Archive for September, 2011

This Week In Pregnancy: Week 37

I am officially fat and cranky.

Despite my water-drinking, I am swollen. My wedding ring fits more snugly on my pinky than it used to fit on my ring finger. My Vibram Five Fingers haven’t fit since Thursday last week. My pre-Vibram running shoes get tied very loosely, but only because it’s inappropriate to teach in shoes that aren’t tied.

Until recently, I was carrying all up front. I still had a waist. I note this not out of vanity or a need for a waist while hugely pregnant but because it was fascinating that I still had one. Yeah, no worries on that any more — it’s gone.

My belly button, however, is still in. Just barely, but still.

The butt cramps I mentioned last week are still happening, but more frequently. Ouch. I did (finally) get on a foam roll, and that helped during the cramping. Whether it leads to long-term relief remains to be seen.

I have upped my red raspberry leaf tea intake and have starting taking evening primrose oil pills, in addition to my prenatal vitamins. I am hoping that these things offer help, as they’re moderately unpleasant.

The baby’s bag is packed. The Big Man and I aren’t packed yet. I’m thinking the most comfortable thing to go home in will probably be a sack dress or something similar — then I don’t need to worry about waistlines.

My mother-in-law and I made many cloth wipes out of receiving blankets and prefolds. She had a serger (a sewing machine attachment) that she had never tried out. It turned out to be a great little tool, and we made quite a few in not a lot of time.

I did go buy a nursing bra, though I struggled with that a bit. Most advice I’ve seen recommended not buying nursing wear until milk comes in because the size will change pre- and post-milk. So I bought just one, as it’s on the list of things to bring with. I bought it a little big, and hopefully it’ll at least fit well enough that I can wear it when I need to go buy more. Any BTDT moms have advice on nursing bras vs. nursing tops?

I think all the baby things that need to be washed immediately have been washed. All the hand-me down clothes, the diapers, receiving blankets, burp cloths…

I’ve been dairy-free for almost two weeks now. Colicky babies are on both sides of the family. Colic is often (though certainly not always) caused by dairy intolerance. It takes two to three weeks to get it all out of your system, so I decided a while back that three weeks before my due date, I was going to go dairy-free. I’ll feed The Kid for a while, see how he does. Assuming he’s happy, I’ll reintroduce a touch of dairy (I’m thinking Thanksgiving-ish, but we’ll see) and see how it goes. If he becomes unhappy, then I’ll know to stay off dairy until we’re done breastfeeding. If he doesn’t, then I spent a couple of months needlessly avoiding dairy. That possibility is worth the trade-off of avoiding an unconsolable baby. Also, if he is colicky anyway, we’ll know to look for other things because that one will already be off the list.

I’m due in two weeks. Hard to believe! I’m hoping for a week early (next weekend) but these things just can’t be planned. So if there’s no post next Friday, assume there’s some labor going on…


Hidden Dairy

As part of preparing for The Kid, I have gone dairy-free. (I will talk about why in more detail tomorrow.) So for the time being, I’m avoiding any and all milk products and derivatives.

In grad school, I had a couple of friends who were vegan, so I knew a tad more about looking for dairy than I otherwise might have.

There are obvious things that would now be on the no-no list: milk (duh), cheese, ice cream, yogurt.

There are other things that you might not know have milk in them or might not think about: sherbet, creamy dressings.

And then there are things that you would assume are dairy-free but aren’t (or aren’t in many/most cases): soy cheese, non-dairy creamer.

I read an old post at No Meat Athlete on foods you think are vegetarian but aren’t. I had read it when it was originally posted, but it popped up in my Facebook feed and I read it again. But I also read all the comments. That’s where I was tipped off to soy cheese.

Now, in my opinion, soy cheese is borderline nasty. I would rather just do without cheese than eat the fake stuff, mainly because the places I primarily enjoy cheese are in places where it’s melted and somewhat gooey (pizza, grilled cheese sandwich) and fake cheese just doesn’t get the job done. Because of that, it’s not something I was looking into buying anyway, but since I had noted the comment, I checked out some packages.

The Big Man and I were at Trader Joe’s over the weekend, and they have three different types of soy cheese. Upon reading the labels, I saw that all three had milk protein in them.

My biggest question is: who eats soy cheese who can/will eat milk or milk derivatives?


It is interesting — and frustrating — to read labels looking for milk. I’ve been a label-reader for a long time, looking for other chemicals that I want to avoid, so looking at labels is not new to me. But there are milk products in so many things!

Didn’t think to look at the label for bread until after we were home. Yup, milk in the bread.

If you’re curious, take a look at the labels of whatever you have handy. Look not only for milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt (obvious choices) but also for whey, casein, and almost all ingredients starting with lacto-. This website has a good list of dairy, often dairy, rarely dairy, and dairy-free ingredients.

Fortunately, labels on products nowadays typically will have allergen information. Since dairy is a top allergen, most processed foods that contain dairy will contain a warning as well that the product contains dairy. Convenient.

Are there foods with ingredients that have surprised or frustrated you?

Nichol’s Post For Today

Nichol does have a post up today. It was inadvertently posted last week (before it was complete — it’s really much too easy to hit “publish” instead of “save”!).

Because of that misstep, those who subscribe via RSS and email did not receive her post that actually posted when it was supposed to this morning.

If you want to see what Nichol is up to this week, here’s the direct link for the post:

I’m injured!

Well, I was injured.

I went running last Tuesday. I woke up Wednesday and my back had apparently decided to turn on me. I walked like an old lady all over the place, wincing and whining and gingerly lowering myself into chairs. It was a pretty constant ache that would shoot down my left butt cheek into my thigh (anterior and posterior – using my anatomy terms!).

I was in so much pain I laid on the floor for a good portion of our staff meeting. Lucky for me I work in an office where we are not all stiff and professional. Called my doctor who sent me to an urgent care doc he used to work with.

I couldn’t really sit or stand or walk or bend, so I casually leaned over the table in a most unflattering position. I explained to the doctor what my feeling was. He pushed me around, literally, and declared that I had a pulled muscle, which was affecting my sciatic nerve. Three prescriptions, an ice pack, and 5 days of no activity later, I feel pretty okay.

It twinges here and there, but I’m upright and I can sit down or lift my legs with out yelping. I also discovered that muscle relaxers plus vicodin make me VERY weird. Well, more weird than normal.

I still don’t know what I did officially,but I’m inclined to think that the last time I ran, Maddy (one if my dogs) forced me into a weird sort of pirouette around her leash (a skunk lives in our neighborhood and she’s always on the lookout for it).
I also got a talking-to about my posture (from the doctor). I’m now super conscious about how I stand, which is usually with all my weight in my left leg.

It was a nice break and now I have to get busy again because the mini-tri is only a month away and I am so far from prepared. Gulp.

Change Is Inevitable

Our bodies (and our lives) are consistently changing over time. The changes are very rapid and therefore very obvious in children.

In adults, the changes are slower and so we don’t necessarily notice them as they’re happening.

“Where did that 10 pounds come from?”

“Grey hair?”

“I remember when I could eat a whole pizza.”

The problem is that we assume that body deterioration, weight gain, loss of strength, loss of balance, etc. are all just part of getting older.

Gaining weight is not inherent to turning 25, 30, 40, 50… Gaining weight as you age is connected to failing to modify your dietary habits to accommodate your changing body. You wouldn’t feed a 15-year-old the same amount of food you’d feed a 5-year-old. So why do we think it’s crazy to suggest that we shouldn’t feed a 35-year old the same way we fed a 25-year-old? The difference is just that we need less food instead of more.

Loss of strength can be counteracted by doing strength-training exercises.

Actively working on balance exercises, as well as spending less time wearing shoes, will both help maintain balance.

These might be things that you didn’t used to have to do, or didn’t ever have to think about. But that’s just part of everything changing. If you want to still look good, feel good, move well, etc., you need to adapt to your changing body.

What do you do (or have your done) to positively accommodate your body’s changes? Do you see this as a positive, a negative, neither, or both?

This Week In Pregnancy: Week 36

Follow-up to the chiropractor appointment last week … as I mentioned, I felt good on Thursday night. Friday was pretty normal. By the end of the weekend, the following had happened: the sciatic pain was back (same degree as before, so not too bad, but still existed), the pain in my pubic bone was back, and I had soreness and occasional cramps in my left glute.

Last night, I had a follow-up appointment and today, the sciatica is better, the pubic bone pain is less frequent but intensity is the same, and the butt cramps are still coming periodically. Looking forward to these gems going away.

Diaper purchase worked out well. Also found diaper covers on Craigslist. We’re set for a while, and for less than half of what we would have paid if we’d bought everything new.

I found a substitute for school, which is a great relief!

At my midwife appointment last week, I measured 37 cm — 5 cm larger than my appointment 10 days earlier! No wonder I feel so waddle-y! At my appointment today, I was at 38 cm.

The Big Man and I went to a birthing class on Saturday. Some was review, though none was especially tedious. We picked up a few new things and also learned about what to do in the rare case of a prolapsed cord. (That means the water broke — or was broken — before the baby dropped far enough, and the cord gets pinched between the baby and the cervix, preventing blood flow and ending with a dead baby if you don’t take care of it right away.)

This weekend, we’re planning to pack the bag for the birthing center, do the last load of baby stuff that needs to be washed before The Kid arrives, finalize details on how the crib is going to be side-car-ed and generally make sure that we’re reasonably ready should he decide to arrive too early.

I have received hand-me-downs from several people — clothes, burp cloths, shoes, socks, bibs, receiving blankets, towels, wash cloths, plus a few other items not specifically for the baby. On Wednesday when I go to see my mother-in-law, we’re going to cut up some of the burp cloths and blankets and make cloth wipes.

Finding a pediatrician has proven to be more challenging that we expected. Have a few leads right now. Hoping one pans out well.

I’m far enough along that the birthing center is available if I go into labor. The window is basically from now until the end of October.

Getting close…

Still recommitted!

Im back in the saddle and I am kicking myself for falling off in the first place. This is definitely harder getting started the second time around.

It’s weird because I know I can do it. I have done it before. But if I continue this yo-yo thing, I’ll never get rid of this last 40lbs.

So since last week, I have counted everything I put in my mouth and weighed myself every morning, but haven’t exercised like I should.

This week is about getting activity level back up. As far as running goes, I’m not counting distance anymore. I’m looking at amount and then increasing it as I see fit. Rachel and I have picked a path and we are going to stick with that path. We have an idea of how long it will take us and then we will decrease that time until we can run the whole thing. Then…extend the length of the path.

My mini-tri is coming really soon and I have a very deep desire to at least finish the damn thing so I better get busy.

This second year of healthy lifestyle change is going by rather quickly and if I want an impressive before-midway-endpoint picture I need to get busy.

Any tips on getting rid of stomach fat? It has gotten smaller, and I don’t need a six pack. I just want it to be flatter. I’ll try (almost) anything.

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