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Friday Update: Week 19

PhotobucketYikes, week 19! The days seem so long but the weeks are SO short! Where is all this time going, honestly? Sheesh we’ll be a family of four before I know it.

At 19 weeks, baby is about 6 inches long which is the height of this 24 oz. box of raisins! Mmmm, raisins. Mr. Handsome loves ’em.

What I don’t love, on the other hand, is this freaking annoying-as-all-get-out abdomen pain that I keep experiencing. It’s been going on since just before my last midwife visit, so since about week 15.

What I’m experiencing is a stabbing, sharp pain about an inch or two to the right of my belly button. It isn’t very deep, I would say no more than an inch below my skin, but it’s sharp and it hurts. Okay, it doesn’t hurt so much that I’m doubled over, immobile, crying, etc. but it is annoying and I don’t like it.

What’s also super dumb is that it comes and goes, sometimes it shows up at the same time every day (for about a week it was 4:15 on the nose), it waves in and out of more or less painful and it sticks around for sometimes an hour or two and then peaces out til the next day. WTF?

So I called the midwife a week or two ago. She asked a bunch of questions about my appendix (because I’m a rare one that has all the parts I came with, except my baby and wisdom teeth) but then determined that since I’m not in a super duper amount of pain that it probably isn’t appendicitis. (Well thank goodness because abdominal surgery right now would freak the f outta me.) She ruled out critical conditions and that was about it.

I called again after Kiddo1’s birthday party last weekend because it was getting pretty painful. We talked more about my symptoms. She believes I may be experiencing round ligament pain (however from my research on this subject I believe what I’m feeling is far too high in my abdomen to be my round ligaments). This pain is caused my ligaments and tendons in the uterus and pelvic area which are stretching out due to the growing baby.

This type of pain is completely normal, especially in second pregnancies (and third, fourth, etc). It’s also most common to feel this “stretching” in the second trimester. Finally, the pain can be triggered by lots of activity (hence its onset at the end of my work day or after activities such as a four-hour birthday party) and/or light dehydration (so time to really focus on getting more than 60 oz of water per day).

So when I feel the pain now, I’m trying to slow down a bit and take it easy, but grab the water bottle first and suck up some hydration while I lounge. Things have been a bit better the last couple days, but I’m really hoping this subsides soon. It’s just annoying and causes unnecessary worry!

Here are a few other things going on:

  • Total weight gain: 14 pounds. What. The. Hell. That’s three pounds this week alone (and five pounds in the last two weeks!). I blame this on Mr. Handsome because he brought home a whole lotta candy for Valentine’s Day and I am powerless against it.
  • Cravings: Freaking Valentine’s Day chocolate is the death of me this week. I can’t stay away!
  • Coolest symptom: Yes, there have been some definite, very light but definite, baby kicks. I’ve been teased for what, maybe a month now, by little flutters that I think, maybe, aren’t gas or other tummy rumbles but little waves of somersaults and baby tae-bo. But lately, in the evening when I’m quiet and still, I feel things. I hope they get stronger soon so I can stop going crazy with second-guessing myself!
  • Lamest symptom: Same ol’ problems as of late (lower back pain, stabbing abdomen pain/round ligament pain that comes and goes, headaches aren’t as frequent but still annoying, inconsistent but daily-ish bowel movements). These are more annoying than anything, they don’t get in the way. Honestly, I don’t really mind because at this point they’re all I’ve got to remind me that, yes, there’s a baby growing in there!
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). I started a brief (5 minutes a day) arm routine to compliment all the yoga and bits of cardio I’m doing. I hope to have nice-looking arms by baby time! So total exercise this week was 215 minutes! All yoga except for arms and 30 minutes of vigorous soccer practice with Kiddo1 (soccer season is just around the corner!). I have got to get back to the elliptical but it made my back hurt so much last time I used it that I’m scared off. I must get over myself!

Now let’s check in with baby’s growth, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! His or her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that your baby may be able to hear your voice now, so don’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to him or her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you. Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom – about the size of a large heirloom tomato. The arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of the body now. Your baby’s kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on his or her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on the skin to prevent it from pickling in your amniotic fluid.

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I love Prenatal Yoga! (and mini Jennifer Wolfe Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD review)

Until this past week or two, things have been kinda disappointing on the exercise front. I wasn’t feeling very motivated and the couch was winning. Big time.

For some reason, I’m not sure what it was, I decided to finally pick up this yoga DVD that I bought about a year ago after Mr. Handsome and I started trying. I just did the 15 minute practice, but it was amazing. My constant headache seemed to dissipate a bit. So the next day I tried the 30 minute version and afterward I felt even better. On the third consecutive day I did the 45 minute version and, while that kicked my butt a bit more than the shorter versions, I still felt really good afterward.

Here are some of the benefits that I’ve felt so far:Photobucket

  • I feel more relaxed and centered, both during and after
  • Helps me focus on my body and how it’s feeling
  • Stretches in a more active way (more exciting than laying on the floor and holding a static stretch)
  • Strengthens my core without doing crunches or sit-ups which I guess are okay in second tri but still make me nervous enough that I shy away from them
  • Feels graceful and fluid (makes me miss the ballet I was doing, which I’ve been afraid to do all pregnancy for some weird reason)
  • Doesn’t raise my heart rate above a “conversation level,” a pace that my midwife recommends

Plus, all the feeling good after working out has helped motivate my cardio, too. I’ve done more walking and “elliptizing” (as Mr. Handsome and I call it) in the past two weeks than I’ve done in the last two months! I’m excited to report this week’s progress in tomorrow’s weekly update post.

Photobucket

The DVD I’m using is Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga with Jennifer Wolfe (apparently there are two versions; I’m using the one that comes with two DVDs and includes a 15-, 30-, 45- and 75-minute practice). I should say that this DVD is not for the absolute beginner to yoga. You should have some experience and know the poses already because they are not explained. If you don’t know the poses then you risk doing them improperly and that, at the very least, could make you feel worse instead of better and, more seriously, could lead to injury.

Disclaimer aside now, this is a really great DVD. The pace is perfect – slow enough that I feel comfortable easing into the poses but fast enough that I can feel my heart rate is faster after 20 minutes or so and I break a sweat. Jennifer’s guidance is pleasing to the ear; she hasn’t started to annoy me yet after several viewings (bonus!). I doubt she’ll start to annoy me very soon (and if so I’ll just turn the sound off!).

I would recommend this DVD to anyone who has prior yoga experience and needs a good at-home yoga practice. I would recommend prenatal yoga in general to anyone, but if you’re inexperienced, seek out a class where you can get guidance on the poses and related procautions, such as proper hydration and posture.

Namaste!

Friday Update: Week 16

PhotobucketBaby is as big as an iphone this week! Four and a half inches long – holy cow!

This week my head has been in some strange places. I’m not really emotional, per se, at least I’m not having any spontaneous crying or crazy fits (whew!). But I am having other odd moods.

First off, “pregnancy brain” seems to have hit pretty hard. At work I’m usually the first to come up with a few ideas, but this week the boss asked to brainstorm project ideas for this year and I came up with nothing. Flat out, nothing. This never happens! Our company is in constant flux and growth so there’s always something to think of to be improved. And I come up with nothing. Nice. At least he understands; his wife just gave birth last month.

Also, I’ve had crazy anxiety about the sex of our baby! Ugh! Why am I stressing out over something that I have absolutely no control over?! Mr. Handsome and I would really like a girl this time, mostly to even out the sexes in our household. However, a boy wouldn’t be so bad either, as we have prior experience and Kiddo1 really would like a younger brother. No matter what the outcome, I know we’ll be excited and thrilled to welcome another member to the family! I just need to quit stressing out about it!

So I’m working on getting my head back under control. Mind over matter!

The weekly summary:

  • Total weight gain: 8 pounds. The pound a week trend is keeping up. I’m trying to be okay with this (I know it isn’t a bad thing though!).
  • Cravings: dark chocolate. I can’t get enough. Chocolate makes happy babies, though. Google it.
  • Coolest symptom: Mr. Handsome and I heard an amazing and strong heartbeat of 160 BPM at our appointment on Tuesday! The midwife also said that my uterus is measuring 3.5cm below my belly button which is right on track.
  • Lamest symptom: I’ve had this weird stabbing pain in my upper abdomen the past few afternoons. It comes around about 4:00 and leaves in about an hour. I mentioned this to the midwife and she didn’t seem too concerned. I will monitor this and call if it sticks around much longer. Also, the headaches are getting bad again. I’m considering acupuncture and just found out that my insurance covers some of it too!
  • Exercise this week: I added this bullet to motivate my exercising. If this information is out there for all to see then I’ll force myself to fill this spot with awesomeness. This week wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. I did 45 minutes of walking and 90 minutes of yoga (three sessions of 15, 30 and 45 minutes each). I still didn’t make it on the elliptical, but only because I really fell in love with the yoga! It is so relaxing but surprisingly effective! My core finally feels like it’s getting some attention again. I have a feeling I’m going to need those muscles in a few months. (I have taken several yoga classes before so no worries about not knowing what I’m doing and screwing up my body and what not.)

Science time:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his or her weight and add inches in length. Right now, he or she is about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. Your baby’s legs are much more developed, his or her head is more erect than it has been, and his or her eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. Your baby’s ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his or her scalp has begun, though hair isn’t recognizable yet. Your baby has even started growing toenails. And there’s a lot happening inside as well. For example, your baby’s heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to rise.

Friday Update: Week 12

Photobucket Baby is the size of a billiard ball this week! I chose the #13 ball because Baby2 is due on lucky Friday, July 13th! When I pointed that out to the midwife (that the 13th is a Friday, that is), she said, “Oh well we can make it the 14th if you want.” Yes, let’s do tell the baby when s/he is allowed to make her/is arrival.  That would be awesome!

I don’t put too much stock in due dates. Kiddo1 was a little early himself. I doubt Baby2 will arrive right on time, and if the 13th is our day, then that’s cool too because it’s usually not such a bad day for me, as far as luck goes.

What HAS been pretty unlucky in the last week or so are the headaches. After I published last week’s update (about how awesome not having morning sickness is, natch) I started getting these looooong-lasting headaches. I had one that started on Christmas Eve, lasted all through Christmas Day and finally ended… well I’m still sort of waiting for it to end. I woke up with it again yesterday, it came and went throughout the day and I’m hoping that means I’m almost at the end of it? I hope…

Through my research I found a few helpful hints that I hope will keep the headaches away:

  • Eat lots. Not just lots but good food. Usually I eat a ton (also noted in last week’s update post), but that tends to be while I’m at work. This week I’ve been at home for holiday break so I’ve been keeping myself busy with cleaning, laundry, projects and, of course, lounging on the couch trying to rid myself of the headache-that-will-not-end. So eating hasn’t been on the top of the priority list. Big no-no! No wonder my head ached so much – I wasn’t eating my normal copious quantities of good food.
  • Drink lots of water. I usually get in at least 60 ounces a day, but I’m trying to increase that to 90. “They” say pregnant women need at least 64 ounces of water each day plus an additional 8 ounces for each hour of light activity. So drink up.
  • Sleep. Mmmm glorious  sleep. At least 8 hours a night. This usually isn’t hard in the first trimester as exhaustion usually is a symptom of pregnancy, but shoot: ladies are busy (pregnant ones included) and between work, out-of-the-uterus kids and other domestic obligations it can be tough getting those 8 hours every night. In order to keep productive throughout the day, though, sleep needs to be a priority every night.
  • Caffeine withdrawal. I don’t drink coffee, soda, etc. so I don’t think this is a factor in my headaches. But sometimes I do find that a few sips of Mr. Handsome’s soda does help somewhat. Caffeine thins the blood a bit and allows it to flow more freely through the brain. Don’t overdo it though, for multiple reasons: mostly that it can thin the blood too much and over 200mg of caffeine is not a good idea for baby. I can just see the little fetus bouncing off the ute walls in there, all jacked up. Probably not cool.

Sometimes preventing doesn’t work. In that case, here’s what I’ve tried and each have helped a little (although nothing works as well as my old, now forbidden, stand-by, Advil. Sad face):

  • Lay down in a mostly dark room (especially if light makes the pain worse).
  • Quiet.
  • Cold packs to the forehead for tension headaches, hot packs for sinus headaches.
  • Hot shower or bath with some steam action.

Thanks to americanpregnancy.org for the info listed above. For more on triggers and when to call your health provider, follow this link.

The weekly standards:

  • Total weight gain: still 4 pounds
  • Cravings: scrambled eggs
  • Coolest symptom: When I lay on my stomach I can feel an “expansion” where I believe my uterus is. My bloat is also getting a bit harder so it feels like the uterus is at last taking over some of the “bump” I have!
  • Lamest symptom: the aforementioned headaches

Science Time, courtesy of babycenter.com:

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby’s fingers will soon begin to open and close. His or her mouth will make sucking movements. Toes will curl, and eye muscles will clench. Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby’s brain, synapses are forming furiously. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won’t be able to feel it. Your baby’s intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into the abdominal cavity, and the kidneys will begin excreting urine into your baby’s bladder. Your baby’s face looks unquestionably human: His or her eyes have moved from the sides to the front of the head, and the ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.