Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To do: Know who's who

Growing up "Dr." could mean dentist or pediatrician. In our teen years "Dr." could mean OBGYN, dentist, or "regular" Dr. On to college "Dr." could take on psychologist (hey, we didn't all have rosy college experiences), OBGYN, dentist, or "regular". As life progresses so does our Dr. repertoire. Being pregnant is no different - here are the basics:

  • Obstetrician: your general "baby" Dr. who takes you from pregnancy to childbirth and occasionally puerperium or postpartum (shortly after birth). Most obstetricians are also gynecologists.
  • Midwife: often called the "non-medical" version of an obstetrician, a Midwife gives prenatal care during the pregnancy, attends the birth, and provides postpartum care for both mommy and baby. Midwives commonly specialize in low-risk pregnancy (twins are considered high risk) and can be a man or woman.
  • Doula: Doula's act as assistant's to provide non-medical support (much like Midwives). Doula's can be involved in the entire pregnancy and birth process or a "postpartum doula" can come in and provide care in the home after birth; care includes breastfeeding support, newborn care, running errands, light housekeeping - keeping the sanity!
  • Perinatal Medicine and Genetics: Men and women who provide perinatal and genetics medicine help with the baby 5-months before birth and 1-month after birth. The actual perinatal period lasts 22 weeks.
  • Pediatrician: I call pediatrician's "baby Drs" - they care for children from birth through age 14 or 18. Remember the time when going to the Dr. meant getting a lollipop? I'm researching pediatrician's in the city now so when my bundles of joy come we'll have someone lined up.

Where to find the right doctor(s):
  • Friends - ask friends and family who also have children for references
  • Your doctor - they often have a network of common referals
  • Yelp - I love love love Yelp, you can get a good read on who experienced what where; hint, after finding a good doc, you can find a good restaurant on Yelp

Monday, December 29, 2008

To do: get financially fit - make a budget for babies

Times are tight and a bit scary right now, let's be honest. Being pregnant with twins I'm especially money conscious and full of questions - how can we afford rent? What happens when we get hosed on taxes again? How can we afford daycare?

When I first started thinking about the financial side of mommy-hood I freaked a bit. Then, we sat down, made a budget, and did some research. Here are the highlights:

Know your #:
As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we looked around our little 1-bedroom SF abode and thought "how the heck are we going to fit more in here." It was about this time that we started thinking of our 2009 taxes and financial standing, too, and it came to us - become homeowners! As if being pregnant weren't enough to think about ... then again, with this down economy and mortgage rates plummeting it might just be the time. We learned in CA first time homeowners can get a 5.5% interest loan at 30-years fixed with as little as 3.5% down - WHOA! But I won't go into adventures in real estate - if you'd like to know more, email me. The truly important thing we did learn, though, is the first step to looking at houses is know what you can afford and a lot of what you can afford is based on your credit score.

Most credit unions give a free trial or let you find out your score for free. Watch out, though, because during the process of getting that score you might unknowingly sign-up for a subscription. Here are the top sites for getting your score:
  • - the little commercial might be stuck in your head (it's in mine) but this one is good because you can get scores from all 3 credit agencies
  • Equifax - gives a free trial and FICO monitoring
  • Transunion - gives a free trial
  • Experian - gives a free trial
It's important to remember, when you sign up for an in-store card or when someone asks to do a credit check on you, it does effect your score. On the flip side, the more good credit you have, the better your score should be.

Personal budget:

A personal budget is key. In the past we've tried penciling out a budget, but there's something about actually logging expenses and income in a spreadsheet that makes it more real and, more importantly, easier to stick to. Here are a few budget spreadsheets I like:

Get a pulse on taxes:
Last year we were considered DINKs (double income, no kids) and because we had no dependencies and no investments (like a home), we really got a surprise come tax time. This year we both claimed 0 on our W2s but after a test tax run we're still going to have a bitter April. It took a while, but here are some lessons learned:
  • Practice your taxes early and often - get a pulse on your standing - you can practice right on the IRS site without submitting your taxes
  • Take advantage of your companies' 401k - if there's no matching (like at my company) or the options that you can invest in aren't good, look at setting up another type of retirement account
  • Invest the maximum in an IRA or Roth IRA (with the tax rates being so low, right now it's probably best to invest in Roth if you qualify - pay taxes now at a lower rate and when it comes time to retire, withdraw your money and don't worry about taxes! With an IRA you invest pre-tax money but pay when you withdraw)
  • When precious ones do come, they are a $1,000 deduction each on tax returns (it's horrible looking at babies as deductions, but it's good to know)
The beauty of IRAs and Roth IRAs is contributions for the year count through April whereas contributions to a 401k only count through December 31st. In the past month I upped my 401k contributions and am maxing out my Roth IRA contributions (by maxing out I mean I'm automatically depositing money into my Roth from each paycheck to make sure I hit the max by April).

Saving for baby:

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I opened an ING "baby" account (really just a savings account that I named "baby"). Every paycheck I invest $50 - doesn't sound like much, but by the time the twins are ready for college it'll be a good cushion for them to get going.

As soon as the kids are born I'll open a Fidelity 529 account. The 529 account is a "tax advantages" account - in other words, all investments grow tax differed and qualified withdrawals (like college) are federal and California state tax free.

Paper over plastic:

You likely chose it at the market when asked what kind of bag, use the same phrase and choice for how you pay. This is the hardest one for me - pay cash, not credit. If you don't have enough in checking to buy something in cash you likely don't really really need it. If you have to pay with a credit card, make sure you can pay it off come end of month.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Got my grove back

I made it out for a run today after taking a break for the past two weeks. It was a day of "new things" as it was the first time I ran in my orthodics and the first time I figured out how to upload my run. I'm loving the Garmin 305 more than ever now - it helped me keep a slower pace (I don't want to push it too hard and can gauge a little on how well I can keep a conversation, but now much), track my distance, and track my altitude.

Here's the map of my run with the altitude:

To create this I downloaded the Garmin installer and USB drive, installed the Garmin training center, and hit "submit" - easy! Now I'm trying to figure out how to get this into Google Maps.

Cool features aside, the run was reassuring - one of my fellow runners told us about a woman in San Francisco who ran up to her 8th month of pregnancy. I hope I can do that.

Oh! And no spotting.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

To do: home gym

I'm a runner. I love to run - I'm happiest in the heart of a marathon or climbing a 3,000 foot single track in a trail race. Lately I've been taking it a bit easier on the running because my Dr. told me to and because the icky weather isn't conducive to getting on the trails.

Intro - the home gym.

We live in a 1-bedroom in San Francisco so a "real" home gym is unthinkable. I've made due with a corner full of equipment and I'm quite proud of my home gym - what's more, I know it works. Here are the basics:
  • Bosu ball - that half ball thing on the bottom works miracles! I use my Bosu to stand on and lift weights (working posture + muscle), do pushups on, and occasionally do situps on.
  • Resistance bands- the red cords are magic workers for the thighs. I won my resistance band in a pushup contest with my running club - these are great for doing side-steps with or using for the biceps and doing curls.
  • Body Ball (55 cm) - the perfect pushup helper/enhancer. My body ball acts as a pushup enhancer and doubles as a chair when we have company. Many people use the ball for posture (they'll use this at work instead of a chair) but I would fidget too much so I leave it in the "gym."
  • 15 lb. weights - my ideal weight for curls, pulls, pushes, and more. I've been doing the same arm workout for about 7-years (yep, it's time for a change) but it really works! I'll do 3 sets of 15 curls, then 3 sets of 15 pulls (where you have one knee up on a bench and are leaned over in a table top position), and 3 sets of pushes (same setup as the pulls but instead of pulling the arm from hip to waist you're extending the arm straight behind you).
  • Yoga Kit - I call it my kit but it's really a hodge podge of yoga gear I've accumulated over the years (they sell the goods in kits though). The essentials for yoga are: the mat, the block (I can barely touch my knees let alone toes so this helps in stretching), and the strap (awesome for a post run stretch).
  • Foam Rollers - I have the small one for rolling out my IT band - it hurts like heck but works.
  • The stick - the newest edition to my gym (thanks Santa!) and I LOVE it!!! The stick is great for rolling out sore muscles and the IT band.
On the wish list?
  • Valeo MB8 8 lb. Medicine Ball - a ball that you hold for side twists which works the obliques (especially important when you're pregnant to puuuuuuuuuuush!)
  • Foam roller- I have the small one, now I want the long size. The small one is good for working out sore muscles, the long one is good for making muscles sore - I use it at the "real gym" to lay on and try to balance while lifting one leg then the other.

Calendar and To do: 10-week weigh in

I'm not much of a weight watcher but lately I've been trying to eat more healthfully. With the holidays that's tough but it's a worthy challenge.

Weight aside, yesterday I went to lunch with a girlfriend who is due in a week (I can't wait to be there) and she gave two key points of advice:
  1. Love this time - love every day of it
  2. Take pictures of your belly - it's amazing to see it grow
So here's my picture - week 10.

As she said that I couldn't help but look at her moving belly - she said the little one had hiccups.

Thinking on my friends two points and on my experience thus far, there are 4 things that are givens in pregnancy:
  1. Amazing joy
  2. Fear
  3. Weight gain
  4. Belly growth
I've experienced the first two like you can't believe.

Circling back to the weighty issue - at only 10-weeks pregnant (still in the throws of my first trimester) weight gain isn't common. I've in fact lost weight which is freaking me out a little - I went from 127 to 125 and now am weighing in at 122. I think the decline is more due to my lack of working out than anything - muscle is heavier than fat, hence a halt in working out can lead to muscle loss.

Childbirth Solutions has a great week by week calendar of what you and baby should be going through - according to the calendar I should be gaining so I'm going to keep a closer eye on this.

Per, here's where the weight does go when it comes on:

7.5 - 8.5 lbs Baby
2 lbs Amniotic Fluid
1.5 - 2 lbs Placenta
1.5 - 2 lbs Breast Tissue
3 lbs Blood Volume
2 - 2.5 lbs Uterine Muscle
4 lbs Water
8 lbs Maternal Stores

To buy: video camera

I know it's still early, but we're making our list and checking it twice on things to buy. There's the crib, the rocker, the changing table tiny clothes, oy vey so much! The good news is we still have 6-months to shop.

We are trying to capitalize on the post holiday sales, though, and are looking at investing in our memories (insert "awww" here) with a video camera. Here are a few we're comparing:
  • Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2 Digital Camcorder - this camcorder has optical zoom up to 8x (which according to Matt is way better than digital zoom because it takes the pixilation out), can go under water, and has a cool swivel look. It's on sale now for $199 down from $399 - still out of our price range but definitely better than some of the bigger models.
  • Flip Video Mino Series Camcorder - this is a pocket camcorder and can only record up to 60-minutes of video. I'm not planning on being one of those mom's capturing everything, though, so that may be a perfect amount of time. This runs only $159 (down from $179) and has 4.5 stars out of 5 (I'm a big star watcher on Amazon). On the down side, it has digital zoom - translate, not great.
  • Flip Video Ultra Series - this is another pocket version coming in at $126 (down from $145). The price and size are definitely right - like the camcorder listed above this only shoots 60-minutes and is a digital zoom version.
Gosh, all this camcorder research is making me nostalgic for my childhood days of slide shows and Polaroid pictures. My how far we've come! Pretty soon we'll be shooting our kids in 3D with instant upload and hologram features! Oo, now there's an idea ...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tea time

I love tea - black tea, herbal tea, green tea, white tea - really, any tea. When it comes with cream honey and cookies I love it even more. Now in my 9th week of pregnancy, I've been trying to cut way back on caffeine and tea has been helping me do this. So of course today when browsing pregnancy sites, I freaked a little when I read "herbal teas and green teas are a no no." Great, I can't win! After some further digging I'm feeling a bit more confident that my Good Earth herbal tea habit won't lead to a 3-legged baby.

According to Baby Centre UK, "Certain herbal teas can be very beneficial in pregnancy and may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of pregnancy. Many women find that small amounts of ginger tea can help with morning sickness, while peppermint tea can ease heartburn and indigestion. Slippery elm or meadowsweet tea may also aid digestion. However, it is always a good idea to drink herbal teas in moderation."

Here are some other research highlights:
  • Baby Centre gives a good chart of herbs to avoid - the two that surprised me most are aloe and chili
  • Mayo Clinic notes there is limited research to say herbs are harmful during pregnancy, but raspberry leaf could cause contractions (odd considering many "pregnancy teas" are packed with raspberry
  • Parenting iVillage lists the following herbs as things to be avoided (note, the list below comes directly from iVillage):

    Alkaloid Containing Plants:
    (May constrict blood vessels, cause increase in blood pressure.)

    Golden Seal

    Bitters: (May cause fetal defects and/or miscarriage.)
    Cascara Sagrada
    Golden Seal

    Diuretics: (Encourage water loss)
    Juniper Berries
    Uva-Ursi (large doses)

    Emmenagogues: (Induces loss of uterine lining -- may cause miscarriage.)
    Angelica spp.
    Basil, oregano, marjoram (Okay in "normal" amounts, used as spices)
    Black Cohosh (last six weeks okay)
    Blue Cohosh (last six weeks okay)
    Ginger (okay in "normal" amounts)
    Motherwort (OK in small doses)
    Squaw Vine (small amounts okay)
    Shepard's Purse

    Castor Bean
    Cascara Sagrada

    Steroid Precursors:
    Dong Quai

    Blue Cohosh
    Golden Seal
    Black Cohosh
    Blue Flag
    Cotton Root Bark

    Male Fern
    Poke root

Bottom line, common sense rules - if the tea is supposed to have "powerful herbs" I'm going to skip on the powers until after my babies come.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ro do: Get Well

It's Christmas Eve and I'm sick as a dog. The past 3-days I've been moving in slow motion as my head filled up making me congested, dizzy, and exhausted. My usual remedies (Theraflu, heavy dose on Vitamin C, and Air Born) are in question now because if I'm sick, the twins are sick, and what I take, the twins take a magnified amount.

After a quick Google search, here's what I can do:
  • Drink lots of fluids - I've become a master of this and my frequent bathroom visits prove it
  • Rest - this is the hardest thing for me - I want to run, walk, enjoy the rainy outdoors ... then again, that's what I think got me into this mess
  • Vicks VapoRub - help clear out my nose
Basically common sense rules here.

Luckily I don't have a headache (knock on wood) but Labor of says there are pain relievers I can take - just not aspirin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To do: eat this not that

I have always tried to eat healthfully, but now that I'm carrying twins I'm even more of a label looker. I've browsed the books listing what not to eat and what is OK but some things are still missed. For over a year I've been a huge fan of Kombucha - a drink by Synergy that's made from fermentation. The f word in that beverage should have been telling enough, but I've still be enjoying the bitter drinks.

Today my co-worker, who kindly calls this favored drink of mine "foot juice" came across an article about Synergy where a pregnant woman commented how scared she is because a) she drank it throughout her pregnancy and b) it has .5% alcohol in it (this was news to me). I had to play it off like "eh - I'm not worried" because no-one at work knows yet, but I'm worried.

I think the reality is we truly should stick to our parents and grandparents diet - what we've learned now is that fermented this and raw vegan that are the right choices. They might be but I'm partial to the eat-what-makes-you-feel-good and what you want to pass to baby thinking.

I hope I didn't ferment my twins :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

To do: Bar Method

I just had another Dr. checkup - 9 weeks and going strong - and was told to "stay mellow." In other words, I can't race and I can't workout too hard - the racing is the one that's the hardest for me. I love to run. More than just running I love the adrenalin rush of standing at the starting line of a 25k trail race and then the feeling of accomplishment tumbling down some hillside finishing the race. But, it's time to do what I need to and that is take it easy (Dr's orders).

Since I've been side-lined from running, I've been trying to get more into yoga and stretching. My favorite class/workout? Bar Method. I did Bar Method 3-years ago for a month before our wedding and I've never felt so energized or fit. Now, I've started doing the ballet/pilates fusion and I'm feeling accomplished but not too overworked. Simply perfect.
p.s. no, that is not me. I can't get my leg over my alternate knee let alone my hip.
p.p.s. new due date! August 4th, 2009 we will welcome 2 little runners to the world.

To do: Buy a Sigg - whatch for plastic plastic all around

I love water - bottled water, tap water, filtered water, water on the side of a trail race - you name it! I also try to reuse as much as possible. For the past few year's I've been buying an Evian and refilling the bottle for a week or two until it's time to buy a new bottle (typically when I lose the predecessor). About 6-months ago I was told this is a big "no no" as those plastic bottles can be bad and I invested in a Nalgene. Fast forward two months and Nalgenes are no nos as they're not BPA free. Ugh! So I invested in a SIG and BPA free Nalgene (one for work and one for home). I'm sure new research will come out soon that this too needs to change.

Plastic problems don't just end with water bottles. Baby toys and bottles can be harmful, too, I've come to learn (something I didn't need to study until now). Now I'm learning that some plastic toys, bottles, and pacifiers can be toxic! Ee! Just what we need, something else to worry about. The good news is there are hundreds of new products coming out every day based on research.

What I keep diverting back to to alleviate some of my over-analyzing of what-ifs is "what did our parents do." For the most part we turned out OK - bottom line, I think more stress = more problems.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To do: Eat Right (When Pregnant)

I'm a foodie - I love trying the new and weird and indulging in the decadently delicious. When I was in Japan I tried to find blowfish, in Italy I lived on carpaccio, and in Spain I ate a diet full of seafood for a summer. When you're pregnant, though, you need to pay a bit more attention to what goes in.

I've known a lot of women to become almost food obsessed when pregnant. "Oh no, I can't eat that ... did that touch that? ... What market are these from?" Yes, there are some things to avoid, but not too many.

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • Anything raw
  • In-pasturized cheese
  • Feta
  • Camembert (this one is good to avoid merely because being pregnant can make you ... um, well, farty to be blunt)
  • Blue cheese
  • Queso blanco
  • More than 300mg caffeine
  • Large amounts of herbal tea
  • Too much sugar (this isn't from Mayo - it's from trial and error (or should I say sugar high and low which cannot be good))

See? Not too much. This still leaves a loooooooong list of good foods to eat. Here's what's on my list this week:

  • Fruit: bananas (used to hate them, now I love them), grapes, apples, oranges, pears, persimmons (tis the season), tomatoes, avos
  • Veggies: carrots, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts
  • Carbs: whole wheat bread, brown rice, polenta, rice cakes (love 'em and they're the perfect snacking food)
  • Other: carob raisins (a great treat), roots (I'm not sure what category these fit in but they're great grilled)
  • Tons of other great foods that I'm forgetting

To buy: good shoes

Running can cause tons of injuries - knees, hips, ankles, and shins to name a few. The last thing you want when you're pregnant (well, the last thing any runner wants really) is to deal with an injury on top of everything else. Intro: good shoes. I've gone through quite a list of shoes - Mizuno, Nike, Saucony, and many more. I've found winners and losers in every brand.

My (and my orthopedic Dr's) current favorite? Asics 1130 - they're supportive, comfortable, and cute!

Oh, and on sale on Amazon (poor pre-Christmas stores (sales) can be good for us consumers - now's the time to stock up on shoes, shirts, workout pants, and more!).

Speechless ... the twins

For some reason my chest continues to be the topic of conversation at work. No-one knows yet, I think, but I've been getting more and more comments on my ever expanding chest. As if women weren't self conscious enough already - the last thing we need is co-workers pointing and talking. Today a co-worker commented "you really are big!" then proceeded to reach out and grab (yes grab - as in HR nono) me. Odd.

Here's an etiquette rule of thumb - if someone is not already talking about their own body (shape/size/whatever) don't be the one to bring things up. When in doubt, sh.

The "twins" that my co-worker loves to point out, though, are getting to be a problem with my wardrobe. I've now grown out of non-mommy bras and had to restock. I looked around at my fav high end stores but wound up at Gap - great prices, great fit.
p.s. image courtesy of "Ms. Manners" on Amazon - when in doubt, ask the experts. My mom read me this book when I was a kid and the lessons (i.e. don't grab a co-workers boob) stuck.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To buy: Comfy Clothes

One of the joys of pregnancy is shopping. Yes, it's really a time to save, but it's also a time for some new clothes. I've been stocking up on workout clothes recently - my new favorite? Ryka. I hadn't heard of this brand before but a friend turned me on in a yoga class. I'm digging the Dia Flow Tunic for yoga and post-run attire. The greatest thing? It's a bit long and flowy so it'll grow and cover "stuff" (aka, the twins - the ones in my belly, not the one's my co-worker is loving) as I grow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

To do: Abs

Abs are an often forgotton place in pregnant women. Yes, of course, they're aware of the bump growing in front (for the sake of full disclosure, being in my 1st tri I don't yet have the bump) but abs get forgotten in prenatal workouts. Abs and ab muscles are important, though, for the duration of pregnancy, labor, and getting one's body back.

Fit pregnancy chronicles a few great stretches for the middle (their direction is much better than mine, but here's the crux):

  • Sit in a chair and do knee lifts to engage the abdomine

  • Get on hands and knees table style and suck in

  • Modified crunch on pillows or the floor

I also like using the weighted ball to do side twists as well as the bosu ball for modified crunches. Really, anything that isn't causing too much pulling or preasure on the middle part but is still giving a good stretch and focussing on the sides of the abs is good in my book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Do: Get the Facts - First Trimester Problems Spotting, Exhaustion, and Cysts

I'm just getting in the swing of being pregnant and I'm already experiencing a slew of ups and downs. Luckily I've had no morning sickness (knock on wood) but I have experienced 3 problems.

Problem One: Exhaustion
I'm not sure if it's the fact that I've cut down my coffee intake or the massive hormonal change. Parent's Magazine has a good article on pregnancy and exhaustion - bottom line the body is working in overdrive processing more blood, increasing progesterone levels, and creating a little person (or in my case, two little people).

What helps? Naps and eating right. Sugar doesn't help - it causes highs and lows and makes you wind up even more tired than before.

Problem Two: Spotting
I've written about this gory detail before but spotting is scary! You have no clue what's going on with your body and it only happens to some people. There are different things to look for:
  • Red or pink and light - scary but OK if it doesn't last too long (I've been blog stalking for quite a while and read mixed notes on spotting. Bottom line, 20% of women spot. Of these, 20% miscarry.)
  • Brown - could be implantation. Carrying twins I've been spotting the past week and I'm wondering if it's the implantation of both.
What helps? Time.

Problem Three: Cysts
The day I found out I was pregnant with twins, I also found out I have a large ovarian cyst. I'm trying to stay positive here and the research shows that I can/should. Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacks on the ovaries - they can be bad (if they grow and make the growth of the baby challenging) or just "something to watch" as my Dr. has said. Time will tell. Women's and Mayo Clinic are two sites I've found helpful here.

What helps? Time, birth control pills, surgery (the last two are out of the question for me right now but good to know for the future).

Work it girl

I'm a runner. It's what I do for fun, for stress relief, and yes, I'll admit, for the t-shirts (I love love love to race). There are things women have to give up when pregnant - salami and wine to name two. Running is not one of these things.

I (and Pregnancy Today) think "runners" are the most stubborn of sporties and don't take quitting sitting down (unless there's an injury of course). Finding out I was pregnant I was scared I couldn't run - a contraire- running, any kind of fitness actually, is encouraged when one is pregnant.

There are tons of good books on what to do/not do when working out while pregnant. Nine Months and Strong gives tips for running mommies to help with injuries, find good foods, and learn how to overcome the mental walls.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


TWINS! Well, I made it to the Dr.’s for blood tests and an ultrasound to see what’s going on with the spotting … the Dr. first said “wow, you’re gassy” ( I tried to blame baby but she didn’t take it). Then she said, “there it is … oh, there they are – you’re having twins!” Excitement rushed over me, then fear, then excitement, then exhaustion.

I am SO tired all the time it’s unbelievable.

Now to figure out the rest of our lives…

This weekend I did 2 races – the Muir Beach 17k and the Christmas Relay. Because my Dr. told me to take it easy, I did the Muir Beach at a relatively slow pace trying not to get out of breath. It was extremely hard – I hate losing or coming in worse than I know I can. Then again, the fear of messing up baby’s (babies’) creation is more scary.

Now I’m back to the fear mode.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First freak out

I’ve been spotting and have a terrible headache. I’m not sure if the headache is from lowing my coffee intake or what. I’ve also gained 3 pounds (!!!) in the past week. I think it’s all water and I hate it – I’m now a size D, puffy puff pants, and dreading the expanding waistband.

I went to a new Dr. today to check on the spotting. Apparently, 20% of pregnant women spot. Of these, 20% miscarry. I’ll know in another few weeks when I go back for another checkup – until then, I’m scared. The Dr. said to slow down on the running (walk or swim), keep eating well, and not stress.

One very exciting, fun, scary thing during the appointment – the Dr. did an ultrasound on my stomach – on the tiny screen next to the bed, I saw a little blip blip blip – a heartbeat!

Oh – and we have a due date! July 24th – wowowow!

Some tips for avoiding headaches that have worked for me, or aleviating them, during pregnancy:
  • Drink water - lots of it
  • Drink coffee but only 1/2-caf (I'm a coffee fanatic - I used to drink a pot a day so trying to stay under 300mg of caffein is near impossible)
  • Go for a run or walk - when stress sneaks up, try to get rid of it

Tips from the "experts":

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pregnant lady yoga

Today I decided to take hot vinaysina yoga at Crunch after work. Although I can run, I can barely touch my knees let alone toes. When I got to the class, because it was a hot one, I asked the instructor if it was OK for pregnant women to take it. “Yes, just as long as you feel ok.” Good.

Throughout the class was a little embarrassing, though. Being 1-month pregnant I feel like I’m not really allowed to say “I’m pregnant” – I don’t look any different. The teacher was awesome, though, for poses that made me twist in odd angles or put too much compression on my stomach, she showed me new poses.

  • Instead of the twisted star, I did the regular star
  • Instead of the boat pose, I did boat on my side
  • Instead of holding crunch sit-ups with a block between my knees, I did cross legged bow

Loved it. Can’t wait until the next class.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Those are huge!

Today at work a co-worker pointed at my chest commenting, “your boobs look huge in that top!” I smiled, said “thanks … I think” and went about my business. “No, really, maybe you’re preggers.” Oofa! My chest is letting my secret out? “haha – no no, I just gained some weight at Thanksgiving. Not pregnant, trust me.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Research: FAS

Here's an excerpt from an article I found helpful. No, I don't binge drink (I don't drink at all anymore period) but I did enjoy wine and wine tasting before getting pregnant. So when "positive" came up on the stick I freaked.

What happens if I drink too much before I’m pregnant?

If you are planning a pregnancy, it is advisable to stay within a safe limit during this time.

Alcohol can affect a woman and a man’s ability to conceive.

Drinking heavily (over 6 units per day) before and during pregnancy can:

  • affect your ability to conceive
  • increase the risk of early miscarriage

Binge drinking can affect the way you think about yourself and the way you behave in social situations. Binge drinking can affect your relationships and your lifestyle. A baby, in turn, may be affected indirectly by these changes.
Many pregnancies are unplanned. You may have had a ‘one-off’ binge and then later discover that you conceived at or around this time. Many women in this situation want to know whether any harm was caused to the baby as a result of the ‘one-off’ binge. They want to know whether it is safe to continue with the pregnancy.

A single episode of binge drinking around the time of conception is less likely to be harmful to a woman or her baby.

Additional research:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running to be a mommy

So, it’s official. I’m pregnant. I found out on November 21st and was a bit shocked. Happy, shocked, and freaked.

When the test first showed two lines I didn’t believe it. So I did another. Still didn’t believe it so I bought a different type of test – the type that says “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” After the first one of these I thought maybe it forgot the word “not.” So I did yet another. Thoroughly dehydrated and convinced, I called Matt. The call was thrilling – we were both giddy and felt as if we were disconnected from the world – only to the two words “I’m pregnant.” Then fear snuck in.

I was initially freaked because, as most late 20-somethings in San Francisco do, I had gone out the night before for dinner and wine with co-workers. A lot of dinner and wine.

After reading studies from UK clinics and the Mayo Clinic and then seeing a Dr. I was convinced I hadn’t caused FAS in this early stage. Phew! One hurdle down. Now the rest of the fear.

Will it be healthy? What do I eat? Can I work out? OMG, I qualified for Boston and can’t run now – I’ll be 6months by then… Where do we live? How can we afford this? And about a million more.

All in all, I have to say I’m thrilled. I have had “hush little baby” stuck in my head the past week and every time I see parents pushing their stroller by I feel a pang of joy in my heart.

The next nine months will be … interesting. The rest of the years after that, fantastic.