Bumpdate Weeks 25-28

pregnancy updates

Another 4 weeks have passed,  I’m officially in the 3rd trimester and we’re in the home stretch! I’d easily say that the the last 4 weeks were some of the most enjoyable of my pregnancy – I’ve had a lot of energy for workouts, I’m still sleeping well, I’m actually starting to be noticeably pregnant (although people still don’t notice at first sometimes) and I’ve learned so much about childbirth via my Bradley Method classes that I’m feeling more and more comfortable with and dare I say, excited for, for birth. These are the good days folks. And I hope it continues!

As we moved into the third trimester, I noticed that Mike and I are finally letting it sink in that we will be parents in 12 (more or less) short weeks. The idea of having a third family member living in our house is becoming more real and we are starting to talk more and more about how Siena (we’ve named her!) will fit into our lives. We will often imagine her in our daily routine – sitting next to us in the high chair or in the swing while we drink our coffee, strapping her into the Ergo and taking her with us on our walks, bringing her with us in the car seat to our favorite lunch spots. We can’t wait to welcome her into our lives.

How Far Along: 28 weeks

Baby Size: An eggplant, about 2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds!

Name: Siena Jade. Mike and I went to Siena, Italy on our honeymoon. We stayed in a romantic bed and breakfast in a castle and somehow on the trip it came up that Siena would be a  wonderful name for a girl if we ever had one. Once I got pregnant we started talking about boy names but never really addressed the girl names, always knowing Siena would be a frontrunner. Once we found out she was a girl, we did spend some time researching other names but settled on Siena. Mike came up with the middle name Jade – it’s simple, unique and beautiful and goes well with our long last name.

pregnancy updates chalkboard

Movement: Lots and lots! Week 28 is actually he week my doctor told me I should be counting my kicks every night. I need to have at least 10 within 1 hour otherwise I’m supposed to call the doctor! Kind of scary but usually she kicks like clockwork at night.

Maternity Clothes: I think I’m officially done purchasing maternity clothes. This month my big purchase was a nice pair of workout/yoga pants (these) and 2 maternity specific workout tank tops. It has made such a big difference to have pants that fit right and also some flattering tops. I also went to Marshalls and bought 2 pairs of cheap workout pants which are 2 sizes larger than normal and sit low, and an XL sports bra for my now enormous boobs (low impact, so I won’t wear it running). Between this and my For Two Fitness tanks, the Oiselle Roga shorts in a larger size I purchased during a sale several months ago, and a few Oiselle tanks that are long and stretchy, I’m set for workouts! I also purchased a cute dress and three tops to wear to work this month. I’m calling it quits there!

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New pregnancy workout top, old Oiselle stretchy shorts!

Sleep: I’m still able to sleep soundly and comfortably without a pregnancy pillow. I bought the Snoogle pillow about 2 months ago but haven’t really needed it yet. I think that will change soon, but for now I’m going with it.

Cravings/Favorite Foods: Loooving peaches, grapes and strawberries. I eat about 3-4 servings of fruit a day most days. I’m also loving my Trader Joe’s peanut butter tracks ice cream most nights for my daily indulgence. I’ve been focusing on eating more protein and have been eating fish about 2x a week. After our Bradley Method classes on Sundays Mike and I have a standing date to head over to the Fish Shop in Encinitas for fish tacos!

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Food Aversions: Still can’t do artificially flavored jalapeno, almonds or any kind of processed bar.

Exercise: Spin, barre, yoga and lots of squats! Plus walks and the occasional run. It’s all about variety right now (read more on my June workout recap).

Mood: Mostly positive and excited. Occasionally I get a bit sad about missing out on certain things (I won’t be doing the annual triathlon or any of the training with my husbands company and I can’t drink at girls nights/weekends) but overall I’m happy.

Purchasing: I purchased a book case, lamp, and 2 pieces of art for the nursery. We didn’t purchase it ourselves, but we got our crib thanks to Mike’s parents, the mattress thanks to a friend and our changing table thanks to another friend. The nursery is underway! I also got my breast pump in the mail (courtesy of my insurance company).

pregnancy update with chalkboard

Reading: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, the Bradley Method workbook, and The Girl on the Train (for those times when I don’t feel like reading about pushing a baby out of my body).

Symptoms: Calf/foot cramps (usually in the night or during a workout), skin changes (red spots on my chest and more pronounced veins in my legs), change in walking gait (aka waddling), crazy vivid dreams, and sleepiness.

Missing: My flat stomach.

Best Moments: Hiking 10 miles in Catalina on our baby moon, the massage on our baby moon,  our weekly Sunday night fish taco dates, dreaming about life over morning coffee with Mike (this is most mornings!).

Catalina Hiking

Catalina Hiking

Looking Forward To: Baby showers! I have one on August 1st and a smaller one with my mom’s side of the family on August 8th. I’ll also have a shower at work but no date has been set. A few close friends who have moved away from San Diego are coming back in town just for the shower so I’m really excited to have (almost) all of my favorite people with me at once.

June Goal Recap, July Goal Planning and 2 Month Wildfire/Fitn GIVEAWAY!

June was probably one of the best months of my pregnancy for workouts. I’m not actually sure I did any more workouts than in the early months, but I felt great doing them which made a big difference. It wasn’t the best month for running, as that dramatically slowed, but I felt great the majority of the time and was able to get in a lot of quality workouts, mostly thanks to the wonderful Wildfire!

This month I discovered spin classes at Rhythm and Power which have been a great substitute for running and tried out two new yoga studios. I also did a couple of pre-natal yoga workouts using DoYogaWithMe.com and spent a lot of time walking and squatting! I am seeing some more muscle definition in my arms, legs and butt, which is always great to see. It’s safe to say that the combination of the extra fat thanks to pregnancy and all these squats, my flat runners butt is gone!

Let’s see how I did with June goals:

  1. Walk at Least 10,000 Steps a Day. My Pivotal Living band died on me within like 1 day of writing this goal so I stopped counting. But it’s safe to say I did get in 10,000 steps a day on average based on the fact that I spent 13 hours this month walking and I ran 18 miles (and that’s just the time I spent on a “walk” or run, not including time spent on my feet of course). Crazy to think I used to run 18 miles in one day….

    Hiking in Catalina

    Hiking in Catalina

  2. Do pelvic floor exercises 1x/week. I actually realized after writing this goal that the DVD I bought called “Hab It” is meant for postpartum, but they do offer online videos for pregnancy. I did the online video once and then we started our Bradley Method class which gave us other exercises to prepare for birth (more on that later) and I switched to doing those instead.
  3. Do Yoga 2x/week. I was so close to this goal, with 7 yoga sessions in the month, averaging almost 2 a week.

    First time at Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

    First time at Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

  4. Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge. CHECK! I squatted 3,295 times in June, which doesn’t include the squats I did in yoga (chair) and barre classes.

    SQUATS!

    SQUATS!

June Totals:

  • 7 Yoga Classes
  • 8 Xtend Barre Classes
  • 5 Spin Classes (Rhythm and Power)
  • 6 runs, totaling 18 miles
  • 12 walks/hikes, totaling 13 hours of walking
  • Squat Challenge – 3,295 squats!

Other Exercises: Pelvic Floor/Child Birth Exercises (more on this later)

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Overall I was really happy with how June played out. I’m going to continue with the birth and pregnancy focused workouts in July and then see what else I feel up for on top of that. I’m upping the anty in July and doing the squat challenge again but this time I’m adding 100 squats a day. I’ll start at 150 squats and work my way to 350!

July Goals:

  1. Yoga 2x/week
  2. Squat Challenge + 100/day (5,595 squats)
  3. Pevlic Floor/Birth Exercises (Including Relaxation) whenever possible

I plan to continue to take spin classes, go to barre and to run when it feels good. However, I don’t want to set any goals around those things because I have no idea how my body will feel day to day. By the end of July I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant!

Wildfire Life Giveaway!

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Wildfire Life (formerly known as Fitn) has offered to let me giveaway 5 FREE 2 month memberships! If you aren’t familiar with Wildfire, you can learn more about it via my previous blog posts (here and here) and their website (here). As a quick recap, Wildfire life is a platform that allows you to attend classes at a massive list of fitness studios in San Diego and Orange County (LA coming soon!) all under one membership. And if you win the giveaway, that membership is 100% free for two months! I can’t say enough great things about Wildfire – it has added so much flexibility and fun into my workout schedule. And one of the best parts of Wildfire is you can literally attend an unlimited number of classes – you aren’t limited to a certain number per month or even per day.

To enter, check out Wildfire’s website and comment on this blog post with which workout studio you’d try first (make sure you include your email address on the form). The giveaway is open to anyone, but for now Wildfire only services San Diego and OC counties. I’ll draw a winner next Wednesday, July 8th. 

Good luck!

Babymooning in Catalina

catalina island

The beautiful Avalon

A new phenomena has been invented which benefits expecting couples nationwide: The Babymoon. Essentially it is the last chance for soon-to-be parents to enjoy some relaxation and alone time before their world is turned upside down. I’m sure this type of final vacation has always existed but only recently has the name Babymoon been coined (and urban dictionary has some pretty hilarious definitions if you need a laugh).

As people who love to travel, we were all over it. Since we just took what we called our “last hurrah” vacation to New Zealand last December and depleted our PTO accounts at work and our vacation budget, we planned a short, but wonderful getaway to Catalina Island. Catalina Island is just a 90 minute ferry ride from Orange County, and Orange County is just a 40 minute drive away from our house in Encinitas. Despite the close proximity, we felt like we were in another country when we arrived in the tiny town of Avalon on the beautiful island of Catalina.

We took Friday off work and took the first ferry over, arriving just after 9 a.m.  We spent the morning exploring the town on foot until our 12 PM tour began. When researching what to do in Catalina, I came across what can only be the stereotypical pregnant woman’s fantasy – a 3 hour food tour! The tour promised that we’d get to sip, taste and savor our way through 6 different restaurants in town while also learning about the history of Catalina Island. The tour was just delicious and interesting as we imagined ( and randomly we even met another couple on the tour who shares our exact same wedding anniversary).

Mike about to dig into tasting #4 - clam chowder and a crab cake

Mike about to dig into tasting #4 – clam chowder and a crab cake

As soon as the tour was over we checked into our hotel (the Aurora Hotel & Spa – I highly recommend!) and did the thing that I wish I could do EVERY Friday afternoon – took a 3 hour nap (get your mind out of the gutter!). I’m sure come September such laziness will be completely unheard of. That evening we had a great dinner at a seafood restaurant on the water, took another walk around town, and shared an ice cream.

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Date night number 1

Date night number 1

Saturday morning we headed over the Catalina Conservancy Center to ask about hiking in the area. 88% of the island is protected by a land trust, which includes over 62 miles of unspoiled beaches (the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline in Southern California) and a massive circuit of biking and hiking trails (there is a 50 miler, 2 marathons/half marathons and triathlon on the island each year). I knew that a lot of the trails would require transport to access, so we asked the woman at the Conservancy Center which hikes were accessible from Avalon. She suggested either a 7 mile or 10 mile trail and we decided to go for the 7 miler, although originally we were thinking that we’d probably only hike for 1.5-2 hours max. We had water and food and the entire morning free, so we figured we’d go for the 7 mile hike to get a real taste of what Catalina trails have to offer.

The trailhead! Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.

The trailhead! Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.

It took about a mile of walking straight up hill on a paved road for us to reach the trailhead. Once we got on the trail, we literally hiked 5 miles straight up into the sky. We couldn’t really tell how tall the mountain we were climbing was because every time we’d come around a corner we’d be confident that the summit was just around the bend! Luckily I was feeling really good and was able to keep a good pace and didn’t even feel like I needed to take a lot of breaks. We only saw one other set of hikers, one set of mountain bikers and a off-road vehicle full of tourists during this entire section of the hike (which was 6 miles in total we later learned).I was thankful that the trail was desolate because I had to stop and pee twice and there were definitely no trees or large bushes to take cover behind! The trail was a wide, dirt road that was completely exposed so we were thankful that the clouds were hiding a lot of the sun and that we had remembered to put on sunscreen! I’m not sure what the woman at the conservancy office was thinking sending a 6 month pregnant woman off to do this incredibly tough hike but luckily I was up for the challenge!

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One thought kept crossing my mind while out on the hike – my massage! I had a 2 p.m. massage booked at our hotel spa and we made it back to the hotel just in time for a quick shower before  it ( we stopped along the way home for tacos). The massage was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable massages I’ve ever had. The masseuse was incredibly attentive and crafted the massage just to my needs (I lay on my back and both sides only and it was still great). I was so incredibly relaxed afterward!

That evening we got dressed up and headed into town for a romantic dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, took a short walk and then headed to the Casino building (which houses a gorgeous theater and a ballroom, but no gambling!) to catch the nightly screening of Jurassic World. We had heard that going to the movies is a luxury once kids are in the picture (we rarely see movies anyway), so this seemed like a good baby moon activity. Also, not being able to drink takes some of the nightlife activities out of the picture so a movie was a good alternative.

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On Sunday morning we drank our coffee on a public bench near the water, people watching as we chatted. We took a walk and then grabbed a yummy fish taco lunch at the seafood restaurant on the water. And of course, we couldn’t leave the island without stopping for gelato before catching our 2 p.m. ferry back to the mainland.

The weekend was really amazing. I keep saying that I felt the best I’ve felt during the entire pregnancy this weekend. We had such an incredible time and I was truly relaxed and happy.  I keep dreaming of going back!

Have you ever been to Catalina? What other activities would you recommend that we get in before the baby comes? 

Things I’m Loving Right Now

How do you decide what to buy, eat , watch or listen to? I’m big on word of mouth and so I find it fun to read posts about what people are digging at the moment and it’s also fun to write them! Here’s the top things I’m loving right now:

  1. Game of Thrones. Every time I get super into a show (past favorites include the Walking Dead and Breaking Bad), I claim its the best show ever. This time I seriously think I found the best.show.ever. We’re just about to start Season 5 and I’m sad that we’ll finally be caught up and have to wait all summer for another season to come out!

    Don't ever get attached to a character.

    Don’t ever get attached to a character.

  2. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Tracks Ice Cream. This is totally a pregnancy indulgence and I almost wish I had never discovered it, but it’s delicious! I definitely eat this several nights  week and totally am ok with it!
  3. Pregnant Chicken. Every week I get two emails with updates on how my baby is progressing. One is from BabyCenter and is informative and frankly, a bit dry (I’m also always baffled by the fruit comparisons which seem totally random). The other is from Pregnant Chicken and is always straight to the point and hilarious. I read them out loud to Mike every Friday and we always have a good laugh. This is why you may sometimes see some unconventional comparisons on my weekly chalk board bump dates such as our baby is as big as a barbie doll or our baby is as big as an iPhone.

    Week 21 - Our baby was as big as the world's largest gummy bear

    Week 21 – Our baby was as big as the world’s largest gummy bear

  4. Beautycounter . I think a lot about what I put in my body via food and how I treat my body via exercise, but I sometimes forget that I also put a lot of things ON my body. My friend Ashley introduced me to Beautycounter . The average woman puts 12-20 chemicals on her skin every SINGLE day via cosmetics, lotion, soaps and more and sadly a lot of those chemicals are toxic (check out ewg.org to find out how toxic each of your most commonly used products are). Beautycounter is a company that produces natural beauty products that won’t harm you or the environment. Although I did switch to a natural deodorant and sunscreen within the last few years and I made sure to purchase an organic, non-toxic belly butter for my growing belly, I haven’t thought twice about the majority of the products I put on my skin. Late is better than never!
  5. For Two Fitness. My “Running for Two” and “Sweating for Two” tanks not only illicit a lot of compliments when I wear them, but they are so comfortable! They are by far my most flattering and comfy pregnancy workout tanks (or of any kind of tank for that matter). I bought both of mine during various sales which helped with the hefty price tag (but either way, totally worth it!).

    Sweating for Two!

    Sweating for Two!

What are you loving right now?! 

Things I Learned About Pregnancy and Childbirth From TV That Are Totally NOT True

Somehow these people helped shape my vision of birth

Somehow these people helped shape my vision of birth

We learn a lot from the media. Some of that is a true reflection of reality, and a lot of it isn’t. Before several close friends got pregnant in the last couple of years, I (sadly) got the majority of my information about pregnancy from watching TV and movies. Here are the top 5 things I honestly thought were true about pregnancy at some point due to the media’s influence!

  1. You’re bumpin’ for 9 months (related: the only part of your body that will grow larger in 9 months is your belly. HAH!).  For some reason women are already showing when they announce their pregnancies on TV and then have a massive bump within a couple episodes. I didn’t really start showing til nearly 20 weeks and even now at 26 weeks I can kind of hide the bump using strategic clothing choices. You actually spend a very small portion of your pregnancy looking the way that pregnant women look on TV and in advertisements (and it’s not even often you actually look like these thin women with their fake bumps!).

    Yes, you too can look this good while pregnant.

    Yes, you too can look this good while pregnant.

  2. Morning sickness is inevitable and all about barfing in the morning. I had morning sickness for 8 weeks or my pregnancy and I only threw up once. However, I felt like I had the hangover from hell for 8 weeks straight. I even woke up in the middle of the night nauseous. So no, it’s not just about barfing and it’s not just in the morning! Along with that, several women I know didn’t experience any morning sickness or if they did, it was minimal, yet every single pregnant woman on TV is hanging over the toilet at 7 a.m.

    Holding back the puke on Knocked Up

    Holding back the puke on Knocked Up

  3. Pregnant women have crazy cravings that send father’s to the store at 2 a.m.  While I’m sure some women DO in fact crave fried pickles on top of ice cream with Tabasco sauce and chocolate chips, the majority of women I know who have been pregnant, including myself, don’t really have strong cravings for any foods and if they do crave something, it’s pretty normal.  While we may certainly prefer/enjoy cold juicy fruit or ice cream more than we did before pregnancy, I have yet to have a craving so intense that I had to send Mike out at all, let alone in the middle of the night, to get it for me. Not to mention, I’m perfectly capable of driving myself to the store to get the food.

    This is definitely a normal lunch.

    This is definitely a normal lunch portion

  4. Your water will probably break in public and make a massive splash. Too many times this has been the case. It is very rare for a woman’s water to break without warning (typically, contractions have already begun before the water breaks) and often the water comes out slowly rather than in a rush. While it definitely is possible for you to be in Target when a gush of water floods the aisle, it’s pretty uncommon (a BabyCenter poll estimates about 14% of women have experienced a pre-labor gush of water).

    RIGHT on Carrie's shoes!

    RIGHT on Carrie’s shoes!

  5. Once you begin labor, you better get to the hospital IMMEDIATELY because that baby is coming now (related: you have a high chance of giving birth in an elevator or the side of the freeway)! Labor takes a long time and the pushing phase doesn’t even start until you’re 10 cm dilated, which can take hours and hours from the first contraction (or epic water breaking incident). Hospitals don’t really want you sitting around forever as you become dilated and therefore your doctor will give you a recommendation for when it’s a good time to start heading to the hospital. Most women spend several hours laboring at home before there is any need for a hospital gown (also related: I have a friend who gave birth on her living room floor because her contractions accelerated a bit faster than anticipated so it actually CAN happen).
Remember this episode of Saved by the Bell?!  Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0695191/plotsummary

Remember this episode of Saved by the Bell?!
Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0695191/plotsummary

On the list of fun real things about pregnancy that I learned on my own: you may leave your keys in your front door overnight and spend 15 minutes before work nearly in tears frantically looking for them, you may try to wash your face with toothpaste, and you may cry in the car driving home from work when a sappy country song comes on the radio. Enjoy!

What misconceptions about pregnancy and labor did you have prior to becoming pregnant yourself? If you’ve never been pregnant, what do you think is the scariest thing you’ve learned about pregnancy from the media?

Exploring New Fitness Territory

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Back in February I was approached by a local fitness company, then called Fitn, to help spread the word about their fitness platform in exchange for membership. I was beyond thrilled and now that Fitn has had a facelift and is now called Wildfire, nothing has changed in terms of my satisfaction. Wildfire has made working out during my pregnancy fulfilling, diverse, motivating and FUN!

I’ve always loved group fitness classes but because endurance racing is my main focus, running (and in years past biking and swimming) took center stage. I’d occasionally drop in a yoga class but never actually signed up for a membership because I didn’t think that it would be worth the money for me given the time I had available to devote to it. I did become a member at Club Pilates, but even then I was only really able to dedicate 2 classes per week to it. I’ve dabbled, but never really stuck with one thing. Wildfire not only supports dabbling, it promotes it  – for one membership price, you are given access to literally over a hundred local fitness studios and are encouraged to visit as many of them as often as you’d like!

When first joining Wildfire, I quickly became obsessed with Xtend Barre, a ballet inspired strength training class, and started doing warm-heat yoga classes at Yoga6. I even tried a ballet-style yoga class (yes somehow this exists) with Asia at a studio called Movement Lab. After a while, I got into a routine with running and barre and wasn’t branching out, but once the RnR half marathon passed and running was starting to become a bit more uncomfortable, I looked to new ways to get my workouts in.  I looked to Wildfire and was not disappointed.

In the last few weeks I’ve visited some new fitness studios with Wildfire (see here for a list of all studios in your area).  My two new favorites are:

Rhythm and Power

Selfie before class

Selfie before class

Rhythm and Power is a luxury spinning studio in Solana Beach. It recently opened its doors for the first time but is doing an absolutely fantastic job of creating a welcoming environment for new patrons. Although the classes are just 45 minutes in length, you will get a great workout in. The instructors are VERY high energy and the class is full-throttle from the beginning. The room has no windows and is kept very dark during class and the music is blasted. Each bike is set up with a screen that shows cadence, power and resistance and the instructors will direct you to aim for a certain cadence and give you a range of resistance to set.

rhythm and power solana beach

If you’re competitive, Rhythm and Power will be right up your alley – every once in a while the instructor will flash the rankings for the class on the flat screen tvs overhead – basically you’re competing with your fellow spinners! Of course, given that I’m nearly 6 months pregnant and I intentionally do NOT exercise at the intensity that is directed by the instructor, I’m always last or near the end of the rankings but I still have a great time. As someone who is super competitive, I can’t wait to get back into class after pregnancy and push it to the extreme! My favorite part of Rhythm and Power? The cold eucalyptus cloths that are given to you to cool off as you leave the studio (other perks: showers, free cycling shoe and towel rental, and complimentary fresh fruit!).

Mantra Yoga and Juice Bar

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A couple of weeks ago Asia and I ventured up to Carlsbad on a Saturday morning to try out Mantra Yoga. Mantra has two studios, a full juice bar and has heated and non-heated classes for all levels. These are all things a pregnant woman appreciates! So many yoga studios are all about hot yoga these days so it’s nice to have a class that I can attend. The class was literally called “Mantra Yoga 1 – Beginning Flow Yoga.” The temperature was promised to be 80 degrees and I think it may have been a bit cooler, which is totally fine with me. I really like the class – it was vinyasa and got me working but it wasn’t too hard. Often I’ve found that the only warm classes available are actually just stretching classes which means it’s not necessarily a workout, just a stretch. However, I’d consider this beginning flow class a workout! Even better, during savasana, the teacher came around and put cold scented towels on our faces. It was like heaven!

yoga carlsbad mantra yoga and juice bar

yoga carlsbad mantra yoga

 

Afterward we enjoyed a smoothie (Asia) and a acai bowl (me) on the sunny patio outside of the studio (there’s also plenty of seating inside in the off chance that it’s not sunny and beautiful in San Diego). It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning! If this wasn’t in the opposite direction of my work, I’d definitely be taking more classes there. For now, it’s a weekend only place for me.

Join Me! 

As you can tell, I’m a big fan of WildFire. For now, it’s only available in San Diego and Orange County, but if you’d like to join me, use code yw3xrv to receive $50 off (your first 14 days are only $1 and then it is $149/month).

What is your favorite fitness studio perk? Do you like to hop around to different studios or do the same thing over and over? 

Birthing the Bradley Way

It’s no secret that I’m a planner. I find a lot of joy in mapping out a plan for myself when it comes to everything in my life – marathon training, vacation planning, social activities. I even plan for a living as a financial analyst. When I started thinking about how I envisioned the birth of our child, I knew I’d need a plan to help me. Funnily enough, everything about labor and delivery is unpredictable and impossible to actually plan. No one can tell me when the baby will arrive and how she will arrive, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be prepared.

I’ve had quite a few friends have children over the course of the last two or three years, so I’ve been able to get some insight into the birthing process but I never seriously considered how I would want my labor and delivery to go until I got pregnant myself. Right when I started trying my sister in law gave me a book to borrow called “Expecting Better” which digs into pregnancy “dos and don’ts” based on the hard research, not just general guidelines (for example, she found that there is no reason why you can’t drink coffee while pregnant and even have a glass of wine but you definitely should not be gardening). Of course there was a section on birth in the book and after reading it and doing my own research online and speaking with friends, I decided that I would try for a natural birth.

At first, I was in the camp of “I’ll try for the natural birth but if I cave and get the epidural I won’t beat myself up.” However, the more I have learned, the more confident that I have become that I have the tools and willpower to avoid an epidural. Obviously I can’t control if I need a c-section, but the epidural is something that I definitely can say no to. Women have been birthing babies without drugs since the beginning of time, and if they can do it, I can do it.

To be clear, I have no judgments about anyone who decides to have an epidural. I certainly see the advantages and there is no solid proof that an epidural harms the baby in any way. If you chose pain management, that is your choice!

Once I decided that natural birth was the route for me, I knew I wanted to take a live birthing course to learn as much as possible about the process. There were a few reasons why a live course was what I wanted:

  1. I want Mike and I to learn about birth together. Birth classes are a great way for a couple to learn and grow together even more as a couple before becoming parents. Mike is very open minded and I knew that despite some initial discomfort he would enjoy the process of learning about what we are getting ourselves into!
  2. I knew that a birth class would help ease Mike’s fears of the birthing process (he doesn’t like to see me in pain!) by not only providing him with knowledge about what is to come but also tools for helping make my experience more comfortable so that he feels less helpless on the big day.
  3. I wanted to meet other couples who are at the same point in pregnancy as us to share tips and experiences with before and after the birth of our babies.
  4. I wanted a class that emphasizes the husband or partner as coach. We aren’t hiring a doula and I want Mike to be my birth coach. There is no one in the world I feel more comfortable and at ease with than Mike and he always knows how to motivate me and calm me down.

Of course, not all birth classes a natural. Once I narrowed it down to only natural birthing classes, I have 3 choices: Lamaze (which is not as popular anymore), Hynobirthing and Bradley Method. To summarize the other two methods quickly,  Lamaze focuses on pain management breathing techniques but the main principles aren’t focused on an intervention-free birth (this is what you tend to see in the movies) and Hypnobirthing focuses on eliminating fear and pain in the birthing process through hypnotic techniques.

What drew me to the Bradley Method (read more about it here) was that it is a very holistic approach which includes nutrition advice, pre-natal exercises, and breathing and relaxation techniques to prepare the mother for a natural birth. It also greatly emphasizes the coach-mother partnership. The philosophy isn’t so much that we should fear pain in childbirth, but rather embrace it as part of the process. This resonated with me as a runner – during a marathon, there is a lot of pain, but the pain is harmless and meaningful. It gets you to the finish line and is not to be feared but rather conquered. I also appreciate the fact that my Bradley Method classes give me a guide for prepare for birth – as a planner, I love to have a list of things to check off. I know that I will be a lot more calm on the big day knowing that I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself. Just like a big race, the day won’t go exactly as I’ve planned and all I can do is make sure that I keep my mental state as focused and positive as possible and take each minute as it comes.

We’ve attended two (3 hour long) classes and I’m very happy with the teacher and course content so far. We have 6 left to go (the class is often 12 classes but ours is broken into 8 classes at 3 hours each) but I’ve learned a lot already and feel like if I were to go into labor tomorrow (let’s really hope that doesn’t actually happen) I’d be more prepared than I was two weeks ago. I’ll write another post listing the reasons why I’ve chosen a natural birth – it’s definitely a post in itself. I’d also like to share the exercises that we have learned and are supposed to be incorporating into our routine daily ( I say supposed because it’s a bit easier said than done!). It’s also been nice to meet other couples in the same boat as us – oddly enough there are 7 couples in the class and we are all first time parents having GIRLS! Our teacher is also pregnant with a girl. It’s the year of the girl!

 

Satisfying Pregnancy Protein Requirements on a Vegetarian Diet

http://goveg360.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/bizarro-vegan-gorilla-comics1.gif

http://goveg360.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/bizarro-vegan-gorilla-comics1.gif

Once the nausea of the first trimester was over, I took a hard look at my diet and have been more conscientious about getting in enough protein. I was very diligent at first and fell off a bit until last Sunday when we attend our first Bradley Method birthing class. The topics for the first class were pre-natal exercises to prepare for birth (more on that later!) and nutrition for baby. My key take-away nutrition wise that it’s very important to get at least 80 g of protein a day in the 2nd trimester and over 100g per day in the 3rd trimester. Since I’m very active and also tall, I’d guess I probably need a bit more than these recommended amounts.

It’s been almost 3 years now since I switched to a “flexitarian diet” which started as more vegan and has morphed into a “mostly vegetarian” diet. What that means is I cook vegan and vegetarian meals and on occasion I eat meat, usually while out or at an event/party.On occasion used to mean about 1-2x/month but since pregnancy I have been eating meat/fish about 1-2x/week, depending on the week. I tend to choose beef and fish when eating animal products, and try to get the highest quality I can find, when possible.

However, most my days as a pregnant woman are on a vegetarian diet with little dairy and obviously it’s a little harder for me to get my daily protein requirement fulfilled than someone who eats meat at lunch and dinner. I started to use MyFitnessPal some days to track my protein intake to make sure I’m getting enough (because I don’t eat a lot of dairy, I also use it to track calcium and take a calcium supplement on days when I don’t think I got enough. I also track Iron here but found that I’m usually getting plenty especially paired with my pre-natal). I realized quickly that there were some days when I was WAY under this requirement, especially in the first trimester when a lot of my favorite vegetarian protein sources made me want to vomit and I was sticking to easy to digest white carbs, fruit and smoothies (luckily the protein intake is most important in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters).

Here are two examples of days where I was able to get in the required 80-100 grams of protein with a vegetarian diet:

Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet Day 1: 

Breakfast: 

  • 3 scrambled medium organic eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 1/4 of an avocado smashed on top
  • 24g protein

Morning Snack:

  • 1 cup organic grapes
  • 0g  protein

Lunch: 

  • 2 cups Black Bean Yam Chili (Tony Horton’s recipe, get it here)
  • Spinach arugula salad with 1/4 avocado, veggies, hummus and sprinkling of pumpkin seeds with olive oil based vinaigrette dressing
  • 22 g protein

Afternoon Snacks: 

  • 1/4 cup salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries and a kiwi
  • 1 banana
  • 1 slice colby jack cheese (grabbed this randomly after my workout as I made dinner)
  • 16g protein

Dinner: 

Tempeh veggie burrito fillings. Mix your favorite veggies with tempeh and mexican seasonings of choice

Tempeh veggie burrito fillings. Mix your favorite veggies with tempeh and mexican seasonings of choice

  • Tempeh & Veggie burrito: 1 organic whole wheat wrap (from Trader Joe’s), 1/3 package organic 3 grain tempeh, kale, organic corn, diced onion and red bell pepper (made with olive oli), 1/3 avocado (made into guacamole), salsa
  • Green beans sauteed in olive oil
  • 24 g protein 
The Complete Meal

The Complete Meal – Excuse the crappy photo

Dessert:

  • 5 Hersey kisses
  •  0 g protein

Total Protein: 87 grams

Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet Day 2: 

Breakfast:

vegetarian pregnancy meal ideas

 

  • Good portion Quaker oatmeal (whole oats, cooked on the stove, not the packets) with almond milk, cinnamon, a little brown sugar, 1/2 a banana and a few sliced strawberries.
  • 8 g protein (add nuts, chia seeds, or vegan protein powder to oatmeal to give it more protein)

Morning Snacks: 

  • Vanilla Protein Shake with almond milk and mango
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 26 g protein 

Lunch: 

  • Cold lentil and falafel  (2 frozen Trader Joes Falafels heated up and put on top) salad made with spinach, arugula, hummus, cucumber, tomato, onion, red bell peppers and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • 1 Orange
  • Russel Stover Marshmallow Rabbit (I’ve got a sweet tooth! This was from around Easter time)
  • 19 g protein

Snacks:

  • Carrots and sliced red bell pepper w/ hummus
  • Banana
  • 2 scrambled eggs (I ate the eggs after getting home from a 50 minute run and wanted something to eat before I made dinner)
  • 17 g protein

Dinner:

Vegan Lentil Curry

Vegan Lentil Curry

 

  • Homemade lentil spinach cashew curry served over brown rice with broccoli (recipe here)
  • 25 g protein  

Total protein: 95 grams

Hopefully this will help any other  pregnant vegetarian women realize that they can get all their needs without resorting to lots of meat and dairy! And maybe I gave you some fun meal ideas, even if you’re not vegetarian!

What is your favorite high protein vegetarian meal or snack? 

Bumpdate Weeks 21-24

24 weeks pregnant photo

I don’t know how 4 weeks got away from me before I wrote another pregnancy update but that’s kind of the way things have been lately! Time is just ticking by and I really feel like this baby girl is going to be here before we know it. I feel like Mike and I have both bonded so much more with our baby over the last 4 weeks which is probably strongly related to the fact that we now know she’s a girl, we’ve picked a name, and I can feel her move (and so can Mike) every day! I’ve started to dream about her as well. I just can’t wait to meet her!!!

How Far Along: 24 weeks (and 21, 22 and 23 weeks)

Baby Size:  As long as an ear of corn and  somewhere between 1-1.5 lbs.

23 weeks pregnant photo

Weight Gain: I’m up about 21 lbs. It’s a bit more than the pregnancy weight gain charts recommend but my doctor isn’t concerned and I feel great so I’m not worried. I trust that my body knows what it’s doing. At this point I’m right on track to gain the top end of the recommended scale, right around 35 lbs.

Movement: Yes yes yes! Now Mike can feel her and see her from the outside! I feel her multiple times a day, usually while I’m sitting still at my desk, watching TV, driving, and lying in bed. Apparently she can now feel my movements and is lulled to sleep when I move around a lot which is another reason I don’t feel her while being active.

22 weeks pregnant photo

Maternity Clothes/Preferred Attire: I’m starting to actually look pregnant now (I even had 1 stranger and 2 coworkers ask!) but my belly still isn’t quite ready for super tight tops, outside of when I work out. I think at this point I’m rotating about 8 tops for work which means I feel like I wear the same thing ALL THE TIME. I have about 3 tops that I borrowed that will be cute for the later months but even then, that’s still not a lot of variety. However, I’m totally sick of spending money on maternity clothes so I’m pretty much sticking to what I have for now.  Allison’s friend gave away several maternity items and I took them, one of which was a dress that I wore to the wedding we attended last weekend. This was a God send because I had purchased a potential dress online the week before and it was absolutely hideous on me (not surprising considering the model was a size 0 with a fake bump). I looked like a giant gumball in it (clearly I returned it).

Sleep: Sleep has been one of my favorite things lately but sadly I can’t seem to get enough. I still only wake up about 1x/night to pee which is normal for me but I am almost always tired when I wake up and during the day. One day this week I got 10 hours of sleep and I felt pretty amazing so maybe that’s the magic number but it’s clearly not realistic!

21 weeks pregnant photo

Cravings and Favorite Foods: The soda craving is definitely waning and the ice cream craving is accelerating. I also just randomly think of foods and think they sound really good, but I don’t actually go get them (ie a tuna melt this week- I haven’t had tuna in 3 years and for some reason it sounded soooo good).. Nutrition wise I’ve been doing great – outside of my evening ice cream (which is probably a 4-5 day a week thing right now) I don’t eat any sweets during the day. That’s a big improvement from daily dips into the candy jar which became routine earlier in my pregnancy. During the day I snack on fruit, fresh veggies with hummus and nuts only and usually have a big salad or veggie sandwich (or leftovers) for weekday lunch, so the ice cream is my daily treat! Weekends are a different story all together.

Food Aversions: Still don’t touch almonds or any kind of nutrition bar.

Exercise: After taking a few days to recover from the stomach bug I suffered over last weekend, I felt really good this week, getting in 2 barre classes, 2 yoga workouts, a spin class, a run, all of my 30 day squat challenge workouts, my pelvic floor workouts (which apparently I should be doing daily, not weekly – more on that later) and several walks! I’m going to take it as it goes but for now I’m feeling great and going with that. It helps that Mike start a new workout routine on Monday so he has been waking up early so I’m more motivated to also get up.

A busy Fitn schedule this week!

A busy Fitn schedule this week!

Mood: Excited, sometimes irritable. I definitely feel like I have more road rage than I used to! I also cry really easily, which has been an occurrence since the beginning of pregnancy.

Purchasing: The big purchase of this month was our glider chair!!! Wet got a beautiful, and comfortable glider from West Elm (they had a sale over Memorial Day for 20% off and my Dad helped us purchase it) and I couldn’t be more excited about it. My friend Allison has the chair and as soon as I sat in it I knew it was the one. I’ve had a hard time finding a chair that is tall enough for Mike and I both to rest our heads on the back (I’m 5’9″, he’s 6’3″) and this one fits that criteria. Plus it’s adorable and totally comfortable in all ways. I had multiple people tell me how important a comfortable rocking/glider chair is due to the fact that I’ll be spending hours and hours nursing in it. This will hands down be the most expensive item in the nursery so it feels good to have it purchased and on its way.

West Elm Graham Glider http://www.westelm.com/products/graham-glider-g667/

West Elm Graham Glider http://www.westelm.com/products/graham-glider-g667/

Reading: Mike and I listened to the first 5 chapters of Baby Wise in the car on the ride to/from Yosemite. We are hopeful that the principles in the book will help us get our baby on a good routine and help us all get some sleep! Now we need to finish the book before we get into the Bradley Method ones (we had our first class yesterday – more on that later!).

Symptoms: Sleepiness, occasional moodiness, hunger and a growing, itchy belly! I feel lucky that my symptoms are so mild right now.

Missing: Running feeling easy.

Best Moments of the Last Few Weeks: Telling our family the name we chose (I’ll tell eventually), feeling lots of baby kicks and watching Mike’s reaction when he feels them, and finally having people recognize that I’m actually pregnant! Yay for a real bump!

Bumpin' during a walk on the beach

Bumpin’ during a walk on the beach

Dreaming About: Our babymoon! We’re heading to Catalina for a long weekend at the end of the month (early Friday to Sunday afternoon) and I am so excited for some relaxation, good food and pampering (I hope to get a pre-natal massage).

Three weeks til I start the 3rd trimester!

May Goal Recap and June Goal Setting

In May the focus was on running and walking as I prepared for the Rock n’ Roll San Diego half marathon and also participated in three 5k events – the FCA 5k, Wanderlust and the Girls on the Run 5k. I was on track to have my highest monthly mileage of my pregnancy (still a measly 86, but due to missing the race, I only ended up with 73.1 miles of running. However, walking was a big part of my routine this month and I got in an additional 10 hours on my feet with walking (this is time spent on a walk, not based on an activity tracker). I walked 15 days out of 31 in May, for a minimum of 20 minutes each time. I have been enjoying getting out of the office at lunchtime for a walk – although I eat my homemade lunch in the cafeteria with coworkers rather than my desk, I rarely went outside on these days. Now I step outside during the work day every day in some capacity, whether it’s for my walk or to meet a friend for lunch. It makes the days much better!

Me & Allison!

At the FCA 5k

My other workouts took the backseat this month and I was sadly only able to get in a few strength training and yoga sessions. As I wrote about in a recent post, I’m definitely slowing down and valuing my sleep more lately so when my schedule gets packed with other activities, I tend to chose sleep over an early wake-up call. I also value walking and hiking as it gives me time to be outside and also catch up with friends and family while exercising. These days if I come home and was planning a workout and Mike suggests a walk, I will always say yes to the walk.

Hiking with my favorite person in Yosemite

Hiking with my favorite person in Yosemite

May Monthly Totals:

  • 73.1 Miles Run (14 Total Runs)
  • 6 Strength Classes (5 Xtend Barre Classes, 1 functional training session)
  • 1 Hike
  • 2 Yoga Sessions (both outdoors – Wanderlust and the Movin Shoes group run/yoga session)
  • 15 Walks (10 Hours total)

June Goals

The last few months have been similar in terms of goals – running, strength, yoga, repeat. This month I’m switching things up a bit! The focus is more on preparing for labor, and way less on running!

  1. Walk at least 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been using the Pivotal Living fitness band but it already broke (no, I don’t recommend it!) so I’m going to start using Mike’s FitBit instead. I’ve been loving tracking my daily steps – as someone who used to enjoy mapping out training plans and tracking my progress throughout training cycles, it’s the perfect way for me to satisfy that craving without actually training for a race! This goal is easily achieved on days that I take even my 20 minute walk at lunch since I tend to be on my feet a lot in the morning getting ready and also walking around the office (I take breaks throughout the day to refill my water bottle and I take the long way to the bathroom. I also have to get up to go tot he printer and to co-workers desks quite often).
  2. Do my pelvic floor exercise video 1x/week. Thanks to Sarah from Run Far Girl who has had three children and highly recommend the Hab It: Pelvic Floor workout video for  pregnant and post-partum moms. Although I believe the video is more specifically sought out by women who already have issues, getting ahead of the game is definitely helpful. Not to mention, the exercises will help me push out a baby!
  3. Do yoga 2x/week. I’m thinking this will be a mix between yoga videos at home (P90X, P90X2 or P90X3 or Do Yoga With Me) and studio classes that I attend using Fitn. I have yet to find another studio that is as convenient for me as Yoga6 was, but I am signed up to try a new studio this Saturday with Asia. It’s not close enough to my house to go to on weekdays but on a weekend it may be worth a drive.
  4. Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge. My friend Allison and I have both pledged to do the 30 Day Squat Challenge. The challenge starts with 50 squats and ends with 250. You can use weights or not – I probably won’t since I’m already carrying around some extra weight! Squats are a great exercise to prepare for labor so this is definitely a good challenge for me.
Source: http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/30-day-squat-challenge/

Source: http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/30-day-squat-challenge/

While I still plan to run and to do Xtend Barre, those aren’t the focus this month. Particularly, I have no goals when it comes to running. If I’m honest, running is becoming less and less fun and I’m more likely to want to walk with Mike or a friend than run. I will likely only run on days when I can run with a friend or when I’m particularly motivated or missing it. I have a feeling my run days are winding down and I’m at peace with that.

I’ve even actually considered SWIMMING (I normally run from the pool) for cardio lately – sometimes when I’m lumbering along during a run I’ll imagine being in cold water and weightless and it sounds amazing. Swimming would require a maternity bathing suit which I don’t have, so we’ll see how that goes. The good news is, my Fitn membership includes a pass to the Boys and Girls Club of Solana Beach which has open swimming! So I definitely have a pool to swim in if the desire actually turns into more than a thought. More to come on that!

I’m looking forward to a fun June filled with some new goals! And don’t think I forgot about a BumpDate….hopefully that’ll be my next post. I’ll be 24 weeks along on Friday if you can believe it!

What are you looking forward to in June?