Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Rainy Day Dash

This evening, Jerry, Scooter and I went for a long walk, and we were on our way home, about a half a mile away, when the skies again opened up and poured on us. So, we figured, why not make a run for it again?

So, we ran the rest of the way home. Fortunately, this time, I was a bit more suitably attired for the run as I was wearing running shorts and my running shoes, but Jerry hadn't dressed as appropriately and he ran that half mile in his flip flops.

We arrived home soaked, in the same manner that we had ended up on Sunday, but I have to admit the run felt pretty good, and it really has me wondering if Mother Nature is trying to hint at something...

...hmmmm, I'll have to think on that.

When we got home, Jerry and I both changed into dry clothes, but Scooter chose to dry himself on the living room rug: I suppose it does kinda look like a giant towel, doesn't it?

Last Baby Class

The subject of our final baby class last night was drugs.

To which I say, "Yes, please."

Actually...it's not quite as simple as that. See, I really want the best of both worlds: I would like pain relieving drugs, but I would also like mobility and freedom. But you can't have both: It's either take the drugs and be strapped to the bed, or refuse the drugs and be free to walk, stand, squat, whatever best suits you. In the end, I'm sure I'll want the epidural and the IV just because, well, I haven't had a pain reliever stronger than Tylenol in the past 9 months and I'd appreciate a little numbing at this point, but I do wish there were some better compromise.

And so, that ended "baby class." Thank god. I mean, it was a good class, and there was a lot of helpful information, but I just wish it could have been condensed and crammed into one day (there are lots of hospitals that offer a one day, all day class, but ours isn't one of them) because stretching the classes out over the course of 3 weeks is tedious.

But in the end, even if we forget most of this stuff over the next 6 weeks, it did help make me feel better informed and better prepared.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rainy Day Dash

This afternoon, Jerry and I decided we'd take Scooter to the dog park to run around some while we walked the "loop" -- the asphalt path that circles the park. When we left, it was sunny, but clouds were building on the horizon, and ten minutes later when we pulled into the parking lot of the park, the clouds were looking dark and ominous, but we decided to get out and fit in as much park time as we could.

We managed to walk about 3 loops when it began to drizzle, so we ducked under a pavilion and decided to wait it out. A few minutes later, the rain let up, and we decided to give it another go.

So, we got to the far end of the park when the clouds opened up and poured rain. Without a nearby pavilion, we chose to make a run for it all the way back to the car, so Scooter, Jerry and I ran across the park, out the park and down the path to the parking lot, and across the parking lot before we got to hop into the car -- soaking wet.

That was probably the most running I've done in two weeks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Chair

The last thing I wanted to get for the baby's room, before she arrives, was some kind of glider or rocking chair. But guess what? Everything we'd seen was pretty pricey, but then I found what I was looking for at an affordable price, so Jerry and I went and got it last night:It's pretty dang comfy, and I think it will work well for nursing, and rocking Norah to sleep, and until she comes, it might even be a nice reading chair! Here are Jerry and Scooter demonstrating its comfort: Looks nice, right?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Marathon Analogy

So, yes, watching the birth video was gross, but the good news is that I don't have to see that for myself, and I will have the emotional attachment to the moment and to the baby that will help eliminate the disgusting factor.

Plus, after thoroughly becoming aquainted with all the stages of labor, I can really draw a lot of parallels between it and running a marathon. Both seem to require the same physical and mental endurance, and even as we were discussing the stages of labor in class, I could identify the parts of the race:

Early labor will probably be like the first few miles of the race: I'll be excited that it's finally happening and I'll still be fresh because we're at the beginning.

Active labor will be, I suspect, like the middle miles -- somewhere between the 10-18 mile markers -- getting tired of doing this and requiring lots of encouragement and support.

Transition looks to me like "the wall" -- the point when your body says "no more" and you have to have the mental fortitude to press forward and believe you can do it. I think this will most likely be the most frustrating point, and I'm guessing I will need a lot of quiet concentration. Jerry will most certainly annoy me at this juncture (I just picture him doing something, like cracking his knuckles -- which already drives me nuts, and me snapping at him). Just like at about mile 22 or 23, how the spectator encouragement just makes you want to yell back at them, "Shut the fuck up!"

The actual end part of labor, the pushing, seems like the last .2 miles: You know the finish line is just ahead, you suddenly feel like you're making progress, and you know you are going to succeed. The frustration, anger, and pain you felt just a few miles ago evaporates. And before you know it, you're crossing the finish line.

And then holding the baby will be like getting that medal placed around my neck: All of sudden, the whole thing won't seem so bad, and the sense of accomplishment, pride, and joy will overtake any pain or exhaustion.

So, I think I just need to keep this analogy in mind, and know that if I can do 26.2 miles, I will be able to do this as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The "Scary" Video

After watching the birth video in baby class last night, I turned to Jerry and asked, "So, what'cha think?"

His response?

"Well, I'm not gonna want chicken parmesean for a long time."

True dat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Randomness

  • Thanks for the encouragement regarding labor/delivery. I'm sure I have the physical and mental fortitude for it, but like most daunting events, I think the anticipation is worse than the actual event itself.
  • Mrs. K requested a link to the story of when I pooped myself, so here it is.
  • This morning, I had another doctor check up, and again everything checked out well. I gained another 2 lbs, so I'm up 21 lbs overall -- uffda! My blood pressure remains good with a 102/70, and I'm lucky to not have any swelling yet, and I'm also lucky that I haven't had any stretch marks form yet and the belly button hasn't popped out, so I'm crossing my fingers that neither happens in the last few weeks.
  • Norah also checks out healthy: her HR is still steady and strong, and she's in the head down position. Her butt is pushing straight out in front of me, and her left foot is digging into my right side.
  • Last night was my last night of my summer class, so now I just have to finish up my term grades, and then I don't return to work until October 20th!
  • Lately, I've been working on washing all of Norah's clothes, blankets, towels, wash cloths, etc, and I have discovered that the root of the patented "baby smell" is Dreft.
  • Why don't they make blankets for adults that are as soft as the blankets for babies? I would appreciate such softness.
  • Scooter and I have been keeping at our daily walking, but lately, it's been dang hot out there. Over the weekend, we had highs in the low 100s, but yesterday we got some thunderstorms that helped cool things off some. Seems like it's awfully hot out there for June!
  • Tonight, in baby class #5, we watch "the scary video." I suspect it will illicit the same reaction its kind did when we all watched something similar in about 7th grade.
  • Leaving you with that ambiguously frightening mental image: Hope everyone enjoys a happy "hump" day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baby Class #4: Preparing for Labor

So, class last night and class this upcoming Wednesday both cover aspects of labor and delivery, and all I have to ask is: "Is it too late to request that the stork bring her?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

4 Year Blogoversary

Yesterday was my blog's 4 year blogoversary, but I wanted to post something special for Father's Day, so I delayed my celebration until today.

So, first, a little history: In 2005, when I started this blog, Jerry and I had just gotten engaged and we had just bought our condo and we were up to our eyeballs in the initial stages of renovation. At the time, I was still an adjunct professor, so I was teaching at 3 different colleges to string together a decent income, and I also briefly worked a few supplementary jobs to try and fill in my income gaps. And, sometimes I went for short runs.

I'd always toyed with the idea of making running something bigger in my life, and while I'd run a few 5Ks, I didn't have much of an idea about how to make running something I was more committed to.

At the time, I was reading the memoir "Julie and Julia" (soon to be a movie this summer); it's about a woman who decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child's "The Joy of Cooking" and while she's doing this experiment, she blogs about it. I didn't want to cook, but the thought of starting a blog seemed like an appealing way of tracking an experiment. Combine that inspiration with an article that I had read in RW at the time about forming a habit in 21 days, and you have the two ideas that merged into my creation of this space.

And now, here it is 4 years and 1,383 posts later.

In that time, a lot has happened. Certainly, there have been a lot of personal highlights:
  • Jerry and I got married.
  • We got Scooter.
  • I got a full time faculty position at 1 college so I got to ditch all the other side jobs, and I finally started making a decent income.
  • We finished remodeling our condo (took us two years!).
  • We got pregnant.
  • We've taken a lot of fun vacations and have spent a lot of good times with friends and family.

But there was a lot that I accomplished with running too:

  • I completed the Disney Marathon.
  • Ran 6 half marathons.
  • Ran dozens of 5Ks.
  • Ran just about every road race in between: 4 miler, 10K, 10 miler, 15K.
  • Set and re-set my personal records.
  • Ran while pregnant.

However, the past four years haven't been filled with just accomplishments and highlights; I've experienced many failures, lows, mishaps, and embarrassing incidents, personal and running related, as well:

  • DNF at A1A HM in 2007.
  • DNF at Chicago Marathon in 2007.
  • Bad training runs.
  • Went without power for 2 weeks after Hurricane Wilma.
  • Fell on my face once.
  • Pooped myself -- and I wasn't even running!
  • Failed to achieve PRs at times when I was confident I should.
  • Injury.
  • Locked myself out of my car at a race once.
  • Car accident, speeding tickets, parking tickets.
  • Locked myself out of the house at least half a dozen times (about half those times were times when I had gone out running).
  • Drunken bawdiness and other obnoxious behavior.
  • Got fired from a job I only worked at for 3 weeks; quit several other supplementary jobs.

In all, it's been an eventful 4 years, and I've had a lot of fun sharing everything with the readers of this blog, many of whom have come and gone over the years, but I am always impressed with how supportive and encouraging the readers continue to be despite the fact that you guys are ever-changing.

I have no idea what the next few years have in store, or what/how blogging may change in that time, but I plan to continue to blog because I have lots more to tell you about. I don't know exactly what that will include, but I'm guessing it will be a mixture of the above accomplishments and highlights, as well as those failures, mishaps, and embarassing incidents. I hope you'll want to stick around and read about it all!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ode to a Jer-Bear

First of all, a "Happy Father's Day" to all the dads and dads-to-be out there! I hope you guys are enjoying a splendiferous day!

I love both my dad and my stepdad -- together they have both been very good fathers to me -- but today, I'd like to dedicate this post to my favorite man in the world: The Jer-Bear! While he's still 7 weeks away from becoming an official father, I know Jerry is going to be a wonderful dad, and I think our daughter will be lucky to have a father like him! So, Happy Dad-To-Be Day Jerry! Scooter, Norah, and I are blessed to have you.

Love,
Jess

Friday, June 19, 2009

Childhood Toys

When we were at baby class on Wednesday night, with our practice bear, I couldn't help but notice how many people had Cabbage Patch Kids with them. Not new ones. Ones that were clearly from their own childhoods. This kinda surprised me. I mean, I had a CPK too when I was a kid, but my mom is not the sort to save much.

Whenever we outgrew some toys or clothes, she cleaned through them pretty quickly. My mom is just not a sentimental person, and I suppose I'm not really either. And I don't care much about the CPK, but I do wish she had saved my brother and I's Star Wars toys. We had everything: A stuffed Wicket, the Ewok village, x-wing fighters, the Millennium Falcon, light sabers, you name it, they were awesome toys. I'm sure they wouldn't be worth anything today because my brother and I were rough on toys, but still, they'd be cool to have.

Instead, the only item I have left from my childhood is this stuffed animal: Big Kitty. It's a sad lookin' kitty isn't it? I think some relative made it for me when I was born, and as a kid, I did love Big Kitty. I used to hold her by her neck and suck my thumb. (FYI: I sucked my thumb until 1st grade, and I only stopped then because I fell off the monkey bars and bit through my tongue, and it was just too painful to continue the thumb sucking.) So, that's why she has no stuffing in her neck anymore. And this crude surgical incision?
When I was about 8, I tried to open Big Kitty up to stuff more stuffing in her, but I botched the surgery, and she came out rather mangled. But At least she folds up easily now.
So, since Wednesday evening, when I observed how many people had saved something like their CPKs, I have been pondering: What will I save of Norah's? Will she have some favorite toys or clothes that I hold onto? Certainly, I would like to hold onto a few of her things just because I wish my mother had kept a few of my things (I mean, I had a totally rad sweater with R2D2 embroidered on the back, who wouldn't want to hang on to that?), but I also tend to be a thrower. I guess I'll have to find a way to balance that instinct.
Do you guys have any toys saved from childhood? Did you save anything special of your kids'?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby Class #3: Infant Care

Last night in our baby class, it was a crash course in everything we need to know to take care of the baby: So, first we had the bejesus scared out of us about drowning and SIDS, then we learned everything from how to bathe them and take care of that nasty umbilical cord to trimming their fingernails to changing their diapers.

The best part of the class was the "hands on" experience when we practiced swaddling and diaper changing. We had to bring in a doll or stuffed animal for this, and we only had a stuffed bear that someone gave us as a shower gift, but I think it was appropriate since before we knew Norah was girl, we referred to her as Little Baby Bear. So, here's Jerry demonstrating the swaddle with LBB: Apparently, he can do it with his eyes closed. Awww, look at that burrito-ized bear! All snuggled up. Jerry has mad swaddling-skillz; I told him that since he's so proficient at it, he can be in charge of it when Norah arrives.
And, here's Jerry practicing his diaper changing prowess. Turns out, our bear's butt was a large booty for the newborn diaper we were provided with, so it was a tight fit, but Jerry made it work.
The only problem is that if this bear wants to feel her legs, she's gonna have issues, because I'm pretty sure the circulation was cut off to her lower extremities.
But, he did a better job than I did. When I put the diaper on, I didn't get it fitted around the bear's big booty very well, and it slipped off her butt. I guess I get a FAIL in diaper application.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Barfisode

This afternoon, I made myself what seemed to be a delightful little afternoon snack: some fresh raspberries topped with some vanilla yogurt. I ate it, it was good, but soon after, my stomach started to feel upset. I went about the few tasks I was engaged in, and I just kept feeling ickier and ickier. So, I laid down on the couch for a moment.

But then there was the distinct saliva and the gagging, and I knew I had just seconds before I reached the "point of no return," so I had to run for the bathroom and I puked up my raspberries and yogurt. (It truly felt like such a waste of such good fruit!)

And I have to admit that I also had a similar barfisode last week following dinner one evening. No raspberries were harmed in that barfisode, though.

This sucks. I haven't been nauseous since about week 20, and I figured that once it passes, it's gone for good. Turns out I was wrong.

After a quick Google search, I learned that nausea can return in the 3rd trimester (or, for some women, occur for the first time), but for different reasons than the nausea of the 1st trimester. I guess it most commonly occurs shortly after eating since the uterus is pushing against the stomach and compressing it; this can lead to puking for some women -- along with the lovely heartburn, which is the result of the same thing -- so, isn't this just delightful news!

Thankfully, I still have a few random cans of Ginger Ale in the back of the refrigerator, so after slowly sipping on one of those for a bit and then eating some crackers, I feel just fine again.

I'm crossing my fingers that these two recent pukecidents remain isolated events and that I don't return to the regular nausea that plagued me for so long. Because frankly, I don't really like Ginger Ale.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baby Class #2: Massage

Last night, Jerry and I had session #2 of "baby class" and the primary topic was massage. So, we learned some basics about infant massage and how giving your baby little rub downs can be beneficial, and we learned a few "don'ts" about baby massage: Um, that place called the "soft spot"? Don't push on it. (But here's a helpful hint we learned: rubbing a baby's tummy in a clockwise motion can help relieve constipation. I guess it works for adults too, so if your pooper is stopped up, try giving yourself a belly rub. But, it has to be clockwise -- counter-clockwise is just, well, counter-productive.)

But the primary focus of the evening was really how spouses/partners can give the preggo a relaxing massage to help relieve all the complaints preggos have in the 3rd trimester and during labor. So, we learned four basic massage strokes, and what areas to focus on/what areas to avoid -- in the 1st and last trimester, a preggo is not supposed to have deep pressure applied to palms or heals because it can trigger early labor, but you can still have those areas rubbed, just no kneading.

The best part? The last 10 minutes of class, the men had to apply what they learned and give us preggos a short massage. Jerry was kind enough, when we got home, to go the extra distance and give me a full massage! Ahhhh, it was so nice, and incidentally, I slept SO well last night.

So, we learned a few things from the class, but on the whole, I would give its overall educational value a 4 out of 10. I don't think we needed to know the history of massage, and a few other things the instructor covered seemed superfluous, so I think the class could've been half as long as it was. Plus, something about half the phrases he used had me thinking "That's what she said!" after he said them, so it was kinda hard to suppress some childish giggling.

And in the end, I think Jerry and I were more focused on the kissy-lovey couple in front of us that we were distracted for most of the class. I mean, hey, it's nice to be affectionate with one another, but I thought they might start makin' love at one point; I guess the talk of massage got them all frisky. As Jerry commented on the way home: "You know they're the sort of people who got pregnant on their honeymoon!" And dude, I'm sorry, but her laugh? It's like the braying of a donkey!

Oh, one last anecdote: The instructor was talking about how massage can help you recover better after a workout, and he so he asks the class, "Ladies are you still exercising?" I nodded my head "yes," but I was surprised to hear most of the class, including donkey-laugher in front of me, emphatically say, "Nope!" So...maybe I don't feel so bad for switching from running to walking at 32 weeks!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sob Story

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful and supportive comments for the previous post; I truly appreciate all the encouragement.

I think it's still gonna take me a few days though to come to terms with my frustration and disappointment, but that's just something I'm working through on my own. It may seem silly to spend time feeling guilty and upset over this decision, but what you have to understand is that running is, at this point, part of my identity, and it felt like one of the few parts of "me" that I have been able to hold onto through pregnancy. So, to give it up, albeit temporarily, is painful.

Additionally, I think I'd feel better about this decision if I felt as though I were coming to it because I was truly incapable of going further with the running; instead, I feel like I could keep at it except for my major impediment: the weather. I know, I know, lame to blame things on the weather, but it's largely true in this case. If it were December right now, I think I could plug along for a least a few more weeks, but because it's June and it's broiling out there, running is just that much more difficult.

To give you an idea of June's (and the rest of the summer's) heat: It is currently 4:30 in the afternoon and it's 97 F out, with a dew point of 71 F. Granted, I never run in the summer at 4 pm, but with our constant humidity in the summer, even at o'dark thirty, it's not much cooler than that. And why do I mention dew point? I have discussed dew point many times before, most notably in this post last summer, but in short, dew point is the most accurate indicator of humidity in the air. And dew points that range from 70-75 F are considered extremely uncomfortable for outdoor exercise. (If you're curious about comparing the dew point in your area, just go to weather.com to see the day's forecast in your area; it lists the dew point daily.)

Anyway, I digress. The point is: It's hot out there and lugging around 20 extra lbs of belly doesn't make running easy in such heat.

I know that the weather is out of my control, but I think that's partially why I'm frustrated by it interfering with my running at this point. If it were a factor I could control, I'd be able to alter some pattern of my own in order to better accommodate myself to running right now, but the fact of the matter is that this is largely out of my hands. So, I know I just have to accept my limitations, be proud of how long I was able to run for during my pregnancy, and move on. And I will, but I won't overnight.

And yes, like I said yesterday, I still plan to remain active, primarily by walking, and I have been walking everyday lately. In fact, Scooter and I walked 2 miles earlier today, and he's been in recovery ever since :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

DNF

In all honesty, I don't know how to begin this post. In fact, I've written about 5 opening sentences, paused, then deleted each one -- none of them have felt like they strike the right opening chord. So, I figure I will just get straight to the point:

I've decided to stop running while pregnant.

It's a decision I've been wrestling with all week, and really if I'm being completely honest, a decision I have been slowly fighting for several weeks. My list of reasons to quit at this point is not necessarily long or particularly compelling, and it can probably be summed up in a few simple words: It has simply become too hard. Hard in the sense that I no longer look forward to it, and it has not been providing me with the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that it long has. Instead, it has begun to feel like a chore, something I dread. So, I know that it is has ceased to provide me with what I need, and usually gain, from running.

Admitting all of this to myself, and to you, is incredibly difficult, and deciding to quit at this point has flooded me with a complexity of emotions; this evening when I sat down to talk it over with Jerry, I literally found myself bawling about how guilty I felt about reaching such a decision. "Why?" he asked me.

"Because I feel like a quitter, like I couldn't finish a race. I feel like a failure."

"What kind of race do you think you're participating in?" he asked. "You're not competing with anyone but yourself, and you have run for 32 weeks of your pregnancy; you're the fittest preggo I know! You should feel proud of yourself for sticking with it as long as you have. There is nothing for you to feel bad about."

I know he's right, and I'm extremely thankful to have such a supportive husband, but I still feel the same mixture of emotions that DNFing a race has left me with in the past: frustrated and disappointed in myself, but also incredibly relieved.

"You're just choosing to take a sabbatical from running," Jerry told me. "In a few months, you'll be back at it. So, you're not quitting; you're just giving yourself a break."

So, I guess he said it best: I've decided to take a running sabbatical. I still plan on remaining active by continuing to walk regularly and keep up with my twice weekly pre-natal yoga, and no fears, I don't plan on taking a blogging sabbatical to go with the running sabbatical.

There. That's that. Just like I didn't know how to begin this post, I really don't know how to end it, and I'm feeling emotionally spent. I guess that means it's time for my book and then bed, and hopefully after a night's rest, I'll feel less conflicted about my decision. Nighty-night.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

32 Weeks

That's 8 months along, yo! Of course, this is where the actual duration of pregnancy gets deceiving -- we all kind of think of pregnancy as being 9 calendar months, but because it's 40 weeks, it's really closer to 10 -- so I'm like "yay, almost there!" but on the other hand, I'm still like "man, another 8 weeks?"

So, what's it like at 8 months preggo?

Uncomfortable.

No one position feels all that good for very long, I really haven't been sleeping very well (especially in this past week), I eat half a sandwich and feel full but then am hungry an hour later, I just have to look at something like a hamburger and I get heartburn, and I have to pee about every half an hour.

Of course, there are many things I can't complain about. Despite having just about every "symptom" of pregnancy throughout, nothing has been abnormal, and I have remained healthy and the baby has been healthy, and really, what more could I ask for?

Except that maybe she'll come about a week early. Can I ask for that?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

This morning, as Jerry was getting ready for work and as I was still lying in bed starting to wake up, he said, "You probably shouldn't run this morning; it's really hot outside." I don't have much power of language first thing in the morning, so I just muttered an "m'kay" in response.

After he left, and I got up, I checked the weather, and sure enough, at 7:30 am, it was already 87 degrees out. So, I decided that instead of running, I would take Scooter and we'd go for a long walk instead. Even for a walk, it was hot and incredibly humid, but we walked about 2 miles, and when we got back, Scooter was a toasty little Copper Top: I don't think I was quite as hot as he was, but I'm not walking in that heat with a fur coat on:
I don't know why this one, below, is a bit out of focus, but it still gives you a good look at those 19 lbs I'm hauling around out front, which makes even walking in 87 degree heat rigorous work.
After we got back, and I had drank a full bottle of water, I made myself a nice, cool strawberry smoothie to sip on while I got some of my chores around the house done (seriously, where is that house elf I ordered? even if it just emptied and filled the dishwasher, I'd be pleased -- for some reason, that's a task I hate).

So, now that I sit down again, I checked the temp and at 10 am, it's now in the low 90s. Good lord, it's like the inner circle of hell out there! Looks like I'll be spending most of my day inside with the A/C!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dr Apt and Baby Class

Dr Apt

Everything in the check up was fine:
  • Gained another few lbs: Up 19 lbs overall. Feel like a tanker.
  • Blood pressure is still good: 110/74.
  • Norah's heartbeat was still good and the fundal height measured normal.

The best part about the visit was that just when the doctor was putting the Doppler on my belly to listen to Norah's heart, she gave a mighty kick that both Jerry and the doctor could see. It was as if she could anticipate what was happening, and she was like, "No, I don't want you to listen in on me!" As the doctor commented, "Well, I guess we know what kind of kid she's going to be!"

Baby Class

The classes we're taking are technically labeled "Childbirth Preparation Series" but we just call it baby class, and while some hospitals or community ed offer a convenient one day only class, our hospital does not. So, it's 3 weeks, twice a week, with different focused topics each night.

So, last night was breastfeeding.

The class itself was mostly helpful, and even though I felt well-informed before going to the class (both from what I've read and from hearing about friends' experiences), it helped answer some of my questions about breastfeeding and pumping/storing breast milk. And while it felt a bit like 7th grade health class when we watched a video on breastfeeding, it was ultimately quite valuable to be able to watch exactly how it's done. So, all in all, I think the class was valuable, but there were still some funny tidbits:

  • The instructor, while I'm sure she's a good nurse, is not a good teacher. She spoke in a monotone and rambled off topic frequently, and when people asked questions that only required a simple one sentence answer, she was somehow able to weave in responses that lasted for 10 minutes.
  • Some other people are, for lack of a better word, stupid. They asked questions about stuff that was in the reading materials, or questions about stuff she'd already covered, or questions that the video covered. So, clearly, it's not just my college students who aren't paying attention.
  • There were a lot of people in the class: Jerry and I counted 22 couples. As Jerry remarked, "That's a lot of pregnant women in one room." Yes, and a lot who have to line up for the restroom at the break.
  • I now feel totally good about the food and drink I consume. There was one woman who was sipping on a 20 oz Mountain Dew and eating Doritos at the beginning of class, and I immediately felt zero guilt for the single 6 oz cup of coffee I allow myself every morning.
  • The video we watched showed us what baby poop for a breastfed baby looks like. I was glad I wasn't snacking on anything at the time. Others weren't so lucky.
  • The video also gave some advice that seemed, to Jerry and I, like common sense, but I suppose it has to be reinforced for some people. For instance, did you know you shouldn't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or do drugs while breastfeeding? Hmmmm, maybe I should stop those activities now, huh?

In our next class, on Monday evening, we get to learn some infant massage and Jerry gets to learn some preggo massage techniques to help during labor. I think he might want to start practicing his massage techniques over the weekend. My lower back could use some rubbing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Up and Out Early

Last night, I had the best sleep I've had in awhile (maybe the key to a good night's rest is writing a bitchy blog post, huh?) and I was up this morning at 6:30 feeling well-rested. So, after a granola bar and a quick cup of coffee, I got my running stuff on and was headed out the door for a short run when I impulsively decided to take Scooter with me -- okay, I was motivated to take him along because he was standing by the door looking at me with those big, brown eyes that said, "Please take me with you." I can't resist such a plea.

So, we just did 2 miles, but because I was with Scooter that means we ran 2 miles with half a dozen pee breaks, 2 poop breaks, one break to sniff a Taco Bell wrapper and one break to roll in a dead worm. Needless to say, the pace wasn't very consistent, but I figure at this point, who cares?

All in all, it was good to get it done first thing in the morning, but man alive, it was muggy out this morning! It was only 73 when we headed out, but the humidity was at 94% -- it was like running in a terrarium -- and it was so humid that when we would pause for whatever reason, my sunglasses would fog up!

But, like I said, good to get it done. This afternoon, I have a doctor appointment and then tonight we have our first "baby class." I'll let you guys know how both go. Ciao.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Troubled Sleep

My intention this morning was to get up early and get my run done before the heat of the day. But, when it came time to arise at my intended hour, I was so tired that I didn't hesitate to shut my alarm off and go back to sleep.

I've never been a morning person, and I've certainly never been a morning runner, but when the schedule has demanded it in the past, I always found the will to get myself out of bed and get the run done. But lately, I am so dang tired that I simply lack the necessary will-power. Why am I so tired? Well, aside from the fact that my body is working hard brewing this baby, I also have been having trouble sleeping.

This is a VERY common complaint for the 3rd trimester, so I know I'm not alone on this, but that doesn't help the fact that for the past couple weeks, and past two nights especially, I find I spend more of the night awake than asleep. And it's exhausting. So, what's keeping me up? Let me share:

Discomfort
The growing belly simply means all-around discomfort. The doctor recommended sleep position is on your left side with a pillow between your knees and pillows at your back, but I can't sleep in one position all night, especially wedged in like that with a pillow fortress. I need mobility (and oh, how I wish I could sleep on my tummy!). But shifting back and forth from left side to right side -- with the accompanying pillows and this belly -- is a task that wakes me each time. Plus, by early morning, I find my lower back and hips stiff and aching from laying on my side.

I have to pee a lot.
Since the start of my pregnancy, I have not slept through the night once. I always have to get up and pee at least once -- and presently, it's more like 2-3 times -- in the night. Getting up, peeing, returning to bed and re-settling all interrupt my sleep.

Too many thoughts.
Some nights, I can't sleep because I am just too distracted with a million thoughts and anxieties. Like Sunday night, for example, I couldn't sleep because I was calculating, in my head, how much we would need to put away each month into a college fund in order to pay for Norah's college (in 2027, Norah's estimated year of enrollment, a 4 year state school is projected to cost nearly $90K for 4 years of tuition -- that projection doesn't include room and board), and FYI: we'd need to aim to save $5K a year, or $416 a month, for 18 years in order to pay for 4 years of her college education. That thought led to panic about money in general. Logically, I know that I shouldn't focus on such thoughts, but I literally can't help it sometimes. Especially at night. When there's nothing else to distract.

Screwing with the sleep cycle.
Because I only work two days a week right now, I have my days open, which means that often times, in the late afternoon, I lie down and take a nap. Like a solid hour, maybe hour and a half, nap. Because of this extra sleep during the day, I find I'm not that tired when it's time for lights out at night. Then, I have trouble falling asleep, then I sleep in the next morning, and the cycle repeats.

So, yeah, added together, I don't feel well-rested as of late, but I know this is normal, and I just have to deal with it. But the whole "it's nature's way of preparing you for the sleep deprivation you'll experience after the child is born" can suck it. Nature? You're a cruel bitch. Why not let me sleep well now while I still can?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Rained Out

Ah, to be a meterologist in Florida in the summer; it's gotta be a cake job because the weather is exactly the same every day from early May through the end of September. Everyday, the forecast consists of the following: 86 degrees, sunny during the morning and early afternoon, and at about 4 pm, a 50% chance of thunderstorms.

Often times, this time of year, it will rain hard and thunder and lightning for a short spell and then the clouds clear, and the evening is clear, but today, the storms set in around 4 pm, and the rain hasn't let up since.

Now, I will run in rain if it starts raining on me during my run, but I really hate setting out in rain -- mostly because I hate running in squishy wet shoes. So, I think I will consider today's intent to run a bust, and hope that I actually motivate myself to get up early tomorrow morning.

Besides, cleaning the house has got to count for cross training, right?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday's Two

Ran 2 miles today.

It was hot.

And humid.

That's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Confirmation

I get weekly emails from both BabyCenter.com and from PregnancyWeekly.com, and for this morning's update, marking 31 weeks, from PregnancyWeekly, one point of discussion was running while pregnant. And guess what it said? It said, "Go ahead!" Basically, it outlined all the safety precautions a pregnant woman should be aware of, and it said that she may experience various levels of discomfort, but it said basically the same thing as most other resources: If you did it before you were pregnant, it's safe to continue doing throughout your pregnancy, even at this stage.

I know this, but it's good to have it reinforced from time to time by the sort of resources that I know thousands, maybe millions, of women are referring to.

Of course, the article referred to running as "jogging" -- a term most runners dislike (myself included, but why? I really don't know; I guess it makes it sound so recreational? so 1970s?) -- but aside from that, I was pleased with it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Late Run

My class this evening just had to take a test, so I was done by 7:30 and home by 8. And because I hadn't gotten up early this morning to get my run in, I quickly changed into my running stuff and recruited Jerry to go for a 3 miler with me.

We had a good, but hot run. Because it's summer-time humidity here in FL, it never entirely cools off, so when we returned, we were both sweaty monkeys, and sure enough, my tank top was sportin' the belly-button sweat ring I told you about earlier today. So I had Jerry snap a quick pic of me to show you guys:Yum-O! Pregnant running is sex-ay, isn't it?

National Running Day Run

Yesterday for NRD, I did get out there for a 3 miler. The run itself was fine, nothing special (in fact, it rained on me at the end), probably would have been slightly better if I had remembered Body Glide. Even for short runs, the summer's heat and humidity demand I remember BG, especially now that boobs and belly are rubbing against each other in a chafe-danger zone.

Also, an interesting aside: I've noticed when I return from runs that I have a little sweat circle on my shirt where my belly button is. My belly button hasn't "popped" out yet (god, I dread that), but the skin around it is taunt, and when I run, it's pressed up against my shirt. And apparently, it sweats. Lovely, right?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bowling Awards

I never got around to posting about my bowling triumphs yesterday, but here they are: I also got another plaque, but it was the shittiest thing you've ever seen. I mean, the plaque was nice, but then someone had merely markered my name onto a brass tab and glued it onto the plaque. So, Jerry took it into work and he is going to try and craft something a little better, so when it returns, hopefully I can show off a kick ass award.

Bowling on Monday night was fun. We got partnered up with randomly assigned people and we played 3 fun games together for some extra prize money.

The first game was "No Tap" which is pretty much regular bowling but if you get nine pins on the first ball, it counts like a strike. Some people had "perfect" games because of this.

The second game, my least favorite, was "Scotch Doubles" where you throw your first ball and if you leave pins standing for a spare, your partner has to pick them up. I don't like this one because it feels like so much pressure having to pick up your partner's spares.

The last game was "Low Pin" which means you try to knock down as few pins as possible. But...before you go thinking "That's easy. I could do that!" there are two additional difficulties: If you throw it in the gutter on the first ball, it counts as a strike, and if you miss your spare pins, it counts it as a spare. It's actually incredibly difficult, and to score below a 60 is like scoring a 300 game of regular bowling. Well, I did pretty good at this and I got a 96 (to get below 100 is pretty dang impressive, I will boast), and my handicap is a 92, and in this game, you subtract your handicap, so my score was a 4.

Which meant...I won 1st place in that game! So, I got an additional $50! It was awesome.

Anyway, now bowling is all done with. Jerry is going to play in a summer league, but I'm not, and in the fall -- when regular league begins again -- we're both gonna take the bench. The commitment and the cost are just too much with a new baby, but eventually (probably next summer), we'll both be back in league again. And by that time, the drunken posts that used to accompany my bowling nights may resume!

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Walk and Yoga

For today's workout, I started by taking Scooter for a long walk. We walked about 2 miles, but it felt like twice that far since he has to stop and sniff every. single. blade. of. grass. Plus, it was really hot this morning, and he was getting tired, so at about the halfway point, he started doing his "fake" pees every ten to twenty feet.

What differentiates a fake pee from a real one?

Actual pee.

See, when Scooter gets tired, he wants a break, but he's too much of a man-dog to admit he needs a time out, so what's the best way to convince me to stop for a moment and give him a rest? A pee break. So, he stops and lifts his leg on whatever tree, stick, clump of grass looks good, but he has by this point used up any urine he may actually have, so while he lifts his leg in the action of peeing, no real pee comes out.

He thinks this is a sneaky way to earn a short repast from walking, but I'm on to him. Still, I allow him the fake-breaks because I know he's hot (he's wearing a fur coat in FL for Christ's sake!), and besides, I'm hot out there too.

Anyway, we returned from our walk, and I changed out of my shorts and into my yoga pants and slid in my prenatal yoga dvd. Scooter is pain to do yoga with (and he does a far superior "down dog" to my own, and I don't need a show off in front of me), and even though he was spent from our walk, he still wanted to lay on the floor and lick my face, so I had to bribe him with a bone so I could get through the 50 minute session uninterrupted by dog kisses.

The yoga went fine, and I'm proud that I still have enough flexibility to bend over and touch my toes and do most of the poses without modification, but on the other hand, it's amazing how much I do have to modify now. There are just some poses that a protruding belly makes difficult!

But the walk + the yoga made for a good, solid morning workout. Tonight, we have our last evening of bowling league. It's an awards ceremony and then we play 3 "fun" games as our last round of play. I'm both sad and glad that bowling league is coming to an end: It's been a fun league, but at the same time, it's a long commitment to bowl from September to May, and I don't think I'd commit to such a lengthy league again. Anyway, tonight should be fun, easy-going bowling, and I believe I get an award or two! If I do, you can trust that I will let you know about them tomorrow.