Bumpie Friday: Week 22

AKA the week I ate ALL the food. Seriously. I’m trying to make healthy choices but if you put food in front of me, I’ll eat it, no matter what it is. I think I annoyed the I girls I nanny because I asked if they wanted a snack every twenty minutes. Also because I stole their Goldfish crackers.

Size: Baby is the size of corn on the cob, a spaghetti squash, or a coconut; your choice depending on the app

IMG_6265

My bump looks huuuuge in this picture! I think maybe it was the shirt because I don’t think it normally looks quite that big.

Feeling: Still pretty good! Even better after my prenatal massage yesterday. I’m learning though that I don’t have as much energy before and spending all day out of the house completely wipes me out. Plus, things like walking around campus with a heavy backpack (I had a meeting with one of my teachers) is a lot more tiring than it used to be.

Loving: Ryan felt the baby kick for the first time! I’ve had a couple of times where he kicked hard enough that I thought Ryan could feel but as soon as he put his hand on my stomach, the little stinker stopped. This time though he kept going and actually kicked really hard; I think he was showing off for his dad.

Yesterday he got in a couple kicks that were hard enough to make my stomach jump, which was really cool and a little freaky to see. I’ve started to feel him a lot more the past couple days.

Baby purchases: I went to Target yesterday and ended up buying nothing that I actually needed but left with these cute outfits.

IMG_6278

Otherwise, nothing major to report. I have an appointment this afternoon to check my blood pressure and I’m crossing my fingers that everything looks good.

 

 

Staying Fit During Pregnancy: The 100 Class Challenge

You guys know I love a good fitness challenge. I’m more motivated to workout if I know I’m working towards a goal and, let’s be honest, a prize.

My main fitness goals right now are to stay healthy for myself and the baby. Truthfully though, this makes it even harder to stay active. The same obstacles you face when it comes to working out normally are even tougher when pregnant. I’m too tired…it’s too hot…I have a million excuses to stay on the couch and each seems legitimate when adding in the pregnancy piece.

While it’s important for me to listen to my body and not push myself, especially in the heat, it’s also important for me to recognize when I’m just being lazy. Being active during pregnancy can help alleviate some pregnancy symptoms and prepare your body for labor (source). Research has also suggested that there may be long-term benefits to the baby (I’m going to be really bad here & not post a citation; I wrote a paper on physical activity and pregnancy last semester but can’t find my information right now <–see? Being lazy!).

IMG_6243

To help motivate myself, I’ve created my own fitness challenge…kind of. Jazzercise offers a Fit Club shirt for anyone who reaches 150 classes in a calendar year (if your center participates)-check out this year’s shirt! It’s cute and I want it. Normally 150 classes in a year isn’t a challenge for me. In fact, I think I earned last year’s around August or September. This year is different though: I’m pregnant, have been and will be for almost the entire year (February-November).

This year it will be a challenge. And just to mix it up, I’m setting my goal to 100 pregnant Jazzercise classes. I took/taught my 50th class of the year at the beginning of March (end of the 35 Day Challenge) and am counting my pregnancy classes as starting from there (because really being 3 weeks pregnant doesn’t make much difference and because then I have nice even numbers to work with). As of right now, not counting the class I’m going to this morning, I’m at 65 classes while pregnant. That means I have 17 weeks to take 35 classes, although it’s doubtful that I’m going to make it to 40 weeks so I actually have fewer weeks.

I make it to about 2 classes a week now; once I’m done working and the heat isn’t as bad, I’m planning to up it to 3 or 4 classes a week. Of course, it all depends on how I’m feeling and if it doesn’t feel good anymore or my doctor tells me to stop, I will. But right now, it’s a fun challenge that I think will motivate me, keep me healthy, and of course, earn me that cute shirt!

My mom did tell me though that if the baby starts kicking “single, single, double” I need to cut back 😀

The Fertility Diet

Remember back when this was a nutrition blog and not a pregnancy blog? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, here’s a post I wrote awhile ago that has to do with both.

The more I learn about nutrition and the human body, the more I recognize that it plays a role in everything. As Ryan and I started our journey of trying to conceive again after our loss, I decided to do some research to see if I could learn more about nutrition and fertility.

Nutrition information is overwhelming. It’s all over the internet; there are so many books and don’t even get me started on the information on Pinterest. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of you reading came across my post by googling “what to eat to get pregnant” (I’ve so done that).  It can be difficult to weed out fact from fiction and to know who and what are reputable sources of information.

I stumbled upon The Fertility Diet, written by two Harvard nutrition professors. Their credentials seemed legitimate and as I read the overview of the book, I appreciated that the study design and limitations were outlined almost immediately. Something I’ve learned from my public health classes is that study design is everything and a good study recognizes its limitations. Intrigued, I purchased it and quickly began to read.

The book was fascinating and I’d highly recommend it to anyone trying to conceive. Thanks to my physiology class, I could understand the science behind the information. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail because I have no nutrition credentials and I’d recommend reading the book instead of my blog post, but I will share a few of the changes I made to my diet.

  1. Plant protein-This was the biggest changes I made. Our dinners usually consisted of some kind of animal protein, a vegetable, and sometimes a carb. The study found that women who ate more plant-based experienced less issues with ovulatory infertility. So I hit Pinterest and began exploring meals with plant protein. Some favorites that we tried: this quinoa salad and black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. Ryan wasn’t totally onboard at first (his face when I told him about the enchiladas was priceless) but he was a good sport and ended up enjoying everything we made. This is something I’m trying to continue because it’s better for our health in general, better for the environment, and a little less expensive.
  2. No more flavored lattes-This was probably the hardest change I made to my diet. The book explained that the study didn’t find a correlation between infertility and caffeine but did find a difference between coffee and soda drinkers. The theory is that it’s the sugar, not the caffeine, that may cause problems. Well, truthfully, vanilla lattes probably relate more to soda than to coffee, at least sugar wise. So I replaced my vanilla lattes with plain lattes with whole milk (another fertility suggestion).
  3. Fats-The book has an entire section on fats and again I wouldn’t go into very much detail here. It did spend a lot of time talking about trans fats, which I already knew were bad for us but I didn’t realize how they could affect fertility and also how prevalent they still are. It definitely made me more aware of what I was eating and I started spending more time reading ingredient labels (because that’s where you can find out if there is trans fat in a product; don’t trust the label that says 0g because companies can round down). I also increased my consumption of unsaturated fats-yay more avocados!

I would say those are the three big changes I made. They are healthy diet changes for anyone, not just those trying to conceive, and I am trying to continue them now and will continue to try after the baby is born.

Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian. I cannot provide specific nutrition and diet advice. This post is not a guarantee that eating a certain way will help you get pregnant. I’m simply sharing the changes I made while trying to conceive.

Movement Monday

^^^what do you think? Too cheesy? I’m telling you, being cute and clever is not my area. Movement seems like a more fitting description right now than workouts.

Friday 7/7-Rest

Saturday 7/8-1.6 mile walk with Bailey

Sunday 7/9-Jazzercise

Monday 7/10-Rest

Tuesday 7/11-Jazzercise

Such a fun class! We did some of my old favorites from when I first started Jazzercise 6 years ago.

Wednesday 7/12-1.7 mile walk

While nannying, the girls wanted to ride their bikes/rollerblade. Luckily it was overcast and the temp was actually a little cooler. I got a bonus arm workout helping a new rollerblader stay upright.

Thursday 7/13-30 minute yoga video

I had to work in the morning and it was too hot in the afternoon for Jazzercise or a walk. Since I had to miss my yoga class this week, I decided to try a prenatal video from YogaGlo. I didn’t love it but some of the stretches felt really good. My hamstrings are unbelievably tight!

Friday 7/14-Rest

Saturday 7/15-Jazzercise

Sunday 7/16-Jazzercise

Even though I miss teaching Jazzercise, I think taking classes is the perfect workout for me right now. I’m able to work on my own level and do what feels good, something I don’t think I’d be able to do if I was on stage. Plus, I love taking classes from other instructors and seeing different faces at different class times.

Everything I’m doing right now feels good for my body and I know is good for me and the baby. If that changes, I’ll stop right away but right now I’m feeling fortunate that moving still feels good and I can still be active.

Bumpie Friday: Week 21

I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever but also that it’s going really fast. I realized there’s so many things I don’t want to forget. Someone gave me a pregnancy journal but let’s be real-it’s buried under a pile of clothes on my dresser, still empty. This blog has always been a kind of journal for me so now I’m going to use it to document the remaining weeks of my pregnancy.

Feeling: Pretty good, except for tired a couple days. Pregnancy insomnia has not been kind-I can fall asleep but wake up in the middle of the night for an hour or two. Just practice for when he’s here, I guess.

Doctor’s appointment: His ultrasound looks perfect-the most reassuring words a mama can hear. He’s measuring exactly where he’s supposed to

Loving: Feeling the baby kick! I think I’ve been feeling the baby move for a couple weeks but haven’t been sure (it feels like a flutter? What the heck is that supposed to mean?!). This week though the feelings have become a little sharper and I’m pretty sure I’m feeling my little one. It happens most when I’m laying down reading. And of course, finding out it’s a boy and seeing him on the ultrasound!

Funny moments/quotes: From Ryan to me “I’ve seen you eat more Cheerios this month than in the entire time I’ve known you.

From me to Ryan after he saw me eating a bowl of Cheerios 10 minutes after breakfast: “I feel like a hobbit. I’ve had one breakfast, yes, but what about second breakfast?”

This one is from a couple weeks ago but is too cute not to share. The little girls that I nanny (almost 5, almost 7, and 9) are so excited about the baby. The other day we played “Baby” and they all shoved baby dolls under their shirts so they could have a baby bump like me.

Ready for week 22!

Old Wives’ Tales: Girl or Boy?

I promised a fun post for today because today is going to be a fun day for me and Ryan-we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl! People seem to be guessing boy more than girl. I don’t have a guess one way or the other. Let’s see what the old wives’ tales say.

Heartbeat: Over 140=girl, Under 140=Boy; Baby D: Girl **The baby’s heartbeat has been above 140 at every appointment.

Morning Sickness: Yes=girl, No=boy; Baby D: Boy **No morning sickness

Skin: Acne and blemishes=girl, Clear skin=boy; Baby D: Boy **Pregnancy is the first time since I was 15 without a zit on my chin or forehead

Cravings: Sweets and fruit=girl, Sour and salty=boy; Baby D: Girl **I debated on this one but fruit has been a favorite the whole pregnancy and the sweets cravings have started hitting hard.

Carrying: High=girl, Low=boy; Baby D: ?? **I’m not really sure what counts as high or low. You can check out my Instagram pic on the side if you want to decide for yourself. 

Hairy Legs: No=girl, Yes=boy; Baby D: Boy **TMI?

Cold Feet: No=girl, Yes=boy; Baby D: Boy **Of course my feet are always cold.

Sleeping Side: Right=girl, Left=boy; Baby D: Girl **I’ve been sleeping on my left side because it’s supposed to be better for the baby (doesn’t compress the vena cava) but I’d rather sleep on my right side.

Feeling: Moody=girl, Happy=boy; Baby D: Girl **I originally put boy but had to edit after a couple of very cranky days and when Ryan refused to answer the question.

Chinese Calendar: I used this chart and matched my age to the month of conception; Baby D: Boy

So the results are:

Girl: 4

Boy: 5

One question mark

Old wives’ tales say boy but just barely! What do you think it is? I’ll be sure to let you know soon! 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday

Apparently for me to blog, I just need homework to avoid. I thought I’d post once this week but instead I ignored my midterm and posted four times- such a good student!

I stopped doing weekly workout recaps awhile ago because I thought they were becoming boring and I wasn’t doing much. However, I’ve decided to bring them back. One reason is simply because I like doing them for myself for the motivation and accountability. The second reason is a little bigger.

Some of my favorite bloggers and people I follow on Instagram are also pregnant. It’s hard to see them posting about 6 mile runs and bootcamps and not feel down on myself for not being able to workout on that level. But it made me think how common this feeling must be in the fitness/healthy lifestyle world: for those just starting to be more active, for those recovering from an injury, for those who simply don’t have the time. Comparison is the thief of joy and unfortunately, in the age of social media it’s hard to avoid. It’s so silly because it does nothing but make us feel bad.

We’re all at different stages in our fitness journeys, for whatever reason; different mileage, different intensities, different types of workouts-it’s really not important. All that matters is that we are being active, moving, and taking care of our bodies.

Friday 6/30-Jazzercise

This class was tough with lots of level changes and major muscle work that got my heart rate up without any jumping. Plus the instructor didn’t let us get away with anything. She kept asking, “Can you get lower?” Well yes but I don’t want to… It was a great workout.

Saturday 7/1-Rest

Sunday 7/2- 4 mile walk

My friend Michelle and I grabbed iced coffees (decaf for me) and went out to explore a new-to-us trail system. Even though it was fairly warm by the end, it felt great to walk that far and I was happy to discover I felt good the entire time.

Monday 7/3-Walking laps

Days that I nanny are tricky because I work in the morning and it’s too hot in the afternoon to workout. The girls wanted to go to the playground, so while they played, I walked laps around the equipment. It wasn’t much but at least I was moving.

Tuesday 7/4- 1.6 mile walk

I wanted to take Bailey for a walk but I was tired of walking around our neighborhood and can’t lift her into my car (she’s scared and won’t jump) to take her somewhere else. So I bribed Ryan into going to a trail with us and walking. It warmed up quickly and we had to cut it short but it was nice to be somewhere different.

Wednesday 7/5-Jazzercise & Yoga

I’m having fun taking class and doing low-impact. It just feels good to move and I love the  energy of our center. I missed everyone when I wasn’t taking class!

This was my second time at this yoga class and I love it! It’s a “gentle” yoga class, not specifically prenatal, but the instructor is super helpful at modifying things for me. It feels so good to stretch.

Thursday-Jazzercise

I was going to take a rest day yesterday but when the weather cooled down suddenly in the afternoon, I jumped at the chance to take class with one of my favorite instructors.

So there are my workouts for the week: perfect for where I am right now- moving enough to keep me sane and to keep my baby and my body healthy! Please remember that when reading blogs, on Instagram, or even talking to your friends; we’re all at different places in our lives and the most important thing is that you do what’s right for you.

Note: I usually post workout recaps on Monday and will probably normally continue to do but I already have a fun post planned for next Monday!  

Reading Recommendations

Super short blog post coming at you-my Biostats midterm still isn’t done and I just realized I’m taking my ACE Health Coach Certification exam (part of my independent study) in 3 short weeks. Yikes! So this post is mostly going to be me asking YOU for suggestions.

When my blood pressure kept reading high, I did some research. While I think my high readings are primarily due to white coat syndrome, I didn’t want to take the risk that my blood pressure actually is high and ignore it. Some of the things I found that could contribute to hypertension are diet (I eat fairly healthy), lack of exercise (we all know that’s not it), genetics (nope), and stress/anxiety (oh, there it is-guilty).

I began doing a few things to help my blood pressure like watching sodium and taking baby aspirin (note: that’s at the advice of my doctor-this blog is not medical advice; please talk to your doctor about any medical concerns) but I think the most important thing I’ve done is relax.

I know that sounds silly but I’m high-strung. I worry about everything. So I’ve put Ryan in charge of all our finances so I don’t have to think about it, am constantly reassuring myself that it’s okay if I get a B in my classes this summer, and set appointments for a monthly prenatal massage. Mainly though, I’ve been trying to take time each day so slow down, stop thinking, and relax. My favorite way to do this? Read.

I love reading. I honestly think getting lost in a book for a couple hours is the most relaxing thing to do. When I was younger, I could spend entire days with a book; the best days were when we’d go to Barnes & Noble and I’d leave with a stack of brand new books- then I’d finish them all in a week! Actually, that’s kind of my problem now and where you come in.

I need book recommendations! I go through books fast and even though I reread most of my books, I’m desperate for new reading material. What books have you been loving lately or what’s one of your old favorites? Please share in the comments!

Too Hot to Trot 5k

So Biostats is really hard and boring and I decided I’d rather blog instead. I really should be doing homework though, so I’ll just do a quick recap of my last 5k.

For awhile, I thought I’d try to motivate myself to run by signing up for a 5k every month. There was a small local one on Father’s Day and my parents were going to be in town, so I had my mom sign us all up (except for Ryan-his first Father’s Day present was that he didn’t have to wake up early to run).

Then I was told to cutback on exercise, including running. Since I was already signed up, I decided to walk it.

Even though the race was literally 5 minutes from my house, we decided not to break tradition and got there plenty early. Packet pickup was a breeze and we were allowed to use the bathrooms inside a restaurant, which this preggo greatly appreciated.

Then we were off. My mom walked with me but it was hard, especially at the start, not to run. We kept a pretty good walking pace though and ended up somewhere in between the runners and the walkers. Luckily the course was well-marked because there was no one in front of us to follow. I think we finished somewhere around 45 minutes but both our apps (I used CharityMiles) showed the course as short.

IMG_6222

For a small race, it was well put together. The swag included a T-shirt, water bottle, and various coupons. There were hamburgers and chips at the end that my dad enjoyed for breakfast. Then we hung around for a bit because my dad placed in his age group!

So there is my 18-week pregnant race recap. It is a little sad that it’ll be my last race for quite awhile but it’s okay since it’s for the best reason in the world.