Thursday, July 23, 2015

My First Run Back

Technically, this was my second run post pregnancy, but to be fair, that first run/walk lasted 11 minutes, included a few minutes of walking, and was done in my neighborhood. For Sunday's run, I planned to leave Henry home with the manfriend while I got some solo time in along the Willamette River. It's amazing what an hour can do to recharge your spirit. 

The weather was gorgeous, making for a perfect early morning run/walk. 

I almost felt like my old self again, out for an early run with just my thoughts and my Brooks Ravennas... That is, until I started to run and was reminded I have a ways to go to get back to where I was (and that's okay). 

This is probably my favorite shoe color combo in quite a while

To really enjoy the outing, I opted for a 5 minute walking warm up followed by a 20 minute run (w/ 5 min or so of walk breaks thrown in) followed by a 5 minute cool down and lunges. 

I thought about turning on a podcast for a moment and then I thought better of it. Some space to zone out is just what my brain needed. 

Walkin' it out

So how did it feel? My inner thighs feel weak, where ligaments and such attach to my lower pelvis felt awkward, and my lungs burned a little bit. But none of that was a deal breaker.

Because things feel pretty tight, I did a whole bunch of 'lunge and reach with the opposite arm' things. We often do these before our Thursday night Flyers workouts and they feel amazing. 

And finally, back home and feeling renewed both mentally and physically. I think this return to running thing is going to suit me just fine. I might not feel fast or light on my feet, but I'm running and that's all that matters right now.

From here on out, most of my runs will be done in the morning before the manfriend heads to work, or at the end of the day, but I'm crossing my fingers I won't be a stranger to these solo weekend runs. As for yoga and strength training, I'll consider it a good week if I'm able to fit these in at least once. Here's to hoping! 

What's your favorite mood boosting activity? Highlight of your week?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby's First Hike

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen that our little guy went on his first hike! In an attempt to check off some of our 'summer items' and to practice traveling with baby, we decided to head out to the McKenzie River on Saturday for a little adventure.

In life with a newborn, things rarely seem to happen on schedule, so you just have to roll with it. The manfriend was up early to watch the Tour de France, get our busted old washer ready to be picked up, give the dog a bath, and swing by the bike shop. In the mean time, I got Henry and myself ready for the day. Just as we were about to leave, Henry woke up from his nap and was ready to eat. Cue 30 min delay...

By the time we left the house it was noon, but it was Saturday, so who really cares?

I think I mentioned this before, but Henry does not like being strapped into his car seat. Luckily, he only fussed for a few minutes before falling asleep for the entire two hour drive!

We got to a parking area along the river, changed his diaper, plopped him in the Ergo, and set off on our hike. Saturday was warm (in the 90s) and with a little movement and a cozy environment, Henry went right back to sleep for another hour while we hiked.

It felt really good to be a bit more active and spend some time on the trails, even if I wasn't running. We also saw a bunch of mountain bikers on the trail. Someday, someday...

I really expected the little man to wake up and be hungry along the hike (he eats every 2-3 hrs typically), but we made it back to the car where I finally had to wake him up to feed him.

The car ride home was a little less enjoyable, but he did manage to sleep about half of it. As a reward for our hard work, we stopped at the nearby general store for "chicken on a stick" for the manfriend (basically flavorful fried chicken) and a huckleberry ice cream cone for me. 

The rest of the day involved a lot of couch sitting and staying indoors where it was cool. Overall, I'd say our trip was a success and I'm crossing my fingers our next road trip will go just as smoothly. 

What's on your summer to-do list? 

Everyone keeps saying that we should take advantage of these first three months when the baby is really portable and can nap almost anywhere, so we're trying to do some fun summer things while we can. Things like: visiting breweries, going to Bend, camping, dinners out, and random little road trips.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Six Weeks and Running

It's hard to imagine, but it's already been six weeks since Henry was born. Six weeks I haven't been packing around that 30 lb bump and have instead been carrying for and getting to know our little guy.

This week I had my six week postpartum visit with the midwife and everything checked out just fine. Things are almost healed and I have a normal amount of abdominal separation (diastasis recti), but she cleared me to start running (and exercising in general) again - wahoo!

I won't lie that I was half tempted to head home and put on my running shorts that night, but I haven't just yet. I did try to jog about 10 seconds last night and things definitely felt strange, so that return to running is going to be interesting to say the least. But I shouldn't be surprised as it's been 15 weeks or so since I last ran.

While I haven't been running yet, I did do my first strength workout! It wasn't all out or done at even close to 100 percent, but it's a start (and you've got to start somewhere, friends). While the manfriend was rocking and shushing (typical get baby to sleep method) Henry to sleep, I busted out this 15 minute strength workout.

Cute baby pic because why not?

It was handy that it just so happened to include plenty of upper body and core work, which I need a lot of and just a touch of lower body.

How did it feel?

My core felt all kinds of weak. And 8 lb dumbbells felt HEAVY. It's gonna be a while until those 10 lbers feel light again. And 15 lb? Not for a long time. And pushups are going to be done from the knees for a long time.

But that's okay. Until it feels natural again, I just need to remind myself that the progress will be slow and steady. There's no need to push myself regardless what my ego tells me.

It Takes a Village
We've all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I've already seen that to be true. In fact, it takes a small village to take care of a new little family.

My mom still has that baby whisperer in her

In reality, we could be getting along alright without the extra support, but there's no doubt that we are thriving as a result of the support we've received. (Ahem, thank you mom for coming down 2-3x per week to help out and snuggle Henry.)

From meals to chats to little gifts and people simply checking in with us, it's all been incredibly appreciated. It's amazing what little conversation (in person or over text/phone) can do or an out of the blue delivery of dinner.

It gives me a whole new perspective on what I should have brought those friends who already had babies. Food. Lots of food. And conversation (in person or via text/phone) because it's surprising what good a normal chat can do for a sleep deprived new parent. On those days when I'm holding, rocking, feeding, and changing a baby all day, something outside that realm is a welcome change.

This is all to say that while caring for a newborn is challenging, the manfriend and I have felt extremely supported. Thank you to everyone who has been there for us!

Just for Fun

Make these muffins. Thank me later. They taste delicious morning, noon, and night and the recipe only calls for 2 Tbsp of sugar. A friend made them for me and I've since whipped up another batch.

Read 16 Surprising Things About Parenting in the Netherlands. I have found Joanna's motherhood around the world series fascinating as it really does differ dramatically from one country to the next. One interesting fact about the Netherlands is that about 20 percent of births are done at home vs < 2% in the U.S. This reminds me that I'd like to reread Bringing up Bebe.

Okay, I think that's enough for now.

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dear Henry: one month

Dear Henry,

Holy moly, where did that past four weeks go? Scratch that. I think I know. I've been doing a lot of sitting around holding, feeding, rocking, and staring at you.

It goes without saying, but we love you so much. You're just about the cutest thing I've ever seen whether you're sleeping, crying, yawning, you name it.

It's hard to imagine that just a month ago it was just me and your dad hanging out, watching Netflix and wondering what the heck we should do with all our spare time.

The highlights of month one:
  • Your eyes opening
  • Those first smiles
  • Your hands gripping my fingers

You may be small(ish), but you are mighty. Your (long) legs and arms are so strong when you push away from me or are moving around on the blanket during tummy time. And you can already hold your head up and look around pretty well, although sometimes you do bonk your head right back down on my shoulder. This week you weighed 10 lb 8 oz and are growing like a champ!

When you wrap your little hand around my finger while you're nursing it's like you're telling me you love me right back. You are a good eater, which I'm thankful for, but sometimes the feeding sessions just go on and on (up to an hour at times). But I trust you'll get more efficient as time goes on.

You do not like sleeping anywhere that isn't in close proximity of me or your dad. And preferably, you'd like to sleep on us. Night time sleep has been tough. Usually, you will sleep for a few hours in the bassinet and then a few more hours broken up next to me on the bed. It isn't ideal, but it's the only way I am getting any sleep right now. As you're waking up, you yawn and proceed to make no less than 50 different facial expressions. It cracks me up every time.

Around three weeks, you really started opening your eyes. And just shy of four weeks old, you started making eye contact with me and following people as they move, which was just incredible.

And possibly best of all, about a week ago you started smiling at your mama when I smile, talk silly to you, and give you kisses. It makes my heart explode to see your little face light up.

In these moments, I really don't want you to grow up.

You've also had some impressive explosive poops mid diaper change and red-faced upset screaming, but we know we're doing the best we can for you and we feel so lucky to be your parents.

I can't wait to see what the next month brings!

Love you lots,


Monday, June 29, 2015

Henry's Birth Story

On Thursday, June 4, I was sitting on the yoga ball as I had been the last several days as I wrote and posted my 40 week pregnancy post to the blog. Around 9:30 p.m., just after I has scheduled it to post, I heard two "pop pops!" coinciding with two strong kicks from Baby Moe.

At the time, I thought the sounds were just a product of the kicks, but a few minutes later as I walked around, I noticed clear liquid leaking down my leg. Sure enough, I continued to have leakage and called the midwifery center to let them know.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the hospital we go.

The manfriend and I anxiously finished packing our hospital bags, I called my mom, and we tried to get a little rest before heading to the hospital. Pete was able to sleep, but I started getting contractions almost immediately that were coming every few minutes and I was just feeling anxious for what was to come, so I tried to pass the time and not pace around the house too much. Finally, at 1:00 a.m. I woke up the manfriend and told him I was ready to go. We both had a little cereal before leaving the house. In hindsight, I probably could have eaten more.

When we checked in, they confirmed my water had indeed broken and I was 3 cm dilated. They got us settled in our spacious labor and delivery room and we chatted with our midwife a bit. Shortly after, the contractions started picking up in strength and started coming every few minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds.

The manfriend was great about being supportive and encouraging me to drink water or have a bite of something. While I had packed a variety of snacks I like, I didn't expect to be so nauseous from the contractions + food. It seemed that anytime I tried to have a bite of something I felt like I was going to throw it up. That being said, I would still bring a lot of different snacks if I were to do it again. You never know what you're going to be in the mood for or what might sit well with your stomach.

Things I brought and liked: Trader Joe's just mango slices, sweet potato chips, Annie's goldfish crackers, and trail mix.

We labored through the night and saw the sun come up out our window. Contractions were coming pretty strong and every 1-2 minutes. I was surprised to never really have contractions that were 10 or 5 min apart. I did try laboring in the bathtub a few times, but while the warm water and jets felt good, it didn't allow me to move much, which was no bueno.

Most of the time I labored sitting on a yoga ball while leaning on the bed or the manfriend. And sometimes I would walk around the room too, but I never felt like I wanted to walk the halls. There is something that just feels so personal about going through that kind of unstoppable pain.

By 9:00 a.m., the midwives had changed shifts and it was time to check my progress again. At this point, I was at 5 cm dilated and my midwife estimated it would be another 6-8 hrs of laboring to get fully dilated and another 1-3 hrs of pushing.

Before getting checked, I had already talked to Pete and admitted I didn't have much more energy in me thanks to a lack of food and sleep and that I was really considering an epidural. Mentally, I was having a bit of a breakdown and knew I wouldn't have enough energy left to do any sort of pushing if I did indeed get to 10 cm without pain medication.

Shortly after telling the midwife and nurse I wanted an epidural, the anesthesiologist was in there doing her thing. From there on out I was relegated to lay in the bed, which sucked, but is obviously necessary as you can't feel your legs.

For the next 7-8 hours, I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but much less pain. Throughout that time, they had me positioned on my side because Baby Moe kept going into sleep cycles and they really wanted his or her heart rate to increase along with the contractions. When they started murmuring the possibility of a c-section if he didn't get a bit more active, we busted out all kinds of fun Pandora stations and I rubbed the belly and talked to the baby trying to get him to move. It must have done the trick because he started moving enough to make everyone happy.

At 6:15 p.m. on Friday night, they checked me and I was finally fully dilated! The next midwife on shift came in and we got down to business. She told me I would have 1-3 hours of pushing ahead.

And almost three hours, Henry Thomas Moe was born at 9 lb 3 oz and 22.5 inches long. Thanks to his impressive size (and my apparently strong pelvic floor preventing his exit), labor took such a long time.

After a few hours of skin on skin, the nurse helped me shower while Pete had skin on skin time with the little guy. A bit later we were moved into the mom and baby room to figure out life as a little family of three.

We ended up staying at the hospital Friday night and the following night. It was really nice to be taken care of by the nurses and get help with nursing and such, but the food left something to be desired.

Henry is now three weeks old and we're adjusting to life with a newborn. Pete got to stay home for a week with us, which was really nice. I think we've both been surprised to learn we can function quite well on only four hours of sleep.

I am feeling mostly healed at this point and can't wait to get back to running, but for now I know my body still needs a bit more time. Walks are where it's at right now.

Friday, June 19, 2015

10 New Mom Realizations

Hi, friends! You know what's amazing? Everyone tells you you'll have so much time to do stuff as baby is sleeping, but what they don't always mention is that said things might need to be done with one hand or with a baby laying on your chest. 

Well, typing on a computer is one of those things that can't easily be done with one hand. While I may not be accomplishing a lot, I am keeping this tiny (adorable) human alive, so there's that. 

For your entertainment, here are 10 New Mom Realizations I've had over the past two weeks: 

1. Being the sole food source for your child is exhausting at times. All hours of the day and night, sometimes hunched over, painful at first, in the middle of the night half asleep, no matter how tired or hungry you are, the child doesn't care. He/she just wants to eat. Luckily, they're cute and you know it's worth it in the end.

2. Sleeping when they sleep seems like a good idea in theory except for the fact that they might wake up if you set them down and it's also your only chance to get something done (tidy up, type an email, get some water, go to the bathroom, etc).

3. You will look down at that tiny face and realize that THIS is truly the most important thing you've ever done. Stressing about work, friendships, what you're going to eat for dinner, trying to make others happy... It all pales in comparison to taking care of a life that depends on you.

4. Other than occasional date nights out, it's likely the manfriend and I will never eat at the same time again for the next oh, five years? Little ones don't care that you are hungry or your dinner is ready now.

5. It's amazing how rested you can feel on 4 hours of sleep. But that doesn't mean those 7 hour nights aren't glorious.

Someone found his hand

6. A glass of wine or beer doesn't sound as appealing when you're half asleep and would have to drink it within a short window (hello, nursing) while holding a baby in the other hand.

7. The bouncy chair is my key to getting a shower in every day.

8. I can see why parents have a hard time prioritizing exercise and eating well. Thanks to needing a little recovery time from giving birth to the little guy, I'm forced not to workout, but even if I weren't it would be a challenge to fit in exercise.

9. In the 24 hours of each day, when I'm not sleeping, there may be a total of 1 hour in which I am not holding Henry (i.e. when I'm showering and he's in the bouncy chair, when Pete is holding/taking care of him before or after work, or if he's in the car seat or stroller).

Testing out the crib for a few minutes

10. Going to the grocery store for 1-2 items is no longer worth it. I need to have a list to justify it (little man does not like his car seat).

Okay, this post officially took me all week to get written and published. Ah, new mom life. Happy Friday! And happy two weeks of life to little Henry!

What are you most excited about this weekend?

We are heading to my cousin's wedding tomorrow, so it will be fun to introduce our little guy to family as well as enjoy the celebration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Baby Snuggles

So just after I scheduled my 40 week post last Thursday, I was sitting on my yoga ball before bed (a trick used to help the cervix open) and I heard a POP! POP!, which I thought at the time were sounds from two strong kicks I'd felt. Well, it turns out, my water had just broke!

And by Friday night, we were having a baby. I'll recap my birth story in a separate post, but I wanted to let you guys know that Baby Moe is finally here.

I pulled our baby BOY on to my chest and life suddenly felt different. Henry Thomas Moe was born Friday, June 5 weighing 9 lb 3 oz and measuring 22.5" long. Now I know why those kicks felt so strong.

He has his dad's long fingers, big feet, and dark hair. 

Within a few minutes of delivery I whispered to Pete "I already love him so much." While we had no idea who our little one would be, we already feel incredibly lucky to have gotten this little guy. 

Baby snuggles are simply the best.

On day 5 of having Henry here, I ventured outside for a family walk down to our little neighborhood park and back. We tested out our Solly Baby wrap, which was perfect for keeping a snuggly little newborn cozy and close to the chest. 

We've had warmer than normal temperatures around here, so it was nice to get out and see the sun after being cooped up inside for several days.

Jonah Bell is doing pretty well with the new addition despite the fact that it means she gets a little less attention these days. We're still keeping up with her daily walks (well, Pete is anyway).

Pete is adjusting really well to fatherhood and quickly fell head over heals for our little guy. While I knew he would be a great dad, it's pretty amazing to watch your spouse and best friend rise to the occasion and take on such an important role and do it so well.

And finally, I am completely in love with Henry. Physically, I'm still healing from the labor and delivery, but things are moving in the right direction. And mentally, I'm so happy, but also find my hormones are all over the map so in the same moment I can be on top of the world and teary over something simple. The lack of sleep probably doesn't help either.

All in all, we're doing really well. It's been an incredible first week.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Third Trimester: 40 weeks

We made it to 40 weeks! Honestly, around 35 weeks I would have told you that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to see 40 weeks, but here I am at 41 weeks today. I guess i just thought the baby had dropped much earlier than it actually did.

Week 40

How I'm feeling: Whew, 40 weeks. I feel like a ticking time bomb. Wherever we go, it's hard not to notice any little movement or Braxton Hicks contraction and think "could this be it?" Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable, so I have often thought I might be on the brink of labor during the night, but no such luck yet.

I am both excited and terrified of labor. I feel like I have no idea of what I'm in for and yet, I'm ready for it at the same time. At this point, I'm pulling out all the stops and trying do anything that has been shown to get labor going - using pressure points on the inside ankle and hands, sitting on my yoga ball, walking, doing plenty of squats, etc.

The baby definitely dropped because I now have to get up 4-5 times per night to pee. This is at least twice as often as before. I have also noticed that I'm a bit more hormonal and have cried a few times for a variety of reasons.

Baby: is the size of a jackfruit (~18.9 to 20.9 inches, 6.2 to 9.2 pounds). I've never had a jackfruit, so it makes me think I should try one. Baby is still making plenty of movements, but seems to maybe have slowed down just a bit.

We went in to the midwifery center for fetal monitoring this week where they hook you up to the machine for ~20 minutes to watch the baby's heart rate and activity levels. Then they did an ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid levels. Both were good, which was a relief. If there's no baby by Monday, I go back in for another round of monitoring.  Come on Baby Moe!

Weight gained:  30 lb.

Exercise: lots of walking waddling, prenatal yoga, and weights

What I'm wearing: anything and everything stretchy

Baby preparations: adding snacks to our hospital bag and trying not to go crazy ;)

Random: Happy National Doughnut Day! I feel like I might need to partake if there's no baby headed our way today... Plus, I couldn't celebrate National Running Day this week, so I might as well partake in the one holiday I can.

What are you looking forward to most this month? 

Besides meeting Baby Moe, I'm looking forward to my cousin's wedding and exploring this whole parenting thing.

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 39
The Third Trimester: Week 38
The Third Trimester: Week 37