Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bradley Class Week 3

As you all know, we missed week 1 (not our fault). Yesterday we went to class 3. We covered the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and a couple other topics. We also got to see a video of Dr. Bradley talking about the birth process. He is a funny man; I thought he was very likeable. I can't really say I learned anything especially new or surprising. Most of the discussion covered things I've already come across in my reading and research on pregnancy.

I had to bite my tongue a few times when the nutritional information was being dispensed. Not that there was really any mis-information from the instructor, but I had to stop myself from piping up with a "better" explanation or more details. Like, "isn't this too much protein? I heard bad things happen to you if you eat too much protein?" GAH.

Or, yesterday's nutritional topic was eggs and how good they are for you to eat during pregnancy, and one lady asked whether we shouldn't just eat the whites because "don't the yolks have tons of cholesterol that we should avoid??"


The instructor's response was that yes the yolks do have cholesterol, but the whites have lecithin that helps it move through our bloodstream so we shouldn't worry. Especially if you aren't eating tons of red meat.


Which. Well, it misses the point entirely which is that CHOLESTEROL IN THE DIET IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. (Coincidentally, neither is red meat, or animal fat, or saturated fat). In fact, cholesterol is so important for your body that every cell can make its own if you don't supply it through the diet. I could go on for hours - days! - on this one subject, so I'll just leave it at that and say that I was squeezing Adam's hand and biting my tongue at several points during the class!

Overall, though, the nutritional advice they give out is spot on, even when I want to get on my soapbox and expound or clarify ad nauseum about why fat and protein are GOOD! Well, the only thing I would take umbrage with would be the grain/carbohydrate bit. It hasn't even been raised as an "important issue" (yet), but I've read in the Bradley guidelines that we should eat plenty of carbohydrates (especially heart-healthy-whole-grains gahhhhh) so our bodies don't burn protein for fuel. This isn't exactly dangerous advice, but it is somewhat misguided. I mean, as long as you're eating plenty of fat (as you should be in pregnancy anyway), your body will burn mostly FAT for fuel if it runs out of carbohydrates. Not that it would be bad to run out of carbohydrates, necessarily. Quite a few healthy babies have been born to peoples around the world and through history who ate very little in the way of carbohydrates.

Ok, I was going to move on from this topic five minutes ago... not that all of your eyes didn't roll back into your heads already. In fact, you've stopped reading, haven't you? This is why I need to keep my mouth shut in the birth class.

I also got another mini-full body massage at the end of class. I was ready to go to sleep right there on the floor, especially since the class ran over and it was almost 9 by the time we left... my bedtime. Yes, I know. I am a hopeless Old already and I'm not even (quite) out of my 20s yet. I like sleep. Mock me if you must. And don't anyone start crowing about how I should sleep now cause once the baby comes, I'll be propping my eyelids open with toothpicks. I've heard it all already - it seems to be one of the favored topics as soon as my pregnancy is confirmed to a new person. UR HOL LIF IZ CHANGED!! Look, I realize my entire life is going to change once I have a baby. I was actually even aware of it BEFORE I got pregnant! I say that with good humor and in a nice, positive way.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hiking Hau'ula Loop Trail

Y'all. It's hot. Seriously. HOT. And I am whiny and the universe is imposing on me at this moment. The trade winds are dead dead dead. Not a leaf is stirring. The vog is hanging all around us like thick pea soup. And it's HOT.

And I'm feeling very sad about it because it's not looking like I can look forward to moving into our centrally air conditioned new home on March 31 now. It's looking like we will be stuck here. STUCK. Until JULY!!!! Our landlady made it sound like they were going to let us out of our lease early. But she got a rental management company to take over the property, and now they want to impose all these additional strings and stuff, like that we have to pay to advertise the place, and we are responsible for any lost rent between April and July. They even are trying to put additional cleaning requirements on us, like pulling all the screens off the windows and washing them! Like hell! Those screens haven't been cleaned in 20 years! I'm not about to do it!


Let's focus on the fun things about living here, like good hiking trails! It's been a while since we went hiking. Yesterday we did the Hau'ula Loop Trail, a fun little ridge hike about halfway up the windward coast. It was good to get outside and enjoy the trail. The weather was pretty nice for it. Except for the vog, which kind of prevented us from enjoying the panormic views of the mountain range and the coastline.

At the trailhead. I look round. I'm really starting to fill out my non-maternity workout gear.

Starting the trail.

Long needled Hawaii pines crowding the trail.

Nearing the highest elevation - about 750 ft.

Panoramic view, somewhat ruined by the vog.

On the drive home, you could really tell how voggy it was because you could barely see the Ko'olau Mountains! They are usually clear and pretty as a postcard.
You can just barely see the beginning of the outline on the middle left. The rest of the mountain is completely obscured! Today it's the same. We need the trade winds! And some rain!

P.S. Vog is volcanic ash and fog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Girth of Pregnant Glory: Expanding

Of course, I'm almost 26 weeks now - I took this on Monday. I feel large and puffy. I cannot imagine what I'm going to feel like in another 14 weeks... It's laughable really, because apparently I do not looks as large as I feel. People are starting to comment or ask - are you pregnant? Most everyone says my belly looks small for being almost 6 months along. I've never been around anyone for their entire pregnancy so I have no reference point. Except for an acquaintance of ours here in Hawaii who is about 8 weeks ahead of me. We saw her at her six month point and she was HUGE. Enormous. Like if you didn't know you would think she was about to give birth. And her ankles looked like giant water balloons. I think I mentioned how horrified I was when we saw her, wondering if I was going to look like that. I think it's safe to say that no, I will not. She said her baby was measuring in the 98th percentile and they were already talking about inducing her early.

I think I need to clean my mirror.....

We survived three days of A working the night shift. We only got to see eachother for about 45 minutes total over those days! It's going to be tough if I keep working when he is on nights. He's on days for the month of February.

I had to go to my ultrasound on Wednesday alone since A was sleeping. The Little Elf seems to be doing fine. She's actually measuring in the 48th percentile now which is considered average. The farther along you get in pregnancy, the farther off the baby has to be for them to worry about the baby's growth or change your due date. So basically they are not concerned at this point that she is falling behind. But they still want to have a look at her every month to make sure, because of my thyroid issues.

It's been interesting getting to see her every month. The first time we went in, around 18 weeks, she had so much room in there! She could stretch out and wave her arms around, and she was turning over a lot. Every time we've seen her, she's gotten more and more squished up! Now she's big enough that her movements are constrained. You could still see her kicking and squirming, but her knees were all scrunched up by her chest. She was playing with her foot at one point - that was really cute. The tech said she weighs about 2 lbs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Training for Birth

We went to our first birth class yesterday evening. After some research I decided to take a Bradley Method class. I really hope it's worth our while. The instructor seemed a little scattered and disorganized. It annoys me that we pay for this class and she has already been somewhat unprofessional. We missed the first class because she forgot to call me and tell me the first class was a week earlier than she initially said. She didn't order our workbooks with enough advance, and we still don't have them (she promised next week they would be here). And she didn't have enough of the handouts she passed out, so a couple people didn't get all the forms.

It's not like we have options here on the island, though. If we want to do a Bradley class, this is it. I think in the end it will be worth it. She did seem knowledgeable about the birth process and that is the most important thing.

Yesterday's class was on nutrition, and I guessed before we went in that I already know more about nutrition - including prenatal nutrition - than she does. I definitely looked over the Bradley nutrition guidelines online before we registered for the class, knowing I wouldn't be able to take the class seriously if they gave out bogus nutrition information! They push plenty of protein - 80-100 grams per day - plus lots of dairy, veggies, fruits, fats and salt. They even recommend eating liver once per week. All good stuff.

It's a far cry from the ridiculous joke that is the USDA nutrition recommendations for pregnant women, which are inexplicably perpetuated through the otherwise sage Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy: 6 oz of protein per day (barely 40 grams?), minimize fat intake, keep salt intake low (to prevent swelling, naturally - haaaaa), and don't forget your FIFTEEN (15) servings of grain per day! We can thank the USDA (aka Puppet of the Grain Lobby) for that little tidbit.

Seriously, I mean, I am gestating a small human here, not a Pillsbury Doughboy. What do they think babies are made of? Flour and water? (Haaaaaa. Ha.) Babies need protein and calcium for bones and muscles, and fat for their growing brains.

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the Bradley class nutrition. We have to keep a daily log of our nutrition and count protein grams, which is kind of annoying, but I guess it's not really that big of a deal. It will help keep me accountable to make sure I get enough protein, considering I don't have much of an inclination for it.

We also learned some exercises that we are supposed to do daily. 100 Kegels - which seems like a lot, no? And 4 sets of 20 pelvic rocks plus 40 before bed (don't people have JOBS??? when are we supposed to do these? am I just supposed to get down on all fours and do my pelvic rocks in the middle of my open office?!) And this hip abductor exercise where you push your knees apart against resistance. And deep squat sits, which I need to work on because my hips and knees are really tight. All these are supposed to help prepare your body for labor and delivery.

After that we did some relaxation work where I got to lay on the ground and have basically a full body massage from Adam! I suppose that is worth the price of admission right there if I get one of those each week. We are supposed to practice that daily too.

It seems like a lot of stuff, but the Bradley people say that birth is like an athletic event (with your husband as the coach) and you need to prepare both physically and mentally. Of course, as a recreational athlete, that's something I can get my brain around.

Adam is supposed to help me remember to do all this stuff, but I already know I'm going to be on my own for a good chunk of the time because he's starting his watch schedule this week and when he's on the night shift we will basically not see each other for more than about an hour a day (if that). He is standing the night watch for the next three days and then he'll be on days for a month, and then nights during March.

I just recently tried to put our name on the waiting list for day care, and (I should have known) there is a year PLUS waiting list for the Navy daycare center! I guess we will be finding another option. Anyone know a nanny near Pearl Harbor?!

Oh, and good news! Our landlord is letting us out of our lease on March 31! So we will get to move before the baby comes. Now we just have to hope and pray they will offer us a house in time and we are not out on the street on April 1!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Seriously, WHY?

I work with a well-meaning, elderly man who says to me every single day: "Hi Mama! How's the TWINS?" (Ok. Maybe it's not EVERY day. But a lot.)

At first I would humor him with a fake-laugh and say, "Thankfully it's just one!"

(First of all, stop. calling. me. MAMA. and second of all, just stop.)

Now I'm past that. I just raise my eyebrows and say, "IT's JUST. ONE."

I swear to god pretty soon someone is going to get punched in the face.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

24 Week Midwife Visit

I saw the midwife today for my 24 week appointment. I know precisely none of you will be shocked to hear that my uterus was measuring behind schedule. I explained everything to the midwife and she was the most sympathetic person yet, telling me that I was probably right and my due date was probably not until later. We will see at my ultrasound next week how the Little Princess is doing and whether they will want to change my official due date or not. It matters little since it's only 10 days less than what they have recorded; however, it is one less thing to worry about whether she is not growing properly. I have to admit I am not really concerned about that!

What was surprising is that I have only gained 2 lbs in the last 8 weeks since I was there. And I've actually LOST 2 lbs since I was at my endocrinologist 4 weeks ago. I have no idea how that happened, and it's certainly not a result of any virtue on my part, nor for lack of trying. My mother and father can attest to my robust appetite while they were here visiting over the holidays. I have gained a total of 10 lbs so far. With 16 weeks left in this pregnancy, I could gain a pound a week from now on and be right on track.

She also scheduled me for the glucose screening, which I am dreading. The idea of chugging down a sickly sweet drink full of artificial color and sugar has exactly zero appeal. She said I didn't HAVE to do it, but it would make the OBs very nervous if I had not because gestational diabetes can be very serious. I will have to think about that one.

Other than that everything was fine. I see my endo again tomorrow and get another ultrasound next Wednesday. Time has seemed to pass pretty slowly during this pregnancy, even though it sounds like I don't have much time left when I think it's only 16 more weeks!

It's fun now though that the baby is moving all the time. You can even see her kicks from the outside now! Sometimes at work or if I'm in a boring meeting I will just stare at my belly watching the little thumps. Last night Adam and I were watching a documentary about crazy-ass Hunter S. Thompson and I was feeling the kicks really strong right in front so I said, "hey, look right there..." and a couple seconds later you could see my belly jump where she kicked. We both had a laugh and I said I think she's trying to get out!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I'm pretty sure this is the rocker/recliner we are going to get. It's a La Z Boy "Morgan" in Birch, the rocker version. I also really liked the "Lancer" model, but it doesn't look like it can get here to Hawaii before the baby is born. The good thing about the Morgan is that it's a few inches smaller (width & depth) than the Lancer, so it will probably fit better in the nursery. We debated getting some other kind of chair, but even the rickety (read: less expensive) ones at Babies R Us were like $350 for the reclining version. And as far as recliners go, La Z Boys are the most comfy I have sat in (on the island our choices are limited anyway). Plus the La Z Boys have a lifetime warranty on the mechanisms and the frame.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Feathering the Nest

Cankle watch: no sightings in several days YAY. The proteins are working, as much as I don't feel like eating them more often than not.

Baby watch: Feeling good, sleeping well, no big complaints. While I'm typing, I'm playing some classical music through headphones on the belly for the Little Elf, and I don't know if she likes it or not when I do that, but she sure squirms around a lot!

I can't really say that I've been hit with the so-called Nesting Instinct yet. I'm not inspired to clean or fluff any more than my usual keep-the-dirt-at-bay-and-the-gecko-poops-off-the-counter attitude. Maybe it's because we might be moving sooner rather than later! We are keeping our fingers crossed, but our landlady was sympathetic to our plight and seemed like she was going to let us out of our lease early. She hasn't given us a final decision, but Adam thinks she will. HALLELUJA! We are hoping to be in a new house by the beginning of April, which will make the last month of pregnancy busy and interesting, but I will be so grateful to be in a new house before the baby is born and not have to move with a 6 week old infant.

I did buy a crib, but it's in pieces in the guest room upstairs. I have a rocker/recliner more or less picked out, but we haven't bought it yet. Other than that and the baby jail (aka Pack n Play) we bought on Black Friday, we have made zero baby purchases.

But! I did find some really adorable island-themed prints to hang on the wall! I'm against themed nurseries as a general rule, but when I saw these prints I thought, how cute would that be, and you could put lots of different stuff with it. And the next thing I knew I was buying up a bunch of them.

We have no carseat, diapers or burp rags, but at least we know the nursery will be cute (priorities, people).

Friday, January 08, 2010

My litany of sorrows

Good grief, this has been a rough week, both pregnancy and work-wise. Only one of our cars was working, so we carpooled, which was great in one sense because I got dropped off at the door to my office building instead of trudging half a mile (no shitting) down a gigantous hill from the parking areas. On the other hand, it means I worked some long days, with getting dropped off super early for random meetings that popped up EVERY DAY this week, and then waiting until Adam finished his normal work day to come back and fetch me. There is just something wrong about driving to work when it's still completely dark outside when you live near the equator. On top of that, we spent several evenings this week loitering around in the auto parts store, getting our alternator tested and replaced.

And for some reason, pregnancy took its toll this week. I was going along, feeling more or less dandy, and then suddenly I wasn't. I didn't sleep well for several days, partly due to the heat and partly due to the discomfort in my belly. My uterus must have been growing because I had a ton of back pain and just general achiness all through my midsection. I woke up every morning puffed up like the Michelin Man - likely also due to the heat and humidity through the night.

Plus, my feet? Started to do this by the end of every day:

Ye Gods. I have cankles. CANKLES. I can hardly even look at this picture it is so horrifying.

They were so swollen a couple of days it was painful! I cannot stand looking down at them like that because I feel like the most gigantic, bulbous, waddling creature on earth - way out of proportion to reality, I realize. I know the heat & humidity are partially responsible. However. I know I also probably need to eat more protein to counter the swelling. I have had little appetite for meat this entire pregnancy and it's been a real challenge for me to eat as well as I would like because I just can't stomach a steak or chicken breast unless it's hidden in something else like a stew or salad. Thank goodness I've been able to eat salads or I would really be in trouble. I'd be eating nothing but crackers and cheese and fruit. And ice cream.

I've been feeling so sorry for myself that it's been really difficult to keep in mind what an amazing and mind-blowing gift this pregnancy is. To be able to carry this little soul around inside me for a time is the most humbling and awesome thing. To feel her little feet and arms testing out their boundaries, feel the lopsided tugging that means she is rolling over. To know that her tiny body, cell by cell, is being made entirely by my own. It's as if by magic she sprouted, was one cell, then two, and then suddenly she had eyes and a tiny heart thrumming away. Before she even looked like a human creature, her heart was beating in my belly. She sparked to life unbeknownst to me, but she was already mine. She was mine years ago, when I began to dream her into being. Or rather, perhaps she is not mine. She belongs to God. He entrusted her to us to love and to care for, and for that we could not be more amazed or grateful. I need to remember to focus on the gratitude I feel when I think of our little miracle, even when my feet look like they are going to explode.

My expanding girth of pregnant glory, at 23 weeks.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 / 2010

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Got married. Got pregnant. Visited Australia, New Zealand and Korea.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any resolutions last year! I'd rather set goals than make resolutions...

Goals for this year are:

1. Bring a healthy baby into this world
2. Get back in shape after the baby is born
3. Figure out the best work situation for me & my family
4. Build a stronger marriage

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Lindsey gave birth a few weeks ago to little Adelai Grace!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I can't really say I was close to him, but Adam's grandpa died.

5. What countries did you visit?

Australia, New Zealand and Korea. We also had layovers in Japan and Fiji... that doesn't really count!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Air conditioning.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Our wedding day, February 19.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting married? Getting pregnant? It's kind of a toss up!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being less than committed to my health and fitness lifestyle.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope. Healthy as a horse. Unless you count the bruises I got from the car accident, which were minor!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hmmm.... a new computer.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I can't think of anyone specifically.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Congress and their pork belly bills, both the economic stimulus bill and the health care bill.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. Aside from that, the wedding and honeymoon.

15. What did you get really excited about?

The Little Elf Princess!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

I got nothing here.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. Definitely fatter.

– richer or poorer? Richer in so many ways.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Hiking & other outdoor activities.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

Here in Hawaii, with my parents, at the beach.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I sure did. I fell in love with my sweet husband all over again. And I fell in love with the little one growing in my belly!

22. What was your favorite TV program?


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes, but thankfully that person is no longer a part of my life.

24. What was the best book you read?

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Probably Muse, which I discovered through the movie Twilight.

26. What did you want and get?


27. What did you want and not get?

I wanted to lose 20 lbs, but see #9.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I gotta say that Inglorious Basterds is the movie that sticks out the most in my mind!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 while we were on our honeymoon. I can't really remember what we did that specific day but I'm sure it was relaxing and wonderful!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Air conditioning.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Trying to find appropriate clothes for work that I don't roast in. It's too hot and humid here for clothes, probably why everyone in Waikiki walks around in bikinis and barefoot. Too bad I can't wear that to work.

32. What kept you sane?

Exercise. Adam.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Is it perverted if I say Taylor Lautner? Because, GOD! However, I'm practically old enough to be his mother.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?


35. Who did you miss?

Adam while he was deployed.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Uh. I have not met anyone memorable...

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Don't pay a worry debt for the future.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Baby, I'm stuck in the middle and I don't know why
Find the words you sing to me
Sweeter than the words of the bird in the sky
Oh, the days you came around
I feel so good for me
I can take most anything
'Cause what you bring

Baby, come on, take a ride in my little blue bug
Keep the windows down
Don't forget to celebrate the radio's up
Oh, the way you hold my hand
There is no other way
We could take a thousand walks
And laugh all day

I find it magical (hey)
I feel like I'm loving you in 1963 (hey)
Flowers in my hair (hey)
Little bitty hearts upon my cheek
Baby, you'll be on my mind
'till I kiss you next time

Rachel Yamagata, 1963

Full disclosure: I stole this questionnaire from Sundry!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

Bellow's Beach

2009 was a busy year for us! Even though it felt like I spent large chunks of the year sitting on the couch sweating without a/c and watching tv alone while A was deployed, the year was actually quite momentous. I moved, started a new job, planned a wedding, got married, planned and went on a honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand, Adam deployed twice, we visited Kansas and Omaha (got into a car accident), we traveled to Korea, and we got pregnant!

I like to set goals every new year for what I would like to accomplish, but this year's biggest goal is kind of a give-in... BRING A HEALTHY BABY INTO THIS WORLD!!! Other than that my goals are simple: to get back in shape after the baby is born, to figure out the best course of action in my work situation, and to continue to grow a strong marriage with Adam as the foundation of our lives.

I spent New Year's Eve with my parents here in Hawaii... Adam's grandfather died a few days ago so he went on emergency leave back to Kansas to attend the funeral. He left New Year's Eve at 8:30 and he'll come home tomorrow. I miss him so much! I can't wait to get him home safe and sound with us girls again.

Mom and Dad and I went to bed early, but were awoken by the sound of fireworks exploding all around us. Hawaiians have this inexplicable fascination with fireworks and this year it seemed like every Hawaiian on the island was lighting some off in their back yard. It felt like we were in a war zone! I laid awake from about 11:30-12:45 listening to all the explosions.

Dad left yesterday and Mom leaves tomorrow and then I guess we will be back to the "real world" of full work days and no more vacation! Boo!

Prince says Happy New Year Y'all.

Prince is a crazy-looking cat that lives in our neighborhood and waits by our courtyard door for me to come home from work every day. I always talk to him and say "Prince!" and he goes "mraooowe!"