Puttering along

So here we are, 29 weeks into the production.
11 weeks to go, give or take a couple, if everything goes according to plan – which I’m assured it almost never does, but it helps to have something to aim for.

Kid is trucking right along and seems to be hitting the major milestones of growing, kicking, punching and causing heartburn right on schedule. I can’t really say that the heartburn has been too bad though, only a couple of nights after eating Mexican food late in the evening. I learned my lesson on that one – Chili Verde is off the menu until April, no matter how tasty the damn thing is.

I’ve also made my way back into yoga with some renewed enthusiasm, after being lucky enough to be invited to take classes with the teachers of my teacher!  My teacher, Emma Tranter studied under Betty Larsen, who has studied directly under BKS Iyengar himself (and a host of others) and has over 30 years experience.  I’m super happy that they welcomed me in all pregnant and waddling, and I’ve really enjoyed getting a ton of tips on how to modify to accommodate the baby.  Prenatal yoga as presented in many online outlets hasn’t resonated with me, so being able to keep up my regular practice to a decent extent with those modification has been awesome. I still include inversions to a degree (with props and a spotter) and I swear the kid loves going upside down.  I had a pretty strong inversion practice before – but if you haven’t been kicking up into a handstand on a regular basis – pregnancy is not the time to start.

Being alignment yoga, there is naturally a lot of focus on the technique of the asanas (poses).  Betty also does an incredible job of getting you to approach your practice with your thought on the breath, and focus on the yamas and niyamas, with an almost meditative quality. Last week we went deeply into the groin area and the focus was on release. Us westerners tend to store a whole lot of tension in the hips and groin and runners/cyclists often add on top of that some imbalances specific to their sport.
Pregnancy comes with its own challenges – tilting of the pelvis, extra weight to carry and then in the later stages – the dance of the hormones to prepare muscles and ligaments for delivery.
For the groin class, Betty spoke about working the muscles of the groin in a manner of softening into release, and then release into opening. I can’t really think of a better mantra for birth than that one  – and if I can tame my breath and muscles to go with it, I hope it will allow me to be as relaxed as I can be.





Drizzly Friday

There are a lot of things to like about Florida in the summer – just about everything except the cursed heat that lasts forever. Since spring and fall are pretty nonexistent, it’s the winters that are my favorite. Especially when it gets cold (by Florida standards) and a little gray and dreary. The past couple of days have been excellent like that.

Today the me and the Bean start into week 28. The iPhone app says she’s now around the size of a “Chinese cabbage“. I have no idea what that is, but it resembles a head of romaine lettuce, just a little thicker. I guess this is this is the official start of the third trimester and that is a pretty exciting milestone.  I feel big and round already and I’m really not sure how mother nature plans on  packing another 3 months of baby-growing into my belly. Next up is a butternut squash, then large cabbage, a bag of oranges, jicama, pineapple and as of week 32 we start going through the melons. If I make it to 40 weeks, the grand price is a small pumpkin. Yikes.

Things are definitely getting a lot more real and I’m coming to terms with the thought that in a few not-so-short weeks, there will be a whole new little person in the world. I swing between excited and terrified. I’ve never been a baby-gaga person and I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t really have a clue what I’m getting into. On the bright side I have a great support network of friends and family that a) know what they are doing and b) are willing to lend a hand, so this should all work out somehow.

The Bean is coming along nicely I think, and is especially fond of kick sessions right when I’m ready to go to sleep. Watching my belly bop up and down from kicks and punches is getting to be my favorite part of this pregnancy, FAR more entertaining than nausea, insomnia, bloating, farting and all that other stuff.
And on that note, a swift kick to the ribs to remind me to get back to work.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Snoozing into the new year

Ah, 2013. You are here. Let’s be friends, shall we?

Not going to launch into a big recap of 2012, suffices to say it will go down in history books as “the year it all changed in a big way”. Although maybe I should save that statement for 2013, since that will be the year “Project Baby” is formally launched into the world.
Still, 2012 was a year of a lot of little things and some major milestones. We rang the year in back home in Iceland, said our goodbyes to one of our old pups and then launched into the process of preparing our hose for sale and finding another one.  Buying and selling houses can be a bit stressful, but me and the husband took the opportunity to cut down on our worldly possessions – much-needed, especially as we were moving to a smaller house.  Simplifying has paid off in a big way financially and mentally and I’m sure that we will continue to reap the benefits for a long time. We have switched to a “cash only” lifestyle and are well on our way to be out of debt.

And then in early August, upon seeing that positive pregnancy test, the world did another backflip. It was a pretty big surprise, even if it was a very welcome one. Despite all the upchucking and ass-dragging, pregnancy has been a pretty fun and incredible experience. Now that I’m rolling into the third trimester things are getting a little uncomfortable and I understand that I have a whole lot more of that to come in the next few weeks. In a way, pregnancy is set up like a satanic out and back marathon, where the course starts downhill, meaning it ends up with an uphill finish. And that is just wrong, for any race.

So, all in all, I think 2012 was the best year of my life. But then again, I say that every year. I have a feeling 2013 will be no different. I hope yours will be one of those “best years ever” too.

On on.

Head-up-my-ass week is finally over. Almost.

Oh I’ve been a royal joy to be around for the past few days, on and off. I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy hormones. They probably play a part at least. I mean really, is there anything you can’t blame on these lovely little molecules swirling around in my blood stream? It could also be my inflated, snot filled sinuses, the dreary days of December, holiday stress and the general “I’m fucking over this shit” feeling.

Either way, thankfully I’ve been aware of the thorns sticking out and made sure to get enough rest, chicken soup and generally minimize my exposure to other people. For their own benefit. Sinuses are behaving better now, my chest no longer feels like an elephant is sitting on it, presents for precious little nephews have been bought and mailed, gag gifts for little brothers are out-of-the-way too, and even the toughest gifts of all – for mom and dad. All done, wrapped, sent and shipped.
I’m about 10 years late with the Christmas card production, but making an effort this year to get some out to friends and family, especially back home. The older I get, the mushier I get on the inside, and the more I want to keep in touch with the homeland.

The little Bean in the belly is doing great. She’s kicking up a storm and moving around, enjoying the pool while there is still space to do flip turns and laps. I’m feeling heavier, slower and a little poofed out in general. The blood thinners I inject seem to make me retain fluids, and that combined with pregnancy has started to make for some lovely cankles.  It’s not terrible as of yet and I’m careful to hydrate and keep those feet up while I work on the computer. The expanding belly is also slowly but surely wiping out some of my good injection sites, so the love handles are seeing a lot of action. I’m not bruising too badly yet, since I’ve seem to have developed a decent sixth sense as to where to jab that needle in.

On the home front, the husband is in full-blown nesting mode. We finally tore out the saggy wire shelves in the closet and installed some Algot shelves from IKEA.  Now I’m a multi-year veteran of IKEA productions and assembly and this damn thing almost did me in. While it’s extremely modular and adaptable – and exactly what I needed for my oddly shaped, weirdly sized closet, designing and buying it was no joke. Essentially you need a PhD in “closetry” to be able to come home with all the right parts in the right quantities to get the job done.  This weekend I’ll be making my 3rd trip to IKEA to exchange bits and pieces.  On the bright side I get to visit the IKEA restaurant sit down some tasty Swedish food and a book for a little  break, my favorite part :)

Can you breathe?

People sometimes tell me that they are too stiff to do yoga. Usually they come to that conclusion after pointing out they can’t reach their toes. I’m not sure where, when and how the toe touching became the standard unit of measurement for your ability to do yoga, but it sure is out there.
We can probably blame the internet… somehow.

The interesting thing is that for a lot of us chair-bound-bum-sitting westerners, bending down from standing to touch your toes – with good form/alignment – can be a pretty advanced move. Especially for my athletic friends, the runners, swimmers and triathletes. The short hamstrings nation.  Now please note that running in and of itself does not cause short hamstrings, but improper running form and/or overload in training can surely contribute.
So why is it that the same people, who totally get that training and conditioning is required to run a sub 20 5k (that’s damn fast for you non-runners), don’t think that “training” yoga (aka practicing) would in a similar manner yield improvements? And maybe even one day a reunion with those elusive toes.

I’m not sure. Maybe they aren’t keen on yoga, and it’s a handy way out. Or maybe it’s the competitiveness that won’t allow them to come in and be beginners at something? There are many reasons for choosing not to go to class – but not being able to touch your toes shouldn’t be the one to keep you from practicing.

And maybe I’m just bitter about the toe thing because mine are gradually disappearing from view. Properly aligned forward bends are already a thing of the past, now modified heavily with a chair, and a block. Sigh. But – they still feel oh-so-good, and the little one starts kicking up a storm after a few standing poses – and that is fun :)

To conclude, you are not sure if you can do yoga or not, just ask yourself “can I breathe?”.  If the answer is yes, you are good to go :)

Forced thankfulness and the real deal

Born and raised in Iceland, the turkey holiday was something I was only vaguely aware of until moving here. Then, spending my first few Thanksgivings at a dropzone surrounded by other foreign skydivers for the most part, I probably got a little distorted view of the whole event. It was kind of given that we were thankful and happy – we were out doing what we loved the most, jumping out of airplanes with friends in sunny Florida.

Nobody counted down the days on Facebook with “I’m blessed for this or thankful for that” status updates, because there was no Facebook or Twitter.  Imagine that.  I can’t put a finger on why those updates annoy me a little. Maybe because they feel obligatory and fake, rather than true thankfulness. Thing is, I have a lot to be grateful for – and I am.  Rather than a 20 second status update or tweet, it’s a feeling that I try to carry with me. It’s that feeling or reservoir that I draw from when I get bumped with a shopping cart at the supermarket and the wench doesn’t say I’m sorry.  Or when some jackass steals the parking spot I’d been so patiently waiting for. Or when one of the million little other things that are a part of this life come my way and try to rattle me. Or when people are being assholes. Or when I’m being one (yeah, that happens).  It’s then that I go within and see my happy jar overflowing with all kinds of blessings, big and small, and it reminds me that in the big scheme of things, it’s not worth getting upset about, and that I should make haste in getting my ass back to balance.

I guess it goes back to the yamas and niyamas, as most everything does. Ahimsa (non-violence), Santosa (contentment) and of course Svadhyaya (self-study) are the tools that year around keep me calm and composed in the midst of the fray, well, for the most part at least.

Namaste to all of you out there. Stay warm and fuzzy on the inside and outside. I hope you all spend the day with someone you cherish. My thoughts today will be with a friend just getting ready to welcome her son into this world. I’m really grateful that she has let me be a part of her journey and hope everything goes amazingly for her and the little one.

Halfway Hoopla!

Big day today – the 20 week mark!
Those 20 weeks have gone by both excruciatingly slowly and stupid fast at the same time.  And now it’s 20 weeks left, give or take a few days.

The changes in my body are becoming much more noticeable. In the past couple of weeks the belly has really taken off.  The “damn, somebody chubbed up” sideways glances have been replaced with the more gleeful “oh, there is a baby in there” looks. From other women that is, guys tend to be looking a little north of the belly where a good bit of expansion has taken place as well.
I have put away a lot of my clothes for the next few months, just crossing fingers that this pregnancy won’t turn me into an eternal hippo. The wardrobe theme is now “stretchy” and I’ve found that stretchy comes primarily in 3 colors: black, gray and hot pink, at least at or around my budget. So gray and black it is!

In the past few days, I’ve also definitely felt some strange sensations, flutters and stuff. I’m pretty sure that it’s the baby moving, but there is an off-chance that it could be some hellish gas fumes working their way around my innards, can’t ever quite rule that out. I’m pretty stoked to finally feel the movements. BabyCenter.com  says that most start feeling the baby between weeks 16 and 22, and notes that thinner women start feeling stuff sooner. I think they just subtly called me fat, but I can’t be sure. I’m going to be offended anyway although I’m sure this mini pumpkin muffin I have here should ease the hurt.

The big reveal!

It’s been almost a week already?!  Time flies, when your head isn’t in the toilet, and I’ve been a bit busy catching up on life.

Anyhow, last week we went and saw the new doctor  and eager beaver husband scheduled an ultrasound to see if it was a boy or a girl. I maintain that I could totally have waited until the “Level 2” ultrasound scheduled for Nov 20th, because I’m such a patient and rational person. Plus, we had a little mini bet going, and truth be told, I was worried that the husband was right, so I was in no hurry to find out.  My bet was on a little girl.

We arrived at the doctor’s office with a full bladder as instructed. I wouldn’t mind meeting the bright mind (no doubt a man, and definitely not a pregnant one) who wrote the instructions calling for drinking 32 oz of water before the appointment. I grew up in Europe so I wasn’t that alarmed until I realized that 32 oz = 1 liter (just shy).  I’m usually pretty well hydrated so adding that on top meant a bladder ready to explode by the time the ultrasound tech squirted the cold gel on my belly. I thank yoga for my highly trained sphincter and am truly glad I didn’t pee myself right there on the table.

But 10 seconds into the deal I forgot all about having to pee, as the ultrasound tech announced “oh look, definitely a girl, there are the parts!”.  My little heart just melted, how awesome!  Then I looked at the husbands face and cracked up laughing at the sheer terror on his face.  He immediately started muttering something about buying guns and ammo, following up with “all men are pigs” and a few choice sentences like that.  He recovered pretty quickly though and we really enjoyed the rest of the ultrasound. It was a bit Halloween themed, with a little skeleton bouncing around on the monitor.
And then, I could finally pee.

I don’t think the smile has left my face yet. I would of course have been just as happy with a boy, but it’s just really cool knowing and somehow makes it even more real for me.
We have started thinking about names but haven’t gotten very far.  Husband suggested “Sister Mary Francis”, indicating that he would be placing her in a nunnery as soon as he could get her in, but I don’t think that one will stick ;)




Blue, pink, purple, yellow, green?

Not a whole lot of news, other than the Bean is cooking along and starting to infringe on pant space in a bad way. More often than not it’s yoga pants and stretchy pants these days, which is the preferred wardrobe anyway so it’s all good.  And speaking of yoga, I finally got my ass back to class last night and it was heavenly!  Hips and back was the theme and that was exactly what I needed.

This am we went and met with our new doctor, and so far it’s a big improvement!  Much smaller practice right up the road from the hospital we plan on delivering at and the staff was lovely. The doctor reminds me of doctors in days gone by – almost like in an old-time movie.  He was thorough in his interview and took time to listen to my answers and answer any questions we had, and left both of us with a great feeling.
And tomorrow is a big day, going in for an ultrasound and we are going to see if we can find out if it’s a boy or a girl. Family members on both sides have made their gender predictions and now we just have to see which of them have the gift of guessing!

And then, after we know what flavor, the real fun begins: pondering names.



Not sure why, but I’ve been a little wiggy lately.  Well actually that is horse shit, I know exactly why. There has been a lot going on, but like a good little westerner, I try to gloss it over, pull up the big-girl pants (getting bigger by the day) and troop on.

A couple of weeks ago I had a little tiff with my doctor, which ended with me firing his ass. Long story short, he casually presented me with results that were not mine and could have had dire consequences if they were. The whole conduct I found quite unprofessional and then in trying to see the actual results and setting shit straight, they were less than cooperative. This caused an incredible amount of stress for both me and presumably baby Bean, that was entirely avoidable. Over a week later and I’m still waiting for a callback from the office, despite following up several times. So, off with their heads – there is no chance that I want that doctor anywhere near me when it comes time for delivery. I’m on the hunt for a new OB now – the best in the world preferably, because I have a bit of a built-in distrust for the medical profession in general.
Husband gets 5 stars for his performance during the whole episode. While I turned into a blubbering sobbing mess that spent half a day crying at the dog park, he shook the network into action, got facts, lined up tests, brought me bubbly water with lemon and put the world right again. He’s going to make a great daddy.

Then a good friend had himself a little heart episode and is currently in the hospital getting that condition under control. He’s one of the lucky ones that actually had warning signals and heeded them, so everything looks like it will have a fabulous ending there. Phew.

So between those two big ones and a few smaller stressors, I must have let my guard down a little, because Nausea showed up again. She’s not as feisty as the first time around so thankfully I’m not feeling as dreadful.  Just shrunken appetite and predictable sink spewing – especially in the kitchen. I don’t know what it is about my kitchen sink, but it’s become my all-time favorite location for puking. Perfect counter height, great access to fresh water to rinse my mouth out after and a pleasant view out the kitchen window as I retch. So much better than using a toilet – I’m really surprised this isn’t covered in the pregnancy books.  And lo and behold, this time it’s true morning sickness, and I feel fine for the rest of the day.