Monday, February 29, 2016

Friday Five: Things I've Learned From My Newborn

 ~ Friday Five: Things I've Learned From My Newborn ~

1. The human body can adapt to new situations very quickly.

Like the amount of sleep needed to function. I'm pretty sure I logged more hours sleeping during my last week of pregnancy than the 3 weeks at home with the little guy. I am still functioning (thank you coffee!), but I am surprisingly not as tired as I thought I would be. I'll still have my moments of exhaustion, but there's something about the cries of a baby that get the adrenaline pumping.

2. Breast feeding is hard. Seriously.

I'm sure you've heard it before, but I really want to reiterate how hard it can be. I always took the difficulty with a grain of salt- after all, breast feeding is one of the most natural things, so it can't be THAT hard, can it? For the moms out there who struggle, I hear ya. You're not alone.

I'm not off to a great start- my milk didn't come in until day 6, baby was jaundiced and had to spend some time in the NICU, he had to be supplemented with formula because he lost too much weight, and his latch wasn't very good. Between all of these hurdles it has been really hard. Lots of tears have been shed- my poor husband has woken up to both me and baby crying in the middle of the night. I desperately want this to work, so I'm seeing a lactation consultant. Please think positive thoughts that things improve!

Don't be fooled- this peaceful face is not the norm.

3. Babies are noisy.

This surprised me the most. The little guy grunts and groans in his sleep (hello gassiness) and it freaks me out. I hover over him wondering if everything is ok. On the flip side, when he's really quiet, that also freaks me out. *sigh* I wish there was a happy medium. ;)

Grandparents selfie

4. It takes a village.

We have had so much support from friends and family this past month and their help has been priceless. They've brought food, both frozen and cooked, and even come over to watch the baby so I could sleep for a couple hours and shower. I really don't know what I would have done. Probably eat dry cereal for 3 meals a day. 

5. You can love something more than you ever thought possible, even when it pees on you.

I'm losing track of the number of times baby has peed on me, but I still love the little guy!  Motherhood has been a crazy adventure so far, but it's been worth every moment. :) 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Running while Pregnant- My Experience

Running while Pregnant - My Experience

Ariel runDisney New Balance shoes- my motivation for post-baby running

When I first found out I was pregnant, I had lofty dreams of continuing to run my entire pregnancy. Not only would it keep me in shape (and maybe give me some extra wiggle room to eat more ice cream), but it would also lead to a faster recovery after the baby was born and an easier time getting back into running.

Off to a rocky start...
I admit I wasn't starting off my pregnant running at a great point: after the WDW Marathon in January, I really lost my mojo and desire to run. I struggled with marathon training and I had a lot of anxiety going into the race. I did finish, but just barely. It was one of the hardest things I've done, both mentally and physically, but I am so glad I did it. I had the post-marathon burn out. 

After the marathon, I continued to run, but very infrequently. I think I ran maybe 10 times in 3 months? One of those times was the Santa Cruz 10k that I ran with my friend and her almost 5 month old. We ran the race non-stop and kept a pretty good pace, only stopping at the end of mile 6 when the baby got fussy. Inspiration right there!

I continued to run infrequently, a couple miles here and there, but mostly focused on strength training. For me, the key to easier running comes with a stronger core. Then I found out we were expecting. As you can see, not a very strong baseline to start with.  

The bad...
As everyone knows, your body changes a lot with pregnancy. I never realized how much of an impact it would have and how soon it would affect me. Almost immediately my running changed. Maybe it was the first trimester exhaustion or all the extra blood my body was pumping, but my pace was slower and I couldn't run non-stop anymore. I switched to intervals and was able to continue doing my 2-3 mile runs a few times a week. I suppose I could have stopped and done something else, like prenatal yoga, but I had the Disneyland 10k coming up!

15 Weeks

16 Weeks in my For Two Fitness maternity tank top

The good...

The Disneyland 10k was amazing. I was nervous that I was going to be swept- I averaged a 14 minute mile (Disney cut-off is 16), but I never got past a 4 miles on my training. That extra 2 miles was really haunting me! I asked my friend and fellow running blogger, Lena, if I could run with her. She has the experience- she ran the Dumbo Double Dare (both the 10k and half marathon) pregnant just a couple years ago. My brother was also along for the ride to keep an eye on me. With these two for support, I knew I'd make it to the finish line.

I also finally met Krissy in person! Yay for pregnant Ursulas!
She was about 2 months ahead of me AND she completed both the 10k and half!

I also made a new running friend- Heather!

17 weeks and baby's first medal!

Seeing all my friends run the Disneyland Half while I sat on the sidelines stung a little. I really wanted to be out there and to earn that medal (the DL 1/2 holds a special place in my heart as my first race and first half), but I knew it wouldn't be safe. I would have pushed myself too hard and probably been more disappointed if/when I got swept. All in all, I still had a great time. Looking forward to the diaper dashes in the future! :)

A little hiatus...
After the Disneyland 10k, life got busy! We bought a house and moved- exercise was the last thing on my mind. I managed to get in yoga here and there and some evening walks. As I packed, I reminisced over past races. 

I think part of the reason why I stopped running was that it just wasn't the same. Like eating your favorite ice cream and suddenly it tasted different. (Can you tell a pregnant woman wrote this?) I was frustrated running had become so difficult, discouraged that I would never get back to where I once was. As I got bigger and the scale showed a number I've never seen before, I pushed running more and more out of my mind.

Pretty much how I felt.

Turning point...
The weeks ticked by. As usual, I'd eat my breakfast by the front window and see people in the neighborhood running or jogging. One morning I realized that I really missed running, no matter how slow or pokey I was. Was my mojo was back?! :D

So at 23 weeks, I put on my Running for Two tank, my favorite Sweaty Band (from Wine & Dine aka Splash n' Dash 2014), and laced up my shoes. I didn't go far, just a mile and a half, and my pace was slow, but I enjoyed every moment of it. 

23 Weeks

I would have gone farther, but I started to get really itchy. Legs, feet, belly, the whole deal. This used to happen to me when I didn't exercise for a long time- something about the sudden increase in blood circulation makes me itchy. It goes away after a week or so, but it's still annoying. Has this ever happened to you?
(I know itchiness can be a sign of issues with pregnancy, but it goes away within 15 minutes and I've talked to my doctor about it.)

Running again!
I tried to get out everyday and the itchiness is cleared up. My pace was still slow, but at least I was getting out there. Even got a few stares from people in my neighborhood.

24 Weeks

The final break...
Around 26 weeks, I started to get some cramping when I would run. It wasn't painful or intense, but more like all my stomach muscles were tightening up. After talking to my doctor, she said they could be Braxton Hicks contractions and recommend that I switch to more low impact exercises. Since then, I've been doing prenatal yoga (great for aches and pains in my back) and the elliptical. 

I'm convinced that staying active right up until the day I delivered really aided in how short my labor was and how quickly I'm healing. My body is returning to pre-pregnancy pretty quickly. At about 2 weeks post partum, I'm just 3 lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight and my belly is pretty much gone. Granted, I didn't have wash board abs to begin with. ;)

This "forced" rest period/break has given me a lot of inspiration and motivation to get back out and run. I'm eager to get back to training and push myself more than I had in the past. I'm holding off until my 4 week post partum appointment to get the all clear from my doctor. We have a BOB jogging stroller and I can't wait to take our little guy running when he's big enough. :) 

Did you run during pregnancy? How was your experience?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Welcome to the world, baby!

Welcome to the world, Lincoln!

Born Monday, Feb 8th, 2016.

We are so happy and in love with you! 

Baby Update: an Eventful First Week

A little update on baby Lincoln:

A couple days after we took him home from the hospital, we met with his pediatrician for his first visit. Unfortunately things did not go perfectly- he had jaundice and his bilirubin levels went up since we left the hospital. Jaundice is pretty common (especially in male and asian babies), but if left untreated, can have severe effects. In addition to the jaundice, he also lost 15% of his body weight since birth. A little weight loss is expected (up to 10%), so this wasn't good. My milk hadn't come in yet and it also explained his extreme fussiness during those first couple days at home.

It was back to the hospital for us- baby had to be admitted to the NICU for light therapy for his jaundice. We also started supplementing with formula to get his weight up.

Even at just 5 days old, you could see he had lost a lot of chub from his cheeks.

It was so hard to give him up to be put in the little isolette under the lights. We stayed at the hospital overnight, but in a separate room. The nurse would call us every three hours when it was time to feed him.

I like to think that he's dreaming of being on a beach in Hawaii. :)

During his 24 hour NICU stay, he could only come out to eat. We maximized the time allowed to snuggle with him.

Just one of many blood draws to check his bilirubin levels for jaundice. :( He had his blood drawn in the hospital before we were discharged the first time and the tech wasn't nice at all. They essentially prick the baby's heel and then squeeze their foot to their leg to get the blood out. His poor little cries were heartbreaking. Thankfully the nurses at the NICU were much more gentle as he had to get his blood drawn every 8 hours.

The next day we got good news- his bilirubin levels were down enough and he had made significant weight gain- we could go home!

Since coming home, he's been so much happier and calm. Those first couple nights when he would wail and wail were rough. My husband even told me he thought we might be one and done if this was the norm for babies. Now that he's not starving, things are going really well. :)

Baby R: 38 Weeks- the Final Pregnancy Update!

This will be my last pregnancy post- baby arrived on Monday, Feb 8th! Birth story to come shortly. 😁

I spent a full day preparing some freezer friendly foods for after the baby arrives. I made some breakfast sandwiches (egg, ham or sausage, cheddar on English muffins), banana bread, and blueberry muffins.

We had some friends over for dinner this week as well. I made falafel wraps. Hard to believe this was our last double date with friends before becoming a family of 3!

How far along?  38 weeks + 6 days

Total weight gain: 25 lbs

Exercise: Still keeping up with doing some form of exercise 5x/week. More yoga than the elliptical and I'm trying to walk more.

Stretch marks: Still none, which I'm really surprised about. I have some from when I gained the "freshman fifteen" in college, so I always assumed i'd get them from pregnancy.

Maternity clothes: Yes, I can't even imagine fitting into regular clothes. Haha

Belly button in or out? Out. :)

Wedding rings on or off? Off. My hands have started to swell overnight, so I'm not taking any chances of them getting stuck.

Sleep: Sleep has turned into naps. I sleep for 3 hours and then am wide awake for another hour. Then repeat. My body is definitely trying to prepare me for the newborn life. 

Food cravings: Still lemon meringue pie. 😋 

Symptoms: Same stuff as last week (sleepless nights, generally uncomfortable, heart burn), now add on swelling.

Movement: He's moving less these days, no doubt cramped for space. 

Best moment this week: Jumping a little ahead, but baby was born, so that was definitely the best moment!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Baby R: 37 Weeks / Full-Term!

37 Weeks! We've reached full-term! The baby could arrive any day now and *should* be okay with life on the outside. Now that I've hit this point, day to day life really just seems like a waiting game. I'm keeping busy with house work, like finally unpacking the last of our boxes from the move. I unpacked boxes of books that had been packed up from a move over 2 years ago. It's nice to know that we'll be staying here for the foreseeable future; a far cry from moving every year.

My husband went into full blown nesting mode and just *had* to get ALL the baby stuff ready. I had taken care of the nursery, but he got our little play area set up. This area probably won't be used for at least a few months, but it's nice to not have to worry about it.

This week I thought I had a revenge of the morning sickness. I would feel nauseous everyday after eating, not fun at all! I think it was caused by a combination of my stomach not being able to hold as much any more and eating cereal for breakfast. Maybe too much milk? I started eating avocado on toast, which has helped, and is also super yummy! 

How far along?  37 weeks + 6 days

Total weight gain:  25 lbs

Exercise: I'm slowing down a lot, but I still try to get in prenatal yoga and some days on the elliptical, even if I'm as slow as a sloth. ;)

Stretch marks: None yet!

Maternity clothes: Yup! I practically live in the same few outfits that still fit. 

Belly button in or out?  Out.

Wedding rings on or off?  Off. I've noticed my hands start to swell a bit at night, so I'm not taking any chances of them getting stuck.

Sleep:  What's sleep? Haha. I "sleep" for a long time, but I wake up a lot and am restless pretty much the whole night. 

Food cravings: Lemon meringue pie and Cheetos. Not together. I can't say I've had any of those weird combination cravings. 

Symptoms: The usual last month things- not sleeping well, heart burn, the occasional contractions, being uncomfortable all the time.

Movement: Baby is still moving around, though his kicks aren't really kicks, more like big movements. He gets the hiccups almost once a day, which feel like a really strong heartbeat or a soft very consistent kick. 

Best moment this week: At this week's doctors appointment, we saw the baby on the ultrasound and we could see his chubby cheeks! I'm not too surprised since both my husband and I were chubby babies. The doctor said he looked big (though no measurements were taken), hopefully not too big! :)

Do you like lemon meringue pie? Do you have a favorite kind of pie?