Sunday, December 21, 2014

Skull and Cross Bones

Today, I went on a run. I think I last attempted to do this in July, and before that, in April. But I have not run consistently since March. In other words, it has been a while! With the cooler weather, I was starting to miss running badly!

Logistically, I had to plan way more ahead than I'm used to, as I had intended to do this a day earlier, but I was exhausted and the baby's schedule was rough. All the stars aligned today, so after a somewhat decent night, morning feeding, and emptying out, I quickly went out for what I promised would be 20 minutes.

I did a small loop around my house, twice. I've mentioned this before, bug my area is a little hilly, so I always struggle. Today, it was more like a shuffle than a run. About a quarter mile in, breathing was tough. My poor out-of-shape lungs and upper ab area! Toward the second half, I felt my lower ab/incision area to be quite weak. I guess running really does engage the whole core. I really struggled, but I was determined not to stop. I imagined a skull and cross bones, because some moments I thought I was going to die (not literally, but yikes!).

I finished 1.5 miles in the 20 minutes (using the Nike Running app) I was gone. It was a beautiful morning and such a nice feeling to be out again. Great for my sanity, for sure. Realistically, I will only be able to do this once a week for now when I have someone to watch the baby, but it might very well take a week to recover. I've been trying to do short videos on most other days. 

It is going to be a long and hard road back, so to speak, but at least this gives me something to work toward.

More to come (I hope)!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Month

My baby boy is a month old (give or take)!  While that might not sound like much, it's a major milestone for us.

Chinese traditions dictate that the end of the first month ends an initial isolation period for mother and baby while they recover and get stronger, respectively.  While a bit antiquated-sounding, I think it is warranted in a cold (for So Cal) and germ-y world, regardless of how much cabin fever I've had. While he needs shots and such before we can paint the town, things will slowly make their way toward normal after this point, just in time for the year-end holidays.  Thanksgiving had been super low-key, and although I liked not having to commute everywhere that day, it was a bit too quiet.

I'm missing out on holiday luncheons in exchange for not having enough time or hands to eat, but no matter how tough it is, it is worth it.

I admit that due to how he was delivered, I'm sometimes not really sure whether the doctors just handed us some random baby, which of course is a ridiculous scenario. Overall, I still can't believe this was my little passenger all those months!!

Speaking of which, baby boy has yet to have a blog name.  I am trying to keep his identity relatively protected (since he has no say...), so for now, I'm calling him "Tuesday," because not only was he born on one but because while I was pregnant, Tuesdays marked the beginning of a new week once the OB changed my due date based on an early ultrasound,  Tuesdays used to mean a sigh of relief.

"Tuesday" has gained almost two pounds since birth.  He also has some briefly successful tummy time and is only screaming during SOME of his diaper changes now.  He's learning to enjoy bath time. Sometimes, he smiles, though who knows if those are real yet or not...

This also marks one month of my post-partum period.  My follow-up appointment was this week. I started feeling better a couple of weeks after "Tuesday"'s birth, but there are still random bouts of pain and general abdominal weakness.  I am allowed to exercise again, though no ab specific stuff for another month or so. I celebrated that day by doing a brief YouTube workout and hope to squeeze in activity here and there for the sake of my sanity. Admittedly, even brief workouts make me sore, even though I tried to be active while pregnant. It kind of fell apart in the third trimester, though.

I am still adjusting to not being pregnant anymore, which strangely is taking longer than I thought. Not having a bunch of doctor appointments will be weird!  Besides that, I still can't fit my wedding ring. I thought me sweating a lot (glamorous, I know) would take care of it, but I'll give it some more time before running off to resize it.

There are so many other unexpected things that came up this month. First, I wish I had prepared more for baby care and nursing, and though I did read, it's nothing like doing. Not sure if I could have really done more besides pay more attention to the other parents around me.  Also, I am surprised that I've been eating SO much, partly due to me being tired and lacking self control. This is even true in the middle of the night when I'm up fit feedings.  I guess the noshing is needed, so I've been packing away one-handed snacks like these from Uncomplicated Foods. Yum! 

I still have a couple of months until my next race, right?! I can't imagine time freeing up, but I know/hope it will. I think I just need to get the hang of things, so they will take less time. And of course, maybe the baby will cooperate, too??

Finally, being alone with a baby is tough! Just when you think you've done it all and can take a break or do something else, the squealing begins anew. I mean, the tasks are not inherently hard, but being on alert without breaks is taxing. I'm not one of those who can "sleep when baby sleeps" because helloooo paranoid. Almost makes client surveys sound appealing, which is not what I imagined. 

FTC Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product and was not otherwise compensated to provide a particular opinion.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tracy Anderson - Pregnancy Project (Months 7-9)

Here's the home stretch (emphasis on stretch!)!

When I first got these discs, I figured it would be a long, long while until I broke into these last few ones, but as with many things with this pregnancy, that moment came more quickly than I had anticipated.

Months 1-3
Months 4-6

Month 7 - I admit that I didn't really do the second trimester discs as often as I would have expected, even though I worked out 5-6 days a week.  I mentioned having some mechanical issues, which made all the kneeling work especially painful for me to keep doing.  Luckily, this disc was pretty light on those sections!  More is done standing up "to increase circulation," and the length (about 38 minutes after the chatter) worked out perfectly.  A chair is used for the majority of the workout.

Month 8 - This one was less heavy on the hands and knees stuff, though it's still there!  Most of this 40-minute workout requires a chair, which I am not keen on because mine are heavy and you keep having to move it around.  Also I think 40 minutes is a long time to be doing boring exercises when you're already probably pretty tired.  I think she moves very quickly considering how far along we're supposed to be, and I don't consider myself a sloth in that regard!  I will say that I did feel a burn with this one, so I guess it's doing its job.

Month 9 - By the time I got to this point, I barely worked out at all, so I found these 40 minutes tougher than it should have been.  It starts off with stretching (with a chair, which I hate lugging), then those 3 lb weights (which feel heavy with atrophy) with and without the chair, and more hands-and-knees stuff that I mostly made it through but skipped one in particular because it had too many parts and level changes.  At the ends, she wishes you luck with everything and to do her Metamorphosis program, but given how much I didn't particularly enjoy these pregnancy workouts, I think I will stick with my other videos for now.

Overall, I think this would be good for some people in their pregnancies.  It's just a matter of preference, whether you prefer more "quiet" (but hard) forms of exercise like this one or more energetic ones like some others I've been doing.  If you were doing Tracy's stuff before pregnancy, this won't be much different to you.  It is definitely effective and you'll "feel it."

FTC Disclaimer: I purchased these discs on my own, and the opinions posted here are my own.