FitFriday. What nobody tells you about having a “small bump”.

Plenty of people who had more average bumps, or who are as of yet childless, will praise them, or get angry at them, so here’s some uncomfortable details from the other side:

  1. It’s usually not down to you. You can eat as much or as little as you like, exercise however you want, bump size is predetermined.
  2. It’s physically uncomfortable. There’s just as much baby and womb in there (unless point 3 applies), so your organs are extra cramped.
  3. It might mean a poorly baby. IUGR is not a pleasant thing and your baby could carry the effects of it with them for life.
  4. You’ll be blamed for it. “IUGR? You’re probably too old/starving yourself/exercising too much/on drugs… Not IUGR? Well, you probably are at fault anyways.”
  5. It’s a source of constant worry. If your bump stops growing, or is under size, you need more regular checkups, constant scans, and are always hearing doctors, midwives, and consultants talking about hormone treatments, premature birth, or inductions.
  6. You’ll probably be feeling like enough of a failure without being constantly reminded.
  7. Nobody leaves you alone. Everyone wants to talk about it. Half to tell you off for daring to be small. The other half to ask for your secret. There’s no secret and most women with small bumps don’t really want to talk about them.

I don’t mean to come across as one of the perpetually offended. It doesn’t upset me that people want to talk about small bumps. But I’d rather these people considered the facts before getting ridiculously jealous/angry/both.

It’s just a baby. Sheesh.

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The New Normal.

I knew having a baby would change things. But I didn’t know how exactly, or how much. Well, now I do, and it’s time to try and get back into the swing of things.

So this means it’s all back to normal? Nope. Is it at least stable and routine? Nope too. It’s taken me a while to realize this, but not only is every baby unique, but some babies, mine included, are uniquely random. He’s sort of predictable. But there’s no point waiting until he has a routine for me to renew my old occupations. It’s not about to happen. 4/5 days he’s timely, then he has a bad one. But I finally feel confident that I can roll with this.

Everything else slowly fell into place, and I relearned how to take care of everything that matters: first Jon, then housework, the pets, cooking, my little projects, socializing. So it’s time to renew writing, blogging and art. And in a few months, paid work and gardening. All with a helpless little human strapped to me. It’s not the same. But it’s something you figure out as you go along.

I’m back everybody. 😀

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PS: Babies aren’t expensive. Yet to see about toddlers, but doubt they are either. 😛

FitFriday, Fat Friday XVIII. It just keeps growing.

Baby.

Which is a good thing, considering how small it was until recently. I seem to be catching up with where I should be and, other than a bit of fluid retention, it’s all gone to the belly, so I know it’s more baby and other relevant substances. A bit of relief, to be fair. Still not grown into my old stretch marks yet, though. I’m wondering exactly how fat I used to be, because I’m willing to bet both my memory and the scarce pictures are failing to convey the sheer volume to me.

Finally got myself to pack the hospital bags with baby things. Survivability is so high at this stage that I don’t need to worry about the sad bits and can stash a few clothes and tiny nappies in the bag. It still feels kind of surreal, but my body’s a lot faster to remind me of the soon-to-be new arrival lately.

Weights.

Despite the physical challenges, I’m reintegrating high rep workouts for a simple reason: the combined hormone imbalances of pregnancy and cyclothymia are leaving me so neurologically challenged that I’m managing to break almost everything I touch. Squeeze things that should be held gently, drop things that shatter, and generally walk into things and “miss” when I reach to pick something up. I need my eyes to be focused a bit more often and my hands to do what I want them to at least half the time. And the only thing I’m not doing to try and get in order is weights.

It’s weird not being able to physically do some lifts, but it feels great to build a bit of work back in despite awkwardly moving around the bump for some exercises. And the regulatory powers of exercise are sheer magic.

Diet.

Still restricting high GI foods, though I found out milk chocolates are apparently low GI, which is kind of cool. Calories are where they are, but I checked yesterday and they haven’t changed much from when I was controlling them more closely. Snacking on veg seems a lot more appetizing lately and salt is really not wanted any more. I think I may just keep playing it by instinct unless the volume of food gets really out of hand.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XVII. More tests.

Baby.

Turns out this was the check and the scan was due in November. Hoping it’s something and nothing, but after a few checks the midwife said I would definitely need a scan sooner and bumped it up to Wednesday. A bit nervous, but at the same time she said he was strong and active and responsive, so hopefully all is well and it’s just how I carry him.

Diet.

Still keeping low GI and focusing on getting all the protein and calcium I can. Being a bit less cautious about body fat deposits, probably because the smallness of the bump is starting to worry me. Then again, getting fatter isn’t going to make him grow any faster, so I’m not sure what I’m doing. Hopefully once I am reassured I can make a bit more sense of my eating habits.

Weights.

Still managing to get the odd session in, through gardening, worries, very sore lower abs and managing to catch some sort of a throat virus from our friends last time we saw them. The weight isn’t going up fast, but at least it’s headed back to where it was before it crashed.

To be honest I’m feeling far too tired and anxious to give much more of a report.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XVI. Smallish bump, happy baby?

Baby.

Hoping so, anyways. Getting to that point where everyone who hears I’m at almost 30 weeks does a double take. I’m not exactly teeny. Seen smaller bumps in my age group just paranoia-browsing a little. But reactions are starting to mess with me. Jon keeps reassuring me that the bump will grow and/or the next scan on Tuesday will show the baby is strong and healthy. Well, he sure kicks like he is, anyway!

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Doesn’t help much that the midwife said I was measuring a few weeks small last time, though…

Diet.

I found out that it isn’t only diabetes that shrinks a baby’s hippocampus in the third trimester, but pretty much all junk food habits. So after taking it easy in an effort to “correct” the bump, it looks like I’ll be ramping up the strictness for a bit. Perhaps if I control my blood sugar enough I can reduce or eliminate the risk of my son inheriting some form of bipolar. Which would be awesome. The less rubbish he has to deal with the better.

So it’s root veggies, greens, plenty of protein, getting shot of the last remnants of dairy, healthy fats and the odd bit of home-made bread. Essentially back to clean eating 101 for the next ten weeks or so.

Workout.

Still been busy in the garden and the likes, but Jon thinks I’ve calmed down enough to get back to weights. Which is just as well, because they were starting to drop. Pretty angry at myself about that, but on the other hand I am pregnant, so perhaps it’s expected I won’t be throwing the better part of my body weight around every day.

Hopefully I can either build back up now, slam the weights once I’m recovered from childbirth, or do a bit of both and get back on track ASAP. Not that I’m looking any less muscled, but any drop in physical power concerns me.

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Proofs. Guns (and triceps, deltoids, quads and calves] still there, just no ammo apparently.

Then again, perhaps the muscle is the main reason for the small bump. Compression or something? If that’s the case I’m unsure whether to take it easier or to keep working out. The scan will give me some idea.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XV. Tired.

So, as some of you may know, we were moving in with a relative and it’s gone sour and now we’ve had to move back in and start making plans for how to work the baby into our current home and how my work will go. So I’ve been a bit too busy for anything as leisurely as blogging, gardening, art, etc. The holiday was nice, but other than that it’s been moving boxes and furniture and cleaning, plus usual work, and basically not stopping from sunup til sundown. Which is bad enough for normal me, but pregnant me has literally no energy for it. And somehow I still can’t stop because there is a mess and I want to clear it up.

Remind me never to rely on people with emotions ever again.

Baby.

The bump is still apparently too small. Jon pointed out that some first time mothers don’t even show until the last month, whereas others grow as big as a melon by the fifth week. Which is true and kind of reassuring. But he also added that I’d better be eating enough for his baby and that he would watch my food from now on.

I’m struggling with the switch from just having a bit of a bump to properly sticking out frontally. Every time I press the bump into something I end up panicking that I have hurt the baby and need to sit down and wait for him to move.

Diet.

Other than the newly added layer of supervision, the diet is pretty much as it was. More good days than bad days though, and I’m getting plenty more random offal in now that the base formation of the fetus is over and done with and slightly imbalanced minerals won’t bother him. It feels good.

Coffee is not so good, but when you have someone with cyclothymia in her third trimester getting up early to spend 5 hours working, 5 hours on housework and another 4 on what’s basically manual labour, plus weights and cuddle time and actually scheduling meals, she’s going to need her artificial energy. Because nature did not come equipped.

Workout.

My workout most days has been sorting our stuff back into the house, walking around for appointments and getting things clean, but I’ve still managed a few proper workouts and enough yoga to almost avoid pulling my abs again.

Anyways, everything is looking pretty neat now and I should be able to sort of relax and get back to usual, with normal work hours and a bit more time for blogs and properly chatting between my other work. And maternity leave from the 1st of December.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XII.

Baby.

Well, I had a continual headache from Monday morning through Wednesday. That wasn’t fun. Jon said it sounded like a migraine from how much pain and confusion it was causing, only it didn’t react to light or sound. So just an awful headache. Went to the drs, just in case. Apparently some women “just get them” and after a check up they said no risk of pre-eclampsia, but let’s check the iron levels. Will find out if I was anemic by Monday. Though I have a faint suspicion that some lemon squash I was guzzling might have had something to do with it. No squash = no headaches. If it was the culprit, I’m not sure if I managed to overhydrate again or if it has a compound that triggers headaches in me.

But I’m finally getting used to baby’s “routine”, which is good. He will wake up with me and kick me in the intestines until I have my morning coffee, a bit after which he calms down. Unsure if this means he may have the same hormone issue I have, or if he’s just reacting to my own hormone regulation. OTOH, he is very little and probably not developing anything disordered yet, OTOH, caffeine passes through the placenta far better than hormones, so it’s probably that he reacts to. Then he will have two busy days for every quiet day, so on quiet days I will hardly feel him and on busy days he won’t stop kicking me senseless. And every day, when I lay down to go to bed, he kicks about a bit, rolls over several times and seems to settle into a pattern of resting and rolling as I fall asleep. I guess he appreciates the stillness after a busy day!

Diet.

Doing pretty good. I was so sure I was getting fat, and then I find out my weight is STILL stable. I’d better not be losing muscle anywhere. More pics when Jon has the time to get a nice full-body one of me not looking too slouchy or unclothed.

Managing to keep within my calorie ranges and the baby is growing fine, so, considering everything, I’m just going to stick at it. Lowering my sugar intake in favour of more complex carbs, though, because fresh and dried fruit and plain sugar have crept up and I’d like to not go on a sweets binge. Less sugar, more starch and protein.

Exercise.

I have been very, very bad with weights this week. General activity: great. Some gardening, resistance bands, yoga, walking the dog, nice long walk to the drs for that blood test… Weights have sort of been missed a lot. But there’s always something. Either I’m overtired, or I have lessons, or we have an errand, or something. I hope next week I can get back to it, because I know that if I don’t keep my weight workouts steady, I may suddenly lose some power and will have to roll the weights back for another six months. 😦

How did your week in fitness go?