Tuesday, 31 December 2013

In 2014 I...

happy new year 2014 fireworkslight-f22456

In 2014 I ...

Learn baby massage in January so that we can make it part of Weston's bedtime routine.

Implement a no swearing policy in the house (swear jar anyone??) to protect little ears from harsh words.

Run a 10k in May with Weston, J and the running stroller.

Run a 1/2 marathon with my sister in June in Winnipeg.

Run a PB 1/2 (1:45) by September.

Complete a duathlon by October.

Spend time meditating once a week.

I take the sewing machine out of the box and complete 1 sewing project.

Take a trip with Weston and J so we can all feel the sand between our toes.

Learn Spanish (Duolingo is my new down time activity)

Learn to cook 1 new recipe/week and write about it here.

What are your goals in 2014?

Where do you see yourself 12 months from now?


Monday, 30 December 2013

If you do just one thing



If you do just one thing in 2014, resolve to set goals. Why goals? Because unlike some lofty promise made at the stroke of midnight, goals are thought through. They are measurable. They have a path to achievement and a tangible result.

For example: in 2014 I am going to read more vs. In 2014 I am going to read 25 books and 5 have to be from a genre I don't usually read (biographies anyone?).

Another important question to ask yourself is why? Why read more? To relax and do something other than watch TV at night (also checking off 'watch less tv' at the same time).

I can give you a great example of a resolution I have had for the past two years that needs some work:

"I want to run faster in 2014".

Ok... why? How will I do that? Is there a metre stick to measure this by.

What I really want is a 1/2 marathon PR - 1:45 to be precise.

So for 2014 my goal becomes "I will run a 1:45 half marathon by September 2014".

Why? Because I am tired of pulling the same times and know I have more to give.

How? By building my run base then adding in speed and tempo work which I tend to drop off my training schedule first.

Time frame: 9 months (if you can make a baby in that time you can run 5 minutes faster right??

As you look forward to next year do you have any big goals in mind? Sharing them makes them real : )


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Making Progress

You know how people say you should sleep when the baby sleeps? That may be true for some people but when Westie sleeps I ride or run. These are the things that energize and centre me more than a 45 minute cat nap ever could.

This week with J home on holidays I have enjoyed a 45 minute spin on Christmas morning and a 5k run today in uncharacteristically warm temps for this time of year. The run was hard. I ran the first half down into the ravine and had to face a gradual climb on the way out. I took walk breaks when I needed them but was pretty proud to knock out 5k in 27 minutes the first time out post baby.

I am starting to piece together a fitness routine and it feels amazing. I also got some great gifts that motivated me to get out there!

I have been in desperate need of new earphones so I was pretty excited to get some blue yurbuds as one of my gifts! I don't know how anyone can wear the standard ipod earphones. My review from my first run is that the yurbuds are pretty fantastic. Great sound and they didn't budge. I usually fiddle with ear buds my entire run, especially when your ears get sweaty and they slip out.

I also got some new Lululemon socks in my stocking. Of all the Lulu items I own, I can't believe I have never tried their socks. They felt like silk on my feet and check out how cute they are!



Most importantly, I bought a new sports bra at MEC today. This may be TMI but breastfeeding has been causing some lopsidedness due to oversupply on one side. So, not only do my old bras not fit but the new one I bought doesn't fit in the morning (before I have nursed on that side a few times). I didn't want to size up too much because then the other side wouldn't fit. Oh the trials of breastfeeding. The solution, a moving comfort rebound bra that is adjustable. I can secure the velcro tabs a bit different on each side to tailor the fit.  I also nabbed one on sale!



I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season and are spending it doing things you love with your family and friends. Today we were talking about how amazing it will be to run with Weston in the stroller next year. For now I just run home to him ; )






 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Holiday wishes



There are some days that Westie is so peaceful and quiet I wonder whose baby he is. I call them his "growing days".  On these days he wakes to eat and during diaper changes but that is about it. He is so serene that I will often tip toe over and put my ear as close as I can to his chest without startling him, just to hear and see the little breath sounds.

Right now he is in dreamland sleeping in his bouncy the chair. It has become his napping chair because the vibrations and music never really did much for him. I am looking at him thinking about how he has no idea who this Santa fellow is. This is probably the last holiday season that we will be able to say that.  In fact, all he knows for sure right now is there are these two people who are always around him, and this mommy who will feed and change him whenever he needs. I hope he can feel the love that I feel for him. A love I never knew I could feel until the moment  I first felt him lay on my chest.

During the next few days I hope you all take a moment to feel the love around you.  Let your hearts be light.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Back in the saddle!

Weston will be 7 weeks old on Monday. We marked his 6 week milestone with a major event: mommy riding her bike on the trainer.

IMG_0166


I think I mentioned in a previous post (like MONTHS ago) that I use trainer road for my at home cycling workouts.  Last year before we found out the amazing news that we were expecting, I had been training for my first triathlon. I started to do trainer road workouts mostly for the motivation and the virtual power feature. If you have a road bike and a trainer and some sort of Garmin ant+ product you have to try this!

I road a total of 75 minutes but that was broken up into two block (23 minutes until Westie woke up, and the remainder later when J got home).  My tush is a bit sore despite the padded shorts, my lower back is fatigued and my neck is a bit sore but other than that it felt wonderful!

I am working on a training schedule for 2014. I know I will be leading a run group on Sunday morning and I also will be taking part in a one month challenge of 4 hours a week of HIIT classes (more on that later).  We also bought a used BOB stroller that I can't wait to take the little man out in once he has the head control needed.

What are your 2014 fitness goals?
Do you use any at home training tools to help motivate you or keep you on track?


 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Precious Moments

The other day after a harried day of trying to run errands with baby in tow I found myself getting more and more frustrated at how difficult things were now that I can't just pop out of the house in 30 minutes. Every trip takes careful planning around the sleep schedule, feeding times and ensuring the diaper bag is continuously stocked up.

Just as I was feeling especially down my mom called. As I vented to her she listened for a while and then said "don't wish these times away because they will be gone sooner than you know it".  Powerful words that I later reflected on with tears welling up. She is right.  We will never get these moments of infancy back.

I thought I would take a moment today to capture all the magical times shared with baby so that I can look back in the months to come and say remember when.


  • Weston is almost too big to lie on my tummy now. He squirms a lot to find the perfect position and I know that these tummy time moments are becoming fewer and fewer. 

  • When he nurses he makes the cutest little sounds almost like little moans of contentment. I have also noticed if I pat his back I will feel his tiny hand patting my back at the same time.

  • He smiles at me now. Not gassy smiles but smiles that are brought on by tickles or looking at him with wide eyes saying Hiya over and over.

  • The other day I had to pack up his newborn sleepers that no longer fit his little chubby legs. I cried a little bit as we passed this milestone.

  • He loves the sound of running water. When all else fails we can run the tap and it calms him down in seconds. We just need a way to recycle the water. 

  • I think his eyes will be blue. I know we can't know for sure at this point but somehow I see them becoming bluer and bluer every day. 

  • Last week when we were home to visit my four-year old niece followed my every move to be close to him. She would come over and pat him saying "Hey" and tucking the blanket around him. I showed her how to burp him by patting his back and she assisted with every diaper change. I am so happy we were able to travel home to see them together even though it gets harder and harder to say goodbye.


Those are just a few of the special little memories I can think of. There will never be enough pictures or videos to capture these times. Today Christmas can wait. Me and Weston are going to enjoy a day of cuddles and snuggles.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Getting Back to Exercise Post Baby

This is week 5 postpartum and I am so very happy to see exercise on the horizon! Normally, exercise is just a normal part of me and J's everyday lives but the arrival of our little fellow has forever changed that. Exercise will still be a family priority but we are negotiating new ways of fitting it in and compromising some goals in favour of others.

We also need to reach agreements on who does what when and how we can make sure that happen for one another. For example, we are thinking that it would make sense for Jay to run from home from work because a) it saves some change on transit b) it is probably faster than the bus and c) he can de-stress on the way home so he is ready to help out after our long day at home.

Here are some tips on what I think you need to make exercise happen postpartum:

A support system - can your partner watch the baby while you get out of the house for an hour? Can your parents babysit while you go for a run? These people will be vital in ensuring you get back to activity and have some moments just for you.

At home options - a treadmill would be really awesome right now but there are a number of other things I can do at home when leaving the house isn't possible.


  • Online yoga (yogadownload.com is a fave of mine)

  • Barre 3 (I purchased a $15/month online subscription)

  • Easy exercises like squats, lunges and push ups

  • DVDs (Jillian's 30 day shred comes to mind)

  • My bike trainer (once things feel 100% down there).


An Accountability Network - having a friend to make sure you get your butt to yoga once a week is a great gift! I also am part of a running community that I can't wait to rejoin. I may not make it out as often, but knowing we can set goals together is a great motivator.

A goal! - Whether it is gaining back the flexibility in your hips, running 5k or something more lofty, we all need a goal to strive for.  You may also choose to aim for a number of workouts/week (i.e. 3 days for 30 minutes). Checking off achievements is also a great motivator and feel good trick.

That said, here are my fitness goals for 2014:

  • 5/10 k race in March.

  • Yoga or x-training once a week.

  • Run 3x a week.


Do you have tips to share?

What are your 2014 fitness goals??

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Postpartum weeks 4 & 5

It is a strange feeling to realize you have no idea what day of the week it is let alone day of the month.  How did Christmas sneak up so quickly this year. I guess we have been busy. Busy in a cycle of diapers, eating, sleeping, playing and the occasional outing to the drugstore to buy more diapers, nursing pads and clif bars for those days when there is no free time to eat. Ahh the life of a new mommy!

Here are some updates on things:


Breastfeeding

After about 4 really tough days I finally cracked and sought help from the La Leche League help line. Based on my/our symptoms here is what we think is happening:

  • I have overactive let down and perhaps and oversupply. What clued me in was the spraying of milk when baby unlatched. I thought this was normal until I mentioned it to my sister. Another clue was the constantly soaked overnight breast pads. Doesn't lots of milk = a great thing?  Not if it causes choking, coughing, gas and a foremilk/hindmilk balance.

  • For now we are trying a couple of things: as soon as the milk lets down I let it spray into a towel or small cup. I am not yet coordinated enough to catch enough to save lol. I block feed on one side (in particular the left because it is always much more engorged) for 4-6 hours or 2-4 feed depending on the day.

  • I am still nursing on demand but have stopped pumping to build up a frozen supply.


Baby

He has been fussy. We have a good day and then a BAD day. Bad as in cries constantly between feeds and won't sleep for 8 hour chunks of the day. It's been a rough week around here but I think the feeding changes are helping and I have started massaging him 3 times a day to get the gas out. No weight check this week but I will take him in next week to the health centre.

Body

Since Sunday I have done one workout DVD, 2 10 minute barre3 classes and shovelled the walks twice. Things are looking up! I don't know if I have mentioned that I don't own a scale. I know I gained about 28 pounds during pregnancy from my admission forms but beyond that I go purely by how I feel, how my clothes fit and more by measurements.

Diet

I need to start paying some serious attention to my nutrition. The consumption of fast and easy foods is getting out of hand and even I tire of breakfast for dinner options. I am planning on adding smoothies back into my day as a way to get in greens, fruits and proteins. I have also made a conscious effort to drink warm glasses of almond milk for the added calcium. I also will be trying to add more healthy fats in (avocados, chia and hemp seeds and coconut oil) as I read that this helps the fat content of your breastmilk. The one positive thing is I am still on one cup of coffee a day despite the tiredness. I used to be a Starbucks regular!

That is a quick recap of how things are going. My December goals include putting together a running schedule and picking some races for the 2014 calendar year. Next week I am going home so my sister and her family can meet Weston. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Holiday Baby

It's that time of year when you receive invitations galore to holiday parties, lunch and brunch with friends and outings to tree lightings, choirs singing and more. How exciting to have anew baby for the world to meet!

Unfortunately it is also cold and flu season, and for me the though of all the airborne germs makes me want to keep Weston safe and snug in our little home. So what's a new momma to do?


  • Be selective - you don't need to attend anything and everything. Bring baby out to things that will be memorable and to meet people who are important to all of you.

  • Ask friends and family to wash their hands before holding baby - in a pinch offer them some hand sanitizer and model the behaviour first so they know you mean business when it comes to germs and your baby.

  • Limit exposure to big crowds - We have gone to the mall twice at 8am to pick up necessities and avoid the larger crowds at the same time. Avoiding peak times will also make for a more enjoyable experience (i.e. shorter lines and bathrooms are cleaner in the mornings).

  • Cover up baby - Our winter car seat cover comes into the mall for two reasons. It muffles the noise and bright lights and it protects baby from well-meaning strangers that want to coo in his cute little face. Yes this happens. Some people (strangers) may even touch your baby before your mommy reflexes can react.


Below are a few baby bag necessities for your outings:



  1. JJ cole car seat cover (similar here)

  2. Wipe clean changing mat (similar here)

  3. Avent Soother - these are Weston's favourite and trust me you do not want to forget this and resort to a finger in the mouth!

  4. Infinity Scarf - the stylish breastfeeding cover (just make sure it has plenty of fabric and a bit of stretch)

  5. L'occitane hand cream

  6. Water bottle - because you are constantly thirsty!

  7. Hand sanitizer - LOVE this one from Honest co.


What are your strategies for navigating the holiday season with baby?

Oh and p.s. breastfeeding mommies out there might find this article interesting! I stumbled upon it while researching how to get Weston to take at least ONE bottle : )

 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Fussy Mornings Bring Sleepy Nights

Yesterday was a rough day. Weston was fussy from about 10 to 2, slept for an hour and then fussed from 3 until 7 pm. It was hard on all of us. J was upset because he wouldn't take a bottle from him, which led to three hours of cluster feeding and comfort nursing. after 7 me and Weston both fell asleep exhausted and he didn't wake again until midnight. longest sleep stretch yet!

I will admit I was at my wits end, which leads me to my first aha moment of many: just because you baby doesn't fall into the perfect baby description you read about in all those prenatal books doesn't mean there is something wrong with him/her.

don't get me wrong. if your angel baby has text-book three-hour feedings day and night that is wonderful! if your baby has a cluster feeding block every day and you nurse on demand that is also wondeful. You are teaching him security and trust and that he can be comforted by you.

I think that over the past 4 weeks our biggest challenge has been letting go of how we thought our baby should be and embracing who he is. here are some ways I would describe our little man:


  • He gets overstimulated. too much talking, movement lights and sounds makes him on edge. I think he gets this from me. quiet yoga rooms and solitary running paths are my bliss.

  • He cluster feeds. I wanted him to eat on a schedule I really did. within three days I realized I needed to listen to and learn his rhythm.

  • He will have one good stretch of sleep at night (3-4 hours) followed by a few one or two-hour blocks. It helps to see the longer stretch as a gift.

  • He will take a 5-10 minute break during feedings. I have assumed he was finished feeding a few times and couldn't understand why he was hungry again. I now think this is more a continued feeding than feeling frustrated about why he is "eating again!!".


Did you feel frustrated by all the baby myths when you first brought your little one home?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Raising Baby Vegetarians

I have mentioned before that during pregnancy J and I discussed how we were going to raise Weston (diet wise). His daddy eats meat occasionally, usually fish and sometimes chicken. When he is dining out he will sometimes have red meat. I am vegan (except for some egg whites I ate in pregnancy during the height of my nausea).

We have reached an agreement that Weston will be raised vegetarian with low dairy consumption. There are a few reasons for this, mainly his transition to daycare next year and being able to partake in his Grandma A's baking which is actually more of a soft spot than I had originally imagined.

We have also discussed that if he chooses to eat meat or asks us about it as a later date, we will let him make that decision. This post by healthy tipping point was very helpful and reinforced some of our ideas on the vegetarian debate.  However in our home we won't eat meat. Our home will also probably have more vegan snack foods than vegetarian, and most importantly an emphasis on health and what foods make us strong and healthy.  I am thinking rainbows and "real food" concepts will come into play. After all, we could feed him french fries and oreos as a vegan and he could develop very unhealthy eating habits.  I also want food to be fun and not a battle zone.

In my opinion it is never too early to start thinking about how you will approach these things as a family. It is hard when you have well-meaning in-laws weighing in, and that old myth that it's hard to get enough protein as a vegetarian.  An informed rationale is all you need and some back pocket facts (i.e. there are many wonderful sources of non-meat protein!).

Are you raising (or plan to raise) your little one as a vegetarian (or vegan, paleo, gluten-free)?
Was it an easy decision or did you face some backlash??


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Postpartum week 3

Baby

Weston had his three-week check up yesterday. They weighed and measured him and did a general run through of things like how are his diapers, how is he feeding, how is he sleeping etc.

Breastfeeding

Since our last weight check at the health centre he has gained a whopping 1.5 lbs. 16% weight gain! I guess the BF'ing is working. It was a relief because I have been worrying (like mothers do) that I didn't have enough milk or he wasn't feeding long enough. Just to recap, the first nurse we saw in the hospital said he didn't have a good latch and I would have to work on it. The second nurse that came to our home told me that he needed to eat longer and on both sides. And finally, yesterday his pediatrician told me I should feed him LESS because he is gaining so quickly.

After a call to my mom and sister they reassured me that mom knows best and to go with my gut.  When I cut down his feedings I don't believe he is getting the hind milk (as evidenced by his diapers) so I am not going to do that for now.

Sleeping

We hit a rocky 3 week growth spurt on Tuesday and things are just starting to settle down. He fed non-stop and was so fussy I shed a few tears trying to calm him down a few times. Needless to say, sleep has been all over the place.  There are some new highlights though. He has slept in his crib twice now for 2 and 3 hour time spans. Yay for moving to the big boy crib for naps! I also found the 3 swaddle blankets he actually likes. They are his anais anais ones (the boy has expensive taste).

Diaper Rash

Weston has developed a mean case of diaper rash. I am beginning to think it is from his Kirkland wipes. Despite hearing rave reviews, after further research I discovered here are some nasty ingredients in the new formula. Formaldehyde being one of them. On our to do list tomorrow is a trip to pick up new wipes. I am thinking we will try a sensitive skin brand of some sort and see if this angry redness will begin to clear up. Poor little guy :(

Body

At three and a half weeks postpartum I am pretty much back to pre-pregnancy size except for about an inch round my abdomen. I am chalking this up to genetics and a quite active pregnancy.  Breastfeeding has also played a role in tightening my uterus back up.  I will tell you that I have a lot of work to do to get back some muscle tone. My arms are weak and my core strength leaves much to be desired. I have been doing mini core workouts (planks, leg slides, bridges).  Next week (4 weeks PP) will mark my return to light exercise. I even charged my garmin in hopes that I can go on a mini run or brisk walk.

I cannot believe we are close to the 4 week mark. It is true that time goes so quickly with a wee one. I am trying my hardest to cherish every moment. Even the fits of tears when he is really saying "mommy I need you". I don't think he knows yet just how much I need him too :)

 


Thursday, 21 November 2013

My New Mommy Wardrobe

The first two weeks (and a bit) at home with a new-born are a challenge for more than a number of reasons.  For one, you are a different size - you don't really fit your maternity clothes but your old clothes just don't work.  This is due in part to your newly well endowed chest (in my case anyway) and your still swollen tummy.

Don't worry, over the first 2-3 weeks you will begin to see glimpses of your old self in the mirror. In the meantime, you need comfy clothes. Clothes that you can go to a coffee shop in for your first big outing or run to the drugstore for more breastpads and lanolin cream.

Here are a few items that have been lifesavers for me. Most days I try to get dressed to maintain my sanity, and still look somewhat put together (or in most cases like I just left a yoga class).



  1. A nursing tank - I now have 3 from target and they are lifesavers!

  2. An open cardigan or sweater for easy nursing access - I love this old navy one.

  3. Lululemon Wonder Unders - a bit more dressed up than leggings at least

  4. Knee socks - I wear these under my boots if I run out on an errand and for extra coziness around the house.

  5. A great baby bag - I have this Skip Hop one and it has replaced my handbag.


Did you have a postpartum uniform that you lived in for the first couple of weeks?
What are your go to comfy clothes??


 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Postpartum week 2 - Baby

How is our baby already two weeks old!! Time flies when you don't sleep and spend 24 hours a day caring for a little one.  Here is a run down of our first two weeks with baby:

Sleeping

I think he is a good sleeper. Sometimes we get 3 hour stretches which is pretty amazing at two weeks. There are some problems though.  He won't sleep on his back and seems to have the ability to roll over already.  I know that seems crazy but I have woken up multiple times to find him pressed against the mesh of his co-sleeper.  If I put him on the big bed with no blankets or pillows near him he will sleep upwards of three hours soundly.  I don't know what to do at this point as I am aware of the SIDS risk and "back to sleep" warnings.

Eating

He eats like a champ. Eight days post birth he had passed his discharge weight and was three ounces shy of his birth weight. I am anxiously awaiting his appointment next week to see how he is progressing.  Breastfeeding still hurts at first latch but is getting a bit better.  Right now we are testing out different bottles to see if we can successfully get daddy to feed him.  It is a process of trial and error right now.

Play

My parents are here for a visit and bought him a play gym. He is fascinated with the mirror! It is really quite funny to watch him stare at it and make his funny little noises.  He is also fond of a big teddy bear we have, mainly due to the big black nose.  He has  little conversations with the bear every morning.

If you have advice on the sleep situation I would love to hear it! 

 


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Postpartum Week 1 - Body



Technically today we are 9 days postpartum but I plan to share weekly recaps of all the changes and phases.  This week has been a whirlwind of feedings, diapers, cat naps and snacking when I have time.  Here are the real details of what my first week was like in hopes that it might help some expecting or new mommies out there.

Body changes

I don't know if this is common, but I was truly amazed at how quickly my body (physical appearance wise) bounced back.  By day three I looked about 3 months pregnant and by one week I looked like my old self with bad muscle tone (i.e. i have NO ab muscles).  This means it is harder to carry heavy things like the car seat because of my weak core.  I am not too worried though and have started my kegels and bridges when i lie on the floor with Weston.

One thing I was not ready for: intense night sweats. I wake up soaking wet!

Tearing

I had a second degree tear which needed 8 stitches post delivery.  It has been more uncomfortable than I expected. For the first couple of days i was terrified to go to the bathroom but once i started taking the prescribed pain relievers more regularly the pain became more manageable. I think my moment of truth came when we decided to go on a short walk last Thursday (about 4 blocks) and half way there I almost started crying from all the pain and pressure in the suture area.  My advice: rest! You will have gone through something way more taxing on your body than you first realize and it is better in hindsight to take those few extra days on the couch than it is to push yourself too soon.  One other tip: stock up on super maxi pads. You will need them and you will likely underestimate how many you need. I was told later by the nurse to think about changing it every time you change baby (i.e. 8-12 times a day).  Costco jumbo packs will be your friend ladies. 

Breastfeeding

My milk supply came in fast and furious by day 3. It was more painful than i imagined and latching till stings. I am able to pump a considerable amount of milk at one time so I express after our first morning feeding.  I am going to stick with it as long as i can, and i am stockpiling milk so that we also have the option of feeding him Expressed Breast Milk (EBM as the public health nurse calls it).  NONE of my nursing bras fit, this is traumatic.  I will take this time to stress if you have a smaller rib cage and require less than a 34 bad size be ready to hunt for nursing bras.

Mood

I have had a few outbursts, I have cried a couple of times, and the lack of sleep is starting to wear me down. For now I feel pretty positive though and i am so happy J got to take these first two weeks off with me.  It has been a lifesaver and we have learned a lot about each other : )  I also experience elation when I look down at the little man in my arms. It is definitely a rollercoaster.

Exercise

None. Well a couple of walks and kegels but I am listening to my body and I am prepared to wait it out until I feel really ready to start some sort of fitness regime again.  The other day I was thinking maybe I will ride my bike on the trainer. Then I snapped out of daydreaming and remembered the stitches.  The mind does funny things.

How was your postpartum experience?

Did you feel prepared for all the changes?

What did you find most surprising/shocking?

 



 

Monday, 11 November 2013

He has arrived!

Baby Weston finally arrived on Monday November 4th, 12 days late but well worth the wait.  I don't actually have words to accurately describe this first week of new life in our home.  There have been highs and lows, but mostly shared awe at how wonderful this little man is. There are many moments in the day that I look down and think how did this little miracle grow inside of me? 

This first post I will share his birth story and then we can recap all the details of this first week... the feedings, the sleep, the healing and the new man in my life.  

Birth Story

Image

With Weston being quite late, I was scheduled to go in for induction on November 1. That got pushed to the 2nd of November, and so began the 55 hr journey to his birth.  I had one 24 hr round of Cervidil with little progression and returned to assessment at 9 am on Sunday for the second round.  After we were released we went to the mall to walk for a bit, following the nurses advice that "gravity would be my best friend".

That evening there were small signs of hope that this baby might come naturally so I went to bed feeling hopeful. At 12am I woke up and sat straight up in bed with one thought: "oh that is what a contraction feels like!". For seven hours they contractions came in seven to ten minute intervals. I didn't wake J because I thought there wouldn't be much he could do at that point.  By the morning however he found me downstairs by the tv on my hands and knees ; )

We went into assessment again after a shower and coffee stop to find I had actually dilated to 3-4 cm.  Progress!! We were given the choice to try another round of Cervidil or move onto an Oxy drip to hasten contractions. I took the latter as I don't think my body would have taken another 24 hr stint and still had the ability and energy to labour. 

I was allowed to eat something small before the drip so J went and got me a bagel then we moved onto step two. The drip brought on contractions almost right away in 4-5 minute intervals. It was unpleasant and I started to think about pain relief. A few minutes later the attending physician came and looked at the charts and said they were going to break my water. This was not in our birth plan, J was out grabbing lunch and our doula hadn't arrived yet so I felt a little alone at this point in the process. 

I was moved quickly to Labour and Delivery and within minutes the Dr. had broke my water.  By the time J came back I was in a new room, my water was broken and contractions were coming fast and fierce.  That is when I lost my breakfast, got really dizzy and realized I wasn't going to be able to do it drug free.  In hindsight, the Doula told us that all the interventions came so quickly that my body had no time to adapt.  

After the epidural, pain began to subside for about an hour and then I felt pressure.  Lots of pressure. I asked the nurse what I should be feeling because I thought the Epi would take all the pain away. It wasn't horrible, but my instincts told me it wasn't quite normal.  She called a resident in to come check me and I was fully dilated and baby was right there. I was told I could start pushing when I was ready. 

Right away I started trying. It is a very foreign process this "pushing". We quickly found that I couldn't push on my back because babies HR dropped too much so I had to lie on my side. Between each contraction I had to switch sides so they could find the HR again. It was uncomfortable and a bit stressful.  J helped by counting to 10 for each push (3 pushes per contraction), but as I got more irritated I needed the counting in my ear to stop.  He then took on the role of water bottle holder.  I imagine it is quite hard to be the partner in those cases because how can you really soothe someone in that state : )

An hour and a half in I asked my doula if I could take a break but was told no because it would erase all the hard work.  With that news it clicked in me that I had to get him out before I got more tired. 20 minutes later they were telling me to stop because he was right there (and there were no Dr's in the room). This is the funny point where I said (yelled) "No, he's coming out". The rest is a blur of delivery, Dr's and nurses, his loud loud cry and them placing his warm, wriggly body on me.  Immediately I said how big is he! He is so heavy!!

He was 8lb 9oz on his birthday and 21 inches long. He is my sweet, sweet boy and we couldn't be happier. Every day I tell him he was born to do great things and I can't wait to help him along the way.

Friday, 4 October 2013

False Labour or Flu?

So Tuesday night turned out to be quite eventful. After giving my last work presentation that morning I grabbed a soy latte at starbucks, picked up a couple of things at the store and headed home.  Nothing else too unusual that afternoon except typing up presentation notes and exchanging a few emails.

J got home, we ate dinner and I went to the living room to watch New Girl and the Mindy Project. By 7pm I was in intense pain.  No position gave comfort and it was constant tightening of my uterus (not contractions but something was wrong).

I kept telling J I was in a lot of pain and went upstairs to try to lie down. Then I got really worried. It was so painful I felt like my entire insides might burst.  I asked J to call our Doula and she suggested trying a bath.  15 minutes later it had only worsened so we decided to head into the hospital.

The car ride there was awful.  I felt every bump and by the time we got to the parking lot of the hospital I wanted to crawl inside. We headed up to the 4th floor (admitting & assessment) and they took me in right away.

The nurses were lovely and kept asking if I thought I was in labour and I said no, I think something is wrong.  They put me on the monitor right away and baby was fine and I was having some weird sort of contractions.  Weird as in really high up, spreading to the sides but not like period cramps.

Within 30 minuted my blood pressure dropped really low and they started an IV and then I started to get sick.  They checked my cervix and I wasn't dilated at all so they said it may have been the low BP. It wasn't. It was a horrible 24 hr flu bug that caused dehydration of my uterus which made it very irritated.

The only other thing that I think could have played a role was an aloe juice I had that afternoon.  I did some reading/research yesterday and found this on Mayo Clinic:

Taking aloe by mouth is not recommended due to theoretical stimulation of uterine contractions. It is not known whether active ingredients of aloe may be present in breast milk. The dried juice of aloe leaves should not be consumed by breastfeeding mothers.
That is pretty scary! After a day of recovery, gatorade and sleep I am feeling much better although I can tell things are still a bit sensitive.  From here on in i am sticking to tried and tested foods and beverages.  I am just very thankful that our little bean is A-OK.

Less than 3 weeks left!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

27 days!

27 days left and 2 days left of work. Time is going so fast now!

So much has happened in the past 10 days:

My sister in law was induced and gave birth to a 4lb 3oz little man. He is tinier than I thought he would be but is doing well. His little chest is moving a mile a minute but he is off oxygen and I think he is a fighter.

We had our prenatal photo shoot with our amazing wedding photographer. Here is a sneak peek:


Baby A's nursery is 95% ready. Monitor is set up. Book shelves are up. Diaper genie is assembled. I just need to make some tweaks to the mobile and get the bedding all ironed. 

Next Tuesday I will be getting my test for Strep B and having my first "check".  Then we move to weekly appointments until this little guy decides to arrive. His movements hurt more now and I have been having brutal round ligament pain. I am quite surprised I haven't fallen to the ground yet.

My memory is slipping. I walk into rooms and can't remember what I wanted. I am worse than ever with peoples names and I say the wrong words all the time. Baby brain is a very strange thing. 

Favourite things right now:
  • The Glee Beatles mix. Love it!
  • Long showers
  • Hot cocoa
  • Fresh bread
  • My new lululemon wonder under crops.   

Oh and one last thing. I started drinking raspberry tea yesterday. It is safe after 36 weeks and is said to help tone the uterus for contractions. 

"The specific combination of nutrients in Raspberry Leaf makes it extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system. It strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles which some midwives say leads to shorter and easier labors." source

Even if it doesn't help, who doesn't enjoy a warm mug of tea on a chilly fall morning??






Sunday, 15 September 2013

38 days

I have two weeks left of work. Two weeks!

The nursery is now 80% complete. We need a chair for nursing and a light/sound machine or at least a lamp. We also bought two new chairs from Target for the living room because we figured visitors after the baby arrives won't be as amenable to sitting on the floor as our other guests have been.

I talked to my mom on Friday night and asked her important questions like "I read I should bring depends to the hospital, is that true?" and "I need to get nipple cream for my hospital bag, what should I get?".   You know those first time, awkward conversations you have with your parents.

I wish my mom was here. I wish my sister was here. To be fair I wish my whole family was here. It hurts my heart that they won't all won't have the same newborn pictures with Baby A that my niece and nephew have.

Things I have noticed in this final stage of pregnancy:

  • I am not hungry. Thirsty yes, but most days I can't be bothered eating. I think this is because my stomach is being compressed to about the size of a peanut. 
  • When I do feel like eating, I have been craving all things pumpkin. I blame this on all the talk about the revival of the pumpkin spice latte.
  • The baby gets the hick-ups about once a day. At work the other day, my colleague and I were at a meeting and I told her to look at my belly because you could see the flick, flick, flick of his baby hick-ups. 
  • My back and shoulders are getting really tight. I was doing forward bends yesterday to stretch my hamstrings and my back hurt more than anything. This is probably something I should work on. 
  • Update on the car: with the seat in the middle back it fits! While we will still need a new car later we will probably put it on the back burner until spring.
  • Time is going so fast now!!
To do's:
  • Pack the baby's hospital bag.
  • Maternity photos are this week!
  • Do a test drive to the hospital in rush hour (just in case)
  • Buy new pyjamas and slippers for my hospital bag. 
  • Figure out what (if any) chair to get for the nursery. 
I feel like I am 5 years old again waiting for Christmas!



Thursday, 29 August 2013

Birth Plan

I think I mentioned that we met with our Doula last week to discuss our birth plan.  While it still seems far away (55 days!) she did have a few questions that left us stumped in a "we haven't even thought of that" kind of way.

Here are the major points of our birth plan (so far):


  1. who is going to be in the delivery room: me, J (my husband), and our Doula.
  2. I hope to have a vaginal birth.
  3. I would prefer to use natural methods of induction if needed (mostly because I have been told that Pitocin causes even more intense contractions which scares me)
  4. I am bringing my exercise ball with me and our Doula is bringing a birthing stool.
  5. I plan to start with no pain meds and progress to laughing gas and judge from there.
  6. I am terrified of tearing and one of my questions for my next appointment with my Ob/Gyn is to ask what methods she uses to prevent tearing (i.e. warm cloths).
  7. On most points (vacuum, suction, c-section, etc.) I am leaving it up to my Ob's discretion. I trust her and I know her stance on c-sections so I feel like any interventions will be done in our best interest.
  8. Apparently J does want to cut the cord (after delayed clamping).
  9. Visitors will be welcome after my (our) first successful latch.
  10. I plan on trying to breastfeed (see #9). 
I have also been thinking about really important things like what will I want to wear? How should I do wear my hair? Maybe I should get bangs lol. Will I be able to have snacks? 

Our Doula also raised questions like are you going to make a playlist? Do you want pictures taken? 

Wow so much to consider! I find this article on what to pack in your hospital bag really useful. 

Did you have a birth plan? How did you navigate unexpected changes in your plan? 


Monday, 26 August 2013

Prenatal Chiropractic Care

For about 3 weeks now I have had pretty bad rib pain on my right side. After a couple of google searches I chalked it up to pregnancy pains but it continued to get worse.  Last week at my Ob/Gyn appointment I brought it up with her and she suggested it might be bruising but by Thursday the pain was unbearable while sitting at my desk.  I mentioned it to my yoga teacher and she said it might be worth getting a second opinion so I booked an appointment with a new chiropractor's office near our house.

I have been to the chiropractor a couple of times before. My most recent visit was last year after I was hit by a car running. The time before that I had fallen off my bike on a downhill track.  But this time I was nervous.  Probably for the baby and because you aren't really quite sure how your pregnant body will respond.

The Dr. was very nice and took his time to go through all my aches an pains - including my restless legs which he thought may be related to some nerve compression in my sacrum.  I also learned I had 3 ribs out of place (2 in my back and one in my chest).  The pain immediately lessened after the adjustment but crept back up over the weekend.

Today I went back for round two: sacrum, 2 ribs and my neck, which I think is probably related to how I roll over in bed now. It feels a little achey after but I suspect that is normal.

The good news:

  • My balance is still really strong which I attribute to yoga.
  • I don't have a huge lower back curve and I was afraid I might because my old running coach was always telling me to "stop spilling my guts".  Great posture is not my strength. 
  • My legs are the same length (not sure why that is important but I think it probably means good things for running).
If you want to learn more about chiropractic care in pregnancy here are a few sites I found 

helpful:


A couple of additional thoughts:
If you feel overly fearful of going to see a chiropractor in pregnancy it may not be worth it for you. Always do what you feel comfortable with.  For example, I hate massages but I bought into the idea that it would somehow be an amazing experience during pregnancy. I was uncomfortable, I hate ambient music and the baby moved non stop because I was lying down.

Did you see a chiropractor during pregnancy? 
Did it help with aches and pains? 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

60 Days Left

It has been a busy couple of weeks. My parents were here to visit for 5 days, we had our first visit with our Doula and I officially have 5 weeks left of work which is both exciting and stressful!

While my mom and dad were here they did two amazing things for us: brought out all my nephews baby clothes and bought and set up our crib!

The nursery is slowly coming together!  I am still looking for a mobile similar to the one below that doesn't cost almost $100.  I might actually make one based on a scrapbook paper design I found earlier today.


W's Nursery Inspiration

W's Nursery Inspiration by lindsey-graham featuring modern decor

The poster in the picture was also inspiration for a canvas my friend painted for us. I will post pictures once it all comes together.

Here are a few other pregnancy related topics I will touch on in the coming weeks:
  • Placenta encapsulation (still on the fence on this one).
  • Chiropractic care during pregnancy.  I went for the first time this week and waited far too long to go.
  • Our birth plan (or lack there of).
  • Making a post-natal meal plan.
Hope you are enjoying these last few weeks before school starts, the roads get busier and things just start to move faster.

L

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

31 weeks!

There are now 70 days left until we welcome baby A! 70 days does not seem like a lot of time does it?

I have noticed this week that I am much more tired.  It is hard to get out of bed and at night I am back to wanting to lie on the couch reminiscent of the first trimester.  The weird thing is because of the stomach compression I am not really hungry.

We are now at bi-weekly appointments with the Ob/Gyn as well, which signals that we are truly on the home stretch.

Things that are different in the 3rd trimester:

  •  It is getting harder to breather as the baby grows and my diaphragm and lungs get pushed up.
  • I don't have any cravings - in fact the nausea is back a bit so I am back to pretty plain food.
  • No heartburn, which according to old wives tales means our baby shouldn't have too much hair hehe.
  • My bras no longer fit at all. I am tired of buying new ones!
  • Little veins are starting to appear on my legs and back.
Exercise in the 3rd trimester:
I have officially stopped running for now. I was getting really odd pain in my hips when I sat down to stretch.  I am going to try to start getting in some swimming I think. 

My parents are arriving today for a visit.  They are bringing all my sisters baby stuff from Winnipeg so it will be a weekend of nesting and organizing the baby's room.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Vacation!!

This week we were on vacation (yay!).  We haven't had a week off since November so we could hardly wait for some time off to relax and reboot.

I had a prenatal appt. on Wednesday am so we waited until the afternoon to drive out to Canmore. From our house that is about a 3.5 hr drive.  Note: sitting in a car for that long does get pretty uncomfortable when you are 30 weeks pregnant!

Wednesday night we headed straight into Banff to catch Feist perform at the Banff Centre.  It really is an amazing venue under the ampitheatre with the mountains as your drop back and sound board. Thursday we drove out to Lake Louise to do a short day hike.  We ended up hiking up from Chateau Lake Louise to Lake Agnes.  It was about 7 km return with an elevation gain of 1,200 ft.



I won't lie, I was a little grumpy at first because you tend to suck air more when your lungs are compressed by a little bean.  The view at the top and the chai latte were well worth it. There is a small tea house that serves soup, baked goods, and over 100 types of tea.  The staff hike in supplies and hike down the garbage every day. That is one way to get in your daily workout!

Post hike we went into Banff for lunch at Wild Flour Bakery.  I had delicious apricot soup and beet salad.  Before heading back to Canmore we stopped at Lululemon and I nabbed this new cool racerback tank:


Isn't it so pretty!!

Once we got back I had a nap/bath and we went out for Indian for dinner at the Spice Hut in Canmore. I had the Vegi Vindaloo (medium spice) and my was it spicy! I also ran into Rocky Mountain soap co. quickly and picked up the Belly Butter and some hand lotion.  


While I was browsing I was smelling all the aromatherapy roll-ons when the sweet store clerk came over to tell me that some of the scents weren't recommended during pregnancy. Oops!! I swear I learn something new everyday of this journey. 

We are back home now prepping for my parents visit this week.  It feels really weird to be going back to work for just 7 weeks. Weird and scary and exciting all at once!!




Monday, 5 August 2013

Pregnancy Resentment

Can we take a moment to discuss something that has been bothering me for the past two months or so. It is probably going to sound selfish because I really should be thinking of the baby first, but there are a lot of things I really miss.

I miss riding my bike down steep downhills and ripping through the trails. I miss meeting up with my running group 4 times a week. Yes I know I can still run, but I am slower and it makes me irritable to I have given in to the fact that I won't be one of those running mama's who completes a marathon at week 30.




I resent the fact that my husbands body hasn't changed and neither has his pace. I resent the fact that 5 of my friends took part in a team ultra and I couldn't go.  I am sad that I can't run the Edmonton 1/2 this August.



I had to tone back my exercise partly because the calorie needs of keeping up with my activity level while nourishing this growing miracle overwhelmed me.  The tiredness and sickness during weeks 7-13 also set me back enough to not be able to keep up with my group.

I am not sure if this is normal. This feeling of loss and reminiscing about last summer and all the training and racing.  I hold onto the hope that it is temporary, and although training and racing won't be as easy post baby, it wills certainly still be possible.

For now I am goal setting and making 'make believe' race calendars for 2014.  Driven by the amazing fact that at the finish line I (we) will have a new supporter.  And if that is not motivation I don't know what is.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Car Debate

We own a 2009 Dodge Caliber. She is not a fancy car but she gets us from point A to point B, has taken a few trips to the mountains, and has suited our needs just fine for the past four years. But there is one thing that she can't seem to accommodate - the infant car seat.

What I thought was a roomy back seat...

Our Gigantic Car Seat

We tried everything to get that seat in there, rear facing, with enough space from the front seat. The result = I can't get in the front seat and if I can I am sure there are rules about how far you should be from the windshield. At the moment we have the rear bench seat declined, car seat in the middle resulting in an "It Fits!" position that I am not overly comfortable with. For one, our space for toting stuff home is reduced about 35%.

So here we are, almost one year married with a new house, baby on the way and contemplating a new car. J calls it the trifecta. Maybe we can make it work. Maybe I am overestimating how many big trips we will make in those months of rear facing car riding. Am I insane to think that not getting a bigger, safer, more luxurious ride for baby A somehow makes me a bad parent??

Did you make your car work?
Did trying to install the car seat lead to your first big pregnancy meltdown :)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

81 Days


81 days (give or take) is how long we have left on this pregnancy journey. Slowly, we are starting to assemble all the goods needed to stock a nursery.  It feels so close now and I am already quite impatient.  Impatient and nervous.

I wonder who he will look like, if he will be calm or rambunctious like my nephew, if he will like to be swaddled. I pray for his health and worry about his safety already.  I have become a horrendous, jumpy backseat driver and I get anxious when I don't feel him moving.  I worry about my mood post pregnancy and how I (we) will cope.



At the same time, I don't want it all to pass too quickly. We are pretty certain we will be a one child family, so I am trying to treasure all the moments.  We need more pictures, more moments, more time to prepare for this gift.

Over these last 11 weeks I will muddle through what to do for our birth plan, share the first meeting with our doula and hopefully we will land somewhere on the to encapsulate or not encapsulate question.

Thank you for visiting! I look forward to sharing.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mommy Fears

I have the pregnancy companion App on my iPhone. Every day I open it up to see how many weeks and days I am along, and more importantly, how many days are left on this wonderful journey.

Yesterday it dropped below 90 days. I am not sure why that seems so monumental. Maybe because we seem to have come from 9 months to 90 days so quickly. Maybe because as more and more people notice I am pregnant they feel compelled to share their horrific birth stories with me (3 this week in case you were curious).

I am sure my fears aren't uncommon but they are becoming more and more obtrusive every day. I worry about his health. I worry about my abilities as a mother. I worry about finding balance as new parents. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about my postpartum body. Something that has led me to conduct extensive research on belly bandits and postpartum body shapers.  Is that normal? Or just horribly vain.

I fear that I haven't done enough during pregnancy. Like what will happen if I missed too many prenatal vitamins. Should I be taking fish oils? The list goes on and on.

I am sure this is common. It is right? The only thing I can think of is those taper weeks leading up to a marathon when you feel like you haven't trained enough, haven't eaten well, will hit the wall.  While not the same, there are commonalities in this preparation that make me feel somewhat calm.  I joke with my friends that I know I can run for at least 4 hours so I should be good until then. Sadly Jay's friend's wife told me she thought the same thing and it did not compare AT ALL.

I guess I am just sharing this in the hopes that it makes someone else feel a little more normal about being terrified.

Terrified yet so incredibly excited at the same time.

I think it is an ok place to be.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Home Stretch!

Today marks the first day of the third trimester! It seems like it has taken FOREVER to arrive.  I now have 9 weeks of work left (10 - 1 week of holidays) and I am starting to freak out.

This Saturday I ran 5k and it felt painful. Not a bad pain, just a discomfort. I am now debating either taking a hiatus from running or buying a belly support. I still love the feeling I get from running but the round ligament pain is detracting from that.

I am still going to prenatal yoga once a week and try to get in a Tracy Anderson workout once a week too.  I also walk from work to the edge of downtown every day so that they bus is less congested. That = 2.5 km a day 5 days a week. Not too shabby.

Recent changes:


  • It seems that my belly is growing every day! I am religious with belly oil despite reading that stretch marks really  come down to genetics in the end.

  • My back hurts. I think it is the way he is positioned (right along my spine!)

  • My appetite has decreased.

  • I still have restless leg syndrome. Compression socks help when I sleep.


Overall things are going pretty great! I am so happy that he is healthy and growing. I am nervously reading blogs about running postpartum and trying to figure it all out.  I guess it will be one of those "wait and see" things.

I did book a flight to AZ to spend 21 days with my parents in January.  At least the cold weather won't be an excuse that keeps me from getting outside.

There are a lot of things we still need to get:

  • A bassinet of some sort

  • A running stroller (still a maybe)

  • A dresser for the nursery

  • A change pad and all diaper necessities.

  • A mobile for the nursery.


That's all for now.  Here's hoping that these last 12 weeks or so go smoothly.

L

 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Loves and Yucks

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"]French Fries French Fries (Photo credit: Daniel Y. Go)[/caption]

This post is dedicated to all the things I crave and can't stand the thought of during this pregnancy journey. It seems to change week to week but here is the run down:

Loves:


  • Citrus

  • Starbucks Cool Lime Refreshers (heads up! These have caffeine)

  • Nibs

  • French Fries

  • Tomato sandwiches

  • Raspberries

  • Pineapple juice

  • Ketchup (I know that's gross. I can't get enough lol)

  • Nut butters


Yuck

  • Dark chocolate ;(

  • Salsa

  • Almond milk

  • Oatmeal

  • Falafel

  • Hummus

  • Anything coffee (until about the 15th week)

  • the smell of victoria secret lotions and bath and bodyworks soaps.


I basically can't stand anything I used to eat. I just recently began to eat green vegetables again which is so strange because I lived off kale before this little bean came along.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Slowing Down

This post is literally about slowing down while running pregnant and listening to your body's cues.  It's actually a really hard thing to do.  Whenever one of my running buds asks me if I want to go for a run now I preface it with "sure... but I am really slow now".

How much slower? About 45 seconds/km which might seem like small beans but when you are so used to banging out 5 km in say 25 minutes, as the Garmin creeps up to 30 minutes you just feel slow.

I will share a typical run with you:

Last night I went out to run 3 miles.  It was muggy and humid but  just went with it.  3 minutes in I start to wonder if I should start putting body glide on under my sports bra because it feels like I have just completed a marathon with all the chafing going on. I don't feel the baby bouncing (yet) but it does feel weird. Like a pulling sensation.  I decide to run 5min and walk 30 seconds because the run just isn't going well.  It's not impossible, it's just different.  Like way back when I first started running and each km logged was a new victory.  Then when I get home I am ravenous after 30 minutes of running.  It's quite funny really. So I refuel with carbs and loads of lemon water and pat myself on the back for getting out there and taking this baby for a run. I think he's happy about it.

When I make it to 7 or 8 km now it impresses me. I think if I slowed down more I could crank out a bit more mileage but I don't feel I need to. I am happy just staying active for the duration of this pregnancy journey. Which now has 17 weeks left!!

Did you run through your pregnancy? What did you do to stay active? I would love to hear from you!

 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Change of Plans

Hi there!

So it's been quite a while since I have posted at all because things around here have been pretty hectic. We sold our condo, moved to a temporary home, and will be moving on June 28 to our new home!

I have also been hard at work helping this little guy grow:

Image05

 

Whoa!!

Needless to say, during about 9 nasty weeks of all day sickness my workouts took a nose dive. More recently things have been getting back to a new version of normal but there will be no PRs set for a while.

Here is what I can tell you about this crazy ride so far:


  • Running is harder.  I am quite a bit slower and when I run I always wear my HR monitor. Sunday long runs avg. 9 or 10k at the moment.

  • Pushups are harder. I guess it's because a) my upper body is heavier and b) any time away from strength/weight training will make it considerably more difficult.

  • I feel funny on a bike. I have been to a few spin classes and I just feel odd. Maybe because there is a growing baby in the way : )

  • My flexibility is already changing.  My hips are tight, my hamstrings are tight, I feel like everything is shifting and I am conscious of not over stretching (especially important when relaxin kicks in).

  • Nutrition is even more important (especially into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters)


Other fun facts:

  • When I was really sick in the beginning I could only eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches on white buns. The thought of whole wheat bread repulsed me and the jam had to be one kind only.

  • I only recently began to drink 1 cup of coffee a day.

  • I can only stomach water with lime juice (Hello Starbucks Cool Lime Refreshers!!)

  • My lululemon shorts feel tighter already.  I guess that's normal by about 5 months.

  • I need more supportive sports bras, which is a blessing and a curse.

  • I think I might have vein problems.

  • My stomach is so itchy it keeps me from sleeping sometimes.

  • I bought a new swimsuit to try to get back into swimming. I have swam once so far :)


So that is the big news! My race schedule is up in the air as I prep for the big marathon called labour and delivery.  I can't wait to share more!

L

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Weekly Workouts

So I realize this is late! I was in Seattle last weekend and this week we have been crazy busy trying to find a house. No luck yet  I am afraid, which means we are escalating plan B to find a month to month rental. Oh the joys of moving. Needless to say, things are a bit off track around here but I hope they settle down soon.

Monday, Feb 25  – 45 minute ride
Tuesday, Feb 26 –  OFF
Wednesday, Feb 27 – 60 minutes Pilates
Thursday, Feb 28 – 5k run
Friday, March 1  – OFF
Saturday, March 2 – TOO much walking for a pre race day ; )
Sunday, March 3 - 15km Hot Chocolate Run, Seattle

This past week I really didn't do much at all. Monday we spent much of the day walking around downtown Seattle and took the ferry to Bainbridge island. I think I could live in Seattle : )  Then I caught this dreaded head cold (courtesy of the lady in the airport waiting lounge).  I am a crabby sick person... like those ads with the cartoons with the red noses.

I attempted a short run today and lasted 4k before walking it home. Truthfully, the walk was actually longer than the run. I am beyond tired of the icy slushy sidewalks. Spring hurry up and melt this please!!!

Friday, 1 March 2013

A Special Gift

A while back I entered a draw on She Does Justice for a bracelet from The Little Mist. I was so excited when I found out that I won and Hilary contacted me to ask what bracelet I would like.

I chose the Sparrow, which symbolizes the verse:

"Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows" Luke 12:7

il_570xN-1.401604481_nqef

The bracelet was inclosed in a simple, hand crafted and thoughtful little pouch with the following message below the passage:

You are loved. You are cared for. When this tiny


sparrow catches your eye remember the creator cares for you 


so much more. Give Him your worry, your fear.


Rest in him.


Some days you need a pick me up and this has been one of those days (ok weeks).  It is also on days like this that I am reminded of a much larger community that I am part of, even if only through virtual contact.  Never underestimate the power of a kind tweet or an email or even a blog giveaway that touches someone's heart.


Happy Friday!


L


 

 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

I am calling this a reset week. A week when you take a step back, evaluate your recent workouts, heart rate data, and how you felt during the week.  It was also a really busy week at work so when plans got sidetracked I just went with it.

Monday, Feb 18  – 70 minute ride (with 2x8min threshold tests)
Tuesday, Feb 19 –  OFF - traveled to Calgary
Wednesday, Feb 20 – OFF
Thursday, Feb 21 – 60 minutes on trainer (Gayley ride on TrainerRoad - avg HR: 136)
Friday, Feb 22  – OFF
Saturday, Feb 23 – 1.5 hr track session, ColdestNight Walk
Sunday, Feb 24 - 9k long slow distance (avg HR: 142 - Finally!)

So yes, I took 3 rest days this week but all of my workouts were higher quality.  I was sad to miss hill training on Wednesday but I worked really late and had a bad day for eating so squeezing them in didn't make sense.

So this week things are back on track with my run group. I should get in a Tue and Wed run and 1-2 rides before we leave on our mini vacation.

 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Countdown to vacation

In one week we will be flying to Seattle. Thank goodness! We haven't taken time off since November so even a day and a half tacked on to a weekend seems like a gift.  side note: I am also already counting down the weeks until Easter and the 4 day weekend!

Things I look forward to on our trip include:


  • The Seattle Hot Chocolate Run (running on cement and not slush and snow!)

  • Whole Foods!

  • Vegan food

  • Vegetarian Sushi

  • Shopping!!

  • AND... Welcoming in 30 years for J 😄


This week my sister flew to Arizona with her family to spend some time with my parents.  Unfortunately they brought pink eye with them. Ahh the joys of having two toddlers right? Regardless, I am jealous that they are having a family vacation sans me and J.

Today marks a day of remembering a wonderful woman.  My Gran passed away two years ago today, and I still miss her.  When we got the news, I flew to Scotland to meet my dad there for her funeral. During the 18 months I lived in Edinburgh I got to know my Grandma as an adult. Something I will always treasure.   When we cleaned out her house, I took home a little tiny journal with me that documented the first time she met me.  I hope that someday I will at least show half of her wonderful qualities.

Scan 8

So I am sorry that this is a mopey post. It really has been a busy week full of very exciting changes and of course, the house hunt continues.  Oh and my bestie is coming up from Calgary tomorrow to spend the day with me!

TGIF! Does anyone else feel like Spring is coming??

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A better ride

Hello Tuesday! Today I am flying to Calgary for a day of meetings, which means this four day week is really a 3 day week in the office. Not bad : ) The good things about travel days are trying new places for lunch and meeting folks really passionate about their work, the downside is my 5am alarm and 6pm return flight probably means I won't make my run today.

As promised, here is some more info on TrainerRoad. Since December I have been enjoying spin sessions on my bike on our new trainer.  But between you and me I kind of dread them. I don't have J's ability to pound out intervals on my own and I have a hard time making the rides worthwhile.  To combat the boredom I started looking into training videos like thesufferfest and using my ipod to guide my cadence. 

It was under the "indoor resources" tab on the Sufferfest that I found TrainerRoad. For about $60 ($10 a month fee and the purchase of a $50 Garmin speed and cadence sensor) I now have a virtual power set up.

Yesterday I did the 8 minute threshold test - 1 hr cycling with 2 all out 8 minute efforts. It was so tough and i was actually shocked at how low my power output was.  But on the plus side, I now have a solid base line to work onwards and upwards from.

This post only covers the basics but I would be happy to share more once I have the system down to a fine art : )

Enjoy this short week!

L

p.s. Is anyone else over winter by about now?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Weekly Workouts

Recapping this week:

Monday, Feb 11  – Buns & Bellies
Tuesday, Feb 12 –  Tempo run (avg HR: 162)
Wednesday, Feb 14– OFF
Thursday, Feb 14 – Cardio Circuit class, Evening Hill Training (4x400m)
Friday, Feb 15  –40 min interval spin on the trainer
Saturday, Feb 16 – OFF
Sunday, Feb 17 - 11k long slow distance (avg HR: 154 - getting better)

I have to show you all something weird. That is a snapshot of my long slow distance run today. My HR was all over the place and I was having a really hard time breathing. Air quality hasn't been great the past couple of weeks in Edmonton, but I think it was actually the warm temps and melting this week because I was wheezing pretty bad.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 5.39.55 PM



I actually took more rest days this week because my workouts have been really hard like I was hitting the wall with very little effort. It is frustrating! I am hoping it is just a low week and next week I will be back to normal. My friend suggested maybe I am fighting something because all I have wanted to do is sleep too.


I hope this week is better! I got a new cadence/speed sensor to motivate me on the trainer and downloaded a new program called Road Trainer.  I will post on it tomorrow after I do my 8 minute test.


Happy Sunday,


L

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Long Weekend!!

Ahhh three days off. I have been waiting for this long weekend all month! As an added bonus, our track workout today was rescheduled so I slept in (until 7... but the body feels so much more rested when you don't get jolted by an alarm clock).

This weekend we are celebrating the sale of our condo! The real house hunting begins because we need to be out by April 15.  Last night we went to look at one house but it was over-priced and had too much wood panelling for our liking.  We are however, becoming more forgiving on our list of must-haves. For example:

  • The kitchen doesn't need to be brand new. Just clean and bright.
  • We can do one and a 1/2 bathrooms.
  • The basement might not be perfect - but it would be nice if it wasn't painted Oiler's blue.
  • Armoires might need to replace closet space in these little 1950's homes.
  • Don't judge a house by it's paint colours... we may not be handy but we can paint. 

Today I am actually taking a volunteer shift from 7-11 to help out at the charity casino event for the Ronald McDonald House.  I am officially a "chip runner".  I suspect that it is going to be a tiring day so I am holding off on a run until later.  Besides, isn't that what holiday Mondays are for??

What are your plans for the long weekend??

Family time? Long runs? Maybe some kitchen experiments?? 

 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coldest Night Edmonton

 facebook_icon_9




This year J and I decided to participate in a fundraising walk The Coldest Night of the Year walk on Feb. 23.

Thanks to the Twittersphere  – I have had the luck of connecting with Hope Mission’s Devin Komarnsiki and his ‘Hope Tweet Fleet’ team for the Coldest Night walk.

Coldest Night is a non-competitive (say what 😉) 5 and 10 km winter-walk fundraiser supporting select Canadian charities that serve the hungry, homeless and hurting in cities and communities across Canada. In Edmonton the select charity is Hope Mission.

So far there are 41 teams and 205 walkers signed up for the Edmonton walk. Each city has their own overall fundraising goal and Edmonton’s is $50,000. Edmontonians have raised 68% of that goal to date and there are officially 10 days left until the walk.

Please donate to my team, or to another team in Edmonton – in the end it all goes towards a great cause.

Important links:


 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What Motivates You?

Over the years I have attended many motivation talks through the Running Room clinic programs.  They are probably one of my favourite clinic nights along with Goal Setting (I love to hear my fellow runners say their goals out loud and proud).  In the past we have talked generally about what motivates us, heard from people who have completed 50+ marathons, or read aloud excerpts from stories about parents like Dick Hoyt and Rick van Beek.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Dwight Kroening - the first heart transplant recipient to complete an iron man.  We sat in silence as he told us about his journey, from the initial bleak prognosis to his final marathon leg of the ironman.  He talked about tiredness, pushing through fatigue and at times needing to sit down to brush his teeth because it was too exhausting. Months later a trip to the Dr. would reveal his heart had doubled in size and was functioning at 8 per cent.  He was given two months to live at 26 years old and two options: go home and get your affairs in order or try this "new" organ transplant option.  After being told, if successful, the transplant would help him return to his prior state of health, Dwight and his family chose the transplant option.

It has been 27 years since his heart transplant in the state of Arizona. He shared that approximately 1% of organ donor recipients live past 25 years.  I am guessing that figure was lower in the mid 80's when he opted to try the surgery.  Dwight however has never had any rejection issues, something he admits is no short of a miracle.

When speaking about what motivates him Dwight shared three things:


  1. His children - he and his wife went on to have 3 sons.

  2. His responsibility to the donor and his family - he shared that he has always felt he had to make good use of the heart he was given and live life to it's fullest.

  3. His responsibility to the transplant community - to push the norms and to demonstrate how rich and full life can be post transplant.


There is so much more to his story that I am sure I haven't fully captured.  At the end of his talk he turned the question on us and asked "what motivates you".  Someone in our group said "you do now".  So true. So true.

What motivates you to get out there and run or train or live life to it's fullest?

Happy Wednesday!

L