36 Weeks

36+ weeks and 4 more to go! We spent last weekend in Manzanita, which will most likely be the last weekend we’ll be spending time at the beach without our +1 in tow.

Personally, I’ve been feeling great, especially since I discovered the joys of pregnant lap swimming. I can’t believe I only just started doing this now! My midwives recommended I lay off the non-prenatal yoga because of all the inversions. This inspired me to fit in another form of exercise, because I still like getting a workout in and sometimes just walking doesn’t do it. Swimming is wonderful and it feels great to be “weightless” for even 30 minutes.

Just for fun, I am going to answer these pregnancy Q’s found on this blog:

How far along are you? 36 weeks

Total weight gain: 22 pounds, give or take

Stretch marks: No – and I will keep eating my homemade Great Lakes gelatin gummies to keep it that way

Sleep: Sucks, but could be worse I guess – mostly because I find it hard to find a comfortable position, or I have to get up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom, or all of the above.

Best moment of this week: Spending the weekend at the beach with Daniel, and learning that a friend birthed her healthy baby girl on February 15th! :)

Miss anything? Sleeping through the night, rigorous exercise that works up a sweat, not waddling, my regular wardrobe

Movement: Yes, lots of huge movements, almost startlingly huge limb sweeps across my belly. She mostly starts really partying when I’m about to go to sleep, or in the middle of the night.

Food cravings: Milk. I have been consuming so much milk, it is almost absurd, but it is the only thing I can consume that helps with acid reflux, and it feels so good going down. I’ve been consuming 1.5 gallons of milk per week – all raw, full-fat milk from grass-fed cows (from Champoeg Creamery). I think I would not be surviving the last part of this third trimester without it.

Anything making you queasy or sick? No.

Have you started to show yet? I don’t know… Can you tell? ;)

Looking forward to? One of my BFF’s, Liza, coming into town this weekend for her bachelorette party and bridal shower!

Ok, I am abandoning these questions now. They are getting too corny.

8f4c0d20968511e384840eade134b7df_8 Photo from beach trip – Daniel worn out by a difficult sudoku. 746a431a96ac11e3b574122de6ce78ca_8 Manzanita was super stormy all day Saturday! Feeling a little cabin fever, I made us take a short beach walk. We got soaked within 2 minutes, but it was good to get a little fresh air. c1ca662296a611e3963312bb693d77b1_8 Teaching baby how to be a true Oregonian – rain won’t stop us! photoPhoto from today. Whoa, I am huge.

“These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet”

Finally! This information is getting into the popular mass media. Too bad my nutrition textbook is still lagging wayyyy too far behind on this information, recommending things like reducing butter intake, reducing meat intake and increasing consumption of vegetable oils. Really?!?

Interesting data collection. Most notably, look how much sugar and vegetable oil consumption has increased. These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet
Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.00.04 AMOh, hmm, look at the trends showing number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease since 1900, skyrocketing around the time people starting consuming copious amounts of vegetable oil, limiting consumption of butter, and reducing consumption of eggs. 

Other good related links:

Prevent Heart Disease – Eat More Cholesterol 

Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease – yes, even according to the Framingham Study!

Sugary Foods Increase Heart Risks

34/35 Weeks

This photo is from one week ago (so now I am 35 weeks plus). Life sure seems to have changed a lot lately, mostly it has gone from moving at top speed to moving as a slugs pace. In some ways it is nice to slow down, in fact, my body is forcing me. In other ways, I miss the hustle and bustle of being busy and getting lots of things done. I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with family and friends, doing side projects, reading and making new mom-to-be friends.

Recently, instead of going on international trips, I’ve stayed home. Instead of going on mountain adventures, I’ve stayed home. Since the FACES surgical trip ended, my work seems to have drastically scaled back. I’m taking one class this term that is so absurdly easy, I’m a bit flabbergasted that it is even considered a college-level class. I can no longer do/enjoy power yoga (I said goodbye to core strength about 4 weeks ago), which I used to do 4-5 times per week. Intense workouts have been traded for prenatal yoga and gentle stretching, which usually makes me want to fall asleep by the end of it, not feel invigorated and energized like my previous exercise regime. I often feel like I have inordinate amounts of time on my hands. I’m trying to enjoy it, though, as much as possible because these quiet moments may disappear forever in about a month and I’ll probably long for these long spurts of time. Although things have become quite mellow and sometimes I miss the go-go-go of life, even 6 months ago, there is nothing more satisfying that watching the baby grow and feeling her kick and squirm around all day. I know that my body is slowing me down for a reason, and it’s not forever, so at this point I am just trying to take life one day at a time and enjoy these last fleeting moments of this pregnancy.

34 weeks

Change in Plans

Daniel is off to Norway and Portugal right now and I am… not. I made the decision at the very last minute (last night) not to go on this 2 week trip. It’s a disappointing one, for sure, but I decided to listen to my body, which was telling that it wasn’t the best idea. I have been feeling fine, but within the last week have been hit by a whole gamut of pesky pregnancy symptoms, including increased difficulty finding a comfortable position (sitting or lying down), heartburn, pains while walking, etc… My midwives didn’t think it would be a problem to go, as long as I took it super, super easy on the activity. I felt like going all the way to Norway and then to Portugal just to take it super, super easy didn’t make a lot of sense. So, I stayed home. My wanderlust self really wanted to go on this trip, but my newly found maternal self didn’t think it was a good idea for me or baby, especially getting this close to the birth. You know what that means… 2 weeks of having a bachelorette pad! When Daniel had a bachelor pad for the week he said he would “blast John Mellencamp and drink as much coffee as I want.” I will be listening to endless nutrition podcasts and will teach myself how to knit.

32 Weeks

Time is flying! It is so exciting, but a little scary too to think that in about 2 months I will be in labor and/or we will have a baby human to take care of and think about – forever! I have been feeling pretty good still – but I now see what people mean when they said that the second trimester is the “golden trimester.” That golden-ness, full of energy, is definitely fading a little, but I still feel pretty great.

I am still gaining weight at a fairly slow but steady pace and have gained a total of about 17 pounds. I’m still very active and have been doing a lot of walking and yoga (still Power Vinyasa – I have yet to go to an actual prenatal yoga class). Yoga still feels great, but my flexibility and range of movement seem to be more and more limited by the week. Obviously, movements that involve laying on the belly have been long out, but I’ve also noticed that movements that involve a lot of core strength are pretty much out the window now, too. I feel like my ab muscles are long gone. I’ve had to modify planks and side planks with my knees down.

I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks contractions all the time. I’d say I notice them at least several times per hour, if not more. I thought they would hurt, but my belly just feels really hard when they hit, like I am flexing my six pack (haha!). I’ve also been feeling really pronounced movements. I think I started feeling movements around 22 or 23 weeks, but now they are huge, belly-shaking kicks and jumps and twists. Sometimes I’ll just sit and watch my belly move – it is as if Baby Daughter is having a private rave in there. For the last few weeks I’ve had some major pains in a certain spot in my right rib cage. I brought this up with my midwives, and after feeling the baby’s position, they felt that her knee or foot is lodged in there, which explains it. I’ve also noticed a dramatic increase in the smallish, rhythmic movements, sort of “jumps”, from within. I asked the midwife about this and she said that they are hiccups and help strengthen the baby’s diaphragm for breathing.

My general feeling of comfort is slowly deteriorating, although I’m fine most of the time. I’ve had a harder time finding a comfortable position to sleep, and my back sometimes aches during the day, especially if I don’t do any exercise.

Our next and last big adventure before baby comes is a trip to Norway and Portugal. We leave on Thursday and are headed to Oslo and Trysil with Daniel’s Humanmade team. After Norway we’ll head to Portugal for a few days to warm up and enjoy a few quiet moments together before we head back to Portland. February will be dedicated to resting and preparing for baby. I’m a little nervous for the long airplane rides and travel. I visited my friend Jane last week and the airplane ride back from Virginia was a bit excruciating, so I’ll have to make a major effort to stay comfortable, hydrated and moving around on the flights. Despite that, very excited to get in one more trip before our lives change forever!

photo 2


Trip to Virginia

Spent Tuesday through Sunday last week visiting my BFF, Jane, in Charlottesville, Virginia. She moved there in summer 2013 to begin a PhD program in social psychology. We had an awesome time, and I’m so glad I got to squeeze in this visit before bebe comes! It just so happened that my 27th birthday happened on this trip, as well. We spent the first few days around Charlottesville. We did a bunch of yoga, spent some time in the local coffee and tea shops and toured the UVA campus. We spent Thursday (my birthday) evening dining with a bunch of her friends at the most bizarre restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life, Bamboo House. Just read the Yelp reviews and you will see what I mean.

We spent Friday and Saturday with a bunch of people from Jane’s cohort at a lake house right on Lake Louisa. It was great meeting all of Jane’s cohort, who I’ve heard all about, and finally got to meet in the flesh. I didn’t take that many pictures, but below are a few.

photo 1Me and Jane at Bamboo House (a Korean restaurant, not a museum). It is very odd to eat Korean food while a stuffed squirrel is staring at you. photo 2 Sunset view over Lake Louisa. photo 3A few people from Jane’s PhD cohort. Let’s see if I can remember everyone… from left: Jamie, Charlie, Rachel, Piper (dog), Claire, Ben (not in cohort), Katie, Kelly (whose lake house it was), Matthew, Megan, Jane. Woo!

2014 Life Updates

Happy 2014 (Ok, I’m a little late)! Life has changed fairly significantly lately. Well, it hasn’t quite changed yet, but the change is looming so large on the horizon, that it feels like it has already changed. Daniel and I got married last year, but that really hasn’t changed much about our relationship, except it now possess a great and comforting feeling of permanence. But, mostly how life has/will change(d) is that we are having a baby in March. I think about this every day and it still feels very surreal, momentous, incredible and frightening. To think that one day we will be going about our business together, and the next day we will have a human being that will be ours, and we will be hers, for the rest of our life is terrifying in a very good way.

When I first found out I was pregnant, 9 months seemed like an eternity. Now, it is January 2014 and the baby is coming in just 2 months. That doesn’t seem like a long time. I’m so excited about having a baby and what this means. The world is so amazing and I want to teach her all about it and how to be passionate and excited about it. Also, I know she will teach Daniel and I probably more things than we’ll ever teach her.

So, as the days tick by, D-day (March 14) gets closer and closer. Professionally, I am still working at FACES, but have scaled back on the travel over the past few months. I decided not to go on the December screening trip (that ended up being more of a school conflict than being sick) and I also am not going on the next surgical trip, which is January 18-26.

I applied to Physician Assistant school in summer 2013. Ironically enough, I submitted my application to 13 schools exactly one week before I found out I was pregnant. It is funny house life works sometimes. The prospect of having a baby, of course, changed my outlook. I decided to just see what happened. I ended up getting a number of interview invites and declined all interviews except the Oregon schools (OHSU and Pacific), as well as one in Portland, Maine. I interviewed at OHSU and Pacific and ended up getting accepted to Pacific, which was my top choice. Honestly, it was a bit bittersweet. I secretly kind of wished I had been declined (at the time), although I am happy I went through the whole interview process since it was a great learning experience.

Deciding about PA school was a big decision. PA schools start in May or June 2014, just a few months after our daughter will be born. At first I thought about doing it, but the more time passed, I knew that wasn’t a good idea. Many people encouraged me to do it anyway, or defer admissions. My “before I was pregnant” instinct would have been to do it, do everything. But the responsibility of raising a child definitely changed the way I thought about it. Although I am professionally motivated, I had the gut feeling that dedicating 2 years of such intense study to becoming a PA would make me an absent mother and partner. So, in the end I decided to decline Pacific without asking for a deferral.

I thought people would react fairly poorly to this decision because it represents a bit of professional “stepping back,” especially with the opportunity so close in my grasp. My friends and family were very accepting of that decision. Daniel helped me a lot to decide what I wanted to do. My classmates were more incredulous because basically everyone I go to school with is trying to get become a nurse of a PA. Many couldn’t believe I was declining and they perceived that I was stepping out of professional life. The truth is, I decided fairly arbitrarily to apply to PA school. It was never my life goal to be a PA. I want to work with people in a medical setting, and PA seemed like a good fit at the time I applied, because it was a good fit at that time. But then things quickly changed and it wasn’t a good fit anymore.

A few weeks ago I officially submitted my application to an accelerated nursing program in Oregon. I only applied to one school (the other school wouldn’t let me apply because I hadn’t completed a nutrition class. Don’t get me started), so we’ll see what happens! I think nursing is now a better fit for me at this point in my life than PA. The school, while rigorous, is more flexible than PA school and I think would be better with an infant. Also, there are many advanced practice nursing options I could choose later on down the line, like Nurse Practitioner, or Nurse Anesthetist. I’m happy with this decision and feel very content with the future.