Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gestational Diabetes Check In: Week 1

Each week I have to call in my numbers to the diabetic counseling office, so they can make sure that my levels are where the need to be and help me to make any changes if needed.

I thought that each week on this day I might journal/blog a little about the previous week and how I am feeling...because if this last week is any indication it's likely going to be a roller coaster, and sometimes just writing things down really help me to clear my head. Plus...if there is anyone out there like me...scouring the internet for more info on GD and they are desperate for information that isn't all gloom and doom...and worst case scenario then hopefully they can find some comfort in my words.

First I thought I would start out with the changes I have had to make since the diagnoses...sorry if this is scattered...that is kind of how my brain has been lately. #ItsNormal #PregnancyBrain

Diet

Last Tuesday I met with a dietician and she came up with some numbers/guidelines for me to follow...and while they are nowhere near as strict as I anticipated, getting used to my new normal this week was a struggle at times.

The biggest change for me has been eating at perfectly spaced intervals throughout the day. She recommended that I eat 6x per day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. This sounds ideal right? Well...I suppose, but I haven't had much of an appetite, so often I am forcing myself to eat. Also, not only do I have to eat 6x per day I have to do so in perfectly spaced intervals. I have to wait 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner before eating anything so that I can get an accurate reading when I check my blood sugars. This isn't a huge deal, I just have to be really diligent about checking the time when I start eating and setting a timer to make sure I am testing at the right time. I have been doing really well with this so far...so let's hope I can keep it together :) 

Also, with my diet I have to be really diligent about counting my carbs.

Breakfast- 30g of carbs + protein (no fruit/cereal)
Snack- 15g of carbs + protein
Lunch- 45-60g of carbs +protein
Snack- 15g of carbs + protein
Dinner- 45-60g of carbs + protein
Snack- 15g carbs + protein

I would say I have done a decent job following this plan thus far...my biggest issue has been getting enough carbs and figuring out the best ones. My blood sugar levels have been on the lower end each time I test so I'm trying to find a good balance to where I am eating the right carbs and in the right amount so that my levels aren't too high, but also not too low...I'm slowly letting go of my fear of the carbs as I continue to see good numbers.

Checking my Levels 

I have to say this isn't as big of a deal as I had anticipated. I was terrified that the tips of my fingers would constantly be sore and that the whole process would be painful and tricky...but it's quite the opposite.

I have to check my levels 4x per day. The first time is right when I get up so I can get my fasting glucose levels. They want this to be under 90 and I have been averaging around 80-85. I'm messing around with my nighttime snack and this high protein, no sugar added, Greek yogurt seems to be the best  to help keep my fasting glucose levels on the lower end, but without letting my body go into starvation mode at night...because you see, each morning I also have to check my ketones, which is basically protein in your urine...

 
so yes, I have to pee on a stick every morning #ILiveTheGlamorousLife If I test positive for ketones it means my body isn't getting enough glucose/carbs and my body is burning fat for energy instead of carbs. It's a balancing act for sure. I have had some mornings where I test positive for ketones...so I am working hard to make sure I get enough calories/carbs to get this under control.

This has been my go-to breakfast all week...it gives me lots of protein, plenty of carbs, and it still pretty delicious!
 I then eat breakfast and wait 2 hours and check again...well this is where it gets tricky. I'm teaching at this time...I mean, smack dab in the middle of science...so it's been a juggling act for sure, but I am getting it done.

This is one of my favorite snacks...I only eat half of the fiber bar because the carbs/sugars are more than 15g, but I save the other half for my afternoon snack. The protein shake has been a life-saver because since I am still running/working out and I am supposed to be eating an extra 250-300 calories per day because I am pregnant it gives me a big chunk of calories without making me feel too full.
Then comes snack...and while oftentimes I am not all that hungry yet, I still make sure to eat.

Next comes lunch! This meal is usually my leftovers from dinner the night before since we have made sure the carb/protein ratio works.We also made a stop at Costco this weekend for some high protein lunches.

I then check my levels again 2 hours after lunch...and you guessed it...smack dab in the middle of teaching. Again, it's a bit of a juggling act, but I am so lucky to have such a wonderful class I haven't run into any issues yet.

Next...you guessed it...snack...AGAIN! This one isn't as bad because I can space it out a little farther from lunch than my morning snack so usually I am a little more hungry.

Thank you Pinterest for new low carb meals! Fajita roll-ups are definitely one of our favorites!
Then there is dinner...and all I have to say is thank goodness my husband loves scouring Pinterest for new meals. Finding new meals for our dinners seemed over-whelming at first (because we are creatures of habit and have been on a rotation of about 15 meals for the last 2 years! lol!) He has found some killer new meals...and honestly, I don't feel at all like I am making sacrifices and eating healthier with this meal at all. We have already found 3 new meals that will be taking a permanent spot in our meal rotations. 

I check my levels again 2 hours after dinner...this is the easiest logistically, but for some reason it's the one that gives me the most anxiety. We have found several great low-carb/high protein meals...but it's all about trial and error and while they told me there would be times my numbers would be out of range while I worked at figuring this out...seeing a number higher than 120 is not something my sanity can handle. The night I had a Lean Cuisine it came back as a 121 (even though it was within my carb allowance) and I was devastated (and dramatic) The good numbers keep my spirits up and thankfully I have only had one "high" reading ;)

I don't quite have the diet perfected just yet...but my blood sugar numbers were enough to impress my diabetic counselor when I called today, so I call that a win! I believe her exact words were "You'regetting these numbers with just a change in your diet and exercise?" Yes ma'am!! Words of affirmation just might be my love language :)

Exercise

Speaking of exercise...I wouldn't say much has changed on this front. I was already working out 4-5 times per week. I run every other day and try to make it to Jazzercise at least 2x per week. The only thing that has changed really is my motivation to run/workout...I would say I am even more motivated now to keep going and do at least something. There was a day I couldn't make it to Jazzercise and had run the day prior (I have found my body isn't crazy about running two days in a row) so I took the pup out for a nice long walk. Knowing that the exercise helps my body break down the extra glucose better is a huge motivator!

Week 1 Recap
 
Okay...so now that that is all out there...it seems like a lot of changes and a little over-whelming, but I assure you it has been much easier than I anticipated. Yes, the thought of no cookies or ice cream for the next 9 weeks makes me a little sad...but the end result will be worth it.

I also don't really feel like I am depriving myself. ...the hardest part is the rigidity of when I eat and having to count my carbs to make sure that I don't get too many or too little.

Also...after going back and forth for a few days I decided to share my 30 week pregnancy update. This wasn't my most positive update and I couldn't decide if I wanted to keep it private (I mean...how private is it if it's on my blog for the world to see if that want? But not very many people read it if I don't share it on FB) but then I decided why not? I have nothing to be embarrassed about...and in turn I had several people reach out to me sharing they they too had GD during their pregnancy and that their babies are just fine...and they had other pregnancy where they didn't have it. This was seriously the best thing for me this week...When I got the diagnoses I felt very alone and like the only person I knew that had gone through this...which is so far from true! It has been so nice to have people to talk to and offer me reassurance that me and my baby will be just fine!

All in all this last week was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. However, I have to say I am feeling really good about things now. I am feeling motivated, confident, and much less anxious about the health of my baby. Something that seemed like such a big deal one week ago is feeling very manageable and like a small blip on the radar of my otherwise easy pregnancy. I have been able to put things in perspective...and realize that if this is the biggest hurdle I face during these nine months I am pretty lucky.

Friday, January 27, 2017

30 Weeks: This week can kick rocks...



This has been a rough week...really rough. I'm happy to be saying adios to week 29 and HELLO to the 30s! I can't believe we are 3/4 of the way to meeting our sweet baby boy :)

How far along?
30 weeks

How big is baby?
A Zucchini or a Motorcycle helmet
 ~15.7" and ~2.9 lb

What's baby up to this week?
Baby's skin is getting smoother, but his brain is getting wrinklier-to make way for all that essential brain tissue.

Symptoms?
All in all I would say I felt pretty good this week...I did have a few days of nausea and fatigue, but I think I can attribute that to a little anxiety, lack of sleep, and yet another cold #TeacherProblems

Maternity Clothes?
Thank goodness for cardigans is all I have to say...I may need to invest in some maternity tank tops though...my regular ones are getting rather short!

Sleep?
Between having a lot on my mind and a head cold, sleep has not been the best this week.

Missing Anything?
 2nd trimester...seriously, that honeymoon phase went out with a bang. I want my energy back!

Craving?
I had what I would call my first real craving...and it was oh so stereo-typical. I was hanging out on the couch reading my book while AJ was cooking dinner (yes, I know I am really lucky) when I had this strong NEED for a sweet pickle. I hollered to AJ and said "Do we have any sweet pickles?" and luckily we did...I bee-lined into the kitchen and scarfed a few down in seconds. I'm so glad we had some...because this may have been my first "honey, will you go to the store for..." moment :)

Aversions?
Food in general hasn't sounded too appealing this week, this cold was brutal and definitely took a toll on my appetite.

Emotions?
It's been a tough week for sure...I found out on Monday that I did not pass my 3-hour glucose test and I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes...I let myself have a good cry for sure, but then put on my big girl panties and sucked it up. It's not ideal...and it obviously adds some worry to these last 10 weeks, but it can be managed and baby and I will be just fine!

Movement? 
His movements are getting much less violent and jerky and more like slow rolls and pushes. It's so weird because I can feel him on both sides of my stomach now...he is getting big! The best moment this week was Sunday morning while we were laying in bed talking. He was moving around like crazy so I pulled up my shirt and told AJ to feel, and of course he stopped. I told him that maybe he was moving so much because he could hear our voices...so AJ started talking to the baby (melt my heart) and said "hey buddy, if you can hear me kick once" and I kid you not...he kicked...right where AJ's hand was. Such a cheesy/dorky moment...but it was pretty darn special :)

Best Moment of the week
It's been a rough week so I am digging deep for this one...but I would have to say my appointment with the diabetic counselor. I went in with the weight of the world on my shoulders and left feeling SO much better. Seriously, I hit the jack-pot with Kathy...not only was she super knowledgeable and great at easing my fears...but she was compassionate, caring, and even made me promise to bring the baby by after he was born.

Pregnancy Brain Moments?
Lack of sleep led to some extra tired afternoons...so words have been hard and having a lot on my mind made me a little more forgetful.

Looking forward to?
A low key weekend

Projects/Baby Gear purchased?
Nothing this week...my motivation was at an all time low! Hoping to get some things done this weekend though!

Running?
 So...this week marks my last outdoor run of pregnancy...I have been doing so great on the treadmill having zero pain during or after...and then on Sunday the weather was a little nicer (or so my weather app said-it lied) so I decided to head out for a quick 3 mile run. I only made it about 2 miles before I had to call AJ to come and pick me up. I probably could have walked the last mile home...but it was not nearly as warm as I thought and I was not dressed appropriately for that COLD wind! My hips and pelvis were pretty sore for a few days after that run, so I think I will stick to the treadmill from this point forward.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Embracing the Unexpected...

Last Thursday, after having failed my 1-hour glucose test a few days prior, I grabbed my book and headed to the doctor for a fun-filled 3 hours worth of drinking 100g of a sugar solution and being treated like a human pin-cushion.

The 3 hour test was not nearly as bad as I had been told...The drink was yet again kind of tasty (what can I say...I love orange soda) I was a little nauseous the first hour after drinking the solution (it was more concentrated than the first go around) but after that it wasn't bad...and the 3 hours were over before I knew it! 

I was told to expect the results in a few days and sent on my way...I immediately headed home to eat something and lay down...talk about a major sugar crash! I felt pretty confident that I had passed the test, but I still was anxious to find out for sure.

Monday afternoon rolled around and I still hadn't heard anything about my results and I tried to tell myself that "no news was good news" but I just had to know...so after school I called up the doctor's office to ask to see if they had my results and if not, when I should expect them.

Luckily, my nurse answered when I called her direct line (usually I have to leave a voicemail) and it was definitely a relief knowing I wouldn't have to wait for her to call me back...I'm an impatient person if you can't tell :) 

She quickly looked up my results and dropped the bomb of all bombs on me...

I did not pass...


What? Wait? How did this happen? I have gestational diabetes? I was absolutely stunned...I didn't even know what to say. I fought back tears as I asked her "what next?" and she told me she would fax over a referral to the diabetic counseling office and I would need to set up an appointment with them. I'm sure there was more to the conversation...but my mind was racing and I wasn't listening.

I hung up the phone and immediately burst into tears...I was absolutely devastated. That evening I went through a plethora of emotions...


1) I was in denial...I thought, there are a lot of Smiths out there...maybe they got our results mixed up? No way am I diabetic...I'm healthy, I have hardly gained any weight, I work out 5 days a week, I eat mostly healthy, etc etc.

2) I was terrified...I am almost 30 weeks pregnant, had I already done irreversible damage to my poor little baby?

3) I was calm...I stopped crying and told myself that it would all be okay...

4) I was angry...WHY ME! I have done everything right...none of the "risk factors" apply to me...except that I am over 25 #CallMeGrandma

And then repeat #2 over and over again on a torturous loop...


You see...I was not upset because I would have to make changes to my diet or check my blood sugar for the next 10 weeks...because that is all temporary and I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep my baby safe and healthy. No, I was upset because as a first time mom with ZERO experience with diabetes, let alone gestational diabetes, I was felt like I had let my baby down. I have these 9 months to do everything in my power to keep my baby safe and healthy as possible, and in my mind I had failed him #MomGuiltAlready

Monday night was rough...I allowed the drama and grief to completely consume me. I cried more tears than I have cried in a long time...I made myself sick with worry. I hardly slept at all Monday night thinking about my sweet baby and the unknown that was headed my way. I.Was.Terrified.

The next morning I received a phone call from the Diabetic counseling office to set up an appointment with a diabetes educator. As a teacher my schedule is tricky...I can't just take off in the middle of the day...I have to be deliberate about my timing if I only want to take a half day...and with maternity leave coming up I want to save as many of my days as possible. The first date/time that they had available was Thursday...a LONG day and a half away, which doesn't seem like a lot, but in my mind I had already waited too long and needed to fix this NOW!

After getting off the phone I went to talk to our secretary about putting in for a sub Thursday morning and she could immediately tell something was wrong...and she said those magic, tear producing, words- "Is everything okay" and that is when I lost it (again...if you are counting I have cried a lot) 

Our secretary and speech teacher immediately began to console me and they were so sweet to and talked me off the ledge...they encouraged me to call back and get more information...to be assertive and take control of this and do whatever it took to make myself feel better as soon as possible....so I did. I called the counseling office back and told them I was having a lot of anxiety about everything and if they could get me in today that would be great...and you know what? They did...

I had to leave school a little early, but the wonderful office staff stepped in, covered my class for a few minutes and sent me on my way.

I have to say I am so grateful for their advice because within minutes of sitting down with my diabetic educator, Kathy, I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.

She shared my numbers with me...and while I failed, I didn't fail miserably. I actually have great fasting glucose levels and failed 2 of the 4 draws and one of those I barely failed...and it made me feel better because I have never consumed 100g of sugar at a time...so while my body is processing things slower...it's not like I have overloaded my body with sugar AND Kathy told me that gestational diabetes likely didn't develop until the last week or two...and that each time I am at the doctor and give a urine sample they test it for excess sugar and if there was an issue before this they would have contacted me....you guys...seriously, I wanted to hug her...okay, I will admit it...I actually did :)

She then spent an hour with me talking about what all of this meant, what I would need to do to manage it...and reassured me that this was NOT my fault...it's my darn placentas fault :) 

Needless to say I walked out of there feeling much less anxious and ready to do whatever it takes to make sure our sweet baby stays as healthy (and as far away from 10-11lbs!) as possible!


Next I met with a dietician, who based on my height and weight, helped me to determine how to mix and match my foods (carbs and proteins) to make sure I stay within my goal glucose levels throughout the day.

Luckily, I counted macros/calories a few years ago in preparation for the Heartland Series and The Chicago Marathon, so none of this was new to me. Reading nutrition labels isn't my favorite past time...but I know how to do it :)


In the end I left with the realization that my diet wouldn't have to change as much as I expected...and an epiphany that while I haven't been as strict as she suggested, I haven't been that far off...so even if I developed GD a few weeks before catching it, it was likely that my blood sugar hadn't been elevated all that much prior to this #SweetRelief #NotACompletelyAwfulMama

So what does this all mean? Well..

A) I have gestational diabetes

B) My placenta is suppressing my body's insulin and isn't allowing it to break down the sugars as effectively.

C) If I eat too many carbs/sugar and don't eat enough protein my glucose levels will become elevated and the extra glucose passes through the placenta to the baby...and that in turn would make him extra fat...and while I love a fat chubby baby...I think I would prefer he put on the weight AFTER he is born :) 

D) While the diet isn't as strict as I expected...I do have a list of "absolutely not" foods...and it was hard to see my beloved cookies, candy, and ice cream on that list...but, I don't think I will have any issues saying no to those things. This isn't like a diet that I can cheat on...because in this case when I cheat...it only hurts my baby...and I am here to tell you there is not one sweet treat on this planet that is worth that. 

E) I have to check my blood sugars 4x a day...and honestly this gave me quite a bit of anxiety at first. Pricking my finger 4x a day...OUCH! However, Kathy showed me how to use my sweet new contraption...and had me check my blood sugars right there in the office...and I have to be honest, I didn't even feel the finger prick...At first I was sure I had done it wrong, but nope, it just doesn't hurt. 

I left the doctor's office feeling pretty darn good...for the first time in days I felt in control of the situation. While this is definitely not something I expected...nor is it something I can change...I now have the knowledge and the tools to control it. 

It's only been 2 days of monitoring my carbs and checking my blood sugar, but I am proud to say I have been killin' it! My meals combinations are a little weirder than normal...finding the right pairings is tricky, but I still get to have my beloved carbs...and I am even struggling to eat enough because the foods I am eating are so much more filling and are meant to digest slower. 

Each time I have checked my blood sugars they are well below the limit they set for me...and in a sick and twisted way this makes my competitive heart happy...give me a challenge and I will rise to the occasion that's for sure.


So here I am...embracing this unexpected hiccup and trying to do so with as much dignity and grace as possible. Yes, if you had talked to me on Monday you would have called B.S. on this. Yes, I allowed myself some time to be upset and worry...but now that I am educated on the subject and know that I can control it (Type-A much?) I am ready to tackle this challenge head on...and I am here to tell you, when it comes to my little guy...there is nothing I won't do for him.
Friday, January 20, 2017

29 Weeks: Wait...was that his butt?


One more week in the 20s...things are getting REAL around here! I had a doctor's appointment on Monday and I was a little concerned (insert first time mom panic) because I hadn't gained any weight this month, but the doctor said baby was measuring just fine...actually he is measuring a little bit ahead...which explains a lot #CheckOutThatBump #FeelingHuge

How far along?
29 weeks

How big is baby?
An acorn squash or a Barbie convertible, although AJ prefers to say Ken's corvette ;)
 ~15.2" and ~2.54 lb

What's baby up to this week?
Baby is getting a little cramped in there (you don't say!) and he is growing white fat deposits under his skin and his energy is surging because of it...could this explain his all day bladder trampoline sessions?

Symptoms?
Nothing major...I have had a few episodes of heartburn, but mostly due to what I ate...and I have had some trouble catching my breath whether I am walking, talking, sitting, or laying down...the only time I don't seem to be out of breath is if I am running #GoFigure

Maternity Clothes?
Exclusively in leggings and jeans and mixing tops. I don't have a ton of maternity clothes because I can't seem to bring myself to spend money on clothes that are a) not cute and b) that I can't wear for very long...so you may see me in quite a few outfit repeats :)

Sleep?
The fatigue seems to have returned...but that just means I am sleeping great #SilverLining
I fall asleep the minute my heads hits the pillow and while I am waking up at least 2 times each night to use the restroom I fall right  back asleep.

Missing Anything?
 Every time I eat...whether it be a small meal or snack I feel as if I have stuffed myself silly at an all you can eat buffet. I am definitely feeling the affects of a squished stomach! So I guess you could say I miss eating normal size servings ;-)

Craving?
Nothing really

Aversions?
I wouldn't call it an aversion, but I have sworn off Mexican food after a few bouts of heartburn/indigestion. It's just not worth it.

Emotions?
Overall I had a great week, with a minor hiccup...I didn't pass my 1 hour glucose test on Monday and cue the water works. I panicked, blamed myself, and immediately went into worst case scenario mode. After consulting Dr. Google...turns out it's pretty common to fail the first test and then pass the 3 hour test with no problems. I had my 3 hour test yesterday, so now I am on pins and needles waiting to hear back from the doctor. I'm trying to stay positive either way...

Movement?
The movements are more like full on rolls and pushes instead of kicks. I swear we saw a body part poke out earlier this week...and we are pretty sure we felt his butt ;)

Best Moment of the week
Hearing little man's heartbeat at my appointment on Monday...that sweet sound NEVER gets old!

Pregnancy Brain Moments?
I constantly feel like I am forgetting something or I am late. I drove to work on Tuesday and had a moment of "is the clock in my car right?" and "Do we even have school today?" -Olathe schools had PD and we have always had PD on this day in the past...so I was totally confused. 

Looking forward to?
Getting the results from my 3-hour glucose test...I just want to know either way, but fingers crossed that I passed!  

Projects/Baby Gear purchased?
After my doctor's appointment on Monday I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some supplies for the quilt I am making...and I might have taken a little detour and gone a little crazy with decor for his room...I kept the receipts just in case, but I am sure I will be able to find a place for every thing I purchased :) 

Running?
 This was a great week for running. I'm only running 2-3 miles at a time...and mostly on the treadmill, but all of my runs this week felt really good. I didn't have to take any walk breaks and had minimal to no soreness in my hips afterwards. The treadmill helps me to control my speed (the slower the better) and is a softer, flatter running surface which has  been much less strain on my body. I have also started incorporating a .25 mile warm-up and cool down to all of my runs which I think has made a huge difference. 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Embracing Failure...

Yes, I am aware that my post title is very dramatic...but have we just met? I'm kind of dramatic...and while I am feeling slightly less dramatic today than I was yesterday I still have some things I need to get off my chest. So sit back, relax, and prepare yourself for the drama...and try not to judge me too harshly ;)

I've really been leaning on my "Word" these last 24 hours and trying with all my might to embrace this feeling of failure I feeling...and I am trying to embrace the uncertainties that come along with it as gracefully as possible.

You see...on Monday I had a doctor's appointment and took my 1 hour glucose test. 

It wasn't nearly as bad as everyone made it out to be...the drink was kind of tasty, I didn't feel sick, the blood draw was a piece of cake (minus the gnarly bruise it left on my inner arm) and I was certain I passed with flying colors...

Well, spoiler alert...I didn't. I failed...The nurse called me yesterday and left a message saying that she "needed to chat about my results" I immediately knew it was bad news and my mind went into worst case scenario mode. 

When I called back she confirmed my fears...I had failed my glucose test and would need to come in for the 3 hour test as soon as possible. I quickly scheduled that with her, hung up the phone, and burst into tears. 

How did this happen...I eat (mostly) right, I exercise 4-5 days a week, I have only gained 13 pounds thus far, and I don't drink soda or sugary drinks...sure I indulge in ice cream and the occasional Tootsie Roll (or 3)...but nothing to excess...

But I failed.

I failed myself, my baby, and I must have done something wrong to cause this...

And this is where the drama comes in...because the truth of the matter is...it's nothing I did or didn't do...and here is the biggest kicker...just because I failed this test doesn't mean that I have gestational diabetes...statistically it's very likely that I will pass the 3 hour test and find out that I do not in fact have GD, but in that moment, on the phone with the nurse, the feeling of failure was so huge. 

After the initial shock wore off I took some time to reflect and embrace this uncertainty without the added drama-or at least a little less of it ;) 

Chances are I will pass the 3 hour test...yes, I will have to sit at the doctor's office for 3+ hours tomorrow after fasting for 12 hours, and it won't be enjoyable...but I will get 3 uninterrupted hours with my book...so I guess that's a silver lining right? And if I get good news, then this little blip will be something I look back on and laugh...I mean you should have seen the waterworks yesterday...I would like to blame it on pregnancy hormones...but I am generally pretty dramatic ;) 

And what if I don't pass...well, then...it's not the end of the world. It's a minor and VERY manageable diagnoses...and if baby is healthy otherwise I will embrace it and do what I need to do to manage it for the next 11 weeks. This is only temporary and not the end of the world (you think if I keep saying this I will eventually believe it?)

For now, I am going to choose to be positive and embrace the failure of the first test and the uncertainties that come with it. I will embrace the feeling of not being in control of this situation...I will give myself grace and stop blaming myself for something that is completely out of my control. I will embrace this lack of control and (try) to roll with the punches.

All I know for certain is that I will hold off on embracing those nightly bowls of ice cream until I get the results :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

28 Weeks: Third Trimester...we have arrived!


The bump certainly is growing these days...I discovered that I can no longer hide behind things and scare AJ without the bump giving me away :)
 
How far along?
28 weeks/7mos

How big is baby?
An eggplant or roller blade  ~14.8" and ~2.2lbs

What's baby up to this week?
Baby is continuing to put on fat which will aid him in regulating his body temperature. He continues to dream, cough, and practice his breathing #ClearlyHeIsGifted

Symptoms?
The fatigue seems to be creeping back in...but I am not sure if that's just because I am coming off a 2 week winter break or what? I'm pretty sure all teachers were extra tired this week ;) I also had a bit of swelling in my poor ankles after a long day on Thursday and I have had some abdominal pain (a stretching/sore feeling) but other than that I am feeling GREAT!
Maternity Clothes?
Mixing maternity and regular clothes...and I am not sure how much longer my shirts can hold on...unless crop tops are cool for pregnant ladies? #AskingForAFriend

Sleep?
Sleep has been hit and miss this week...I would say I mostly slept great, I did have a few nights where I was extra restless and never got into a deep sleep. I haven't hit the uncomfortable stage yet (Thank you Mr. Snoogle) but I haven't been sleeping quite as soundly or falling back asleep after my bathroom breaks as quickly.

Missing Anything?
 I thought about Sushi and Margaritas a lot this week...

Craving?
Nothing specific...although, I am still loving my sweets (which isn't that abnormal for me)

Aversions?
Nothing!

Emotions?
I'm feeling really good! I had a few weeks there where I was a little extra emotional (crying for no reason) but this past week I have been nothing but happy, happy, happy! 

Movement?
This baby is a mover and a shaker! Constant kicks, nudges, and full on flips that I can feel and see...which I of course love <3

Best Moment of the week?

We had a surprise snow day that was announced the night before! I was exhausted after a long week, and an exceptionally long day on Thursday so I crawled into bed around 8:30 and as I was setting an early alarm I got a text from a friend saying "School is cancelled tomorrow" Talk about a second wind...I ran downstairs as fast as I could shouting and cheering #ImAChild
This snow day was oh so appreciated...and I spent it doing absolutely nothing and didn't feel one ounce of guilt about it either!

Pregnancy Brain Moments?
I felt surprisingly with it this week...which is very abnormal ;) 

Looking forward to?
My next doctors appointment on Monday...I'm ready to get this dreaded glucose test out of the way! 

Projects/Baby Gear purchased?
Finished up our baby registry and I am happy to say it went much smoother than I anticipated. We put together our registries completely online so we didn't even have to get out and wander the store aimlessly for hours like we did with our wedding registry. 

Running?
When I first got pregnant my initial goal was to make it through the 2nd trimester safely and comfortably...and here we are! #Success #MyLittleRunnersHeartIsSoHappy

My ultimate goal now would be to make it up to delivery...but I am realistic and I will take things day by day...and when my body says so, I will stop. This past week I had one run where I struggled big time and had to take several walk breaks...but then 2 days later I busted out 3 miles and felt fabulous. I'm sure walk-breaks are going to become more common, and I am okay with that. My main focus is a healthy baby...and keeping my body strong for the marathon that is headed my way #ChildBirth #Yikes
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Embracing 2017

A few days ago I posted about my "Ghosts of New Year's Resolutions Past" and at that time I couldn't quite find the words to explain the details of how I plan to work my "One Little Word" into my daily life in 2017.

Now, as an avid "New Year's Resolutioner" I have been thinking about this "One Little Word" for months now.

I knew the minute I found out I was pregnant (well maybe I wasn't thinking about my New Year's Resolution right at that moment lol!) that a specific resolution or goal for 2017 would leave me feeling stressed out or like a failure, because let's be real...life is about to change in the Smith household...and being first time parents means we have no clue what is headed our way, or how much our lives will change.

As 2017 kept creeping closer and closer I found myself going back and forth trying to figure out the perfect word, and couldn't quite settle on "the one"...and then while at church for Christmas Eve service it finally hit me...like a ton of bricks. That night's sermon was all about "embracing the mess" and not expecting perfection from ourselves or others around us...and how often times expecting things to go or be a certain way leaves us feeling unfulfilled or like what we have isn't quite enough. Her words were encouraging us to embrace the mess and enjoy the little moments even if they don't turn out exactly as we had planned...to let go of perfection and find the good in things as is.

You guys...it was like she was talking directly to me.

You see...I am a recovering Type A perfectionist...it's something I have been aware of for years now and something I have worked on...and while I have definitely made progress...I still have my moments where I let the idea of "perfection" get in the way.

After church, the sermon just kept replaying over and over again in my head...and that is when I knew that my word for 2017 just had to be...

In 2017 I want to Embrace...

The Mess
Motherhood
The Unknown
Mistakes (my own as well as others)
Imperfection
Change
The Unexpected
My family

...and most of all...I want to embrace what matters most. 

Our lives are about to be turned upside down, in the best way possible, come April, and I want to embrace every fleeting second of it. I know being new parents is going to be far from easy...and this baby will test every Type-A tendency I have...but I really want to focus on enjoying the little moments because I know they will go way too fast. I want to worry less about being perfect and more about taking in these oh so precious moments that are headed our way. 

While this resolution literally requires nothing of me physically, in an attempt to keep myself accountable and to keep my word in the forefront of my mind I want to try and write a monthly blog post with how I will attempt to "embrace" what is headed my way and celebrate the little ways that I have successfully embraced moments from the month before. 

In the spirit of embracing...I will be embracing the unexpected, and with a little one in the picture I can't make any promises on these posts. They may get posted...they may not. I will give myself grace in this department...there may be 3 posts in one month and none in another...because come April I'm sure I will have something more important than blogging that I want to embrace ;)

I have a feeling that 2017 just might be our best year yet and I can't wait to embrace every single wonderful moment. 



Monday, January 9, 2017

The ghosts of New Years Resolution past...and a sneak peak at 2017!

It's no secret that I love a good New Year's Resolution...heck, this whole blog came about because of  a New Year's Resolution.

My resolutions of years past have been all over the board...


This resolution was an effort to get myself out of a little life slump...I found myself sticking to a safe and predictable routine...but overall I was kind of unhappy with the direction of my life. I decided that in 2011 instead of hesitating or saying no to new things I would go into the new year with an attitude of "What the heck, Why not?" In 2011 I had quite a few fun adventures...and if you want to get technical..it's what inevitably led me to meeting my husband #Success


This resolution fell a little flat...while I did manage to complete several of the things from my list, I struggled to enjoy the check-list feel of it. I had just come off a year of going with the flow and living by the seat of my pants...so I would say while this resolution wasn't a complete failure...it wasn't necessarily one that ended as planned.


I took a photo a day...every day. I am happy to say I completed this resolution...and while it was a struggle at times (and some of my pictures are pretty boring) I love seeing the photos from 2013 pop up on my TimeHop. 


This is still one of my favorite resolutions because it really jump-started my blogging and reignited a love for running that I didn't know I had lost. I went into this resolution thinking I would run mostly 5ks and 10ks and possibly a half-marathon...well this resolution took a turn and I ended up running 6 half marathons, a full marathon, and a handful of 5ks and 10ks. It was an incredible year that left me feeling so accomplished! 


In 2015 I got a little ambitious and instead of an over-arching resolution I went with a bunch of mini-resolutions. My resolutions were: 1) Keeping a daily journal where I wrote down one to two sentences a day (this only lasted until July #Fail), 2) Read at least 2 books per month #Success 3) Run a sub 1:45 half marathon #TripleSuccess 4) Running a sub 4 marathon #ChicagoYouDaBest


Last year I switched my thinking from resolutions to intentions...but still felt the need to pile on ALLTHEINTENTIONS. I failed at pretty much all of them...except reading 4 books a month and NOT running a marathon. I suppose having several intentions/resolutions means I can feel successful and feel like a failure at the same time :)  

2017...

Now that we are 9 days into 2017 I have been thinking a lot about my resolutions and intentions for the next 365 days...errr more like 356 days now ;) I'm about to head into some VERY unknown territory come April...and I am not sure I can commit to anything knowing that life as we know it will be turned upside down (in the best way possible) once baby arrives.

In lieu of specific resolutions, intentions, or goals I have decided to give Ali Edwards "One Little Word" a chance. I'm going to choose a word to focus on for the year...a word to live by...a word to apply to all different areas of my life. 

Right now I am embracing the fact that I am 9 days into 2017 and just now declaring my resolution...I'm going to embrace the fact that I am not ready to write a full post with the specifics on how I will apply this word to my life...I have spent lots of of time thinking about this word and planning how this one little word will play into my life in the next 365 356 days...and I have to say I am awfully excited about this resolution and all the things headed our way in 2017!

Friday, January 6, 2017

27 Weeks: Back to Reality



It's amazing how the body (and belly) can change/grow in just a week! This week I am starting to feel BIG and noticing the effects of the added weight even more. Walking up the stairs at school has turned into a full on aerobic event!

How far along?
27 weeks

How big is baby?
Lettuce or a bowling pin  ~15" and ~2.5lbs

What's baby up to this week?
Baby is practicing inhaling and exhaling with his rapidly developing lungs and he is showing brain activity, which will continue to get more complex as the weeks go by.

Symptoms?
Same as last week...a growing belly and mild Braxton Hicks contractions.

Maternity Clothes?
Mixing maternity and regular clothes

Sleep?
I've been sleeping great...bathroom breaks are more frequent these days, but I have gotten really good at hardly even waking up when I head to the bathroom and I am back to sleep in no time.

Missing Anything?
Winter break...we started back to school on Wednesday, and while it is nice to be back in a routine, I really miss using the restroom whenever I need to :) 

Craving?
Sweets, sweets, and more sweets...which is a catch 22 because too many sweets give me indigestion/heartburn, but sometimes it's worth it ;)

Aversions?
Nothing!

Emotions?
I have my emotions back under control...I think it's safe to say that being sick and overtired was the main cause for the weepiness last week. I am finally feeling like myself again!

Movement?
His movements are much more consistent and getting stronger by the day. In the past when he is moving I will tell AJ to feel...and while he has felt him a few times, usually the ornery little guy stops the minute AJ has his hand on my belly. He has felt/seen him kick more this week, and I am also pretty sure he had a case of the hiccups this week, which was really weird, but so cool.While I am still loving the movement...I do wish he would tone it down at night, and maybe aim some of his stronger kicks a little higher ;)

Best Moment of the week?
Pedi/Dinner date with my Goose! 

Pregnancy Brain Moments?
I left my school walkie-talkie somewhere in the building...it was returned to me on Wednesday and I have no idea where, when, or why I left it somewhere...I didn't even know it was missing #Oops

Looking forward to?
The big Dwyer family Christmas this weekend!

Projects/Baby Gear purchased?
We traded in the Focus this last weekend for a bigger "mommy" SUV! I've always only driven cars, so the extra space is really nice...but parking a bigger vehicle is a new experience :)

Running?
Still running and it's still pretty comfortable. I am not running very far or very fast, but running is running at this point ;) I did have one afternoon where I walked on the treadmill instead of running because baby was feeling extra heavy and I decided to take it easy.
Sunday, January 1, 2017

December Book Review

Thank goodness for Winter Break...after reading at least 4 books a month ALL year...I cut it VERY close this month! As of Dec. 20th I had read ONE...yep, that is right ONE book...

My New Year's Resolution was to read 4 books a month...and there was NO WAY I was going to fail this close to the end...so needless to say MUCH of my winter break was spent reading #PoorMe


I'm happy to say that I did finish all 4 books this month...by the skin of my teeth...


The last page of my LAST book of the year...notice the time at the top of my iPad...11:38PM. Good thing we were extra lame and stayed in this year :)

Luckily, this month I ended up with 4 pretty good books which made my all day Readathons rather enjoyable :) 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25814512-everyone-brave-is-forgiven

This book most definitely took me most of the month to finish...it's not that I didn't like it...but we were busy and I didn't LOVE it...so reading was often put on the back burner. I had heard rave reviews about this book and I always love a good WW2 novel...but this one, while good...wasn't the best I have read (and I have read a lot) I felt the book was a bit predictable and drug on at parts...I was definitely glad to be done with it when I finally got to the last page. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1282954.The_Last_Anniversary

I love, love, love Liane Moriarty...and this book was no exception. I felt like this book was the perfect mixture of the other books of hers that I had read...I liked the underlying mystery and honestly it kept me guessing close to the end. I only gave it 4 stars on my Goodreads account because the ending fell flat...like REALLY flat. I was disappointed in how she wrapped the story up...but the rest of the book was good enough that I can get over it...eventually :)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29430049-paris-for-one-and-other-stories

This book caught me off guard at first...Paris for One is the main story (about 200 pages) and then there are a handful of short stories included as well. I wasn't sure what to expect...but turns out I LOVED it! Paris for One...was a good story that I read in one day and then the short stories were short, sweet, and really enjoyable! I think this was the PERFECT book for my winter break!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18698835-cancel-the-wedding

A blogger I follow posted a year end review of all of her books from this year and said that this was her favorite book of the year...and as luck would have it, when I checked the library they had it available so I checked it out with HIGH expectations.

The book was really good...I loved the story...and enjoyed the bit of mystery...but felt it was a bit predictable. I found myself a bit frustrated with the characters being so dense as they were uncovering clues...HOWEVER, there was a twist at the end that I didn't expect...so touche Carolyn Dingman...you got me on that one :) 

While I wouldn't call it my favorite book of the year, it might have been my favorite book for the month...it's a tie between this one and "The Last Anniversary" because I loved them both...but there was just a  little something missing for me in both of them.

Overall, it was a good month...and a GREAT year for reading! I set a goal at the beginning of 2016 to read at least 4 books per month (52 for the year) and I ended up reading 68 books! This is by far one of my favorite resolutions yet! 

Next year, with baby coming I know I won't have as much time to read so I am going to be a little more realistic in my 2017 goal...I'm hoping to read 24 books for the year (about 2 per month) and I am going to use the next 3 months before baby comes to read as much as possible...because once he is here, I am sure cuddles will trump reading every time :)

Life Lately: December

December, as usual...was a great month...and BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!! I love the holidays and the hustle and bustle and all the family time...but sleeping through January sounds like a great plan right about now :) 

 
We started the month off with a fun shopping trip to the Legends with my parents. We started at NFM and ordered the crib, and then hit up the outlets...and of course had to pose for an obligatory photo in front of the tree :)


We celebrated this sweet girl turning ONE!! Seriously, this last year passed in the blink of an eye!


We tried out chili baked potatoes...and they were a HIT! 


This sweet girls spent most of the month sitting by the Christmas tree...by far the best gift under the tree :)


We celebrated this guy turning the big 3-0!


Aunt Teresa made sure we had some fun and competition at Smithmas this year!


I've never been to a Toga party...but thanks to this year's Smithmas theme I can now mark that off my bucket list ;) 


So many Smiths!


We celebrated Queen Cheryl's birthday with dinner and with surprise trick candles :) 


We got our welcome box from Amazon for filling out our registry...there were many mixed reviews on the quality of products you receive...but I was pretty thrilled with what we got...especially because it was FREE :)


We sent out our Christmas cards...and my apologies if you got a different design than this one. I didn't order enough of this one the first go around...and within days of placing the order for this one I found a killer Groupon that I just couldn't pass up :)

The crib came in and we got it all put together! #OperationNursery is officially in full swing! 


We celebrated our 2nd annual "PJ and Christmas lights night"
I can't believe next year we will get to  bring the baby along...even if he likely won't care about Christmas lights yet :)

 

We spent much of winter break like this...I don't mind sharing my Snoogle with this sweet face. 


We spent Christmas Eve with the Smiths! While we would have loved to have Jenni and Evan here with us...we were so thankful for the technology that makes them seem a little less far away. 

  
Our traditional Christmas day pic was a challenge...sometimes I enjoy the candid photos more anyway! 


Gracie got a fresh haircut :) 


After a VERY long day at the dealership...we welcomed Pearl Smith to the family!


And finally...we rang in the New Year at home with champagne for AJ...and sparkling grape juice for me! 

I have a sneaking suspicion that 2017 just might be our best year yet :) 

2016; Year in Review

2016 was a good one...a REALLY good one...and I have said this before...but I am not sure how the next 365 days can top it...but I have a sneaking suspicion they just might ;)

Here is a quick look back at 2016...

Running

When I first started thinking about the last year of running, I was a little disappointed....but then I really started thinking about how much I accomplished and I shook it off and decided that I have so much to be proud of this year...not the same types of accomplishments in years past...but still accomplishments at that. 

Total Miles Logged: 478.5 (logged)
Total Miles Run: ??? 478.5 +
Pregnancy Miles: 143
I have no idea how many total miles I actually ran this year...and there is no way to find out for sure. I spent a few weeks this summer and this fall running tech-less so I probably ran closer to 500; but I can't be sure.
Races Run:9


I started the year off with the Crowntown 5k with one of my students...I have run a lot of races over the years, but this one goes down as one of my favorites! 



Up next was the Heartland 39.3 half marathon series. I had some big goals going into it...but lost steam/motivation and ended up just running for fun. It was my 3rd year running this series, so I finally earned the coveted 3rd year finisher jacket ;)



Last January I signed up for the Hospital Hill half marathon which was just a few weeks after the final race in the Heartland 39.3 series...the morning of the race Victoria and I made the executive decision to run the 10k instead of the half...likely our best decision ever!



After that my motivation dropped severely...I started running without GPS and started going to more Pilates and Yoga classes and I have to say I really enjoyed the break.


 I ran a last minute 4th of July 4 miler with my friend Kala...she ran one race (and sometimes more) per month in 2016! So proud of her...especially because she doesn't particularly like running ;)




This summer I started training again for the Go Girl Half-Marathon in September...I started off strong in June and July...and then I got pregnant. I had no idea how much of a hit my running would take that first trimester and I mistakenly thought I could push through. Between the heat, nausea, and extreme fatigue I was proven wrong VERY quickly.


I skipped MANY runs...my pace suffered MAJORLY and in the end we decided to do the 5k instead of the half...best.decision.ever!


Second trimester rolled around and I started feeling better, so I joined a KC Marathon Relay team and I ended up running the 7.9 mile leg and felt fantastic!


I finished the year off with The Great Santa Run 5k
Overall, my running was VERY different this year than it has been in the past few years...slower paces, shorter races...but I would still call it a success!


Teaching

For the last 5 years I have taught 3rd grade...and last spring when a 4th grade position opened up I decided it was time for a change. 

I asked my principal if I could make the switch in the fall and she agreed...so in August I started the year in a new grade, new classroom...and as luck would have it...some of my same kiddos from the year before!

I can't even begin to put into words how happy I am that I made this change...In my 9 years of teaching I have taught 3rd and 5th grade and I have to say 4th grade is my "Goldilocks grade" I truly feel like it's where I belong. I love, love, love the age of the kids, the curriculum...and I lucked out with a really great team as well! 

I was really nervous for the change, but I am so glad I took the chance. 

Personal Life


 I continue to be so very blessed with the best people in my life...and 2016 was nothing but another reminder of this.

I put together my own #BestNine above and every time I look at it I smile...I'm a lucky gal! I can't possibly touch on EVERY wonderful thing from this year so I will choose my favorite from each month :)

January


 We celebrated the start of a new year with friends and family!

February


One of my favorite things about this year was celebrating our monthly anniversaries. While I loved each and every date, this one just might be my favorite. KC Winery with 60 + degree weather in February? You can't beat that! 



St. Patty's Day will always be a favorite of mine...it was this day in 2012 that I met this strapping lad ;) 



April kicked off the start of baseball season...and something about coming off a World Series win made it that much more exciting...I promise AJ is more excited than he looks here ;)

May


May was the month of house renovations...new paint, new carpet, a half bath over-haul, and a new stove!

June


June was filled with so much fun...but my favorite part was probably enjoying the perfect temps, our backyard, beers, and baseball :)

July


In July we celebrated our 1 year anniversary with a trip to Chicago!

August


We found out about Baby Smith on July 29th...but didn't get our first glimpse of our sweet little Billy Blob Thornton until August.

September


At this point, Baby Smith stuff seems to trump all other things ;) September was filled with lots of fun, but sharing our exciting news with the whole world took the cake!

October


A day of shopping to celebrate my 32nd (GULP) birthday!


November


We found out that we would be adding a precious baby BOY to our family!

December


December was filled with so many holiday celebrations and lots of family time so it's hard to choose just one thing...but if I have too, I would say all the talking we did about Baby Smith's first Christmas next year just might be my favorite. We are so blessed...and I can't wait to see what 2017 holds for us and the lil' man!