Becoming a Mom for the 4th Time – Surviving the First Trimester

Looking back at my track record, my first trimester pregnancies were either a hit or miss. With my first pregnancy, I came to discover I could NOT eat bananas during my first trimester. I LOVE bananas, and I couldn’t even eat them if they were mixed into something else. Nope, not having it.

Come to think of it, my oldest isn’t too fond of bananas.

For my second and third pregnancies, things went fairly smoothly during the first trimester.

This pregnancy was by far the most harrowing.

I, no, we (as in hubby and I) just knew we were having a girl.

This go around, I was nauseous without any vomiting and was mainly horizontal for a majority of the first trimester. As soon as I ate something, it would immediately make me feel sick to my stomach, but nothing would come up. It was pure torture.

We were having a girl.

I was tired more than usual, and although I was taking my prenatal vitamins, I could only take them at night because during the day, I was so nauseous and once again in the horizontal position.

We were having a girl.

All the activities I was used to doing came to a screeching halt for a few weeks as my body adjusted to this life growing inside of me. My FitBit obsession was compromised as well (not too happy about that one.) I was also limited in what I could do with the boys because I was so sick. Add to the mix hubby was working in Alberta and gone for most of the first trimester.

This was DEFINITELY a girl.

They say all pregnancies are different and there’s no way of predicting whether you’ll have a boy or girl, but we knew. EVERYTHING about this pregnancy SCREAMED DRAMA!!! The conception, the first trimester, it was non-stop DRAMA!!!

Then, I had additional testing because of my age. I’m not a fan of the term used for women over 35 who are pregnant; it just sounds so…UGH. I mean, really?!?!?! Yes, we’re older, but we’re not completely washed up or used goods, for crying out loud.

But, I digress.

I was paired up with a great OB/GYN and my first visit went well. She asked the standard question – date of my last menstrual period, any other pregnancies, miscarriages, etc. Measurements were taken, urine sample, all the fun stuff that happens during a prenatal visit. And then the doppler came out. I think a little piece of me was still convinced that maybe this was all a fluke of sorts – maybe it was just really bad gas and I needed to let out a huge burp or fart.

After some poking around trying to find the fetus, there was the distinct sound of a heartbeat.

Well, there was no mistaking that sound. I was having a baby!!!

There were some concerns, however. Because I had 3 c-sections, my uterus was a little higher than normal and doing the cervical exam was quite interesting, but a success.  There was quite a bit of scar tissue, which resulted in my uterus being so high, and there was no question that this would be another section birth. There was the possibility that during delivery, I could have complications and I appreciated the fact that she was so forthcoming in the beginning. That way, we could go in prepared with this information, should there be any problems.

I asked about my active lifestyle and if I could continue. It was encouraged, but to take things in moderation, especially since things were so difficult during the first trimester. I decided to put my running on hold, and would continue my workouts at home, following the modified routines.

We hit the 12-week mark on October 6th. Bloodwork was scheduled to make sure my levels were okay and to check for any possible risks of birth defects.  That day, hubby and I had an appointment at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax for an ultrasound. Since it was still too early, we wouldn’t be able to find out the sex of the baby, only meet him/her for the first time. We were kinda bummed about it; I mean, we just wanted to know so we could be ready. We arrived, got registered and waited our turn.

Then came the ultrasound.

img001I gotta admit, I was still a little in denial. A little part of me was still convinced it could have been really, really, REALLY bad gas. Then we saw the image on the screen. There was no mistaking that visual. We were having a baby. Of course hubby, the impatient one, was trying to decode what we were having. As the technician got to the privates area, he says, “That looks like it could be a girl.” The technician then says, “I can’t say that I disagree with you.” So, unofficially, we got confirmation we were having a girl, but would not be certain until the 20-week ultrasound.

So, I had my confirmation and we survived the first trimester without any complications, other than my crazy nausea and fatigue. Now that we had the official word of being pregnant, we could start sharing. More important, the boys could finally let the cat out of the bag (which I came to find out later they told some of their friends, but SWORE them to secrecy.) Since my boys have always been involved with the pregnancies since Day One, I wanted a cool way for THEM to make the announcement. I decided on a video and they were more than willing to participate.

The fact that the boys were over the moon excited to have another baby in the house helped to put my mind at ease. Yeah, this meant one more mouth to feed, the return of dirty diapers, lack of sleep, making adjustments in our lives and basically starting all over again. Seeing the look on their faces and how excited they were about being big brothers (especially my youngest), made it all worth it.

The journey continues…

Confessions of a Runner in Training

Screenshot_2015-05-23-16-01-09I started running 8 weeks ago, but the decision to run came much earlier than that. I can’t really remember when I got the running bug, but it really started to manifest last year when I decided to sign up for the Color Run.  That took place in July, and it was a great first-time experience for me. The running bug crept up again last year, around September, when I found out PEI held an annual marathon. I had also seen lots of posts from friends on Facebook who were running marathons, whether they were full, half, 10K or 5K.

U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner of Los Angeles strides to a world record in a semifinal heat of the Olympic women's 200-meter dash in Seoul Thursday, Sept. 29, 1988.  Joyner's time of 21.56 seconds claimed the record and moved her into the finals in the event.(AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Flo-Jo was one of my idols growing up.

Thinking back, I’ve always been interested in running.  Back in high school, one of my nicknames was Flo-Jo. During one of our gym classes, we had a 100m dash. I can’t remember my exact running time, it was probably 4 seconds, but it was pretty darn quick, hence the nickname. But, I never really pursued running for whatever reasons I cast in my head.

Fast forward to earlier this year, and it was about 10 weeks ago, I decided I was going to run my first marathon. I started asking questions, doing my research, and almost everyone I spoke to said training usually lasts about 3 months. One friend cautioned me that since this would be my first marathon, I should start earlier. Hubby got me a treadmill and I started walking during the winter. Once the weather got warmer, I knew I had to make the transition from the treadmill to the pavement.

But I was going to need help.

This is what I share on my Social Media platforms each time I finish a training.

Not really ready for a trainer, (and maybe a little of my ego had something to do with it) I needed to find something that was easy to do, started off slow and would help me gradually increase my running skills. Enter 10K Trainer from ZenLabs. I saw a few friends using this app and did some research. There are lots of free and paid apps, so of course I know I’m going for the free app. I downloaded the app…and then did nothing for 2 weeks.

Fear and doubt set in.

What if this doesn’t work?

What am I trying to prove?

What will people think?

Why put yourself through the torture?

Is this really worth it?

I then decided that YES, it is worth it!!!

So, on Sunday, April 12, 2015, I started my 10K Trainer journey.

At this point, I was still indoors using the treadmill, but thank goodness it started off real easy – 8 rounds (60 seconds jogging and 90 seconds walking) along with a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down, which lasted for 30 minutes. Each week lasts 3 days, so I would alternate days, and the intervals would increase with each week.

It was around Week 2 or 3 that I started to take my running venture outdoors because the weather was finally getting nicer and I knew at some point, I would have to start running outdoors.

This is my trainer for each run. Was pretty excited to see the “You can now run the 5K” message.

So, here we are, 8 weeks under my belt. When I saw that this was Week 8, I got real excited. I was even more excited because this week is a major milestone, according to my training app. Today’s completed run means I can run a 5K!!!  I’m pretty excited about that.  I mean, I’ve been running steadily for 8 solid weeks. This morning was even more challenging because it was RAINING. I almost chickened out, but before my brain could realize what I was doing, I got dressed and headed out the door.

I’m so glad I did.

I look forward to running. It’s a part of me. I love to run.

Recently, several people have asked me what am I running for; if I have any particuI just felt like runninglar reason. I couldn’t help but think of Forrest Gump when the reporters asked him similar questions and “I just felt like running” kept replaying in my head. Aside from the marathon, I’m doing this for me. I have to prove to myself that I can do this. Winning the marathon is not the ultimate goal – COMPLETING the marathon is. I’m not sure what will come of it once it gets here, but I do know that regardless of what happens, I WILL finish the race.

When you first open the 10K Trainer App, a daily motivational quote pops up to help you start your run.

I am by no means done with my training. I still have another 6 weeks left of my 10K training. What will I do next? I’m not sure. On the app, the next step is to move to the 1/2 marathon training, so I may do just that. Whatever I decide, I know that I have incorporated running as a part of my life because it’s a lot of fun.

The journey continues…