Anyway, I'd like to offer a heartfelt congrats to all the moms who did that Ironman today. I look forward to one day carrying my kid(s) across the finish line of an Ironman.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Anyway, I'd like to offer a heartfelt congrats to all the moms who did that Ironman today. I look forward to one day carrying my kid(s) across the finish line of an Ironman.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
For my next adventure I'm going to figure out a way to sneak out the front door. I see the Woman Who Swallowed a Basketball and the guy who pets me all the time go out that door everyday. And doggie goes too... and she always seems so excited about it when she gets to go. There must be something awesome out there. I've tried a couple times already to sneak out, but the Woman Who Swallowed a Basketball always stops me. One of these days I'll go for the Great Escape so I can explore the Land Beyond the Front Door.
Anyway, mom, stay safe out there in Kuwait and don't worry about me. I'm doing fine. When are you coming home?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
After a quick outdoor shower I headed over for my monthly prenatal check-up. Scott always meets me there (my MD is about a block down the road from his office). I'm sorry to report that we don't have any ultrasound pics to show this time... she did do the ultrasound, but more just to check measurements and growth of the baby. It's really too big to get any good shots right now, but we did see the head (which seems to get exponentially bigger every time) and the belly (also looks pretty big- even bigger than the head!). She said baby weighs 4 pounds, which means it's doubled from last month! I'm glad to know that actually because I feel like I've been super hungry lately (eating all the time again, including in the middle of the night) so baby must have gone through a growth spurt in the last month. Heart rate was 119 which was quite a bit lower than last time (150). She said she thinks that might be because baby's super fit since he/she's been exercising with me everyday. Ha! Low heart rate... isn't that supposed to indicate a boy? But my mom said since I'm carrying straight out in front that it must be a girl? Still sitting on pins and needles!
I asked Dr about my Braxton Hicks contractions... I'm having plenty of them... but not an alarming amount... she said she thought that was very good news- that my uterus is getting ready to do it's thing. She said that women who don't feel the contractions ahead of time tend to get to their due date but still nothing is happening. She thought my BH contractions might indicate that I would go a week or so early, which I'd be thrilled about. Partly because 9 more weeks of pregnancy sounds so much better than 10 more weeks of pregnancy... and partly because my mom is flying out from Ohio for the month of November to help, and logic would say better that the baby is here already so she actually has something to help with other than just waiting impatiently and watching me get bigger everyday. ;)
So I've graduated to the 2 week cycle of Dr visits rather than the 4 week schedule I've been on all along. That seems like progress.
The best part about these MD appointments (besides hearing that baby is all healthy and growing as expected) is that we schedule them at 11:30 so I get to go to lunch with my awesome husband after each one. That's a real treat in the middle of the week. :)
Monday, August 25, 2008
I think up until this weekend the whole thing was just too much of an abstract concept. It all happened so fast (the pregnancy) so I didn't spend tons of time before getting pregnant dreaming of having a baby and being a mom. I haven't spent a ton of time around other moms and little babies (most of my training friends don't have 'em).
Over the last 7 months I've spent lots of time reading books and internet websites and talking to people about what it's like going through pregnancy and the first year and all that. I've now personally experienced many of the pregnany issues that just about all pregnant women go through. But again, it was all still too abstract. We've had the baby shower, have most of the stuff we'll need, and are preparing the nursery, but still...
It took a good swift kick in the ribs to make it real.
I've heard other women talk about being kicked in the ribs, but it hadn't happened to me. My baby is so low that I didn't think it could even reach my ribs. All the movements I've felt have been down in my pelvic area- never really felt anything above my belly button. And the movements have really been pretty isolated. So I guess, in my imagination, my little bean was still just that, a little bean, even though my whole abdomen has been growing by the minute.
Well it's not just a little bean anymore. After I got kicked in the ribs, the whole baby rolled itself over and I felt just how big it is in there. It stretches from my ribs to my lower pelvis. I can't slouch when I'm sitting anymore because it gets squished and retaliates.
There might also be something about knowing the baby is head down (finally- it's been breech for most of the time thus far). Seems more in a launch position now which is another reality check.
I asked Scott this weekend if he was nervous at all.
"I... I... I... I... Yes."
Well that makes two of us.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Clearly, Hoku doesn't need much prodding and would gladly take herself to the beach if she could. In fact, Scott said that when she was a pup and he lived within walking distance to the beach, she would do just that.
This is a happy dog.
Too cool that the dog will clean garbage out of the ocean when given the chance. Good girl, Hoku!
My goal at the beach yesterday was to get in a deep water ocean run. 30 minutes. There happened to be a pretty good wind swell at Kailua Beach yesterday so it was a bit challenging to get beyond the waves to water deep enough to not touch. Scott got my challenge on video tape.
Eventually I made it past the waves (sans hat) and actually had some fun during my 30 minutes. It went by faster than pool running as ocean running in conditions like that is more comparable to trail running. And the whole time my husband and dog had a blast playing in the waves. At one point Scott came out to try running with me. He lasted about 10 seconds and then found it more fun to body surf the waves so that was the end of that. He probably had the right idea!
We got a beach belly shot. This is almost 30 weeks. I think it's pretty obvious how low I'm carrying. Baby boy? Hmmm?
10 more weeks to go!
Friday, August 22, 2008
So what's a pregnant triathlete got left? The swim of course... Awesome that I still get to do one of the three, but honestly, swimming 6 days a week is getting old. I needed something else. And then finally, it came to me... water running!
Deep water running hadn't even crossed my mind as a form of pregnancy exercise. It's been a long time since I've been injured and unable to run, which is when most desperate athletes turn to the pool to get their run workout in. But I swear, what better way to get running in when you've got a massively enlarged uterus that's overcrowding your bladder? Duh.
Yesterday after I swam, I made my way to the deep end of the pool and gave running my best effort. 15 minutes. Not bad for starters. This morning I made it for 20. I don't feel like such a dork running by myself in the deep end because in the shallow end there are a bunch of old ladies who get together for their daily water exercise class. Seriously, I should just join them.
I'm sure I could go longer, but the boredom factor sets in so I'll need some more stimulation before going longer. I'm working on recruiting my almost-due-pregnant-friend-Kelley to meet me at the beach so we can water run and chat together... shoot, an hour on the phone with her goes by like the blink of an eye (is your baby room ready and who's your pediatrician and how often are your braxton hicks and how's your husband dealing with your meltdowns?) so we might as well be enjoying the ocean and getting a little muscle tone back while we chat, right? ;)
I swear, I think my quads are actually a little sore from my "run" this AM. Wow, that feels great.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
She would be easy to hate, except that I admire her so much. She's totally my inspiration.
Later in the morning I was out walking Hoku as she was returning from her run. We stopped to chat... I swear, she's the cutest thing ever. Maybe even cuter than her baby, which is a tall order because he's a doll. Anyway, what an inspiration! Not a thing about her looks frazzled. If she were your only new mommy role model, you'd think early parenting was a total breeze. Her baby rarely cries. She showed me what he does when he's hungry- he just starts sucking on his bottom lip. Time to feed. See how easy that is? He loves his baby jogger. They started back running last week and she feels great, while of course he's a happy as a clam to be outside and able to take in the scenery. He was sleeping through the night after about a month. Now at 3 months he's in the 95% percentile for height and weight (his dad is 6'5"), so the strong kid can already sit up on his own. She doesn't mean to brag, but this is easy!!
Man, I need to stop reading all those books that scare me into thinking the parenting is hard and just copy Erica. The Power of Positive Thinking, right?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I'm not so thrilled about having gained 16 pounds and feeling huge. And I'm not so thrilled about having to hold back everytime I exercise so I don't put myself into oxygen debt (thereby putting my little one into oxygen debt by default). I'm not so thrilled about having to sleep on my side every night and peeing every hour on the hour... but alas, these things are all temporary. In a few more months I'll be back in my old (non-stretchy waist) shorts and sleeping soundly on my belly (we do get to sleep after the baby is born, don't we?)
But pregnancy also has some pretty positive effects for me too. I mentioned previously in another blog that I think I'm protected from man-o-war stings which is cool. But lately, I've found another even more positive thing... my breathing is better! I'd heard that sometimes pregnancy hormones protect you from chronic disorders like asthma, but wasn't sure that would actually be the case?
I've struggled for the last 14 months or so with breathing issues... stemming from a virus I caught last summer that ended up in bronchitis and just never left my lungs. I was finally diagnosed (after Ironman last year) with Restrictive Breathing Disorder, which is different from your typical asthma which is more of a Reactive Breathing Disorder. I've never had an asthma attack, but I have felt short of breath on a pretty constant level for quite some time. I guess my bronchial tubes were just chronically inflamed and constricted, making it tough to feel like I could get a full breath. Hence, the restrictive part.
My pulmonologist finally put me on high dose Advair, which I have had to take twice a day for the last year. I was always able to tell when the medication would start wearing off, because every 12 hours around the clock I would start to feel the shortness again. Luckily, high dose Advair worked for me, and as long as I was taking it consistently, I was able to breath just fine.
But lately I haven't been feeling the same shortness every 12 hours. I hypothesized that maybe I could start titrating myself down to a lower dose. So my pulmonologist gave me samples of the medium and low doses a few weeks ago. Sure enough, I spent about a week on the medium dose, felt like maybe I could cut it down to the low dose... and after about a week on low dose, I just stopped all together! I haven't taken a dose of Advair in 4 days now and my breathing feels normal. YEA!
So I'm not altogether sure why my breathing miraculously got better... maybe the pregnancy hormones, but maybe because I'm not swimming, biking, and running myself into the ground anymore? I used to train 15+ hours a week and now I'm just exercising maybe 6 hours a week total. But I've been doing that for 6 months now so not sure why the change is finally happening? It'll be interesting to see if my breathing stays normal after baby is born... and after I start training again? I feel like the human body experiment... but I'll take it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Anyway, another thing that struck me while watching last night was the close relationships some of the athletes have with their moms. In particular, Michael Phelps and Jamaica's Usain Bolt. All week we watched Phelps immediately look for his mom in the stands after each of his wins. And after his final one last night, he asked the hundreds of photograghers to part so he could make his way up to his family and hug his mom.
And soon, I'll get to be the mom... and I'll feel that same unwaivering love and support for my little one, no matter what he/she chooses to do with his/her life. Cool.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I hopped in the lane next to Bruce and began my usual pokey 1000m warm-up swim. I used to be able to keep up with Mike and Bruce (actually, I used to school them in the water but for purposes of this story let's just say that I could keep up). It was obvious how much faster than me they were swimming and it made me start to think. I did some of my thinking outloud once we were all stopped together at the wall...
Me: "I wonder why I'm so slow right now... is it just because I haven't pushed myself in 6 months, or is it actually due to the physical changes I'm going through... like is my big belly actually causing a lot of drag that slows me down? Or does the baby take up so much of my energy that I just don't have enough left to go fast?"
Bruce: "Oh, it's just that you've been swimming slow. When you swim slow all the time you just can't swim fast anymore. I mean, look at whales. They can swim fast..."
Me: (With my jaw dropped open, directed at the lifeguard who was also listening to our conversation) "Did he just say that? Did he actually just compare me to a whale?"
Kris the Lifeguard: (Saying what should be said to all pregnant women everyday) "Don't listen to him, Michelle. You look great."
We all had a good laugh as Bruce stuck his foot in his mouth. Then I proceeded to beat Bruce to the wall in all 5 of the 200's we did. And then all 5 of the 100's. I guess whales can swim.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
So what if men could get pregnant? What if it were a choice for the couple to make? Honey, why don't you do the fetus developing this time around? Imagine how that would go...
No beer drinking.
No soccer playing.
No surfing once your belly is too big to paddle.
No sleeping on your stomach. Or your back.
Peeing 75 times/day.
I'm not sure men could handle it. You know how most men are when they get sick... very dramatic... can't get off the couch type stuff when they have a cold. There must be a reason why women were the chosen ones to handle the awesome responsibility of growing babies.
But then I also got to thinking... what if Scott really was the one with the growing baby? How would I feel having missed out on the little changes that you notice... the first fluttering movement... the first real kick... the first time you see your belly move with the bigger kicks... the odd odd thought that there is a little person inside of me! I think I would feel left out in some way if rather than experiencing these things I was just hearing about them second hand from Scott. Crazy enough, I think I would actually feel some degree of jealousy of what he would be experiencing.
My guess is that it gets even better for us pregnant women. We'll get a gold medal for the laboring process (we do get a gold medal, don't we?), and then we get the satisfaction of knowing that we grew this little one. We took care of it while it was developing inside us, and we'll take care of it while it develops in the outside world. That's pretty cool.
Anyway, I gotta go. Have to go pee again.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Anyway, ever since I've been parked on my couch watching NBC's Olympic coverage. Incredible. Wow. How did he do that? Oh my gosh! Wow. Scott and I have been amazed all day at those athletes! Michael Phelps is about to swim the finals of the 400IM... my mission all day has been to avoid hearing on the news if he has won or not (stay away from the news and headlines on the internet!! I really like watching for myself without knowing the end results first). And all day, baby has been more active than ever! *Constant* kicking and moving and rolling around in there... I think baby is telling me that he/she wants to come out and play too!! Not yet, little one. In fact, you're confined to your little uterine space for almost 3 more months so you will develop into a strong enough human so you can play with the rest of us later... :)
Friday, August 8, 2008
And now it's even more fun! I ordered this Splish custom suit a few weeks ago and have started wearing it this week. I like it! I was afraid that it night not fit- I've been wearing a 2 piece most of the time, but was starting to feel funny about that b/c my belly is getting so big... but also felt funny in my regular swim suits b/c they weren't fitting so well anymore... I ordered this one a size bigger than I would normally order, and these suits run a little big anyway, and it also seems to stretch (A LOT)... so my belly fits in it. For now anyway.
I'm going to participate in a 2.3 mile ocean swim race tomorrow on the north shore. For me, it's a 2.3 mile ocean swim event. I suppose others will be racing. I'll just be participating. :) But I'll be glad to be out there. I love swimming on the north shore in the summer...
Thursday, August 7, 2008
There's no way I was developing gestational diabetes. No way. The treatment (if you get it) is to adjust your eating and exercise habits more toward healthy. But I already exercise about an hour a day, which is probably pushing it as far as 3rd trimester pregnancy goes. And I already eat as well as I possibly can (I'd challenge just about anyone if they think they eat more fruits and veggies than me)... so what could I possibly change if I have blood sugar that's out of whack?? I can't have gestational diabetes. No way.
I call the doctor back. It's not diabetes. It's anemia. Oh, that totally makes sense. I've been anemic most of my life. And anemia is pretty common toward the end of pregnancy. Partly because my blood volume is increased over what it normally would be, so therefore the amount of red blood cells appears to be lower. Also because the baby is gonna take what it needs before I get what I need, so maybe it's got all my iron? Could also be that I haven't been eating much meat lately- mostly b/c I'm too lazy to cook it. Anyway, the doctor recommended iron supplements, which I've taken in the past and they've never worked, but I'll start taking them again since she told me to. And I sent an email to Scott letting him know what doc said.
Scott came home from work yesterday with a pound of ground beef and announced that we were having burgers for dinner. I cooked them in the iron skillet. Problem solved? Probably not quite yet, but we'll keep working on it!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
~1. I'm married! What a wonderful blessing it has been to be married to Scott. He's the best. Without him, the rest of these things would be unimaginably scary.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Really cool. On Sunday (after lunch at the island), Scott and I went into town to see The Bodies Exhibit. It's in Honolulu for the next several months and I'd heard from several people how cool it is... so we thought it would be a good way to spend the afternoon. And we were right!
The website says the following about the Exhibit:
This Exhibition--which features actual human specimens--allows people of all ages access to sights and knowledge normally reserved only for medical professionals. Take the opportunity to peer inside yourself, to better understand how your elaborate and fascinating body works, and how you can become a more informed participant in your own health care.
It's true too. Since I've had some exposure to several of the different body systems with my previous career in pharmaceutical sales, much of it was familiar to me. But to actually see the preserved body parts was amazing. The best parts (for me) included:
~The Cardiovascular room where they showed the extent of the venous system. Not sure exactly how they did it, but apparently they were able to fill the arteries, veins and capillaries of a recently deceased person with a substance that hardens and then they melted away everything but the hardened substance... leaving you to view all the tiniest capillaries and how they serve every bit of the body. It really went beyond what I'd imagined it would look like. Amazing that our bodies create this extensive system to meet the needs of our working muscles...
~The Fetal Development room where they showed stages of fetal development from 18 days until 24 weeks. It's incredible that the cells start to differentiate within just a few weeks of conception... and then you just see it grow and become more human for the next several months. I was especially looking forward to seeing the 24 week fetus- I'm just about 27 weeks now so all I could think was, "Our baby is bigger than that inside me right now?" I thought the 24 week baby looked pretty darn big already.
Makes you realize (yet again) what an amazing miracle the human body is!
Monday, August 4, 2008
Interesting point- my left arm got caught up in a man-o-war tentacle during my swim. This happens a lot out in these waters. Usually it hurts (A LOT!) right when it happens, then after a minute or so goes away. Then, for me, comes back as a major itchy rash about 12-24 hours later. Weird thing though yesterday- my whole arm got wrapped in the tentacle. I had to stop and swipe it off me. But hardly any pain. Just a little bit when it first happened. And today? No rash. I'm wondering if I've got some pregnant hormones that protect me from ocean creature stings? Who knows. Like I've said before, my pregnant body does all sorts of weird things. I guess some of 'em are good! Anyway...
The island was as crowded as I'd ever seen it (maybe b/c it was such a nice summer day?) Lots of kayakers and boaters hanging out there. I think I was the only pregnant woman who swam out there. ;) Here's a little video Scott took of the scenery for those of you who have never been there.
I saw this video and couldn't believe how BIG my belly looks! Actually, I can believe it. I carry it around all day and even try to sleep with it at night. And it has 3 more months to grow. Holy cow.
But baby needs to eat, so I consumed my sandwich like a good mom-to-be. Not a bad place to have lunch, don't ya think?
Friday, August 1, 2008
If the two don't have any physical barriers between them, Monti sometimes goes into submission... even though he doesn't appear to have any fear.
So it's quite the comical scene over here at times... but the animals keep us entertained. I hear that once the baby comes all three of them are gonna get quite a bit less attention... Luckily they're all pretty low maintenance...
I have to give a special thanks to my step brother and sister (Brian and Jennifer!) for the gift cards to Williams Sonoma. In some of my free time this week I made it over to the mall to go on a very fun shopping spree in that store. Among other things, I purchased 2 Reidel wine glasses. There's something about drinking wine out of a really nice crystal glass... but alas, wine is not on the current approved list for this gal... so I substitute the carrot juice! Seems like a fair trade (for now anyway).
*Of note, when juicing carrots, don't plan on making a bunch and storing it in your fridge for later. Apparently, carrot juice ferments rather quickly, so when you take it out of your fridge the next day and shake it in its glass bottle, it'll explode all over your kitchen when you open the bottle. Not that I have direct experience with this or anything... ;)