chiro

Third Trimester – Part 2

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Birth Plan

Basically my birth plan is “give birth to a healthy baby and recover.” Poking around the internet I’ve seen some pretty…elaborate birth plans. It seems silly to me. Especially considering this is not really something we can plan out. It happens when it happens, how it happens and all of it is really out of my control.

Like I said in my previous post I hadn’t really thought about it much but the childbirth classes gave me some insight and I have been giving it some more thought now. For the entire pregnancy I’ve been all about the drugs. Go into labor = give me whatever I need. No judgment towards women that want to have a natural birth, it’s all a personal choice and there is no “right” way. Once I got to the third trimester and we started taking the childbirth classes, I started to think maybe I wanted to change my plan a little bit.

The class said that the hospital I’ll give birth in does “light” epidurals. Meaning it’s not constantly on and you should still be able to feel your lower body, it just takes the edge off while you can still feel the contractions and know when to push. That sounded pretty good to me.

My current plan: try and labor at home as long as I can. Use our TENS device, different positions, massage, walking, whatever keeps me somewhat comfortable. Once I get to the hospital I’d like to take advantage of the birthing tub that is available. I want some soothing music and low lighting in the delivery room. I’m REALLY hoping to be able to labor in the squatting position if possible (the delivery bed has a squat bar attached to it) and when the time is right, use whatever medications I might need. Basically, I want to give it a try, see how it goes, and decide on medications. Will probably end up getting an epidural, but still want to take the wait and see approach. Of course all this will change if I end up having back labor (which my mom had with me and after having back spasms last summer I do NOT want to experience that again!).

Week 32

I’ve started going to chiro once a week. It seems to help a lot with the hip/SI/low back/glute issues. I had a massage this week, too!

I think I can tell when baby boy is going through a growth spurt. Throughout the pregnancy my eating habits haven’t changed too much and I haven’t had insatiable hunger very often. Every once in awhile I go through a phase where I am suddenly famished. It lasts a few days and then I go back to normal. The other night I woke up at 3am with a growling stomach and struggled to go back to sleep because I was hungry.

Had a bit of a scare, but all is good.

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Symptoms this week: Just the SI issues. Peeing all the time. All the time.

Cravings: Cheesecake. 😀

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Week 33

SLOWING DOWN…I am so much slower at every single thing I do now. I walk slowly, things are a struggle. It’s getting harder to do things that should be easy–which is weird! I’m still working out but it’s a lot different. I used to swim 1.25 or 1.5 miles in 45 minutes, now I swim 1 mile in 50 minutes. I’ve had to turn the resistance way down on the elliptical. I’m still lifting weights but I’m doing only weight machines. With my stretchy ligaments and feeling off balance, I don’t think free weights are a good idea. I’ve also gone from 5 workouts a week to sometimes 4. Some scheduling things have gotten in the way of working out 5 days a week and in the past I would have rearranged my schedule to make it fit but now I’m more in the “it’s ok to take an extra rest day this week” mentality. I knew I’d slow down at some point. That time has apparently come!

As for baby? I feel like he’s trying to escape! Check out this video!

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Symptoms this week: Lots of pelvic pressure/pain/soreness. Feels like things are stretching and loosening. It kind of feels like a side-stitch when you run. Also having some groin discomfort, similar to a pulled muscle.

Cravings: Reese’s Pieces. Or peanut butter cup ice cream. Basically anything that is chocolate and peanut butter. The craving is intense! Reese’s Pieces used to be one of my trigger foods back in the day and haven’t eaten them in like 10 years…

Week 34

Hospital bag is about 90% packed. It has your typical things in there: clothes, underwear, nursing bra, nursing tank, toiletries. Also a sleep mask, ear plugs, a book of crossword puzzles (just in case), something to read, my glasses and contact lenses, breast pump, some massage lotion, hair ties, non-skid socks, chapstick, flip flops, and snacks. Also: Nursing PadsNipple Nursing CreamEarth Mama Bottom Spray. I also included my birth plan checklist, insurance info and legal documents from our attorney like Power of Attorney and Advance Directives.

I’ve got a few different baby outfits packed (newborn sized and one larger just in case) plus the little newborn mittens and a hat. I haven’t packed a going home outfit yet because I honestly don’t know what that should be. Something loose and comfortable, I imagine. What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Had my baby shower!

34weeks

Symptoms this week: I am soooo slow. Moving slow, it takes a long time to do everything now. Having some hip and low back stuff as well as groin pain. My guess is that pain is here to stay. Swimming feels fabulous and when I do the breast stroke it feels great on my body — but the next day? I feel SO sore. Like I ran a marathon sore.

Cravings: Still craving peanut butter/chocolate combo. Insane craving!

Week 35

Put this super sexy/glamorous mattress protector on our bed! Just in case my water breaks when I’m in bed.

Baby must be having another growing spurt because I am HUNGRY again. Several days in a row now I’ve been woken up early in the morning with a growling stomach. I’m eating the same amount and yet I’m hungrier earlier than usual.

After making it 8 months without getting sick, I started to feel like I was getting a bad head cold this week. 🙁 Doing the nasal rinse, drinking EmergenC and crossing my fingers it doesn’t get too bad. I think I managed to fend off getting a full-blown cold but the bone-tired exhaustion plagued me ALL week. It was seriously all I could do to get out of bed and go to work (and then try and stay awake!).

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Symptoms this week: I’m not sure if he’s dropped yet but several people have said it looks like he has. I’m peeing a lot more frequently. I’ve been feeling extra extra tired lately. Not much else.

Cravings: Still craving Reese’s Pieces like mad.

Week 36

Still working out but slowing down. I think I might be done lifting weights. I switched to weight machines instead of free weights awhile ago but I’m finding that when I do lift weights and do squats I am way more sore these days. My guess is that it’s ligaments loosening. So I’m pretty much down to swimming twice a week and doing the elliptical twice a week and that’s it for now! Which I am ok with. Reducing the frequency and intensity of my workouts feels right for my body right now.

I am getting looks at the gym when I go. Not in a negative way, just looks. People stare at my bump. I have gotten some comments–all positive. An older guy in the pool complimented me and said he was “very impressed” that I was swimming, said I looked close to my due date and wished me luck. It was sweet.

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Symptoms this week: Just really tired and feeling big! It’s hard to move around!

Cravings: I’ve been craving BBQ for awhile and we finally went and got some for Valentine’s Day!

 

Doctor Appointment

At 36 weeks we had our OB appointment (last one was a month ago) and the appointments are now going to be more frequent. We heard the heart beat and she did an ultrasound to check position. He’s face down and head down and very low in my pelvis. He was kicking during the ultrasound but we didn’t get a good look at his face because of his position, which was kind of a bummer! The doctor said he seemed to be very long, and just under 6 pounds rights now. Michael was a very long, thin baby when he was born so it sounds like this boy might take after his daddy!

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My heart rate was 110/72, everything else was checking out normally. She did a cervical check and I’m not really dilated much but I’m 50% effaced. She said she’d be surprised if we made it to my due date. I’m not sure that doctors can predict that exactly, but who knows! He may come early!

Previous Posts:   

Secret Keeper

Behind the Scenes

First Trimester

Let’s Talk About Weight

Second Trimester – Part 1

Old Wives’ Tales

It’s A….

Second Trimester – Part 2

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Drink This and Try Not To Puke

Second Trimester – Part 3

Hospital Tour

Babymoon

Babymoon Part 2 & A Birthday

Third Trimester – Part 1

A Trial Run

Maternity Photos

Baby Shower

The Weight Gain 

Hopes & Fears

Going Slow

After taking some time off from working out, it time to get back at it. I ended up taking a few days off, not a full week, from the gym to let my back calm down. Part of me was bummed about not being able to do my normal routine but for the most part I was okay with resting. I felt like my body needed it.

My chiropractor suggested I keep active while I’m healing and suggested swimming and the elliptical. He said to take a break from yoga for a few weeks, which was okay with me because a few of the poses (downward dog especially) killed me!

Friday

I waffled back and forth between going swimming and taking one more day off. In the end I decided to give it a try because swimming was something that never really hurt and I promised myself that I would stop swimming if it hurt, even if I hadn’t done much. It was a decent swim. There were only a few times my back kind of bugged me and that was when I did the breast stroke. So I decided to skip that move and just do freestyle.

I was glad I went. I felt good the rest of the evening and my back actually didn’t hurt! When I got home I had a sensible dinner that was pretty low in calories. Leftover ham, some rice and Brussels sprouts. I think it’s a good plan to take it easy on the foods while I am not 100% at the gym. It sucks, but that means cutting back on calories.

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The back felt okay until I went to bed and then it started to ache and feel uncomfortable. Saturday morning it was still a little achy but once I got out of bed and moved around, it was alright.

Saturday

Saturday is usually my “big” gym day. I spend a little more time than the normal hour in the gym and the focus is more on weight lifting and body weight exercises. Since I was taking a break with this, I decided to just stick with the elliptical and then round out the workout with walking on the treadmill at an incline. Thankfully during this whole thing walking never hurt.

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The rest of the day the back felt pretty good. I was hoping that I was on the mend! Dinner was baked salmon with lemon pepper and dill seasoning, plus leftover rice and Brussels Sprouts. More healthy foods. And wine, of course. 🙂

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Michael and I watched a few episodes of “Girls” after dinner and then I called it a night. The wine had definitely gone to my head!

Sunday

Sundays used to be my swim days! It was nice because I could sleep in on Sunday mornings and I was usually sore from the Saturday weight workout so it was nice to swim. I switched to doing yoga on Sundays because I liked the teacher that taught that morning class. Since I can’t do yoga right now I’m going back to what I know: swimming.

Swimming is the best exercise if you hurt. Any kind of pain–joint pain, sore muscles, if you are over weight and other exercises hurt your body, try swimming. It’s always worked well for me; it’s relaxing, it feels good, and it’s a good exercise.

This particular Sunday I slept in pretty late for me and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (complete with coffee AND orange juice) and when I went to the pool it was near empty. I love that. I love when the pool is empty. I did my swim, which started out not so great…I felt slow and like I couldn’t catch my breathe (which is abnormal for me) but then I warmed up and felt pretty good. I relaxed in the hot tub, enjoyed the sauna and the pool was super empty. I was so tempted to go back in just because it was EMPTY! An empty pool is bliss to me.

Anyways, I was feeling pretty good most of the day and I went for a walk with Bella to round out of my fitness for the day.

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Next up: I went shopping for new hiking boots! The last time we went hiking I kind of started to wonder if the boots were how I bruised my feet and started this whole thing…My boots are amazing. I love them and they’ve been great but they are like 15+ years old. I think it was time to invest in some new boots. I went to REI and used the 20% member coupon + Michael’s dividend + my dividend + a $25 gift card from a friend for our wedding! I essentially got the boots for 50% off! I also love that they are called Gargoyle/African Violet. 😉

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I can’t wait to try them out! I love REI. Not only did I get a great price, the guy helping me was nice and honest about another pair I was considering (he said they were terrible) and they guarantee the boots for a year. A few years ago Michael got me some new boots and I tried for months to break them in and they just didn’t fit right. I ended up limping on hikes. 🙁 So I’m happy that REI has this guarantee even if I wear them out hiking and decide they don’t work.

Back to the Chiro

Monday after work I went back to see the chiropractor. Over the weekend I had had several good “moments” where I wasn’t in discomfort or pain and even FORGOT about my back issues. The chiro said that was a good sign. It wasn’t going to be magically fixed, but the fact that I had some relief several times since the last appointment was good. He also suggested that ice the crap out of my injury. I asked him how often and he said, as much as you can tolerate it. Hourly, if I can.

I spent about 25 minutes on the amazing massage chair with the TENS device on. That thing is amazing. Then I saw the chiro for my adjustment. It wasn’t as easy/smooth as the first time, but I hope it does it’s magic and gives me some more relief.

Physical Therapy

A week later I finally got to go to my Physical Therapy appointment. It took a few weeks to get the appointment and in the meantime I stuck with taking it easy in the gym, icing obsessively and going to chiro.

The therapist did an exam and asked me a bunch of questions. And while I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what happened to make my back act up, the answers I gave her and how I described it gave her a good idea of what was going on. She determined that I had a bulging disc, probably L4.

I have to admit, that freaked me out! It sounds scary. It sounds like something that needs SURGERY. But she assured me that wasn’t the case and she said that when it comes to backs, this is actually best-case scenario. She also said that because of some of the improvements I’ve already shown and the fact that certain movements she had me do made me feel better she thought I’d heal pretty quickly from this. Okay….

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She show me what a bulging disc looked like.

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She said the disc part was kind of jelly-like substance and that when it bulges it kind of squeezes out. If you have nerve pain (sciatica) it’s because the bulge is pressing on the nerve. Thankfully I don’t have that! In that second photo, the bulge popping out and touching the tubey-thing (that’s the nerve) is the bulge. So that’s what she thinks I have.

I asked her how this happened and she couldn’t really give me an answer but she did say that sitting was probably part of it. I sit all day at work and while I do get up a lot and walk around, it’s not good to sit all day.

She told me to keep swimming, do the elliptical, I can do upper body weights as long as it doesn’t cause pain in my low back (so basically stick with things like chest press, bicep curls, etc and no overhead pressing). She said to wait 2 more weeks before I do yoga or running again. I got back to see her in 2 weeks as well to get more exercises.

I have mixed feelings about this diagnosis. Part of me doesn’t think this is it. Time will tell. I’ll continue chiro and physical therapy and hopefully one or both will do the trick.

That night for dinner I made a salad with tons of veggies, a Trader Joe’s Marsala veggie burger and sauteed Brussels sprouts (I’m addicted). And a glass of wine (not the whole bottle lol):

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I steam the Brussels Sprouts and then sautee them in coconut oil with seasonings. They are so delicious! I tried to relax (and ice my back again) even though I was kind of worried about my diagnosis. The therapist was upbeat and positive about it but I’m still anxious…