Monday, January 30, 2017

14 Weeks Pregnant and Our Secret is OUT!

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm (36 weeks), breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.  

How far along: 14 Weeks!
Total weight gain:  14 pounds, but I look like I've gained 30!
Maternity clothes:  Yes!  I've given in to maternity pants because they are way more comfortable.  My jeans still fit with a button extender but they were always falling down.
Stretch marks: Just the usual ones.
Sleep: It's hit or miss.  Some nights I sleep solid, other nights I'm up after 5 hours.  Since my diet and exercise are so off I don't know what is related to pregnancy and what is due to the adrenal fatigue. 
Best moment of this week: Telling our parents on Christmas Day that they are going to be grandparents again!
Miss anything: I would have loved a couple of glasses of wine on Christmas especially since we had to say good-bye to our 12 year old dog on Christmas Eve.

Movement: Felt like I had something stuck in my hips around where my jeans sit the other day.  When I poked at it it moved but then came back.  Don't know if it is my ligaments stretching or movement.  
Food cravings: Not really.  The hunger is starting to slow down.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken still.  Blech.  
Have you started to show yet: Oh yeah!
Gender: Still thinking boy.
Labor signs:  Nope.  Nope. Nope. 
Belly button in or out:  Still in.  
Wedding rings on or off:  On.
Happy or moody most of the time: This has been a crapshoot lately especially since we put our dog down on Christmas Eve.  
Looking forward to: Being able to talk about the pregnancy openly and getting back into a workout routine.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

5 Reasons Why Runners Should Practice Yoga

This post originally appeared as a guest post on the blog Nymph in the Woods.  

Having worked for almost a decade for the YMCA, I've dabbled in my fair share of yoga classes. I would even incorporate age appropriate yoga poses into my preschool curriculum, but I never truly appreciated the benefits of it until I started running. 

When I started training for my first half marathon, I would practice yoga on the days I didn't run. It was more than just stretching for me - it taught me to appreciate my body and, most importantly, to listen to it - something that as runners we don't always do.

So, without further ado, here are 5 reasons why I think all runners should practice yoga.

Improves Flexibility

This one seems like a no-brainer to me.  Isn’t this the whole point of yoga?  As a beginner, you can barely hold any of the poses but over time you are all pretzeled up like a true yogi, right?  Why do runners need to be flexible?  To begin with increased flexibility reduces the risk of injury.  It also helps improve posture and increases blood flow to your muscles. 

Protection from Injury

According to Ashlee Willaman, a certified running coach and yoga teacher, “"Yoga does a great job of pointing out imbalances that can indicate injury is not far away." Yoga can help a runner identify issues such as muscle imbalance.  Overuse of one muscle, and subsequently underuse of a complimentary muscle, can lead to overcompensation which opens the door for injury.  Yoga addresses all muscle groups which allows a runner to tune-in to their body to see what changes need to be made.  While a runner may complain of knee pain at the start of a yoga class, by the end she had learned the pain actually stems from the hip.  Certain poses can then be done before a run to open up the hips and reduce the risk of injury.  Learn how to identify pain and then work to fix and reduce it.  Don’t push yourself through it! 

Improves Balance

The practice of yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance.  For runners, better balance means fewer falls (oh, it does happen).  It also means less knee and back pain. 

Boosts Your Immune System

Contracting and stretching muscles drains your lymphs (a colorless fluid containing white blood cells, that bathes the tissues and drains through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream). Regularly doing this helps the lymphatic system fight infection and destroy cancer cells.  Who doesn’t want to do that to their body?  And if you are a runner training for a big race, you can’t afford to get sick! 

Relieves Stress 

This one is near and dear to my anxiety-ridden heart.  The breathing techniques taught in yoga teaches your body to slow down and relax.  It lowers your breathing and heart rate and lowers your blood pressure too.  It also lowers your cortisol levels which helps anyone suffering from adrenal fatigue (the reason why I wake up at 2 AM wide awake and ready to party).  Your body releases cortisol when it senses an acute crisis.  When cortisol levels remain high, it can compromise your immune system and over time lead to brain damage.  Stress is dangerous - do yoga. 

There you have it – my top 5 reasons for why runners should practice yoga.  What do you think?  Are you ready to try?  Remember, you don’t have to go crazy when first starting off.  As a busy working out of the home mom, I rely on DVD’s for my yoga practice.  If you are not ready to commit to that then just incorporating a few poses such as “Pigeon Pose” (see picture) after a run will help your body. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What's It Going to Be?

A baby. It will most definitely be a baby.

Monday, January 30 is the day of the big ultrasound where we not only find out that the baby is developing correctly but we can finally answer the most anticipated question of "will it be a boy or a girl?" 

While we wait, I thought it would be fun to find out what a couple of the gender predicting old wives tales think we are having. 

Chinese Gender Predictor Chart

This chart takes into account your age and month of conception to tell you if your Team Pink or Team Blue. No idea how this is supposed to work, but i guess that's why it's an old wives tale. When I plugged in my information it told me we are having a GIRL.

Heartbeat Per Minute

Supposedly, if a baby's heart beat is less than 140 than it is a boy. Over 140 than it is a girl. At my 8 week appointment, baby's heart rate was 160.  This would make her a GIRL.


According to this theory, if you are craving sweet foods than you are having a girl. This was so true with Scarlett. I couldn't stop drinking OJ and craved fruit like crazy. On the other hand, if all you want is salty or sour foods than you are having a boy. All I want this time around are sandwiches and chips. I guess that means BOY for this one?

As Pimply as a Teenager

If you find yourself breaking out all over worse than you did as a teenager than you are having a girl based on the idea that girl babies steal their mother's beauty. This was certainly true with my first pregnancy but this time around my skin isn't that bad so BOY?

Older Sibling's Hairline

This one is new to me! If this is your first pregnancy than you can't use this one as the baby needs an older sibling. If you look at your older child's hairline at the back of the neck and it is straight across than you are having the same gender as the older child so for us a girl.   If it peaks, than it is the opposite gender of the older child. Scarlett's is straight across so that would mean GIRL.

So that is 3 for GIRL and 2 for BOY.  Hmmm, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens on Monday.  Right now, Matt and Scarlett are on Team Pink.  I'm on the fence, honestly.  I really don't care either way although another girl would make things a whole lot more convenient and we'd save money and if you know me you know I like to save money.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

12 Weeks Pregnant and Finally Heard the Heartbeat!

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.

How far along: 12 weeks!
Total weight gain:  Around 14 pounds, but I was weighed on a full stomach having just eaten prior to my doctors appointment. 
Maternity clothes: Still just my shirts for the length.  Definitely can't button my pants anymore.  
Stretch marks: Same old same old.
Sleep: I ran out of Magnesium Citrate which I take for my adrenal fatigue and I'm actually sleeping better without it.  
Best moment of this week:  Hearing the baby's heartbeat at my appointment.  Our 4 year old still doesn't officially know there is a baby in my belly yet.  Our doctor was really good about not letting on either.  When she listened to the heartbeat my daughter was full of questions and she simply told her that sometimes we use a stethoscope to listen to mommy's heart and sometimes we use the Doppler.  My daughter quickly said, "Or a baby."  I think she is on to us.  
Miss anything:  A nice glass of wine to relax with at the end of a hellish week.  
Movement: Not yet, but we could hear baby kicks along with the heartbeat! 
Food cravings: No, just hungry all of the time.  
Anything making you queasy or sick:  Chicken and pork, sometimes salad.  
Have you started to show yet: I think I am!  
Gender:  Still thinking it is a boy since this pregnancy is far less brutal than my last.  
Labor signs: No!
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On
Happy or moody most of the time: Tired.  Just really tired.  
Looking forward to:  Our anatomy scan where we find out if this is a boy or a girl, is set for January 30!

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Run Where I Didn't Want to Puke!

Now that we have a dog that doesn't have stubby little legs (sorry Luna!), I can finally take her out on a run.  
Selfies mean time for snuggles and love! 

Having been a stray for 2 years, her leash manners leave something to be desired, but she seems to enjoy walks even though she is getting used to her new environment.  I've never seen a 65 pound dog be so timid!  

After surviving our first mile walk, I decided to wake up early today to take her on one mile run/walk.  The weather hasn't been terribly cold lately so I figured I could suck it up and get out there.

Even though it was 35 degrees when we started, there was still a fair amount of ice on the road which I wasn't counting on.  Shhh, don't tell my OB!  After we made our way around it was time to start picking up the pace.  Leia wasn't so sure about that.  I made sure she had plenty of time to sniff around, get some reassuring pets and time to do her business.  

It didn't take long for her to fall into a groove and we were off!  If my Garmin is to be believed I even hit an 8:20 mm pace!  Since I'm kinda crazy, I kept making deals with her - we'll run to that black mailbox and then you can stop to sniff.  

Not running related, but too darn cute to NOT share! 
Honestly, the run/walk intervals definitely helped me feel like the run was more successful and I never once wanted to barf!  Yes!

Here's hoping to many more runs with our rescue dog!

And just for the record, I'll be 18 weeks pregnant tomorrow.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Because a New Baby Wasn't Enough...

So we just had to adopt a dog!

I guess we just like change in this house or maybe we just like to keep it real, either way we are doing something we swore we wouldn't do for a year or more and that is we are adopting a dog.
Luna chilling with her favorite cat, Joey. 

Some of you may know that our Christmas Eve we had to make the difficult decision to let our 12 year old corgi, Luna, go.  She had suffered a stroke the day before and most likely had a brain tumor.  To say she was suffering was putting it mildly.  We all took it hard, but it's a different kind of heartache when you watch your own child mourn the loss of a pet.

Scarlett was crushed.  

Three weeks after her passing she'd see a dog and say, "I miss Luna. I want Luna back!"  Even though we've explained it to her, she doesn't understand why we didn't bring her home with us.  She thinks that Luna is somewhere where she isn't being taken care of and that she cries for us.  We made her as much of a part of the process as we could and still be age appropriate.

Fast forward 3 weeks and the hole that Luna left was very real.  She was loyal to a fault and always by my side.  Sometimes I still think I hear her nails on the hardwoods or her tags jangling as she bounded up the stairs.  

Matt and I both found ourselves looking at adoptable dogs online.  Once we realized what we were each doing it was time to get serious about the loss we felt.  We knew that our home just wasn't the same without a dog.  It was time to start looking again.  Even though we will be bringing a newborn home in 5 or 6 months, we felt that now was the time to bring home a dog so s/he could get settled and acclimated before the baby arrives.

We found the perfect cuddle bug for us at a local shelter.  

She is a 2 year old boxer mix!  We met with her on Saturday and fell right in love with the way she fell on our feet and smothered us with kisses.  The best part is she likes other dogs!  They're not positive she'll be OK around cats, but she's given them no reason to believe she'd hurt one.  Our boys are pretty dog savvy and we have a safe spot for them to run to if she becomes too much.

She comes home on Thursday and we can hardly wait!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

10 Weeks Pregnant and Impatient to Spill the Beans

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm (36 weeks), breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.  

How far along: 10 Weeks!
Total weight gain: I'm guessing still around 10 pounds of bloat.
Maternity clothes: Yes, but only because of the length.
Stretch marks: No more than usual.
Sleep: Eh, it's not great. 
Best moment of this week: Getting as much rest as possible while on Thanksgiving break. 
Miss anything: My friends.  I feel like I've been avoiding them so I don't have to spill the beans. 

Movement: Just gas bubbles.  
Food cravings: Anything sweet and carby.  I really just want comfort foods. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken
Have you started to show yet: I definitey look bloated. 
Gender: Not sure yet.  
Labor signs: No!
Belly button in or out: Still in.
Wedding rings on or off: On
Happy or moody most of the time: Just plain tired all.the.time. 
Looking forward to: Sharing the good news with everyone at Christmas.  It is getting harder and harder to keep the secret lately especially with all the holiday parties and everyone wanting to pour me a drink. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Why, as an over 35 high risk pregnancy momma, I am NOT Doing Genetic Testing

Hi, I'm Sabrina and I'm a 38 year old pregnant woman with an incompetent cervix and a penchant for having preterm babies.

I'll spare you the gory details of my medical history but I will say that my 4 year old daughter was born at 36 weeks via c-section when my water broke - at work no less!  Not sure if my "incompetent cervix" had anything to do with it. Luckily, she was born without any complications and very healthy. The baby nurse in the delivery room surmised that my OB really messed up my due date.

Flash forward 4 years and I'm pregnant with my second facing another c-section  (my choice) and the fact that I'm of "advanced maternal age" (over 35)  now.

We never did genetic testing with my daughter and my doctor didn't push it. This time around with my new OB'S office, genetic testing was not only encouraged but pretty much expected.

After some research, a few frustrating calls to our insurance company followed up with more calls to our OB'S office we decided it wasn't for us.


No Family History of Genetic Disorders

My husband, Matt, comes from a large family.  His Dad is one of 8 and his mom is one of 5 so there are a bazillion cousins, aunts and uncles.  He also has 3 brothers and a sister. My immediate family pales in comparison.  I'm an only child and my parents are only children.  I have no aunts, no uncles and no first cousins.  Now, if you take a step back in history the story on my side is much different with my grandparents averaging around 10 brothers and sisters each.  While there is lots of heart disease and cancer on both sides of both of our family trees, there are no genetic disorders.  I know that my age is a major factor, but the argument can be made that my great-great grandmother was having children around my age considering she was still having children when her own DAUGHTER (my great-grandmother) started having children. 

False Positives Happen

And with my newly discovered anxiety that is a bad mix.  Yes, some of these tests are 95% accurate, but I've still heard and read too many stories of false positives or mix-ups happening.  Ugh, ugh.  No thanks!

It's Too Damn Expensive

And there is no guarantee that insurance will pay for it.  If you've ever called your insurance company than you now it is an exercise in futility.  I spent 30 minutes on the phone with mine trying to find out if genetic testing was covered.  I had the codes and specific test names - to say I was prepared was an understatement.  The final answer from the woman on the other line. "I don't know.  I don't understand what I am reading."  It was a colossal waste of time.  I was able to forward some information from her to my doctor's office and even the account manager there wasn't sure what she was reading.  She felt she could make a good case to convince them to pay for it, but there was no guarantee they would.  We already have a high deductible so I didn't want to be out an extra $3,000-$10,000 depending on what the lab charged and what our portion was to pay.    Nope.  Nope.  Nope. 

There they are.  All of the reasons why we called and said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to genetic testing.  And you know what?  As excited as I was about finding out the sex of our baby 2 months earlier than last time, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders when I called to cancel that appointment.  

I was definitely getting a big of pressure from my OB's office to get it done because of my risk factors.  No one likes being pressured, but I feel I did the right thing by researching my options and coming to my own conclusions.

I'm writing this because in my research, I found that there are a lot of articles praising genetic testing and not many about women who turn it down and everything turns out alright.  While I have nothing against it, I just feel it is not for us.  

I want to know, did you decide to have the genetic testing done?  Why or why not?  I want to hear your experiences too.  

*Please note that I am not a medical professional and this article should not replace a medical professionals advice.  These views are of my own opinions.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

8 Weeks Pregnant and I Look Like I've Popped!

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.  

How far along: 8 weeks although at my 8 week ultrasound baby was already measuring 2 days ahead so I'm closer to 9 weeks now.  
Total weight gain: 10 pounds of bloat!
Maternity clothes:  Some shirts, but I wear them mostly because of the length.  I can't button my pants that well so I need the length to hide them.  
Stretch marks: Just what was there before.  
Sleep: If I didn't need to pee after 6 hours then I'd be sleeping all of the time!
Best moment of this week:  Getting to see baby on the ultrasound.  There really is a baby in there! 
Miss anything: I miss not having terrible stomach pains.  
Movement: Nope!
Food cravings: Bagels and cream cheese.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  Chicken.  This happened the last time.  Even my daughter's chicken nuggets make me want to barf.
Have you started to show yet: I look like I've popped even though I know it is mostly just bloat.
Gender:  Still thinking boy just because this one isn't trying to kill me like his sister.   
Labor signs: Dear lord, no!
Belly button in or out: Still in, but it never popped out the last time.  
Wedding rings on or off: Still on, but my fingers are already starting to bloat out.  
Happy or moody most of the time: Just tired and tired of having a belly ache. 
Looking forward to: Telling our family over Christmas.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there!