Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hold Your Horses!

That's a message to my uterus, by the way. My irritable uterus.

What a week. After two solid weeks of insane Braxton Hicks contractions, I decided that I needed more reassurance that nothing was happening than an internal exam. So yesterday I call the nurse's line and told them that I was well-hydrated, had a desk job, and that my 6-10 contractions an hour were taking my breathe away. So in I go to the office.....

We start with the fetal fibronectin test, which basically tests for a protein that can indicate whether you will go into labor within the next 2 weeks. A negative is more conclusive than a basically assures you with 95% confidence that you won't go into labor within that 2 week period.

After that, I had an ultrasound to check out my cervical length. Of course, they pull out the vag-cam for this one. Joy! More probing. (Get used to it, right?) Everything looks great....nice and thick and high, and baby's head is down already. He was sticking his tongue out at us and practicing breathing, so that was pretty cute.

General consensus after the negative fetal fibronectin test and the high and closed cervix is that I just have an irritable uterus. The contractions aren't causing anything else to happen, so they are harmless at the moment. I'm not supposed to exercise too much when they are hot and heavy, but I also don't have to put my life on hold unless they get even stronger or more painful.

So, that was scary yesterday. For a minute there, they were talking about drugs like terbutaline and procardia, and mentioning going to the hospital for fetal monitoring and other fun stuff. I'm so relieved that he's staying put for a while and that I'm not on bed rest! I did skip swimming this week, though.....figured I owed it to the baby to at least take his safety and well being seriously.

Anyway, we have childbirth classes tomorrow night and Saturday, so it should be entertaining! And just to keep with the general baby-related theme of the day, I thought I would include the pregnancy questionnaire that everyone seems to put into their baby blogs. Better late than never, right??

How far along? 30 weeks, 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: 30 lbs GAINED....kill me now!

Sleep: Not the best, but could certainly be worse

Best moment this week: Finding out I won't be having the baby within the next 2 weeks....and watching him stick his tongue out at us on the ultrasound
Movement: Lots. Especially at 11pm. And he wakes up and kicks whenever the cat snuggles up next to the belly.
Food cravings: None?!

Stretch Marks: Not yet, but I'm sure they're coming.
Gender: Boy!!
Labor Signs: Had craploads of Braxton Hicks contractions, but I'm not dialated or effaced and fetal fibronectin was negative, so I have time.
Belly Button in or out? In...but struggling.
What I miss: Not looking totally fat.
What I am looking forward to: Being able to walk into a room and not have everyone stare at my stomach. Oh, and the baby, of course!
Weekly Wisdom: Follow your gut. If you need more reassurance than your Dr. is giving you, then get it. Be squeaky.
Milestones: New horrific pregnancy symptom this week -- carpal tunnel syndrome. Woohoo!! I just love this stuff, can't you tell?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Return of Coach Meanypants

Monday marked the start of Triathlon Season #4 for me. Unlike the previous three years, where the season started with excitement and delusions of grandeur, this season was marked with Braxton Hicks contractions. So many, that the OB considered me "dehydrated" and I was told to go home and rest.

Rest?? The first day of the first swim practices?!! Seriously!!!!

So I rested, and my second opportunity came on Wednesday. Upper and Lower Intermediates were swimming at 6, and Advanced was swimming at 7. I wanted to move down to Upper Intermediate, but Coach Yoli said I still needed to come to Advanced, despite the fact that I am slower than usual! Argh. So I show up....very pregnant....and throw the towel around my waist while I wait for the Intermediates to finish up. (Good call -- they were barely moving in the water)

Coach Meanypants was there, barking out instructions. Now, I will admit, the man scares the crap out of me. Because he's good! He sees right through me usually, and he demands perfection. His critiques are so spot on that you notice improvements immediately in the pool. But his critiques also mean you were doing something wrong, and then you feel pretty terrible about the whole situation. So I guess because he hurts my pride and kicks my butt, I'm petrified of the man.

Wednesday, when I hopped in the pool in a lower lane and started warming up, I felt a little like an outsider. Very few of the women wanted to talk to me, and I think a few probably wondered what I was doing at practice. As DH says, "what are you practicing for?!" Well, for me the answer is simple....if I can keep up my fitness through this pregnancy, the faster I will return for my race at the end of August. Simple enough, right?

Coach Meanypants starts us out with 4 x 150's of kicking drills. I'm all over Superman the first time around, but as soon as I get on my side, I have trouble taking a breathe. I was flabbergasted by how hard it was to breathe as I made my way to the deep end, substituting my sideways kicking with some breastroke. I HUNG on to the end of the pool and proceeded to take many deep breathes, and then started to panic as they became shallow. I was like, "what the heck?"

Meanypants comes over and says, "what's wrong?" to which I reply, "my legs feel great but I can't breathe." He asks me when the last time I swam was. I told him I've been swimming 2000 meter sets for the past 3 months, at least once a week. So while I am not in good shape, I am not OUT of swimming shape. He just looks at me and says, "kicking is hard. Just float on your back."

And that was that. I did the back kicking drills to finish out the set, then joined in with the rest on the remainder of the repeats.....slowing down a little to make sure my breathing problem wouldn't return. You see, I was watching the girls in the first lane the entire time and up until my hyperventilation problem, I was beating them. BAD!!!! This is not a race. This is building fitness, and I shouldn't try to be competitive. I just can't help myself.

Apparently my stroke was very shallow and I was crossing over with my arms -- really atypical for me. He mentioned that once, so I did my best to correct it. Unfortunately, the night sweats are really taking a toll on my upper back muscles, so I think that is the reason why I have a shallow entry into the water and maybe why I'm overcompensating with one arm over the center. At any rate, I was informed by Coach #2 that my kick was also "so messed up." Huh?! I still have my little 2-beat flutter kick. How is it messed up? Oh....hips have spread. I'm hoping she was talking about that.

So after an hour, I managed to complete the entire workout along with the other fact, I was middle of the pack, so I didn't disgrace myself at all. I was exhausted, but glad that I at least sucked it up and did it. Last year, this workout was cake.....this year? Damn near impossible.

I can't help but feel that Coach Meanypants was wondering why I even bothered to show up. He gave up on me after the first 10 minutes, and I really felt like a leper! But I will continue to drag my pregnant, fat ass to the pool at least twice a week to bother him, because I'm going to prove him wrong. I'm going to come back after having this baby, and I'm going to be swimming BETTER than I am today, and I am going to kick the fast lane's butts in races come this fall. I am determined!

Oh, and to top it all off, I actually joined in on a locker room conversation post-workout. I asked one of the older women how she liked Coach Meanypants' workouts in the gravel pond over the summer, since I never made it out in time last year. She said that she found them pointless, because when it's racing season, there's no reason to practice speed because in a race like Danskin or Tri for the Cure, there are so many people in the swim you can't go fast. I looked at her like she was smoking crack!! She was totally serious. I'm like, "it's helpful if you get out in front of everyone in your wave and then you don't have to deal with too much traffic," to which she indignantly said, "there are just so many people in the water, if you went too fast you'd swim over someone."

And your problem is???

So, being pregnant does a few things to people. #1, they think you should be home on the couch waiting for the baby arrive. And #2, they forget that you were ever an athlete, and cannot possibly fathom that your now round body would be capable of doing anything OTHER than sitting on the couch at home.

I freaking HATE that.

We had another swim practice this morning, but I opted to stay in bed. Twice a week should work just fine for me right we are painting the nursery. I need my energy!

And if you managed to make it through that horribly depressing and angry post, I'll reward you with some uber cute 3D pictures of the little man after his re-take last Friday. He's kind of cute....and he loves to smile when he hears his Aunties talk. The facial distortion is caused by his snuggling with the umbilical cord. He's a heart breaker and playing hard-to-get already. :)