Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby Mama Field Report

Okay, I should probably follow up by last post with a little more INFO, yes?

Tomorrow I will be 15 weeks pregnant! It's hard for me to believe this sometimes, and yet here I am, living the dream! A dream that goes both quickly and slowly, depending on the lens.

Quickly in the sense that mere months from now, we'll be parental units and Gus will be designated second fiddle (or perhaps dubbed Appropriately-Sized Personal Baby Assistant?) without his consent. Slowly in the sense of having to wade through the cruel uncertainty of the 1st trimester, feeling so invested and yet not holding a GO card in any sense. And it's also very hard to find drinks at work happy hours that don't contain alcohol OR caffeine that won't arounse suspicion. Believe me, I've tried. Oh yes, I tried to pass off the Pink Princess as THE BEST. The bartender got a nice tip for coming up with that a PUB.

Well, considering the sobering fact that we are about 3-4 hours of wacko snowfall from being totally snowbound in our house this weekend, I see no excuse not to post a little juicy Q&A that may be of interest.

Did you know right away?
No! I was kind of tired, but since tiredness can brought on by work, sports, stress, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, and pretty much everything else in life, I didn't read into it too much. However, after Micah finished Ironman Wisconsin, he felt "fine" 24 hours later, whereas I was the panting coyote from The Sword in the Stone for a 10 days after the race and couldn't even pull it together to keep up at Master's swim practice. That did arouse some suspicion. But I was determined not to spend unnecessary money on pregnancy tests taken at unreasonable times, especially since that whole "Results 6 Days Earlier!" claim is hogwash because the accuracy rate that early is like 50/50. Now there's some assurance!

So how did you find out?
Even though I was dead set on not testing before it was reasonable, by a Friday at the end of September (about two weeks after Micah's Ironman), I started having some other little symptoms, though extremely subtle. Micah and I did a 40" run together at a nice clip that Thursday, and even though the run went great, I was feeling uncharacteristically achy. But yes, still very subtle. By the end of a slow Friday at work, I convinced myself that stopping at Walgreens after work to buy a test and take it two days early when I got home wasn't going to influence the actual outcome. (A mindset that is all too easy to slip into. I tell you this as you laugh now.) I didn't tell Micah I was going to take it. Spent three minutes frantically rearranging the medicine cabinet to avoiding looking at the result too early. And then, whoa. Two lines. I showed Micah immediately and was met with the face of distrust itself over the question its accuracy (though I had no doubt). We agreed to take another one the next morning. Haha - 5:30am! Same result.

How have you been feeling?
Good! I can't complain. I've had my days of wanting to aggressively plow over everything in my path, particularly while driving, but that was thankfully short-lived. I haven't been sick, thanks to my hearty Polish/German stock that did not pass down morning sickness genes. (Thanks, Mom!) That was one I didn't expect. Why would I deserve to fall into the minority that doesn't deal with nausea for a cruel and unusual amount of time? I just assumed I'd be among them. Yes, I did have a few days that I would not like to relive. But it was at the end of our London trip, and you know what vacations do to one's digestive system in general. Waking up at 3am from an upset stomach is the worst. But like I said, this lasted MAYBE 72 hours. And I'm not looking back.

No, I didn't get out completely unscathed. There is no way around The Fatigue. Something like jet lag from about Week 3-4 through Week 9 that appears every day at 1pm and makes 6pm seem late. As in falling asleep on top of the covers with shoes on and not caring in any way. As in thinking "What the heck were these nurses thinking when they scheduled a prenatal class at 6:30pm?! No one will be awake!" I think Micah was highly amused by my ability for once to fall asleep before him, allowing him to sleep in darkness without the glow of my reading light. But at this point, I'm back to my usual read-before-sleep ways where 10pm doesn't seem like a far-off place.

Will you find out the gender?
Definitely. I see no reason not to. We can either be surprised at 40 weeks, or we can punctuate the 40 weeks with an additional exclamation point. And then I only have to think about girl names or boy names, not both. I'm also not a fan of the gender ambiguous green frog motif.

We will find out about XX or XY on Thurs. 1/13.

Any cravings?
Not ones that will provide you with a lot of entertainment value. I actually think I had more cravings while training for triathlons and marathons. (Fried chicken, anyone?) But also, to me a craving is something that you would leave a warm bed for, and in that sense I've had very few. Just grapefruit, orange juice, and I kid you not: Minnesota Public Radio. Not that I ever woke up to listen to it.

It's really more about aversions anyway. I've had more of those. Mostly about the smell: the smell of cooked spinach, the fried cod in fish and chips, the smell of beef stew, fish in general. And I had to stop making our weekly Benihana-inspired grass-fed beef and mushrooms with sesame seeds. But I'd probably be fine at this point if I started making it again.

How did you tell your co-workers?
I sent them an "Update - Effective Immediately" email and told them to review an attachment that contained the news. It just felt weird to go up to a few people here and there and say it since I work with a fairly large team. Their "Ugh, what now?" responses turned to "Yays!" pretty quickly.

Have you thought of names?
There isn't a female on earth who hasn't thought of names since the age of eight. So yes. But we're ironically not decided on much. Luckily, we tend to like the same kinds of names. It's just a big responsibility to name someone! I've been going through my family Norwegian, Polish, and German family histories to see if there are any real gems. No, this child will not be named Pilot Inspecktor. But all the same, I would really like to avoid the Top 100 names of 2010.

Are you showing??
A bit! But mostly in my own mind. Strangers definitely aren't coming up to me yet. No okay, you can sort of tell now!
14.5 weeks

Are you wearing maternity clothes yet?
No, I'm still wearing my normal stuff and occasionally adjusting it. I don't need the Bella Band quite yet, but probably will soon. Work pants are really unforgiving.

Are you reading any good pregnancy books?
Sister, what haven't I read? A lot of the books just contain the same information: "Eat well, rest, and don't overheat for God's sake!", but one I've particularly enjoyed is Exercising Through Your Pregnancy. A must for anyone who doesn't view exercise as punishment and believes that being fit and being pregnant don't have to be mutually exclusive. Backed by real, scientific observation. It's actually really interesting.

Speaking of, what is your exercise routine like these days?
I know this isn't for anyone, but I've committed to a "no zeroes" approach to physical activity. No zeroes in the sense that every day I do something. Run, ride my tri bike on the indoor trainer, swim Master's practices, walk Gus, snowshoe, anything. I found this idea in a Gordo Byrn (triathlon guy) article about his active wife's pregnancy. Because of my pre-pregnancy fitness level, my OB cleared doing whatever I want as long as it's comfortable and not super intense. I'm not some endurance freak who's going to overdo it during what are potentially the most important 40 weeks of my life. I'm not dumb. But I also don't want to sit around and start developing back pain or something uncharacteristic because I've stopped MOVING. There are enough pregnancy symptoms that I will enjoy regardless, so I'm all about lessening those that I can affect.

So far I've found that committing to being strong for my sake and the sake of the baby is helping a lot. Staying in shape certainly won't guarantee a fast labor, prevent a C-section, or take away pain, but I do know that it will increase my confidence in myself and help me get through whatever happens...and recover quicker. So I guess the message is that it's a really good idea to work out before you're pregnant so you don't get shut down later.

That's all I've got for now. It's seriously snowing here. We're trapped.