Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Couch-to-5k: Week 4

Week 4
5 minute warm up, 21.5 minutes of intervals (run 3, walk 1.5, run 5, walk 2.5, run 3, walk 1.5, run 5), 5 minute cool down

Since I don't really have a lot to say about each run (or just the same thing over and over!), from now on I'm going to keep track when I went, my speed, and maybe distance (if I take note of it).  This is really just for myself - I know that it's not terribly interesting to anyone else.  So I don't mind if you don't read these posts.

Day 1 - March 26th, morning
Walk 3.5 mph, run 4.4 mph
Day 2 - March 28th, evening
Walk 3.5, run 4.4
Day 3 - March 30th, evening
Walk 3.5, run 4.5

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weighing In

If you've been paying attention to my weight ticker lately, you may have noticed that it hasn't been moving.  Actually, if I was being completely honest, it should've been moving in the opposite direction.  But I didn't want to move it backward, so I've just been leaving it as is.  I'm not sure exactly what's been going on.  When I started running again a few weeks ago, I dropped a few pounds pretty quickly.  I was hoping that trend was going to continue.  However, the last little while I've been yo-yoing back and forth with those pounds that I had initially lost.  Maybe I'm gaining muscle from the running??  I know, that sounds a bit like wishful thinking.  I think, though, that I really need to pay more attention to what I'm eating.  It's good that I've been getting somewhat-regular exercise (lately I've been getting on the treadmill about 3 times a week), but I've got to step it up with the food.  I have a tendency to snack, and I don't always pick the best foods to snack on.  I've noticed that I've also been slacking off with what I give Annika to snack on.  I used to always make sure she had healthy (or at least healthy-ish) snacks, but lately, she's had a lot of sweets and treats.  When I lost weight 2 summers ago, one of my tricks was to only eat what Annika was eating.  Not necessarily the same amount, but the same foods.  It worked because I was feeding her healthy stuff.  I think we need to get back to that, and make sweets only an occasional treat.

Honestly, I'm not overly dissatisfied with my weight right now.  When I look in the mirror, I see areas that need improvement, but in general I'm pretty happy.  Even at my current weight, I'm still almost 20 lbs lighter than before I got pregnant with Annika.  However, it's the 2 pairs of pants in my closet that I can't fit into yet (at least not comfortably), that make me want to drop a few more pounds.  And I'd like to say that I've lost all the baby weight from my pregnancy with Emmett.  Although, I realize that I may not be able to get back (and stay) at that pre-Emmett-pregnancy weight again.  At least maybe not for a little while.  When I was at my lowest, I was exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (and getting a good night's sleep every night), and that just may not be possible at this point in my life.  But I'll do what I can, and hopefully still be able to shed a few more pounds.  Hopefully soon that ticker will be moving (in the right direction!) again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's in a name?

Since I posted a picture the other day of the lovely necklace I got with Annika's and Emmett's names on it, I thought I'd write a little bit about how each of them got their names.

Annika's full name is Annika Beth.  Annika is a form of Ann, meaning gracious.  Beth means "house of God."  However, it wasn't the meanings of the names that led us (well me, really, and Carey agreed) to choose them.  Annika was a name that I had first heard when I was in university and fell in love with it.  It was in my "intro to philosophy" class, and the professor was reading us hypothetical "ethical dilemmas" for discussion and in one of them was a girl named Annika (I can't remember what her dilemma was though).  Beth is the name of my favorite character from the book "Little Women."  In the book, Beth is portrayed as very humble and giving and loved by everyone - very admirable traits.  When I was pregnant with Annika, we didn't know if it would be a boy or a girl, so we also had a boy's name picked out.  If Annika had been a boy, her name would've been Luke Jacob.  However, I had a feeling that it was going to be a girl, because I was so sure about our girl's name, and it took quite a while to come up with a boy's name.  And given the fact that we didn't use the name Luke when we actually had a boy 2 years later, I was obviously not as crazy about it as I was the name Annika (which I still love today). :)

Emmett's full name is Emmett Jacob.  Emmett means industrious and strong.  Jacob means supplanter or subsitute.  But again, it was not the meanings of the names that led us to choose them.  I found the name Emmett in a baby name book and really liked it, and Carey did too.  That's all there is to it - not a terribly exciting story.  Side note: when we told one of the nurses in the hospital that our baby's name was Emmett, she said "oh, like that big guy from Dancing with the Stars."  Even though I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, I had to laugh because I knew she was referring to Emmitt Smith, the football player.  I just thought it was funny that he was now known for dancing, rather than football.  But that's a little besides the point.  The name Jacob is a family name, for both Carey and me.  We both had grandfathers with the name Jacob, so we thought it would be neat to use as a middle name.  Again, we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we also picked out a girl's name.  This time it was really tough, because we had already used my "ideal" name with Annika.  We ended up going with the name that had been second on our list from last time, Tessa Faith.  However, this time I had a feeling that it was going to be a boy, because I was much more sure about the boy's name, and it took a long time to settle on a girl's name (I didn't want to give her just a second-rate name).  Although, it took us a while to finalize both names - we were still discussing it on the way to the hospital!  Granted, Emmett was 2 weeks early, so we probably thought we still had time to make a decision.

So, there you have it.  For those of you who have kids, I'd love to hear a little bit of how they got their names.  Or how you got your own name...

Friday, March 25, 2011

It sure seems that way....

Out of the mouths of babes:

Yesterday Annika heard me talking about my maternity clothes, which I had recently taken to a local consignment shop.  Later on, while she was playing, I overheard her talking to her baby dolls about "eternity clothes."  I had to laugh - it sure seems like you have to wear them for an eternity! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Couch-to-5k: Week 3

Week 3
5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of intervals (run 1.5 min, walk 1.5 min, run 3 min, walk 3 min, repeat), 5 minute cool down

Day 1 - March 21st, evening
Feels good to start doing (somewhat) longer running intervals again.  Although I still have a hard time motivating myself to get on the treadmill, it really does feel good, both physically and mentally.  It's nice to have a half hour to myself, to focus on just me!

Day 2 - March 22nd, evening
This was supposed to be my "day off", but I wanted to go anyways, to take my mind off the fact that I'm having a root canal done tomorrow morning.  It was a nice distraction.  Increased speed to walking at 3.4 mph and running at 4.4 mph.

Day 3 - March 24th, evening
Walked at 3.5 mph and ran at 4.4 mph.  Not much else to say.


I love spring.  Really, who doesn't?  The snow disappears, the temperature starts to warm up, everything comes back to life... plus my birthday is in spring. ;)  What's not to like about this season?  (aside from the slightly unpredictable weather and general dirtiness that comes before the 'coming-back-to-life' stage). 

This year I've been looking forward to spring for another reason, as well.  I'm so looking forward to being able to get out with my kids - to go for walks, jump in puddles, even just to be able to get out the door with out the whole process of warm up the car, bundle up the baby, bundle up the toddler, bring each one out to the car one at a time (because I don't want to leave either out in the cold while buckling the other one up), etc...  I've been much more of a hermit this winter than normal, because the whole process exhausts me just thinking about it!  There was one week, I think it was back in January, that I didn't leave the house from Tuesday afternoon until Saturday evening.  Yikes.

Annika was born in April (the day before my birthday), so it was very easy to get out with her as a newborn (and I also didn't have another child to look after, so that made it easier too!).  We have pictures of us taking her for a walk in her new stroller when she was less than a week old.  The weather was gorgeous - we were just wearing shirts and shorts.  And all she needed was a blanket - no big hat or bunting bag or anything.  I've really missed that with Emmett (although we did get to enjoy that briefly during our week in Florida).  I've been complaining all winter about how having a newborn in winter is no fun.  However, I think now I'm going to enjoy spring even more.  Now that I know how difficult it COULD be, I'll be all the more appreciative of how easy it is to just slip on a sweater and go.  And Emmett is in that stage where he's becoming more interactive and fun (and sleeping really well!), so that is also a plus. 

And only 3 weeks until my birthday! ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Just had a share a pic of my gorgeous new "mommy" necklace, handmade by my cousin.  I just got it in the mail today and it totally put me in a better mood after the crummy start to my day.

Love it!!

Edited to add:
Here's a link to my cousin Meghan's etsy shop - oh4oh9 design.  She'll be going on mat leave May 1st, though, so get your order in soon if you want one too!

More adventures at the dentist

This morning was my root canal.  Or part of it, at least.  Turns out the dentist couldn't complete it because the root had calcified and I need to see a specialist to get it done now.  :(  So I'm sitting here with my face half frozen and a half-done root canal.  I think the worst part of it is that I won't be able to get in to see the specialist until May.  I was so hoping to just have this over and done with already (since it's been 2 weeks since my last dentist appointment when they told me I needed a root canal), and now it's just dragging on and on.  At least my toothache is gone, so I'm not in pain anymore.  And the dentist sealed up the work he had done, and said that I shouldn't feel anything there (we'll see once all the freezing comes out).

(I got interrupted and I'm coming back now to finish this post)

The freezing is almost all out, and nothing hurts, other than my jaw is sore from being open for so long.  The procedure itself wasn't painful, because they freeze everything up, but I found it very uncomfortable.  I hate that rubber shield they put over your mouth - I almost feel claustrophobic (for lack of a better word) when they put that on.  And I hate not being able to close my mouth and swallow.  Apparently I produce a lot of saliva (my hygienist has told me that on more than one occasion!), and usually I feel like I'm drowning in spit when I can't swallow regularly.  Today, however, they put the spit sucker in my mouth and just left it there, and it was like a desert in my mouth.  It was almost a worse feeling than the drowning feeling.  My tongue was so dried out that I actually moved the spit sucker out for a little while so I could re-hydrate it.  I think the dentist was getting a little frustrated with me, but I don't feel bad about that at all.  Sometimes I think they forget what it's like to be on the other side.

So that's all for now.  They said they'd contact me by next week to let me know when my appointment with the specialist is.  I guess until then I'll just try to put it out of my mind, and try not to think about the fact that I have to do this all over again (I'm having a bit of a pity party right now - can you tell?).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My confession

Okay, I'm going to admit it - I love to dress my kids to match me (or each other).  Sometimes Annika will see what I'm wearing and pick out a similar outfit herself, but often I do it for her.  Sometimes I don't even realize that I'm doing it, but most of the time I do it on purpose (and then pretend that it wasn't intentional).  ;)  I know it's kind of corny, but I think it's cute. 

Don't you agree?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Have your second child first

I recently saw a book with this title - "how to have your second child first".  I haven't read it (because I don't have time to read anymore, and I've already had my first and second child), but I think it's a great concept.  If only I could've known the things I know now when Annnika was a baby.  Annika has a tradition of spending Thursday mornings with her grandma, so it's just me and Emmett on those mornings.  I continually find myself amazed at how easy it is to just have one little baby to look after.  Why did I find it so difficult the first time around?!?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Couch-to-5k: Week 2

Week 2
5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of intervals (run 1.5 minutes, walk 2 minutes), 5 minute cool down

Day 1 - March 13th, evening
Not much to say - felt pretty good.  I must be in better shape than I thought, because so far this time around has not been as difficult as the first time when I started running.  I noticed afterwards that my ankle was a little sore (it has given me trouble for most of my life), so I'll probably wear my tensor on it from now on when running.

Day 2 - March 16th, evening
I almost didn't go today.  After taking a 2 day break, it was really hard to motivate myself to get on the treadmill, especially considering that my "monthly friend" is back after a year-long hiatus.  I didn't think I had the energy for a run, but I felt pretty good once I started.  Walked at 3.2 mph and ran at 4.2 mph.

Day 3 - March 18th, evening
Another good run.  Bumped up the speed to walking at 3.3 mph and running at 4.3 mph.  I actually haven't put my tensor on my ankle yet, and it's been feeling okay.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When breast isn't best

This is a topic that's very near and dear to my heart, however, I know that not everyone will agree with my opinion.  That's okay - we can agree to disagree and still respect each other's opinions.  I'd like to share my opinion, and my story, though...

I don't believe that "the breast is best" when it comes to feeding a baby.  At least not in all circumstances.  I had incredible difficulties breastfeeding both of my children, and I am so thankful that I live in a time and place where there is a safe and nutritious alternative to breastmilk.  To some people "formula" is a dirty word, but to me, it is a gift that allowed me to feed my children without pain or stress. 

I experienced almost every problem in the book when it came to breastfeeding (except lack of milk - that was one thing I had in abundance!).  I had sore nipples, yeast infections and mastitis.  Often it seemed that one problem would almost be gone, and then another would crop up.  I couldn't win for trying (and oh, did I try).  With Annika, I met with 8 (yes, EIGHT) different feeding consultants, and still I could not resolve the problems.  I got to the point where I would cry (either from pain or from frustration) during or after every feeding.  I dreaded feedings.  However, I felt like I couldn't give up nursing, because it seemed almost every healthcare professional told me, "breast is best, breast is best."  I felt like a failure as a mother.  It was my family doctor, and a very dear friend (she will always hold a special place in my heart for the support she gave me during this time) who finally helped me get through my feelings of guilt.  My doctor told me, "my mother bottle-fed me and look, I turned out to be a doctor", and my friend told me that a bottle-fed baby is just as loved as a breast-fed baby and that's all that really matters.  By 3 months, Annika was weaned (after a very long and frustrating process - she wasn't thrilled about the bottle at first) and I could finally enjoy feeding my baby.  I've never regretted my decision, and Annika is now a healthy, happy and extremely bright almost-3 year old.

When I was pregnant with Emmett, I was a little worried about how breastfeeding would go this time around, but I didn't have the same anxiety as with Annika, because I knew that I could switch to formula if needed (and not feel guilty about it).  Breastfeeding didn't happen initially with Emmett, as he was a bit premature, and didn't even latch on for the first 2 days in the hospital.  He finally got the hang of it, and for the first while it seemed to be going not too bad (not great, but not bad).  I was determined that he would also take a bottle, even if he was breastfed, so we started giving him one bottle of formula a day when he was one week old.  He didn't seem to have any trouble adjusting to the bottle, or to the formula (I hate pumping, and didn't have time for it, so he just got formula in the bottle). 

Things seemed to be going well, until all the old problems started coming back again.  This time I met with 2 different consultants - no time for endless appointments when you've also got a toddler running around!  They both told me the same thing, and it frustrated me to no end -- "you're doing everything right".  That's right, there was nothing wrong with his latch, my positioning, nothing!!  Nothing I could change, and yet, I was still having all these problems.  I was almost ready to give up nursing when Emmett was 1 month, but I stuck in there a little longer, determined to give it a fair fight.  I knew that I could switch, and everything would be fine, but I really wanted to have a good experience with breastfeeding.  Emmett is (hopefully) my last child, so this was it. 

Then came the mastitis.  It knocked me down, physically and emotionally.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I had nothing left in me to fight.  I knew that for me to be the best mother (for both Annika and Emmett), I needed to switch to formula.  The stress and pain of breastfeeding was not only affecting me and Emmett, but it was also affecting the rest of the family.  It was time, and I was okay with that.  Weaning Emmett was much easier than Annika, as he was already used to having formula and bottles.  He was about 2 and a half months when I nursed him for the last time.  Now feedings are a happy time for all of us, and that's what's really important.  When I feed Emmett, when I hold him close and he looks up at me with those big blue eyes, I know that I'm doing what's best for him.

So that's my story.  When I see other moms having troubles with breastfeeding, I want to let them know that it's okay to switch.  Yes, breastfeeding is great, and it has its benefits, but ultimately, it may not be what's best for your family.  I think a lot of healthcare professionals stress breastfeeding (and exclusive breastfeeding at that) so much that it creates a lot of unnecessary stress and guilt in mothers.  Do I wish that I could've had a better experience with breastfeeding?  Yes, I do.  I'll admit, I'm a bit envious of women who are able to nurse with no problems.  But do I regret the decisions I've made or feel guilty about them?  Not for a minute.  I know that I've done what's best for my children and my family, and that's what really matters.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Must be in the DNA...

My little man loves to be naked.  Absolutely loves to have his pants off.  I actually don't mind changing his diaper, as that's when I get the biggest smiles! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


I decided on the weekend that it was time to break Emmett of his swaddling habit.  Annika had never been crazy about being swaddled, so it wasn't a big deal to switch her to a fleece sleeping bag.  However, Emmett seems to be more attached to being swaddled, and now that he's started sleeping through the night (most of the time), I thought it would be easier to make the change now, rather than months from now.  Honestly, I actually thought it would be easier on me, because I'm still used to getting up at night right now.  I thought if I waited a few months, and got used to sleeping through the night again, then it would be harder if I had to get up with him again at night!  So I was being a bit selfish. ;)

He seems to be doing okay with the change.  The first night he was up around 3:30, but the second night he slept straight through till morning.  Last night he was up at 1:30, which was quite unusual for him to be up that early in the night.  However, he then slept until almost 9 this morning, so he still got in a good stretch of sleep.  I'm a little unsure of what to do when he wakes up at night now.  I know that he can go 9 or 10 hours between feedings, since he's done it quite a few times, however, I still feed him when he wakes up, as that seems to be the quickest and easiest way to get him (and me) back to sleep.  This is another thing I didn't have to deal with with Annika - when she started sleeping through the night, she did it consistently, none of this back and forth.  And we never had to let her "cry it out".  She was just a really good sleeper - if she did wake up at night, she found her soother and went back to sleep.  Hopefully Emmett will be the same.  Just have to have patience...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Couch-to-5K: Week 1

Week 1
5 minute warm up, 20 minutes of intervals (run 1 minute, walk 1.5 minutes), 5 minute cool down

Day 1 - March 7th, evening
I was expecting this to be a lot harder.  It had been a long time since I had run (or done any exercise), but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting.  I started with the same speeds (walking 3 mph, running 4 mph) that I had done when I did the Couch-to-5K program the first time (summer 2009), and I found that I could do them quite easily.  And I wasn't even sore the next day.  I think next time I'll try a little faster.  It was nice to have a half hour to myself, as Carey stayed with the kids upstairs, but I don't think that this will become my regular exercising time.  Usually by the time supper is cleaned up and Emmett's had his bottle, there isn't much time before Annika needs her bath and then it's bedtime.  As that's the only "family time" we have on weekdays, I don't think it's fair of me to always spend it on the treadmill.  Also, by the end of the day I'm usually pretty beat!

Day 2 - March 9th, mid-morning
Emmett went down for a mid-morning nap around 9:30, so I took advantage of that time to go downstairs for a run.  It worked not too bad - Annika played with her toys in the basement while I was on the treadmill.  The only problem is that my monitor is not very reliable and the battery went dead before I was done.  I'm not crazy about the time (in terms of finding a new "regular" time to exercise) because I usually shower first thing in the morning, so it seems a little silly to take a shower and then work out.  Today I didn't break much of a sweat, so I could just put on a little more deodorant and I was good to go, however I know as I get further along in the program, I'll be a lot more sweaty.  And Emmett was waking up as I was finishing up, so I wouldn't have had time for a shower anyways.  I think, for now, I'm not likely to find a perfect, regular time for exercising (since my days are still a lot more unpredictable than they used to be), so I'm just going to have to take what I can get and be happy with that.
I bumped up the speed on my running intervals today - 4.2 mph.  I could feel it in my legs by the end that I was working a bit harder.

Day 3 - March 11th, evening
I went about half an hour after supper, and I was a little worried that it was a little too close to eating (I was still feeling pretty full), but once I got going, it wasn't a problem.  I did 3 mph walking and 4.2 mph running again.  It's still a bit hard to motivate myself to actually work out, but once I get on the treadmill, I feel good.  I'm ready to start doing a bit more running in Week 2.

For more information about the Couch-to-5k running program, check out this website

Friday, March 11, 2011


I had maternity photos done by my friend Melissa about a week before I had Emmett, but I never really got to do anything with them, since he came a bit earlier than we were expecting.  Just thought I'd share a few of my favs with you now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The week of the dentist

This week has been all about the dentist - both Annika and I have had appointments.  I'll start off with hers, because it went much better than my own!

This was not Annika's first trip to the dentist.  I had taken her to my dentist when she was about 18 months because I was concerned about build-up on her lower teeth.  My dentist said they didn't do anything for such small kids, and referred us to a children's dental specialist.  I took her to the children's dental place last February (a few months before she turned 2).  I was NOT impressed.  First of all, we had to wait almost an hour past our scheduled appointment time, which was not cool.  Then, when the dentist was cleaning the tartar off Annika's teeth, she screamed the whole time.  The doctor said it was actually good that she was crying, because then she'd keep her mouth open.  However, she also started gagging because he didn't ever give her a chance to close her mouth and swallow.  I was almost in tears at this point too.  I didn't want to go back there, but I decided to give them another chance.  Annika had tartar build-up again (the dentist said that her saliva may be more basic, which would make her prone to tartar, but it's rarely harmful for little kids) that I wanted removed.  This time things went much smoother.  We were in on time, and the dentist was really good with her.  She sat on the big chair all by herself and was perfectly still and quiet while he cleaned her teeth (it was just on a few teeth at the front so it was pretty easy to get).  She had no cavities and was so proud of her clean teeth afterwards (she's even been playing "dentist" this week with her toys).  I was so glad that it was a good experience because I was really afraid that she'd remember the previous experience and it would scar her for life.

Now onto my appointment - or should I say appointments.  I had a cleaning scheduled for a week from now, but I had been having a pretty bad toothache, so I changed my appointment to yesterday to get it looked at sooner.  Everything went okay with the cleaning - no cavities - but when they looked at the x-ray of the tooth that was hurting, they couldn't see anything causing the pain.  So they told me to come back for a different test, to see if the nerve in the tooth had died (what a lovely though, eh?).  I also needed a night guard, since I sometimes clench my teeth at night, so I need to have impressions done for that.  That appointment was today.  And it was not pleasant.  I'm not one that's normally scared of the dentist, but I was nervous going to this appointment.  I remembered having impressions done when I had braces, and it's not very fun.  Also, they didn't tell me what was involved in this other test, so I was a bit scared about that.  They did the impressions first, and I'm sure the hygienist was a little worried that I was going to toss my cookies on her.  The top tray made me gag really hard, and afterwards the muscles in my throat were sore from gagging so much.  But I got it done without puking.  The bottom tray was much easier.  Then came the nerve test.  The test was no problem, but the results were discouraging - the nerve was dead.  I would need a root canal.  The dentist said that because it was a front tooth, it would actually be relatively easy, but really, is there such thing as an "easy" root canal?  I've never had one before, but they're not known for being much fun.  So now I have that to look forward to.  And the real bummer is that I could only get in for the root canal on March 23rd, so now I have 2 weeks to worry think about it (and I have to live with the toothache for another 2 weeks).  I would've much preferred to get it over with right away.  Oh well...

So that's our experiences with the dentist this week.  Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I don't think that Emmett liked me writing that he was sleeping through the night.  He's been up the past 2 nights in a row now (since I wrote that!).  I guess he just wants to keep me on my toes.  He's been up around 4 or 4:30, which isn't too bad, since I go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00, so that gives me a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep.  Usually he's only up for about 15-20 minutes - drinks his bottle, gets a diaper change and then goes right back to sleep - so that's not too bad either.  The hard part for me is going back to bed.  These past 2 nights have been okay - I think it's only taken me about half an hour to get back to sleep.  For a while it was taking me an hour or more to get back to sleep after being up with him, which was really frustrating.  Especially if he was up at 5 or 5:30.  Then I'd barely get back to bed and Carey's alarm would start going off (and he's addicted to the snooze button - booo). 
Anyway, hopefully Emmett will get back to sleeping through the night (before this he did it 5 nights in a row), and mommy will be a bit happier.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ready to Run

It's time to get back on the treadmill.

Before I got pregnant with Emmett, I was in the best shape of my life.  My weight was the lowest it had been since high school.  I got up every morning at 6:30am and did at least a half hour on the treadmill (usually walk/run intervals).  I was eating well (for the most part).  I felt good.  When I got pregnant with Emmett, I was 26.5 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant with Annika.

Then came pregnancy.

I was determined to keep going with my exercise routine for as long as I could.  However, during that first trimester, I had so little energy that my running intervals quickly disappeared from my workout.  But I was going to keep walking.  Then came the pain in my pelvic floor muscles.  With Annika, I had similar pain towards the end of my pregnancy, and it made some movements (rolling over in bed, walking up stairs) extremely painful.  But I only had to endure it for a month or so at the end - now it was showing up only 3 months into my pregnancy.  I was afraid that I would be in so much pain by the end of the pregnancy I wouldn't even be able to get out of bed.  Luckily, with a little physio, I was able to keep the pain to a manageable level (even my physiotherapist said it would be unlikely to get rid of the pain completely, as the pressure on the muscles was just going to keep increasing until the baby came).  I could manage regular life, but any extra movement (like walking on the treadmill) was too much for me.  So I basically did not exercise for most of my pregnancy - other than running after a 2 year old, which can be quite a workout on its own.

My eating habits also went down the drain.  You'd think with nuturing a new life inside, I'd want to put only healthy foods into my system (yeah right - does any pregnant woman actually do that?!?), but I did the opposite.  I gave in to almost every craving I had (and I did not crave broccoli!), thinking that this was my one chance to not have to worry about gaining weight.  I also did quite a bit of emotional eating - a habit that I had worked hard to break.  So I ended up gaining a bit more than what I had planned.  In total, I gained 33.5 lbs during my pregnancy, which was not bad, but it was more than I had gained with Annika.

Now, 3 months later, I've still got about 10 lbs of baby weight hanging on.  I was down to 6 lbs left, but then I went on vacation, stopped breastfeeding (that's a whole 'nother post in itself) and started taking bc pills again, and the scale started creeping back up.  So now it's time to start getting my butt back in gear.  I really want to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight by summer.  It will be more of a challenge now to find time to exercise, as I don't think I can manage the 6:30am workout any more.  Emmett has just started sleeping through the night, but I still need to get sleep whenever I can!  Hopefully I'll be able to find a new routine and stick with it, as I like the predictability of exercising at the same time every day (or even every other day to start off).  I'm planning to redo the "Couch to 5K" running program, as it worked really well for me in the past.  I also need to start making better choices with what I eat - and no more emotional eating!  Hopefully writing about it all on this blog will help motivate me and keep me accountable.

So, time to dust off those running shoes, and get going!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The story of Emmett's birth

I've been meaning to write out the story of Emmett's birth for a while now (like 3 months!), so I figured this would be a good place to do it.  It's a bit of a long post, but it's more for myself (and for Emmett to read one day), so I don't mind if you skim through it. :)

On the morning of December 2nd, I had an doctor appointment - I was at 38 weeks.  The doctor examined me and found that I was already 3 cm dilated, which wasn't a huge surprise to me.  I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and a few other things that made me think that this baby was not going to wait until December 15th (my due date) to arrive.  Or perhaps it was just really strong wishful thinking.  Being due so close to Christmas, I desperately wanted to have the baby early (or at least on my due date), so that the kid wouldn't end up having to share his or her (we didn't know beforehand) birthday with all the Christmas celebrations.  Anyways, back to the doctor's office.  Since I was already starting to dilate, the doctor offered to strip the membranes, a procedure that can help get labour started.  I said go for it - I was definitely ready to get this baby out.  He told me it would be slightly uncomfortable, however, I found it to be quite painful (and I was quite vocal about it).  I'm sure he was thinking "how's she going to handle labour?"  With lots of drugs, that's how -- at least that was my plan.

After my doctor appointment, Carey went to work and I went back home.  Annika was with Carey's mom for the morning, and I had originally planned on going for a pedicure after my appointment, but now I decided to just stay home until picking Annika up at lunch time.  I had only a few mild, infrequent contractions, but I didn't want to be in a salon, by myself, if labour started to really get going.  So I stayed home and packed my hospital bag, and Annika's overnight bag.  By lunch time I went to go get Annika, still only have the occasional contraction.  I don't remember much about what we did that afternoon, other than the fact that I cleaned our shower (not sure why that sticks in my mind).  We had supper and I had planned to go to my book club meeting that evening, but I changed my mind and stayed home.  We went for a drive, though, to the restaurant where the girls were meeting, so that I could at least return my book and pick up the next book (I wanted something to read if I was going to be spending hours in labour at the hospital).  The contractions were starting to get a bit stronger and more frequent by this point, but still irregular and the pain was manageable.  We drove home and put Annika to bed.

Around 8:00pm I started keeping track of when the contractions were happening.  Between 8:30 and 9:00, the contractions were every 5 minutes.  We had been watching tv (Human Target) and I had just finished a piece of apple pie and ice cream.  I called the hospital at 9:00pm and they told us to come in.  Even though the contractions were coming more regularly at this point, they still weren't overly painful.  So, I called my mom to come and stay with Annika and got our stuff ready to go to the hospital.  We got to the hospital at 9:45pm, and I waited in the lobby for Carey to go park the car.  At this point the contractions were getting more painful.  We went upstairs and were put into triage.  There we waited and waited, but no one came to check on me.  The contractions were really painful, so I finally sent Carey to go find a nurse, or someone, so we could get into a room.  The nurse that checked me took my blood pressure twice, because the first reading was a bit high (I had a few issues with high blood pressure during my pregnancy, but nothing serious).  The second time was lower, which was good, because then I could go to the "good" side, or low-risk, to have the baby.  I had been in the high-risk side when I had Annika, so I was very glad that I wouldn't have to go back there.  The rooms on the low-risk side were nicer, and they were all private - no roommate (or roommate's crying baby)!  At 10:35pm I was dilated 7 cm, and we were taken to our room.

In the room, I begged the nurse to get me some drugs - as quickly as possible.  She attempted to start an IV a few times, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't stay still for her to get the needle in my arm.  She kept telling me that this baby was going to come before the epidural would start working anyways, but I was desperate.  With Annika I had a shot of morphine and an epidural, and I was really scared of going through labour this time without any drugs.  Labour had lasted for hours with Annika, and I didn't trust the nurse when she told me that this time would be a lot shorter.  She offered me the gas, and I tried it, but it didn't really make any difference.  Plus I felt a bit claustrophobic with the mask on my face, so I quickly abandoned that.  I tried sitting on a birthing ball, and walking around.  Carey massaged my lower back during contractions, which helped a little bit.  I accepted the fact that I was going to have to do this without any drugs - just me.  By 11:15pm I was fully dilated, and at 11:25pm my water broke.  It happened when the nurse was examining me, and so she got a bit wet (oops).  During both my labours, my water broke at the hospital, and I'm so glad that I've never had to clean up that mess in my own house!

I think I started pushing around 11:25pm.  It was much more painful without any drugs.  I had pushed for over 2 hours with Annika, and I prayed that it wouldn't take as long this time.  The doctor and the nurse kept telling me that I wasn't pushing hard enough, and that really frustrated me, since I was doing the best I could.  Finally I could feel that the head was almost out, and I just pushed with everything I had.  Our baby was born at 11:45pm, and I was overcome with relief that it was all over (yes, that was my first thought).  Then the doctor placed our wet, squirming baby on my chest, and I said "what is it?"  No one had announced "it's a boy" or "it's a girl", and given my current position (still had my knees up around my ears), I couldn't really see what the baby was, or shift to take a look.  Then someone said "it's a boy", and I was overcome with joy.   I looked at Carey and could tell that he felt the same way too. I had been wishing and hoping and praying for a boy, and my prayers were answered.  I always wanted to have 2 kids - a boy and a girl - and I couldn't believe that I actually got what I wanted.  Of course, I would've loved another girl, if that's what we would've had, but I was just so happy to have a boy.  Emmett Jacob weighed in at 7 lbs, and measured 19 3/4" long.

I could keep going with what happened in the hours after he was born, but I think I'll stop there.  Thanks for reading!

PS. I never had the chance to read my book for book club. ;)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome to my blog

So, I'm not really sure where to begin.  I'm a long-time blog reader, and I thought perhaps it was time to start my own blog - a place to share my thoughts and pictures, as well as a record to look back on later.  Growing up I often kept a journal, but usually I would faithfully write in it for a few months, and then abandon it for a few months, and then pick it up again... and so on.  So I can't promise that I'll have regular posts, but I'll try my best.  Here's a little bit about how I chose the name of my blog...

"Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott is my favorite book.  I got my first copy for Christmas when I was a teenager, and I've probably read it at least 15-20 times since then (I'm on my second copy already).  I read it once a year, usually every summer at the lake.  I've been asked how I can read the same book over and over, but it doesn't get old for me.  And almost each time I read it, I pick up on something new, something I hadn't noticed or thought of before.  This is my favorite passage from the book:

"I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected. To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace."

This was my desire growing up, and still even now - to be admired, loved and respected, to be well married, to lead a useful life, to be content, to have self-respect and peace.  I'm very blessed to be "loved and chosen by a good man" named Carey and we've been married for just over 7 years now.  We have 2 children - Annika, our little woman, who is almost 3, and Emmett, our little man, who is 3 months. 

There's also a second meaning to the name of my blog - I am just one little woman, but I believe that I can make a difference (forgive me for sounding a bit cliche, but it's true).  I believe I can make a difference in the environment, in my kids, in my marriage, in the people around me...  Every choice I make has the potential to make a difference, and even though it may seem small at times, it still counts.  Sometimes I may not be able to see it right away.  Sometimes I may never see it.  But I still trust that I can make a difference, and God will use this one little woman.