Happy Mother’s Day

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I stood in the aisle looking at Mother’s Day cards and realized that there was no Hallmark card suitable to honor/celebrate/thank my mother on May 8th. 

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My mom has filled numerous shoes over the past few weeks – mom, grandmom, friend, lunch buddy, shopping companion, personal driver, dish washer, chef, maid, babysitter, therapist. As I officially became a mom, she was right there with me. The job never ends…even as a fully functioning, married, and (mostly) self-capable woman, there are times when I just need my “mommy”.  After a very stressful day in the NICU I had a moment where I just broke down and needed my mom to sit with me while I cried. It has truly been a blessing to have a mother who can literally move in and help us out because as it turns out, keeping a tiny human alive, a house in some semblance of order and food on the table (err couch) takes a village! 
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I am so glad I was able to give my mother another grandson. She is a natural and she just lights up when she holds James – even at 4am when we are both half mostly asleep. I will always look back at these first few weeks that we got to spend together as a unique time in all of our lives. Grandmothers are super special and I know both of my parents treasure this special time in their lives where they get to spoil rotten their 4 grandkids. They might be retired from their full time jobs but their second career as kick-ass grandparents certainly keeps them busy and fulfilled.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done over the last 8 weeks and most importantly, for teaching me how to be a mother by being the best example possible. XOXO

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Squirt’s Nursery

I had so much fun putting together our “Under the Sea” themed nursery for our little guy. It is the tiniest room in our house (suitable for the tiniest member) and previously was our auxiliary storage so took pretty much my whole pregnancy to put together. I tried not to go overboard on the ocean themed decor and I think it’s whimsical but tasteful. I’ve never really intentionally decorated a room before so it was kind of fun to pick things out and see how everything worked in the space.

The nickname “Squirt” came from my husband when James was in the NICU and I find it to be strangely endearing for some reason. I’m sure he’ll outgrow his “little squirt” name but in the meantime, it seem to be sticking around.

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The details: IMG_9254 (1)

Dresser: Pottery Barn Fillmore in Simply White

Changing Pad and Cover: Pottery Barn

Floating shelf: Home Depot

Wipe dispenser: Oxo (Amazon)

Dinosaur and Duck were gifts from the nurses in the NICU. “My first NICI” bunny was a gift from my sister after James was born.

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Crib: Pottery Barn Fillmore in Simply White

Crib Sheets: “Vintage” 2013 Pottery Barn from when Kristen was pregnant with my nephew Will. I saw these and fell in love and knew that they would be perfect for our future little one.

Quilt: Hand made by my lovely friend Caitlin. I gave her very little direction and it is perfect, I love the colors and pattern!

Decorative wall decor: Target party supply (from my baby shower)

“Nar Bear” is a teddy bear my parents got when they were in Switzerland, they got one for all future grandchildren. “Nar Bunny” is a gift from Grandmom Brown when James decided to arrive before Easter, he’s 19 inches long, just like James 🙂

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Diaper pail: Arm and Hammer (Target)

Rocking Chair: Antique from my Grandparents house

Cross-stitched blanket from my amazing mother. I picked this out a few years ago (on sale a Michael’s I believe) before babies were really even on my radar. I love how it turned out and it was a true labor of love.

“bAby” sign: Handmade by my coworker, part of a diaper cake tricycle that she made for my work baby shower.

*Still working on rocking chair cushions, this one actually went back to the store even though the color was perfect, it was just too small for the seat.

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Nightstand: Pottery Barn Fillmore in Simply White

Lamp/Shade: Target

Curtains: Target

Diaper cake is from my baby shower hosted by my sister.

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Blanket organizer: Target (idea from Pinterest)

Hamper: Burlington Coat Factory

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This is my favorite room in our house and I’ll be a little sad when we move out of this place in about 2 months but it’ll be fun to set it up again in our next place. Even when I was pregnant I’d go in and sit and talk to our little one or read him books. He doesn’t currently sleep in his nursery but it’s still such a wonderful little room and great for storage of ALL the baby things. It’s an ongoing project and I love adding little details when I see something that fits the space. We are commissioning a painting from a family friend to eventually hang on the wall and we plan swap out the rocking chair for a more practical glider/ottoman once we have more space.

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5 things i’ve learned in the first month as a “mom”

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  1. Grandmom’s are priceless
  2. You can survive on far less sleep than originally anticipated
  3. Target is mom mecca
  4. The human body is f-ing amazing
  5. A shower, real clothes (leggings count) and fresh air are the cure for a tough day

James, you truly are my greatest adventure and I can’t imagine life without you. You have me and your dad wrapped around your teeny tiny fingers and as I tell you about a dozen times a day “you are my favorite” (shh, don’t tell daddy). I love you even when you are sassy but mainly because it means I get to snuggle you until you calm down. I won’t say it’s been easy but it has totally been worth it. You’ve already grown so much but i’m excited to see the little person you turn into.

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When things don’t go as planned…

“ECV, IUGR, SGA, NST, BPP were all foreign acronyms for me until about 2 months ago. I didn’t have any crazy birth plan but I did expected to have a “normal” labor/delivery and to breastfeed my baby. Having a breech baby, cesarean, NICU baby, needing to pump, bottle feed and supplement with formula were not part of my game plan and I felt a bit caught off guard.

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I had a super smooth sailing pregnancy, no crazy morning sickness, no issues, very reasonable weight gain, no crazy discomfort. Checkups were a breeze, I was still running and feeling great! At my 36 week checkup the doctor that changed. My doctor noted that I was measuring a bit small. I went in for an ultrasound and discovered that our son was measuring about 3 weeks behind schedule and was estimated around 4lbs 4oz….I was in shock. During the ultrasound they also noticed that he was in the breech position…double whammy. Information overload as I discussed with the doctor the game plan for our little tyke. We scheduled a version attempt for the following week, plans for a cesarean if that was unsuccessful and the game plan for 2-3x/week check-ins to make sure little dude was still happy and healthy. I was told to reduced my activity (read: no more running/long walks) and increase my calories a little bit in order to maximize the amount of nutrients going to the baby. The timing of this Rx from the doctor along with girl scout cookie season was perfection 🙂

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The ECV (external cephalic version) is an attempt to rotate the baby into the head down position in order to have a normal vaginal delivery.  The procedure was done in triage (outpatient) at the hospital we planned to have our baby. It was done by my OB and does have a low risk of resulting in emergency c-section so my mom flew in early to be with me (Michael was out of town on training). It was an exceptionally uncomfortable procedure and our baby refused to move more than about 90 degrees in each direction…version fail. We scheduled a c-section for Tuesday, March 29th with more follow-up appointments. The “when would you like to have your baby?” is a question I didn’t expect to be asked. For the ~2 weeks after the version attempt, we alternated NST (non-stress test) and BPP (biophysical profile) ultrasounds to check in on the little one and make sure he was still happy and healthy. So long as he was not showing signs of being stressed in utero, the doctors planned to keep him cooking until 39 week to help with development.

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The official term is IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction) and is a form of SGA (small for gestational age). The cause is often unknown but webmd has enough information to cause me to freak out a bit. Even though I know it was in no way my fault, it still hurts to know that my body was failing our growing son.  After delivery, they noted that my placenta was quite small and likely just became less efficient as passing on nutrients. Thankfully, in most cases, the babies are able to gain weight quickly after they are no longer receiving nutrients exclusively from mom and live normal lives.

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Our son was born 4lb 4oz, exactly as they had projected at my 36 week ultrasound. I briefly mentioned my disappointment in not being able to exclusively breast feed in James’ birth story. Instead of completely throwing in the towel on breast feeding, I opted to go the more challenging route which involves round the clock pumping, bottles, and formula supplementing. I, of course, planned to do some pumping when I returned to work and so that we could leave James with just daddy or relatives on occasion but I wasn’t prepared to start from Day 1. Pumping is zero fun, it involves a ton of dishes, is uncomfortable, and is just not the same as breast feeding. I can totally see how easy it is to throw in the towel and switch to straight formula if you need to supplement. Michael and my mom have been a huge help to assist with bottle feeding (and the endless pump supply washing) while I pump so that I can get a little more sleep at night. I am happy that I am able to provide breastmilk to our little guy because I do feel like it is very important. I am lucky that I have a healthy milk supply but it comes with a lot of work.

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James’ NICU stay was tough but the facility and nurses at Rex hospital made it a very welcoming environment for us and James. Since he was born a little premature (and his size put him in preemie category), he needed a few days in the NICU to help regulate his blood sugar and then to work on his feeding. Watching your tiny baby get his heel pricked 34 (!!!) times to test blood sugar was brutal and it was an exhausting emotional roller coaster. It was a very scary few days but I knew he was in good hands and that in the grand scheme of things, his issues were very common. It was quite possibly the longest and hardest 6 days of my life but we survived.

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It’s been challenging but this little guy make it totally worth it in every way possible. The lack of sleep, extra doctor appointments, endless dishes, dry/cracked hands, pumping, bottle prep,  million diapers, etc. are a small price to pay for this little miracle:

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The Story of James Thomas

Warning: This is not your storybook, picture perfect labor and delivery but it’s how our son, James Thomas entered the world and I wanted to document it because it was a pretty magical day for us!

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Thursday, March 24th started off with an early morning doctors appointment to check in on our little dude. 2 hours later, the nurse practitioner declared that he had failed his non-stress testing. His heart rate dipped 2x on the NST (non-stress test) where they hook you up to fetal monitors and let you hang out in a recliner for 30+ mins and he got dinged on one of his checks on the BPP (biophysical profile) ultrasound. So, they sent us to the hospital for further monitoring and to meet with the on-call doctor. The same doctor that did my external cephalic version (flip the breech baby attempt) the week prior came by and said that since we are only a few days early from my scheduled c-section and I was already full-term and over 38 weeks “let’s just go ahead and deliver”….eeek!! I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat as the news sunk in…it was finally baby day!

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I spent the next few hours hanging out in the hospital triage and texting all necessary parties including sending out a bunch of work emails since I was planning to work till Friday. I had eaten a banana before my doctors appointment so they wanted to wait until the afternoon before going into surgery as a precaution. I was hooked up to fetal monitors, IV line in, blood drawn, and prepped for surgery. Finally, around 4pm, completely starving, they wheeled me off to the OR. I was very calm which was kind of strange but just super excited to finally meet our son. The OR is about what I expected, filled with machines and doctors and nurses. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me the spinal which was pretty uncomfortable but very quick.  It wasn’t as weird as I expected to be awake and operated on. They put up a big curtain and then Michael came in and sat right next to my head. I just spent the entire time staring and chatting with Michael, keeping him from passing out and to ease our nervous energy. I can’t even remember what all we discussed but somehow we filled the time and it was such a weird bonding experience. All the doctors and nurses were super nice and really put me at ease which I think helped with me having a very positive c-section experience.

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The one strange part of a cesarean is that you can still feel some pressure as they are getting the baby out. It doesn’t hurt but you are aware that something is happening. The doctor announced that he was in fact a boy (horray!) and finally he was out. He didn’t scream at first which is quite common for cesarean babies because they are in shock and still have fluid in their lungs. They had told me that the nurse would show me the baby before whisking him off to get checked out in the adjacent room. Because of his small size, I guess they bypassed this step which freaked me the f*ck out. I quickly asked for some reassurance that in fact, my baby was ok and then I finally heard him scream from the other room…a huge rush of relief washed over me. Michael went to the room next door to take some photos of the first few minutes of James’ life while he got weighed, measured and checked outed. He then came back in holding our son and they let us have a few minutes together where I got to see him for the first time and it was magical and emotional and I won’t ever forget that moment. We had pretty much decided on the name beforehand but didn’t announce it until he had arrived. After we saw him we officially decided that he would be named James Thomas Anderson 🙂

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Michael and James went to the recovery room while the doctors and nurses finished stitching me up. Not going to lie, it really sucked to lay there on the operating table and not get to spend the first 20-30 minutes with him but I’m so glad his daddy was there to be with him. They then wheeled me down to recovery and I saw my mom in the hallway and immediately burst into happy tears. A nice nurse had given her the inside scoop that she could hang out there instead of the waiting room to get an early glimpse of us as we were transported to recovery and it was so special to have her there.

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In my preparing for childbirth class, they had explained the recovery room as a chance for the 3 of us to bond for an hour…in our case, not so much. James’ blood sugar was quite low and they wanted to immediately start him on formula. I was very adamant that I wanted to try to breast feed first. It was crazy and hectic but the first time I got to hold my son was a screaming attempt to get him to breast feed. I had no idea what I was doing and he didn’t either and it was tough, I cried, he cried, it failed. They took him back and started feeding him formula to get his blood sugar up. I was pretty upset but knew that I had no choice in the matter and that it was the best decision for him. Most of our time in recovery was the nurses checking my blood pressure (it was a bit high from the surgery/drugs) and James sitting in the warming bed getting fed and checked over…far from the special bonding moment I had envisioned. Turns out the recovery room is just that, a place for mom and baby to recover from the trauma of surgery.

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Finally, we were released to the post partum room where we had a little down time. Everything at that point is a bit of a blur but my mom and mother-in-law got to meet their grandson and we all spent a little time oohing and aahing and trying to get acclimated. The nurses made very regular visits to check on me and James. They had to do a heel stick on James before every feeding to check his blood sugar which was just torture to watch. His blood sugar would go up and back down throughout the night and sometime on Friday, they made the decision to move him to the nicu. I was completely devastated but knew it was the best decision. Later that day, they moved us up to the 3rd floor so that we could be just down the hall from our little guy. We visited frequently and in our “down time” I was either pumping or sleeping.

I won’t give a play-by-play of the following few days because honestly, it’s a complete blur of exhaustion and emotions. James spent about 5 days in the nicu, first for blood sugar and then to work on feeding before he was released. These are both very common issues for small/premature babies but man, at the time it was super scary. I was discharged on Monday but they let us stay an additional night and released James to our room which was so great. We had high hopes that he would be released on Tuesday but they decided to keep him an additional day because he wasn’t eating very well. I can’t even begin to explain the emotions of leaving your child at the hospital and having to go home. Thankfully I had prepared myself for it and only had a few breakdowns. The doctors had warned us that he might need to stay a few days but his feeding improved greatly overnight and they were ready to release him on Wednesday, horray!

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Final thoughts:

  •  Everyone is completely right when they say you instantly fall in love and you think they are the cutest thing on the face of the planet (even if they look a little goofy for a while).
  • I love my husband way more after seeing him with our son that I ever thought possible.
  • For someone who is usually VERY even keeled and not emotional…post partum emotions have been very hard to deal with. I cry for reasons I can’t put into words and can feel happy/sad/scared/loved all at the same time and it’s WEIRD. Having an awesome support team, a snuggly baby, a shower/real clothes and fresh air seem to be the best medicine!
  • Pretty much nothing went as planned this past month as far as how I envisioned my last few weeks of pregnancy, delivery and first 2 weeks at home but I will elaborate in a separate blog post. It is what it is and we adjust/adapt and make the best out of the situation.
  • I will never take a good night sleep for granted 😉
  • Genetics are awesome and creating a tiny human is quite possibly the coolest thing ever!

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For Two Fitness review

Once I started to get a solid bump, I knew I wanted to purchase some of the cute For Two Fitness® tanks I had been seeing on friends and in races. I wear a tank top year round for running and will typically just layer on top of it so picked up two when they had a sale (Running for Two® & Sweating for Two®). I absolutely loved the long length and the ruching along the side and so once I had a solid bump (around ~4mo), they were my go-to tanks so that my belly didn’t hang out the bottom — a real problem on runs once pants go under the bump. I got some many compliments when I wore them and even ran into a fellow pregnant runner in a race wearing the same shirt- takes all the guess work out of congratulating someone 🙂

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Shortly after I was selected to be a ForTwo Ambassador and in February/March I got the opportunity to test out the Distance Maternity Active Capri. This was the first time I have ever agreed to a promotional campaign because I don’t like to blab about products just because I got them for free. However, I love that there is a company dedicated to maternity fitness apparel and staying fit during pregnancy and so I am thrilled to blab about them! It’s such a niche field but there is a huge demand and the quality and styles are so great. I always knew I wanted to stay fit throughout my pregnancy and I wanted to run as long as possible. I was extremely lucky that I was able to run till 35-36 weeks pregnant. I was only able to get a couple runs in with these capris but have also worn them for yoga, long walks (and maybe some tv binge watching) and they are awesome! 

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The material of the capris is bit thicker which is great for coverage and durability (no see through issues, husband approved) but it might get a bit hot having the full panel up over belly in warmer weather – this is an issue with full panel maternity jeans too, just comes with the territory. That being said, they have some shorts/spandex options that I would purchase if I am pregnant in the summer next time. The full panel was so great for extra belly support (didn’t feel like I needed my support band) but it also works really well folded over and is probably how i’d wear them in the earlier months of pregnancy. I have washed them a few times and they still look brand new. I conservatively ordered the medium (pre-pregnancy 8-10 on their size chart) in the capris and they fit very well. Although I am more of a 6 pre-pregnancy, in pants I tend to err on the side of larger due to my thunder thighs and tush and I am glad I did because the size was perfect (150# pre-pregnancy and ~165# 8-9mo pregnant).  The length is great and hits mid-calf and is fitted so works well for running (as opposed to a wide leg bottom typical in some yoga pants). The one thing I did find weird/comical was a little fabric key pocket built into the waistband. I love a good pocket but when you have the full panel pulled up, it is kind of laughable that you’d have to reach down the panel to fetch your key but I applaud the thought and when you have the panel folded down, a key pocket is fantastic! I am exceptionally picky when it comes to capris (and workout clothes in general) but I would give these a 9/10…they only lose a point b/c the material is a bit thicker so they aren’t ideal for year round especially for a hot pregnant mama but the fabric is very breathable. Plus, they can fly:

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Side note: I ordered a small in the tank at the recommendation of a friend and they fit very well. The small has a quite a lot of stretch even for my 36DD pregnancy knockers and my 8-9month belly. I probably would have also been fine with a medium in the top as the small is fitted but zero complaints on the sizing.

Overall, I love this company and I have been exceptionally happy with the items I have either purchased or received and I am seriously a little bummed that I won’t be able to sport the cute tanks after baby arrives. However, I think the capris will still see plenty of use in my post partum days of returning to running so that’s exciting!!

If you are currently expected, planning to be in the near future or would like to purchase as a gift for a friend, the lovely folks at ForTwoFitness have extended a 25% off discount to all readers. Use Promo Code: GENEPOOL25 which is valid through April 28th. Happy shopping!!

Whoops….

Almost 2 month flew by without blogging! I’ve had ideas floating around but zero energy to sit down and type them out. It’s been a whirlwind last few weeks and i’ve just been trying to stay on top of my lengthy pre-baby To Do list. Also, organizing the nursery is way more fun than sitting down at a laptop after a long day of work. #sorrynotsorry

Here’s a quick run down of the first 2 months of 2016:

Pregnancy has been going really well and I kind of love being pregnant! Up until a few weeks ago I was still very comfortable, that’s slowly starting to change. I’ve entered the “whale” phase where flipping over in bed or sitting up in our reclining couch is a small ordeal with some slight moaning and groaning for spousal sympathy. It still seems super surreal (in spite of my growing belly) but we are eager to meet our little guy in just a few short weeks!

  • I had a beautiful baby shower hosted by my sister at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. I’ll do a separate post with some pictures but it was wonderful, we had a great turn out and baby boy truly is loved by so many!
  • IMG_9064Visited my parents in FL for a short little escape in January which was lovely (even though it was cold and rainy most of the time).
  • I also made a trek up to Gaithersburg, MD to visit work, hang with the Oiselle gals and attend our Annual party (won a spa gift card too!).
  • IMG_1760A quick trip to CLT to visit in-laws and attend a friend’s baby shower.
  • A mini Babymoon/6yr anniversary trip to Duck Beach for a weekend of RnR (massages, dinner dates, s’mores, lazy mornings and late checkouts).

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We have thoroughly enjoying our last few months of freedom before we enter the wonderful and exhausting world of becoming parents. I am feeling pretty ready and I won’t make any promises about blogging however I do want to keep this little corner or the internet alive, even if I slack off occasionally. Thanks for reading!

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Distance makes the heart grow fonder

I’ve never considered myself to be “a runner” but somehow it found me and since I’ve been at it for >4 years, I think it’s sticking and its about time I truly embraced it…add it to the hobby list!

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Injured runners always complain about how when they can’t run, all they want to do is run but when healthy it can be a fight to get out the door. I have to say, even though I’m still running, I miss training for something, pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, digging deep and that flood of endorphins. Most of my runs these days are either a quick “easy 3” or some run/walking on the treadmill. Last weekend I had my first “great run” in a number of weeks and it kind of lit a fire in me. I’m excited to get back to real running and training for a goal race. Early 2015, I was definitely burnt out on running races and training and the thought of committing to a 12-week plan seemed stressful and the opposite of fun. A few months of no-pressure, no-schedule running has been great for me…a welcome break! I’ve been running on average only 2/week which gives me plenty of time to recovery, keeps my legs in some semblance of running shape and from gaining too much pregnancy weight. But, with just a little reminder of the perks of a hard workout (and a taste of endorphins), it has me itching for more, which is super exciting! 

I haven’t registered for any races in 2016 yet but I’d like to get a few small races lined up and set a goal post-partum Half at the end of the summer. Will I run another marathon, who knows. I need to see how life works balancing a little person, work, husband and runs <2hrs before I go committing to the hours and hours required for marathon training. I want to avoid the burnout again, try to keep the passion alive and enjoy just running, training and racing!

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Body Image & Pregnancy

I’ve been sitting on this draft for a while now, not in fear of publishing it but just because i’m still wrapping my head around my changing body and that changes day-to-day. But as I approach my 3rd trimester I want a documentation of my thoughts through trimesters 1 and 2.

So here goes….

I’m generally very accepting of my body, I have my fair share of dressing difficulties but overall I’m content with my body’s pros and cons. Sure, I criticize my large thighs, extra belly fat and untoned arms on occasion but I’ve learned to love my body and everything that it has done for me (most days). I’d love to lose 10-15lbs but who doesn’t (amiright?!).

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I feel like I went into pregnancy with a totally open mind, I knew my body would change and I embraced it. My body issues instead came from trying to compare my baby bump size to other women at similar points in their pregnancy. Is my baby bump too big, too small, should I be showing by now, etc. I would stalk other pregnant friends and their bumps at similar stages to see if I was “on track”…turns out, everyone’s body handles pregnancy differently and you CANNOT compare a pear to a banana to an apple. I think part of my fear early on stemmed from that underlying concern that little dude wasn’t growing on schedule (cause i’m paranoid). This is the only time in my life where I was actually concerned that I wasn’t gaining enough weight and that my baby bump wasn’t “bumping” enough compared to other women. I remember distinctly having a little freak out of “shouldn’t I be showing by now” which I can now laugh at considering I have a small watermelon in my abdomen.

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I didn’t gain any weight in the first trimester but there are a few reasons for that. In part, my appetite changed, I was also working from home and snacking less and I was tackling a 10K steps a day challenge (that lasted most of trimester 1). I started more or less around 150lbs, butt naked, on my scale first thing in the morning. In fairness, I normally don’t weigh myself often but because I knew I was starting pregnancy with a high BMI (normal for me but high for my height) I was paranoid about gaining 50lbs and getting gestational diabetes so i’ve been tracking it almost weekly.  I am only up a few (<6lbs) by week 27 and feel healthy which I am very happy about. I am not eating salads daily (veggies and I aren’t on the greatest of terms right now) and frankly I have consumed more than my fair share of grilled cheese sandwiches and mac n’ cheese this pregnancy (cause calcium…and carbs!). My goal is to try and stay around 20-25lbs and barring a huge surge in trimester 3 (which I know might happen) I should be on track. Most importantly I want a healthy baby and eating right and staying active are key. It helps that I have someone actively squishing my stomach so I fill up super quick, thanks buddy! 

**NOTE: As I type this, I just finished a carrot cake cupcake from Panera but only b/c they were out of the delicious brownie bar I usually get- everything in moderation 😉Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 5.20.57 PM

Thanks obgyn for the graph, that jump looks pretty scary!

Now that I am definitely showing (to the point that brave strangers will comment) I have to say I FUCKING LOVE MY BODY. I actually really love how I look pregnant…a combination of tiny human smoothing out some of my lumps & bumps and holy shit, i’m growing a human! Maybe TMI but I will occasionally stand in the mirror before hopping in the shower and kind of check myself out. Pregnancy is a very weird transition and I find it pretty fascinating.

Now, let’s hope that I can keep up this body loving mentality after little dude vacates and leaves his little temporary abode all squishy and tire-like!

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Turkey Trot 8K and Race 13.1 Durham 5K

I’m a little behind on race recaps so figured i’d just do a short joint recap.

Southpark Turkey Trot 8K: 

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In keeping with a now 5 year tradition, Michael and I set out bright and early Thanksgiving morning to run a local Turkey Trot. In 2011 & 2012 we ran the Southpark Turkey Trot 8K in Charlotte, NC and then when we were up in DC in 2013 & 2014 we ran the S.O.M.E. Turkey Trot 5K. Now that we are back in NC (and were visiting the in-laws again) we returned the the Charlotte event. After living in DC for 2.5 years where public transit is very popular, I just *assume* every race has a bag check. Well, when ~99% of runners drive and park their car for a small race they apparently don’t provide this as an option.  We got dropped off and had layers on to stay warm so we stashed our bag in a bush a little ways off a nearby path (but only after a little pre-race stress).

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The weather was November race perfection (high 40s/low 50s) and I wore capris and a tank and was very comfortable. Going into this race I was all ready to announce my little running buddy as a race day champ. Regular runs were hit or miss but he seemed to be on board for all my “races” and I pulled out paces that kind of shocked me a little. Well, then this 8K comes along and it was a struggle. It’s hard to explain pregnant running issues because saying “cramps” sounds bad but the bump was not working with me on this run and so I walked a lot more than I had planned to. Since I’m not really “racing” I tried to just keeping chugging along but 5 miles felt pretty long. Around mile 3 or so another “running for two” runner came up and gave me a thumbs up. We exchanged a short “how far along are you”, “running pregnant is hard, great job” and it was a nice little pick-me-up to keep chugging along. My final time was 53:50  for a 10:56 avg pace.

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Race 13.1 Durham….5K

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The race name name is a bit confusing, it’s actually called Race13.1 (and Durham is location) but they offer 5K and 10K options as well as the obvious 13.1. I decided kind of last minute to run this race (signed up 1 week in advance) with the plan of being able to start and run a little bit with my buddy Caitlin who was running the half. Even though I ran the 8K less than 2 weeks prior, I was not quite feeling up for a 10K so opted for the 5K. Only after signing up did I realize that the half started 15 mins before the other races so my plan got scratched. However, it was still fun to get out and run and I got to cheer for her and a few other friends that were running the 10K and Half (Rose from Oiselle team and a couple fellow House of Hops run clubbers). I really like themed races so used this as my Christmas race for the year and dressed up accordingly:

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This was a fairly hilly 5K and in an effort to keep my heart rate in a safe zone I tried to make it about half way up the hill and then walk the rest. So the first half of the course was a bit slow but it was out and back so it was net downhill in the last 1.5 so I started to cruise. There was this one lady that I had been hovering near for a while and I really wanted to get in front of her (she had her keys attached to her phone arm band and they bounced around and drove me crazy) so I pushed it in the last ~3/4 mile or so and didn’t stop until I crossed the finish line. It felt really good to push hard and finish strong…little victories at 5 months pregnant. My final time was 33:18 (10:44 min/mile pace) which surprisingly got me 5/30 in my age group. Given the hills and my slower pace in the Turkey Trot I was pretty happy with my result.

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Getting slower sucks, especially when you start off as a slow runner but i’m super happy to still be running with a baby on board. My goal is to keep running through 30 weeks but obviously if i’m still feeling ok i’ll keep running but the runs are getting slower and fewer and harder so i’ll just listen to my body and play it by ear. I’m down to running about 2x/week, my recovery time with round ligament pain is the main limiting factor (well that and motivation and my long to-do list).  However, I hope to switch to elliptical/power walking/etc to stay active until it’s baby time.

No more races on the calendar for 2015 but depending on how the next few weeks of running go I might try and squeeze in one more in January.