34 weeks

13 Jun

Quick check in at 34 weeks:

*We did our last “trip” this past weekend:  our friends were getting married in Minneapolis, so we made the drive up there and back.  The 6-7 hour drive up there was not as much fun as I thought it would be (I normally like road trips).  Dean’s passenger car seat got really uncomfortable towards the end, and we had to make frequent stops not for me to pee, but for me to get up and walk around.  The drive back was much more comfortable for two reasons: 1)  I drove a large part of the way.  I MUCH prefer driving to sitting in the passenger seat on road trips.  Keeps me focused and makes the time go by faster.  2)  Dean decided to finally tell me that oh, btw, you can adjust your seat so that you have more support for your lower back.  Thanks Dean for finally telling me this half way through our way back to Chicago!  It actually really helped.

Dean and I plus a lovely photobomb by Shahan at the wedding.

Dean and I plus a lovely photobomb by Shahan at the wedding : )

*I felt good most of this week, except for Monday.  Monday was just….off.  It started out great with a wonderful run and workout along the lakefront:



fyi, I took these pics with my iPhone 4s and applied filters to them from the app called Aviary. Check it out! It’s a free app for photos.

But then, things just started going downhill.  I found it really hard to breath, because the baby was competing with my lungs for space.  My 1.5-2 mile walk into work was really uncomfortable because of the breathing issue, and because I had a fair amount of pubic symphysis and sacroiliac pain.  I tried to give in and take the bus (and I HATE riding the bus) but couldn’t find my dang CTA card, so I just kept on walking.

All afternoon I felt like the skin over my stomach was going to rip.  Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but it definitely felt like it was being uncomfortably stretched.

My pelvic pain continued to worsen, and I couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit at work and alternated between sitting and standing (thankfully we can adjust the height of our desks in our radiology reading rooms).

Then, I had Braxton-Hicks contractions that started getting more and more frequent as the afternoon went on, occurring multiple times/hour.  I mostly ignored them, but it was making me a little nervous how frequently I was having them.  I finally called my OB after having 6 in a 45 minute period just to make sure everything was ok.   As long as I wasn’t having pain with them, she wasn’t too worried and told me just to have a good meal, drink lots of fluid, and relax when I got home.  They calmed down somewhat when I got home and then stopped.    I think I was just dehydrated from the wedding, my workout that morning, and then my busy shift at work.  I had my regularly scheduled 34 week appointment the next day, and the baby was doing perfect and growing well.  What was comforting to know was that 34 weeks is sorta a milestone….I’m now considered “late preterm”.  If I were to go into labor, they wouldn’t do much to drastically avoid it, because the baby has a really good chance of healthy survival at this point.

The rest of this week, I’ve felt back to my “normal” self (as normal as you can feel 34 weeks pregnant, ha), and have had my normal amount of Braxton Hicks contractions each day (btw, braxton hicks contractions are just normal, non-labor contractions that your uterus does to “practice” for labor.  I’ve been feeling them since around 21 weeks.  Basically, you just feel your whole uterus tighten up, and my stomach becomes rock hard.  I get them multiple times a day and notice them more now that…well, my uterus is a lot bigger!  Also, since I’m smaller, my OB said that I may be more aware of the tightening/contracting than the average person).

That’s it for now.  Want to fit in a quick workout before my shift.  And don’t worry, I hydrated well last night and will continue to do so today.  Also, for the record, I am under no restrictions right now, per my OB.  Although dehydration can cause more frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions, exercise does NOT cause preterm labor.

And one last thing, I know I sort of focused on some of the uncomfortable aspects of third trimester during this past week, but it really has been a good week in which I felt quite good the majority of the time!



33 week update and nursery pics!

5 Jun

33 weeks, 1 day to be precise.  Which means I have 6 weeks 6 days until the expected arrival of our little girl.

33 week bump:


Bump:  It’s kind of fun having an obvious bump, in which people can clearly tell you’re pregnant, and it’s fun how happy and excited complete strangers have been for me.

What’s really funny at this stage of the pregnancy is looking back at pictures I took of myself when I thought I had a bump.  Like what on earth was I thinking when I took this picture at 19 weeks:

19 week bump picture….but wait, where’s the bump??


At 23 weeks, a tiny bump, which felt huge at the time:


I suppose in another few weeks I’ll look back to this post and laugh at how big I thought my bump was at this stage : )

Baby movement:  Some days more than others, but when she’s active, boy is she active.  Dean and I saw the imprint of her foot as she kicked the side of my stomach the other night.

Cravings:  A few weeks ago, it was sushi and seaweed salad.  I mostly ate avocado/vegetarian rolls, and occasionally some salmon.  If you research the topic, it is actually ok to eat sushi from reputable sources….you just have to be careful about mercury levels (I avoid tuna).  Mostly, though, I just craved the freshness of a sushi roll, and it didn’t matter to me whether fish was in it or not, so I figured I might as well stick to the vegetables/avocado.

This week it’s been Mediterranean food.   I had Monday off from work and met Dean out for lunch.  We went to a local fast food Mediterranean restaurant called Roti.  Ever since, I have been craving hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese and pita bread.  We went there again today for lunch (I’m back in the ED, so my shifts and days off are all completely random).  Sooo good.  I think I’m going to have hummus again tonight with whatever I eat for dinner : )

Pet Peeve:  I hate the word “nesting”.  I’m not a bird.  Please don’t use that word around me.

Running/exercise:  Going well!  I alternate running days with the elliptical and always throw in a few strength exercises.  Over the past ~1.5 weeks (I’ve been really bad about documenting and keeping track) I’ve done a 4 mile run and three 5 mile runs.  Because the earliest any of my weekday shifts start right now is noon, I have time to run in the morning, and let me tell you, it is sooooo much easier running in the morning when pregnant.  While I’ve always been at my best both mentally and physically in the morning, it is really the case right now being in my third trimester.

For the past few months, it was getting too hard to fit in my workouts in the morning and still make it to work by 7:15 (I can’t walk as fast on my way into work now, and it takes me longer to complete a run than it used to), so I would lug my workout stuff to work and walk to the gym at the end of the day for my workout.   However, generalized pregnancy fatigued and heartburn is much worse at the end of the day than it is in the beginning of the day, so I’ve really been enjoying my workouts a lot more now that I have time to do them in the morning (for pics of Chicago taken during my runs, see my instagram feed).

For strength training, btw, I’ve completely changed what I do now that I’m in third trimester.  Normally, I only use free weights and try to incorporate a lot of balancing stuff into what I do (like doing an exercise while balancing on one leg on a Bosu ball), because I believe it forces you to use your core and works on body awareness.   Now I am using a lot more weight machines and don’t do anything that works only one leg at a time (except for calves).

I am using the weight machines more now, because although I don’t lift particularly heavy weights and have never accidentally dropped a weight, I don’t want to risk dropping something on or hitting my stomach or in the case of doing balancing work….falling onto my stomach.  Lifting weights and exercising in general is not risky to the baby, but direct trauma is.  No sense in risking it if I can still work the same muscles with a machine.

In terms of not doing anything that only works one leg at a time:  it aggravates my pelvic pain (pubic symphysis and sacroiliac), so almost all the leg stuff I do now works both legs symmetrically at the same time…no more one-legged Bulgarian squats or one-legged Roman dead lifts.

Emotions:  I am really, really in love with our girl even though I have never met her.  Not that I wasn’t before, but that bond just seems so much stronger now.  I literally almost got teary eyed watching a mom meet her baby for the first time in a video we watched during a prenatal class.  I can’t wait to meet ours : ).

The more attached I am to her and the more I love her every day, the more fearful I am of anything harmful that could potentially happen to her.  I have a friend who lost her baby during child birth…I just can’t even imagine.  I’d be heartbroken and completely devastated.  I don’t know how one ever gets over something like that.

Baby Nursery:  So, I worked a 12 hour shift last Saturday.  When I left for work that morning, our second room was a cluttered office space.  I begged Dean to at least get started on putting the crib together.  That was my only request of him.  When he picked me up that evening from the hospital, he explained to me that he had cleared out the office space but wasn’t able to fully put the crib together and would need some help holding some of the pieces together while he put in the screws (or something like that).

Well, it turns out that either Dean is a really good liar or I am really gullible (probably both, haha).  When I got home, this is what our office space had been transformed into:

Picture taken by Dean.

Picture taken by Dean.

Dean, his sisters, and his parents all helped put together the nursery while I was work.   They did this all in one day and picked out all the decorations.  I was SHOCKED.  Like, it took a few seconds for me to grasp what had happened when I first walked in there.  Dean recorded my reaction, but I may have, in my complete surprise,  said a few words that aren’t appropriate for this blog : ).

Best surprise EVER!  I love, love, love, love it.   They did such an amazing job with the decorating…I couldn’t have done better myself.  It is so cozy and cute.  This room just makes me so happy.   The fact that Dean and his family all put so much time and hard work into this makes the room even more special to me…words cannot even describe how thankful I am.

Dean's sister hard at work getting the nursery ready.

Dean’s sister hard at work getting the nursery ready.

Because I am sort of obsessed and in love with the room, below are a ton of pictures.  A few comments on the room first:

-Dean loves owls, and he has gotten me to love them as well, hence the owl theme : )

-Note that the picture on the wall is of an owl next to the letter ‘O’.  For us, the ‘O’ means more than just ‘O’ for owl since our last name starts with ‘O’.

-The crib is from Pottery Barn, which we bought, barely used, from a friend.  It can be converted into a toddler bed once the baby gets older.  Bumpers are illegal in Illinois, but Dean and his sisters put a breathable yellow mesh around the edges of the crib.

-I think for some moms-to-be, the idea of letting their husband and/or someone else make all the decisions regarding the decorating of the nursery would  terrify them.  For me, I was thrilled to have someone else do it.  Honestly, Dean is a much better interior decorator than I am.  All I wanted was a room that was perhaps a little “girly”, but not over the top girly/princess-like.  I think they did a perfect job in this regard.  I couldn’t have done better myself.

-Decorations, dresser/changer, and nightstand are from Target.  For the diaper changer, I wanted it to also be a dresser so that when she outgrew the diaper changing stage, we could still use the dresser.

-Ok, here are the pics:






Cute little hooded owl towel.

Cute little hooded owl towel.

The second little hooded owl towel.  It just makes me happy looking at it.  So cute : )

The second little hooded owl towel. It just makes me happy looking at it. So cute : )


Little baby shoes are just the cutest.

Little baby shoes are just the cutest.

The entrance into the room.

The entrance into the room.

A few of the clothes we got at the baby shower.

A few of the clothes we got at the baby shower.



32 weeks

28 May

Not going to lie, I haven’t been a huge fan of third trimester thus far.   It’s like a repeat of first trimester in terms of periodic nausea and exaggerated emotions, plus other “symptoms” and increased fatigue just from doing normal daily activities.  There’s a reason second trimester is called the “Golden Trimester”!  That being said, what IS fun about third trimester being that much closer to meeting our little girl face to face!

Size of the baby:  According to the internet, she’s the size of a honeydew, measuring 19 inches and weighing 4.5 pounds.

Size of my belly:  Basketball-sized, according to the internet:

32 weeks:

32 weeks!


Nausea:  Just like first trimester, I periodically feel nauseous.  The other day I could barely focus on our morning lecture because I spent the whole lecture trying to convince my stomach to keep its food down (and it did).  Fortunately, I don’t feel like this all too often, but it does occur periodically.

Leg cramps:  I never in my life had experienced a Charley horse until this past week, in which it happened multiple times.  I would awaken in the middle of the night with my calves completely spasmed and my lower leg frozen in whatever position it was in.  The next morning my calves would actually be sore as if I had lifted weights….all from the spasm/contraction.  Holy crap those Charley horses are uncomfortable!  I had no idea!  All you mamas out there are probably rolling your eyes and are like just wait until you go into your labor and your entire uterus contracts involuntarily!  haha.  Fortunately I haven’t had any more Charley horses over the past few nights.  Not sure what causes them, but in my case, it’s definitely not from a lack of calcium in my diet, as some people propose!

Insomnia:  This is the pregnancy gods getting back at me.  I was literally just bragging to another resident last week about how I have the best “sleep hygiene” in the world:  I almost always fall asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow, never wake up in the middle of the night, and can sleep through almost anything.  Well, it’s payback:  the last few days I’ve started to have a more difficult time falling asleep at night.  It’s too early to tell if this is real or just because my stress level about certain things was affecting my sleep temporarily.  Either way, good sleep hygiene or not, there won’t be much sleep going on in a couple of months!

Pelvic pain:  I saw a physical therapist last week and it turns out I do have pubic symphyseal and sacroiliac pain/issues secondary to ligamentous laxity from pregnancy hormones.  I also feel some discomfort in my tailbone region (there are ligaments there, too)…for you former figure skaters out there, the tailbone discomfort kind of feels like it would after a bad skating practice in which you spent more time on your butt and tailbone than on your feet!  None of this pain is that terrible, but running long distances definitely exacerbates it.  The good thing is that the physical therapist (who actually specializes in pregnancy and women pelvic issues) said there was no reason why I couldn’t run, but that I should keep my distances in the shorter range (like 5 miles or less, with me being the judge).  I have no problem with that, because a) I see no reason to do a longer run if it means risking injury or longer healing time and b) I really have no desire to run much longer anyway (more on that below).   The only thing I was pissed about was how I had just shelled out a decent amount of money to run the Soldier Field 10 miler, which I decided was not in my best interest to do.  Oh well.

Rectus Diastasis:  This refers to the connective tissue between your rectus abdominis muscles getting stretched out from increased intra-abdominal pressure (which pregnancy causes) which results in separation of your abdominal muscles at midline.  You can read about it here.



It’s actually relatively common during pregnancy, particularly if you are small/petite (which would be me measuring under 5’2”).  There’s not really a whole lot you can do about it.  I mean, your belly has to make room for the baby however it needs to!  There are certain types of abdominal exercises that they recommend avoiding, which I had stopped doing towards the end of first trimester, but really, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.

Anyway, I first read about rectus diastasis on another blog a few weeks ago and was pretty sure that I had it, and last week the PT confirmed that I do indeed have it.  She gave me some tape to apply across my abdomen, but I found it to be too itchy and wasn’t convinced it would do much anyway, so it came off after a few days.   Not sure how this is going to play out after I deliver, but since there’s nothing I can do about it at this point, there’s no sense in worrying about it.

Me being overdramatic about holding my stomach muscles together a few weeks ago when I realized they were probably separating.

Me being overdramatic about holding my stomach muscles together a few weeks ago when I realized they were probably separating.

The one and only bare belly picture I will ever post:  Just showing the tape the PT applied to help mitigate the rectus diastasis and give me more pelvic stability.  When your abdominal muscles weaken, it can lead exacerbate pelvic instability, which you're already prone to because of the pregnancy loosening the ligaments holding the pelvis together.  I found the tape too uncomfortable to keep on for very long.

The one and only bare pregnant belly picture I will ever post: Just showing the tape the PT applied to help mitigate the rectus diastasis and give me more pelvic stability. When your abdominal muscles weaken (from the diastasis rectus in my case), it can exacerbate pelvic instability, which you’re already prone to because of the pregnancy loosening the ligaments holding the pelvis together. I found the tape too uncomfortable to keep on for very long.

Running:  All of my recent runs have been 3-4 miles, mostly in the 9:30-10:00 min/mile range (with an occasional 8:30-9:00 minute mile thrown in there), and I won’t run two days in a row.  I still like getting out there on the lakefront, but running for long periods of time just isn’t as enjoyable anymore as it normally is for me.   For one, there is (mild) pubic symphyseal discomfort, as described above (or more severe if I run far).  Depending on how the baby is sitting, I may have to or feel like I have to pee every ten minutes, which is uncomfortable.  My heartburn is worsened when running.  Breathing is a little harder because my diaphragm can’t expand as much as it’s used to, and carrying around some extra 18 pounds of weight is just hard!

That being said, when something is as habitual to your day as running is to mine, it is mentally comforting to still be able to do it.  Call it an addiction or whatever you want, but when I don’t run or work out for long periods of time, I feel like I’ve lost a little piece of myself.   I know that sounds over dramatic:  no, running does not define me, and it’s not like I slip into some major depression if I can’t run…but I just feel better overall being able to keep doing what I have always done…it’s like the one little piece of my day I can still own and control no matter what else happens.   So while I don’t have the desire to run for long periods of time or distances, I still find a lot of satisfaction from running, even if for very short distances.

One added bonus of running slower and shorter distances is that suddenly Dean is willing to run with me since he can keep up with me!  hehe ; )  No but seriously, he has been great this week.  I was really discouraged about how I was in general “slowing down” with everything as this trimester has progressed (not that this isn’t unexpected, but it takes some getting used to mentally).  Seeing my frustration, he offered to run with me and was totally encouraging of me during the run.  It was really sweet and very uplifting for me.  He’s the best : )



Still keeping the running up as best I can. Running during third trimester requires a different mindset: being ok with shorter distances and accepting that you’re slowing down. I’m surprisingly ok with that, but I do get stir-crazy if I don’t do any running or other physical activity at all.

Highlights from the past two weeks:

*seeing and feeling our daughter move.  This has remained a highlight since I felt the first flutter of activity at 18.5 weeks.

*Baby O. having her first bedtime story read to her by Dean:

A sweet gift from one of our friends.

A sweet gift from one of our friends.

*Our family and friend coed baby shower:  More on this later hopefully in another post, but I am beyond grateful for the family and friends we have in our lives.

Dean's aunt and uncle hosted a wonderful coed baby shower/grill out at their house.

Dean’s aunt and uncle hosted a wonderful coed baby shower/grill out at their house.


We received a Bob running stroller from Dean’s family, amongst many other wonderful, generous gifts.

Baby O.'s got her first workout outfit!

Baby O.’s got her first workout outfit!  And I’ve got a mountain of a belly button!

*This isn’t directly “baby” related, but Dean and I celebrated our one year anniversary at the restaurant where we had our very first date : )

Can't believe it's been a year since I married this guy : ) ...and who would have ever guessed we'd be celebrating a baby shower the same weekend as our first anniversary!  haha.  How quickly life can change!

Can’t believe it’s been a year since I married this guy : ) …and who would have ever guessed we’d be celebrating a baby shower the same weekend as our first anniversary! haha. How quickly life can change (for the better)!


30 week update

14 May

Today I hit the big 3-0…30 weeks down, 10 to go!

It’s like I’m on one of those flat escalators, and it keeps carrying me towards an end destination whether I’m ready for it or not.  This whole pregnancy has seemed sort of surreal.  You’d think by 30 weeks it’d feel more “real”, but I still can’t believe I am going to have a kid in ~10 weeks (or less).  I feel both excited and anxious…excited to meet our little girl…to care for her, love her, watch her grow, and for all the moments we will share together as a family, but then there are the anxieties.  Some of them have to do with the labor process, but most of them have to do with the transition into motherhood.  How will I handle switching all my priorities to caring for another living human?  As someone who is very rigid and admittedly selfish with my schedule, how am I going to handle suddenly having no control over my schedule?   After maternity leave ends at 6 weeks, how am I going to fit in working full time, caring for a baby, and taking care of myself all into one day?  How will 6 weeks off from the beginning of fellowship followed by probable continued sleep deprivation and limited free time affect how I perform as a fellow?  Will I look bad and behind compared to the other fellows?  One thing is for sure:  I will have to learn to be VERY efficient with my time.

I don’t mean to sound negative or that I’m not excited…I know that it will all work out and that we have so much to look forward to, but that doesn’t change the reality that Dean and I will be facing a lot of big changes in the next several months, and change, even good change, can be stressful.


30 week update:


*Baby’s movements feel much more stronger and coordinated.  Sometimes she will kick so hard and catch me off guard that I sort jump/flinch.  What’s really weird is a) seeing a wave of motion move across my stomach and b) being able to feel with my hands the outline of parts of her body through my stomach.  The latter is cool but sorta creeps me out at the same time.

*Speaking of movement, her feet are located in my upper right abdomen, and she has taken a liking to kicking me in or just below my right rib cage ALL DAY LONG.  It forces me to sit really awkwardly straight/erect in order to attempt to make more room for her, so if you see me sitting or standing in a really strange position, that is why : )

*Eating large quantities of food at once is getting harder and harder to do.  Like, I become extremely uncomfortable if I don’t stop eating at the first sign of the slightest satiety, and all it can take is literally 2-3 extra bites that will take me from feeling comfortably full to I want-to-vomit full.  Then, a few hours later, I’m hungry again.

*Heartburn:  for some reason, Gatorade gives me bad heartburn.   I rarely drink Gatorade or other sugary drinks, but the few times I have I have regretted it.  Heartburn is also the main reason you will see me stop for a few seconds during my run.  Running makes it worse, so when I feel a wave of it coming on, I have to briefly stop until it passes.

*This may be TMI (but then again, any modesty that you had gets thrown out the door when you deliver a baby), but the baby bump is making shaving very difficult.   I will leave it at that.

*Emotions have been running high so far this trimester, much like first trimester, thanks to probably a combination of pregnancy hormones, general business with work and life (my last week of residency will involve nightfloat and then I go straight into fellowship), and generalized anxieties as described above.  I feel sorry for my family and Dean, who are the ones bearing the brunt of my heightened stress level and exaggerated emotions.  I absolutely hate using pregnancy as an excuse for anything, but in this situation, I’ve had to a few (0r many) times, because I feel like I have no other explanation for why I have acted the way I have or why something bothered me so much and have felt so bad for how I’ve at times treated the people I care the most about.

*Running:  I’ve ran 570 miles so far during this pregnancy, but sadly, my running days may be limited.  What’s ironic is that this past week I have physically felt stronger and faster than I have in awhile during my runs, despite carrying around a larger belly and extra weight.  A couple of my runs in the 4-5 mile range were around a 8:30 minute/mile average, which I was thrilled about, but what I’m not thrilled about is that I’ve started to develop musculoskeletal lower abdominal pain after I run that lasts for about day.  After my 7 mile run last Sunday (which was essentially pain-free during the run), it hurt to walk or whenever I did any weight bearing activity.  I felt like an 80 year old lady getting out of the car and walking into church that day.  The pain was pretty much completely gone the next day, though, but this was the third consecutive time this happened after running.

I am 99.9% convinced that this is what is called  symphysis pubis dysfunction.  Basically, what happens is that during pregnancy, hormones cause your ligaments to relax in anticipation for birth.   This can cause loosening of the ligaments that hold the pubic symphysis together, which can lead to instability, inflammation, and pain.  I’m kind of bummed because after putting in so many boring miles on the TM in our our apartment’s dreary basement workout room, I was soooo excited to finally be able to run outside in nice weather (and have access to the bathrooms along the path which are finally open!).  I’m hoping this won’t be the end of my pregnancy running.  For now, I’m going to avoid running the rest of this week and then test out a run this weekend.  I also may see a physical therapist that was recommended to me by another pregnant runner with the same condition.   I will keep you updated….try not to sit on the edge of your seat all week in anticipation ; )  haha.

Fortunately, the elliptical doesn’t seem to bother it, so I can still keep up some sort of cardiovascular strength should I be limited with the running that I can do.

*Dean and I took a prenatal class Monday night for first time parents.  It went over the basics of newborn care, like how to wash/clean a baby, what baby care supplies we need now and later as the baby gets older, and other practical information.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but actually did find the class helpful.  Like, I had no idea crib bumpers are illegal in Illinois!  Guess I need to take that off of my registry!

Dean practicing changing diapers.  Somehow, we apparently gave birth to a black child!  Who would  have guessed with our backgrounds??  : )  Seriously, though, I was happy to see Prentice (our women's hospital) including racially diverse dolls for everyone.

Dean practicing changing diapers.  Somehow, we apparently gave birth to a black child! Who would have guessed with our backgrounds?? : ) Seriously, though, I was happy to see Prentice (our women’s hospital) including racially diverse dolls for everyone.



Mothers, did you take any prenatal classes when you were pregnant, and did you find them helpful?

Anyone else experience symphysis pubis dysfunction?  

What was the hardest adjustment during the first 6 weeks after delivery?  The first 3 months?



6 May

I am writing this from California on our babymoon/family trip.  I can’t believe we’re finally here.  I remember when I first started trying to plan this trip…May and third trimester seemed so far off!!  Completing week 29 tomorrow and entering week 30!

As I mentioned before, Dean and I were originally trying to figure out a trip together.  Then we didn’t think that would work out scheduling-wise, so my mom and I started looking into a trip together and were considering South Carolina.  Then we decided, why not just do a family trip with my father and sister as well?  It would have been really hard for my sister to get out to South Carolina from L.A., so we started looking into places in California.  We ultimately decided on Sonoma/wine country, because we’re all a huge fan of Northern California.

It may seem weird that a pregnant woman would want to spend her “babymoon” in wine country, but in my opinion, wine country is incredibly beautiful and relaxing whether you’re drinking or not.  Also, I am of the opinion that a small amount of drinking is perfectly fine during pregnancy.  Recent studies have actually shown improved outcomes in women who drank “moderately” after first trimester as opposed to no drinking at all, which was defined as 2-6 drinks per week or up to one drink a day, and one of the frequently cited studies that shows that even light drinking is harmful….nearly half of those women also did cocaine, which skews results.  Now, I’m not advocating drinking 6 drinks per week during pregnancy (I don’t drink that much when I’m not pregnant), nor am I advocating abstaining from alcohol.  All I am saying is that there is really no good evidence that light alcohol consumption negatively affects the pregnancy or child development.  Each woman should be free to make her own choice without judgement regarding whether she chooses to abstain or not from alcohol.  Use common sense (my philosophy about all things pregnancy related!!  People get so caught up on following “pregnancy rules/dos and don’ts” that they don’t think for themselves or they panic and get over paranoid about everything).

Personally, I am completely comfortable occasionally having half a beer or half glass of wine now and then.   On this trip, I have had small tasting sips of some of Dean’s wine samples if he felt the wine was particularly good, but I have mostly let them enjoy the wine while I drank my water and took pictures of the wineries and enjoyed the surroundings.

Since I’m kind of obsessed with taking pictures of things, expect an overabundance of photographs : )  Most of these I already posted on Facebook, so sorry for the repeats:

Dean and I at Ravenswood Winery.

Dean and I at Ravenswood Winery.


A. Rafanelli is one of my favorite wineries of all times. I think this is my fourth time visiting here. If you are ever coming out to Sonoma, call in advance and make a reservation here. They have amazing wines and are wonderful people. Pictured here is me with with David Rafanelli, the owner. When he saw that I was pregnant, he asked me to pick out a bottle of wine. He then wrote a message on the bottle addressed to me and the baby and gave it to me as a gift.

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28 weeks

2 May

*As this week has gone by, I’ve gotten more and more drained, which I think is in part from me working both Saturday and Sunday and then going straight into this work week.  I’ve noticed that during this pregnancy, I really rely on the weekends to mentally and physically renew myself.  I’m fine running around and maintaining my normally busy schedule during the week, but I definitely hit a point where it all catches up to me, and I start to fade quickly if I go too many days in a row without a mental and physical break…. a reminder to myself that I am pregnant and responsible for growing another human being, which is added work onto everything else I’m doing…I tend to forget this or at least not acknowledge this fact.

*28 week appointment:  went really well!  Apparently, I was measuring on the smaller side for 28 weeks (I’m referring to my belly circumference that they measure with a tape measure in the office), so my doctor ordered an ultrasound just to make sure the baby’s growth was ok.  She is right on target!  Amniotic fluid quantity was normal/good, and baby was measuring weight-wise at the 47%, so pretty much as average/”normal” as you can get.  I think it goes to show that the size of one’s “bump” can be largely influenced by how the baby and uterus is positioned.

*Speaking of ultrasound:  I’ve said this before, but ultrasound pics of fetuses are just creepy in my opinion.  Like, the tech printed me off a copy of some of the ultrasound images and put them in this nice little folder with cute baby feet on the outside.  So you see the outside of the folder and are like ahhh so sweet and cute….then you open it up and see the ultrasound pics and are like aaahhh!  Oh no!  My daughter looks like an alien!!!  haha.

*I thought it was funny how my doctor told me to make sure I feel the baby move 2-3 times per day.  What?  Only 2-3 times?  I feel her move around a million times per day!

*Went to BuyBuy Baby again to work on the  registry.  Who knew there were so many types of strollers??!


My goodness!  After the recs of some friends, trying them out myself, and discussing the pros and cons of the various strollers for city living with one of the store workers, I think I’ve decided on an initial stroller:  Baby Jogger City Mini GT.  It was between that and the City Select model, which definitely has some advantages (like converting it into a double stroller if you have a second child), but for now, I just wanted something durable and narrow for the city sidewalks and streets and light weight and easy to maneuver for a quick stop to the grocery store, restaurant or to a crowded museum or something.  The City Mini seemed to be the best fit for this.

*Maternity clothes shopping:  very frustrating.  Maternity dresses are not made for petite people at all, and maternity tops….they are all soooo low-cut!  I don’t normally feel comfortable wearing super low cut shirts, and I especially don’t now that I’m pregnant with larger boobs, and yet, so many of these shirts that I try on seem to expose more of my chest than they do cover it.  What the heck?  Maybe it’s the petite issue again?  Like maybe it’s because they’re made for people who all have a larger frame? Or maybe I’m just ultra conservative?  haha.  Also, what’s up with so many pregnant shirts having horizontal stripes?  Aren’t you supposed to avoid that pattern if you feel big?  Anyway, I basically found one style of shirt I really like, so I bought it in like, 5, different patterns/colors.

*We leave for California Saturday morning for our “Babymoon”!!!  Although, it’s not really a “babymoon” but more just a family vacation.  Originally, Dean wasn’t sure if he’d get time off, so I planned a trip with my family (parents and sister).  Turns out he can get some time off, so he’ll be spending part of the week out there as well!  Can’t wait!

*I’ve been blown away by how kind and helpful people have been about my pregnancy.   In response to me asking for advice about various things, people have kindly responded with great advice.  We’ve also been given some baby items from our mom friends who no longer need their baby stuff and have gotten some sweet gifts from others, some of which were completely unexpected!   Filled with gratitude : )


Some beautiful hand knit blankets and hat! And a tired looking me with frizzy hair from walking for around 6 miles total today in the damp, rainy weather between walking to and from work and running errands afterward.  Yes, I have a pen obsession issue.


27 weeks

25 Apr

Hello third trimester!

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in the past 2-3 weeks I definitely started to show.   I actually got really excited the first time a stranger asked me if I was expecting ; )

In one of my recent posts I had mentioned how I had read that the baby’s size doubles between ~weeks 23-27ish….that seemed to hold true:  there has definitely been a lot of growing over the past month!!  Although it’s funny how I can still feel and look (at least in my opinion) completely different in size depending on the hour of the day and what and how much I recently ate.  I can also make my belly look dramatically different size-wise depending on whether I’m tightening my core or not.  I guess at some point I’ll feel like my abs stop working when they get really stretched out, but they still feel fairly strong to me right now.   I don’t do any direct core exercises right now (how awkward would that look seeing a nearly 7 month pregnant woman trying to do sit ups?!  haha), but a lot of the strength training I am continuing to do now still incorporates core exercises indirectly.

First pic was taking yesterday at 27 weeks, and the second pic was taken at around 23 weeks:


27 weeks


23 weeks

Weight gain:  up about 14.5 pounds, which puts me at the lower range of normal weight gain for my height, which given that I’m just shy of 5’2” probably makes sense.

Baby movement:  She is super active, my goodness, and her kicks are definitely getting way stronger!  The other night when I was lying next to Dean, he could actually feel her kicks/feet on his back.  He was like “how do you put up with that all day?!”  haha.

Braxton-Hicks contractions:  Definitely feeling these now, which is basically just a weird periodic clenching sensation.  Not painful, just weird.  When they occur, it’s only very briefly, but my stomach will get rock hard.  Not a fan of these cause they make me a little nervous even though I know they’re totally normal.

Cravings:  I’ve randomly been craving chicken tenders recently…I think because it’s got enough protein and fat in them to fill me up without making me feel overstuffed.  Also been craving LOTS of water in the evening.  Funny thing is that I am now back to preferring my water more room temperature instead of ice cold as I did first trimester.  Also, I’m beginning to enjoy certain mint toothpastes again, although I still can’t stand the following flavor, which I used to enjoy:

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.57.29 PM



Heartburn:  The heartburn on occasion can be really uncomfortable, which mostly makes its presence known when I’m running.  I try my best to avoid overeating at any given time and instead eat small meals/snacks throughout the day.

Fatigue:  Been pretty exhausted at times lately, but I think it has more to do with my work schedule than being pregnant.  I have to be at the hospital on some days by 6:30, which means I have to leave our apartment by ~5:45 am since I walk to work.  If I choose to work out afterwards, I usually don’t get home til ~7:45-8 at night.  Not complaining though!  I really, really like this rotation (interventional radiology) because I get to be on my feet all day doing procedures and interacting with patients.  I am so much happier during the day on the rotations that have procedures and patient interaction (which is predominantly breast imaging and IR)…I could never just sit in front of a computer all day.  I need to be doing stuff, even if it means longer hours and is more tiring.  However, although I enjoy my day at work, the tiredness and crammed schedule definitely makes me more cranky at night.

Creepy selfie pic in between biopsy cases.

Creepy selfie pic in between biopsy cases. The nice thing about being on IR right now is that I get to wear scrubs every day, which is really convenient with the growing stomach ; )

First trimester symptoms:  seem to be having a minor relapse of morning sickness at times over the past two weeks…some nausea/yuckiness in the morning that usually resolves by late morning.   Have also definitely had a short fuse stress-wise (sorry family and Dean!).  Probably another growth spurt ; )

Running/working out:  Running is actually going really well, although I’m only averaging 3-7 miles/run….I simply don’t have enough hours in a day to fit in a lot of miles during the week, and it looks like fitting in a longer run this weekend is going to be difficult given that I work 10-12 hour shifts both Saturday and Sunday : (.  However, the miles that I do have time for feel really good, and I feel surprising really strong.   On average, I’m maintaining about a 9:00 minute/mile pace, give or take depending on whether I’m running outside (run faster) or inside, although I’m anticipating that will slow down each week now that I’m really starting to grow.   Although I in general prefer morning running, I’ve switched nearly all my workouts during the week to after work since I have to be at work so early and because of the morning sickness.   Fortunately, my gym is only a couple of blocks away from the hospital, so I just bring my workout stuff with me to work in the morning and go straight there when I’m done in the evening. 

I nice Easter day run in Connecticut

I nice Easter day run in Connecticut

In addition to the running, I try to fit in strength training every time I work out.  I love strength training and am a huge advocate of it.  I figure if I have enough time to fit in a run, I have enough time to fit in at least few strength exercises after every run, even if all I have is ten minutes…it cumulatively all adds up!  I also stretch after every workout, and I’d like to think that the stretching and strength training have helped contribute to the fact that I have no pregnancy related pains (like no back pain or anything), although in all honesty, it probably has a lot to do with luck, and that could certainly change as a I get bigger!   Regardless of how much it does or does not help the pregnancy, regular strength training and stretching have been a part of my regular routine since I was 11, and I think it contributes to overall fitness and health.

Baby/nursery planning:  Have been working on figuring out what I need, and I’m beginning to realize that our 1-2 bedroom loft (I say 1-2 because technically our second “bedroom” is considered a den and is not much bigger than a large walk in closet in a big house) is going to get really crowded and cluttered with this baby and all her things.   We’re staying here for at least another year, so we’re gonna have to make it work!

Testing out baby necessities at the store a couple of weeks ago!  I definitely recommend this, as did one of my friends.  I've read so many amazing reviews about the Ergo baby carrier and had originally put that on my registry.  However, when I went in person, I just did not find it comfortable and actually found the babybjorn to fit me a lot better.

Testing out baby necessities at the store a couple of weeks ago! I definitely recommend this, as did one of my friends. I’ve read so many amazing reviews about the Ergo baby carrier and had originally put that on my registry. However, when I went in person, I just did not find it comfortable and actually found the babybjorn to fit me a lot better.




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