband), Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring! Bless you, dear groundhog. And you too, groundhog handler with the well-oiled handlebar mustache. Bless you both.

Not that winter in Seattle is particularly trying… Unless you think that unrelenting rain is a hardship (which I don’t). But it’s nice to know that the rest of the world will be bathing in sunlight sooner while I get paler and paler by the day up here in the Pacific Northwest. When I emerge from under the rain cloud I’m sure I’ll look like a character from Twilight. Heaven help us all.

hospital

This is where things are gonna go down. Just imagine a grey sky instead of blue and a little more rain…
{source}

Along with checking the g-hog’s predictions for the future, this morning Michael and I went on a tour of the childbirth center at the hospital where the little guy will be born. Exciting stuff, no?

I went in with a long list of questions and left with all of my questions answered and feeling more anxiety than ever. It’s one thing to imagine giving birth, but it’s something else entirely to actually see where it’s all going to happen. It just made everything feel so much more real. I didn’t realize that I needed a(nother) reality check, but I definitely got it. Yikes.

I will be giving birth on a bed just like this one scarily soon. {source}

I will be giving birth on a bed just like this scarily soon.
{source}

On the bright side, I realized during the tour that I am absolutely, 100% in the right place to give birth. For me. I’m about 11% hippie (give or take a few percentage points), but I definitely believe in medicine. I mean, my dad is doctor, after all. Turns out that the nurses and doctors in this area have pretty much the same philosophy about childbirth as me. What a happy little coincidence! I’ll go into the details in a future post, but for now just know that I am a happy, if not anxious, pregnant girl (minus the suddenly raging hormones that have turned me into Madame Evil… Sorry about that, Michael) who is impatiently waiting to go into labor.

Ugh.

The waiting has definitely begun…

Remember those Tiny Feet?

26 Oct
Baby Feet

Yes, THESE are the feet I’m talking about.

Last night I was blessed to experience my first time losing sleep because of my baby (3am bathroom breaks excluded). His cute little feet started kicking sometime in the early hours of the morning and it didn’t stop for a solid hour. He was just bouncing off the… uterus… and I thought it would never end. I kept poking him and rolling over to try and calm him down, but no dice. All in all, that little monster kept me up for a solid hour.

But.

I kind of loved it.

Overnight Oats–Not for the Faint of Heart

25 Oct
Baby Feet

Two little crossed feet. I just love those tiny toes 🙂

I had an ultrasound today! Nothing terribly exciting, just like my doctor’s appointment yesterday, but I got to see my little guy wiggling around. So fun 🙂 He’s starting to look a little cramped because he’s getting so much bigger. Turns out that he’s still small though. I’m halfway through my 23rd week, but he still looks like he’s almost 21 weeks old. I just keep hoping that he’ll catch up to where he’s supposed to be by February 18.

And I’m not sure if I’ve been reading too much Harry Potter, but… does he look a little like he-who-must-not-be-named? I love looking at his profile in ultrasound pictures, but straight on… yikes.

Babyface

The line across the top is his arm with his little hand on top of his head and his forehead is just to the left of center in this picture. Those big black holes to the right of his forehead? Eye sockets. Yikes. I’m hoping he looks a bit cuter (read: less creepy) when he’s born… Is it bad that my baby’s face creeps me out a little?

Creepy or not, I just love him and can’t wait to meet him! And see his whole face and not just the bones. In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking at those cute little feet.

On to food? Yes, I think that’s always a good choice.

I was so excited to wake up this morning because I made overnight oats last night! I’ve heard that they’re something you either love or hate, so I was a little wary, but they actually turned out pretty well. I think I’m going to keep making these yummy things. Beware: if you don’t like Greek yogurt, this might not be the breakfast for you…

I found this recipe on this blog and just added a lot of chopped up apple and a tablespoon of agave nectar to give it a little more flavor.

Overnight Oats

Okay, let’s get real.
They look pretty freaky.
But trust me, they are worth it. SO good for you!

Overnight Oats
6 oz. Greek yogurt, any flavor (I just used plain)
2 tablespoons chia seeds (have you read Born to Run? I love these gooey little things! More on them later though…)
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milk

Mix, mix, mix, cover, and let sit overnight in your fridge. In the morning you can add fruit, a little more milk to make it less thick, or pretty much anything else you think would make it better, because there’s no way around it… overnight oats are pretty bland.

Overnight Oats Transformation

See the transformation? Overnight the oats get soft and puffy and the chia seeds really get–there’s no other way to describe them–slimy. It’s in a good way though, I promise. Make sure to try this because it is so yummy!

This recipe made a lot of oats. You could actually have it for breakfast for two mornings. I kept thinking about them throughout the day and kept going back… so… yeah, they’re gone. All eaten. But don’t worry, I’m gonna make them again soon 🙂

This Time Next Year…

4 Oct

A year from today, I plan on being in awesome shape and finishing up my last few 20-mile runs to get ready for my first marathon as a mom. Third marathon overall, first marathon as a mom. Bah! Is it just me or does that sound way.more.terrifying?

Despite my trepidation, I think I’ve found next year’s fall marathon! I have set my sights on this gorgeous locale:

Leavenworth

{source}
Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is this cute town in the Cascade mountains that looks like a little Bavarian village and just so happens to be the prospective location of my next major running conquest.

The Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon is going on this weekend and I am a little bit dying to go watch… I’m a sucker for these things. Is anyone else out there crazy for spectating at running events? You know, runners in their natural element, going and going until they puke.

Yep, I eat that crap up.

In the meantime, I’ll be doing my little C210K plan and loving the fact that I am very much out of marathon shape, getting fatter by the day, and loving the little kicks on my (usually very full) bladder.

[Speaking of bladders… I was talking to Michael the other day and mentioned that running is way different now that I’m pregnant because it’s like little man gets super bounced on his own personal trampoline with every step I take. He just responded by saying “fun,” but then he got this distant look in his eyes and lost himself in what I can only imagine was a fantasy about getting super bounced on a trampoline all his own. He was out of it for awhile after that… I think he’s been jealous of our unborn son ever since.]

Which brings me to my second point. Examine these pictures from my first two marathons and tell me what they have in common:

Mesa Falls Marathon

At the start of the Mesa Falls Marathon in 2010

Mesa Falls with Michael

Toward the end of the Mesa Falls Marathon

Ogden Marathon with Jill

At mile 8 in the Ogden Marathon

Ogden Marathon Finish

My favorite moment of the Ogden Marathon: the finish
(we got chocolate milk and bread, so obviously I was pretty happy)

The answer: I’m with a running partner.

Michael ran the Mesa Falls Marathon with me (on a whim… he finished an olympic triathlon the weekend before and the night before the race he was like… yeah, why not? and then signed up. Ridiculous.) and my sister Jill trained for and ran the Ogden Marathon with me. Have I mentioned that we had a total blast together? Nothing brings two people together quite like self-inflicted suffering. True story.

But having moved to Seattle just a few months ago, I have yet to find a running buddy, nevermind a running buddy who I can keep up with (have you noticed my growing belly? Yeah, turns out that it’s been slowing me down these days).

Harry Potter and the Oder of the Phoenix

{source}
Who doesn’t love the Boy Who Lived?
That’s a rhetorical question.
If you don’t love him, we can’t be friends.
Don’t take it personally.

I’ve been listening to Harry Potter on audiobook lately, but I’m in the 5th book (you know, the one where Harry gets a little too emo for everybody’s tastes…), and having Johnny Raincloud in my ear doesn’t make running any more fun, unfortunately.

If anyone out there has any suggestions about how to pick up a new running buddy, PLEASE tell me. I’m dying a little over here.

Well geez, now that you’ve gotten me on the topic of my friendlessness I’m starting to sound like Harry in his Order of the Phoenix days. Maybe Hermione would make a good running buddy… she seems friendly enough, if not a little annoying.

Ps: An author of one of the blogs that I read, Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point, wrote a post about how she is having the exact same problem. Crazy, huh? It seems that a scarcity of running partners is going around. Sad day.