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The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

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Pregnancy

Pump and Post I

You can thank Dave for that creative title 😉 I have a feeling it might turn into a recurring theme so I’m making this the first installation.

So now that you know what I’m up to atm, I thought I’d fill you in on the last little bit of my life. Something about the number three is sticking in my head today so I’m going to share three things from a few categories of my life.

Favorite Third Trimester Workouts:

I. Body Pump – Up until week 39 I was able to do 2 body pump classes a week and it felt great! The energy that lifting gave me was so helpful and I think it definitely helped me through my labor.

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II. Walking – It’s been a family tradition to complete bloomsday every year and I wasn’t going to let pregnancy hold me back from that. It was the slowest bloomsday I’ve done yet and I had to stop four times after mile 5 due to some horrible cramps (TMI, but I was having some digestive issues that I believe added to the difficulty), but I DID IT!

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III. Spin – It’s interesting how the difficulty of spin evolved throughout the pregnancy. During the second trimester I felt some pain in my hip flexors and then in the third trimester it became hard to sit on the seat. It was never too painful to do though and I’m proud of myself for getting myself to classes up until the very end.

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Baby Shower: 6/3/2017

I. Friends – Thank you to these ladies for throwing an amazing baby shower (and to my mama, who also helped out a TON but I didn’t get a photo with her)

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2. Cugina – Kate helped from afar by getting this beautiful cake, she was missed for sure, but the cake was delicious! Also, did you see the donuts? My mom and friends know me so well 🙂

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III. Shower dress – In general I haven’t LOVED Target’s maternity section but I found this dress and it was amazingly comfy and pretty cute!

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Labor: 6/15/17-6/16/17

I. My labor team – Dave was an amazing support during labor. Him, my doula, and the labor and delivery nurse really helped me through it all.

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II. Partial drug free labor – Though it didn’t go exactly as planned I worked so hard for a drug free labor and I’m proud to say that outside of a few doses of fentanyl I stuck to it. My nurses face (Pauletta was literally the BEST) says it ALL! I am also proud to say that I was the loudest person in labor that night 🙂

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III. Dave’s tears – If you know me then you know I’m a crier, but I guess I don’t cry at major life events (e.g., weddings, child birth). But I love that my husband does, I’m so happy Mira will grow up knowing a man that shows all his emotions.

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Mira In The Hospital:

I. The Five A.M. Crew – Mira was born at 4:23am on Friday June 16th, so need I say more about the people who stayed up until five a.m. to meet our new little human. Nonna brought the nurse’s donuts too, she’s the besht!

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II. Family of three – Although I felt I could have left the hospital in the evening on Friday they had us stay until Saturday. It ended up being nice spending those first 24 hours in our little hospital room nook with my newly expanded family.

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III. Watching the love of my life become a dad – people talk about how amazing this is all the time and they definitely aren’t exaggerating.

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Favorite Post-Partum Items:

I. First Forty Days – This book is amazing. It is primarily a recipe book and everything Dave has made so far has been delicious, I’m just so glad that he’s always enjoyed nourishing me with his amazing culinary skills. I have also really enjoyed the lifestyle portion of the book. They talk about the Chinese traditions/philosophies for the first forty days post-partum and all that goes into setting yourself up for the best healing possible. I highly recommend it!

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II. Belly Bandit – I haven’t had it officially diagnosed yet but based on self assessment I experienced some diastasis recti, which is when your rectus abdominis separate due to the tissue thinning. Although the belly bandit has not been scientifically proven to bring the muscles back together (I’ll be doing my deep core workouts to help promote that) it feels good to wear it and I feel it has helped assist my uterus in contracting and bringing my belly in.

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III. Nipple Whip – This stuff is literally the best, the end.

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Mira’s First Few Weeks:

I. Holding her ciuccio – I mean when it’s you and your chooch against the world you gotta hold it tight!

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II. Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play – Mira really enjoys sleeping in this thing, of course she prefers being held (who doesn’t???) but this thing has been really nice for naps.

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III. First Bath – the actual bath was a real upset for little Mira, but I really wanted you to see the adorable towel picture when she was so relieved to be out of the water.

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Parent Judgements – I have to preface this one with my love for growing as a person and admitting/working on my faults. Before becoming a parent there were silly things that I looked at and judged, now that I’ve lived it I definitely still have some judgements 😉 but there are a few things that I have a better understanding of, so here they are:

I. Riding in the backseat with your baby – I have no idea why I hated seeing parents do this, but now I know that in the first few weeks of your babies life it’s hard not to want to ride with them. For me it had to do with anxiety about how she was sitting in the car seat. People like to say shit like “Oh just wait, the worrying only gets worst” but I have to say that for me the level of anxiety has decreased in just the last week of getting used to her. Also, I can’t wait until I can work out again (which ALWAYS helps me with my anxiety).

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II. Bed Sharing – I understand why it’s not for everyone and why it wouldn’t be safe in all situations; however, it works for our family and it’s so nice to get 4-5 hour stretches of sleep 🙂

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III. Okay, so Dave and I have been sitting here for the past five minutes trying to think of another one and I can’t think of anything. I turned to him and said “I don’t think there is a third one,” he laughed and said, “it’s just that you judge so much.” HAHA my husband knows me.

So I’ll leave you with a few pictures of Mira meeting her nonno, nonna, and grandma.

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Be well.

 

Pregnancy Thus Far And A Week In Workouts

This pregnancy has been an up and down of emotions. At times I feel blessed that we made it through such a tumultuous time and have been able to carry this baby thus far and then other times I’m an emotional wreck, feeling guilty about any negative feelings I have towards the pregnancy and how it has impacted my body. I try to allow myself all feelings, but the guilt creeps in at times. I’ve found there are a few things that can help me get through it and I thought I’d share them on the blog so other people who may be experiencing pregnancy after loss (or just similar guilty feelings) can find solace in knowing A. They’re not alone and B. There are things that help.

1. Gratitude. One of the strategies I have utilized to keep a peaceful frame of mind is gratitude. I’m grateful for a. being able to have this baby b. the love and support I have in my partner c. that I live in an amazing city with so many amazing opportunities for myself and my family d. that I have a home e. that I have friends and family that I love f. that I have health care (fucking Trump) g. that I love my job. And honestly the list goes on and on. When I’m feeling down I start running through the list of things I’m grateful for and it really does help.

2. Healthy eating. I feel that throughout this pregnancy I have been able to eat a healthy balance of 80/20. I can’t imagine never indulging in those things that your pregnant body desires (in my case Cadbury egg, popsicles/slushies, doughnuts <–okay this one might not be pregnancy hehehe), but I’m extremely head strong about maintaining a balance with healthy foods. Here are some of my faves so far:

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Avocado toast, banana almond butter toast.

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Sauteed spinach.

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Savory eggy oats.

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Smoothie bowl.

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Whole foods salad.

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Bagel with cottage cheese cucumbers and tomato.

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Brown rice with Kale and egg.

3. Hydration. I’ve also been sure to drink 80-100oz of water a day. This has kept a lot of the negative symptoms at bay and I’m so happy about that.

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4. Finding inspiration. I’ve been inspired by so many bloggers in general during the last 4 years that it was intuition to start finding those who had given birth. I love reading the Hungry Runner Girl, Peanut Butter Fingers, and The Fitnessista. On Instagram I recently found Hayley Bolton’s account and she is so REAL and inspiring. I also follow Knocked Up Fitness on IG (I have her DVDs too), which lead me to really watch out for Diastasis Recti and see a personal trainer when I felt it had happened to me (Thanks Erica!). Lastly, I follow Natalie Jill Fit on Facebook (I’m rarely on facebook now but she has great videos). These women do not sugar coat things, they are women that have worked hard after pregnancy/delivery (with things not always going smoothly) and it is truly inspiring.

5. Hiring a doula. The doula has already been such a great support. I had some pretty intense sciatic nerve pain and she had some great suggestions for how to sleep at night that would help and it completely has! She also gave me an acupressure point for anxiety/sleep, and has shown me some dance moves to help alleviate that ‘full’ feeling that happens near the end of the day.

6. Working out. Ever since my first pregnancy I found that the times I felt the best were when I was working out. But this has rung true even more so during this pregnancy. At the beginning of the pregnancy the nurses/doctors at the high risk clinic advised me to keep my workouts easy (which was a real bummer), but as soon as I hit 12 weeks and went to a regular OB I was cleared to do my normal thing. I’m so proud of myself that I’ve gotten in 5-6 workouts a week and I don’t feel like I’ll be stopping any time soon. My workouts have consisted of: Body pump, Spin, Mixxed Fit dance, Kettle bells, walks, and hikes.  It’s crazy how I can be sitting on the couch and think ‘my hips hurt and maybe I shouldn’t go workout,’ but once I’m at the gym doing it my hips feel much better.

I spoke with my doctor again yesterday and she was very happy that I’m able to engage in this level of activity, she wants me to keep going for as long as I can. A lot of things change during pregnancy and if this can be something that stays consistent and can help me recover afterwards then this is something that definitely makes me happy when I’m feeling down on myself.

I wanted to share what week 32/33 in workouts looks like for pregnant Nicole:

1. Thursday, April 27th was a 45 minute spin class. Forgot my watch, so you get a picture of the bike instead.

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2. Friday April 28th was an hour and a half walk with Dave (prepping for Bloomsday), we got a little bit of jogging in there.

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3. Saturday, April 29th was suppose to be a Body Pump class, but I got such little sleep Friday night that I decided to sleep past my 7am alarm and do a 45 minute workout from Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt DVD. I love these things, they are a really great work out!

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4. Sunday April 30th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) was a sweaty spin class.

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5. Monday, May 1st was a rest day. I took the boys out for walks, but kept it really minimal because my body definitely needed a break.

6. Tuesday, May 2nd was another great spin session.

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7. Wednesday, May 3rd was time for some weight lifting at Body Pump.

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My goal has been to get 3-4 days of cardio a week and 2 days of weight training, and so far so good. I’m taking advantage of this time when my body feels good and I feel like I can get out the door and do it. If there comes a time when my body says no, then I will listen, but thankfully it continues to love these workouts.

So now you’ve heard what’s been getting me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, hope it’s helpful to anyone having similar feelings.

Be well!

Pregnant After Three Miscarriages

I recently read a post written by one of my favorite bloggers ‘Peanut Butter Fingers‘ in which she discussed a recent miscarriage she had and after weeping for about 15 minutes I wiped my tears and thought to myself, “why haven’t I written about my experience?” I think  I haven’t written about it in part because there are such a range of feelings that come with this kind of experience and I wasn’t sure I had sorted through these feelings until recently (thank god for therapy).

Let me start at the beginning…

We found out we were pregnant in December 2014, after asking around for suggestions I found a clinic that had me come in at 6 weeks just to double check if I was pregnant. We got a ‘yes’ and they wanted me to schedule a 12 week appointment, but I felt really weird about waiting that long. They assured me that it was routine, but I decided to go with my gut and schedule with another clinic. They got me in at 8 weeks and I loved the doctor! When we went into the appointment we were ecstatic; the excitement quickly faded when the wand was in place and there was no heartbeat and a sad look appeared on the nurses face. They had us do a more in depth ultrasound (waiting + ultra sound took about 3 hours) and still it remained, we had lost the baby.

We were so thrown by news, sad, confused, and by that point tired. They told us we had two options: an insertable medicine to induce contractions, or a D&C. We chose the medicine because it reduced the risk of scar tissue on your uterus. That was a mistake, essentially I went through labor but with no baby to show for it. It was horrible pain, we were up for 8 hours, I laid all over the house (couch, bed, toilet) and dave laid right by my side, on the floor holding my hand the entire time. It was a nightmare.

We really didn’t even think about trying again for another 8 months after that. During that time we had decided to move down to California and try out a new chapter in our lives. Once down there we decided to give it a go. **At this point I think it’s important to mention that we have never had difficulty with the conception portion of things, that has always happened fairly quickly. I’ve only met one other person who struggled (at least openly) with recurrent miscarriage, every one else who had a story to share seemed to have trouble with the ‘getting pregnant’ part. While I can’t imagine how difficult that must feel, I found it really hard to feel like I could relate to anyone.** Back to the story, so we tried, and in October of 2015 we were pregnant again!

At 8 weeks we went to an amazing doctor in Newport Beach and we heard our babies heart beat! It was so moving, Dave and I both cried. I called my mom into the room and she teared up a bit too. Things seemed to go fairly smoothly until about 9 weeks when I saw some very faint spotting, I was told that it was no big deal and a little spotting is normal. It wasn’t normal, and at our 12 week appointment the babies heart had stopped and based on the size measured about 9 weeks. This was the 22nd of December, we had a D&C (never again will I inject medicine into my vagina) on the 23rd, and flew to see family later that day. It was a stressful time, on the one hand I was glad to be surrounded by people that love me, but on the other I just wanted to be in my bed at home curled up in a ball.

Dave took this picture of me the day after the D&C (I had to go in for an injection due to my blood type), and while it’s quite sad to look at, it pretty much depicts the way a miscarriage leaves you feeling. Sad, uncertain, hopeless, and defeated.

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Obviously I had grown attached to that fetus, I had picked out names, made a registry, etc. But I honestly think the hardest part was knowing that it had been dead inside me for three weeks. That’s something that never leaves you.

Dave and I are nothing if not persistent. We gave ourselves three months to heal both physically and emotionally and tried again. We were pregnant, and at week 6 we miscarried. The saving grace about that miscarriage was that it was natural, I didn’t have to choose between the horrible medicine or surgery. But still it was miscarriage number 3, and for a 30 year old that’s odd. We went to the doctor and this HORRIBLE nurse practitioner said, “So when will you try again?” I started crying and said “Are you kidding? I’ve had three miscarriages, I want answers, why is this happening? What’s going on?” At that point she decided to send me to a fertility specialist, which was something that I am so thankful for because that’s where I met Dr. Sharon Moayeri. While I had already had quite a few tests run, Dr. Moayeri sat me down and made a list of the possible reasons why, the tests that would need to be done, and the solutions for the most likely possibilities. Now if you know me, then you know I’m a list person.

We did all the tests and the only thing we really found out (which we already new) was that the second miscarriage was chromosomal, so most likely that was what was happening. At which point our only option for further testing is to do IVF, pull a certain number eggs (say 10), combine them with sperm and see how many test chromosomally normal. Then that maybe gives you your odds.

Dr. Moayeri was so amazing and kind, but during this time we decided to move back to Seattle. She recommended a colleague she studied with at Stanford who was located in Seattle and we felt really good about that.

We made an appointment with the new doctor and reviewed what IVF would look like and how much it would cost. We looked at our calendars and things just weren’t lining up, it wasn’t going to work in October because we had a wedding in November, we couldn’t do it in November because we had Christmas and a wedding on New Years. So we decided to wait until January 2017 to kick off the new year.

In the mean time, we decided to try on our own and we got pregnant again, and here we are at 25 weeks.

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You never forget a miscarriage, and I was nervous for the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy (and it still pops up every now and then). But what I’ve learned through this whole experience and my work in therapy is that one thing we don’t allow ourselves enough of is the opportunity to be sad, anxious, mad, or frustrated. It starts in early childhood, you fall off a bike and start crying and someone rushes to your side saying “It’ll be okay, don’t be sad.” I believe that if we just allowed ourselves to feel those feelings without shame or judgment, life becomes a lot easier to handle.

Pregnancy will never be normal for me, as it hasn’t been for a lot of people. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any difficulty with pregnancy, or to anyone who is in a position of being pregnant and does not want to be. These decisions are so hard to make and our society does not make it easy on any of us (especially now). Know that I have your back, it’s your body your choice.

One more thing, if you know someone who has had a miscarriage and you want to support them, this article has some great suggestions. It’s such a difficult time and everyone responds to it differently.

Be well.

2016…That’s a Wrap

Well, for many of us 2016 was complete shit! It definitely had it’s share of ups and downs for the Paolone-Webb household; however, I am going to use this post as a place to focus on my favorite things that happened this last year. Don’t worry, you know me I’ll share about the shit stuff in future posts 😉

1.) As many of you know for the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 we lived in Orange County. It was beautiful, sunny, and such an adventure!

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2.) There was that time we took a road trip to Arizona to visit uncle Jeff and his animal sanctuary.

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3.) Going to the Bahamas, and eating the yumminess that was in the below coconut!!!!

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4.) Kelley came to visit, and we went to Disneyland and the women’s spa and it was everything.

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5.) Kate, Em, Lauren, and mom came and we went to disneyland and explored Orange County.

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6.) Okay, let’s be honest, I went to Disneyland A LOT this year, and I am stoked AF about it!

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7.) We moved back to Seattle and it was perfect timing.

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8.) We broke nonna out of the hospital for Christmas Eve dinner and I’m sooo happy we did. I love this woman so hard!

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9.) Three amazing people in my life sealed the deal with their partners: Kelley & Russell, Lena & Josh, and Kate & Jon. Their weddings were definitely some of my favorite memories of 2016.

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10.) We are pregnant with a little girl! She is due June 18th 2017, and we are so ecstatic I can’t even express it. I mean I guess this one is probably my biggest highlight of 2016, and I think Dave would say the same!

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The forecast for 2017 calls for more blog posts from this girl! Here’s wishing you all a brilliant year!

Be well.

 

 

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