Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shopping for The Paleo Baby

We ordered our car seat and stroller yesterday, which left me with a huge sense of relief (by the way, if you live in the Portland area and need baby gear, definitely check out My Kidz World -- the customer service is fantastic). Our baby's due date is still 12 weeks away but time is already flying and I want to have everything ready as soon as possible!

For the stroller, we decided on the Baby Jogger City Mini in black (Carl liked green and I liked purple -- black seemed like the best compromise). We looked at a few others, including the Mountain Buggy and the Uppababy, but this was our favorite (it was more affordable, too!). The stroller is practical and very well-engineered. Plus, it isn't too tall so I'll be comfortable pushing it around. We decided to wait on most of the add-on accessories (we'll decide later what we really need/want), but the one accessory I had to have now is the cup holder (er, "liquid holster"). We also ordered a car seat adapter, which will allow us to attach the car seat directly to the stroller.

This stroller is orange (obviously), but we ordered it in black.
Speaking of car seats, I knew as soon as I looked at the Peg Perego that it was the right choice. Safe, sturdy and easy to operate. We ordered leather for simple clean-up, and an extra base so we don't have to move the entire seat from car-to-car all the time.

Today, we decided to shop for a crib. Selecting a crib should be easy, but for me it has been an overwhelming task. I mean, there are so many choices. Among those choices, though, I don't really see many differences (except in price). Anyway, we're leaning toward the Sorelle Tuscany Crib/Changer. I'll probably order it tonight.

I had no idea crib shopping would be so hard.

As for decor for the baby's room, we decided quite a while ago to forgo anything frilly and pink in favor of a nature/animal theme. For some reason I thought I would be able to carefully select each item, but who I am kidding? I did not inherit my mom's talent for home decorating. Fortunately, Carl and I both agree that the Carter's Forest Friends Collection is the perfect choice.
The collection is more cutesy than anything I originally envisioned, but that's OK -- she is a baby, after all. Now, we just need sell my desk so we can paint the room and set everything up!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Question from a reader: Milk for an 11-month-old?

A reader asked a question in the comments section of a recent post, and since I don't know the answer I thought I would throw it out there in case anyone has some advice.

What do you suggest for milk for an 11-month-old? I have only just leared about Paleo in the last couple weeks and my husband and I are both following it now pretty strictly. I was only able to breastfeed for a month (no milk came in despite a lot of effort) and then my daughter was fed formula. Now she has rejected drinking formula and before knowing about paleo we put her on homogenized milk. She does eat solid foods, but very slowly so her intake is quite low. Milk is still the majority of her daily calories for sure. Is there an alternative to homogenized milk you would suggest? I hear some people say goats milk and others saw raw dairy milk? 

Great question! Does anyone out there have an answer for her? Please chime in!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My latest guest post over at For Two Fitness

Today, I'm guest blogging again over at For Two Fitness. The topic: coping with mystery pain. While you're there, be sure to check out all the other For Two guest bloggers ... a great group of expectant and new moms, all sharing their experiences with fitness and nutrition during pregnancy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pregnancy fitness in the pool

Swimming for exercise has never really been my thing, but last night I decided to step out of the box and into the pool. In other words, I tried out a pregnancy fitness class at a local pool. I'm so glad I did, because it was fun (and a great workout, too!).

I even found a cute swimsuit to wear. Can you believe this was the first (and only) swimsuit I tried on? A true swimwear miracle!

Honestly, I thought I would spend most the class floating around in the pool treading water and kicking with one of those foam board thingies. I never dreamed I would be even remotely challenged. I was so wrong. After spending forty-five minutes doing various types of strokes and kicks across the pool (while wearing a flotation belt), I was totally wiped out. For those who aren't used to swimming or pool workouts, the experience is actually a little surreal (for me, anyway). In the pool you feel weightless, but the water provides a TON of resistance. At the same time, though, you're not really sweating because the water is keeping you cool. I actually thought I would be sore this morning. I'm not ... yet! Overall, it was a fabulous workout and I'm looking forward to going back. I think it will be particularly beneficial two months from now when I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy. And until then, maybe it will keep my mind off the fact that I can't run anymore (I soooo want to run!)?

The best part of the class for me, though, is the social aspect. I met about 10 other pregnant women, many of whom are also due in October. So far, I haven't made an effort to meet other expectant moms (I'm not counting social media interactions here). This class was a great start!

Unfortunately, the class does have a downside -- it starts at 8:15pm! This is late for me (if at all possible, I like to have my pajamas on by 9pm). Last night I didn't get home until 10pm and wanted to go straight to bed. I couldn't because I had to wash the chlorine out of my hair, and it wound up being a really late night. I did sleep well, though!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eating out paleo: Portland's best choices

OK, so none of these paleo are paleo through-and-through. But they do offer at least a couple of great paleo options -- something that is often hard to find. If you live in or are visiting Portland, the best paleo restaurant choices I've found are ...

The seasonal vegetable omelet at Bijou Cafe in Portland is paleo-friendly and super delicious!
  • Bijou Cafe: The menu at Bijou is absolutely jam-packed with decadent, tempting non-paleo choices, but don't let that stop you. The seasonal vegetable omelet is absolutely incredible. Fluffy, creamy and loaded with fresh veggies. Just ask for the green salad instead of the toast/potatoes and ask them to hold the freshly-baked muffin and you're all set! For those who eat pork (I do not), Bijou has a few other paleo-friendly omelets and scrambles as well.
  • The Industrial Cafe: My friend Megan recently introduced me to The Industrial Cafe, and I can't wait to go back. The menu has so many options. like steak and eggs, the veggie omelet and paleo sides like chicken sage sausage and bacon. I chose the Vaughn Street Ballpark Breakfast with scrambled eggs and chicken sage sausage. Breakfasts all come with toast and potatoes by default, but for $1 extra you can get a small bowl of fresh seasonal fruit. I even like the heading on their breakfast menu: Eggs, Meat & Vegetables. The lunch menu looks pretty good, too -- grass-fed burgers and lots of salads with chicken, steak and salmon!
  • The Observatory: We went to The Observatory this past Friday on a total whim after picking a friend up from the airport and we LOVED it. Part of it was the atmosphere. And the great service. But the food was so, so good. I ordered a sirloin steak with grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and snap peas. I didn't even have to ask them to hold or substitute anything. Our friend, who is on the Atkins Diet, ordered a lamb burger (sans bun) with salad (another paleo-friendly choice) and Carl had trout with roasted potatoes and green beans. Even though this restaurant is 27 miles from our house, we would easily make a special trip over there for dinner (loved their drink menu/wine list, too). Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure -- Carl and I shared creme brulee for dessert. Worth the indulgence? Yes!
  • Chili Inside/Chili Outside: So, this is a food cart and not an actual restaurant. As you may have heard, though, Portland is known for food carts so I'm including this in my round up. I actually blogged -- and raved -- about this place a couple of months ago (I stopped by on my way home after a Pilates session). Best chili ever, and I'm not exaggerating. Just make sure you ask them to hold the cheese, sour cream and corn bread (the owner assured me that their recipe does not contain sugar, by the way).

Friday, July 22, 2011

A day in the life: What I did on Thursday, July 21st

A blog reader requested a day-in-the-life post. This is for you, Lauren!

6:45am: Wake up (or more accurately, get out of bed -- I feel like I've already been awake for hours). 

7am: Make coffee! Yes, I am a pregnant coffee drinker. I've done my research, and I think small amounts of caffeine are safe. Carl and I love Peet's Arabian Mocha Java, but this week they ran out. So, we're brewing Garuda instead (also very good). We're French Press fans, by the way.

While waiting for my coffee to brew, I eat a grapefruit. Before I cut the salt out of my diet, I used to sprinkle it on grapefruit (I learned this from my grandpa). I know it might sound odd, but it really brings out a different flavor. I've since learned, though, that I like it just as much without salt.

Zone out on the couch while drinking my coffee, watching The Today Show and reading Proverbs (I read Proverbs most mornings -- it is just packed full of wisdom). Usually, I make lunch for Carl and unload the dishwasher during this time, but today I get a break because I packed his lunch last night and the dishwasher is already empty (yay!). 

8am: Pour a big glass of water and head upstairs to take a shower. 

9:15am: The second half of breakfast: two scrambled eggs and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. I say goodbye to Carl (he's leaving a little later than usual this morning) and get ready to sit down at my desk to do some work. 

9:30am: I'm currently writing an article for the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, so I do some work on that -- phone calls, emails, reading, etc.   

10:15am: Leave for coffee date with my friend Jen! 

10:30am: Except I've already had my caffeine allotment for the day, so I order peppermint tea instead. 

11:15am: Snack time ... a Lara Bar to go with my tea.

11:40am: Almost time for my favorite part of the day, Sweat360. First, I stop by the library to return a couple of books. 

12pm: Workout!

I had to modify a couple of things. Toes-to-rings felt really, really uncomfortable (too much pulling/stretching around my belly) so I did a 30-second plank instead. And I can't really sprint anymore, so I just hopped on the Airdyne instead.

1:30pm: Our fridge is empty, so I hit New Seasons Market for a few things. While I'm there, I make a small salad and sit down to eat my lunch and answer a couple of work-related emails. I also take my turn in a couple of Scrabble games (I'm currently obsessed with playing Scrabble on my iPhone).

2:15pm: Stop by Fork Revolution for some farm-fresh eggs. If you live in Hillsboro and haven't heard of/been to Fork Revolution, check them out! It isn't really a grocery store -- more like a farm stand with a storefront (kindof). The owners stock fresh, local foods from nearby farms and members place orders for their favorite items (they send out an email each week to let everyone know what is available). And, they are super nice people! Here's photo of owner Irene and employee Drew.

3pm: Finally home! I unpack my groceries and prepare part two of my lunch. Sorry, no photo of the lunch! Anyway, I had rotisserie chicken, guacamole and some sweet potato/plantain chips. I was excited to find these Inka Chips. They don't contain any garbage! Note to self, though: never buy a rotisserie chicken from New Seasons again! For one thing, this is by far the driest rotisserie chicken I've ever encountered. Shoe leather, anyone? I also discovered that it is marinated in canola oil. Why didn't I read the label before I purchased it? Anyway, it is salvageable ... I'll make soup or something out of it. And even though I avoid canola oil I know it won't kill me if I accidentally have some now and then (if it were soybean oil, though, I would have to throw the chicken away).

3:30pm: Contemplate a nap (I haven't been sleeping well lately), but decide to get some work done instead. I make a cup of tea and play with the cat while waiting for it to steep.

4:30pm: I realize I've actually made quite a bit of headway on the Alaska Airlines story. I close up shop and revisit the nap idea. Unfortunately, I can't sleep. Instead I watch a couple of episodes of Hot in Cleveland on Hulu (love this show) and play a few more rounds of Scrabble on my iPhone (so far I cannot beat my friend Monica, but I can beat the computer!). 

6pm: Time (finally) for my post-workout shower. Pre-pregnancy, I would never wait this long (actually, I would usually go straight home and shower before going anywhere or doing anything). Now, however, my workouts aren't as intense so I don't feel like I'm dripping in sweat. 

6:30pm: Bored. Thursday nights always feel a little off to me, because Carl goes sailing right after work and doesn't get home until fairly late. Last year, I would take the time to go running or get in an extra workout or even just watch Mad Men and have a glass of wine. Obviously those activities are off the table for now. I spend the next hour catching up on Facebook posts and being completely non-productive. I'm not really in the mood for dinner. I had planned to make Asian Chicken Salad with cabbage and rotisserie chicken, but that chicken is just so dry! Blueberries sound good, though, and I have a big bag in the freezer. Frozen blueberries + cream = delicious (I'm OK with cream and butter now and then).  

7:30pm: I really need sleep, so I decide to go to bed early.  

8pm: Forget it. Sleep continues to evade me. I do laundry, vacuum, make my Friday to-do list and research strollers and cloth diapers instead. Diaper-wise, it is between Thirsties (made in Oregon!) and the gDiaper. As far as strollers go, I really like the Mountainbuggy (Kara Goucher uses it!) --- but $400+ for a stroller? Not sure that is in the budget. Perhaps I can find a used one. 

10pm: Time for my vitamins. Aside from the flax seed oil, I take my supplements at night. 1,000 mgs of calcium citrate, along with a Simply One Prenatal. 

10:30pm: Crawl back into bed and eventually fall asleep (finally). 

PS: One thing I haven't mentioned much in this post is water! I pretty much sip water all throughout the day. Hydration is so important.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Svelte Gourmand interview!

Today, Camille from the Svelte Gourmand posted an interview with me on pregnancy and the paleo diet. I'm so excited and honored that she choose to feature The Paleo Baby on her fabulous food, cooking and nutrition web site. Thank you, Camille!

Camille is a long-time health and fitness journalist, and also a novelist. Her debut, The Art of Forgetting, was recently released and promises to be a great read (I'm downloading it onto my new e-reader later today). So, if you love to read (like me!) check it out. Also, don't miss her blog The WAHM Diaries (WAHM stands for work-at-home mom). Interesting, relevant and positive are all words that describe The WAHM diaries -- I would say it is even partially responsible for my decision to maybe/possibly amp up my writing career once again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photos: Almost 26 weeks!

On Sunday, I'll be 26 weeks along. So far, I've gained about 18 pounds.

Carl claims he's gained two pounds of sympathy weight.

Kids and paleo: What will we feed our daughter?

I have so much to say about kids and nutrition, so before this turns into a rant about kiddie menus, convenience food and tricking kids into eating vegetables I'm going to make a commitment to keep this post on topic. Today, I'm only going to discuss my plans for my daughter's diet (although, admittedly, I'll probably blog about the other stuff at some point).

A few people have asked whether we intend to raise our daughter on the paleo diet. The simple answer is yes, absolutely we will! Based on my own personal experience, the triumphs I've witnessed in the lives of my friends, the countless testimonials I've read and all the research I've done I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that paleo is the way to go.

With that said, nothing is really all that simple (especially when it comes to parenting). I know that the choice to feed our daughter in a non-mainstream way is going to present some challenges. Social challenges in particular. Nonetheless, I am committed. Life is full of challenges. Some are avoidable, some are not and some we choose for ourselves because the benefits ultimately make the challenges seem, well, not so challenging. Whatever types of challenges come up because of our choice to keep our daughter away from grains and other garbage will be well worth it in the end.

So, what exactly is the plan? In the early months, breastfeeding of course. You can't get any more paleo than that! I do realize that some mothers are unable to breastfeed, and while I don't anticipate that scenario (I'm not going to go into this in detail right now, but I've heard that paleo goes a long way toward making breastfeeding a lot easier) I also know that this might just be one of those things that is out of my control. If it doesn't work out for me, I'll seek help from a lactation consultant. I'll try physical therapy/ultrasound. And if all else fails, I'll use the best organic formula I can find.

When she's ready to transition to solids, Carl and I will give her homemade baby food. We will not feed her fortified rice cereal, and on the rare occasion that she gets something from a jar it will be organic and free of grains, legumes, sugar and additives (if I can even find such a thing!). After the baby food era comes to an end, she will eat what we eat. If we're having chicken and broccoli for dinner, she will have chicken and broccoli for dinner (I won't, of course, force her to eat food she's not interested in -- I believe kids who are fed properly know instinctively what their bodies need and want -- but that does not mean she'll get a special meal of Krap macaroni and cheese). She will snack on high-fat, grass-fed dairy (like cream and yogurt), but she will not receive low-fat cheese sticks, GoGurt (or anything made by Yoplait) or pseudofood such as "American cheese." Her diet will be full of healthy, whole foods like fruit, vegetables, sweet potatoes, avocados, coconut, eggs and organic meat. If she is anything like the other paleo kids I've heard about, she will thrive (mentally and physically) on this diet.

Despite all of this, I do not want my daughter to go through life never having a treat. So, when the time is right, I will allow her to try some ice cream or a cookie. For one thing, I want to know how she reacts to sugar and gluten (in case she's severally gluten-intolerant, for example). But I also don't think that completely avoiding all treats at all times is necessary (not in our family, anyway). How can I keep her from an occasional treat when I myself indulge now and then? The key, though, is that treats will be just that -- occasional. And, they won't involve fast food or candy bars. She will understand why we have treats on (some, not all) special occasions and she will also (in time) learn how her body responds to non-paleo food, so she can decide for herself whether something is really worth it.


Physical therapy offers hope for women with breastfeeding struggles

This is an article I wrote a couple of years ago for The Scribe, a Portland-based medical publication. I'm posting here because it ties in to a post I'm working on as we speak.

For some new mothers, breastfeeding is frustrating. It hurts. The baby won’t latch. The milk runs dry too quickly, and infections develop. Despite their desire to breastfeed, it might seem easier to just give up altogether. But there is another solution — physical therapy.

“Our patients call it a miracle cure,” said Doris Onnis, a board certified lactation consultant who works at Providence St. Vincent Hospital.

Obviously, Onnis isn’t referring to traditional physical therapy. Mothers won’t walk away from their sessions with lists of exercises to do at home. Instead, they’ll walk away with renewed hope in the whole breastfeeding process. It all begins with a consultation with Onnis or one of her colleagues, who teach new mothers about proper positioning and other breastfeeding basics. For many women, this does the trick. Sometimes, however, they need more assistance. This is where the physical therapist comes in.

“If we refer a patient to physical therapy, it means we have ruled everything else out,” Onnis said.

In other words, by the time a patient gets to physical therapy it is pretty obvious that the position is not the only problem. More likely, blocked milk ducts or mastitis are to blame. Through the use of low-wattage ultrasound, the physical therapist helps break up the blockage and/or clear the infection. Usually, this allows the mother to successfully breastfeed — in some cases for the very fist time.

How does it all work? Well, in the case of a blockage the sound waves of the ultrasound encourage the fluid start moving. Same goes for a mother with an infection — the necessary nutrients start making their way into the milk duct while the waste products are simultaneously eliminated. The therapist also makes sure that, during the ultrasound, the mother remains in proper position.

“We position them so that there is drainage, in the line of gravity,” said Nora Stern, MSPT, a Providence-based physical therapist who sees many of Onnis’ patients.

The treatment is not painful, Stern said. The most difficult part is scheduling — most patients need two treatments twice a day for three consecutive days. Plus, patients need to nurse within 20 minutes of receiving the treatment.

“They either bring in the baby or pump,” Stern said.

Stern said patients are also instructed in post-treatment self-care. For example, they are encouraged to continue using the techniques they learned from their lactation consultants, along with new techniques such as placing a warm compress over a once-blocked duct. Because the treatment almost always results in “very rapid change,” Stern is extremely cautious when a patient’s situation does not improve right away.

“If we don’t get the rapid response that we expect to see, we send them back to their doctor right away,” she said.

She also emphasizes that, for mothers with mastitis, physical therapy is designed to complement — not replace — other treatments.

“Before we treat them, they need to be treated with antibiotics,” she said. “Otherwise (the infection) could potentially spread because the ultrasound promotes blood flow.”

Onnis said one of the biggest challenges she and her colleagues face is simply getting the word out.

“We’re (working on) educating providers, which we hope will create an awareness,” said Onnis, adding that the physical therapy treatment does require a physician referral.

She also explained that they try make it easy for doctors to get their patients in for treatment, which she hopes will encourage more and more physicians to send their patients over.

“One advantage is that we are (available) on weekends,” said Onnis, referring to both the lactation consultants and the physical therapists. “Providers can feel free to call us the same day and get (their patient) looked at.”

Though Onnis and Stern are based at Providence’s St. Vincent campus, the treatment is available at several satellite offices throughout the Portland area.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Goodbye home office, hello nursery

This is my desk ...

For six years, this is where I've worked. I've written hundreds of articles at this desk. I blogged my way through my husband's liver transplant at this desk. I've studied, shopped and wasted time at this desk. I've probably spent more time at this desk than on/at any other piece of furniture in my home. And if it is even remotely possible to feel attachment toward a piece of furniture from Dania, I feel that attachment for this desk. The purchase of this desk was significant, because it marked a career milestone for me.

Now, it is time to say goodbye. Not just to the desk, but to my entire office. This space is about to become the baby's room.

Instead, I'll be writing and blogging from a smaller desk in the guest room. I don't have said desk yet, but I'm leaning toward the Alaska desk, also from Dania. Yep, it is technically a youth desk. But it is the perfect size for the limited space we have available, and it is comfortable (especially when paired with the right chair). As much as I'll miss my home office, I'm excited to pick out baby furniture, decorate the guest room and create a fresh, new environment for writing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Super busy! Here's what The Paleo Baby is up to

I worked out today for the first time in 10 days, and it felt great! I almost forgot all about last week. Before the workout, I was apprehensive because I was concerned that the pain would return. It didn't, and the workout was really manageable for me. I have reached a point, though, where I need to slow down and modify quite a bit. Today, for example, I rode the stationary bike while the rest of class ran and jumped rope. I'm also using not just lighter but light kettlebells, and I'm doing push-ups when everyone else is doing sit-ups. And, because my heart rate gets high quickly, I really have to watch my pace. For the strength portion of today's workout, we did max body weight squats (I did 80 in two minutes) and it seemed like it took a long time for my heart rate to drop back down once I finished. I definitely need to start wearing my heart rate monitor.

Other happenings ...
  • The baby is due in 3 months and 11 days. I'm starting to freak out about getting everything together in time because the weeks are flying by. We still need to get a crib, a stroller, a car seat and basically all the other necessities.
  • I'm now 25 weeks along, but I'm measuring 27 weeks. The midwife I saw yesterday (not my regular midwife) said the measurements are subjective and since I am taking care of myself and gaining the right amount of weight (take that, weight gain calculator!) there is nothing to be concerned about. I'm glad, because when I heard 27 weeks I thought "aack, I'm going to have a huge baby!" The midwife said that is very, very unlikely. Phew!
  • My midwife, Christine, told me at our appointment last month that she, too, is expecting (she's having twins!). The thing is, her due date is just a couple of weeks after mine. So, she won't be at my delivery. I'm sad because I really like her, but she assured me that her colleagues are all very nice and compassionate. And I'll get to meet everyone in advance, so I won't be dealing with a stranger during labor and delivery.
  • I've learned that the Secret Fit Belly is not cool on hot days. Literally and figuratively. When it is 80+ degrees, the under-the-belly style is a must. Unfortunately, I only have two such choices -- one of which is a pair of shorts from Gap. I absolutely LOVE these shorts and need to get at least one more pair asap. 
  • Carl and I spent some time a couple of Saturdays ago in Mother Nature's, a super-cool natural/organic baby store in Southeast Portland. The owner, Judi Martin, is so, so nice! She gave us a crash course in Moby Wraps, diapers, wipes and safe sunscreen (for me to use right now). By the time we left, we were sold on the Moby Wrap, had decided to reconsider our previous decision about diapers (we were pretty set on the Bum Genuis -- now we're leaning toward the standard cloth diaper) and had chosen a sunscreen (ThinkBaby). Judi also suggested homemade baby wipes, and because we a) don't want nasty chemicals touching our daughter's skin and b) don't want to clog up our landfill with disposable wipes, we thought that sounded like a pretty grand plan. Homemade wipes involve a soft cloth and a gentle solution made out of essentials oils -- I'll post more about it once I find a recipe and try it out.
  • I. Am. Busy. I'm spending a lot of time writing, and I even took on an assignment from Alaska Airlines Magazine -- my first story in almost a year! I'm excited about it. Plus, I need the money for baby furniture!
  • The baby is very busy, too. She's moving all the time, especially early in the morning and late at night. And she seems to get stronger every day!
  • We're in the process of choosing a pediatrician. I totally planned to meet and interview at least three, but it seems this isn't really customary. We had one clinic in mind, but they only allow one meet-and-greet. When I asked the receptionist what happens if we meet with that person and decide he/she isn't the right fit, she said we can switch to one of their other docs later on (after the birth). Seriously? Hmmm, I don't like that concept so we didn't schedule anything. We have an appointment with a doctor at a completely different clinic this Friday. She's located about three minutes from our house, so I'm hoping we like her!
  • We've also been discussing birthing classes, and honestly I think we're leaning toward skipping them altogether. I'm just not convinced a class like that will be all that useful to us. Am I crazy (please don't answer for real!)?
  • Yesterday was part one of my glucose test alternative (just a blood draw after a 12-hour fast). The results, as suspected, were normal. In three weeks, I'll go in for part two. This involves a blood draw two hours after I eat a high carb meal. The midwife I saw yesterday (who doesn't really know me and doesn't know about paleo) told me to eat a big sandwich. I think I'll stick with fruit and potatoes instead.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sidelined with pain, part two

I'm happy, because what has so far been the longest week of my pregnancy is just about over!

I blogged on Tuesday about how I was sidelined with pain. On Wednesday morning, I thought I was better. But then, it just got worse. And worse and worse. I didn't sleep for three nights, because lying down was by far the most uncomfortable position (the sharp pain made it really hard to breathe). I spent yesterday sitting on my inflatable exercise ball watching movies (Notting Hill and Listen to your Heart). I enjoyed the movies, but I didn't enjoy sitting on that ball for hours on end!

Last night around 9pm the pain slowly started to disappear. At 3am I went to bed (it felt like a treat!) and slept comfortably for a few hours. I am still sore, but much improved! Right now, I'm trying to decide between going back to sleep or catching up on all the things I was unable to do this week. I think the nap is going to win. The to-do list (or in my case, the Teux Deux list -- a fantastic organizational tool that I love) can wait. Nothing is that urgent. Except maybe the laundry. That is pretty urgent.

So anyway, yes -- I've had a pretty rough week. I like to look on the bright side, though. I'm reading a pretty cool book right now called Oh, Shi(f)t! by Jennifer Powers (a fun and quick read that I highly recommend), and in the book she makes a really great point ...

"The things that happen aren't happening to you, for you or against you. They are just happening. You are not here to control what happens. Your job is to control how you react to what happens. The way you react to everything that happens will determine how your life unfolds from that point on."

Carl and I have embraced that outlook for long time now, but reminders are still helpful. How perfect that I read it yesterday (right around the time I started feeling like the pain would never, ever go away)! I mean, sure, I could complain about the pain and how it disrupted my life, etc., etc., but that doesn't help me. It just makes it worse. Instead, I choose to just be thankful that I feel better now and that next week I'll be able to get back to my normal day-to-day activities (it has been years since I've missed an entire week of workouts). Plus, today is my monthly pedicure and I have a prenatal massage scheduled for tomorrow! I'll forgot all about this long week in no time.

PS: As far as the cause of all of this, I'm still not completely sure. I suspect it was probably just pushing myself a little too hard the past couple of weeks, followed by a three-mile walk on Monday morning (by the end of the walk, I was just done -- you know the feeling), followed again by Tuesday morning's massive allergy attack.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

24 (and a half) weeks!

Now that I have an iPhone (!!!), I can actually take some photos of myself when I don't have someone else around.

Here I am today, halfway through my 24th week:

Weight gain so far is about 17 pounds. The pregnancy weight gain calculators still tell me I've gained about one pound too much!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sidelined with pain!

I don't know how it happened, but somehow I managed to acquire a very painful injury. I'm not even sure what the injury is, but I suspect it is a pulled or pinched muscle (in or near by ribs, on the back/right side). What I do know: it hurts. Breathing is difficult. Moving is practically impossible. I am completely sidelined!

It started a few days ago. The pain was relatively mild and totally manageable (no Tylenol required) at first. Yes, I noticed the pain -- but it didn't keep me from going about my daily life. Today, though, everything changed. When I woke up, I could barely get myself out of bed. Then, I got hit with an allergy attack. Massive sneezing. The sneezing must have re-injured the injury, because the pain was suddenly 50 times worse. I started wondering whether I had broken ribs!

Even though I knew this wasn't pregnancy-related, I called my midwife's office because a) I wanted to be sure it wasn't pregnancy related and b) when you are pregnant, pain-relief options are really limited (if I weren't pregnant, I would probably try an anti-inflammatory and some Biofreeze). The nurse I spoke to told me to use a heating pad and rest. She also said I'm not allowed to work out for several days (until the pain is completely gone).

So, I spent the day walking around the house (standing/walking is the most comfortable thing for me to do right now), trying to sit down but mostly regretting it and doing whatever stretches I could manage (not many). I really wanted to just sit in bed and read, so I propped up a bunch of pillows and tried to get comfortable -- but it just wasn't working. Around 4pm, things started to improve slightly -- but it still hurts a TON. I'm going to take a walk around the neighborhood now and try to enjoy the beautiful weather. Later, I'm taking Benedryl. I do not want to risk another sneezing episode! I also think a prenatal massage is in order, maybe later this week when the pain subsides (I'll need to go to the chiropractor, too, but right now I seriously doubt I could handle an adjustment). I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be a much better day! I'm looking forward to getting some things done around the house, and writing some more blog entries!