Some mornings, I lay in bed thinking:
OH MY GOD THERE IS A LITTLE PERSON INSIDE OF ME RIGHT NOW.
Welcome to week 22!
I’m getting bigger. There is no mistaking that I am pregnant and even strangers enjoy asking me questions about my belly, my due date and frequently remind me of this very obvious fact:
You’re going to be pregnant through the summer. You poor thing.
I’m getting bigger in ways that I didn’t get bigger with Max. Nothing accentuates this more than clothes shopping. I’d blame the funhouse mirror that seemed to be in every fitting room but I know that it’s really me. I just have to accept it. And when the nice girl at Lululemon said you have a really cute figure for being pregnant I wanted to shake her, screaming BUT I JUST TRIED ON A SIZE 10 COAT AND IT DIDN’T FIT SO TELL ME HOW CUTE I AM AGAIN!?
I’m coping very well with my maternity wardrobe.
Let’s go back to week 19. During that week, my mom, Max and I traveled to San Diego for “vacation” – in quotations because one cannot really vacation with their 3½ year old, can they? Though I will say this turned into my child’s dream vacation. Every day was an adventure from park to park in the greater San Diego area where every kid is named something kitschy like Asher, Ava or Sage. Every park had a sand pit. And every day was 68 and sunny. Let’s talk. If you train in San Diego and you are not fast then you are doing something wrong because you have perfect conditions every day. EVERY DAY! Except for the 30 minutes it rained on Tuesday morning. I can only imagine how tough it was for Southern California athletes to muster up the courage to put on their rain gear for their ride’s warm up that morning.
The first day on said “vacation” went very, very well. We did a scenic drive through the mountains to Palm Desert to visit the Living Desert (well worth it) and then on to Palm Springs for Village Fest (not worth it unless you want to buy candles, carnival food or be the only one pushing a stroller with a child – around there, strollers are reserved for dogs apparently!). That night, my throat felt itchy. Desert air, I said to myself. The next day I woke up feeling like I had run a half marathon. I thought maybe I was dehydrated, maybe I walked too far the day before, maybe after the 50 minute run on the treadmill that morning I had proved I was really, REALLY out of shape. Each day I got worse and worse until Sunday when I made a trip to urgent care because I could not handle the headache, cough or fatigue for one day longer. Bronchitis and sinus infection. I have not been that sick since I had the stomach flu in 2005.
Which incidentally was a fantastic way to get to race weight by March.
Week 20 I returned home and stayed sick for a few more days and continued to nurse the 10+ day headache that was resistant to sleep, hydration and even coffee. Yes, gasp, I gave in and had some coffee. Something had to give! In this week, nausea also returned. Remember that second trimester honeymoon – STILL WAITING! Feeling so bad for so many weeks I have learned to really, REALLY appreciate how good I feel in my normal unpregnant Liz life.
Baby still doesn’t have a name and Chris and I still can’t agree. The other day I threw out Sophie to which Chris immediately said – NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, NOT THAT NAME. He came back with Teagan to which I immediately listed out 3 reasons why we should not name our daughter Teagan. Every name seems too cute, too popular, too formal or too hard to spell. At this rate, we will have her named by her 18th birthday.
She has been kicking a lot – mostly when I sit down and work or when I eat pizza. No kidding, she likes pizza. I usually don’t like or eat pizza but remember – I have a thing for cheese right now. A really bad thing. I have absolutely no thing – no taste, no love, no inclination for anything green. I have to force myself to eat vegetables every day. And a few weeks ago I had no shame when I texted a friend to say I’m eating Swedish Fish and chocolate milk for dinner. And I’m ok with that. Baby also likes Swedish Fish. Kicked like crazy.
Workouts are going well. I still swim and still haven’t slowed down that much. I have no idea how this is possible. I continue to swim with Marty who declared me BEST LANE MATE EVER after he came back from state with 8 wins in his age group. I declared him biggest sandbagger ever – if you can swim a :51 in the 100 at state and come back to swim with me then there is something VERY wrong with your training plan! We still swim on the same intervals but these days I am getting much less rest. Safe to say I have mastered the art of touch and go or the art of just go go go with no rest.
I bike. I told Chris the other day that I’m starting to get bored of the trainer. He says, do a workout. He should be a triathlon coach with that type of wisdom. I’m not sure what type of workout I would do other than holding hardly any watts or hardly any watts plus 10.
Running – I’m about 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 minutes slower per mile than usual – depends on the day. The treadmill feels better than the road and every incline in my neighborhood feels like a mountain. I came back from my second outdoor run since October and Chris asked how was your run – I mumbled: bathroom, BATHROOM! Some days it’s 3 potty breaks before the 20 minute mark. But at least I’m running! The other day, I felt all bad ass when I realized I had chafed to the point of bleeding. This used to be a proud battle wound! Except on this day, it happened after I ran 3 miles at a 10 minute pace.
Not the same.
I have been strength training 2 to 3 times a week because I know from last time that strength work is very important to include! It helps with recovery and toting baby around. I have my built into strength program every day I lift my 33 pound son but I also do some weights, TRX, bands and medicine ball. I have reached the point in pregnancy where people at the gym give me googly eyes and tell me how cute I am. This precedes the stage in which they get a look of horror on their face as I lumber around very large while doing things like pistol squats or push ups. When you reach that point, be warned as the general public has no shame about coming up to say: if you’re not careful, you’re going to give birth to that baby right here.
CAREFUL? If that happened, I’d consider myself LUCKY!
A pregnant woman seems to give some people (mostly old men) license to unleash an unfiltered flurry of whatever they are thinking. Almost right on cue, an older man approached me last Monday:
Can I ask you something?
(thinking to self) HERE IT COMES...tell me I’m gonna give birth to that baby if I do one more rep at a monstrous 12 ½ pounds with these cable weights.
How do you pregnant women look so beautiful? There is just an aura and warmth around you and your smile. Gosh, I didn’t see it when my ex-wife was pregnant with our 4 kids but seeing you makes me think she also had this in her.
In his defense, he was over 70 years old and probably didn’t see well. But it made me think that one man’s aura of warmth and beauty is another man’s aura of progesterone, headaches, sassyness and gas.
That other man would be the one who has to live with me on a daily basis.
In week 21, baby and I passed the Level II ultrasound. This one scared me. Enter a dark room at the maternal fetal medicine office – a special office with special ultrasound machines and a lot of quiet. You sit in the dark room waiting. The sonographer scans every part of baby and points out what she’s looking at on a giant screen. No mention is made is everything looks right or wrong. You just wait. Then, she leaves. You wait more. The doctor comes in and repeats the entire scan. You’re STILL waiting to hear if everything is right or wrong. The good news is that everything on baby looks OK. And she is STILL a girl! The next big test to pass it the 24 week fetal echocardiogram. Almost there!
In week 21 I also found myself still swimming in my old lane. Each week I can claim that I feel a little more excitement! At the end of our workout on Monday, Marty said I can’t imagine doing that workout with 10 extra pounds. 10? Try 22!! He gave me a high five for best effort at weight gain (NAILED IT!) and then commented how strong I will be after pulling myself around with the extra weight in the pool. Yes, that’s it – I’m spending a season training heavy. My belly is my new weighted vest! After the swim, I went into the gym to do some lifting. I realized that I just barely squeezed into my shorts and now those shorts will go into retirement phase until about 6 months post-partum. Sigh. A few reps into the routine I was approached by a local tv station who was filming some shots around the gym. So there I was sitting in the sled in what can only be called short shorts with a big belly and pushing the sled with NO weight. Embarrassing on so many levels but at least the camera man said “I won’t film the fact that you are not pushing any weight.”
Thank you … ?
Have I captured all of the glory of pregnancy yet? I can’t complain too much because I asked for this and waited for it for a VERY long time. I remind myself of that often. I remind myself of how lucky, honored, dare I say #blessed I am to be carrying this weight around. And every day I make it closer to my due date is better than the day before. As I got my body ready to do all of this, I viewed every step like a stepping stone. And I celebrated every little success! I never looked too far ahead just took it one shot, one scan, one day at a time. Here I am less than 18 weeks away from the end and when I find myself wondering if we’ll be ready, if the room will be ready, heck if the crib will actually arrive on time (pro parenting tip: order the crib very VERY early, 8 – 12 weeks in babyfurniturespeak usually means 4+ months), I remind myself of everything that went right leading up to this point and know that everything will be alright.