My 35th week started out very normal. Besides the fact that I've been slowing down a bit (which I assume to be normal at this stage), I had been feeling well, watching baby kick and wiggle and just starting to mentally prepare for the last 4-5 weeks of pregnancy.
On Thursday, however, I noticed an annoying itchiness all over my body. At first, I thought this was a normal pregnancy symptom (several people confirmed this to be typical, especially around the belly and breasts- as your skin stretches that make sense). Then I thought it potentially could have something to do with that termite funigation just over a week ago at our apartment. Maybe my sensitive skin was picking up on some residue left behind from the gases. For the most part, however, I could ignore the little itching and it didn't bother me enough to be distracting.
Thursday night, however, I woke up in the middle of the night with extremely itchy feet- the soles of my feet in particular. In the morning I asked Kevin if he maybe also felt itchy (maybe it was those fumigation chemicals?) - but he didn't- and he suggested itchy feet could mean athletes feet. But I've never had that before and thought that was highly unlikely. So... where do you turn for answers these days except google?!
When I googled "itchy feet pregnancy" some results came up about cholestasis. I didn't have any of the other symptoms listed, and it seemed very rare, so I doubted I actually had this condition. But, I wanted to learn more and get more advice. So after Google, you call mom (who thankfully in my case is a super nurse, with a PhD in research) :) Mom looks up the condition and after getting a little worried herself confirms I should call the doctor. Here's where I start to get a little nervous, more actually more irritated.
The doctor of course wasn't open yet for an hour, 8:30am and I didn't feel like it was an emergency to be put through to the doctor on call- so I waited to talk with the nurse. When I called back she was busy at 8:30 and I left a message. No reply after an hour, so I stepped out of meetings to call again at 9:30am. When I spoke to the nurse, told her my symptoms, she was completely unconcerned and mentioned a possible referral to dermatology. I shared that I had done some internet searches, to which she said "oh no, don't look anything up online" and "you don't need to come in early for blood work, just keep your 3pm appointment and the doctor will probably refer you to dermatology." I was pleasant, but annoyed with her "bedside" manner and the fact that she didn't make me feel better at all. A previous nurse I'd worked with at this clinic was wayyyyy better about easing my concerns and always offered to have me come in if I was distressed.
Luckily, I had my 35 week appointment already on the books for later that day, so I just planned to talk with the doctor about it. I also planned to mention how unhelpful her nurse was- maybe she can work on that...
At the doctor when I was checked in by the technition who always takes my vitals, I mentioned the itchiness to her. She asked probing questions "was the itchiness on my palms of my hands and soles of my feet?" To which I replied "yes". She immediately put the notes in the file and said "okay"- she clearly knew what this indicated and after she left the rom I immediately felt that I was going to be taken seriously and supported.
We unfortunately had to wait an hour for the doctor, due to an emergency with another patient, but when they offered to reschedule everyone else except me- the tech noting "you have to be seen today" I knew this was more serious and I didn't mind waiting.
My doctor talked with me about my symptoms and said this was likely Cholestasis. She asked if I had googled it, not in a condescending way like her nurse, but more with an "of course you did" but let me make sure you have all the facts, attitude. She told me basically that Cholestasis is when your liver is not functioning properly and while the itchiness is definitely an annoying symptom, the much more scary possibility is "infant demise", which can occur out of the blue, typically after 38 weeks. Although she was clearly experienced in this, and said she had never had a patient that lost her baby from this condition, the words "infant demise" can make anyone pause. And cry. So tears of course began forming in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks.
She said we would now run some blood work, some of which would come back quickly and other pieces would take a week. Likely, all this means is that the birth of our baby just would be a bit more interventionist and less natural than I had planned and hoped for. She would probably induce me between 37 and 38 weeks. Also, the tests could
come back and show nothing, so we would wait to see.The only thing I need to do is kick counts to keep track of her movements 3 times a day. She moves a lot so I wasn't too concerned over that. Furthermore, I have weekly visits planned through the pregnancy now, so next week we could make a decision. Kevin was great, asking tons of helpful questions to learn more (he always is great about that)- I basically sit there in shock and processing silently- my questions never arise in the moment. But I left the doctor assured again with her that we were in very good hands.
After the blood work (luckily the blood tech also was very friendly and kept my mind at ease or simply distracted with talk about little baby girls and how exciting it was because he had all sisters...I say this as
a thank you to those of you in the medical field or really any field of work dealing with people and being kind to them on a regular basis- kindness always helps!!) - the news really starred to sink in- and I was devistated. Mainly concerned about this rare rare possibility of losing the baby or also being affected by liver disease in my future and not being able to help kevin take care of the baby - I practically lost it on the way home, and have had many moments of that in the past 40 hours.
The morning after the blood work, we had planned to work around the house nesting :) getting everything completely cleaned, organized and prepared for little baby bears arrival, which we still thought would be at least 2-3 weeks away now. Kevin and his mom basically did all the hard work and prep, while I folded cute little baby socks and onesies. After we felt really accomplished and orgnancized we sat down on the couch to watch tv and rest at 1pm, when I also checked my health app to see if any of the test results came in. That's when I was hit with another shock and freak out moment.
Although only half of the results were back, my doctor messaged to tell me that my liver enzyme levels are extremely high and that she had scheduled me for an induction this week on Wednesday. I would also need to go into the hospital on Monday for a nonstress test and a shot of steroids to ensure our baby bear's lungs are fully developed. She had called to tell me but I had missed the call and we knew she had a planned vacation so couldn't be immediately reached. I immediately freaked out again. This week?! We are not ready!!! I was not ready for this.
Kevin and I called the on call doctor, who was extremely helpful. Kevin again asked all the best questions while I was sitting there dumbfounded like "okay, okay, okay." We decided to go in immediately to have the baby monitored, get the shot and extra blood tests done.
So here I am, smiling, because the baby was doing well and I am so grateful I shared my weird but important concern about "itching."
Red face and swollen eyes are a symptom of the on and off crying and worry I've been doing all this time, including another round of crying when we showed up in labor and delivery because this was still such a shock and still feels a bit surreal.
So at the hospital yesterday, baby showed up as doing fantastic :) I received a shot in my butt with steroids for her lungs (painful but anything for baby) and they did additional blood work for Hep C, which is necessary when your liver enzymes are as elevated as mine are. I also must again put out immense gratitude for the wonderful labor and delivery nurses who were so kind to us yesterday and I'm sure again we will get to experience in just a few more days.
Today we have a (previously scheduled) day-long labor class, and I have to return for a second steroid shot. Tomorrow and Tuesday I just plan to rest and mentally prepare for the baby to be born on Wednesday! I feel so bad about taking her out of her warm and cozy womb 4 weeks early- but I am very confident that this is what needs to happen. Also I feel that we are both in very good hands with my doctor and all the care that Stanford provides.
My final note, and the main point of this whole post is a reminder to myself and others out there to listen to your body. You know what is right and what seems off. If I hadn't pursued this strange feeling I had, we never would have had extra blood testing or this diagnosis. You are your best advocate.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. While I still feel sad that my body has reacted in this way and worried about our little girl, I feel that she is meant to join us this week- and how exciting we get to meet her beautiful little face, fingers and toes. I am immensely grateful for the love that got us here, and that which will continue to help us thrive as a growing family. Thank you to our family and friends for your ongoing support and love and we can't wait to introduce you to our baby bear later this week 💓
I haven't been plagued with much anxiety throughout my pregnancy. I know we have no idea what we're in in for, and I know our lives are about to change forever, but I'm not really worried about it. All of the future is unknown, all of life is a mystery - that all does not concern me. I am at peace and in awe of the unknown magic ahead.
However, a large concern has recently crept into my mind, due to something completely out of my control- our apartment complex will be tenting and fumigating for termites next week. As if the preparation wasn't stressful enough - being pregnant and especially concerned about what goes into and around my body over these past 9 months - this chemical invasion feels like a huge slap in the face.
We're taking extra precautions aside from what they tell us to do, but I'm still nervous. Here are some of their guide lines and our extra steps:
We also plan to do a deep-clean next weekend- of all surfaces, carpets, etc and we'll get get several of these purifying plants in the house immediately, post-fumigation.
I know this tenting and termite bombing is a necessary evil (we have seen termites and droppings in our apartment- YUCK!) - but I'm really upset about this preparation and pain. I guess the only thing we can do is prepare, be mindful of everything and hope for the best.
That, and I'll take this as an extra push to purge, clean, and nest!!
Maybe January feels like the longest month because everything slows down after the holidays. After vacation mode, family visits, running around and gift giving and receiving all through November and December - January settles in and settles down. Everything settles down and time slooowwwwws dowwwwwn.
Or maybe everything has slowed down for me because I am now deep into the third trimester. My sleep is compromised (laying on my side kills my hips, she is pushing on my bladder leading to 4-6 bathroom trips a night, and insomnia tends to find me around 3am); lower back pain creeps in every time I stand up after sitting for more than 20 minutes; and the most scary pregnancy symptom these days is difficulty breathing.
It's not really that breathing is hard, per say, but it feels like I can't breathe as big or deep as I normally do- it feels like I'm not getting as much air as I want. Apparently this symptom is normal in the third trimester of pregnancy- but it is quite strange to experience, especially as a person who practices yoga, meditation and deep breathing. My big baby and big uterus is apparently pushing up on my diaphragm and lungs, which is not allowing me to take in as much air into my lungs. According to everything I've read, however, it is not a reason to worry- this body of mine is doing amazing things for the little baby body inside
"At the same time that your lung capacity decreases due to the physical constraint of a growing uterus, the respiratory center in the brain is stimulated by progesterone (a hormone released during pregnancy) to get you to take slower breaths. Although each breath may bring in less air, the air stays in the lungs longer so you extract the oxygen you and your baby need. Your body also expands your blood volume during the pregnancy to make sure your baby is also getting enough oxygen." - http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/third-trimester-shortness-breath-edema#1
Because I know this feeling of shallow breaths seems to hit me several times a day now, I plan to take those moments of noticing to focus and be mindful. Each time I notice my breath feels shallow I will set my intention on purpose and breath deep sending breath and love to little baby - breathe and love (like the tattoo I got 5 years ago) it all comes full circle.
Although this month has been long and slow, so many wonderful things happened and as January comes to a close, I am grateful for the pace and the push to slow down myself and to remember that each day is precious.
We're getting closer to the end of our pregnancy and nearer to meeting our little baby girl - the last 6-7 weeks before our lives change forever. Everyone says nothing will prepare you for how your world will change- and I know that to be true. Until then, Kevin and I will be headed to our babymoon (next weekend!), enjoying "us time" and date nights, taking birth preparation class, "nesting" and some other less fun things (like dealing with termite fumigation).
All we can do to prepare and then even after she arrives is to be mindful, patient and breathe and love over and over every single day.
Most of us like to start off the new year with a new resolution- a plan or goal to do better, be better. Or, like I've done for the past several years- an intention (nice read on why you should set an intention, rather than a resolution). Because this year is extremely important to me and my family, I've put a bit more time and thought into what my intention should be - at least to start - I also feel that based on my progression, heart and current state of being that my intention may be more of a month by month, week by week or perhaps even daily focus. I don't want to feel locked into one intention or focus for the year, but rather go where my heart and soul want to take me at any moment.
This book, The Power of Intention, has deeply resonated with me and I'm going to refer to many of the lessons it shares as I go throughout 2017, as a mom to be and (very soon) as a new mom to our baby bear. One practice that is consistent throughout the book, and one that I've always known to hold great power, is gratitude. And, what is often very hard to do, is being grateful for everything, even challenges and set backs or things that would normally upset or disappoint us.
This past week on Thursday I let myself be pulled into a funk by a great disappointment at work- but I was able to bounce back pretty fast and actually turn a bummer of a situation into a really positive thing, by being grateful for it. I was upset, then I noticed that emotion as just energy, let it flow through me and listened to what remained. What remained was a feeling of peace and knowing - I know my heart, my passions and I know what is important. I have and am grateful for the abundance of friends, love, family, humor, kindness and joy that is in my life. I know I have a purpose, I know every road teaches me something and I am patient in that I am finding my way.
And less than 24 hours after what I thought was a great disappointment, I was blessed to gain great momentum, to meet several new people and be surrounded by a positive energy that I feel very strongly that I attracted into my life.
Friday was brilliant and bright and today was beautiful. I woke up early (thanks to Kevin's alarm waking him for a 13 mile run!), made a fantastic green smoothie to feed my and little bear's body with goodness, and read and reflected some more. There was an immense positive energy today here- and all over the world -especially with the women's marches and rallies going on. Nothing is on accident- everything is on purpose, everything has happened for a reason. And we can take everything that has happened and do something positive with it.
So my current intention is to Live my Life on Purpose. I aim to look at the kaleidoscope of my life - everything that has happened - from a perspective of gratitude. To help me do so, I will notice my energy, thoughts and actions - Do they flow from a source of love within me?
To give one's heart is to give all
I am wake and up before 6am on a Monday. Why, I am not sure, but my body didn't want to fall back asleep after the last 4am bathroom break (insert eyeroll here). Kevin says I need to get more sleep before the baby comes, and I try but my body is fighting it. But at least I have time to get back into my blog writing and reflection, because time is flying by and it's been too long!
Last week was a challenging week, more emotionally than anything- with a good heavy bout of the post-holiday blues for me. When you return back home (norther Cali) after a great long trip home (Michigan) filled with so many of your closest family and friends, life is tough- at least for me it is. It happens pretty much everytime we take a trip back to the midwest for me, without fail. No matter how much I love our home here (and I especially love returning to our cuddly puppy and our own bed) coming back to California after a Michigan trip will probably always be an emotional roller-coaster for me. We're so lucky that travel is easy these days and that we can afford the trip and the time off work, but even knowing "I'll see you soon" still feels like "soon" isn't soon enough. Add in some pregnancy hormones to my parting from my nearest and dearest, and you have a sad and grumpy hot mess. I feel better now over a week later, but writing about it again still makes me cry! My poor husband had (has) to mop up my tears for a couple of days and remind me why our life is so good here for a good solid day or two before I can lift my heart back up. And he did, as he does wonderfully, and I'm mostly all put back together again now.
We returned on January 1st, 2017 and put away the Chrismas tree and holiday decorations on January 2nd. Usually it feels like a sad chore, but I think it helped me feel good about our momentum towards Spring- and our path towards our little baby bear joining the family. She's due on the first day of Spring, which seems so fitting- and I wonder if she'll be a little early, on time, or late. There is so much wonder and possibility ahead, and I'd like to stay in that mindset. The mindset of wonder and awe is a great distraction from the post-holiday blues, the constant rain we've been having and any other negative emotions I might otherwise experience. I can let the negative energy flow through me and out as I focus on so much more of the positive.
Now that I feel past the saddness that comes with saying goodbye to my friends and family, I want to soak in some of the beautiful and simple memories we made:
- cuddling with one of the sweetest dogs ever, my sister's golden retriever Draper
- the gingerbread cake and maple frosting cupcakes made by my mom
- homemade escargot, curtisy of the amazing (but humble) chef Sarah
- long walks around the neighborhood, and needing my mom to slow down because my pregnant butt can't keep up with her crazy pace
- the gorgeous, intricate and thoughtful baby quilt my mom sewed for little bear
- all of the love and gifts our baby was showered with on our boxing day family & friend celebration
- (more food) Derek's smoked chicken and my sister's buffalo cauliflower, enjoyed in their home, as they hosted us for a night
- spending time with my longest and best friends, two of whom are also pregnant right now <3
- witnessing our wonderful friends get married in downtown Chicago on NYE
- dancing the night away on NYE, at 7 months pregnant, with my husband and love of my life, to celebrate our friend's wedding, another beautiful year and all the love this life has to offer
Reflecting on all of these things and so many more great memories really helps remind me that no matter where we live, we are so blessed to have the most wonderful family and friends from all walks of life - who care about us and support us no matter where we roam, where we reside or where we land.
And now, onward and upward to 2017 ...
We have been getting so many wonderful gifts from our loving friends and family, this little bear is seriously so lucky in love already! With Christmas two days away, I'm sure we'll receive so many more, and I have to stop and express gratitude for all the love expressed in so many ways thus far, and so many ways to come.
The gifts have been so thoughtful, including everything from unexpected gender-neutral and stylish baby clothes (than you Aunt Sarah and Uncle Derek!) to much-needed and functional baby furniture and carseats (thank you Grandmas Terri and Lupe and Sue)! I'm personally loving purging our own things to make room for babies necessities! But more on that later...
But outside of the things we've received, I feel even more grateful for the gifts of care and love Kevin and I have received and continue to receive ongoing from our tribe. So many of you have sent us love from near and far:
It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.
And then there is perhaps the greatest gift that I have received of all - I can't help but get a little mushy here, so bear with me. Thisi past week my husband took some of his much-deserved vacation time to rest up and relax after a the huge feat of completing yet another successful project. For those of you who do not know, Kevin is a consultant- and he works his butt off on various projects at different companies, often travelling and working long hours. His dedication and skill are truly impressive and I probably don't tell him enough how proud I am of him- for the actual work that he does, and the reason he does it- to help build our wonderful world and life together.
Now, back to this vacation time he took. Kevin took the full week off, ahead of when we travel, to do a sort of stay-cation. But he didn't rest a bit all week. Kevin, instead of taking an actual break, spent the week putting so much time and effort into preparing for our little baby bear to arrive- and I didn't even ask him to! He did all of this completely on his own, which makes it even more sweet. He made trips to IKEA (that deserves a standing ovation on its own), put together furniture, replaced our carpets, organized closets and he even trained Louie to stop barking and to not be scared of the rock 'n play! :)
The love and dedication he put in this past week has just blown me away and has truly been the best gift I have received yet. So, he deserves a big shout out here and gratitude everyday- I love you Kevin!
Thank you to everyone who is in our community- close and extended, near and far. We appreciate you <3 And our little bear, who is almost 28 weeks now, she appreciates all the love and can't wait to give you all cuddles when she arrives in early Spring!
I hope we all enjoy the many gifts of the season, most importantly our special time with loved-ones.
This past Monday at my Fit4Baby class, right at the end, we sat in meditation with our hands on our bellies as our teacher read us a beautfiul poem. As she read the words, tears came to my eyes. These are the words she read:
Repeat this to your baby -
You are loved.
You are valuable.
You are crafted with beauty and purpose.
You are treasured and this world needs you.
There is no one else like you.
You don’t need to look like the rest, talk like the rest, or be like the rest.
This world needs you as you are.
There is NO truth in the lie that you don’t matter.
You are loved.
You were put here for a reason.
You are not an accident. You are not a mistake.
You are mine and you are loved.
Now repeat this to yourself -
I am loved.
I am valuable.
I am crafted with beauty and purpose.
I am treasured and this world needs me.
There is no one else like me.
I don't need to look like the rest, talk like the rest, or be like the rest.
This world needs me as I am.
There is NO truth in the lie that I don't matter.
I am loved.
I was put here for a reason.
I am not an accident. I am not a mistake.
I am my baby's and she loves me already.
I felt so close to my baby as I repeated the words in my mind to her. We are as close as can be - a body within a body, a soul within a soul. I am not only protecting and growing her, she is protecting and growing me too.
It's so easy and natural for me to reapeat these words to my little baby girl. But I realized as I spoke those words to myself sometimes they can still be hard to remember and hard to believe about myself. My confidence waivers as I still work to find my place in the world, find my place in a career and passion I love, some days I still feel like I am searching some days I feel like I am lost. I have a loving husband, a loving family, wonderful friends- but I have to know, myself, I was put here for a reason- even if all the pieces haven't come together yet. Right now, my reason is her. And that's a damn good reason.
We have just around 13 weeks until our little girl arrives. She'll be here, in my arms, needing me to be fully confident and present for her. In these 13 weeks I want to do more in preparation for her arrival. More to grow and evolve myself. More internal and loving work, to help prepare me for motherhood. I am not sure what it will look like, but here's to more meditation, journal work, reflection and self-love.
Weeks 25-26 of this pregnancy have been tiring and had me down with a cold. My second cold of the season, in fact, which is very unike me. Even when I was a teacher and coaching in schools, I was able to avoid catching bugs flying around. But, alas, this is much more challenging on the body for sure!
To keep my spirits up, rest up and stay connected, our little family has found some fun activities to do at home. I know throughout the pregnancy and even (especially) after our little bear joins us, Kevin and I will need to focus on our relationship and staying connected - so its important that we begin these routines and "dates" now, so that we can get in the habit of connection time and "us time" and continue it even after our little one has joined the outside world!
The picture from above and those below document our first belly painting experience, which brought so much joy, beyond words. Kevin took such care and patience to make this belly ornament just right- it took over an hour. The best part was watching our little girl wiggle around, as Christmas music played in the background.
Another fun date at home this week was cooking and eating a fantastic meal together. It was our first time trying out Blue Apron and we loved it! Thank you to my cousins who gifted us 2 weeks of Blue Apron for our wedding gift- it was truly a thoughtful gift and great experience. The cooking and eating was a wonderful experience and just perfect to brighten up our Monday evening together! The process and the results are below.
I love how our partnership is growing in so many wonderful ways during this pregnancy. There are sure to be many challenges ahead, but if we can stay connected through it all, we'll be better partners and better parents for our little baby girl.
Wow- it's December! How the time is flying!! Being a mom-to-be is stretching my mindful muscles as I love the now, but feel anxious to plan for what is to come!
Our little bear is due in March, but today we went to visit and tour our second day care center. We don't even need child care until she will be 5-6 months old. So why are we visiting day cares now, you might ask? No, we're not crazy, we're not control freaks, and we're not even really big planners.
We are not trying to get our little baby girl into some fancy private school yet either- but if we wait any longer we might get stuck without childcare. In fact, I'm a little concerned this still might happen to us if the waitlists stay full. The waitlists for day care centers in the bay area are unimaginable. Some, around a year. So today when we put down a (non-refundable) deposit, we were told that there are around 30 families on the waitlist and that September is probably when they will start having openings.
This is just one of the major things we are having to start planning for now- and it's challenging. I'm trying so hard to stay present and mindful, but I am finding it difficult.
Additionally and related to the daycare planning, my mind has been drifting often to our next move. Probably not a big move like others we have done in the past (NYC to LA, LA to Chicago, and Chicago to our current home in the Bay)- but a move nonetheless, which is a lot of work even without a baby. Our current lease is up in August, and while we love this place- the location, the comfort, the room, there are several reasons why we probably will not sign another lease.
Our rent is insane- but let's be honest, prices almost anywhere in the Bay Area are outrageous. Do we continue to pay these sky-rocket rent prices and feel like our money is going down the drain? Do we downsize a bit to try and save up more money (but continue to spend money on rent rather than invest in property). Or, do we bite the bullet and put all of our savings into a teenie tiny home here in the Bay Area, where the prices are at an all time high? Can we even afford a down payment, a mortgage and taxes on a little house if we want to? Maybe we should just get the heck out of here and move to Texas- okay I don't really mean that- but the idea of a nice home of our own for "cheap" compared to California is sometimes tempting. I don't have answers to any of these questions, but they just seem to consume my brain lately.
It doesn't help that our lease is up in August, which is right about when Kevin will be heading back to work after his paternity leave. As much as I want to stay in the moment, I know its important to begin the planning, so I need to work on a good balance. I do know in my heart it will all work out exactly as it has supposed to. Our life is so blessed and I am so grateful for the mere fact that we have so many options.
Here I am now, after this long stream of consciousness coming back to my center. My blessings. What I know to be true & what I know to be thankful for:
- we have eachother
- we have a loving and supportive family
- we have a warm cozy home
- we have well-paying jobs, with benefits and paid maternity and paternity leave (4 months!)
- we have adventures, opportunities and memories
- we have nutritious food and the ability to enjoy it
- we have joy and laughter
- we have our health
- we have time to figure it all out
- we have everything we need & more
Plus, we have baby kicks and baby hiccups to keep us focused on these wonderful moments that make up our wonderful life! Just watch her wiggle:
I love being pregnant. You might even say I'm a little obsessed with it-- I have hard time not laughing every time I feel a little kick or jab from inside my belly, I take full advantage of eating "a little extra" and things I would normally pass on, I spend extra time in bed, I'm given extra massages at home... the list could go on and on. But my love for this pregnancy does not mean it has been without challenges. In this (week 23) of pregnancy particularly, I had two huge challenges- one emotional and one physical- both of which have tested me.
On Tuesday we had our monthly check-up at the Doctor. All went normally- good weight gain, good measurements, fantastic heartbeat. I even received some great news from my doctor when I probed her about sleeping positions. I've had some trouble sleeping comfortably on my side because of some on and off hip pain, but everything you read anywhere says "if you're in you're 2nd or 3rd trimester, you "CANNOT sleep on your back." All of these warning seem extremely dire...they make it seem like you'll cut off all blood or oxygen supply to yourself or the baby if you sleep on your back! Not so true, it seems... my doctor told me "sleep however you can get rest... Just get rest" She told me that one day while sleeping on my back, I might wake up out of breath, and that will be my body telling me to turn over. I suggest every pregnant woman ask their doctor's opinion on this- but she sure made this momma-to-be happy. I've since been sleeping on my back intermittently and feeling much more well-rested.
So that part of the doctor visit was great- it was the end that hit me like a ton of bricks. My doctor slipped in a little news that she actually might be going out on maternity leave right around the day I give birth... meaning, there is a good chance she will not be the one delivering my baby. Firstly, let me just say, scrubs and tech coats can hide a baby bump really well-- I had not a clue that she was pregnant. In fact, I'm sure I was staring at her belly the rest of the five minutes we were there because it was still hard to see. But in fact, my OBGYN is pregnant- and having a baby right around the same dang time as me!! "F. What. Now what..." I was thinking at first. She talked nonchalantly about it (like it WASN'T a BIG DEAL?!), as she gave us our options for continued care. Option 1: we can continue as normal seeing her through the pregnancy- then if she goes out on maternity leave before we give birth, she'll have a fill-in at our birth..."she's really great and I think you'll love her... but you probably won't get to meet her at all before then." Option 2: switch now for the remainder of the pregnancy to another doctor in the practice. She told us we didn't have to decide right away, to take time and decide. I held it together in the room and until we made it to the car- then I broke down completely. And I cried. A lot. In fact, I was a complete mess on and off all evening on Tuesday. I was clearly attached to this doctor, who I have seen regularly for the first 23 weeks of my pregnancy. And I felt so upset that my pregnancy was now not going as I had planned out in my head. Thank God for Kevin, who calmed and soothed me with tea kindness through the evening and helped talk with me rationally about it (he was surprised too- but he doesn't have pregnancy hormones raging throughout his body). We eventually chose option two, and our doctor quickly referred us to another doctor in the same office, who is a woman, and highly recommended.
Today I'm looking back on it and realizing the lesson it taught me (is still teaching me). So- my pregnancy won't go exactly as I had planned out in my head? Well, what does? Most of the things we plan out in our head (probably 95% of them) do not go as planned. But does that mean they turn out badly? No. We cannot control what happens with other people or with our environment, but we can control how we react. I can control how I feel and how I will continue about my pregnancy- I will be flexible, mindful and especially grateful that I have so many options in medical care at one of the best hospitals in the entire world.
The second challenge this week was less emotional, and much more physical- but let's be honest, it did hit my ego a bit. Thursday morning on Thanksgiving Day, Kevin and I geared up for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. I had signed us up for this 10k (plus an accompanying Santa 5K in December) about a month and a half ago. Our last race was the Redwood City OktobeRun- a 5k at the end of October, in which I jogged a very slow 30-ish minute 3.1 miles. And I was extremely sore the whole week following. I knew on Thursday this week I would have to not only slow my pace again- but that I probably would have to walk a few out of the 6 miles this time, and I was okay with that. Now, I'm not a "runner" by trade, and I actually dislike the "race" aspect of these events- I don't run to beat others. But, if I'm really honest with myself, I do normally like to have a "good race time" - and I felt extreme pride when I hit my personal best in a 5K in May (23mins 40ish second). Jogging/walking in these races now still feels unnatural, even if I know it's what my body needs and currently is capable of.
So as the count down began, and we took off for the 6.2 miles, I slowed and let people pass me, I enjoyed the crisp air and jammed out to my music (I also usually run without music, but it seemed necessary this time), and I took in the beautiful downtown San Jose, which I am completely unfamiliar with. I felt good the first mile, and told myself to keep jogging to the end of mile two. That's when I decided I would walk the next- so I sped-walk mile 2-3. Then I picked it up again mile 3-4.. but my body was feeling it big time. My lower back was a little sore, but my old knee injury was acting up and I knew the last two miles I would have to walk. So I did. I walked miles 5-6 and completed the Turkey Trot with an average pace of 12-ish minutes a mile. I was happy... but my body was not.
The rest of the day I had shooting pain up my left tailbone area, which I am pretty sure is my sciatic nerve. I've never had pain this bad before, that I can remember. Again, my plans had to shift, completely out of my control. I had planned to be running around the kitchen with my mother in law, helping prepare our big feast... but instead I had to sit down on my butt with an ice pack for a majority of the day- and hobble around in pain when I wanted to move anywhere. It was hard to accept, but I am now more mindful of what my big beautiful pregnant body needs- more rest. I still want to stay active, and I will- but I know running is now out of the picture completely. My ego wanted me to be one of those cute pregnant running ladies, but alas, my little girl doesn't want that so much. And I need to listen to her. So lesson number two of the week? Be mindful of my body- listen to what I really need and surrender completely. Love it completely.
Undoubtedly there will be other things that come up in my pregnancy that I don't plan or prepare for. There are still 16ish weeks left in this beautiful journey (OMG- only 16?!). I want to take it as it comes, accept everything as it is, embrace the changes, enjoy the little things- love it all.
There is so much to learn from life, when we step back and take it in. Yesterday I was out and about getting some holiday shopping done, while rain came and went- when we looked up at one point, we saw this beautiful double rainbow. It stretched across the whole sky. Another reminder. So "cliche" but so true- no rain, no rainbow.