25 weeks (and 2 days)

Weight gained: About 17-19 pounds. I’m not entirely sure if I started at 130 or 132 this pregnancy. As much as I care about my weight gain/size/personal appearance, I just haven’t wasted time worrying about the number itself this go around. I know I’m bigger than I was with Riley at this stage, which stinks, but I’m gaining at the same rate as last time. I’m also far less active and my eating is much worse this go around, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised or upset by the scale. I know there is nothing I can do about it aside from modifying my diet and increasing my physical activity to be healthier, so I don’t see a point in worrying about it.

Best moment this week: Something completely and totally unrelated to pregnancy… the clinic I work at passed their state survey at 100%, which is totally awesome. I was freaking out about it, because I have been a little behind on notes. I’m glad our clinic did well and I’m happy I didn’t have any sort of negative impact on the survey. I’m also excited to hear that my father-in-law is doing well after his heart transplant. I’m grateful my husband and his family were so fortunate to receive such a wonderful gift and another chance at life. I know my father-in-law will live his life fully to honor the donor, too.

Things I miss: Beer. Hands down. That, and sushi. The raw kind.

Symptoms: I am so happy that I’m not suffering from rhinitis this go around. I can breathe! On the other hand, I feel like this baby is about to fall out of my yah. I don’t necessarily think she’s sitting any lower, so I’m not sure exactly why it feels like my uterus is going to fall out of my butt. And my hips. My achy, break-y hips. I feel like a grandma. Now where did I put my walker?

Cravings: I’m craving salads, but I’m far too lazy to prepare my own. Instead I eat donuts. And cupcakes. Yum!

Things I’m looking forward to: Riley turns two next Monday! I am so excited to celebrate, but I cannot believe how quickly time flies. She’s still a baby in so many ways, but all of her baby-like qualities are quickly fading. So hard to believe that two years ago, I was impatiently moping over the arrival of my baby girl. Now she can count to three and identifies colors appropriately and talks in 2 to 3 word sentences.

Goals for this week: To eat better in preparation for my glucose test. Contacting doulas. Drink more water. Walk with Riley after work.

*crickets*

*dusts off the blog*

Well, I said I’d be back. And then I made all of my posts private (although it appears I missed some of my posts). And then I totally stopped blogging for almost a year. But now I’m back!

I’m 24 weeks pregnant and — mommy fail — have not documented a single thing about this pregnancy, including photos. In fact, I’m like a vampire. I don’t show up in photos. Or — let’s be real — I refuse to let people take any pictures of me.

That being said, hi. I’m back. Maybe. I can’t guarantee that I’ll have any drive to update this blog consistently. I work full-time and chase a toddler around all day long and I’m growing a person again, so I’m usually in bed by 8:30 most nights.

Anyway, people aren’t kidding when they say second pregnancies seem to move quickly. Between work and chasing my kid around, I’m pretty oblivious to my pregnancy at this point.

The first 16 weeks were a bit rough. I was extremely sick this time. With Riley, I experienced morning sickness but I either repressed the memory of how awful it was or this time it was far, far worse. I threw up a lot and generally felt ill. On top of that, I bled throughout my first trimester and even thought I was having a miscarriage one night because the bleeding was so heavy. Fortunately, everything cleared up, I stopped bleeding, and eventually I stopped vomiting in the mornings.

And really, aside from the excruciating hip, back, and round ligament pain, I’ve been feeling relatively good this time. I’m definitely more tired, but I don’t have the luxury of napping the way I did with my first pregnancy. Last pregnancy I couldn’t breathe at all, but I don’t seem to have that same issue with this baby.

I started this pregnancy around 130-132 pounds and I’m up about 17-19 pounds at 24 weeks. I’m gaining slower this time, which blows my mind because I am a) a slug and b) a bottomless pit with a taste for Chinese food and donuts. Last time, my eats were relatively healthy (let’s overlook the every other day trips to Moon River Pizza and the Dreamette the last 2-3 weeks of my pregnancy with Riley) and I worked out. I gained about 45 pounds with my first pregnancy and I’m hoping to only gain 30-35 this time, which the OB seems to think is a realistic goal.

Not much else to report at this point. I’m looking forward to becoming a family of four, but I’m not in a rush. If this baby takes 42 weeks, it will be miserable because August in Florida is like hell on Earth, but I am okay with that knowing how much life will change again once this baby girl arrives.

Follow Up: February Goals

Wow, I cannot believe tomorrow is March 1st! I almost forgot to write this post, but one of my favorite bloggers recently updated with her February intentions. Thanks for the reminder, Kathleen! Here it goes…

Zero alcoholic beverages for one month (beginning February 10th). I have to admit that I did not abstain from alcohol entirely. I have had 2 or 3 beers over the past few weeks, usually on a weekend and generally in a social setting. I think I had a beer twice — once on a Friday and again this week — and a glass of sangria when I met a girlfriend for a nice dinner. I plan on having a drink on Saturday as well when I meet some of my friends for a girls night out!

Drink less caffeine. Eh. I have drank less Diet Coke over the last couple of weeks, but occasionally I have an afternoon cup of coffee or a soft drink while I’m at a restaurant. Hey, I’m sleepy… What can I say?! However I have made a point to drink more water, especially since I started running again.

Read two books by the end of the month. Fail. BUT (!!!!) this goal did challenge me to read more. I am currently more than halfway through Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It’s very good so far and my slowness to read is not an indication of my interest in the book. I find that by the time I sit down to read, I have eaten dinner/worked out/run around like a chicken with my head cut off and only manage to read 1-2 chapters before conking out on the couch. Please refer back to being sleepy in my previous bullet.

Take the stairs at work (no exceptions). Oh, there are always exceptions, Sara. I think I set myself up to fail with this one. I’m very good about taking the stairs but there are times I want to walk with co-workers and wind up riding the elevator. It is very rare that I take the elevator, though. The stairs are right next to my office on the unit and the main office downstairs, so it’s closer for me to use them to go between locations (I am on the fourth floor if you are interested in the number of flights I have to take). I also park on the fifth floor of the parking garage, so that means I usually climb those stairs at the end of the day as well. My husband bought me a pedometer for Valentine’s Day (thanks, dear!) so I can keep track of my steps that way when I remember to grab it in the in morning.

Walk three times a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Oh, this is just sad… but no. No, I did not do this. HOWEVER (!!!) I started running again over the past two weeks and I think that counts. Right? I have run Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday. I am skipping tonight because I’m on call and running tomorrow after work instead. I can’t go for a run/walk on the days I’m on call because I need access to my computer. I did buy a work out DVD which I tried last night since I was at home with Riley while RJ climbed, so I plan on incorporating that into my activities each week as well.

Focus on my husband/marriage at night. Uh, sort of? We watched a movie together this weekend. He has also made a point to stay off his phone/computer. I think this is always going to be a battle because we both like to unwind in front of technology/reading/etc. I think we can definitely improve on this, though.

Overall, I think I did okay for the first month. Time to get serious next month. Stay tuned for my March goals post tomorrow morning!

Running, my long lost love

…we meet again!

I have run four times in the past week and it feels great. I mean, I can’t run far. Or very fast. It’s really more of a slog to be honest, but I’m doing it.

I ran on the treadmill last Sunday. I made it a mile without stopping, walked for another quarter mile, and ran another half mile. (I also warmed up and cooled down for a total of a half a mile.) I thought I was going to die, but it didn’t feel terrible.

Feeling rejuvenated, I went back to the gym on Tuesday. A big, beefy jock hopped on the treadmill next to me and started to run while I ran (me a measley 4.6-4.8 mph, him a heart attack inducing 6.9 mph). He didn’t realize it, but we were running a race. A very, very unevenly matched race. Okay, we weren’t racing at all. If we were racing, he would grind me to a pulp, but that’s neither here nor there. He was motivating me to keep going. I passed a mile and thought, “I can continue on this very boring and painful slog on the treadmill. I CAN DO IT DAMN IT.” I passed another quarter mile… then another. Suddenly I was only a quarter mile from two (!!!!) miles.

Thursday I headed back to the gym, but I wasn’t feeling it. I would have been happy to reach a mile without stopping. I climbed onto the stationary running device of doom and the first half of a mile was brutal. I hate treadmills because they are boring, wobbly, and I feel like I run a lot slower on a treadmill than on pavement. I stuck with it, though. I was challenging myself. If I could do it Tuesday, why not today? So I did it. I made that treadmill my bitch again. I ran another two miles.

On Thursday I researched Garmins. Those little watches have come a long way from the days of my half marathon. They are so sleek and cute now. They also make one I could afford, a basic but inexpensive $130 Forerunner (the Forerunner 10 to be exact). I transferred some money from my rainy day savings account (which has really turned into more of a “fun money” and holiday account) and bought one on Saturday.

On Sunday, I drove to my favorite running spot downtown. This is the starting point for so many great runs, including the bridges loop. Don’t worry, I can’t run at an incline to save my life right now. The bridges have to wait for a while longer before I rekindle my love affair with them. In the meantime, there is a statue of a running man not far from this same starting point. The distance from the start (which is conveniently located near the YMCA) to the running man is exactly 2 miles. It’s a nice out and back run because you run along the St. Johns River, there are a ton of people out there who are running or walking so it isn’t totally sketchy, and you pass the Landing which means you get to watch people drinking beers and eating fried food as you kill yourself running.

Well, I put on my new Garmin, warmed up on the track for five minutes, and began my run. My sweet two miler outdoors. I know two miles doesn’t seem like much, but it is a lot for a runner-turned-couch-potato. Suffice to say, I did it! I ran two miles outdoors. My only stop was at mile one when I tried to turn off the pace keeper (key word “tried”) because I was running very behind pace going towards the running man (wind). Also… there is now a statue of a running woman!

Basically, I am addicted. I am going to bring my clothes to work with me tomorrow and run after work. I cannot wait. I am going to need to find time to squeeze in strength training, so I bought a Jillian Michaels DVD which I am going to try out tonight hopefully.

Anyway, happy Monday! I hope you all reconnect with something you love this week as well and I hope I am able to continue to stay motivated to do so myself!

Garmin

February Intentions

I’m about 10 days late, but I thought setting goals for the month of February and every month going forward (idea borrowed from here and here) would be a neat challenge. It will give me something to blog about that isn’t related to motherhood/Riley.

Zero alcoholic beverages for one month beginning today. I don’t drink much, but I do enjoy a good beer every so often. Lately I have been indulging in a beer each night to unwind after work, which is a habit I would like to break. I can find other ways to unwind — like a bath — that are much better for me overall.

Drink less caffeine each day. I am limiting myself to my morning coffee. I had limited my soda consumption prior to my pregnancy and during my pregnancy, but now that I’m post-delivery I drink way more soda and coffee than I should. I need to stop replacing water with soda. I’m hoping to break my reliance on caffeine/sugar, which will hopefully even out my energy levels.

Read at least two books. I would set my goal for one book a week, but it’s already ten days into the month and I know myself better than that.

Take the stairs at work — no elevators! I also want to buy a pedometer to see how much walking I accomplish at work, but that will have to wait for another month.

Walk 30 minutes a day at least 3 days a week.

Dedicate time to my husband and marriage each night. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the day to day monotony of working, being a parent, and so forth. I want to make it a point to spend some time with my husband each night where neither of us is distracted by technology.


3/4 of a Year Old

Say it isn’t so! My baby bear is 9 months old. Nine. Months. Old. How is it even possible I gave birth nine months ago?! After the challenging initiation period (0-3 months old), everything started zipping along. I can barely remember a time when there wasn’t a baby in my house and mothering didn’t feel second nature (well, almost anyway; I still have periods of doubt like any new mom/parent). You need to pardon me for the clichéd quote I am about to type but… “The days are long, but the years are short.” (If you took a poll of blogs with monthly baby updates, I wonder how many would have incorporated that quote at some time or another!) Every single month is my favorite one yet.

This month has been filled with so many milestones, big and little, that I am starting to lose track of them! Without further ado, here is her monthly update. I am glad I have been posting these monthly so I can look back at everything. I am starting to be a little fuzzy on the early months. It will be fun to look back at old posts and remember the earliest weeks, good and bad, as well as all of the wonderful months that followed. The only change this month will be that I am going to type it as a narrative. Enjoy!

Riley weighs 17 pounds, 6 ounces and is 29 inches long. Sometimes I feel like we have a giant baby (length-wise, certainly not in weight) because she towers over the 11-month-old at daycare. (Emily is around 15 pounds and 4 inches shorter than Riley. Yeah. Told ya so.) Riley is very scrawny slender but so long! I suspect that she will be very tall. Her dad is 6’4″ so I guess she inherited from him since I am vertically challenged.

She has been mostly true-to-size when it comes to clothes. Most of the time, she wears 9 month clothes with a few 12 month items here and there. The 12 month items are actually dresses and shirts strangely enough, not pants! I always assumed pants would be the first bump in sizes since she has a big ol’ cloth diaper gadonk-a-donk, but that’s not the case. I am strangely excited for little baby shoes in our future. I have always been an avid fan of shoes on babies in the past. However, once I had my own, I quickly realized how ridiculous it is to put shoes on a baby unless you live some place where it’s a necessity. I am counting down the days until she is walking and it’s practical to dress her in the entire line of baby shoes at Target that I didn’t realize existed until this weekend!

We are still using cloth diapers in the daytime and disposables at night. I am so, so glad we decided to return to cloth diapers. For one thing, it saves us a ton of money because I don’t have to buy diapers for home and daycare. Instead I can put the money towards brand-name night time diapers, which honestly work the best with a heavy wetter like Riley. I did attempt cloth diapers at night. The first two nights were successful, but the third night (and coincidentally the night RJ returned from a trip out of town and came home to me bragging about my success with night time cloth diapering) she leaked so badly we had to change her outfit. Since RJ is in charge of night time diapering, he quickly put a stop to my little experiment and now she’s back in disposables.

Sleep… Oh sleep. One day we will be reunited and it will be GLORIOUS. We had a wonderful week this past month where Riley was down to waking only one time per night for a bottle and diaper change. And then she cut a tooth. Actually, she started to cut three of those pearly whites. I am pretty sure it is the current reason for her night waking, because the night she was up 10,000 times she went to bed with no teeth (not even a bulge!) and woke up with a tooth that had broken the skin. I wish I could complain about the lack of sleep but sleep deprivation has sort of become my baseline.

And oh the milestones… Gosh, this is such a fun age! Riley is doing new things on a daily basis. It’s amazing. I love watching her little personality develop. She is adventurous and social, which I love. She definitely lets you know what she wants when she wants it. She has the best damn laugh I have ever heard.

This month she has learned to clap, pick her nose, blow raspberries, stick her tongue in and out and make a funny noise while doing it (I need to record it; it’s so funny), shake her head “no,” says “that,” points to pictures in books (especially “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”), stands without assistance or holding on to stuff, crawls super fast, and has taken 1-2 steps a few times (although she isn’t very good at this and falls down almost as soon as she starts!).

Breastfeeding

I wrote something about breastfeeding in my last post, how I don’t think my worth as a mother should be based on whether or not I put Riley to the boob nor for how long I chose to do so. I’m sure many of you know by now that Riley is now exclusively formula fed. She was breastfed for almost 10 weeks. This isn’t a breastmilk vs. formula post, but I think this warrants mentioning. As a new mom, there are a lot of expectations imposed on a new mom (and partners, too), including how you choose to feed your child. As a Babycenter message board junkie (well, former junkie), I would find the early weeks were riddled with posts about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. It’s an epic battle being waged between moms. It doesn’t stop after the early weeks either. It continues well into toddlerhood because weaning from breastfeeding is more socially acceptable as a certain age (say, around one year) in the United States.

Julia mentioned something in the comments and I thought I should clarify this: I wanted to love breast feeding. It was and is very important to me. However, when it came down to feeling anxious and depressed about breastfeeding, I chose to formula feed. In the end, my mental health and the impact it had on my early relationship with Riley was far more precious to me than giving her breastmilk at the time. I do experience a lot of self-imposed guilt and sadness that I didn’t at least try to wait it out. I made that decision at one of my lowest of the low moments. However, as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, I felt like a weight had been lifted. So much about breastfeeding triggered my anxiety — from nursing in public, to getting the hang of it, to the physical impact it had on my body, to my perfectionist self who put way more pressure than was necessary on myself during those tender early weeks.

After I stopped breastfeeding, I know a lot of the moms in my birth class probably had issues with it. Heck, I think a lot of women have issues when someone chooses to stop breastfeeding rather than it being a choice made for you because your body won’t cooperate or there is an anatomical barrier that is preventing your baby from latching properly. I think this is one source of my guilt. I also believe this is very evident when you look at anything about weaning early (I’ll use before a year for this post but think extended breastfeeding is awesome if that’s what mom and baby would like to continue!). Moms feel this need to justify weaning. Like if they tried xyz and struggled a certain amount, they are absolved of guilt for weaning. Moms make it into a competition and that is so wrong! Are you feeding your child? Yes?! Then that’s awesome! Go on with your bad self.

Being a new mom is hard enough. You are hormonal, your body is foreign to you, you and your partner are sleep-deprived, your boobs are going through some pretty intense changes when your milk comes in, you essentially have a stranger in your house that you are getting to know and vise versa, and if you are anything like me, you are HOT ALL OF THE TIME and turn the A/C to, like, 65 just to feel normal. Oh, and all of your hair starts to fall out. Good times. The last thing I or any other new mom needs is to have everyone in the world judging you for caring for your child, especially something as sensitive as feeding your baby. Taking care of a baby is primarily the act of loving and caring for aforementioned child by providing it with shelter, comfort, warmth, and food.

Someone once used the fact that Riley is formula fed to justify supplementing. This person called me up while standing in the formula aisle and proceeded to rationalize the purchase of formula. That I’m a good mom but I formula feed. That makes it totally okay, right? Because I did it and, look, I turned out all right as a mom and Riley is thriving. Like the two are mutually exclusive — being a good mom and formula feeding. Honestly, I think I’m a good mom for a lot of other reasons that don’t include what I feed Riley. You can feed your child without nurturing them emotionally.

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this… To be continued later. For now, it’s off to work I go!

8 Months of Riley Roo

Nicknames: Baby Bear and Roo are going strong. She also goes by Rooski and Roo-insky.

Height & Weight: Eh. I’d guess at least 18 pounds. No clue how long she is and she isn’t going to lay still long enough for me to measure. Won’t know for another month what the official stats are!

Clothes: She is wearing 9 month clothes, mostly due to her height. Cloth diapers also make her tushy big, so that’s another reason we use 9 month clothes.

Diapers: She wears cloth diapers during the day (a mix of BumGenius and Fuzzibunz) and disposables at night.

Eats: She eats 5-6 ounces every three hours (8, 12, and 3) and 8 ounces at bedtime. She eats solids for lunch and dinner now.

Naps: She naps twice a day… at day care. She only naps at home if we sleep with her. Her naps are typically from 9-11 and 1-3 (with variations of course).

Sleeping: Oh, sleep. Riley does okay now. She’s usually up around 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock at night to eat. She only woke up once recently after having solids twice a day. I can’t really figure out the sleep situation. I’m happy she sleeps enough most nights that I can get in some solid chunks of shut eye and she will go back to sleep usually. Makes me much less crazy.

Milestones: Nothing too crazy this month. She’s always learning/into something. She has stood without holding on to something a few times, but it’s not consistent. She even stood from sitting in the middle of the room once. Her new thing is to climb on everything. She’s also started throwing little tantrums if you take away a beloved toy. It’s funny… for now.

All in all, this past month was a fun one. She has so much personality. I love it! Definitely come a long way from the newborn days.