Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Own Happiness Project

As you know, I read an inspiring book, The Happiness Project, over my spring break.

I've been doing lots of thinking because of it. Especially in concert with my thoughts about California.

I don't know yet what I will do about a move, and probably won't know for quite a while. If I decide to do it, I'm guessing it's at least 1-2 years away. The soonest I could fathom is summer 2012.

So in the meantime, both to give NYC a fair shake, and more importantly, to boost my happiness in the here and now, I'm doing lots of brainstorming to think of what I can do now to shake things up in a positive way. Not to say that I am unhappy, because I'm not, especially since getting pregnant. No, it's more along the lines of, why not be even happier???

So today I worked my second Maintenance Day at the nearby Community Garden. It was wonderful. Something about getting my hands dirty, and squatting in the soil, and pulling weeds... it just lights me up. A little like being on trails. And I happened to stumble on a conversation between a few folks who are unofficially taking over three abandoned personal plots (you earn the right to have your own personal plot to grow your own personal plants after about two years... the owners of these plots haven't officially given them up yet, but have said they don't have time to use them this year, and offered them to these other folks). Anyway, when I exhibited interest, they invited me to join them in their little group. And so now I have an unofficial date to meet these folks on Saturday mornings at 9 am to tend our basil, lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, beans, and other vegetables. YAY!!!

One of the things that is great about this arrangement is that while I love the ability to linger over tea, yogurt and fruit, and email on weekend mornings... I fear that staying in and losing hours doing this also doesn't promote my happiness. Being outside is much better. But committing to getting on the subway and going into the city can be overwhelming, too. So this low-level commitment is perfect. Best of all, I can skip any time I need or want to.

Out of this small group, I clicked with one woman in particular. We ended up weeding and talking together for a couple of hours, which was great. She's a social worker, and might be very interested in the job in my clinic if we decide my current (new) social worker isn't working out. And she goes hiking pretty regularly. She was fun to chat with, and if it turns out that I get a hiking "date" out of it (or co-worker), so much the better!

I also have plans to go hiking with a SMC online friend, soon to be real-time friend, next weekend. Given that we are both pregnant, and she is only six weeks out, I think we shall be a funny sight. But I can't wait!

I'm proud of my efforts so far. And they are paying big dividends already... today was a very happy day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ninety-Nine... Bottles of Milk on the Wall?

Sorry, lame.

But I am excited because my baby ticker is finally in the TWO DIGITS!!!

As time gets shorter, I am less excited about the baby coming soon -- that seems surreal and also frightening -- and more excited about the idea of pregnancy being over. It's not that it's all that bad right now -- I really can't complain -- it's that I can't fathom that each and every day, I am going to get bigger.

There's no time to get used to my size -- it just keeps changing! It's rounder and harder by the day. And I'm having several Braxton-Hicks contractions each day, especially when I am walking around. They don't hurt, they just feel odd, and are quite distracting.

I'm hoping my friend will follow through on our plans to go to Ikea this weekend... if so, I will get a dresser and finally have a place to stash all the baby stuff that is rolling in. My cousin is bringing a vanload more in two weeks for my baby shower.

I'm so excited for Shannon, who is in the final count-down, and has her last day of work today! Wishing her a speedy and easy delivery! (See the link to her "Chasing Rainbows" blog at left.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can Anyone Tell Me?

Why some of the blogs follow show up in a place where you all can see them, and others only show up on my "dashboard"???

Check in with the midwife and other miscellany

I call this the "torpedo belly" shot because my stomach looks so much bigger and also pointier than in the other one (shown a couple posts ago) taken at the same time. 

I saw my awesome midwife, Catherine today. Her office is in the basement of her house, and is just a few short blocks from my work. I love that. (Her son actually goes to "my" school, but I've never met him. This happens when there are 1500 children in the building!)

Everything looks great with Lentila. Who may need a new name. A facebook friend named her baby girl fetus "Cricket," which I love... especially since I know her from camp, and the cabin of youngest girls is Crickets. But it's already taken, now! Too bad.

Her heart rate was in the 150s, and my fundus (uterus) was measuring 26 cm. Right on target (it's supposed to match your weeks gestation, more or less, and I will be 26 weeks on Saturday.) My BP was great at 110/70, despite my having some "half-calf" iced coffee this morning... anything to beat back the jet lag. It tasted fabulous. I never meant to give up coffee entirely... it's just that when I was taking Chinese herbs (for infertility), caffeine in addition was way too much for me. I got super jittery. And then I got used to not drinking coffee, and now it's too much for me. But I enjoyed my half cup of half-caff immensely!

I gained 4 pounds since last visit, putting me at a total of 10 pounds since my first pre-natal visit. I don't know my exact weight before that, because I was bouncing up and down from post-summer camp weight loss to OHSS (and not eating for two weeks) and the recovery therein, which caused some rapid weight gain. So my midwife and I are calling my 9 week weight the baseline. Anyway, I'm not getting excited about not gaining all that much because I have a TERRIBLE (read: impossible) time losing weight because of my PCOS. So lots of others gain a lot, but lose it quickly. I don't think that will be me.

Oh well. I'm not sweating it, either.

Walking home from the subway afterwards, I had this vision of a naked, squalling, vernixy just-born baby being laid on my chest... and then thought about the fact that it wouldn't be just any baby, but my daughter. And literally, a chill ran down my spine. It was awesome. Literally.

She's moving more and more and I am loving it! How strange it feels, those nudges. But it occurs to me... she's only one and a half pounds or so now, right? And the feeling is pretty noticeable. So what does it feel like when a seven pound (or more) babe is nudging from the inside? Is it pretty bruising, or what?

Anyway, my next visit is in three weeks, to check for gestational diabetes. After that, it's every two weeks! Yay! I love going to get checked. It's so peaceful and lovely. During my first visit, when I was nauseous, she went up to her kitchen and fetched me a snack of goat cheese and crackers! We chat and laugh about her kids, and today I shared my work frustration (a mother who, seriously, berated me for taking her son's asthma seriously) and I weigh myself and check my urine for protein and sugar and she takes my blood pressure and listen's to the girl's heartbeat, and then I run down the latest list of questions. It's all so sane. I can't wait to deliver with her.

Does anyone else get sore feet? This started happening to me before 20 weeks, when I had gained only a few pounds. And it just seems to be getting worse. They were still sore this morning when I woke up. And the amount of standing I do is pretty minimal -- mainly on the subway, and even then, I usually get a seat. Luckily my mom sent me a foot spa. My feet have been in it, under my desk, for the last hour. But still, it's inconvenient. My shower and my niece's bat mitzvah are going to be a challenge for this reason. Literally, fifteen minutes of standing (in a whole day) and I am shifting from foot to foot.

And now me, my wrinkly feet, my Tums, and of course, my rotund and active belly are off to bed.

101 Days

It's nearly impossible to believe that the Baby Ticker will be in the two digits in just two days. Like others warned me, time is speeding up. Especially now that I am firmly in the viability zone... I am starting to realize that wow, barring very unlikely complications, I really will have a new and totally inconsiderate roommate in just three short months. (Calendar months, that is. And when I say "inconsiderate," I don't mean that my kiddo will be horrible to live with (I hope not!), just that she will be how she will be, without regard to my preferences.)

Today is my first day back at work (well, will be), and wow, how I can't motivate. I woke up early because of the daylight (plus the alarm clock, part of my own Happiness Project -- getting up earlier so I don't have to rush), despite my blinds (should I install shades as well, or is a little daylight helpful for cueing babies about day and night?) and jetlag. But the jetlag did oh so helpfully keep me from falling asleep last night for ages.

Despite my overall inertia I did climb on the elliptical for my first post-vacation workout. I know I will be glad I did, as I missed my endorphin boost while on vacation, even with all the walking (except for the day of my solo hike -- that was a long enough walk that I felt great afterwards)... but it wasn't all that much fun, truth be told. Just fifteen minutes, too. I know myself well enough to know that there's no point trying to be perfectionistic with the time, especially when getting back to the habit -- any amount of time jump starts the motivation for the following day.

But even after my workout, I couldn't get moving. I sat at my computer to enter the workout on my calendar... and then just sat and sat, playing on Facebook, checking email, wasting time. Time when I should've been getting in the shower. So then I decided to go to the hospital (my employer) this morning instead of straight to my clinic, to drop off my signed offer letter (we are being merged with another hospital), all so I can avoid clocking in (very very late) at my clinic.

Such a slacker am I.

Luckily I had low expectations... the first day back is always painful. I'm lucky we go back on a Wednesday this year (thanks Passover, for your impact on NYC public school vacations!). And happily, I have my appointment with my midwife today. That will keep me, hopefully, from getting home and taking a nap and screwing up my sleep schedule. I'm praying that tonight's attempt to go to bed early goes more successfully.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photos Updated

I updated my photos so they should be visible now (for my CA trip posting).

Return from California

I'm sitting sleepily at my desk, having reluctantly pried myself out of bed at 10 o'clock in the morning. I have a work event this afternoon, and anyway, I need to acclimate to east coast time. Tomorrow I go back to work (with its 8 o'clock starts) and that is going to be painful enough as it is. How nice that Spring Break arranged itself to end on a Tuesday this year -- a short week sounds great.

Walking home from the subway last night, I was thinking more about my California Dreams. And one question I had was if I have given New York enough of a chance. I still very much want to take advantage of Mary's offer to use her apartment in Sausalito (CA) next summer (2012), and am still exploring the idea of a move (feverishly, at the moment), but maybe there is more I could do to embrace NYC. So I was thinking about this, and mainly wondering how I could access hiking trails without it taking hours and a lot of effort to do so... when I saw the above little critter (not actually the one shown -- I was too startled to take a photo), clinging to a chain link fence, just a few feet away from me.

Needless to say, possums are not exactly a common sighting in Brooklyn... is this a sign? That nature is closer than I think? That I haven't given NYC a fair shake?

Friday, April 22, 2011


I'm doing lots of thinking while here in California. I'm also reading a book (it's great -- check it out!) called The Happiness Project. I think this is spurring ever-more thinking. I really enjoyed it, and got energized by it.

The Happiness Project is about one woman's journey to increase happiness in her life. Each month for a year, she focuses on a different area of her life, like increasing her energy (cleaning out closets and creating space, going to a personal trainer), improving her relationship with her family members, and doing more things that she loves.

It's pretty inspiring... not inspiring like Mother Teresa inspiring... more like, "Huh, I think I could do that."

One idea she had that I loved was she bought a nice looking file box for each daughter, and filled them each with a separate file folder, one for each year of life. And so for each year of life, she will fill them with things like birthday party invitations (to the girls' own birthday parties), report cards, artwork, etc. I love this idea. Having just one folder per year would limit the quantity of stuff, while also making sure that some precious items are saved each year.

How much would you enjoy looking through these precious mementos from your own life, never mind your child's?

Anyway, just one of many cool ideas I've gotten. But it does make me think a lot about making sure I'm as happy as I can be, and especially to focus on enjoying my time to come with my little girl. I worry about wishing infancy to hurry up and move along.

More to the point, which I have been straying from... I've been talking to my friend Carrie a lot about my many thoughts about what I want to do with my life. She's concerned that I am trying to control life too much, that I need to relax and let things happen. Maybe she's right; I'm not sure.

My beautiful friend Carrie, at our impromptu lunch spot in Santa Ines

walking on the beach together in Santa Barbara

where we saw a seal... so cool! 

Right now I guess I worry that if I don't take advantage of this free time, away from home, then I won't be serious about the idea of making big changes. The thing is: I'm happy with life, I am. I'm content. I enjoy my days. And yet, I feel like something is missing.

I know one area that I feel this is with respect to food. I bought a Window Farm, so I can grow vegetables in my window using hydroponics. I'm excited about this, but I'm not sure that this is going to help with the yearning I feel to have more of a connection to growing food. Maybe it will. I feel a craving to have my hands in the dirt. To get good and grubby. I am in the process of joining a community garden, and I hope that will help as well, but I won't have much of an opportunity to grow food there.

I'm curious to know when and how I will know how much of a connection I'm looking for. I don't know exactly what feels off-kilter here.

Another area I'm really thinking about is the sense of freedom I feel out on the trails. Today I went on a solo hike while my friend was cooking. It was great because I could go as slow as I wanted, letting my belly set the pace. Hopping across creeks was challenging with my new center of gravity. But I just felt so free and alive out there, regardless of pace. My head was clear, my heart was pounding, my breath was loud, and my heart was joyful. I need this in my life.

I feel this heightened sense of stakes, not surprisingly, with this new person due to arrive in my life. But at the same time, as my friend pointed out, I can always try a move and see how it goes.

Why is it that my current life situation feels precarious? (Precarious in the sense that I feel like if I moved away, I could never re-create it.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break in California

Greetings from sunny, beautiful California. The photo above is driving down (steeply down!) Van Ness Street towards the San Francisco Bay.

This picture (below) was taken while hiking the fire roads of Mount Tamalpais, in Marin County. San Francisco is pictured in the far background. I am definitely "showing" now!

 A view of Mt Tam, Angel Island (I think) and the SF bay. I hiked with my friend Liz, who pushed her two and four year old daughters in a double Bob Revolution jogging stroller. I want to get one of these (so easy to push!) and also have the occasion to use it for weekly hikes. Not so easy in NYC.

I spent an amazing few days in the Bay Area with some of my closest friends and their small children.

Oh, the longing to move back is strong. (If anyone has any advice about how to make a decision like this, I would LOVE to hear it. For now, I know I'm stuck (hmm, does the word "stuck" have any negative connotations for you? Me neither) until after the Lentil arrives. And since I don't go back to work until December, I feel confident I will be there and in my old (oops, current) job until the end of the school year. After that, we shall see.

My friend Mary has offered me the use of her Sausalito apartment and car while she and her husband and adorable baby summer on the east coast, so I am very much hoping to take her up on that the following summer, when Lentil (god willing) will be turning one. I figure that might be a good way to try it out without committing. After that, who knows.

What I do know is the incredible feeling of freedom and happiness, seeing the mountains and beach together, enjoying the warm and sunny weather, and especially, the joy of being on mountainside trails. Something about them just sets me free.

Now I am in Santa Barbara for a few days, after a spectacular drive down 101 yesterday (294 miles on that road, plus a bunch on 580) through farmland and mountains. I am staying with my friend Carrie and her parents (she has her own place, but it's too small for both of us so we are staying over here together) in their completely fabulous home. Carrie is a personal chef and while she was working this morning, her dad took me for a walk on the beach, a mere five minutes from the house. (We scooted down the hill in his Porsche... this plus the house makes me think it must be awfully nice to have money). It was breathtakingly beautiful. And once again left me wondering: why do I live in the northeast? I mean, Vermont is stunning, too.... in the summer. But California is beautiful all the time. And I used to live here. Living here would be a lot easier than, say, Colorado. How did I decide not to come back once graduate school was over???

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is Sugar Toxic?

An amazing article in the New York Times that might just get me to (think about) giving up refined sugar.

If only I wasn't so darned hungry right now, and warm chocolate chip cookies sounding so appealing...

For the record...

I wore a different outfit the next day, and felt totally different. Much bigger. Though I reckon I'm still on the small side for NEARLY SIX MONTHS! (all caps because I can't believe I'm nearly 6 months along, NOT because I'm so unbelievably petite.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today's Pregnancy Report

Today I am enjoying being pregnant.

My belly feels like a round dome. I wore my black low-band maternity pants (no stretchy panel over the abdomen), and I really do enjoy how they feel. The stretchy band still bugs me a little. And the low cut pants and a new short-sleeve (yay for warm weather, even temporarily) black T-shirt (for some reason, I ended up ordering a lot of black clothes when I thought I ordered a variety of colors) made me looks surprisingly dressed up and even kind of hip, for a pregnant girl. And makes me look not-very-pregnant-at-all for 23+ weeks. Which is sort of nice, considering I feel like I'm pretty prone to weight gain in my not-pregnant state.

Apparently my breasts are quite impressive though! I don't even notice them -- I'm so taken with my growing belly. But I get lots of comments from my closer female friends, along the lines of, "Damn, nice rack!"

My girl is moving lots, and I love it! It doesn't ever wake me, and it never fails to entertain me during quiet moments on the train or at work. I have to focus to not touch my belly when she starts moving and I am supposedly focusing on a patient. (Speaking of which, I was supposed to share funny or touching patient stories on here... shows where my focus is: entirely on me and my pregnancy.)

Last night I didn't wake up to pee until it was nearly time to get out of bed, anyway. And I always fall right back to sleep, so I can't complain about once-nightly trips to the bathroom, anyway. And I'm still sleeping on my stomach, though now I try to aim my stomach to one side or the other a bit. I worry about smushing my girl.

I head to San Francisco and then to Santa Barbara in just two more days. I can't wait! It's been three years, I think, since I was out there. I used to live in San Francisco, and truly, I did leave my heart there. I miss it.

Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks

Just a quickie to add... Liz passed along to me a book she used called Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks.

It teaches parents how to sleep train their children... so yes, you guessed it, they sleep twelve hours at night, by twelve weeks of age, in addition to taking a one hour nap in the morning and a two hour nap in the afternoon.

She also gave me Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

So far I like the former a lot more. It's very short, sweet, and to the point. The latter is extremely complex, throws around a lot of confusing percentages ("of the 49% of partially fussy children, 37% are not fussy, 51% are medium fussy, and 11% are fussy, compared to the 11% of fussy children, 51% are not that fussy....") and has a lot of complex instructions ("if you are a method A parent, using extinction, and your child is one of the 37% of not fussy children in the 51% of medium fussy children, and your child is between 3-5 months of age, use this technique.") I get it that probably one method doesn't work for all children or all children, but Jeez Aleez.

So whether or not this Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks could work for me is a different issue. It goes against everything I've ever learned. The author says you should have your child eating every four hours by twelve weeks of age, certainly not on demand or even every three hours. (Though Liz has a friend who has successfully breastfed her child more frequently and still achieved the twelve hour night.)

This sounds impossible, right? But Liz said it took only a couple of days to get her little daughter on this schedule of eating every four hours (daytime only)... and only a couple of days and very little crying to get her to sleep through the night. To eliminate nighttime feedings, you reduce the volume of the feeding (or duration, if breastfeeding) every three days.

Anyway, I would never have believed that this could work... if not for the fact that Liz successfully instituted this (and she knew several people that had successfully done it with her, especially since this author is also from DC). And the fact that her daughter seemed to be smiling every awake minute that I was there, and never cried, and went quickly and easily to sleep... well, I'm intrigued.

I'd love to hear if anyone out there has heard of this book, and knows anyone that has tried it, with either positive or negative experiences.

And here's a link if anyone is interested in checking it out.

23 weeks (and down to the hundred teens on the Babycounter!)

Baby Lentil (aka Lentila) and I are entering the viability zone! It's astounding to me. I don't feel pregnant enough at all to entertain the thought of a baby on the outside. Of course, she would be barely, only possible viable... I don't like to think about it, really, but it's cool to think she's that big that it's possible. While still keeping her securely inside. (She's now 11 inches long and just over a pound, according to Babycenter.) I think I will be in double digits on the Babycounter when I return from my spring break trip to CA!

Today, while walking briskly a few blocks, I had a Braxton Hicks contraction. I've had a couple before, but this was the first time I had one with activity -- it made me wonder if I needed to slow down? The thing was, it felt so good to walk briskly and stretch out my legs. I need to do more of this, not less. It was hard to slow down.

I spent the weekend in DC with my wonderful friend Liz and her husband and six month old daughter. Liz and I went to the summer camp as children, though I was older -- I was only peripherally aware of her existence, and she, apparently, looked up to me and thought I was cool! How funny. Then, later, we were matched to become co-counselors of the same cabin of twelve year old girls... and thus experienced possibly the most blissful summer of my life. Ever since then, I've just adored her. What an amazing person she is.

And now she has an amazing husband and baby. I'm not envious at all, just so glad for her that she found someone that fully appreciates how spectacular she is. And now they have a smiling, cooing, never-crying, gorgeous baby girl.

It was great to hear Liz's birth story. When talking about it, her description of the pain is more or less, Ehh. Of course it hurt. But that wasn't the hard part. And I don't have a high pain threshhold, or a hero complex. The hardest part was just the bewilderment, understanding that this thing was going to come out of my vagina."

Basically, she went into labor at 3 am, had contractions every 2-3 minutes for about eight hours before going to the hospital (despite the fact that her conservative OB practice wanted her to come in much sooner)... and found out that she was only two centimeters dilated. Luckily, her fabulous doula was with her, and had warned her ahead of time that she might not have dilated very much, despite Liz feeling very much like she had been in active labor for a long time. Liz was very grateful for this warning. She and her husband headed back home, and her doula went to her own home to cancel the following day's appointments. After a little while at home, labor changed and got more intense, and she wanted to sit on the toilet... and while her husband called the doula to update her, Liz suddenly realized she wanted to, and indeed was, pushing.

The doula shouted, "tell Liz not to push! And get in the car RIGHT NOW and meet me at the hospital!"

Liz got to the hospital (after blowing raspberries the whole time in the car, to keep from pushing) where the nurses took one look at her and threw her in a hospital bed. An hour later, her darling daughter was born.

All this to say... let's remind ourselves not to get discouraged when the going looks rough. And that yes, maybe the pain, and we, really will be okay.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thoughts on Childbirth

My background with childbirth is a little bit complicated.

Back in high school, I did a biology project on the miracle of human birth. I even showed my classmate a video of live births. Not your typical high school homework. To give me credit, my classmates quickly got over any initial squeamishness and were fascinated.

In college, I decided to do an internship with a local "lay" midwife in Maine (where I went to school). I was able to make it a part of my thesis paper for Women's Studies Senior Seminar. I did loads of research, learning about medical versus midwifery views of childbirth. 

I won't bore you with the results. Needless to say, I was very pro-midwife, anti medical establishment. For a while, I even wondered if I might become a midwife myself. But I soon realized that once the baby was born, I lost all interest in the mother. So instead, I find myself in pediatrics. Sadly enough, in a job without warm, cuddly babies. But teenagers are proverbially cuddly too, in their own spiky ways. 

After doing even more research during my pregnancy (mostly from the work of Ina Mae Gaskin and Michel Odent... no traditional pregnancy books for me, thank you!)... I truly believe that I can experience childbirth with limited or no pain.

For those of you laughing at me, please do keep it to yourselves. (Asked in the nicest way possible.)

Yes, I certainly believe it can be horribly, terrifyingly painful, too. I know it is for the vast majority of American women. But I don't think it has to be that way. 

I believe I can train my brain to work through the contractions, and more importantly, learn to interpret the contractions ("pressure waves") as hard, challenging work. The more I read, the more I believe that the pain women experience in labor stems from one's body fighting the contractions, naturally enough, out of a fear of their intensity. Which makes total sense. But literature that says that if you can learn to not resist the intensity... you can have intense, strong, powerful labors... without excruciating pain. 

I have experimented with convincing my body that it wasn't in pain before. For example, the time I tore my foot open (eventually requiring stitches), and quickly got back on my bike and kept riding, telling myself, "it doesn't hurt, it doesn't hurt" because I knew that if I looked down at my foot, if I focused on the pain, that I would pass out... and passing out on a deserted dirt road just wouldn't do. Likewise, the time I ran 26.2 miles... on three then-undiagnosed stress fractures. 

Trust me, I know these don't compare to labor. I get it. But I didn't have any training in this with those experiences, just a belief that I could do it. And I did.

And now I'm planning to do a home-study of Hypnobabies. The CD's and guidebook arrived today. I have to do 30-40 minutes of practice every single day, for a minimum of 5-6 weeks. I'm planning to start at around 32 weeks. 

Here's the other thing (and maybe this will placate you naysayers out there): I don't actually have an agenda. Only this: that I am excited to birth my baby. Thrilled. I can't wait. I think it will be the best experience of my life thus far. 

And also... If I need an epidural, if I need a C-section, or any other intervention... that will be fine. I'm not planning on them... but I'm not fighting them, either. I trust that my body and my midwife will guide me through this. I don't have my ego wrapped up in this. I'm merely curious to see how attitude can affect experience. If we aren't told every minute of our lives that labor is the worst thing ever... maybe it won't be? 

My job is to listen. The important thing for me is that I enjoy the experience, however it turns out. And I believe that I will. But truly, the only critical thing is that my precious little girl (!!!) and I survive the experience, and come out healthy at the other end.  

... Here's a beautiful clip of a Hypnobabies home birth, complete with a sibling present. (Please note, I am planning on a hospital birth... mainly because I don't want to be responsible for cleaning up from a birth, and without a romantic partner, I know that's it would ultimately land on me. But if, for some reason, my baby was "accidentally" born at home... well, I wouldn't hate that. At all.) 

(Why am I nervous to share this with all of you? I'm worried you gentle readers will feel compelled to tell me all the reasons I'm wrong, or that I'm somehow attacking your birth experience. Please don't feel this way. I'm just excited and curious to try a different way.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday morning fabulousness, now with photos

Here's a picture of the belly from when I got up this morning. Photographing myself forces me to make my bed, too, another benefit! I always do it on weekdays but am lazy on weekends.

In case you were wondering, the red velvet pillow is on the bed behind me, and is NOT protruding from my stomach itself.

I think the mirror is unfairly slimming, which is a weird thing when you are pregnant and not especially trying to make your stomach look smaller. So I think I'm actually a little bigger than the picture reflects. But anyway, by point of comparison you can see some growth from previous weeks... Trying to take pictures weekly now, for the adorable "Belly Book" that my mom got me. It's a great little scrapbook that I'm writing for Lentil and me. I highly recommend it. It's very low maintenance.

*** not related to photo above ***

...So I think in my efforts (not that impressive, even) to get "back" into shape, I've actually been having some symptoms of "overtraining." This is something I used to experience back in my days of marathon training. The big one is feeling hyper and not being able to sleep, even when the body is tired.

What a relief to feel more like myself today, personality wise. And how lovely to linger over email and a cup of tea and my daily quotient of yogurt and banana (I'm willing to eat other things, it's just that this combo always makes me feel great... and it's easy.)

Yesterday I was so beyond tired, and my quads hurt so much. And I felt cranky and restless. That this could happen from my paltry workouts is shocking. However, a very long night's sleep later... I'm a much better, happier girl.

I'm planning to stay off the elliptical today, even though, for scheduling and "training" purposes, I really want to climb back on. But my quads are still sore. So no dice. Instead, I'm planning to go for a nice walk in Ditmas Park in just a few minutes. Ditmas Park is not actually a park, just the neighborhood adjacent to mine.. and I discovered, walking back through there from Prospect Park (which is an actual park) with a friend a few weeks ago, has the most amazing houses. It doesn't look anything like stereotypical Brooklyn. (I reckon I should post a few photos of that, too, for contrast.... especially for those of you who don't know Brooklyn, stereotypical or otherwise. Trust me, it doesn't look like the photos below.)

I love a house that needs a little TLC. It's more approachable, somehow.

A little too perfect for my tastes. It looks like a museum. In fact, it may well be a museum. Some too-cool-for-school-to-even-be-labeled-as-a-museum kind of museum. 

Beautiful Prospect Park (designed by the same guy that designed my beloved Central Park, Olmstead) on an early spring day. Lots of runners out. Unfortunately, none of them are me. My little Lentila is absolutely worth it. But I look forward to hopefully getting back to it. We shall see how life plays out. Much as I love her, running and I have always had a complex and sometimes conflicted relationship. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Human Dumpster (a very boring post)

That's what I feel like.

The last day or two, I just keep dumping more food in, and... nothing.

Well, that's not true, exactly. I get full more quickly the last week or two. But then, as if by magic, an hour or two later, I'm hungry again. It feels unbelievable, how much I am eating. And how quickly I get hungry again.

But there's no question of not eating... it's more a question of, can I wait 5-10 minutes, or do I have to eat RIGHT NOW. That's about all the flexibility I've got.

My belly has grown magically this week as well. It sticks out a lot in the middle, but not much at all on the sides... so it looks vaguely cone-shaped. Alas, I have a feeling my sides are not far behind in their own personal growth spurt.

I ate fish twice this week, and shrimp twice more. Still trying, gently, to work towards this Weston Price ideal of nutrition.

I've worked out three times this week... not including the weekend. And these were not impressive workouts. Less than 30 minutes, all. But I'm trying to keep my hand in. Adding a minute here, a minute there, when I can (time is the issue more than fitness... it's just that it's so hard to get my ass out of bed in the morning to work out.... though lately after my 30 minute weekend workouts, I'm tired) I have a fear of labor without some level of fitness. So I'm trying to get back to at least 30 minutes (ideally longer on weekends), 5 days a week. It's a long uphill battle at the moment. My quads hurt.

I'm trying to do right by my body, here. It's confusing sometimes, knowing what to do.