Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Pregnancy: Week 22

Another week where I almost forgot to take any pictures, so you get bad lighting on the last day of week 22.  The weeks really seem to be flying by!  Everyone keeps asking me how I'm feeling and honestly I feel pretty normal.  I'm big and tired and sometimes my feet ache, but otherwise I feel like myself, aside from feeling lots of baby kicks!

My most exciting thing this week was completing Murph!  Our gym does a big event on Memorial Day, but since we're always down the shore, I've been doing it on the Friday before for the past few years.  I wasn't sure how much of it I was going to be able to complete, so I figured I'd at least do some version of it or a half.  But a few weeks ago we did Cindy (20 minutes of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats) and I completed almost 10 rounds and felt fine afterwards, so I decided to do the whole thing, all 20 rounds (substituting the run for some time on the assault bike).  I was very relaxed leading up to it because I knew my time didn't matter and if anything felt crappy I had no problem just quitting.

I started on the bike and planned on doing about 7 minutes, so when it was around that time and I was almost at 1.5 miles I decided I'd just do that distance.  I did all the push ups on my knees (same as the past 2 years), but this year I split them up around the pull ups.  So I did 5 push ups, 5 pull ups, 5 push ups, and then 15 squats.  It made such a huge difference!  I was able to keep all the push ups in sets of 5 the whole time, instead of dropping to sets of 2, which I had done previous years.  I actually think the push ups were easier for me this year overall!  The pull ups started to get painful on my hands about halfway.  The bar was moist from the humidity and my sweat and it just didn't feel good to swing from.  But I felt strong.  The air squats went great.  I tried to warm up a lot beforehand because last year my quads ended up cramping up super early and I was really upset about it (because that's the easiest movement for me).  This year I was feeling exhausted and did use my arms to help stand up a little, but it was easy to keep moving through them.

Around round 12, I knew everyone was a few rounds ahead of me and I was feeling like I would never finish, but I knew I just had to keep chipping away.  In round 18, my palm ripped during the pull ups and it sucked!  But I knew I only had 12 pull ups left and I could deal with it.  In round 20, I ended up with an awful blood blister under the skin on the same hand and my other palm was feeling like it was about to rip too, but I was really just happy that my hands held out that long.  I was relieved to get to the bike and was trying to use my arms as much as possible since my quads were feeling pretty cooked.  I pushed hard at the end and finished my 1.5 miles at 58:11!  I was convinced that it was going to take me more than an hour so I was beyond excited with my time.

In other news, Dave signed us up for our hospital tour and a bunch of childcare classes in July and August.  We'll most likely add an infant CPR class to the list too.
  • Welcoming Baby - This one-session class helps the expectant parents prepare for the new baby's arrival. A pediatrician will speak on such topics as selecting a pediatrician, the normal newborn immunization and when to call the pediatrician. You'll learn helpful hints about understanding your newborn and gain important information about car seats, infant safety, safe sleep practices, poison prevention, choke saving maneuvers, choosing baby furniture and much more.
  • Happiest Baby - Based on the bestselling parenting book and DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block by pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, this class provides participants with the necessary tools to calm a crying baby. Long periods of crying are associated with postpartum depression, breastfeeding failure and stress in relationships. Come learn about and practice the five S’s to soothe crying so your baby—and you—can sleep longer.
  • Prenatal Breastfeeding - During this program you will learn breastfeeding techniques to get you off to a good start, steps for successful breastfeeding, and information for coping with common situations or problems that can occur in the early weeks.
I also think Dave is finally convinced about hiring a doula.  One of the couples in our birth class welcomed their baby to the world last week with quite the crazy birth story and lots of pressure from the hospital staff.  When our instructor was done telling the whole 30 hour saga, I turned to Dave wide eyed and said "we're using a doula!" and he replied "ok!"  Monday is our final session of our Hynobabies class and I really want to dedicate a whole post to the class and my views on birth, so stay tuned for that.

Another big thing that happened this week was we ordered all our nursery furniture (minus a glider).  We were just going to get a crib and use some of our old furniture when Dave's mom insisted we needed a real changing table... which then turned into picking out a whole set of matching furniture for baby girl!  Gran insisted :)  I've been trying to envision the layout and plan the decor, but it will be so nice to get the furniture in the space and really see what fits where.

4 months to go, so crazy!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Our Long Weekend in Arizona Part 1: Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock Hike, The Hudson, and Midgley Bridge

Almost a month ago Dave and I boarded a plane (for the last time for a while) for a long weekend in Arizona.  We were invited to his second cousin's wedding and thought why not make a little vacation out of it.  His cousin rented an awesome house for the whole family in the Village of Oak Creek, just south of Sedona and all the beautiful red rock formations located there.

Our trip started out a little rocky when we were stuck on the runway for a whole hour.  We were 14th in line for take off and when we finally got to the front of the line our plane was rerouted!  Our route was changed 5 different times (which the pilot said had never happened to him before and may have been a glitch in the system) but it could've been worse because when we finally took off the pilot told us there were 35 planes waiting in line behind us!  When we finally landed in Phoenix, I wanted to punch the guy at the Hertz rental counter in the face.  But soon enough we were on our way.  Dave was a trooper and drove the 2 hours up to Sedona while I slept.  When we finally arrived, it was midnight aka 3 am EST.  Dave's family welcomed us with open arms and cold beverages and soon after I crashed hard.

On Friday, we woke up right at 7 am and couldn't seem to go back to sleep since it really felt like 10.  We started our day off with Linda's famous giant pancakes (I may have had a second breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast...) and a few hours of lounging.

In the afternoon, Dave and I headed about 2 miles up the road from where we were staying for our first hike.  We did a 4 mile loop around Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock and it was so awesome!  The hike was mostly easy and the views were unreal.  Pictures don't really do any of it justice.


It took us about 2.5 hours with lots of stops for pictures, snacks, and taking in the scenery.  4 miles was a perfect amount for this preggo.

After some relaxing and freshening up, we were on our own for dinner since the rest of the family was headed to the rehearsal dinner that night.  I had my eye on a few places on yelp and we decided on The Hudson.  I should've made reservations ahead of time to get a table with a view, but we weren't sure our exact plan so I held off.  When we got there they told us it would be a 90 minute wait, so we headed to the bar instead and nabbed two seats together about 5 minutes later.

The food was amazing!  We started with 3 different kinds of bruschetta: smoked salmon with pesto cream cheese and capers, BLT with crispy bacon, marscarpone, tomatoes, and arugula, and a warm mushroom and riccota version.  So good!  Then we tried their famous corn chowder, which was really zesty and tasty.  And then I couldn't really settle on a main course until we realized they had prime rib, which is what I knew everyone else was eating at the rehearsal dinner, and I had to have it!  It was seriously delicious, perfectly cooked and seasoned and really hit the spot.  We took home some leftovers to save room for an ice cream stop on the way home.  And then everyone hit the hay nice and early to be fresh for the big day!

Saturday we headed out early to go see Midgley Bridge, a must do on Dave's list for the trip!

I didn't really think I was afraid of heights until we got here.  The walkway was very uneven and the rickety railings definitely weren't going to save your life if it came down to it.  As I was inching towards the edge to get some good pictures, a young boy, 6 or 7 years old, came up and stumbled and it made me so nervous!  I told him to be careful!  He casually replied "I am" and his dad told us he'd already tripped 4 times.  Eeeep.

We went on a short hike there and took some pictures of Oak Creek below, but soon we were headed back to the house to get ready for the wedding!

To be continued... Part 2

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Pregnancy: Week 21

DAVE FELT THE BABY KICK!  We were laying in bed and I told him the baby was having a party and so he put his hand on my belly.  I said I wasn't sure if he would be able to feel anything yet, but who knows.  So he waited and waited... and the baby wouldn't move, like a watched pot won't boil.  And then finally the baby kicked and he felt it!  Such a cool moment :)

This week was very food focused.  I got it in my head that I wanted Thanksgiving dinner and I needed to have it!  So I hit the store and made a lazy version with rotisserie chicken and ate it for lunch all week.

I went out for sushi to celebrate Leah's birthday and had some really awesome cooked rolls that almost made me forget that everyone else at the table was eating raw tuna.  I got a spicy shrimp roll, an eel avocado roll, and a roll with crab and octopus!  I don't think I had ever had octopus in a sushi roll and it was really good.

Then Friday we went out to the White Dog Cafe in Wayne to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.  It's a farm to table restaurant with a seasonally changing menu that has been on my list to try for a while.  We started with happy hour at the bar and enjoyed some parmesan truffle fries and some really creamy mac & cheese.  Dave ordered a bottle of wine and next thing I know the bartender was pouring a glass for me.  I took a few sips and then Dave and I just traded glasses when he was done his.  I can honestly say wine is pretty take it or leave it for me.  I was way more upset about passing up the burrata cheese special everyone around us was enjoying.

For dinner Dave got a lamb bolognese dish and I went with the pork tenderloin and both were delicious.  We didn't save any room for dessert, but they brought us out a super cute dish with a scoop of ice cream.  It was a lovely dinner and a wonderful anniversary celebration.

Saturday we went out to Red Lobster for a belated Mother's Day celebration.  I felt slightly less bad binging on the cheddar biscuits since I'm pregnant lol.  And the Ultimate Feast was everything!

For dessert I made a super easy cheesecake topped with whipped cream, cherry pie filling, and chocolate chips and it came out great.

I guess I'm paying the price for all that eating because I am feeling pretty huge.  A friend from church made a comment that I'm going to be one of those women that doesn't even look pregnant from the back.  And I was like well all 20+ lbs seem to be hanging out up front lol.  My fingers are swollen and I think it's almost time to stop wearing my rings (before they get stuck and it's a crisis haha).  I was thinking I would just get a cheap band but then I found a deal I couldn't pass up.  I found this 1/4 carat diamond ring (retail value $135) for $31 and thought why the heck not?!  It's so different from my wedding rings, so it will be fun to have something different, and I can wear it on another finger when I'm not so swollen anymore.

Other than eating like a pig, I also did some nesting.  Dave finally got most of his stuff out of the nursery closet and I spent some time on my hands and knees scrubbing it out.  Then I stuck most of the baby stuff in the closet, so we could figure out the furniture layout and start moving things around.  I can't wait to get it all set up once we pick out a crib!

This week we also toured a couple of daycares and met a woman who does childcare out of her house.  We have 2 more tours scheduled for the next week, but I think we will be finished after that.  One of the daycares we went to already had no availability for January 2018, so I'm feeling pretty antsy about getting this settled sooner rather than later.  It's such a big decision.

We had another session of our birth class and I'm still really enjoying it.  My desire to have a natural birth has been fully confirmed and I'm even starting to really buy into the hypnosis.  I need to practice and listen to my tracks more, but I'm not super worried about it since we have so much time.  I'm also desperately trying to get Dave on board with hiring our instructor as our doula.  He thinks it's an unnecessary expense, but I think it will be a game changer.  He was also super against me birthing without an epidural at first and now he's fully on board, so we'll see.

Mommas out there, did you use a doula?  Tell me about your experience!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Pregnancy: Weeks 18, 19, & 20

Life has been busy and I seemed to fall behind, so I'm lumping some weeks together so I don't miss any!

Week 18:

We spent most of this week in Arizona (I owe you a blog post full of amazing pictures from our trip!) and my most notable pregnancy thing was being super itchy.  I think it was a special combo of stretching skin, healing poison ivy, super dry air, and crappy bar soap.  I was scratching my boobs and belly all week and Dave's cousin's wife kept giving me crap for it.  When we got home, my poison ivy scabs were mostly healed and I got pretty serious lathering up with lotion and I felt immediate relief.

What else?  My hunger was raging and I did not pass up a chance to eat second breakfast when Dave's family was offering.  I felt pretty good on all our hikes, but I could tell towards the end of our 4 mile hike that that was my limit.  I busted a move on the dance floor at the wedding just like normal and it felt great.  I was pretty disappointed when I realized I probably shouldn't go in the hot tub at our rental house, but I stuck my feet and calves in and that was pretty satisfying after a long hike.

Week 19:

I almost forgot to do pics this week, so these kind of suck. They happened at dusk right before week 19 ended.  Oh well.

We had our first Hypnobabies class on Monday.  It was class 2 out of 6, since we missed the first class while we were on our trip.  There are 3 other couples in our class.  We covered nutrition guidelines and an overview of the stages of birth.  Our instructor Keli shared a ton of birth stories and anecdotes with us and class involved a lot of discussion.  Towards the end of class we did some prenatal exercises and then we listened to Keli read a hypnosis script.  I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the rest of the course.

Baby has officially started to occupy my bladder space!  One day I was fine and the next day I suddenly felt like I had to pee all the time.  There's not much in there when I relieve myself, but it sure feels like it.  I can't imagine how bad this is going to get eventually!

I killed it at the gym this week.  Olympic lifting still feels great.  I hit a 115# squat clean, an 80# snatch complex, and some 125# back squats.

I finally felt the baby for the first time!  I was told that it would be super subtle, just a flutter, or even just feel like I had gas, so a few times in the past week or two I would feel something.  But then I'd wonder if it really was just my stomach rumbling and I was trying to convince myself otherwise.  So I just kept waiting to feel something definite.  But while I was driving my car on Tuesday morning, I felt something that was different than before.  It was definitely subtle but unlike anything I had felt.  And then I felt it a couple more times.  Hello baby :)  I can't wait till Dave can feel her!

Week 20:

We had our 20 week ultrasound and it was amazing!  Baby girl was 13 oz and measured perfectly on schedule.  The doctor said the word of the day was normal and that everything looked great.  The ultrasound technology is crazy.  We got to see all her external body parts clearly as well as views of her brain, spine, internal organs, arteries, and even the chambers of her heart.  It was SO cool.  And they surprised us mid ultrasound by turning on the 3D views.  I had no idea that was going to happen.  I generally think 3D ultrasound pictures are lightweight disturbing, but when it's your baby and you can see little lips and a tiny nose... well it's different.  It was such a cool experience and made it even more real.

This week also brought some unpleasant symptoms like some horribly aching feet.  I've been noticing my feet really hurt after being on them for extended periods of time and I typically wear really comfortable footwear so I think it's due to the pregnancy.  My feet don't look swollen yet, so I'm thinking this is going to get a lot worse.  I've also noticed my skin hasn't been great.  My face has been hit or miss, but I have a bunch of blemishes on my chest that are not cute.

Honestly wasn't sure I'd want to put these on the internet or not, but here we go!

It's pretty much a miracle that my boobs fit into a few of my old suits.  I don't think I'll be getting away with that after Memorial Day lol.

Mela is way cuter.  It was her first time at the beach and she loved it, even when she got wrecked by a wave and then rolled face first in the sand to try and dry herself off.

Everyone was texting me Happy Mother's Day and every time I was like who me?  Dave got me a Mother's Day card and wrote a poem in it from the baby.  It was adorable!  Can't believe I'm halfway through this pregnancy.  Time is flying!

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