Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sugar and spice, and everything nice.





 I wish I could say the Spring weather is as beautiful as these Spring flowers... but alas... rain again tomorrow for SoCal.  The husband and I did get out this afternoon for a beautiful 3.2 mile walk around town - my ever-more-compressed lungs weren't entirely happy, but smelling the orange blossoms on the breeze and silly conversations about all the beautiful houses we passed by more than made up for some slight discomfort. 

I came home and did 15 minutes of Prenatal Power Vinyasa Yoga to stretch out, and now I feel fantastic!  After straining an abdominal muscle on Monday (by moving a big mattress by myself, then heaving some boxes up into the closet, then topping it off with an hour of yoga. I know, I know...) I was forced to take a few days off of any sort of exercise, and I tell you, I missed it terribly.  I can't tell you how badly I wanted to break into a run today, but I knew my big bouncing belly wouldn't be too happy with me.

But let's back up a bit, shall we?  It's been an eventful week, and it kicked off last weekend when we made our way over to the mall to take a peek at our little peanut.  I felt really weird about getting a purely cosmetic ultrasound at the mall (made worse when the employee rolled in to open the store 20 minutes late, looking like she was still asleep), but I must say, I'm SO glad we went after all.  Watching our baby squirm around in there, flexing limbs and rolling side to side... it was just amazing.  I left feeling so much more connected to her.

HER.



We're having a girl!  My feelings on this, since we found out, have been complicated and probably require a separate post entirely.  I was already in love with my baby who I've never met, but now I'm in the process of falling in love with the thought that I will have a daughter.  A daughter! Life is full of beautiful surprises.

The following week was a rough one though... busy at work, trying desperately to idiot-proof myself for a final exam on Thursday, and experiencing an epic plunge in self-confidence (temporary and probably hormone induced, I'm sure).  I love my pregnant self, I really do, but I can't lie - it's been hard to pretty much relinquish control of my body, to watch it stretch, expand, pile on weight, and surprise me with new and not always pleasant symptoms all the time.

After a bummer of a week, I needed something to once again get me feeling excited about the miracle happening inside me right now.  So, my mom and I went out to lunch, and over to Babies 'R' Us to create a gift registry!  There's something very empowering about wandering around with a little scanner, indulging in every impulse.  It did the trick though - I'm a planner, organizer, list-maker and goal-setter by nature, so making a big ol' list of everything we're going to need was immensely satisfying and relaxing. 

No abstraction anymore - 4 months until we have a baby.  I am so, so excited to meet her  :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Turning twenty-one again

21 has always been my favorite number.  I was born on April 21, it was the age I always looked forward to being (for getting into bars, duh), and I always notice 21s following me around when significant events happen in my life.  (I fully acknowledge that I see 21 everywhere because I'm looking for it, not because it's some mystical "sign" from the heavens.  But so what?  I enjoy indulging my superstitious side every now and then).

So of course, I've been looking forward to my twenty-first week of pregnancy since the beginning, and when my anatomy scan was scheduled for the first day of my 21st week.... well.... it surely must be fate!  Today was that day, friends, and to say I was psyched to the point of losing sleep would be an understatement.

So, imagine my surprise when I get to the facility only to find that I did not have an appointment today!  I ran upstairs to my OB's office, to discover that he went ahead and canceled all my appointments when I requested that my records be transferred over to the Birth Center.  I had called the imaging center a couple days ago to confirm my appointment, which they did, apparently without actually checking their system to see if I had an appointment.

Score 1 for the medical establishment.... 0 for me  :-(

This is my pissy face.

There's nothing I hate more than being duped by the system.  There was some tantrum throwing, foot stamping, tears shed in my husband's car... and then I got over it, but I'm still feeling kind of sad.  We may end up driving over to Riverside tomorrow to one of those ultrasound places in the mall to get a peek, they'll tell us the sex and I'll get 10 minutes of watching baby prance around in there, which would be wonderful.

Though, to be perfectly honest?  I feel kind of weird about it.

Yes, I was excited about finding out the sex of our baby, but more than that, I was looking forward to the diagnostic portion of the ultrasound today.  I want to know if everything is progressing well, looking normal, if there's anything I should be concerned about.  I wasn't really worried, per say - we don't have any genetic risk factors, or any other reason to be abnormally concerned.  I just hate when there's information available to me that I can't access.  If I have the ability to know, then I want to KNOW.  NOW!

That's pretty much the same way I feel about knowing the sex as well.  I don't have a preference and neither does my husband, my choice of decor for the baby's room is completely gender-neutral anyway... I just want to know!  I feel more and more strongly every day that there is a real person in there, sharing my life.  A person who is a little slow to get started in the mornings, dances around happily after lunch, and most definitely favors the lower-right quadrant of my uterus.  I sneak off to my bedroom as often as I can to lay with my hands on my stomach, feeling the kicks and somersaults, and sensing this strong identity emanating from the being inside of me.  But that's all I can do... lay there and imagine.  I will not really start getting to know this person for another 19ish weeks.



So yes, part of me is incredibly anxious to know the sex of this baby, because it's something.  Some little tidbit of information to tide me over for the next 4ish months.  Another part is reluctant, though, because it seems so... cosmetic?  Boy or girl, yes it's interesting, but is it REALLY so important?  Is it significant in any way to how we will raise this baby, or the kind of individual s/he will grow up to be?  Not really.  I'm much more interested in whether all fingers and toes are accounted for, if there are any medical conditions we need to prepare for, if there are any challenges our child is likely to face so that I can get an early start on directing some loving, healing, accepting vibes towards my uterus (there goes that superstitious side again).  Those little sneak-peak ultrasounds are just a placebo, a fun diversion, but they can't tell me what I REALLY want to know.

Sigh.  I'm very good at getting worked up over silly things.  I'll talk to the midwife on Monday, schedule the anatomical ultrasound for some time in the next few weeks, and will probably get baby's fetal portrait taken at the mall this weekend anyway even if I feel somewhat silly doing it.  Because, as I'm beginning to learn, us mothers will do just about anything to connect to, protect, and maintain that single-minded focus on our little ones.

For those of you in the Inland Empire, this is the place we will likely be using:  Fetal Focus

Happy weekending, everyone. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

1-9

Today is my 19 week preggo-versary!  Things are rounding out nicely over here... my figure finally suggests "pregnant" instead of "big lunch."



So overall, where do I stand today?

Weight gained: 13ish pounds.  Try as I might, I don't have too much hope of staying below the 25 pound "recommended" limit, and I'm not too worried about it.  Hard as it is to see the scale start to creep up, after watching it sink by 94 pounds over the last few years, I know my body.  I have a big appetite, a slow metabolism, and need to be working out intensely to lose (without some funny diets or deprivation, which I will not do even when NOT pregnant).  But I eat healthy, filling my body with good nutritious foods and no packaged, processed stuff;  and I know that whatever I gain now, I will take it off and then some when I get back to my preferred level of activity.  So, aside from the occasional moments of anxiety on the scale or in the dressing rooms... I'm not particularly concerned.


Exercise attempted:  Notice I say "attempted."  I never really know how I'm going to feel one day to the next, so sometimes my best intentions don't turn out so well.  Sunday morning I went to Body Pump with renewed confidence, thanks to a tip sheet from lesmills.com on how to do Body Pump while pregnant.  It was tiring, but I made it through the entire class and felt strong.  Yoga on Monday evening, likewise, was invigorating.  I took Tuesday off to visit the midwife (but that's another story), and yoga on Wednesday was b.r.u.t.a.l.  I couldn't even stay for the entire hour-long class, I was so wiped out halfway through.  So, bottom line, I'm making a solid effort to do 1-2 hours of yoga and 1-2 hours of weights a week, along with at least 3 long (2 miles or more) walks.  There is no mind-over-matter conflict here - the baby is boss, and when my body condemns me to the couch for the day, I really don't have too much of a choice!

Symptoms experienced:  (First of all, I really need to find a better word than "symptom."  It makes pregnancy sound like the flu)  Definite aches and pains - my hips hurt more now than when I was running frequently, and I'm not doing any really strenuous activity.  My back is likewise killing me, probably from having to sleep on my sides all the time now.  I bought a body pillow, but trying rearrange it every time I change positions at night kinda sucks.  Headaches come and go, but are generally mild.  My energy levels, though higher on average than in December/January, tend to ebb and flow a lot.  Some days I feel like my old self; others, I'm completely wiped out from midday onward.  You just never know!


Things I'm nervous about:  The aftermath.  Pregnancy and birth, I know I can do and do well.  But after that, when I'm more or less on my own with a ravaged body and a newborn - well, that scares the crap out of me.  Hopefully I have 21 weeks left to work through this anxiety  :-D

Things I'm NOT nervous about, though everyone tells me I should be:  My caffeine intake (I've cut WAY down, but still have a bit of coffee every day),  what I'm eating (I've had sushi *gasp*, soft cheese, cold meat, and probably plenty of other taboo substances), and every little ache and pain (I refuse to let Google and WebMD send me to the ER for no reason).

I might eat these words later... but really... I'm very much enjoying this phase in my life.  Constant changes, new challenges, feeling generally gorgeous and important even on less-than-stellar days because HELLO, I'm growing a person!  It's really quite epic, and I'm really quite grateful to be able to have this experience <3