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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Baby 4 Week 20: Oh Just Drink Vinegar! Ok!

Week 20

After last week's post my sweet friend, Lindsay, offered to let me borrow her doppler so I can hear baby's heartbeat. I hadn't felt baby in a long time, and barely anything before that, and while I'm not a worrier when it comes to whatever I'm growing in my tummy... it was weird to me. I fired that thing up and started looking for baby. Nothing... and nothing... and nothing... Finally I got a small moment of 140bpm and considering I wasn't running... I knew it was baby and not me. It was way off to the left side, and I lost it quickly. I then decided to listen to see if it sounded like if my placenta was anterior, or in the front of my uterus. I got the slow "swoosh, swoosh" that pretty much confirmed for me that an anterior placenta was the reason I wasn't really feeling baby.

I had heard a lot of scary things about anterior placentas... not that scary... mostly annoying. This post is an example of why anterior placentas are a pain:

Anterior placenta is to the right, click the picture
to read the article!
However, none of my students have had any complications with their anterior placentas, and my midwife said nearly half of all placentas are anterior and it doesn't really cause significant issues, if any. My midwife confirmed she was pretty sure I was right, which made me happy. I like being able to figure out for myself what is happening in my body. I don't like going to a doctor or midwife and saying "I don't know how to work this thing, explain my body to me."

Yesterday I started to really feel baby. Clear wiggles everywhere but in the front of my tummy, but I'll take it. I have had some very impressive braxton-hicks contractions as well, which I think are really neat. All about it.

I'm also getting mild heartburn. I like it. I've been able to mostly avoid it by avoiding sugary foods... but little by little it is creeping up when I don't expect it. Last night I decided to try apple cider vinegar, which some people swear by. Eric googled the amount and decided to set me up with a shot class of straight ACV instead of diluting it with water. OMG. Seriously, who can drink that? It basically touched the inside of my mouth and I freaked out. I did swallow some. It didn't help and made my throat burn more. Maybe I'll try it diluted.

We have our anatomy scan set for August 18th, I think I'll be around 23 weeks? I'm happy to wait, more chunk on the baby for cuter 3D pics!

As for weight gain, there has been none, and I could not be happier. I lost 11 pounds and haven't gained anything back. I fully credit Indy weaning. I am of course also staying very active. I'm actually in better shape now than when I got pregnant. Turns out weight lifting changes my body a lot more than running. Eric is probably sick of me flexing and showing him new muscles, but I'm not yet. I will probably start gaining soon, and that's ok... I actually weigh almost exactly the same as in my last 3 pregnancies, check it out:

Yes I just told you all how much I weigh and also shared my pregnancy weight spreadsheet! The rows are my pregnancies in order from top to bottom. What is way crazy to me is that I started Indy's pregnancy at 179, and this one at 203... and ended up at exactly the same weight halfway through. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks that's cool... but I totally do! I'm totally not going to stress out about how much I weigh when the weight class teacher is pointing out that the pregnant girl is lifting the heaviest weight (not in a shaming way). Being strong is cool :)

I think we should do a belly compare... yes???

20 weeks with baby 4!
20 weeks with Indiana!

20 weeks with Ashley!
21 weeks with Milo!

 That was fun, have a good week!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baby 4 Week 19: Maybe a Little Ragey

Week 19

Another week of little to no pregnancy feelings. Sometimes I get a little concerned about not feeling baby much or at all. Not concerned enough to actually do anything, because I don't think I should be concerned... but sometimes I let myself imagine what if something is actually not ok... and how it would all play out, where would I have the baby if it had died, what might it be like, which isn't unique to this pregnancy. If this makes any sense, in the most practical way possible, I've always tried to be very honest with myself that a pregnancy does not guarantee a baby. I've been like that from the start. I've known too many women who said they never believed it could happen to them, but then it did. I've poured over photo shoots from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, I don't skip over still birth stories, I've written about my need to do this before. As sad as a loss would be, I would hope that being familiar with resources, others' stories, and a knowledge of how common it can be would help. I don't know... and maybe you never really do until it happens.

Anyhow, when I think I feel the baby, it's always such a faint movement, I could be imagining it. I'm not sure if the position of the placenta this early could affect feeling baby, but that's something I'm considering. I really just look forward to clear, frequent movements... also looking forward to hearing baby at my appointment next week. That will be a relief.

I have had one likely symptom of my pregnancy plaguing me this week... and it's that I'm just a little ragey. Now... to be completely clear... this does not mean I'm wrong... I've definitely been right every time I've lost it... but I may have gone from zero to rage a little a lot I don't want to admit this quicker than normal.

What does this look like? Well on Friday I sent Eric to the store to pick up snacks for the Rodeo. I told him to get crackers (I even drew a picture of the container and sent it with him), healthy already popped popcorn, cheese and turkey. When describing the crackers, Eric asked me if I meant Pringles. I said no. I mean any kind of cracker in one of these to go containers:

He came back with Pringles. And kettle corn, and Fruit by the Foot (WHAT?), $18 worth of cheese and turkey, and milk that was also way too expensive. The whole point of this trip was that we would spend less than if we ate out, but it came out to $40. Long story short... and lots of yelling... I eventually wondered if I could be married to someone who seriously brought home Pringles after we had a clear conversation about Pringles not being what I was describing... and what about our future??? We can't be splurging on Fruit by the Foot (which I have never purchased) when Eric is unemployed and we are paying for a home birth out of pocket!

I was ok eventually, and Eric returned the Pringles. 

I finally decided to join a gym. I had been popping around using free passes at different gyms, doing youtube workouts, and running. I knew my days of being self motivated were numbered though... and my "runs" have a lot more walking time every week. I tried In Shape and they did offer the most classes. Things are pretty tight here, so I had to weigh the importance of staying in shape against having a little bit of breathing room in our budget. Basically... I just keep having to asking myself what am I willing to pay for this birth. So far... the answer keeps coming back, "a lot" or "whatever it will take." It's only $39... less than what Eric can pay for one snack spree... and if I get one weekend/evening babysitting gig a month I'll more than cover it. 

Just worked out, still running some, running shirts barely fit.
18 weeks and 5 days.

Physically, I feel amazing. no back pain, I don't feel big at all. I've been testing my blood sugar once or twice and week and it's been fine. Next week will be the halfway mark! Talk to you then!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
           Gives You Lemons


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baby 4 Week 18: Pregnancy + Jump Rope = Public Urination

A doula friend asked me what my hair looked like
if I didn't curl or straighten it. So here it is...
it's very poofy... that's what it looks like.
Week 18

Not sure I need to even tell this story... we all know how it ends right? I pee at the gym... that's how it ends. Ok I'll tell the story... that's the whole point of the blog right?

I had a free pass to one of the local gyms and I decided to check it out. I've actually been to the morning class, but that teacher said I should try the evening class as it's pretty different. The classes are very... crossfit like... it's high intensity for sure, but I am good about modifying. I got there and everyone is... well... everyone looks like they are their after picture already... I definitely feel like I stand out. I'm really happy when we get passed the everyone is chatting and I know no one part of class and start working out. I'm sure it's 100% me and everyone is super nice... but I felt like the new kid at school... the new fat kid with weird hair.

It's without a doubt a fun, hard class. When ever we run I keep up, I'm usually last, but pretty much even with the next to last person. We run outside the building and come back and jump rope... a little higher intensity than what I can handle... my muscles are totally in, but my lungs and heart not so much. It's like they just can't keep up, which is frustrating. I pushed myself to the point where I became dizzy so I backed off... usually I am limited by my muscles, I don't like other systems wussing out but I figure passing out at the gym would be pretty embarrassing.

Also failing... my bladder. Three rounds in, I'm jumping... and then... I'm really grateful I'm wearing black pants. I run to the bathroom but the damage is done. Totally not noticeable and I do complete the hour workout... but I think jumping rope is out for me. I seriously do not feel pregnant... until things like that happen.

Indy completely weaned this week. My milk is totally gone... like... I cannot even express a drop. Indy has no interest. If I offer he will pinch or hug my boob... or blow a raspberry on it... but not breastfeed. I feel ok about it though, he is 16 months old... it was a good run.

I'm super into grapefruit right now... which apparently raises my blood sugar excessively. Not crazy, but my two hour after having a grapefruit and cheese was 127, and it should be under 120, and 90 is normal for me. I'm limiting myself to half a grapefruit at a time. Peaches are still a favorite.

I'm really missing ice cream. I looked up the nutrition facts for the Oikos Greek frozen yogurt and I was not impressed. Still lots of sugar, and not that much more protein. I have a feeling even those banana cheater ice creams would be too much sugar.

I've only felt baby a few times still, I felt a good little swoosh a couple days ago. I hope to feel baby a lot more soon!

Have a good week!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
           Milo, Week 18: A Poke Hello, Laxative Baby
           Ash, Week 18: Me VS My Cardiovascular System
           Indy, Week 18: The NYC Edition

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baby 4 Week 17: See Ya Later Cervix

Week 17

My activity level has been curbed a bit by some persistent injuries. I've been weightlifting and doing PiYo, but today I don't even think I can swing PiYo. Injury one is my left ankle. No idea what I did, but my achellies hurts. Icing and resting. Injury two is the joint that connects my big toe to my foot on my right foot. It hurts... a lot... That joint has been enlarged since my last pregnancy... podiatrist was basically like "yeah it's fucked up, this is your life now," right after Indy was born. Maybe not exactly in those words. It hasn't bothered me much, now it does. Podiatrist blamed relaxin, the hormone that relaxes ligaments during pregnancy, and so do I. You are the worst relaxin... the worst. And your name sucks. Overall, I do feel really good, but to stay feeling good, I need to stay active. Trying to work up a sweat off your feet is hard... and no sex jokes... I know what I wrote.

In other news my cervix is gone. It happens every pregnancy. I don't know where it goes... maybe it's flown south for the pregnancy... I don't know. Well I do know... it's just really far back... but I like to think it's like "yeah... no... peace out, see you when all this is over."

Why do I even know where my cervix is or isn't right now... because I'm just always interested. I check it often through my cycles to see where I'm at fertility wise (which is really working out, I totally tend to know I'm fucking up when we have sex when we shouldn't) and I think I have some scar tissue on it from my last birth... so that and how it may affect this birth interests me. So yeah... curious, I checked and it's gone. We've gone over before how hard it is to reach when I'm pregnant... remember when I made Eric check my cervix when I was 41 weeks pregnant? Even midwives, nurses, and doctors struggle. So anyhow... it's gone. I'll probably see it sometime next year.

I am failing at cooking dinner, but my diet is fantastic. When you don't cook you either eat lots of processed stuff, you eat out, or eat lots of raw thing. I'm eating lots of raw things... all meals are basically bigger snacks. Apples, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and some nuts may not look like a meal... but it totally is in my world right now. I'm obsessed with peaches... rock hard white peaches... I did have a moment with needing a crunchy taco from Taco Bell Monday night... but overall... craving pretty healthy things. When I do cook... I feel proud of myself for the rest of the week... so I don't feel the need to cook again. Overall I feel good about what I'm feeding baby.

I still have not felt baby, I think I may have felt him or her on Saturday at the Baby Fair while I talked with doula Kat, but I can't be sure. I've had a few more moments like that. Anxiously waiting!

We'll talk again soon :)

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
           Ash, Week 17: Drama Bean
           No 17 week Indy post

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Baby 4 Week 16: The Pregnant Girl <- that's me

Week 16

This week I saw my midwife. I signed my contract with her, had a normal prenatal, everything looked great! She said I should be able to only occasionally check my blood sugar during my second trimester. I will start checking daily, or at least every other day, in my third trimester.

Staying just as active as last week. I'm sure that is why I feel so good. I'm kinda into piyo now, I've been doing it at home using youtube videos. It's pretty hard if you haven't tried it! I went on a 3 mile run (36 minutes, not too bad for having to walk a few times) and started to feel my lower abs/uterus.. a sign the long runs wont be lasting too much longer... 3 miles were ok... but that cramping isn't fun. It does feel really good to kinda feel pregnant though.

I can feel my uterus now, by the way. I have been checking almost every night when I go to bed, I lay there and hope to feel movements, I felt both Ash and Indy at this point... then I'll feel to see if I can really feel my uterus vs just all the bloat... and it's there!

That's really it. No weight gained, still at the 10lbs lost. Oh.. someone at the gym today said "I'll pair up with the pregnant girl" so I'm starting to look more pregnant! That was exciting. Even with my 4th... it's still exciting.

Have a happy 4th of July!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:

- Cori

Friday, June 27, 2014

Baby 4 Week 15: Possibly Offended

Week 15

I feel like the birthy decisions have settled down. No prenatals this week, no picking up medical records, and I'm even down to checking my blood sugar only every other day (as per Dr. C's recommendation)... so everything felt very normal this week. My blood sugar is great, fastings were mostly in the 80's which is awesome, after meals continue to be in the 80-90 range.

I wonder if kicking up my workouts is helping my fastings. Muscles use glucose for energy and instead of running so much (sometimes 7 days a week) I'm down to running 3 days a week and doing strength/cardio or just strength classes 3-4 days a week. I can definitely see the difference. I'm still trying out gyms, I have a pass at the YMCA and I've done RIPPED (Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, and Diet) a few times, a long time favorite, Boot Camp, and Step & Sculpt. One day I decided to go to "BYOB" (Bring Your Own Body I think?) which is usually a weight lifting class taught by a guy who plays rock from the 80's I think... I don't know... I grew up in the 90's. Anyhow I got there and there were strike pads out... which I'm down with... but then I realized we would be doing partners and I'd have to hold a pad while someone kicked me. Probably not recommended in pregnancy, but I did it. I've also been trying out a small gym on south Main called 2 Steps Ahead, which I really like, but I'm pretty certain we can't afford. I went to Piyo on Wednesday which was killer... super impressive. I felt huge next to all the skinny tan moms in there, but I more than kept up which made me feel good. So yeah, just really working on building muscle at this point to turn my body into a glucose burning machine.

It was a very birthy week, even if it wasn't about my birth. On Saturday I went to a fantastic workshop in Sacramento on VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) which is something I'm passionate about. It was mind blowing, so much amazing information... and I got to meet Jen Kamel of Celebrities do nothing for me... birth celebrities... super exciting.

With a few ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) ladies and Jen Kamel
On Sunday I started a private class with a new couple. On Monday I taught my Salinas class. On Wednesday I taught my Carmel class and on Thursday I did a webinar for ICAN on how to avoid a cesarean. It was pretty awesome. I was SO nervous! I way rather be on a stage than talk into the internet... but I got comfortable and I think it went well. I hope they got me... here are a couples of slides... so you know what I mean.

I just love that shirt!

Who doesn't think Gandalf when unnecessary cervical checks come up?
And tonight I'm going to a pregnant mamas potluck. And then Saturday I teach again... and Sunday I'm having coffee with an expecting mama. I love it... nothing else I rather fill my week with. And how awesome is Eric for watching the babies while I do all that? Pretty awesome.

So I think I had my first stranger recognize that I was pregnant today, but I'm not sure. I was at the grocery store picking up ingredients for bruschetta for the potluck tonight. I just had a couple things and there was an old lade in front of me. I stood behind her for a bit then she told the checker, super kindly, "let this young lady through." I thanked her, and she said, "you need to get home and eat honey." Again... super nicely. And I was totally nice back, but deeply confused. I didn't look all that pregnant in what I was wearing, but it was tight so maybe? I was in workout clothes, maybe because she could tell I finished a workout? It was so weird. 

Well that was this week! Talk to you next week!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:
               Milo, Week 15: Great Expectations
               Indy, Week 15: Put a Potato Where?

- Cori

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Baby 4 Week 14: Compromises I'm Unwilling to Make

Week 14

I am officially in my second trimester! I still don't really feel like I'm pregnant. I was a little more tired this week, I really felt the toll of the late night Orange is the New Black marathons... and by late night, I mean 11pm, and by marathon... I mean either one whole episode or MAYBE two episodes. Yesterday I woke Eric up at 9am and told him to make sure the kids don't die, I need a nap... and passed out for 2 hours. I went to bed at 11:30pm the night before, but 7 hours just isn't cutting it. I have a theory that pregnant women kinda slowly turn into babies over the course of their pregnancy... spitting up, frequent naps, unpredictable digestion, middle of the night feedings, rolling over becomes a big accomplishment, bursting into tears without warning. It all makes sense now.

I saw Dr. Chandler on Monday for what I hoped would end with "go, have your home birth." and it pretty much did! My blood sugar looks awesome. I definitely have gestational diabetes, there's no doubt about that, but over all my numbers are very well controlled. The fact that I already had a good diet helps a lot. Dr. C was worried I was starving myself to control my numbers but I assured him that this is just how much food I eat normally... unless I'm breastfeeding... then it's on. My fasting numbers are still mostly in the 90's. I questioned him on why a pregnant woman needed to keep her numbers under 90, or 92, or 95 (I literally heard all three this pregnancy) and a nonpregnant woman could be under a 100 (what my new midwife is going by). He said it just depends on the provider, adding, "We could make everyone diabetic if we wanted, just move the limit down." The number seems to be pretty arbitrary, I feel very comfortable for shooting for under 100 now.

We checked my blood pressure again because it was high last time, and it was high again. However, I noticed that both times the cuff was painfully tight... like my hand started tingling... and it had to tighten and release several times. It really hurt. The reading was 149/80something. High. Dr. C said to check again with my midwife and if everything is fine to not worry about it. I checked when I got home and it was 125/79... with similar readings a few times since then. So I think I'm good!

So basically I just have to stay healthy at this point. I'm not going to lie, it is taking a lot of commitment. I workout every day for an hour. I went to boot camp for the first time in two years to mix up my routine. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, but I had no problem at all. Anything where I had to get up and down a lot was a little rough because I can get light headed at times and sometimes straightening my abs quickly hurts... but it was still a fun class. The music has gotten better since I went last, and that's really what is important right?

I'm drinking a lot of smoothies... ice, greek yogurt, strawberries, spinach and flax. They don't raise my blood sugar too much and they are great for when I just want popsicles and ice cream... which is all the time. I'm warming up to salads again. Quinoa remains a staple. My diet is so much better than this point with my other pregnancies. I've actually lost 10 pounds, but I really think this has more to do with less and less breastfeeding  (maybe a few times a week now) and nausea than my diet. Also, in the months right before the pregnancy I gained almost 10 pounds (because I went off Metformin I think) so I feel ok with the loss, I'm now where I was for most of the last year.

Last week I talked about the planning our home birth and finding our midwife, I haven't really talked about why we are planning a home birth. I have thought about this a lot. I didn't have horrible hospital births, I'm really proud of my last birth even though it was medicated, I don't feel the least bit driven to home birth by negative hospital experiences. I had some basic things I wanted to avoid, like a long postpartum stay (24 hours way too long for me) or not having access to a tub in labor... and I had both an OB and a midwife share how I can get around those things... and they are right... I could fight for them... but... I just don't want to. I shouldn't have to!

I decided I'm not willing to compromise on many aspects of my birth because I know there is no reason that I should have to. Compromises that have nothing to do with my safety, my baby's safety, and everything to do with a system that is very proud and very slow to change. I've done this too many times and I know all too well how unnecessary many policies are. Could I go in and refuse an IV, absolutely, I've done it twice... but I don't want to. Can I insist on intermittent monitoring? Of course, I've done that too... but I don't want to. Could I birth my baby in whatever position I want? Probably... but there is always a risk that there will be a debate... and I don't want to do that either. I just want to birth my baby the way that I know all women have the right to, and I will fight to change the system... but not during my birth. I just want to labor and birth my baby. Should any intervention become necessary, I will of course consent, and I would be ok with it just as I was ok with it in the past. But I'm not going to discuss routine interventions. I'm beyond that. I don't want to have to think one time "Do you know how informed I am? Do you know what I do?" I just want to be a mom having a baby... undisturbed... and I know that that is almost impossible in our hospitals, so we are staying home... and I'm way fucking stoked.

These posts have been awful long. Thanks for hanging in with me!

What this week was like with my other pregnancies:

- Cori