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Pregnancy Confessions II

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Pregnancy Confessions (and other senseless rambles)

 

I am officially in Pregnant-Running retirement.

I thought about writing an entire post about this, but there’s really no need to make it more dramatic than it was. Nothing happened. There was no “This is My Last Run of Pregnancy!” moment. I just…stopped running. And I’ve simply lost all desire to start again. I guess you could say my last “official” run was during the 36th week of this pregnancy. But it was only a mile, so it feels a little silly to count it.

The funny thing is that I miss it, but I don’t. Even walks are becoming uncomfortable these days. And really, as the weather gets colder, I find myself missing skiing way more than I miss running.

Okemo_december 2013

I do, however, miss feeling strong.

I feel like I’m in the worst shape of my life. I get winded walking up stairs (or hills) and my legs are exhausted. I feel every single one of those 29 pounds I’ve gained since March, but I’ve forgotten what it’s like to move around without them.

That being said, I’m surprised by how little I miss my abs.

Before getting pregnant, I thought that might be one of the harder things to see go. But now I find that I really don’t care. Sure, I’d love to have a nice strong core again, but I have to admit it’s kind of nice to just let it all hang out.

…now we’ll see how that changes once this hard ball of baby turns into flab…

cheese baby_37 weeks full…and the shirt no longer fits…

I’m working from home until the baby is born. And while I originally had grand plans to wake up every morning and make myself presentable so that I’d be more productive, I’ve been spending the week in old running pants and Evan’s sweatshirts.

My commute to the office is 75 minutes each way (on a good day). I’m incredibly thankful for a doctor’s note and a flexible enough work environment that has allowed me to work from home for these next couple of weeks. But I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how quickly it’s turned me into a slob.

I don’t really think my belly is all that big…until I catch a glimpse of my reflection or see a photo.

And then I remember.

Christmas tree 2013_37 weeksMy only requirement for our tree was that we find one fatter than my belly. Done and done.

I don’t think I’ll miss being pregnant, but I can see how I might miss feeling her move.

I am so excited to meet my daughter and get to know who she is. But I can’t deny the fact that there’s this incredible connection between the two of us right now that will soon be gone. It’s weird to think about.

I lose track of how many times I wake up at night.

Nights all blur together at this point anyway. As long as I fall back to sleep after each wake up (doesn’t always happen), I consider it a successful night. I’m just hoping all of this will be good practice for the first few months of life with a newborn.

I’m terrified of what life is going to be like with a newborn, but not for reasons you might think.

I know that first month (/months!) can be incredibly tough. The sleep deprivation, the hormones, the recovery, the crying, etc etc etc. But I’m not really stressed about it. I’m not claiming to know everything there is to know about raising a child, I’m just confident in Evan and I as a team. As tough as it may be sometimes, I know we’re going to figure things out as we go.

No, I’m more nervous about my ability to commit to all of the things I want to do: breastfeed, cloth diaper (it’s always a good sign when you tell your husband’s grandmother you’re using cloth and she responds with “God bless ya!“), work full-time, and oh yeah, somehow find time to actually train again. Not to mention spending time with my husband and making sure the poor pup doesn’t feel neglected. I know deep down that if things are a priority, we’ll make time for them. But it’s hard to even wrap my head around the level of crazy that is about to become my life.

cloth diapersCloth might be extra work, but it’s hard to deny the cuteness

Because everyone wants to know — yes, I’d love to have an all-natural, smooth labor but I’m absolutely not against medication if needed.

In fact, I’m going in expecting to at least need pitocin, due to a family history of bodies that just don’t seem to want to progress through active labor on their own. I don’t want it, and I certainly don’t plan on asking for it (unless of course, baby decides to be nice and late. Then I’m all about helping encourage her to come out). I’d rather not use drugs because I want to rely on the strength of my own body to get me through labor. But ultimately I accept that I am not the one in control here (a very difficult thing for me to come to terms with, believe me). And at the end of the day, as cliché as it sounds, our number one goal is “healthy baby, healthy mom.”

I’ve never understood when women say they are looking forward to the pain of labor.

If that’s you, well…to use the words of Evan’s grandmother: “God bless ya!” To each his own, I guess. I’m not dreading the pain, and I accept that childbirth is going to hurt. But that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to feeling it. It’s like running a marathon (yeah, I know, completely different things but it’s the closest comparison I have so go with me here!). I know that pain is going to be a part of the experience. And when that pain comes, I accept it, embrace it as much as I can, and try to work through it, knowing that it’ll ultimately make me stronger. But I certainly don’t look forward to it. I am excited about the reward that comes after the marathon, not the pain I have to endure during it.

Even though everyone insists otherwise, there’s a part of me that wonders if I’ll even know I’m in labor when the time comes.

In movies it’s always so dramatic. The woman is going about her day when suddenly BAM! – she’s hit with the most intense contraction ever. Or her water breaks in public and there’s a mad rush to get to the hospital. In reality, the percentage of women whose water breaks before labor begins is pretty low. And I’ve been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions on a regular basis since 33 weeks. What was once just a few tightenings in the evening has now become an all-day occurrence. There’s not pattern to them yet, but feeling contractions has become as normal a part of my day as feeling the baby move. So what if I’ve just become immune to it?*

*Okay so rationally I realize that real contractions are way more intense than BH (and have even felt a few real ones to prove it) and that women aren’t able to just go about their day, oblivious to the fact that they’re experiencing pain. But…doesn’t mean the fear isn’t still there.

cheese baby_37 weeks side full

At close to 38 weeks, I’m less anxious for the end than I thought I would be.

There was a long period of time during this pregnancy when I thought the end would NEVER come. December seemed like a lifetime away. Even as I hit the third trimester, I just kept telling myself: make it to 37 weeks, that’s all you have to do. Just like when I’m doing a long run, thinking about the very end was overwhelming. So I tell myself that if I can make it to mile 17/18, I can certainly make it to mile 20. I thought maybe these last few weeks would drag on forever, but they’re not. Instead, I’m increasingly aware of how little time I have left. Although I’ve had 9+ months to prepare, it seems like there is so much to do in these last few weeks. So much to take in before my life is forever changed. And sometimes I wonder — am I ready??

And then I picture still being pregnant on Christmas and all I can say is “COME OUT NOW BABY! (please and thank you)”

 

36 Responses to Pregnancy Confessions II

  1. You look incredible! I have enjoyed following your posts, they’re the best pregnancy posts of any blogger I have read. Thanks for keeping it real and making it less scary of a potential prospect in my life, lol ;)
    Krissy @ Shiawase Life´s last post ..wordless wednesday.

    • Thank you so much Krissy!! And don’t be scared. Pregnancy is not always the most pleasant thing, but overall it’s really an incredible thing to experience.

  2. Ahhhh!!! It’s almost here!!!!
    That stinks that you had to stop running, but it seems that you are taking it well. Don’t worry, that fire for running returns very quickly!!!

    I’m so excited for you!!!! Now that you are so close, everyone is going to start giving you advice on what worked for them to go into labor. So let me kick it off with the first bit of annoying “what worked for me” advice.
    The day I went into labor I got a prenatal massage that made me feel drunk. Then I headed to the craft store to get a material to make 4 fabulous scarves and some button earrings, because I was sure I’d be pregnant for the next 2 weeks. Then I got hungry. I drove to whole foods and filled up a box of thier hot bar. That’s when I realized I was way too hungry to drive the 3 minutes home, and I ate it right there in my car in the parking lot. All of that eating made me tired, so I layed on the couch watching Titanic. Then my water broke. Massage, crafts, food in the car, titanic. Haha.

    On the cloth diapers…not really that scary. We’ve been in them for I don’t even know how long. I think 4 or 5 weeks now. It’s easier than I thought it would be! And seeing how little waste we produce now, is really cool. Also, the fabric is much nicer on Aria’s sensitive parts. While my friends babies have diaper rashes here and there, we have yet to get one. And I read with cloth they are much less frequent. I also like that cloth doesn’t have the chemicals that regular disposables have. I wash them every other day and I don’t at all feel like its a burden!

    After Aria was born I had lots of questions and basically I just wanted to feel like I was part of something every now and again. It can be very isolating. You should join the Facebook group “Ask the Chicks”. It’s awesome. You can join now, before the baby is even born. Moms ask questions and talk about mom stuff. I’ve asked a lot of questions that I otherwise had no idea. I also belong to Cloth Diaper Support Group. That group is good for finding deals on diapers and asking questions about cloth.

    I’m so excited! Good luck!!!! Let me know if you have any questions!!!
    Tami Washenko´s last post ..Let’s Get This Party Started!

    • Haha got it!! Scheduling my massage now. Only problem is — we don’t have a Whole Foods within driving distance (I think the nearest one is 2 hours away). So I’m going to have to find some other hot bar to get things going. ;)

      And in terms of running — it just didn’t feel good anymore. I know you know how it is. It just got to the point where I COULD do it, but the discomfort didn’t really seem worth it. I think I’m okay with it because I know the end is so close. And I’m happy I was able to run for as long as I did!

      Thanks for the advice re: cloth. I may be bugging you with questions in the future!

  3. Even though you might not feel strong right now, you are probably stronger than you’ve ever been! Your body is working all the time to sustain that wonderful little life inside of you. :)

    Also, I actually didn’t realize I was in labor when it first started. It took about 2-3 hours for me to realize the contractions were progressing (ever so slowly) and that they weren’t just Braxton Hicks!
    Katie @ Pick Any Two´s last post ..3 Lessons We Should Learn from Tori Spelling’s Post-Baby Weight Loss Plan

  4. Ahh! I can’t believe how close you are! I love falling all of your updates and I love your honesty throughout all of it! I can get a glimpse of what pregnancy may actually be like one day for me! I love reading the happy parts but I also want to be realistic!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun´s last post ..A Disordered Confession

  5. So excited for you Lauren! I really love all the updates and it’s making me baby crazy even more than I already am, haha!

    Glad you were able to run for so long, get some relaxation time in before things turn upside down. #cheesebaby is going to be here soon! :)
    Steph´s last post ..Rehoboth Beach Half Goals

  6. Good luck! I can’t wait to read the birth story!

  7. You look incredible – and you are brave for standing out in the snow!

    I didn’t know I was in labor either. My water broke but not in the most telling way, and then I never had any contractions before needing pitocin. Besides the pain (and fear of “is baby going to be ok?”) giving birth is the most amazing experience ever – I’m glad you’re looking forward to it!
    Jen´s last post ..What Wyatt didn’t eat Thursday (munchkin meals)

  8. Being a runner & new mom (Lucy is almost 10 weeks old already!), I’ve loved following along during your pregnancy. You definitely keep things real which I always appreciate! I had Braxton Hicks contractions from about 20 weeks on (and was so annoyed with them by the end haha!) and thought that real contractions would feel the same but just more intense but my real contractions actually felt like period cramps that kept getting stronger and closer together. Good luck in these last few weeks of your pregnancy and I’m excited to keep reading about your adventure as a mama.
    Jenny´s last post ..Thanksgiving Weekend

    • Thank you! I’ve felt a few that are more like period cramps, so I’m guessing my experience will be similar to yours when the time comes. We will see…!!

  9. I agree with Krissy that your pregnancy updates are the best around! I’m planning on a similar brain dump on my blog now that we’re in the 30 day countdown as well. I oscillate between complete ignorance is bliss and paranoia!
    Anne Taite´s last post ..Stuff My Stocking

    • Yes, exactly! And it’s funny how it changes by the day. One day I’m all zen about everything and the next – I’m lying awake in bed all night stressing over every detail. I just keep telling myself that when the time comes, we’ll figure it out. One way or another…

  10. I love cloth diapers, sure more work blah blah blah – did you know that technically you are suppose to put the poop of disposables into the toilet too? Somehow I don’t know how that didn’t get on the diaper box! You will do great when the time comes (not that you aren’t doing awesome right now – that sounds weird as I type it) you will at some point in the future find your new balance.

    • I did NOT know that! Honestly, besides the laundry, I don’t really think cloth are going to be that much harder than disposables (fingers crossed, anyway). Plus, they are so cute (the more cloth I buy, the more I want…it’s a problem), which is even more motivation beyond the cost savings and cutting back on trash, etc.

      • They really aren’t that much more work, especially in the first six months if you are strict breast feeding as you throw everything into the washer and it comes out clean, no scraping anything. Even now, you are so used to how it is, it really isn’t that much more work. You have less blowouts (in fact I have not had one) in a cloth diaper, so less clothing changes for the wee one, less diaper rash, and everything! I love them too for how they look, and it makes my cutie just a bit more cute!

  11. i feel your pain x 1000! i think i developed sciatica (new development this week – fun!) which makes walking painful. not sure if i will run again :(

    i have nothing to wear either and wear all of matt’s clothes. thankfully, i’m also working from home and only have a week left of work.

    i’m terrified of how i will juggle everything, especially since i’m navigating a career change post-baby. but i guess once you get into it, you just do it and make it work.

    hang in there and fingers crossed for a swift (and timely) delivery!
    kristy´s last post ..Gobble Wobble 5K Recap

  12. You look great! Hard to believe she is almost here. I’m sure you are much more ready than you give yourself credit for, plus don’t forget the power of the human instinct!
    EB @ Running on E´s last post ..The History of my Bloody Feet

  13. Your belly really does look huge in that picture with the tree, but I love it!! :)
    Christina Lynne´s last post ..Gone to Carolina in my mind….

  14. Hi! I am a new reader to your blog, and am a runner with 2 little girls (now 3 and 5). I ran my first marathon when my oldest was 19 months (before pregnant with my second). I also cloth diapered, breastfed for a year and worked full time, like you plan to do… I say this to encourage you that you are right– if these things are priorities then you will find the time to make them happen (although sometimes you do have to be creative!) Once you get into a routine, it is not that hard. Good luck and have fun!

    • Thank you!! I really appreciate the encouragement. And it’s good to know from someone who has been there that it CAN be done! :)

  15. I love reading posts from first-time mamas-to-be. I’m pregnant with our fourth, 22 weeks, and I’ll miss being pregnant. But I love being pregnant. Anyway, best of luck to you in the first few months. As a seasoned mama and breastfeeder (my youngest turns three on the 20th of December and still nurses at night once), I can offer a few tips:
    1. Newborns nurse. A lot. It doesn’t mean your supply is inadequate. Nurse on-demand and you’ll be fine. If baby latches on then pulls off crying, it could be an overactive letdown. Manually express for a minute then relatch baby. As long as you don’t give up, you can breastfeed. Sometimes, it’s just not as easy as some would convey.
    2. My husband and I are soulmates, best of friends, still madly in love after nine years together. We work phenomenally as a team, but introducing a baby to the mix requires honest communication ALL THE TIME. Adding a tiny human to the mix inevitably alters your relationship. I love your optimism, just remember that the art of compromise and communication are arts for a reason!
    3. The dog will be neglected. Sorry. Calvin, our American Bulldog, was OUR BABY before the real baby came along. Henry became Calvin’s baby, and it worked out well. But it’s never the same again. Don’t worry, I’m not saying you’ll neglect your dog but he/she will have to learn the new hierarchy or you’ll have problems. It’s beneficial to be firm initially so there’s no confusion. Calvin is still our baby, but he’s a canine, not a human. He’s moved down a few times now and he’s cool with it.
    4. Having expectations or plans, like how things will transpire and when you’ll start training again, etc., really only set you up for disappointment. Now that I’m on baby #4, I can honestly say that going with the flow and not getting too upset about trivial things has been the key to a peaceful home. Plus, after losing a baby to stillbirth, I cherish infancy and all the crazy beauty and whimsy it brings. Everything else can wait, because my firstborn is now seven and I feel like all I did was blink and he grew up.
    5. Don’t assume. Anything. Ever. With motherhood, marriage, parenting. It’s easier that way. Unless butting your head against a brick wall is entertaining or awesome in your book ;)
    6. We use cloth as well and I can say that diaper sprayers are FANTASTIC. Also, if you’re using microfiber inserts, make sure to add water to your washer if it’s an HE: otherwise, there won’t be enough water in the washer and your inserts will not be rinsed and soaked enough to get all the urine out. I like bamboo inserts just for that reason. Fitteds with covers are THE BEST for newborns, as are pockets.
    7. No matter what I say or anyone else says, no matter what you read, going with your intuition is a fail safe. Paying attention to those nudgings in your heart and mind is the best thing you can do as a mother. It always felt inherently wrong for my husband and I to do certain things, so we didn’t. We obviously heavily researched decisions that involved our children’s health and welfare, but in the end, we only used that information as a foundation. Go with your gut and you’ll never fail as a parent.
    Tricia´s last post ..a new place to write

  16. Lauren – let me first say that I nodded in agreement with every single thing you said here. I feel like you so perfectly expressed what I felt during both pregnancies – the out of shape feeling, the nervousness about sticking with what I wanted to do, etc.
    So just a few things:
    - I hope you know that if you ever have any questions about bf’ing, I am here. I’m not an expert but I feel like I’ve been through the good and bad with the boys and thankfully managed to make it to 14 and 15 months with them. I’m sure you have a ton of friends who have or are but I’m here =) I learned that having a support crew with this helps a lot – mine was my sister – she answered questions and calmed my fears about it when I was worried about supply, technique, etc. I’d recommend the book “the art of brestfeeding” by La Leche League. It was my bible – I read chapters over and over again when AJ was first born.
    - Just like a marathon, just take it one mile at a time. Don’t look ahead and think – OMG, how am I going to do this forever or the next 6 months or whatever. Just get through THAT day. Honestly, the first 4-6 wks are the easy part in a lot of ways – your little one will be sleeping a TON during the day. The nights might be tougher but you can still bank on wonderful 3-4 hr stretches during the day to catch up on sleep.
    - One of my cousin’s told me something that Paul and I still repeat to each other – everything with babies and kids is temporary – everything – the good and the bad. But it helped me so many times during the rough patches – I’d say it over and over to myself that it was a temporary and easier times were ahead.
    - I was in labor for about 3 hours with AJ before I knew it was labor. It didn’t hurt a ton so I thought it was just BH – it kind of just felt like period cramping. After a few hours, I realized that they were still happening so I started timing them and sure enough, every 5-6 min apart. My biggest piece of advice – if you do start having labor, try to stay at home for a while – stay vertical and stay busy. I vacuumed (I’d stop during the contractions), straightened up and made sure the house was ready for our return home. Staying vertical (for me) made the contractions more regular and stronger.

    Anyway, I am really sorry for the rambling. I am so excited for you and am glad that I have been along on your journey – looking forward to seeing you as a mom =) xo
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama´s last post ..The Dichotomy of Running

  17. Super excited for you! Every body labors differently. I always envied those who didn’t know they were in it because for me it was like I would imagine having a white-hot knife shoved up my ass. Graphic, yes…but accurate…I think. My water never broke on its own. For my last two births I wouldn’t let them break it until the very end with one and never with the other (she was born in her sac). I also have one of those slow-to-progress bodies and pitocin is hard on babies if there’s not enough fluid in there. I did the cloth (I swear it also helps with potty training) and the extended breastfeeding thing, too. The length of time I nursed my kids freaks a lot of people out. I’ll stop…I know the volume of info and anecdotes gets super overwhelming! Wishing you all the very best :)
    MILF Runner´s last post ..Meaningless shit that goes through my head while perusing social media…Part 2: when words are not enough

  18. Knowing you are in labor can definitely be confusing. I never had clear BH, so when I started having contractions the day before I truly went into labor, I did notice, but it was still confusing, because mine stopped for a whole day then started up again the next day when I actually was in real labor. Also, mine never were that consistent in minutes apart and intensity so I found that confusing too in terms of when to go to the hospital because sometimes they were 9 minutes apart, sometimes 2 minutes, etc. I finally went with my gut and decided it was time to go to the hospital after a whole day of labor and I was dialated to 6cm, but they had to break my water at the hospital to get things going a little more. Anyway, you’ll figure it out! I’m so excited for you!!
    Brittney´s last post ..Nine Months!?

  19. Enjoy the break from working out and feeling all that pressure, one of the good things about being pregnant is the ability to lose focus on that, now the bad thing of course is that there is not 29 lbs of baby in there ;)
    Cloth diapering still has a lot of wary eyed folks out there, just be prepared when you ask for a sitter or day care that they will (most likely) not want to be accommodating. It’s like people think that putting on a cloth diaper is somehow different than a disposable.
    Jamie´s last post ..What I got: FREE November Samples

    • There are definitely a lot of misperceptions about cloth. I actually already experienced a bit of push back from daycare (but it all worked out in the end!). Long story short: they cited state regulations as a reason why they’re not allowed to use cloth, but in reality there are only a few states that prohibit cloth diapers in daycare with any exceptions. So I found my state’s policies and had a really good talk with the director about cloth and the type(s) that we use. Fortunately she seems to be on board now, but we will be the first family using cloth at the daycare. Kind of exciting but also a bit scary. We’ll see how it goes!

  20. Lauren! I love love love this post. This is why I love you and am so glad we ARE REAL LIFE FRIENDS TOO! You keep it so real and I really think this is one of the best pregnancy posts I’ve ever read. You are practical about where you are at this stage in your pregnancy and you have a realistic point of view on delivery and motherhood. It’s refreshing to see! Keep up the positive, REAL thoughts. Having a baby is the most precious thing in the whole world and I know you’re going to be the best mommy! Can’t wait to meet the little one! XOXOX
    Lizzy´s last post ..Best Gifts for Toddlers (1-2 Years)

  21. Hi Lauren! I haven’t commented before but I’ve been a long-time reader :) Just wanted to say love this post and its honesty and the christmas tree photo might be the cutest! good luck these next few weeks. you got this!

  22. You are seriously such a cute pregnant woman!! I am that (crazy) person who misses being pregnant. Although, by 38 weeks (probably closer to 36) I was done. DONE.

    As for people who are excited about the pain of labor. WHO? WHAT? That’s crazy talk! Not single moment in life that has topped the birth of my kids (they are all different and special and if I could do them all over again I would in a heartbeat) — but the pain? No, could have skipped all of that.

    As for the contrax — I DID know I was having contractions, I DIDN’T know I should have gone to the hospital sooner. I feel like that is a tricky window of time. Hopefully your labor will be equally as mild as mine, but not as fast!

    And finally – if you ever have questions about BFing, pumping, or being a working mom, etc – I will happily offer suggestions/advice. Bottom line – you will figure out what works for your family. Find the joy in the next month because it is truly one of the toughest, happiest, most emotional,and life changing things that will ever happen to you!
    Michelle´s last post ..I’m Still Alive!

    • Yes – I feel like that window is tricky too!! Realistically I know that I”ll probably have a labor that’s pretty slow to progress (and so will have plenty of time to get to the hospital), but our hospital is an hour away. So…that adds another layer of complication to it all.

      And thank you! I will most likely be hitting you up for advice over the next few months. Despite all the reading and the classes, I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.

  23. Love this post! I am so intrigued by the way you have documented this pregnancy it’s been so fun to read!! so excited for you as you approach the big day!! :)
    Elizabeth´s last post ..Did someone say December?

  24. You are SO close!!! Right now the end seems like a million months away (I’m only 20 weeks), but I know it will all be over soon. I am going to cloth diaper this time around, I can’t wait!
    Jen@PregnantDiabetic´s last post ..Mug cake and taco night

  25. Just wanted to echo everyone else’s thoughts and say that you look adorable as a pregnant lady, and I too have enjoyed your pregnancy posts. As a 26 year old without children, I’m inspired by how far into your pregnancy you DID run. Amazing. She’ll be out soon and then you can be back on your feet! :) Enjoy the laziness..

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