39 weeks and counting…

My last draft of my blog post was at 34 weeks and I never published it.  Now, we are a mere few days away from my little one making her entry into this world.  I have been busy, but my mind is so jumbled with thoughts and emotions and I don’t always know which are my own logical thoughts and which are hormone driven thoughts.  Everyone asks me if I’m ready.  I don’t know how to answer that question.  As far as baby supplies and getting my home ready for baby – yes, I am ready.  Am I ready to be a mom? I don’t know how to be one yet, so it’s hard to say.  Ready or not, she’s coming soon and I’ll have to learn along the way.

I wanted to post today because I wanted to share some of the things that I learned from my pregnancy which may (or may not) be helpful to others.  In the grand scheme of things, my pregnancy was easier than I expected.  I’m saying that hesitantly because these last few days and have been very uncomfortable as expected. I tried to go to spin class on New Year’s Eve and I lasted a whole 9 minutes.  I just couldn’t do it.  No room for my belly and my belly band no longer fits.   Anyway — so here’s what I learned:

(1) Exercise during pregnancy is not only do-able, it’s one of the best decisions I made.  I didn’t even realize how much it helped me until I stopped a couple of weeks ago and within 2 days my hands and feet started swelling and my mood was not as perky as normal.  I taught my spinning class until 37 weeks.  I taught Zumba until 34 weeks.  Right now, walking is all I do, but I really, really try to walk every day to stop the bad pregnancy symptoms from creeping in.  There were many, many, MANY days I didn’t want to exercise and would  not have worked out had I not been the instructor.  Boy, am I glad I had to show up every day because I never regretted one single workout.  And I did workout almost every single day, sometimes more than once a day. Just do it.

(2) Maternity clothes can be super cute and stylish.  I actually ended up buying a lot of stuff from Motherhood Maternity, Target, and online at amazon. I was able to wear my own normal clothes until about 6 months. I just bought slightly bigger sizes, mostly from LOFT.  My workout clothes from Lululemon lasted me a long time. I never really needed to buy maternity workout clothes. The Lulu styles in the right sizes were great.

(3)  Belly bands!  I tried 3 before finding the one I stuck with.  I bought the Upsie Belly band from Bellybandit.com.  It’s much pricier than all the other belly bands, but well worth the money. Right now, I wear mine 24 hours a day when I can get it to fit around my huge waist. Life saver!

(4) I learned that many people, strangers, commuters, don’t care if you are pregnant and will absolutely not accommodate you unless you speak up.  I lost track of all the crazy stories of riders not giving me a seat on Metro on my daily commute.  This happened even when I was 9 months pregnant.  Unbelievable how people are totally unconnected to each other and just don’t pay attention.

(4) For the most part, no one said anything that hurt my feelings or made me feel fat, but it did happen once or twice.  Do not, and I repeat, do not as in NEVER, NEVER ask a  woman if she is having twins  and when she replies “No” ask her if she’s sure.  If a woman is having twins, she will tell you.  Also, if a woman is having a C-section and she doesn’t explain why, don’t ask her why.  There are a lot of personal reasons why she does not want to share that information, some of them medical reasons that she does not feel like sharing with you.  Just nod your head and say okay and smile.  Nothing more.

(5) You really will learn who your friends are.  I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness I received from the most unexpected people and it really made the difference.  On the flip side, there were people who I thought would be supportive, who absolutely were not and just disappeared without explanation.  Duly noted.

(6) You will get lots of advice, but most people mean well.  Just do the best you can, do what feels good, and cherish the time.  The 9 months (10 months!) will fly by and it will be over.  For those 9 months, your baby is always with you and safe.  You are never alone.  That’s the one feeling I will really miss.

(7) Eat healthy and remember, you are not eating for two in terms of quantity.  Eat healthy and choose quality foods for you and your baby.  What is good for you is good for baby.  Keep your weight in check and don’t give in to the tempting foods.  People will encourage you to eat junk food all the time, but really, your baby needs the vitamins from healthy, whole foods.  Sugar-laden sweets and carbohydrates are just not nutritious.

(8) Choose your OBGYN wisely because the two of you will become close!

That’s it for now.  I’m counting down the hours now…. Wow!

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How To Cycle During Your Pregnancy

1394386_10102183268359554_1960927195_n Here is a link to my tips on how to continue participating in an indoor cycling class throughout your pregnancy.  I knew I wanted to try to continue my classes for as long as was safely possible through my own pregnancy after watching several of pregnant riders safely make it pedaling through my classes last year.  Here’s what I’ve learned!

http://fitbottomedmamas.com/2013/10/keep-on-cycling-tips-for-pedaling-during-pregnancy/

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Whirlwind week…

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It’s been hectic, to say the least.  I work in DC and with the government shutdown (thankfully, I am still working), the shooting at the Capitol yesterday, and trying to keep up with my hectic schedule, it’s been a tough week energy wise.  I feel extremely fortunate to still be working given that so many of my friends and colleagues are sitting at home wondering when this will end.

I’m about to start week 26 of my pregnancy.  Thing are still chugging along.  Not too much to report from last week other than it’s getting tough to make it through my classes. I have to say that I didn’t expect this. I expected to be able to teach and perform in my classes (albeit at a less intensity) through most of my pregnancy.  BUT – it’s getting tough to find a comfortable position on the bike in my cycling class. The only position that feels completely comfortable is when I’m in a standing climb position, but I get winded quickly in that position, so talking and leading my class while riding is extremely tough.  When I’m sitting on the saddle, my knees are starting to make contact with my ever-growing belly.  It’s just a gentle brush of my knees, but it’s still feeling a bit uncomfortable.   At some point, I’ll have to reassess and readjust my bike position again to see what I can do. My handle bars are all the way up and my seat is adjusted to the far back position on our Schwinn bikes.  I think I just need to take some time before classes and try a few position adjustments to see what feels best.  This is good, because I’ll be better able to help my pregnant members in the future because I will understand what it feels like and I will know what adjustments to make.

I had another sonogram this week and my baby weighs 2 pounds, 1 ounce!  She was slightly annoyed when we were taking the ultrasound and she covered her face with her hands, yawned and kept turning away from us. I think it was the sound waves in the ultrasound machine that were bothering her.  It was so incredibly cute. It makes me so excited to meet and hold her.

I have my baby shower coming up in the next few weeks. I have got to get my place ready.  It’s a matter of making room for everything.  I have too much stuff!  Well, this is as good a reason as any to purge things I don’t need.

I’m finally starting to feel better about my body weight this week.  I realized that I’m really doing quite well.  I’m not overeating, I’m exercising to the best of my ability and listening to my body.  The baby is doing great and is strong and healthy so far and that’s the best news I could have gotten.  So, hopefully, I’m doing something right!

I still have issues with sleep some nights. I sweat a lot at night even with the air conditioner on and the fan blowing on me.  I can sleep comfortably otherwise.  It’s just that if I nap during the day or go to bed too early and wake up in the middle of the night, it takes hours to get back to sleep.  I’ve got to keep myself on a sleep schedule – that’s the only thing that will work to help me sleep through the night.  And as tempting as it is, I need to NOT nap during the day. Napping makes it much harder to fall asleep at night.  I think this may be beneficial when the baby is born, because if I able to take naps with her during the day and get up during the night, then I’ll be able to manage with the change in my sleep pattern.  Who knows?!  I’ll just learn to take things as they come.

Happy Friday!  99 days to go!

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Tuesday and week 24

IMG_20130922_000328I have to say that maternity fashion is pretty fun right now. I have to stop myself from buying every cute dress and outfit I see on Zulilly or Asos.  Such cute stuff.

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The last week was pretty uneventful. Just working, teaching, and trying to do baby stuff in between.  My schedule is hectic and it’s getting tougher to keep up, but it’s manageable.  I don’t always like the fact that I sit for so many hours in the day.  I try to get up and walk and I wear my Fitbit to make sure I get up to my goal of 10,000 steps a day.  Even so, with dropping the intensity of my workouts and the pregnancy weight gain, it’s tough to move around like I used to.  I know I don’t have much longer to go, I just need to learn to deal with it.

Pregnancy fitness is not what I thought it would be. I really believed I would be gung-ho, running, walking, weight lifting and eating well.  I am doing pretty well, but the extra weight slows me down as well as my mind set. This is my first child and I’m scared of doing anything too intense to put the baby at risk, so I hold myself back a lot.  I am capable of working out so much harder, but I just can’t risk causing any type of problem.  To me, it’s just one of the sacrifices I have to make.  If I decide to have another child, maybe I’ll be more comfortable working out a little harder, but for now, I have to take it day by day.  I tell myself that once I have the baby and give myself time to recover, I’ll be able to get back to my routine.  That helps.

I’m having a great time helping my friends plan my baby showers.  I’m really looking forward to seeing so many great people outside of the gym and in a relaxed atmosphere. I don’t get to do that much.  I think this baby will be a great change in my life.  I’ve been teaching group fitness for more than 7 years without a break.  This will be my first time taking more than a 2 week break ever since I started. I think all fitness instructors do need that break, and I needed a reason like this to take one – otherwise, I’d just keep going.  I know myself.  No pain, no gain.  Work, work, work. Don’t miss a beat.  Be perfect.  I think my perfectionist attitude is about to be thrown out the window once the baby shows up. I wonder what kind of mother I will be.  Overprotective – definitely.  Anxious – yes.  These things I know.  But will I be patient?  Will I be able to deal with the surprises and challenges that face me day in and out?  I don’t know.

I’m rambling now.  Let me get my mind focused and back to work.   My final trimester is coming up soon!

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23-24 weeks and counting!

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Week 23 and my little peanut is the size of a grapefruit now.  She’s very active and I’m guessing she’s probably practicing her exercises for when she comes out to meet the world! I love that little sonogram picture- so adorable!

I’m feeling great so far. I am learning NOT to take naps during the day on the weekends so I can sleep during the night and that has been helping. The pregnancy apps are saying that I might be experiencing cramping, lower back pain, and swollen feet and ankles – but I really haven’t been having any of those symptoms except for some lower back pain when I sit at my desk all day.  I have not had any cravings, have been able to eat healthy and I do credit keeping a regular exercise routine with having such a great pregnancy so far.  Let’s hope this keeps up!  My weight gain has also been good so far and on the normal scale.  I have been gaining some extra fat in my legs, but my upper body and face don’t seem to be showing much weight gain, which I find to be a little strange, but not.  My lower body always seems to gain weight at a faster rate than the rest of my body.

My mood has been fantastic as well.  My coworkers and friends constantly tell me that I seem so much happier and I truly am.  It’s just a wonderful feeling to be carrying this little miracle that I’ve waited for my whole life and I’m just so thankful and grateful for the blessings I’ve had in my life. I never want to take them for granted.

So workouts for this week – I did teach my spin classes yesterday, but I took it easy.  My eating was healthy – egg white omelets, salad, veggies, chicken meatballs and lots of fruit.  Today’s menu so far has consisted of egg whites and oatmeal, with soup and a salad planned for lunch. I teach Zumba tonight and plan to do some light weight lifting in the morning.

Ahhh. I can feel her kicking as I type this. It doesn’t freak me out as much as it did before.  I’m still planning out dates for my baby shower and my parents are SO excited.  My mom is buying little nursery items for my room at home when I spend some of my maternity leave with them.  It’s so cute to see how excited my parents are to become grandparents.  I can see the joy it brings them and it makes me happy as well.

I’m really trying to focus on the positive and not let things stress me out.  It works wonders when you try to be considerate even when people or little things annoy you. I have to appreciate what I have and where I am in my life at this moment in time – because these moments are fleeting…

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Monday – 22 weeks and counting!

 

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Time still seems like it’s flying by.  We are almost halfway through September and I only have 18 weeks to go.  I am really starting to feel huge already, but the baby has at least another 5-6 pounds to gain and I’m not sure really where all that extra weight and space is going to fit on my body.  My back is already starting to feel a little bit of the strain of carrying the extra weight.

I’m still trying to cope with my weird sleeping habits.  I woke up at 1am last night and never went back to sleep.  Granted, I fell asleep around 9PM, but I had a full day, taught my 2 spin classes and thought I would sleep through the night.  It didn’t happen – and this happens frequently.  I have to force myself to go to bed a little later or to get up really early, workout, and then I can usually sleep through the night.  It’s not the baby.  Her kicks don’t wake me up and she doesn’t seem to move all that much when I’m sleeping (her favorite time to kick me is when I’m watching television in the evening).  I have no idea why I wake up, wide awake in the middle of the night.  And it’s not the kind of awake where I’m kind of sleepy and can lull myself back to sleep  – no, it’s the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kind of wide awake.  I eventually got up, watched a little television, started reading, did some dishes and then just stared at the wall until it was time to get up. And of course, I started to doze off when the alarm went of at 7am.  Figures.   Well, I have to teach a late zumba class tonight and will probably not get to bed until close to 11PM – midnight.  I should be able to sleep through the night tonight.  I hope.

Here’s my 22 week picture. Another selfie :-)

IMG_20130906_113302 We’re getting there.  My mind was pretty productive while I lay awake last night. I’ve figured out part of my birthing plan, which is good. I thought about the days and weeks after the baby is born and started planning who I needed around to help me through.  Productive thinking.

No cravings on the food front.  I’m really surprised that my appetite hasn’t changed much and I’m doing fine with just about all foods.  I’m eating a lot of green vegetables and getting in my lean proteins, healthy carbs, and vitamins.   I’ve still be dealing with a little bit of shortness of breath, but that’s to be expected.

Anxiety has been a problem though. I’m worrying myself about a lot of things now that I am going to responsible for another life.  It’s scary to think that I will have complete responsibility for another living human being who depends solely on me.  Yes, I’m 36 and seem much more capable than a lot of other people, I’m sure, but that doesn’t help me to settle the feelings of anxiety.  I just want to do everything I can to take care of her.   I haven’t even met her yet, and she’s already become the love of my life.  Let me stop here before my hormones start making me cry on the keyboard as I write this!

 

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Reason 105 I love being a girl…

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I get to dress my own baby girl in the cutest clothing! And I love these little flower headbands. I know I’m going to buy about a million of these by the time she is born.  Knowing my luck, she’ll probably grow up wanting to be a tom boy!

The scale going up is a good thing.  A very good thing, especially now that my little girl is growing, but mentally, it’s messing with my psyche.  My brain understands that this was going to happen, but somehow, I’m still not quite prepared.

I feel good today. I woke up this morning and taught a 45 minute cycling class. I am teaching zumba later tonight.  I definitely notice a boost in my mood when I workout.  It’s been wonderful.

Last night, I definitely felt the baby moving.  I was sitting on the couch, watching television with my hand on my belly and a little kick, just strong enough to make my own hand jump up, came from my belly.  Now, I assumed I’d be the kind of woman who would be all gushy and say “Oh, how cute! I feel the baby move.”  Instead, I jumped up – freaked out – and started running in circles around my apartment around trying to make it stop.  Nice.  If I was watching myself, I would have thought how pathetic (and amusing) I must have looked. I’ll get it together – I swear.  I just need to get used to the idea that there is a living being nestled in my body.  It’s weird and fascinating all at once!

22 weeks tomorrow! I’ll post pictures soon!

 

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