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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Where did the weekend go

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It’s official: 2 day weekends are not enough. I’m headed into today feeling like I could use more of everything (sleep, time to clean, organize, prep the baby’s room…) Every weekend I get about 80% of what I need to get done, done, and then it all unravels during the week and I have to repeat the cycle. This weekend, along with going into a cleaning frenzy yesterday and shopping for a baby shower dress with my mom (the dresses all looked like mumu’s on me, in case you’re wondering…) we had a yard sale (sold $440 of useless crap! Score!), and bought a car (2103 Ford Fusion Hybrid–47MPG–sweet!). The Fusion is not the most baby-friendly model in terms of space, but both Hubs and I are very very pro-hybrid technology, and want to support it. The Fusion, while not exactly “cheap”, was within our budget, and looks awesome. So I don’t have the trunk space of an SUV…it’s enough to get my bulky jogger in there if need be, and we’ll make due.

The dress I settled on looks sort of like this, only in blue, with shorter sleeves (I couldn’t find the exact model online):

dmc

And anyone who actually looks like this model while 7 months pregnant can bite me.

I have been putting on weight in the arm area, so sleeveless tops accentuate my new slabs of meat which is AWESOME when you’re having a summer baby, and the only dresses available are these flowing sleeveless ones. Although my butt is, oh, about 12 times bigger than the model’s, I’m pretty much a big ball of belly this pregnancy, so tighter more form-fitting dresses actually look  more flattering around my bump than the tent dresses which hang awkwardly around my midsection and then plummet off my belly.

Our car looks like this:

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It is prettier than my dress.

After a full day of yard sale and car negotiations on Saturday, I looked like this:

cat

And on Sunday, I woke up, and I was 28 weeks pregnant. Crazy. I haven’t been bullet pointing symptoms at all during this pregnancy, but since I’ve officially hit the third trimester maybe I’ll throw in a bullet point or two:

  • Belly: Is getting large, but still no stretch marks. Don’t worry–I’m totally expecting that they may show up towards the end, or after I deflate. That being said, I don’t care if the collective interwebs say that body butter doesn’t work and that stretch marks are inherited: I am slathering that shit on twice a day like butter on a Thanksgiving turkey. I use Mama Mio oil and body butter (in that order). Both smell great, and although they aren’t cheap, one bottle and one tub of the stuff has lasted me through two trimesters.
  • Swelling: None so far. I’m eagerly awaiting the cankles I know I’ll get in about 4 weeks. Wedding rings are still on, and face hasn’t puffed out too badly.
  • Boobs: No lactating/leaking as of yet, but I’m up from a 34C to a 38D. Eek. I have PCOS, so it has been in the back of my mind that my hormonal imbalances may lead to difficulties breastfeeding down the line. Any advice from other PCOS-ers would be helpful…
  • Weight gain: 21 pounds as of Friday’s doctor visit. I’m tracking pretty well and trying not to sweat the fact that my love handles and ass cheeks are bulging around my underware. I’ve been too proud to buy new undies, but may have to in a couple of weeks.
  • Energy: The last two weeks I have felt it wane. I absolutely need a nap on weekends, and I hav been sneaking to my car sometimes at lunch during the work week to take a 20 minute nap.
  • Baby moves: all the time. I have become aware of her patterns: She likes to pummel me at pretty predictable 3 hour intervals. 4:30AM-6:30 is big for her. She’s sleeping now (at 8AM). Her other big moments are around 2-4PM and 8-10PM. I find myself musing whether or not she will keep that pattern when she’s born.
  • Sexin with Hubs: Has been fairly non existent. My lack of libido has not improved over the last couple of weeks. I don’t want to beat myself up over it, but it’s been frustrating. My body just doesn’t feel like itself.
  • Cravings: chopped liver (there’s mixed reviews on whether liver is safe. From what I can tell, you shouldn’t eat too much due to the excess Vitamin A, but it has nothing to do with it being uncooked or anything), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a juice drink I get from Whole Foods which I NEVER would have thought I’d love: spinach, cucumber, ginger, kale, celery, lemon, lime, and apples. I also ate deli meat a couple of days ago without realizing. I freaked out a bit, but Bagel seems fine.

 

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27 Week Update

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So much to report!! I’m proud to announce I finished “wall decal project to end all wall decal projects” yesterday!!! More on that in a bit. The nursery of my addled mind is coming along. And I just enthusiastically typed the words “wall decal”. The times they are a changin.

Yesterday, I hit 27 weeks. For some reason, this milestone felt bigger than some of the other weeks. Perhaps it’s because in the past week, I have really begun to notice Bagels sleep/wake patterns (3:30AM-5:30AM is party time at our place, as is 8-10PM), and I feel her little jabs more frequently. She’s feeling more baby-like inside of me, if that makes any sense. This week she kicked Hubs so hard when he was talking to her through my belly that his hand flew off my stomach and he screamed.

“Was that a kick??”

Me, excited that Bagel has FINALLY proven her existence: “Yes. YES!!! That’s what I was TALKING about!!”

“Jesus.”

Bagel is usually highly uncooperative with the kick feeling. She’ll be pummeling my stomach and as soon as I put Hubs’ hand on there to feel her, she turns into a saint and meditates. I have heard of other moms having the exact same experience. Weird!

What I thought was my belly “pop” a few weeks ago has nothing on what my stomach looks like now. There is a heaviness that wasn’t there before, but thank the good Lord of Dance that I do not have the sciatic pain I had a few weeks ago. I took a 27 week picture, but it’s on Hubs’ camera, so I will post at a later time. I kept trying to stand at different angles during this pic, swearing that it was the “angle” that was making my ass look approximately 5 times the size it was in my Week 12 pic. Nope. My butt is just large. Hubs enjoys my new “semi-Latina/Brazilian” butt, though, and has told me that he hopes I don’t loose it when I go back to my pre-pregnancy weight “3 weeks after the baby is born”. Har har. As of this morning, I’m officially up +20 pounds, which is tracking pretty well for this stage of my pregnancy, so I’m assuming I’ll be +30-35 by the time all is said and done.

As those who have followed this blog from the beginning know, I rarely if ever get my period due to PCOS (in a year and a half I got one period that was not medically induced, and one during the cycle that I ovulated on Clomid and did not get pregnant.) Apparently, to make up for the lack of blood from one orifice, my body has decided pregnancy would be an awesome time to see how many other orifices I can bleed from. My persistent hemorrhoid has been acting up again, so I essentially have had a permanent butt period, and yesterday, my nose decided to join in the fun. I had heard that nosebleeds were a pregnancy symptom, and I have noticed trace amounts of blood when I blow my nose from time to time, but yesterday it was full on “too many lines of coke” bleed. I’m trying to stay hydrated, as I hear it helps relieve some of the pressure on the blood vessels which cause the bleeds.

All bleeding aside, I am still feeling really energized and awesome. I’m hoping I can keep up my stamina for another few weeks while I finish up the nursery. Typing “finish up the nursery” makes me feel like a huge fraud, as I’m about as far from an interior decorator as they come. However, there’s been something about this nursery project that has had me basically June Cleavering it up these days. I’m scouring Pinterest, musing about color schemes, and investigating area rugs, pillows, and artsy craftsy crap. It’s a new day here in the Decyst household. As of yesterday, I finished the wall decal. Wall decal. Yes, I just typed it again. The word “decal” and all of the cheesy nail salon imagery it conjures is in that category of words along with “panties” and “fro-yo” that just don’t vibe with me. I always swore I would not do anything that would “girlie” the shit out of a room. I’m a strong, working woman! Ponies and rainbows be damned! My bedding is not particularly frilly or girlie…my crib is pretty standard…And then… the estrogen from this pregnancy must have hit, because Ladies and one Gentleman, THIS happened yesterday:

Image

I present to you: “Nursery that has been Girlied the Shit Out Of”. 6 hours of cutting, peeling, and preparing for this…glorious…moment!!! My arms and back are sore, but hot DAMN, you guys, am I proud of this. I don’t care if it looks like a Laura Ashley ad exploded on my little girl’s wall. 20+ hours of scouring Etsy for the right decal for my wall (Me? Obsess much? ), plus an additional 10+ hours or so of matching Pantone colors that were customized to match my bedding have paid off.  I only wish the colors in the pic were more reflective of how vibrant they are in real life. It looks like a girlie forest exploded up in here. And I love it.

Only problem now is, I keep having these recurring nightmares that somehow the three doctors who have told me I’m having a girl will have been wrong.

The rest of the room is still in progress, but I will be sure to take pics when it all comes together–hopefully in the next couple of weeks, as my baby shower is being hosted at my house, and I need to have everything looking Martha Stewart perfect to continue to trick people into believing that I have a happy homemaker gene.

Running

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This is the first I’ve written about Boston…I didn’t comment about it at all on Facebook. I don’t exactly know why, but I think I needed time to let it all sink in. I was in a work meeting when the news popped up on my feed. “6 injured”, it said…I couldn’t focus on the meeting any longer. I knew that “6 injured” was hardly going to be the extent of the damage of life and spirit that this bombing would take.

Early Monday morning, before the tragedy, Hubs said, “You should run Boston after the baby. Make it your goal. We could fly out and stay with my mom–it would be great.” I chuckled and told him it’s not that easy to qualify for an official number. In my age bracket, I’d have to have a previous marathon time of 3:30 which is no easy feat. I know there are a lot of people who raise the charity money necessary to get an number and run, but there has always been something about Boston for me that is about qualifying. Selfish, I suppose, but ever since I have started running marathons, Boston has been that one race, high on the mountain top, that I have wanted to summit– with all of the pain and emotion that comes with completing 26.2 miles, Boston is the one.

As a runner, that pain you experience as you’re limping through miles of a marathon is something that is intensely relieved by the roar of the cheering crowds that line the streets for you. A random spectator calls your name on your shirt as you’ve hit a low point and says, “Keep going Sunny”. That’s all it takes. One person in a crowd to say, “Keep going.” and it’s an instant pick me up. It’s hard to explain unless you have felt that feeling, but it is amazing.

The crowds are especially vibrant and intense at the finish line, with everyone craning their necks to cheer for the battered runners who inch their way home, regardless if they know them or not. It is unlike any sporting event you’ve ever been to…it’s not about rooting for your team…the crowds root for everyone.

I have watched the video footage at the finish line a hundred times, and to witness that juxtaposition from elation and comradeship to terror and dismemberment has hit me to the core.

When I was sixteen years old, I was restless, unhappy, and generally sick of living and growing up in the San Fernando Valley (a suburb of Los Angeles.) Boston University came to LA to do a college talk, and I remember seeing images of the town and just knowing that this is the city where I wanted to be. My first trip to Boston to visit the BU campus solidified this feeling. When I attended BU, I was in awe at the change of seasons, the snow, the old stone buildings, and the city, steeped in tradition. Marathon Monday is a Boston tradition–there is no other city that can come close to the feeling of Boston on this day. In a blink of an eye and a 6 hour plane ride, I had transported myself from the brown Valley haze and 70s inspired strip malls to an old city built with bricks and stone. I was an awkward freshman, drunkenly cheering for runners in front of my dorm on Commonwealth Avenue. I was a college junior, cheering from a rooftop balcony on Boylston street. I was a college senior, pushing through hot crowds near Kenmore Square, taking in the city, knowing this was my last Marathon Monday in Boston…I was moving back to Los Angeles that August, 2001.

In September of 2001, I watched as American Airlines Flight 11, the flight I had been taking back and forth from LA to Boston during my time at BU, hit the North Tower. A classmate who I did not know well, but knew socially because there were so few of us at BU from LA, was on that plane. She was moving back to her family in LA, too. That day shattered me. Eventually, I picked up the pieces, as we all did, and plunged forward into building a life in Los Angeles, barely looking up to breathe.

It has been 12 years since I have lived in Boston, but Hubs coincidentally grew up there, so since we have dated and been married, I have been back there for visits multiple times. Each time I’m there, I feel the pull of the city. I see the college freshman, giggling nervously in groups, wanting desperately to fit in. I see the Esplanade: the stretch of trees and water where I first discovered the joys of running. The city is steeped in tradition, and holds memories of a younger me, 18 years old, trying life out for the first time, endless roads and mile markers. Joy and pain. Aching runners and jubilant spectators.

I am grieving right now for a city that has had such an innocent tradition ripped away from them like this, and for the hundreds of people who have been disfigured and killed because of it. I am grieving that another innocent event is now being forced to toughen up, don a protective shell, and harden.

Sexin it up, Pregnant Style

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I don’t talk much about the good ole sex life here on the blog, but since being pregnant, I’ve noticed some changes in the bedroom department, and thought I’d ruminate on them for a bit in this forum. If up close sexy talk from a real life pregnant woman makes you squirm…well…don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone about your secret stash of bondage porn. ANYWAY. I digress.

I’ve always felt pretty confident sexually. As someone who falls somewhere between freaky nympho and prudish 50s housewife, I have always felt my sexual appetite to be healthy, adventurous, and fairly uninhibited. I go with the flow, and don’t judge it if you like a finger here or there. Hubs is the same way, and sexually, we’re quite the good match. When Hubs and I were trying to baby make, there would be weeks when we would have sex 4 or 5 times, which is a lot for me. Frankly, some of those times would be a chore, but in the end, the child we produced the night I went out, got hammered,  saw Book of Mormon and had a rollicking sack session with him was well worth the other un-sexy sexy times we had where we would literally force ourselves to do it after a fight about rinsing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher (ALWAYS rinse that shit FIRST!).

When not pressured to baby make, I’m usually a 2–maybe 3–times a week girl on a good week. No less than once a week on a bad week. This has all changed now that I’m pregnant. I noticed my libido waning a bit in my first trimester. We were still getting it on maybe 2 times a week, but I wasn’t up to my normal friskiness. I didn’t have any morning sickness or fatigue, so I had no real excuse aside from “just not feeling it”. According to the internet, now that I’m in my second tri, many women experience this surge of sexual energy and want to bang 24/7. Looking at my bowling ball stomach and newly budded thigh and ass fat, I want to meet these mythical women and see what their sexy secrets are! I’m finding myself on the opposite end of the spectrum, and it’s frustrating. Not only does it take me longer to get in the mood, I am always aware of the way my stomach feels, and that there is a human being in there. When I do finally get a bit revved up and get outside my head, Hubs will say something like, “Are you sure this won’t hurt Bagel?” and I’m like, “Fuck Bagel. Fuck ME.” Which is always good for erections.

Aside from the body feeling strangely not mine anymore, I’m running into issues–um–finishing. See–I’ve never been able to have an orgasm any way other than missionary or oral. I know, I know…I’m a bit vanilla when it comes to that. But damnit! I know what I like, and I know what works. With a large and in charge stomach in the way, not to mention, fear of Hubs flopping his body weight on to our fragile fetus, missionary has been out. Oral with my huge belly is awkward as well. All you “women on top” girls, oh, how I envy you. I have tried every which way and the other to get myself off that way, and it’s just. not. happening. Same thing with every version of cowboy, cowgirl, doggy, and lazy dolphin (ok…I have no idea what lazy dolphin is, but it sounds interesting).

Last night was the first night in a couple of weeks that Hubs and I had penetrative sex (we’ve done “other things” between that time, but definitely not that frequently). Although I, again, couldn’t get off on top, I must admit, it was really nice just being with him in that way.  Sex is vital to our marriage, and I don’t want to let it slip…I do miss my libido, though, even if it wasn’t ever at a porn star level…and I never thought I’d type this…but I miss missionary position!

 

84

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What has two thumbs and passed her glucose tolerance test with a super awesome 84 yesterday?

beber

This girl!!

Oh, and me, of course.

I’m pretty excited and blown away by the rocking glucose number to be honest (normal range is 60-140). How did this happen when I failed the one hour glucose test a couple of years ago with a 143?  Not to mention, I had sugar pee a week ago. My plan of attack on passing this time around was to eat a hard boiled egg about 2 hours before I chugged the orange drink to give my body a chance to warm up to food, making sure to keep whatever I ate high protein. I then chugged the orange drink at 8:30, went on a 15 minute walk, and had my blood drawn at 9:30. I didn’t monitor my carb intake that much in the days leading up to the test but I did stick mainly to eating fruits and salads the day before.

This alleviates one worry from my mind, that’s for sure.

In preparation for what I am hoping to be a natural, drug-free childbirth, I  just finished reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Can I give my honest review here?

“Meh.”

I know she is the golden un-episiotomied guru of natural birth, and gosh darnit do I respect the woman for delivering thousands of babies naturally, but I didn’t find the book to be all that connected to what I’m feeling my birth experience will be like. According to  all of the recommendations for the book, I may be the only one. About half of the book are birth stories from women who birthed in the 70s and 80s (some more recently, but not many). I know it shouldn’t matter what decade a woman births in for me to be able to connect with the story, but it distanced me a bit. I am also not against “natural communities” or any sort of place where a “natural lifestyle” is encouraged and practiced, but try as I might, I couldn’t get into the whole idea of The Farm (a “village/co-op”-type place in Tennessee where Ina May practices). The whole thing sort of skeeved me out for some reason and felt like some unreal birth utopia. She did have some good insights as to how important it is to be relaxed and stress free for birth to progress, but overall, I was left wanting more.

And then I came upon another title: Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds.

Two VERY enthusiastic Justin Beber thumbs up for this one!

The author is savvy, smart, and really speaks to the modern woman who, for whatever reason, is aiming for a natural birth but is going for it in a hospital. She goes through all of the ins and outs of patient rights, what you should request, and how to prepare mentally and physically for a hospital setting birth. It’s awesome! Highly recommend it.

I’m finding myself getting cautiously excited at the possibility of birthing naturally, and assuming my placenta moves up a centimeter or so, it will hopefully be possible. I want to go into the experience with confidence, armed with Hubs and my doula, and lots of knowledge about my patient rights. It makes me giddy to think about!

My back is feeling 90% better this morning, so it’s time for a 3 mile weekend stroll with Hubs to our Coffee Bean and back. Happy weekending, folks!

I have sweet pee–and other things

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Holy cow, it’s been a while. This whole “60 hour work week plus pregnancy preparation” has not been good on the ole blogging. I am going to try and be better, as I miss blogging, and want to keep everyone up to speed on things.

This weekend I hit 24 weeks. 24 whole weeks of Bagel growing and developing inside of me! I am feeling more and more connected to her—she is a mover and a shaker! Although she has a tricky little habit of stopping her violent kicking at the exact moment I put her Dad’s hand on my belly. I still look at her creepy “silly puddy-esque” 3D ultrasound face daily and sigh. This is my daughter. Oh, what an insane magical thing it is to look at her human face inside of my body! And speaking of my body… it has exploded. I’m in awe  of my ass, my thighs, my stomach. I’m up about 17 pounds, and have no doubt I will gain at least 10 more pounds. Everything is gargantuan, and will only get bigger.  My stepdad came over on Saturday and helped me build the crib! It looks so great, and I also built our changing table (Hubs is good at building things too, but I actually love to assemble these things and was on a mission to finish both pieces this weekend). It was meditative until I was hit with back pain on Saturday night the likes of a cattle prod being inserted into the side of my hip. More on that in a moment.

There have been a few cricks in the plans the last couple of weeks, as can only be assumed in any pregnancy. Last week, it was my sweet pee episode at the ObGyn’s. I went for a monthly check up and sure enough, there was sugar in my urine sample this time around. Not a great sign for the whole “passing my Glucose Tolerance Test” thing I was hoping to do in a few weeks.  I have always known I may be prone to Gestational Diabetes due to the PCOS/insulin resistance issues I’ve had, but I didn’t expect good ole sugar pee to confront me just yet. It was on the low end of the spectrum as far as sugar pee goes, but it was enough for my OB to want to do my glucose tolerance test early (I went in for it this morning). I’m fully expecting to fail the one hour, and have to go in for the three hour. If I fail the three hour…well, fuck me. I’m going to be bummed. I haven’t exactly been the model of carb-less sugar-less health this pregnancy.

Second crick in my plan was the excruciating sciatic pain that crept up on me over the weekend after I had finished assembling all of the furniture. Admittedly, I went to the gym, built lots of furniture, and generally over did it on Saturday, but nothing that would warrant that severe pain. I could barely walk at points of the day on Sunday, and I embarrassingly broke down in tears about it at a dinner with my parents and grandma on Sunday night as I tried to stand up from the table and was rocked by a jolt of the WORST FUCKING PAIN EVER. I blame some of my tears on the pregnancy hormones, but it was so frustrating to not be able to MOVE!! I felt weak and drained from the pain after only one day, I couldn’t imagine how I would function if it got worse.

I spent yesterday morning at 4AM on all fours in my living room doing pelvic rocks, hoping that it was just the baby pressing on my sciatic nerve and I could somehow get her to move. No luck. I limped into work feeling like a stuffed pregnant disabled cow. The jolts were getting worse, not better, and any subtle movements I made were met with pain unless I was sitting.

That is, until The Poo to End All Poos.

Ladies and one gentleman who read this blog, I had a eureka moment. It all started when I felt the urge to poo.

A wave of constipated realization hit me: It had been 4 days since my last poo! Could it be? No….could it? Could sciatica and extreme constipation be linked???

I am normally poo shy at work, but yesterday the pain outweighed any shred of care I had about stinking up a public restroom.  I was on a serious mission. I hobbled/limped to the bathroom, and proceeded to have the best shit of my life. I stood up to wipe and realized…the sciatic pain was basically GONE. There was still a small twinge here and there but I freaking POWER WALKED out of that bathroom. No more shooting pain!!!! I’m still a bit nervous to do too much rejoicing lest is creep back up, but that was a miracle shit if I ever had one. The pain is about 80% better today,so fingers crossed I will have a weekend where I’m not wincing and cursing every time I move.

So that, my friends, is the skinny for today. I took my one hour glucose test this morning… Let’s keep fingers crossed that I pass this bad boy!