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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm allowed to complain ... I'm pregnant!

I feel like for the majority of this pregnancy I haven't done much complaining about my aches and pains ... of course I mean in person because on here (this blog) everything is exaggerated as I am pretty selective as to what I write about and when I want to write. But there are days when I just need to complain ... I would like to take this chance to use my free complain pass  :)

So a few appointments ago my doctor told me to start taking Pepsid AC for my heartburn. Up until a week or two ago it worked great ... and then it started losing its effectiveness and I ended up back where I started ... feeling like a fire breathing dragon every evening (at the same time, no matter what I ate that day) and through out the majority of the night, who's esophagus is filled with an acid slowly burning a whole near the entrance to my stomach. I spend my evening and night alternating between tums and glasses of milk.
So the next step was Prolisec OTC. It's a 14 day treatment that reduces the amount of acid in your stomach and repairs any damage caused by the acid that tries to make its way to your throat. This morning I took the first dose, though sadly it takes 1-4 days to take full effect and I am currently sitting here wishing I hadn't eaten at all today ... though I would probably still have acid indigestion.
Anyway, fingers crossed that it starts to take effect soon and that it fixes the problem ... because I cannot feel like this every evening for the next 2.5 months .... I will become one very very angry fire breathing dragon.

As you know, if you have seen me lately, I have gained quite a belly. Especially in the past few weeks. Though I am now starting to gain a little more weight in the breasts, buttocks, and face. So despite what we all say about the pregnant woman being beautiful, I have not been feeling very pretty lately.
Between the periodically swollen feet, the round face and the ever expanding waste line, I am looking more and more forward to getting back in shape after the pregnancy (when it's safe and in a timely manner).

It doesn't help that the other day a person who sees me every couple of weeks made a comment about my rounder face. She didn't mean it in a bad way ... I think she was trying to tell me that I look good because she threw in words like 'motherly', but never the less, I ended up feeling a little crappy. I expect to gain weight in my midriff etc, but I really don't need to know that you can see a double chin forming. Just tell me that I am glowing or something.

Anyway, my mom and dad are coming to visit this weekend and mom has offered to give me a pedicure to help me feel pretty. And even though there is no way in the whole wide world that I would wear flip flops right now, knowing that my toes are pretty will help me feel pretty. I think every pregnant woman should feel pretty ... heck, I think every woman should feel pretty ... And sometimes its the little things that help ... perhaps a face mask will help also  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Tested it ... It Passed!

For pretty much my entire pregnancy I have dealt with a dry nose, congestion, bloody nose and a whistling nose. While it happens 24/7, it can be worse at night when I am trying to get to sleep. And as I am sure a lot of you know, there is nothing like a whistling nose when you are trying to relax. I don't know about you, but it drives me insane!

So I decided to check my options. If I wasn't pregnant, I would use decongestants among other stuff to ensure a good nights sleep. But being pregnant, I have to check the safest options. I read that Vick's Vapor Rub is safe, but I am not a big fan of that stuff unless I have a really bad cold where your nose is completely blocked when you lie down, and I am definitely not that bad.

So then I found a message board where someone mentioned using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. You blow your nose and then take a Q-Tip, dip it in the Vaseline and put it on the inside walls of your nose. That sounded like something I could try. So two nights ago I gave it a try and it worked! My nose felt clearer, the whistling stopped and I felt like I was getting more oxygen. So just to make sure that it wasn't a fluke, I tried it again last night and it worked again! Who knew that something so simple would work so well!

There is only one negative side to using the Vaseline, and that is the initial smell of the petroleum jelly when your nose clears. But that passes pretty quickly. I have also noticed less morning nose bleeds because the Vaseline helps to keep my nose moisturized which in turn stops the bleeding caused by a dry nose.

I will continue doing this until I stop having a congested nose. It's safe and doesn't involve any medical chemicals and because I am not ingesting anything, neither is James.  :)  I love finding little home remedies!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cannot sit still for Five Minutes!

Nesting Season has begun! ... This means that I constantly have the urge to clean and organize every corner of the apartment, but the nursery more than anywhere else. I will sit down for maybe five minutes before thinking of something else that I just MUST do at that very moment. It is an exciting feeling and also cool in the sense that I am getting stuff done before I become too uncomfortable to move.

The Bassinet will be moved into our room either before James arrives or when we have a crib (which ever comes first), but for now it looks lovely in the baby room. The chest of drawers will contain all of Jame's little clothes and don't you just love the lamp?! I think it's awesome! It's flexible and has multiple settings.

Gifts from my registry at Babies R Us started to arrive today (thank you!) and that gave me even more motivation to get stuff ready. So I have been unpacking things to make room for more baby stuff and have been putting items, such as clothes, in the chest or drawers.

I have organized the towels, wash cloths and burping cloths on top of the chest of drawers for now, but I plan on moving those into the hallway closet before James arrives. For now, I just like seeing everything out in the nursery where I can look at it. It makes me feel very excited :)

I love the little bassinet. At the moment I do have a blanket on the side and teddy bears sitting inside the crib, but that is just for me again. Once James is sleeping in the crib, all of that will be removed for safety. But seeing the little crib with the little teddies makes everything so much more real (just incase my bulging stomach didnt!) and is just another step that I think every mother-to-be has to go through.

We all go through our moments of anxiety and disbelief and feeling like it's a dream. But I believe the nesting period is almost like a period of acceptance. It is the time where we stop pinching ourselves and truley realize that we are about to become parents. There are still moments when I get those excited butterflies and find myself thinking, "Oh My Goodness, I'm having a baby." But that is because I am now less than three months away and realizing how much time has just flown until now, I cannot imagine that time would slow down ... and I most certainly don't want it to.

It feels good to be getting things done in preparation for the arrival of our son. I feel like a little girl waiting and preparing for the arrival of Christmas ... which until the birth of my son will have been my favorite time of year. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Look at that little smile!

I have had two doctor appointments in the last two days. Yesterday I had my ultrasound which is always amazing. It was the last ultrasound for this pregnancy, so the last chance to see James before he makes his way into the world in just over 3 months.
Everything looks great according to Nikki, the technician. James is in the 64th percentile as far as his growth goes, so that is a little above average. Hopefully that doesn't mean an 8 or 9 pound delivery weight!!! Hahahaha, though babies who are born bigger tend to sleep through the night a lot sooner which would definitely be a plus. At the moment, James is about 2.5 pounds ... so tiny!

James Thomas at 26.5 weeks. Can you believe that he smiled for the camera :)
Today's appointment was one of my routine monthly visits with Dr. Samawi. We do the same thing every visit: I pee in a cup, blood pressure, weight, temperature, baby's heart rate, uterus measurements and questions. Dr. Samawi said that everything is going really well and he couldn't be happier. He is an awesome doctor and I am excited to have him in the delivery room when the day arrives :)

So you remember when I was tested for anemia? It turns out that I am anemic and had to start taking iron pills twice a day. Anemia is very common among pregnant women, especially around the 27th week, which is right where I am. Here are some of the symptoms of anemia:

  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy  --- Yes!

  • Unusually rapid heart beat, particularly with exercise  --- Sometimes.

  • Shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise --- Sometimes.

  • Difficulty concentrating --- No more than usual, lol.

  • Dizziness --- Yes, but not too often.

  • Pale skin --- A few people mentioned that I was looking pale.

  • Leg cramps --- Especially at night time!

  • Insomnia --- Only in the past week or so.

  • So as you can see, I experienced most of the basic symptoms. The ones that bother me the most are the fatigue and the leg cramps and then more recently the insomnia.
    With the fatigue there are days where I feel completely useless and just want to sleep. There are days when I might take multiple naps and go to bed early. My head barely hits the pillow and I am out like a light!
    The leg cramps haven't been very bad, just more of an annoyance and discomfort when I am trying to relax at night. Some nights I toss and turn with a lot of frustration.
    And with the insomnia, it is where I will wake up between 4am-5am and not be able to get back to sleep for quite some time.

    So hopefully the iron intake will alleviate some of (if not all) these symptoms. The doctor also prescribed me something to hopefully ensure that constipation wont become an issue due to the added iron.

    So that's me. No more doctors appointments this week. So it will be nice to have a break from the doctor's office. :)

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Frustrated at Work.

    The past week has been pretty stressful due to my restaurant job. In the past 1.5 weeks I have driven home after work 3 times with tears streaming down my face. That cannot be healthy. So here is what is going on.

    Over the holidays we got a new general manager at our store because the previous GM was promoted. Over the holidays I requested some time off to visit my family and noticed that the week I returned to work, I was not yet put back on the schedule for those days. But I didn't say anything because I understand that they have to work me back in where they had replaced me for the days I was gone. However, it has been over 2 weeks now and I am still only on the schedule 2 days a week.

    The weeks leading up to Christmas the other GM and I were under an agreement to put me on the schedule as much as possible while I was feeling great physically because we knew the time would come when I would have to cut down on my hours due to late pregnancy discomforts. So the GM had me on the schedule 5-6 times a week so that I could save money for the time that I will be on maternity leave.

    (History lesson real quick: I have worked at the restaurant for over a year now, which is longer than all other employees bar two. Before becoming pregnant I was next in line for the promotion to shift lead and was in the middle of being trained when I conceived. The GM and I decided that is would be best to put my training on hold, since being a shift lead requires lifting of heavy plates/trays etc and we wanted to make sure that I stayed safe ... so I was obviously good at my job. The GM also often left me in charge while he had to run errands during the day, which tells me that he still saw me as someone capable of leading others and getting my work done whether or not he was present).

    So I spoke to the old GM about my schedule concerns and we talked about how I am wanted to save and prepare for when I am not working. He completely agreed and said that I should have been back in the schedule. He said that he has seen my lack of shifts and had spoken to the new GM already and that I should have at least 5 shifts this week ... That didnt happen ... I still only have 2 shifts this week.

    The old GM explained to me last week that the new GM is going through a period of getting to know everyone and I understand that. He doesnt know who we are or what we are capable of. But the old GM had also said that he informed the new GM about me and the agreement we were under. But the new GM has been there for 3 weeks now and has worked with everyone on multiple occasions.

    To make matters worse, after I had picked up a shift last week, the new GM told me that I couldnt work that shift and completely took me off the schedule for that day ... (he had scheduled me AGAINST my availibilty despite having all that information in the office. So I had switched with someone so that I wouldnt lose 1 of my 2 shifts that week) ... He informed me of his mistakes the day before that shift and said that I didnt need to come in. I was very annoyed but contained myself and continued working on my side work without saying much.

    Then as I was getting ready to leave for work a few of us were talking when the new GM interjected, "I dont even know who you are [as a worker], you are sooo moody." ... I was blown away by this statement and didnt really respond to it as I was left speechless. Unless I feel like complete and total crap physically, I keep a positive attitude at work to ensure excellent customer service and I get all my work done. I have never had issues with any of the employees and I havnt had any crazy pregnant moments at work. So I have no idea why he would say that to me.

    I was told by my friends later that day that it is a form of descrimination since moodiness is a symptom of pregnancy. (Even though any moodiness has been minimal). The descrimination thing hadnt really crossed my mind. I just feel like I am getting picked on or singled out. I cried on and off for hours after leaving work that day. I was hurt at his personal attack and embarrassed that maybe I have been moody (but according to other employees, this isnt true). My self-esteem was completely shot.

    I feel like I am having to re-prove my abilities to work at this restaurant when my numbers and over-all sales really say it all. I have never had a customer or employee complaint and I have never been reprimanded for not finishing a tast. So why do I feel like I am on probation? Why do I feel like I am being punished? Am I being descriminated against or am I just being bullied? I hate going to work now, but I cannot afford to quit my job. Going to work depresses me and I know this cant be good for my baby James.

    What do you think? What should I do? --- I have inquired about switching stores, but will that fix my problem? Advice/input greatly appreciated.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Glucose Tolerance Test.

    This morning I had my glucose tolerence test. This is a test to see how my pancreas is taking care of the sugar that I consume and so is checking for my risk of gestational diabetes. I was ordered to do the 1 hour test. So I went in and had to drink a very sugary drink. There are multiple flavors, and I got the Lemon-Lime drink which tasted pretty good. It tasted like flat Sprite or 7Up ... but not the diet kind haha.

    I wasnt allowed to eat before the test so I was very hungry and when I got the sugar rush a few minutes after finishing the drink I didnt feel very good. I felt just a little nauseated and started sweating. But that passed after just a few minutes and the rest of the 1 hour wait time was a breeze (I brought a book).
    For that one hour period I was not allowed to eat or drink anything and I wasnt allowed to leave the lobby area. As the phlebotomist said, "Once you drink that I am putting you in time out." Hahaha. But it's good to make sure women taking the test dont try to consume anything. I did have the urge to gulp a bunch of water to get rid of that sugar high feeling and wash the syrupy after taste down ... so I guess being in time out was good, even for me.

    Once the hour was over the phlebotomist took me to have my blood drawn. Of course the results arnt instantaneous but I am sure that Dr. Samawi will discuss my results with me at my appointment next week. Dr. Samawi said that I have been so on track with my weight gain and have been staying very healthy that my risk should be very low. But because there is both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in my family it's always a good idea just to check. While every pregnant woman has to do this glucose test, we will be checking me due to my family history.

    On the off chance that there are any abnormalities in my test results, I will be sent back to do a more extensive three hour test. As far as I know, its the same test with the glucose drink, but they draw blood multiple times over the three hours to see where the problem lies. So we shall see what happens after I see Dr. Samawi next week  :)

    The first thing I did after I had my blood drawn was gulp some water and go home to eat! And now I am feeling much better and less like I just ate an entire bag of swedish fish for breakfast :)

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    16 and Pregnant.

    I had never watched the TV show '16 and Pregnant' before, but this time of the day (12:45pm) my TV options are very limited and I will never ever watch the soap operas! So anyway, I saw this listed and thought that I would give it try.

    It's not as horrible as I thought it would be ... shows on the MTV channel don't have the best track record haha! So I just finished my first episode and I have to admit that watching the baby being born brought tears to my eyes. I cannot yet imagine what it would feel like to see my child for the first time, but just thinking about it brought tears of joy. I watched the 16 year old mom and dad and they were over-joyed getting to hold their baby for the first time.

    I cant wait to meet my little James for the first time and for Josh and I to finally become a family of three (aaand Brutus).   :)

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Back in the Gym

    Even though I feel like napping all the time, I am doing my best to keep moving. As long as its not early in the morning I join Josh at the gym here in our apartment complex. Josh usually runs and does some weight training. I either walk on the treadmill or work out on the elliptical machine and then do some very light weight lifting --- just upper body with the 2.5 pound free weights.

    It feels pretty good to get off the couch, even if I am barely breaking a sweat. The important thing is raising my heart rate a little and just keeping my muscles moving. I do get out of breath a lot faster because I am carrying extra weight and my lungs are being squished by my ever growing uterus. What's funny though is that I still get the urge to push myself. As soon as I step on the treadmill I want to set it to 6.0 mph and run for at least 30 minutes, but today I settled for 3.3mph for 15 minutes. I did put it at a 1.5% incline though, just to add a little difficulty. But by the time I was finished my pelvis was ready to be done, so I am succeeding at not pushing myself too hard.

    Thankfully the machines have a heart rate monitor so that I can keep an eye on my heart rate. The rates are: 1)warm-up 2)fat burner 3)cardio 4)peak high. I try to keep my heart rate between 'fat burner' and 'cardio' which is between 130 bpm and 155 bpm. That is the safe zone for my baby. Also if I allow it to go higher and I start to really heat up it can be very unsafe for my little James because he will heat up also and in the uterus the baby has no means to cool down, which is why I am not allowed in a hot bath or the hot tub for the duration of the pregnancy.

    So long story short, I need to be careful and listen to my body, but I also need to keep moving  :)

    On days that I don't go to the gym I am trying to do some prenatal yoga or prenatal Pilate's. Since that's in DVD or YouTube form it can be very difficult to get motivated and off the couch, but rest days are also very welcome :) 

    I look forward to getting back to proper running once James has arrived, but in the mean time I am very much enjoying a slower pace :)