Monthly Archives: March 2012

What I’m Loving: First Trimester

The first 14 weeks of my pregnancy were quite an adventure. There were so many changes happening to me physically, mentally, and emotionally that were out of my control. I really had to take it day by day most of the time or else I would get totally overwhelmed. Here are some of the things that helped me get through the first trimester!

  • Running: Of course this has to be #1 on the list. This was by far the one thing that saved me throughout the first third of my pregnancy. I’ve said it before, but it made me feel like “me” when so many crazy changes were happening, it gave me back the energy I didn’t have, and it took away many of my symptoms like nausea, headaches, and “digestive issues.”

  • Kevin: Yesterday I wrote all about my amazing husband and why he is the best. He is so supportive and the main reason I didn’t lose my mind during the first trimester. I love him!

  • BabyCenter: This website was my main source of information during the first trimester when I was worried 24/7 and googling everything I could think of. I especially loved the support and community I found in the forums. I was automatically put into the September 2012 Birth Club because of my due date, and I also joined a few other groups that looked interesting. I love reading people’s posts, commenting, and getting to hear from other expecting moms that are due around the same time as me.

  • The Panic Free Pregnancy: I read a bunch of books in the first trimester, but I think The Panic-Free Pregnancy is the one that I find myself going back to the most. It’s written by a doctor and gives you the truth about what you REALLY need to worry about during pregnancy and what you don’t. It helped me relax and enjoy my pregnancy more, without worrying myself to death!

  • Snoogle Body Pillow: Almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant my sleep became terrible. I would wake up constantly and could never find a comfortable position. I did some research and found the Snoogle pillow, which many other moms were raving about. When I got it in the mail I was surprised by how huge it was, but I grew to love it instantly. It can be used for many different sleep positions, and it has improved the quality of my sleep so much! I have a feeling this will be a necessity throughout my entire pregnancy.


  • Hair Ties: In the first few weeks when I was really bloated and my regular jeans were really uncomfortable, I learned a trick that was my savior! You use a hair tie, loop it around your button, put it through the button hole, then back around the button. It extends the waist of your pants by a few inches and helps them stay up at the same time. This was the best trick ever and made me so much more comfortable!

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  • Belly Band: The belly band from Baby Be Mine Maternity was one of the first maternity items I bought. It goes around your waist so that you can unbutton/unzip your pants without it being noticeable. I wear it most often with my work pants. It doesn’t always stay in one spot and does need to be adjusted occasionally, but it’s worth it if it means I can keep wearing my work clothes! I’m trying to make it to summer break with my regular work clothes so that I don’t have to buy maternity ones.

  • Maternity Jeans: I started wearing these more toward the end of the first trimester. My regular jeans started to get way too tight in the waist and wearing them was like torture, even with the hair tie trick. I found these at Target (Liz Lange maternity brand) and they are so comfy and cute! I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of use out of them from now on.

  • Victoria’s Secret Lounge Bralette: I went to Victoria’s Secret shortly after I found out I was pregnant because I needed some comfortable but supportive bras to wear around the house and to bed (they hurt!!!). I found these and bought 4, and I love them! They’re so comfortable. I bought them a little bit big and I’m so glad I did, because I have already grown into them nicely, LOL.

  • Salt: I could not get enough salty foods! Chips, pickles, popcorn, soft pretzels with tons of salt on them… mmm.

  • Breakfast Foods: Cereal, bagels, pancakes, eggs… all so delicious and so comforting. I could eat these types of foods for every meal!

  • Milk of Magnesia: I only used this 4 times during the first trimester, since my doctor told me to use it only when I really needed it. It’s a natural and gentle way to help food move through the digestive tract (a.k.a. relieves constipation). I truly did NEED it each of the times I used it, and when I did I felt soooooooo much better.

  • The Couch: Ooh my couch. He was my BFF during the first 14 weeks. If I wasn’t working or running I was planted on the couch. I was so exhausted that I had no energy to do much else. Now that it’s the second trimester and my energy is coming back, I am hoping that my butt imprint on the couch will disappear!

 

All About My Baby’s Daddy

I need to brag for a few minutes about my amazing husband.

Kevin has impressed me since day one, when he made it his mission to make me a part of his life (and it was quite the mission!). But lately he has been doing more and more to make me proud and make me realize how lucky I am to have him forever. Here are a few recent things that I feel the need to brag about.

  • A great daddy-to-be. We’re only 14 weeks into this pregnancy and already Kevin has made sure to play a very active role in making decisions and supporting me with whatever I need. He wants to come to every doctors appointment and he is always putting my needs and Baby K’s needs first. Some of the specific things he’s been doing are…
  • Cooking. Kevin makes me breakfast every single morning so that I can relax a little before work and get ready without being rushed. He helps me make dinner every night and always does all the dishes. He also helps me meal plan and comes up with ideas for dinners each week.
  • Cleaning. Since I’ve had no energy and been busy with teaching, grad school, and growing a baby, certain things have moved down on my priority list… like cleaning! Kevin has been such an amazing help with this. One night I came home super late from grad class and exhausted, and walked into a totally spotless house. And this wasn’t the first time he’s done this. He’s also the laundry king!

  • Running errands. Kevin has offered to do so many things for me, including going the grocery store, picking up packages, going to the bank, etc. so that I can spend my time doing grad work. Sometimes during this time he also…
  • Makes me take naps! I’ve never been a huge napper, but I’m finding that I need to nap more than ever. I feel really guilty taking naps when I know there are a lot of other things that need to be done, but Kevin tells me not to worry about it and to go rest by taking a nap or going to bed early.

A beautiful shot that Kevin took during one of my spontaneous naps while trying to do some grad work!

  • Deals with my mood swings and craziness. This is a big one! I don’t know how he does it, but somehow he puts up with all of my emotions, that range from excited to happy to sad to angry (sometimes in the span of a few minutes, LOL). He never makes me feel bad about the way that I feel and act and he understands that my hormones are all out of whack. Instead he just stays quiet or comforts me if I’m upset. He also doesn’t complain when I wake him up to take my weekly picture before I run on Wednesday mornings 🙂
  • Defends me to all the doubters. Many people have questioned Kevin and me about whether it’s okay for me to run during pregnancy. Some others have questioned my vegetarianism (I plan to write a post about the crazy things people have said to me later!) Kevin is my biggest supporter and public defender. He will explain how it’s safe for me to run and not eat meat, and that it’s healthy for me and the baby. It feels good that he has my back!
  • Running. I have written about Kevin’s journey to running before, but the difference with his running now is that he is doing a lot of his training runs alone. This was a HUGE change for him. For the last two years, Kevin has done all of his running and training with me by his side. Lately he has been running alone because I can’t run as fast as he can right now, and he has specific time goals he’s trying to meet. He did his first ever solo long run (15 miles!) a few weeks ago and KILLED it at an 8:45 pace, on a super hilly route. That day I went out and took pictures of him running, like he has done for me before. It was such a special moment for me to see him dominating a long run like he was, and really enjoying himself! He has come such a long way! We still run together sometimes, and he will slow his pace down to my new 9:30 – 10:00/mile pace without any complaints.

  • Beer making. Kevin has recently developed a new hobby- making his own beer! He received a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas and fell in love with the beer making process. He has since bought more materials and has been using recipes to make batch after batch of different types of beer. I love that he has a new hobby that makes him happy. When he’s happy I’m happy 🙂 I just wish I could try some of it!

  • Biking to work. Kevin recently got interested in biking to work since the weather in northern Virginia has been beautiful. He also only has a 2.5 mile commute to work that sometimes takes a while because of traffic. He thought biking to work would be easier, quicker, and fun! So far he has been correct. He’s been loving getting some extra exercise and fresh air before and after work. Plus he looks pretty cute doing it!

Yup, I picked a good one 🙂 I’m pretty lucky!

Sharing Our News With Friends & Family

When we found out we were expecting, we knew we wanted to announce it to our family and friends in fun, creative ways. Here are some of the ways we told the people we love our special news. Stay tuned for a video compilation of our friends and family’s reactions to these surprises at the end of this post!

The first person I told was one of my best friends Ashley. I told her only 3 days after we found out, because I had planned to go to her house for dinner that night and I knew I couldn’t keep it from her all night. I told her to close her eyes and put out her hands, and I gave her the pregnancy test. She actually guessed that I was pregnant before I even gave it to her! She was super excited, and so was I because I was so happy to let someone in our own secret!

A few weeks later we decided to tell Kevin’s sister Kara and her fiance Brandon. One of the things we love to do together is go geocaching, like I wrote about in this post from last summer. We decided to invite them to go geocaching and made a special geocache that we hid ourselves. Kevin spray painted a tupperware container black and we put two baby bibs inside that said “I love my aunt” and “I love my uncle.” We put a paper inside that said “Congratulations, you’re going to be an aunt and uncle!” and the official geocaching document on top so that the secret wouldn’t be given away immediately. We got to our location ahead of time and hid the container, and when Kara and Brandon got there we let them find it and open it. It took them a little while to get it, but once they did their reactions were awesome!!!

That night we told the rest of Kevin’s family. We decided to go over to his parent’s house for game night. We brought Guesstures (one of our favorite games) and played for a little while. Eventually, it was Kevin’s turn. He acted out his first three cards. Then, for his final card, he pretended like he had the word “pregnant” and started to gesture like he had a big belly, and pointed to me. It took a long time for his parents to get it and when they did, they jumped out of their seats and sprinted over to me, almost knocking me down in the process! Priceless!

We also told his other sister, grandma, and aunt over Skype and the phone that evening. Their reactions are in the video at the end too 🙂

A week later we went home to Pennsylvania to share the news with my family. For my sister, we put a little blue hippo that she got me into a box filled with blue and pink M&Ms. The blue hippo signifies the goddess of fertility, and she gave it to me at my bachelorette party because she’s been dying for me to give her a little niece or nephew. I put a sign on top that said “It worked!” so that she would see it when she opened the box and then look to see what was underneath. When we got to PA I took her out to get ice cream and gave her a ‘late Christmas present’ in the car. She opened it up and didn’t understand at first, but then it clicked 🙂

We decided to tell my Dad by putting our ultrasound picture at the end of a wedding photo book that I had made for him. We gave him the book as a gift and watched him look through the pages. When he got to the last page he paused for a few seconds and stared at the ultrasound photo. He was shocked and excited for us!

 To tell my best friends from home, I made cookies with pink and blue M&Ms and brought them to my friend’s house one night for a little get-together. I told them I brought a special dessert and showed them the cookies. At first they thought they were for Easter (LOL) but they realized quickly what they really meant and we had a good old fashioned shriek fest!

Once I reached 12 weeks, we both told our bosses and the staff at our workplaces. There was an interesting mix of people who were totally surprised and others who claimed they knew it all along! (How did they know?!) Later that evening we announced it on Facebook by having a little photo shoot with our sneakers and baby sneakers, and me in my Running for Two shirt. Then we created this image and posted it when I hit 12 weeks. The response was amazing and so supportive. I had something crazy like 94 ‘likes’ and 45 comments, and Kevin had the same on his page. We felt the love!

These are not the only people we told ahead of our ‘public’ announcement, but the rest of them were told either over the phone, over dinner or at some kind of get-together, or by showing them the ultrasound picture.

Here is a video we made that has the reactions of the people we caught on camera  as we surprised them with our news 🙂

Announcing our pregnancy was so exciting and fun. It was great to feel the love and support from everyone. This little baby is already loved more than he or she knows. We are so lucky!

Baby K: 14 Weeks

I am so excited to finally be in the second trimester!! These weeks have crawled by so slowly and it felt like this day would never come. I feel like a weight has been lifted now that I’m past the riskiest stage. I am also finally blogging my weekly updates ‘live’ at this point, which means I am actually 14 weeks today- March 28th. I had been writing all my other updates as I hit each new week and saved them for after we announced, then I posted one a day. Now I am finally all caught up!

What’s Happening With Baby?

Baby K is the size of a lemon this week!

BabyCenter says that the baby is about 3.5 inches long and weighs 1.5 ounces. Baby is able to, “squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he’ll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you’re having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.” I can’t believe the baby can do all of that already!

How I’m Changing

I think I’m starting to see a little bit of a bump! Well, it’s a bump compared to what I had there before at least. Some of the kids at school actually started noticing it and were asking if I was having a baby, so I figured it was time to tell them. I teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, so I got all kinds of comments and questions like, “How did you find out?”, “Is it a boy or a girl?”,  “Did you throw up?” and “I thought you were just getting fat” (hahaha, that was real comment from a very honest 4th grade boy).

Now that I’m in the second tri, I thought it would be a good time to do a little comparison. Here’s week 4 compared to week 14.

    

    

Ooooh yeah… there have definitely been some changes over the last 10 weeks! Bigger boobs, thicker waist, wider hips… and more to come! I actually am loving the changes. It is exciting to wake up and notice my body looking different each day. I think it’s amazing how my body knows what to do to grow this baby. I feel blessed to be able to experience this!

How I’m Feeling

A lot less worry and a lot more excitement!!! Although as I write this I’m watching  19 Kids and Counting and Michelle Duggar just went for an ultrasound and learned that she had miscarried at 17 weeks. My heart broke for her- so devastating and so scary. But I know that what happened to her is not common and that the chances of that happening to me are slim. I know there aren’t really any truly ‘safe’ times during pregnancy, but I’m learning to let go and relax a little more, and it feels good!

Also still feeling nauseous again! What the heck… aren’t I in the second trimester now? It actually got so bad this afternoon that I started dry heaving a little bit. Then I went for a run and felt 100% better 🙂

What I’m Eating/Not Eating

I am officially DONE with dairy. I can’t take the pain and suffering that comes after eating it and it’s just not worth it. I had Dairy Queen on Sunday night and paid for it for 3 days afterwards. As much as I love cheese and ice cream I just can’t do it anymore 😦

How I’m Staying Active

Before Sunday's long run!

I am finding myself appreciating running so much more than before. Every time I go out for a run I feel thankful and happy to be out there. It feels good to not care about time, pace, or distance and just enjoy myself and listen to my body. Last weekend we did an 11 mile long run. We went out thinking we’d try for 15, and we ran a route that kept us close to home just in case we wanted to cut it short and come home early. When we got to the 10 mile mark we had the option to run the 1 mile home or add on a few more miles with an additional loop. Kevin’s knee was bothering him and my hip flexors were feeling tight, so we opted to run home early. I felt good with that decision and happy that I listened to my body. Plus I was proud to have run 11 amazing miles! I had an extra long stretch session when we got home, ate a delicious bagel and smoothie, and relaxed on the couch 🙂

  • Run: 20 miles
  • Strength Training: 1 Body Pump class

   

Here’s another comparison shot (5 weeks vs. 13.5 weeks) since I wore the same shirt for my long run this past weekend that I wore in my 5 week picture. Definitely more boobs and more bumpage!

    

Week 14 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +0.4 pounds
  • Total weight gained (first trimester total): +3.8 pounds. Recommended gain for the first tri is 1 – 5 pounds so I’m right where I should be! From now on I’m supposed to gain about a pound per week.
  • Favorite pregnancy book this week: The Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy (more about this next week!)
  • # of times I peed today at school: 10 times from 8:30 – 3:30 … seriously. And yes, I counted because I was curious!
  • # of days until baby’s next race with mommy: 4! Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Snday!
  • # of days until SPRING BREAK: 2! I seriously can’t wait to relax and catch up some much needed sleep.

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!

Baby K: 13 Weeks

The biggest news this week is we got to see our baby again! This time for longer than a second, like last week’s surprise ultrasound when they couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler. I had my NT (Nuchal Translucency) Screening scheduled for this past Tuesday, which consists of an ultrasound and a blood test that must be done between 11 and 13 weeks 6 days while baby’s skin is still transparent. The ultrasound is done to measure the fluid at the back of baby’s neck, which assesses the risk of the baby having certain chromosomal abnormalities (like Down Syndrome) and congenital heart problems. They also took my blood to test some hormone levels- which are another indicator of these problems. We knew going into it that no matter if the results were positive or negative, it wouldn’t really change anything. We decided to do these tests because they are safe, covered by my insurance, and they give us information that we feel is valuable for us to be prepared for our baby’s needs. The good news was that the baby’s nuchal fold measured in the normal range and I haven’t heard anything about my blood work, and my doctors say no news is good news 🙂 So there is no need for the invasive and risky tests like CVS and amniocentesis.

More good news: the baby was measuring perfect for 13 weeks, and it’s heartbeat was a strong 150 beats per minute! Best of all, we got an amazing profile shot of the little one. It blows my mind that there is a little HUMAN inside of me! It took a while for the sonographer to get baby in this position. She had to do a lot of belly jiggling, but eventually baby listened and got into position. Next ultrasound will be our anatomy scan around 20 weeks… which means we need to start thinking seriously about whether we want to find out what we are having or not!

What’s Happening With Baby?

Baby K is the size of a peach this week!

BabyCenter and The Bump say that baby is the almost 3 inches long now and weighs .81 ounces. He or she actually has fingerprints now! The head is becoming more proportionate to the rest of its body. The baby is also forming its vocal cords and teeth, and its intestines are beginning to move from outside the body to the inside.

How I’m Changing

My stomach is definitely getting rounder and I’m not able to suck it in anymore. I finally bought some larger running shorts to accommodate my growing size and it’s made a world of difference in my comfort level while running! Still loving the maternity jeans too 🙂

Other changes include boobs that continue to get bigger and big, blue veins!

    

How I’m Feeling

I actually had a little return of nausea this week. It came in the afternoons right before school let out. I was able to fight it by eating a snack and going for a run- two of my favorite cures! I think the baby is growing because I also felt very hungry and very tired this week. Growth spurt?

Also this week I found out that I had strep throat. I had an extremely sore throat last Wednesday and Thursday it got even worse. It felt like I was swallowing knives. I knew that one of my students had been out with strep throat a couple days before, and I’m no stranger to strep and had a feeling that I had it too. I stopped by the CVS Minute Clinic after work on Thursday and the results of the rapid strep test said positive as I suspected. However I didn’t have a fever, which was strange because usually I do with strep. The doctor gave me some antibiotics and I stayed home on Friday. I felt a million times better by Friday night!

What I’m Eating/Not Eating

My two new favorite things are jalapenos on everything and popcorn. I just discovered how to make popcorn from plain kernels in a paper bag from the Fitnessista and it’s become my new favorite nighttime snack. I add a little Earth Balance and salt and YUM. Salty, crunchy perfection 🙂

How I’m Staying Active

Well, the biggest news this week is that I successfully completed the Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon and loved every minute of it! It wasn’t my fastest half marathon but it wasn’t my slowest either. I finished in 1:57:54, a 9:00 average pace, and was very proud!

While running I had no discomfort whatsoever and made sure to maintain a comfortable pace and not get too hot. In the hours that followed the race I started feeling some soreness above my pelvis on both sides, surrounding my uterus.  It only hurt if I pushed in on either side. I found out this is probably round ligament pain, which is a normal symptom of pregnancy. The round ligaments are what surrounds your uterus. Here is what I read on BabyCenter that perfectly described what was happening and why:

You might also feel it as a dull ache after a particularly active day – when you’ve been walking a lot or doing some other physical activity. You may feel the pain starting from deep inside your groin, moving upward and outward on either side to the top of your hips. The pain is internal, but if you were to trace it on your skin, it would follow the bikini line on a very high-cut bathing suit.

I rested for the remainder of the day and the next day too, and it was gone when I woke up. Just a reminder to take it easy and take plenty of rest days!

  • Run: 27.1 miles
  • Strength: 1 easy day of a bunch of push-ups (sets of 10) – took it easy on strength because of the half marathon.

    

Week 13 Summary:

  • Weight gained this week: +0.0 pounds (same as last week)
  • Total weight gained: + 3.4 pounds
  • Maternity items bought: 2 larger pairs of running shorts, a Gabrialla maternity support belt to wear while running (will need this around 20 weeks), and The Runner’s World Guide to Running & Pregnancy. Very excited to read this book!
  • Best thing I ate this week: A delicious egg, leek, potato, and cheese frittata at my friend’s St. Patty’s Day brunch after our race. SO GOOD!
  • # of times I fell asleep reading for my grad class: at least 4
  • # of years since I’ve had a sober St. Patty’s Day: 8! That is crazy. The last time before this year was 2004.
  • # of days until baby’s next race with mommy: 11! :) Our next race is the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 1st!

For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!