Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do It All

Every Saturday, I hit a new milestone in my pregnancy. This coming Saturday, I will hit 18 weeks. Everyone keeps asking me if I have found out if it's a little boy or girl yet. Apparently, with technology and the babies cooperation, many women find out at 14 weeks.

The doctors office that I was going to go through didn't set up my appointment until December 14, so we planned on having a gender reveal after that, near Christmas.

Now that I am with the midwife group, I need to cancel those appointments and figure out a new plan. I'm not rushed because I really don't want to hold on to that envelope for weeks and weeks before our gender party. I will most likely not be able to hold out.

I have my first prenatal appointment with my midwife on Friday. Obviously, I have had appointments with the doctor, but now that I've switched, I'm excited to get started.

We also start our Bradley Method classes on Thursday, which will be helpful for our home birth. We decided to go the Bradley Method route because it's partner based. Bryan will really have to step up and coach me and he'll have to get involved, which I think is great. They also teach lots of relaxation techniques to get through labor, which I'm hoping will also help me get through life. ;)

Outwardly, I'm doing well. My belly is growing, I feel better for the most part. Food is still a love/hate relationship, I am still exhausted, and I have a headache every day. I'm not joking. Head-pounding pain every single day. Its a real bummer, but I'm trying to work through it as much as possible.

Inwardly, I'm freaking out. Not about pregnancy or labor. I'm freaking out about all the details after the baby is born. I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom. I've made it pretty known since I was younger. It's important to me that I raise my kids and not a stranger. Also, we can't really afford for a stranger to raise our babies. Obviously, I'm pretty bummed that it isn't to be. I will continue working my full-time job because I am the one with health insurance. There is no way around it.

When I let myself, I start to think about how I'm going to miss out on moments that I always saw myself being there for. I think about all the smiles and giggles I'll miss. All the cuddles and meals that I won't be there for. Someone else will get to experience that. Do these caretakers realize just how lucky they really are? To see all the things parents miss?

I know more than a few stay-at-home moms and I can't help but be frustrated by some of them. They complain about having to be home. Having to do the same thing all the time. Not having money to live the life they think they should (although most of them have nicer "things" than the people I know who work full time jobs, including myself!) They get to have a clean house, clothes, moments with their kids and they aren't grateful. They get caught up in the day to day and never stop to think "Wow. So many women are out there missing out on their children's and husbands lives, because 40 hours of their week is devoted to a job." On top of that, they have to do ALL the things you do, in less time, with more stress.

With any job, at home, at work, paid or unpaid, there are moments when you hate it. I get that. Being a stay-at-home mom is not fun all the time. But I'd rather invest in my home and family than invest in a company that isn't going to remember me when I'm gone. Family is what matters. What they remember is what will keep me alive, even when I'm in Heaven with the Big Guy. I'm not saying stay-at-homers don't have a right to complain because itis hard, messy and frustrating at times. I mean, who wakes up and thinks, "Yes! I get to change more diapers today!!!" But then again, who wakes up and thinks, "Score! I get to go to work for eight hours, balance their budget, pay their employees and bills, and then go home and balance our budget, pay our bills and motivate the husband to take out the garbage!" No one, ever.

It's just hard to hear it when you know that there isn't a glimmer of hope that you'll get to be there with your kid. You'll be chained to a desk because you don't have any other choice. And you have to take some of the money you make to give to a person who is getting to spend time with YOUR child.

I just try not to let myself think about it. Every time it creeps up and my heart starts to ache and I just mentally lift it to God and say "Here ya go. That's yours, not mine." I remind myself that there are freaking awesome mom's out there that work full-time, pay for a daycare to keep their child safe and alive, make dinner, clean laundry, clean the house, find time for romance with their husband, and make memories with their kids. They go to sports games, concerts and recitals. They do it all.

If that's what I have to do, then I'll do it. Maybe with the next baby I'll get to be at home. Or, you know, maybe not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Long Term Changes

The only problem with losing weight and getting pregnant is that while everything else shrinks back into an acceptable size, my belly is still just kind of pooched there. 

However, a huge benefit is that my face is coming back to me!!! I honestly didn't think I would see a change in my face so soon after losing weight. Over the two+ years that I gained, my face was the last thing I lost. I suppose that makes sense because your face is not somewhere that you are supposed to gain weight. But when you reach that point, where else is it supposed to go? 

My cheeks got huge and my already small, dark eyes got smaller and darker. Over the past year, when people asked me about my weight-loss goals, I would just simply say, "I want my face back." 

I wanted to look in the mirror and see me again. My eyes and my cheek bones. I was literally up to my eyes in fat. Ick. I knew things needed to change if I wanted to be photographed ever again. 

At this point, maybe people would say that they did this diet or that workout plan but I didn't. I cannot stick to diets. I loathe the gym. All I did was choose. 

Do I need that much rice pilaf on my plate? No.
Do I need to eat the entire ice cream? No.
Do I need to have multiple white chocolate mocha's a week? Nope!

I started to see the trend. I was eating waaaay too much. WAY. TOO. MUCH. My plates are large and they would be full. I would do my darnedest to eat as much as possible. It was so wrong. I am a firm believer that you can indulge. But when you indulge every single day? That isn't a treat. Its a way of life. 

So I cut down my portions. I ate a lot less. I tried my hardest to drink water and not soda. Unsweetened Iced Tea if I couldn't stomach any more water. I tried to stop eating late at night as often as possible. 

I started eating at home. If I didn't feel like cooking, I ate cereal. And not always Captain Crunch with Berries. Honey Bunches of Oats. Raisin Bran. With 1% milk. There did come a point where I wondered, even with healthier cereal, if I was over-eating. So, I few times in a week, I would measure one cup of cereal and eat it. If I was still hungry after, I'd eat half a banana. Very soon, just the one cup of cereal was enough. I didn't need any supplemental banana. I cut down the cereal a little more and added banana to the cereal. 

I didn't need the measuring cup for more than a week. My brain relearned what a normal portion was. I could estimate it in the bowl. If I got heavy handed I would use a spoon to scoop it back into the box. 

Losing weight for me didn't equate to a big life change. It was so, so many little decisions. Awareness and caution instead of rules and regulations. I would say NO. One-fourth of a cup of Superior Dairy Chocolate Milkshake with fresh banana was enough to satisfy a sweet craving. (Superior Dairy is a local ice cream shop, if you ever come to California, make your way to the Central Valley and go there. Seriously. It's worth it.)

I believe the best life is a life of moderation. And while there are many diets and work-out plans that can get you there faster (after all, losing 23 pounds since January only means a little over 2 pounds a month) It is worth it for me to go slow. It took me over two years to put all this extra stuff on my body. If it takes two years to take it off, so be it. That is my fault. 

I just know myself. After I lose the weight and the diet ends, I'll think, okay you are done! After the work-out plan achieves the results I want, I'll walk away. Eating this way, choosing to be healthier and conscious of what goes into my body means that my brain is adjusting and adapting into long term ways of thinking. 

I can have rice pilaf, but only a little bit.
I can have ice cream, but not the entire thing.
I can have fancy coffee, but only once in a while. 

Now that I'm pregnant, I'm worried. I'm going to gain weight. But I have made a promise to myself that I won't gain fat. I will continue to shed fat and just gain baby. 

I will eat healthier than I already was. 
I will lose the baby weight as soon as I can. 
I will start walking, now, so I can burn even more calories. 
I will not lose control of my eating habits or use pregnancy as an excuse. 

That said, Thanksgiving is this week, and I am going to tear it up. 

Since I know that, every other day this week I will eat like a saint. I will overcompensate on these non-holidays so that when my grandma's stuffing hits my plate, I know I can indulge and not feel guilty. It will be a magnificent treat to a week of eating well. 

And it will be absolutely worth it. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Down But Not Out

I can't help but think that the baby that is innocently growing in my belly is going to be a complete stress ball, control freak when he or she grows up.

The past 15 weeks have been riddled with emotional junk. I've never felt so overwhelmed and attacked in my life. I can't seem to catch my breath. On top of all of the things I've written about lately, a week ago today, Bryan and I were sitting on the couch when we got a phone call.

Bryan's dad was having a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital. We got there minutes later while they were trying to get him medicine and stabilized before sticking him into an ambulance and rushing him to a prepared hospital in another city. It was a span of three hours that he was in intense pain before they removed a blood clot from the main artery in the left side of his heart. As soon as that was done, they inserted a stent which provided immediate relief.

We spent the next few days in ICU where a balloon was helping his heart to beat, wondering where we were going from here. When we did get to talk to the doctor, he nonchalantly said that this heart attack is one they call the 'Widow Maker.' For six days I rushed back and forth, home and hospital, picking people up, dropping them off, getting clothes, supplies, food, trying to put in a few hours at work. Bryan was at the hospital with him for 24 hours a day from Monday night until Saturday.

It was an emotional whirlwind of a week and while Rick was released late Saturday night, I can't help but think they rushed it. He was still in pain and they didn't know where, he wasn't properly counselled on his new medicines and how he should be living his new life. It's very daunting to have your brain remain active and capable but your body cannot keep up.

I saw this with my Grandpa as he fought Parkinson's disease. What a betrayal of your body.

We are all trying to adjust. There is fear about our lifestyle, about the genes we are passing to our child, fear about what this means for Rick and if he is truly 'out of the woods.'

Having things like this happen really opens your eyes to who you have around you, lifting you up in times of struggle. It creates new relationships and deepens others.

While I am emotionally treading water, dealing with the physical changes my body is doing and the emotional crap-storm I have been facing lately, I am trying to keep my focus on these new relationships. My bible study, my family members, my husband, my baby. Its all worth it. I may want to run and hide, cry until I'm numb and just shut down, but I remind myself that God has me right where I need to be, and He won't give me more than I can handle. He is doing a mighty work in me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Brain Dump

Pumpkins we carved with our life group. Mine is the bat, Bryan's is the diabolical face in the middle. 

Yesterday was Halloween and it took a while, but we did get some trick or treaters! There were only a few that weren't dressed up, but they were walking younger siblings and I respect that, yo.

Our house, decorated for Halloween. Simple, yet....awesome.

As we speak, I am watching the CMT CMA Red Carpet and ooohing and aaaahing over all of the pretty dresses. I do get irritated when I see a male country musician in a baseball cap - I mean come on! At an awards show? I don't care if that's your thing. You take that baseball cap off!

Anyways...I went to work today even thought I was sick. Around 1 my boss was so tired of hearing me sneeze, blow my nose and hack up gross stuff that she sent me home. I didn't end up getting out of there until 2 though because I wouldn't leave until everything was done for the day. I'm not sure how I'll feel tomorrow but I hope I can make it to work!

This past weekend Bryan and I caught up on the latest episode of Parks and Recreation and I FREAKED OUT about Leslie and Ben getting engaged. Totally awesome. I love their story arc and I love the show in general. They are a perfect balance.

Sophie, our new puppy, is in lockdown mode. You know what? Potty training is possibly the worst thing in the world. She got in biiiiig trouble today when she peed on our wood floor. She should know better by now AND I had just taken her out. Luckily she is cute.

Our Sophie girl. :)

One of my good friends, Colleen, married my childhood friend, Jordan almost one year ago! I can't believe that it's already been a year. It was photos at her wedding that really made me decide to start losing weight. Since January, I've lost over 20lbs, 1st trimester of pregnancy hasn't been a hindrance either. This baby is either gonna LOVE food or be incredibly picky about it. Both worry me. ;)

But seriously, my pregnancy has been pretty blessed when you consider that I haven't throw up even once. I just feel icky and tired all the time, and I literally have to shove food down my throat at times just so I know the baby is getting some type of nourishment. Saturday, I will start week 14 of pregnancy and I'm hoping that as I wade deeper into the waters that is second trimester, food will become a friend not a foe.

Cali & Sophie 11-1-12