Saturday, March 21, 2015

Oh Hi There

It's been 2 1/2 years since Rowan was born.  Since that time I've gained more weight than I'm willing to share and I have lost 100% of my fitness.  It's a sucky place to be and even suckier to acknowledge it and face it.  But here I am.  I've had a few experiences lately that have led me to reevaluate where I'm at in life.  I'm trying to incorporate some healthy changes and dust off the mojo.  I'm starting with some small goals (no fast food, do some form of activity at least 4 days a week), but if you know me at all, you know that I don't do small goals very well.  They are boring and feel like sandbagging.  Like setting small goals only serves to not be disappointed when I don't meet the big goals.  So my true, super top-secret (not so secret anymore) goals are to lose 80ish pounds and do an Ironman.  There, I said it.  Sorry, family.  Sorry, JaJa.
What am I doing?
Nutrition: Ketosis.  This wasn't really intentional, but I stumbled into it.  I'm a carb addict.  I should probably go check into a treatment center and do a 12-step program.  Seriously.  It's obvious that excessive carb consumption has probably been my biggest fitness downfall my entire adult life.  So I have opted to cut back on carbs.  I've been reading up a little on how to do it and started seeing all these references to keto blah blah blah.  My interest was peaked and I decided to give it a try.  I'm one week into the experiment, and from what I can tell, I've reached ketosis.  Or at least am heading in the right direction of getting there.  Except I'm now battling the so-called "keto flu."  I hear that's short lived though.
Exercise: I'm making up a training plan one week at a time.  My work schedule can be unpredictable with silly hours at times, so I'm only going to plan a week ahead for right now.  I'm trying for 3 swims, 3 walk/slogs, and 3 strength sessions a week.  Short duration.  All Zone 1/2.  No biking for now, as being on my tri bike is just too damn uncomfortable until I lose more weight.
How's it going?
This sounds ridiculous, but I've lost 10 pounds so far.  In one week.  That is completely unheard of for me.  I know it's all water weight, but getting rid of all that inflammation is still important.  To me, weight lost is weight lost.  I know this rapid loss isn't sustainable, but it is certainly a huge (and much needed) boost.  I also couldn't finish my lunch the last two days (salads).  That has never happened to me before.  Never.  I'm sold.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Race Report: Rowan Marie's Birth Story

I always assumed that I would share our birth story on the blog.  I share so many other personal details of our lives, certainly this would be no exception.  But after going through the experience, part of me wanted to keep this private.  Something just our little family would know and share together.  But then I remembered all of the inspiring birth stories I read while we were trying to conceive and while I was pregnant.  I learned so much from those women.  And regardless of how the labor and birth turned out, I found each story beautiful and empowering.  And so, I decided to share our story as well.
It's been over 2 weeks since the arrival of our baby girl and already some of the details are starting to become blurred and fade into fuzzy memories.  Not that the details were ever very crystal clear for me.  After 27 hours of hard labor, most of which was endured with eyes clenched tightly closed, my recollection of her birth is made up of mostly sounds, smells, and emotions.  I have very few visual memories of the event, but thankfully our dear friend and photographer was able to be there for the last few hours and capture Rowan's arrival.  Thank you, Ravyn, for capturing these beautiful memories for us!  So bear with me as I try to coherently piece together our story and my apologies for anything I get wrong or out of order.
As many of you know, we had been planning a home birth since before even trying to get pregnant.  It's something that we have both become very passionate about and were so looking forward to beginning our family in the comfort of our home.  However, after 9 months of fabulous care through Vivante Midwifery, life threw us a curve ball.  On a Saturday morning, 6 days past my due date, we went in for our 41 week appointment.  Unfortunately, after a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, my blood pressure had suddenly become elevated high enough to risk me out of the home birth.  And even worse, it was recommended that we proceed with an induction that evening.  So after many tears and a short grieving process, we packed our bags and headed to OHSU in Portland.  Once there, we were met by two of our midwives, who ended up staying with us through the entire labor and delivery.  In case I forget later in this story, let me pause to recognize how amazing and wonderful these women are.  The support, care, and love we received goes so far beyond what is required of them and I don't know if I can ever thank them enough for helping us through the process and preserving as much of our birth plan as was possible given the circumstances.
Once checked in, I had an internal check done (the first of the entire pregnancy) to determine which method of induction would be the most favorable.  I was only a fingertip dilated, still very posterior, but slightly soft, so we decided on cervadil and then perhaps the foley bulb.  I wanted to delay pitocin as long as possible.  While we were waiting for the meds to arrive in the room, my water suddenly broke.  About 10 minutes later the contractions started up.  And within a half hour they were quite strong and I was having to concentrate and breathe through them.  Labor was well underway - induction avoided!  Ken and I spent the next several hours roaming the hospital grounds, timing contractions, popping back in for periodic fetal monitoring, and bouncing a lot on the birth ball.
I vaguely remember a shift in the intensity during one of the walks.  I couldn't make it more than a handful of steps before another contraction would hit.  I moaned and groaned my way back to the room, hanging on to whatever was nearby - the cafeteria register, the admitting desk, Ken's neck, the elevator railing.  Once back at the room we laid down to try and get some rest, but my contractions were already too intense and frequent to do anything other than sit on the edge of the bed and moan through them.  It was during these early morning hours where things get hazy.
Some random memories from the next dozen or so hours:
- Listening to my hypnobirthing on the iPhone and then ripping the earbuds out because I was so annoyed.
- Yelling at Ken to stop snoring so that I could concentrate on my contractions.  I think there was even a "f*%$ off" thrown out there at one point.  Sorry, sweetie!
- Opening my eyes and realizing that it was daylight again.
- Wanting so desperately to get into a hot bath, but remembering that I was supposed to wait as long as possible before doing so.  We didn't want to slow labor down at all.
- Getting into the shower.  I sat on a bench in there while Ken and one of the midwives took turns holding the hot water over my back.  I think I was there for a few hours.
- Pleading to get into the tub, finally being allowed to, and then once in, realizing that it wasn't at all what I wanted.  Getting back out was torture.
- Sitting on the edge of the bed again for hours.
- Having a forebag of waters broken.  And meconium coming out.
We were now 16+ hours into the labor.  My contractions were becoming over 2 minutes long and 3-5 minutes apart.  Some of them were doubling up on each other, resulting in no break.  I was even getting "pushy".  I thought for sure that I was entering transition and would be meeting our daughter soon.  I asked for an internal check again, but didn't want to know how dilated I was.  I didn't want to be disappointed if I hadn't progressed very far.  But they didn't need to tell me the number.  I could tell by the faces of the nurses that I was far far from holding my little girl.  It was crushing.  I later learned that I was only at 4cm at this point.  Pitocin was mentioned.  I held the debate of the century inside my head.  I begged and pleaded with myself.  I tried to reach deep and tap into that Ironman strength.  No dice.  I did what I was convinced I would be able to avoid - I asked for an epidural.  Everyone solemnly nodded in agreement.  It seemed like the best decision to allow me to get some rest and allow me to have the energy for the later stages of labor yet to come.  For a short while I was devastated.  While we waited [quite awhile] for the anesthesiologist to arrive, I cried quietly to myself.  Our home birth was gone.  Our med-free birth was gone.  And I prayed that I wasn't making a huge mistake and setting myself up for a failed vaginal birth.  I wanted to scream "No, no, never mind, I don't need the epidural!"  But the truth was that I probably would have even surrendered to a c-section in that moment.  I just wanted the pain to go away.
Once the epidural was in place, I was able to lay down for the first time in over a day.  I allowed myself to relax and rest a bit.  It was dark outside again.  The room became peaceful and calm.   I did ask to have the epidural turned down to a very low dose.  I wanted to still feel the contractions, to still be connected to the labor and to the baby.  I didn't want to be completely numb to the process.  I was able to move my legs around, reposition myself, and probably even stand if I wanted to.  But I was no longer in agony.  I was even smiling. I pushed all of the negative thoughts out of my mind and resolved to enjoy the last hours with Ken as just the two of us.  I don't think I ever slept, but I was able to enter a sort of twilight phase.  The nurses came in periodically to check on us, to turn up the pitocin, to check the monitors, read my blood pressure.
A handful of hours later (5?  7?) I had another internal check done.  I was getting close.  It was time to turn the epidural off.  And the pitocin up.  Now that I had grown accustomed to pain relief I was terrified of going back to what I had felt earlier.  I had a moment of panic, but was encouraged by everyone that it was going to be okay.  Pretty soon I had regained all sensation.  But the contractions were different now.  I wanted to bear down and push.  I was able to walk to the bathroom on my own and labor there for some time.  Sitting on the toilet felt amazing, but I also didn't want to have a "toilet baby".  That really wouldn't make for good pictures!  So eventually I worked my way back to the bed.  Laying down sounded like torture, so I stood at the edge of the bed in a semi-squatting position.  I think I pushed like that for over an hour.  I had counter pressure and coconut oil applied to my perineum.  But other than that I didn't want to be touched.  We had The Lumineers playing in the room for awhile, but I remember asking to have the music turned off.  I wanted it quiet.  I think the lights were dimmed too, but my eyes were closed so I honestly couldn't tell you.  I was in my little cocoon and completely unaware of what was going on around me.  Unless someone touched me.  I really didn't want to be touched.
Things weren't progressing as well as they should have been.  So I was asked to change positions.  I climbed onto the bed on my hands and knees, hugging the back of the bed.  I think I pushed this way for another hour or so.  Pushing actually felt fabulous.  It didn't hurt at all.  It was just tiring.  But then my contractions started fizzling out.  I didn't have anything to push against.  Baby wasn't coming.  There was more meconium.  The tone of people's voices started changing.  I was asked to flip onto my back with my knees by my ears.  This was the last resort position.  But baby still wasn't coming.
I later learned that there was a tight vaginal band, sort of like a tendon that wouldn't stretch.  They started numbing me up for an episiotomy.  No, no, no, no.  I couldn't believe that I was going to be cut.  But within a few pushes her head finally came out.  Another push and the rest of her body slid through.
Ken was able to catch her and put her on my body.  Her eyes were open and bright.  But she had meconium coming out of her nose and mouth and had to be suctioned right away.  Ken cut the cord and went over to the pediatric table with her.  I kept asking what was taking so long.  I wanted my baby back on my chest.

The midwives advocated for me - don't wash her, turn down the lights, don't wrap her up in a blanket because we want immediate skin-to-skin.  Within a few minutes she was back on my chest, no longer crying, and rooting around to nurse.
They never again took her away from me.  She nursed while they stitched me up (front-to-back third degree tear plus a little tear up front too), did the second Apgar while she was on me (scores were 8 and 9), and then left us alone while we stared at her in amazement.
Eventually everyone said their goodbyes and we moved to the recovery room.  She slept in my arms for the rest of the morning.  About 12 hours after her birth we started working on the discharge paperwork (upon our strong insistence...they wanted us to stay another day, but we just wanted to be home) and soon thereafter we were all snuggled up in our own bed like we had planned all along.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rowan Marie Kronholm

Our little angel was born at 12:20am on 9/17/2012.  7lb 11oz, 20.5in, and a head full of dark hair like her mama.  We didn't get the home birth we were hoping for, but after 27 hours of labor with a few unexpected twists, she arrived healthy and perfect.  And surrounded by so much love and support.  We are truly blessed.
Race report (aka birth story) coming in a few days.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 40

Week 40
9/3/2012 - 9/9/2012
Milestones: It's due date day.  Ken and I celebrated by sleeping in, relocating to the couch for the majority of the day (football season!!!), and then heading to one of our favorite restaurants for possibly our last nice dinner as just the two of us.  Although, if I make it to 41 weeks, then I think I'm entitled to another nice date night!
Size of Meatball: As far as I'm concerned, she's big enough and ready to come out.
Baby Position: Head down and looooow.  I have the most awesome waddle happening these days.  At my last appointment her head was transverse, but I can still feel her shifting around down there.  She keeps trying to shove her butt out the top right side of my belly.  Or maybe she's just mooning us.
Labor Signs: Infrequent (but persistent) contractions, lower back pain, and a bitchiness that I haven't exuded since my teenage PMS days.  I'm super fun to be around right now.
Exercise: Walking, bouncing on the birth ball, and yes, even some swimming.
Weight gain: I don't know.  Somewhere around 35 pounds.
Other random crap:
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions these days.  My apologies for the salty tone.  See "Labor Signs" above.
  • Yes, I'm still pregnant.
  • No, I don't mind getting texts & emails. (I actually love that my friends are thinking of me, but I'm sorry if I don't respond.  I'm either really busy or really lazy - it totally depends on the day.)
  • No, I have not scheduled an induction. (Seriously people, I just now hit my due date.  As much as I would love for her to arrive right now, I'm not going to evict her for my own convenience.)
  • Yes, home birth is safe.  Yes, I will have medical professionals attending the birth (my midwives are very qualified).  No, I won't be receiving pain medication.  But thankyouverymuch for the series of horrific birth stories that you insist on telling me.  Those are helpful, really.
  • Yes, I'm quite sure there's only one in there.
  • No, I still can't tolerate coffee or chicken.
  • I plan on taking off 8-12 weeks.  But I'm not sure yet, as it really depends on how the birth goes, baby's health, my recovery, etc.
  • No, we still don't have a name picked out.  But based on your reaction last time I told you our ideas, I certainly wouldn't tell you even if we have decided on a name.
And then my favorite...
  • WHAT???  Our life is going to change?  Why didn't somebody tell me this like 9 months ago?!?  That's it.  I change my mind.  Make the baby go away.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week 39

I'm only including 1 week in this post, in hopes that there won't need to be a "Week 40" update.  Wishful thinking, I know.

Week 39
8/27/2012 - 9/2/2012
Milestones: Wowie, it's September!  Our official birth month!
Size of Meatball: Well that's one of the million dollar questions right now.  But I'm pretty sure she's in the normal range of sizes.
Baby Position: LOT at my last appointment.  Her head is down, but sideways.  Not ideal, but better than posterior.  She'll likely turn in labor.
Labor Signs: Same old stuff.  We amped up the volume at acupuncture this week.  And while it didn't get labor going, I'm hopeful that it is helping with stress/relaxation levels and certainly can't hurt when it comes to an easier birth experience.
Exercise: Again, lots of walking and bouncing on the exercise/birth ball.  Sadly, I didn't get to the pool this week.  It sounds nice, but when it comes down to it, I'm just not that motivated.  Heh, a lot like when I'm training for Ironman.
Weight gain: Well...there was the "peach pie incident" this week, so I decided to avoid the scale and see if everything evens out next week.
Other random crap:
- I seriously should not be allowed in Joann Fabrics whilst pregnant.  My preggo hormones do not mix kindly with the grumpy hate-their-job workers (nor with the clueless crazy-cat-lady shoppers who insist on pushing their overloaded shopping carts down each and every crowded isle), but at least I didn't make anyone cry this week.
- I keep rewriting my emergency birth plan (in case of a hospital birth) and realize that I feel really really sorry for whatever hospital staff has to deal with me in that situation.  I'm already difficult and demanding under the best of circumstances.  Crossing my fingers that cookies go a long way with them.
- I stuck it out for 39 weeks, but finally caved this past weekend.  Yes, I went and bought some big girl panties.  Like BIG big.  There may have been tears and an emotional breakdown involved, but my undergarments are no longer cutting off circulation to important body parts.  Success!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weeks 37 & 38

Week 37
8/13/2012 - 8/19/2012
Sorry, I didn't get a real belly picture in this week.  We've been crossing off the weeks on this chalkboard as we count down to my due date.  Note that there's room to add negative numbers if need be.
Milestones: Happy Full Term to meeeeee!!!!!  She can now come anytime between now and the next 5 weeks and be considered full term.  I want her to make her arrival when she is good and ready to be here, but I certainly won't complain if it's on the earlier end of that 5 week spectrum.
Size of Meatball: During the home visit this week, one midwife estimated that she's maybe around 7 pounds right now.  I'm going to get a pool going during labor to see who can most accurately guess her weight.  Email me if you want in on it.  There might be a prize involved.  Or there might not be, depending on how motivated I get between now and then.
Baby Position: She was flipping around between LOA and LOT during my appointment.
Labor Signs: Baby has definitely dropped.  I know this because I was able to eat a HUGE lunch the other day.  Also, the "lightening crotch".  Every time she shifts around down there it's like someone is sticking a cattle prod on my cervix.  Lots of zingers!
Symptoms: Unfortunately my blood pressure was elevated during my appointment this week.  Hopefully it doesn't become a trend, as that can potentially risk me out of the homebirth.
Exercise: A few walks around the "neighborhood alps" (we live in the middle of a very hilly area), and the 8k run.
Weight gain: A couple of pounds.  I'm well over the 30 pound mark now, darnit.
Other random crap:
- Ken and I have both been having dreams about baby girl.  And in both of our dreams, she is a newborn, but the size of a big chunky 6 month old.  This has me only slightly worried.
- Now that all of the big baby projects are completed, I am nesting in very odd ways.  Such as baking more than 14 dozen cookies to stash in the freezer.  Or cutting up over 30 diaper liners out of fleece fabric, even though we already have a ton of liners.

Week 38
8/20/2012 - 8/21/2012
Milestones: I had my first episode of "is it pee or is it amniotic fluid" this week. Since I haven't gone into labor, I bet you can figure out which it was.
In happier news, the results of my Group B Strep (GBS) swab came back NEGATIVE!!!  GBS is a normal bacteria found in about 25% of all women, but it is recommended that if you test positive, that you receive a dose of antibiotics during labor to prevent infection in the baby.  Since I'm not keen on being strapped to an IV during labor, and I despise the side effects of antibiotics, this was very welcomed news this week.
Size of Meatball: Because my fundal height measurements have been so large, we ended up having an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels (they turned out to be perfectly normal).  Baby girl was estimated to be at almost 7 pounds.  At a midwife appointment later in the week, they estimated her at 7.5 pounds.  So she's measuring right on track!
Baby Position: Head down (yay!) but face up (boo!).  Chances are also good that she'll wiggle around once I go into labor.  But to encourage proper positioning, we've been doing moxibustion (under the direction of my acupuncturist) to try and turn her from posterior.  Ken thinks it's silly that holding burning sticks of mugwort next to my pinky toes will do anything, but he humors me anyway.  It has a really high success rate, and in any case, it can't hurt!
Labor Signs: Lots of "fake" contractions, still mostly at night.  I've had some other common signs that labor is just around the corner, but I'll spare you the gory details.  But just this once because I'm in a good mood...don't get used to it.  Things are definitely getting close!
Symptoms: Just the labor signs noted above.  Thankfully I've been able to keep the swelling and blood pressure in check this week.  Unfortunately the heartburn hasn't gone anywhere, but I guess I can tough it out for another few weeks.
Exercise: Lots of walking and bouncing on the exercise/birth ball.  And one day of 12+ hours of standing in the kitchen processing 100 pounds of peaches.  See "other random crap" in week 37 regarding my strange nesting habits these days.
I am no longer running.  :-(  But really, it was no longer enjoyable, and I was potentially doing more harm than good to things like my pelvic floor muscles and joints.
Weight gain: A few pounds.  Water weight, no doubt.  I have the most disgusting pocket of fluid in my lower belly.  It's like a floppy pouch just hanging out, flapping away down there.  I'm thinking of naming it.
Other random crap:
- I've turned into a nut regarding keeping the house picked up.  I want things nice and clean for after baby gets here, sort of like how it's so nice to come home from vacation to a clean house.  Since we obviously have no idea when she is going to arrive, I go to bed each night thinking it might be my last chance to tidy up.
- energy levels are starting to take a major nose dive.  So I mostly just pace back and forth trying to decide what I want to work on, ultimately not getting much of anything done.  I wander around feeling very frustrated and unsettled.  I'm going to assume this is normal late-pregnancy behavior.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekend Inspiration: The Runners Blessing

This weekend is the annual Hood-to-Coast Relay (my first time not participating in 5 years), as well as Ironman Canada.

The Runners Blessing

May you have cool, still nights
and the promise of clear, endless morning.
May the sun rise to greet you with open arms;
and the horizon bow deep beneath your feet.

May you always have water to quench your thirst,
Air to fill your lungs and joy to lift your heart.
May your feet carry you wisely
Swift or slow, towards home.

May you always have heart for your fellow travellers,
and the rhythm of the road to guide you;
May you know the sweetness of victory,
The sorrow of loss and the surrender of both.

--Hannah Broom

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Race Report: Salmon Creek Sunset Run 8k

Salmon Creek Sunset Run 8k
Date: 8/18/2012
Finish time: 1:27:21 (17:35/mile)
* They lost my bib during packet pickup, so I was issued a replacement.  And now my chip time isn't showing up on the race results, but this is the time of the friend I ran/walked with the entire time.

I said in my last race report about a month ago that I was done with running events until post-pregnancy.  Well, I lied.  I totally suck when it comes to peer pressure and races.  I think it's a medical condition.  My girlfriend Jessica is training for a half marathon and wanted to do the 14k at this event as a training run, and she asked if I wanted to do it too.  So I totally blame her.  (I can also be good at not taking responsibility for my actions...just ask Ken.)
For a small local race, this event was pretty decent.  They had great communication via email in the days leading up to the race, the location/parking/logistics were easy, the music was good, there were plenty of aid stations, and they had lots of water and Jamba Juice at the finish line.  I only have two minor complaints:
1) They need to have more pointers directing the runners.  People were confused about which side of the road to run on, and the turns sound like they weren't very obvious for the 14k runners.
2) There weren't any porta-potties on the course.  But then again, I doubt anyone besides me really needed them.

An awesome co-worker had also signed up and she stuck with me the entire time.  Since I was in dead last most of the time, it was great to have some company.  We ran about the first mile, then walked/ran the rest of the time.  I guesstimate that I ran about 2 miles of the course and walked the other 3.  Baby has dropped recently, so while I have regained some of my lung capacity, running/walking really is taking a toll on my lower back and girly bits.  Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, but I paid for it later that night.
Oh, and I need to mention that I came in DEAD LAST at this event.  I suppose it was bound to happen some time.  I'm just grateful that it occurred at a race of only 73 people while I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Glad to get that out of the way...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maternity Photos

A few posts ago, I linked to a preview of our maternity photo session with Jim + Ravyn Photography.  We have the final edited photos now, and I feel so lucky that we stumbled across such talented photographers.  Ravyn will also be attending our homebirth (hopefully in the next few weeks!!!), as well as doing the newborn session once baby girl is a couple of weeks old.

Here are some of our favorites:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekend Inspiration

I'm late again on the "Weekend Inspiration" post.
Did you see this Nike commercial during the Olympics?  Love it.
Find YOUR greatness.  (My greatness is obviously not getting blog posts up in a timely manner...)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weeks 35 & 36

Week 35
7/30/2012 - 8/5/2012
Wait, what?  It's August already?
Milestones: My birth blanket is finished!  Some fabulous girlfriends came over one night and did most of the work.  Despite lots of war wounds from trying to poke needles through 2 sheets, 1 blanket, and a layer of plastic, we had quite a blast.  Thanks ladies!  (Note: A birth blanket is basically visqueen and a blanket sandwiched between some sheets. It can be picked up and moved around the house, depending on where I end up laboring and birthing. It protects the carpet and/or furniture and then can be wadded up and thrown away afterwards.)
Size of Meatball: My fundal height is back up to over 5 weeks ahead.  But this type of measurement has a huge margin of error, so the important part is that things are still growing consistently.  Consistently large, but still consistent.
Baby Position: Little girl is head down and has been that way for over a month.  She has been ROT (right occiput transverse) at the last two appointments, meaning she is head down with her head facing my hip, and with her butt up in the top right of my belly and feet sticking out towards the left.
Labor Signs: No signs of labor yet, thank goodness.  Just some minor contractions every once in awhile.  Typically at night when I'm trying to sleep, of course.  The midwife calls it a crabby uterus.  I'm crabby too, so I don't really blame my ute one bit.
Symptoms: My belly is soooo ITCHY!  Damn stretch marks.
Exercise: Things are really slowing down on the exercise front.  Only 3 walks and 1 swim this week.  No strength training because it's too hot to do TRX in the garage, and well, I'm too lazy to drive the 1 mile to the gym to use their weight machines.  Oh, and one exhausting day at the river playing with friends and trying to stay cool.  Oh yes, I'm giving you another preggo bikini pic.  Be glad that the bottom half is underwater.
Weight gain: I really don't know why I keep this category in here.  For the sake of honesty, I'll admit that I'm up a total of 28-30 pounds now, depending on how swollen I am when I step on the scale.  This heat is a bitch, yo.
Other random crap:
- I got up to pee 6 times one night. SIX TIMES.
- Baby girl loves her some hip-hop music.  I have regular dance parties with her (well, me and my belly) all the time.  Her current favorites include Eminem, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, and of course a little bit of Kanye.

Week 36
8/6/2012 - 8/12/2012
Milestones: Nothing.  Although I did hit up the Nordstrom sale and splurged on some comfy jammies for the post-partum period.  I know that's not really a milestone, but it's been on my "to do" list for awhile.  I LOVE crossing things off my list.  Other things I crossed off this week, with assistance from the husby:
- Organized all of the homebirth supplies
- Detailed the cars
- Installed the carseat bases and carseat
- Sewed burp cloths
- Started getting a "just in case" hospital bag together
- Wrote a "just in case" birth plan for the hospital
- Finished up the baby room - pics coming soon!
- Lots of random cleaning and organizing
There are still a handful of items on the list, but it's getting smaller.  And if baby showed up today, all the essentials are taken care of.  What a great feeling!
Size of Meatball: Supposedly over 6 pounds and around the length that she'll be once she's born.
Baby Position: I didn't have a midwife appointment this week, so I'm not quite sure.  She's either ROA or ROT.  She's definitely still head down with her little tushy pushed into the upper right corner and her feet kicking into my ribs on the left side.  But despite my best poking around, I can't tell which way her head is facing.
Labor Signs: Still not much.  The Braxton Hicks are gaining strength and are almost painful at times.  The cramps/contractions are still coming on occasionally, and mostly at night.  People keep mentioning that it looks like baby has dropped a bit, but honestly, I can't really tell.  Maybe a little bit!
Symptoms: Wow, the bloat monster made an attack this week.  I could hardly even get my flip flops on one afternoon.  The round ligament pain is pretty brutal too.  Sometimes I'll forget that I'm pregnant and try to hop out of bed or something, and holyhellf*%ingcriminy, I'll get these sharp shooting pains down low.  I also learned a new term this week - ECP.  It stands for Evil Crotch Pain.
Exercise: 2 swims, 2 walks, 1 strength, and one marathon day of nesting.  I think I might be done with spin class until after baby is here.  Maybe I'll try it one more time, but the thought of smooshing my bits onto the bike seat with my knees smacking into my belly around doesn't sound very appealing.
Weight gain: Nothing really this week.  Holding steady at a total gain of around 30.
Other random crap:
- An older dude said to me "I feel your pain.  My wife carried twins during the summer too."  You'll recall that there's only one in there, so the only pain he was about to feel was his gonads being relocated into his stomach region.
- My sincere apologies to the checkout gal at Joann Fabrics who was on the receiving end of a gushing fountain of angry pregnancy hormones.  It was probably justified, but I'm still not proud.
- FOUR weeks until my estimated due date!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Inspiration - Pinterest Edition

A day late.  Again.  But "better late than never" certainly applies when it comes to inspiration, right?  This version comes courtesy of Pinterest.  LOTS of fun little quotes and photos (and funnies) on there to get your butt moving out the door for some exercise.  Here's a little of each.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Inspiration - Olympics Edition

I know the Olympics are just getting going, but there have already been so many inspiring moments.  Here are just a few.
P.S. Is anyone else exhausted from staying up too late watching the games?

1) Italy's Valentina Vezzali celebrates defeating Tunisia's Ines Boubakri during their women's Individual Foil quarterfinal fencing competition.
(Source: Time Magazine)

2) American Ryan Lochte wins gold in the 400 IM finals (favored Michael Phelps came in 4th).

3) Marianne Vos of the Netherlands takes first place in the women's cycling road race...after battling pouring rain for the last part of the course.
(Source: Reuters)

4) In her FIFTH (!!!) Olympics, skeet shooter Kim Rhode took gold, becoming the first American to medal in 5 games in a row.
(Source: Sporting News)

5) American gymnast Aly Raisman is overcome with emotion after realizing that she qualified for the women's all-around.
(Source: Boston Herald)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weeks 33 & 34

Week 33
7/16/2012 - 7/22/2012
Milestones: She's still cookin' in there.  Each week is a new milestone at this point.
Size of Meatball: Probably well over 4 pounds now.
Symptoms: The heartburn has reached a new level of hell.  Everything else is manageable and not even worth mentioning in comparison.
Exercise: It was a super busy week at work, which totally wiped me out.  So I only got in 1 spin class, 1 strength, and 1 run/walk (Lacamas Lake 4-Miler).
Weight gain: A little over a pound.
Bloating/Swelling: Still okay.  I'm so thankful that we live in the Pacific Northwest.  Anytime I get even a little overheated I swell up like a sumo wrestler, so I can't imagine being in any other part of the country right now.
Sleeping: Sleep?  Well, at least Ken's getting a lot.
Other random crap:
- During our maternity photo session (previews here) we were outside at a local park.  An old guy came up to us and stated to Ravyn (our awesome photographer) - "I think you're going to need a bigger camera".  And you sir, need to get your geriatric ass on down the trail before the pregnant lady sticks her cowboy boots up it.
- Why, oh why, do bathroom stalls open inward?

Week 34
7/23/2012 - 7/29/2012
Milestones: Just another week down.  6 weeks until my estimated due date.  The home birth window is 3 to 8 weeks from now.
Size of Meatball: Big.
Symptoms: Menstrual-type cramps have started.  I guess I can't complain since I've gone 8 months without them.
Exercise: I was sick all week, so I didn't get much in.  It is what it is at this point.  1 walk, 1 swim, and 2 strength sessions.  Good 'nuff.
Weight gain: You really don't care about this, do you?  Good.
Bloating/Swelling: Despite an epic weight gain, I was able to wear my rings most of the week.  Weird.
Sleeping: I know I'm a naive first time Mom, but I truly believe that I'll be more rested after baby arrives than I am now.  Go ahead and laugh, I stand by it.
Other random crap:
- I had to move the seat back in the Jeep.  I swore I wouldn't need to do it, but alas, the belly is out of my control.
- Climbing out of the pool is harder than the swim workout itself.  So is getting my fins on and off.  The Lifeguard deserves a gold medal for keeping a straight face the entire time.
- Two of my obsessions this week:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Race Report: Lacamas Lake 4 Miler

Date: 7/22/2012
Finish time = 1:13:03 (18:16/mile pace)
Pretty speedy pace, huh?  To be fair, this isn't a very easy course and it's actually a bit longer than advertised.  And, you know, that whole being 33 weeks pregnant thing.  I first ran this race back in 2007 when it was a 5k and a totally different course.  I don't remember much about it other than the route was sort of "meh" and the hill at the end was a total bitch.  The new course is pretty awesome, but the hill at the end is still there and is definitely still a total bitch.  However, you quickly forget about the hill once you get your cute little medal and stock up on the finish line freebies (Dave's Killer Bread, Muscle Milk, and Kind bars to name a few).  This year I was joined by Nads (aka Nadine aka Louise Farmer) and my awesome hubby Ken.  Nadine had a great race, and Ken stuck with me and helped to fend off the weird looks from spectators.

The 4-miler starts at the Camas High School track, heads out on paved back roads, winds through the trails of Round Lake, and then wraps up back at the track.  The trails are nice and wide, hills keep things interesting, and I imagine that even on a hot day (today was definitely not hot) that the trees would offer quite a bit of shade.  I managed to run maybe about half of the distance, but took it easy on the hills.  Baby girl is making it a lot more difficult these days - she likes to wedge/brace herself diagonally into my hips and ribs, and my lungs are pretty much out of space - but it did feel good to move my legs and get the heart rate up a bit.
I'm pretty sure this is the last race until post-baby.  Next expected race report: labor & delivery!

Weekend Inspiration

1) Badwater was this past week.  135 miles of running through Death Valley in temperatures up to 130°F.  This years winner finished in 22 hours and 52 minutes.  The last finisher finished in 47 hours 8 minutes.  I highly recommend watching the documentary "Running on the Sun".

2) Funny.

3) An alarm clock shaped as a dumbbell that requires you to do 30 bicep curls before the alarm goes off.  It's not heavy enough to count as a workout, but I bet it wakes you up and gets you thinking about fitness first thing in the morning.

4) Hard to do, but true.

5) Wiggins for the win!  Now onward to the Olympics.