Saturday, December 15, 2012

Confessions of a Pregnant Woman: Running While Pregnant

Writer's Note: I felt the need to write this post to reach out to other pregnant mothers and those who are TTC and let them know pregnancy does not always go as planned.  Also, I have really enjoyed reading other blogs and their experiences throughout pregnancy so I plan on documenting a few of mine throughout this pregnancy.  It is reassuring knowing you are not the only one going through certain situations and kind of fun to read what other pregnant women are experiencing.  So here it goes...

I remember when Andrew and I first started TTC (Trying to Conceive... just trying to help you all get caught up with the lingo if you are not already up to date with it! ;) ) I always imagined myself being pregnant. It was so exciting to imagine how this entire pregnancy would go (yes there were rainbows and unicorns in my daydreams as well).   I pictured a smooth and easy pregnancy, eating healthy the ENTIRE time, only gaining the appropriate weight in my belly, oh, and running marathons! Yes, that's right.  I planned on keeping up with my training (they say that you can stay in the same fitness state you were in before you were pregnant and it should be perfectly fine for the baby). I read article after article about pregnant women who ran marathons and/or kept up their running during pregnancy. I was so inspired and I just knew I would be THAT pregnant woman--healthy, fit and running marathons.  In my perfect pregnant fantasy world, pregnancy was going to be a breeze and I was going to glow.  After hearing all the horror stories about raging hormones and morning sickness from friends and reading about them on blogs, I remember telling Andrew I would never be like that. I would have the ideal pregnancy, and he would enjoy being around me 24/7. HA! Now that I am 17 week into this pregnancy, the reality of it all is that you don't have control over how your body will react.  The way you imagined it would be doesn't always go as planned.  I guess that is the body's way of preparing the mother to be flexible and ready for anything.

When we found out I was pregnant, this plan was still in full effect.  One week in, I had to completely alter my plan.  There was absolutely no way I could muster up the energy to get outside and run, nor did I have the time to. I was working a full-time unpaid internship teaching, working part-time for my dad in the afternoons, 2-3 times a week I had Junior League obligations in the evenings and on Wednesday nights bible study. Not to forget, I felt like I had been run over by a car and nauseous 24-7.  I felt like a walking zombie and was lucky if I could manage to get two runs in a week (which only happened on weekends).  Some weeks I couldn't even run once because of other weekend commitments and lack of motivation and energy.  Anyone who knows me knows that is not my normal self.  Before being pregnant I would have considered it a bad week if I didn't get a minimum of 5 runs during the week.  The weird thing was, I was perfectly okay with not running that much during my first trimester.  With all the other horror stories I heard about miscarriages during the first trimester and the link to overworking the body made the lack of interest in running alright for me.

Eating healthy pretty much went out of the window too.  All I wanted was red meat and carbs... oh LOTS of carbs.  I have pretty much been eating whatever I want and not really caring about it.

About a week ago I was sitting with my friend, Julie, at the movies waiting for the movie to start and she asked me "Doesn't it feel weird running while pregnant?" Without hesitation I responded "No, not really.  It just feels like I have a few extra pounds I'm carrying." The weird thing is, if she asked me that exact question less than a week later today, I would reply, "It ABSOLUTELY feels weird!".  I am not sure what changed within this past week but I do know something has.  Maybe Riley has grown quite a bit, maybe its the fact that I have run more this week than I did in the last five weeks combined.

Let me break it down for you...

First of all, my shirts are getting a lot more "snug" and almost not covering my belly.  I only have about three running shirts left that are long enough to make me feel comfortable enough to run outside and not have to worry about my bouncing belly showing.  Insecurity while running is definitely not a fun feeling.  I am still at this awkward point in my pregnancy where I just look chubby and not quite pregnant yet.  I know in the next few weeks it will change, but I would like for that to happen sooner than later.  My snug shirt shows my growing belly extended a little past my shorts and it is definitely not a motivating factor to go out and run in public and show it off.

The newest feeling I have experienced while running is Riley doing summersaults the entire time I am running. (I am not really sure if she is actually doing summersaults, but I can tell she is very active while I run.) I hope that she gets used to the bouncing rhythm and it will put her to sleep. (Wishful thinking I know). I am sure I will feel her more and more as she grows, so I suppose I better get used to the feeling.

Did I mention I am already feeling her pushing on my bladder?  I am 17 weeks and this girl sits right on it.  From the second I leave the house I feel like I have to go to the bathroom BAD!  I have made sure to go to the bathroom right before I leave the house to reassure myself that I do not actually have to go and that its just Riley pushing on my bladder.  The feeling does not let up the ENTIRE run.  Talk about uncomfortable.

The most important thing is that I listen to my body and not over do it.  I want to reassure you all that I am doing just that.  Now that I am finished with my internship and into my second trimester, I have a lot more time to take care of my health and have a lot more energy.  I have a feeling that I wont be able to keep running throughout the entire pregnancy, but I plan to try to run as long as Riley will let me. I never feel like I am putting her in danger while running and have been given the "okay" by my doctor to do so.  I am just running three miles at a time and do not plan to increase the distance at all during this pregnancy.

My hope is that my desire to keep running while pregnant will not only pay off for my health, but Riley's health and future, too. You know the only reason I run is so she will be an olympic runner one day right?

Friday, December 14, 2012

17 Weeks (tomorrow)

How far along? 17 WEEKS
Total weight gain: Meh, 5 lbs so far but after the entire 12" burrito I just ate from Chuy's... probably 10 right now. (Hopefully it will pass...)
Maternity clothes? Not yet! :) Although today I put on these pants I have been DREADING to put on in worries of them not fitting anymore.  I was very surprised they still fit, BARELY! I think that might have been my last time to wear them.  I am going to have to start shopping for maternity clothes in the next few weeks. 
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Same ole, same ole. Get up once a night to use the restroom. Other than that, I want to throw my cat across the room nightly (but don't have the heart to do it). She is the only other reason my sleeping pattern is terrible waking me up throughout the night for attention.
Best moment this week: Finding out sweet baby Barnes is a GIRL and feeling her kick for the first time!  

Miss Anything? Margaritas!
Movement: Yes!  Feeling baby VERY lightly kick. I definitely have been feeling her move around a lot!  It doesn't feel strong but I just feel lots of "bubbles" moving around in my stomach that is definitely NOT gas.
Food cravings: Nope. Not this week.
Gender Prediction:  No more predicting! (This is the last week I am going to keep it as "prediction" because ITS A GIRL!  
Labor Signs: N/A
Symptoms: Completely exhausted every day. I just ignore it, try and get over it and go about my day.  If I let it win, I would be in bed all day, every day. Not too much round ligament pain this week. 
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy.  We are thrilled we are having a girl and that we have a healthy baby.  
Looking forward to: Seeing Riley Grace for her 20 week ultrasound! Can't wait for the anatomy scan. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling Riley Kick for the FIrst Time

I just felt Riley kick for the first time! I am 16 weeks and 3 days.  Andrew and I were laying in bed listening to her heartbeat with the fetal doppler, and suddenly we were hearing a lot of other noises.  We both knew she was moving around in there quite a bit.  I recently read that at 16 weeks babies can hear our voices, and that studies have shown that if you sing to them in the womb they seem to recognize the song when they are out of the womb. This past weekend I decided to pick a song to always sing to her in hopes that she will recognize it when we finally meet face to face.  I couldn't find any song more fitting than "You Are My Sunshine".  As Andrew and I were listening to her sweet heartbeat and commotion (movement), we started to sing her song together to her. She suddenly started to kick stronger because I felt it about five times as we sang the song over and over. The fetal doppler matched the kicks with noise of movement so I knew I was feeling her kick.  I don't think I would have felt it if we didn't have the doppler pushed up against my uterus, but it was such a beautiful feeling. God is good.

Riley Grace Barnes--

I don't know many people that have known the name of their first born since they were 16... except for me.  When I was 16 years old I worked at a Montessori school part-time in the afternoons.  Although I tried hard not to pick favorites, there were a few children that stood out.  I will never forget Bailey Jay (although I apparently forgot how to spell her name because I remember is wasn't Bailey but something more like Balie or something like that), a 3 year old, blonde hair lightly curled at the ends, blue eyes, sweet smile.  Her manners were ADORABLE!  I could tell that her parents always called her, "darling", "princess", "sugar plum", etc.  I remember she would say things like, "Excuse me darling, but can you please pass the purple crayon?", or, "You're my sweetheart, what am I?" in the SWEETEST little girl voice EVER!  I always told myself that I would be sure to teach my kids manners like that at a very young age... it just melts my heart.  Every time her parents asked me to baby-sit, I never hesitated to say yes.  She had a little sister about two years younger than her.  Her name was Riley Grace.  I absolutely ADORED these two girls.  When I heard Riley's name for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with it, and her too.  I knew I always wanted to name my first born Riley.  I just had to somehow convince my future husband this.

I was so fortunate that Andrew agreed to Riley Grace without a fight. The first time he heard the name he fell in love with it as much as I did.  There was no hesitation and I was so full of joy!  When we told the name to Andrew's family, they informed us that Andrew had an uncle named Raleigh but everyone called him Riley.  So they, of course, loved the name, too.  My parents were pretty thrilled with the name as well.  We have been so fortunate that everyone loves the name as much as we do. Even before we were expecting our entire family knew that if we had a girl, we wanted to name her Riley Grace.

Now, I just have to work on my patience because I still have another 24 weeks before I get to FINALLY meet this sweet girl! :)

It's a...

Three ultrasounds later we FINALLY know the gender of our baby!  We went in last Monday for our "16 week" check up at 15 1/2 weeks.  Baby did not want to cooperate.  In fact, baby Barnes was quite modest.  I was so bummed about it that my doctor let us try again about 45 minutes later in hopes that BB had changed positions. Sure enough, baby did a complete turn around but just would budge moving that foot!  Doc said not to worry that we would definitely find out at 20 weeks.  Anyone who knows me, knows I simply couldn't wait that long to find out the gender.  I scheduled a 3d/4d ultrasound the next week.  The ultrasound company recommended that I get the doctor's signature.  When I called the doctor they told me they don't like to sign off on those until I am around 22-26 weeks because I would see a lot more, then she told me to just come in for another FREE ultrasound the next day.  Without hesitation I accepted her offer.  She prescribed that I drink LOTS of water to be sure to come into the ultrasound with a full bladder and that I eat a Snickers on the way over to the office.  Of course I HAD to follow the doctor's orders.  (I forgot how amazing Snickers are!)  When we went in for the ultrasound my bladder was DEFINITELY FULL! It seemed to work because baby Barnes was in PERFECT position for us to know the gender.  I am sure you are anxious to find out the gender.  Baby Barnes is a ...

...well, I'll let the boards explain it themselves...
It's not Oliver or Zoey...

Its not Olivia, Ryan, Zack, or Hadley...

It's a...GIRL!

YAY! Riley Grace Barnes... 16 weeks!

We couldn't be more excited to welcome our sweet girl, Riley Grace, into this world in May! I absolutely cannot wait to spoil her to death. I am already obsessed with Etsy, Baby Gap, and Pinterest... bring on the bows, tutus, and leg warmers.

Stay tuned for how we picked her name!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What will "IT" be? A HE or SHE?

"TOMORROW! TOMORROW! I LOVE YA, TOMORROW! YOU'RE [ONLY] A DAY AWAY!" Well I am possibly only a day away,  you all are a few more days!  Yep that's right. Tomorrow we go in for a check up on baby Barnes.  Unfortunately, they wanted me to come in before 16 weeks (when they said they usually can tell the gender) just because they want to keep the appointments 4 weeks apart.  Therefore, tomorrow I will be 15 weeks, 2 days.  There is still a possibility we will find out baby Barnes's gender!

If we find out the gender tomorrow I will post each day erasing one name until we reveal the gender and name!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

15 Weeks

So excited to be fifteen weeks today. If only baby would make more of a belly entrance into this world. It will come, it will come.  I know its a little early to be saying this, but I have been feeling a lot of "bubbles" in my belly! I can't help but wonder if I am feeling kicks?!  The past few weeks I have had to remind myself that I am pregnant.  I am feeling so normal (minus being crazy lethargic) that I have had all of these crazy thoughts running through my head. I am talking crazy stupid y'all.  These crazy stupid thoughts have gone as follows:

What if I'm not pregnant?  Am I pregnant or just getting really fat?  I HAVE been eating really bad! OMG maybe I should take another pregnancy test... Andrew would be so annoyed that I would be dumb enough to take a pregnancy test at 15 weeks. Maybe I just will take one secretly?   This is stupid, I am pregnant. LINDSAY YOU ARE PREGNANT!

YUP.  Pretty sad huh? I made a realization about myself this week.  I have realized why 95% of the time I am such an optimist on the outside--because on the inside, I am constantly worrying myself of all the possible negatives.  So, I find it much easier to focus on all the positive things in life.

Just to reassure everyone (more importantly myself) I ordered a fetal doppler online about a week and a half ago.  I was so excited when I first heard baby's heart beat! I couldn't wait to show Andrew. IT WAS SO EASY!  ...too easy.  When Andrew heard the "baby's heartbeat" he helped me realize it was my own heartbeat.  DANG IT! I had no idea that I would be able to hear my heartbeat in my stomach! The human body is so amazing.  It took a while but sweet Andrew was so patient and spent the time with me to help find baby Barnes' actual heartbeat. It was TRULY amazing. No worries, this time we were definitely sure it was baby's because we felt my pulse at the same time and baby's heartbeat was almost twice as fast! Such a sweet and beautiful sound.  So goodbye pregnancy tests and hello fetal doppler.  I am sure Andrew is relieved that I wont be wasting anymore money (at least for a few years) on those pricey tests.

Alright before I give all the answers away in this post above, here is the weekly (or biweekly for now) survey:

How far along? 15 WEEKS! (There is just something about "5"s that I LOVE. My birthday: 05-05. Baby's due date: 05-25.  Andrew's Birthday: 05-28.  05's are just great so 15 weeks exciting for me. )

Total weight gain: Ugh, I REALLY don't want to talk about it, but since I am trying to participate in all these questions so that I can look back and remember... I don't want to say. ::DEEP BREATH:: 7 pounds!  As soon as I stepped off the scale the other day I got on GOOGLE and searched "Normal weight gain 15 weeks pregnant".  From what I read, most girls have gained 5-7 lbs by this time in their pregnancy. WHEW! I understand that weight gain is inevitable, normal, and healthy during pregnancy, I just want to make sure I do it at a normal rate and don't lose control!  From what I read, at this time in my pregnancy half a pound to a pound a week is very normal.

Maternity clothes? Well, surprisingly my jeans STILL FIT.  I think that are "hanging" on me a little lower but they fit without me feeling uncomfortable.  My running shirts are a little higher making me feel uncomfortable about my mid-drift showing while I run.  I think it is almost if not about that time to purchase some maternity clothes. I keep thinking about that Modern Family episode where Gloria is bulging out of her tight clothes and in denial. Maybe I am in denial? I know I am not bulging out NEAR as bad, but I foresee purchasing maternity clothes in my near future.

Stretch marks? Nope.  So grateful for stretch mark cream.

Sleep: The usual.  I get up once or twice a night for restroom breaks but other than that... sleep pretty well.  That is, until the sun begins to rise and my cat thinks it is her life calling to be the most annoying cat in the world.

Best moment this week: Feeling little bubbles in my tummy. Oh and we have officially picked both boy and girl names!! The announcement will come with the gender reveal! :) 

Miss Anything? Surprisingly I haven't really missed alcohol this week.  I think I am finally getting use to not having a glass of wine or margarita every other day. 

Movement: As I mentioned, bubbles.  It could be gas... no telling. I have a feeling I will be feeling movement in the next few weeks.

Food cravings: Hasn't changed. Cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers. But the usual... I just don't eat them but like once every other week.  I always want one but never follow through. (See the Youtube Veggietale tribute I posted below this survey. Yes, I have every word memorized. I don't know why but I always have loved children's music. This is an all time classic!)

Gender Prediction:  PEOPLE-- IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  We MIGHT find out the gender at our appointment on MONDAY!! I am not sure when I will announce it on here, but as soon as my family knows, you bet I will announce it on here!

Labor Signs: N/A

Symptoms: FATIGUE & round ligament pain <--it always hits unexpectedly, and boy is it painful!

Belly Button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: HAPPY! Life is just better this way. 

Looking forward to: Finding out baby's gender this coming week. So ready to give baby a name instead of the thousands of nicknames we have already given it.  Oh and ready to stop calling Baby Barnes an "it".

So now I leave you with one of my favorite songs that I think is very appropriate with my continuous single food craving--Cheeseburgers.  Enjoy.