Category Archives: Motherhood

30 weeks

I am now 30 weeks along.  I had my appointment with my doctor Tuesday and feel a lot better.  I had been told by the nurse that I would have to start going twice a week – negative, thankfully.  Doctor said the baseline, once a week from 32 weeks – which I admittedly still think is excessive – is fine.  She is fine on holding off on induction until the end of the 39th week, which for me balances the low likelihood I’d get that far (haven’t gotten beyond 38+0 yet), AMA and GD risks.  In addition, she thinks that in the unlikely event they did induce me at 40 weeks, it would likely be sufficient just to break my water.  You never know, of course – I think I had a lot more BH contractions with my last pregnancy.  And apparently uterine contractions become less effective with age and also with GD.  She also suggested I not attend the GD class since I am having no trouble measuring and maintaining blood sugar levels, so that is one less thing to do.

So all continues to chug along.  Two weeks until the next placenta check.  At this point, I am so exhausted by all the various issues I feel like a planned C-section wouldn’t be the end of the world.  I feel like vaginal birth is the ideal, especially if it’s quick, and an emergency C would be a nightmare (though obviously women have them every day).  A planned C I think would be tolerable.

What amazes me is how good I feel when I’m swimming.  Swimming is an incredible hassle.  I have to drive to the gym, change into my bathing suit, and then afterwards, shower, and get back into street clothes and drive home.  It takes like 90 minutes for a 45 minute workout.  Normally, that would be time I just don’t have, but I am making time (and billing fewer hours) because I think it’s important for my health and sanity.  But.  It drives me nuts.  I also hate getting into the water, those first few seconds of feeling cold and wet.  (Doesn’t everyone?)  But after that, I feel amazingly good.  About 50% of the time, I swim a full 1800 yards.  That’s a pretty decent swim.  Granted, I swim slower than I do when not pregnant (about 2:30 / 100 yards versus 2:05 or so).  I also take longer breaks between sets – when not pregnant, I generally take 60 seconds or 90 at most, whereas these days, I take a solid two minutes.  I am mixing up the strokes more to try and help with boredom, doing some backstroke and some kick, and lots of breaststroke in addition to freestyle.  But honestly, I feel like I’d be lucky to run a quarter of a mile.  Every time I have to stand for any length of time, I feel like I’m going to pass out – I’m honestly looking around for a place to sit down after 30 seconds.  How is it, then, that I can swim a mile?  I honestly don’t get it.  But I guess I am thankful for it.  At this rate, I will go into labor in the swimming pool again.  It’s funny to me that I went swimming the day I gave birth with both my previous kids.  You’d think I loved to swim or something.  Ha!

On a side note, why aren’t people asking Trudeau to drop out of the race?  Is it because he’s Canadian?  He’s now been found in blackface 3 times, with the most recent incident less than 20 years ago.  The Virginia governor, on the other hand, may have worn blackface 35 years ago (he denies it), and there were calls all round for him to step down.  For me, there’s a statute of limitations, not sure what it is, but it’s less than 35 years.  In other news, I find Democratic hysteria over Kavanaugh extraordinarily hypocritical.  Fairfax, the Virginia Lieutenant Governor and apparent rapist, has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault:

The two women have for months requested a public hearing before the General Assembly, where they could testify under oath about their allegations. Fairfax and Democrats in the General Assembly have sought to block efforts by Republicans to hold the hearing, claiming partisan antics and arguing in favor of law enforcement investigations.

He is still happily in office and is now apparently planning to run for governor.  Note that his first accuser is a college professor.  Apparently, sexual assault is only problematic for the Democrats if you are Republican.  I also wonder whether Fairfax’s accuser would find sexual assault more or less problematic than wearing blackface 35 years ago.  I am inclined to view the former as a far worse transgression, but being white, perhaps I’m missing something.

perspective

It is so hard to be rational and keep things in perspective when feeling sick all the time.  I actually fear that pregnancy is a bit like being old.  When I was still running, the only runners I would pass were the 70 plus crowd.  I walk slowly and awkwardly like an old person.  I have a hard time sitting through meals and am very picky about what I eat, like an old person.  I rely on a variety of meds to get through the day in a state of tolerable discomfort and for my health.  Of course, I know this will end within a couple of months – an old person knows it’s only going to get worse.  How do you cope with that?  (On the flip side, an old person doesn’t have to worry about labor.)

I’m doing my best to keep exercising and have been swimming more than at any other time in my life.  But I’ve introduced twice weekly upper body strength workouts in lieu of swimming.  It’s actually quite hard.  Perhaps I’ll have Michelle Obama arms by the end?  Doubtful.  But it would be nice to be a bit stronger.  I’m not doing any lower body strength, because my placenta is still low.  Two and a half more weeks until my next ultrasound to check on that.

I’m continuing to quilt, and I think I’m done with baby quilt #2.  I may do a bit more hand quilting / decorating on the hearts, but we shall see.

I’ve already started on another hand applique project.  It’s hard for me to sit up at the sewing machine for long periods of time, but I can do hand-sewing anywhere, so that’s very appealing right now.  Mini quilts are also very appealing.  I am contemplating another twin quilt, as I owe both my girls quilts, but I don’t want to start something that’ll take ages to finish.

itty bitty soccer

Bri started rec soccer this morning.  She is 5, so I am trying to keep my expectations low, but apparently I’m not succeeding.  Rather than separating kids into teams that have practices and games, they just all 150 kids or so show up on Saturday mornings, where they have some coaches and some volunteer assistants.   They divided the kids into groups and then they commenced drills, to be followed by scrimmage.

Some of the coaches clearly knew what they are doing.  When you’re coaching 5-year-olds, it’s not about being a soccer expert.  You need to know the basics of soccer, and I’m pretty sure what I learned playing in elementary and middle school was more than sufficient.  More than that, you need to know how to deal with 5 and 6-year-olds.

Unfortunately, Bri ended up in a group with a guy that was completely clueless.  She was literally standing there doing nothing for like 20 minutes.  I should have intervened sooner – Jonathan came by after picking up L from dance because they wanted to see, and he went over, and the “coach” started showing more interest.  This program costs us $120 for 8 sessions of an hour each – not expensive, but not nothing.  They really need to make sure they have enough coaches to handle things.  I feel like when someone signs up to coach a team, they understand the responsibility they’re taking on.  In this case, they asked for volunteers and advertised that very little would be expected of them.

The other thing that bothered me was that as usual, my gender equality meter was going off.  First, NO female coaches or volunteers.  Why not??  I am determined to volunteer next year.  Coaching soccer is something I’m very interested in, and I do think having female coaches matters.  Second, boys and girls were all together.  Even at age 5/6, the boys were in general dominating.  (I still remember my ridiculously athletic sister getting MVP game after game on her mixed gender soccer team as a kid until the coach privately told my parents that even though she was the best, he really needed to start giving the designation to some of the other kids.)  The superstar athlete girls will do fine, but average and below average athlete girls I think are really negatively impacted by mixed gender play, even at young ages.

So, yeah.  Underwhelmed.  It compared very negatively to the awesome organization of the swim team L was on this summer.  That was a lot more expensive, but they also practiced 5 times per week.  I’d have to do the math to see which was more per hour.

surrogacy

If there’s one thing Kim Kardashian gets right, it’s having babies by surrogate.  In fairness to her, she apparently had placenta accreta, which is an extremely dangerous and serious condition.  A friend of mine had it, was hospitalized for two months, and ended up with a hysterectomy.  But yeah.  I kind of wish I was rich enough to consider a surrogate.  My body does not like being pregnant, and I can’t help but wonder about the long-term affects.  Worth it?  Absolutely.  But still.

I’ve had a lot more (mostly minor) complications this time around, and age is undoubtedly a factor in all of them.  This is interesting because the obvious thing to be learned would be that you should have babies younger.  But it’s so hard to do that!  Many of my over-educated and uber-successful friends were even older than me when they married.  And it’s not always advisable, possible or preferable to turn around and have a second baby 2 years after your first.  Not to mention that many women obviously struggle with infertility.  So I’ll try and refrain from advising people with my newfound knowledge about the virtues of youthful pregnancy.

positive thoughts

I was thinking some rare positive thoughts about pregnancy this morning, so I thought I might as well post them.  I’ve reached the cute bump stage.  For the longest time (I’m 23 weeks, folks!), you couldn’t really tell I was pregnant.  I just looked chubby.  (You still can’t really tell when I’m in running clothes.)  Finally, though, I’m clearly pregnant, BUT I haven’t reached yet the whale-like unwieldy third trimester stage where my belly just takes over my body.  I feel all curvy and feminine.  Normally, I am absolutely not a curvy, feminine woman, and I’m totally fine with that, but it’s kind of a nice novelty for now.

L finished out the swim season, and I’m very proud of her.  Swim team is not what you’d call relaxing, and she made big improvements in her swimming.  She can swim 25 yd free in 27 s, which is not bad at all.  She drastically improved her backstroke and learned breaststroke well enough to compete and not get disqualified and look quite confident.  She kind of learned butterfly, though she got DQ’d the one time she competed it.  At the end of the season, she earned an award, along with some other swimmers, for being a good sportswoman, and one of the coaches said some really nice things about her.  I really liked the swim team.  It was very welcoming and they had a good program for the younger kids.  It’s one of the best teams, if not the best teams, on the Eastside.  I always find sports team success interesting.  I think it’s as much about good organization, inclusiveness, and growing kids, regardless of whether they have natural talent, as just lucking into having some athletic kids on the team.  I’ve written before about how my father was a very successful coach, despite (or because of) insisting all kids get equal playing time in games.  I feel like the head coach at our club has been successful for a lot of these reasons.

B is learning how to swim, oh so slowly.  She’s a competent dog-paddler, but definitely not there yet with freestroke.  But it’s nice to know if she was pitched in the drink, she wouldn’t sink like a stone.

23 weeks

It’s funny to me that my last blog entry was two weeks ago.  I actually like having these blogs to look back on and remember how I was feeling.

After getting the previa diagnosis, I had a significant anxiety spike for a while.  Not only was I (and am I) worried about complications directly from the previa – bleeding, hospital stay, C-section, etc. – it just made me feel very vincible.  If that’s a word – basically the opposite of invincible.  My pregnancies have been hard, no doubt about it.  I know some women have much harder pregnancies, but the nausea, vomiting, SPD and feeling lousy after eating means pregnancy has definitely been no picnic for me.  However, I’ve never really had to worry about my health or the baby’s health.  Excluding my first trimester miscarriages, I’ve never had any kind of flag whatsoever indicating any issues.  No failed screens, no gestational diabetes, no bleeding or even spotting, textbook weight gain, no early labor, etc., etc., etc.  I’ve been lucky.  Previa is fairly unusual but not the number one risk factor listed is age.  And being old is a risk factor for basically everything.  I’ll be 39, nearly 40, when this little one is born, and I just started going down this fairly bad road of worrying about losing the baby.

I feel lousy a lot, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish feeling lousy, especially GI lousy, from complications that might result in early labor.  The time from 21 weeks to 24 weeks has just been dragging by.  Obviously, I don’t want to have a baby at 24 weeks (survival rate 50%), but still, I think reaching viability will make me feel better.  I’m 23 weeks today, and at this point, some babies survive, and every day brings me closer to a healthy baby, even if she came early.

I’m also struggling at work.  While my nausea is mostly (but definitely not entirely) gone, the second trimester honeymoon has just really not happened for me.  I don’t feel good.  And it’s really hard to be effective at work when I don’t feel well.  I think I need to level with my boss, but I really don’t want to.  It’s be different if I hadn’t just taken a new job.  I think I really need to take a step back and realize that this season of life will pass.  My baby will be born and grow up, probably faster than I can imagine.  She’ll be in school, and I’ll still have 20 years of career left.  Even if I’m kind of sucking at work right now, I can and will be a strong contributor again.  I just need to keep things in perspective.