October 22, 2013

True Love: 8 Years of (mostly) Wedded Bliss

A week ago on October 15, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage.



It is pretty safe to say that I undeniably love him. As most already know, love isn't necessarily enough. Marriage is hard and we have to work on it EVERY SINGLE DAY. With so many priorities it is very easy to get distracted from simply loving each other. Spending time with each other. Hugging each other. It is so easy to forget about the simple things when it comes to just getting through the day most of the time. Between his working at a thankless job that makes him varying levels of cranky on a daily basis to just being flipping busy, it wasn't hard to sink back into a rut.

Did I mention I have been a hellacious bitch to him since I became pregnant? While my expectations might be a little high, they are not entirely out of line. I am 29 weeks, can barely walk and yes I have had to learn to start letting things go. Things like cleaning and dishes. It has been fairly obvious when this mama doesn't "tend" to the house because earlier this week it was a disaster. I could have nagged for help, but I didn't. My snotty comment of "It's pretty obvious around here when mommy is out of commission," probably wasn't necessary (even if it's true).

Regardless, he puts up with me. He has to of course, because you know, HE DID THIS TO ME. :)

We certainly had other plans earlier this year for our wedding anniversary. We were planning initially on taking a vacation together, just the two of us. We were thinking Disney's Food & Wine Festival. Rides. Fun. Partying. Um, yeah. Not going to happen at 7 months pregnant. We then considered a drive up to the north shore. Um. Nope. Not going to happen either- I can barely tolerate my commute to work right now. Instead, he sucked it up and bought us FANTASTIC tickets to see Josh Groban and we had dinner at the Union Rooftop. I say sucked it up because there were serious concerns over the loss of my husband's man card seeing Josh Groban. I am happy to say that he loved the show. Is he going to rush out and listen to Josh all day? Probably not. However, I love that he appreciates talent and Josh certainly has enough of that.

While Union's food was seriously lacking, we were treated like absolute royalty for our anniversary. I was particularly impressed when our server made a non-alcoholic suggestion for a drink (most servers look at me like I'm stoned when I ask for a non-alcoholic drink... is it really that odd??). We also received an anniversary card signed by the staff and a free dessert with our meal. So despite the fact that the meal itself was so-so, I give a lot of credit for good service.

My tasty non-alcoholic spritzer. No idea what was in it but it was tasty!
Our dessert- carrot cake with a dreamsicle! 

And Josh Groban, well... I'm a vocal geek. He was fantastic and I have never had such good seats to see one of his shows. I was horrifically uncomfortable sitting at a concert all night but still absolutely mesmerized. We did get a kick out of the 55+ club ladies swooning over Josh. It was fairly obvious many of the people at this show don't get out much.


I wish I could do more and be more for my husband right now, but I'm glad we were able to have a nice night out as I'm sure they will become fewer and far between over the next year.

Here's to many more years with this wonderful guy!

October 09, 2013

Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

Despite my best intentions when I found out I was pregnant, I was not able to keep up with a workout routine and my diet crashed and burned in a fiery explosion of carbs.

There has been a lot of talk out there in the media about these women who continue to do crossfit and other crazy workout routines while pregnant and whether or not they should or shouldn't be doing them. I don't believe there was a single story that said they had no doctor approval and the truth is (and rule of thumb) is that if you were doing it before pregnancy, you should be able to continue with maybe some minor modifications. So, I say. GOOD FOR THEM. You go mamas! As always, talk to your doctor first.

Am I jealous as hell of these ladies? Yup. Not only am I AMA but I am also in a high risk pregnancy. Luckily I started out much healthier this time around (even somehow trudged through a 5K unknowingly when I was around 5 weeks along) so my blood pressure isn't a concern at this point although carefully watched. The big concern was around the big fat endometrial cysts sitting on my one good ovary. The last thing we wanted, especially in the 1st trimester, was to disrupt them. So, limited physical activity was on the agenda for me. Being sick as hell through all of the 1st trimester and well into the 2nd, it pretty much equaled no activity for me. Could I have stuck to a better diet? I could have; however, I was in survival mode. I had to get through work. I had to get through being a mom. I had to live. That meant eating things that tasted good and soothed me. Things like... potato chips with french onion dip. Ugh. One of my local Twitter mama friends gave me props for continuing to work in my 3rd trimester. Trust me when I say, I would give my left arm to be able to work from home every day. Working in Downtown Minneapolis is taxing. The walk from my car to my desk isn't exactly a short one and the commute... well... yeah. Horrific. However, I have always felt like I didn't have much of a choice. This is my job. This is what I do. If I want to keep it, I have to learn to live with all of my pregnancy woes. Perhaps if my day job wasn't so grueling to my body, I would have been more inclined to workout. I will say that I have better eating habits at work because my diet is limited pretty much to what I bring with me so I made it a habit to bring fruits and healthy snacks. I am happy that my work has been flexible with me working from home on the days of my doctor appointments (which now switch to every two weeks) and it is a nice break to sit and put my feet up in my recliner than trudge through the day in my uncomfortable office chair. I give my 110% at work during the day so I have pretty much fallen apart when I get home at night.

I have had a few good weeks of little to no nausea, but now that I am OFFICIALLY in my 3rd trimester (holy shit), it has started to creep back in. As if on cue, my pubic symphysis dysfunction also reared it's ugly head. I was in so much pain on Friday that I was in tears. I couldn't even take my pants off because that would require actually lifting a foot which basically sends shooting pains through my entire pubic and pelvic region. Awful Awful Awful. On Saturday, amidst my guilt of missing both soccer and bringing my kid to a friend's birthday party, I was attempting to be productive and cleaning my bedroom. I was suddenly hit by a wave of dizziness, hot flash and nausea which sent me straight back to the couch. No lie, it was kind of scary.

So with 10 weeks left, I am giving in and giving up. I am no longer going to sweat over my diet (my limited stomach capacity seems to be helping in that area though). I am no longer going to worry about productivity (with the exception of my job which is still wicked busy given I only have about 10 weeks left). I refuse to feel badly about making my husband do things which are getting increasingly difficult for me to do no matter how much he grumbles. My motivation? I'm scaling a mountain growing a human and it's hard on the body! That has to be my priority now.

28 Weeks (er... 31 weeks???)
I had my 28 week checkup yesterday and I am not surprised at all that:
a) My blood pressure is slowly rising (mostly stress related)
b) I am measuring at 31 weeks

My doctor of course said, "Just because your uterus is measuring larger doesn't mean that you will go 3 weeks early." To which I burst out laughing. I told her that it was like deja vu- she said the EXACT SAME THING when I was pregnant with Jack and wouldn't you know it, HE CAME 3 WEEKS EARLY. *insert eye roll*. My next appointment will be a growth ultrasound so we can know exactly how big Mackenzie is and pinpoint more of an exact date.

I did get some good news in that my iron levels have increased and I am no longer considered anemic! YAY! So even though my diet isn't the greatest, I did make some changes to increase iron and it worked. Phew!

I have noticed the puffy swelling in my hands and feet over the last few days and although my BP was slightly elevated (130/70), my doctor did not attribute the swelling to that. I now have to increase my 80oz of water a day to 100+oz a day. Can you say me and the bathroom are going to become intimate with each other?? I also have to keep my feet elevated whenever possible.

28 weeks also means that I need to start doing and logging daily kick counts. This freaks me out a little because Mackenzie's activity is so sporadic. I can never pinpoint a time that I can just sit, be quiet and monitor her kicks as they can come at any time unannounced.

I am thankful that this pregnancy journey is on the final stretch. Obviously I'm uncomfortable, but more than anything, I am just so ready to meet this baby girl and make her a part of my life. Our whole family is ready! Jackson is by far the sweetest thing ever when it comes to his little sister, he talks about how he wants to share her with all of his friends and show her off to the family. His nightly ritual is hugging and kissing the dog, me and my belly. He even sang her a song through my "belly button microphone" the other night. The song was Cotton Eyed Joe... LOL.

28 Week Belly Pic:

Baby Mack:
I'm thinking she feels more like a pineapple right now... 

Puppy Love:
My doggie loves to nap on my belly!!! She's been very protective of me lately. 


October 02, 2013

Pregnancy Has Made Me Scary

One of the things about pregnancy that continually takes me by surprise are my emotions.

Pregnancy has made me a total, scary lunatic. This is beyond feeling physically like I have a hangover every single day. I'm all over the place and my pregnant rages can strike at any moment.

Here are a couple of subjects and situations that have gotten my blood boiling:

The Kindergarten Birthday Date Cutoff BS 
One of the age old debates that I have been dealing with is my son's September 11 birthday. If you have never had a child in September, then you'll never have to understand what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the dumb date cutoff for Kindergarten being a "strict September 1." So you are telling me that a child who was born maybe weeks prior to my son is more developmentally, socially and academically ready for Kindergarten? Why the "strict" cutoff date? He had to go through testing (seriously, the kid is reading and doing math at a 2nd grade level) and certainly has the ability to control himself in the classroom. Basically I think the date cutoff is the dumbest thing ever.

I've said a million times over that I love (LOVE) my son's school. We have been there for 5 years since he was a wee 3 month old and even though we have never been named the family of the month (seriously... how does one achieve that level? I'm not sure), we truly believe in the curriculum. We have never felt like my son was "overexposed" to education at an early age. He's always had fun at daycare without having education shoved down his throat. We chose to keep him in at this school for their private Kindergarten program. He adores his teacher and is rocking the program right now. We couldn't be more proud of him! We don't regret for a second the move to Kindergarten even though he is a whopping 11 days past the cutoff date. We intend at this point to continue moving him into 1st grade next year despite many parents who are having their children repeat Kindergarten who are in the same situation as Jack is with the age cutoff. Sure, he won't be in the same class as many of the other kids he's known for years, but if there is anything we know about our son, it is that he can hold his own.

Please stop this mad debate! You worry about your child. I'll worry about mine. Ok? Thanks.

The Blood Pressure Raising Email
In the early evening on Sunday, I received an email from my son's school's owner (actually signed, "The Management Team") that inspired an anxiety so deeply in me that I pretty much tossed and turned all night because of it.

It appeared to be a blanket email to all Kindergarten parents (however... it did look like it was sent specifically to me). It basically said that if your child is not part of the before and after school program that you are NOT to drop off before 9:00 am or keep your child there later than 3:30 pm.

It immediately triggered a fear deep in me... did we mistakenly register him wrong? What if he isn't part of the before and after program? What if we try to get him in and there is no room for him? What will we do?? WHAT WHAT WHAT???!

I was ready for battle. We've had our child at this school for almost 5 years now with basically the same drop off and pick up time (that we have to enter electronically every time we drop him off and pick him up). Why would this have changed just because he started Kindergarten?

I put my husband on "Find out what the hell this is all about" duty. Turns out there were 2 other parents waiting in line with the same question for the school director. She basically said "You're fine. You're fine. And you're fine. You shouldn't have received this email."

Awesome.

For the love of all things holy. I know these are new owners and I am trying desperately to cut them a break. If my husband hadn't dealt with it, I would have gone all pregnant crazy woman on their asses. I hope there was a valuable lesson here? Don't send out blanket emails unless it applies to EVERYONE.

*phew*

So, Yes. I am Crazy. Be Careful
As my poor, darling, wonderful husband has learned, there is no way to know when my pregnant crazy will rear its ugly head. Some suggestions...
  • Do things for me without having to be told. Chances are if I have to tell you, it isn't going to be pretty. 
  • When I say, "Ugh. I've gained so much weight thanks to all this constipation, gas and bloat." You do NOT say under any circumstances "Yeah, I thought you looked a little puffy." True STORY. Simply tell me I look glowing and beautiful. Period. 
  • If you cut me off when I'm driving? You will be honked at, screamed at, flipped off, cursed at... etc etc. If my darling newborn doesn't come out saying the word "fuck" I will be shocked. 
  • If you park so close to me that I can't get out of my car, you will get a nasty gram (one of the pleasures of working Downtown). 
  • If you criticize my daughter's beautiful, chosen name Mackenzie I will likely disown you and rip you a new one.
  • Do not touch the belly unless I physically place your hand on it myself. 
  • If you witness me dropping something, please, PLEASE just help me pick it up instead of watching the hilarity that my attempting to bend over is. 
  • Just because I bitch about how much being pregnant sucks doesn't mean I do not feel overwhelmingly blessed and grateful for the insane miracle growing inside me. If you insinuate otherwise, I will destroy you with my evil glare. 
  • I cannot walk fast. Skyway and escalator tailgaters beware (and I'm talking to the jerk who had to RUN down past me and was still waiting at the elevators when I walked up 30 seconds later). If you want to understand why I can't speed up or run stairs, simply take a baseball bat with a blowtorch attached to it and hit yourself in the crotch over and over. You could also toss a bowling ball in your shirt and carry that around for awhile. That is what it feels like for me. As my husband learned, I got all PDA with him and took his arm in public *gasp* (he loathes PDA). I did this so he would walk WITH me and not 20 feet in front of me. Because, you know, walking 20 feet in front of your date and not together is super romantic anyway. 
I think it is important to note that while most of the above will trigger massive pregnancy rants and rage, I may also break down and cry because of any of them as well.

Your best bet is to just say "I'm sorry" and give me a hug. And probably a tissue. And slowly step away.

27 Weeks! 
So although I'm not "technically" in my 3rd trimester, given the very real possibility of an earlier birth, I feel like I am there already. I am BEYOND excited that I could be meeting my daughter in about 10 weeks!

I have acquired some new, fun symptoms this past week- leg cramps, braxton hicks and hot flashes. The leg cramps come without warning and I'm pretty sure the first time it happened and I screamed out in agony so loudly that I freaked out my husband. The hot flashes come without warning and a bottle of ice water is always on standby. Not that anyone in my house is complaining, but the AC is still going full blast despite the fallish-like weather. The braxton hicks of course freak me out a little. They are weird and uncomfortable. Not painful. I might have a couple a day, more if I don't stay hydrated. I also think my skin sensitivities have multiplied- if any fake jewelry or metal touches my skin, I will most definitely break out. So much for the super sized fake wedding ring I bought myself. Is the green finger and bubbled up rash a giveaway that this thing is not real?

Thankfully, despite my growing belly, my weight seems to have steadied off (for now). I'm seriously trying not to worry about it anymore. My SPD (symphysis pubic disfunction- which means that the hormone relaxin which makes a preggo woman's ligaments stretchy works a little bit too well causing imbalance and a shit ton of pain) seems to be okay for now; however, I'm sure the pain will start to increase in the weeks to come. I seem to feel better the more I move around, so I make a very valiant effort to get up and away from my desk at least once an hour (which usually isn't hard given my bladder implications).

Jackson finally SAW the baby move for the first time- I don't think Mackenzie cares too much for her big brother trying to snuggle with her mama. I seriously thought that foot was going to come out of my belly- biggest kick I have seen and felt yet. Jackson thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

Being Wednesday and traditionally hump day, I am declaring it BUMP day for me! I have recruited my dear husband to take my professional maternity photos. I did not do this with Jackson and always kind of regretted it. As soon as I have them, I will post them! For now, it will have to be hideous bathroom selfies.

27 Week Belly Pic


Baby Mackenzie


Interesting that last week's size comparison was a head of lettuce... which I feel is bigger than a rutabaga? Maybe I just don't know my rutabagas very well?

Jackson
He might be a big, tough 5 year old now, but he still loves to snuggle with his mama before bedtime every night. Best. Part. Of. My. Day.



 
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