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I have started and failed to complete a number of blog posts over the past two months. Topics ranging from the hideous 3rd trimester of pregnancy to the birth story of my new daughter.
I will tell those stories, I promise.
The last couple months of been such a whirlwind I can barely comprehend at times all that has happened to me over the last year. It was as though I was living in a dream. The people I encountered, conceiving a baby against all odds, pregnancy… Did this really happen?
As I sit here staring at my beautiful daughter, I am struck by the fact that 2014 will be a very… new year for me. I will have to adjust my life to having two kids. I have to re-lose all the weight (to the tune of about 45 pounds). I have to start over with running. I have to find my groove at work. My husband and I will have to work harder than ever to find balance.
While there are a lot of adjustments that feel a bit overwhelming, I also have this sense of peace.
I have a new baby. A baby girl. I’m not sure how I was worthy enough to have my dreams come true.
My heart is so full.
Now that the cat is out of the bag with my shocker of a pregnancy, I can finally talk again! I feel so free! A huge weight lifted off my shoulders!
Let me get down to business.
I need to cry.
I need to whine.
I need to pout.
Why? Because the 1st trimester is the worst. Between puking my brains out and the stress of worrying if my little nugget is going to stick around I am just… exhausted. Or wait. Is that the pregnancy? Ugh. Who the hell am I??
Holy hell. I was looking back at my blog posts from my 1st trimester with Jackson. I remember barfing every night, but I do not remember the nausea being so incredibly relentless. My OB took pity on me this time around and gave me a prescription med called Zofran. While it seems to be doing the trick, my nausea control is a very delicate balance. I must eat breakfast immediately when I get up in the morning and I must just sit like a zombie for at least 15 minutes before attempting to move after I eat. Skipping either of these will result in barfy consequences the remainder of the day. I also must eat. All the time. I would say I eat or nibble on something nearly every hour. Those snacks range from a protein bar to popcorn to Sour Cream & Onion Ruffles. Sweets are completely off the table- all of them are a trigger to that freakishly nasty taste in my mouth and make my nausea a thousand times worse. How did I figure this out? You guessed it. The hard way. Yuck.
The need to keep my belly full resulted in a quick 3 pound gain in my first week alone. As the nausea has increased, my appetite has decreased. I force myself to eat because I know if I don’t, I will be destined to suffer the barfy consequences. Therefore, I graze. My doctor wants me to gain 25 pounds. GAH! That’s RIGHT! When you are a more normal weight they actually WANT you to gain weight when you are pregnant! This is so weird. And yes, the rumors are true. You start to show much earlier with baby number 2. At 8 weeks my regular clothes are miserably uncomfortable. Frantic, I got a hold of my friend to whom I borrowed all my previous maternity clothes. I sort of forgot about the fact that I was 45 pounds heavier 5 years ago. Not a single item fits. Not even a little. While one part of me is jumping for joy over this, the other part of me is not all that thrilled about having to buy all new maternity clothes and Belly Bands? I don’t trust them. I feel like my pants could fall down at any moment given the right tug.
Nothing. NOTHING is like pregnancy fatigue. Newborn fatigue is crazy awful, but pregnancy fatigue is a whole other phenomenon altogether. I feel narcoleptic as though I could put my head down anywhere and just fall asleep. Or not put my head down and fall asleep staring at my computer like a zombie. Or just sit and stare like a zombie, drool dripping from my lower lip.
The one thing I feel insanely blessed about in pregnancy #1 was that I never got sick (at least in terms of a cold/flu thing). I suffered through a sinus infection about a week ago and I kid you not, what is usually a minor annoyance in my world has brought me to my knees. Sinus issues are fairly common in pregnancy so mingle that with a propensity towards infections that has developed over the past 4 years or so? Disaster. You can’t take any of the good stuff. The stuff you can take makes you feel worse. I’m pretty sure that I have never had an infection that has caused this much agony. My sinuses were so sore I could actually see my cheeks puffing out from below my eyes. The pressure caused teeth pain which made chewing and eating quite a chore. The sleeping… broken, painful, feverish sleeping. I pretty much called my OB and begged for an antibiotic today. My only hope is that it actually works and that my wussiness doesn’t cause any issues for my unborn child.
For the record. Do not trust anything I say and do. Tread lightly. A pregnant Jo is kind of scary. I suddenly gain this awesome confidence to lash out and say exactly what is on my mind with no thought of the consequences. I can be snippy and bitchy but in the next breath I am weepy and sad. As far as TV, everything makes me cry right now. Everything. My husband will find me weeping openly while watching The Voice. Unable to form words I point at the TV to the pretty girl singing “How Great Thou Art.” I mean, do I need to explain it anyway? And on the same day as a devastating tornado that leveled an elementary school? I was a mess. A really big mess. Beyond the context of that particular song, I probably would have cried as much at “Mountain Music.” Or insurance commercials.
For me the 1st trimester is filled with a lot of whining, crying, puking and “woe is me” and all that stuff above? That isn’t even all of it. I skipped the nasty TMI ones. I mostly blame my husband which he proudly accepts. As an infertile, and yes, after 4 years and near hysterectomy, I consider myself an infertile who got incredibly lucky. I always remember saying that I would love to be in the shoes of a pregnant woman with morning sickness. However, while I still sit awestruck over this miracle, I’m not going to lie- it sucks to feel this sick 24/7. I don’t feel like myself and I feel like my work and my family are suffering for it. I don’t care about having to give up things (a.k.a. drinking, going out, etc etc etc) those are easy. When you are so sick that you can’t even tend to the most simple things such as doing the dishes or playing with my son… that is where it gets tough. It feels lonely and everyone around me feels helpless that they cannot find a way to help me. I always try to tell people to imagine their worst hangover and having to relive it every single day, 24/7 for 3 months (or more as it was for me the first time around). I feel an immense amount of guilt over complaining- I really do. I don’t ever want to seem ungrateful for this immense gift I have been given but the 1st trimester is tough and I will not sugarcoat it. So many worries. So much illness.
Yet so much hope mingled in all at the same time.
I will officially begin some weekly belly shots! This is 9 weeks (taken on Tuesday). In my usual evening attire. LOL. Not sure how much these can be trusted… I am all bloat. So much bloat.
As you know from so many of my rants, I have been plagued with infertility since, well, what seems like forever.
I was two weeks away from an ultrasound that would yet again determine whether not I would need to undergo a hysterectomy to rid myself of the ovarian cysts that had attacked my ovary and the relentless pain of endometriosis.
Starting around the week of April 22nd, I noticed that my running was getting very difficult. Despite 2 years of training and regular running, I found myself to be heavy and sluggish. I was getting side cramps more than usual and my pace had really slowed down. When I ran the Get In Gear 5K on the 27th of April, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I found the race extremely difficult. I was hot. Exhausted. Sore. While I never walked, I was slow. In my final push towards the finish line, I honestly felt like throwing up.
I was blaming a lot of my issues on PMS. I was bloated (which I thought was the cause of my slow running), hungry and wickedly bitchy. I had been expecting my period on the day of the Get in Gear. It didn’t come. I didn’t think about it too much. It wouldn’t have been the first time I had a longer cycle and I didn’t think much of it. However, all week, a very heavy fatigue had come over me.
On Thursday, May 2, the day after my birthday, and my period nearly a week late, I thought, “Oh, what the hell. I’ll take a pregnancy test. It’s not like it will be positive or anything.” Until I saw this:
OH my sweet Jesus. Shaking, I just stared at this test in disbelief.
Is it possible that after 4 years, 2 invasive surgeries and a doctor telling me, “No way in hell,” that this is true?
So, I ran to Target to buy more tests. I got this:
Yup. That is a 2nd line. It’s not dark but it’s there. Holy shit.
Another couple days led to this:
It all became clear. The fatigue. The soreness (yeah… my boobs feel like they have taken a beating). The MORNING SICKNESS. Oh dear god. The morning sickness. I had forgotten how hideous it was. I had forgotten how it can make a totally amazing miracle such as this seem like quite frankly, death. I hate saying that know most of us infertiles would give anything for it, but I would be lying if I said it was wonderful. I am non-functional. Cannot concentrate. Trying desperately not to throw up at work. I’m so tired that it hurts. Oh, if only I could bypass the 1st trimester and fast forward into the blissfully adorable 2nd trimester.
When I got these BFP’s I swore that I would continue trying to exercise and run (HAHAHAHAHAHA). That I would eat healthy (BWAHAHAHAHA). Seriously. No go on both. My exhaustion and paranoia has quickly squashed any notions of exercising not to mention my debilitating nausea doesn’t help with that motivation. As far as eating healthy? My body appears to be rejecting it. I didn’t feel great until I had a hot ham and cheese and fries the other day.
I swear, if one more person tells me they didn’t have morning sickness when they were pregnant, I will hurt them. And no, dear husband, it is NOT IN MY HEAD.
Did I mention that I am emotionally unstable?
While we have told most of our close friends and family, we are still keeping this news from the larger Facebook world for awhile. At 7 weeks 6 days pregnant, it is still very early and I am very paranoid (and rightfully so). However I am choosing to out myself here on my blog because I MISS MY BLOG. I had to chuckle a little bit when a fellow weight loss blogger posted her pregnancy announcement and brought up the fact that when a weight loss blogger stops posting it means they are pregnant. So, very true! It was nearly impossible to write about anything without my pregnancy being a factor in every topic in my life. This is my home for venting, ranting and talking about my most important milestones- I simply cannot be without it any longer!
Everything is perfect so far. My numbers are good (the important ones such as HCG and progesterone), my doctor is tickled that I am sick as a dog and baby is doing fantastic and has a strong & fast heartbeat.
|Baby K’s First Photo|
Okay, so yes, despite my discomforts which you will hear much about in the months to come and my now too tight size 8 pants, I am completely relishing in this unbelievable miracle. It is as if God said, “No, you are not done yet.” I am beyond blessed. I know this. I’m not sure there are words to describe our shock and amazement. All we can do is just keep thanking God for this beautiful miracle and no matter how miserable I feel, not take a second of it for granted.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.
I don’t accept very many sponsored blog opportunities because many of them are just not a good fit. However, when I was able to try out a pair of No nonsense tights and leggings, I jumped at it!
One of the things I love most about winter is the fashion. I love cozy sweaters, a cute pair of jeans, leggings to wear around the house and tights with my winter dresses and skirts. While I love wearing tights with all the fun patterns and they provide warmth, leggings have been a little more challenging for me to incorporate into my style.
I wish I had a more colorful outfit, but I want to stick to what I usually wear since it is a bit more “me”:
The leggings I received were pretty perfect for me The tights were black ribbed tights and the leggings were brown cords. I love the black tights because of course I have a thousand and one outfits to go with them. The brown cord leggings on the other hand… A little more challenging. My husband didn’t think much of them either and actually laughed at me wearing them. They are pretty comfortable and I wore them around the house with a long sleeved baggy tee.
I’m pretty picky about my tights. I wear them a lot so I want them to last awhile. What is nice about No nonsense tights is that you can pretty much find them at any food/drugstore or any mass retailer and they are very reasonably priced. I’m not kidding when I say that I have probably bought about 10 pairs of No nonsense tights over the past month or so!
I was really excited to hear that Jill Martin is partnering with No nonsense. Jill is not just a fashion expert but an Emmy Award-winning TV personality and co-author of the New York Times bestselling style guide “I Have Nothing to Wear!” She is also the New York Correspondent for Access Hollywood. She’s the perfect ambassador for this brand and will do a great job bringing great fashion to women everywhere.
As a social marketer, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t encourage my readers to check out No nonsense on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/benononsense. Follow them for great fashion ideas and deals! You won’t regret it.
At what time of day do you feel the most energetic and productive?
This is a few days behind… thought I posted this but I didn’t so here is Friday’s topic!
I had a little bit of a laugh when I decided on my title for today’s topic. I remember back in college, WAY back in the day when Minnesota bars were only open until 1am, around 12:30a (or last call as we all hated to hear), we could fly across the border to Hudson, Wisconsin where the bars were open until 2am. We lovingly referred to this tradition as the “Hour of Power”. That one hour? That was the best one hour of the entire night as we tried to fit as much dancing, picking up guys and shots into one hour.
Well, a lot has changed in the 14 years since the Hour of Power tradition. Minnesota bars are now open until 2am and I am about to turn 37. Partying until 2am simply does not compute for this old mama, but I do look back on those days with great nostalgia. I also wonder… how was I able to party all night long and get up at 7am for work the next morning? How do I not look more haggard for my 37 years!? My energy as a twenty-something was truly out of this world.
I am now older (and a shit ton wiser… well… most of the time). My week is centered around a 40+ hour work week and being a parent. At work, I have a few times a day that my productivity usually peaks:
First thing in the morning- I have digital duties and updates that need to be attended to the minute I get in and get my computer booted up. I am usually motivated enough to go over my list of “to do” items and check my calendar. Then it’s bring on the coffee.
Midday- I am almost always trying to make deadlines before noon, so my energy usually peaks again from around 10-11:30am until my tummy starts to growl at me.
Mid-Afternoon- Around 2:30 after my post lunch haze I realize that I only have about an hour and a half left to get things accomplished for the day so I start to crank on my to-do items. By about 3:30 I crash and burn.
I am rarely energetic and productive in the evening which is hilarious because that is when I get my workouts in. Believe me. It takes a LOT of internal motivation to either hit the pavement/treadmill or get my ass to the gym. I usually feel pretty good after my workouts, but my productivity still sucks. I really just enjoy relaxing and winding down in the evening.
The weekends are a whole other beast. I’m usually pretty productive in the morning. I see the disaster that has accumulated over the busy week and the Type A in me goes nutzo. The afternoons are pretty low key as that is when the kiddo gets some quiet time (note… this is quiet time. Not nap time. My child… does not do nap time. Ever). Sundays are insanity. Between church, laundry and football (well, at least right now) there is plenty of good energy flowing through the house.
What does this mean? It means my life is a chaotic mess and I just go with the flow!
When do you feel most energetic and productive?
Every now and then I come across blogging opportunities that are intriguing. Whether they are an awesome contest or a product to try that I’m actually genuinely interested in, it’s kind of fun. Before I launch into my latest experiment, know that I will ALWAYS be 100% honest in my opinions.
When I had the opportunity to try the 5-Hour Energy drink, my curiosity got the best of me. There have been people handing it out along Nicollet Mall and Marquette Ave to which I said no to their free samples every time. When the Smiley360 mission came up, it was a sign that I needed to try the stuff.
So, last weekend, I chose to forego my usual cup of Joe and chug the 5-Hour Energy drink instead.
Holy crap, the stuff does not taste very good. Thank god it isn’t more than a shot (although a wolfing a shot of vodka sounds much better than drinking this stuff).
Day 1, Saturday: I guess you could say it worked. I was pretty amped up for a bit and then I got the shakes. Getting jittery is exactly what I do not like about some of these energy supplements. It probably explains why my blood pressure was up a bit too. Yikes. I crashed hard that afternoon though. They might need to call it the 5-Hour Crash.
Day 2, Sunday: The shakes were a little better and I didn’t get a caffeine (or lack thereof) headache so I know I got the caffeine I needed. It was a busy day so I didn’t notice a crash.
The Verdict: Frankly, I’m not going to run out and buy the stuff. I personally enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning.
Now, I’m not going to completely throw 5-Hour Energy under the bus. Not everyone likes coffee. Not everyone drinks Diet Coke like water. It contains about as much caffeine as a cup of premium coffee, has zero sugar, zero herbal stimulants and only 4 calories. It also contains a bunch of vitamins and nutrients (which is something your morning cup of coffee doesn’t have). It may just be the thing you need to get the energy you need to get through your day. I’ve heard of some people taking it before a workout to get a bit of an energy jolt (perhaps that is why they sell it at the gym?).
My Recommendation: Give it a try! What do you have to lose?
Disclaimer stuff: I was provided two bottles of 5-Hour Energy through Smiley360.
5-hour ENERGY® is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and/or ailments and does not enhance performance. Stating otherwise is considered to be a false claim. Do not post any false claims stating that this product did, or is intended to, cure any disease and/or ailments and does not enhance performance.Important Note:
- 5-hour ENERGY® is not to be consumed before going to the club/bar
- 5-hour ENERGY® is not recommended for use with alcohol
- 5-hour ENERGY® is not for children
Changing jobs is hard enough. New faces. New duties. New rules. Tack on a whole new lifestyle? Shock.
|My brilliant photographer husband took this photo of
Minneapolis when he was working Downtown
You see, I have had a cozy job in the suburbs for the last decade. I could see Downtown off in the distance, but it was a life I had no idea about other than random trips to MN Twins games and the plethora of concerts I attend every year. I could get in my car and drive off on a moment’s notice. I could easily schedule doctor’s appointments, Weight Watchers & Medifast weigh ins and probably my favorite part: shop at the mall. Those who grew up in the burbs, you get my fascination and love for malls.
Starting a new job in Downtown Minneapolis has been a bit of a culture shock for me. I take the bus nearly every day which I find… interesting. There is definitely a set of rules to be followed:
- You can sit where you want, but always move in towards the window so others don’t have to climb over you and so everyone can have a seat as the bus starts getting full.
- Ladies first. Most of the professional men I bus with will give up their place in line to get on the bus and even there seat if it means giving one to a lady.
- Keep your shit out of the isle. It’s a violation and the bus driver will stop the bus and make you move your crap before he starts going again.
- Don’t talk to strangers. It’s weird, but unless you are long time co-workers or friends, nobody talks on the bus.
- Breath mints or gum people. Please spare your neighbors on the bus by having good hygiene.
- Probably the #1 rule: have your bus fare/bus card ready. Nothing pisses off a crabby bus of commuters than the unorganized fool holding everyone up.
- Only a handful of people jaywalk. It is against the law and you can get a ticket. Why is it that people refuse to wait the extra minute for the sign to change to cross the dumb street?!
- The majority of people walk around with ear buds/headphones on. Not only do they wear them on the bus, but they wear them virtually everywhere while walking around.
- Some people are genuinely rude. They will walk right the hell into you if you get in their way with zero apology.
- Many sleep on the bus. Like full on, head-bobbin nap time. It’s very tempting.
- Don’t make any assumptions– give something a try before you rule it out. I never thought in a million years I would prefer the bus to the comfort of my car, but I do. I love my 30 minutes of relaxation. I love whizzing by the bumper to bumper traffic. I love catching up on Facebook, Twitter, and all my With Friends games with zero distraction. I love listening to my workout music to get me pumped up for the evening exercise yet to come. I’m so glad I gave it a shot.
- Buy comfortable shoes! I think the reasons are obvious but Downtown is no place for uncomfortable shoes.
Taking this job was a decision that was way outside the box for me. I am proud that I made this choice! I am really loving my new job and my company so far and hope that I will continue to feel that way five, even ten years from now.
As usual, I have been filled with excuses for my cheats. My birthday was a week ago and of course I had to celebrate it on more than one day. While I was very conscious of what I was eating, my liquor consumption was through the roof. I’ll be shocked if I post a loss today.
One of the most important reasons I wanted to get to a healthy weight was to try and control my endometriosis as extra weight produces more estrogen and excess estrogen is what feeds endo. Now that I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight, I thought I would do a little “test” to see if anything has gotten better by ditching my birth control for a month. I’m sad to say the endo pain was worse than ever.
I am very adamant about controlling my endo holistically. I haven’t enjoyed being on medication for it and I will do ANYthing to try and control it another way. This week I will be visiting my chiropractor for the first time since I was 9 months pregnant. He played a significant role in helping me with the pelvic bone pain I was experiencing in late pregnancy (seriously… I could barely walk before seeing him). While I’m not sure an adjustment will work, I have heard great things about acupuncture for endo and I am definitely going to talk with him about that and any other holistic options.
Another factor that I hadn’t considered is how the soy protein in my Medifast diet has been affecting my condition. Dr. Google tells me that those suffering from endo should avoid soy and gluten like the plague. Has my fabulous weight loss plan been worsening my condition? I was lucky enough to get a Medifast counselor today whose specialty is in holistic medicine and she was thrilled to hear that I was looking to control my condition naturally through diet and other means. She agreed that we need to cut down some of the soy and while I wasn’t thrilled with the options available to me, I am willing to give them a try if it will help reduce my pain. Of course, the sooner I get to goal, the sooner I can be done eating Medifast meals so truthfully, I may just suck it up, eat what I like on the program and just get through it.
To my surprise, I lost 1 pound (laugh it up… but considering the way I conducted myself this last week, it is a victory). I am down 31.3 pounds on Medifast. 51.3 pounds total since January 2011.
I AM 7 POUNDS FROM MY GOAL.
7 measly pounds!! I lost that in my first week on Medifast and now it won’t go away?? So frustrating. Yes, I know it is hardest to lose the last 10 lbs but I am SO ready to be done.The finish line is straight ahead and dang it, I will make it through.
My goals this week:
1) On my honor: I will not cheat on my diet. Not even a little. 100% Medifast this week.
2) As per my Medifast counselor, I am to add 15 minutes of sauna time to my 3 workouts this week. She says it will help to detox (since I DID drink a lot over the last week…) and it is anti-inflammatory and should help with my endo.
3) Stay happy & positive! I’ve got this!
What are your goals this week?
So this weekend begins my birthday weekend. My birthday is actually on Tuesday, but who celebrates their birthday on a Tuesday? Thus, the celebrating will begin early.
I’m telling everyone that I’m turning 35 for the 2nd time. I mean… do you even really remember how old you are after 35?
I told my husband that I didn’t want him to get me anything and I actually did mean it. Why? Well, being so close to goal, I have already spent a small fortune on new clothes (and a new Coach tote may or may not have been included in those purchases. Shhhh.). FYI, one of the best gifts of all was fitting into and buying a size 8 suit today.
Besides, what I really want more than anything for my birthday is to have a date night. Despite the fact that I had to set it up (ahem), next Saturday, my mother-in-law is coming up to watch the kiddo and we are heading out to dinner and sitting VIP at The Avengers. Yeah, yeah… we’re seeing a dude flick. I am aware of this and yes, it makes me a really awesome wife. Again, I really want to spend time together and I know he was aching to see this movie. Plus we get to drink booze sitting in the VIP section at the theater. Score, right?
Saturday, I will be going out with my two best girlfriends for some sushi, live music and some piano bar singin’ at Nye’s Polonaise Room. Sunday is my family day. We are heading to the MN Zoo to check out the Farm Babies and then having dinner with my parents later that evening at Burger Jones. The kiddo happens to have swim on Tuesday night, so really, I will probably be celebrating and basking in the quiet in my house while the boys are out. I will be savoring every moment of it.
I was bitching early this week about how birthdays are so disappointing. You get your hopes up and then usually get dropped down. Then I realized what a horrifically negative statement that is. My birthday is only what I make of it. I will be gloriously spending time with my family and friends, getting pinged on Facebook all day and you know what? That is more than good enough for me.
The only thing dragging down my fun is having to remember to make decent choices with my food and drink. I will have a salad & small sushi roll with my friends and I’m sure a few glasses of wine to round out the night, I’m having the Tiny Tummy Tatanka (Lean ground buffalo on a 100% natural multigrain thin bun with
lettuce, tomato and onion. Only 7 points on a popular diet plan) at Burger Jones with field greens and balsamic vinaigrette (MAYBE a mason jar cocktail) and with the hubby I will enjoy beef tenderloin with vegetables.
Doesn’t sound THAT bad does it? Despite my sour face at HAVING to make healthy choices, the food is also so much more delicious than I think it will be and I never feel like I’m missing out on the naughty stuff.
Happy Birthday Weekend to ME!