Friday, January 27, 2012

Super Fast


Wednesday - nothing.

Why? Had a breakfast meeting with my boss, came home to a breast-feeding frenzied baby, followed immediately up with a visit from my mom. By the time it was all said and done, it was late, my husband wasn't feeling well, and I was pretty much on baby patrol. It was one of those days that I know I will have a lot of in the future (the ones where the baby takes over and it's easy to make excuses), and I just need to plan better (like staying awake after the 5am feeding and going to the gym, instead of getting another hour of sleep. This continues to be my daily goal, but I have yet to acheive it).

Total cardio - 55 minutes
44:45 min run for 4 miles (not sure why this one was a touch slower than previously).
10 min WU/CD

Today (Friday)
Nothing - had an early work meeting on the far south side of Chicago, a sick husband and a child that only slept 2 hours. ALL NIGHT. And because of sick husband and the need to get out of our germ infested house, I spent the rest of the day at my mom's house. Got home around 530pm, but (not surprisingly) with a creeping illness that I suspect has something to do with my husband's. And because of said sick husband, there was no one to take care of the wee one so that I could squeeze in a morning workout - even if I had the energy.

I am planning a 5 miler. Since I am going to be on my own for the next week (possibly four) and getting in my runs will require extreme strategizing, I am taking FULL advantage of some free time to get it done tomorrow.

Despite the two off days, I still feel okay about the fact that at least I didn't juts lay around the house on the couch - I managed to get out and do stuff. Moreover, my eating has been very much under control (slips are minor and infrequent). So not all was lost...

I know this post sucks - reflects my current energy level. Perhaps I'll have some more wit tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And For Today's Update...

This seriously must be some sort of blogging record for me.

Today's Workout:
Total cardio: 62:30
Run: 44:30 for 4 miles, 3 min WU, 5 min CD
Elliptical: 10 min

Today I decided that my new goal is to run off my inner thighs. I HATE the way they rub together now, not to mention the lunch buffet they make out of my running shorts. It's like my shorts are on the losing end of a Hunger Hungry Hippo game. Nom, nom, nom.

At some point, likely Thursday, I am going to start doing more strength training in addition to the cardio. But after trying to integrate into those intial workouts with dreadfully painful results, I decided to lay off until my legs were a little most acclimated - and now I think it's time.

I still had a mindful of madness today, but it was a bit better. And wonders of wonders - so was the run. It definately makes me hopeful, as each run seems to be bring me back to normal. In addition, starting next week, I would like to reintroduce my legs to speedwork, and start working off some of those mile times.

And fitness aside, I have a totally random thought I want to share:

You know the downside of having an "easy" baby? I was SOOOOOOO looking forward to using a screaming inconsolable baby as payback for the regular raging LOUD 2AM parties my downstairs college student neighbors like to throw (they were EPIC during my pregnancy). Alas, it was not meant to be, as my child is far too sweet to use for such glorious revenge. Perhaps I will have to "accidently" drop a doody diaper on their back steps when I take out the garbage next time.

Oh, and speaking of the little porkchop:

Handsome little man:

Guess who got a swing (read: Baby Ambian)?

Why hello there...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Moving Right Along....

No post yesterday - I was too exhausted to even look at the computer, much less make it to the gym (and weigh myself). I guess when you have a nursing newborn, you're just going to have those days when you can barely lift your head off the pillow. Yesterday was one of them. Eh, maybe it's an excuse, but I pretty much knew from the moment I woke up that it wasn't going to happen. That's how tired I was.

But today - still tired - I pulled it together and hit the gym.

Total Cardio: 65 minutes
30 min-elliptical
32 min - run 3 miles (1 minute faster than yesterday! It's a slow climb but a climb nonetheless!)
3 min - warm-up/cool down

Every day, including today, it's getting better. Both sets felt good, and I actually felt like I could keep running. But since I promised everyone (read: husband and doctor) that I would take it easy, I stopped once I hit my planned 3, and then planned to try 4 tomorrow. And wonders never cease - I am actually looking foward to it!

Perhaps today's workout was good because there was a lot on my mind. Changes are afoot here at the Project - in a major life-as-we-know-it kind of way. As a result, I had to break some bad news to someone right before I went into the gym, and it was hard to take my mind off of the whole situation. Can't say much more about it all just yet, but once the pieces are in place, I'll put it out there for consumption.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping My Word

Today's Workout:

Total Cardio - 73 minutes
30 min - Bike (on trainer - first since March!)
43 min - Treadmill (Run 33 minutes for 3 miles, walk 10 min warm-up/cool down)

TBD tomorrow

Finally, a workout that I didn't want to cry about.

Granted, the trainer ride was primarily an easy spin (yeah, not hitting the speed and hill intervals just yet - but I still worked up a decent sweat), and the run is still minutes/mile off my pre-pregnancy time, but I don't care. I got 3 in, and I know I won't be as sore tomorrow as I was after last week's 3. So, all-in-all, progress.

But dang, this is a far longer road that I was anticipating. But I'm not getting down on that because I know my body is being used for so many things right now (like keeping my kid alive) that it's going to take a while for it get used to giving even more. It's just a huge wake-up call.

So on that short note, I'm out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Plugging Away


I can’t escape it.

It’s on blogs. It’s on status updates. It’s all around.

Mostly, I’ve seen it in regards to people’s New Year’s resolutions or the start of many a-training season and race goals. People coming clean about weight/eating issues, people calling themselves out when they half-ass workouts.

So as I embark on my own personal goals post-pregnancy, I have decided to hold my own self accountable - come clean about my own shortcomings or shame-based behaviors.

First, in regards to my fitness. I mentioned that I signed up for a half-marathon in May. Early May. So that means I need to be flushing all my excuses down the shame-toilet and hitting the gym daily. Right now, this does not happen. Why? Because after multiple all-night feedings, my mornings usually consist of handing the offspring to my husband, and either:

A) Going back to bed for a few extra hours or
B) Sitting on the couch, inhaling hot coffee, and staring blankly into the television (which sadly is usually on Kelly Ripa because I am too damn tired to change it after the early morning news ended prior to it) while I wait for said offspring to wake from his all-too-brief nap looking for his milkies.

The day then unfolds with a series of feedings, diaper changes, and quality time. The next thing I know, it’s 10pm, and I’ve managed to make excuses all day to avoid the gym.

I made it to the gym three times last week, and even got in a 3-mile run Sunday (which I then paid for with excrutiating muscle soreness for the next two days, courtosy of my 3-month hiatus from anything more physical than climbing the stairs to my 2-floor apartment, and that didn’t even happen everday. Shit, when I see it on paper, it hits me how lazy I got in those final months, bedrest or not.)

So I went back twice this week, and got in a 60-minute workout both times, which included 30 minutes on the elliptical and a 2-mile run with a warm-up and cool down. And it sucked the whole time. Both times.

No, seriously. Like, I finally felt a warm kinship to the contestants on the Biggest Loser during their first few weeks. Quite a change from where I was 10 months ago, when you would have found me sitting on my couch, calling them cry babies, and screaming at them for not respecting their amazing opportunity.

But I’ll go back. Again. And again. And then at some point, it won’t actually suck. As much.

So accountability goal #1 – post every workout, which includes doing something physical everyday – even if it means walking around the dang block. This way, I am forced to actually leave the house, move my body, and continue getting my fitness back so that I can actually tolerate myself. Oh, and also finish the race.

Next up – weight. Now, while I can’t actually bring myself to post the number of my current – ahem – situation, I will post the amount needed to lose, and the amount lost. So, at my doctor’s appointment Monday, I weighed in at a heafty…number. The number was 27 pounds over my normal weight (3 down from the initial 30, so some early progress?) So once a week, I will check in with my progress and post the amount lost that week – kind of like a poor man’s version of a Weight Watchers meeting. But without Jennifer Hudson singing empowering songs in the background as my own personal soundtrack.

And in order to do this, I will need to post more – even it’s just a numbers update, sans (questionably) witty commentary. Once daily - a workout post. Once weekly - a weight update.

Now that I’ve put that out there, I need to follow through. And this will be hard because I go back to work in a week, so I'll be fullt-ime mom and full-time psychologist again. But I want to do this for at least the next month, because I figure that will be enough time to actually get me back on track to the point I actually like being healthy again. Because right now, the only thing I really like is laying on the couch, streaming movies from Netflix, eating cheese puffs and cake frosting from a plastic jar while hanging with my kid and making funny faces to get him to smile (though not necessarily in that order – but wouldn’t it be shameful if I liked cheese puffs and cake frosting more than my kid? Shit, I’d need more than blog accountability – I’d need an intervention from child protective services. And a nutritionist).

And naturally I can’t end a post without a picture (or ten) of my offspring. Yeah, I’ve become THAT mom.
My husband calls this SuperBaby. That's his cape.

Morning after a long night. In my robe that I almost never take off. It's covered in spit-up but I don't care. Yeah, I've reached that point in new motherhood where I just don't give a shit anymore. Unless there is literally diareha on it (mine or his), I'll wear it as long as it's conducive to warmth and breastfeeding.

Daddy time.

And now, here's the picture I promised in the last post. The first is my son at about three weeks.

And this is me at about six months.

So now that we've clearly confirmed who the mother is, I'll get back to you when we find the dad.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So That's Where They Put the Gym!

Wanted to first say that I appreciate all the well wishes and comments on the previous post. I usually try to respond to all email notifications of the comments, but for some reason when I hit reply lately, it just gives me that generic “no-reply blogger” email address. It only lets me respond to a handful of people, so I apologize if I can’t get to your email. But I really appreciate them.

To that end, there are a couple of things that I wanted to respond to from the comments:

1. In regards to breastfeeding – I too have come to walk around the house in my nursing bra and/or nothing at all – heck, it’s my house, and the nips need a breather, you know? Many a day you might see me lounging on the couch, dark circles under my eyes, baby passed out with the milk-drunks next to me, and a shirt nowhere to be found. Some days, especially the ones when he feeds every hour, it’s simply not worth the effort to keep putting it on and off. The only time this didn’t work was when my in-laws were in town for a week for Christmas. After all, we may be close, but we are not THAT close. The last thing any of us need is for my father-in-law to be making a midnight potty-run and see my big old milkers hanging out in the living room, baby on one end and half-asleep mama on the other.

2. You haven’t lived until you’ve literally sucked the snot out of your child’s nose. With your own mouth, yo.

3. I mentioned this in the previous post, but it’s worth reiterating – doody does fly. And airborne doodys are (ahem) messy. And stain.

4. Been living in my sweats for a while (post-pregnancy gift from my friend A, from Victoria’s Secret, size Large, and oh-so-comfortable). My husband thinks I’ve become one of those women who have just given up. Not true, I say. “Giving up” happens the day I ask for a minivan.

But the wonders of motherhood aside, I’d also like to proudly announce that I did make it to the gym – four weeks and one day since my stomach was cut open and my world changed with my new little man (although coupled with the previous few months of bedrest and inactivity, it’s felt like a year since I broke a sweat not related to my intake of French fries, pie or hot wings). I didn’t get medical clearance yet, but I was getting sick of sitting around complaining about how jiggly and heavy and I was, and needed to do something about it.

Also at the gym, I had the displeasure of stepping on a scale since a week before delivery. The way I figured it, I had gained somewhere around 45 pounds during pregnancy, and estimated that I had about 20 pounds of residual baby weight to lose. Turns out that it’s, uh, slightly more than 20 pounds. I mean, 20 pounds was bad enough, and I felt mentally prepared to deal with the scale’s reality, but nothing prepared me for the number that I actually saw.

So here goes my admission. My ground zero. My starting block. The largest weight hurdle I have ever had to overcome.

I am 30 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight.


And yes, that’s with the baby OUTSIDE my body.

Granted, some of that might have to do with my cartoonishly large bosoms, but seriously – the rest of it is in my belly, ass, and thighs.

Possibly a few pounds in my neck and double chins.

Maybe a few in my elephant-ears upper arms.

Ugh. I’m gross. Just GROSS. I want to barf Pop Tarts just thinking about this mess I call my body.

But instead of crying (I save that for the 3am feedings), I sucked it up, mounted the elliptical, and pressed Start. I made it through 25 minutes, and oddly considered that a victory.

And then after that, I got on the treadmill. Can’t run just yet, but I jacked the incline and walked as long as I could before I could no longer tolerate the moldy stink coming from the man next to me. Which was 20 minutes.

And then I hit some quick weights.

And then my boobs were going to explode and I knew there was a one-month old about a mile away wondering where his lunch was, so I called it a day and headed home.

Overall, I feel good that I did it. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. And considering I was ready to make yet another excuse this morning to NOT go, I consider it a win (and I had a REAL good one to skip yet again, be it that the previous night was our most challenging yet, with Baby D having a cold, difficulty breathing, and thus difficulty feeding. Cue a major crying episode – both mama and child – and 5am was a bit of shit show at our house.)

(Side note: I know I am making motherhood sound awful, but the truth is, minus a couple of rough moments, our kid is great. I need to give the little chubby pork chop some credit – he’s in this crazy unfamiliar, loud, and bright world filled with all sorts of confusion, and yet he seems to handle it like a champ. He’s gaining weight, getting long and even gives us a smile here and there. But who wants to hear about all the awesomeness when there are dirty diapers, erratic sleep, crying jags and gassy infants to wail about, right? Right.)

As for the fitness, I don’t have much time to be making any more excuses anyways – I registered for the Wisconsin half-marathon – to continue my streak of running that race every year – and it’s a mere five months away. I don’t anticipate a PR (which I had two years ago there), but I know I can finish if I get my training in order.

Plus, my ass needs a healthier goal than “how many times can you eat at Five Guys in six months time?” Shit, I PR'd that bitch back in pregnancy month 6.

And here' is what I have to show for that nutritional acheivement:

How I spent my New Years Eve.

First bath - success!

Tryin' to be all fancy and stuff. At least he knew to color-coordinate his outfit to with his soothie. He's smooth like that. And not at all like his hygeine-and-fashion-challenged mother.

Well, I think we know who he got his forehead from.

One month old in this picture. My son and his baby Buddha belly. This kid barely misses a meal, lemme tell ya.

Almost outgrown his bassinet in just four weeks. He'll be stepping it up to the crib soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Arrival

Turns out, if you wait long enough, the baby actually DOES come out.

Today is the three-week anniversary of my baby boy's birth, so there is a lot of catching up to do. Surely, I could have posted sooner, but I have been trying to take everyone's age-old advice of "when the baby sleeps, you sleep" so my days are pretty much feed the baby, clean poop, sleep. and when I am awake and functioning, I have tried to either leave the house (me and the baby have had two solo trips so far!), read work emails, or just chill with the baby in his few waking hours.

So what follows is basically how the little man came into our world. Be warned, in true PP form, it's pretty much as raw as it gets - I've never really been one to hold back, so why start now?

The action, I guess, started the day after the last post - Friday. That morning, after some concern, my doctor thought my water broke, so I was sent the hospital. Excited with bags packed, my husband and I set off, thinking this was out last day as non-parents.

Not so much - turns out the water in my jeans was likely due to poor bladder control - though I begged to differ, as I am accused of a lot of things, but pants-peeing is not one of them (at least not since the second grade).

Home we went.

Fast forward to Monday night - after a quick late afternoon nap, I woke to get ready for my doctor's appointment, which was at 6pm. As I put my leggings on, something splashed to the ground - was it my water? Sure looked like it, but after four times of being told I was in some form of labor and no baby actually came, I didn't want to get my hopes up. Moreover, the splash was neither the large "gush" or the constant trickle.

We got to the doctor's office, told them went happened, and the three tests they do to confirm water breakage were...inconclusive. Doctor did an ultrasound and determined that my amniotic fluid was again really low - down 4 cm in a week - so that was enough for her to order an inducement - even if my water didn't break, they would induce me because my fluid was too low at that point.

Off we went again to the hospital, where they subsequently confirmed my water DID break and my contractions were every 2-3 minutes (and obviously not painful by that point because I didn't know they were happening - but that would change).

Calls were made, and enter the excited family....

The rest went down like this:

They put me on meds to speed up contractions at 1030pm. Holy pain. Once they kicked in, I tried to beat it for as long as possible before asking for the pain meds at 230am. But to be fair, I also asked for the pain meds because they said they couldn't check my dilation until I has the epi. Epi in 230am, and that was last time I felt any sort of pain. AT ALL.

I actually slept for a few hours. The next thing I knew, the doctor came in at 7am, told me I was 8 cm dilated, and again at 8am, and told me I was fully dilated, and ready to start pushing. I was like, "Baby coming! Baby coming!"

Not so fast.

I proceeded to push for 3 1/2 hours. Yeah, you read that correctly. THREE AND A HALF HOURS. To put that in perspective, my sister's friend has a baby a few days ago and pushed for 14 minutes. Granted, pushing times vary dramatically, but 3 1/2 hours is tough. It doesn't hurt, but it is exhausting - so much so that by the end, I was taking quick naps between contractions (about 90 seconds in between each push session).

After that marathon stretch, it was determined that the baby was facing up - after they shifted him to face down, it was determined that my pelvis was too small to get him through. Our options? C-section or forceps.

This is where it got emotional - not in the "why me? my body failed me!" type way, but rather in the "we got so far, and still couldn't get him out" kind of way. It was here that I started to sob, with no one able to console me.

No way was I having my child yanked out using salad tongs, so C-section it was. Within minutes I was in the OR, which was so cold I was convulsing with shivers and sobbing while they set up, numbed me and cut me open. I felt nothing but my body being kind of yanked around (not painful, more like I could tell I was being tugged). The room was so cold my hands wouldn't stay still, and my sobbing made me a complete mess. And then, about 30 minutes after it all started, at 130pm on 12.13.2011, the doctor proclaimed:

"It's a BOY!"

My son, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long.


First family photo

So let me pause here and talk about this moment.

The proclamation was followed immediately by a large wailing cry from MY SON. I heard my husband - who sat to my left- gasp and cry, "It's a boy!" I felt an almost indescribable mix of relief (that it was over), shock (that it was a boy, because I spent 10 months convinced it was a girl), disbelief (ohmygosh I have a kid), and exhaustion. And cold. I was just so cold. I know it probably sounds weird that "joy" wasn't an immediate reaction, but in that moment, given everything that happened - and the fact that I didn't even see my child for several minutes, and didn't hold him for the first five-ish hours, it's not that unusual that there were some initial attachment issues.

Now,that's not to say I didn't feel any positive feelings - I did, but in a kind of what-just-happened-on-my-gosh-I-have-a-son kind of way. The real "love" switch got flipped some time later up in my room, when it was just me and him hanging out, and I felt this wave of emotion - joy, love - consume me. It's kind of weird to acknoweldge this out loud, especially since I always read about people fall in love immediately with their kid and all that - and for the last few weeks I wondered if something was wrong with me. But in hindsight, I know that there was just so much going on in those hours that, between the physical and emotional exhaustion of it all, I was just out of it, depleted to the point that it was hard to really take anything in.

The family meets Baby Boy D for the first time:

Aunt Devin

Check out my enormous face - I was swelled up like a blowfish, in part due to my hour-long sobbing fest and constant IV. I was swollen for about two weeks after this to unreal proportions. Anyway - this picture was taken while I was numb from rib cage down, more exhausted than I could imagine ever being, and convulsing with cold shivers (still) and unable to hold my child. I was able to use my hands to touch my belly, which was also stunningly swollen. My mouth was so dry I could barely talk (no fluids since about 8am). Here in the recovery room, they covered me with a space blanket type thing that they pumped hot air into so that I would warm up while also allowing me to eat ice chips, which seemed to, at least briefly, counteract the heat blanket. I was a mess. Took me about an hour to regulate. I couldn't even think straight.

Aunt Ellen, breaking Baby Boy D in with a Red Vine (she didn't really feed him this, just in case someone tries to contact the authorities).
Literally hours old at this point.

Look how long he is!
One of the ultrasound photos we have is of the baby - at about 15 weeks - in this exact pose. We call it "the touchdown baby" pose. He loves being in this pose when he sleeps.

In his Christmas pjs - threatending Santa with a knuckle sandwich is he didn't get his presents on time.

So here I am, three weeks post-baby, and it's been quite a ride so far. Both me and my husband are on work leave (he goes back in two weeks, me at the end of January) so we've had a lot of "quality" time together. Some observations about these early stages of parenthood:

1. Your belly doesn't automatically disappear once the baby is out. Imagine my shock when I woke up the next morning and still looked 6 months pregnant. Not.Happy. This took about two weeks to go away, though I still have a jiggle belly, thanks to my almost-exclusive Oreo-and-RedVine-diet in that last month of pregnancy (and cake-for-breakfast holiday diet). Turns out my thighs still rub together as well. Su-weet.

2. It IS possible to projectile doody. Just ask my son. And his other favortie trick? The "fire hose." Yeah, it is what it sounds like. I think it's the sensation of the wet wipe that triggers a golden shower. Last night, during his birth announcement photo session, he was actually skilled enough to pee in his own face (and eyes). My kid's gifted. Trust it.

3. Breastfeeding? It's not natural OR easy. If I've had any issues, it's been this. And when your trying to breast feed, and your kid is struggling, it's REALLY emotional. I mean, you are soley responsbile for feeding your child so he survives, and when you can't do it, and it's 3am, and he won't latch, and your nipples are cracked and bleeding - well, let's just say epic meltdowns are bound to happen. And let's be honest, shall we? I'm not the most patient person in the world, and am also a bit of a obsessive perfectionist (understatement), so when I can't do something, I get a little nuts. The funny thing is is that - despite my own expectations and sense of failure - I must have been doing something right from the beginning, because he gained back both his birth weight and an extra pound in the first two weeks, which is really good. Knowing this, it's helped me to calm the eff down. Three weeks in and we are in a much better place. My kid's belly chub is evidence of this.

4. Speaking of BF - holy boobs. People weren't kidding when they said they would double in size when my milk comes in. Pregnancy blew them up, but BF has turned them into a completely different beast all together. That's all I have to say about that without giving my blog it's own warning label for explicit material.

5. Boob size ineviatbley leads me to think about returning to running, and how on earth I am going to start logging miles with these jugs bouncing around. I have no idea yet, and haven't gotten clearence anyways (given my C-section incision that still healing) but since I will continue to breast feed and thus the mild will be plentiful, I have to figure this out. Plus, BF makes you really tired, so getting back to the gym hasn't happened as I had hoped. I am aiming for sometime in the next few days, as we continue to get our schedule nailed down.

6. I'd say I have about 20 pounds of fat to get rid of at this point. Although I didn't get weighed at the last doctor's appointment (because I was in labor), best estimate for total pregnancy weight gain is about 45 pounds. Yeah, I know. Its about 10-15 more than the books say you should gain, but I was on and off bedrest for the last three months and pretty much stuck on the couch, so I guess I was bound to gain a bit more. And like I mentioned earlier, damn Oreos were the end of me. I swore I wouldn't be that girl, but here I am - 20 pounds of non-baby fat to run off. Superb.

So that should catch us up to speed on the last three weeks. I am hesitant to comment on the fact that our child is about as chill as they come, and for all intents and purposes, has been really...easy. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - for colic to set it, for brying jags that last all night to hit - but so far we have been really lucky. And I stress lucky, because I certainly have nothing to do with it - what with my lunatic temprement and all.

I am sure I will have some more Tales of Parenthood as we go on, and I'll squeeze them in between dodging poo rockets and being milked like a cow.